Konstantinos, I read / or watched a video recently about someone using coal dust to protect seeds from animals. I wish I could find the reference but I'm pretty sure it was in Africa. Might be something else to try or look up.
Do you happen to have small bushes popping up in the landscape? You probably already know about Tony Rinaudo and his work with Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) in Africa, right? If not, here is a link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6YEUJg9w7I
If you find that there are established bushes/trees with only a few twigs popping up, you could use this method to make them grow. Tony realized that these trees had huge root systems. They just needed a bit of trimming to force the tree to grow.
Dustin, where in Southern California are you? I'm in Carlsbad/San Marcos.
Please tell us more about your book, "Forest Gardening in Practice"!
Why did you write it?
What is your favorite case study?
How many years have you been involved in forest gardening? What is your background?
Is there one thing that surprised you recently about nature or something that you learned?
Looking forward to learning more about you and about forest gardening!
Your book looks interesting. I wish it was available on Kindle too. I like to download samples of books to look at them before I buy. Also, I have so many books now in my home that I've started to by the electronic version so that I don't have to find a place for them on the shelf.
Here is what I'm thinking based on all of our experience and knowledge. I'd like to brainstorm on it.
This method I'm thinking of would take more time for the first planting but I think if you had a strong start in a 10 foot diameter area, it would
allow you to expand without as much work.
Based on the video that I posted above the guy that reforested started growing his own trees
in pots because he had better luck with that over the seeds.
So I think the ideal thing would be to:
1. Start the tree seeds at home - do a few nitrogen fixing trees, a few deciduous trees, a few fruit trees
2. Start rooting some cuttings - Pomegranate, olive, fig, mulberry (I've gotten mulberry to grow on very little water)
3. start other plants by seed or cuttings that would be more successful as as putting out as a plant rather than a seed like lemongrass, rosemary, mint, oregano,
4. collect a handful of soil from places that are lush with vegetation that already have some of the trees your are planting. Make sure that soil is in the pots with the seeds.
Once the rainy season starts and you've had a little rain first, go to the area to reforest.
1. Start planting guilds heavily in a small 10 foot diameter and you could spread out as you have more plants and seeds. I think the guilds and the close
planting helps to keep moisture in and multiple diverse plants support themselves - especially when the area is so degraded.
2. Dig swale or two so that the area will really soak in the rain. Plant the first fruit tree on that berm next to swale in that newly dug up swale.
3. Bring a truck of mulch.
4. Put down the mulch first. (I've read that this is better that planting then putting down mulch as far as results)
5. Plant fruit tree in the middle. Plant 4 nitrogen bushes/trees around that fruit tree but about 3 feet away. Make sure one can nurse the
fruit tree so plant it so it will give it dapple shade during day.
6. Plant everything else within the 10 foot diameter in between and see what ends up taking. If there is mulch and you are planting seeds, move the mulch put in the seed and cover with a bit of soil. Don't put the mulch back on that part.
7. Things you could plant but you don't have to do all - borage, chamomile, dikon radish, lemongrass, chicory, rosemary, garlic, yarrow, comfrey, sweet potato, geranium, oregano, mint, artichoke, mint, rhubarb, nasturtium, daffodil. Some of these will be by seed and some will be plants that you grew and have good roots)
I can draw a picture and post it if it helps to see it on paper.
Drop in some worms and soil that you've taken from healthy forested areas for the microbes.
See what takes and does well and tweak it - or expand it by starting another guild close by that would touch this one.
It is a lot more work than what you have been doing but I suspect that the strength of the guild and plants would be 10 times faster with regeneration.
My zone is 10A. I'm 6 miles from the Ocean near San Marcos, California.
The banana circle looks pretty good because I feed my laundry water to it. I might be the only one in my entire subdivision of 2000 homes that does that. I also divert all the rainwater into the soil or into rain barrels.
I'm not an expert so I've made a lot of mistakes but on the other hand I rarely water - I sometimes go 4-5 weeks without watering and my trees are alive. I wish I had followed Mollison's advice and really paid attention to them the first 2 years. If I had done that it would be very different.
Cherry tree is covered with Passion fruit vine. That was an accident. I'll have to trim that back soon. Under Cherry is comfrey and nasturtium (just about gone and dead for season)
Apple tree has comfrey and peas (peas almost dead)
Persimmon tree guild - lots there! Yarrow, lemon grass, Chamomile, some of my herbs. Other plants like hickory. I forget the names of some of the others right now. This area stays nice with little water and lots of worms. First guild I really did.
Pomegranate and Fig guild - lemon grass, geranium, cape honeysuckle, lavender. I had some peas in there and other flowers
Loquat guild - I have it next to geranium and star jasmine. At one point I hadn't watered the tree for 6 months. Just was ignored.
I should be adding more diversity. I'm a VERY lazy person. I really don't get into the yard much. I could really use some help.
I'll try to show more pictures and give more details. I do have more plants around some of them that I forgot to mention
These are good ideas, looking forward to hearing from you and maybe some photos of the results in your area.
Although I live in the drylands, we are in a suburb of San Diego that gets water from the city so I'm in a different situation.
That being said, my irrigation is broken, some pipe broke under the driveway a few years ago. Although we only average 10-12 inches a year and I'm notorious for not watering often at all, My yard is still doing pretty well. We did get 20 inches last year, the three years before that we had 5 inches, 5 inches and 6 inches of rain for the year.
Like the other Shari who posted I also think Comfrey might help you. I've planted it and ignored it and it still has grown on no water. I plant it under my fruit trees. The worms LOVE it, It creates shade and green mulch.
Vetch did very well here on reseeds itself. Popcorn Cassia is also very hardy in my yard on little to no water.
I've been thinking of this thread and what you've done for several days now. My instinct tells me that there is a better way to reforest.
I believe some of this was discussed earlier about a guild. When you are dong the clay cubes are you just doing 1 kind of seed - like almond?
You might benefit by doing a dozen or more seeds in a cube. Something was mentioned earlier in the thread about a guild and you mentioned planing in a 10 foot diameter then moving further away and doing something again in a 10 foot diameter. I think that is what the landscape needs. More plants in a smaller area that are diverse. I've experimented with Vetch and I'm so impressed. A LOT of biomass and it reseeds itself easy and has a nice carpet of green on the ground to shade the earth. I've heard that fruit trees like another tree (like a nitrogen fixing one as a nurse plant - a bit of shade until they get bigger)
Other ideas - Dikon Radish, clover, nasturtium, sweet potato (yes that would be digging not a seed but they love heat), pigeon Pea (gorgeous huge bush with flowers and edible pods and also fixes nitrogen), pomegranate
Other ones that are not from seed are grape and fig. I can't believe how much biomass they both produce. You can easily stick cuttings in the ground.
I saw this is an old thread but maybe some of the info in my post will be helpful.
I had mercury fillings - quite a few. I don't know how many but I would guess at least 10. I had them removed the last 8 or so years but I should have seen a holistic dentist for some of those removals. I believe now that they were removed in a way that may have put more mercury in my body.
The last several years I've had a lot of fatigue. Last October it was so bad that I was taking as many as 3 naps a day.
I started doing hemp oil (by mouth). Helped a LOT with the chronic fatigue but I suspect that it detoxified my body and then it was reabsorbed because it wasn't leaving the body. But I have to say I can't believe how much better I felt after the hemp oil.
Once in a while I'd take activated charcoal, selenium, magnesium and a few other things and I would feel a bit better.
The company that has the hemp oil just came out with a detox. You take a liver serum and then 30 minutes later take the mega binder. I've been on it for 2 weeks and I feel so much better already. If I had the money for the tests, I'd see what was in my body as far as metals, etc.
Dr. Christopher Shade has amazing information on Quicksilver Scientific's website. The products on the website are meant to be used with a physician. He also makes products that are less expensive for the company that i buy from. Also take a look at Dr. Shade on youtube. Lots of good info !
It has been years since I checked in on this group.
I'm so thrilled to see that it is still going.
Konstantinos, any chance that you can give us a summary of the last 6 (or however many years) you've been doing this. It would be a lot to read to look though every post.
I'm wondering what it used to look like, how many acres (or hectares) the land is, how it looks now and lessons learned. If you had to start over today, what would you do (since you wouldn't need to make any mistakes - if you could bring all the knowledge back to you? What did you accomplish. What do your neighbors think of what you've done? How big are the biggest trees now?
I couldn't seem to find any other forum that was devoted to water.
I saw that in Florida they are dealing with a huge toxic algae problem.
I don't live on that side of the country but I was so curious about what the best ways to clean it up would be. And I'd like to
know how you prevent it. I believe we have algae blooms here on the west coast on occasion.
Maybe we need a forum on bioremediation and/or water
I went back and read all of the posts - took quite a long time. Very interesting. I like this forum.
I will try a 5 x 5 area.
There is one thing I'm a bit concerned about. If you do get almond trees growing to maturity at the density you are planting, they will be weak as they will all be vying for the same nutrients. And in watching Stefan's journey in Quebec with his fruit farm, he discovered that he can't have any of the same trees next to each other or he gets pests. So he alternates apple, plum and some nitrogen fixer for example. He has added a great variety of trees.
Have you thought of planting a fruit with a nitrogen fixer in the same hole? I think the Bullock brothers in Washington State do that - they don't do it with seeds but with small trees and they have had good luck with that method (I think it is in Toby Hemenway's book - Gaia's Garden)
Really good time for me to plant - rained a lot this last 2 weeks and so the soil is actually moist for the first time in years.
Since you asked: "Please tell us about what you doing - do you have any experience with this problem and how it's going - any ideas or help you can provide would be appreciated. "
So I have a house on about 1/6th of an acre in Southern California. I'm very drawn to reversing desertification and also bioremediation. I have been all over Sepp Holtzer's book, Geoff Lawton Greening the Desert and Neal Spackman's work on Greening Saudi Arabia on 3 inches a year and 100 degrees.
So last year (a year ago October) I converted my lawn to drought tolerant bushes. I did it as soon as the governor had signed a law so that our HOA could no longer fine us for having no grass.
But, despite knowing better, I did it so wrong. I was in a hurry because I had had it torn up for so long, I was coming to the end of being able to get a rebate for the lawn removal (you had to plant it with approved low water plants and have someone come out to verify)
Screwing this up so badly was probably the best lesson I ever had.
My lawn was completely compacted. I dug holes for the plants. I put down landscape cloth (that the guy helping me strongly encouraged) and I added redwood chips/ mulch from the local big box store.
I looked under the landscape cloth in October and the dirt was still just as horrible and hard as 1 year before. It was so bad I couldn't dig 1/2 inch down!
So, I removed all of the landscape cloth and redwood and basically started over. (I kept the bushes that were still alive).
I added 1 Cubic foot of compost and mixed it in. I watered it in too and with some more rain it started to be less compacted.
I dug a swale that was about 100 feet long that snaked through the front. It was about 10 inches deep and 10-12 inches wide. I made some worm tea and put it on the dirt. After a few rains it was easier to dig.
I have just started covering it with brown paper and then a fine real mulch from a mixture of trees so that it will break down. I'm not finished yet but I can't believe how much less runoff I get now. I let the water from my gutters go into that part of the yard and even with a few hundred gallons, it just soaked it up.
I finally found some help so I have to finish the 2 other parts of the front but I'm a convert now to swales and creating that earth sponge.
Friends also do not let friends buy redwood mulch! It does not decompose and it does not help your soil sponge.
After I redo the front, I'm going to finish the swales in my backyard and with the 80x60 foot hill in back. With the rains, I'm hoping to get a lot of nitrogen fixing trees and bush seeds planted on the hill. I've tried seeds in the past but since the rains didn't come, I never had any luck with them germinating.
I think my ultimate goal would be to work on the Salton Sea area which is about 3 hours away in the Eastern / Sourthern part of California. It is an ecological disaster. I wish I had money to buy a few hundred acres and bring it back. It is heavily salted and polluted by all of the agriculture runoff that runs into the Salton Sea. The area is a huge wetland for migratory birds so I think fixing it would be a huge win for the ecology.
i'm by no means an expert yet but the reason I mentioned the swales is that the problem seems to be the drought and the seed not surviving. My thought was that if you dug some shallow swales then planted the seeds that maybe they would gather enough water to survive.
I realize that would be tough when you are experimenting with what do do this on millions of acres but I was watching a video of Warren Brush and he brought back a spring and he also raised his water table signficantly in just a few months after doing the swale. Warren lives close to the Santa Barbara area where we have a drought as well.
Konstantinos Karoubas wrote:Hello Sheri,
No swales Sheri - if the goal is to reforest millions of acres, digging swales is not an option. The goal I am working towards is mass seeding through the air with clay cubes (Masanobu Fukuoka, San) - until that time I direct seed or use limited amount of clay cubes.
I started around 2004 (I think) - the first few years were full of failure - most seeds will not survive without watering in the summer time - very few are strong enough to make through August. I would place seeds in the ground or with clay cubes, they would sprout in the spring, then they would just die in July and August. Pine trees, many of the acacia species, other conifers, all died - it was frustrating to say the least !!!
The almonds were the first we noticed that survived without care, followed by the apricots, wild pears, laburnum, cactus pear pads, and our favorite apples.
This year we are trying plums (thanks to Caleb Peretz) - these trees are used as ground cover - they are closely spaced, less than 3 feet away - when they grow, they will create new soil and cool climate in the area planted, which will allow the planting of just about anything - at least that's how I hope it will work out !!!
It's not my intention to inspire others, nor do see that as my goal - planting trees by seed or clay cubes is the most economical way to reforest, provided you have identified which trees, shrubs or perennial plants grow in your area.
Once this problem is clearly solved, then it will be up to community organizers/government organizations to plan mass reforestation efforts - it's another skill and another set of capabilities required - not my cup of tea.
Please tell us about what you doing - do you have any experience with this problem and how it's going - any ideas or help you can provide would be appreciated.
Have you inspired anyone else locally to help you yet?
How long have you been doing this project(s)?
Are you digging swales too?
Konstantinos Karoubas wrote:Hello Sheri,
I am planting neglected public lands at different locations - hopefully this effort will develop into public food forests - there are large areas in Greece that have been completed deforested and bare.
Bare land leads to rise in ground temperatures and reduced rain falls.
There is a need for billions of trees just in the Mediterranean region. The challenge is to do it with the minimum effort and cost.
As I understand it, Sepp spreads some of the pigs favorite foods out and lets them use there snouts as mini ploughs. It roughs
up the ground so he can make contact with the soil as he throws the seed.
I don't know if the pigs eat seed that would come out and sprout but maybe that happens? I'm sure someone else knows far more than I do.
I'd love to have a summary of your project, how long ago did you start and where are you now?
I'm so excited to watch your progress. I'd love to have a nice big parcel of land that I could play with. I live in an area where I'm restricted because I live in tract housing with
lots of rules. I'm still having a bit of fun and learning but I'd love to have animals and a large pond
Konstantinos Karoubas wrote:Hello Sheri,
No have not used pigs, or thought about using them - interesting concept though.
I thought about using goats and spreading/planting carob seeds - have not done anything with it though.
Any suggestions would be appreciated and considered.
We use manure or compost with clay cubes to give the young trees growth and strength to make it through the 1st summer.
I'm really excited by all of your updates. I didn't know about those until I had an email from permies today that said there was a reply to a message I had posted. But I see you've been posting for a while now. I can't wait to go back and read all of your posts.
I was rereading Sepp Holtzer's book on Deserts and he mentioned using pigs to help him scatter seeds and dig up the earth so the seeds not only had good contact with the soil but I'm sure the manure is helping as well as the work the areas.
Just curious have you used pigs? Do you have access to a few to try them?
I can describe a bit more of what Sepp says he does if you haven't read his work.
Paul, I see Infecting brains and getting your money out of it as two way different things.
I haven't seen the cards in person yet but I did order a pack of 6 from Amazon a couple of days ago with a friend so I will see them soon.
I don't think that the cards are going to infect brains. I do hope I'm wrong. Here is why:
1. Many times when you give someone a pack of cards it will sit on the shelf for years before it is picked up
2. Even if they are picked up immediately, I'm not sure people will "get it". they might pick up some trivia but I think to really
drive interest in permaculture enough to look into it more you need to see a video like Geoff Lawton's Greening the Desert. Something
that is so inspirational and full of hope that it makes you want to know more.
I've got other ideas for infecting brains but that is for another post.
Ok, getting your money back on the cards - reducing inventory by 4000 decks. I don't think Amazon is the best way to sell these.
It might help to get noticed but I was playing with Amazon as a seller the last few months myself and by the time they take out all the fees, you really
don't get much. Looks like you get under $6 a pack and that is without shipping. i'm also not sure what you're even paying per pack.
I have some other ideas. I think I'll send you an email about what i did in the past with something similar and also about PR
Paul, before I go into something about PR can we back up a moment. I feel like we need to go step by step here.
Why do you want to sell the 5500 decks of cards? Is it because you are tired of them being in a garage or is it because you are
hoping that by selling those you'll infect 5000+ brains about permaculture? Or something else?
What is the goal?
Depending on your answer I have different responses/ideas.
Thanks for the links. I'll take a look in a few minutes.
I remember driving through LA maybe 20 years ago and I was terrified because it became difficult to breathe in the smog.
I was trying to google how LA solved a lot of this smog problem (as I understand it is better than it was) but for some reason nothing came up.
If there is any silver lining it is that things are getting so so bad for many cities that I hope more people will become enviromentally conscious - friendly.
But I do think this would be an interesting discussion on how fast you could reduce the smog if you were a government official.
Seems like the first things to do would be to get the cars that create the worse smog - supposedly 10% of them. Get those fixed immediately.
Plant trees and plants everywhere there is space or earth. Remove some of the concrete and add more plants.
Then start forcing people to use mass transportation and increase the number of buses, subways, etc
Seems like a lot of people were using bikes but when it gets this bad they can't - just can't breathe.
I'm sure a lot more can be done but I just don't have the knowledge
My heart is breaking for the people who have to live with such horrible air quality.
jack sharp wrote:I'm going to be out of the house in a couple of months and am looking for advice on what to do from here.
$5500 of my own money
$12000 of my parents money for school only
I live in Illinois, but after spending a lot of time with my grandparents that moved to phoenix, I have fallen in love with the region.
my plan so far is to
-start plants from that region
-work as many hours as possible throughout
-try to walk away with as little debt as possible
-get job and buy a few acres out of the way and work on weekends
-rent absolute hovel of apartment
-try to retire early and live off 3%
Where in Illinois are you? My dad has property in Lockport and you might be able to use land and give him a portion of the produce. Maybe even live in one of the buildings on the property.
I think before you buy property, it might be good to get some experience so you know more of what you would like or not like.
Do you wan to start your own business or do you want to work for someone?
The positives about doing some college is that
1. Your parents are putting 12,000 towards it
2. I think you meet people that could have a bit impact on your life (I met my husband at my college) or new ideas for professors
3. if you are working full time and going to school you will learn time management
4. well, other reasons but I'm getting too tired to write.
If you're looking for updates, your best bet is my instagram page--instagram.com/al_baydha. There are some non-permaculture things on there as I share the page with some coworkers also doing leather production, embroidery training and other things we hope will lead to more employment in the region.
Otherwise, I've been asked to stop producing video for the time being...
Bummer that they don't want you do to video now. I really loved the videos.
Please keep us updated on how things are looking and especially when you get more rain.
Looks like an interesting subject. Any chance you will publish it as an ebook. I've move almost exclusively to ebooks for a few reasons.
1. My eyesight is bad so I can enlarge the fonts on ebooks
2. I LOVE books and I have no more bookshelf space for more and I hate to give them up
3. I can read it while I'm in line or whenever I have 5 min without dragging it around.
4. I can get a sample of ebooks and figure out if it is really a subject that is interesting enough to warrant buying the whole book
5. I dont' feel guilty about the paper and shipping of a book.
6. I can get instant gratification by downloading it the moment I'm ready to read it. No waiting a few days for it to come.
By the way, many authors are finding more sales through ebooks rather than paper.