New Permaculture Projects

Is there a geologist in the house? I am beginning a new permaculture project near Baras in Rizal, Luzon. There is not sufficient water or clay fraction in the soil for integrated rice duck or fish ponds at this time. I am interested in using swales and small dams/tanks to impound the monsoon season rain into the aquifer here and shallow wells with solar pumps at the bottom of the mountainous 14 hectares. I am also interested in using bentonite clay from our other project to seal the soil for rice duck and fish ponds. Do you know the process of extracting bentonite from volcanic ash? It is expensive so it could be both a livelihood project at Pinatubo and assist us as an experiment at Baras. The swales, narrow cuts along the hillside contours that hold rain while it percolates into the soil, and the small dams will be built by local hand labor.

In the near future is a Smokey Mountain relocation to Mt. Pinatubo, mentioned in this article. I hope to be the garden center director in the community there and our buildings for several thousand families will be made of lahars, volcanic ash. My challenge is to grow food in this ash as this is the first resettlement project with room for backyard gardening. I am assisting Father Benigno Beltran in this: Best wishes, Rowland L Anderson, Veritas Social Empowerment

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