#permaculture design at boodaville

30 06 2015

information on workcamps 2016 here : https://boodaville.wordpress.com/next-events/workcamps-2015/

Alessandro Ardovini

Alessandro Ardovini

This weekend we invited permaculture teacher Alessandro Ardovini (twitter: @O_Romano_) to spend the weekend working on the long term design for the site.

Firstly what we really need is a proper map of the site, with tracing paper layers for planned structures, water, paths, food production. I can imagine this map.. but really must get off the computer, pick up some coloured pens and actually draw it. As Alessandro rightly says.. the point of a map is that it is much easier to change something on the map than it is to change it in real life.

We started our site tour on the roof of the house and the importance of design became apparent when I realised that my vague ideas about the “greenness” of the roof don’t make sense. On any piece of ground you can either have plants growing in healthy soil OR have singing dancing workshops. You can’t have both. After a lengthy discussion between Alessandro, Esti, Bernat and myself, we agreed that the design (for now) will be plants in the corners and edges where the dancers don’t get to and a gravel (or woodchip?) area in the middle for shady morning yoga/singing/tea drinking sessions.

WATER

Dealing with water overflow from the storms is important, the torrent from an overflowing tank could be really damaging

Next we talked about water, ranging from general ideas to very specific plans for areas where Alessandro noticed heavy erosion. Water is always moving – it is trying to get to the sea. And when it gets there it carries on moving. So when thinking about digging swales and controlling the flow of water you need to think about where it can and can’t move, as well as the pressure build up in places you are trying to hold it.

when will it turn from brown to green...

The dip between house and hill has the drainage system underneath.

Again we started on the roof, and as always for any step on the long long path to a permaculture paradise, all i could see was work. Some of the earth that we have shifted to re-bury the house after the build (the house is partly IN the hillside) will need to be moved again, to allow for quick drainage into the system we have constructed between the hillside and the wall. More earth needs to be moved to fill in the area around the sides of the house, and this will need to be shaped to bring water into the drain. The next experiment involves waiting for a storm to see how much water actually comes out of that drainage system. In theory it is all the runoff from the side of the hill, and the roof. It must be, because that water has to go somewhere…. but I can’t quite believe it yet!

“Slow, sink and spread” thats what we have to do with the water

The specific plans include planting Santolina, or simple the native Rosemary and Thyme in sections where the bare earth is being eroded. The roots of these plants are the key element to holding the soil together, and when there is a storm more water is absorbed if there is more ground covering of plants. And a permaculture project will always need swales! These are a key element of Permaculture Design and we designed one above the steps to the upper toilet, and two that can be built around the new bathroom. (we don’t want that falling off the side of the rock. or maybe we do.. sadly the toilet is out of use because of… yes, a design fault!)


Actions

Information

2 responses

30 06 2015
Alessandro Ardovini

It was a nice and fruitful weekend indeed.
The only thing I would like to point out is the added value my partner Esti brought, because we kept building on each other’s ideas. It definitely wouldn’t have been the same without her🙂

30 06 2015
Merlyn Peter

If you are getting that much rain water you should be thinking about ponds and other catchment systems. But you are not that far from me (L’Ametlla de Mar) so hardly feel you do get so much. I do understand flash flooding though. As you say, plant lots of vegetation. Have you thought about rice?
MPX

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: