Mekka Pakanohida

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since Aug 16, 2010
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Recent posts by Mekka Pakanohida

Jonchandler wrote:
Live in SoCal and thinking of a bamboo (Black) border on the western part of my property. Its down slope and do not want to water out there. 

Was thinking a buried huglebed (2-3 ft down) that rose above grade by about 2' may provide enough of a berm to easily containg the bamboo.  Any rhizomes shooting off would be seen out the side of the bed and whacked with a hoe. 

What are any thoughts of bamboo growing in a huglebed?

I would like to have this bed be about 4oo' long.  I have plenty of wood dead oak limbs and manzanita to fill it.   


You can easily do this if you line the 400' with something to protect the runner type of bamboo from spreading.  You will need a 2.5' deep barrier to stop this rhizomes.  However, if you are using clumping type of bamboo it will be much less of an issue.
12 years ago

Travis Philp wrote:
There is a program in my province that provides trees for 15 cents each. I've just met with a consultant about it today and it sounds like a great thing to be a part of.

I'd like to pick the collective brain of to see what kind of a plan you would come up with from the information below...


The program requires a minimum of 5 acres and 3000 trees, which means that each tree would be 8 feet apart if spaced evenly, which doesn't have to be the case. The property itself is 100 acres with 70 workable. At 15 cents per tree plus taxes its about $500-$600. I could plant up to 4500 or so trees but money is at a minimum, and also thats getting a bit too dense in terms of planting space for my liking, though it could have advantages.

An agreement must be made that I won't do any cutting of the trees for 15 years. The consultant told me that this is more of a general rule simply meant to keep people from selling 5-10 year old trees as nursery stock or christmas trees on a large scale. He then said that in reality some trees will have to come out for various reasons and at that point, why not sell them or do as you wish with them. So there is some flexibility there but I'm not yet sure how much.

The site preparation and planting is subsidized and my choices of method are furrowing with a tractor, or spraying with vinegar (this took some convincing on my part).

We at the farm here will be doing the vegetation control and could even get paid for it through the subsidy. As long at the methods work and meet approval anything goes really. My impression is that its a requirement that the planting area be relatively free of vegetation which eliminates food forest gardening (stupid, IMO) but I proposed seeding with a ground cover of white clover and this was alright with the consultant. The site I'm thinking of is in zone 4/5 anyways so I think I can deal with that.

The site itself is pretty flat, sandy loam, with a somewhat high groundwater level, though I'm not sure how high as I've only seen the land in the fall and winter.

As far as planting patterns, they are open to ideas about interplanting and staying away from straight rows, as long as it doesn't interfere with vegetation control. So I'm thinking of planting in sun traps or wavy lines at least but am open to suggestion.

Species List: (If you want scientific names I'll dig em up)


white Ash
eastern white cedar
red osier dogwood

The following lists are available as well, and there are few to none of these on the property (There are a handful of mature sugar maple, willow and black cherry which could self seed so maybe I don't need to buy these?)


white spruce
black spruce
white pine
red pine


highbush cranberry
red osier dogwood


green ash
sugar maple
red maple
silver maple
black walnut
black cherry
black locust

So I open the floor. What would you do in my situation?

I would go to the Permaculture Research Institute Permaculture Forums and ask there as well so I could work with the numerous people who have PDC's and working Permaculture farms.
12 years ago

da_wanderer wrote:
Greetings from a newbie,

I am slowly learning about permaculture and have been working my garden in the right direction. I have noticed that we have Chinese silk trees all over the place. I now know that they are classified as an invasive exotic. However, since they are already all over the place, and they fix nitrogen, I would like to use them as companions with my fruit trees. I am thinking I could prune them into a large shrub form and plant them in relative proximity to my semi-dwarf fruit trees. I could probably control the number of pods they produce with fall pruning.

Anyone have a better suggestion? I like the idea of using what is already here.

go for it, sounds wise to me.  You are learning already faster then the US Forestry service that spent millions in Alaska to learn Alders are N fixing trees that appear as the first trees in the forest cycle.
12 years ago

Loren Luyendyk wrote:

The corporate model can work as long as the employees are happy. 

This IMO is a fallacy because for the current economics that we humans are tied to it sadly isn't about the employee, it is about minimizing spending, and maximizing sales.  Corporate models do not work under the whims of nature.

Secondly, a property should never be bought with the intention of going in with a mindset to grow x,y,z crops.  This is not how permaculture design works.  The first year alone is supposed to be about long walks on the property noting sun, moon, wind, and a numerous amount of other data, and that is prior to even going in and mapping the property for setting up crops of any kind.  This is a great way to scare off investors of any kind because they are not seeing any return, i.e. profit.

When you can find investors smart enough to think "down the road" and not for quick profit, then Industrial size permaculture can take off, else you need to do it slowly yourself with your own money.

That, more then anything, is the limiting factor...  the all mighty $

12 years ago

Brenda Groth wrote:
I would create the largest food forest a matter of fact, that is what I'm doing here for "future generations" many of the trees I'm putting in these days won't bear before I'm either very old or gone (I'm 60)

BAH!  60 is the new 40! 

Like Brenda, I am creating a food forest for future generations, as well as art.
13 years ago

John Polk wrote:
With enough diversity, an untended forest would balance itself out.  The caveat would be that the plants most adaptable to the environment would eventually squeeze out the plants less suitable for the environment.

For what it's worth, banana plantations are extremely high labor intensive.  The only reason they are inexpensive is that they grow in regions where labor is cheap.

Really?  My college had a small cropping of them where a water drain diversion ditch spilled out and I never saw anyone doing anything to them ever.  They were some of the best bananas I had ever had, and I worked on the grounds of that campus year round.  (No summer off)

BTW - Here is a good laugh for ya... Organic Gardening magazine by Rodale publishers a year or so ago put an article in the magazine in favor of GMO bananas.  It was at that point I cancelled my free subscription.
13 years ago

oracle wrote:
Nice story. Arthur seemed like a cool guy, a bit ahead of his time, in terms of gardening technique.

I disagree, it sounds more like he maintained the way the North East used to be, prior to Euro-centric invasion / expansion.  I cite the 1st chapter of 'Edible Food Forests, Chapter 1.'

13 years ago

LasVegasLee wrote:
I think I would start at the top and work my way down anyway, since I would rather shovel dirt downhill than shovel it uphill.

You need to start at the bottom and work upwards in order to capture any mistakes due to landslides, not to mention you want your topsoil higher up on the property to reduce soil erosion.
13 years ago

RyanJ wrote:
If it makes you feel any better, wisteria is a nitrogen fixer.  Whether or not the fixed nitrogen is a benefit relative to the maintenance required to keep the plant in check is a tough call; however, just think, all the pruning you do to the plant releases that much more nitrogen into the soil.

It's awesome for attracting bees, and other pollinators as well. 
13 years ago