One of our students in last August's Haiti PDC went home and implemented a two acre berm and swale ravine design.
He and his children worked for weeks, using hand tools and baskets to move soil and rock.
Once planted at the end of the rainy season, the beds have not been watered for four months.
The farmer now has a huge harvest of potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, Casava (Tapioca), and later, Acacia.
The lush foliage is visible against the stark brown landscape from far away. The family has food through the dry season and into the next. Soil is being built and enhanced.
Water is stored in the soil for a quarter mile up the ravine in bands of vegetated rock walls alternating with pairs of planted swales. Between each swale is 10 - 12 planting rows on contour. Beautiful work done with a home made "A" frame contour finder.
Although unmulched, soon to be, the soil is moist at the root zone and deep into the soil. The next three to four growing seasons will continue to build the soil and provide a salable crop and healthy diet for the family.
This comes from one student in a two week design class that takes the permaculture principles and practices to heart and makes the effort to change his life.
The principles work, permaculture works, and the catch and store structure of water catchments have proven to be a life saver in a drought landscape. Ecologically based design uses natures systems to create abundant resources. The precipitation extremes are buffered as dry grasses are used for mulch and water is stored in the soil for months.
Thank you - Mindful Generations.