Last month saw small progresses on many fronts at pointReturn. The pond environs were cleaned up, a trench to trap rainwater was dug, vetiver was planted along the trench’s edge, a kitchen was planned and begun and about 300 saplings were set in place. Of the plants, a good number were Pongamia Pinnata, India’s forgotten biodiesel tree. The last piece of action was particularly comforting, for in the last month too, fell the week which brought clinching evidence that this planet’s petroleum reserves may have peaked. The Peak Oil year may have arrived about 7 years ahead of the dreaded date.
A debate has been raging about biofuels. Can they replace current petrofuel networks that serve transportation systems? I will argue in a moment that it is the wrong question to ask and the wrong goal to pursue. But before that a quick round up of other tasks got done at pointReturn.
First, the embankment on the southern side of the main pond was recognised as redundant and therefore removed. The land slopes away to the north-east in the locality of the pond. Rainwater surges are restrained by ample embankments on the pond’s east and north. Once the southern embankment was removed, the large area by the pond’s side suggested itself as suitable for growing crops. This has now been partially levelled.
A 500′ site-wide trench was dug to intercept runoff from the west. The trench is 2′ wide and 4′ deep and is connected to the spillway of the main pond. It begins at the spillway in the north and runs all the way to the south-western fence of the property. This was the missing last piece of an integrated runoff control system; it covers 3.5 acres and is located within grids G1 and G2 of the site map. Runoff management success in these acres is the key to success in the rest of the site. Let me summarise it briefly.