HOLISTIC REGENERATION - The Regrarians® Platform - Part 4 #AccesssteemCreated with Sketch.

in gardening •  2 years ago

What if we stepped back for a bit and set up our roads and paths according to a holistic design that starts with the optimum use of the land first?

We obviously must have access to certain points on a property, sometimes from specific approaches and by various means (i.e. foot, four wheeler, truck, tractor, semi, excavator, horse and whatever else you choose to use). In typical designs we see today, landowners look at where we want to go, establish the most convenient path to get there, and put in paths, fences and gates accordingly. Then they attempt to continue their design with what’s left.

Remember what we’ve covered so far – 1 Climate‬‬‬‬, 2 Geography‬‬‬‬ and 3 Water‬‬‬‬. We haven’t considered fences yet, which, along with roads and buildings, is commonly one of the first things envisioned by new landowners. Yep, we haven’t considered buildings yet either.

Of course, we often have to work with what we get. Fences, roads and buildings may already be in place. There’s not much we can do about buildings, in most cases. But often access routes and fences can be moved, and fences can usually be repurposed more efficiently, reserving resources for other aspects of the project.

Access on land is both over and under appreciated, in many ways. We tend to put it as an initial priority, failing to grasp the opportunities of using roadways according to the structure and provision of the land. Better to consider what the land itself has to offer first, then bend the access according to what the land offers, complementing and enhancing the already present geography and permanent structure/s.

Just as with water (and in many ways because of water), we’re faced with continued challenges. These can be fairly dramatic, requiring the crossing of the creek that cuts across the property or navigating other substantial obstacles. Bridges are expensive, so it may be wise to explore ways to cross streams or ravines that will allow needed regular access, but perhaps sacrifice access during large rain events. We may have utilities crossing the property in ways that inhibit our first ideas, but will require us to make do. How can we optimize these challenges so that the access feature becomes complementary to the entire design?

Remember that one of the goals of permaculture is to stack as many functions as possible in whatever project we're working on. Roads are almost inevitably water harvesting features. So, as we design, we want to keep in mind where our water needs to go. Often we can use the downhill side of a road as a swale (there can be huge dispersive problems with using the uphill side).

Since ridges shed water anyway, and if we're doing keyline we're working water toward ridges, they can be excellent locations for roads. Of course, the entire project must be considered and sometimes the terrain just isn't conducive to putting roads on ridges. They might not go anywhere helpful. The ridge's might not lend themselves to dividing the property in a way that is efficient. But we want to explore the possibility and take advantage, if at all possible.

Having considered water already, it's likely that we've established some of the access routes without thinking about it. Often a dam, for instance, is a great road. Next to conveyance ditches can be as well. Ideally, any water lines will be adjacent to the roads and/or paths.

Another good lesson that must be considered is that just because something can be done, doesn’t mean it should be done. I recently had a discussion with someone that thought I was against technology, because of my views on how to most effectively manage fields, pastures and soils (which we'll discuss later). My point was that, while high-tech could be used, it simply wasn't needed. Why go to the additional expense when you can spend less, work less strenuously, improve the soil conditions and enjoy healthier crops without it? The focus is more on the appropriate technology for the task and the fact that not everything that can be done should be done.

In many cases, it’s possible that another pond or two would be a good idea. But we can get ahead of ourselves in desiring to put in too many ponds or other water structures. Of course, it really looks cool on the map. And it’s often totally feasible. But it's possible that we have plenty of water storage, so why bother? It's also possible that we could add more later, as the project matures. These need to be considered as well as we determine our best access lanes and points on the property. And these, in turn, will determine our forestry and, if we have livestock, grazing patterns.

See full video here

This also is one of the reasons we focused so much on 1 Climate at the beginning. The goals and budget help determine what's feasible. We need to focus on making every buck count in our effort to come up with a truly restorative and regenerative design.

Feel free to contact me if you desire to discuss your project. If you're interested in hiring Darren, you can find details here.

Steemin' on,
Another Joe


Helpful Links


Previously in this series
~ Introduction - 1 Climate - 2 Geography - 3 Water ~

Chapters 1 Climate and 2 Geography of the Regrarians eHandboook are available for purchase for US$5 each on the Regrarians website.



Logo courtesy of @oecp85


Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

It seems like this is more at the scale of ranching and farming. How would you adapt this for gardening? It would be nice to see this in a gardening context about paths and other uses in a yard - or even a community garden setting.

·

Right. It's certainly focused on broadacre rather than backyard or even community garden.
However, the same principles apply from a holistic perspective. You're just probably not going to have roads for tractors, etc. And much of how applicable this will be depends on your terrain.
I'll see if I can find some images of a holistically designed community garden.

·
·

So many pieces of land at the garden scale are limited in their flexibility. But the idea of where to put paths, compost areas, more natural areas, and so on, are scalable, I'd expect. Looking forward to seeing what comes next!

·
·
·

Yep, I totally agree. Thanks for your input and encouragement.
This series would likely be better under permaculture or even agriculture. But I was trying to work with you guys and put the first tag in a category that you were using and would help with curation.
The Regrarian Platform is focused on broadacre farming. It's like an agricultural business oriented permaculture system, I suppose. That's one of the challenges of just permaculture. One can pursue permaculture from an altruistic perspective, but it's only sustainable if they either grow at least enough to feed themselves (or sell and buy needed diverse foods) or if they have a job that can allow them to continue feeding their system. There's nothing wrong with that at all. A lot of great things are being done that way and some folks are making a decent living doing so (as Luz has pointed out a few times). But if someone wants to make a living at it, they need to step back and take a more holistic approach.
Regrarians approaches the farmer and tells him there's a better way, on multiple levels. The result will be healthier soil and true regenerative properties (not merely sustainable, but constantly improving), including the bottom line = a system that is growing in health and production to be handed down to their children, rather than a degraded dirt farm. There's no way to get this to farmers without economy being a part of the system. Economy is toward the end of our series, but a necessity for this sort of approach.
So, to get back to your point, the scale of permanency here applies equally on any scale, as a foundation. But it may be that much of it is simply set aside, especially for a home gardener or even small community garden. If you have fences, then our article on fencing (coming up) may not be of any use at all. And the fencing we speak of is usually either for keeping animals out or moving them through a managed grazing pattern (a huge aspect of regenerative agriculture). These things are often not necessary in a garden that already has perimeter fencing.
I may consider a permaculture series too. This series focuses more on the things I understand well though, which is more focused on overall structure.

·
·
·
·

Thanks for such a thoughful reply, @anotherjoe. Please keep tagging with gardening, especially for those posts that easily translate to the smaller scale. Folks with chickens and other animals will probably appreciate your upcoming post on fencing. And your comment here is the basis for a really great post - or several - on how to apply larger-scale concepts to the smaller scale.

I enjoy reading your posts for the larger-scale, although they are more for ranching and sustainable agriculture. The situation with soil in this country (and elsewhere) is really a problem. So much erosion. I see the return of road-edge to road-edge farming where I grew up in Kansas and cringe.

·
·
·

in cyber space and paper planning visionary modeling one can certainly make rearrangements more easily than IRL. the Earth turns so there's no reason why various parts of Earth wouldn't be mobile as well. just takes a will and that will needs be practical to be efficient/economical. so get an inventory of what you have to work with, then come up with the best use of the land and somehow include potentials from neighboring lands in due time as well as a rating system for how difficult relocation of some aspects are. compost heaps are easy to move. buildings, bridges and paved roads, not so much. but with mobile buildings/bridges that doesn't have to be the case.

makes me think that using mobile aspects is best when a total inventory hasn't been done to establish best locations. then replacement with permanent structures and let new people use the mobile items as hand me downs to get them started.

·
·
·
·

My own approach fits your model pretty good, @anantasesadas. I keep everything (except my house) flexible. It's helped a lot as my understanding of my land - and my intended uses of the land - have changed over the years.

This post has been ranked within the top 50 most undervalued posts in the second half of Nov 26. We estimate that this post is undervalued by $8.43 as compared to a scenario in which every voter had an equal say.

See the full rankings and details in The Daily Tribune: Nov 26 - Part II. You can also read about some of our methodology, data analysis and technical details in our initial post.

If you are the author and would prefer not to receive these comments, simply reply "Stop" to this comment.

Interesting from the title I thought this was going to be new age stuff but it is very logical and smart land management from what I can understand with my limited knowledge.

I'm sorry to see this hasn't had the support it deserves for your hard work.

I have resteemed and tweeted it which I hope will help.

I'm wondering if the title is giving people the wrong impression - there are a lot of hard science people on here which may lead to bias against things which they think are non scientific?

Great work though. Let me know in the chat next time you post so I don't miss it. My vote is only one cent but it might help get things going at the start.

·

Thanks bro,
Many cents add up. :)
I hadn't considered that it might be perceived as new agey. I guess the vernacular is so familiar to me that it just made sense.

I'm not sure how to change it though, without losing the continuity in the title. There are 6 more to go.

·

Woot! WOOOOT!!

FIVE STARS!!

umm... out of how many?

·
·

28,000,000 actually...

Usually people don't ask, and it makes them feel good, so you kind of ruined that...

Sorry Joe!

·
·
·

HAH, thanks for the chuckle.

·
·
·
·

Chuckle?

Man, you make one joke once and no one ever takes you seriously again!