Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Rain: Due to the time lag between stuff happening and me blogging about it, it was only on 14th June that I told you how we’d been drowning in excess rainfall in the first part of the year … I may have spoken too soon. In June, we should have had 42 mm (1.6 inches) of rain, we actually had 27 mm (just over an inch). Hey, you say, what’s the problem, the grounds already soggy, a little less rain might actually help. Well, the raw figures aren’t the whole story, by any means. If you’re using rainfall to work out such things as how big your rainwater catchment tanks should be, you’ll also need to know about rain gaps. We might have had 27 mm in a month but that included 20 mm during one shower on one day and a rain gap of 20 days. We’ve still got a bit left in the water cubes for the veggies but we’re now using tap water for the animals.

It rained today, hooray!

Kristen’s excellent blog entry for 16th June) introduced me to Geoff Lawton and his great little flash video on Greening the [Jordanian] Desert. It really speaks for itself, so I’ll let it do just that.

Another of our favourite blogs is that of Nick and Kirsten in Oz. They’d written nothing since March and we wondered what was happening. Lucky buggers (I think that’s an Australian term of endearment) they’ve been running courses at their Milkwood plot with Geoff himself and another water landscaping expert, Darren Doherty

So impressed were we by Geoff’s little video, that we ordered his DVD Harvesting Water – The Permaculture Way. It’s well made and really inspirational. After watching it this evening–with swales cut along the contour in mind–we went out to cast an eye over our field with the biggest slope. When I got back in, I emailed Darren to see if he was planning to run any courses in Europe anytime soon. He says he is thinking about doing a course in either Spain, England or Ireland next year. Please post a comment if you’re based in Europe and are interested in his course and I’ll let him know, to try and persuade him; flying one expert here from Australia is definitely more carbon-friendly than us all trouping over there!


Anonymous said...

HI - We'll pass on your nice comments to Geoff Lawton as he prepares to teach a course in August in USA. We made the Harvesting Water DVD with Geoff as well as the "Greening the Desert" You Tube video some years back. Thanks for posting. If you have any suggestions, improvements and ideas for future Permaculture DVD's dont hestitate to add your comments/ideas as to what you'd like to see made at:
Flashtoonz Films

Val Grainger said...

We have a holding of 9 acres owned plus other rented. We cannot touch the rented, which is flat and well watered.
Our land is almost vertical and any water runs down it at a rate of knots! We have 2 streams that drop underground at the point where they could be useful! Our land is also laid out in a long strip going down the hill so no chance to dig swales! (if we did, without the use of collecting ponds at each turn it would resemble the log flume at Alton Towers!!) However we have our own version with waterbuts and hose pipes! The water comes off the house roof, the woodshed roof and two shed rooves into water butts. They in turn have hose pipes going down hill one to the ducks pond (a plastic sandpit)one to the IBC (which also collects water from the workshop roof!) and one to the top of the field where it fills a trough. There is a pipe from the IBC to yet another butt in the polytunnel and therefore our industrial quality hosepipes are our swales and our butts are the holding ponds slowing it all down! As its severely down hill the pipes do not freeze in winter unless very hard frost as they rarely contain water unless the taps on the butts are on!
Plan is to build 2m x 2m roof over another IBC down the hill further where the pigs live, with a gutter along the back and pipe into the top........a hose will then take the harvested water to the pig troughs!