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Grifen Hope
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El Manzano, BioBio, Chile
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Regenerative Agriculture in Chile with Darren Doherty

Posted by Grifen Hope over 9 years ago

During the first week of April 2011 Darren Doherty was invited to Chile by Nicolas and Michelle Party to design and implement keyline water harvest systems on their family farm. A collective of Government agencies came to the party, making it happen with

Darren Doherty Creating Waves

Day One was the setup day, a general introduction to regenerative agriculture as a solution above and beyond mere conservation and sustainability. We were treated to a landscape observation with Darren, and insitu analysis on the hop with the client and 100 or so onlookers. All good fun, darren kept us fully entertained and loaded up with a range of tools for understanding the landscape and the client needs. We measured a few key points, marked a few keylines for the dams, dug some more test holes to find the material we needed, and finished the day with the topsoil removed. 

On a misty and windy day two we excavated the keyway, and much to the distaste of the local machine drivers filled it back in again, compacting it into the v shaped cut. Layer by layer was compacted into the keyway with a splash of water to make each layer stick. Once back to ground level we marked out and excavated the pipe, not completely ideally we fixed the baffles, and then buried it again, compacting with our feet. We marked out a few more keypoints and dams, water harvesting diversion drains and the roadway. The heavy machinery kept on working.  

Day Three was hot and sunny, jackets off and into wall construction. The machines were not ideal for the job, but ripped into it, and the operators in a learning curve of their own double handled a lot of material and slowed  the process down. This was a very useful experience for all of us, an insight into how to do it under pressure on the ground with contractors and clients ready to go. We learned the need for design, a process of making sense together, from the initial phases of observation and analysis, to the creation of a concept, decisions, planning and implementation...transferring a vision into landscape. The dam was excatavated and the wall laid down with consecutive layers watered and compacted.  

Day Four was pretty chaotic, with a quick check on progress of the wall and new instructions, Darren suited up for the presentation for 200 or so dignitaries from various government agencies and a few ministers etc invited to survey the progress and meet Darren.. After a few rounds of political backslapping, congratulations and inspirational words about regenerative agriculture and permaculture, Darren took the stage and gave a complete and compelling presentation about regenerative agriculture as a solution for food, soil, water security and as a model for regenerative landscape and community development. Finally he dropped a few hints to the government thatecoescuelaand permaculturachile exist here as a network of regenerative designers, farmers and teachers

Day Five with the dam complete and the spectators out of the way we were able to finish wall and return the topsoil, full of seeds awaiting the next rain. We remeasured the diversion roadway, plowed it with a stand in keyline plow just to get an idea of how to, and carved a 700 metre winding serpent into the landscape with the grader. We made a few errors, again offering critical learning through our own personal experience, and with a few readjustments the road was completed:)

This was a truly transformative and catalyctic event that has spurred a collaboration between the government and various private and public organisations. Darren mate youre a pro, a breath of fresh air, and living testament to the wisdom and foresight of those many such pioneers and early movers as Mollison and Yeomans, now Eugenio Grass and co in Latin America, and now Regenerative Agriculture Chile. See you next time. 

You can see the fotos here https://picasaweb.google.com/114401253685535471655/Keyline?authkey=Gv1sRgCJrShprV_sGWCg&feat=directlink

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claudio Rubilar
claudio Rubilar : nice post and the part of the redesign :). the link of the photos did not worked for me :(
Posted over 9 years ago

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My Badges
Consultant Aid worker Pdc teacher
My Permaculture Qualifications
Other course verified
Advanced Permaculture Design Course
Type: Teacher Training
Teacher: David Holmgren & Su Dennett
Location: Rainbow Valley Farm, Matakana, New Zealand
Date: Apr 2007
Other course unverified
Type: Permaculture Diploma
Teacher: Javiera Carrion
Location: El Manzano, Chile
Date: Jun 2008
Pri verified
Permaculture Design Course
Type: Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course
Teacher: Geoff Lawton
Location: TEC, Taranaki, New Zealand
Date: Feb 2005
Other course unverified
Designing Regenerative Enterprise
Type: Gaia University
Verifying teacher: Andrew Langford
Other Teachers: Liora
Location: El Manzano, Chile
Date: Mar 2011
Other course verified
Type: Gaia University
Verifying teacher: Andrew Langford
Other Teachers: Liora Adler
Location: El Manzano
Date: Mar 2011
Other course verified
Beyond Facilitation
Type: Gaia University
Verifying teacher: Liora Adler
Other Teachers: Andrew Langford
Location: Santiago, Chile
Date: Mar 2011
Other course verified
Keyline Design & Regenerative Agriculture
Type: Earthworks
Teacher: Darren J. Doherty
Location: Litueche, Chile
Date: Apr 2011
15 PDC Graduates (list)
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