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Nemenhah Perma-Village Model
Nemenhah Perma-Village Model
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6915 S. 1875 Rd., Humansville, MO, US
Climate zone:
Cool Temperate

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Water - Re-Directing the Surplus

Project: Nemenhah Perma-Village Model

Posted by Chief Phillip 'Cloudpiler' Landis over 13 years ago

Rain runoff handling at the Nemenhah Model PermaVillage.

We have quite a lot of rainfall here in S.W. Missouri.  Each year, we can get from 36 to 54 inches of rain.  Very often, this rain does not come gently.  We find ourselves on an interesting edge system.  During the growing season, which begins in late March, warm, moist air rises up into our region from the Gulf of Mexico.  This air is impeded in its flow by the Ozark Uplift.  At the same time, cool air from the Arctic has no impediment at all and will collide with the warm, moist air.  This creates some very exciting and productive weather for our entire region.

The rain strikes the Headquarters, Cob House, Sheds and Cabin's rooves and runs off in concentrations that can really become impressive.  Topsoil is simply carried right away.  To catch this surplus and re-direct it into the productive system, drains, swales and berms have been installed to funnel this runoff into two ponds in Zone 2. 

The first is actually a tank that will be used for settling sediments.  This first pond measures 8 feet by 10 feet and is set in the ground so that all runoffs from the rooves may be directed into it.  It is constructed of stone from the property (or nearby) and cement.  It will double as a cool therapy pool in the summer, and to produce block ice in the winter.  We will build an old-fashioned Ice House to utilize this surplus for cold food storage.

When it rains, overflow from this pond will create a waterfall into a larger, natural pond measuring 30 feet by 70 feet.  This pond will be used for fish production, Chinampa food production, soil production, and habitat.  It will also finish out the microclimate we want for our Bamboo Forest, creating an area with an almost tropical feel to it.

Without this re-direction of surplus energy, the water (along with the soil it takes with it) would simply run off into our neighbor's property and ultimately into Turkey Creek, to the Missouir River, to the Mississippi River and out into the Gulf of Mexico.  We are opposed to exporting our surplus in this way.  Permaculture Ethics directs our actions so that our design catches and re-directs all surpluses.

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