Jarrod Pearson wrote:I had not thought to check the pH of the rain water vs the city water. I live in North Texas and the water is very hard, so that kinda makes sense. I actually have litmus paper at home and will check tonight.
Another thought regarding the chlorine content of the water:
Maybe it's not affecting the plants directly, but indirectly by killing off the myriad little critters that make up the soil food web.
If tap water has enough chlorine in it to negatively affect fish in a tank if not given enough time to gas off, surely it would hit the microbial life in the soil pretty hard as well.
Having pulled down a few hundred feet of rusted and bent chain link and old, rotted, and dangerous wooden stockade fencing, I am left with no privacy shield or visual markers of my property lines (as well as a view of my neighbors' cruddy fences). I would like to replace the non-living fences with something that is alive.
Ideally, I'd like to plant some hedges that are:
1) Quick to mature.
3) Native (to Long Island) or at least non-invasive.
4) Pollinator, wildlife, and child friendly. (Not worried about deer in the yard. )
5) Not too tall at maturity. Town regulations limit height of hedges in front of the house to 4 feet and 6 feet on the side. Regs are seldom enforced, but why be the test case, right?
6) Reasonably priced and readily available.
Yeah, I know, that's a big wish list and I don't expect to find something that meets every point on the list, but I can hope.
Annie Zielonska wrote:Hi everyone! My backyard's lawn is pretty much dead, and I would really like to start it over with a new organic lawn, but after a few days of intense internet searches and trying to read up on the topic I found 2 things: 1-There is a whole world of knowldedge/information about grass, and 2- I'm more confused now than ever about what steps to take to have a nice, new organic lawn. So I'm hopeing someone/s on here may be willing to help with some advice
Here are the basic stats I'm dealing with: It's an L-shape lawn , with an area of 1,100 ft sq.-- 1/3 of it is dirt, 1/3 small cup-sized bundles of grass patches trying to grow (about 1-2 inches tall) and 1/3 moss/weeds. (We just bought the house last summer, and knew there'd be work to be done come this spring). I've decided to go organic since we have little kids and found the cheap/lazy approach from richsoil.com pretty convincing.
The soil: Thus far I tried to do a soil test to see how much top soil there is by digging a 1' x 1' hole out, about a foot deep, but couldn't see a dividing line between where topsoil may be, so I assume there is no top soil. From holding/squeezing soil I think it's mostly clay, as it clumps solidly together and doesn't fall apart. Good thing if I ever wonna start doing pottery, but not helpful right now for grass growing.
The plan: So I have the idea to buy xx amount of organic top soil bags, to cover the whole area about 6''-12'', (maybe mix it with compost? as suggested on richsoil.com) then buy organic lawn seed that grows well in shade (we have 4 large trees in our 40' sq. backyard, so very little sun exposure, hence all the moss), and a grass-seed will do ok with kids running on it throughout the summer... I'm confused about whether to fertilize, and when to fertilize and what to fertlilize with??? Do I put fertlizer under or mix with the soil and compost all together?
Welcome to Permies, AnnieZ!
First, before you go out and buy lots of expensive bags of questionable "organic topsoil", check your local garden centers and commercial growers for bulk quantities that you can have delivered by truck. Look at it and touch it and talk to the guys that are selling it before you buy. It will be cheaper than bags and keeps the business local, if you are lucky enough to find a place. It will also be of better quality since it hasn't sat around in a life-sucking plastic bag for who-knows-how-long.
Second, think more about feeding the soil than about feeding the grass. Organic lawn plans often do not include anything that is recognized as "fertilizer", but rather lots and lots of organic matter put on the lawn area to feed the soil food web. Keep the critters happy and they will make your grass happy.
While I totally get the thought behind stacking functions and trying to get a "yield" from the hunters, I think that prioritizing your needs would be helpful.
What do you need most: The labor/money from the hunters or the deer gone?
If it is most important to solve your deer troubles, making the proposition less attractive for a hunter by charging money or a day of manual labor for access to your land seems counter-productive.
Other things to take into consideration:
1) Where are the hunters coming from? If you are close to any sizable urban/suburban area, you might try putting up your contact info or a simple flyer at gun stores, outdoor stores, sporting goods stores, etc. Keep in mind, urban/suburban hunters that have to travel to get to you might be willing to spend a few dollars for access to your land, but are probably "time-poor" when it comes to swapping labor for hunting permission. If you have local businesses that provide food & lodging, see if you can get discounts for out-of-town hunters coming to your land. Hunting season is often a dead spot in the hospitality year and local businessmen might be glad for the business.
2) Are there any Fish & Game clubs in your area? A state rifle & pistol association? Other social organizations with large memberships? Offering discounted access to members of organized groups has a two-fold benefit: It gets word of your property out to a larger group of people much more quickly and it has the built-in security of peer pressure where individuals are less likely to do something that will screw things up for all their buddies. You can also dole out blocks of time for each group and let them deal with assigning individual day access, lessening your time involvement.
3) Many states have 'Youth Hunting Days' - You might consider donating use of your land to a local youth group. You get exposure and the possibility of future customers when those youth hunters come of age.
4) Have you thought about the possibility of actually trying to make this a profit-center for your land? You don't mention how much land you have, but I know a couple of people in upstate NY who have 20 acres or so that manage to pay the taxes on their property with hunting leases. Their only investment was clearing a few trees and planting some food plots.
5) You may not hunt, but you're obviously not against the idea. Seek out the advice of the people you are trying to attract. Permaculture teaches us to listen to the land and the plants, why not listen to the hunters if you want to make them part of your system?
6) One word of warning: Talk to your insurance agent. Make sure you are covered. Having hunters sign a waiver is a good thing, but unless it's been prepared by a lawyer there are probably potentially expensive holes in it just waiting for another lawyer to find. Unfortunately, this is how the world works these days.
Although I don't have a catchment system (yet), I have had HUGE issues with gutters clogging and causing problems with flooding and ice damming.
The thing that had the biggest impact on my problems was attacking the sources of the debris. Keeping trees trimmed back from the house/roof/gutters and having some sort of "Gutter Guard" in place to stop the leaves/flowers/seeds from getting into the system to begin with really helped. And it's a lot less aggravating than having to clean the gutters 4-5 times a year.
I'm assuming you have larger feed storage requirements than I do, but I use recycled food-grade 4-gallon pickle buckets that I got from a local diner guy that I know. I like them better than the 5-gallon buckets because they are square rather than round and store better on shelves. Since I'm only feeding one rabbit at the moment, I only have one bucket in use.
In the past, when we had more rabbits, I stored larger, sealed bags inside a metal trash can to avoid rodents (rats, mice, & squirrels) that chewed through the plastic buckets and raided the poor bunnies food supply. Don't know your situation with storage location and potential for vermin, but once they discovered my pellet stockpile the only solution to avoid their invasion was to relocate the bunnies permanently.
Peter Ellis wrote:Some thoughts - Permaculture is a design science - so apply the science of permaculture design to the challenge of producing a really optimized value suburban property - and I mean optimized for sale. Don't think of permaculture as forest gardens and perennial vegetables. Think of it as a problem solving toolkit.
You want to improve your permaculture knowledge and skills, which is great, laudable, all kinds of good. You are in a situation that places restrictions on exactly how you may go about exploring and practicing permaculture. That really is not a problem - it helps focus your application of permaculture!
But the details are for you to work out My point is to think about this project in a very permaculture way - what is your desired yield? How do you best achieve that, within the parameters of permaculture? In this case, yield is selling price on the house, so plan in that direction. It will give you tons of permaculture practice.
Peter - Thank you!
This was exactly the advice I needed. Wishing I could do what I want to do right NOW is just dragging me down and killing my enthusiasm for doing anything. Changing my view of the situation to one of "opportunity" rather than "problem" is exactly the thing that I needed to do.
Thanks to everyone else for the practical project advice as well. I have a long winter of planning ahead.
Dawn Hoff wrote:The invention of the internet is the biggest thing since the invention of the press... I personally do think that you can learn a lot, if not most of what permaculture is about from the internet - yet the experience of being at a PDC and meeting other permies and working with them for two weeks cannot be replaced - not even with a forum like this.
I totally agree. Forums and videos and podcasts are all a great starting point. They can expose you to a LOT of information and get you thinking in new ways, but that final step for me will always need to be a practical, HANDS-ON exercise. An on-line PDC might be great for some, but I've always been a tactile learner.
The problems I have finding a PDC are:
1) Affordable - Including things like travel/lodging/meals/incidentals on top of the cost of the course often pushes it out of my price range.
2) Efficient - I just cannot take 2 weeks off to go do "permie stuff" yet. If it was a weekends-only PDC spread out over a few months, it would be more likely to grab my attention.
3) Worthwhile - This is the hardest to quantify, but I think of it as "Name-brand Permaculture". If it's Geoff or Sepp (or even that guy Paul ), I'm a lot more likely to think of the PDC as valuable. I know that there are LOTS of people out there walking the walk every day that are very knowledgeable and excellent instructors. But there are also some that are examples of the old saying 'Those who cannot do, teach'. Unless there's a "Big Name" attached to a course, how do we know?
The issue is the convergence of these three. Big names mean big costs. Big names also can't commit to long-term things due to busy schedules. Affordable classes can't get big names for a few hours a week over several weeks/months. Catch-22, eh?
Dawn Hoff wrote:Private education costs money (public too, but you don't pay for it out of your own pocket).
A wise man once said, "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch." Somewhere along the line, the money that pays for public education IS coming out of YOUR pocket.
Akiva Silver wrote:I put a good woodsy compost in with my seeds, usually made from some very rotten down leaf mold or old wood chips. I have used sand and I think it works great. I just try to think about how squirrels have been planting nut trees for so long; they keep the nuts buried in the forest duff.
4 years is a really long time to transplant walnuts. If you grew it in a container for that long, it would have an unrecoverable circling root system, and if it was in the ground for that long, it would be such a big root system that it would be hard to transplant. For me, one year for bare root black walnuts is a pretty deep and thick root to dig up.
If you want to start something now that you can transplant in 4 years, then I would go with apples, plums, pears, mulberries, or any shrub like currants or blueberries. And I would wait later to start trees with big taproots like walnut and oak.
Thank you so much for that response. I was already thinking about doing some container planting for fruit trees, just to get a head start for when I move, but you've convinced me. I may start some Black Walnuts just to see what the success rate is, but I'll either plant them out or give them away.
Akiva Silver wrote:I over winter seeds just mixed with soil in the ground, no tarp involved. What does matter is keeping rodents from eating them, especially when it comes to nuts and stone fruits. I've been keeping rodents out mostly with hardware cloth lining a pit. This year, I'm putting a lot of seed in buckets buried in the ground. I cut the bucket bottoms out and replaced with hardware cloth and drilled small holes in the tops.
The overall goal is for the seeds to have regular moisture, be exposed to cold, and have excellent drainage around them to prevent rotting. Let me know if you have any questions.
Akiva: Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and knowledge.
1) What do you put in the buckets with the nuts? Anything? Would a sand/gravel mix provide the necessary drainage? Or would you recommend something else?
2) I am relocating in about 4 years and I would like to take some seedlings/saplings of the Black Walnut trees we have here on the property. Do you have any experience in container-raised trees? Or would you recommend attempting to raise them for bare-root transplanting?
Michael Cox wrote:Frank - nothing wrong with a wild harvest of squirrel... I have a nice cage trap and an air rifle.
Ah, Michael, I agree completely.
Unfortunately, I live in a place of conflicting/overlapping regulations. The NY State DEC says that it is legal to take Grey Squirrels in "any manner" if they are damaging property but the County says it is illegal to fire any weapon (Shotgun, rifle or handgun, air-rifle, bow, or slingshot) within 500 feet of any dwelling (including my own), and the Town says it is illegal to use any traps other than those for mouse/rat unless you are a State licensed trapper.
So, as long as I don't use a trap or anything that actually shoots a projectile, I am allowed to "take" a destructive animal in "any manner". YAY, GOVERNMENT!
I guess I'll dust off my trusty Bowie knife and camouflage clothes and start hunting squirrel caveman-style. Yeah, probably not
To go along with what Big Al said: If you have any local artisan types that do textile stuff like spinning, weaving, knitting/crocheting, you may have a small demand for walnut husks as a source of natural dye.
As far as harvesting walnuts, I have no advice. With 3 Black Walnut trees, I've gathered perhaps one 5-gallon bucket worth of edible nuts over the past few years. The squirrels here strip the trees bare before the nuts are even ready for harvest. I don't mind sharing, but watching those furry buggers take a single bite from an unripe husk before throwing the nut to the ground and repeating the process until there are no nuts left on the tree is simply infuriating. It makes me think some very un-permie thoughts. :/
Landor LeBaron wrote:"What we throw away in California for cosmetic reasons could end world hunger."
That was the thing that ticked me off the most. The obsession with "pretty food" that tastes like dishwater (and has about the same nutritional value) is killing the planet and everything that lives on it.
And, sure, let's import a gazillion beneficial insects to act as predators and then hose them down with the same insecticidal soap that we use to get rid of the "pests". BRILLIANT!!! (Not :/ )
Favorite way to eat cauliflower:
1) Steam a whole head until almost tender.
2) Cover with sliced or shredded cheese (I prefer a nutty Swiss like Jarlsberg).
3) Place under broiler just long enough to melt/slightly brown the cheese.
4) Cut into quarters & serve with a tasty beverage!
In reading the Skills/Knowledge for permaculture thread, I found myself thinking (a sometimes dangerous occurrence ): "I'm in a situation that I'm sure more than a few other members have been in and I should ask for advice." Please, forgive the upcoming wall of text.
So here goes:
I live on a suburban lot on Long Island in New York in a typical neighborhood of single family houses. Lawns are well-manicured, frequently tended by hired landscapers, and uniformly boring-as-hell. Deviation from the expected norm gets you odd (sometimes downright nasty) looks from the neighbors and, in general, reduces the resale value of your home. If my wife and I were staying here forever, I'd deal with the occasional glances and do whatever I felt like doing until the Town Department of Making You Sad started issuing tickets.
But we aren't staying forever. Our timeline for leaving is November of 2018. Which leaves me just over 4 years to do whatever I am going to do. And that's where I want help from the members here
I have a 1/3 acre lot, divided into almost exact thirds between front lawn, back lawn, back "yard". The house/lot faces North.
The front lawn needs to remain grass to maximize resale value, but I have already started organic practices and mow high/water deep maintenance. I may add a tree or two since we've lost the only trees we had in the largest section and have only one Blue Spruce remaining in the smaller section. Possibly a bed or two for landscaping plants (probably pollinator-friendly native flowers & grasses). The fewer things in this section that are looked upon by my neighbors as "weeds", the better. Some stealth gardening recommendations would be nice, but visual appeal to the typical, non-permie suburbanite is key here in order to keep the resale potential as high as possible. Most of this area is full sun except for a strip along the front of the house that is shaded by the house itself.
The back lawn can be a bit more "native" and could incorporate more plants that would be considered "weeds" by the neighborhood standards. I will be adding some clover here this fall and probably to the front as well to help feed the N-hog grasses. I also like the idea of incorporating some small flowering things like Camomile and Crocus. (Can anyone tell me which type of Camomile is the one that smells like green apples when you mow it? Roman? German? English?) I still need to avoid the big "no-no's" of suburbia like dandelions and anything that the neighbors can complain about sending seeds onto their highly-prized mono-cultures. This area is shade/part-sun except for the late afternoon as the sun is blocked by large (>75') Maples on my and my neighbors lots for most of the day.
The back "yard" is where I've been spending most of my outdoor-work time. It was about 6,000 square feet over-run by English Ivy and Silver Maples. I pulled all the ivy by hand (after I learned the hard way that mowing doesn't kill it) and I've cut down over 100 of the smallest trees. (Don't freak out, there are still >30 left) Last fall, I seeded the entire area with Dutch White clover with poor results. What grew best was a lot of Garlic Mustard with a bit of Pokeweed, dandelions, prickly lettuce, and other unknown plants (even a couple of Mullein, yay!). I've considered covering the entire area with a 6"-12" layer of wood chips. I've thought about using my accumulated pile-o-trees for some small-scale hugels to plant with a pollinator-friendly mix of natives as a living fence. I've thought about calling in an air-strike and starting over This area is shade/dappled shade for most of the day with some spots getting part-sun in the late afternoon.
I have grown a traditional garden with limited success in the back. Lots of insect damage, lousy soil, not a lot of sun. I will be shifting to container gardening next year since the only spot that gets any real amount of sunlight is the patio off the back door. This spring will be my first attempts at growing from seed rather than from purchased starts.
In these circumstances, what would you do with each of these areas in the next 4 years if you knew that you would have to sell the property at the end of that time? (Most likely to someone who would look at a food forest and say "I'm gonna have to pay somebody to come rip that out.") How do you maximize your learning time so that you have knowledge to bring to your next/permanent home? Discuss
First of all, I am SO JEALOUS of anyone who lives somewhere they can have both neighbors and chickens in the front yard.
Second, I think this is a GREAT idea to get others involved/interested in permie ideas. If you can get other people to pick weeds AND bring them to your chickens for food, that is pure genius!!!
Third, I would go with pre-composting or BSF to use up the dog poop. Especially if you live in a highly "productive" neighborhood. If you explain to people what is happening with their "donations", it's even more educational and gets people thinking about other ways to deal with "waste" rather than chucking it into a can and putting it out at the curb for the landfill.
Something to take into account with this plan is the novelty factor of what you are planning. If you put up a sign letting people know that they can drop of their dog's poop and feed your chickens weeds, you might get a huge influx of both weeds and poop at first. After the novelty of it wears off, one or both sources might decrease significantly, causing you to have to alter your feeding. Changes of season might also change the drop-off rate.
Sorry to hear that your elusive sheep are still being so elusive
Cj Verde wrote:
Frank Brentwood wrote:
8 ) A small first aid kit made up of band-aids, ointment, moleskin, pain relievers, sunscreen, dental floss, bug spray, waxed-matches, dryer-lint firestarter, water purification tablets, etc. All inside a plastic band-aid box. There are some other things in it like fish-hooks and a couple of sewing needles, but those are personal preferences.
I'll tell you what though, no matter what kind of jam I'm in, I wont be flossing my teeth! OK, maybe it's good for other stuff. I have ordered some paracord!
Dental floss can be used with those fish-hooks for fishing. You can also use one of the inner strands from paracord for the same thing.
In case of a serious wound, you can also use the floss and the sewing needles for stitching. If you hadn't been close to medical care for your young companion, that kind of thing could be handy. For that reason, dental floss in your "walkabout kit" should be unwaxed and unflavored/unscented.
Cj Verde wrote:(I bought a $2 emergency raincoat)
You can buy similar "emergency" ponchos that can be more useful. I've never found a raincoat (emergency or otherwise) that would comfortably cover my body and any pack of substance. It's not fun to reach camp with a dry body and have everything in your backpack be soaked. A poncho, especially a larger one, can cover person & pack and keep everything dry(er).
"Complete" self-sufficiency is not a possibility, in my opinion. There will always be a need for some outside inputs unless you are willing to go back to a seriously rustic standard of living. You can have all of the skills integrated into your community, but you simply cannot reach a point where you can generate all of the necessities that you get from the outside world. For example: You can have a dentist in your community, but unless you are willing to give up on modern tools like dental drills, you'll have to import some things because they are simply impossible to make without a prohibitive infrastructure.
Some skills I noticed were missing from the list:
Veterinarian & Animal Husbandry Practitioner - Most of this could be covered by a good certified Veterinary Technician.
Butcher - Not a difficult set of skills to learn the basics of, but a good butcher is worth his weight in steak every year.
Meat & Crop Preservation - Canning, Fermentation, Charcuterie, and Salumi are just some of the methods of preservation to get familiar with. If you are going off-grid, reducing your dependence on refrigeration to keep the stuff you grow/raise from going bad is a big step.
An aside to a point others have made: Depending on your climate, you might need to think about getting familiar with cold-climate gardening techniques. Cloches, cold-frames, hot-frames, greenhouses, etc. They all have their tricks and secrets. Eliot Coleman is my go-to author for books on the topic, but there are others that cover much of the same ground.
For that matter, Aquaponics/Aquaculture are things that could/should be integrated into a permaculture homestead. They help with stacking functions like grey water use & waste disposal.
Lorenzo Costa wrote:yes that is typical in tuscany, we call it soppressata, and you actually make the head, the tail, the feet boil for a few hours and then take off alle the meat that is still attached. you mix it with some pieces of fat, lard, and a lot of spices and once it cools down it's done.
Yes! I am familiar with Soppressata or at least the commercial product we get in delicatessens here in NY. Aldo's product was moister and more gelatinous than a typical commercial soppressata, almost like a terrine in texture, but very Italian because of the spices he used. He does a lot of salumi and makes the best guanciale I have ever tasted.
I think he uses Americanized terms for things with me because he forgets that I was raised in my Italian grandmothers house.
Not to contradict Sepp, but I would suggest that it all depends on the goals of the mound (what is called now hugel.) I like up on end packing. The tighter you pack (depending on species and method) the longer it will take to achieve certain aspects these mounds are know for. As a rule of thumb for your "ratio" in the more efficient and faster developing hugel...1/3's between wood, soil/loam, and other additives which in our system includes bones /carrion, charr, and perhaps sand/pea gravel, et al.
Thank you, Jay!
If I were to pack in more wood and less soil/loam with zero other content (no bones or carrion here ), in what direction would I be pushing the mound? I have a pile of trees and branches that I'd rather use than send to a landfill, but my options are limited by room on my suburban lot. But then I don't want to create a bed that is too far out of balance to perform.
I'm figuring that the more wood and the tighter it is packed, the slower it will be to decay, but what does that do to the guts of the hugel? How does it effect things like plant growth and the capacity for the mound to hold water through a dry spell?
As I said above, these beds are for pollinator-friendly landscaping plants, but they will be close to a property line and will be acting as a partial privacy fence so I want to keep them at build height if possible. I'm guessing, perhaps incorrectly, that proper construction will aid in that. Or do hugel mounds stay at a pretty consistent height regardless of interior construction? (As long as there are no huge air pockets enclosed.)
Head Cheese is a pretty classic 'everything but the squeal' recipe and is actually delicious if it's not made in a commercial kitchen. Uses the head, feet, and ears. (That is not my recipe, just an example. I have never made it myself but was convinced by an old Italian gentleman named Aldo to try his. Fantastic stuff.)
I also recall an episode of 'Diners. Drive-ins, & Dives' where someone made a pig-ear sandwich. I just cannot imagine an instance where I would be *that* hungry.
If you don't know them already, get to know your county extension agent. Your taxes pay for the service, might as well make use of it.
Have him/her come out and take a look at your trees. They can tell you what you have on your land and can give you an idea of what it is worth. Many can also recommend a logger who is willing to deal with smaller quantities than the big companies are willing to go for.
Personally, my experience with loggers has been hit-or-miss, even using ones that were considered "good guys" and came highly recommended. Being an informed customer is the best starting point.
Cj Verde wrote:
So the point of the thread, what should you bring for say a 2 hours walk in the woods. What's the best gear for this? I'd like to be mostly hands free, but the shepherd's crook/walking stick was handy. A belt seems crucial to carry a least a pocketknife and water bottle. A cell phone. Not sure if I want to be encumbered by a backpack but foraging is always possible so where to put the foraged material? Flagging tape would've been handy to mark that ginseng, or if I'd had a knife I could've marked a tree, I guess.
Just thinking out loud here.
BTW, if still got 4 ewes roaming the woods so this isn't just idle speculation!
I used to hike a bit. Personally, I NEVER go into the woods without The Ten Essentials. I adjust with additional things depending factors such as time of year, expected activities, who is with me, etc. If you select items carefully with an eye towards weight and size, you can fit them all into a fanny/belt pack with room to spare if you don't want to deal with a backpack.
My lightweight "always-in-the-car-just-in-case-I-want-to-go-walkabout" kit consists of:
1) A Tyvek jacket that I got as a promotional item a gazillion years ago. Wads up to about the size of a deck of cards or ties around my waist if I'm not wearing it.
2) A 15-20-year-old Leatherman multi-tool in a leather belt holster that is wrapped with ~25 feet of 550 paracord.
3) A magnesium fire-starter slipped under the paracord wrapping.
4) A plastic compass on a lanyard with my rescue whistle.
5) Mini Maglite in a nylon belt holster.
6) A 1-liter Nalgene bottle in an insulated carrier on a neck strap.
7) 2 "Survival Bars" tucked into the carrier with the water bottle. (I don't recall the maker of these, they are about 1500 calories each and taste like lemon-flavored sawdust. They'll keep you alive in an emergency, but nobody is tempted to snack on them if they're just a little peckish )
8 ) A small first aid kit made up of band-aids, ointment, moleskin, pain relievers, sunscreen, dental floss, bug spray, waxed-matches, dryer-lint firestarter, water purification tablets, etc. All inside a plastic band-aid box. There are some other things in it like fish-hooks and a couple of sewing needles, but those are personal preferences.
9) A "space blanket".
All of this stuff fits into the pockets of the jacket or on my body if I don't feel like carrying a bag. In the car, it goes back into a small canvas tool pouch that easily slips into the spare tire nook.
John Saltveit wrote: You're probably going to get completely increased water cycles running through every part of your terrain if you do it well, permaculture style.
You say that 11 out of the 16 acres are cleared for grazing horses. Get some cover growing to shade those acres and then lay out some swales & hugels to direct your new surplus water to wherever it suits you.
As much as I try to be friendly to our four-legged neighbors, I truly hate squirrels. They have invaded the attic here twice, doing thousands of dollars in damage to both the structure and wiring of the house, as well as consistently stripping nearly every nut off our 3 Black Walnut trees (3 years on property, maybe 1/2 of a 5-gallon bucket of nuts salvaged) and making gardening nearly impossible.
The first summer, I trapped/killed over 60 of the little buggers, the second summer was the same, this summer I finally seem to be having an effect.
(Or maybe it's the fact that the nice old lady who lived 3 houses up the block passed away and stopped dumping a 10 pound bag of birdseed off her back porch every week.)
One word of caution: ALWAYS check your Local/State/Province/ETC regulations to make sure that you are dealing with the issue legally.
For instance, in my location, it is legal to trap/kill "destructive" pests but not "nuisance" pests. As long as they keep eating my garden/nuts, they qualify as "destructive". If they get smart and just raid the bird feeders and trash cans, I have to stop taking them out.
Also, be aware that it is illegal in many places to relocate any trapped animal in order to minimize the spread of disease and parasites.
If you would like more info/advice, feel free to send me a Purple Mooseage.
I think spokespeople in general have pros and cons.
Yes, they attach a famous face to a particular cause or movement or whatever that can garner publicity and help with moving things forward in a faster manner, but they can also bring negative publicity if there is any fall from the public grace. (Not saying Zimmern is going to suddenly turn into Justin Bieber or Lindsay Lohan, but you get my drift.)
Personally, I like Mr. Zimmern and his show(s). I find his take on food to be interesting and his adventurous eating to be a good example of pushing yourself beyond your culinary comfort zone to find new edible treasures. Like many "foodies" he is a big proponent of farm-to-table and of not wasting anything from an animal you butcher.
My wife, however, hates him. Won't watch his shows and either leaves the room or changes the channel when he comes on. For her, he would be more like an anti-spokesperson. (Now, if George Clooney was a permie spox, that would be another matter entirely. )
You have every right to your personal vision of permaculture. And every right to be 'picky' about who you work with/for.
And so do they.
Until some Government Agency with a TLA forces a 2,500 page definition of "Permaculture" on us and starts regulating use of the word, everyone is free to say they are practicing it. No matter what they are doing.
You disagree with some of their practices and/or methods. That's totally fine. You are free to work for/with them or not. Your choice. You might want to take a look at Paul's 'Eco Scale'.
Personally, I have learned a lot in some jobs that I utterly hated. If you want to look at it philosophically, take it as an opportunity to learn what you can from their example. Maybe you only learn things that are stuff that you will never do on your own. Maybe you learn that it's not as bad as it might look. Maybe you can even educate them on methods/practices that might be more in line with your philosophy.
But tread lightly. Some people don't take advice well. Or criticism.
Good luck in your decision, whatever it may end up being.
Jeff Jefferson wrote: Id even like to use a solar powered dehumidifier to collect water from the air and put it back in the ground as to spread greening
In a previous job I worked for a Water/Smoke Damage Restoration company. I don't know what your relative humidity levels are in the Mojave, but dehumidifiers are generally much less efficient at RH levels under 30-35%.
Additionally, dehus that pull any real quantity of water out of the air are pretty expensive.
On top of that, you might want to look into the methods used for constructing the dehu. Many are made with questionable materials and have some potential for adding toxic gick to your land if you use the water they discharge. (Read some of the comments in that Instructable you linked about aluminum/copper in the coils of most dehus.)
Jeff Jefferson wrote:*Effective AquaPonics in the desert
Depends on what you mean by "effective".
I think a sheltered location to minimize water losses to evaporation and to not have heat issues in your tanks would be important, if not critical. Maybe a high tunnel with a white shade cloth cover or a WOFATI?
You could throw some rabbits & worms into the mix and get a plants/rabbits/poop/worms/fish food chain going?
Add a couple of Black Soldier Fly buckets to convert fish guts to fish food. (Does BSF do well in the Mojave?)
Add some chickens to the mix and you can feed them BSF as well as some of your plants and feed the chicken guts back to the fish. (As well as surplus eggs.)
Samsquanch Smith wrote:I'm struggling with some weeds within my lawn. I mostly see dandelions, crabgrass and clover. I have kids and a dog, so I don't want them rolling in Roundup. I know there are plenty of natural ways to kill weeds in driveways, etc, but vinegar solutions and the like would also kill the grass. I've been cutting my grass at a longer height for about a year and have also stopped bagging my clippings. I've used organic fertilizer and Potash (for pH) from AG Grand (but not yet this year, because I am struggling with a better way to get that sludge through a sprayer).
I know the best defense against weeds is healthy grass with a strong root system, but I'm working on that and it takes time. I'm hoping there is something I can do in the meantime...
Tom Bennett wrote:My goal is a thick "weed free lawn" dandilions and clover included. I don't like the look of these weeds and In a lot of areas of my lawn it is completely over run with clover, not 20% as recommended but more like a 100% . If it was 20% evenly throughout the lawn I might be able to tolerate it. Not many people appreciate it when their neighbour has millions of dandelions including myself.
As someone else posted, your best bet might be a different forum.
A poster above suggested GardenWeb, but I personally find the lawn forums there to be a bit argumentative and a lot of semi-personal attacks fly around.