neil bertrando

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Recent posts by neil bertrando

Do you want take your designs to the next level with a combination of thorough site assessment, drafting and computer illustration?

If so, Check out Southwoods Permaculture's Advanced Design course and Professional Practices course this October.

http://www.southwoodscenter.com/AdvancedPDC.html

http://www.southwoodscenter.com/APDC.html



3 years ago
Sounds like a great time. I'm getting jealous of all the fun you're having there. Lots of plants going into hugelkulturs and swales here too.

Sometime I won't be booked up when you post opportunities for awesome events. I'm hosting Owen Hablutzel here that weekend for a Holistic Management workshop.

http://www.urgc.org/#!permaculture/c4fw


If anyone can't make it to MT but is near Reno, NV April 26-27th check it out.

4 years ago
We're excited to be hosting Owen Hablutzel in Reno, NV on April 26-27th for the broad acre and grazing management portion of our local PDC program hosted by Urban Roots. The class is open to anyone interested. To Register visit http://www.urgc.org/#!permaculture/c4fw

Owen Hablutzel is a Keyline Design® consultant and Holistic Management® Certified Educator working in the US and internationally.Trained under the world’s leading Keyline consultant, Darren Doherty, Owen has been successfully working to transform soil fertility and increase whole landscape hydration through regenerative techniques since 2007. By working together with farms, ranches, and land managing organizations his integrated approach is helping to create more fertile landscapes, robust farm economies, and resilient watersheds across the West.

for more info on Owen Check out these websites
http://www.permacultureglobal.com/users/47-owen-hablutzel
http://permaculturenews.org/2013/05/03/cows-and-plows-transformation-solutions/
http://permaculturenews.org/2011/11/04/owen-hablutzel-water-and-transformation-in-dryland-systems-resilience-science-keyline-application-ipc10-presentation-video/

4 years ago

my question is, is it best to start with the largest boulder in the first gabion to take the hit for all the following gabions or would it be wise to use smaller stones at first and work towards larger one so that if the smaller ones were taken out then the larger ones could still stop them?



If the arroyo receives a large discharge you want all large rocks. Largest at the thalweg and channel center. you can use smaller-ish ones at the edges of the channel if it actually connects with the floodplain. This is based on the natural phenomenon of sediment sorting.

I recommend one rock dams in riffles, zuni bowls, log stepdowns, or log and rock stepdowns on headcuts, baffles on bends, etc. Floodplain benching might be an option too. Hard to say exactly where all this would go without surveying the channel and calculating and characterizing the catchment area. Context is the first step, always before technique.
There must be something very interesting off in the distance
4 years ago
got notified of an apple, so I'll add some more.
I use in Reno, NV usda zone 6ish, hot, dry, etc.

additional n-fixers
Amorpha sp., several
Fallugia sp.
Cowania sp.
Purshia sp.
Chamaebatia sp
Dalea sp.
lotus sp.
Thermopsis sp.
lathyrus sp.


in addition to all the great n-fixers

non-n fixin fast carbon pathways

always a fan of native grasses. ones that work well for me are indian ricegrass, needle and thread, western wheatgrass, squirreltail, hoping to transition to basin wildrye.

forbes, shrubs, trees, etc.
Orach, Atriplex hortensis
Arugula,
Siberian elm, Ulmus pumila
Mulberry, Morus alba
Rubber rabbitbrush, Chrysothamnus naseousus
Walking Onion, Allium cernuum
Lovage,
comfrey, symphytum sp.
alfalfa, medicago sativa
sweet clover, melilotus alba
buckwheat,
yarrow golden, Achillea sp.
yarrow meadow, Achillea millifolium
mullien,
tumble mustard, Sysimbrium altissimum
kochia, Kochia scoparia
russian thistle, Sasola kali

last couple I use because they're already here, great for harvesting nutrients without added water, i run em through my vermicompost system first whenever possible

I'm also trialing succulents to protect the soil.
hardy ice plant, Delosperma sp.
yucca baccata
yucca glauca
Agave parryi
cactus, Echinocerus sp.
stoneplant, sedum sp.
cold hardy prickly pear, opuntia sp.
Palmers penstemon, penstemon palmerii

would like to try more from HIgh and Dry book by Robert Nold

got tons of useful and edible natives starting in our nursery, plus seedling fruit and nut trees, perennial veggies, herbs, and annuals
might be worth perusing our catalog for some options. http://www.rtpermaculture.org/?page_id=17

that's it for now. back to packing bare roots
4 years ago
some quick thoughts:

Make sure all ponds have spillways sized to match their watersheds characteristics

for dry stream beds it is dependent on your climate, topography, and watershed. Streams are very dynamic systems. I have posted some links and thoughts re: this on other permies threads.
http://www.permies.com/t/32684/videos/Geoff-Lawton-Fixing-Deserts-Gabions
http://www.permies.com/t/15484/permaculture/Induced-Meandering

the second thread is a bit old and needs some revision and updates, but a place to start.
4 years ago

So how does one "discover" a clay layer like that? Just years of digging projects on the same land, or are there clues I might find on my land? We have lots of clay around, and I can find out the name of the soil type, but I don't know how to get from that to finding usable features.



you dig down to find out what your soil profile is at various regions on your land. "test pits" and you collect this data and assess the differences at various elevations and locations. correlate with soil and geologic maps you can find from NRCS and USGS free online. tools you can use are shovel, excavator, drill, etc. depending on what you have available and how deep you want to go.
4 years ago
I am a supporter of Geoff Lawton and all the amazing work he has done to further the practice and application of permaculture at a global scale. I am a student of his, a PRI registered teacher, and practitioner applying many of his strategies and techniques. I state all this to put my critiques into context, because I don't want to take anything away from the enormous contribution Geoff and PRI have made to Permaculture as a movement, to improving many peoples lives and livelihoods, and to inspiring us all to take action following the Prime Directive.

I am not in favor of gabions or check dams in most contexts. they may be useful in specific contexts (although I cannot think of one off the top of my head), but in general are a misplaced pattern, particularly in a channel setting. Over the past 20-30 years many installed gabions have failed often reverting to the original condition or causing more damage. David Rosgen calls them 'time release sediment capsules' and there are other more appropriate strategies for managing water and sediment in both a channel and upland setting. For a more detailed discussion of appropriate strategies and techniques, I encourage everyone to look at the discipline of fluvial geomorphology, modern erosion control methods, the work of David Rosgen, Bill Zeedyk, and Craig Sponholtz. Using these methods, there is actually more sediment and water stored at a landscape scale and stream channels and other eroding landscapes are able to slow water and sediment at a rate in balance with other processes. No method is perfect and they are all evolving their work within a science based framework.

These strategies and techniques more appropriately fit the patterns of streams and water and sediment process in landscape, so we are mimicking nature more accurately. Water is a powerful and durable force in the landscape which will humble us every time until we develop an appropriate respect and pattern.

just my thoughts and opinions.

some links:
David Rosgen
http://www.wildlandhydrology.com/

Craig Sponholtz
http://drylandsolutions.com/
http://floodwateragroecology.com/blog/uncategorized/10-guiding-principles-for-watershed-restoration-regenerative-water-harvesting/
http://drylandsolutions.com/Erosion_Control_Field_Guide.pdf

Article on Bill Zeedyk's work by Owen Hablutzel
http://permaculturenews.org/2011/07/14/let-the-water-do-the-work-induced-meandering-an-evolving-method-for-restoring-incised-channels/