“If only you could see the picture of abundance, the potential of paradise that I see.” These are the words spoken by the renowned permaculturist and regenerative land designer, Sepp Holzer, when he first visited the community of Tamera in southern Portugal in 2007.
There was no question to Sepp that this dry, arid farmland could be collaborated with to have enough water, food, and energy to support a community of 300 people.
By working with the vision of this potential paradise, the natural patterns of water, and some earth moving equipment to create water-retaining dams and ditches, Tamera now offers a highly diverse ecosystem that not only allows the people who live and visit here to thrive, but also support an ever-increasing amount of biodiversity. Just 11 years after Sepp’s first visit, a system of 24 ponds have helped create a lush environment boasting many fruit trees, vegetable gardens, and swimming havens that aid against the scorching summers typical of this region.
Another key role of the cooporative approach to water management that has been integrated at Tamera is the benefit of increased resilience against fire. While a fire could still devastate the structures and immediate landscape, the recharged ground water and healthy trees would prove much stronger in recovering than areas where water has not had the chance to soak into the land through ponds and swales, recharging the earth body.
This summer, countries like Norway and England who typically aren’t impacted by forest fires are seeing a new threat to their communities. At the same time, Greece and California are burning out of control. The wisdom which Tamera has adopted of working with water and the land could be a great lesson to places all around the world.
For more information check out Tamera’s web site: https://www.tamera.org/