Jonchandler wrote: Live in SoCal and thinking of a bamboo (Black) border on the western part of my property. Its down slope and do not want to water out there.
Was thinking a buried huglebed (2-3 ft down) that rose above grade by about 2' may provide enough of a berm to easily containg the bamboo. Any rhizomes shooting off would be seen out the side of the bed and whacked with a hoe.
What are any thoughts of bamboo growing in a huglebed?
I would like to have this bed be about 4oo' long. I have plenty of wood dead oak limbs and manzanita to fill it.
You can easily do this if you line the 400' with something to protect the runner type of bamboo from spreading. You will need a 2.5' deep barrier to stop this rhizomes. However, if you are using clumping type of bamboo it will be much less of an issue.
Travis Philp wrote: There is a program in my province that provides trees for 15 cents each. I've just met with a consultant about it today and it sounds like a great thing to be a part of.
I'd like to pick the collective brain of permies.com to see what kind of a plan you would come up with from the information below...
GENERAL PROGRAM INFO
The program requires a minimum of 5 acres and 3000 trees, which means that each tree would be 8 feet apart if spaced evenly, which doesn't have to be the case. The property itself is 100 acres with 70 workable. At 15 cents per tree plus taxes its about $500-$600. I could plant up to 4500 or so trees but money is at a minimum, and also thats getting a bit too dense in terms of planting space for my liking, though it could have advantages.
An agreement must be made that I won't do any cutting of the trees for 15 years. The consultant told me that this is more of a general rule simply meant to keep people from selling 5-10 year old trees as nursery stock or christmas trees on a large scale. He then said that in reality some trees will have to come out for various reasons and at that point, why not sell them or do as you wish with them. So there is some flexibility there but I'm not yet sure how much.
The site preparation and planting is subsidized and my choices of method are furrowing with a tractor, or spraying with vinegar (this took some convincing on my part).
We at the farm here will be doing the vegetation control and could even get paid for it through the subsidy. As long at the methods work and meet approval anything goes really. My impression is that its a requirement that the planting area be relatively free of vegetation which eliminates food forest gardening (stupid, IMO) but I proposed seeding with a ground cover of white clover and this was alright with the consultant. The site I'm thinking of is in zone 4/5 anyways so I think I can deal with that.
The site itself is pretty flat, sandy loam, with a somewhat high groundwater level, though I'm not sure how high as I've only seen the land in the fall and winter.
As far as planting patterns, they are open to ideas about interplanting and staying away from straight rows, as long as it doesn't interfere with vegetation control. So I'm thinking of planting in sun traps or wavy lines at least but am open to suggestion.
Species List: (If you want scientific names I'll dig em up)
SPECIES AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE BUT ALREADY PRESENT IN GREAT NUMBERS ON THE PROPERTY
white Ash eastern white cedar poplar beech red osier dogwood
The following lists are available as well, and there are few to none of these on the property (There are a handful of mature sugar maple, willow and black cherry which could self seed so maybe I don't need to buy these?)
white spruce black spruce white pine red pine
highbush cranberry nannyberry red osier dogwood
green ash sugar maple red maple silver maple black walnut basswood black cherry black locust willow
So I open the floor. What would you do in my situation?
I would go to the Permaculture Research Institute Permaculture Forums and ask there as well so I could work with the numerous people who have PDC's and working Permaculture farms.
I am slowly learning about permaculture and have been working my garden in the right direction. I have noticed that we have Chinese silk trees all over the place. I now know that they are classified as an invasive exotic. However, since they are already all over the place, and they fix nitrogen, I would like to use them as companions with my fruit trees. I am thinking I could prune them into a large shrub form and plant them in relative proximity to my semi-dwarf fruit trees. I could probably control the number of pods they produce with fall pruning.
Anyone have a better suggestion? I like the idea of using what is already here.
go for it, sounds wise to me. You are learning already faster then the US Forestry service that spent millions in Alaska to learn Alders are N fixing trees that appear as the first trees in the forest cycle.
The corporate model can work as long as the employees are happy.
This IMO is a fallacy because for the current economics that we humans are tied to it sadly isn't about the employee, it is about minimizing spending, and maximizing sales. Corporate models do not work under the whims of nature.
Secondly, a property should never be bought with the intention of going in with a mindset to grow x,y,z crops. This is not how permaculture design works. The first year alone is supposed to be about long walks on the property noting sun, moon, wind, and a numerous amount of other data, and that is prior to even going in and mapping the property for setting up crops of any kind. This is a great way to scare off investors of any kind because they are not seeing any return, i.e. profit.
When you can find investors smart enough to think "down the road" and not for quick profit, then Industrial size permaculture can take off, else you need to do it slowly yourself with your own money.
That, more then anything, is the limiting factor... the all mighty $
Brenda Groth wrote: I would create the largest food forest possible..as a matter of fact, that is what I'm doing here for "future generations"..as many of the trees I'm putting in these days won't bear before I'm either very old or gone (I'm 60)
BAH! 60 is the new 40!
Like Brenda, I am creating a food forest for future generations, as well as art.
John Polk wrote: With enough diversity, an untended forest would balance itself out. The caveat would be that the plants most adaptable to the environment would eventually squeeze out the plants less suitable for the environment.
For what it's worth, banana plantations are extremely high labor intensive. The only reason they are inexpensive is that they grow in regions where labor is cheap.
Really? My college had a small cropping of them where a water drain diversion ditch spilled out and I never saw anyone doing anything to them ever. They were some of the best bananas I had ever had, and I worked on the grounds of that campus year round. (No summer off)
BTW - Here is a good laugh for ya... Organic Gardening magazine by Rodale publishers a year or so ago put an article in the magazine in favor of GMO bananas. It was at that point I cancelled my free subscription.
RyanJ wrote: If it makes you feel any better, wisteria is a nitrogen fixer. Whether or not the fixed nitrogen is a benefit relative to the maintenance required to keep the plant in check is a tough call; however, just think, all the pruning you do to the plant releases that much more nitrogen into the soil.
It's awesome for attracting bees, and other pollinators as well.
South Carolina wrote: Have a favorite apple tree that I need to stabilize the roots. It keeps trying to tip over. Otherwise it is a great little apple - my favorite.
Searching online I find that horseradish and garlic chives are supposed to be good under apples; I have both in abundance. I reallize that once I start them in that spot they will be permanent plantings as they grow like crazy.
Any inputs before I get started? This is my favorite of my four apples and I don't want to screw it up.
duane wrote: Egypt benefited from the washing away of Ethiopia for thousands of years (Nile Floods) Building the Aswan Dam deprived them of the benefits, but Ethiopia is still washing away
besides "no free lunch" is the saying "changing things makes them different" and some of those changes are unforseen
The people of the nile didn't have to deal with industrial ag chemicals. The people of the nile also starved when the river didn't provide the silt needed, hence why Egypt attempted making dams, and changing several river flows.
To grow any kind of useful mushroom / fungi on alders or conifers? My property is loaded with a mixed stand of alders and ancient cedars with other kinds of conifers mixed in. I want to cut high and inoculate them with spores, but unsure what I can do since I mostly read about hardwoods.
Paul, not everyone has the luxury of typing out essays & citing multiple references when they visit, life just doesn't entail that. It is spring for the Northern Hemisphere and I personally don't have the time to just cause drama, its not my way, to quote Jeff Bridges in Tron Legacy.
"You are harshing my zen man..."
Given the 'fast' paced world, why is it not outside the realm of people simply asking another person to expand upon it? To edit kills the conversation, and pisses off the writer who is trying to help a community.
You are busy, I am busy, the Universe is busy and so is that bee out there flying around by my swale. See what I am getting at or do I need to expand more upon this?
endurance wrote: While not Sepp-style lakes, I know the Anasazi Indians in the four corners region used check dams on seasonal streams for corn (maize) cultivation. Archeologists have revealed that they would build a rock dam in small dry gullies and over time, silt and soil would build up behind these creating a level piece of land. They would plant corn in these level spots and as thunderstorm season rolled around, the check dams would capture and hold water in the soil like a sponge, allowing the corn to grow.
To me, this is preserving top soil, protecting downstream water quality, and taking advantage of surplus in a dry land when it becomes available.
Glenn Kangiser wrote: I am a well driller also and have a good grasp of how groundwater works.
I have made 4 ponds - 3 from a plugged up spring and 1 on the side of a mountain using techniques as Sepp teaches. He is not afraid to use an excavator and I am not afraid to use a tracked 963 Bobcat. As Sepp mentioned though he gets away from the heavy machinery more after he has made his improvements.
Swales here have opened up 3 new springs, sadly, all three are in the middle of a road downhill from my property. Swales have also caused more growth and more water coming up out of the spring south of my property as it flows into the creek and eventually down into the river coursing through my property.
Humus, shade, and a closed overstory helps bring the water up, as does the capillary work of trees and plants, so, as such, when a swale or sepp water feature is made it actually helps increase the water table around it... ..not to mention all these factors raise and lower the level of water in a given water table all day.
Kathleen Sanderson wrote: Did they seriously?!? That stinks!! Why on earth should anyone work to improve themselves or their land if other people are going to just take it away from them?!?
It happens in the U.S. too, it's called 'Imminent Domain,' or some non-sense. What you do, can be taken away, and it is something a lot of people are fighting in my county at the moment due to a natural gas pipeline & natural gas factory being put in, against the will of the people, the will of the county, and the will of the state. Lawsuits have been happening non-stop for over a year, all at the nations tax expenses. Oh, did I mention this isn't a US plant either, but is on our soil?
As for why to do it, IMO, it's my niche. I realized a while ago I was here to be one with the planet, not against it. There is a Sioux phrase, "Mitakute oyasin" I.E. we are all related.
I don't personally have time for drama, non-sense, and so on, because I spend more time outside, actually tinkering, observing, doing my permaculture, and trying to come up with ways to help my community, then trying to destroy, and recent information coming to me about how the U.S. was prior to Columbus just starts upsetting me regarding how badly we have screwed up our own ecosystem. I realize people will be here after me, and it is to that end I hold onto my permie ethics and will keep helping Earth Mother so long as I breathe. I have done it for the ocean my whole life, now it is time to work on land equally with the ocean I love.
However, IMO, I guess it is a matter of perspective of permaculture here in the US and these forums. Some people hold onto the ethics and the entire chapter(s) of the Permaculture Designers Manual & others just hold onto tag lines, want cash and instant satisfaction. You can see it on the televisions programming, advertisements, movies and in video games, if you want to that is.
Well, in closing I want to stress, this is just my 2 cents, take it a grain of salt with it.
I can tell you how to fix your problem for the average user, but it won't help savvy people. No matter what you post on the internet, someone is going to take it. It has happened with my art & other assets in life, it will continue to happen to you each time you post an article.
Jake Olson wrote: I'd love to hear a long discussion of this situation:
Imagine you have a son who is early 30s, married, has two toddlers and lives in a large city in Turkey. He's been turned off to the whole Permaculture thing his whole life and never really learned anything about gardening or growing stuff. Now all the sudden, he's gotten interested in doing something to take control of his food supply through listening to podcasts like Save Our Skills and The Survival Podcast and The Permaculture podcast during work. He's ready to do something.
Only one problem: he doesn't live on a homestead in Montana, he lives in a concrete jungle in Adana Turkey. You want to give him some baby steps to help him in his current life situation to take steps toward a more sustainable, less toxic lifestyle that could lead to being in a permaculture situation many years from now. He has no access to real land at this moment, but has a big balcony and year round sun (the climate is probably similar to the places in texas that get cold, but never freeze). He also lives in a second culture with his Turkish wife and is apprehensive about freaking out the neighbors or whatever, and obviously has a full time job that is not homesteading. The other trick about being in Turkey is that he can't just order stuff off of amazon or go to walmart to buy all the paraphernalia that usually goes with any DIY project. It's even hard to get books (expensive to ship).
So you got a son, he's shown a bit of interest, but doesn't have a lot to work with. What baby steps would encourage him to take that would not overwhelm him and cause him to give up and would get his wife engaged in this stuff as well (not freak her out.) What's one book you'd tell him to read NOW?
Obviously this guy is me, but I ask you to envision it being your son because I really want to know how you'd advise someone in this situation who you care deeply about.
I'm loving learning from you through the podcasts and youtube videos, but am just a bit overwhelmed about where to even start. Especially without access to land.
Permaculture Research Institute in Austrailia has projects near Turkey, and well, all over the world currently, you may wish to look into the extensive website, free materials from other Permies there, and so on, as well as help, just like here. Never limit yourself.
For example, you can get in touch with urban permies such as this person.
2nd, make sure you read an ebook, or a real book such as Gaia's Garden (which is great for small / suburaban permaculture systems). One thing to keep in mind, permaculture isn't just about gardening. It has an ethics attached to it, which many people seem to forget.
It played a role in the discovery of Prussian blue pigment, and its inventor (and the co-inventor of Prussian blue) did lots of controversial science, registered at the University of Giessen under the name "Franckensteina", and is rumored to have partly inspired Mary Shelley.
Update: It seems there isn't good data on the toxicity of this stuff:
Any-who, the magazine is awesome, I have been reading it on and off for years. I especially liked an article years ago about someone like Paul who went around documenting Permaculture and Industrial Ag & then went to her home family farm and turned into a permaculture farm.
That article has been sent to more of my friends on farms nationwide then pretty much anything else I have ever read.
JoshTH wrote: Well I'm deducing from nature here and its not possible, unless I redefine "favorite garden plants"
Utter swing and a miss. Yer out! Next batter up!
There are a grip of very serious, well done examples of people having apples, willows and other water hungry plants in the desert.
In fact, there is an African man that essentially made a food forest in a desert till his government annexed it and kicked him off his own land.
First thing needed is a plan, measuring, sketching, planning, etc. Rain collection system, shade causing over-story would be incredibly helpful to be planned out. Grey water collection going through a plant system to increase water collection and so on. It can be done but it takes planning and research, like most of permaculture, there is no instant satisfaction.
Page 107 of Gaia's Garden, 2nd Edition, has a wonderful very green image taken in Prescott, Arizona with vines growing up the cistern.
The most important thing I can think of is setting up a greywater polishing oasis to increase humidity, and keep it shaded. Build out from there.
Also, building miniswales out of rocks near the base of trees, and shrubs would help capture soil, humidity, and beneificals as well.
And no, you don't get a certificate for watching this set of videos.
One thing to keep in mind, also, is that the descriptions of this set of videos specify that these videos are of the classroom portion only. So there won't be any of the hands ons, how-tos, nor tours of gardens and projects. I've read of whiteboards being used by Geoff Lawton's portions, but I don't know if there's anything else, like those mini-animations on the PDI site. I've also read descriptions that say that these videos are meant to be for reviewing a PDC, after having already taken a course and maybe needing some reminders.
Hmm, the actual publisher says this about the dvd set:
The Permaculture Design Certificate Course was filmed in September 2005 at The University of Melbourne. Using a professional production team. The entire course is presented by Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton.
Each disc has (+/-) 4.5 hours of content, 58.5 hours total for the set.
The last disc finishes up Chapter 14, student questions, the design assignment, graduation, round table and conclusion to the course.
There were 13 hours of the course devoted to students producing their designs (2 hours with Geoff mentoring, students also worked after class hours to complete their designs) the student design presentations (7.5 hours, big class! ), the graduation day, round table, conclusion, and the where to from here? discussion ( 6 hours). The entire footage of these 13 hours is reduced to a delightful 60 minute (+/-) collage for the viewer.
Feral wrote: What are the thoughts regarding pros and cons of tree limbing?
I have a mixed tree forest, lots of varieties, fir/pine/tamarack/alder/dogwood....
This can be a high fire risk area at certain times of the year and so many folk "limb" or remove the lower limbs from their trees to help remove dead wood that fuel fires and enable them to spread fast.
But I just keep thinking... if there wasn't a reason for them to be there, the trees would have shed them. Are they providing habitat or part of a "transportation network" for some sort of critters......
Any thoughts on this? Not sure if I should limb or not.
I am in the Fukuoka camp. I don't trim trees or bushes unless someone did it first prior to me getting the plant or tree.
Let's put this into perspective, a tree, some of which are older then most countries (including the US) & know how to grow, and sheds leaves, etc for thousands of years prior to humans chopping all willy nilly with things made of metal they found.
So what do you trust there, the thing that has been growing longer then you have been alive with no help, or do you have to help it along to make it better? Wait, who we making this better for? It isn't the birds, or the plant itself. It isn't the insects that live on and around the branches. Hmmm
tipafo wrote: I plan to broadcast grass seed where I want it, when the cover crop isn't yet high enough to block all the soil, and before the next cutting, so that the cut cover crop then becomes a mulch for the scattered seed.
This seems so wrong to me I have hard time responding.
A cover crop for grass? Grass is so insanely invasive that it chokes out trees for nutrients, and you are using cover crops to increase your lawn?
On roughly four of the acres I would like to setup some Holzer style terraces and raised beds, but I'm not certain on the logistics.
Your first logistic should be planning the property, not trying to do something someone else has done. Do you know what you are planting on your hugel-swales? Are they swales? Water movement on contour needed? Need a pond near them?
boddah wrote: I believe currants are a host for pine blister or whatever its called? i dunno if i should plant it cause i like and have some big healthy pines. anyone know what the real risk is?
Does the pacific northwest currants & conifers know this? Currants are a major berry food for native animals in the pacific Northwest surrounded by pines, and other acid loving things like thimbleberry, salmonberry, crowberry, salal aka laughing berry, and more.
H Ludi Tyler wrote: I guess I wonder if the native plants people complain about the vast grain monoculture in the US which has wiped out 99% of an ecosystem (prairies). Or if they only complain about permaculture, which hasn't wiped out much of any ecosystems.
Personally, I am putting in edible natives into my orchard, because I researched it well; and still am. I thought using natives, not being insane about it, but using them was part of that whole second ethic of permaculture.
I am actually glad I have been learning about them, I found 3 large huckleberry bushes on the property a few days ago, without that for knowledge they would possibly be woody compost someday. More importantly, I have something that will attract birds and insects to keep problems down to a minimum on the property.
To exclude seems foolish, to include fully seems equally as foolish. Balance is needed.
This will be my first year trying polycuture. It is weirding me out trying to figure out how to randomly plant plants all mixed together.
My first polyculture was in a 15'x15' area filled with blackberry in a major crime infested inner city area. I didn't use herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers for 8 years there, and had wonderful food.
John Polk wrote: This entire disease issue seems quite muddled, with differing opinions resulting from different research. The C. sativa aspect is interesting. Formerly, it was a common crop/wild plant in the Andes. The Incas were a very advanced civilization, and I'm certain that they would have noticed the symbiotic relationship. Strange that the Andean problem has begun since the elimination of the hemp cropping.
Due to the legal implications of using hemp as a 'nurse crop', I would suggest that a good crop rotation scheme might be the easiest method of controlling the problem.
Hemp is already considered one of the world's most useful plants (fiber, oil, medicinal), but if it were in fact a natural deterrent to a disease that costs $6 billion per year to the world's 3rd most important food crop, I think governments would need to take another look at their Victorian style of laws.
You gotta understand why it was made illegal in the first place and why it remains so.
First you had W.R. Hearst standing to loose millions of dollars in timber, the same timber we now subsidize. He was about to loose this money because of a new machine to cheaply remove fibers from the plant for production. So, he called up his newspapers and made false stories to get it made illegal.
So after he got his way through lies, and the family money got protected the smear campaign continued until WW2, just after Mayor Laguardia of NYC had a report done showing it is less harmful then alcohol. During WW2, people were allowed to grow it again for ropes and other things.
Now we have a fairly large world wide blackmarket for it, and a large commodities market for the plant. Many people wish it to remain illegal still buying into the propaganda because they know no other way. Propaganda and marketing is just simply that powerful. Yet, the growers, they too want to see it remain quasi-legal / illegal. After all, a plant that goes for $10,000US / pound is a lot more profitable then current market legal levels which are $900US / pound, or less. All you gotta do is follow the money.
So now we have a problem world wide. Some people want to enforce the propaganda of it being a harmful plant, others want to use it for a variety of solutions to problems, some of which we discussed here, others remotely touched upon.