Water in Permaculture - Pamphlet XI - Page 1.


BY BILL MOLLISON Pamphlet XI in the Permaculture Design Course Series Edited from Transcript of the Permaculture Design Course, The Rural Education Center, Wilton NH USA, 1981



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generally accepted sort of model. WATER IN PERMACULTURE Almost all of the water on the earth is not moving. ponds are made for cattle and stock watering. but they will send feeder roots down to water. When I talk to you about this edge effect. Of the 23% falling on the land. That's the amount that we have to work with. Of the atmospheric water. like the bald cypress in Florida. As you design a pond. gets seven parts of its water from horizontal advection. including the keyline system. and a whole group of things that are good for paper and fodder. Plants on these big bogs grow in little islands. and by constructing swales. to greatly assist water storage and plant resistance to wilt. In the very dry soils. Yet. The world mean average rainfall is 33. working as jell in the soils. Decide upon your edges and put them in. nobody is quite sure.Page 3. leaving seven parts to run off and end in the ocean. If a plant gets out of control there. and to cut off the tops to stop them from seeding. That is where papyrus grows. 84% goes into the ocean and returns to the cycle. less than 1% of that water moves. If there are trees to be planted. so that rushes are blocked from extension on to lawn. including trees will grow out reed mats. if any. too. then you won't get a completely rush-ridden pond of one species. They have certain characteristics. While in most places. It was just many moated islands with trees--maybe hundreds of islands. flooded it up. Official vandalism! That area was not meant for storage. Seaweed and seaweed concentrates do a lot for water storage. there is nothing worse than to try to eradicate that plant from the situation. The weight of the trees depresses the bog so that they become moated. you can recommend the use of dried seaweed. there are only tiny amounts in lakes. in addition to the rainfall. We can get books on fish culture. they must not live more than 20 feet from the edge of water. We had a lake we called the lagoon of islands.Pamphlet XI . It was a beautiful habitat. plant them as a buffer. furnishing a variety of sites for aquatic plants that run from the water surface to rooted vegetation to marginal vegetation. to me. unless you have cared for the water supply. or between levels. The one real application we can make locally is in providing surface storage and soil storage of water. swales seem very appropriate. Basically. ponds. soils. it is clear that most of the world needs much more surface storage at greater heights than usual. either in summer or in winter. The land. This is a very simplified. That is where forests intervene. Give them the ability to water at least twice in the summer.8 inches. They die down. They live up on fairly well-drained soil. we design the water storages in themselves as highly productive systems. but there are very few. particularly those drought extremes that seem to be happening more and more. My advice to the ordinary small homeowner is to put those cattails in the annual garden in a tiny little pond. decide what sort of edges you will put in it. The water level of lakes and ponds changes from summer to winter. live on hummocks or even develop hummocks. Bamboos won't take sodden conditions. yet never in the water. It is in the oceans or it is in the ice caps. Quite a few swamp trees can live here. Within the water there are hummocks which are either exposed or not exposed. and we can't do much about the atmospheric water. While the average is 34 inches of rainfall. But. They then rest as rhizomata or tussock systems. It is now a sheet of clear water. One of those is bamboo.Water in Permaculture . You must make absolutely certain that you have designed water storage so they can get water--either off site. In our previous discussions of water storage. we simply regarded it as reserve water supply. books on plant aquaculture. You want to be very careful about what edge plants you put in. Of that fresh water in the world. particularly during a plant's establishment. we store a lot of water in the forests. Of the 7% runoff. 23% on the land. 16 parts transpire or evaporate. there is another set of plants. I want to instill in you that you can maximize edges by creating islands and peninsulas. In total. We can't do much about the rivers. Different species of rushes and reeds serve varied uses. somehow. It is the water available to us that decides what sort of plants we grow. How they develop them. it works on the surface film itself. 77% falls on the oceans. In fact. Keep them out of the main . We must buffer extremes. as on land. If we establish forests. or designing orchards. Throughout urban areas. depending on the sort of pond. Intertidally. Many plants. This is a very rich area and therefore difficult to manage. not just in the low valleys. If you get them in fast enough. That is where the reed for mats and the cattails grow. Whole sets of plants. or on the site--in the plant's establishment phases. too. We can store water in soils that have been treated with the Wallace plow. From these you get real heavy crops. Do you know of any? Plants that grow in water are just a neglected part of aquaculture. I think 75% of all fresh water is unavailable. We need to reduce runoff. It is simply no good recommending plants to people. The hydro-electric commission dammed it. we are going to get more yield out of those plants than we get from animals. such figures are really meaningless. Many such tree species grow well in wetland margins. powders and seaweed concentrates. rivers and in the atmosphere.

and so does the earth nut. many of them not entering into any catalog of plants because it just is not our habit of recent years to go splashing around in water getting our food. Certain trees grow here where the water table is very shallow. but it likes a bit of movement through the water. It is as good as any roof. the pond is overmanured. Other plants that you know very well are the arrowheads. They bob around in the water. These are as good vegetables as any land vegetables. which runs from very cool to equatorial climate. six feet in diameter. bearing heavy seed heads. ) control slugs and cut worms well as all these are nocturnal. We are interested in algae bloom out here. . is well worth having as a production pond. it is to mid-shin. you have a really well-manured pond. Some of the lotus have popcorn seeds. because it will knock the stems to pieces. you shouldn't think bogs. prawns. either wind induced or flow induced. If you want a productive pond. instead of thinking ponds. It will come out of the tire and be out of the bag and constrained by the tire. (wild rice) is one of those. slow flowing rivers. probably because they feed in daylight when those pests are not active.1 Many of these deeper rooted species can be planted by putting them in clay balls containing as much nutrient as you wish to wrap with them. Thatch of lasts 40 to 60 years. we left the reference in. Certain fish browse algae. The brown trout lacks this feature. in restricted locations to clear up pollution. They hold water in the stems. you might very well incorporate it as a normal part of the garden. and a bit of horse manure with your seeds. if not for you. the duck potatoes. Wild rice is a very important plant. They include all your so-called water lilies. You buy them off the shelf. fish. The Chinese water chestnut lives here as a mud rush. I got a sheet metal mold and rolled two molds for a six foot pond. plu-perfect thatch. and take root. If the disk blacks out at about a foot. the American genus. It is a very good little production pond. That is probably the reason we never evolved these systems. You would probably do best to choose your seed from a situation that approximates that which you are going to be planting. grow there. The best way to plant those is to take a bag of manuring materials. with these elements in it. two feet deep. we want a wellmanured pond with a soft green bloom. A lot of them have air cells throughout their stems and root systems. These are eaten rather like leeks. You have to put that seed into mud balls and throw it into your ponds. come up.000 species that are of great use to us. which practically ceases at 12 feet deep. you also have the most important floating species. They form large tubers. Even the rainbow trout has gill rakers that enable it to collect algae and zooplankton. No hanky-panky or monkey business. just fill it up with . It is a graceful and pleasant summer occupation. In warm climates. we use 200 species across all climates. and it likes a depth of 18 inches to three feet. this plant is bad in large slow rivers. But no splashing and kicking about in there. they close off that marginal surface. The chestnut floats. little concrete ponds. and harvest it easily. Weight them with a stone if you want to: clay ball. and you have to pounce on them as soon as they start. . picking tiny little things out of the air and fastening them into the plants. This. and used well. and duck weeds are both useful. squashy things. The seeds do not have a long airstorage life. They sink before the winter. at least for all of your ducks. stone. I would say that a very small area. Chinese water chestnuts. their seed can blow in at any time. you can have a few plants which root. Just drop them in. obliterated in a soft green water. The only reason we would want a space 12 to 15 feet deep in a pond is to allow fish to escape low oxygen. which are fairly hardy. The British never get wet. It grows way up past here and way south of here. It doesn't like fast water. they have to walk rather slowly through the stems. we usually delete Mollison's reference to various uses he finds for them. There are also a tropical grows from the coast of Florida way up to central Canada. We have stock ponds of all sorts. and some of them are the lightest woods in the world. yabbies. and beyond six to nine foot depth. The only one that would last longer is a turf roof. I guess the reason might be that most gardening ideas come from Britain. again. The Indian water chestnut is a floating chestnut with an anchor. and high or low temperature conditions. In Australia. is a rush [sedge]. which may be only three or four feet out. tuck it into a good old tire. Watercress and cattails are two good examples. 2. pitcher plants. oxbows--that sort of situation. and will blow for miles like thistle. in soaked soils. This is how they manage to live in water. When a white painted disc disappears at a depth of about two and a half feet. They store oxygen as air in the plants themselves. Forget about the pond. When you come out into the water. If we are interested in the production of shrimps. assuming that the reader can find another way to do the same job. on the surface. The come up and lie along the surface. has at least 80 species and a wide climate range. toads (Buffo spp. picking the water chestnuts. there will be fly catching plants--venus fly trap plants. They look like leeks. Here. The most handy one only costs $40. sink. If the disk can be seen at five feet. Because tires contain cadmium.water storages. Otherwise. and float on top. It grows in still lagoons. Bull frogs were of little value. There are many things that are good for popping. The dreaded water hyacinth can be used. and you can treat them like leeks. is the super. You can always get it out again as a pond plant. sundews. That works well. I think . and go into a special crop like the distillation of for oils. their trousers rolled up. and create a hundred square yards of bog. and then take root in the bottom in springtime. I see no reason at all why. A few get eaten by ducks. but we don't pop them. we have concrete tanks anywhere from five to 25. With trees and bee plants. However. the only thing we are much interested in is either a continuation of our good old fern or duck weed. an extremely toxic element. Further. If they get wet. is the world's lightest wood. Close to the water's edge.000 gallons. I have no doubt there are 2. It is a beautiful sight in India to see ladies floating big bronze bowls along in front of them. In my experience in North American greenhouses. 1. The water table on these banks is only three or four feet down. This is a poplar spot or a willow spot. In this case. punch the tire in two or three places. . much lighter than balsa. This is where the lotus lives. Some swamp trees produce the most durable woods in the world. Here we want algae production. Water plants often have seeds that are fat. or whatever. Beyond that. that fall from the plants. Some are different. the duck potato. Slate roofs always crack. the pond is not well-manured--you need to throw in more chicken manure to increase the bloom. You need skilled people. though. other people often do. because you can't walk through the rows. and push it out with the water lily root buried in the bag inside the tire. anchoring the stems. scale off and piddle down. You may gather the seeds and pop them. an important wildfowl food. However. so they don't tear them off.

That is often done. But if it is murderous to ducks where you are. The traditional way that the Hawaiians and the Japanese fertilize their ponds is by doing exactly what the beaver does. together with your critical species. and so do you. Ponds do obliterate in time. When you drain the pond for the dry cycle. It lowers phosphorus in the whole system.God forbid! . 1981 dollars. But we have other crawfish. grow the heavy feeders in the first year. Islands are good. the dry land cycle and the ducks will finish them. Draw 20 beer cans and take out 20 large size crawfish. Put your duck shed back of that. including diatoms. Try to get crawfish with restricted burrowing capacity.5. the cultivation of crawfish is becoming rather common.Pamphlet XI . and keep the stems clean. Piles of limbs in the water can save them from getting eaten by predators. But the more ducks you put on. are harmless to plants. Good garden soil will go from pH 5 to 6. There are some mollusks that we don't want in there: the spiral mollusks eat plants. We have a lot of foxes and dogs that chase ducks. the phreatocids. The ideal structure for a pond is a sloping floor or a step floor.DH] Mussels don't hurt plants nor do shrimps or prawns. kick it in if it rots off. You can figure on eight ducks to a quarter acre. Another real good thing to do around ponds is to strew bales of hay around the edge. in no way would I play on it after I had gleyed it. In Australia. anything. made from fairly loose fill material. They don't chew the stems. top net it--that is essential. They are a prime step from diatoms to fish.000 to $30. If you haven't got a pond big enough for an island. in your lifetime. Then sink your beer cans again. that is. A Scotch biologist figures that 30 quarter-acre ponds in marine culture would keep a family. In the dry cycle. It is possible to go out into a perfectly stable lagoon. and some hundreds of acres of flat. You should be able to fully drain it. They don't eat green plants. Just scatter the hay around the edge. A lot of the ponds built in Arizona are barrier ponds across water courses. and the rest of it falls. the mussels are the superior phosphorus fixer. In fact. Ducks give you an additional crop. They are in all water. these shrimp are big enough for 3. They eat the decaying matter from the plants. exclude spiral mollusks. shift most of the animals into another forage pond. just put it on the edge where you are not cultivating. The little arthropods that we are talking about. Lime them when you make them. A fast way to make a little trap is with a ramp and slope. Just punch the gley in a sufficient number of places to a sufficient depth and the whole thing drains.2 I am going to repeat some things that I have been throwing out offhand. human food. Don't go to dry land culture unless you have at least one other pond to transfer your old pond waters into. The pH in ponds is between 6 and 8. It is possible to make provision for the ducks somewhere in that food cycle. Strew it half in and half out around the edge. You gather it for four or five days. Throw out the ping pong ball. One reason for this is the fantastic ability of the mud and the mud surface to fix passing nutrients from the water. dig a couple of post holes. Wild rice is good in this situation because it comes up in the vegetative stage. put a fence into the water. If they get on top of you. just check the pH of the pond. I am becoming convinced that you need frogs in your glasshouse because I think they are going to deal with a lot of those slow moving things. the best habitat for these species is beer cans. Often you can feed little fish by having a bowl of hay and water. Then. though. The only way you will see that is to make a barrier dam in the desert. . surprise! He comes out with great speed. and kick a little more in. We have fresh water shrimp that are very good harvesters of algae. The crawfish is a fantastic inland resource. You will never see a pond obliterate. Once your pond is held in gley. what you do is use your pond as your source of manure. It is common to lime ponds. We worked it out. Ducks will add manure to it.3 Crawfish like ponds that are about three feet deep. then taper off and finish with a modest crop. Mussels pump nitrogen and phosphorus into the mud.000. The ducks will come out of this shed into the water and swim and browse and go back there to sleep. As soon as you fill a watercourse in a dessert. They will filter about 200 gallons of water per day per mussel. The ponds that most commonly obliterate are shallow ponds. Then roll it down and re-flood it. They are plu-perfect slug eaters. Lime the whole base of the new pond. So we throw in a clutch of the beer cans tied to a cork or a ping pong ball. If I had a delicate pond sitting on top of a sand dune. and your lagoon runs out. He may go 25 feet. though. You harvest what you want. The mussel draws from the water all of the little living forms and particle and shoots them out and buries them. if there is any risk of that . prolonging its life. and they greatly assist the turnover of the energy in the pond. They don't want foxes either. On the other hand. and it grows well above the duck. If you want to go into snail production . letting bark and limbs rot in the ponds. I don't know if anybody grows them here. it is 100 to 200 times lower in acid than most garden soils. but you don't have to continue it. Cut the muck out and spread it on your fields. and dipping the water out of the bowl and feeding it to the fish. maybe you can't keep ducks. That's a slow way to do it. the gley itself goes down in the soil quite a ways and perpetuates itself. however. Don't let children bring snails into your ponds because they eat green plants. What you are actually putting in is little flagellates and diatoms. previously non-productive land is under aquaculture. It is good for intensively cultivated ponds to go through a dry stage. It lives there on the mud surface and just has it's top lip out. With the sort of ponds we are making. One of the elements in those nutrients is the diatoms. It is good in this climate to water your plants with limey pond. We have one called the yabbie. Most things in the pond like lime. Most of the operating ponds we would put up here on this site would be there many. They drift around in the air. They go up the ramp and hop into the trap. which you can't see. It is quite different from land culture in that respect.Water in Permaculture . both to seal ponds and to get diatoms working. animals. it will carry dryland crops three to four years without further manuring. many years later. It is superb duck food. These ponds are great places for trapping all of those things that are good to throw on the ground. some are large enough to eat. and they like brush piles. . He might start on the inside wall of your dam and come out on the outside wall! Surprise. and they can wipe out a pond. One of them that makes a restricted burrow. They have them in Chicago. You don't spread it over your pond. There is no need to put them in there. Of all other plants. There are ponds. As you get sub-tropical. So keep checking on this pH. supplying an income of $20. nor do shrimp. He is a long tunneler. After a few years as a pond. seeds. Diatoms like hay. Just use your sense. that don't obliterate in a millennia. [It is also possible to build silt traps to harvest these materials before the water enters the pond. the more manure you get. You have to start that fermenting process.you would go into those. It is even better if you are able to drain it into another pond and take it through a dryland cycle. The crawfishes usually don't compete with fish and don't harm them. Otherwise. You should have them here. So I consider it a valuable part of the pond to be harvested only modestly for chicken grit. it will percolate nicely as a sand dune. and the ponds in our hills would also be there. They know to do this from night one on.Page 5. They simply fill up with detritus. It injects these nutrients into the mud floor of the pond. It has a three week dropping period. The other one is fresh water mussels.

Put a big rock by the side of a deep area where children can safely dive. edge plants. That land was jumping with grasshoppers. an employment system. You don't need many acres of that. From that. You can let that go into your pond. The pond has reflection functions and fire protection functions. White mulberries are used extensively throughout the ponds and paddies of Asia for their leaf and fruit as feed. way down on the trophic ladder. grab it. you will have a continual trout supply. That includes the shrimps. The grasshoppers would remove everything. Always include those mussels as decomposers. grow your mints. It usually becomes a recreational area. and it is a nuisance. I would put a couple of bushes on either side of where I was going to put mint--dense bushes to keep it in its little patch. A man bought a cattle property. they are still pretty active. because in winter the marsh plants are dormant and cannot purify water. "Now I got you right!" I said. I said. He was pretty despondent about growing cattle. He was in a grasshopper that erupts annually. and wild rice. they put in a $700. for which I did a sewage disposal. they don't demand a lot. it has no solids left at all.000. Often a long pond in the valley saves you a half a mile of fences. In cold climates.500 acres and turned it into further raw materials. As long as they have that escape. Mulberries are great feed for stock in water. It is good to grow mint if you are dairying and have dairy outwash. The pond has water cleaning functions. and he just simply retired. it had vast numbers of black swans and teal. Another purpose for the pond might be to grow mints. I turned it into an industrial base for the town. marsh grasses with heavy seed yield for ducks. yabbies. and you're going to grow cattle?" He said. Mints are invasive. You need a holding pond. I allowed for water fowl. because just by net fishing. I believe the Chinese would say that the main value of their canals and ponds is for manuring their fields. So you might try a mint marsh for that black peppermint and do simple steam distillations. When it has passed through that. but because it is laterally invasive. send your sewage into a holding pond.000 people. As it is. fencing functions. because you have fine adjustments to make. We want careful adjustment of maybe 20 species of plants and small animals low on the trophic ladder. One of my designs was for a town of 8. because you have to know your local laws about fish. with perhaps ducks for their eggs. There is a whole group of American grain plants that are ideal for ponds. and somebody is selling it cheap. You distill mint to menthol. It efficiently collects in its mud essential nutrients. I could do their whole town. "Let's have a look." I said. It has been so successful. Two or three could bring you $70. They make no apologies or anything for doing this. Sewage should be turned out into a marsh." He threw in a net and pulled out an eight pound trout. "Hills covered with grasshoppers!" He put over a hundred acres into a big trout pond. I believe that what we should do is set up single culture systems that flow one to . They are optimal over 60 degrees Fahrenheit. "What's in your pond?" He said. absolutely covered with grasshoppers. You can retire instantly. shaded by a few trees. There is a Swiss study which might interest you. While up in Canberra. not manuring or anything. that when I last heard of it. Mint is such a strong growing plant that it quickly exhausts even ponds. Wherever you build your pond.000 a year in engineering work. I won't go into a discussion of the fish you might place in your pond. as well as on land. and about the equivalent amount annually for fuels. You can do little pond designs at home. Just give me a bulldozer and a sloping site. They found this to be the most efficient water cleanser.We have a lot of foxes and dogs that chase ducks. He has a hundred acres of this trout pond. you get powerful blooms of mint. Trout are in beaver ponds. As large a yield as anyone knows of for the home farm is from blueberries and mulberries on the edge of the pond. mainly phosphates and nitrates. crayfish. They can take it a bit warmer or a bit colder than you think. pond plants. It is horrible! If we are just dealing with water culture. He doesn't have to figure around feeding those trout and adjusting them. They look great. particularly black mint. But in this climate. "Twelve months. You can put it on edges. and you can re-manure. Then let it seep through a marsh that can grow into trees. but lower than that. but the town has purchased an additional 1. Trout are an extensive fish. If you are in the happy opportunity where you spot a hundred acres with a 15-foot wide outlet. I said. don't forget its other functions: barrier functions. but very productive. Pond edges are good blueberry areas. It's a heat store. not a pond. Catfish look like an obviously good pond fish because they are very low on the chain feeders. He built a pond. through mint and bamboo. I wouldn't go past them to trout. As for San Francisco. unless you are real keen on trout. They have phenomenal sewage demand. catfish. And they are good eating. saving $30. In that marsh. One of the plants which they mention is rush. A good place for bamboo is back from your ponds. The town is pleased with it.000 sewage cleaning plant which produces poisonous water. grow trout. all they are doing is covering the sea floor with silt. your bog plants. Also. But intensive trout are a curse. "How long have these been here?" He said. This was originally done on 50 acres. and ducks. it has a rest period. "You are nutty! You have bulldozers and this great valley. So if you have an extensive area under water. It still holds a lot of dissolved nutrients. land that used to be marsh. and put underwater shelving into it. Stock it with trout. It will get pretty woody after a few years.

but he doesn't get many. You can also have funnels leading in so the sea comes in through funnels at night. the main marshland. Those mud traps. above the high tide mark. the patio light. and they are still quite happy in this lagoon. above that exposure you get much less meats. folks. You can bring the growth of lobsters to a standstill in dense populations.4 Now. as soon as a cormorant hits the water. You could fill a pond with the next tide. if a channel doesn't already exist. If you have any shelter. A variety of organisms. given certain high algae conditions. Tides are real weird things. So I figured it would be good if you could float a big yellow balloon out here in the pond. as they frequently do. The tide drops six inches. A lot of small fish enter. We don't stop permaculturing at the shore lines. We also see mixtures of the red and green portions of the spectrum as yellow. So if you have an oyster enthusiast. stone walls that don't quite reach the surface at high tide. It doesn't breed trout. The tide range that we need is really less than one foot. like stickleback. If he has access to a lot of broken pot. If you have a predator fish or lobsters in there. and we should design for them. There were a lot of hippies at a conference. The Maoris have many. Then the rocks fall. usually with waste product that you can feed to lobsters in these stacks. You can put a simple channel through that reserve area. Meanwhile. or six inch. you can just keep them in food. They are about six inches below the surface. the trout are perfectly happy. Not all yellows are created equal. Put some salt-resistant shrubs around your pond. you have salt marsh. For any kind of oyster. Another good thing to do is to make a pond two or three feet deep in this tidal area. and. they get. From there. But in an open pond situation. Insects use prismatic eyes to see colors. You can slide boards in. Lobsters and oysters are pretty immune from predation. just beyond the normal grasshopper's leap. and wild rice. a real gentle side slope. It is inland. These traps work best at night. In some cases tides may occur only once a day. You can bring a lot of fish into your ponds continually. Let's look at the inlet. and the tidal marsh. Around the coast of America. We might find a little phreatocid. which is much easier than having them out in the tide land. Tide ranges can run from two to 27 feet. Place a lamp of this sort over the pond. or something--a real good trout food--that will go in a low pH. You will often find a client whose land includes some salt flat. but at night they are often full of fish. It is possible. When they try to swim out. adjusting your tide range. You can shelter it. Small round fish can't get back out again. the rocky main shore line. maybe with banks supported by concrete. we can go to shrimp ponds that don't contain trout. Lobsters will not tolerate another lobster in the same hole. the other. inevitably carrying shrimp on migration. They had colored tents all over the place. Maybe a few forage ponds around fish are the way to feed fish. It is polyculture. are very ancient. but not in the sense that we have it all in together. and there are also tide tables. the down draft hits them and they go straight into the water. the fish takes for shelter. and many other places. your local fisheries guide will tell you what air to water exposure is ideal. So what is coming down. Ponds in these areas offer no protection for fish. between tides. from the other ponds we take wild rice. duck eggs. breed by millions. can be converted into trout. The tide runs into these salt marshes in any case. with every tide. because fish otherwise will strand and turn into sea gull food. and self-flushing. while below it. Nobody has any record of them ever being built. Make a duck marsh with mussels. including yellow. With that sort of setup. immersed. . grow best when their location is at 60% air exposure. Twenty-seven feet--something like that--for the Bay of Fundy. or one foot tide range twice daily over that pond. If you put them into a total polyculture. You can also grow flounder. even if the government has struck off a hundred foot tide reserve. so that when insects come flying to it. There are only a few rules. The main food of the trout is the smelt which lives in this tiny quarry. there is a place that has an enormous clay base. Meanwhile. you could do without manure input for crops. I noticed that there were a lot of grasshoppers on the yellow tent. he will murder a lot. When you go to look at them by day. an 18-inch deep flat pond. The cormorant might get one. in fact. Then. we can go to ordinary rice crop. But at the ideal exposure you get a modest amount of shell with a lot of meat. If we get production of tiny things that continually flow into a trout pond. you will be able to determine your tide ranges. of which you find many in Tasmania. They will lose legs and things. The other Polynesians also built them. simply because the density of lobsters is enormous. Fish swim over them at high tide. Darwin. They are simple tide traps. we might heavily lime another pond for mollusk production. and maybe abolish it. with a little fan in it. whereas insects would see red plus green. they find the tide has gone out through the rocks. to dig inland ponds. Seeing the trap as yellow is inconclusive. You will often find that back from that. We are enriching the water. in this case can be snails. rice. There is no way the trout can come up the trickles. selling off the spat. I think we've have many skilled games to play in aquaculture. a quarry in which it can breed. It is possible for a client to make a lot of money breeding oysters. From either of these. depending on how deep that channel is-and you can regulate it by shifting a board up or down--you can give it a three inch. if you wish. we could greatly relieve the need to feed the trout. It will drown them and fish will eat them. Broadly speaking. you get much more shell. you might strike cormorant problems. which is why most people think they don't work. It is the cheapest swimming pool you can build anybody. as bands of the spectrum. just by driving backwards and forwards with your tractor for a while. It amounts to the growing of a marine animal inland. and you can throw them up on the tide side to stop the sea winds coming in. Every year they stock thousands of trout and they grow well. Those trout eat a little fish called smelt. or to a pond with any invertebrate that trout like. which are through little grilles. Cormorants can be converted to fish food by hanging a five and a half inch net well off the bottom. turning some of it into shrimp. perhaps. an ultraviolet lamp. They are quite possibly aboriginal. It is always warm. not a composite color. interesting games too. These ponds would have trickle systems into the main pond where we harvest trout. particularly oysters and mussels. they would short-circuit the whole system. In Australia. which suit small forage animals.Pamphlet XI . Down we go into the tide. we are going to take permaculture right out into the sea. there is often not much left in them. They must have about a three-to-one side slope. Some little fast breeding fish. People do see this "spectral yellow" as yellow. But you only do this when you are into intense fish production. Now I'll give a couple of instances of the human brain at 4.Water in Permaculture . The smelt is found at one site. because we are adjusting totally different pH's. use either a known "spectral yellow" or perform tests with insects. Some crops may not. but they can't get at the sources. You have a lamp that attracts a lot of bugs. if you can feed them. he can set up a lobster city. so that none will exceed three and a quarter inch carapace. Another thing you can grow there is sponges. Often you find that there is some fish processing somewhere. using some of it in crop. With their food flowing to them. and these ponds trickle to the trout pond.Page 7. They can see yellow and they will leap for it. some of which. or paddy crop. you can actually set him up with a situation in which he can raft or support oysters inland. and lead your water in through the channel. grow with others. for hundreds of yards. But with the flounder and other fish. For insect traps. Have a few small ponds at different pH's. The tide brings only a few inches of water over the warm water. You can bring the tide in. and which is self-governed to give them all ideal exposure.

or lease title. At the same time you can get. either in autumn or early summer. There can be barrier fences. and a shallow permanent pond in front of it. looking for somewhere to live. Spartina is a heavy seed producer. The old timers made cord from it. taking little logs down and watching the effect. what I call sub-surface dams. They are excellent growing ponds. Titles which are not grants. safely. pond scour holes. But it is easily caught on fences. you can put in simple barrier systems. but not where there are cattle. a whole series of events start to take place. just rubble walls. Octopus have no place to rest in this whole situation. at a very minimal cost. you don't have quahaugs either. and pump sea water up 50 feet. unless you are in a location with below 20 inch rainfall. sometimes by tons. that salt marsh to low tide. they have a place to breed. and brings in broken shells. Put it straight on and forget about salt. is a great goose fodder. If you don't collect it. and shrimp move into there. It doesn't have a plant in it. You don't have to dig or maintain them. where I think a lot of our domestic geese breeds come from. they are occupied. you can make pickles. These little longshore drift traps can collect many things. you have the best goose grazing areas you ever saw. When composted for about 10 days. because your quahog zone comes in here. I believe also that it would be very productive to run the same thing that we would run in large dams. It is also a very good place for growing sponges. If you look closely at natural things in this tide range. under lease. When the tide comes in. is salable in 50 pound bags to any responsible chicken keeper. no bluefish. At least in Australia. I was on an island recently that was originally very low pH and has an acidic soil. Always be looking along the shoreline at what is really happening. They have been carting limestone onto it by boat for I don't know how long. On open coastlines. scour hole and growing situation. They apparently have just been swimming all over those browsing lands. it doesn't have any of the risks of the mineral fibers. All you have to do is to direct the tide into these scour-hole situations. I think that we could greatly increase the productivity of intertidal sand flows by installing shallow still-water systems. itself. Without . It is very simple to duplicate that system by constructing leaky walls. to take a single eelgrass load. Then when you feel as though you are getting it right. fibrous stuff. So what do they do? They go 50 feet above sea level. Possibly. at a big energy savings. if you are in a hot enough climate. Ancient grant titles extend to low tide. Observe when something happens--where a reef runs out. It is a northern hemisphere plant. Another thing about these little sub-tidal fences and screens for collecting long-shore drift is that other things arrive here: broken up shell. which comes ashore by the tons. One thing that grows in there is octopus. We can design for ourselves a complicated system which scours water and is selfmaintaining. On these salt marshes. they are slightly flooded. That environment is totally unoccupied in the southern hemisphere. It is a good octopus growing situation. But it is far more important than that. They absorb nutrients quickly. They want a sea pond for the breeding of oyster spat. It is a nurse ground for the young and their food. Again. or anything you can drag there. and they are still carting limestone in on this jetty. It is a fascinating area to play with. which is just limestone.100 tons of broken shell there. used for weaving those fancy seat chairs. like a log that washed ashore. the mangroves. scale them up. while it leaves the frame of the sea grass. and lots of material on the move all the way along here. you have front line plants. that area will be full of and full of fish. and it is full of little mollusks. You can bring it to where you want it. This I do know: in a tidal river that fills at high tide. We do a lot of it in miniature to start with. Put it on sopping wet. these hundreds of octopus come out of their pots and go out and eat shellfish. They will do this as soon as you provide pots. and by my best estimate. I don't know where they come from. There are still some in the United States. in this whole estuary the eelgrass will only blow ashore at one place. they are the best insulation material you can get. depending on what variety they are. and is very cheap. They would like to be there because they eat mollusks. Sea lavender is a very good honey plant. They heat up like fury when you pile them on your carts. You can produce permanent ponds. They built a jetty with stone base. We don't have quahaugs because we don't have . At low tide they are ponds. Shell. Yet I looked over the side of this jetty. I will send you back some seed. everybody has the right. When you convert it to insulation you have put it to permanent use. no matter who leases the area. They are the and the . They are doing that in Tasmania. If you want to go into a very small industry. We have enough of this stuff in the world to insulate the world. just for a while. and there are thousands of acres of them. it either blows inland or wisps out. and the base food for most of the cool water fish. Or they go into the sea and build a wall out at tremendous maintenance cost. These are not dams. It probably fertilizes the sea further out. drift fences. and you walk around and study it. while the rest of it breaks up and returns as mud into the channels and goes back to the sea. If you put pots in there--ordinary clay pots--each pot has an octopus in it. because they eat it. Now you can start to play around. It is not difficult. This is real goose country. . It is quite expensive. dig out dams. This would permit some of the waters. It is a chocolate color. It is a continually renewable resource of good lime for fields. I believe we could create large fields intertidally. The condition required for is a period of still water. I think it has been calculated that if you put a bag of super-phosphate out to them. These are basic sea foods. if you have the right title. A host of little plants out here are quite useful. When the get mussels attached to them. not too much run of tide. Modern titles may be set back 100 or so feet from the beach which has been converted into beach reserve. which sell well in England. The composting process burns out a lot of things that are on sea grasses that otherwise stink. Nobody had to dig those. the eel grasses. which may be fences or logs. to remain as quite water. It is called cord grass. This is probable. And they last forever. If you get hold of these saltings. It is real good stuff and it is free to you. Now what do you have in the way of plants for here? For salt flat tidal range. and the longshore drift builds up. there might be 1. They shed all their upper part. You just combine a series of fairly natural drift events into a complex of fish trap. and nobody has to maintain them. in three days they will have absorbed all of it. When we come down into the sea grasses. As an insulation material. where a natural barrier occurs in it. So I advise you to collect some Spartina seed and send it down to me as rapidly as possible. or a log strands--because there are lots of forces at work. and it is also a great forage crop for geese. It will be necessary to investigate your client's title. access to the intertidal zone. a silica skeleton that just helps to build up the beach plants a bit. . You can use that for garden mulch. They can't dig caves in there. at high tide.work. It is enjoyable working around down there. or an old boat moldering away there. it is very interesting. They come home and go back into the pot at low tide. No . like a stone dike. When you give them a pond. you find that the tide comes in and out. building little fences. If you simply provide the pots for them. The bluefish industry depends on the and the depends on there never being an oil spill. There is an interesting plant. A deep and permanent pond forms there. but freehold--they are not Crown charters--will go to high tide. You can plant here salt marsh honey plants. you have various little fat plants at your grass roots. you don't find . After the next oil spill. or an old wreck.

Once it starts to produce fresh water. If you can achieve something like that. they return to the nest. but some are.Water in Permaculture . I merely propose this as part of aquaculture. you can mix it with hyper-saline water coming in and put it back again through the tanks. slatted like racks for drying towels.and its roots are just in the water. you can do the same with seals. You can extend your aquaculture systems into estuaries. So we can continue to design even onward and outward. and then you start a whole new colony. It would be a good way to grow algae. A modest plant will desalinate 10. The potential for creating a small phosphate island serving a small village is a very simple affair. You can place them easily in the sea. They can handle great weights in the water. right into the bog channels. larger ones to grow plants at a fixed root level. He gathers it both as a liquid when rain falls. and get the potash from the kelp stems for their fields. A mutton-bird is a critically important food of the Tasmanians. You can make a ring. That destroyed all the old salmon weirs. Shunting systems can be installed. Many of those Irish fields are not harvested any more. Basically. When you release them. there it is. which have a high manurial turnover on the bed which. and the oxygen levels dropped. They bring it in on the tide. enormous acreages under water. too. as well as twice daily intake of warm salt water. So you can go into rafting. I said. you will be making a better strike than anybody else for local self-sufficiency. In estuaries. He's gathered so much phosphate off that area that he's annually a millionaire. oysters. "It is warmer." I said. The Irish had very large rings. and you can set pots in rafts so that your plants are at the same depth at all times. So the sea and lakes are good places for collecting phosphates. You can do beautiful swap-offs in estuaries. It will clean up sewage water. is an algae. perhaps just summer arid lands. He spent a lot of money doing it. so it is almost entirely digestible. They fire them with peat. too. There are connections there that nobody ever made. they didn't worry about culturing salmon. It can be simply produced in tanks under continuous production system. and they can grow rock cultures. I saw some very interesting things there. dried. It is not my style of garden. fresh water. They cut the kelp. The salmon were wiped out. They deliberately made their fields smaller and increased their productivity. in adjoining ponds with totally different salinity grading. and a big net. Well. which they stack and dry like firewood. and he's laughing. "Why?" They said. They simply killed the seals for fur. But I'm not going to do it. Another thing that I have seen working very well is very large raft culture. Phosphate is one of the critically lacking minerals in the Third World. but very few that are being created. including pot plants. not to be outdone. The platform was the size of a football field. Now salmon weirs are little log and rock constructions across the river. which control mosquitoes and give them a critical manure. They oxygenated the water. this man built a platform with multiple roosts on a desert coast off west Africa. because you have an intake of fresh water up there. It should cost one and a half cents. when they are not being fed. he has reconstituted a phosphate island. You can take cold water. You can make very attractive roosting systems by creating roosts on platforms in the sea or on islands. Now two things have happened. Their idea of improving rivers was to get a bulldozer down the bed of the river. and algae. And he was the subject of great laughter. So the Irish. They fill these with kelp stems. Their authorities "improved" their rivers. Phosphate is carried by birds. It is presently greatly over-priced. "Why don't you enlarge these fields?" They answered. A raft remains constant and level. You can feed it to your ducks and pigs. moored in quiet tidal areas behind islands. but it is quite enjoyable actually. and we don't stop at this intertidal place. or turn it into a powder and eat it yourself. because certainly the Hawaiians kept on gardening right out into the reefs. They make tiny little stonewalled fields. So did the Irish. Their manure is carefully collected and carefully distributed. and specific roosting places. It has a higher BTU than coal. Look at a flock of gulls and cormorants roosting on an old bridgework. bring the salmon inshore and release them into giant floating rafts. They produce an amazing amount of salmon there in big flooded nets. which he pipes ashore and evaporates on the shoreline. When you kill off the seals. They would catch nearly all the salmon bred in Ireland. It is a marginal existence. It has no cellulose. The Irish set out what they call fields. In summer. All over the coast. or by the sea. and as a solid which is shoveled into bags. I think. Vegetable crops could be grown on rafts. You can set them out on chicken wire. in turn. you can grow everything from trout to grey mullet to eels. you will see little hollow mounds. "Because the smaller field produces more than the larger one. They are visible from air. and grow fish within the sea in that net system. Two hundred terns always roosting in the right place will entirely supply maybe an island or a village.Pamphlet XI . They also used the tide a lot. You will see those bat roosts in the flatlands in Holland. if you want to use it as a fuel. producing that much fresh water from salt or brackish water. float them out. by keeping adults until the nesting cycle begins on part of the coast. Wherever you can get that organized. the only way they can exist. Seal are critically important to inshore fisheries. I went to Donegal and poked around on the barrens. They eat a lot of dulse and other seaweeds chopped in their porridge." You could feel the radiant heat from those walls. with four foot fences so the salmon couldn't jump out. You come in along side of them. You can do large scale transfer of sea birds in nesting cycle. You know now about . The Dutch build specific bat roosts throughout their fields. The fronds they lay down as mulch. These are ideal bat roosts. The engineers did away with them. Each little space holds a daffodil bulb. They load donkeys and and away they go with the kelp. right on the shore. Sea birds like islands. before they can swim. They grow enormous quantities of desirable seaweeds on those fields. The insectivors hang from them. It is very promising. draw them on to boats. You can keep the adults like chickens until they nest. You will see quite species-specific roosts. If it is a high nutrient water. The loss of seal dropped the inshore fisheries right down. mussels. You can handle very large boulders in the sea. What apparently happened was that the seals ate mainly spiny and whitefish. It is about 86% total protein. One thing you can grow well on rafts is daffodils. it will give three crops a day. When the tide goes out.000 gallons of water a day. and they all start a new seal colony. 10 or 12 tons of kelp on the move. selling for about $30 a pound. it will clean up grey water. supports high quality food fish. We don't stop there. and they walk boards around them. The fields are simply rows of stone across hard bottom. There is no need to eat the stuff.Page 9. of which 68% is a complete protein. using a . providing you look at your roosting situation. I should mention at this point that rafts are applicable across the whole of the aquatic systems: tiny little ones on tiny little ponds for insect attractants. tie a big rope around it and pull it up. There are many phosphate islands in the world that are being mined. You have to kidnap the young seal. you will find people who are short of garden water and who have showers and sinks going into underground drains. desalinate water. you get a lot of daffodils. and roll them off. Water culture is highly developed in southwest Asia. in a lake. with concrete pylons. Another thing that nobody has made much use of except one man I know is the sea as a source of phosphate. To some degree. So it is possible to colonize an abandoned area. the hippie food additive. you kill off your manurial system. The Japanese got efficient with their gill nets at sea. and destroyed the inshore fisheries. warm salt water from them. In places where you will be designing in arid lands. or on the land. When the Irish salmon runs were good. it is a good thing to have done.

so that little ponds form continually behind them. which is a very handy thing. You could take a 90 foot poplar and make three 30-foot poplars. It has been on a long trial. It falls at the normal drain-fall. you will create a scourhole lagoon in the river. just on flatlands. So floods can provide you with a lot of wood. So we are mainly in favor of reasonably small impoundments. It can even be laid in clay. They have a very low biological use. It is now produced from standard plastic material. you will notice that there is seldom more than four trees tilted over. And they go on growing. It is buried in earth. You can bring in detritus. and gray water can then be run directly into mulch. I have not seen many flood plains that . However. This half pipe is placed upside down in an earth trench. but which does give some silt. they are building several dams. all withstand flood. also collect a substantial amount of mulch. it is a channel weed--it grows in the irrigation channels. You can plant in two ways. I previously described for you that half-pipe open on one side. A 90-foot hedge. collect firewood. and they are building little canals and bog places. You can take a 90 foot poplar and make two 45-foot poplars. for all different reasons. it is the last place to go for a dam. . Put it down below the frost line. providing a low water area for fish. It releases its heat in there. wouldn't they? No roots. and which won't become blocked by roots. If you have a row of trees along a river bank. for instance. a lot of mulch. including the flush toilet. but these devices seem to work indefinitely. which you often do have--willows and poplars. They always change the fisheries below. The man who made it originally made it out of half pipe and molded those little dams in it. and a lot of silt. This silt is a good place for a crop like asparagus. This has been done successfully in dozens of places with summer arid areas where I have designed. dig an eight foot hole and lay them straight in position. they are a disaster. you start at right angles to the bank and do a nice taper towards the river. It works. They will fill up with poplars and eucalyptus root. You grow your willows to sort of 30 feet high. They give rise to centralized power systems and. They are mostly negative in their effect. even invasive trees. saw them off. Leach fields work for a while. would push more than four trees down in a row. Grey water can be recycled through glass houses. I do believe that if we really studied what the beavers are doing. There are nurseries that will sell them to you at about 60 or 80 feet. but it is open on the bottom. All studies show that they reduce the fertility of the river below them by trapping the silt. If you can pick a place where it is not rocky.simple standard double mouth fitting. and they are doing water control--pretty good little fellows! Here is something we have done on flood plains. just saw them off. It doesn't have stone on it or under it. because they get invaded by roots. The fifth tree usually has the full upright height of the tree. make a big drain. and plunk them in a hole. I do think there is something awfully wrong with Los Angeles--a crazy excess of everything. What size? If you use a lot of water. I think it is an extraordinarily safe system. and where we can grow trees on the outrun. It likes an annual dressing of silt. In Australia. They are not building just one dam. Now a word on very large dams such as the Aswan or any of those dams. Shower water is immediately taken up by plants. They often sharply increase disease. In Australia. the more fascinating things you'll see that you can do. It works. That's why you run that nursery. and particularly in tropical lands. But they have their uses. Generally speaking. they completely wipe out some species of fish for miles downstream because of the cold water released from the base of these dams. willows. Saw them off at the butt. and those dams may flood. As long as you have them anchored. The more you play with water. In Australia. In both cases. poplars. It holds the water up as it goes along until absorption takes it out. we would already see some very smart work. You have to pay a lot of attention to your spillway systems. to polluting industries at the other end of the usage chain. you can create a permanent lagoon. You can shunt this relatively clean water directly to the gardens. or walk on landscape where you can play with water. and away they grow. It is four feet down with its roots. While I think there is nothing at all wrong with the flush toilet. There is always a nuisance damming the waterways. A sensible thing to do is to put your shower in the glass house. they'll grow. These act like little dams that slow the water. designed to lead water from toilets directly to tree crop. That way. You can have a place that doesn't collect anything. inevitably. because the country is not scoured by floods. You then plant trees beside it. Round pipes don't work. poplars grow to 90 feet high. Then you get another one that comes from the roots. I think this is really a sane and safe way to dispose of sewage. until the next one is upright. This tile drains useful where we can get sufficient domestic water from uphill to run a flush toilet. Canadians would be transplanting at least 50 foot poplars. About every four feet it has a two inch piece that fastens the bottom of the sections together.

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