Commercial Farm Projects, Conservation, Demonstration Sites, Earth Banks, Gabions, Irrigation, Land, Potable Water, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Storm Water, Water Harvesting — by Campbell Wilson October 12, 2012
Article and diagrams copyright © Cam Wilson
At the top end of the Marshalls’ property on the Southern Tablelands, NSW, Australia, the creek is bone dry. This spot, fed by 1250 Ha of native forest, has been that way for 10 weeks now.
Meanwhile, 1.2 km downstream at the base of their property, flowing past the fodder poplars, the bamboo and the ferns and dense native revegetation (where only blackberry stood twelve years ago), is one and a half megalitres of the crystal clear water you see in the photo above; every day. Since the creek dried up at the top of their property, 120 megalitres is a conservative estimate of the base flow that ‘the sponge’ that is ‘Sunningdale’ has continued to release to the landscape below. This is despite a catchment increase between the two sites of only 8% and five out of the last six months of rainfall being well below the average.
What’s the catch? If you’d like a bit of background on how a property like Peter and Kate Marshall’s, which has reinstated the original floodplain hydrological processes, is able to store and then slowly release water, check out the simple diagrams below.Comments (4)
Commercial Farm Projects, Courses/Workshops — by Campbell Wilson May 28, 2012
I love having interns around. The flush of new energy and enthusiasm onto the property is always fun. Having been involved with a number of similar programs in the past, I thought I’d share a few things I’ve found valuable along the way.Comments (5)
Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Health & Disease, Land — by Campbell Wilson May 11, 2012
Images copyright Cam Wilson 2012
Who would have thought we could follow McDonalds’ business model to get our kids to eat healthy food?Comments (3)
Our intern program is centred around learning by doing. Here at Mulloon Creek Natural Farms there’s a great mix of both the established bread and butter commercial operations, as well as a lot of innovative development that’s taking place over the coming years within our ecological agricultural practices. If you’re interested in the large-scale design and implementation side of landscape health within a productive farm environment, be sure to visit our website to find out more.Comments (0)
Conservation, Gabions, Irrigation, Land, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Storm Water, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Campbell Wilson November 23, 2011
Article and diagrams copyright © Cam Wilson
This is a pictorial tour of the degradation and dehydration process that the Australian landscape went through post European settlement, along with one of the major aims of Peter Andrews’ Natural Sequence Farming approach, namely the rehydration of the Australian landscape.
If you were one of the early explorers, walking into a wide floodplain system in the early 1800s, more than likely you would have found some form of discontinuous watercourse. One example is known as a ‘chain of ponds’, in which you’d find small bodies of open water, about a metre below the level of the floodplain, held in place and separated from the next pond by a marshy plug of reeds such as Phragmites.Comments (15)
Our intern program is centred around learning by doing. Here at Mulloon Creek Natural Farms there’s a great mix of both the established bread and butter commercial operations, as well as a lot of innovative development that’s taking place over the coming years within our ecological agricultural practices. If you’re interested in the large-scale design and implementation side of landscape health within a productive farm environment, be sure to visit our website to find out more.Comments (3)
Commercial Farm Projects, Courses/Workshops — by Campbell Wilson June 22, 2011
Here at Mulloon Creek, our intern program is centred around learning by doing. We have a lot of development happening over the coming years within our ecological agricultural practices and, as we see it, an essential part of that work is the rehydration of the landscape and the planting of various productive agro-forestry systems to complement the farming practices. If you’re interested in the large-scale design and implementation side of landscape health within a productive farm environment, be sure to visit our website to find out more.Comments (4)
Animal Forage, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Fungi, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Structure, Trees — by Campbell Wilson June 15, 2011
Pasture cropped & time control grazed
Traditional Crop and set stock grazed
When you are trying to decide which method of soil improvement to take, sometimes it seems like there are as many different approaches as there are bacteria in a teaspoon of healthy soil.
This isn’t necessarily a huge problem when you’re talking about a suburban backyard scale. It’s easy in that situation to: do some aerating with a broad fork; balance the Calcium:Magnesium ratio and whatever trace minerals your soil test says are missing; build and add compost and worm castings; brew up some compost tea; add some seaweed extract, a handful of basalt rock dust, a bit of Charlie carp and the humified eyeballs of some rare mountain lion to top it off.
But what about the farmer who is planting 1000 Ha of Wheat and Rye so the armchair permaculturalists of this world can munch their organic sourdough toast while checking the next important forum posting written by someone else sitting at a computer at 10.30am. That farmer would quickly go broke if they did all the things a backyard gardener can do. So how to decide?Comments (22)
Conservation, Irrigation, Land, Storm Water, Water Harvesting — by Campbell Wilson December 15, 2010
This article talks about some of the design issues you’ll face when constructing a back-flooding swale, the signature of Mr Geoff “Reconstructive Earth Surgeon” Lawton.
It’s a great idea and provides a few additional beneficial functions to a standard valley dam, namely increasing the catchment by whatever length the contour trench wraps around the landscape, as well as utilising any dam overflow quite effectively by spreading it around the landscape and infiltrating it into the soil reserves.
However, water’s erosive potential must be respected and hopefully, as well as making it easier and less daunting for people implementing Earthworks for the first time, my aim in writing this article is to help them avoid some potentially embarrassing, destructive and very expensive mistakes.Comments (33)
Biological Cleaning, Conservation, Earth Banks, Land, Soil Conservation, Swales, Water Harvesting — by Campbell Wilson November 30, 2009
A swale on Zaytuna Farm – © Craig Mackintosh
(Remaining images below © Cam Wilson.)
Geoff Lawton and Darren Doherty are the two highest profile people in Australian Permaculture when it comes to broadacre water harvesting earthworks. They’ve both had success in some very tough environments, and yet it’s interesting that their styles are quite different, particularly when it comes to infiltration strategies.
This article is a short comparison of their approaches, along with an idea I had recently for amalgamating the benefits of each.Comments (19)
Part-time Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course (Forest Edge Permaculture, Heathmont, Melbourne)
Courses/Workshops — by Campbell Wilson July 15, 2009
Two courses commencing Saturday the 5th of September or Sunday the 6th of September, one day per week over 13 weeks
Having managed the PRI site and taught on Geoff’s PDCs in the past, Cam Wilson is now teaching courses out of Melbourne where he is currently based. To suit busy urban lifestyles, we offer the traditional Permaculture Design Certificate course (PDC) part-time over 13 weeks, with either a Saturday or Sunday option to choose from. Our latest round of courses has just been completed and to read more about our course, who we are, the fantastic working urban-Permaculture site where the course is run and feedback from our participants, click here.Comments (9)
Biological Cleaning, Conservation, Storm Water, Waste Water, Water Harvesting — by Campbell Wilson July 9, 2009
When rainwater harvesting is mentioned, most people think of tanks straight away. That’s a great start, but there is a much bigger storage you have available to you on your land – the soil. (Check out Brad Lancaster’s fun U-tube video on this site, ‘The muffin tin and the sponge’ for a good intro)
So when your gutters flow and your tanks are full, don’t send all that valuable water straight the drain like so many do. Instead, have a go at utilising that water in your garden by creating a system similar to this.Comments (2)
Biological Cleaning, Compost, Conservation, Soil Conservation, Storm Water, Swales, Waste Water, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Campbell Wilson May 20, 2009
by Cam Wilson, Forest Edge Permaculture
Greywater mulch-pits provide an excellent solution when re-using greywater on your garden – they are cheap to construct, they improve the quality of water entering your soil and after some time provide you with valuable compost. They’re very easy to construct too. You basically just dig a hole, wack in some 100mm ag-pipe and then fill it up with nice chunky mulch.