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Summary

Paul sits back down with Alan Booker after a fourteen-month hiatus to get back into the Big Black Book, aka Permaculture a Designer's Manual by Bill Mollison.

A picture on page 14 depicts a hilly plot of land at the start of a valley and indicates where water collects and flows almost straight downwards towards the bottom of the valley.  The next picture shows what happens when you interrupt the flows of water by digging ponds in its path, digging ditches on a slight incline towards another pond slightly lower down the valley.  This repeats until the water is finally allowed to flow along the bottom of the valley.  In the meantime, the greatly increased amount of water available has allowed a great deal of vegetation and trees to grow whereas the previous picture was mostly barren.  The only other change is the addition of what appear to be windmills that the two hypothesize are to pump water back up to a higher pond to circulate it even more.  

It should be noted that Mollison probably didn’t originally invent the system, as some people credit the image to P. A. Yeomans’ “keyline” system, who in turn also wasn’t the first to come up with such a system, as people in Hawaii have been doing something similar for generations before either of them.  But they didn’t document it, so credit for inventing it goes to an unknown people lost to time, and credit for putting it on paper goes to Yeomans.  Heck, even Sepp Holzer didn’t create his farm to follow permaculture, he made it to his own design and only when Mollison went to see it find out that what he was doing was called “permaculture”.

Relevant Threads

Bill Mollison's Permaculture: A Designer's Manual forum
Bill Mollison's Permacutlure: A Designer's Manual - Summary and where to buy

2022 Permaculture Design Course - Tickets on sale now

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COMMENTS:
 
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I didn't realize that there were specific threads for each of the podcasts, I guess that's what "come on out to the forums at permies.com..." is for, but I guess I took that as a general statement rather than a specific one.  Anyways, I've had comments I'd like to make on other podcasts and didn't know where to put them, but since you specifically mentioned it in this one I'm actually going to record the comment this time.

Early-ish in the podcast I think there was some discussion of structural/building designs and that there haven't been any/many that are regenerative and I wanted to post a link to one that is.  I'm sure you guys have heard of this, but maybe didn't think of it in the moment.

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20211117-how-indias-living-bridges-could-transform-architecture

My understanding is that they build the bridges initially from rope/branches/etc, but then weave living tree roots into the structure and continue to maintain them this way until the original "dead" components rot away and the bridges are almost entirely made of actively growing living materials.

 
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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https://permies.com/t/2112/Living-root-wood-bridges
 
This parrot is no more. It has ceased to be. Now it's a tiny ad:

Infect brains with permaculture! Give out gobs of the permaculture playing cards
richsoil.com/cards


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