Sergio Cunha

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since Jun 18, 2014
Was a bank clerk for quite a few years, now bamboo furniture maker, social phobic, love to grow my own food, not so bad a Cook, politics slightly left, I thing we must change the system we're living in.
Southeast Brazil
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Recent posts by Sergio Cunha

First of all,  don't use any heavy machinery around the spring, or you can seal it for ages.
Try to check if the spring is silted. One way to do that is to look at trees on the UPPER side/slope of the spring. If their roots are appeearing clearly outside the soil,  like skipped veins, then there's a good chance of silting.
Check also the under slope of the spring, looking for cattails. Cattails are one of nature's way to avoid nutrients from silt being lost to the sea. Some cattails are just ok, but a lot of them means they are thriving on the nutrients being washed away from the upper soil.
If the spring is silted , measure the flow of the spring. Use your hands to clean any leaves on the spot. To measure the flow use a small spout, a bottle or bucket and a chronometer. Check how much water flows in one minute. Write down the flow and the hour you made that.
If the spring is silted, try to desilt it using hand tools. Dig carefully right on the spot of the spring. If the flow of water increases fast, stop digging.
Go there the next day and measure the flow again at the same hour.  Springs can change their flow according to the hour of the day.
Compare both flows. If the flow increased related to the first day, then it is silted for sure. Dig a little more, leaving the spring water runs freely.
You can dig half  a meter around the spring. More than that and you could "hurt" the spring.
If it is too silted, there's not much you can do.
If there's cattle roaming there, fence the spring using barbed wire. The fence should be at least 5 meters radius from the spring. The long, the better. 50 meters would be great. Don't put the lowest barbed wire too low. It should allow small wild life access the spring.
Plant trees.

1 month ago
Bamboo leaves. They're nice because they won't rot fast. I just rake the dried leaves from bamboo groves.
1 month ago
Regardless the way you organize eggs, it's advisible always keep them with the larger end up, the same position they are stored at the supermarket.
The reason for that is because eggs have a tiny air chamber at the larger end. If the eggs are stored with that air chamber downside, it will force the whole egg, making it get spoiled faster.
2 months ago

Angelika Maier wrote: I wonder apart from the better holding of water on properties could you actually make rain by planting more trees?

Bill Mollisson answers that with a big yes. It's on the Designers' Manual, chapter 6, Trees and Their Energy Transactions. He explains how trees change water cycle, making rain.
What I wonder is what's the size/area is needed for each region to be reforested to make rain.
3 months ago
If your land has dew at night, a cheap way to harvest water is to put stones around your plants. They will condense water at night.
I suggest you try that in a few plants as an experiment. Take pictures of those plants before you put the stones.  In a few weeks/months you can compare the results.
3 months ago

Ken W Wilson wrote:

I wish I could find an edible banana that would grow here..

I've read about a guy who grows bananas in cooler climates without a greenhouse. He makes a kind of insulation in each banana banana tree.
He chooses a plant variety that will fruit early, twelve months or less. Then plant it in early spring. Before winter comes he  puts a cylinder of chicken wire wider than the trunk around it. Then fills the space between the trunk and the wire with dry leaves.
Next spring he takes the whole things out.
4 months ago

Dustin Rhodes wrote:

Robert, what is the railway replacing these toxic ties with when they are damaged?? Is there another material/product, or does the railway just continue on with it as a "necessary evil"?

Hier in Brazil they're replacing them with recycled plastic ties. Not the ideal way but better than creosot.

There's even a few people selling second hand plastic ties on the internet.
4 months ago
Good points, Roberto.
When I say most would-be permaculturists won't have that money I' m talking about city dwellers who dreams on having their small piece of land and can't afford buying it. I do own mine and trying to do permaculture hier as I am truly converted to it. Those city people comes hier and say how lucky I am for living such a life. Some of them are young and can't find even a job, most of all buying land. Some others are middle aged who worked hard for their whole life and still can't afford it.
Then I  feel really sorry for them. I can't take it smoothly that our society denies land to people who wants it deeply. But may be  that's something for the cider press section.
When I bought that book I had those people in mind. I guess I was misguided by some rewiew. But as I said it is an inspiring reading. Thanks
4 months ago
I've read one third of the book and I'd like to know how much costs to them buying a small piece of land by the river with a thatched-roof house in Normandy. And a horse. He says he sold his boat he used to circumnavigate the world for twenty-two years. Hummm...
It seems an amount of money most would-be permaculturers won't have.
Still an inspiring reading.
4 months ago
Bamboo leaves are good to cover garden paths because they won't rot so fast. Even in my tropical place they last one year.
4 months ago