Laboratory for Microclimates

Discussion in 'News from around the damp planet' started by 9anda1f, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    This type of project often has more impact on people than trying to "tell them".

    While I rarely visit "urbania", these visual/spacial reminders of the natural aspect of our life, that are so often nearly invisible behind the walls of distraction surrounding us, can hopefully begin to bring us back to an awareness of our place on this planet.

    https://www.resilience.org/stories/2015-03-02/laboratory-for-microclimates

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  2. drendrewolf

    drendrewolf Junior Member

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    I agree with this very much. In my own community people didn't start taking anything relating to permaculture or polyculture seriously until a few brave individuals quietly set an example and let the inquisitive come to them.

    One example is my neighbor's earth works. My next door neighbor and I inherited control of our family farms at about the same time a few years ago. The road through our "neighborhood" (all 3+acre plots) goes through lowlands, and subsequently would washout in even a moderate to light rain. My neighbor owned part of the hill that the water was coming from, so the first thing he did upon moving in was buy a landscaping tractor and begin cutting swales and catchments. Most of the neighbors laughed, especially when he only planted a few native trees and bushes on the dam and let the weeds go a head and grow. A year later no one was laughing at him. The road no longer washed out, and the flora he put in, because it was native, survived and thrived even with very little irrigation (small drip line across the ridge form of the dam). Every year he's been adding a few new species of plants. He started with the pioneer trees and shrubs, and has been slowly introducing production flora.

    As a result of his example even the loudest naysayers in the neighborhood have been chipping in to extend the project all the way down the road. Most of those who've let either he or my mother design their earth works have also begun extending the permaculture practices further into their land. Funny how that happens when you suddenly stop loosing your topsoil to erosion and the water soaks into the ground in your own field... lol.

    Another example is a spot on public lands that some renegade permaculturists hit a few years back. There was an old willow tree that had once belonged to a farmer that stood behind his fruit stand. The farm, Gill, had retired and sold everything to a developer. The fields were subdivided and turned into 1-acre suburban plots, complete with HOA. But, the farm stand, across the road, was never redeveloped. The old willow tree had been something of a landmark in town for a very long time, but one year it started to die. It was assumed that the water table had gone too far down (with the population explosion and everyone drilling for water) to support the tree. The town was actually considering cutting it down to prevent it falling on any nearby buildings or fences. But, one night there was a hell of a ruckus in and around Old Man Gill's fruit stand. By the time the sheriff got around to going out there the sun was rising and what he found was that someone had cut away the dying branches, cleaned the gabions and swales, and mulched the entire area. By the time the town got around to actually voting on the issue of the old willow tree several rains had passed and it had "sprung back to life" and the raspberries that grew along the swales were loaded down with fruit. Little to say, the willow tree is still there, and now people sign up with the town hall to volunteer to take care of "Gill's Garden".

    My point though, is that most people are so indoctrinated into believing that land should be managed in a certain, unhealthy way that they often can't see what can be done when it's managed in a healthy way until someone else sets the example. They forget that we evolved as natural creatures and are supposed to be a part of nature. Around here (very conservative Christian town) they flat out refuse to believe that we evolved at all. But these examples ARE, at least, reminding them that "we need to work within God's laws for nature if we want to enjoy His gifts on Earth".

    ~Candes
     
  3. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    Great examples Candes! I especially like Old Man Gil's fruit stand/willow tree ... mulching/swales/gabions in a dry climate can work wonders.

    We've taken to calling this approach, "attraction instead of promotion".
     
  4. Bryant RedHawk

    Bryant RedHawk Junior Member

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    Wonderful examples Candes, I love it when people show what can be done. There are some "greening the city" projects going on in the state capitol here.
    In one area they replanted trees along a street that had, in the 1940's been shaded by street trees but in the 1970's the city cut them all down.
    When the older people went to the city board and complained about the heat and told how their street used to be shaded and more than 20 degrees cooler because of that shade, the city board took notice and did the replant project.
    That one little group got the "greening of the city" project started. Now, some of the neighborhoods are reclaiming empty lots with food gardens, it isn't city wide but they are making progress and improving the look of the neighborhoods.

    Things like that do more for showing folks how we are part of the earth mother and not just parasites upon her. When folks see good change, they tend to become active and involved.
     

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