Genomics and precision breeding? Looks like we are going to have to address loss of genetic diversity. Is this cluster even compatible at all with permaculture values? If you can think of a way, you are more clever than I in that regard. This is definitely a place where out of the box thinking would, at first glance, appear unwelcome.
This is where phrasing one's response can make a huge difference. There are permacultural designers who are using camera drones to get accurate to the foot topo maps of properties and another that I know personally who's using moisture sensors to evaluate whether key line plowing is effective in our ecosystem (there's good research in Australia, but none where I live). So responses can focus on positive permaculture uses of automation and suggested responses can also be permaculture based, particularly in situations where we're trying to get industrial farmers to shift their focus to less industrial systems, while still enabling them to make enough money to pay their mortgage.
"Systems Based Farm Management" can totally be re-focused on permaculture "interactions".
Yes, "Genome Design" is too scary for words from what it's been used for so far, but so has the current model of plant breeding which involves extreme treatment of plants and seeds in an effort to force genetic changes. Simply advocating for genetic diversity and farm-based seed production in an effort to meet the needs of "resilience and sustainability" gets the message across that many of us value that over genome design. They're asking for our opinion - let's politely give it to them with reasonable rationals for them to ponder.
Well, this brings up a lot of mixed feelings. I have family in Shelton; I lived there myself for some years, but at some point I made "not-going-back-to-Shelton" part of what my life is about. Not that it's a bad place; just not a good match for me.
James Landreth wrote:
This denomination is going through a schism right now, where this region will likely break off to form a new denomination that is more accepting. Other regions of the US and world might be included in this new denomination. I felt that this was a perfect time to introduce this other change, since a lot of soul searching and re-branding is going on anyway.
I will not ask about the subtext behind the "more accepting" bit, although I have some notion, having been aware of similar schisms in other denominations over a certain issue that affects me. I noticed you said that some denominations are very hostile toward permaculture. Like Chris Kott, I, too, am curious what their rationale is (assuming they have thought out a rationale). My family in Shelton is involved with Shelton Christian Church -- you might know it. They do a lot of missions work in Haiti, including running clinics and supporting an orphanage and a deaf school. I hope they are not one of the hostile groups...
leila hamaya wrote:it's definitely feral/adaptable and more than a bit agressive.
it spreads easily by self seeding and produces a bazillion seeds. ok not a bazillion, but you get the point.
ok for a spot where theres not much going on, its pretty its medicinal and its pollinator friendly. i like it but would weed it out of any cultivated area of primo garden space. there's enough of it growing in wild spots on its own, so i weed it out. definitely grab up the seeds if you dont want it to spread.
Thanks. I think this is my only one, and it appeared in a pot so may have arrived in said pot... will cull it today and save seeds to (maybe) spread somewhere away from the gardens...
Good links. It's an interesting argument. Humans tend to modify the landscapes they live in.
Some of the species I was thinking of -- saskatoon, chockecherry, high bush cranberry, pin cherry, hazelnut -- are enthusiastically harvested and transported by birds and squirrels in my part of the world.
But humans harvested and stored these foods items too, and as they travelled they surely spread seeds. There may have been deliberate management; it's really hard to know.
With the skinny layout shown, spanning with 6-8" logs could easily support a full-scale green roof.
If you are really going with cob walls, you should be aware of just how much hard labor is involved. Minimizing surface to volume is not just a heating issue, but it will take considerably more time and effort to build the long indented outline than a more compact outline. For the same effort and very little more cost, you could get significantly more space with a convex shape of that much wall, or less effort and cost for the same space and less wall. The bathroom could be moved to where the pantry is, pantry moved out in front of it, jog in west wall eliminated, and you would have the same space with less cob to build. You would also get significantly more morning and midday sun inside in winter. I find that with my main windows oriented south-southeast, I get a flood of cheery morning sun to warm up the space in winter. The plan shown would get no sun at all except on the bed space until afternoon.
What is your social and financial situation? Can you call on a goodly group of friends to help cob, or afford a strong helper? What is the clay supply? Have you investigated the character of the land? My sister is in eastern NH and they have mostly sand and rock, no clay, and friends in northeast VT I visited recently have pockets of silty soil but nothing really good enough for structural cob.
Humans are not the only ones who have "neighborhood watch programs"!
Crows are fledging and the young will spend at least a couple of weeks on the ground, learning how to fly as their tail feathers grow out; same with gull babies. The attack on the hawk was to drive this threat from their territory, so their families are safe.
As mentioned, there is an element of weeding out the the less able: unwary, less cautious, etc., who frankly, would have passed their inattention on to their own young - not a good trait for survival in any species. So I consider this a bit of "pruning" the less hardy...and that it likely "improves" the genetics, long term - adapt or die. Perhaps a bit harsh, for some, but Mother Nature IS a hard taskmistress!
On the lighter side, it is so cool to watch interactions like this play out; to see animals/birds cross species lines, joining together for the greater good; protecting their communities; "running off" the "bad element in the area. Humans like to think they are superior, that we are the only ones with a concept of family, community, caring for others, or joining together for the greater good.
On the flip side, to see the risks a bird, desperate for food, will risk crossing territory/boundary lines, to secure food for themselves and their offspring - equally amazing and "human-like".
To see that birds/animals appear to "grieve" for lost loved ones...all these actions, that appear to come from an emotional place, is often surprising for us "two-legged" creatures. And yet, is it really so remarkable?
This is one of the reasons permaculture and co-habitation is so critical - learning that ALL creatures have families and feelings; territories and boundaries; the ability to work together on an inter species level.
Rather than automatically removing or killing wildlife when conflict occurs, we need to look to how we establish and define our territories and boundaries. Create predator proof enclosures, fencing, and safeguards. Electric fencing as a deterrent is an expensive investment, but it WILL pay for itself, over time; as will ALL efforts to safeguard our gardens, crops and live stock.
Please, take this encounter to consider if there is more you could do, or a better way to limit your own human/wildlife conflict. Consider being proactive, rather than reactive. Consider that we ALL share this planet, and all have rights and entitlements...ask yourself "How can I do better"?
Anita Martin wrote:Regarding mosquito larvae and small ponds:
I really wouldn't put in goldfish or any other fish at all. They unbalance any natural habitat and that's exactly what you want to create: a natural habitat.
I can't speak for all climate zones, but in my garden (Germany) when we installed our little pond three years ago it took some weeks to have the first mosquito larvae. But in the same period the first predators came and I would say today that the pond itself hardly allows to hatch any mosquito larvae. If we have any, they come from the rain water barrels and similar.
Our predators for larvae are mostly dragonfly larvae (the dragonflies came really quickly) and backswimmers (Notonectidae). I once spotted newts in the pond and had a short visit from frogs, but unfortunately our garden is a bit off from natural occurrences of amphibes and so I am still waiting patiently for more to arrive.
ETA: Coming from the garden I remembered that another way of controlling mosquitos are Gerridae - english names I have found are water striders, water skeeters, water scooters, water bugs, pond skaters, water skippers, Jesus bugs, or water skimmers.
They take care of all critters on the surface of the water.
If your pond is the only natural water in the surroundings, you could inoculate your new pond with water from an existing pond to get the aquatic life going.!
This gives me a.lot to think about. I've always adored ponds with some fish but I completely see your point.
I have a creek that's actually been turned into an irrigational canal by the city. It does have water skippers and Nutria in it, as well.as lots of dragonflies flying around. I can hear frogs around so I know they're somewhere. I live in a neighborhood where people put poison on the lawns and sidewalks and that drains to the creek (at least it does when the rains come). If it weren't for that, I'd try to incorporate the creek somehow. The edges are grown over with blackberry and the city mandates that we cut them each July. So I can't get blackberries from them.
Anyway, thank you so much for your reply. I'm going to work on a natural pond and see if I can get dragonflies and frogs to come around. I once had an alligator lizard (not sure of the real name) get in the bottom of a bucket that had a bit of water in it. Not sure if they live in water or was just thirsty. I'll need to look them up.
Thank you so much for this information.
Soldier fly females lay eggs on the surface of nitrogen-rich material that is exposed. So, if you want to avoid having these large flies and their maggots in your compost pile, make sure you have enough leaves, dry grass, shredded paper and other organic "brown" material in the pile to cover the nitrogen food sources by at least two to four inches. Be sure to bury food scraps deeply in the pile and cover them well.
You can further discourage these flies by putting window screen over any holes in the bin and gluing it down with a waterproof caulking (like an exterior household caulk) on the inside of the bin to help exclude the flies in their egg laying stage.
They often thrive in worm bins, as well as compost bins, where they may out-compete the worms for food.
"In a worm bin, bury food scraps down at least six inches for the worms and let the flies eat what is on the surface," said Wise. "The flies don't eat the worms or their eggs so they aren't predators of the worms."
If that doesn't work, you might try a decoy bin for the flies that's stinkier and easier to get in. Or maybe start a worm bin indoors until it's pretty full of worms, then move the worms outside. Hopefully if the bin is mostly full of worms, there would less room for flies.
For us, the flies disappear in the winter. We happened to start our worm bins in the winter and they were full of worms by summer when the flies showed up. We haven't done anything to discourage flies and they seem to get along fine in our bins.
Skandi, all good points. And yes, I am ambitious about all the work to be done. It's my happy place you might say. I LOVE seeing the productive fruits of my labor. I already know exactly where the lake will be, and all the structures I want to build as well. What are some good cover crops? Getting machinery in and out won't be a problem, just getting machinery will be. I think I should start buying lottery tickets!
I now have half a dozen female flowers forming, and the first one opened today. I won’t save seeds from it though, because the flower petals were damaged and bees got in. I wasn’t able to hand pollinate. I have my eye on a few others for hand pollinating though.
The first stem has topped my 8ft frame now as a well, and shows no sign of slowing down. At what point should I consider snipping the growing tips off?
This is a lovely summary of things I've read and heard elsewhere. Certainly using herding a la Allan Savory is one effective method of "greening the desert", but I've read other versions where reforestation has been effective, so looking at food tree crops for humans and animals is another option in some places. What we really mustn't do is continue with the "status quo". Lot's of permaculture gurus talk about both storing water and storing carbon in the soil. There are lots of techniques in our toolboxes with different local applications. What's important is that we support others in doing so, and make an effort on our own part to do what we can.
I've read in more than one place that properly coppiced trees can live 3-4 times longer than its "natural" relative. Because the tree isn't having to "build a root system" each time the wood is harvested, so one might be surprised just how efficient this system is from the ecological perspective. Personally, I don't believe that much of the North American forestry system is sustainable - too much destruction during harvesting, too much monoculture, too much use of pesticides/herbicides in an effort to get just what the logger wants. North American logging does *not* include "natural regeneration" of the forest that builds soil.
British-style coppicing, and this cool-looking Japanese style both require a lot of "human power" which is seen as "less efficient" but in fact is more sustainable and can give a quality product. Both can easily be done on relatively small tracts of land surrounded by other land uses. However, many of the people I speak to about this concept, can't seem to accept the value of it. I guess the can't see the tree for the forest!
I believe I first read it here...and have wholeheartedly adopted it. We need to change the message to "if you value our economy, wear a mask".
Regardless of someone's political stance, if folks are scared, they will stay home, not go to work, and spend less money. Most will acknowledge the economy is in trouble (no matter where you are!) and that foot traffic is the only thing that will save our small businesses.
My second, albeit quite graphic, argument for public safety uses the outlawed practise of public urination and defecation - yep it is absolutely your "right to 'go'"; this is illegal as it causes a risk to public health and caused the spread of disease.
My third is to equate with "safety equipment; helmets, seat belts, infant or children's car seats, hard hats and the like. These also infringe on our "personal freedoms" yet collectively, for the greater good, we all utilize these tools as mandated, in the name of public safety
Lastly, I encourage the old gem, No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service - time for merchants to add 'No Mask'.
Picking your stance to be the most understandable for your audience can limit push back and promote understanding and acceptance.
I am sad to say I have been banned (at least temporarily) from offering "cute masks" FOR FREE (in an environment where they are actually MANDATORY), because "supposedly" a Doctor complained that I was not following "proper mask protocol" by allowing those interested to handle the zip locked SAMPLE bags!!! No one but myself handles the masks, the bulk ones are stored according to style, in bulk zip locked bags not accessible to the public, and even then, only handled by ear loops!
Alternatively, I was told this is an emotionally charged issue, so they are seeking permission from higher authority.... of note: one of the on site bosses that day absolutely refuses to comply with the company's mandatory mask wearing policy; another, at the same level, is SELLING her masks. I find it VERY hard to believe the real reason I have been banned is not one of these bosses personal agenda...how sad!
We are on the Wet Coast, the garter snakes are having a FABULOUS year here, along with the Cinnabar caterpillar/moth/butterfly.
It may be because the mower has yet to be deployed, and the tall field grass is rife with the plant the caterpillars are raised on; or it provides lots of hiding spaces. But I'm leaning toward our unseasonably warm and early spring as the reason the other factors are able to provide extra abundance.
To attract snakes, based on what I see, basking spots are key. As I walk about they are constantly fleeing the mowed pathways, for the tall grass. I am sure they would prefer more secure rock pile type area that would act as a heat sink for when things get cooler; but any sort of wood, metal sections provide warm, moist hide outs. Here the metal roofing panels on the ground seem a particular favorite. Likely because I can't seem to stop the dogs from killing the odd snake (prob, dozen a year, but we do have 11 dogs and only a half acre).
Oh and we have a small pond - say 4X8, that could be a key thing for both food and water...
Of note, there were several FB posts about locals, inundated with garters, desperate for someone to come catch them as they were terrified of snakes. Perhaps a "snake relocation" could be utilized to boost your population (and save both the snakes and their current landlord from each other?).
He comes across as very kind, genuine, humble, and helpful. His channel shows you how to build your own ram pump, how they operate, how well (quantitatively) they perform. It's a good learning experience from a good man.
Things I found very useful in that report that modern science doesn't normally point out.
-Whether or not a tree is 'bled' has zero effect on a trees structural properties, yet many lumber companies at that time period(wouldn't surprise me if it was still the same today) refused 'unbled' trees.
-As a rule of thumb, structural strength goes by weight, then whether from base or from top, and then whether from heartwood or from sapwood/bark. This applies to all species of trees.
-Most species experience drastically increased structural strength when dried evenly to moisture levels at 12-15% moisture. Pine trees increase in structural strength anywhere from 40% to 100%, oak trees increase 90% to 190%, hickory 100% to 190%, elm 40% to 80%, ash 50% to 70%.
-Locality of the tree has ZERO effect on the structural strength of the wood despite popular belief at that time period(wouldn't surprise me if that belief was still the same today).
-Structural strength of species generally go from pine to oak to hickory. Pine being the lightest, then oak, then hickory(the heaviest).
Ill add the rest of the nuggets of truth tomorrow, I gotta get to bed!
Thanks Anne. I will have to start over if things improve. That swale area is where their house will go. Maybe after it’s all done a new plan will present itself. I’m always looking for ways to improve the land.
I'm a terrible planner by default. I like to do things as they pop up in my head, and that is why I end up overwhelmed and exhausted sometimes - and my garden used to be a field overgrown with weeds come August.
This year, I made a conscious effort to at least plan some things - when and where to sow and plant, for instance. It typically doesn't happen the way I plan it and it takes even more conscious effort to let go of that, but at least there is a general semi-structured picture existing outside my head that I can look at when I lose track of things. That helped tremendously with the startup this spring.
Another thing I'm good at is doing things half. Like weeding half a bed, or mulching half the amount of mulch I should be mulching. I try to be more mindful, determinded and informed when I start something, so I don't give up too soon because I feel incompetent or overwhelmed.
And I make lists, pen and paper. One every few weeks, with everything that's popped up in my head that I think needs to be done (or that I want done, anyway). I mark the items that are really important or urgent and try to do those first, and I just do everything else depending on how I feel, how much time I have, and what the weather's like. It's a mental exercise too, letting go of the things that really do not need to happen now (and some ever).
Oh, and because it's so satisfying to cross anything off my list that is completed, I split up big projects into smaller tasks. Not 'make little pond', but 'relocate rhubarb', 'dig hole', 'install liner', 'fill pond', 'get plants'. There are more items on my list this way, but they also get done quicker, and that is really good for my mindset. I just make a new list whenever my old one has just a few items left.
So basically I dream big, make lists, do what really needs to be done, let go of what I cannot manage, and forgive myself for things that I don't get done or that don't work out.
Yes, I think about that too! I feel that diversity is likely super important. I've always been a relatively adventurous eater, but still felt like I could go farther. A few years back, we made a new year's resolution to try one new thing a month from the produce section at the grocery store--things like celeriac or prickly pear cactus fruit, or anything that we had never bought before. We didn't keep the the once a month thing going, but the resolution kept me open to seeking out and trying new things always. And I've also started foraging in the past couple years... both in the wild and in my garden. And since I'm gluten free, I've been playing with different grains and pseudo-grains (that I buy in small amounts from Bulk Barn)--things like teff and sorghum. In fact, my apple crisp uses both of those, and we absolutely love it. I've played with growing my own quinoa. I always plant many varieties of each veggie--like three kinds of peas, four different cukes, 12 different tomatoes, etc. So yes, I think it's important, and I also think it's fun!
I did that with a small apple tree by digging a compost pit starting about 2 feet from the planting hole and going further from it. I filled it with stuff to compost, and now add a little every week, so I'm building soil and watering the tree at the same time. I'm mostly adding "wet stuff" like veggie scraps, unless it starts to smell a little which tells me to add some extra "browns".
To my mind, growing over a septic tank has two issues:
First is the depth and quality of soil you have to work with. The fill used to backfill around the tank will be chosen to protect the tank, period. It is probably garbage from a growing perspective, with just enough topsoil to grow lawn. It will also dry out quickly because of the "concrete hard pan" beneath. Not attractive as a grow space.
Second, ANY plant that has powerful penetrating roots can cause major, enormously expensive damage. Many perennials and essentially all trees are a no-go anywhere on or near a septic tank. And it's not just the tank -- many jurisdictions require a full system upgrade as soon as you touch any component. Yikes.
No big updates to report. The monster zucchini is still going strong, but everything else is just kind of "existing" in the triple digit temps. I did plant some bush beans a week ago and a few are coming up, but the grasshoppers have gotten so bad lately that one seedling was eaten, and the others may be next if the pests find them. I've only had to water a couple of times, mainly because of the bean seeds and the most recent transplants that haven't gotten a good root system going yet. I also need to fill up the compost cage again, since a lot of it was broken down with the last rains and intense heat/humidity (and soldier fly larvae).
It would seem that all of the organic matter making up the lasagna layers of the bed is holding moisture and nutrients, because the weeds, especially crabgrass, have gotten thick and tall all around the bed (and probably filling it with their seeds *eye roll*). It seems like I clear around the diameter and a few days later the crabgrass is already dangling new seed heads over the border and into the bed. The rocks I put in the "keyhole" are suppressing it a little in that area, but the weeds that do grow in there are hard to pull out *eye roll again*. Of course, the grasshoppers don't care about that; they are just wanting the good stuff. The two comfrey plants in the ground outside of the keyhole are thriving, but not really suppressing the weeds.
Maybe divide and spread the comfrey around the bed for future mulch as a way to put leached nutrients back in the bed.
Also consider a deep layer of wood chips to keep crabgrass in check until I'm able to buy a weed eater, scythe, or something to cut down the weeds.
Depending on how the current, perennial herbs in the bed do, I may make it into a semi-permanent herb garden. I need to move some potted lavender and rosemary over there to see how they tolerate the afternoon shade.
I think you're spot on in terms of east porch. The early light seems to be what the seedlings love. Afternoon exposure, I think, stays too cold in the morning and then turns too hot in the afternoon. And starting in flats is often a better option for me too
My primary sources are my friends' goat bedding (aged), my chicken compost, and wood chips from a local arborist. I have added wood chips atop my large section of clay, and more diverse plants are starting to grow on it.