Some great thoughts in the op. Also, I look forward to looking into some of the software mentioned.
As far as the cloud goes, don't think that just because you bought the software on a physical CD that they still won't turn of the spigot on you. I own Photoshop CS3 on CD. Yeah, it's a little outdated, but I was going along happily thinking, "woe to the unhappy saps that have to do the subscription thing". The other day I went to install it on another computer and guess what? Adobe shut down their license server, so it won't install anymore! <much anger. throwing things. wasn't pretty.>
The clown strikes again!
As far as backups go, I'm using SyncTrayzor, which is the windows ui version of Syncthing though there are mac, linux, and android versions as well (all opensource) The important thing is the tool backs up data between my own computers. All it does is watch for files that change and then copies them back and forth when it detects the other computer/device is online. Set and forget. Works great.
Also, don't overlook version control software such as GIT, Mercurial, or SVN. They are quite sophisticated and great for situations like "oops, I really wish I hadn't changed that". No problem. Just go back to a version before you changed that.
Even though we all acknowledge that pollinators are vital to plant sustainability, it seems like in a permaculture design they are almost treated as an afterthought or an option. Like, you have bees, I have goats... whatever you like. Plant pollination is often treated more on a, "if you build it, they will come", method.
What I want to know is: If pollinators are so important, is there a way of intentionally designing them into the system?
For instance, what data do we have on each plant species and its ratio of how many (and what kind of) pollinators it requires per plant? Ideally, I want to sit down with a spreadsheet and add this up when I think about putting in that plant.
Also, it seems like there may be a time dimension to account for here as well. If plants P and Q take the same pollinator and are flowering at different times, then the same pollinators can work both - this is a win-win-win because it not only keeps them fed more consistently but also both kinds of plants happy. But if P and Q flower simultaneously, then there is more of a competition situation. (We think about plants competing for light or nutrients, but when do we pause to consider them competing for pollinators!?) In this case, I would need to design for enough pollinators to service both (and probably also think about what they are going to do when the food supply runs low).
Finally, even plants that don't require living pollinators may need to be accounted for by design. So plants P and Q are both wind pollinated. Great. But is there sufficient wind where I want to plant them? This could come into play when I'm thinking about placement.
As a case study, consider in the age of exploration when they tried to bring vanilla from the Americas to Europe.
Vanilla was cultivated in botanical gardens in France and England, but never offered up its glorious seeds. Growers couldn’t understand why until centuries later when, in 1836, Belgian horticulturist Charles Morren reported that vanilla’s natural pollinator was the Melipona bee, an insect that didn’t live in Europe.
I bought the plans and built Izzy Swan's pallet pal.
I was a little disappointed because it didn't work as smoothly as the video showed. (Wound up with a lot of cracked ends.)
But from your description it sounds like even the professional steel tools have that issue, so it may just the nature of dry old wood rather than the tool's fault.
Only other problem I had was that I thought I was being poetic by making the handle out of an old pallet piece as well. Then a fellow pallet-picker unbolted and walked off with it. Oops, on me. :P
Looking at a potential property that is a working pecan farm with several acres of trees.
I really like the idea of having the nuts as an oil/protein source, but being just the canopy layer it sure seems like a lot of wasted space that permaculture could take advantage of. Any ideas how I could incorporate more food forest layers and yet still allow harvesting equipment through?
WT:Social, his new social-networking site, allows users to share links to articles and discuss them in a Facebook-style news feed. Topics range from politics and technology to heavy metal and beekeeping.
While the company is completely separate to Wikipedia, Mr Wales is borrowing the online encyclopedia’s business model. WT:Social will rely on donations from a small subset of users to allow the network to operate without the advertising that he blames for encouraging the wrong kind of engagement on social media.
“The business model of social media companies, of pure advertising, is problematic,” Mr Wales said. “It turns out the huge winner is low-quality content.”
First off, thanks for pointing this out. Alternatives are welcome and needed.
WT:Social has some good ideas, but then their policies then go on to use terms like "and any other form of offensive behavior will not be tolerated among staff or our partners in the community."
Back in the day, I would have read that and thought "hey, no problem, it's just a 'be nice' policy". But that day is a distant memory. For those who have been bitten by social media censorship, vague, open-ended statements like these... that leave them limitless authority to be judge, jury, and executioner... there are warning bells going off all over the place.
So they don't have ads. Swell. But it makes little difference when your account is deleted for stepping over some invisible line you didn't know existed.
I get deplatformed from FB for saying anything that Zuck doesn't like. I get deplatformed from WT for saying anything Wales doesn't like. Seems like a case of "Meet your new boss, same as the old boss" to me.
Just an observation - and something I try to live by...
I've observed that scammers and charlatans have no problem getting up in your face and asking for/guilting you into, giving them money. It's the little guy, the struggling single mom, the one too proud to ask for help -- that's who really needs it.
My personal guideline is simple (in concept, anyway). If YOU ask ME, the answer is always "no". I have to find YOU.
Unfortunately this makes my job as the giver 100x harder. It requires intentionality (so I don't forget) and a greater awareness of those around me. It requires asking around, getting to know people, getting involved. These are all good traits to cultivate for sure, but not nearly as easy as passively waiting for the opportunity to come to you and simply writing a check.
Doing it this way, we've met all kinds of people in our community that we'd never have crossed paths with. (Oh, the stories I could tell!) Many people have come and gone and that's to be expected, but surprisingly, a few have developed into some of our closest friends.
My son came up with an interesting idea for function stacking on a windmill.
fig a) windmill of whatever type you like
fig b) extra stability achieved by adding guy wires
fig c) plastic sheeting over the guy wires helps to direct surface wind up into the blades
fig d) plastic sheeting also serves as a greenhouse (plus shelter for power bank)
I see a point of tension in the A/B comparison.
On the one hand you want the permie and the traditional plots next to eachother to minimize differences in microclimate, soil, etc.
On the other hand, that raises issues of cross-contamination from one experiment to the other. That is, is the permie plot benefiting/suffering from chemical overspray or leeching from the trad? Are the permie soil nutrients diffusing to/from the other side? And of course those lovely pollinators are no respecter of fences either.
Either way, I'm thinking the plots should be East/West of eachother to minimize sunlight differences.
2) Why not try to pitch this to actual TV documentary producers (A&E, PBS, etc)? They're always scouting for content and Paul has a verified following (such weirdos that we are).
Not only would the media's deep pockets be nice, but more importantly, I'm thinking about getting the word out to a wider audience.
You kickstarter and post a DVD here -- we watch it and love it, great! But that's a bit of "preaching to the chior", as opposed to growing the movement.
Keep the kickstarter plan on the burner, of course, that way it will still happen. (And, hey, then the pitch to the producers then becomes, "I'm going to do this with or without you. I'm giving you a limited-time opportunity to get in on it.")
Apparently they make welding filler rod made of high-strength tool steel!
Meaning that an inventive person could possibly:
* repair a chipped or cracked cutting tool edge
* build back up a worn out edge
* put a hardened edge on poorly-made tools
* make their own tools(!!!)
Just a side note for those of a more traditional leaning: As I understand it, the traditional way of doing this when blacksmithing (for instance when forging an axe) was to forge-weld in a chunk of tool steel cut from something like an old file to serve as the edge.
You've heard of the phrase "first world problems"? That is, certain things that people in modern affluent nations complain about that most of the world doesn't understand. eg, "How do I eat cheetos and use my iphone at the same time?"
Well, I think there should be something similar for people living in the country, "first rural'd problems".
For example, when it starts out as taking a nice date night with the missus, but it ultimately involves buying things like repair parts and straw bales because, "as long as we're in town..."
Or two guys are in a field. One of them says, "I need to use the bathroom"... so the other automatically just turns around.
Or my fave, "I've been drinking from mason jars so long that my lips have developed threads."
I guess you could take off the door and weld a sheet over the hole, or if you want to keep the look, weld a sheet to the inside of the door frame.
Then again, you could just run some ducting through like a traditional cob bench and stuff the rest of the space with thermal mass. (Screw the door shut when done to keep curious guests from opening it and spilling all over the floor.)
Just some ideas. Post pics of what you come up with!
I liked what Amy said, "Sadly, repair is a myth. Adaptation, mitigation, suffering continues. " I think that helps me identify what was bugging me about the original video. Seems like the bureaucracy or whoever wants to say, "Fixed!", but in reality more of a band-aid -- kicking the can down the road whilst storing up future problems.
Andrés Bernal wrote:In this video
Geoff Lawton shows how some of the earthworks made back then to fix this problem in Arizona are still functioning.
Especially thanks for that video! I think that may have at least partially answered my questions about tapping into the aquifer as in the original vid.
In a recent episode of The History Guy on youtube he discussed not just the infamous Dust Bowl of the 1930's but also what steps were taken to repair it.
Obviously, things have healed since then - at least to some extent. But I'm interested in what you think of this from a permaculture perspective.
What do you think of their methods to repair the damage?
Was this an example of how "desertification" takes place? and/or Does what happened afterward apply to the "greening the desert" movement?
What steps should/shouldn't they have done in this instance?
In particular, I'm curious what you think of as far as tapping the aquifer as part of the solution.
Sherlock holmes and watson are walking down fisherman's wharf.
Something goes squish and holmes looks down. "It appears we may have stepped into something."
"Holy mackerel!" Says Watson "looks like something fishy afoot!"
Holmes replies, "no,no. I think it may be a red herring."
I'm trying out the seed starter mat idea now.
Situation: mat on carpet with blanket over legs. Temperature of about 30F(52C) outside, no direct room heat.
Not hot by any means (like a warm cup of coffee, maybe less), but noticeable and pleasant warming effect when barefoot or socks.
Heat is very consistent and builds slowly over time when trapped under blanket.
cost - $10 or less
waterproof/spillproof (good for under kitchen table)
low power - 21W continuous.
no thermostat to fail
can be repurposed back for its intended use of starting seeds
I feel like there's virtually no chance of fire with this thing, even under a blanket.
Not a whole lot of heat produced (only 21 watts, remember)
Probably good for only 1 person. (just one may not be enough for full-sized kotatsu)
I'm worried about how it will hold up to being walked on, especially on top of carpet.