Food for the body and the mind.

Larry London london at
Wed Jul 7 18:57:25 EDT 1999   InterGarden   
london at   lflondon at

On Wed, 7 Jul 1999, John Schinnerer wrote:

> >Soil types, climates and native ecosystems
> >vary tremendously but methods for constructing massive permaculture
> >systems around the world could become standardized.
> How would standardization of methods maintain and enhance diversity?  

Water, soil fertility/tilth, shade, shelter, etc.  
can be made more available to plants and animals 
though swaling, berming, hilling, ditching, catchment
and impoundment (ponds, pools, ditches, catch crops), 
Keyline plowing, Soil Saver tillage, rototilling and other methods 
of moving, tilling and shaping earth. Hand tools and machines with
or without different attached implements can be adapted to accomplish
a variety of construction tasks appropriate for all climatic
regions around the world.

Implements attached to heavy (or light) equipment could be
designed and fabricated to do do specific jobs. They could be made
adjustable so that the same machine could be used to do similar
jobs in different climates to reflect differences in soil type and 
tilth, residual moisture levels, depth of topsoil, size
and amount of rock in or near area to be prepared, potential for
erosion from rain, flood or wind. 

Ex. a D9-towed device following a pan excavator and dozer (with backhoe
on hand to remove rock or do other needed preparatory task) capable of
shaping a swale with a tilled herringbone-shaped array of small ridges
within, for added additional erosion control and water conservation.
This device could be adjusted so that it could build this type of swale
in different climates with different terrain, soil type, slopes
and rainfall.

For example, how would you prep a site for a massive planting of
eleagnus shrubs (the wild variety here in NC is a superb plant)
in all climates where it could survive and prosper?
What, if anything, would you plant with them? Eastern red cedar,
loblolly pine, wild muscadine grape, trumpet creeper (Campsis Radicans),
honeysuckle (Lonicera Japonica), Johnson Grass, vetch?
How would site preparation differ for each planting location?

You would need to accumulate and conserve moisture and provide
drainage or catchment (crop or impoundment) for any excess. The site
and plantings should be designed so that plant litter and silt
could easily accumulate and be recycled as plant and animal food 
and as mulch. You would need to prepare the site with the necessary earth
structures that would function to ensure the survival of your planting in
spite of extremes in weather conditions and animal predation.

This, to me is real "landscaping" and often far more beautiful
than the formalized, contrived ornamental.

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