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Finger Millet

Finger Millet
Finger millet is a seeded annual cereal which belongs to the grass family, Poaceae. The height of a mature plant ranges from 30-150 cm in the cool, high-altitude regions of Africa and Asia, where it is grown for its seeds.  The seeds, which may be white, light brown, or dark brown, are consumed in a variety of forms including as unleavened bread made from milled flour. Various types of porridge and alcoholic beverages are also prepared from the seeds. 

Eleusine coracana, or finger millet is an annual herbaceous plant widely grown as a cereal crop in the arid and semiarid areas in Africa and Asia.
It is a tetraploid and self-pollinating species probably evolved from its wild relative Eleusine africana.
Finger millet is native to the Ethiopian and Ugandan highlands.
Interesting crop characteristics of finger millet are the ability to withstand cultivation at altitudes over 2000 m above sea level, its high drought tolerance, and the long storage time of the grains.

Where it is found
Cultivated finger millet was domesticated about 5 000 years ago from the wild subspecies in the highlands that range from Ethiopia to Uganda. Domesticated finger millet was then also farmed in the lowlands of Africa. This was introduced into India around 3 000 years ago, with the result that India is now a secondary centre of diversity for finger millet. 
How to eat it: Finger Millet Pancake
Ingredients: 1 cup of finger millet flour, 1 medium red onion, finely diced, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 tablespoons of peanuts (or peanut butter), 1 teaspoon of salt (for taste), 1 teaspoon pepper, 1/4 cup of water. Optional: 1 teaspoon of curry powder.
Preparation: In a frying pan, heat the olive oil and fry diced onions till light brown. Add pepper and curry powder and fry for a minute. Add 1 cup of finger millet flour, salt, peanuts and fried onions to a dry bowl, and mix well. Add the water and knead the dough. One can make them either to the consistency of pancake batter or bread batter. Heat a skillet. Spread the batter in skillet and cook till brown. Makes six portions.
Special qualities:
(a) gluten-free;
(b) high in calcium and iron;
(c) can be stored for up to two years without harmful pesticides, acting as a food reserve during the lean season;
(d) excellent malting qualities, increasing its use in food processing.
Importance for small scale farmers:
(a) can be used in intercropping systems (with maize, sorghum and/or legumes) to generate extra income;
(b) produces reasonable yields under low input crop production systems;
(c) survives on soils of low fertility.

Further Readings:
https://www.fao.org/traditional-crops/fingermillet/en/
https://www.fao.org/traditional-crops/fingermillet/fr/
https://www.fao.org/traditional-crops/fingermillet/ru/
https://www.fao.org/traditional-crops/fingermillet/es/
https://www.fao.org/traditional-crops/fingermillet/zh/
https://www.fao.org/traditional-crops/fingermillet/ar/
https://www.fao.org/traditional-crops/fingermillet/it/

Red Millet Pancake https://eat-together.co/2018/12/16/red-millet-ragi-pancakes/


Research

Domestication of Eleusine coracana Khidir W. Hilu and J. M. J. de Wet

https://www.jstor.org/stable/4253732

Transcriptome Analysis Reveals Unique Relationships Among Eleusine Species and Heritage of Eleusine coracana.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31010823/
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Storms in California – The People in California

©  Getty Images / Paul Hennessy

Gilroy, a town in Northern California, was partly underwater after the latest storm brought flash floods.

In all flood zone construct house at +3.5 meter from OGL (original ground level) and parking facility at FGL (finished ground level). FGL>OGL as per site condition. https://twitter.com/RT_com/status/1613007790812921858

Further readings: Days of intense storms in California have left at least 12 people dead and hundreds of thousands of residents without power > https://www.rt.com/news/569626-biden-disaster-california-storms/

In all flood zone construct house at +3.5 meter from OGL (original ground level) and parking facility at FGL (finished ground level). FGL>OGL as per site condition.

Cars are seen stuck in a flooded underpass after a major storm in Oakland, California, January 4, 2023. ©  AP / San Francisco Chronicle / Salgu Wissmath
https://www.rt.com/news/569626-biden-disaster-california-storms/

Hurricane Ian becomes second-costliest in US history – report.
The storm caused the heaviest losses of any to ever to hit Florida, and trailed only Katrina for damage nationally >> https://www.rt.com/news/564315-hurricane-ian-costliest-florida-katrina/

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Residential Rain Gardens, City of Portland, Oregon

Residential Rain Gardens, City of Portland, Oregon
Source: https://www.portland.gov/bes/stormwater/managing-rain-your-property/rain-gardens
Residential rain gardens are a natural way to manage the rain on your property while adding beauty to your landscape. They can be a good solution for flatter spaces where the soils allow water to quickly and safely soak into the ground.

Residential rain gardens are a natural way to manage the rain on your property while adding beauty to your landscape. They can be a good solution for flatter spaces where the soils allow water to quickly and safely soak into the ground.

City of Portland, Oregon

What Is a Rain Garden?  

A rain garden is a shallow bowl-shaped dip in the landscape that collects rainwater. They are often planted with native plants and can be designed with a formal or informal aesthetic. A rain garden is a great place to direct rain runoff from roofs or paved areas, as well as the overflow from another rainwater collection system such as a rain barrel. They can even be used to help manage or drain a naturally wet area in your yard. Rain gardens add beauty to your landscape while managing the rain and providing habitat for birds, bees, and other pollinators.  

How Rain Gardens Work  

In general, rain from a roof or paved area is directed to the rain garden where it is collected and stored until it can safely soak into the ground. The rain garden’s plants and soil filter out chemicals, dirt, and other pollutants picked up by the rainwater as it washes over hard surfaces. This keeps rainwater out of the sewer system, helps reduce the risk of sewer backups or overflows to the Willamette River, protects our rivers and streams from pollution, and replenishes groundwater.

Summary of Rain Garden Design Requirements

These site and design requirements can help you decide if a rain garden might be appropriate for your project. 

Rain gardens are not very deep, so they can be created without professional help if you pay attention to important safety measures. 

To stay safe and avoid damaging buildings or other structures: 

  • The edge of the garden must be:
    • At least 6 feet away from a building with a basement or 2 feet from a building without a basement.
    • At least 5 feet away from neighboring properties.
    • At least 5 feet from the base and 10 feet from the top of retaining walls higher than 3 feet.
  • The deepest part of the rain garden should be at least 10 feet from any neighboring structures.

When building a rain garden, it’s also important to keep in mind:  

  • The infiltration rates of the soils (how well water soaks into the ground). An infiltration test is recommended prior to rain garden construction. Find information on how to do an infiltration test in the How to Build a Residential Rain Garden guide below on this page.   
  • The minimum suggested ponding depth of the finished rain garden should be 6 to 12 inches. Rain gardens should completely drain within 24 hours of a rain event.
  • Be cautious of underground utilities. Do not build over water, gas lines or oil tanks. Call before you dig, 1-800-332-2344, 8-1-1, or schedule an appointment online to locate all underground utilities.
  • Rain gardens are not suitable for steep locations — property with more than a 10 percent slope.
  • Avoid compacting the native soils. The rain garden must be large enough to handle the runoff directed to it. Sizing will depend on tested infiltration rates and catchment area.
  • Every garden should have a safe escape route. Plan where the rain will go when the garden is full and direct it away from structures and neighboring properties.

When choosing plants for your rain garden:  

  • Install plants from the Stormwater Management Manual plant list or choose plants appropriate for the native plant community type as described in the Portland Plant List.
  • Environmental Services prohibits plants on the Portland Nuisance Plant List and the Required Eradication List. Both categories can be found in the Portland Plant List. Find a link in the Resources section below.

Find More Resources

How to Build a Residential Rain Garden. This printable how-to guide from Environmental Services will walk you through the steps to plan, design, and build your rain garden.

Download PDF fileHow to Build a Residential Rain Garden(2.95 Mb)

Low-Impact Development Fact Sheet on Rain Gardens by Oregon State University Extension Service provides a detailed overview of all aspects of rain gardens from site conditions to maintenance. Get the Low Impact Development Fact Sheet

Free Classes. East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District offers free classes on building rain gardens. Learn more or sign up for Rain Gardens 101.

Stormwater Management Manual’s Plant List provides a list of plants recommended for rain gardens.

Download PDF fileStormwater Management Manual Plant List(242.65 Kb)

The Portland Plant List contains lists of native and nuisance plants within Portland. 

Download PDF file Portland Plant List(6.85 Mb)

Summary of Rain Garden Design Requirements

These site and design requirements can help you decide if a rain garden might be appropriate for your project. 

Rain gardens are not very deep, so they can be created without professional help if you pay attention to important safety measures. 

To stay safe and avoid damaging buildings or other structures: 

  • The edge of the garden must be:
    • At least 6 feet away from a building with a basement or 2 feet from a building without a basement.
    • At least 5 feet away from neighboring properties.
    • At least 5 feet from the base and 10 feet from the top of retaining walls higher than 3 feet.
  • The deepest part of the rain garden should be at least 10 feet from any neighboring structures.

When building a rain garden, it’s also important to keep in mind:  

  • The infiltration rates of the soils (how well water soaks into the ground). An infiltration test is recommended prior to rain garden construction. Find information on how to do an infiltration test in the How to Build a Residential Rain Garden guide below on this page.   
  • The minimum suggested ponding depth of the finished rain garden should be 6 to 12 inches. Rain gardens should completely drain within 24 hours of a rain event.
  • Be cautious of underground utilities. Do not build over water, gas lines or oil tanks. Call before you dig, 1-800-332-2344, 8-1-1, or schedule an appointment online to locate all underground utilities.
  • Rain gardens are not suitable for steep locations — property with more than a 10 percent slope.
  • Avoid compacting the native soils. The rain garden must be large enough to handle the runoff directed to it. Sizing will depend on tested infiltration rates and catchment area.
  • Every garden should have a safe escape route. Plan where the rain will go when the garden is full and direct it away from structures and neighboring properties.

When choosing plants for your rain garden:  

  • Install plants from the Stormwater Management Manual plant list or choose plants appropriate for the native plant community type as described in the Portland Plant List.
  • Environmental Services prohibits plants on the Portland Nuisance Plant List and the Required Eradication List. Both categories can be found in the Portland Plant List. Find a link in the Resources section below.

When to Call a Professional

A professional designer is not required to design and build most home rain gardens. However, if you want help in selecting your plant palette, a nursery professional can help you pick out suitable plants based on your soil, sunlight, and garden design.

Costs and Permits  

Rain gardens are not approved for any new construction or redevelopment project that activates the Stormwater Management Manual requirements. See the manual for more information.

The cost of installing a rain garden depends on many factors such as size, plant selection and density, and other possible work such as removing paved surfaces or rerouting downspouts.  

You will need a City permit if your project involves any of the following activities or if any of the following conditions apply to your property.

  • You excavate or remove more than 10 cubic yards of dirt (that’s about enough to fill one standard size dump truck).
  • Your property has a 10 percent slope or more.
  • Your property is within 50 feet of a wetland or waterbody. Your property is in a floodplain.
  • You do not need city permits to construct a residential rain garden if:

If any of these conditions apply to your property, you may need to take extra steps to safely install a rain garden. Contact the Private Property Drainage Inquiries team to discuss safe options for your property.

Maintenance Requirements

Like any garden, a rain garden requires some regular maintenance. Once the garden becomes established, which happens in about two years, maintenance should be minimal. Because they collect lots of water, it is important to inspect your rain garden periodically, especially after a heavy rain.  

Other ongoing maintenance tasks include:  

  • Water the plants deeply once a week during dry months (May to October) to encourage root growth and keep plants strong, especially while plants are getting established during the first two summers.
  • Pull weeds by hand before they become established (avoid chemical weed killers).  
  • Remove sediment and debris, watch for erosion, and replace plants as needed.  
  • Regularly check gutters, downspouts and inlet pipes to ensure they are free and clear of debris and that rainwater can enter the garden.
  • Once a year, layer compost or mulch 2 inches deep to suppress weeds and feed plants.  
  • Thin and prune plants as needed. Divide dense plantings every two to five years.  
  • Remove leaves in the fall. Leaf build-up will reduce rain garden capacity and smother plantings.

Stormwater Management Manual

Consult the City’s Stormwater Management Manual for the complete set of requirements on how to safely site, build, and maintain a rain garden or other stormwater management solution on your property. 

Clean River Rewards Eligibility  

Residential and commercial property owners who install qualified stormwater management solutions may be eligible for a discount on the stormwater charges of their sewer, stormwater, and water bill through the Clean River Rewards program.   

Rain gardens that meet the safety and space requirements outlined above and are at least 10 percent of the area of the roof that is draining to it are eligible for Clean River Rewards. Visit Clean River Rewards to learn more.

City of Portland, Oregon

Official City of Portland seal. The image depicts Portlandia holding her trident backdropped by mountain and river, accompanied by the text 'City of Portland, Oregon 1851'

© Copyright 2018-2023

https://www.portland.gov/bes/stormwater/managing-rain-your-property/rain-gardens
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Snow harvesting – An innovative irrigation method

The snow harvested in each pond was enough to irrigate approximately 120-130 plants in the orchard.

Further reading : https://twitter.com/rainwatersystem/status/1606161165741985792

Photo & Text Copyright: https://leisaindia.org/snow-harvesting-an-innovative-irrigation-method/

Agriculture, the backbone of the Nepalese economy provides employment to 66% of the total population and contributes 33% to the GDP. Jumla district ranks top in terms of area and production of apple. There is a steady increase in the area as well as production of apple. Apple is produced under rainfed conditions dependent upon the winter snowfall and summer rainfall. Lack of irrigation is considered as one of the prime reasons for the poor quality of apples in this region.

Farmers have been collecting snowfall during the winter season and irrigating apple trees by piling it around the base of the apple trees. However, the practice has resulted in disease incidence. In order to improve this traditional, innovative practice, an action research was conducted to explore if the snowfall could be collected in a plastic pond.  Thus, an action research was conducted to improve the farmer’s traditional practice of snowfall collection around the apple tree in an improved way in the year 2014-15 through the Climate Smart Agriculture Project (CSA), supported by SNV, Nepal. The action research study was conducted jointly in Jumla district of Nepal in collaboration with District Agriculture Development Office (DADO) and local organization, Surya Samajik Sewa Sang (4S).

Action Research: In 2014, the District Agriculture Development Office (DADO), conducted focused group discussion with about 600 farmers to prepare the Agriculture Development Plan of Jumla district. This was done in collaboration with different organizations like Forest Action, LI-BIRD, World Vision and Italian Foundation. The idea was to find whether the snowfall during the winter season (Dec-Feb) could be collected in Silpolin plastic pond and water be generated after melting.

The study was conducted in two villages, namely,  Mahat and Kartikswami in Jumla district. Three farmers namely Hansha Mahat, Narbir Kami and Amrita Chaulagain were selected to conduct action research on snow harvest plastic pond irrigation. The farmers were selected to see whether this new idea of collecting snow during winter months could be successful or not.  These farmers had a minimum of 25 apple trees with no irrigation source. They provided their time and willingness to share cost in the research. The selected farmers were provided training on the stepwise process of snow harvest collection and the orchard management practices.

The digging of the pond was done during the month of August, just after the completion of the monsoon season. This made the digging easy. Although the idea was to dig a pond of 3x1x1 meter volume size, the final volume of the pond after farmers dug was 3×1.1×1.2m. After digging the pond, the silpolin plastic of 150 GSM was laid inside the pond. The laying of plastic in the pond is a crucial action. The pond was made free from roots, stones or rocks in order to prevent the damage of the plastic. The average cost of the pond came to be around Nepalese rupee 17,900. The detail of the cost items is listed in Table 1.

Table 1: Cost of constructing plastic pond (3×1.1×1.2 m size)

S.NoCost itemsRateTotal amount
1Materials
Silpolin plastic (150 GSM)-1 number1250013500
Digging materials (shovel)-2 set10002000
2Labor cost
Digging pond (3X1.1X1.2 m size) 4 man-days @600/day2400
Total cost17900
Table 1 – Costing in the year 2014-2015 in Nepalese Rupee.

During the study period, the snowfall occurred several times in a span of 3 months (December-February). Each time after the snowfall, it was collected in the plastic pond. The collection of snow was done for 4 times. In the study, the snowballs were rolled over the ground and moved slowly into the pond to avoid damage to plastic sheets.
Each time the pond was filled up with the snowball, it started to melt with rise in temperature. The measurement was done every time after the snowball was added to it. The final measurement of the three ponds was done after the snowballs had completely melt, during the end of April. The melted water was measured.  To reduce the evaporation losses, the pond was covered with mulch material from tree trunks and pine leaves.
All three farmers were trained to select 5 trees for control (no irrigation) and 5 five trees for irrigation. Melted snow was applied at the rate of 5 liters/plant with plant age being 10 years. Each plant was irrigated five times coinciding with the five critical stages of apple production.  The five critical stages at which the snowmelt water was applied were: fertilizer application stage – end of January; bud sprouting period – end of February; flowering time- 2nd week of March; fruit setting stage – end of April and marble size fruit stage -2nd week of May.
The apple trees receiving snowmelt water were mulched with pine leaves to minimize evaporation loss. Some qualitative parameters like fruit size, number of fruits per kilogram weight and Total Soluble Solid (TSS) content was recorded. In order to measure the Brix percentage, a refractometer was used.

Results: The amount of water collected in all plastic ponds of 3 farmers orchards from 4 consecutive collections of snow was 3710, 4110, and 4310 liters respectively. The average water that was harvested from the snowfall was 4044 liters/pond. Since the water collected in the pond was applied at the rate of 5 litres/plant in 5 critical stages, the total water applied for one single tree was 25 litres. Based on this application, the average water harvested (i.e. 4044 litres) in each pond was enough to irrigate, approximately, 120-130 plants in the orchard. Although the amount of water applied to the apple tree was very less compared to the general water requirement of 250 – 400 mm, the scarce snow-melt water was applied near the root zone. The feeder roots of the apple trees lie in the top 1-20 cm of soil profile. Mulching was done to mitigate the evaporation loss. Pine leaves of about 10 cm thickness were applied around the base of the tree. Earlier, research has shown that the trees with mulching have a higher percentage of roots in this topsoil profile, which was anticipated as water applied could be taken by the roots effectively. Mulching helped in maintaining moisture, especially in the water stress region. Although the water requirement of the apple trees might depend upon the variety, soil type, and orchard management practices adopted by the farmers, this innovation has helped in managing water for apple farming.
The farmers using snow collected water and better management practices reported higher yield with good quality harvest compared to non-irrigated ones. Similarly, the number of fruits per kilogram in irrigated apple trees ranged from 6-8 as compared to 9-12 fruits/kg in non-irrigated trees. The grading of fruits was done as A (> 75mm), B (65-74mm) and C (< 64 mm) based on diameter. Greater number of A-grade fruits were observed in irrigated trees than in non-irrigated trees. The Brix percentage of fruits in all irrigated plants ranged from 11-14 as compared to 10-12 in non-irrigated plants.

Upscaling the innovation: The innovative practice in three farmer’s orchards was a key success, revealing that snow-melt water could be preserved in the plastic pond and used during critical stages of apple production.  The use of water at the critical stages resulted in improved fruit size with more TSS percentage, thereby enhancing the quality of the fruit.  As a validation to the innovation, 150 farmers from different villages were selected in the year 2016 and the same process of snow harvest was repeated. In the year 2016, about 130 farmers were able to collect snow in the plastic pond. The success of the innovation was broadcasted from the local and national FM radio station and  television. A Joint Secretary led team from Ministry of Agriculture Development visited the farmer’s orchard. Since the Directorate of Extension under Department of Agriculture has been supporting small irrigation schemes like rainwater harvest, plastic pond irrigation, small and medium canal irrigation (construction and maintenance) in Nepal, the Ministry later re-amended the Plastic Pond Irrigation Directive 2065 (2008) and added provision to support snow-harvest pond irrigation in the directive. The innovation has now been institutionalized in the government program to support the apple farmers in Himalayan districts of Nepal.

Photo & Text Copyright: https://leisaindia.org/snow-harvesting-an-innovative-irrigation-method/

Further Reading: https://www.harvestingrainwater.com/water-harvesting/harvests-of-different-waters/snow-wind-harvesting/

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Hyptis Suaveolens

#HyptisSuaveolens #MesosphaerumSuaveolens #Plant Protector #Insecticide #Pestcide #Fungicide #Antifungal #Bactericide

Hyptis Suaveolens

Hyptis suaveolens (L.) Poit (Lamiaceae), a medicinal plant protects the stomach against several gastric ulcer models. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24184082/

Potential use of Hyptis suaveolens, for the Control of Infestation by the Pink Stalk Borer, Sesamia calamistis on Maize in Southern Benin, West Africa. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3281326/

Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) synthesized with leaf extract of Hyptis suaveolens could be potentially used in combating candidal infections.
Combating fungal infections has garnered greater attention worldwide. The silver nanoparticles synthesised using aqueous extracts of Hyptis suaveolens exhibits anticandidal activity against clinical isolates of Candida albicans : https://chemistry-europe.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/slct.20220305

Further Readings:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyptis_suaveolens
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocimum_gratissimum

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Texas Manual on Rainwater Harvesting

Official Site: https://www.twdb.texas.gov/publications/brochures/conservation/doc/RainwaterHarvestingManual_3rdedition.pdf

Rainwater Harvesting Site: http://www.rwh.in/RainwaterHarvestingManual_3rdedition.pdf

Texas Manual on Rainwater Harvesting, 2nd Edition: http://lubbock.tamu.edu/files/2011/10/RainHarv.pdf

Sitemap: http://www.rwh.in/sitemap.htm

Homepage: http://www.rwh.in/

Harvesting Rainwater for Landscape Use: https://ia802804.us.archive.org/3/items/fa_Harvesting_Rainwater_for_Landscape_Use/Harvesting_Rainwater_for_Landscape_Use.pdf

Rainwater Harvesting Supply from the Sky: https://ia800304.us.archive.org/13/items/fa_Rainwater_Harvesting-Supply_from_the_Sky/Rainwater_Harvesting-Supply_from_the_Sky.pdf

Last updated on 26-12-2022.

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Duckweed Blog

Is life on Mars a duckweed diet away? Not quite, but it could advance the cause of space travel.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-04-07/scientists-probe-duckweed-diet-for-space-travel-to-mars/100972802

Use as human food crop
Duckweed is eaten by humans in some parts of Southeast Asia. It contains more protein than soybeans, so sometimes it is cited as a significant potential food source.
Some initial investigations to what extent duckweed could be introduced in European markets show little consumer objection to the idea. NASA’s Caves of Mars Project identified duckweed as a top candidate for growing food on Mars. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-04-07/scientists-probe-duckweed-diet-for-space-travel-to-mars/100972802
A start-up, microTERRA, based in Mexico has attempted to use duckweed as clean water in privately owned aquaculture farms. The plants use nitrogen and phosphorus produced from fish waste as fertilizer, while simultaneously cleaning the water as it grows. The water can then be reused by the aquaculture farmers, and the duckweed, which has a 35-42% protein content, can be harvested as a source of sustainable protein.

Filtration of contaminants and nutrients
The plants can provide nitrate removal, if cropped, and the duckweeds are important in the process of bioremediation because they grow rapidly, absorbing excess mineral nutrients, particularly nitrogen and phosphates. For these reasons, they are touted as water purifiers of untapped value.
The Swiss Department of Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries, associated with the Swiss Federal Institute for Environmental Science and Technology, asserts that as well as the food and agricultural values, duckweed also may be used for wastewater treatment to capture toxins and for odor control, and that if a mat of duckweed is maintained during harvesting for removal of the toxins captured thereby, it prevents the development of algae and controls the breeding of mosquitoes. The same publication provides an extensive list of references for many duckweed-related topics.
These plants also may play a role in conservation of water because a cover of duckweed will reduce evaporation of water when compared to the rate of a similarly sized water body with a clear surface.
Duckweed also functions as a bioremediator by effectively filtering contaminants such as bacteria, nitrogen, phosphates, and other nutrients from naturally occurring bodies of water, constructed wetlands, and wastewater.

Duckweed in natural environments
One of the more important factors influencing the distribution of wetland plants, and aquatic plants in particular, is nutrient availability. Duckweeds tend to be associated with fertile, even eutrophic conditions. They can be spread by waterfowl and small mammals, transported inadvertently on their feet and bodies, as well as by moving water. In water bodies with constant currents or overflow, the plants are carried down the water channels and do not proliferate greatly. In some locations, a cyclical pattern driven by weather patterns exists in which the plants proliferate greatly during low water-flow periods, then are carried away as rainy periods ensue.
Duckweed is an important high-protein food source for waterfowl. The tiny plants provide cover for fry of many aquatic species. The plants are used as shelter by pond-water species such as bullfrogs and fish such as bluegills. They also provide shade and, although frequently confused with them, can reduce certain light-generated growths of photoautotrophic algae.

Last updated on 21-12-2022.

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Offgrid Living Posts

Rainbarrel Tutorial: How to make a rain barrel

Additional Resources : https://www.bhg.com/gardening/design/projects/how-to-make-rain-barrel/

Easy to assemble rainbarrel using Garden Water Saver products (www.gardenwatersaver.com) Complete rain barrel construction kit: https://gardenwatersaver.com/product/rain-barrel-kit-3×4/

Step 1: Drill three of four holes in the barrel.  One of these is for the bibet to connect your garden house to the barrel and the other fittings will allow you to add more barrels in the future.  One of the barrels must have an overflow fitting near the top of the barrel.  If you plan on using 3/4 inch fittings use a 1 inch hole saw to cut the holes.  If you have an adjustable hole saw make it a little smaller than 1 inch.

Step 2:  Place plumbers goop on a 3/4 inch nipple. Using a 3/4 inch galvanized metal nipple and some locking pliers, thread nipple into the barrel. the hole for the fitting.  Place Plumbers goop or some other adhesive on the thread.

Step 3: Now the real fun part.  Cut the down spout at the proper height.  You should place the rainbarrel on one or two concrete blocks and then determine the proper height.  After cutting the down spout attach the necessary elbows and extensions to have the down spout reach the barrel.  I still am trying to create a non ABS or PVC way to divert the first couple of gallons after each rainfall (this will keep the sediment from clogging up the screen).  Attach a 4 inch by 2 inch ABS plastic converter to the end of the down spout and attach a fine mesh screen over the converter (you can use a paint sprayer filter which you can get at a hardware store). 

Step 4: If you are adding more barrels do this now.  Attach a garden hose Y fitting on the 3/4 inch nipples.  Position the barrels on top of the concrete blocks and cut the right length of garden hose to connect the barrels (with male fittings attached to both ends). 

Step 5: The final product.  You must attach an overflow line on the first barrel (the one on the far right in this picture).  This must be placed near the top of the barrel and it should be attached to some form of hose or tube to discharge any overflow.   Please note that you must remove one of the two bung fittings on the top of the barrel and cover it with a small screen.  I used the paint sprayer filter with a rubber-band to hold it in place.

Further reading & source: http://www.rwh.in/howto.html

Last updated on 23-May-2022.

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Bamboo Drip Irrigation System

Copyright source: https://www.zizira.com/blogs/people-and-process/bamboo-drip-irrigation-meghalayas-native-farmers

As you may already know, the topography in Meghalaya is hilly, with steep slopes and rough landscapes. Hence, using ground channels in this area is unfavorable. So, bamboo drip irrigation is widely preferred.

Usually, water sources are distant from plantation sites and so the main bamboo channel runs several meters, sometimes even a couple of kilometres. Water is thus obtained and managed through a brilliant bamboo system of secondary and tertiary channels to reach each part and corners of the plantation.

Bamboo channels are utilized to tap perennial water from up-slopes, which is cleverly diverted to the lower parts using gravity. An ingenious system that wastes very little water and works to this day.

Channel sections are made of bamboos of different diameters, to control the water flow in such a way that the water reaches the site in the lower reaches, where it is circulated without spillage. The channels are supported by forked branches. 

It is so perfected that about 18-20 litres of water entering the bamboo pipe system per minute gets transported over several hundred metres and finally gets reduced to 20-80 drops per minute at the site of the plant.

One must see it to appreciate the intricacy and the smartness of the system. It is estimated that even up to 20 liters of water flows into the channel every minute. Have you ever heard of this type of irrigation before?  Read the story at Zizira website: https://www.zizira.com/blogs/people-and-process/bamboo-drip-irrigation-meghalayas-native-farmers

About Zizira: https://www.zizira.com/pages/our-story

Additional Reading:

http://www.cpreecenvis.nic.in/Database/BamboodripIrrigation_3767.aspx

https://www.cseindia.org/bamboo-drip-irrigation-2839

http://www.rainwaterharvesting.org/methods/traditional/bamboo.htm

One can buy online best quality herbs and spices that are grown in traditional ways by Meghalaya’s farmers (without pesticide and chemicals fertilizer) and are unadulterated and guaranteed by Zizira from their website https://www.zizira.com/ .

A Report on The Agricultural Potential of Meghalaya https://explorers.zizira.com/meghalaya-potential-of-the-land-ebook/

Traditional Farming Methods practiced by Meghalaya https://www.zizira.com/blogs/people-and-process/bamboo-drip-irrigation-meghalayas-native-farmers

Most Farmers Traditional Farming Methods

Over 80% of the population of Meghalaya depend on agriculture and most of them own small family farms and follow traditional farming methods. A good irrigation system is an imperative for successful farming.

Read on to see how these farmers who follow traditional farming methods have a traditional irrigation system designed by themselves.

A 200 years old Traditional Irrigation System

The topography in Meghalaya is hilly, with steep slopes due to which there are two challenges the farmers of Meghalaya face.

First, the water-retention capacity of the terrain is poor.

Second, bringing water from distant water sources to the fields is a big challenge for the farmers in the rural areas.

Ground channeling is also impractical due to the harsh landscape. Confronted with such adverse conditions for irrigation, the traditional farmers of Meghalaya have come up with an innovative way that works. Since olden times, farmers of Meghalaya who mostly follow traditional farming methods have been utilizing an indigenous, traditional irrigation method of bamboo drip irrigation system to water their crops.

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Soil and Water Conservation Allen County

Conservation Practices: Erosion Control

Critical Area Planting
Establish vegetation in small areas of isolated erosion. The grass, trees, or shrubs provide surface cover to stop raindrop splash and slow water flow.
Cover Crops
Plant crops, including cereal rye, oats and winter wheat, to temporarily protect the ground from wind and water erosion during times when cropland isn’t adequately protected.
Conservation Tillage
Leave last year’s crop residue on the surface before and during planting operations to provide cover for soil. Crop residue shields soil particles from rain and wind until crops produce a protective canopy.
Water and Sediment Control Basins
Build an embankment across a depressional area of concentrated water runoff to act similar to a terrace. It traps sediment and water running off farmland above the structure.
Grassed Waterways
Grade and shape a natural drainageway to form a smooth, bowl shaped channel, and seed to sod-forming grasses. Runoff flows down the grassed drainageway, preventing erosion and the formation of gullies.
A Cover Crop is a non-cash crop planted to keep ground covered. This video explores how Charlie Roberts in Halls, TN is using this practice to protect soil health and increase water infiltration on his cropland.

Major benefits of this practice include:
1. Decreases erosion
2. Improves soil health
3. Decreases soil compaction
4. Reduces evaporation
5. Reduces input cost

For more information, visit https://farmers.gov/conserve/conservationatwork

The Conservation at Work video series was created to increase producer awareness of common conservation practices and was filmed at various locations throughout the country. Because conservation plans are specific to the unique resource needs on each farm and also soil type, weather conditions, etc., these videos were designed to serve as a general guide to the benefits of soil and water conservation and landowners should contact their local USDA office for individual consultation. USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender. #CoverCrops #SoilHealth #Conservation

Copyright source: https://allenswcd.org/erosion-control/