A few days ago we were in La Mesa for some groceries, and the talk of the week there was all about water… Because there wasn’t any. La Mesa has no drinking water as the last effect of El Niño. Most of our neighbors are in a similar situation. Nobody here is really prepared for extremes in the weather. We’re a little proud that our dams still have water so we can irrigate our gardens every day. As a result we got some carrots, a cabbage leaf and a squash for lunch and dinner today. In our water tanks we still have over 6000 liters of drinking water. We are slowly starting to get somewhere.
We’re all a bit lazy sometimes and to be honest our choice to apply Permaculture was also slightly based on a wish for (future) laziness. If nature functions so well on earth, we can all setup our lives for nature to do most work leaving only a bit of maintenance and harvesting for us to do.
This article is about how we figured out our mainframe design for roads, swales and ponds/dams. The pictures that show how those were installed you can see in an earlier article here.
Because the terrain of our farm was totally overgrown and the topography is a bit complicated, it took us two years to finalize this mainframe design. This process has taught us a few good lessons which I will mention as a possible help for people working on their own design.
In the picture below you can get an impression of our land. Most of our terrain is quite steep, with slopes ranging from 1:3 to 1:1. Only the central part is semi flat, with slopes varying between 1:8 and 1:3. The dotted line is the border of the property.
Right now we think there are about 30 species of birds on the farm. When we arrived here in 2014 there were less, maybe 10 or 12 different types, so we hope that means we’re doing something right. Below a parakeet eating the seeds of a yarumo tree.