Using permaculture ethics & design principles to transform an old energy guzzling bungalow into a showcase of sustainable design. It's about energy cycling, building community, self-reliance,creatively using & reusing materials... all without spending heaps of money.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Heatwave to flooding rains

Principle 1: Observe and interact
Principle 7: Design from patterns to details

After a five days of temperatures averaging 35 degrees C+ which decimated my worm farm, we have received extensive rains courtesy of cyclone Yasi which devastated parts of northern Queensland this week. This is the forth time since September that we have received flooding rains, very unusual for our area after 10 years of drought.
After noticing water collecting under the house during earlier heavy rains, I built small banks around the lowest points. These banks were about to be breached, so it was time to act.
Working with a shovel and rake during extreme rain events is my idea of fun, all the better during a warm summer storm. It's the perfect time to see where water flows and to make alterations. After noticing garden beds being inundated with water at the old house site, killing off some of my tomatoes, I decided to divert the water to the lowest point of the property along the pathways. Since the area around the backyard is pretty much level, the lowered pathways act as infiltration basins, much like the one that I've been working on the in front yard. As this had also filled with water, it was a good time to do some maintenance and tinkering there too.

Flooding waters about to breach underfloor 'levy bank'

Richard heads out in the rain with son Kai for some earthworks

Paths leveled out and act as infiltration basins around garden beds

Path inundated with water around deck garden bed

Water overflows to the lowest point on the block, then to the storm water drain

Expanded garden bed in the front yard infiltration basin