Community

Permaculture first: regenerating a mine site with a food forest in Laos, by Paul Taylor

The old mine site, heavily compacted over acid producing material, capped with 3 mts of compacted clay and 500mm of very poor soil

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

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.

Mounding the soil on contour, dry and rocky, very low organic matter and no structure.

Hydro-seeding immediately after earthworks for improved germination, bio-fertilser and soil pro-biotics (compost tea) added to hydroseeder.

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.

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.

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'.

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.

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 dust crushed and sieved ready to be burned again with rice husk.

Bone burning with rice husk to make soluble foliar fertiliser.

Bone burning with rice husk to make soluble foliar fertiliser.

Smoldering for 15 hours

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.

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.

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.

We only had limited species for planting the demonstration site.

Soaking cassava in compost tea and bio-fertiliser before planting.

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.

Rough and dry conditions with poor soils, but good for a demonstration site and typical of mine sites.

Willing workers add compost before planting.

Willing workers add compost before planting.

End of day 2 planting using wood chip and rice straw for mulch.

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'.

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!

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.

1 reply »

  1. This is a demonstration of the Trust Nature’s Bio-Vital system for soil regeneration. It is a 3 part system for building soil fertility as we improve production. The system combines organic principles with the science and understanding of soil microbiology. If you have any questions feel free to contact me: paul@trustnature.com.au

    Like

Comment on this article

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s