View Full Version : Permaculture in salted land - Reversing desertification
12-07-2003, 04:43 PM
Hi My name is Majdy Adwan, I am a agricultural engineer trained in Permaculture design by Geoff Lawton in Jordan Valley. My family are heritage farmers of the Dead Sea Valley and are hertitage to the area goes back in time at least 500 years. I have work now for 3 years on the Dead Sea Valley permaculture project as project supervisor and in this time I have been completely convinced that permaculture design is the complete answer to all the problems facing the worlds arid zone. :)
I am interested in helping anyone interested in the results of our work and am open to discussion on any topic involving desert permaculture application.
I have translated now 4 permaculture design certificate courses from English to Arabic and am more than willing to help anyone with Arabic translations.
Looking forward to your responces.
Yours in permaculture Majdy ???
12-07-2003, 04:47 PM
Hi Permaculture Peoples I am so happy to be involed in such a wonderfull movement of people.
Together will save the world from all it's problems :)
18-07-2003, 07:24 AM
Dear Majdy, it is exciting to hear your opinion about permaculture after your project experiences. I'm particularly interested in the swales, am I correct in undersatnding the swales as being the foundation for the expanded opportunity for land improvement and productivity gains. I'm very interested to know how they were designed - the technical process as well as the community process.
I'm working for World Vision and there are many project locations in dryland areas where I'm thinking swales could be a big advance.
John McKenzie, firstname.lastname@example.org
23-07-2003, 03:40 AM
I hope that this greets you and all well.
Swale design (size, scale, spacing) and construction are functions of 1. landscape and climate analysis and 2. location and machinery/equipment/labour availability respectively together with some form of end use analysis. In the projects that you are working on in dryland areas the development of swales (with associated plantings) would be very beneficial as has been proven by many examples from all over. One only need look at the work of this forum's owner, other's on this list and many others to validate this claim.
In addition however the use of Keyline Design planning and development techniques as the overarching landscape modality takes the whole gambit of sustainable yield development even further. Combine these design elements with appropriate plantings and you get what you're after. All of this is possible in with low and high tech involvement in both planning and development phases.
This is a good string to kick into.
23-07-2003, 04:28 AM
The catchment's (North Central Victoria - Loddon/Campaspe/Avoca River Catchments) we work (and live) in are among the saltiest in Australia and so we have to deal with salt all the time. Prime strategies we use to deal with this issue are manifold yet relatively simple. Examples that follow are those successfully deployed by many landholders (and myself as a PC designer) throughout our region.
1. Property Management Planning - land classing through whole farm analysis; enterprise and development planning to facilitate appropriate development.
2. Soil Renovation works - mechanical cultivation esp. Keyline plow and similar. Keyline Pattern Cultivation as the employed pattern of cultivation. Just need diesel (or vegie oil!!) and a 50hp tractor. Even an old chisel plow will do the job.
3. Soil Amendments - especially corrective of Ca:Mg balance -using lime, dolomite or gypsum as appropriate. Ca applications to appropriate levels decreases H and Na levels by displacement on soil colloids. Ca mineral sources often available cheaply in or close to saline areas.
4. Tree and Vegetation Establishment -
a. Species selected established according to land capability. Many very saline sites in this region have been successfully transformed using vegetation in the process of succession. For example a farmer near Kerang (100km north of Bendigo) had a very old dairy property (flood irrigated flat country - <400mm rainfall). With declining productivity and having been analysed to have a low capability for sustaining this enterprise they embarked on a program of switching to horticulture (mainly apple production). This involved a process similar to that listed here - establishing halophytic (salt-tolerant) vegetation such as Rhagodia spp., Atriplex spp. etc, which fed salt to sheep and exported it off the property at the same time as reducing ground water levels and soil salinity, and increasing soil fertility and structure. After a couple of years they then ripped out the saltbushes and established their organic apple orchard using efficient drip irrigation. They are now a very successful mainly export operation.
Deep rooted perennial pasture establishment of species such as lucerne (Medicago sativa) have also been the salvation of many operations after salt remediation works.
Plantations of halophitic tree species has also bee successful in locally reducing ground water pressures and thier are a bevy of species (many native) that are useful and highly productive in these circumstances. The integration of these species in with other systems (pastures/crops etc) enable short and longer term sustainability goals to be reached.
b. Mounding of tree rows (again following appropriate Keyline Design patterns) increases drainage and act as mini swales for intercepting, directing and storing overland runoff. Perhaps more appropriate than swales in a production system as they are of a scale that is managable with little land lost to untrafficable slopes etc.
5. Irrigation Managment - many salt effected areas have irrigation available (usually root cause in first place) - appropriate irrigation practices reduce rising groundwater. Land Capability studies reveal appropriateness of respective irrigation methods according to soil and slope analysis primarily. In response some areas locally have had water prices linked to land capability - socio-economic architecture to force landholders to change irrigation practices to those more cost effective and sustainable. This is perhaps the most effective means available to control landuse practices and should be employed (IMO) in other ways to help regulate and enforce better land management.
07-08-2003, 05:56 PM
My name is Iddo Perez and I'm a BSc Agr graduate from Israel. My key interest is in Soil and Water conservation and the reduction of pest damage through Polyculture.
I really liked the Project on Screen.
Jordan is also strongly influenced by grazing done in the traditional beduin way. Often This leads to land erossion.
In addition, Modern agriculture has intensified the damage by planting monoculture , thus increasing pest damage.
The Northern Negev respresents an additional challenge to assist the beduins in preserving their Nobble life-style in a small, overpopulated country. Unfortunatelly, a lot of beduin youth are involved in crime, mainly drugs and car theft.
My Idea is to build a "village" Bent on sustainable 20 Dunam (2 Ha.) units of a family ranch dedicated to garzing only after 10 years of building the soil propperly.
Your Project seems to be very close to my Idea which is to include a restoration of modern agriculture damaged Plot using Bio-remediation and to add Scientific Published analysis which would open the door so to speak to other entrepreneurs to creat sustainable Havens.
I'd really like to visit the Project with other co-workers from Israel.
All The BEST,
03-04-2011, 11:31 AM
On saline soil and bio remediation, I just found this.
Not sure if this is the best thread to post it. Is is an easy herb to grow and should seed from tossing seed about or seed bombs.
Evaluating potential of borage (Borago officinalis L.) in bioremediation of saline soil
Badi H.N., Sorooshzadeh A.
African Journal of Biotechnology 2011 10:2 (146-153)
Bioremediation is an efficient, economical and environmentally acceptable strategy used for coping with the salinization of agricultural soils. In this study, borage has been proposed as possible candidate for bioremediation of Na+ and Cl-. In this order, the borage (Borago officinalis L.) seeds were sown under four levels of salinity (non-saline as control, 5, 10 and 15 dSm-1). Bioremediation and production potentials of borage were evaluated at three growth stages: seedling or early growth, vegetative and flowering stages.
This study has been conducted using factorial experiment in randomized complete block design with three replications. The saline ions accumulation in company with changes in growth and chemical composition of borage was studied.
. . . Although, borage growth decreased with increasing salinity, its survival/or noticeable growth indicated that this plant could tolerate salinity up to EC of 15 dSm-1.. . . Therefore, borage had noticeable quality and quantity yield up to salinity level of 15 dSm-1 and could cumulatively remove considerable amounts of salt from the soil. In addition, if borage can be cultivated as an inter-crop all year round at saline soil with EC up to 15 dSm-1, it can remedy saline soil in respect to Na+ and Cl-. © 2011 Academic Journals.
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