THE AFRICAN FOOD FORESTER
AFRICAN FOOD FORESTS

ECO-HYDROLOGY AS THE FOUNDATION OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

 NATIONAL STATE OF EMERGENCY

In our life-time South Africa will run into an unprecedented food, water and air quality shortage. Around 100 million people will be affected by unprecedented famine. It doesn’t have to be this way.

 

FOOD FOREST ECO-VILLAGE CATCHMENTS

 

THE CORRECT STRATEGY TO ACHIEVE

BASIC NEEDS SECURITY FOR POSTERITY:

 

 

1.                  The water tables of food forest ecosystems, designed to maximize yield / evapo-transpiration, are augmented by runoff from

            the built environment.

 

2.                  Entire populated catchments are laid out in this way so that the area in which soil moisture recharge = potential evaporation rate is maximized.

 

3.                  This process starts on the east coast and proceeds towards the interior – ultimately increasing annual rainfall and rendering it more reliable.

This process cannot be delayed for another day. 

 

KEY HUMAN NEEDS CRISES

OPTIMAL PROVEN SOLUTIONS

FOOD

Within a few decades it will be necessary to put the other half of the world's arable land to the plough to feed the world population. Because these soils are tropical this will destroy them in 3 years. Half the world's population will then be subjected to unprecedented famine. Commercial agriculture supplying metropolitan industrial agglomerates is in a process of reducing Southern Africa to a desert.

However, the life work of pioneers like Fukuoka, Jeavons and  Seymour have proved that it is possible to produce 500 times more food sustainably per area per time through domestic organic micro-farming than commercial agriculture can - the implications of this reality are as critical to South Africa as they are to the rest of the world. However, discussions with department of agriculture personnel reveal total blindness to the need to invest in the development of this essential solution to a problem of far reaching implications.

WATER

Falkenmark's all inclusive threshold of water sustainability of 1000 cubic meters per capita per annum (Population Bulletin 47, Washington, DC, USA), when compared with maximal estimations of sustainable runoff and groundwater extraction rates in South Africa shows that if these were to be fully developed they would only just cover the needs of the present population. Due to population growth these needs will double in the next few decades i.e. dams and boreholes will in no way be able to deliver the water required to grow food, provide jobs or domestic water for South Africa's people within our lifetime.

However, the ' Village Homes' development, Davis, California grows all its own food, provides all its own domestic water and covers all its own energy and waste management needs internally with zero negative environmental impact - by harvesting rainwater off the roofs- in a semi-arid environment a food-forest ecosystem has been created. 

However, while the Water Research Commission has considered everything from towing icebergs from the South Pole to pipelining water from The Congo; it has completely overlooked the implications of the fact that the mean annual rainfall is ten times greater than the mean annual runoff.

AIR

Research conducted by the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change strongly indicates that unless greenhouse gas emissions are drastically cut within the next 2 decades that a runaway greenhouse effect can be expected to follow. That means that we are all going to cook.

The Global Eco-Village network has proved that it is possible to meet all energy and production needs without exacerbating the greenhouse effect through holistic settlement design that minimizes the need for energy consumption in the first place.