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After a few years of gathering data, designing patterns and planting out test plots, the rainy season of 2015 signals the earnest start of regenerative planting. 2015_phases_small As we can see in the map above, the dry season (January – June) is focused on maintaining existing planting, performing earth-sculpting on the land and gearing up the nursery for the large planting season ahead.

Dry Season 2015

  • All the test plots that were planted in the previous year will need to be maintained during the dry season.

Earthworks

  • SL2, SL3, SL4
    • Earth-sculpting around the future site of South Lake.
      • We will need to use the machines to define the proposed edge of the lake, and to grade back from there to create a slight slope away.
      • All quarry-rejected material should be moved to SL1 for eventual use as road base.
      • All top soil / organic matter will be removed first, then spread back over the site.
  • TP5
    • The extreme slopes in TP5 are to be knocked down to reduce the danger of landslides in the area.
      • Vetiver grass, that was established there during the test plot phase, should be removed and planted near South Lake for temporary storage.
  • SH1
    • DSC_0164__1427559178_123.237.177.159Sand Hill 1 is just wrapping up extraction operations and, as the machinery makes its way down the hill, it will be cutting the slopes and terraces into the hillside.  By the beginning of the rainy season, earthworks and all extraction-related activities at this location will be completed, and the area will be ready to plant up in the extreme slope planting pattern.
    • Roads are being cut through that area as well and these will allow access to the top of the ridge.
  • SH2
    • Extraction operations are shifting to SH2 and should be completed by end of the dry season.
    • SH2 needs to be pushed down, starting at the ridge, to create a much milder slope that is, ideally, no steeper than 18 degrees (3:1).
    • The ridge of the hill will then be graded and connected with the ridge road that runs through SH1.
  • NL1
    • rsz_dsc_0110The North Lake 1 plot currently has a flat area to the west, and then a very steep grade down to North Lake.  The bulldozer should push material off the flat area and down the slope to reduce the slope to an angle that is not greater than 18 degrees.
    • Flatten out the new top for the construction of the expanded nursery area.
  • NL2 and NL3 have slopes that are quite steep and there is limited access to that area, so earthworks is not recommended here.
  • NL4
    • There is an erosion gully in NL4. This should be graded over and then planted up immediately with vetiver to reduce the chances of the gully returning.
  • NL5, NL6, and NL7  don’t really need earthworks.
    • We need to to have the edge of the dredging area defined so that the planters can come in and plant without the risk of losing their plantings to the dredging process.

Earthworks wish list:

  • The earthworks listed above are the minimum required for this year’s planting. If it is possible for us to get to the next group however, this would allow us to get these areas started on the pioneer establishment phase.
  • X2, X4, TP7, ML5
    • There are some extreme slopes in this area, that were left there as a result of the extraction process. We would like to have bulldozers knock down and even out the land to create a more natural, rolling hill pattern.
    • Specifically, knocking the material in X2 into the hole at the base of TP7, and pushing the material in ML5 towards TP7 as well.
  • A contour road, catchment drain and a few ponds, will be constructed and placed in the contours that run around Clay Hill 1.
    • Detailed survey and design work will have to be done as that process progresses.

Rainy Season 2015

The pioneer planting phase starts in all areas that are in green above. If the brown area gets the earthworks done, then we will proceed with pioneer establishment here as well.

Planting Patterns

Depending on the specific plot, either the permaculture orchard pattern, extreme slope planting pattern or the heavy slope planting pattern will be applied. In all cases, this year sees the pioneer plants being established according the the process laid out in the respective planting patterns. Forestsmall


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