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DVD Promotion - Establishing a Food Forest. Welcome Geoff Lawton!

Burra Maluca
Mother Tree

Joined: Apr 03, 2010
Posts: 7383
Location: Portugal Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate
This week we are offering members a chance to win one of four copies of geoff lawton's DVD, Estbalishing a Food Forest, also available direct from the Permaculture Resarch Institute in Australia.

Geoff Lawton will be visiting us over the next three days answering questions and joining in discussions.

From now through til Friday, any posts in this forum, ie the permaculture forum, could be selected to win one of four copies of Geoff's DVD. Full details are here.

To win, you must use a name that follows our naming policy and you must have your email set up in Paul's daily-ish email.. At the end of the promotion, ten posts will be selected at random and the best of those will be the winners. The more you post, the more chances you have of being selected, but to win we're looking for good posts - a thoughtful question or a helpful answer, or maybe a good link to useful sites. Winners will be notified by email and must respond within 24 hours with their snail mail address.

But, to be honest, this week it feels like we are *all* going to be winners - just having Geoff here to answer our questions is prize enough!

Posts in this thread won't count, but please feel free to welcome Geoff and make him feel at home here.

Here's a short you tube video introducing the DVD

Wecome, Geoff - it's an honour to have you here!

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Betty Montgomery

Joined: Nov 13, 2011
Posts: 48
Location: Lone Oak, TX
Big welcome from Texas to Geoff!! Hope all the questions he's asked here are good ones and not tiresome repeats he's had to answer a gazillion times.

I babble at www.bettyamontgomery.blogspot.com,
more at www.arurualpointofview.blogspot.com
Michael James

Joined: Jun 10, 2012
Posts: 50
Location: Zone 5B: Grand Rapids, MI
Excited to learn from the best!

"Line upon line, precept upon precept"
Tara Edwards

Joined: Aug 07, 2012
Posts: 2
Its so exciting to be learning about this stuff since we are just in the beginning stages of putting our garden together!
Jared Sudekum

Joined: Mar 08, 2012
Posts: 2
Living in Central Texas for the last seven years, I have learned how difficult gardening can truly be. Having been an avid gardener my entire life, I was truly inspired when I discovered the publications of Geoff Lawton and Bill Mollison as well as others. Permaculture and especially the development of large scale regionally appropriate food forests are truly the key to a sustainable future. Paul please continue blogging especially for those of us who desire a sustainable tomorrow for our children and future generations.


Jo York

Joined: Jan 31, 2011
Posts: 56
That's totally awesome Paul, thanks for letting me know about this guy's work. Totally awesome.
Max Kennedy

Joined: Feb 16, 2010
Posts: 465
Location: Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada
Great to see the concepts. Would love to see example forests for each growing zone. Lots of choices in warmer climes but us colder folk, zone 2a, often have difficulty.

It can be done!
Simonne Macklem

Joined: Aug 14, 2012
Posts: 2
I just joined this group and forum and am very excited to spend time here. Permaculture is my big passion at the moment. I'm learning that Permaculture is so much more than just ecological gardening. It is a whole new way to relate to nature, and to each other. I describe it to friends as "reclaiming ancient knowledge and adapting it to modern times". I like to think that the basis is respect for everything, and that respect should inform all our decisions and relationships. I was delighted to find Permies, because I appreciate the information, generosity and humour I find here. Keep up your good work! Megwich!

Mark Lipscomb

Joined: Aug 08, 2012
Posts: 51
Location: North Plains, OR
Here is a list, in no particular order, why I should be selected for the Food Forest DVD if I am lucky enough to make the random 10;

1. I was born and raised in Detroit, met a native Oregonian ranch girl, and now have 5 acres in the Willamette valley. I would LOVE to grow a food forest. I found Permaculture last year and it has totally enthralled me ever sense. Changed my life even.

2. directly behind my house is a 250 acre grass seed growing operation. I entertain fantasies of buying or leasing that land one day and going perma-crazy on it; saving it from the oil based agriculture that its subject to today.

3. Weeks after learning about Paul Weaton and reading his huglekulture article I dug a 3 foot deep 6 foot wide hole, filled it with fire wood, covered it with fall leaves, horse poop and the dirt that came out of the hole. I covered it with first leaves then bark chips and waited the winter months for all the biological magic to happen. I endured ridicule from my family and neighbors for "burying perfectly good firewood". So now I have "Mark's permaculture garden" and if any one calls me on it I am going to tell them that I am following the ethics and that Geoff lawton said I could call it that.

4. Mark's permaculture garden is producing squash, melons, beets, flowers, and 7 foot tall tomato plants. The chickens have largely devastated the squash and melons but I looked up paul's article on chickens and I now know what i have to do... It takes much less water than my other "traditional" garden.

5. I use cast iron every day. So much so that I have a modern LODGE brand cast iron skillet that is smooth.

6. While I have not listend to ALL of Paul's podcasts, I have listened to many of them. Paul; if I am ever fortunate enough to have you at my place I will never be offended at what you say. I have more ass than you have teeth. I don't know what kind of cupcakes invite you to their place then get offended at comments and suggestions, but I ain't one of them.

7. I became a natural (Warre hive) bee keeper this spring. In doing so I learned that russin bees have almost as much attitude and Paul and that they are indeed attracted to dark colors as they tee'd off on my ankels while wearing black socks.

8. I built a rocket mass stove out of bricks inside an traditional fireplace to use if the power (and my stove) ever goes out. It runs on a ridiculously small amount of wood. My kids love it and I cook on about every two weeks just for the fun of it.

9. I raise pigs and feed them windfall appels from a neighboring orchard to reduce feed costs. Next year I am going to plant some sun chokes and grond nuts for them to forage on.

10. and THE BIGGEST reason that I should be selected is that all of the above is just a drop in the bucket (I am sure) when compared to the achievements of many others in this community but it shows that I could really use the material!

Edit: Reading if fundamental... I see that questions for Geoff should not be in this thread.

Thanks to Paul, Geoff, and all the people that keep Permies running.

A new project uniting students with Subject Matter Experts.
Shelly Randall

Joined: Jul 04, 2012
Posts: 73
Location: Central Valley California
Thank You Mr. Lawton for visiting our forum. It is very heartening to see what you have been doing in permaculture, and I look forward to your posts and advice.
Diane Emerson

Joined: Jan 27, 2012
Posts: 21
It is because of Geoff that I have my Permaculture Design Certificate. I watched his Greening the Desert video one day when I was poking around the Internet, and was riveted. I wanted to volunteer for him, but he required a one year commitment, and I wasn't ready at that time to do it. But I shared that short video with tons of people, and finally, several years later, got my PDC from Starhawk, in January of this year. Food forests are of particular great interest for me, because they can happen in cities, where the majority of people live. Soon, fully 75% of the world's population will be living in cities. Food forests, with high nutrient dense nuts, is a good strategy to help feed people when transport becomes more and more expensive. So I would dearly love to win one of the food forest DVDs from Geoff, whose example was so inspirational to me and thousands of others.

The transformation of society must begin with the transformation of the individual. C. Key Chapple
Greg McIver

Joined: Aug 13, 2012
Posts: 12
Awesome! I just found your stuff recently Paul and just want to say "Love you Man!" with a Bro Hug! Thanks for being honestly amazing! It feels like I'm waking up. You could consider me a Permie Baby or Newborn. If anyone would like to comment on the top 3 best resources, books, manuals, DVD's to add to my new library, reply to my post. In Texas north of Dallas I have a quarter acre residential lot in an HOA and have an acre and a half water retention forested area behind it that I hope to 'manage' with eyes on larger parcels. My goal is to provide all myself and family can eat. I'm on a mission and any help will be greatly appreciated.

Got a paperclip and some gum?
Pamela Melcher

Joined: Jan 10, 2012
Posts: 299
Location: Portland, Oregon Maritime, temperate, zone 7-8.
Welcome, Geoff,

I love what you are doing, and how you share it with the world, which needs it so very badly.

Thank you for being with us for these days, talking with us and answering questions. That is very generous of you.

Happiness, Health, Peace and Abundance for All.

Many Thanks and Many Blessings,
Pamela Melcher

Pamela Melcher
Happiness, Health, Peace and Abundance for All.
Ronen Hirsch

Joined: Oct 21, 2011
Posts: 18
Location: Romania
Hello Geoff and Paul,

Some thoughts and comments after listening to the podcast. We are relatively new homesteaders in a village in Romania (neither of us with background in gardening of farming).

I have been trying to approach the vast sea of permaculture (where I still get lost very often) by viewing it through another framework I am more familiar and comfortable with - Yoga (http://iamronen.com/2011/05/permaculture-and-yoga-introduction/). I have often dealt with the question of "is this Yoga?" so I could relate to the question of "is this Permaculture?". In Yoga I am more interested in how a practitioner leaves the practice space then her actual practice - it is when you are back behind the driving wheel or on the phone that sheds light on your true qualities. I believe that holds true for Permaculture as well. Creating a super efficient and sustainable biological system is great and definitely addresses the first ethic "care for the earth". However if you achieve this and end up being an angry prick, impatient or rude towards people - then, in my eyes, you've failed when it comes to the 2nd ethic "caring for people" - you've failed both yourself and others. Influencing the biosystem is, I believe the easier aspect of the journey (can be achieved dominantly using intellect). Letting the biosystem influence you is a more difficult aspect of the journey (and demands a surrender of mind and an opening and softening of heart). I wouldn't be surprised to find that in Permaculture, as in Yoga, if you actually apply that second ethic as a filter ... then many "professionals" who have been through PDC courses (and may have already taught others) would fall outside of the permaculture ethic circle.

I have found in my own efforts that pushing too hard (using my quality of self-discipline) usually ends in me feeling not well (physically, emotionally, spiritually). It goes right to the point your brought up of "fun". If I am able to find patience, compromise, softness, appreciating the nature of myself and the world around me ... I find myself in more correct effort ... and enjoying myself. I have also found that my "pleasure" directly correlates to the state of the biological system. When I go out and try to work the dead clay earth we inherited I get depressed. When I put my hands into a spot of top-soil we have managed to recreate I have a smile from ear to ear and love working in the garden.

We would love to see a DVD produced on food-forests in temperate climates (temperate as in Zone 5 Romanian snow-covered winter, not UK cool). We intend to convert some of our typical-abused-Romanian-pasture into food-forests - so if this project comes to life we would be happy to offer our land-transformation efforts for this production.

All Things Good


All Things Good
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree

Joined: Apr 03, 2010
Posts: 7383
Location: Portugal Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate
Geoff and Paul have a new podcast out - check it out!

Here's the blurb...

"Paul Wheaton talks to Geoff Lawton, who will be answering questions at permies.com this week for his Food Forest DVD promotion. Paul and Geoff talk about detractors. Geoff talks about having self-sufficient fun, and the peacefulness and contentment of setting up a permaculture system. They talk about being able to use the word permaculture without taking a PDC, although it is good for everybody to take a PDC. Geoff suggests sharing the 3 ethics. Geoff talks about using mainframe holistic design that is more inclusive than exclusive. Geoff reviews Paul and Helen Atthowe’s review of the Food Forests DVD. He finds the temperate climate to be easier to work with than the tropics. Geoff talks about black locust and its antifungal elements. Geoff talks about non-native plants making systems richer. Geoff talks about facilitating creative events in nature. He comments on nitrogen release in the soil. Geoff is thinking of doing a DVD on pattern, and is open to DVD suggestions. Geoff talks about the greening the desert projects."
Vic Bausell

Joined: Aug 03, 2012
Posts: 2
Location: Reno Nevada
So glad to see this and other videos!
Just moved to high desert of Nevada and am excited to see what we can do here to create a forest.
Keep em coming and we will keep learning and moving foward.

Remember, Life is for LIVING, not surviving!
Blythe Barbo

Joined: May 27, 2012
Posts: 38
Location: Sequim, WA USA - zone 8b
Just listened to the podcast interview - and I loved the perspectives on succession and changing microclimates, for ex., the leeward side of a windbreak; how winter freezes and thaws are like miniature glacial climate events; and how we can use these different processes to our advantage. I was just talking with a microbiologist from Mexico about the important interrelationships between bacteria in the soil and plants, which is exactly what Geoff explained in the interview. It takes a shift in mindset to understand you are feeding those microbial communities, which in turn, feed the plants, which in turn, feed the microbial communities. I am a beginner at turning our property into a food forest of sorts, using permaculture principles (read the books; a class is a bit out of reach right now), growing a diversity of plants with different supporting functions, serving as a bee guardian, encouraging wildlife in my little pocket of abundance. I feel I will always be a beginner at learning about interrelationships in the plant and animal world, but that constant evolutionary process is what it's all about. I just want to say Thank You! Geoff - you have been such an inspiration to me!
Neil Evansan

Joined: Jan 10, 2012
Posts: 69
Location: Valley of the Sun
Mark Lipscomb wrote:2. directly behind my house is a 250 acre grass seed growing operation. I entertain fantasies of buying or leasing that land one day and going perma-crazy on it; saving it from the oil based agriculture that its subject to today.

Aloha Mark!

You might consider if Hemp is a viable crop there in North Plains. Of course Coastal Range/Willamette Valley Oregon has some of the best climate in the world for growing, so mebe a better way to say that ..... would the owner of the field allow growing Hemp, either all or part of the 250 acres, assuming it's legal to grow? Imagine growing a crop that could replace the oil/petrol you mention!

I was active in the Grass Seed Industry in the 60s and 70s (Dallas/Salem area), and many of the Farmers I dealt with would have had no problem with it, assuming it was legal to grow & process, and would make more money than their current crop. ( I even explored the idea of running for Sheriff of Lynn County in 1976 to help change the Hemp laws, but couldn't get enough votes. Even NORML were pussies and wouldn't back me!)

If that idea appeals to you at all, you might want to ask the Van Dykes their position of cleaning and bagging it commercially. While I never dealt with them, I know my Dad did, and I never met a Dutch business who turned down the idea of making more money! (we knew a family in Holland who grew Hemp as part of their crop rotations)

Good Luck with whatever you can do there. Beautiful country! I lived in Cedar Mills and PDX in the 80s & 90s, and always loved driving the Sunset Hwy on the way to the beach. Living in Phoenix now, I REALLY miss the trees!

I AM a Warrior in whom
the ways of the Olde
enhance the ways of the New
Greg McIver

Joined: Aug 13, 2012
Posts: 12
It's me again. I've listened to some of your podcasts going to and from my ridiculously non-permiculture job. I'm still figuring out the best plan for my HOA location that is EXTREMELY non-permiculture but This morning in 'My own private Idaho' or "I duh hoe or ho", my backyard, I started my first all natural micro-pond. Now, I don't have what I consider expertise to do anything on a micro or macro scale such as you and Geoff Lawton so that is my plug for the DVD's, however, in the vernacular of your recent phrase of sepp holzer, "I Am The Pig!" I don't have a pig, or backhoe so I'm the pig! I'm experimenting on a small scale with the hopes I don't majorly screw it up. By the way, permiculture isn't even in the computer spell checker yet so you are on the cutting edge of bringing things to nature. Anyway, see the picture and have massive pity!

[Thumbnail for 2012-08-16 10.26.48.jpg]

Greg McIver

Joined: Aug 13, 2012
Posts: 12
I have a question from my post yesterday. Since I am the pig for my micropond experiment, which I will use the results to go larger, how much pig wallowing needs to be done for maximum water retention? The mini pond is holding water at the lower level of the pond which is very encouraging. I'm thinking about inviting a bunch of little children to be my little piggy's for the larger pond even if they are not fat.

Also, if I want to create little streams interconnecting ponds on my property, do I do the same method on a smaller scale? I've heard Bentonite clay works very well also and there is a source in Texas. Would rather not but if it works better for small streams, I'm tempted.

I still would like to know what the top 3 specific resources to get started out with for 1/4 acre residential lot and larger acres. I have 2 or 3 water drainage areas that will never be developed that I'd like to slowly convert into a food forest for the neighborhood.
Jason Archibald

Joined: Aug 17, 2012
Posts: 1
I reciently aquired a 7 ac parcel with a stream and am starting my journey on sustainable living. I would love to get a free copy of "Establishing a Food Forest" to help me along on this journey. If there are folks in the Spokane area that are willing to share advice I would love to hear from you as well. I have a lot of work ahead of me and would enjoy learning from other peoples experiences.

paul wheaton

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 17432
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
Usually when I run the program and see the ten random posts, there are two that stand out as the winners. This time there is six. Hard to choose .... re-reading those six to pick my favorite two ....

Okay, I picked two.

Adrien Lapointe

somebody who is not signed up for the daily-ish email. Bummer.

So, I will now email Adrien and ask who referred Adrien!

sign up for my daily-ish email / rocket mass heater 4-DVD set / permaculture playing cards
world domination gardening 3-DVD set / my youtube videos / my podcasts
P Thickens

Joined: Jan 15, 2012
Posts: 177
Location: Bay Area, California (z8)
Well, I didn't win. Poop.

May I have a link to the place to buy this DVD that most benefits the creator? More impishly, may I ask that similar contests in the future have just such a link, so that those of us who really really really want this item but didn't win have an easy way to click-through?
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree

Joined: Apr 03, 2010
Posts: 7383
Location: Portugal Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate
You can get it direct from The Permaculture Research Institute - just click on the words. The introductory post did carry that link, and also one to amazon.com, which will earn a bit of money for running permies.

Also, for anyone hoping to win *please* make sure that you are signed up on Paul's dailyish email, with an email address that you actually use. If your post is selected but you're not on the list, you get disqualified. And you have to answer within 24 hours of being notified!

P Thickens

Joined: Jan 15, 2012
Posts: 177
Location: Bay Area, California (z8)
Burra Maluca wrote:You can get it direct from The Permaculture Research Institute - just click on the words. The introductory post did carry that link, and also one to amazon.com, which will earn a bit of money for running permies.

Ah. Thank you. I always wonder which method nets the creators the most money.
subject: DVD Promotion - Establishing a Food Forest. Welcome Geoff Lawton!