Olivia Brent

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since Feb 19, 2021
Exploring permaculture in the north-east of Spain. Would love any help regarding permaculture for a mediterranean climate.
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Recent posts by Olivia Brent

Marcelo Oak wrote:Hi Olivia,

We're buddies when it comes to location, as we're in Portugal in a VERY rocky soil condition.
Swales could increase erosion in the circumstances you mentioned, but looking at the photos and how much vegetation cover you have, I don't think it is a problem.
Also consider how close the bedrock is. If the goal is to promote in filtration, the swales might only retain the water on the surface.

Have you though about other practices, such as walls: Stone Terracing

What cover crops are you using? We're planning on using clovers, but open for other ideas.


Thanks Marcelo, I will have to do a test hole to see where the bedrock lies as I have a feeling it may be very close to the surface which also worries me as to weather a food forest is viable.

in terms of cover crops yes I am also looking at clover, alfalfa maybe, fava beans, buckwheat....
2 months ago
Hey there!

I am currently in charge of a permaculture design for a friends property in north eastern Spain (Catalonia). He has quite a bit of land, all situated on a west facing valley slope. My partner who is a builder has already began to do some major earthworks for him, putting in ponds, streams, water channels ect.

A huge part of his property is dry forest/shrubland (as you can see in the pictures) where the earth is extremely compact and dry. My idea for this land is to hopefully develop it into a food forest but I really need some help where to start. I would say I am definitely a beginner in permaculture so my knowledge for developing dry landscapes in small (:

I first suggested putting in Swales to start catching some of the runoff however the owner said that he had read in a book it wouldn't be right for this type of terrain, explaining that there are already tress on the hillside so Swales should not be put in. I have also read that because of the type of soil and when it rains (rarely) it is a lot, that putting in Swales might increase erosion.

I have also read that starting with a good couple seasons of cover crops would be a great way to start as well, however the soil is so compact I don't know if anything would start to grow.

I have attached some pictures and really would love any advice possible!
2 months ago
Thanks so much Hugo!

Yes actually so much broom growing here!! but didn't know it as a nitrogen fixer so awesome news!
I will have a look into the other two!!

hopefully I can find some north-eastern mediterranean tree guru living around the corner hehe
2 months ago
Hi everyone!

I am completely new to this website, it literally took me half an hour to find out how to post!

I moved to North Eastern Spain last year and live in a zone 9 region. I have some experience with permaculture (PDC, travelling to various permaculture farms, read many books) but am diving straight into the deep end as I am designing a friends permaculture farm. His property lies on the hillside of a valley. He has an enormous area of the hillside that is bassicly shrubs, cork trees, firm clayish soil. As he already has a space prepared for his zone 1 & 2 vegetable garden and broader crops I thought it would be a good idea to turn this land into an food forest and gradually over the years be able to adapt and better the soil through planting specific tree guilds and plants.

I have bought many books on food forests and understand how they work but really need some help on specific tree guilds for the mediterranean! I have found some good information on here but if there is anything you can help me with or tree guilds for mediterranean climate/ zone 9 would be very much aprecciated!
Especially would love to know about mediterranean NFT's! (nitrogen fixing trees)

Thanks in advance!

Olivia (:
2 months ago