It’s been an interesting adventure playing with this website, and it has gone through several incarnations already. Different themes, various plugins, and each time I start over it is from a more evolved place.
Last year I wrote about cooling with grapes and bananas. The bananas were already fully grown in summer taking care of the East, but the South and West glass was still being covered with sheets waiting for the grapes to really start to grow.
This year the grapes have really started to spread and a temporary trellis with posts and wire is starting to shade the south side and grapes are hanging in bunches promising a first real harvest. They are not totally cooling things down, but it is a promising a beginning of theory going into practice.
Last year at this time there was only a temporary pond holding back a small amount of the rainfall. This year that temporary dam has been replaced by a dam whose footprint is larger than the whole temporary pond from the year before.
There are still many improvements that need to be added to the water storage system and in another year there will be more water, a broader dam and interconnected swales.
The Upper Gully Dam was still in planning stages last year with a few level flags and some preliminary paths cut to facilitate observation. This year the large pond there has some catfish and minnows installed to keep mosquitoes under control. Whether there will be enough water left behind the dam by the end of summer is questionable, but there is no question that without it the water there now would be in the ocean already.
It would be my hope that by next year I will be reporting on new springs around the property where the stored water has found an outlet from the super hydrated soil, providing new opportunities to store and use the water that was held back by these new dams.
These developments can begin by following well known patterns for water storage and delivery, but ultimately a good Permaculture Design will be enabled by careful observation and fitting the design carefully to every detail of the existing terrain. So a day at a time I go out and walk around looking for nothing and noticing everything. a simple diversion from the driveway in a rainstorm can begin consideration for a full swale, or even for ways to accumulate sand in one place and clay in another.
We begin with rough outlines and move a little at a time into beautiful intricate connections that naturally support each other.
And remember, If you’re not having fun, you’ve got the design wrong.