[permaculture] IPC Values ?

Koreen Brennan koreenbrennan at gmail.com
Sat Jul 4 09:04:35 EDT 2015


Water quality restoration is a fascinating subject. Our city is actually
doing some good things in that regard, adding cattails and reeds to water
catchment ditches, requiring catchment basins everywhere, etc. Our
hydrology here is interesting, we have Karst geology with complex flows and
artesian action; there is quite a relationship between surface water,
shallow aquifer and even the deep aquifer, which comes up in various
places, as well as underground flows coming from hundreds of miles away.
And we have rain events with multiple inches falling in a couple of hours
so flood patterns are readily observable. Lots of challenges to keep
pollution and salt out of the water supply here.

Like your ideas for the LEED site! It would be a lot more interesting and
functional. The plantings are native in the wetlands - the wetlands is in
the front and the pond in the back, so that limits us somewhat. Here are a
few that would work - Pickeral weed is beautiful and also edible. Canna is
too, I have the achira variety in my yard; huge root.

http://lee.ifas.ufl.edu/AgNatRes/Pubs/PondsandLakes.pdf

We have some great edible native plums and berry bushes too, for the
landscape. But some cities refuse to put any edibles into public areas
because the fruit is messy, it attracts fruit rats, etc. Yes, the
regulations need to be changed (pretty much everywhere). We're slowly
working on that. Chickens are still illegal in my town but there is a lot
of backyard civil disobedience going on.

They could have put so many more plants in the system that would attract
butterflies and wildlife. They put natives in the wetlands, but have hardly
any natives in other areas where they could have skipped irrigation if they
had used them.

They put a fence up around the pond because there are giant alligators in
there - maybe they were sunning themselves on the nice lawn where wedding
guests walk (they do use the lawn for weddings, forgot about that). The
cute little duck family that was there might have got et in one giant bite
maybe. They disappeared overnight. :-0 So that might be a barrier to
putting tempting edibles in the pond, lol.

Florida is funny - we have really densely populated areas (my county is the
most densely populated south of NYC on the east coast). And lots of top
predators - alligators in just about every backyard lake, bald eagles
nesting right in the city, osprey everywhere, sharks, coyotes walk up and
down our street sometimes. Interesting ecosystem.  Because we're on a
peninsula surrounded by water and have tons of lakes as well, the wildlife
is really abundant here in spite of how many people there are. Goes to show
the power of water in an ecosystem.

I can imagine what it was like before we overpopulated it. Per a friend,
the fish were so abundant they were piled on top of each other practically
- you could walk into the water and catch one leaping out into your hand
per him.

The alligators are not aggressive towards people at all or otherwise people
would have wiped them all out probably. There was a big kerfluffle not long
ago because Henry, the 13 foot alligator in a local park lake, got killed
by a hunter and the park regulars were really pissed. He wasn't hurting
anybody, been there for a long time. Sometimes they get people's little
dogs, but they will usually just sit there if you walk by them, or go back
in the lake. So you have old retired people from the midwest sitting in
their lawn chairs looking at the alligators in their backyard. Funny! But
city lawyers are still nervous about the potential liability. There have
been a small handful of deaths by alligator over the years.

The gambusia/mosquito fish are really tiny, like guppies. They are
necessary for mosquitos here. We need every bit of help we can get with
mosquitos. They will breed in 1/4" of standing water. I've seen the larvae
in a jar cap. I have open rain tanks that I'm thinking about putting edible
fish into. Still working out the design; trying to avoid electricity use
and create an ecological balance in them, that is my "puttering around"
project right now.

Best, Koreen

On Sat, Jul 4, 2015 at 12:10 AM, Lawrence London <lfljvenaura at gmail.com>
wrote:

> On Wed, Jul 1, 2015 at 12:54 PM, Koreen Brennan <koreenbrennan at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > I hear you Lawrence. We try to cover aquaculture in the class before we
> > visit the site so the students have that perspective. Nice pond photos!
> And
> > interesting article.
> >
>
> I have three wet weather ponds. One always has a few feet of water in it
> and is planted with cattails and duckweed.
> One of the others has cattails and water lillies and semipermanent
> duckweed. The third has a little duckweed, less light and less nutrient
> input from field runoff.
>
> >
> > As an interesting aside, it is illegal to transport water hyacinth in
> > Florida. It's so incredibly invasive here it clogs entire waterways so
> > nothing can get through. It LOVES Florida. After I discovered that it has
> > at least 22 economic uses,
>
>
> I believe it! Its like hemp, food fiber, forage, oil, biomass, compost and
> more.
> Same with many varieties of bamboo.
>
>
> > I explained this to some state people who pay
> > millions to eradicate it. One of them was a private contractor who cleans
> > it up for the state whose lightbulbs were going off; he could see the
> > advantage of harvesting and selling it rather than trying to commit
> > genocide on it.
> >
> > Keep the herbicide away from all these plants, always. Either find a use
> for them or move away to a safe distance.
>
>
> > The site has concrete basins where the rainwater ends up, and then it
> goes
> > into the wetlands/pond on an overflow.They could put appropriate plants
> in
> > the basins and it would be a lot prettier and more fun, as well as more
> > functional.
> >
> > I have been thinking about a permascape system for that facility over the
> past few days.
> 1) Rain goes to concrete basins
> put aquatic plants in them - water hyacinth would be ideal; not sure what
> other floating aquatic plants you have down there.
> If you construct some kind of rudimentary floating island you could stick
> cattails on them and eventually they would send  roots down into the  silt
> on the bottom if that could be allowed to exist, probably a good idea. This
> would pretreat/remediate the water.
> 2) Overflow goes to wetlands and pond
> Have the flow pass through an expanse of "lawn", a gradual slope planted
> with durable, vigorous weeds and grasses, unmowed.
> From there it would pass into a wetlands that serves as habitat for
> amphibians, birds, snails, dragonflies and other insects. It would contain
> cattails, iris, and duckweed in the shallows plus similar water tolerant
> plants usually found in a riparian zone and swamp.
> These remediation stages will clean the water pretty well so that when it
> flows into the pond a robust aquatic ecosystem will be allowed to develop
> and regenerate. The pond should have cattails, duckweed, azolla and water
> lillies at the very least.
>
> A few nights ago I watched a PBS show on restoring water quality in Lake
> Tahoe, quite a job! The emphasis was on remediating water flowing into the
> lake involving cleaning up streams by removing sediment and allowing them
> to flow through existing healthy ecosystems to remove excess nutrients.
> Ponds and lakes created for housing developments were drained with the
> streams feeding them restored to former state of health. Shoreline
> development was curtailed and pollution from boating was dramatically
> reduced. I think this is an ongoing project that will take a long time
> before the lake is restored to its former glory, a blue one rather than a
> green one.
> Another PBS documentary dealt with restoring the freshwater,
> tannin-saturated lakes right on the inland side of the sand dunes at
> ocean's edge, i.e. beachside. You probably already know about this
> important work.
>
> I like their rain chains that catch the water on the way down from the
> > roof. I would love to make some of those with repurposed material. I just
> > would have designed the whole thing a lot differently.
> >
> > They do have some nice water catchment off the parking lot into sunken
> > medians that absorb it. They have other features that are nice too. It
> was
> > disappointing, when I first went there, to see how much they didn't do
> that
> > they could have done.
>
>
> There is a whole world of things they can do; many useful options and
> systems that are realistic to consider designing and installing.
>
>
> > I understand there may have been regulatory and other
> > barriers that no one wanted to mess with and the client may have had
> > requirements too that limited what they could do.
> >
>
> Someone needs to configure or reconfigure regulations that will accomodate
> the permaculture solutions, recycling and remediation
> that they and the public desire.
>
>
> > Nice photo of chinampas! We use chinampas or a modification a lot in
> > Florida, really works great here. You just gave me the idea of adding one
> > or two to our pond - dont' know why I didn't think of that...We just
> > installed a small pond in our yard with lilies, papyrus, duckweed, native
> > iris and some water hyacinth somehow got in there (:-0)
>
> Somehow....:-)
> Go water hyacinth, the kudzu of the water world!
>
>   - we're going to
> > add azolla and some edibles.
>
>
> Azolla is a miracle plant. I wish it and water hyacinth could survive up
> here but it is too cold.
> That's the thing about the final stage in your client's system being a
> pond. If you can pre clean the water enough the pond water would
> host edible plants for harvest; that would include duckweed and cattails,
> maybe more.
>
>
> > We also are blessed, in Florida, with super
> > hardy native gambusia or mosquito fish. We have them plus goldfish plus
> > tons of frogs that showed up plus *hot pink* dragon flies!  I kid you
> not!
> >
>
> Do you harvest and eat the gambusia or are they solely a vital component of
> your aquatic ecosytem?
>
> Dragonflies are wonderful. They all but eliminate mosquitos on site; frogs
> and bats get the rest.
>
>
> > They showed up the first day after the pond had water. And electric blue
> > and pure black ones. I love ponds!  We plan to add a flow form catching
> > rain off the roof, going through a small wetlands to clean it, then into
> > the pond - the spillway leads to some bananas.
> >
>
> Excellent. Post some pictures of your site!
>
> LL
>
> >
> > We talked about putting some larger native fish in there but there are
> tons
> > of water birds in the neighborhood; not sure I want to fight that fight.
> >
> > Koreen
> > www.growpermaculture.com
> >
> > On Wed, Jul 1, 2015 at 12:00 PM, Lawrence London <lfljvenaura at gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > On Wed, Jul 1, 2015 at 8:34 AM, Koreen Brennan <
> koreenbrennan at gmail.com>
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > They did plant some wetland plants though, and got some
> > > > points for that. They put chlorine in the pond water to keep the
> algae
> > > out
> > > > though, lol.
> > > >
> > >
> > > A catchment pond can easily remediate excess nutrients. They are
> working
> > > backward putting chlorine in the water.
> > > Algae are Nature's response to unnatural levels of nutrients in water,
> > i.e.
> > > nitrogen. The way it is done is to plant the water, the soil in the
> pond
> > > and the soil around the pond, the shore/beach, embankments and
> adjoining
> > > watershed. Required plantings include duckweed, water lillies,
> cattails,
> > > papyrus, limited aquatic plants (do not remember names but some are
> used
> > in
> > > aquariums) and in warm climates water hyacinth and other floating
> plants.
> > > These plant communities become self sustaining and to a degree self
> > > regulating. They provide habitat, breeding grounds and food for many
> > > marine, aquatic and land based creatures. Mosquito control is always a
> > > benefit from a balanced pond ecosystem, birds, dragonflies and bats
> > > accomplish this. Lose the chlorine and bring in the duckweed and
> > cattails,
> > > and algae! In a balanced diverse aquatic system algae does not last
> long
> > as
> > > it becomes food for other creatures and eventually plants; duckweed
> > > outcompetes it for space and light. This scenario happens even during
> > > loading of fresh nutrients, sometimes in large quantities, from
> adjoining
> > > watersheds, ditches draining fields, pastures with livestock manure.
> > Living
> > > floating islands and chinampas can add significantly to remediation of
> > > nutrient rich water flowing into the pond.
> > >
> > > Volvox, one of the seven wonders of the micro world
> > >
> > >
> >
> http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/indexmag.html?http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/artdec03/volvox.html
> > >
> > > *Volvox* is a Chlorophyte, or green alga. It exists as a grand
> spherical
> > > colony. Each little alga within the colony bears two flagella,
> whip-like
> > > hairs. The individual alga are connected to each other by thin strands
> of
> > > cytoplasm that enable the whole colony to swim in a coordinated
> fashion.
> > > The individual alga also have small red eye spots.
> > >
> > > The colonies even have what we could call a front and rear end. Or,
> since
> > > Volvox resembles a little planet, a 'north and south pole'. In the
> > northern
> > > region the eyespots are more developed. This helps the colony to swim
> > > towards the light. This differentiation of cells make *Volvox* quite
> > > unique. It is a colony that comes really close to being a multi-celled
> > > organism.
> > >
> > > Watching groups of colonies under the light microscope is a
> breathtaking
> > > sight. If you leave enough space under the cover slip (with the aid of
> > > spots of Vaseline under the corners) the spheres will swim slowly
> towards
> > > the light of the microscope, (use dark field illumination!).
> > >
> > > *Volvox* can be found relatively easy. They need quite clean nutrient
> > rich
> > > water (Eutrophic) and it has to be warm so summer is the time of the
> year
> > > for a good *Volvox* catch. The best thing to do is to use a plankton
> net
> > > but if you are lucky you can also find them by squeezing pond scum. In
> a
> > > jar of pond water they will swim towards the light so they are often
> easy
> > > to find near the surface.
> > >
> > > <> - LL
> > >
> > > One of my ponds:
> > >
> > >
> > > ​
> > >
> > >
> > > ​
> > >
> > > This is the aquarium aquatic plant I referred to above growing with
> > > duckweed in a small pool I built
> > >
> > > Same pool as above which was close up picture.
> > >
> > > Cattails and duckweed in same pond with water lillies.
> > >
> > > Water hyacinth in a lake in China
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > --
> > > Lawrence F. London
> > > lfljvenaura at gmail.com
> > > https://sites.google.com/site/avantgeared/
> > >
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> > while designing ecological, biointensive land use systems with integrated
> > elements for synergy, sustainability, regeneration and enhanced
> > nature-compatible
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>
> --
> Lawrence F. London
> lfljvenaura at gmail.com
> https://sites.google.com/site/avantgeared/
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> https://plus.google.com/+Avantgeared
> Permaculture: -- portal to an expanding global network of landtech
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> while designing ecological, biointensive land use systems with integrated
> elements for synergy, sustainability, regeneration and enhanced
> nature-compatible
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