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Paul's Podcast on Geoff Lawton's Soils DVD

Caleb Larson

Joined: Feb 02, 2011
Posts: 76
Location: Missoula,MT
Hey everybody,

I thought we could take this review of the movie into a lot more depth than is possible in a single hour long podcast.

Paul, thanks for the review, you have a lot of good points.

My take on the dvd when I saw it was that Geoff based a lot of the discussion on teaching new students and an introduction to permaculture. I think that Geoff focused a lot on exploring different varieties of traditional Mollison permaculture practices, while mixing in some of his own ideas.  I am sure that this is only a very small portion of Geoff's knowledge of soils.  I really think that his idea is to take permaculture to the masses, by starting with things that are not too radical or beyond understanding to the average gardener.

If you think this video had some slow parts imagine knowing nothing about permaculture and listening to an hour long video with vocabulary and discussions that are way above your knowledge.  I think that being to advanced could also turn off people who are new to permaculture.  With that said I am also searching for the info that is 9-10 on the Wheaton scale!

I am planning on listening to the podcast again and posting some more of my thoughts and further questions that I would like to hear more about.

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Caleb Larson

Joined: Feb 02, 2011
Posts: 76
Location: Missoula,MT
For anyone who has not heard the podcast yet, here is a link

Here is a link to the trailer of Geoff's Soils dvd.  (is it possible to embed youtube videos?I could not make it work with the usual codes)

paul wheaton

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 17407
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)

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Saybian Morgan

Joined: Apr 22, 2011
Posts: 582
Location: Lower Mainland British Columbia Canada Zone 8a/ Manchester Jamaica
that was a review, i ate my dinner at the computer tonight.
Your a funny guy Paul, Everytime your about to get my goose by saying something you always preface it with the truth's you know of yourself.
So who can get mad at an honest man, the funniest is when you said even if your wrong about cardboard you'd prefer to do it wrong regardless.
Your a purist, your trying to create a holy system, at least holy as you wanna be.
You tactfully went a few rounds at Geoff, and on top of it at my favorite dvd in Geoff's evolving series.

The few factor's I think that got negated was that each dvd is done in context of the others, there's allot of subject's that have been beaten properly to death. So for permaculture designers minor and major, each dvd contain's visual detail's that enhance and assemble larger pieces of the puzzle in evolving ones skills.
Allot of what you were requesting has already been done three times, so as subject like why does he have to irrigate looks more to me like does he ever have to irrigate? I've seen him standing in the amazon of swales need deep in harvested water. So finally seeing him near a tapset I have advice on if I irrigate what would I irrigate with. He's not watering, he's gravity collecting nutrient tincture and again inoculating the soil life. But I really enjoyed a vantage point I wouldn't even consider being predominantly isolated socially with permaculture, and sticking to the Tenets with no wandering on the path.  And for what one man seems like a allot of work for another he's just warming up his vigor.  If in 18 day's I can create humus, loose a few pounds and have a reason to wake up earlier in the morning, I'm in until the day I get an excavator to do it in my old age.  So for people who havn't inherited their condition's 6 year's for a system to evolve isn't sufficient if the system is how they hope to pay for their condition's. I think I'm really speaking for people who are making permaculture a career instead of a pastime.  I had 16 yards of woodchip's dumped on my yard, one day when a hey do you have some woodchip's got taken advantage of. I waited and I waited for this dvd, at that time the 47 hour video pdc hadn't come out yet. 

Long story and allot of vigor later short I know I've watched that video 10 time's, it took me forever to figure out what thermometer he used as it was at a proper scale for even the minimum sized heap of 1 cubic meter, I needed to see that a whole in the tarp wasn't the end of the universe and it was generally to keep water compacting the pile and removing it's natural fluff. I needed to see what to actually look for when you flip a pile, I'm not a purist and I'm not a savage. But other than citrus and onion's anything that's lived can live again in that pile. I don't accept less than 160f as finished compost, and I want to see that temperature with 8 hour's of flipping it.  Until I saw his lesson on composting, I wouldn't have never understood the capacity of nature to ameliorate negatives and be so anti-entropic when given favorable conditions. I thought life was trying to kill me by the time the woodchipmen dumped the full 25 yards of freshly cut oil wreaking, cedar, hemlock, spruce and pine chips.  I jean pain'ed them before I geoff lawtoned the remainder.  The woodchip's compost to chestnut brown in there own oil's for week's at above 150f, and yes me and the wife would do 30 wheel barrel's a day building compost piles out of hot woodchip's, and everything stinky we had saved up. And yes I've composted meat and you learn the entire decomposition process with his Wheaton labor intensity scale 10 rating method.  So for me to be able to go from 1 cubic meter's in my first pile to over 25 cubic meter's of compost in my second attempt after 1 dvd assiduously studied. I gotta say there's not a boring moment for I guess you could say people who are out to experience themselves the truth's taught by bill mollison rather than adapting what suit's them and adapting it to their lifestyle and culture.
So when a man says to me have you ever composted underwater? have you done 1250 cubic meter's or 5000 hour's of soil evolution study? I can't reply I don't even understand how life can do such things, but I like to swing around as much nomenclature as I've adopted. That can't be me, I'm so overjoyed at the few flakes of extreme wisdom I'm so fortunate to be exposed to I have to be the truth's they proclaim before I can really open my mouth and enter the arena of persuading people to adopt an ideology or belief system. So I do really share to my own standard's a different value system when it comes to purity, even if I was against what you also are puritan about.

Yes the compost actually worked out amazingly, yes I sweated and had anxiety all winter as the snow covered my tarp's, yes when my neighbour's would say "hate to see you do all that work Nothing will grow out of aleopathic woods. No that doesn't make me an expert, yes I did trials of growing delicate's to hard plants in test trays. No I can not tell you how I made it work, it did burb up a tone of mushroom's and anywhere i put compost burbs up a different mushroom of the soil. Yes I like Paul allot, No I dont agree with paul, I know nature can eat anything given the right conditions. I do know living healthy has more to do with the mental states we indulge in than the food we eat, then again the food's we eat reflect our mental state. I know i've lived a fair bit on my life loaded with toxin's every which way, and I know i trust the human body of countless year's of evolution more than my beleif's system's of the body's capacity or natures.
I don't care if paul send's cardboard into the sun, I do care that people practice the permaculture "irectives" rather than fiddle with principal's that suit their ideology. So if I true man of permaculture can create soil anywhere he is with whatever he has been given that is a true man who know's nature's blood.

I do hope you get to watch the other video's in order, it really put's this dvd into perspective when it comes in the educational timing as well as content, and by the 4th dvd those sparkly effect's and graphics although clipart cheap are classic and in line with it's other flash animations from previous dvd's.
And there is a Greening the desert part 2 which is not on youtube, aswell as "establishing a food forest" "harvesting water" and "intro to permaculture" I think the next one is urban p.

And truly when you actually see Geoff in the classroom with Bill Mollison in the 13 dvd pdc series, you really get the background of how Hard and Galant those two are, he's an no nonsence powerhouse of a teacher, that's what put's him in a different plateau than inspirational people. A teacher that create's both excellent practitioner's and excellent teachers is rare in this world and borderline genius only really seen by those of the same atmosphere. Now I don't consider Geoff to Be Bill Mollison, Geoff's is more of what the system need, this is the guy who DID the permaculture design manual, he doesn't talk from that which he hasn't lived. He attended the very same original 1983 42 hour pdc mp3 classic by bill mollison. That is like a man's bread and butter to me, he lived with bill and owned within himself probably the greatest pdc ever taught. I don't really think he ever show's his prowess , I've seen in lecture's where he start's to get excited about the complexity of his time stacked food forest establishment method's and had to cut it off because people where choking on information.

Anyways I really appreciate your work getting me to jump into the social atmosphere and try out my own prowess academically. Sometimes your just can't shake the value of the Eureka "do you know what this mean's" moment in life into wire hard enough. 
Michael Radelut

Joined: Jan 21, 2011
Posts: 203
Location: Germany, 7b-ish
I just finished the DVD. The compost part is really good; just what's needed as an introduction to things.

And yes, the 9-10 stuff was woefully absent towards the end in my opinion, but then again this is an introduction for people who know little of the three topics mentioned: Keyline, Holistic Grazing, and compost brewing - all three were presented very hurriedly.

Caleb, the 10ers you're asking for are there to be watched, and for free. I'll gladly link to them again
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree

Joined: Apr 03, 2010
Posts: 7369
Location: Portugal Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate
paul wheaton wrote:
Here's the link so folks can buy the DVD

How works

What is a Mother Tree ?
kane Abbott

Joined: Jul 15, 2011
Posts: 30
Paul Taylor taught Geoff, most of what he knows about soils, check out his you tube video below . Have not seen geoff's video, but i tend to refer to regenag and the works of Dr Elaine Ingham (for 9-10 density). These guys are both approved advisor under the soil food web certification, Dr Elaine has some great audio books on soils etc, Paul Taylor with his 30 years+ experince is writting a composting manual ,which will no doubt be a valuable resource.
Sean Debbad

Joined: Aug 12, 2012
Posts: 2
kane Abbott wrote:Paul Taylor taught Geoff, most of what he knows about soils, check out his you tube video below . Have not seen geoff's video, but i tend to refer to regenag and the works of Dr Elaine Ingham (for 9-10 density). These guys are both approved advisor under the soil food web certification, Dr Elaine has some great audio books on soils etc, Paul Taylor with his 30 years+ experince is writting a composting manual ,which will no doubt be a valuable resource.

Nice video on how to make compost.

No mention was made on Soil other than that he can use the 1 ton compost made as tea on 100 hectares to inoculate for microbial and fungal activity
subject: Paul's Podcast on Geoff Lawton's Soils DVD