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Joshua Myrvaagnes

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since Mar 20, 2014
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kids trees urban
Student of nature's intelligence and permaculture, want to live in community, teach human movement with my hands, in light of F. M. Alexander's discoveries. 

Ask me about drL, the rotational-mob-grazing format for human relationships.
Massachusetts, 6b, urban, nearish coast, apartment building, landscaping, help!
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Recent posts by Joshua Myrvaagnes

Cool beans.  What zones are each of you overwintering these in?  Thanks.
20 hours ago
I have a need to bring my work to life with others.  I don't know if I need or want verbal feedback, but sharing the work is a part of the natural flow of creating it.  Anyone up for making a winter art-sharing group?  could be telephone or video conferencing.  Thanks!

_Just Another Show About Vampires and Permaculture_
A twist on the classic vampire-meets-mortal love story--this time with PDC's, disastrous climate consequences, and hope for a fundamentally new world.
1 day ago
). Perhaps the ancients also knew ways to facilitate the growth of needle ice, by using rotted upright timbers in the ground as a place for vertical ice to form. Perhaps they used the giant stones themselves as heat sinks, pouring subfreezing salt water over the rock to encourage the expansion of ice lenses in the soil beneath.

Same article.  Wow!

The problem really is the solution,  ain't it.  What could this be used for?? Heave some swales into place, then prop them up so they can't sink to their initial level?  

(Niw, in my situation I'm not trying to swale the soil, just break up needs to look like a lawn on top that the State mower can go over.  Maybe banging stakes of scrounged wood into the ground would help...I do not have a broad fork or yeoman's plow, btw, nor a bunch of daikon radish and anyway it's winter.)

3 days ago
It seems natural to assume they would have moved cut stones the same way: on slabs of ice in waterways. Failing that, if there were large tracts of flat ice, at the time, between the Marlborough Downs (where the Stonehenge megaliths were quarried) and Stonehenge, perhaps the huge sarsens, affixed with sails, transported themselves, the way "sailing stones" of Death Valley, California (weighing up to a third of a ton) move sizable distances on their own

And it says the Beakers dropped pottery on the ground in places, he theorizes to raise clay content in the soil and therefore wicking, causing!!!  This is a speculative but well argued article imo, fascinating at the least .
3 days ago
The fact that frozen soil has a significant strength advantage over unfrozen soil has prompted the use of artificial ground freezing to aid in construction projects where it is critical to avoid deformation of the ground adjacent to an excavation.

The closest to a result for web search term "deliberate use of frost heaves"
3 days ago

Mike Haasl wrote:Another idea to throw in the mix would be to set up snow fences (natural or man-made) to cause deliberate drifts.  Then as the higher piles of snow melt (from the bottom) they'd infiltrate more water at those spots.

There's probably also ways to cause the wind to scour snow away from a spot so you don't have to shovel it.  Not sure what that method would be though...


I was just thinking of piling something on contour (that is maybe hill-shaped) and blocks water from reaching the ground under it.  Then you have dry and wetter contours alternating.

Also wanted to put in the idea that frost pockets aren't a problem in dead of winter when nothing is growing anyway.  But on the other hand, if the opening up of the earth on these contours actually made big swales after a time then that would be a frost problem come spring.

Now what could serve the function of blocking snow? Bags of yard waste...maybe piles of leaves...stumps...big stones...?

maybe the fence idea would be better but that would mean being able to stick sticks in the ground, for really hard soil even that would be prohibitive.  

3 days ago

Bryant RedHawk wrote:As you noted in your post, snow melts from the ground surface up so Instead of making a swale to hold water, you want to make domed mounds where you want the water to soak into the soil. (It is the exact opposite of building in ground swales)


Makes sense.  Unless, of course, it rains on top of the smow... but in either case I'd make the same thing, a "pile" on contour with a dip next to it where I got the snow for the pile from.  I'm too lazy to get snow from elsewhere to make a pile on top of the whole snow layer, and I imagine it wouldn't make much more impact, right?

I'll see what happens.
3 days ago
Makes sense.  I would think the heaving and collapsing would also loosen the soil...but I imagine that it only affects soil that is good at retaining water already, whereas hard pan would not absorb much water and therefore heave little.

Has anyone ever tried utilizing this property of frost?

11% is a lot! That's a big shift.

I guess the problem of laying the trench in the same place each time would be a challenge. But if you dug up a tad of turf too by accident...(I'm not supposed to dig under ground but an inch is hardly anything, right?)

3 days ago
So I know I'm a permie when I go outside to shovel snow in the nearby orchard--with a spade.  

I wanted to try to make some very, very temporary swales.  I'm not supposed to dig underground, so I just dug in the snow (we had about 6") some very lame swales kind of on contour (guesstimate method).  

My idea was that maybe when the snow melts it will infiltrate more inside the swales, starting to contour the land ever-so-slightly.  And that may help when it's rain.

And then, further, that maybe the uneven thaw and freeze in the swale and non-swale areas might swell unevenly and break up the subsoil some...???

I know snow melts mostly from teh bottom so that undermines this idea.  Hvae to run for now but welcome any thoughts.  thanks!
3 days ago