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|[+] wells and springs » Well as moisture condenser? (Go to)||Gray Henon|
Thank you all for your helpful input.
Jack, I love that idea. My cabin is a little smaller than that, so I will see if that can work for us.
Eric, with the high levels of E. Coli we have to treat with UV, I am not too concerned. Were I to pump air down the well, a hepa filter on the intake, and another right before the well, would do just fine.
As a side note, the list of innovations that went on to change the world that were first labelled "terrible ideas" and dismissed is really long. After all, "If man were meant to fly, he'd have wings." I'm paraphrasing, but that sentiment held back human flight for hundreds of years.
I'm not sure the initial concept is one such, but I like what has developed from my initial post.
|[+] wells and springs » Well as moisture condenser? (Go to)||Gray Henon|
Hi everyone. I am posting an update to my land thread presently, but first, I had a thought about dry wells and humid air I was hoping someone had ideas about.
So if I pump hot, humid air down my well when it's drying out, shouldn't the moisture condense out on the sides of the well? Would that not refill my well, and eventually contribute to groundwater recharge? Could the air passing out of the well not then be used to cool my house?
Please note these are broad strokes only. I would appreciate any feedback.
Thanks, and good luck.
|[+] lawn » Artificial grass (Go to)||Casie Becker|
Generally speaking, plastic in the environment is bad. It breaks down into microplastics that are ingested and enter the food chain.
Artificial grass is really just astroturf.
Living lawns maintained with chemical fertilizers and attention aren't as good as a polyculture designed to replace it, that largely maintains itself, but at least it is alive, and maintains somewhat living soil beneath it.
Artificial grass is actually worse than just dropping a tarp over it. Not only is anything living under it smothered, but the lack of living soil means that the microbes collected by it thrive on the plastic itself.
Plastic grass isn't a good solution in my books. This is my opinion, but I wouldn't call it permaculture.
Please look at all the alternatives Paul has on this site. From wet meadow to xeriscaped lawn replacement, there are a variety of good options that will actually work to detoxify and bioremediate your area.
Good luck, and good on your municipality for banning artificial turf.
|[+] homestead » Personal Update (Go to)||Chris Kott|
Thanks for your well-wishing.
I would have posted sooner, both since moving and with this response, but for the amount of work I have to do. I am working 10 hour days, four days a week, with a half-day on Fridays, which doesn't sound like much of a change, but I'll tell you, on top of the shift to rural life, it takes it out of you. I'm hoping that my adaptation will speed up as the daylight increases with the progression of the seasons.
A "carolinian forest analogue" is my term for an agroforestry approach I am going to try that uses the base structure of a carolinian oak savannah, but structured for maximum human utility on the specific site in question, using edible contemporary analogues of what wild elements a carolinian oak savannah would comprise.
In this context, that means gradually replacing less productive or useful species of mast or nut tree with more productive ones, replacing wild rose with, for instance, a rose variety that produces larger rosehips, and fleshing out the secondary canopy with productive apple, pear, and stonefruit, with hazels and mulberries in the shady understory, and raspberries, for instance, with cultivated grape varieties, either table or wine, according to what the site and homesteader needs, occupying the vining category, or paw paws, if it's warm and humid enough.
I feel similarly, John, about the forever home versus flipper discussion. For me, it's my forever home until it's not, at this point. But if I do it right, the property will yield more operating as a permaculture food forest farm, and serving as the nucleus of a business, a seed of expansion, than if we were to sell, barring the property value skyrocketing at the same time that something with more house and land in a better location pops up and begs me to buy it.
As to the motorcycle, my morning commute occurs at 0530, dark most of the year, and deer are a real threat. And we get snow here quite regularly. A snow-covered commute in my VW stationwagon is fun, if challenging, at 0530. I don't think I would enjoy a bike. Here, I need a small pickup, hopefully one for which parts are readily available, and that is easy for a novice mechanic to fix themselves for most things.
As to Mizzou, I miss her every day. The truth is, though, that as soon as she injured herself, it was a struggle for her. She couldn't thump when displeased, she couldn't binky when happy, couldn't run, couldn't flop over to her side easily. And she was in pain, for which we had to medicate her daily, which put her to sleep and messed with her eating. We ended up cutting her dosage in half, which made her more mobile and increased her appetite, but not to the same level as before. She just couldn't live her best bunny life, so when she was sure we were safe in our new space, she decided to move on.
Thank you all, by the way. I look forward to being able to generate more new content in this space.
Good luck, and have a great day.
|[+] homestead » Personal Update (Go to)||Chris Kott|
I just wanted to post an update.
Happy news: We decided to quit our jobs in the city last September to fuck off and live in the woods.
We got really lucky a number of times, and in a number of ways, because it all started with our notice of renoviction in May from our Toronto apartment, and the comparables had us outpriced in that market anywhere commuting distance to our workplaces.
I found a job at a bindery in Campbellford, Ontario, and we bought a two-bedroom cabin on an acre woodlot halfway between Toronto and Ottawa on Hwy 7. My much better half is now able to commute to the job she was previously staying out of town for every month, and all she has to do is get up at 4 with me to drive me to work.
We're currently renovating to make the place livable, including painting, updating the countertop, sink, and faucet, and trying to find an end-of-season deal on a good woodstove. Yes, I would much prefer an RMH, but I don't have the time to pour proper footings or to pour a slab foundation for it.
It's mainly temperate hardwoods with some conifers in our patch. I have seen maples and oaks. I plan to observe and tweak the hydrology, and perhaps run our greywater trench high up on our property. It's gently sloping, with two step-downs, almost terraces, though it's unfortunately to the north. It's gradual enough that I don't anticipate shading-out issues.
When I have time for projects, I anticipate starting culinary and medicinal mushrooms first, with as diverse a sampling as I can, but just watering with greywater should make any edible fungi already there come up more reliably, and we are living in the land of the chanterelle. I also want to pursue beekeeping, considering how well bee forage grows around here, and the distinct lack of corn/soy agriculture in the immediate area.
I should be able to carry out a working homestead model of my carolinian forest analogue, structured into swaled silviopastoral alleys on-contour, separated by food forest hedges comprised of apples, pears, stonefruit of all kinds, and an understory of hazels, mulberry trees, different species of raspberry (to spread out the flowering and harvest season), and probably some currants.
For next season, the best I will be able to achieve for gardens are probably raised mounds surrounded by chickenwire-wrapped tripods, but I am already planning to start tomato and pepper plants, perhaps this weekend, and I will basically make as many tripods as I can and plant out all my old stock of seed and see what germinates.
We're already feeding the local songbirds. They're amazing to watch. I am hoping that their increased numbers will draw the local redtailed hawks in greater numbers, and end up taking care of the unbelievable number of squirrels and other rodents in the area
We are two-thirds of the way up the southern side of a bowl, so we are somewhat exposed for being surrounded by forest. I anticipate using some wild-harvested chanterelle spore-inoculated jackpine (the symbiotic partner for the eastern variety) in alleys on our north and western perimeters for some structured wind breaks. I will probably introduce wild blueberries from wild sources if they don't just sprout when I let more light in the windbreaks. I will probably also mix in some christmas tree favourites and a future overstory of white and red pine. I will scout richer areas of soil and plant the white pine there, and the red will go in the shitty soil, as that's where they thrive.
I want to be able to get laying hens, but a dog comes first, and truthfully, I don't have the time and resources to start that up yet. But I should be able to do that here too, eventually.
We might have timber-grade lumber just waiting to be milled hung up on surrounding trees for a season or more, or else at least firewood and materials for split-rail fencing, and there are people with portable sawmills offering their services in the area, so we may have our new roof sitting unmilled outside our window. I want to change our conventional equilateral triangle truss roof to an open barn truss to give us a full second story, and probably put an enamelled raised-seam metal roof on it so we can hear it properly when it rains. That said, we also have southern exposure, want to put a greenhouse on the southern side, and like the idea of solar, so nothing is set in stone; we also really like green roofs, with the sole complicating factor being my want to collect rainwater. So we'll see what happens. We might also glom on an A-frame addition to one side or the other, and maybe that's where the masonry heater will go. Who knows?
On a sad note, Mizzou died. She injured her back and legs jumping off a chair this spring, and there was progressive atrophy because of her paralysis. She made it here, and had some weeks of hopping around outside, where the green treats sprouted up from the ground. She died while we were both home, working on our home, on Hallowe'en, and we buried her under some maples by the drive. She now has lots of room for infinite ghost bunny binkies.
I don't know if we'll be here forever, but there's a ton I can do here, including underpinning and digging out the basement for more space. I wouldn't dismiss building a wofati freezer and root cellar combo, as the terrain favours it in several places, and whatever I'm doing is going to involve squash and root veggies, and canning, drying, and freezing food.
Apart from renovating the house, our next step, as soon as we can, anyways, is finding a fuzzy guardian friend. The kicker is, she (probably a female, but we're flexible) needs to be hypoallergenic, and I would like her to be an LGD, ideally. Accordingly, we're checking out Komondorok (singular: komondor), but there are a variety of poodle crosses that might also suffice, like a Newfypoo, or St. Bernadoodle, or a Bernedoodle, or any number of poodle-LGD crosses. I would prefer a komondor girl, but we'll see what we can manage. Pulis, the small cousin of the komondor, are also on the table.
So I hope everyone is doing well. Hi to any permies that happen to be in my neck of the woods. Drop me a moosage or respond in the thread. I'd love to see if anyone is around.
I will post some pics soon. Take care, and good luck in your efforts.
|[+] wheaton laboratories » Kiln 2.0: melting glass, baking pottery, etc. - design (Go to)||adam wrate|
I just want to add, trapping heat in a ground-based heat loop, even one as simple as an air exchange system taking exhaust heat from the roof peak of a greenhouse or hot shop, would be like trapping the heat in a bench, but bigger and longer-lasting.
My much better half is a glassblower when she's not engraving things with sharp spinny metal. This is my plan for waste heat reuse. I think my secondary use will involve powering a retort to make biochar.
Incidentally, the dirty exhaust that, as a byproduct, creates lovely patterns in woodfired kilns can also negatively affect the colour of glass, especially clear glass. That's why wood gas exhausting from the retort will not be fed back into the furnace, but will, instead, fire a secondary burn under the retort on its own, probably using a one-way pressure valve and a venturi tube/manifold from a barbeque.
|[+] parenting » Parenting advice for a non parent (Go to)||Stacy Witscher|
I agree with Trace. If you find yourself about to utter the words, "Do as I say, not as I do," you're in the middle of a teaching moment where you can correct your own behaviour and educate your child.
I also agree with Robert. No battle plan ever survived contact with the enemy, to paraphrase the saying.
It is difficult to parent as part of a person. You can't really compartmentalise yourself as some would like to do, to be the work person at work, and the dad person at home. I mean, you can try, but one persona invariably bleeds into another, and you find dad person acting in ways perhaps only after-work person allows.
Basically, you have to own your own shit. Kids will pick up everything, most especially those things you try to hide from them. You'll think you're doing fine, and then you'll mash your thumb with a hammer and yell, "FUCK!" Suddenly, it's the only word they know, and it's hilarious to them. (To us as well, though we can't admit it).
Behaviours are the most important. If you come home from a day of work and plop yourself in front of the TV while your significant other does all the home tasks, you're ingraining into your children what it means to go to work and come home. If as a person and parent, you're constantly not only deferring to, but waiting for, your significant other to make the decisions, you're teaching your children that it's the job of the male to shirk the mental load, and that it's the job of the female to do all the planning and execution, excepting the tasks she specifically allocates to the male.
If you're going to focus on one thing, let it be the sharing of the mental load between couples. It's good to check in, even constantly, with the other partner in the mix, to make sure you're on the same page, but it's critical that each do their share of the heavy lifting where it comes to not only execution, but planning.
As to the future, you can't dictate what your kids will like or decide to do. The best you can do is design your property to do what you need for it to do for the rest of your life, so you can age with your land. If they're of the same mindset as you, they will want to be a part of it. If not, they won't have to worry about you as you age, because you will have taken care of your collective needs already.
And after you're gone, they might decide to sell. But you won't be there to suffer that. And hopefully one of your children will see the value in it, to carry on for another generation, at which point they will face their own version of this question.
Good luck, and keep us posted.
|[+] nomadic housing » Pallet Yurt. (Go to)||jackie woolston|
Really cool idea.
I was thinking of a barn-truss pallet structure, where the trusses were formed by the joined sides of pallets. Essentially, the roof would be assembled in barn truss arches of five pallets each, and set atop a box of pallet walls of appropriate size. At least a two-bedroom, maybe three with a loft.
Unfortunately, pallets in useable condition are becoming more expensive with the increased cost of lumber. You obviously found what you need. I would suggest deconstruction and reuse rather than demolition and burning when you're done with this iteration. Though by that time, pallet prices might have come down.
Great idea, though. I was considering a yurt recently, but the land we're buying has a cottage on it, so we'll work with that first.
|[+] ethics and philosophy » Bitcoin and the angry dad (Go to)||Kenneth Elwell|
We all get that from time to time. I feel that while bitcoin mined using renewables is better than otherwise, it's still a misuse of energy.
The anger is one problem. I try to do productive things with regards to the subject matter that's upsetting me. If I don't, it either rules me, and I externalise it onto people that don't deserve it, or I internalise it, and it builds into anxiety attacks.
Bitcoin is another problem. I have figured out a solution that would actually help the earth that uses the cryptocurrency model, but I have no outlet for it. It's a bit complex, yet simple, so here it goes.
Mine cryptocurrency using swarms of solar-powered satellites intercepting some of the sun's energy at the intervening lagrange point in the Sun-Earth system.
The only thing that's cheap right now to safely transport from the earth to orbit and back again is information. We do it every day, multiple times a day; our civilisations depend upon it.
SpaceX is launching multiple satellites per rocket launch to deploy Elon's Starlink project. The technology is there to launch satellite swarms.
The I.S.S. has what they refer to as R.O.S.A., or Roll-Out Solar Array, which is proof-of-concept that deployable solar panels can function correctly. I would be more comfortable with something origami-based, that looked like a lotus or chrysanthemum or something, but I suppose rolls will do.
So the swarm would harvest energy to maintain synchrony, to block out enough solar energy from the earth to do the job of cooling it, and would mine cryptocurrency to pay for itself. It wouldn't even add heat to the atmosphere because everything would be taking place in space.
Earth gets a solar heat shield that pays for itself and starts funding industry in space. Who can say how well a cryptocurrency that literally staves off the planet's roasting and whose long-term operational costs would include an occasional replenishment of satellites within the swarm could perform?
Sounds to me like a better option than wasting valuable energy here on the planet to crunch numbers, with exhaust heat as the byproduct.
|[+] alternative energy » Aureon Energy LTD. (Go to)||Thomas Tipton|
The diagram reminds me of the macguffin from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Khaaaaaaaaan!), especially the way nuclear waste, which is literally underlined in green text reading "radioactive," is thrown in there without an explanation as to why it's there or what it's doing. It's like the protomatter in the Genesis device. It's the mysterious component, along with "catalysts" in the hydrogen, that is responsible for and explains the "transmutation" responsible for energy production over unity.
Two things stuck out to me before Ian launched his very detailed deconstruction. The first was word usage. Real scientists are definitely not going to use a term traditionally linked to alchemy to describe any new process. They'd use the terminology available to them in their field to come up with a credible and descriptive term that doesn't make one think automatically of alchemy, and people trying anything they could think of to remain young, or alive, or to create vast wealth for no work.
Any explanation that smacks of magical thinking is suspect.
The second thing I noticed was that nobody else in the world is really talking about them. If it had as much potential as is claimed, wouldn't we be hearing at least as much about Aureon as we are about the Bill Gates-backed synchronised solar mirror array set to replace fossil fuels in industrial processes requiring heat?
You'd have to silence the NIMBY party, but I bet that those heat engines the OP referred to, decomissioned coal and aging gas plant infrastructure that still heat water to make steam to move turbines, could be powered in at least half of the untied states year-round by such synchronised solar mirror arrays distributed in the areas to the immediate north of power plants retrofitted to be heated that way.
Is the term "overunity" used in professional circles, or is it an artefact of alternative energy conspiracists?
And the electric universe idea again? Everyone knows that the universe is underlaid with a vast network of interdimensional mycorrhizae.
|[+] social justice » Overpopulation - Social Justice? (Go to)||Chris Kott|
True. But check out some of Malthus' writings on the matter.
He essentially observed that humans had this propensity to utilise abundance for population growth rather than for maintaining a high quality of life for all. It mirrors the animal dynamic, one example of which can be seen in relation to masting tree species.
On the oak savannah, during mast years, there is an abundance of food for nut-eaters. So their populations explode. They experience increasing food stress, then starvation, whereupon the population shrinks, until the next mast year, when the population explodes again. Rinse and repeat.
The predators of those nut-eaters have a similar pattern. Their abundance happens when the nut-eater population explodes, thus causing a population explosion of their own. When the prey population dwindles, so does the predator. Until the population explosion following a mast year.
And we do exactly the same thing. The only way we can do any differently is to consciously change our behaviour. Sating our need for stuff is one stand-in for having more children in the animal sphere, but it still results in material waste, which leads to either poverty or food scarcity, or both.
This is why the war on poverty or hunger is doomed to fail until we increase a Kardashev level. We need sustained abundance to enable an educated society (I mean where everyone gets a university or equivalent education, on the whole planet), for long enough that we build abundance-building feedback loops beyond ones that act like mast years, or fossil fuels. A jump lasting a mere century that makes a small portion of the global population obese toy-hoarders isn't advancing humanity out of its Malthusian catastrophe anytime soon.
Educating everyone, but women especially, can improve conditions societally, such that a giant safety net made of your surviving children isn't required for survival past your working years. It also greatly increases one's potential working years, and increases their individual value.
I feel that population growth is the wrong metric to track. I feel that educating everyone, at the public expense (with everyone paying taxes, and preferably at a rate that increases as you take more out of the system through hoarding of wealth rather than reinvestment) is the only real way to approach any true social justice, along with creating a world where such education is not only a boon, but critical.
You know Star Trek, where so many engineers are required to keep society functioning that it forms a third of Starfleet (maybe way more; I seriously doubt that you need as many command and security personnel as you do engineers and, to a lesser degree, scientists)? That's the kind of society where we'd have enough highly technical jobs to do to satisfy a highly educated populace.
It needn't be solely engineering, although you could broaden the meaning of that concept by including one word: systems.
Systems engineers would work with systems designers to create systems of systems whose individual "waste" is fed into other systems that use it as a feedstock. This applies if you're talking about a Galaxy-class starship, a Cardassian space station, or terraforming projects, just to name a few examples.
Realistically, we need to expand the system. There has to be a beneficial outlet for the education we're giving to these people who otherwise had none, and no need of it, because literacy in agrarian societies, say, where being literate doesn't help your survival by getting you more resources, is a luxury. But if suddenly you have neighbours with electric traction for their fields, and knowing how to read gets you education in electric tractor repair, or solar panel installation and repair, or any one of a number of farm-related time- or risk-saving technologies, which gets you paid and the farmers greater yields, thus money to pay you, there is then a payoff.
So it's not just education, but that's a crucial piece. There has to be a need for that education that pays off for society, but more importantly, for the individuals and their families.
|[+] gardening for beginners » Growing soya beans for edamame pods (Go to)||Matt Todd|
I am not a fan of soy or tofu, but for the most part, that's just a culinary dislike, along with a general disfavour for a thing that requires so much processing, which becomes potentially dangerous in an industrial food setting.
So much about soy and tofu gets better if you're doing the processing yourself, at home. But some things do not.
Apparently, and I will try to find the article that mentioned this, soy fields are devoid of much of the life present in other crop situations because nothing sees it as food. That might be great from a pest perspective, as it would naturally require fewer to no pesticides to cultivate, from the conventional agriculture perspective, but it's not so good in terms of animal life down to the smallest level living adjacent to those fields.
Are there no other types of bean that can be used in the same way, one that, although perhaps still a result of the Columbian Exchange, has been accepted by microbial and other life here?
|[+] homestead » Ideas for creating/maintaining multiple permaculture sites? (Go to)||Patrick David|
It's a good idea if you have the time and resources. Honestly, if I won the lottery, or if some organisation was arranging funding to pay for all this, it's exactly the type of thing I would want to put into place.
Understand, though, that being away for extended periods will probably mean choosing your sites with a view to collaboration with local community.
My fear, were I managing several sites by myself, is that during my absence, literally anything could happen, including someone destroying my site by using it as an ATV stunt site and camp ground, or someone seeing something of value they could take and sell, and doing that.
You could also see loss due to predation, even if it's hungry bears tearing down your fruit trees to get at the top branches.
But if you decide that you're going in to create a partnership with local community, giving members things of value, like jobs and perhaps even a community stake in the business, you suddenly have someone on-site year-round, who will value the project at least as much as you, if it is designed and created with a view to supporting the community.
I like to think of semi-nomadic bison farming as an example. If I buy a bunch of rangeland with lots of grazing, drop some bison on it, and hightail it for somewhere else, the bison could survive with only an annual culling of yearling or two-year old males above the population required for healthy genetics in the herd. I could also come back to find that someone decided that this herd was tasty-looking, and would fetch a fine price.
But if I were to start up and invest in such an operation in consultation with a ranchers' organisation looking for such an opportunity, or better yet, an indigenous group that could embrace that lifestyle and use it to both build the herd and bring in income, it's money in their pockets and food in their families' mouths when it succeeds; they have lots of reasons in that scenario to care for the project like its their own.
So you know what? Do it. Set up a semi-nomadic bison ranch somewhere in their traditional range. Set up food forests all over north and south america. Hell, grab a piece of beach in Jamaica or somewhere else and set up a seafloor-based vertical mariculture operation.
But just like you choose species that are appropriate for your conditions and for how you want them to all work together, select the operations to match the sites, and the people with them. The people that look after sites, even just to live near them and make sure people don't mess with them, are critical infrastructure if there are people there at all.
In some places, usually where there is perceived or real disparity between locals and those from away, the affluence required to come in as an outsider, arrange for the land through lease or purchase, and then develop it, could easily offend, just like showing up somewhere and trying to supplant their traditional knowledge with other ways.
If advice is sought, however, right from a project's inception, not only do you avail yourself of local knowledge about natural patterns and weather conditions, you get people on your side who might otherwise look askance at your wealth and see it as a reason to steal from you, or otherwise not intervene when some misfortune befalls.
That's my take on creating and maintaining multiple permaculture sites. If you don't plan to include people, especially if they're anywhere near it in the first place, they will likely be your downfall, or at least an obstacle instead of the boon they should be.
|[+] ethics and philosophy » Where do I belong? When does one become indigenous? (Go to)||D Tucholske|
I often get myself into trouble when discussing contentious issues when I make what I decide are logical and obvious long-term determinations that are, perhaps, not mine to make out loud, for everyone else, in the current socio-political climate.
If I am a beneficiary on any level of a historic injustice, I can see how it might not be my place to decide when enough time has elapsed, or what constitutes sufficient apology. I am not trying to do so when I suggest that the best course is to get over divisions and treat each other respectfully on an individual basis, but it definitely fits the pattern of an opinionated white guy trying to call the shots.
I may be wrong here, but I feel that the most important thing we can do from the outside is ask to be told their stories. I know my indigenous history was limited to who teamed up with which European power, and a few scattered minutiae. I don't feel we truly understand.
I know that when the MNR sends forestry professionals to indigenous communities in their areas of management to talk about glyphosate use to knock down pioneers post-harvest during seedling establishment, and the community absolutely refuses to just be okay with it, and the government goes ahead and does it anyways, that's paying lip service and nothing else.
So we as individuals can do better than that. If it becomes the common response, to listen, and then proceed in a way that respects everyone, I believe we can make moving forward together a reality and begin a more complete healing. I feel that needs to be the focus, absent any specific guidance from the indigenous community. But I suppose that's where listening comes into play.
|[+] politics » How is your state handling the pandemic? (Go to)||James Freyr|
In retrospect, every good move was made at the Federal level. The Premier of Ontario's track record throughout all of this is pretty abysmal. He's been really busy using Ministerial Zoning Orders to allow demolition of Heritage buildings and development of conservation and farmlands to build more freeways, and otherwise to offer handouts to his party's financial supporters.
He was basically caught red-handed altering the numbers on guidelines that his science advisory panel approved last November, just as our second wave was starting out, inflating the threshold numbers at which we'd switch to more severe lockdown measures.
He's delayed every time there's a decision to be made that he saw as politically troublesome, and as a result, we're currently at the beginning of our fourth wave. The data shows it's primarily being driven by patients with only partial or unknown vaccination status, but of the approximately 700 new patients we're seeing per day, approximately 200 of them are fully vaccinated (my numbers are rounded to illustrate the rough breakdowns).
My personal feeling is that our premier was probably the worst candidate for the job, and that's before the pandemic hit. During this crisis, he's just proven what I felt to be true.
|[+] ethics and philosophy » Where do I belong? When does one become indigenous? (Go to)||D Tucholske|
Respect of the individual sounds like the only substantive commonality for which we could strive. It essentially encompasses everything, if we take our respect seriously and view our rights as "that which we are free from," rather than "that which we are free to..."
In that reading of it, the environment gets the same treatment as an individual, and environmental and societal harms are part of the stuff from which we're guaranteed freedom.
To get there, though, is difficult. It requires at least a diminishment of one's identity labels, and an augmentation of one's own self and personality. If you're over-identified with any political or social label, you might find it difficult to discard it to get to the point where you are acting as your individual self rather than as an outgrowth of adopted socio-political labels.
This is the hard part. You're asking about when one becomes indigenous. I'm saying that in seeking individual cultural identities, as opposed to individual single identities, full stop, we're obviating that unity.
Yes, there's more unity when none of us belong to any group other than the group of individuals that collectively makes up humanity.
Which is not to say that we have to give up cultural and ancestral histories, just that we have to stop making our ancestors' mistakes. We have to stop "othering" people who are different than ourselves.
In all honestly, until we all adopt a complete and systems-design-oriented worldview, whatever our individual origins, we aren't all going to innately understand why fossil fuels are bad, and why some people consider toxic gick and plastic to be anathema to a healthy human existence. So permaculture, and every thought path that stems from and runs parallel to it, is our course towards that oneness.
|[+] ulcer factory » Our world, energy-wise, in 300+ years (Go to)||Chris Kott|
You might want to check out Future Scenarios by David Holmgren. It's quite comprehensive, and it's the closest thing we have to a permacultural futurism paper that I have found.
If the name sounds familiar, yes, it's that David Holmgren.
In it, he describes the energy transition as occurring in different ways in different places, based on the intellectual and material resources available. Societies that don't have, say, a modern, molten salt nuclear reactor that uses legacy waste from old nuclear operations as fuel will probably keep using whatever petroleum or fossil source of energy is available to them.
Greener societies (and yes, that includes anyone generating clean energy from waste, including nuclear waste) might have no need of fossil fuels far before they are exhausted. Fossil fuels won't likely be exhausted; they will simply become too much trouble to bother with unless they're local and don't require much cleaning up.
As an example, if easily extracted and refined crude dried up, we'd still be left with areas like the alberta tarsands in north america. I am sure someone might set up an in situ refinery, but absent enough demand to fund continental transport, the markets aren't there to support it financially. So locals wanting to power their ATVs, motorcycles, and tractors (but probably not trucks) would probably be able to get together to create a multi-homestead operation sufficient to provide fuel for a small group. Much more likely would be a continued exploitation of natural gas.
At the same time in this future world, there will be communities build around, say, industrial complexes that utilize computer-coordinated sun-tracking mirror arrays to produce their power, or solar-thermal arrays that store their power in the form of molten salt thermal batteries. There might be communities centred around extant or new wind power developments, maintaining and building as necessary.
I suspect that it will be very much a patchwork quilt of these green and brown energy transitions. I suspect that there will be some Holmgren might not have anticipated, such as blue transitions, where life is sea-based, either seasteading on traditional craft, building or growing floating islands, or building communities of seafloor habitats supporting advanced and regenerative vertically oriented seafloor mariculture. Power might be wind and wave-based.
All of these, save some of the brownest, offer the potential to keep some of the modern tech upon which modern life relies. Perhaps not to the same extent; I doubt we'll see consumer-driven tech toys, but we might use tablets for systems control for communities and industrial processes, and probably for telecommunications.
I don't think we'll be seeing much travel at all. Even now, unless you're more wealthy than you're willing to admit to yourself, travel is too expensive for the average individual in north america. If the average you're taking includes the whole world, a disproportionate number of people, most of whom also have issues finding enough to eat and enough clean water, would think of the suggestion of blowing whatever meagre resources their family had on travel, on a whim, to see the world, a cruel joke.
And that's today. The only people in this future scenario with the resources to undertake any kind of travel that doesn't resemble refugee living are those whose immediate ancestors caused the problems that lead to the world's collapse. Everyone else is busy trying to hang on, or to transition to something locally sustainable, not because it's the right thing to do, but because if they don't they lose the ability to work after dark, and their caloric needs skyrocket because suddenly they're the ones doing all the grunt work, too.
The transition to renewables is ongoing. Newer, larger wind projects are starting up operations every day. Solar adoption is commonplace; I see both dedicated solar farms and individual homestead installations, the latter with sun-tracking infrastructure, all over southern Ontario. There are new stories all the time about new tidal turbines being employed in areas of extreme tidal action like the Bay of Fundy.
It's regrettable that the billionaire innovators haven't decided to have a competition together over who can bring the most clean energy and water treatment to the globe. But the fact that they're periodically overwhelming the news cycle, and that certain economic players would quietly sweep renewables under the rug if they could, and would then jump up and down on the resultant heap, doesn't change that their cost continues to diminish, and their efficacy continues to increase.
In 300 years, I feel we'll probably have hit our stride in most of the world with a high-tech green revolution. Someone will figure out fusion, and then China will replicate the success immediately, and so large parts of the world with power distribution infrastructure will be powered that way.
If history is any indication, the developed world will see the development of small molten salt reactors that upgrade legacy nuclear waste into fuel to generate electricity, leaving a fraction of the volume and radioactivity behind. These will likely be sold to anywhere that otherwise would be burning fossil fuels if they could afford it, with some developed nations, probably Canada, donating them as parts of aid packages and writing them off as money spent against global climate change and in pursuit of global development.
To be fair, this would be aid diplomacy, and should be treated no differently than vaccine diplomacy or other forms of aid diplomacy seen historically, used to bolster support for other development initiatives, but ultimately to gain economic and diplomatic alliances. It also wouldn't surprise me if business interests interceded to "clean" and "refine" and "repackage" the nuclear waste to be used for fuel, to sell them as consumables for discounted reactor units, the way photocopier companies would sell their copiers for less than you'd think, and make their money back better with service contracts and selling their customers consumables only they could provide.
In this scenario, while green is desirable, it is by no means a guarantee of ethical standards or a suggestion of altruistic intent. Likewise, earlier brown energy transitions won't be because of an innate disdain for the natural world; rather, they will be driven by a need to bring food to the table and ensure safety and shelter for one's own.
Frankly, I'm excited for more developments in green transitioning. I feel that there are many routes to green energy transitions, and that new, safe, and clean nuclear technology that literally eats our dangerous radioactive waste of the last half-century and spits out electricity and a fraction of the residuum, creating energy by tapping into an otherwise dangerous waste stream isn't the only route, nor is fusion, nor are solar panels or wind or tidal turbines.
We could see something astounding, like the fuel grape idea. Imagine growing fuel that refined itself biologically on the vine, then was concentrated by the weather into a form that you could either drink, clean things with, run an internal combustion engine on, or burn as fuel in a lamp or stove. Now imagine that it was carbon-negative, because all the pruned or harvested biomass would be either chopped-and-dropped, fed to appropriate livestock, dropped into new hugelbeets, or made into biochar through strategic reuse of waste heat.
There are so many new things that could happen. I rely on historical patterns to see how we, as people, might react to new things, but honestly, some of these concepts are so new, they'd probably be destructively disruptive in some circumstances. Imaging shitty wine country (good to grow grapes, but bad terroir, undrinkable wine) suddenly turning into carbon-neutral, fruit alcohol-powered ICE agroindustrial heartlands? I could do without the industry part, but again, it's the historical pattern.
There is just so much potential for new and exciting things that we can do to fuel our transition away from fossil sources. These options are waxing, not waning. The limits are conceptual. Unburden yourself of doubt.
|[+] composting » Human compost (Go to)||Heather Gardener|
I've always thought burial alternatives to being turned into a toxic soap encased in concrete were fascinating.
I feel that what matters is being comfortable with the process. It's also sometimes useful for me to remember that funereal rites and ceremony are for those left behind, not for the deceased.
My preferred method right now is a compost-in-place, buried relatively shallowly at the bend of a river or stream just above the flood plain, clothed in natural textiles packed with inoculated mushroom growth media, with a tree guild, probably black walnut, but we'll see how I feel over time, placed strategically all around my body. I would be oriented with my head pointing north, and so the tree and shrub guild would start with a sprouted walnut in my mouth, probably hazels under my arms, mulberries in my navel and to either side of my hips, and so on. All would be encased in a coffin basket woven of stripped willow branches. A shallow hugelbeet would be placed atop, planted with a soil-building, undergrowth-supporting guild, until the trees and shrubs pushed their way up.
I had also toyed with the concept of having medicinal herbs grown atop me, such that I could become medicine and help people. I haven't yet dismissed it, but it would have to be done carefully.
If I were concerned about being contaminated, I would probably want myself pyrolised in a human-sized retort, and turned into biochar. I wonder how much detail could be retained if the pyrolysis was controlled enough, and completely absent oxygen within the retort.
I feel that some people might object to the concept of being mixed around. I would suggest that any approach that leaves the body intact as it's processed into soil might be far more acceptable to people than something you'd do with a home compost pile.
Were I figuring out a way to do this on a large scale, I feel that I would probably maintain the appearance of in-ground burials. It could even be carried out in the aforementioned cement vaults. It would simply be necessary to forgo any preservation save refrigeration, and to ensure that there's adequate airflow and ingress-egress for the appropriate insect species after burial. It could also be possible to seed the deceased with eggs or nursery packets of the insect decomposers, providing enough airflow, and yet design the casket to keep the insects from escaping, ensuring all biomass generated by the decomposition of the body stays within the casket, which could be retrieved down the road, when nothing would remain but insect frass, carcasses, and the bones of the deceased.
Frass and insect carcasses could be composted, or the whole casket could function as a retort for the pyrolysis of the contents. That way, the body could remain largely intact, yet be completely cleansed of dangerous volatiles. Pyrolised remains could be planted in soil as they were, deep enough for digging or plowing to not disturb them, in a traditional pose of repose, no less.
Whatever it takes to keep farmland from being converted slowly to crypt space filled with soap mummies.
|[+] ethics and philosophy » Where do I belong? When does one become indigenous? (Go to)||D Tucholske|
This is a difficult topic, and I feel for anyone caught up in it personally.
Mine is an outsiders' perspective, and it's possible that I have misunderstood some stances or concepts within the culture, so if you have better information or a clearer or more relevant perspective, I would love to listen. But here goes.
My limited understanding is that status is a touchy thing in some cases and contexts. Some are really concerned about the historical appropriation of their culture by those of European or otherwise foreign descent. Some are concerned about the dilution or diminution of their cultural identities, even on the biological level, or at least I thought that had traditionally been a concern. Some are concerned that their mixed heritage leaves them without a place, viewing each cultural identity as conflicting with the other.
The question of belonging, to my mind, is a particularly problematic one. Individuals of unclear (undocumented or lost) lineage have been called out by indigenous communities in Canada because they claimed association with cultural groups that didn't, or at least hadn't, recognized the validity of the individual's claims. Part of the concern is obviously those who don't belong trying to benefit from the cultural association, or even from government programs designed to help indigenous people.
If one's indigeneity is judged by others, and they might use different yardsticks to reach their conclusions, there can really be no clear answer. I would perhaps think about another question.
Something like, how can I show the people that I belong? Proof might take the form of family trees, government records, and old pictures, but deeds might make the point moot if the point is to actually become accepted within the community.
I hope I haven't gotten this too far wrong, but I feel focusing on the trees and just acknowledging the forest and letting it be might be a path to peace for you on this one. Be good to the people, and they will see that you are worth their time. You may never be considered indigenous by some measures. You know what you know of your heredity, and nobody can take that from you. But there are more telling, more important things.
Good luck, and keep us posted.
|[+] uk and ireland » Neti pot / water filter question (Go to)||Brody Ekberg|
The problem with some unfiltered water, even tap water from the mains, is that you could introduce harmful microbiota into your sinuses, which are really close to your brain. I will try to find the article, but in the past two years, I encountered an article talking about how a woman using a neti pot with tapwater died after introducing an amoeba into her brain.
While particulate filtration is important for comfort reasons, boiling or UV treatment, or distillation, could be critical to ensure regular neti pot use doesn't unintentionally kill you.
|[+] transportation » Building a Zero-Emissions Cargo Ship! (Go to)||Chris Kott|
Michael, I love the kite-sail concept. I think that we'll probably see tech involved in fly-by-wire kite control, just so that it will be possible to automate a kite swarm and have a single mast cable. I think it would basically be control surface control, like flaps and vents, or even torsion control, where the whole kite body flexes to change the nature of the control surface and flight characteristics.
Craig, I am intrigued by graphene paint and its applications, especially the energy harvesting potential. I feel that there is a lot of materials science and engineering to go into figuring out how to best manufacture some of these advanced materials, and that once they have been developed, along with scalable techniques for industrial production, they might offer terrific strength-to-weight and elasticity properties, as well as those of conductivity. But these are still experimental. I will be very excited to see these materials employed in real-life applications, but I don't know how soon that might be.
I don't think they need to be using any particular technology, as there are many solutions. Graphene supercapacitors, for instance, sound terrific, but superconducting magnetic energy storage has the lowest conversion losses of any energy storage, so I think perhaps I would like to see graphene put to use in that sphere.
As existing technology requires cryogenic temperatures to remain superconducting, and copper is far cheaper than graphene or any other superconductor, I feel that a copper-based powertrain including a superconducting magnetic energy storage device would make the most sense as a huge first step. Airbus is experimenting with what they call their ASCEND platform (standing for Advanced Superconducting & Cryogenic Experimental powertrain Demonstrator). They arrived at it via hydrogen fuel cell technology, but I feel it has merit all on its own, even if the hydrogen is just an advanced coolant system (copper is only a superconductor at cryogenic temperatures).
All the technology exists to power and operate large vehicles, even entire stationary systems, like this. It's conceivable that something the size of a cruise ship or aircraft carrier could operate primarily on solar power, were all that surface area covered in durable solar sheeting, if the systems were made super energy-efficient as they would be with such a system.
Likewise, a hyperloop system, or more likely, a properly sized train made to operate within the context of a continental hyperloop-style system, could be entirely solar and wind-powered, with any number of wind power generation devices or solar panelling, or combinations thereof, installed on the tube superstructures.
But I get off topic.
One of the things I definitely love about Ceiba and the company's approach is the use of appropriate technology. I feel, though, that experimentations in shipbuilding using sustainably grown bamboo with recycled steel reinforcement will yield the largest and most cost-effective structures. Honestly, I love the idea of traditional wooden masted vessels as much as anyone who's lost themselves in the Master and Commander series, but I don't feel that traditional masted sailing ship architecture is necessarily the best direction for cargo shipping.
Imagine instead an ocean-going freighter, as you'd see loaded down with cargo containers. I would look to container ships, building no larger than the Panamax-class size (the largest the Panama Canal will accomodate), so less than 965' long, less than 106' beam, and with a draft of no more than 39.5'. That class of ship can accomodate 3001-5100 20' cargo containers (the unit of measurement for cargo space in container ships and ports is TEU, or twenty-foot equivalent units).
Now try to envision it, for a moment, constructed of bamboo sheeting made of layers of interlocked split cane (where the split cane edges are secured in the concavities) and a steel keel and framing with round bamboo reinforcement, and cargo container storage racking system, all constructed from recycled hulks. The powertrain would be modelled after Airbus' ASCEND platform, but instead of a hydrogen fuel cell, it would use a copper-based cryogenic hydrogen power- and drivetrain with a superconducting magnetic energy storage device or array.
I want to say that we'd be able to replace giant bladed rotors in the water with a really neat magnetohydrodynamic drive system, but I would settle for something impeller-based, that minimized damage to marine life, including sonic damage. I suspect that being deafened in the water might have something to do with marine life becoming disoriented and beaching themselves.
And to that we'd add kite-sails, except as imagined above, there'd probably be some amount of fly-by-wire control, such that the number of kite-sails on a single tether could be maximized. Also, I could see it as an advantage if there were two tether masts, fore and aft, such that emergency manoeuvres, such as rapidly orienting the bow of the ship into oncoming waves in a storm, could easily be accomplished. Being able to feather the kite sails so as to be able to keep them aloft as control measures without having them pose a hazard could prove invaluable.
If the magnetic energy storage could be charged at port from zero-emission renewable sources, there would be less demand for onboard production. Nevertheless, I envision sections of deployable solar panels inspired by NASA's ROSAs (roll-out solar arrays) and looking something like the rolls of material that are deployed on dump trucks at highway speeds to keep wind from spreading debris all over the roadway. They would deploy overtop of the containers that would stack on deck, retracting in foul weather, and recharging energy storage in fair.
This should not in any way diminish the accomplishments of the Ceiba and the people building her. But in my honest opinion, she's very much a test and tourism platform, with a strong eco-tourism angle. I feel that my zero-emissions bamboo and steel solar-electric and wind-powered container ship concept, capable of carrying between 333 and 566 times the volume of cargo (though likely on the lower end, to be sure) represents its scaling potential in the direction of cargo. I imagine you could take a similar approach for a cruise ship, or a giant yacht. I consider the latter two options a little vain, personally, but these are things that also exist, and if everything started going that way, we'd have only extractive industrial fishing processes to worry about. And sea-based petroleum and mining operations. And rivers carrying untreated urban sewage out to sea, along with agricultural and industrial runoff...
Yeah, we have a ways to go.
|[+] meaningless drivel » For all Mixed Breed Dogs! (Go to)||Chris Kott|
I am hoping that when I move out of the city, that I have farmer neighbours with LGDs. I have seen Komondor mixes, Great Pyr mixes, Anatolian mixes, all gorgeous, and if from working lines, reliable.
For companionship, though, I would have no issues going the rescue route. While I have some worries about stability and reliability in some specific cases, especially around small livestock and children, you never leave your children unattended with a dog that's not completely known to you, regardless of lineage. Even with a Newf, the original Nanna from Peter Pan, I would need to know the individual and have witnessed their play before I would be comfortable being out of sight.
Pitadors are gorgeous little sucks.
|[+] gardening for beginners » Do I need to rotate tomatoes if I plant cover crops? (Go to)||Stacie Kim|
I find that a lot of what is easiest depends on what you are and are not willing to do, and what your gardening goals are.
If you are seeking to eliminate tillage, or only amend soil from the top, and only minimally, results may vary, and obviously, the situation is quite different from someone who makes a tonne of compost and adds it yearly, rototilling it, and maybe also passing chickens over it.
I think it's laudable to seek to breed blight-resistant varieties of tomato. But the reason such blights haven't been bred out of existence, as one might think would make sense, is because blights and pathogens are also evolving. The ones that survive in soil and succeed in infecting blight-resistant tomato plants essentially are the strongest specimens, adapting generation after generation to be able to infect our fancy disease-resistant varieties.
So while we're busy grouping our blight-resistant tomatoes in one tomato pathogen-filled garden patch, thinking we've solved the tomato pathogen problem because we're just going to STEM it to death, the tomato pathogens are busily adapting, too.
It's exactly like the argument concerning certain types of herbicides and the genetically modified staple crops that have been bred to withstand that toxicity, that kill virtually all weed plants. Virtually is not all. Whatever survives being sprayed with herbicides well enough to breed will pass that resistance on to its offspring, and several generations down the road, the original herbicide is useless because it killed off all but the strains of specimens that were resistant to it. Voila herbicide-resistant weeds.
Same goes for blight-resistant tomato plant resistance. If we maintain soil conditions that help these pathogens thrive, we get stronger pathogens, too.
This isn't opinion. This is simply evolution. The weak or unsuitable die off. Those that survive tend to eventually build on those survival traits, even if just incrementally, generation to generation. How else would we have gotten blight-resistant tomatoes?
So in the case of blight, maybe the first year you don't see any.
Maybe in the second year, sometime near the end of harvest, you see some evidence of stomata infection in the lower leaves, but they're blight-resistant, you think, so let them be.
Maybe in the third year, the blight hits when you're two-thirds done your harvest, leading you to need to trim up infected lower branches on virtually all your blight-resistant tomatoes.
Maybe in the fourth year, the blight starts hitting just as the first tomatoes are ripening.
The tomatoes are still blight-resistant, just the resistance becomes less and less effective over time, meaning that it hits sooner.
In my opinion, having a tomato pathogen bed is a bad idea. I feel that rotating nightshades regularly and keeping pathogen counts in the soil low keeps the rate of pathogenic adaptation down.
Otherwise, we're breeding superbugs.
|[+] composting » Bacteria and molds in compost (Go to)||Chris Kott|
I was unaware of any worm or grub-borne parasite that infects chickens. Could you point me at some reading on that?
Rotating fowl in tractors and following larger herbivores within the window in which the parasites hatch from their feces is standard practice according to the Salatin method, to decrease or eliminate parasite load on the pasture. I would love to know what parasites that can infect chickens can stow away on which worms and insects. Their lists of symbiotes are usually short and specific.
Also, parasites have little to nothing to do with bacteria and mould. Parasites need living hosts most of the time, except when eggs hatch in feces. Some parasites infect third parties, like ants, and make them do suicidal things, like climb to the top of grass blades, to more easily be ingested into the digestive tract of their herbivorous hosts. But I am unaware of parasites that could potentially come in from kitchen and non-animal sources to your compost.
If you could tell us a bit about how you build your compost, and what goes into it, that might help.
Also, the bit about mouldy feed is probably a concern about aflatoxin, a toxin that, if I remember correctly, is a by-product of mould that grows on feed and remains toxic even after heat treatments. No, chooks should never be fed mouldy, or mouldy-smelling, feed.
Apparently oxidisation is effective against aflatoxin, so hydrogen peroxide would work, then a good compost. Or probably time spent in a good, hot, aerobically active compost might do.
Most searches I do for herbal remedies focus on external and intestinal parasites, but most agree that nettle, thyme, oregano, basil, and garlic are good internally and externally. Eucalyptus and cinnamon oils are apparently especially good inside the coop as a preventative against external parasites, as well as giving them access to a diatomaceous earth dust bath.
But good luck, and keep us posted.
|[+] gardening for beginners » Do I need to rotate tomatoes if I plant cover crops? (Go to)||Stacie Kim|
Addendum: I should have noted that there is another option. You could be prepared to be on the lookout for blight and other symptoms of disease, and to chop out the affected parts immediately, before it spreads to other plants, and other parts of the same plant. Most tomato pathogens that I worry about infect the plant through the stomata on the leaves through water droplets bouncing off infected soil. Just look for signs of infection and be ready to cut it out.
|[+] gardening for beginners » Do I need to rotate tomatoes if I plant cover crops? (Go to)||Stacie Kim|
In a word, yes.
Both blights that affect tomatoes are soil-borne. If you grow the same thing year-after-year in the same soil, you increase the chances that some tomato-specific pathogen will take up residence in your soil.
Incidentally, I wouldn't try digging up and carting off the infected soil. The chances are much greater that you won't get it all, and just end up spreading it around, instead.
Especially in largely perennial plans, crop rotation can be a pain. Shortage of adequate space or light conditions can also be frustrating. If you only have the same spot in which to plant tomatoes and cant rotate between two or three plots, I would suggest using large planters or planter bags. Yes, I would rather grow in the ground, too, but if you're not going to rotate your crops, you have limited options.
|[+] composting » Bacteria and molds in compost (Go to)||Chris Kott|
I feel that respiratory issues are usually an issue of insufficient air changes, and sometimes excessive dryness. If people can successfully deep-litter their chooks in winter without worry, and they do, some environmental microbes shouldn't pose a problem unless there's a ventilation issue.
If you wanted to eliminate the possibility, though, you could feed a BSFL chicken feeder with your kitchen scraps, and feed your chooks at one remove.
Good luck, and keep us posted.
|[+] chickens » Impossible coop design? (Go to)||Jay Angler|
I love conversations like these.
My solution to large coop problems is twofold: use long handles on a coop with wheels on one side, such that you socket the handles when needed to move the tractor, and replace them backwards in their sockets for storage, and lean on the long handles to lift the coop and move it (so when you stop leaning, it stops rolling); also, landscape features such as crop/pasture/garden bed alleys sized for the length of the tractor, separated by rails on which the wheels (or alternate wheels) sit.
Such a design might move with a gentle lean on level ground. One could even install a winch, connected to a post at the end of the row, enabling a densely-stocked chicken tractor to be easily, even automatically, moved several times, just the distance of its width, such that the chooks get fresh grazing several times a day.
For the long-handled design, you'd still need large wheels to avoid ruts in realistic paddock situations. I would almost consider a doubled or fat-tire bicycle wheel setup.
I think about using tracks in situations where the ground might get seasonally muddy at bad times, or for aging gracefully into a permaculture retirement.
I second ideas that plastic is to be avoided at all costs. I am happy to know that strides are being made in not only the development of specific strains of fungi that eat specific formulations of plastic, but also different grown, processed transparent plastic alternatives. I don't see it as a reason to become jaded to introducing new plastic. However, if it's from a waste stream, and you can, say, take pains to secure the edges so as to avoid tattering and microplastics, you could get use out of it until it can no longer be used.
I was also wondering how translucent a product made from folded and woven transparent plastic glazing would be, specifically weathered and discarded. Imagine strips cut and folded in on themselves so as to hide vulnerable edges, then woven loom-like on, say, a cattle panel lattice. Would something like that have greater utility and durability than the same stuff used as plastic wrap?
As to any stationary coops, I know and respect Paul's opinion about the handling of animal excrement, and that if the structure moves regularly, you don't have to do that, and there's no smell, which tells you that's the right way to go. But I also feel that, especially in some areas of high-predation or extreme temperatures, having a stationary coop can have huge advantages. You can build out of masonry or earth.
One thing I would be especially aware of in their construction, though, is how they get clean. If I unfasten the roof assembly, stand it on end atop my compost pile, and give it a quick pressure wash, and then drive a front-end loader, or a mini garden tractor, or take two swipes with a shovel and a push broom, and it's clean, the ick of mucking it out is minimized. Same for if all the internal infrastructure can be pressure washed and left to dry in the sun.
|[+] chickens » Building a Better "Stealth Chicken Zone" (Go to)||Jay Angler|
I would see if you could build upon the patterning you're already doing with trees and shrubs of different trophic levels. You already have it happening with the blueberries and raspberries/blackberries. I would get other fruiting shrubs, trees, and vines, with a bonus if they're nitrogen-fixing bacteria hosts, like Seabuckthorn. If you can get a variety that likes your specific climate, mulberry is good, too.
One of the ways to combat an overactive HOA in some cases is to design something resplendent and execute it flawlessly. If they want something reminiscent of topiary, make sure you have something, probably a nitrogen-fixing bacteria host, that grows quickly and densely enough, and that likes pollarding, that you could trim up every couple of weeks or so, effectively chopping and dropping.
This kind of thing can take the wind out of the sails of the opposition, if the argument against is neglect-based. If you are clearly designing attractive, functional spaces that require minimal upkeep, that have regular and recognizable maintenance tasks that you can be seen doing regularly, the neglect camp have no leg to stand on.
Most of this stuff is complaint-driven, so if nobody complains, you're less likely to have issues. I like the idea of using juniper in the plan. I know where I am, if I were designing for four-season stealth and cover, there would, of necessity, be an evergreen component or three, and if one or two of those were broad-leaved, fruit-bearing, and occupying different trophic levels, all the better.
Something like a shrub oak, that matures fast and stays shorter, for the most part, might be a great idea for cover and food, as might be a more traditional hawthorn or hazel hedgerow. Throw in some small fruit trees and bam, you've got a food forest that also yields chicken and eggs, never mind just a stealth chicken zone.
I suggest you see if there are any native species-related incentive programs in your area. I know that in my planning, there's at least one Ontario native plant catalogue that significantly cuts my living plant budget any time I can use them, and there are plenty of edible natives species, especially from a galliform point of view.
I would also look into the pre-maize grain complex prevalent in your area, and try to recreate it as completely as practicable as another set of food plants uniquely adapted to thrive in your area. Any holes can be filled in with more productive, perhaps vaguely decorative selections of grain, like a red amaranth, for instance.
This doesn't neglect the chooks one bit. In fact, by adding complexity to their chicken zone, there ends up being more cover, even in terms of scent distraction, as well as more food over a longer time period. There are many beautiful food-bearing plants in this category, though. I would exploit that fact, and the patterning suggested in the original design, and build upon it using principles of companion planting and trophic design.
And include things that might have other beneficial effects, but primarily have giant, flashy blooms. I would suggest that something like this is in flower for the whole season. Give them a gorgeous, patterned, scented eggstravaganza. Give them something to salivate over, to live for.
Give them what they never knew they needed, and baby your chooks, and feed and build your soil, all at the same time. Sometimes the best protection in this world is to be absolutely fabulous and appear huge. Just ask any peacock. Hide them in plain sight, just make the scenery something that would make peacocks blush.
I would love to hear about your newer design idea. Please keep us posted, and good luck.
|[+] gardening for beginners » How to overcome the weeds without the black tarp method? What would Sepp Holzer do? (Go to)||Anne Miller|
Upon reflection, I feel that Sepp might get philosophical and suggest that the "weeds," which were only an issue because that's not what we wanted to grow there, had a job to do in that space.
I feel perhaps he might speculate as to the most likely job needing doing in the space from the species assembled, and perhaps do something to make their work happen faster, or to obviate it, like subsoiling a space being overtaken by breakers-up of hardpan.
Or if he had time, perhaps he would drop some daikon and mangelwurtzel into stick-poked holes and set the pigs on the patch in a few weeks.
Or perhaps he'd chop and drop the plants in question before they went to seed, sowing some crop pigs or other ravenous livestock like to eat that might also be allelopathic and fast-establishing, to again set the pigs loose on in a few weeks.
I feel you could probably break down various approaches he might take by the variables of how important the placement of what he wants is (if it's on a whim, he might rethink his plan, to go with what is already in place), observation and timely intervention (the chop-and-drop before plants go to seed, the sowing of a fast-establishing allelopathic grain and/or hardpan-destroying tubers that just happen to be candy to rooting pigs), and the designing of animal action into the labour, so that by the animals behaving as they naturally might, nobody has to actually lift a broadfork.
Of course, if he needed that weedy patch and he needed it yesterday, I feel he'd chop it and bury it in clean straw mulch. Individual tender shoots pushing up through the mulch would be irresistible to hungry livestock.
|[+] wildfire » Choosing a property/wildfires (Go to)||John C Daley|
Also, give the New Yorker article the OP has so graciously provided a good read. It paints a much better picture of the state of affairs as it stands and the fallout of the whole subduction zone releasing at once. The TLDR of it is that everything west of the I-5 is a write-off, especially after the tsunami washes everything a fair ways inland. Everything adjacent to the flood zone will be months without basic services, and years without major highways and medical services. And everything in the actual inundation zone will be rubble for years, perhaps longer.
I have family in Vancouver. I really hope they relocate to Ontario before all hell breaks loose. Some scenarios, I don't know how fantastic they really are, envision a literal splitting of the land along the subduction zone, with broken, drowned archipelagos to the west. It is generally agreed upon that in the worst-case scenario, the entire economy of the PNW will collapse. We're talking the worst natural disaster in this part of the world short of the quake cited in the New Yorker article that hit Haiti.
|[+] wildfire » Choosing a property/wildfires (Go to)||John C Daley|
Cascadia Subduction Zone
Here is a brief on the matter.
The remains of ghost forests have been found many kilometres inland. Essentially the Juan de Fuca plate is being pushed under the North American plate, from Vancouver Island down to Cape Mendocino in California. The stress of the friction between the two plates causes a buildup of strain between the two. Regular small slips produce small earthquakes regularly, but increase strain on the larger system. When larger slips occur, they produce megathrust events. Subduction zone quakes are one of the only known phenomena that can produce quakes in excess of M8.5. I believe the one that caused the disaster in Fukushima was a subduction zone event, but I will have to check my notes.
I don't know that it is possible to remain in the PNW and exit the area of effect of one such megathrust quakes.
I feel that this and wildfires are two completely unrelated issues, except that they're both issues of concern where the OP wishes to live. The risks of wildfire can be mitigated and controlled to an extent. There is nothing that can be done about subduction zone quakes, not to mention their eventual megathrust quakes, and the tsunamis they can set off, drowning acres of land in saltwater.
But then I guess they won't burn as well, eh?
|[+] meaningless drivel » I need a new word - do others need one too? (Go to)||David Wieland|
Yeah, I agree that "it" doesn't work as an english non-gendered pronoun. However, I don't need a new word. As with the hiker or the drink orderer example, "they" works quite naturally.
Take another example. Someone knocks at the door, and my partner answers it. Upon her return, she tells me it was an unspecified neighbour. My natural question would be, "What did they want?"
I think the best course of action might be just to respect the personal preferences of the individual in the matter, where applicable. One thing many forget in these discussions is that it is a subjective matter, not an objective one.
This applies only slightly in the case of the animal of undetermined gender, except that comfort of use lies at the heart of the matter here as well. It's just that the animal in question doesn't have any linguistic hangups like we do, as they lack language, and they have no gender identity or orientation-related hangups because, again, such things are human constructs.
If my comfort level with the shifting use of language actually mattered, my opinion stands with the use of "they" in cases where preferred pronouns haven't been specified.
Where they have been specified, I feel it's rude to not respect choices made by any individual regarding their preferred pronouns. Do you randomly assign nicknames or shortened monikers to people you associate with, on a whim, because it suits you to do so? I don't. I feel that, in the rush to find new and exciting things to be insulted or affronted by, people sometimes forget the importance of respect for the individual. It's not about you. It's not about me.
Of course where it comes to animals, do whatever. I would default to whatever is convenient and easy to hand, linguistically speaking, so livestock of indeterminate gender get a "they" pronoun. I'd most likely stick to nicknames and pejoratives, or terms of endearment, anyways.
To each their own, I say, but let's all try to respect each other.
|[+] wildfire » Helping land recover after wild fire (Go to)||John C Daley|
I agree with the observation that fire in this context is just a vehicle for renewal.
Now would be a great time to read up on local pioneer species of tree and shrub, so that they can be recognised when they sprout. It would also be useful to be aware of the species that specifically require fire to germinate. Such species are often fire-adapted, with thicker barks and self-pruning lower limbs.
Being aware of the nature of the ecology, those parts of it that burn regularly and self-replenish from the soil-borne seed bank along with those parts that are designed to weather all but the most severe burns, is critical to intervening in a way that makes sense for the natural cycles of the region. Don't fight natural cycles; go with.
What I figure is that you have just acquired a great heaping lot of charred wood. Some will only be torrified, but average forest fires burn at an average of 800 C. That exceeds the temperatures required for char suitable for inoculation and use as biochar.
So I would look to your hydrology. I would ensure that, if subsoiling on-contour stands to increase rainfall infiltration on your site, that it be done. It will carry some of the char deeper.
Producing a healthy compost, and then brewing actively aerated compost extracts and inoculating the burn area with it should serve to inoculate the char, increasing levels of beneficial soil bacteria and providing food for ambient fungi, like the aforementioned morels, accelerating the natural renewal process.
When everything starts coming back, my priority would be to assess the regrowth pattern, relocating saplings when necessary to manage shading and provide for landscape measures to contain and manage future burns. It is possible to arrange and manage it such that when subsequent fires move through, undergrowth is all that burns, so the fire-resistant tree species and their supportive infrastructure remain.
|[+] soil » How to rid soil of tomato blight? (Go to)||Skandi Rogers|
No magic bullet, I'm afraid. I just find that having other aggressive fungal species tends to limit or slow spread in the soil; I still get tomato blight, but it kills the plants in November, rather than July, meaning it's only my indeterminates that I have to worry about.
I am positive there's a fungal solution to both types of blight. I would imagine it's the type of thing that Paul Stamets at Fungi Perfecta might be looking into. In fact, it's my supposition that the reason there isn't a widely available fungal solution to many horticultural and agricultural problems is the influence of the chemical industry.
Realistically, if someone has the appropriate conditions early enough in the season to get their tomato patch cooking in excess of the blight kill threshold, I'd say bring on the black tarps. This might be easier with raised beds, though the exposure might cool them more quickly, and they might not get up to temperature if not sheltered.
|[+] gardening for beginners » How to overcome the weeds without the black tarp method? What would Sepp Holzer do? (Go to)||Anne Miller|
If Paul says Sepp would use organic hay, I tend to believe him.
But I would also think that Sepp might choose fast-establishing green manures, perhaps something like buckwheat that can out-compete most weeds.
One of the things about woodchips I like, especially in pine beetle kill territory, where those chips should be plentiful, is that it's possible to amend the area with the mulch on top with fungal slurries and actively aerated compost extracts.
Whatever the method of coverage, I would grow a living mulch, probably something in the squash family, with giant leaves that could cover the cover layer and produce a crop.
Whatever the specific coverage, bringing the soil life back will be made easier with compost extracts and fungal slurries. It is sometimes necessary to sterilise soil by solarisation to wipe out dangerous soil pathogens or problem plants. The sterilised soil will be healed afterwards. It's not like it's been drenched by toxins that kill life.
But clean organic mulch of whatever sort is always preferable to plastics in my book. The former turns into soil. The latter breaks down into microplastics and remains there until something capable of its metabolism either accumulates it or breaks it down enzymatically.
|[+] ethics and philosophy » Why proselytize? (Go to)||Coydon Wallham|
It seems to me that utilitarianism is a good place to start. It just needs shoring up in terms of protecting diversity in multicultural contexts and the rights of individuals not in the majority.
I mean, as there is no real moral absolute applicable across all cultural contexts, what other measures beyond the happiness or opportunities of the individual, all individuals, do we have to gauge right?
The nearest we can come is the Golden Rule. It is present in most major forms of belief and ideology, even if it is couched in terms of avoiding damage to the system.
It seems to me that if we generalise the Golden Rule to something that essentially translates to not degrading the system and not infringing upon others' opportunities, including by direct or indirect, intentional or unintentional harm, utilitarianism takes us where we have to go.
That way, activities that cause harm to the system are unacceptable. Essentially, any product of anti-systemic thought would be considered unacceptable. So no easy-answer bandaid solutions like fertility or pest control from petroleum, ergo no practices that require them, meaning no monocrops, because nature doesn't like that and sends pests to take care of it. Extractive processes wouldn't be acceptable without a commensurate amount of buffering and repair to succour the system.
So we could harvest lumber, but trees would have to be the best resource solution for the problem, they would have to be harvested with minimal environmental detriment, and resources would have to be redirected to balance the extraction to directly address the environmental harms caused.
What this would mean is that if there were better resources available to do the job, they would be the better, and therefore more acceptable, choice. So paper wouldn't be made from pulped trees, but rather from a field crop that generated sufficient biomass in a season and didn't require harsh bleaching, like hemp.
Lumber harvesting would probably be carried out by means that destroy the least terrain. Short of airlifting cut trees by solar electric heavy-lift cargo airships, that would probably mean situating access trails on-contour, using the disruption to ameliorate natural hydrology and stimulate natural succession, and using either horse or electric traction to pull trees out. It might also be followed by the introduction of beavers, which respond to the sound of running water, to dam it and control erosion, making systems of ponds that lead to the ocean, and even introduction of locally appropriate salmon species to take ocean resources and redistribute them upstream.
Needless to say, any ideological coercion would be anathema, as coercion essentially holds as its goal obviation of another's will. Any persuasion would need to be open and evidence-based. So traditional evangelisation or proselytization of any sort would be right out, and essentially education is what we'd be left with.
|[+] soil » How to rid soil of tomato blight? (Go to)||Skandi Rogers|
My understanding of the situation is similar to Anne's. Ridding soil of a specific fungus isn't easy, and it's impossible if you keep feeding it by continuously planting their food in the same spot, season after season.
Now you could opt for radical interventions. Some would suggest removing the problem soil, bringing in new, or shifting existing soil around. My feeling about this is that you'd probably end up with tomato blight everywhere.
I suppose one could consider solarizing the spot for a season. Black tarps, EPDM, or plastic garbage bags have been used in the past to great effect to cook soil underneath. I haven't had the chance to experiment, but the next time I have the chance, I want to try using something porous and breathable, like blackout curtains, to see if it would also work.
In an urban environment, this might actually be a valid option. You'd want to stick to tarps, but you could probably plant your tomatoes out in five gallon buckets or whatever you have and sit them on the corners and edges of the tarps, at generous regular spacing. I wouldn't overcrowd the buckets because you'd shade out the whole tarp, which would mean not achieving solarisation temperatures.
Incidentally, the recommended bake time for soils and composts exposed to or infected by Phytopthora infestans is 120 °F (49 C) for 30 minutes. If you used a thermal probe or compost thermometre placed in the soil to a depth of 12", you could check the temperature on hot days. Theoretically, should it exceed that temperature for that period of time, the soil should be sufficiently solarised.
Do I believe that would actually work? Honestly, I feel that some foamcore insulation would be required along the perimeter to trap that kind of heat. To do it properly, I'd add glass, or better yet, a cold frame, atop the tarps, and a tightly-pegged sheet of plastic greenhouse sheeting tented over that.
One option I would consider strongly is that of fungal slurry treatments. I think I would take a known aggressive culinary variety, like Oyster mushrooms, or maybe winecaps, make water and mushroom slurries of them and inoculate piles of woodchips. When I saw some myceliation of the wood chip pile, I would spread the pile out over the bare infected soil and add more slurry. I would probably hold off on the application of actively aerated compost extract until I saw some establishment of the slurry fungi in the mulch and into the soil. The compost extract would then go to feed the fungi in their fight against Phytopthora infestans.
I would also grow it out. Decide what else you could grow there that you also eat and delight in, and put your tomatoes elsewhere. Maybe some earlier-ripening or smaller varieties in containers would do until you could use your tomato patch again. For my much better half and I, that would probably be something like butternut squash, but it might be a stand of Russian Mammoth sunflowers, or I might grow an asparagus guild heavy on tomato companions, including diverse alliums and marigolds. By the time the tomatoes return, it would be a polyculture with an active and aggressive fungal component in the soil layer ready to compete with the blight for resources, just waiting to welcome tomatoes back into the fold.
I don't see any viable method other than solarising it, checking temperatures with a thermometre or temperature probe, that would kill the pathogen, along with all soil life, and shorten the time you have to wait to grow tomatoes in that spot again. I would even consider hammering sheets of corrugated metal sideways into the soil, such that they act as heat exchangers. Hot metal fins extending down into infected soil, heated and kept from cooling to the air by a cold frame, or even a black tarp; that might effectively and evenly heat sterilise the soil.
Honestly? I would plant something else, even just cycling good green manures, and do the slurry thing as described. Planting something that generates a lot of biomass and root zone exudates that are food for the blight's microbial competition helps the soil to outcompete it. In the meantime, grow tomatoes in another spot, perhaps in containers somewhere, or planters, which might isolate plants and soil from the existant fungi you're having issues with.
But good luck. All tomato diseases are plagues of mythic proportions. I once crowded 39 tomato plants of different varieties into the sunniest, breeziest spot in all my garden, gave them all they needed, and got so pissed off when the neighbour's blight spread to my garden, I dug a 7'x17'x3' deep trench and built a hugelbeet out of it. That was one hell of an afternoon.
Good luck, and may you beat it, or change things around such that you can wait it out.
|[+] ethics and philosophy » What is your WHY? (Go to)||r ranson|
Permaculture is fun. It's relatively easy to do if you just pay attention to the natural patterns. It's like it evolved that way or something, as we did, so it's natural for me to think of going with that particular flow and designing things as those mechanisms have evolved over time to work.
I mean, I have always thought the idea of asserting dominance over a global living system that predates our evolution by, what, hundreds of millions of years, a little arrogant; look what we've already done to it in our ignorance.
In many ways, for all the earthworks and hydrological control elements, permaculture is something of a humble approach, one that most ideologies would embrace. If judeo-christian belief hadn't come out of the oral traditions of pastoralists and nomadic herders, but out of those of early horticulturalists, instead, I'd wager the parables and mythos would concern gardeners tending and nurturing, and by extension, planning, rather than shepherds guarding, tending, and sacrificing sheep.
Basically, I want to go out into the country to live on about a hundred acres of Ontario boreal/temperate hardwood transitional zone forest, away from corn and soy agriculture, and if it doesn't have that level of biodiversity when I get there, it will eventually. I want that because of the freedom it would mean: mostly, freedom to proceed as I see fit, unburdened by what I consider to be the irrational choices of others. I want to be free to grow and eat my own food, and free from the noise and crowding, and the smells and toxicity, of living in close proximity with millions of other people, some of whom hold truly disturbing (in my view) positions on what is healthy, and even what is considered "food."
I want to be a horticulturally-minded land steward, setting up food systems that provide rude abundance for human and animal, wild and domesticated, even in the worst years. I want to be a stay-at-home dad while my much-better-half continues to pursue her art career. I wish to raise children in permaculture as I see it, which admittedly leans heavily on concepts of Regenerative Agriculture, but also many of Salatin's ideas, and those of J.M. Fortier.
I want on-contour swaled rows of food forest 3 trees (at least) deep, with nut trees in the middle row spaced for their eventual maximum growth, with fruit trees, basically all the pomes and stonefruit that will grow in my climate, and berry shrubs, in the southmost row, and mulberry trees, hazels, and Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust, for nitrogen-fixing bacteria) filling in the back row, along with other understory trees and plants, and rows of cane berries planted between. I would alternate between species and variety to produce a drawn-out harvest with constant pollinator support in mind.
Between food forest rows, I want alleys suitable for either garden beds, field crops, or pasture. I would space them as the terrain allowed, but the idea would be to service everything with a small electric, possibly two-wheeled, stand-on tractor, and to size everything to that scale.
On the family end, I want laying hens. I would love a quick, humane way to caponize male chicks, because that would mean those male chicks that I don't choose to keep as roosters become my meat birds, and I don't have to keep others. This, though, is just an idea, and I will keep meat birds if I need to.
Guinea fowl are high on the priority list, because where we've narrowed our search is in the path of future, and potentially current, tick territory. Guinea fowl are used by friends of ours living in tick country to keep the numbers down on property.
As our meat needs are just going to be familial, I want two sows, mostly for social reasons. I was thinking about american Guinea Hogs, but specific breed choices will wait until we see the specific conditions.
I have no real want to go into larger meat production. I am much more likely, I think, to go in on a small herd of meat cattle with some neighbours and share out the grazing than I am to get a small herd myself. Hell, if I don't need to keep cattle for meat myself, I would be happy to buy beef on the hoof from a neighbour whose practices I trust and pay someone to come by to take care of the harvesting and butchering.
The only exception to this is a dream I have. I would love to start a group in an appropriate place, partnered with at least one First Nations community, to sponsor the rewilding of an appropriate area with Bison bison athabascae (Wood Bison). It could happen in conjunction with, or separate from, another First Nations partnered rewilding program concerning Castor canadensis (North American Beaver) and their introduction and management as food source and ecosystem engineer, and their utilisation to turn beaver-constructed wetlands slowly leading to the ocean into highways for the reintroduction, or just introduction, of Salmo salar (Atlantic Salmon).
The bison would be managed with a seasonal cull when appropriate, harvesting all but the necessary male breeding stock, at a ration of somewhere between 15 to 20 females to every male. This would be used to feed the families and communities of all involved, as well as covering operational costs. The management of the beaver population would likely be left in the hands of the hosting First Nations community. I hear that the meat is delicious, and that beavertail is apparently traditional pregnancy food in some regions, especially in winter, but I have no personal knowledge of this. Introducing healthy new salmon runs would have environmental benefits far outweighing the rejuvenation of wild Atlantic Salmon stocks, but managed annual harvests would work to cover operational costs and feed people in the same way as the bison operation.
Going back to the homestead farm, I am thinking that, if it works out, I might try a small dairy herd, no more than two of the smallest jersey milkers I could find, and that mostly for social reasons. I still need to know how much time I would need daily, not only for the actual milking, but for making things out of said milk; if the jerseys were too high-yielding, I would definitely look to other heritage A2 breeds. Perhaps a Guernsey. I think I read that they can yield around eight gallons a day on grass when not nursing a calf. I think I remember reading that Jerseys produce something like 20 gallons a day. I love the 5% butterfat content, but I don't think that I could deal with 40 gallons a day between two cows. That's more cheese, yogourt, kefir, and butter than I can make in a day.
Wait. Ice cream. I forgot about ice cream. Hmmm...
My much-better-half's mother is a knitter of some note. I love the socks she knits me. We would definitely be looking to keep some alpacas, a llama, a donkey, perhaps a peacock and a peahen or two, and probably a small flock of sheep well-suited to our specific terrain and climate. I want merino, for the wool, as a merino alpaca blend can feel heavenly on the skin, but there are other options, and context is king, in permaculture as all things.
To cap the security system of llama/donkey/peacock, I want an LGD puppy girl, probably something huge like a Caucasian Mountain Shepherd Dog, who would be my personal companion puppy girl. When she was ready, we'd introduce her to whatever working LGD mix or breed that was favoured by our neighbours. My money is on Great Pyrenees, but I have seen Komondor in the area we're looking. Lovely dreads on those dogs, but apparently some can be so family protective that special caution is required with stranger children. Great Pyrs might bark at night to establish sonic territorial boundaries, but at least they're up there with Newfs as being kid protectors.
I still want to look to the shelter system for rescues, but I also acknowledge that specific breeding and heredity are required to achieve specific goals sometimes. If I had the room and time, I would probably open a piece of the property to rescues I would host and rehabilitate from trauma. I would definitely have the inclination, but there are a few things I want to do other than this.
I want a minimum of two, but hopefully more, distinct ponds or small lakes on our property. I will dig them myself if I have to. I want them to be connected by raceways that run the water from the top to the bottom of the system, where a solar and/or wind pump moves the water back to the top of the system, where it is ejected in a jet fountain that aerates it as it falls onto a chinampas-style filter bed built for the purpose, growing species good for reed bed filtration, as well as the waterfowl we'd have, probably runner ducks and geese.
My pond system will be stocked from the ground-up with local species. I will establish the flora first, of course, and the filter-feeder fauna might have settlement ponds all their own in-line with the system, but I want brown bullhead catfish if the system is tiny, and possibly something larger, up to the size of channel cat, if it were larger. I don't know the local species of minnow, but it looks like what you get at a bait shop for ice fishing. I would probably contact the Ministry of Natural Resources and avail myself of any natural restocking plans or programs they keep up. If I could get lake or rainbow trout, pike, walleye, smallmouth and rock bass, and some panfish, I would catch-and-release until my fishing intervention was actually needed, or the counts and individual weights were high enough to warrant harvest.
The potential for freedom from this rat race for me and mine gets me up and working towards this every day.