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How to Turn a Piece of Land Into a Thriving Project?

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HOW TO TURN A PIECE OF LAND INTO A THRIVING PROJECT?

Three years ago this month a client asked me to help him transform his land into an eco-tourism project and self-sufficient home. The land is located in fascinating Turkey, overlooking the Marmara Sea.

In this article, I share the highlights of the process and outcomes of two months of intensive work applying Permaculture design in a beautiful but challenging spot. I summarise the birth and first steps of Alişler Yurdu, which has evolved into a pioneering, sustainable and inspiring project.

Read on to see an example of how degraded land in the Mediterranean can be healed, become biologically productive and transformed into a Permaculture paradise.

ALISLER YURDU OVERVIEW
ALISLER YURDU OVERVIEW

Alişler Yurdu has demonstrated that, in just three years, regeneration is realistic and affordable, and that, through harmonious Permaculture design, self-sufficiency, autonomy and even abundance can be reached. At Alişler Yurdu we have designed and supported ecosystems, built resilience, effectively enhanced biodiversity and productivity and much more.

BEFORE
BEFORE
AFTER
AFTER

HERE ARE SOME HIGHLIGHTS OF HOW WE DID IT: 

1. FIRST THINGS FIRST: NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF INVISIBLE DESIGN

One of my biggest learning and observations from my experience building, developing and managing projects in different places (including Panya and Rak Tamachat in Thailand) is that one of the main contributing factors to the success of a project is having clear and concise goals and vision. This is essential and greatly contributes to joyful and streamlined development.

Having crystal clear goals and vision is fundamental for any project. Most of you surely agree with this statement, but you would be surprised to know how often this part of the design is overlooked and ‘sacrificed’ for the sake of ‘saving time’. It might be clear in your head but bringing it together and reflecting and refining it is very powerful.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Mulching With Purpose and Precision

A Mulched Garden Bed

MULCHING WITH PURPOSE AND PRECISION

To be completely honest, I have been a crazy advocate of mulching, especially when people with modern gardens invariably ask what I think they should do to improve their plots, but I am not always the most productive of mulchers…mulchsmiths…mulchmen. I’m lazy, simply throwing down whatever organic matter is on hand, and perhaps, in my defense, this has been because I’m doing my best to use what’s on site. Despite having had success with my devil may care method of mulching, I know it’s not actually the best way, that just as different plants require different inputs, different mulches deliver different goodies. So, while I know my mulchful ways are a good practice, I’ve decided it’s time to start practicing them better.

A GENERAL RULE OF GREEN THUMB

For me, and I think many fellow permaculturists, the idea of mulching with inorganic materials—those popular plastic sheets particularly—is simply not part of my MO. I’ve also come across the idea of using shredded car tires, which I, of course, appreciate in its repurposing but ultimately would not choose for my gardens.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Groundwater Recharging

Groundwater Recharging

It’s a rainy Monsoon day.

Today, it’s water, water everywhere, but soon there will not be a drop to drink. Think forward to April & May. Dry times ahead. And for some, water problems could come as early as February & March.

Every monsoon, Goa receives around 3000mm of Monsoon rainwater.

That’s a lot. In fact, it’s plenty, and more. So why are we faced with dwindling water tables, empty wells, the “need” for damaging bore wells to compete with all the other wells, and the resulting mafioso-like sale and tanker transport of fresh water?

Water is one of the most important resources we have. It is the beginning of all life, and if poorly managed, can lead to drought or devastating floods, bringing life to an abrupt end.

Often the instant reflex to water falling on land is, “Quick! Get rid of it!”. Every effort is made to keep the property “dry”, to prevent water from entering the property from higher points, and ensure the speedy drainage off the property on lower points. You can see this applied in apartment blocks in urban settings where the spaces are entirely paved, in gated complexes, in single-family homes, gardens, and surprisingly, even across paddy fields and other agricultural lands. A glaring and painful example is the paddy field in front of our home, that had a long ditch carved into it a few years ago to carry so much of the water away.

But what happens next? Does the water just get rerouted to another place to cause havoc? Or does it continue racing down and out through nalas (storm-water drains) and other drains, across fields (many fallow), into bursting rivers and straight out to sea, where it’s of no use to people, land or animals?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

 

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
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