Apr 24, 2008

From my Permaculture Biomimicry Presentation

This Beetle collects it own water for hydration.
The same technique is used for desert and mountain side nets that collect fog water.
Can we create a fence that waters the garden?
How can we direct the morning dew to the plant roots?
From Biomimicry.org

" The Stenocara beetle, equipped with its hydrophilic-hydrophobic surface matrix, has evolved a droplet-growing system. As it tilts its body into the fog-laden wind, minute water droplets are repelled from the "mountain" sides and troughs (formed by the wax-coated nodules) towards the peaks, or wax-free bumps, where they soon become large drops. At around 5mm in diameter they roll down the beetle's back towards its mouth, guided by the slight purchase afforded by other "peaks" along its path. By this stage the drop is large enough to roll into a strong wind, and is not blown off the beetle. Five mm drops are formed on the beetle in a steady, self-replenishing stream (Parker, pers. com.).

What makes the Stenocara beetle's strategy so intriguing is that it takes advantage of the natural properties of water (to collect on surfaces, to "ball up" into coherent droplets, and to flow down-hill at the urging of gravity) to meet its hydration needs. The solution is simple, elegant, and largely a result of structure and posture with a bit of body-friendly chemistry thrown in.

The water condensation harvesting strategies of the beetle may inspire such innovations as fog-harvesting nets and roofing materials in desert climates. But the beetle condenses water while fog next collect water from droplets in the mist that have alreday condensed."

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Permaculture and Polyculture Consulting and Design

Permaculture and Polyculture Consulting and Design
Getting to know your property, the plants you have and those you can grow, is a fulfilling endeavor. With most I am the steward of the land. I give them good soil biology and they do the rest. If I group them in cohesive plant communities, they respond with greater yields. If I encourage the micro-organisms (Fungus and bacteria) , the roots obsorb more nutrients making a pest and disease resistant plant. A stronger plant that gives us more organic food and takes less energy.

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A Ten Acre Farm Transformed to an Edible Forest Garden
Self Renewing Fertility, Soil Building, Water Catchment, Tea Trail Swale, Erosion Control and Native American Medicinals