It’s amazing how one can make a general principle become dogma without even knowing it. My personal example had to do with the idea that it was important to catch and store as much water as possible in the land. With dry seasons that can include four or more consecutive months where the evapotranspiration rates far exceed precipitation, i had embraced the idea of water catchment and natural storage, digging contour ditches, planting trees, increasing soil cover, etc.. I still believe it is important, but now i can see that there are limits that should be dealt with.
Since the fall, we had gotten daily rain, and by last month, the land was saturated. Within the mountainside, water was building up, soaking through the clay, until huge chunks would just melt into massive mudslides, springs gushing out of the new gashes that i hadn’t seen in the eight years which i’ve lived with the land. It was tragic to watch some beautiful trees carried away in tides of mud, and a lesson that there can be consequences when there’s too much of a good thing. I also have to remind myself that where the forests where i grew up renew themselves through fire, those here renew themselves through landslides. Destructions bring renewals.
Ironically, we had a sudden respite- 2 weeks of dry season weather that turned the roads and trails to dust and forced several farms in the area to irrigate. We didn’t, so i guess it’s still great to have a little of a good thing. With climate change, it’s important to prepare for all weather phenomenon, and not just focus on one. It was easy to turn the SeedCamp contour swales into temporary diversion ditches, but it’ll be a little more complicated by those new springs further up the mountain. Anyone have any ideas?
There has been a good flow of people through here these past couple of months, and i am grateful for all the community spirit. The Wet Greenhouse has been extended, soon to include a new nursery dedicated to greens for the chicken tractors, and the toilet has been redone to include a urine diverter, but most of the energy has been dedicated just to fixing infrastructure that already exists, as well as fixing sections of the trail that were falling down the mountain, or getting buried under mudslides. It may not sound like great progress, but it’s good work, in a beautiful place, and in wonderful company. I feel so grateful!
This month, we plan on finishing tree care for within the agroforest, and documenting all the plants and garden beds within the Seed Camp, and finishing an extended roof and deck floor at the RADi house. Come join in the fun!!
ps. I’m putting the energy out there to attract interns and caretakers. Anyone facilitating the seed camp will get their food paid for, and through the end of september until the beginning of january, i will pay $50 to anyone or couple who would take care of the goats and other animals while i go back to california. If you are interested, or know anyone who might be, please please consider this, and contact me as soon as possible! Thanks!!