As a lifelong musician, including teaching people of all ages, I find it particularly sad when people of any background attempt to limit what music is and is not. There actually is no limit to human expression, and it can and will always take whatever form it craves. Spoken word, hiphop, opera, jazz, classical, noise, can all be wonderous and beautiful expressions of music/humanity. Not being your cup of tea is fine, but wholly rejecting And condemning it is plain Sillysillz.. esp if you know nothing about it and its culture. Anyways this the latest piece i looooove [youtube]https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=g3roJMUtfac[/youtube] both guys play such lyricism.
the next step after microscopic examination depends on how you use it, but it is by no means absolutely needed to be a good gardener. You could use it to verify the microbe levels in different areas of your land and plant accordingly, or verify that your compost tea methods are optimized so you aren't wasting time and materials.
I personally used my scope extensively to get really good at making compost tea, and learning the details and conditions in which the microbes thrive or die. After i did that for a while my microscope started getting used alot less frequently. I can know by smell that my brew is good, and lately Im not even brewing much. Even still it was a good tool to learn about soil life and how to keep soil organisms happy.
I think alot can be gained from having one, but Microscopy is not for everyone. Im not sure I would have done anything drastically different without one, but it brought joy and first hand knowledge of the microscopic level into my life. To me first hand experience on that level gave me confidence with growing and parsing through the massive loads of information out there.
Good luck, if you look closely in lively soil you can see alot either way, theres bunches of bigger bugs too.
Tim Wilson has a lot of available resources both free and purchasable. You can find them Here at his site If you have a worm farm or worm castings and follow his recipes and methods for brewing, it is as simple as getting a dropper, slides, and microscope. You will most likely be able to quickly make a rough ID of fungal hyphae, flagelletes, and very small bacteria/archaea with his free videos.
I'm not putting down the idea or use of compost tea, but I have been building my soil here for many years and it is in VERY good condition. Good tilth, great mineral balance and great fertility.
That is a great place to be, i hope the various soil qualities around my grow area will get that way here in a few years. Maybe the tea will help it get there faster? My back garden bed was rented out to a vegetable grower before i lived here and because of their practices the soil was left super compacted and filled with stuborn grasses. Ive had better luck growing veggies in the shade than in that area.
I have always thought of compost tea making as a way to multiply your good compost. My household does not produce enough worm castings to cover the entire growing area, so multiplying the goodness with tea making is a good option.
In the back of my notebook I have a partial design for a passive compost tea pump. The gist of the idea is a large steel frame with two sealed 55 gallon drums mounted on a lever that could be locked. The air pumping action would come from water in the upper drum leaking down into the lower drum and displacing the air inside, once it drained fully you would jack the full one up and the now empty one is on the bottom having the air displaced. The operator would switch the position of the drums to keep the pump constantly running. The details of the actual hardware and mechanics are rough at this point, but I imagine a jack/lift or lever mechanism to make lifting the drums back and forth easy enough.
The general concept of the air pump is demonstrated decently on this youtube vid
More in the spirit of this thread I commented 2 years ago that the ecoplus 1 was a good pump, I still think that, although it is loud. I have since been using an Ecoplus 3 and its been good, but loud as well. It is suitable for 50-100gs.
I am afraid the only way I know to get truely medicinal strength from this plant is to harvest the sap from a live plant, during later summer. If it is not the sap in that specific time frame I would consider it a strong food thats really healthy, but not really a pain relieving medicine. If you already cut the plants, just chop it and let it dry for use as a tea. This is just how I use the plant, others may know a better way. I love this plant.
Not sure if it exists, but as far as teaching children about permaculture, i think something like bazylland would be great. My son is obsessed with animals, farming, trucks, and bikes. Turns out he loves watching these bazylland videos showing farming, orchard care, tractor building etc. I was just waching with him thinking about how i wish it was a farmer caring for a permaculture system with aquaculture rather than a colombine harvesting a monocrop. It would be amazing if someone with the skill could do that!
My advice is to build it and observe how it does. You have obviously done a lot of design work and some consideration so just see how it goes. By observing the result you will gain the most from this idea. Raised beds work in some climates, hugels work differently in different climates, etc. getting out and gaining experience is #1 in my book, because you might succeed using a method i would fail at using.
just give it a go! I like the idea.
One thing to look out for is pallet wood thats been treated with anti fungal or some chemicals. In my experience with pallets this level of care is rare(usually about as cheap as they can make them, no need for treatments just throw it away mentality), but ive heard it can happen.
Hello all, i would like to compare notes regarding broody/ mothering hens. I have one who has hatched probably 3 clutches in her life, her most recent was a clutch of 8. She was nesting at the bottom of a compost bin where she had to enter from the top and once the babies hatched they were stuck in the bottom. They hatched one day and i noticed them, and planned on propping up the compost bin for entry and exit. Today when i came out to do it, 6 were dead fron appetent broken necks. So i let the compost bin up and she seemed to be weird, like was still in broody mother mode, but was stepping on the chicks and not protecting them like usual. The two living chicks had bloody beaks. My question is, did she kill the others so the remaining could eat them? What do yall think happened?
With a 2-4 ft layer of woodchips or similar the smell can be reduced almost to nothing. What happens in my coop is the poop gets covered up as the chickens root around and scratch down to find bugs. The whole thing ends up smelling like composting wood chips. That said, at dawn there are droppings on the surface so more smell is noticable, but outside the coop there is not a manure or bird smell.
Since mulberries are such a weedy culture in my climate i would go ahead and get them out of pots as soon as possible, since it will mean less work to have them in the ground. I have probably 20 or so in my chicken yard, grown from seeds dropped by the birds. If you plan to keep them in a bushy/coppiced state than the spacing can practically be on top of each other, if you plan to let them mature into a full form, i would space roughly 10' between them, depending on the mulberry species it could be a little less. The issues i have seen with my mature mulberry is the berries mature and are consumed primarily by wild birds in the top of the canopy. This isn't a negative, but it does not really help feed the chickens much. At my old place i had some coppices that worked nicely for chickens, each branch came to maturity and fruited at a height that the chickens could reach, then i could trim it out to make room for the next branch. With that setup i was getting multiple flushes of berries a season. A few plants in my chicken yard that work well for cover and food are, sorghum, sunflowers, black nightshade, lambs quarters, chard,and rocket. I like them because they reseed easily. Other trees im using are plum, peach, serviceberry, crabapple, and apple.
What is your location?
NT, I mean it contains more diversity of compounds than a usual salad green. I found a brief explanation of mugworts uses in different traditions. On this blog
For safety I would suggest finding a good mentor if possible, definitely learning the botanical names of plants and plant families, learn all the leaf types etc. It is a lot to learn and it really never is done, but the more you know the safer you can be.
One thing you did that could be improved is maybe taking it slower introducing a plant to your diet, even if your pretty certain on your ID. I think this should be even slower a process if you are dealing with a more powerful herb like mugwort.
I can relate to that experience, since I have made a few wrong plant identifications and eaten the plant. Lucky for me I never had poisonous reactions like you are describing. I am a lover of mugwort and cultivate a 9 foot tall plant outside my kitchen.
I have actually never heard of mugwort being used as a primary salad green, so it is hard to say if your ID was incorrect or if you had mugwort and ate too much of it. Traditionally it was used as a poultry herb, medicinal smoke, dried smudge, ceremonial etc. How did you get the idea to make it a whole salad?
My theory of the stomach and health include a diverse diet that includes things that can poison and kill. In other words I dont subscribe to the thinking behind avoiding all active alkaloid plants because they can do damage to the body. It sounds like what you did went a little beyond what your bodily system can handle. Swelling of any kind is always a caution since airways are so precious.
Just as an example of stupidity, I ate an unknown nightshade one time thinking it was lovage. Thats a serious laugh in retrospect, but could have cost me my guts, or life.
My wife an I have tried various things ranging from making donations as gifts, home made gifts, telling our families we can't afford gifts so we don't expect any from them, etc.
I enjoy the emotions caused by gift giving and receiving, and sometimes giving a disappointing gift is just an all around bummer. The reality of it, is my family doesn't care all that much, so if they are disappointed by a gift or lack of gift, it's fleeting and soon forgotten. My friends and family have always known I am frugal aka cheap skate. If they didn't accept it, then we probably wouldn't be close anymore.
Bumblebees really like abelia bushes, which can be trimmed to stay small, or allowed to grow up quite large. I have 4 bushes about 4'x4'x4' and when they bloom there is at least one bee for every few inches. I know you said things that don't spread, but worthy of a mention is wysteria. In my area there is nothing bumblebees flock to more, like 5 bees per flower cluster during the peak of blooming. The whole vine vibrates and buzzes in a spectacular way, my suggestions for fully controlling it's invasive type growth is grow it freestanding and keep the edges controlled so it has nowhere to go but up and over itself.
I have personally see bumblebees on my comfrey, sage, poppies, crimson clover, and would recommend any of them for easy growing.
Thats too bad you are feeling the deficiencies tyler, not being at 100% is a tough place to be. Get back to feeling right with some extra diversity in your diet.
In order to never 'fail' we would have to stop trying things for our selves. Sometimes i am dealing with only 10 percent of my efforts and experiments going as planned, which puts me at a near 90% failure rate. But that is an observation in the short term, by the end of the season hopefully things will be learned and things will progress.
In the field of composites there are both chopped fiber and continuous fiber, which would be used depending on all the materials involved and the desired properties. For example carbon fiber stuff is often braided continuous fibers, but a lot of glass fiber composites used chopped fiber. There aren't any rules, just different properties for different applications.
Dried vs non dried? My guess is drying before would be better since it will eliminate extra moisture from inside the composite once it's put together.
For resources on actively aerated compost tea there is no better than Tim Wilson atMicrobe organics. He has done a lot of research over the years and shared much of his results and considerations. I find his direct and open approach encouraging. Hopefully there are other resources that cover other types of tea making and using, but in unaware of them.
Hey dougan, im no expert on bacteria but i have thought some about this. From my observation and understanding of organisms in compost tea, there wont be many that can change between aerobic and anaerobic conditions. If you breed an aerobic crew of microbes and start removing oxygen, you can see them steadily decrease in activity and die, as conditions become more anaerobic from that point, a new crew of organisms will come in.
I have considered attempting to use anerobic organisms as a food source for higher organisms in the tea. Which is quite a bit like what i think would happen if you went about your experiment. If you had an anerobic microbial fluid and you oxygenated it, the bodies of the anerobic bacteria could in theory be consumed by the larger arobic organisms like ciliates, rotifers, flagellates, and nematodes. Although it is their usual behaviour to consume living aerobic bacterias, so it needs to be tested under microscope.
Adding mollases would be a fine food source, but without a guideline of who is eating this food and how much of them are there, how to know what amount to add? Over feeding an aerobic tea can cause oxygen levels to drop, which can put all your aerobic organisms at risk.
I would begin with seeing the result of bubbling the anerobic brew. Check the brew under the microscope before bubbling. Try less than 5 gallons so your oxygen level can be garanteed to be sufficient. If it starts smelling sweeter then check it again under the scope to see whats happening. Only if there were promising results from that experiment would i bother adding a food source like mollases.
We as humans could use robotics in a big way, that improved the environment and repaired our damage. But robotics is an extremely high energy focus, and is being developed mostly in the military-industrial direction. Even terraforming Mars for human use is a place where there is potential for development in the direction of environmental influence, but is still centered around defense. These controls, in my opinion, make it unlikely that robotics would endure a low energy period like civilized collapse. Even mechanical systems relying on compressed air will be not feasible.
One notable feature of permaculture as I understand is that the energy needs remain low for the sake of resilience. Utilizing tech appropriately is a theme and I'm unsure of the research and development allowance considering the payback is fully invested in a high energy present.
Robotics is a bit like advanced composites. Could they be used in permaculture? Yes. Will they be used to meaningful extent? Probably not.
We need to do the math on how much energy a machine shop would consume making the robot parts, how many programmers and computer components are needed to program the machine? Upkeep?
While I am working on sealing this pond, I have started using a pulse rather than steady trickle from my hose. I have had some smaller rain systems passing through that maintained some wetness in the test area for a number of days so I had the hose off. I started just turning on the water in bursts because the ducks liked it so much. The water level is always moving, and the ducks have smoothed the bottom and edges significantly, they also have mined out little holes along the edges. So far it seems like it might work. Now that the grounds wet if I get anymore rain the pond could fill all the way up, I am sure the ducks will be thrilled.
I have found a great way to get better at using less water for washing - undo your outgoing pipe under the sink and just have it drain into a bucket. With this setup you will be manually hauling the used water. As time goes by you will find a way to use less and less, since hauling the water sucks. It's like a teaching tool that shows you really how much water you are wasting.
Using this setup I have realized that I can maximize water saving if I use "one piece flow" mentality. Wash each dish asap and never have a bunch sitting around crusting.
Now the kitchens clean, water use is efficient, I would never dream of using the dishwasher unless I was cleaning for 25 people or something.
Hey Michael I am doing a similar experiment and was wondering about the smells throughout the beginning of the process. Did you smell pigs the whole time? Did you smell the "pond smell" as the bacteria were forming and being pressed on by the pigs? Any notable stages of smells or stenches? I guess by now things smell like an established pond. I'm more at the stage of expecting an algae bloom and im smelling duck manure but also some other anaerobic type smells, so I'm curious about your experiene. I am considering inoculating the water with existing pond water at this point to encourage that algae bloom type of thing.
I am growing potatoes for the first time this year. I have a single row roughly 50 feet long and the plants range from really large to just a short sprig popping up.I expect there will be huge variation since some of the row gets more sun. But since i saw this i may organize the yields and compare the size of the final plants and the amount of tubers. With this i can get a baseline of what to expect next year in these conditions.
Su ba , you said you take the best and propagate for next year. Whats entailed in that? Just saving it a whole year until its ready to go into the ground again? Is there a special to store it ?
One downside of defining something and having it be "famous" is that it is something from then on, something that people can lump together with other defined stuff and be disregarded. The plus side of referring to permaculturists as goofballs is that they remain behind the scenes, since goofballs are perceived as being non threatening, there is no official reason to hate them and degrade their practices, they are just goofing around wheres the harm?
Thats part of my own personal image i project with people I encounter, not one that says "I am a hardass practitioner of permaculture" but one thats more like, "come check this out, its great!"
This allows people to see that my main interest is not in destroying an old system of malfunctioning reasons and practices, I am focused on what I think is interesting and worthwhile. destruction is just a side effect. That is a nice layer of public perception, it isn't always about whats projected from a source as much as how you know people will receive it. In other words managing what peoples takeaway will be, rather than planning impressions of the content.
Permacultures broad public image could protect it and harm it in different ways.
Here's a few updates from my stuff. I am pretty sure the hardest part of caring for worms is making bedding and applying it. I have learned a lesson from scaling up using prior technology and having unintended consequences. So my worms are all about 98 percent dead from my estimation because things were just too wet and I was focusing on too many things at once in my life. I am going to try to salvage a 2 percent and build it back up, but since I was freezing and unfreezing the food before feeding, there was more moisture than usual, and the moisture increased a lot more with just a small increase in the amount I was giving. I am going to find a way to streamline the worm system and try again. For now I have a bunch of soaked castings filled with bugs that I am drying out for later tea making. In other news I had two nests of two hens each sitting on eggs and one group hatched 6-7 and I caught a pic of them in the chicken yard.
The second pic is some freshness around the pond.
The 3rd is of some solomans seal that is growing very well in the front herb garden. I didn't expect it to do anything, so I am excited.
One thing that came to my mind while thinking about this thread is that people take instruction from others best when they can see themselves on the same path as the one teaching. For instance maybe the farmer I spoke to saw these other guys with tractors, using - cides just like him, but embracing new ideas that could potentially reduce the cost of their operations and lessen the need of chemicals. He could easily see himself doing that and it inspired him to want to use less chemicals.
Not that it's a good example especially, but when a person who has a tractor and uses some chemicals see any video calling chemical use evil, I can imagine it doesn't make them inspired. And the fact that many farmers in this area and country are probably like that, could be one reason there is an "image problem". In quotes because I know image is very dependent on location, education, and is also subjective.
Is the image of permaculture a little bit edgy? Is the black box of permaculture so closed up because everyone is wrestling with trying to discretize something that is more wholistic than your average thing?
in my mind permaculture is not about compost techniques, beehives, or paddocks, and the reason being that it precedes any technique and is oriented toward the thinking and reasoning that went into a choice.
Permaculture therefore can't fail in its own right, all it boils down to are extra considerations that take place in the design phase, the implementation phase, and the standard operation of the system once established. Techniques fail, and perhaps methodologies also succeed and fail, but I don't think you can judge the validity of a method by looking at the success rate of techniques. Those technique failures are a part of developing a system, trial and error, weighing the odds.
Marco, I see what your saying and would agree for my associates who are interested in environmental restoration and sustainability have a good impression of permaculture. Although I would also mention that I know at least one ecological consultant who leave the term permaculture out of his business presentation. I'll ask them a detailed why next time I get a chance, but I think it has to do with their degree from a university being in sustainable design, rather than pc.
Most of this impression I get isn't from those types, but rather from people who don't think about sustainability as much as they think about the bottom line, and the more practical steps they go through to produce.
Since it was me that said it, I'll start off and just explain the dimensions of my comment.
I have had the experience of speaking to a small farmer who lives in my state. He was a teacher and long time horticulturalist. i met him right when I had a novel passion burning deeply for all things sustainable and all things permaculture. When I broached the topic with him he pretty much just treated it as hocus pocus, telling me that to him it sounded like something invented by people who didn't know about producing food. Over the course of a year he got really interested in large scale no till, and I thought for sure he would be heading deeper and deeper until he found himself making permaculture zones for his farm. He didn't and still hasn't as far as I know. It was something about the image projected by permaculture sources that put him off. He showed me some no till videos he enjoyed and it showed real farmers who were very similar to him and I think that's why he found it accessible.
Another example of people embracing one thing and rejecting or not knowing permaculture is so called, lean. Which is a systematic method of eliminating waste in your process. Sounds a lot like permaculture. People are hiring consultants to "lean" their businesses and manufacturing, using techniques and concepts straight out of Holmgrens work. I think this has to do with the image of permaculture. Perhaps there's something else going on, but under another name permaculture principles are expanding into new markets, and making people realize there's a smarter way to utilize resources. But the name isn't permaculture. Why is this?
I like your point Tyler. They do represent a very small amount of the population, as well as representing a lot of daily food eaten by the general population. I would like to see change in both directions, more locals growing food where it's needed saving massive transport and quality cost, as well as more commercial producers updating their models and producing food without all the pollution and without supporting the Monsanto gmo nightmare. Eventually the two processes could meet in the middle where people have abundance of fresh food right out their door and can count on people with bigger plots of land to produce calories safely and efficiently to fill any gaps.
Sorry I did not qualify that guys, I did not mean to say it quite like I did. The reason I say it has a bad enough rep is that all the ag folks I have learned from and spoken about permaculture in my area did not remotely take it seriously as a way to improve yield and work flow for food production. In fact some scoffed and laughed, people who were just coming around to no till possibilities. It does not help them take it seriously with titles like this one on huffington post.
People might not think permaculture is nefarious, but it's not even close to reaching a level that will penetrate the industrial food producers here. So to rephrase a bit, it's not that the reputation is terrible, it's just a far cry from being taken as a serious tool, turning it into a "gringo hippie" thing on a big site isn't going to help.
Neil, in the links above I wouldn't expect to see the authors name, it is background reading about the organization he is a part of, which is the reason he is in South America, nothing more. When an indivividual belongs to a group that has a long history of saying one thing and doing another I find it noteworthy. I'm not accusing the author of anything specific, just pointing to the information available, which shows he is part of a group that has a primary goal beneath any stated humanitarian or ecological development.
Perhaps there are more bulldozer permaculture videos than I realize, but it's just one example. if I chose some videos to show farmers I would seek out ones that demonstrated techniques that used the same tools as them. I feel confident I could find such videos as I have watched them. So when the author chooses to show what rich gringos do rather than something useful to the farmers, he isn't really representing permaculture, he is using certain videos to get a response he wants. Seriously, he couldn't pick any of the thousand other videos....
This is what I mean by misinformation, more properly I would call it misrepresentation. That is my problem with the article. In my perspective All he wanted was a certain reaction so he could pile on his opinions and Marxist arguments. I know we all have our own agendas, but there's a difference between presenting a fair shake and presenting something you know will get a certain response.
He threw permaculture under the bus and used it to talk about class problems which exist in all spheres of human activity. Permaculture doesn't need that abuse, it's image is already pretty bad.