C.J., here is muck solution I got from farmers in Texas:
When they build run-in sheds for horses and cows, they build the shed on top of an artificial "hill" or mound made out of eight-inch rock, then add a layer of straw.
My horse was kept on a boarding farm with Texas style run-in sheds and there was never any muck around the shed. Plus, they put it on top of a hill to start with. All the urine ran down through the rock.
I would say they spent a small fortune on rocks and gravel, but maybe you could find a free source of rocks. After awhile, the rocks get covered with a dry pad of straw and manure.
Don't know where you live, but there's a farm called Long Branch Educational Center that looks like it has diverted a stream in front of their houses to get power. They have 4 houses on microhydropower, I think. They are in Weaverville NC. I have been meaning to check out their power setup because it looks so much like my own place.
I wonder if you could filter salt out of seawater with carbon? If so, there is a YouTube video showing how you just take charcoal from a campfire, put it in the bottom of a bottle, cut the top off the bottle, and let water run through the charcoal. The guy stuffed some grass in the neck of the bottle first, to keep the charcoal from washing out.
I think the Indians were able to locate salt at the base of sandstone cliffs. If you are good at tracking deer, they will lead you to salt licks. You may get hints about where to find salt from the names of places.
When I was in Jemez National Forest, I found a salt lick used by deer once. There were 3 deer there. It was just a rocky place in the middle of a sandy ridge.
My horses ran loose in a pasture with lots of black locust around but never got sick. My sister's horse died after eating wild cherry leaves, which contain cyanide when dry. I think her horse was just bored, on low pasture., and nibbling on anything it could find. It ran to the creek and keeled over.
I have a tree I can't find on the Internet It may be some kind of Mountain Ash, but it is not the one with berries on it. It has perfectly round fruit, yellow with red blush, bigger than golf balls. The fruit appears evenly distributed all over the tree. The leaves resemble a locust. Some locusts have red or yellow beans, so I thought it might b some kind of locust. I haven't got a clue.
I was going to call an expert to look at it last year, but next day. all fruit was gone and I couldn't find leaves on the ground. Right now, the leaves are even gone -- looks like something ate the leaves too I did not see fruit this year either. I have to get binoculars to see it...it's about 40 feet tall, very skinny tree on the edge of forest. Kentucky6
I would take this man a copy of an article saying that the main cause of prostate gland cancer in men is suspected of being psticides.
When I was a journalist covering tobacco growing country, I met a farmer who lost both sons to brain cancer. Then he got cancer. He became head of the local farm bureau office. He suspected that tobacco spraying chemicals ("sucker control") caused the cancers. His sons were using these chemicals, which were maleic hydrazine.
The pestices and chemicals we use routinely in America are sometimes banned in foreign countries -- tobacco sprays were. The people who make them just change a molecule ever time a chemical gets banned. Then they give it a new name and start using it again.
I would be terribly anxious for my infant too. I don't know what to say. I would just plead with the man to come over and look at your damaged plants.
What goes around, comes around.....he is liable to wind up with cancer. He just never thought about this. Make him conscious of it!
I think Fukoaka began adding lime to his clay, which would produce cement almost. I made seed balls out of clay from subsoil. I put large vetch seeds in the balls. The balls just cracked, just drying out on my table, so I did something wrong. Vetch is about as big as buckwheat.
Ordering clay by mail contradicts principles of living sustainably< I think. I would not do it. I think I will try to add limestone gravel dust to the clay and see if that works. I always have a pile of gravel here for compost additives. That's not sustainable either -- I think I paid $6 for a scoop of gravel in my truck..
This is really interesting to me, because I haven't met anybody else thinking about the issue of children in permaculture experiments, especially projects in wild places. I don't get much inspiration off YouTube from the "children's gardens" sites either. I have started looking at Internet sources on alternative schools, like Montessori and Waldorf schools, to get ideas.
I don't know ANYBODY thinking about what I am trying to do either, which is incorporate children into a truly wild Appalachian mountain environment in a safe way!. Children can no longer run wild in the mountains here due to the spreading lion and bobcat population; not to mention, coyotes.
I think there will have to be structured ways of having visitors' children play. Resident children may have to play in packs.
Yes, children will definitely make you re-think permaculture plans. One idea I had was to put wee houses in a circle, a BIG circle with several acres in between, and garden trellises connecting the houses. Then we could have a safe zone in the middle for both gardens and children. I figured, if I set this "colony" of people in the center of the hollow, the elk and deer and lions could still run up and down the flanking ridges. They run the ridges anyway here, but sometimes cut right through the yard.
I am afraid children will be the last thing I bring to my farm.
Goldfish pond, definitely!!! I have wild fish already, but people have always kept goldfish here, and they are fun.
That's it. I had forgotten their name. If I weren't tied up in local events right now, I would go to one of these workshops! I feel pretty isolated, sitting here kon a mountain reading Rudolf Steiner books!
I looked at Fox hollow farm on the map... I hate where it is located, off that dangerous Louisville road. I used to drive into Louisville a lot when I lived in Lexington, but only to see the theatre downtown. I hate that traffic there, so it may be awhile before I make it to Fox Hollow.
I am more inclined to visit the Growing Warriors farms etc. around Richmond, Ky. area. Salamander Springs farm may be biodynamic.... can't remember now.
I can see that, if you have a big working farm where you get your income from the farm and must get a harvest to survive financially. I am on social security, so I don't have to make money off the land or hire Wwoofers to produce big crops. I want to have a farm I can live on again, like it used to be, and have local kids come here and learn there is more to land than growing pot. My desire to have a children's farm is connected to my desire to do something to rid my community of drug influences. I think we ought to encourage our children to FEED THE ADULTS, like the Indians taught. If you go to Cherokee NC you will see teenagers raising gardens to feed the adults. It makes them feel useful. My Austrian grandparents had the same attitude: Children who learn to help out in the garden and kitchen grow up proud that they can take care of other people. Us white americans are so "self"-ish. We need to over-correct our tendency to be self centered.
Yes, I am planning for "child pressure", and it is making me a better planner.
I think what you say is true for anybody in a community and not just kids: Adults without children as well as those WITH kids need a clear sense of what is expected in any community they join. This is not destructive of idealism, it is just good communication.
One reason I am not ready to have a whole community yet, is that I DON'T have everything clear and on paper. I do have a written plan, but it is nowhere near complete.
I hate to keep harping on this, but there has to be a written plan. If you doubt this, just read Diana Christian's book, Creating a Life Together.
You are right, kids are no problem to entertain outside at all
I used to have 3 or 4 children at a time living in various houses on my farm, but that was back when I had everything in perfect repair, and the fields mowed and safe as could be expected. However, that was BD (before drugs). A couple people on drugs destroyed everything that had taken me my whole life to build up. When I got rid of them, I let my houses sit empty for ten years. I am only just now trying to think about having other people live close to me again!
But I love children, and we have more little ones in my family now. Meanwhile, my farm is all grown up, rattlesnakes on the back steps, etc., so it is Imperative I clean up the place before having even my own nieces and nephews come here again. I daydream about having children around actually. I get along with them really well, and I hope Someday to have children gardening and doing wildlife projects on my farm. I want to have theatre and storytelling workshops too.
I thought the story about the jam was funny. Did you train your child to do this? (: )
However, the story makes a point: How to create a permaculture that kids fit into??? I just decided not to have any velveteen cushions, hahahaha.
Thank you! I would love to attend those workshops on biodynamic farming, but I am in a play that weekend....actually a local storytelling event.
It is good to know about this event though.
There is also a group of biodynamic farmers near Louisville, Ky., and they are having some really famous guy from Europe come here to do a presentation, but I can't go to that one either.
Yes, a lot of people on this website are recommending that book, Secrets of the Soil, so I guess I will get it.
Actually, there's several places which offer the biodynamic preps. I don't know enough about them to feel confident where to use them. I did try nettle tea on tomatoes though.
For now, I am just trying to make humus by adding humus from the woods to regular compost piles.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my post, since having children on my land is an issue that I think about constantly. I haven't seen much on line about people doing this, trying to incorporate children into the organization of a base camp. However, I had already decided, just from thinking about this, that I would not attempt to have people with children around me until I was sure there would be safety and security for the children.
And I have met people who sound like they have wonderful children and it is so tempting to just say, come on, live here, let's try working together on this. . . .
However, I realized, people with small children are not going to have time to work much at construction, roofing, plumbing etc., and that I am not going to have time to share child care if I am working. So in a perfect world, all the work ought to get done before the children come -- and if you are already living on the land with no finished shelters and food supplies etc., the work MUST get done!
It was hard to do, but I finally had to face up to my responsibility for infrastructure. Nobody is going to help me, and nobody with children are going to help me FOR SURE so the work falls upon me to do the work alone: The problem is not doing work, it's doing work alone. . .and so it is very tempting to take anybody into a community, people with children, just to have people around. When I accepted that I am responsible for kids, it was easier to turn down children. . . .for now.
I finally said no to children until I finish certain jobs. However, it can be liberating to think about how to include children in the wilds, because it gives you ideas for including people in general into a permaculture. For ex., I would never turn a kid loose in my apple orchard to pick strawberries due to inevitable copperheads. So I had a brainstorm, to plant bush berries along a barren road bank, so that people can stand on a clear road and pick the berries. And so I did. Then, when I got copperhead bit in my own garden, I decided, okay, you have to invent a very "clean, clear garden" where kids can see snakes! [Duh, no wonder people make clean gardens.]
I hope you all will report later how you solved the problems of the feral children! I long to have my own nieces and nephews come visit me, but not yet!
Ok. I also have purple Louisiana iris, Yelllow Flag iris and pond Hibiscus, if you want any flowers around your pond. The Flags will grow right in the water's edge.
p.s. I will pick some groundnut seeds when I am in town Saturday, and if you decide you want some, just let me know.
Coneflowers (pink ones) also have one leaf that sticks up higher than the others. The leaves are not fuzzy like this black eyed susan, however.
Your pond sounds wonderful. I am glad you have goldfinches, since I never see them here anymore.
I found a vine in town of "ground nut". Ground nut grows around the Jenkins Lake and on the banks of the Ky. river. You can eat the root tubers or the little "beans" or nutlets that form on the plant as seeds. If you want some, I could go back and pick some. It's a real pretty vine on a fence3, or it might spread and cover other plants around your pond.
I planted them on my porch railing and they were not invasive there.
Well, Alder, I keep wishing people would come do permaculture farms on old stripmines. I am living on an old farm that does have disturbed land in need of restoration, but also having woodlands with biodiversity. There is a little bit of everything. I do not think that "competition is inevitable" between man and wild animal. Sometimes. I think of myself as the Indians say, as a "helper to Mother Nature", not her competitor.
Yep, the more the merrier. Snakes definitely control rodents, and they can get up in the attic where the house cat can't get.
Can any of you stewards tell me why the box in which I post messages freezes up. Then, it becomes very difficult to edit because the screen changes at a snail's pace. It becomes difficult to erase mistakes etc. Then, I can only type at the speed of molasses. Am I causing this? It is frustrating to be writing something that I feel is important, only to have the whole process gum up. Greta
There is most certainly an argument for working less.
An organized lifestyle for working less is contained in the books of Helen and Scott nearing, especially Living the Good Life and Continuing the Good Life.
They worked half a day at survival tasks, and got more done in their old ages than most people get done in a lifetime. They developed two extensive homesteads with many hand-built stone buildings when they were 60 to 90. They accomplished building wonderful homesteads by careful planning.
They did everything themselves, as old as they were! They had one truck.
They practiced a "use economy", where they bought only what they used and could not produce -- namely, gas for the truck and some tools. They got everything else right off the land, or occasionally bartered for something. They were vegetarians.
They had one cash crop, blueberries, which produced enough money for things they had to buy. They wore the same old clothes every day.
People have lost sight of the Nearings, but I recently read their books over again, and they are just as good now as ever. What they did better than other people was plan carefully so that time was never wasted during their half days of work.
Scott, like Wendell Berry, was kicked out of a university -- actually several universities -- because of his "radical" views [He lobbied to end child labor!!!].
Well, Carol, others....I sent a message to one vegan woman looking for a place to do permaculture. I have not found anybody else interested in doing a permaculture that includes wild animals. I have extra houses that people could live in for very little ($17 light bill + firewood) while gardening and creating a permaculture. There is a lot of freedom here for people to exercise creativity in planning a permaculture, to include wild animals, and exercising their plans.
I am interested in developing animal habitat in particular, because I have learned from living with wild animals how they struggle and compete for the ds,r food sources on this land. [Whenever my hazel nut grove is full of nuts, all kinds of animals show up to eat the nuts, and they also flock to fruit. However, I have found wild animals willing to share food -- a fact that most people are not aware of.
I would like to focus on wild animal habitat, and incorporating a few rescued farm animals into that habitat. I am already growing and storing some of my own food. I have glass stored for building a greenhouse. I just miss having other animal lovers around, so if anybody is interested, please contact me. there's no hidden agenda. It's what I say here, I just don't have anybody to work with. Ironically, it was being alone that brought me into contact with the wild animals in the first place. I have fallen in love with wild animals, which are very innocent and anxious for human contact, because they know their survival depends upon our good will.]
I am not interested in running a rescue operation, however, just creating a permaculture with animals sustained on the land too, not dependent upon commercial animal foods.
I don't know Anthony. It gets better: More and more animals show up. I decided to build a pond where there was an ugly clay scar on the mountain where logging had been done. It was sterile looking. Salamanders came, then thousands of frogs, then brown water snakes, then 2 blue herons, the deer, a white egret, snapping turtles.
Pond plants just showed up, even though the pond was up on the edge of the woods, away from any wet bottomlands. It is weird how the plants appear.
After ten years of having a great pond, I found it dry. I filled it back up with a siphon hose (over 2 days work) and watched it run back out to find the leak. There was a hole in one end, like a bath tub. I want to rent a tiny bobcat to scrape out silt and carry clay to pack down over the hole. We may have ripped a hole in the rock when we built it. When you find rock, you should stop digging.
Yep. Sounds like synchronicity - finding lots of cowhorns laying around. It can't hurt to try it!
I have not tried BD 500 or the other preparations with the funny names. I plan to try them someday. I know I can order them from the Pfeiffer farm.
I think you are right. The question remains, then, how do you make a complete system?
I personally think of permaculture as a place for intergenerational people, both tame and wild animals, both modern and old physical facilities, old and new energy.
None of the permaculture books I have mention wild animals, but I think about them constantly. I think a good permaculture plan must be almost synonymous with a good ecosystem -- one that meets the approval of botanists, biologists, zoologists, tree experts etc. Not just a place for people, but people in a place.
None of the books on permaculture that I have talk about incorporating wild animals into the plan. Most of the books are about inserting man onto a landscape and trying to control that landscape to create a paradise for the man. That doesn't work where I live, since here is so much biodiversity here, the problem is how NOT to disturb the biodiversity yet insert people into it.
For me, completing the permaculture must include "restoration" of species missing -- such as adding back the ginseng that the local yokels have dug to extinction.
I wanted to post this thread on the cowhorn business, since it seems to be controversial. People are turned off by biodynamic gardening because they hear about the cowhorn business -- that biodynamic gardeners do this weird thing of planting cowhorns full of manure in soil.
Well, I Just read about the reasoning behind this. The soil scientists around the turn of the century discovered that certain microbes produce humus. These microbes love to multiply in manure. Furthermore, these microbes are found in the body parts of dead creatures, like cow guts. Furthermore, if you add manure to the dead body parts, you get a great germ culture of humus-producing microbes.
Horns also contain the microbes, and you can put manure inside the horns to make a fast producing culture of humus-producing microbes. The microbes migrate from the horn into the infertile soil around them, and make that soil fertile fast -- they say it produces soil that is a lot like soil with lots of earthworm castings.
Now, you can also stuff guts of dead things with manure and plant the guts, which also provide those microbe cultures. However, it is probably a lot cleaner and easier to use the cow horns.
These scientists came up with this method of making microbe implants for soil because they were requested by farmers to find a way to correct depleted soil in Europe. then, when some of Rudolf Steiner's friends came to America, they were confronted with the Dust Bowl problem. They began trying to find ways to fix bad soil in America.
You can order nice clean little packages of microbes from garden supply companies, or you can recycle parts of the dead animals on your farm. You can also bury dead relatives in the garden, like the Chinese did. And you can plant dead fish around the base of corn, like the Indians did. Planting cowhorns is not so weird afterall, you see?
That is so funny - feral kids, haha.
The first thing I think reading all this is, "where is the mother?" I guess I am old fashioned, but I think it is parents' responsibility for children. Yet, I am aware from trying to start a community myself that a few people seek community in hopes of dodging responsibility for their children. Some people EXPECT it. Yes, it takes an extended family or village to raise a child. However, you have to get the village organized first. and it is doubtful if there will ever be a village safe enough for an unsupervised toddler.
I know from experience it is possible to have a farm well organized enough to turn kids of elementary school age loose. They used to turn me and my cousins loose on my grandma's farm, and I was free to roam the mountains. However, they let us help when we were 8-9. They made it feel like a privilege to help the adults. We thought it was fun, because we got a picnic at mid day. They never made us kids work more than half a day. Usually it was too hot for adults to work after lunch too.
We really did help too. We were able to feed chickens and hogs, pick food in gardens, hoe, weed, set transplants, pick sucker shoots, pick strawberries, dig up potatoes, pluck chickens, feed ducks, carry hay to the horses, bring in the cows, milk cows, pick up apples.
By the time we were ten, we were riding out into the fields in the back of my uncle's trucks to help with field crops, and we thought it was all fun. On those days, the uncles supervised us setting out tobacco, weeding transplants, working in hay. On days we did not ride to the fields, the parents, aunts or grandma gave us "little" chores to do, like go get the eggs out of a hayloft..... go shuck corn.....carry in firewood.
Uncles and aunts both supervised us. However, NOBODY every just turned a toddler loose outside. That's crazy. It is just what it looks like: Irresponsibility.
My dream is to have a permaculture that is safe for children and old people too. I grew up running wild in the woods, but things are different where I live now -- lots of poison snakes and predators, which could kill children. I wonder how other people deal with this problem. I want children to experience the wildness of this place, yet be safe.
Planning a permaculture with children and old people in mind poses problems you don't normally think about. For ex., kids should not pick berries in the fields because of all the copperheads. Twice they have crawled over the top of my foot when I was picking berries. So I started a berry patch to a shoulder along the road , so I could stand on the road and pick [see photo attached -- I put 18 truckloads of leaves and sticks along this shoulder to build it up for berries.]
Anyway, I have found that thinking about kids and old people makes me plan differently. So far, I have not found any models for a children's wild forest permaculture. Mostly, I see photos of sterile looking children's gardens, formal and ugly, in urban areas. Or, I see children's petting zoos. I would like for children to be able to go to a place that is still wild and natural, but safe. It's a problem to think about.
I think that Pfeiffer used scientific methods all his life, and he was a pupil of Steiner. His books are full of scientific charts based upon years of research.
These people provide very practical advice for permaculturists. Take the list of contents from Pfeiffer's book on weeds, for ex:
Weeds and that they tell us. The Battle Against Weeds: Mechanical Warfare. The Battle Against Weeds: Biological Warfare. Weedy Weeds. Morning Glory & Co. -- The Convolvulus Family. The Goosefoot Family. The Parsleys: AS Manifold Family. etc. etc. etc.
Very practical info!
I am actually reading Steiner. I also actually read Aristotle. If I have learned anything in my life as a journalist, it is, never believe anything people say about an author until you have read that author yourself.
I ordered a stack of Steiner books after hearing some of his lectures read out loud on YouTube. you can hear the lectures in German or English on YouTube. I don't read German well enough to listen in German, however.
I just gave an example elsewhere about misjudging Steiner. People think the business about burying cow horns is crazy. However, the idea there was to implant microbes from cowhorns, which multiply in the manure and go out into the dirt and speed up the process of humus formation.
That is not much different than Cherokee burying dead fish around corn plants, or Chinese burying their ancestors right in the garden, in mounds.
I read about actual scientific studies which were done to measure the difference in soil treated with microbes implanted by cowhorns and other soil, and there was a big difference in measurable nutrients in the soil.
Pfeiffer was a scientist with a laboratory. There is nothing "mystical" about his methods. I don't know enough about Steiner's mysticism yet, but I am reading about this. I think he was one of those people who could see energy auras around plants. It just means some people can see wave lengths of light that others can't, I think. Ingo Swann was another one. He is a clairvoyant who started studying plant sensibilities in the 1970s. He was later subjected to numerous experiments at Duke University.
Keep an open mind.
thank you. That was one of my mother's favorite spots! Someday I would like to visit the pinnacle. I never took my mother back there when she was alive, and I should have. We used to drive 2-3 times per year to see her mother's farm in Boyle County, however.
Right now, am too busy to travel! I am in a local storytelling group that is about to put on a play, and we rehearse a lot. Also, I am still working on a house roof!
I have never been up on the pinnacle, but my mother talked about it a lot. The fascinating thing about cliffs is, they absorb water like soil, so things can grow on them, strange as it seems for plants to grow on rocks. The Indians knew how to find water and salt seeping out the bottom of cliffs.
I have joined that e-mail list for the food market and farms for the Growing Warriors around Berea....I guess that is how you got started, through them?? That is a great organization, sounds like. You are lucky having people like them around, and family too! I wish we had more activities like that around me. I read about one of the farms having an open house, but I couldn't go.
Well, I have just discovered that I have a perfect moist bottomland for Shellbark Hickories. My mother grew them on a seemingly dry yard, but the yard was built over a former swam, so the hickories probably sent taproots down into the old drainage flows under the yard.
You are right about the problems growing things around hills and woods. While you probably have good Central Ky soil, I have mostly acid humus. I have to modify the garden soil to grow ordinary vegetables...it is working though. I am getting nice tomatoes, beans and squash now.
Brenda -- I Just discovered WHY Steiner buried manure in cow horns and planted them in dirt or compost piles: Cow horns contain microbes which, with manure, multiply like crazy in a pile of compost. I also read about using the innards of some animals to add to compost because they contain microbes that soil needs. It apparently has to do with seeding microbes into compost, so it is no more creepy really than buying a package of nitrogen-fixing bacteria at the farm supply store!
Some scientists measured soil ingredients before and after the cow horn business, and the results sounded impressive.
Even human doctors are starting to transfer microbes, you know? They discovered that feces from healthy intestines will cure people with intestinal problems. The idea of having somebody else's feces implanted in another person is really creepy! But they say it works!
I would like to add, Steiner is thinking like the Chinese in creating manure and herbal teas for gardens. I am reading King's Forty Centuries of Farming, which describes how Chinese use manure teas religiously. I once tried nettle tea, and the dying tomato plants perked up and looked good.