Its caused too much trouble with my neighbors. It just hasn't really blended in with the neighborhood. It looks pretty great in the summer but it looks bad in the winter. This spring we're willingly taking out most of the front yard, but we're keeping the whole load of stuff I got in my backyard.
An experiment in homescale permaculture. Species include fig, comfrey, peach, golden margeruite, strawberries, bee balm, yarrow and jchokes. Planted 2010 onto regular lawn, pictures are from summer 2012.
In my opinion, enough people have gotten behind this movement that there is now alot of hope. If we can reach a critical mass, I believe the inertia will drive all the cronies out of power, but if we don't reach it, it might become a police state. Its really all or nothing here. But its ok, it really looks like we're winning this one from my eyes;
-More and more Americans are enlightening on things such as diet, agriculture, environmental destruction
-I heard a poll that said the majority of Americans support the movement
-Its not attached to any particular race, candidate or belief; its nonviolent; spreading to celebrities and other Americans w/ social power
-The true problem is exposed; That Wall street and Washington are One entity
-Bank of America is totally afraid of people closing their accounts it seems like
-The internet is on our side
-The people at OWS are lovely and supportive and creative and no crusty dead bankers can keep down real collaboration
BTW they don't NEED tents and a literal occupation to continue and they can always reoccupy once the momentum gets greater.
I'm inclined to believe we've got this one won, Permaculture can solve all our material needs, we just need someone fighting for us on the political end.
Hello Mountain Chick, my name's Charlie I'm 18 I live in Hackensack, New Jersey and I'm currently searching for farms to visit in the northeast that demonstrate good permaculture techniques. I'm hoping to get a Permaculture design business set up in a year and have a farm somewhere in the northeast within 5-10 years time. I'm into herbalism, foraging, and health through eating nutrient dense wild foods, fermented foods, and raw dairy products. I was looking into DACRES in New Hampshire where your at, you should check them out they seem to have a great model for 20 person farmstead for a cold climate.
Uplifting to see young Permaculturists with interests, almost, identical to mine. Let's reach the tipping point baby and enjoy the ride until then.
That Groasis waterboxx seems like an excellent solution to the dilemma of "Its too much dam work to water my trees every day!" Watering once a month compared to once a day in the desert climate, man, that would make it possible to grow like 50 or 100 times the amount of trees you want.
Definitely sounds good for large scale "Greening the Desert" type things.
Love love love intentional community stuff. Waiting for intentional community podcast #3
More on dictator-style, feeding everybody year-round off the land, perfect scale (20 per house seems to be best?) More people than that, then you can't all join one table for dinner. I think constant casual interaction is critical to maintain a sense of community. No better place to do that than dinner.
I'm thinking one of the great side affects of HUSP would be super-localized cuisine. They say every province of India has a very distinct cuisine that's very different from any other.
Perhaps inland floridians could use their semi-tropical climate to produce something like a raw-vegan diet. Great plains states would continue their meat-eating traditions. But still, I'm thinking even more localized than that. Like every village's cuisine will vary.
Also ridiculous amounts of varieties. I think potato would still be part of most of the HUSP local cuisines since its useful and adaptable. E.c. the Incas had 7000 varieties of potato or something like that. HUSP might have 20,000 varieties of potato or something.
Sharing just in case my thoughts are useful to anyone.
TheLight wrote: I'm rather surprised that no one here has even tried to see things from other points of view, and that no one has used these opportunities to educate others. Perhaps that is just missing from these anecdotes?
I'm citing the following as examples and don't mean any offense. Just offering some constructive feedback that will hopefully allow future issues like this to be resolved before they begin, let alone escalate.
I've had this type of thing happen too. However, I usually explain why it is the way it is before the situation escalates. For example, if he mentioned it, why not say "Oh, that's my permaculture plantain garden/experiment", then segue the conversation into a small education session and avoid the issue. Often times handling things this way will gain a convert. Emphasis mine.
In this particular example, it seems that you came into an established neighborhood, ignored the existing social dynamic, and installed what you think is a cool example of a permaculture installation without discussing this with anyone else in the area. That, to me, is un-neighborly and a recipe for disaster. I'm a huge fan of individual property rights and the right to do what you please, but it appears that you did this without thinking how others in your area would react.
To put it another way, when doing a permaculture design, you have to take into consideration all of the factors and energies of your landscape, both tangible and intangible. I would suggest that that includes your neighbors and how they will react to what you design. At least to some extent.
They probably don't know what permaculture is. They probably look at your garden and think it's just a mess. In order for them to think any different, you need to take the extra steps and try to educate them. Have a neighborhood BBQ, invite folks over, and share the bounty that you have. Show them what can be done with such little space instead of just having it and confusing them .
Remember that the people each have very different life experience and, hence, perceive things differently. How you handle others and the consideration you show them will largely affect how they perceive and react to you. You reap what you sow.
To clear things up a little, this is actually my parents house (I'm 18) and when I started this garden last year I had no concern for other people's point of view, and kind of saw them all as "evil conventional people". I was hyped up to do something super radical so thats what I did.
Now, with all the crap I've gotten not only from this neighbor (thank god he attacks me and not my parents), but seemingly people 20 houses down the block from me, I've come to realize people are rather militant about maintaining the status quo. Seemingly normal people can and will turn violent toward you because they feel as if THEY THEMSELVES are being directly attacked. I've come to realize that's this is how some people see the situation, its as if somebody is attacking THEM.
Anyway, @TheLight. You're absolutely right. If you want to make it easier on yourself and maintain good neighbor relations, keep the peace w/e, which is invaluable, then take the other man into consideration. But what I was thinking was "fruit trees!, j-chokes!, veggies!, comfrey!, lots of flowers!" and "soil building! diverse yield! fighting the man!".
So advice to everyone, if I would do this over again, I would make it ALOT neater and NOT piss people off.
On the other hand, its too late. =P
But also, I believe this situation is too sticky for a barbecue. People in the neighborhood might learn to put up with seeing it, but they will not be receptive to learning it. Its kind of like Wheaton Ecoscale thing. I'm not saying what I'm doing is level 9 or something, but it would still seem too crazy the neighborhood.
Thanks Paul for your input on this. These situations are really sticky. If you back down and scale down your stuff, you'll look like you're giving up. If you upscale your stuff, you'll look like you're asking for war. Might have to go with option 1 on this.
Chefmom wrote: I've had a few comments about my front lawn from a man who lives a mile down the road, but runs past everyday. Every year I let certain parts of the front lawn grow tall because of the plants growing there. I want the chicory to bloom and so I don't mow down by the road and yes, everything else grows tall as well. It's my yard. Right now I don't harvest the chicory, but I want it to grow in my yard and so I let it grow and bloom. It's quite pretty, covering the yard in purple.
This man always has to make a crack as he goes by about the height of the grass and when I do mow everything, about 4-5 weeks later there is always a comment like "Yard finally looks good again." or "mower was broken huh?"
I smile and wave. Wish I could just let my dog chase him, a$$.
My husband's brother did the same thing. I had a good, healthy crop of plantain in the back part of the yard, right next to our patio. He was visiting for a family wedding. We were out back having lunch and he could NOT stop talking about how the back part of the yard, by the chicken coop needed mowed. He saw a mess of weeds. I saw a great amount of plantain and yarrow to be harvested. After eating he got up and paced back and forth, looking at the 6-foot by 30-foot (steep hillside) patch and then turned and said, "If your mower is ready to go, I'll take care of it for you." I finally lost my cool and said, "I don't WANT it mowed, I asked my husband to NOT mow it until after I harvest the plantain!!! I also want the yarrow and the plantain to set seed BEFORE we mow."
Geez. Some people just don't get it. And the sad thing, is some people NEVER will.
oo that's the kind of thing that would piss me off as well
TCel wrote: Congrats on what sounds like a great installation. Maybe to late... but sometimes you can counter early negativity by sharing in some your abundance. They might find themselves too overwhelmed with delight in your berries to mind the crickets.
secondly - I wonder what sort of cricket problem he's enduring? I've got em all over the wood piles and around the house, but they never hurt anything as far as I can tell. I'm genuinely interested BTW, I don't mean to belittle what problem he may be having.
Thanks for your reply.
I think the mere existence of crickets is what the guy's problem is. Never had crickets before, now he has a couple, and its all our fault.
Never thought I'd say this, but can't wait till the economic collapse comes so I don't need to please everybody in every which way in order to grow some food. City governments are the worst when it comes to doing anything out of the norm on your front lawn btw, we've had multiple summons.
I live in an urban environment in northeast jersey where everyone is anal retentive and all have 4 neat foundation shrubs and lawn for their front yard, anything else is blasphemy and weird. So i chose the blasphemous and weird path, and last year converting the front yard to a food producing jungle, thinking any other neighborly concerns would be surpassed by the fact that my awesome garden is helping them secure a food future. Well, neighbors don't seem to understand really.
My yard is basically something any permie would recognize and go "Wow, everything here I totally get and understand and so awesome". Its a cool looking jungly thing with all kinds of fruit tree, goumis, blueberries, lots of j chokes, comfrey, bee balm, herbs, yarrow, buckwheat, strawberries, cosmos and other stuff.
So I knew my costarican neighbor doesn't like it as he's been saying "Man I dont like what you're doing" at least 3 times now. I've been thinking till now "Well, its our property so, too bad?
But today he comes to me with a dam good reason. "Man I don't like what you're doing, because I've lived here 10 years, and I just got a cricket problem and have to call the exterminator. Before you put this plant stuff in I've never had a cricket problem in all my time living here." I think he's suggesting that nobody have a garden with lushness ever, at all. He might be thinking, "well your crap is weird looking and not neat". But even in the neat ornamental plantings, still, I hear crickets in them.
My problem is that, yes, he is right! It definitely attracts crickets, but am I supposed to destroy hundreds of hours of work and convert it back to a green oblivion? Is he suggesting that nobody be allowed to have any type of garden at all, because they attract bugs?
In an urban enviornment "plant your garden at least 50 feet away from the foundation" or something means that you have no garden at all.
I met a young permie farmer named Sean at the northeast permie convergence that says something like "Some people think jerusalem artichoke, black locust and comfrey are invasive, even dangerous. I like using these plants because they are just good at being plants."
This guy takes beat up parts of his property and bioremediates them with a black locust/ jerusalem artichoke based polyculture, which are both enormously immensely useful plants that have amazing yields in basically dirt. "They are just plants that are super good at being plants!"
Japanese knotweed is just a plant good at being a plant. I can imagine it being used to restore beat up land somehow.. perhaps if patches of knotweed are cut right after flowering to feed nectar to all those beneficials, it can be controlled.
It seems to me japanese knotweed has 3 major benefits
1. Mulch- produces gobs and gobs of huge stalks and leaf material in a relatively small space. So easy (and fun) to chop down with any kind of cutting instrument. If you cut them while they are still green the stalks are crunchy and would make an awesome coarse mulch for your fruit trees, shrubs, ect. Would probably produce more mulch per square foot than any other plant that I know of.
2. Apple Rhubarb flavored shoots- Knotweed makes these awesome shoots in early april- mid april. very delicious. you want the thick, fat, short ones. I've heard the nutritional benefits are outstanding. You can access the shoots any time really by chopping down the plant and forcing it to make more shoots.
3. Medicinal- Roots are a cure for lyme.
I'm sure some native plant people would want to kill you if you planted this. Is it illegal to cultivate in most of the US? That would be a shame imo.
Where in the country are all these horrifying stories from... where people steal building materials right from your property where people steal your hay where neighbors cause alot of noise just to get you to move out where drunk hunters come right through your property and threaten you
Is this Rural USA in general? Where can I have a homestead and NOT worry about people being such assholes.
I was talking to an ex-farmer one day, and he says when was growing up in something farming town in upstate NY, neighbors used to throw spikes or something in your fields in order to destroy your tractor. Apparently farmers were so supercompetitive that they'll even break your equipment.
I'm actually thinking Virginia as the place where I want to make my homestead. Perhaps someone can tell me if this shit happens in Virginia
I am comfortable with this forum so I want to bring up this topic here.
I got lyme a couple years ago but cured it with antibiotics quick enough that I got no bad symptoms. But people say again and again, it doesn't really go away. I was at the northeast permie convergence and they recommended some herbal remedies to keep the numbers low.
I think somebody said japanese knotweed root, and something else too.
Could someone point me in the direction of a trusted online herb dealer they know? and also, from whom could I find out how much to take?
Also another phenomena I've witnessed; once the sheet mulch decomposes into a compost like substance, its moisture retention ability seems to go down compared to the moisture retention of less-decomposed matter. You need a balence of decomposed stuff and partially decomposed stuff.
Living wind, it looks like you had bare soil that you at least loosened up before putting down the sheet mulch. That could help enormously so the roots can penetrate deeper.
On my own side, I think 2 faults are, number one using wood chips in the sheet mulch, which, don't break down all nicely it seems, and number two, I have a strange feeling that the compost I was using had some kind of chemical residue.
I just wanted to say that sheet mulch is not the be-all end-all awesome approach that its hyped up to be; using "any kind of organic matter" you have on hand doesn't always work, and you could probably still benefit alot from a onetime tillage before doing it.
The whole idea of sheet mulch sounded great. No work breaking up the sod, and new healthy topsoil.
So I used that method on much of the lawn, but it was a real failure in terms of producing a healthy vegetable crop. Much of the tomatoes in one sheet mulch were sickly, beets are looking sickly in another...
On another bed I had just a raised pile of dirt, poor OM, and it produced much healthier looking beets.
Not saying sheet mulching is always bad or anything.
But I was under the impression that the 12 inches of OM I put on the lawn as sheet mulch would within a year make the soil under it... a little softer, a little better, you know? The earthworms would be your tillers... And they were in some beds! Loads of worms.. but where you have really urban compacted sod, even worms seem to struggle.
But scraping away the sheet mulch, I saw that, roots couldn't even get past the sheet mulch, it was like hardpan after 4 inches of decomposed sheet mulch.
So far I'm in the process of turning many of my sheet mulch beds into huggles.
I have a small urban garden, and I want 5 star hotels for my veggies (huggles) not 3 star hotels (sheet mulching).
With huggles you get... -No irrigation first year with some crops! (no irr squash doing great in NJ climate) -A one time tillage as you break up the dirt, which wouldve taken 3+ years with cover crops -An impressive, mighty looking thing -People won't step on them as opposed to lower sheet mulch
So I feel, if you want to actually eat healthy vegetables the first year, either do a conventional garden, or do a huggle culture.
John Polk wrote: Precisely. That is why I have had my best results on loose soil, AND covering with a board. The board prohibits the quick drying out, and allows them to get their feet into soil. Mulch (nor compost) is not a growing medium for germinating seeds. While compost may have some nutrients, there are not enough available nutrients to allow a tiny seed to grow through even a thin layer into soil. By law, compost cannot be marketed as a fertilizer, but can be marketed as an amendment: the nutrients are too variable, and of inconsequential amounts. Tiny seeds need to get their feet into real soils, as they cannot store enough energy for a long fight for survival.
I find that for larger seeds such as beets, sheet mulch works just fine, but with carrots, you're right, it does not work. I think that beets have just enough energy to punch their little taproots through the compost to get to the real soil
So how would you amend the soil to grow carrots if sheet mulch would not work? Perhaps tilling in compost is the only way.
Hairy vetch is often used as a covercrop, it adds organic matter and nitrogen to the soil. It is planted in the summer (August, September) and it will overwinter all the way to next June, where you can then make use of the improved soil.
I've always read that forests have the best soil, but in every forest that I've dug under the leaf litter to see the soil, the topsoil only lasts like 1-2 feet and then it turns into orange clay. There's a small old growth forest-preserve near my house and its even the case there.
I don't know, I figured since forests are supposedly the most efficient natural system, that the topsoil (the portion which is black) would be deeper (I've heard this one farm has 22 feet deep topsoil or something ridiculous like that).
Also, I always struggle to find earthworms in forest soils where my sheet mulched beds have tons.
In a couple years I want to by some land in either New Jersey, Penn, Delaware or Virginia and it would be hard to find something like immaculate pasture for a decent price.
I mean, anyone buying decent land nowadays, is basically buying conventionally used cornfields sprayed with pesticides. Am I right?
Would you guys be comfortable farming that was previously soaked with all kinds of chemicals? I don't know, its just kind of icky to me, I wish there was a study of when the effects of those chemicals wore off, or something like that.
I just made a really good nettle pesto. Make sure you put it in the food processor, not a weaker blender so it chops up enough. Not really for the stings, but to take away the unpleasant furry texture.
I really desire to supply as much of my own chicken feed as possible. Can someone who is good with chicken nutrition tell me if this will work? This is a suburban flock of 6-7. I want to eliminate store bought grain as much as possible from their diet.
30% Acorns 30% Jerusalems 5% Dried Greens for nutrition 5% Pickled foods 10% pumpkins 20% Supplemental Oats or Sunflower ______________________________________________________________
40% Fresh Greens (comfrey, lovage, fennel, nettle, you name it) and bugs 40% various wild tubers (thistle, burdock) or Jerusalems 10% kitchen scraps 10% Supplemental Oats or Sunflower _______________________________________________________________
Summer 40% Greens and Bugs 40% Summer fruits from around the garden; goumi, peach, elderberry, grapes 10% Kitchen scraps 10% Supplemental Feed
10% Kitchen Scraps 20% Jerusalem Artichokes 20% Greens and Bugs 40% Fall fruits; apples, persimmons, quince, pawpaw 10% Supplemental Feed
Acorns foraged and then dried to preserve, then I'd throw them out periodically in winter. I'd like to feed them Jerusalem because I know I can grow alot of them and then store them in a root cellar.