In Community Design, Permaculture Projects, Water

This blog was contributed by current PDC student, Vanessa Hanel.

We’ve now made it through 2/3 of the fall PDC and we are learning so much. Most recently we’ve covered Climate, Water & Soil. I’ve got some more photos to share, I hope you enjoy!

We spent a ton of time talking about water – its properties, rain water harvesting techniques, dealing with waste water (and creating less of it), and even composting toilets. Water should be the first consideration in permaculture design, so it makes sense that we spent a lot of time covering this very important topic.

Rob demonstrates how swales and dams work on a (mini) broad-acre landscape for the class.

We watched as the water was magically soaked up by the earth – thanks to the swales and dams built on contour.

We also spent some time learning how to find contour lines using various surveying equipment. Using the contour of the land is very important in design, especially for water harvesting features like swales and dams.

Using the transit level.

Using the A-frame level.

Though our design project for this PDC will be on a much larger scale, we got some experience with designing urban spaces by brainstorming ideas for an urban garden in Calgary. It was an exciting and inspiring process – the amount of creative ideas that came out of a one hour design was truly astounding.

They’ve already got a great public compost system – complete with instructions and information on how to compost.

Rob describing some of the many uses for the native plants on site.

That’s it for this round! I’m really looking forward to coming up with some great ideas for our design project over the next weekend, and seeing what everyone else comes up with too! Until next time.


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