Heenan Doherty

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since Nov 05, 2012
HeenanDoherty Pty. Ltd.'s primary responsibility is to the regenerative enhancement of the biosphere’s ecosystem processes. Our secondary responsibility is to provide the potential for people to be informed about the regenerative economy, whether it involves their work in agriculture, land management, corporate life, domestic services, manufacturing or other activities that are within the reasonable domain of humans…
Eppalock, Victoria, Australia
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Recent posts by Heenan Doherty



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3 years ago
Thanks for the note Wyomiles, We did too and fortunately the internet didn't break down with 5 mins to go on the second session AND I remembered to press the record button so it was all recorded for future viewing. You will be sent a code to access this when we put it up on-line.
Thanks again and all the best,

Darren
7 years ago
G'day,

I just wanted to give my thanks to the Permies team for having me on board as a guest this last week. Its been an interesting experience and reminded me of how time consuming forums can be and even more so when you are attempting to answer many of the questions and counter questions posed. Thanks also to the patient and interested folks out there who put up some great questions.

I now look forward to the launch of eHD this week (http://www.heenandoherty.com/events/ehd-1-keyline-basics-geometry) and hopefully this will address some of the gulf's of understanding people have around the great system of Keyline Design.

Thanks again for the opportunity and all the best,

Darren Doherty
www.heenandoherty.com
www.facebook.com/heenandohertypl
7 years ago
G'day Andrew, Thanks for the post...I sent a reply the other night but it failed due to .kmz files not being permitted attachments. Send me a note via email and I'll send you the links via that medium. All the best, Darren PS for the second of the 2 links check out this PhotoLog (https://picasaweb.google.com/117745392570544689225/PAYeomansOldPropertyViaOrangeNSWAU?authuser=0&feat=directlink)
7 years ago
G'day,

Thanks for the notes.

Plowing the earth when it is bone dry is ok in my opinion as you are typically trying to remedy the situation of shallow and compacted and therefore no air & few fungi/aerobic biota. The Keyline plow shanks are set 80-100cm apart and so there is a considerable amount of area in between that is not disturbed. I would still ideally plow just after the first rains have kicked the soil biota into life (and plants) and the sub soil is dry but the nature of rain in most deserts doesn't allow you to be so strategic with your timing and so plowing as close to when the rains are likely to come is best practice in my opinion. So yes plowing of any description will cut through any hyphal networks, its a matter of how much and is what your plowing for part of a greater plan to regenerate a landscape using the plow as just one tool in a kit of integrated approaches.

So if you have desert soils the most important thing is to 1. get 100% ground cover 100% of the time 2. Push towards perennials establishing and persisting 3. Capture and infiltrate any runoff in situ so that damaging run-off doesn't occur - keyline pattern cultivation is one of the best ways of achieving this as is planned grazing (see: http://circleranchtx.com/circle-ranch-keyline-contrast-photos-9410) (Also BEFORE: http://www.permacultureglobal.com/system/post_images/3546/original/IMGP1342.JPG?1337711596 AFTER: http://www.permacultureglobal.com/system/post_images/3544/original/WW%20Before.jpg?1337711592 ) 4. Use planned livestock grazing to manage the vegetation and increase energy flow + mineral & water cycles.

Regarding education and pedagogy we have tried several formats over the years and done about 50 Keyline courses of various lengths. Because everyone is different with their levels of map literacy we have concluded that eHD is the best means available so we can spend the maximum time needed to deal with each and every element of this very incredible system of Keyline.

Thanks,

Darren

Darren
7 years ago
Thanks R. Scott, Did you catch this video: https://vimeo.com/13323213 ? I reckon that it'll help a bunch. All the best, Darren
7 years ago
G'day Xisca,

Have you watched the Keyline videos at all? I'd especially suggest the best one to watch is from 1955 that we posted on Vimeo a couple of years agohttps://vimeo.com/13323213 . This does a fantastic job of explaining many of the key concepts around Keyline Pattern Cultivation.

Otherwise I can highly recommend to you the book by J. MacDonald Holmes 'The Geographic Basis of Keyline'

Thirdly in the thread 'Ridge Patterns' I pointed out the following:

"1. In valleys you should plow parallel below a contour
2. On ridges you should plow parallel above a contour
3. Where you are plowing from valley to ridge or vice versa and you want to do it optimally then you should A. mark the keypoint and then the keyline of the valley (its full and correct term) B. on the adjacent ridges mark the lowest point on the ridge and then the contours of these till you hit the valley C. Mark a parallel offset up the ridge (s) until you hit the end point (s) of the keyline of the valley D. Plow parallel to this continuous line both above and below and all is good in the world! "

That pretty well sums it up. Again this is why I have started to do eHD so that we can go through these very basic concepts at a pace that allows all to understand things from the start. I'm sorry Xisca that I've not been able to help you completely over the last week, but sometimes forums are not the best means of communicating things without spending more time that I unfortunately have available: that's why I don't do fourms anymore...

Thanks and all the best,

Darren
7 years ago
G'day R. Scott,

The workmaster type rippers are fine provided the foot angle is set to between 8-11 degrees (limiting soil inversion) and you get to the shank face with a grinder to put a knife edge on it reducing disturbance and HP requirements. Also only go about 2-3mph so you don't glaze the subsoil. Otherwise all the same keyline soil renovation processes apply...

Remember too that Yeomans spent over 20 years using the humble and common chisel plow (a US invention!) and built soils just fine with it even though it doesn't have the cleanest effect. The secret to the whole thing is the process and whilst there are implements that do better jobs than others it is the process that is key to success...

All the best,

Darren
7 years ago
Thanks Peter, I would call that stony ground not rocky and we have some parts of our place and many in our region that are much stonier and rockier than this and still apply the use of the homesteader's plow (the broadfork) or the keyline plow itself...Most important thing to realise is that if you want to build soil quickly its the interaction of the plants and the soil biota that make this possible. They don't like compaction and most importantly they don't like it when you keep the pasture short as this keeps the roots short. Simple as that. So if you have no access to a plow or a fork or any other device then let pasture (lawns let to grow are pastures!) grow to just before flowering and then cut or graze them, preferably the latter so that you get production and manure/urine return. Want to garden this next or grow some trees? Then heavy mulch to kill the pasture and/or lasagne bed it up and you'll be away...Not hard especially in the humid zones of the US or anywhere else...All the best, Darren
7 years ago
G'day Nina,

It sounds like your keyline trainer is not particularly experienced as I would never recommend plowing wet soil nor do you bust a pan if its too deep or too thick straight up...it causing glazing and is detrimental to soil conditions.

As I mentioned in another post the best time to typically plow in winter freeze conditions is in autumn when the sub soil is dry and there is still enough surface soil moisture and temperatures to get some growth before things shut down. Any snow melt and rain will then work its way into the plow 'fissures' and get you ready for spring and summer. Then when the meadow is at the point of flowering graze or mow the grass at this point.

If in your case the autumns are wet then you may have to plow in May/August in successive fields over successive years so as to allow the processes of soil regeneration to take place without compromising your income. I'm going to assume that you are not continuously cropping and so when a field is in a pasture rotation then you should do your plowing on it and leave your cropping paddock (s) alone. Also only plow 2" (50mm) below the existing root depth. Its a waste of diesel going any deeper...Keyline soil renovation is a process that is not a race to the bottom, you are combining the use of a physical implement to create the incremental conditions for the soil and plant biology along with the soil and atmospheric chemistry and energy flows to get to work on providing the conditions for organisms to achieve their physiological potential and than doesn't happen overnight.

Whatever the case please don't plow your soil when its wet or when the subsoil is wet...

All the best,

Darren
7 years ago