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Drylands Management

This year in the Drylands Department, we started work on a herb spiral in the Arboretum to demonstrate a water-efficient growing technique for dry areas. First initiated by our volunteer Ulrike, the herb spiral project had then been taken over by Giulia and Margaux – now we’re excited to say that the beautiful project is now finished!

Here in Almeria, the driest region in Europe, building such a spiral can present many benefits.

Efficient water usage

First, the spiral is designed in such a way that it retains the moisture at its base. This design allows a large variety of herbs to grow as it has both a drier zone at the top and a moist area at the bottom.  Our herb spiral will then probably see plants that don’t drink much, like rosemary, oregano and thyme, grow at its top part. The water management of the spiral is such that no water is wasted. The runoff water is collected and absorbed by the thirsty plants positioned at the bottom of the spiral.

Adapted to microclimates

In the same way, the spiral’s design also helps the herbs to benefit from diverse microclimates due to the variety of positions allowed : sunny, sheltered and shady. The top part of the spiral will then be perfect to grow herbs like rosemary, sage and thyme that prefer a sunny position, while the bottom part of the spiral will fit better to shade-loving herbs such as mints.

Heat retention

Besides, the stones used to build the spiral retain heat absorbed during the day, keeping the spiral warm when temperatures drop at night. Retaining the heat can be really useful in a semi-arid climate, where we usually face huge temperature gaps between daytime and night time.

A unique garden feature

More than a practical tool that allows to grow a variety of herbs under the best conditions in a dry area, the herb spiral is also of aesthetic interest. Inspired by nature itself, the design of the spiral ramp is irresistible to the eye and draws it as a focal point in the garden. The stones used for our spiral are carefully chosen to be aesthetically pleasing to our visitors’ eyes.

We’re looking forward to reaping the benefits of our herb spiral in delicious, flavoursome dishes in the months to come!

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Next Course organised by our partner association Cultura de la Tierra – Earth Culture is

Permaculture Design Certificate Course – 90 hours . From 17 to 31 October 2014

This course will introduce ways of using permaculture design in your life, to re-design aspects of your personal life as well as to create sustainaible and resilient human environments. Permaculture can be applied to where do you live, work and play. 90 hours course with PDC International Certificate.

More info and bookings www.culturadelatierra.net

Poster PDC October 2014

Permaculture offer us new ways of thinking, doing and being that can be use individually and collectively to create sustainable human cultures in harmony with nature.

The course program includes: ethics and principles, design processes, basics of ecology, water management, soil building, plants for permaculture systems, ecobuilding, energy, new economies, with regenerative ideas for: home, garden, neighbourhood, community, region….all supported by practicals, and additional topics such as deep ecology, Dragon Dreaming design, Ecovillages, Transition,….

During these 2 weeks we will have the opportunity to experience Permaculture alive in our day by day, as we will be living in an off-grid low impact “eco” village Los Molinos. We’ll be part of a community of teachers, participants and collaborators, creating spaces for inter-conexion, skills exchange and self organise workshops; and also spaces for dreaming and celebrating together!!

Teachers: Monika Frank, Kirsty Heron, Mark Biffen, Jef Carrick y Patricia Cañas.

Other guest facilitators to confirm…

Investment:

575 € booking before 31 of August

605€ booking after 1 of September

That includes all sessions, materials, the Certificate in Permaculture Design , all meals and accomodation in low impact projects– Sunseed y El Mirador.

Concessions

We would like to offer a reduction to one person with low income that is involved in environmental or social projects. We will only be able to confirm this after 18th September.

We are also open to exchanges, reductions for help before, after and during the course, for one or two persons that can’t afford the course full fee.

Venue: Los Molinos del Río Aguas – a low impact off-grid village located in the Natural Park of Karst en Yesos de Sorbas – in Almería Province (South Spain)

Organized by: Cultura de la Tierra – Earth Culture

in collaboration with: Sunseed, La Pita-Escuela y El Mirador.

For further information and booking: www.culturadelatierra.netinfo@culturadelatierra.net – phone 0034 639842719

BOOKING DEADLINE 15 SEPTEMBER 2014

FURTHER INFORMATION…

This course will introduce ways of using permaculture design in your life, to re-design aspects of your personal life as well as to create sustainable and resilient human environments. Permaculture can be applied to where do you live, work and play.,

The course includes the 72hours curriculo recognised by the internatinal permaculture community plus more than 18 hours extra that will enrich the experience, such as:

* Introduction to Dragon Dreaming –participatory design process;

* Transition Towns;

* Ecovillages – sustainable communities,

* The Work that Recconects from Joanna Macy – deep ecology,

* regenerative techniques for arid lands

There will be practicals in organic gardening, eco building and/or other practicals of sustainable living.

During the course we’ll have several guided tours.

One to the Sunseed project (gardens, technologies, low impact); other to the village of Los Molinos and other to the Pita-Escuela project (working with agave wood from the desert).

In this course you will learn how to design or to refine your design skills, through practical and enjoyable exercices under the guidance of experienced designers.

You will learn skills in observation and reading the landscape enabling you to develop a deeper understanding of a place. You will learn about map drawing and interpretation, about understanding and using patters in nature to use in the designs; and why and how to take care of the soil, the water and the air.

You will learn how to design food production systems and water collection systems at different scales; bioregional strategies, forest garden growing, alternative economic systems, renewable energies and design of healthy homes and buildings, domestic liquid and solid waste treatment.

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