[permaculture] A school near a terraced rice field in Vietnam

Pete Gasper, Gasper Family Farm farmer1 at gasperfarm.com
Tue Jan 7 21:34:26 EST 2014

Look into the terracing construction methods of the Inca's. Sounds similar 
to the things Lawrence discusses for the Asian terrases and maybe more along 
the lines of the solution you need.

They were creating productive terracing systems on what for all intensive 
purposes looks like near vertical rocky slopes.

On 01/07/2014 10:14 AM, Jay Woods wrote:
> I appreciate the effort you went through to get the references. I have read them all.
> But (he wrote with a smile) they are not designed for my constraints: thin soil, steep
> slopes, little water, and 30 miles to the nearest Keystone paver. The following gives an
> idea of the lay of the land:
>       *  http://www.inmagine.com/imb091/imb0910770-photo
> Unfortunately, the rock formations are not layer cake geology either here in Nevada in
> the basin and range province.  The closest I have been able to come to techniques is:
>       *  http://www.merip.org/mer/mer254/water-conflict-cooperation-yemen
> Unfortunately, the water rights have been stripped from the land and well drilling is not
> an option. The article plainly indicates that it wasn't much of a solution anyway.
> Somehow I need to build terrace walls that are sealed against water leakage and that
> insulate enough that cold weather won't heave the walls using only readily available
> local materials which means rocks, dirt, and pinyon pine and plenty of hand labor. As I
> am used to mining, converting some of the local limestone to quicklime has never
> been a difficult task.
> On Monday, January 06, 2014 08:05:01 PM Neil Bertrando wrote:
>> In general for construction, earthworks and other technical information
>> require detailed calculations, specs, design parameters, etc.  I refer to
>> FAO, NRCS, engineering, and construction references.
>> you might also consider utilizing the keyline design system for layout.
>> Here's a list of resources.  hope it helps.
>> Soil conservation techniques for hillside farms
>> http://www.nzdl.org/gsdlmod?e=d-00000-00---off-0hdl--00-0----0-10-0---0---0d
>> irect-10---4-------0-1l--11-en-50---20-home---00-0-1-00-0-0-11-1-0utfZz-8-00
>> &cl=CL1.16.9&d=HASHbdde2fe3749493c1a0de2d.1&gt=2
>> NRCS engineering field manual chapter 8 Terraces
>> http://irrigationtoolbox.com/NEH/Part650_EngineeringFieldHandbook/EFH-CH08.p
>> df
>> FAO Watershed mgmt field manual ch 9
>> http://www.fao.org/docrep/006/ad083e/ad083e10.htm
>> FAO Irrigation Water mgmt: Irrigation methods
>> http://www.fao.org/docrep/s8684e/s8684e03.htm
>> bench terrace design made simple
>> http://tucson.ars.ag.gov/isco/isco12/VolumeIV/BenchTerraceDesignMadeSimple.p
>> df
>> FAO Watershed mgmt field manual ch 6
>> http://www.fao.org/docrep/006/ad083e/ad083e07.htm
>> FAO Watershed mgmt field manual ch 8
>> http://www.fao.org/docrep/006/ad083e/AD083e09.htm
>> retaining wall manual for Keystone pavers
>> http://www.keystonewalls.com/media/Literature/ConstManual.pdf
>> Am Soc of Ag engineers terrace manual.  not able to access but would like to
>> http://elibrary.asabe.org/abstract.asp?aid=41193&t=2&redir=&redirType=
>> On Mon, Jan 6, 2014 at 12:09 PM, Jay Woods<woodsjaya at gmail.com>  wrote:
>>> I'd like to try terracing on 5 acres of hillside here in Nevada. It is dry
>>> country so the water table needs to be perched in each terrace. Do you
>>> have
>>> any sources on their construction? I remember seeing terracing used under
>>> these conditions in the Mid-East.
>>> On Monday, January 06, 2014 12:24:21 PM Lawrence London wrote:
>>>> On Mon, Jan 6, 2014 at 10:38 AM, Pete Gasper, Gasper Family Farm<
>>>> farmer1 at gasperfarm.com>  wrote:
>>>>> What kind of soil is underneath those fields? Here in America we'd
>>>>> consider
>>>>> that too steep to plant or do much anything with besides maybe cattle
>>> or
>>>>> scrub timber. But then you can't run a combine with a 30' header
>>> across it
>>>>> and our soils of such geography tend to have stone a few inches down.
>>> But
>>>>> I
>>>>> wonder if human scale agriculture could radically expend food
>>> production
>>>>> here via methods like that.
>>>>   The amount of planning that goes into the design, construction and soil
>>>> preparation of those terraces is incredible. I read an article on a
>>>> group
>>>> that rebuilt some that had been damaged from erosion when the walls
>>>> collapsed. I guess construction methods vary according to materials
>>>> available on site but usually a lot of dry-laid stonework goes into the
>>>> foundation of each terrace wall. Drainage and wall reinforcement is part
>>> of
>>>> the process. I think some Asian rice terraces date back thousands of
>>> years.
>>>> The steep terrain was all the people had to work with, little or no flat
>>>> land. Here in the US the best farmland, prime, not marginal, should be
>>>> protected from development and made available for agricultural use only
>>>> employing natural methods and materials and permaculture.
>>>> There is no reason that prime farm soil on hilly terrain could not be
>>>> terraced and farmed productively. Depending on slope techniques using
>>>> Yeoman Keyline plows to backhoes, to skid loaders to track loaters to
>>> track
>>>> hoes could be used. Water would be a big issue and impoundments would be
>>>> necessary. I am talking about earthworks only, without any masonry
>>>> components unless they are abundant on site and can be used in situ
>>>> along
>>>> with the soil used to build the earthworks. An in depth permaculture
>>>> systems design could be created using polyculture, livestock, fish,
>>>> crustaceans, crop diversity, post harvest methods that recycle
>>> byproducts,
>>>> chinampas, all ideas taken from certain terraced regions in the
>>> Phillipines
>>>> where permaculture is practiced traditionally and is the de facto
>>> standard
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