[permaculture] You Tube, Keyline Design, Sustainable Agriculture &Carbon Sequestering , Lecture With Darren Doherty Santa Barbara Nov/07

Wesley Roe and Santa Barbara Permaculture Network lakinroe at silcom.com
Tue Mar 4 23:41:47 EST 2008

You tube of Lecture

Keyline Design, Sustainable Agriculture &Carbon Sequestering
Lecture With Darren Doherty in Santa Barbara Nov 07
Produced by Commongood Media and Santa Barbara Permaculture Network

What is biological wealth?  Healthy forests, 
fertile soils, abundant waterways and seas---has 
any great nation been built without these?  As we 
degrade and treat them as throw-aways can we 
expect a prosperous future for our families and 
children?  Is a sustainable system for 
agriculture possible that enhances rather than 
depletes our natural environment?

         Join Santa Barbara Permaculture Network 
as we explore the concept of Keyline Design, a 
unique design system that restores, regenerates 
landscapes, and sequesters carbon with Darren 
Doherty ( www.permaculture.biz) from Australia.

         Darren Doherty is an  engaging and 
accomplished exponent of Permaculture and Keyline 
Design, Darren Doherty, principal of Australia 
Felix Permaculture .He presents an overview of 
the design considerations and implements of his 
practice. He explains how the intelligent design 
and management of agricultural landscape, through 
its ability to rapidly regenerate the topsoil 
that most effectively sequesters atmospheric 
carbon, is a prime strategy in repairing humanity's relation to the biosphere

         Keyline Design is a complete design 
system for landscapes.  It is applicable to both 
rural and urban areas. It is a unique combination 
of water conservation and soil building, with 
great appeal to both farmers and ranchers, as it 
has the ability to build and regenerate degraded 
soils rapidly, and sees the use of grazing 
animals as beneficial to this process.

         Keyline systems were developed in 
Australia during the 1950’s by P.A Yeomans ( 
www.yeomansplow.com.au ) as a response to 
increasing desertification and erosion he 
observed on the Australian landscape as it 
related to agriculture.  His book Water For Every 
Farm, A Keyline Plan is an important work 
describing a set of principles and techniques 
based on a holistic approach that works with 
natural patterns to restore and increase the 
depth and fertility of the soil, while increasing 
its water holding capabilities.  Yeomans realized 
that conventional agriculture totally ignored the 
biological aspects of the soil.  He created a 
“sustainable agriculture” system before the term 
was coined, and for the first time in human 
history, methods were developed that could 
produce rich fertile soils in relatively short 
periods.  A permanent and lasting agriculture 
Yeomans believed, must materially and financially 
benefit the farmer, and benefit the land and soil.

         Keyline Design integrates terraces, 
ponds, tree plantings on contour, and a special 
cultivation technique using the Keyline plow, to 
infiltrate water into the soil efficiently and 
hold it on the land as long as possible. Water 
harvesting strategies employed by Keyline Design 
provide drought-proofing for farms with very low 
maintenance using gravity fed irrigation systems, 
with a huge reduction in water lost to 
evaporation. In contrast, up to 80% of water is 
lost to evaporation using conventional overhead 
sprinklers.  Farms using Keyline Design have 
amazing records of deepening the topsoil by 3-6” 
in 3 years, in contrast to nature’s process, 
which can take hundreds or thousands of years.

         The term Keyline comes from the 
reference to a “keypoint” on the watershed, which 
is the interface between collection and 
distribution of water on the landscape, where 
ridge meets the valley.  Keyline is a philosophy 
and technique that doesn’t pit the needs of 
farmers against environmentalists trying to 
protect wildlife and fish habitat, and with 
carbon sequestering techniques used, helps to 
address aspects of global warming and climate change.

         Darren Doherty is an Australian Keyline 
Designer, Developer & Manager and Australian 
Approved Keyline Design™ Farm Planning 
Consultant, and recipient of Whole Farm Planning 
Certificate ~ Train the Trainer(University of 
Melbourne 1995).  He has designed and developed 
over 1100 properties across four continents 
working most recently in Vietnam, on land 
projects for Mars Inc, owners of Seeds of Change. 
His remaining time is spent managing a working 
research & demonstration farm in Southern Victoria, Australia.

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