Zaytuna Farm Vs the Flood of 2022

Zaytuna Farm Vs the Flood of 2022

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A 100-year flood is a massive flooding event that is unlikely to be equaled or exceeded over the next century. On Monday the 1st of March 2022, Zaytuna Farm experienced a 100-year flood event, and Geoff Lawton is taking us on a tour of how his permaculture site fared.

The rain event at Zaytuna was astounding. The Wilson River at Lismore rose 14 meters, a full two meters higher than the previous record, and rain on the farm accrued to the tune of 775 mm (30 inches) in 24 hours, with one hour alone accounting for 180 mm (seven inches) of rainfall. Thousands of homes were destroyed in surrounding areas, and everyone is now trying to recover.

Zaytuna Farm handled the event with some damage but promising resolve. The spillway for Tinker’s Bubble, the main irrigation dam (high elevation on the site), couldn’t keep up with the water flow. Though the dam spilled over the wall, the construction did hold up. However, the next dam—Mud Hole—experienced a massive hit and gave way to the pressure, sending a load of water and material down to Fern Gully Dam. Luckily, Fern Gully Dam was able to stop the material, and despite filling, the overflow infrastructure—a dam-to-swale spillway—pacified the water and moved it downhill safely.

Flood Plain Paddock got a huge sediment/topsoil deposit with areas measuring two meters deep in new soil accumulation, which would take centuries to create. The tree gullies of Zaytuna were able to slow the floodwaters down, causing it to drop detritus and soil. On the other side of the farm, Campers Lagoon stayed safe because the emergency overflows mitigated the flood.

With the world changing and such events becoming more regular than anomalous, places like Zaytuna have to prepare for both long droughts and huge floods. Sound design is how we can approach the new global climate.

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About Geoff:

Geoff is a world-renowned permaculture consultant, designer, and teacher that has established demonstration sites that function as education centers in all the world's major climates. Geoff has dedicated his life to spreading permaculture design across the globe and inspiring people to take care of the earth, each other, and to return the surplus.

About Permaculture:

Permaculture integrates land, resources, people, and the environment through mutually beneficial synergies – imitating the no waste, closed-loop systems seen in diverse natural systems. Permaculture applies holistic solutions that are applicable in rural and urban contexts and at any scale. It is a multidisciplinary toolbox including agriculture, water harvesting and hydrology, energy, natural building, forestry, waste management, animal systems, aquaculture, appropriate technology, economics, and community development.

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