Pedro VanGogh

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since Aug 11, 2011
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Recent posts by Pedro VanGogh

I'm looking for more drought tolerant/hardy varieties if possible as I'm out here in Southern California. I notice a lot of those need a good amount of humidity which we just don't have. I've found something about Cherry Sage purifying certain toxins but I can't find many details, as most of the info on the internet is for indoor plants... Thanks!
8 years ago
Does anybody have a good list of air purifying plants, specifically trees and shrubs? I have a client who lives on the corner of a busy street, and would like to purify the air around her house as much as possible and also block the view/noise of the traffic. Any advice would be much appreciated!
8 years ago
Those are some good tips! I'm not too worried about large mudslides, but I'd like to prevent any minor ones from damaging future plantings, so this question is more about preventing any possible erosion. I'm going to create an overflow from each swale to the next lower swale, and eventually down to a pond at the bottom of the slope.
As for tests, neither I nor the landowner have the money for any experts. He knows I'm new and we are both willing to do trial and error. He's a builder by trade, so he has the machines and tools necessary to repair any damage.
So basically I either want to swale or terrace this hilly land, catch as much water as possible at the top, and let it slowly flow down to the crops/pond at the bottom. I am probably going to be moving on to his land and gaining self-sufficiency too. He's never heard of permaculture and once I started piling ideas on top of him he wanted to put it into action. We are in the pre-planning stages and I'm just looking for any tips from people who have done it, before I just find the contour and take his bulldozer up there... lol
He has many existing "tracks" on his land which he made for his daughter's BMX course. I don't see the roads giving out too much just by observasion, but all remaining vegetation still exists. A previous owner planted 1000 oak trees on the property and they are about 10 feet tall. Definitely overcrowded, but also helping stabilize the slope.
So leaving remaining vegetation in the hill and starting my plants in Spring so they have a growing season to stabilize seems to be the best option, rather than doing the swales right now to catch this winter's moisture. This guy got a major paycut at work and is gung-ho about becoming self-sufficient, so he's willing to try anything.
8 years ago
Hey everybody. I've been studying permaculture for a while and recently just came across my first project. This guy owns 20 acres which is situated in a small canyon with hills on either side. there is about an acre of hillside behind the house which is perfect for putting swales on the contour. The hill is at about a 3:1 ratio (For every 3 ft, the hill goes 1 ft up). We are in the high desert of Southern California and get hot hot summers and snowy winters. That being said, sometimes mudslides can be a problem. Are there any tips some of the more experienced people have? How do I stop erosion before the plants roots take hold? I plan on using soil stabilizing plants such as Autumn Olive, but I don't want any mudslides before they have a chance to stabilize. Any tips or advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
8 years ago
My only concern with cast iron is the recently published studies on the carcinogenic properties of heating oil past the smoking point, and also re-using oil. It seems to me that the "seasoning" of cast iron might hold carcinogens that are being released into the food. Any thoughts on this?
9 years ago