Aldea’s Permaculture Dream Is Possible by John Halley
Inspired by nature, Permaculture is a design science that offers sustainable solutions to some of the most pressing problems found in Aldea’s common open space, including water loss, erosion, soil loss and stressed ecosystems with dying plants.
To solve these problems, Permaculture uses biomimicry with a whole systems design methodology that organizes and draws from interdisciplinary resources. Biomimicry is a process of observing nature and designing our whole way of life with regenerative solutions that involve successful patterns found in nature. For example, the same branching pattern that is found in a tree is also found in a river, your heart, healthy ecosystems and numerous other places. This pattern maximizes “edge”, the surface area for exchanging nutrients, increasing diversity, and sharing a whole range of other functions and information. Such solutions let nature do much of the work for us in a regenerative manner that can create healthy natural ecosystems with thriving plants in Aldea’s open space.
For this month’s article, let us focus on how permaculture can mitigate water loss, related erosion and soil loss by harvesting rainwater. Aldea presently experiences a shortage of water, when our landscape actually receives an abundance of water. Each year, our open space landscape receives an average of more than 10” of annual rainfall, a significant amount of which is harvested by Aldea’s storm sewer system. Presently this harvested water is wastefully discharged into our arroyos and related tributaries along with intense open space rain fall runoff, where it only contributes to erosion and soil loss.
As an alternative, this bountiful storm water resource could be captured and spread into our open space landscape where it can naturally soak into the ground to hydrate soil and irrigate plants.
To put this into perspective, consider the following example. In the deserts surrounding San Diego, healthy yard landscapes are created with just 2” of annual rainfall that yields 10,000 gallons of harvested water annually from just the surface area of a typical suburban home’s roof. By comparison, imagine what we can accomplish in Aldea’s open space with more than 10” of annual rainfall plus the abundant water we can harvest from Aldea’s storm sewer system!
This is just one small example of what is possible if our community uses permaculture solutions at Aldea that some Aldea owners are already exploring. If you have questions or comments about Aldea’s Permaculture Initiative, please send them to the following email address: Gaia@GaiaQuest.com
For a comprehensive and entertaining introduction to Permaculture, please visit www.geofflawton.com . For Aldea specific information visit http://gaiaquest.com/what-we-do/gaiaquest-centers/santa-fe-annex/