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permaculture and agrostealth
1. One can start with a well-placed small dam which one increases in strength and height as one's opportunities and resources allow. It's all about location location location. It's about getting out there and scoping where no one (hardly) comes.
2. A dam doesn't necessarily need to be filled with only water. Once the dam wall is in place, one can also gather dirt (from the surrounding area) and fill it to (or over) the rim. When water comes, it will ensure that the soil is wet. One can manage the level of water in the dam through well-placed taps, to avoid the soil being water-logged.
3. To avoid both humans and local lifestock from being attracted to your water supply, both the dam wall and the water reservoir can be covered with rocks. The dam will still hold water but it won't evaporate like open water does, nor will it attract thirsty animals which would flock to it, thereby also raising the attention of their herders.
On the opposite side of the dam wall it may also be prudent to lay down rocks to hide (the character of) the wall itself. Even in areas where people hardly ever come, they do sometimes come hiking, hunting, or looking for lost livestock. A pile of rocks will then neither attract attention nor interest. Low profile avoids others taking advantage of your work, destroying it, or appropriating it.
An area that's fueled in this manner by annual precipitation offers opportunities in time. One can start by allowing grass to grow. (Often this will pop up and need not even be sown.) Allowing the grass to be grazed improves the quality of the soil [ley farming]. Therefore, in this fashion one can create good soil from the dirt at hand. One can keep rabbits or even allow local livestock to take advantage of your green oasis.
After 1 or 2 years, one might add dirt. One can heighten the dam wall or plant bushes and plants that root down to the water level.
In time, as soil depth and quality increase, one might even consider planting trees. This depends on the location and on one's ability to keep animals out. (As discussed under keeping animals away.)
7/12/2013, 8:18 am
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