ariel greenwood

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since Aug 19, 2013
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Recent posts by ariel greenwood

I buy sets of 3 basic black unlined paper journals from moleskine for $18. it basically serves as sturdy, slightly protected scratch paper. but these days most of my observations go into my Evernote folder called "ecology" where I catalogue before/after photos of pasture and unknown plants, etcetera.

I don't know about how easy it is to share or convert Evernote files, tho. but in my experience stuff just doesn't get written down if doing so is tedious or out of the way.
9 years ago
ditto to Sheri - Musi, we'd love to see photos as you go!

I have a few questions about your situation, as I know nothing about where you are or Nigeria in general.

- what are your markets like? village, town, urban? what are people buying that you could grow in the near term, and further out?
- where are you sourcing your materials? to what extent can you order seeds and other material?
- what kind of labor is available to you, whether free (friends, neighbors, family) or paid? what kind of machinery/implements/tools?
9 years ago
can I expect the grasses in my goat pastures to regenerate after being grazed when there is no rainfall from April thru October? even if there is a stocking rate and rotation schedule that avoids overgrazing of grasses and shrubs, and leaves a significant manure load in its wake, can I expect the manure to contribute to regrowth if there is no moisture or rain?

this is in a region with mediterranean chaparral. anyone familiar with such environs is especially encouraged to comment.
9 years ago

Upgeya Pew wrote:I've been learning and teaching Compassionate Communication (also known as Nonviolent Communication or NVC) for over a decade. NVC has a particular understanding of the subtleties of the English language that might be helpful here. ...

thank you for that. I've read & will reread your post. I was hoping someone would bring NVC into this. and I like that I am encountering it through permacultural avenues.

Dan Boone wrote:When I feel the need to say "should" and can't supress it, I go for softening phrases: "I wonder if you should [whatever] if your goal is to..."

yeah. that's better.

I don't know that "should" is inherently problematic, but I do think that more often than not it creates an unhelpful personal dynamic.

to my mind there are a couple of things going on - the first is that one rarely has enough information to suggest what another person should do. best practice is still relative. looking at ecological dynamics, with their myriad interdepencies and contingencies, I get the sense that "it depends" is a better perspective than the more binary "should / should not."

the second is that even if we do somehow know what someone ought to do, having considered their personal context and the various nuances of their life, that manner of expressing it is not likely the most effective. this is what Dan is getting at. I tend to go for "you might consider ..." but this implies that I am genuinely interested in the best outcome for them or the planet. if I'm in a more base state and I am trying to prop myself up as an authority, "you should" does just fine just joking, but I think Paul's assessment on that is pretty solid.

does that mean it's wrong for me to say "you should explore permaculture" to someone? not necessarily. but there is a chance that it's not what someone should actually be involved in at that time. it may not be the most relevant. maybe there are more pressing things to attend to in their life and maybe going down the permaculture rabbit hole would be at the cost of something that must come before. and maybe it'd sound better if I said "given your interest in XYZ, you might consider looking into this thing called permaculture..."

my worst experiences with the word "should" come from when I use it with myself. some kind of aggregate of the best of a hundred people whom I respect becomes a bullying voice that tells me things like "if you take your practice seriously, you should not be relaxing right now!" or "you should not be goofing off, ever! you have the planet to save!" and to remedy this inner bully I've decided to treat it like a hurt child, and offer as much grace to the various other parts of my mind that are vulnerable to this kind of bullying as I would my friends whom I want to support.

one last thought, then it's back to building new pig pastures: for me, the most infuriating thing about "should" is when someone says I should do something I was already planning on doing. that's worse than their suggesting something inappropriate for me because at least in those situations I could say "I've thought about that, but actually, because of these other factors ..." but if someone says I should do what I already was intending to do, and says it in a way that implies they didn't think I'd thought about it or was intending to, it ticks me off. probably a little personal issue of mine revolving around being thought of as stupid.

Cj Verde wrote:Pigs poop in one place if the paddock is relatively small.

yeah, ours make a tidy pile in the spot furthest from them when they are in an enclosed space (like a farrowing pen). out n about in the pastures and woods the manure seems a bit more dispersed, but still organized into general areas where it's clear they only venture to defecate - few signs of rooting or walking once the piles begin to appear.

I do wonder, though, about smaller enclosures moved more frequently. do mob grazed pig pastures have a more even and trodden dispersal of manure?
10 years ago

Cj Verde wrote:

ariel greenwood wrote:...this area is denser and coniferous.

The reason why pigs are found in hardwood forests in Europe is because they ate/killed all the conifers.

yikes! alas, I believe it.
10 years ago
are you importing a Google earth screen shot into Sketchup or can you somehow sync the two?
10 years ago
the last time they were moved was about 3.5 weeks ago. today I noticed some damage on trees above and beyond typical disturbed soil (and even disturbed soil may not be acceptable in my mind) so I know I need to move them again, and much more frequently thereafter. I know a guy further up the coast who moves his every day, not returning them for a full year!

while there are places on the property with a true coast live oak savanna with a productive understory, this area is denser and coniferous. so I'd need to move them more often and supplement more with scrap forage to keep their disturbance at a net-benefit degree. fine-tuning the stocking rate, and following through to manage that, will be a challenge for sure.
10 years ago
thanks for the responses folks. Steve, yes indeed, pretty drastic. I like your notion of feeding your pigs what will eventually sprout to improve forage. I need to get to where I can move my pigs more frequently but that's a pretty cool thought.
10 years ago