The old mine site, heavily compacted over acid producing material, capped with 3 mts of compacted clay and 500mm of very poor soil
Paul Taylor was in Laos in January, working on regenerating a mine site by focusing on soil improvement and planting a food forest. Here you will find his photo diary of the steps they went through to achieve this.
Management negotiating the use of the grader to rip and mound the site
Mounding the soil on contour, dry and rocky, very low organic matter and no structure.
Hydro-seeding immediately after earthworks for improved germination, bio-fertiliser and soil pro-biotics (compost tea) added to hydro-seeder.
The crew were keen to learn and I had 2 good translators. Most training sessions were practical at the nursery site, but there were also 5 classroom teaching sessions.
Teaching at the nursery site making soil pro-biotic with aeration, and also how to make products at home using low tech systems.
Soil pro-biotic (specialist compost tea). Here they call it ‘jungle juice’.
We burn bones and crush them into fine powder, then we burn again with rice husk added to make ‘physical’ soluble Ca, Si, and P.
Bone dust crushed and sieved ready to be burned again with rice husk.
Bone burning with rice husk to make soluble foliar fertiliser.
Smoldering for 15 hours
As mixing materials for the planting on site, we used dry cow manure, rice husk, forest soil and compost, which was then wetted with compost tea and bio-fertiliser.
Earlier we had made a pile of “Bio-Vital Compost”, which has now reached the desired temperature.
We only had limited species for planting the demonstration site.
Soaking cassava in compost tea and bio-fertiliser before planting.
Rough and dry conditions with poor soils, but good for a demonstration site and typical of mine sites.
Willing workers add compost before planting.
End of day 2 planting using wood chip and rice straw for mulch.
3 Weeks later we have a green scape using natural products, local waste and natural systems: ‘trust nature’.
Willing workers and keen learners make this all possible, and long hours give great results!
Paul is teaching Sustainable Soil Management courses here at PRI Sunshine Coast on the following dates: 1 – 5 April, 3 – 7 June and 26 – 30 August. If you are interested in learning the techniques described in this photo diary, please go to our Sustainable Soil Management page for more information. You can find Paul Taylor’s website at www.trustnature.com.au.
Zaia grew up in a family of musicians in Holland, and has a background in top sport (snow skiing) and web development and design. She co-founded the PRI Luganville and PRI Sunshine Coast Inc (now PermEco Inc.) with Tom, and runs the “invisible structures”, like finances, business administration, website design and maintenance, writes articles, records and edits videos and also organises the cooking and the kitchen on site. She assists Tom in running the Kendall Permaculture Farm and supervising other volunteers. She also specialises in consulting and advice for smaller scale properties (up to 5 acres). She has researched and studied nutrition and health for 20+ years, has a certificate in Nutrition and continues to study by research, reading and daily observation.
She is an active member of several musical projects and bands, involved in community music and runs percussion and marimba workshops, is the percussion leader for the Woodford Folk Festival People’s Orchestra and composes as well as plays music. She is passionate about community music and loves seeing people discover that they can play!
“I would recommend Tom Kendall’s PDC to anyone looking to learn or become part of the Permaculture Community. I really enjoyed the course. It was also an excellent opportunity to learn from someone who has always worked with the land and who has spent a long time developing that relationship into what it is now. I learned a great deal about the agricultural systems from a practical and solutions based perspective. And yes, they are lovely people too.
It means a lot to me that they offered the course as pay-as-you-can and as self catered. I am in the position where I can only find sporadic work and rather than waste my time feeling stuck I was able to learn and find new opportunities with this course. The sense of community it gives was also really important to me and I am great full to them for being generous with their time. It is something that will give more value as time goes on and I hope to return this fully when I’m able. ” Marni, PDC 02/2020
“ Unlike all the other students I had no previous knowledge in permaculture and it far exceeded my expectations. I was happy to see the ethics related to this topic were one of your criteria. I would highly recommend this course and have done so already multiple times and will continue to refer people to you in all my travels
To be able to do the course by donation has meant to me that I’ve been able to upskill myself for an affordable amount in a time of current unemployment.
It also meant I could please my curiosity on this topic and dip my toes in the water with the little knowledge I had in this field where as a full price course would have not lead me down this path. I thank you both so kindly for your contribution in getting this knowledge out there in our current global situation.” Todd Dent, PDC 02/2020