Well, I quit posting pictures last year because the only thing that sprouted was corn, and after a series of hard rains every last plant got trampled and literally fell over and died. The post mortem revealed that the corn's roots had just been dangling around in the wood-chip-like "topsoil" and literally had nothing to hold onto. Nor had the worms had time to break down the organic matter and decompact the soil underneath since the decision to combine the piles had been last minute. In retrospect it's astounding that the corn was able to sprout and grow as much as it did under those conditions, although comparing them to healthy corn seedlings you can see that mine were all runts.
This year I started earlier and did some more research and observation. I was able to cover parts of the piles more completely, and I cut down the working part of the piles to the sections which got the most consistent sun last year. This year my seed poker tells me that I have 6 full inches of nice brown decompacted soil under and around the piles (where leaves were built up in the fall) although I've learned that heavy clay kind of turns into muck when it's high in organic matter. Something to fix some other time, anyway, but I did add a cup of dolomitic lime to each section to fix the pH and provide needed minerals. I also learned that although extensions will tell you to plant your corn 2" deep, most kinds of corn do best when planted 4" deep, and Pueblo corns (from the southwest US) can be planted 8-12" deep. Corn in particular requires 50F minimum soil temps in order to do well, which I found out occurs down here around the end of March or the beginning of April, nearly a full month before everywhere else (conditions depending). Squash, melons, tomatoes, peppers and a few other things require 60F minimum temps and it still isn't quite that warm yet. Learning to watch the weather and soil temps in my area has really taken the guesswork out of planting.
Hi Lee, what a great project! Something I'd suggest, assuming the top of your map is North...
In my climate, it's nearly always best to run plantings North-South rather than East-West for even sun-distribution.
Lee Real wrote:Can someone tell me if this is comfrey?
While the leaves are narrower than I'm used to, it has the vein structure and hairyness of comfrey.
It looks like it's a perennial cultivar that's just emerged in the spring?
People may be able to give you more specific ideas if you're keen to put up more information about your location/climate
For me it's about climate/geography: a country is good to know,
but I'm not fussed about where people live other than that-
I probably wouldn't know where it was if I was given a name anyway!
And zones don't mean much to me as we don't use them here
eric johnson wrote:cool thread! i'd like to be the third voice for minecraft. i ain't much of a gamer or know much about making such things, but i have two kids who live there. one of them showed me around and how you can modify and set up a server with certain parameters. probably wouldn't be very "true to life" but principles could be conveyed.
seems to me the wheel is almost invented and there's lots of community already there playing (easily infected brains?) i'd love to be able to say to my kids (which i can't seem to get more interested in what i'm doing in the backyard than what's on their screens), "hey, check out this minecraft server!"
what say ye?
I teach Minecraft camps to students and the easiest thing that could be done quickly is to create a seed that gives players some challenges that are in line with Permaculture.
Also, Minecraft is really good about taking suggestions. So we could send them ideas like changing how rain works (make it pool up rather than just disappearing once it hits the ground). Or ask them to add bees.
Is anyone aware of any permaculture seeds in Minecraft?
Rat 'kill traps', where the...death part...is inside a narrow tube, are a very effective control.
I'd try it outside the pen first.
I can't envision a muscovy duckling squeezing into the tube-
they are very narrow, and in my experience ducklings aren't particularly adventurous.
Same with adult ducks, but maybe I've only met timid ones...
If it was inside the pen, I wouldn't risk having the trap at ground-level.
I'd jprobably put it on a piece of wood, say 4inches plus off the ground.
A rat would easily climb up.
Leila Rich wrote: So I guess my main whine is that some new gardeners hear/read about the awesomness of raised beds everywhere, but don't realise it's a way of gardening that works very well in some climates, but not where I am. I made the same mistake when I was a new gardener, and now my gardens are practically below soil-level. Sometimes it feels like there should be a disclaimer whenever raised beds are mentioned!
Raised beds = DEATH in the hot drylands and a MASSIVE waste of water. And yet people continue to implement them here along with herb spirals. Spiral-of-death is more like it!
Sam Boisseau wrote:I personally wouldn't add salt to my soil. However I do add sea weed and haven't really been worried about the salt content.
Cho Global Natural Farming recommends seawater diluted 30 times, applied 20-30 days before fruit harvest. Supposedly makes fruits sweeter. I did it sparingly a couple times and hell didn't break loose.
I read the article. Page 69, They mention using it mostly to balance the amount of fat/virus on livestock.
Most farmers even conventional ones feed salt to their animal.
He also mentions using up to 2lbs of salt per acre, but as a traditional way to grow things like rice.
These plants get submerged and so all the soluble salt (sodium chloride) probably gets was washed away.
Some area do get 10+inches per month of rain in the rainy season and that is probably a very effect solutions for them.
I am not too sure that it would work out so good for most of us using permies.com
Most houses now have plastic water pipes, do they contain BPA or other nasties? I've come up blank with a suitable alternative. Galvanised steel is worse and stainless is way to expensive. It may the price you have to pay though.
Patrick Mann wrote:Watch out though, these are invasive in some parts of the country. Hard to get rid of once established.
Thanks, Patrick. Kinda of counting on it. I love the word "invasive." Doesn't look like the rabbits will/should eat them, will see what the hens think about them. There are two places around the house that are perfect for these. Even if all I get is biomass, thats cool. I just like looking at them.
Equisetum is one of my favorite plants to look at as well...nothing like reminiscing about the carboniferous period and missing our old friends the trilobites. Still, I'd strongly advise that you enjoy looking at them where they are and not bring them to your property. They can be a serious problem. I love weeds and make my living as an herbalist from "pernicious pest" plants I intentionally have growing all over on my place (over 90 species and counting!). Equisetum is not one that I would ever bring home...word to the wise. Because of their primitive biology, they don't respond to the normal control measures you'll try to employ to manage them.
On another note, if you're using these for medicinal purposes don't gather them on a ditch bank or anywhere else near an agricultural field. They are professional nitrate accumulators and can be toxic. In fact, I don't recommend harvesting Equisetum anywhere that it's looking really happy in a thick and vigorous stand...too many nitrates in that dirt.
I might have stumbled upon a technique to propagate them in a nice way. Yesteryear I got a few tubers, I put them in a 40cm diameter pot and left it alone until today. The plants never got very high(about 1m). Today I turned the pot over and to my surprise I found a huge amount of marble-size tubers that had already sprouted but would probably never reach the surface.
Chucked them in my old square meter garden because I don't want them to take over my small garden:
I wonder why all the tubes grow many and little and so deep. Perhaps because the sun was shining on the side of the pot and the plants thought they where close to the surface over there?
Judith Browning wrote: She says you need to use whey in all fruit ferments for consistent success
I haven't read Nourishing Traditons; I'd always got the idea that whey was a 'jumpstarter' which guarantees the good bacteria win, not a requirement.
Maybe that's it then, as my non-fruit ferments are fine.
Well, the fermented tomato sauce is downright explosive, but it's not 'off'.
Maybe it's that whey/fruit thing again...
Biodynamics as I have experienced is akin to homeopathy for the earth. I still don't truly understand homeopathy but it is effective as medicine for myself and especially for my young children, in certain instances. Biodynamic preparations uses a similar principal. It does appeal most to those who have a spiritual sensibility, and affinity with subtle energies and substances.
That's a good news thread in and of itself - very cool! Though with 5 pages so far (and for those with low bandwidth trying to load oh so many pics), here's the link to Ken's loquats post. That does look like a bountiful load, Ken!
I had my eyes set on Ossabaw pigs but they have very feral tendencies so purhapse a Ossabaw /Kune Kune hybrid might produce the docile characteristics as well as maintain the desirable meat characteristics I am seeking.
Adam Klaus wrote:
A Biodynamic scholar like E. Pfeiffer certainly negates this grouchy quote from Chadwick.
You are right here, if you take Chadwick literally. But Chadwick doesn't take Chadwick seriously! He is much more in line with a sort of harsh Zen iconoclasm. He used BD500 (sometimes) but few of the other preparations. He was a cantankerous man who spoke in contradictions and abhorred jargon -- even (and perhaps especially) jargon with which he agreed.
Adam Klaus wrote:Anybody seeking to discredit Biodynamics needs to read Soil Fertility by E. Pfeiffer. The man was a scientist and a farmer.
Hello all first off thank you all so much I'm overwhelmed by your kindness. You all backed up pretty much my exact thoughts. JOHN that was perfectly put I agree with everything you said we are one in the same. My father too worked and still works 60+ hours a week hes been an alcoholic for 20+ years because of it. He lost his wife (my mother) because he chose working over us. I can't think of 1 memory with him and guess what tw irony of it is? He is still in about the same place as 20 years ago when he started with his company. No happier no richer and now no family. I would never want that with my daughter. I'm glad to spend every second with her. I also agree with the statement on it's harder off grid with kids because you don't get alone time. But it's just my wife daughter and I and it has been like that so we haven't had a day apart since she was born and she's 2 now so that part is no issue because it's what we do now she co sleeps with us and she's always on the farm with us so no concerns their we also have never had a t.v or any of that so she isn't going to miss anything. It's just such a confusion now a day. I know well or atleast I thought I knew what's right and that's spending time with your family working together for your own needs and just simply living. Not slaving away 60 hours to send your kids to daycare to never see them at all but that's how society wants people to think is the "right" way to raise your kids to be good little consumers. Myself personally feel something deep in my soul that I can't live in today's society I feel it's wrong in every way not because I'm
Lazy and don't want to work. Self sustaining off grid farms in my opinion is the wisest thing to do. If everyone did this then their wouldn't be any homeless any without food and everyone could live happy and one with nature. But then again you have your family and pressure all around telling you that's just hippy stuff you need to grow up. After reading all this it eased my worries although I was very confident my daughter would be fine considering we work on an organic farm now and she hates being indoors so she could care less about the materialistic things she would rather play on the garden or with the animals. Although the place I mentioned in the topic fell through unfortunately, we are still making the move off grid by the summer and all of this helps tremendously. Ideally would like to find a place with other families that do the same I would love my daughter growing around like minded children and id like to be around like minded individuals. But that's just hopes and dreams. I appreciate everyone that responded! Thank you ! Namaste
Jamie Jackson wrote:About 5 years ago I donated a small amount to kiva.org, the small loan organization and keep re-loaning the same money. You pick someone trying to upgrade/ start their business. SO many farmers wanted money for seed and pesticide and/or herbicides. I contacted Kiva and asked them why can't they form coops or teaching groups and teach people permaculture or at least organic farming. They said I'm welcome to do that. We've given up everything we have to build a self-sufficient homestead and teach along the way, but I"m teaching locals. We might be in the "have" group, but just barely When we get our house finished and more experience under our belts, we'll teach more and more.
Jamie congrats on being able to make the commitment to fully realize permaculture. With that said the following is more directed at people who do not base their livelihoods on permaculture based agriculture or instruction, but still aspire to follow permaculture ethics: The ethical concept of reinvesting surplus (of "Haves") in people should be focused on the people who we can help the most. Personally my interpretation of this is to both look outward at the people who depend on learning permaculture concepts for survival in the short-term and to look into own communities for the people who lack food security and access to the means to get nutritious food. These people might not be starving, but they will on average have lower lifespans and face more health problems (lower quality of life). This especially applicable to the urban poor in "affluent countries", but also in rural and suburban areas and "developing countries".
By looking to help people in nearby communities and localities we are able to better educate and provide assistance in ways that work for our areas 1) in a biological sense (the actual plants, ecosystems, and relevant techniques in the local climate) 2) in a culturally relevant sense (how to explain it, maintain it, and propagate it in meaningful ways) and 3) in a communal sense (by providing introduction to a community and providing support). My personal goal for doing this is providing instruction focused on the recipient's needs through permaculture techniques (regardless of whether they aspire to follow or know permaculture ethics per se) and by providing flexible access to the material means of implementation: tools, cuttings, seeds, and human resources.
I think this is especially relevant in areas that often self-segregate. (along lines such as: wealth, class, religion, age, politics, profession, ethnicity, race, language, and various combinations) We (people in largely self-segregated communities) create parallel networks of routine interaction when we have much in common and live in the same areas. I grew up in Richmond, Virginia and experienced a feeling of dread upon realizing I drove by the houses of thousands of residents regularly and I knew nothing about them besides where their hypothetical children might go to school. This sense of dread was not a reflexive threatened fear, but a deep discomfort due to the realization that I lived in an area where many had reduced hundreds of potential personal interactions to outright avoidance, impersonal economic transactions, gross generalizations, and politics. Doing that gives many the self-assurance to believe that things are all good here (with the exception of sensationalized crime) and ignore systemic problems except in certain contexts (often the welfare state or charity, depending on political flavor). I would add that creating and supporting hugely (perhaps radically) accessible spaces and events where these parallel networks of people can interact is highly important. Certainly some people need to travel to create change, but (in my opinion) too many think it is the only way to create meaningful change.
- Rant Complete- - Ben
I very much want people to openly advertise their site and their stuff when it is relevant to permies. But it has to be done within our comfort zone. Currently we delete a LOT of spam. As a result, the whole staff is pretty much on auto-pilot when you see a short sentence and a link to delete it without really reading it.
I like to think that if somebody has a blog and they post the way adrien suggested in the first post, then I like the idea that we find ways to send lots of traffic to your site. And in the case of the "bad post" then we will probably delete that and no traffic will go to your site.
Further, some people that wish to bring attention to their site and/or product have come to the conclusion that this is fucked up and I am the king of dicks. To respond to that, I have two important points:
1) If you think this, then why do you spend even one more second on my site? Do you find pleasure in being miserable? Go find a community that fits your idea of awesome.
2) I take great pride in being the king of dicks based on your standards. Naturally, by my standards, and the standards of a few others, I am fucking awesome. And this site is dedicated to those people.
Gilbert, it can be done but it all depends on management methods. This is the reason for so many different responses. If you have a traditional garden bed and throw out clover with say lettuce seed it will choke out the lettuce because it grows faster and taller than the lettuce. However if you grow tomatoes or corn and wait until the plant is larger than the maximal height of the clover and then broadcast clover the tomato, corn, what have you, will probably thrive. To replant in this situation you would have to weaken the clover either by mowing, chop and drop, or animals. Animals are my favorite option. You can also create a natural system in which lettuce, corn, tomatoes, and clover grow together by periodically allowing animals to graze thus preventing the dominance of any one species and increasing diversity in the system. But this is something that needs to be built slowly and over time. The best option always seems to be, experiment.
Judith, your husband has many admirers here, and I hope he knows it
I have an offtopic, random, and possibly very silly question.
My vision's a bit dodgy and I can't for the life of me see how/where your wodge of woodchips is 'in space'
Am I looking from the side? Underneath? See what I mean about random questions?!
I tell him, Leila...by the end of the day, though, he's not up for talking 'pitchforks' much
I took the picture standing kind of from the side...so from above and slightly to the side he is about to move the pile so I wanted to get a picture before they go out....don't think I have a sculpture in me...although at one time I would have given it a go!
Mark Chadwick wrote:If it works I'll get back to you..... in a year or two😁
Great! I think of it as being a very 'Australasian' permie plant-
I basically don't hear of Americans growing it...
but I've never come across anyone growing autumn olive Elaeagnus multiflora round here.
I don't think it's climate; more likely that many of the nitrogen-fixing pioneer plants can be a problem in their adopted environments.
Very cute! Probably on M27 rootstock. There's nothing magic about where you start the branching, they should fruit just fine. If I weren't overloaded with apples already, I'd put in some English step-over apples. I might do some anyway, just for the novelty factor. I remember a photo in one of Rosemary Veery's books of step-overs and it was so pretty when they were in bloom.