Toby is going to be here in a few days to answer questions and we will be giving away four books again. More details on that on Monday (or tuesday?)
For now, I'm trying to get this place ship shape. One thing is that I want to impress Toby by having a lot of real people with real names. This is a policy we have been talking about using here at permies.com for years. And it has been the policy at my bigger forums for ten years now - and it has been wonderful.
So please take a moment to change your display name to either your real name or a name that sounds like a real name.
For more information and questions about this policy, please visit this thread.
Five years ago I started gardening. Each year, I got more and more serious about it. A year ago, I asked for Gaia's Garden as a birthday gift and my life has not been the same since. I've read a lot of philosophy in my young life and none of it had the same effect on me. All Toby's hard work is evident in a highly polished, well conceived book that is accessible to beginners, but deep enough to let you know permaculture is a lifetime study. Since reading it, I've continued studying nonstop and start my PDC next week...my first serious coursework in over a decade.
I don't have a question for Toby so much as a heartfelt "THANK YOU."
Once again we welcome back Toby Hemenway, author of Gaia's Garden. From this moment through friday, any posts in this forum could be selected to win one of the four copies Toby is giving away. Full details are here.
Thank you Paul and Toby, My family and I are looking at the possibility of purchasing a piece of strip-mined land in the Upper Cumberlands of Central/East TN. This land was strip-mined may years ago, but is now reclaimed grasslands, with many creeks, ponds and young trees of various species trying there best to reclaim from the damage already done. Toby, What are you thoughts on using such property with permaculture? My family and I wish to create a forest garden, rotational graze our small livestock holding through deep soil and great grass and live as self sufficient as possible. Much destruction has come to these lands and I sometimes wonder, would it be best to look elsewhere. Or through Permaculture, perhaps heal these lands? These are just some thoughts. Enjoying The Journey...Hugh
Hugh Holland wrote:Thank you Paul and Toby, My family and I are looking at the possibility of purchasing a piece of strip-mined land in the Upper Cumberlands of Central/East TN. This land was strip-mined may years ago, but is now reclaimed grasslands, with many creeks, ponds and young trees of various species trying there best to reclaim from the damage already done. Toby, What are you thoughts on using such property with permaculture? My family and I wish to create a forest garden, rotational graze our small livestock holding through deep soil and great grass and live as self sufficient as possible. Much destruction has come to these lands and I sometimes wonder, would it be best to look elsewhere. Or through Permaculture, perhaps heal these lands? These are just some thoughts. Enjoying The Journey...Hugh
Could you please start a new thread on this topic?
Hi, Hugh (I note Paul's comment that posts here don't count in the book giveaway, but I'm going to reply anyway.)
I'm going to stick my neck out here even though I know almost nothing about the land you're talking about. But I'd be pretty sure you could rehabilitate it. The thing is, after rehab will it be a great piece of ground? Or do you think there will always be a struggle? That's one question to answer. Another thing to think about is, restoring an abused piece of land is a big project, and it is usually a different project from farming or otherwise making a living from that land. The restoration usually (not always) happens first and can be a lot of work with little to show for it for some years. If restoration is your goal--and there's plenty of land that could use restoration--then go do that. But if your goal really is to have a productive piece of ground, and you won't really be happy until you've reached that, then it may be wiser to look for a richer place. In general, if having a food forest or grazing or some other type of (hopefully mixed) production is your real goal, then get the best piece of land--the best soil, the best water, the best community--you can afford.
Thanks Toby for being here. I'm learning a little more each day about permaculture. Discovered today that the volunteer weed growing on my lot that I thought was clover is actually henbit. So now I have free salad!
Joined: Aug 03, 2011
Location: LAKE HURON SOUTHERN SHORE
Welcome To you Toby. I just Love all you Guys (and gals) I just downloaded the Amazon kindle version of your book for my smart phone and read it every where. I can hardly wait till spring to try out some of the stuff in it. This is my favorite website and group ever. I just wish their were more Canadians (ontario) involved so I could talk with people in the same area. but hey you guys are my inspiration!
Wilde on Turtle Island
Walk Gently on our Mother Earth
eric firpo wrote:Hi Paul, so will Toby answer questions on any thread that catches his fancy, or just the Toby thread...
My impression is that Toby will focus only on those threads that sport topics that are of interest to him. Further, I think if people have read his book, and somebody else answers a question with "In Toby's book it says ....." then that makes for an EXCELLENT answer (thus, more likely to win a book) and gives Toby the ability to say "what he/she said" therefore freeing up more Toby time to answer the tougher and more interesting questions!
And I will attempt to dissuade him from answering permaculture questions in this thread.
And if somebody posts a thread with a subject line of "TOBY! LOOKY HERE! THIS IS FOR YOU TOBY!" then I will edit the subject line to reflect the subject of the question.
1) Let's suppose that between this week and the week after the promotion, toby sells an extra 500 books. That would mean that other authors and DVD publishers and the like will also want to do this and we can give stuff away weekly.
2) Let's suppose that because of this event, 20,000 people hear about the word "permaculture" that have never heard of it before. Then I think the world is a better place, and all of the permaculture instructors we all know will have fuller classes and will be able to collectively make the word a better place.
3) Please convey the information about this event far and wide. Yes, other people posting here will lower your odds of getting a free book, but if the world starts to move toward being a more permaculture world, then isn't that even better? Plus, doesn't it improve the odds that we will do this with lots and lots more cool stuff?
Joined: May 06, 2008
I will be scanning the permaculture threads regularly for posts to reply to; I'll get to what I can, but if I don't know the answer or the thread is way outside my interests, that's how it goes. To get an idea of what I'm thinking about these days (and thus am likely to be intrigued by, go to my website (in sig). As per Paul, I won't answer topics posted here, unless it's a question to me to clarify what my presence here is about or some other on-this-topic post). I'm looking forward to the conversations!
Joined: Jan 10, 2012
Location: Valley of the Sun
I was registered for your class in Phoenix this month, but because we didn't get enough people registered, I'll look forward to your future visits.
Because I live here now, I'm particularly interested in "Regreening the Desert" (inSpired by geoff lawton's 5min video) with the several decades of mid-Willamette Valley traditional & Raised-Bed experience I have. (I'm also familiar with the Bend area, similar to Phoenix, but not as hot/cold) When I first moved here in April 2011, most of that experience looked kinda useless, but learning about the local topographies and patterns, and evening classes with the Valley Permaculture Alliance (www.ValleyPermacultureAlliance.org for any interested Valley of the Sun neighbors) the transition from the "Valley of the Willamette" to the "Valley of the Sun" looks to be about using local hardy plants and moisture retention in the soil, as well as shading "tender greens" in the summer months. Any other broad-brush advice or even specific books/video/reference you might think of? (I did get "Gaia's Garden-2" in December)
I'm currently attempting to work with our HOA Managers (an external Property Management Company) to allow several Gardens to replace all the lawn grass currently planted (or better stated, replanted 2 times per year). So far, they are waaay less-than interested, because it means doing something different, and as we all know, different always means more expensive, doesn't it? :
I may no longer live there, but I am forever an Oregonian and Ecotopian!
~ Neil ~
I AM a Warrior in whom
the ways of the Olde
enhance the ways of the New
Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Location: North Central Michigan
I'm not posting to get a book, just to tell you again how thankful I am for your book and your knowledge and willingness to share it. I've recommended your books often on forums, facebook, and in person and lent mine out ..in my opinion it is probably the best book I've ever read on any garden type subject, and I've read a LOT of books (have a huge library too).
I am wearing out my copy, but I do that.
So this is just a HUGE THANK YOU, and bless you for sharing...hoping there are more new books on the way Please.. If you are thinking of writing a new book,more in depth on food forest or edible forest type gardening would hit the spot with me..waiting to read another Hemenway book
Bloom where you are planted.
Joined: Nov 22, 2011
Location: Yamhill, Oregon
Greetings and WELCOME, Toby! Just a note to let you know how much help your book has been to us. We have hi-lighted so much of it and have post it notes sticking out throughout. We are seniors and have begun to use much of your techniques on our 1 acre homestead. My 70 year old husband no longer uses the sprayer for unwelcome plants and he doesn't burn the burn pile anymore but uses the yard trimmings and debris for our growing projects. He's been the biggest sprayer anyone could be, just to let you know how much he's changed his thinking. He's still too timid to share the permaculture word but I'm the blabbermouth around our circle so the word is being passed. We're already passing along words like 'hugelkultur' and 'guilds' to our 4 and 5 years old grandkids and are coaching their parents on the possibilities for their 27 acres. I intend to pass our copy of your book to the 'kids' - purposely wanting the hi-lighting and sticky notes to point to what they can be doing. We're so thrilled. Thank you again. You and Paul have changed our lives! Pam in wine (and olive) country Oregon
“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.” Henry David Thoreau
Joined: Dec 16, 2011
Location: Montreal, Canada
I really liked your article about "Seeing the garden in the jungle" that opened my mind about Amerindian agriculture and the naive way we often look at "Nature" and the possibilities of using Food Forests extensively to get out of the destructive cycle humans are stuck into.
Just to make sure everything was working okay, i ran the program that picks the winners. It shows ten random posts and the idea is that I pick the best four out of those ten. Two of the posts used emails that were not on the daily-ish email, so they would be excluded. So let this be a reminder to get signed up for the daily-ish email!
Joined: Jan 07, 2012
Location: North Carolina
Do you hold Lovelock's Gaia concept, and the theories of other advocates of this view of our Earth's geo-electro-bio systems,
as still accurate and useful (OK, scientifically correct, product of peer reviewed double blind study ?
I do and have wholeheartedly embraced the Gaia Concept. It was very perceptive of you to include Gaia in the title your famous book;
it opens many doors for inquiry as does permaculture itself. As Mollison said: "The only limit to possibilities for a permaculture design is the imagination of the designer".
Joined: Jan 10, 2012
Location: Portland, Oregon Maritime, temperate, zone 7-8.
Paul, Thank you immensely for setting this up with Toby answering questions. I am a tech newbie and a newbie on this forum and am still a little confused about how this works. My questions for Toby center around the question of: What are good ways to protect our plants against radiation from Fukushima (which I hope you are aware is much worse than they are telling us) or other possible nuclear radiation? How do we best protect the plants? How do we best keep the plants from absorbing radiation? Can what falls on the plants be washed off? Is there a way to soak the harvested plants in substances to draw out the radiation or neutralize it without degrading the nutrition value? Can we mitigate the radiation by growing mushrooms, or plants that concentrate it? How deep does the radiation go in the soil? How much glacial rock dust should we add to the soil? Boron protects people from radiation, but I have been told that it is bad for soil in more than trace amounts; is it indeed bad for soil in more than small amounts? Can anyone suggest resources online or in books and journals? Are there effective ways to filter the radiation out of the irrigation water or out of the collected rainwater? I am interested in any information that people have. I have heard that biodynamic farms appear not to have radiation in them. Is that true? I am confused whether to qualify to win a book, I need to put this in another thread or start another thread. I searched for an existing thread on the subject of radiation pollution, and found none, but I think that just means that I did not find it, not that there is no such thread. So I started a thread on the subject. Apologies for any redundancy. I may not get it right as to where to put the question, but please, please, please, Paul, for the sake of many people who want to know, ask him the question for me if I put this in the wrong place, and post his answer. I want to know what he has to say. If I put the question in the wrong place and lose my chance to win the book, that is sad, but mostly I want to know what he thinks will protect our plants against radiation. Thank you immeasurably. Thank you Toby. I love your book. I have read it countless times and have no plans to stop. Thanks, Paul, I love these forums. I have learned answers to questions I did not know I had. Thanks to all who post. No nukes. Health to all. Pamela Melcher
Happiness, Health, Peace and Abundance for All.
I am super stoked that you are here on the forums and working with Paul. I have explored your website in much greater depth and found the articles and videos and interviews so helpful. Listening to the podcast by Paul has really kept me charged and inspired to continue advancing my permaculture studies and activism, including looking into your website more often. I'm not really here to win any prizes because I already have a copy of your book, but I would love if you could help me explore a topic that I've been trying to get feedback and information about over the last year or so.
I posted my question/challenge on several different groups on LinkedIn and have received very polarized reactions (maybe you've seen some of these discussions already?). I also started a thread here on the forums to explore this topic amongst the "permies.com" crowd. Here is the link to my question on the permaculture forums. I think I spelled it all out pretty clearly, but if it isn't clear I'm definitely interested in achieving mutual understanding.
My question is a bit complex and involves multiple areas of controversy:
1. "Invasive" plants
2. Systemic herbicide application for "invasives" (particularly the degree of toxicity to ecology and soils such practice poses?)
I'm not sure of Paul's take on Biochar, but it seems (from listening in to podcasts) that he is not in favor or at least suspicious of this technology.
From what little I've seen biochar looks to be very promising, but I have to admit that my personal experience and data exposure is very limited.
I imagine that biochar in combination with coppice or highly renewable perennials could be a major solution for building soils and recycling biomass while at the same time creating fuels and heat.
I hope this question isn't too complex, but I'd really love some feedback and to hear what you think about this line of thought.
I'm all ears and have very deep respect for whatever answers or input you may be able to add to this discussion.