Provide Vegetable Gardens for Families in Brazil

by SALVEASERRA. Grupo Prot. Amb. Serra da Concordia
Nov 29, 2012

Project update November 2012.

Dear donors.

I am sorry to be late with this update report, but I became ill with a very serious infection and had to stay out of business for almost one month. I am well now but this fact retarded our actions and delaying things I wanted to show to you in this report.

Project "Provide Vegetable Gardens for Families in Brazil" continues to think that the Permaculture concepts, with its procedures and techniques, are those that can be better employed in our work with the communities here in Valença.

According to Bill Mollison, co-founder of the world-wide Permaculture movement, this science works to ecological design systems for sustainability in all aspects of our lives. Permaculture teaches us how build natural homes, grow our own food, restore diminished landscapes and ecosystems, catch rainwater, build communities, take care of waste and much more.  

The philosophy within Permaculture is one of working with rather with than against nature, and of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than premature and thoughtless action.

As I said in the last report, we decided to attend a 7 days PDC, Permaculture Design Course, the basic introduction course on the subject, to live the experience and to learn more about the subject. The Permaculture Design Course was developed by Bill Mollison to teach principles and foundations of sustainable design.

All PDC courses offered throughout the world must follow the same format to assure that the integrity of certification process is upheld. A PDC course is something like this: 

We travelled to a place called São Tomé das Letras, in Minas Gerais State, 250 kilometers from Valença, to spend the next 7 days in PDC, Permaculture Design Course.

Our group was composed of Katya and me from SALVEASERRA and two guests, Julio, a master mason from Cambota Community that was very much interested in the ideas of Bioconstruction and Permaculture and Lucas from another community called Passagem, an intelligent and keen youngman that works with Julio.

Please watch here a slideshow of our PDC.

It was a fantastic journey that brought to all of us the certainty and assurance that we are going to transform the Project "Provide Vegetable Gardens for Families in Brazil" into something bigger and with a wider view, considering many different subjects, where the vegetable gardens and tree nurseries will be one item among many others as was seen in this PDC, Permaculture Design Course. 

Coming back from the PDC course, we decided to start practicing some of the permaculture techniques we learned and as we are building a new Visitors Center at the Concordia Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary, an Evapotranspiration bed sewage system, designed for disposal of black water, the domestic wasteD water originating from the toilets in being built.

This system is unique in its ability to dispose of wasted water into the atmosphere through evaporation and transpiration by plants, without necessarily discharging it to the surface water or groundwater reservoir.

In an evapotranspiration system the main components are a septic tank called an ET bed, wasted water distribution piping, a bed liners, and fill material, monitoring wells, overflow protection and a surface cover. Large leaves vegetation has to be planted on the surface of the bed to enhance the transpiration process.

In a sealed tank the black water gets in trough a tunnel made of different materials, old tires, cement pipes, etc. The tank is filled from the bottom with stones, construction debris, bricks, then a layer of small crushed stone, and one of sand, and one of fertile soil.   

The black water effluent flows into the lower portion of a sealed ET bed. Capillary action in the fine sand causes the wasted water to rise to the surface and escape through evaporation as water vapor. In addition, vegetation transports the wasted water from the root zone to the leaves, where it is transpired as a clean condensate. This design allows for complete wasted water evaporation and transpiration with no discharge to nearby soil.

Please see attached pictures of the construction of our system.

We planned to show you also our first bio-constructions in superadobe ( be because of my illness and other delays this is will not be possible.

We believe that with Permaculture we will be in a much better situation to assist people to become more self reliant through the design and development of productive and sustainable communities and its gardens and farms.

For instance, this method of onsite wasted water treatment and disposal offers an alternative to conventional soil absorption systems for sites where protection of the surface water and groundwater is essential, and can be widely used in many low income communities everywhere.

I hope you enjoy our recent work, pictures and presentations and please accept my sincere thanks for your help and support.

Roberto Lamego 


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Organization Information

SALVEASERRA. Grupo Prot. Amb. Serra da Concordia

Location: Valenca, Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
Project Leader:
Roberto Lamego
Technical director
Valença, Rio de Janeiro Brazil

Funded Project!

Thanks to 62 donors like you, a total of $3,171 was raised for this project on GlobalGiving. Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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