Luke Townsley

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since Apr 17, 2010
Joplin, MO Zone 6b
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Recent posts by Luke Townsley

I agree that you will lose a lot of space, but maybe you aren't concerned about the space and just want a particular look/feel, a heat sink or a structure to moderate humidity or temperature.

Anyway, compressed earth blocks is something I really want to try and one unexpected thing I have heard mentioned is to avoid clays that expand when wet since they can cause blocks to self destruct rather quickly. In your case, it might actually not matter as much though since it would be indoors and presumably better protected from moisture.

One rammed earth company is basically doing an engineered sandstone that appears to me to contain little to no clay. I doubt that it has quite the same ability to transfer moisture and to cool without the clay, but might be very appropriate for your use case if you can figure it out.
1 year ago
A lot of people have found healing from excruciating pain through Dr. John Sarno's mind-body techniques (get one of his books). Typically it affects people who, by nature, are perfectionists and/or people pleasers (both fine traits, BTW) as well as people with severe trauma/abuse in their past.

I know other people will read through these things looking for ideas and I thought I would throw it out there. It helped me resolve some chronic issues in an unimaginably short timeframe. There was a 20-20 episode on it a good while back too.
4 years ago

Amber Foster wrote:Hi everybody! My partner in crime, Rob, and I just bought land in Douglas county Missouri. We are moving there in about 39 days to start our Permaculture homestead. Eventually we would love to start a small intentional community, but that may happen slowly and we need to get ourselves settled first. We would love to talk to/get to know locals who are into Permaculture.

Amber, have you moved, is it working out for you?

We have family in SW Missouri and may move down there at some point within the next year or two.
4 years ago

brian hanford wrote:has no one ever looked at the harbor freight band saw mill its what im looking at for the move to our rural property.
1,999$ right now

I have a friend who just bought one. For the money, it's fairly impressive. Short track, and like most saws would benefit from a total alignement/workover/setup. My main concern is parts, and you will always need parts... Also, the track is short. He is going to buy some steel to extend the track.

I ran a lumbersmith for a while too. It is in the same price range, and ok for what it is. Very slow though.
4 years ago
Regarding the clover, it is a bit hard to explain, but I planted some dutch clover with some of my cover. It was a mistake for my purposes. To clarify, I'm talking mixed species perennial living mulch in a vegetable garden in Indiana around the plants and in the rows ie over everything, not just between beds or similar situations which is entirely different.

The clover I have growing is too tall, too clumped, too growthy and just not well suited for my particular purposes. Perhaps micro clover would be better. I may try it at some point.

And as with all things, I'm not suggesting it would be entirely unsuited for every situation, but for mine, it hasn't been a good fit at all so far.
5 years ago

andrew john wrote:Yes i am using perennial cover crops.

Andrew John

How about telling us more about what you are doing? Also, I strongly suggest you change the link in your profile since it makes your post look like spam, and it will be reported.
5 years ago
I've heard Elaine Ingham mention Gabe Brown in North Dakota several times. My understanding is he is doing this with row crops, but I can't find much information, and a lot of what he is doing seems to be other stuff. He has some really interesting things going though and is doing some speaking.
5 years ago
There are things to learned from those techniques, but working with crops like vegetables, corn, and beans in the American midwest is a totally different thing from squeezing a cereal crop out of sparse pasture during the "wet" season, which is more or less what they are doing, if I'm understanding it right.

I think this would be an interesting technique for ranchers to have in their arsenal for areas like parts of Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas among others. I see it as a niche for cattle ranchers to diversify a bit, not as a backbone for principle production.
5 years ago
Colin Seis is advocating "pasture cropping" and "no kill cropping" in Australia sowing annual cereals into perennial pastures.

Very different from what I have been looking at for more temperate wet climates, but very exciting stuff. I'm going to look at it more, but it seems like it would require a very dry climate with seasonal spring rainfall to work. If it is doing what I think, it might actually work even here in the American midwest in years after extreme drought like we had a few years ago.
5 years ago

Diego Footer wrote:

Luke Townsley wrote:One thing I'm seeing is that most regenerative ag people seem to have trouble getting their head wrapped around the concept of perennial mulch/cover cropping with appropriately tuned soil biology, at least at first take. They think they understand it, but are really talking about something else. Or they will take a piece or two of the puzzle and disregard it because they know it doesn't work. Or they will lump it together with Fukuoka's techniques which most admire but have had trouble reproducing. Or they will disregard it because we don't yet have the appropriate tools to make it more efficient.

I think a video would be worth a lot in this space. I've pondered the wisdom of trying a low budget kickstarter video this summer documenting at least one new project using these techniques and possibly more. I'm still thinking...

I am going with they think it doesn't work, and it might not. If it worked really well on a commercial scale someone would be doing it. That being said, it is an area worth experimenting and trying to really look at results and optimize a system if there is one there, but I think at this stage it is theory that needs test, versus something that works and just need to be shown that it works. Which I see as one huge need for this space, start testing ideas to see what works and what doesn't. There are too many bold claims that don't have any results behind them. It's time to test ideas.

My experience is that anytime you talk about cover crops, everyone automatically thinks you are talking about growing above ground biomass or nitrogen fixers to be returned to the soil every year. Elaine Ingham is talking about something totally different. My intuition says she is on to something big. There have been a couple of university type field trials along those lines, with somewhat positive results, but they weren't optimized well at all for a positive outcome and haven't really been followed up on as far as I can tell.
5 years ago