Australia Felix pcorgbgo at
Mon Jul 19 03:41:19 EDT 1999

Hi Frank,

Thanks for the sentiments - I have been getting the mail early in the
morning before I go off to work without contributing - the keyline stuff I
can't go past though....The last discussion on imposing earthworks was
pretty interesting though, and had the thoughts of many clients echoing
through and through. I've probably built about 150 odd dams and lots of
house sites, roads etc. and I still find it difficult at times - but when
the dam's full, or the batters have grown back it all looks pretty good. As
a student of geology/geomorphology though, what I do with a dozer is nothing
compared with what the earth has done to itself and will probably continue
to long after we done our collective bit - so much for "permanent cultures"
and "permanent agricultures".......

In terms of your project though I'm interested in helping you through the
process of working out where your dams should go etc. I think we could do
this as an open book so that anyone else can put in their "two bobs worth"
and learn a bit along the way. I say this although I understand that we are
limited in the amount of information (ie. large picture files etc.) we can
put on this list - which is fair enough. I suppose if anyone was interested
a sub-forum could exist where such information could be shared. It doesn't
bother me whatever way we might go.

To work out your the location of your keypoints and therefore your keylines
you need a good topographic map as a starting point. A proper survey is even
better, although a lot of bush in the way makes that more expensive than
working on cleared land. If you can get your property and its catchments
scanned onto the pc and onto the e-mail we can get to work on locating the
keypoints quite easily.

The site planning stuff and dam design part is the easy part - the fun
begins in determining land suitability and capability for such works. This
is especially the case with soil profile surveys. We always as policy get a
cheap backhoe operator out to dig some 3m + deep pits in the dam site so
that we can check what's there and what material is available, and whether
its suited to dam construction/earthworks. Its good insurance as there is
nothing worse than getting down and not having enough good material to work
with. We do tests  that determine the soil texture, pH and Emerson readings
(dispersion/slaking test). Once we get all of that done then we peg out the
dam and get to work.

Anyway drop us a line if you want to proceed along this path as I'm more
than happy to help out.

To answer your last question, I have had a couple of sniffs, but nothing
definite - if I had I would have shook your hand by now !! No, it would be a
great experience, but one that I could only contemplate as a working study
tour thing. It would be improper to an extent for me to displace the work
opportunities of locals - however working with someone of my experience
would be another thing again. I think a few of us oz pc people have a lot of
expertise particularly on the earthworks/keyline front to offer, and I'm
sure there are skills that we could gain as part of the bargain.

In any case I have plenty on my plate.....we are just finishing ground
preparation (all chemical-free) works for the year (southern winter) in
readiness for planting in Spring/Summer planting. This year we're involved
with around 70 000 trees worth of planting. All of which are mixed species
analogue plantations. The main species we're planting are the following:

Eucalyptus tricarpa - red ironbark - 1270kg/m3
Eucalyptus leucoxylon - yellow gum - 1200kg/m3
Eucalyptus cladocalyx - sugar gum - 1300-1400kg/m3
Acacia implexa - lightwood - 850kg/m3
Acacia stenophylla - eumong
Acacia salicina - willow wattle
Casuarina cunninghamiana - river sheoak

We are also planting a few deciduous systems this year too. Robinia/Osage
Orange/Quercus/Gleditsia systems are being planted as rootlings on quite a
few sites.

Anyway enough of all that.....I hope that the stuff before the trivia makes
sense and that we can get things moving for you on that front.


Yours and Growing,

Darren J. Doherty

----- Original Message -----
From: <FranksFarm at>
To: permaculture <permaculture at>
Sent: Sunday, 18 July 1999 9:48
Subject: Re: Keyline

> G"day Darren,
> So good to hear from you again. It's been some time:)
> Hope all is well. Thanks for the input.
> Here's a website which has a few pictures of the place, and a few words on
> goals and DREAMS. he he
> Let me know what you think.
> Are you still thinking about coming to the states?
> Cheerio,   Frank
> ---
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