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Re: Rainy days;

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  • macropneuma
    Fukuoka-sensei makes swales or there equivalent in function, by burying large timber - logs- in trenches that are dug by hand, and ? across contour. Timber
    Message 1 of 16 , Mar 13, 2008
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      Fukuoka-sensei makes swales or there equivalent in function, by burying large timber -
      logs- in trenches that are dug by hand, and ? across contour. Timber rots to a highly
      porous and absorbant, water storage or drainage space under the soil surface. Fukuoka-
      sensei has no need of soil destroying heavy machinery for making swales. This would be
      the way to adapt the approach taken in the youtube movie for the long ?swale?, it would
      require more patience than the instant gratification that the mpvie appeals to, but
      sustainable approachs always require patience (Yes, Bob). Thanks for that movie. It is
      worth watching Deiter.
      And also Linda for your solutions.

      --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Linda Shewan" <linda_shewan@...> wrote:
      >
      > Why not swales and tree crops instead of annual crops which seem just too
      > much work in your climate. Perennials have to be the way to go for large
      > areas and nuts will supply all the protein etc that you need. If they can
      > green the desert with swales then surely swales can green your land as well.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > It is heavy machinery to start - or a slow manual process, but seriously,
      > you need to get whatever water falls into your soil, not running off the
      > clay and away. I have the brand new Harvesting Water the Permaculture Way
      > DVD from Geoff Lawton and you can clearly see the difference it can make is
      > phenomenal. I found the case studies the most interesting but the main film
      > shows you exactly how it is done with precise details to levels etc. You can
      > preview it at http://www.permaculture.org.au/ where you can also watch the
      > greening the desert movie. He gives the example of their property in NSW,
      > Australia where the town was on bucketed water while they had more water
      > than you could imagine - simply because they set up the systems to both
      > infiltrate it into the landscape and store it in dams. Once you have water,
      > you have life!
      >
      >
      >
      > Linda
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > From: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
      > [mailto:fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Dieter Brand
      > Sent: Wednesday, 12 March 2008 9:04 PM
      > To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Rainy days; was Bernard and Anders
      >
      >
      >
      > Anders,
      >
      > I only measured rainfall for the last 2 years, but I think in an average
      > year we get about 600 mm per annum in the Baixo Alentejo. A couple
      > of years ago we had a particularly dry year when the rains failed during
      > the wet season, I didn't measure then, but I think it may have been as
      > low 100 mm or less for the whole year. Neighbours of mine with a
      > 120 meter deep borehole run completely dry. I'm luckier and have a
      > couple of small valleys where I can collect some, not much, surface
      > water even during very dry times.
      >
      > This is for the South of the country. The North, especially the Minho
      > region, gets so much rain that it looks like the green green hills of
      > Ireland even in the height of the Summer. The poor devils have to
      > sit in their damp stones houses with mould collecting around their
      > rheumatic joints (exageration for the purpose of emphasis only).
      >
      > If we do get rain it is mostly in November and April. In a normal year,
      > we don't get a drop from May through September. But what is normal
      > these days? During heavy rain we can get as much as 100 mm during
      > one or two days. Last year the November rains failed and most of my
      > seeds didn't germinate, while seeds on my neighbours ploughed fields
      > germinated and grew well during the winter. His crop is already 3 feet
      > tall, while I have nothing but weeds. It is obvious that no commercial
      > farmer could practice natural farming under such conditions.
      >
      > Cheers, Dieter
      >
      > PS: For water collecting, people use artificial lakes. It takes about one
      > week with 2 bulldozers to close a valley for making a lake the size of
      > a football field. If you are lucky, the lake doesn't leak too much and
      > evaporation will leave you with a meter or two of muddy water at the
      > end of the dry season. Many people can't use much of the water for
      > irrigation or it would run dry even sooner. But it's a great way of
      > cultivating mosquitoes.
      >
      > PPS: I was born and raised on a small farm in the North of Germany.
      > My grandparents didn't even owe a watering can let alone a watering
      > hose. I think you too should be able to do without irrigation.
      >
      >
      > Anders Skarlind <Anders.Skalman@...
      > <mailto:Anders.Skalman%40telia.com> > wrote:
      > Dieter, I think it is more like we both want to check typical
      > evaporation and run-off data (given time and clear relevance to the
      > discussion). More or less everywhere in Sweden there is excess
      > precipitation. Where you are I suppose it is the opposite.
      >
      > I am pretty sure of my rain data. They are valid for the larger part
      > of Eastern Sweden, which is comparatively dry (as opposed to the
      > western part which is more like Norway, Atlantic climate, with much rain).
      >
      > The rain is more evenly spread over the year here, but unfortunately
      > with some concentration to July-August when seeds and grain are
      > maturing. September is a helper sometimes, but an unreliable one. And
      > seed quality can already be harmed then. OTOH we could gladly do with
      > some more rain in the spring (especially if we can do without
      > tilling). We can have some drought in May-July, but normally not too
      > bad. It can be a hindrance for establishing crops in spring and also
      > demand irrigation in summer. But if you mulch and concerve water in
      > general you need very little irrigation. In spring (April-May) a
      > light mulching is most helpful, while a thick mulch slows the
      > warming-up of the soil quite much.
      >
      > Perhaps you should look more into catching and conserving water.
      > I was to Portugal once, from North to South, in the summer of 1983,
      > and it was raining once or twice! But they said it wasn't normal, at
      > least not in the South.
      > Anders
      >
      > At 02:36 2008-03-12, you wrote:
      > > >>how much rain you get,
      > > >500-600 mm
      > >
      > > Anders, you want to check that again!
      > >
      > > We get more than that.
      > > The trouble here is that it comes all at once and then
      > > nothing for the rest of the year.
      > >
      > > Dieter
      >
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