kirk dillon

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since Feb 07, 2012
Maple City Michigan
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Recent posts by kirk dillon

paul salvaterra wrote:This was tried a long time ago in Plymouth.MA, was quickly modified

Hi Paul, can you provide any specifics about that? I'm just curious more than anything else. Were the people living near by? City? Countryside? How many people? Permaculture oriented?
6 months ago
 My wife and I grow a bit for the farmers market and the rest for us. We start seeds in a basement bedroom and transfer them to the greenhouse in early spring. We have been doing this for 4 years now. Our small greenhouse is attached to the east side of our house with a 2nd floor deck over it. I have 4 black 55 gallon barrels on the south side and 4 on the east side, all full of water and all right near the plastic walls. There is also a 2 foot diameter concrete column painted black in the SE corner of the greenhouse. I made my growing tables directly over the barrels so any stored heat would keep the plants warm at night. This took away some growing area but if I had put the barrels on the far side of the greenhouse they would have gotten almost no sun. I only get east and south sun entering the greenhouse and Michigan winters are "very" cloudy. The barrels freeze solid every winter and take a long time to heat up in the spring, however I've noticed that when we are ready for the greenhouse, the greenhouse is definitely warmer than the outside temps (especially at night). Even if the greenhouse is not super warm, it still evens out the temps a lot.
 IF you use water barrels, be sure to loosen or remove covers to let the water expand as it freezes. I forgot to do this and the top and bottom of the barrels expanded about 3 inches. Then you have to wait till they thaw in spring, drain them and straighten them, re-install and re-fill. Pain in the ass...............
 I could have probably installed a RMH instead of the barrels, but the barrels were free, fast, easy and need zero fuel and zero input and I don't have room for both.
 Hope this helps...............
10 months ago
 Be sure to consider the width of a trike or even a 2 wheeled trailer. If there are narrow areas to bike through, this could be an un-forseen problem.
  I'm 60 and I have a Yuba Mundo cargo bike and love it but it is a huge bike. I would recommend a smaller, "basic" e-bike with a "single" wheeled trailer ("B.O.B." is a version of these trailers). If you go this route, get an easy to use "frame stand" instead of a normal "kick stand". This will hold up the bike and trailer while loading/ unloading and getting on and off the bike. Small rear panniers, small "frame", (not front fork) mounted front rack and small single wheeled trailer plus all the safety stuff previously mentioned, should cover all that is needed. Good luck.
10 months ago
There is such a structure, look inside your head, it's in there somewhere I guarantee it............

 My plan is all the things you described. To further add redundancy for my cold winter nights (zone 6a), I'm going to add a rocket mass heater with the mass being a portion of the "polar" wall and heavy-duty insulated window coverings for nights. All those appropriate technologies together will prove to be a very resilient system. Place the whole thing against the equatorial wall of the house and you can use some of the heat for living quarters plus the produce will be easily accessible............
2 years ago

Eric Hanson wrote:
I know that its leaves have a very high N rating

Except for "your" post, I've never heard anybody say that Comfrey is high in nitrogen. ........ It is noted for being a "dynamic accumulator". (it accumulates a lot of minerals and trace elements in it's leaves). The leaves have very few fibrous parts and decompose "very" quickly.  If "you" provide Nitrogen (compost, clover, etc.) that "will" help it grow fast and healthy though.
3 years ago
I also have quite a few Comfrey plants and the only thing that seems to stunt them is thick grass. I have some under my Black Locust trees and they seem to get huge leaves in the shade and don't seem to flower as easily/ quickly. I chop and drop the Comfrey 3 times per season and I try to have 2 Comfrey plants beside each tree or shrub. I "do" have lots of WDC around each guild, but that is for the main plant in each guild. I also chop and drop the clover when needed. Comfrey is pretty easy to grow. I had about 200 cuttings in pots sitting in the garden ready to sell at the local farmers market. Some of the small roots had already grow out the bottom of the pots and into the grass below. After i moved the last half of the containers, we ended up with an "unexpected" Comfrey patch because a lot of those small root pieces grew into plants.................
3 years ago

Steve Taylor wrote:That is my reasoning to save the word permaculture for after gaining someone's interest in the benefits first

This is from a different angle I guess. I take my Permaculture produce to the local Farmers markets and display it to the public. I let them taste and smell the produce. They are interested in the benefits before we even start talking.

Steve Taylor wrote:the word permaculture needs to and will be used

I agree and have my farm name "Rooted In Permaculture" on a big sign behind our stand. That way the word is easily visible. Even if they don't talk to me about Permaculture at all, they still see the word and curiosity may get them to find out more (the seed has been planted).

Steve Taylor wrote:the goal is to get people interested in Permaculture

In my situation it seems like a great opportunity to engage people because they are seeing the end result, (the produce), while we chat about how it got there.

Steve Taylor wrote:many people use different terminology like regenerative agriculture or beyond organic

Some people do steer away from the actual word "Permaculture". Personally, I embrace it, flaunt it, preach it. I'd like to see it tagged somewhere. I think a few roadside billboards In a few big cities with just the word PERMACULTURE on them would go a looonnng way. But for me personally I actually use the words Beyond Organic and Beyond Sustainable on my banner for a few reasons.
  First,     It's true.  In my opinion, even the best "Organic" practices are not as good as Permaculture and "sustaining" isn't good enough. I want a continuously increasing healthy biodiversity.
  Second, I use those words because they "are" more recognizable by the uninformed masses(exactly your point) and that gets them interested in "how" is it beyond.......which leads the conversation back to Permaculture.
  Third, Having the word Organic on my banner attracts people who are interested in Organic produce. That's what I'm selling. It's just a different certification...

Todd Parr wrote:What I am saying is that I don't believe that a vegetarian diet is healthy for anyone long term, and that I believe meat, or at least animal products like eggs, are absolutely essential for optimal human health.  I understand that we disagree about this, but I don't know a single vegan that is healthy and doesn't take supplements.

I have been vegan for 38 years. I am 57 now. I took some vitamins as a young vegan but have not done so for at least 20 years. I worked many years as a carpenter and did a lot of physical exercise (like yoga, mountain biking and sea kayaking), I can still do 5 pullups, 15 pushups and hand chop a pile of firewood every year. I have had my blood tested almost every year for the last 15 years or so and always asked about thyroid health, Vit B12, cholesterol, Vit. D, etc. Anything that I thought might be a "vegan" type problem. I've even paid extra for this or that test just to be sure. In all those tests the "ONLY" thing that was ever brought up as a possible problem was slightly high cholesterol for about 1 year. I eat a highly varied diet. I eat "organic" as much as I can. I drink Kombucha, I love sauerkraut. I don't eat Kale soup 3 times a day or anything weird like that. Probably the healthiest thing I do eat is a great breakfast every morning of oats, raisins, tofu, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, banana, blueberries, flax meal, honey, and sometimes I have a glass of soymilk with molasses in it. I can still work hard and I am mentally sharp, my sex life is good and I am a happy person. Am I just "lucky", I don't think so. My family (8 siblings) has had it's share of medical problems like colitis, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, heart valve replacements, etc., yet non of them live like I do. Proper diet and proper exercise go a long, long way. In my opinion...............
3 years ago

Michael Cox wrote: For example I can spend £10,000 landscaping my few acres and turning it into a permaculture paradise. However, with that same £10,000 I can support a community in Africa that wants to terrace it's water shed and build a sand dam - guaranteeing reliable safe water supply year round for 2000+ people.

with that same £10,000 you could teach those same 2000 people everything about Permaculture and empower them to change their Paradigm forever. Dams, ponds, swales, it's all in there............Just a thought

A PDC "is" based on Bill Mollison's designers manual. That's the way it was set up. The information is non specific to a particular bio-region on purpose. Nobody knows where the students will end up living in the future. The course is designed so that you have the information to design a Permaculture system anywhere in the world. Swales, nitrogen fixing trees, companion plants, insect attractors, insect confusers, dynamic accumulators, etc. all do the same job no matter where they are. You just use different types for your area. Africa, New Caledonia, Sweden, USA, etc. all have nitrogen fixers growing locally but they will be very different varieties and will fit into their local Permaculture system in different ways. I learned in Utah and applied the information in Michigan. You will need to do "some" homework where you design to find out which plants in the area fit the desired outcomes. In my opinion, there should be "some" local information taught but if a PDC teaches too much about a specific region then it is doing an injustice to the student.
4 years ago