I think I read that a small amount of electricity in the fog harps would significantly increase the water harvest. I think MIT has a gel that absorbs water from fairly dry air at night and releases it when heated by sun during the day.
I too think this is a great oportunity if you are equipped with the necessary pacience to see your project grow!
Since your land is in the mountains, you may want to check out Sepp Holzer. He works in a similar climatic setting in the austrian alps.
Importan: Watch out for regulations (I am Swiss too ...): In which territorial planning zone is your land, and what are the local/cantonal restrictions for the location? If it is steep, you can get govt subsidies under certain circumstances (you have to be a certified farmer). There are bureaucratic hurdles to cut down trees, specially if you have a real forest on parts of your land. If constructing swales, remember you may need a construction permit (different for each municipality). If you are in the agricultural zone, you cannot build anything to live in.
You can find out a lot about the regulatory framework and general information on https://map.geo.admin.ch/ (that is, forest zones, geology, soil classifications, natural hazards etc)
Then there are the cantonal geoportals. I used to work with this kind of information, feel free to message me where your plot is and I can do some research.
My comment about swales was based on the fact that spread and soak systems were used with good results by Polynesians on volcanic islands, which have very, very, steep slopes. I suppose that these might not have been swales specifically, perhaps shallow cut and fill terraces, but I know that they brought water out on contour from streams and it worked out fine for them, so it’s pretty clear that one can indeed do water retention on steep slopes. The Polynesians used the water soak systems to grow trees. Trees do help stabilize slopes. I’m sorry that I assumed that swales specifically were used.
Artie Scott wrote:There is a school of thought that a business owner should fire all of the clients that are not a great fit. At the end of the day, you spend way too much time and energy on clients that are draining and difficult.
A good option may be to dump them and find more clients that are a good fit, and voila! A happier life, and happier clients!
I recently fired all my web services clients and closed the biz (having been in the doing-computer-stuff-for-people biz since 1984). I'm already happier :)
I'll see if I can find the article, but I seem to remember several sources, including, if I remember correctly, one of the books on the Columbian Exchange, either 1492 or 1493, suggesting that the Virgin Field Epidemics that resulted from European contact in 1492 caused such severe disruption in plains management systems in North America that they succeeded to closed-canopy forests in the century following contact, causing massive CO2 draw-down and a resultant drop in global temperatures.
There are actually seven suggested causes, starting back in the 1300s, including orbital variations, solar and volcanic activity, effects on ocean circulation, increases and/or decreases in human population and activities, along with the inherent variability of climate. Wikipedia has a pretty good summary: Little Ice Age.
I know we can look at all this, be fatalistic, and decide that there's nothing in it to inform our life choices. And on the personal level, you might be right, unless you're personally in a position to assist in the planting of hundreds or thousands of trees, and encourage others to do the same, and to nurture them as far along as possible. But I like to think that there will be people to plant those trees, and to encourage protected seagrass ecosystems, and rehabilitate and spread mangrove swamps. And yes, help the transition of the permafrost, which is happening whether we like it or not, into a diverse and stable ecological form that perhaps still traps the bulk of its methane and sequesters carbon. And yes, the likely transition of boreal forest to something more like boreal/temperate hardwood transitional forest ecosystems, where applicable, so that however the climate swings, we have species in place that will thrive.
So if we're in the middle of the next ice age, I just hope we can fix things to pre-industrial levels before it starts to warm up again, or I think we'll really be in trouble. We've been in a heat warning for over a week now, with nighttime temperatures not falling below 20 C and daytime temps exceeding 30 C, and feeling at times like 40 C+ with the humidity. And I live in Toronto. And I wish I could say that this year is an anomaly, but we know it isn't, nor is this decade.
Timothy Markus wrote: I`ve got a pretty sweet fucking life, I tell ya.
Hi Tim, just following up on this phrase and on the title of your thread.
Every life is different of course, some worse some better. The overall outcome depends a lot on ones belief system. Every person has a host of beliefs about the world, and these beliefs come from ones childhood and - now it gets weird, but scientifically proven - ones ancestors. Yes, our beliefs are at least in part accumulated over generations (for that specific topic, read Ann Ancelyn Schutzenberger). Anyways, it is usually our belief system that makes us react in certain ways to certain situations, or to life in general.
The good news is that beliefs can be changed. I have lived through such changes myself as I have found a wonderful NLP practitioner who showed me my beliefs and taught me how to change the ones I didn't like.
Your question regarding beneficial N2 spacing is a very good question, indeed.
I bet someone here on Permies.com has a fantastic article or scientific paper regarding beneficial planting distances. Sadly I don't have any good documentation.
But I think beneficial tree interactions would occur way faster than one would initially think, though.
I can't speak specifically to acacias in arid climates, but in a temperate climate, for instance, one Black Locust (N2-fixing) tree can easily grow +2m in height in just one year. If its roots spread out maybe half that distance to ~1m, then already in the first year there would be significant root zone overlap (and competition) if a small fruit tree was planted, say 50cm away.
But in addition to the roots competing, the branches of the beneficial tree might scratch up the young fruit tree if not pruned regularly, and the trunks could even rub if planted too close.
That said, your regular maintenance of the tree (by chopping and dropping the branches of the N2-fixer) would encourage root die-back.
For short term N2 benefit, smaller legumes or clover ground covers near the base of the tree may be safer.
Filled in and planted the two 6 x 24 foot fenced garden areas next to house day before yesterday. I planted, snow peas, sweet peas, chard, icicle radishes, leeks, cabbage and fox glove in that area.
I am currently putting together some planter boxes around the trees in the yard and after I fill those with soil I will be planting more cabbage, leeks, peas, cauliflower, bok choy and iceberg lettuce. I needed some other areas to plant in as the areas left in the garden need to be left open for my melons and other warm weather crops that I want to put in there.
After getting all the cold weather plants in it is time to finish up the garden area for melons and then move to my hugelkulture for my squash, zucchini and pumpkins to be planted around the end of next month.
Hopefully all the cold weather crops I have planted in the main garden develop quickly enough that I can come back end of next month beginning of June and get my corn planted in behind them.
Although I would be sceptical about accuracy and precision just for the following reasons:
I guess these tools are based on freely available earth surface data provided by satellites. The best of these datasets (Alos Palsar, to my knowledge), has a resolution of 12.5 m. So a countour interval of 2 m, based on data with a resolution of 12.5 m, is purely based on interpolation and NOT real. Might be enough though for basic planning ...
These free data are always in the form of "digital elevation models", and they represent the entire elevations of the surface at sight, including buildings. So if you live in an urban setting, the contours you get might be very inaccurate or even false due to the buildings around you. On the contrary, the "digital terrain models" have buildings and vegetation removed in post-processing, but this is very difficult to achieve with satellite data and is never the case for free datasets.
marcus thompson wrote:I too have high blood pressure and have looked deeply into this. I need to lose weight to really make a dent. But plant-wise here is what I found:
Radish (Raphanus sativus L.): dry dosage range = 13-55 grams.
1. Leaf: 2.5%/day of feed = ∆ 19/? in one study. Assuming 500 grams of carbohydrate feed = 13 grams, dry weight assumed.
2. Radish Leaf ethyl acetate extract: 7.5 grams/day, Leaf Weight/extract ratio = 56:1. About 420 grams leaf weight assumed = 55 grams leaf dried weight. NOTE: 4X THE DOSE OF OTHER STUDY!
Eclipta Alba leaf: dry dosage range = 3-17 grams, invasive 4”-40” high annual, 45-60 day delay for results.
1. Alcoholic extract was found safe up to 5000 mg/kg orally given to rats. ∆ 139/x to 112/x. A 25% reduction of blood pressure in rats! Human dose: 17 grams/day for 185Lb man of extract evaporated from 80% ethyl alcohol soxhlet. Dried plant leaf/extract weight ratio unknown.
2. 3 grams dried leaf/day human dose = ∆ 19/11. Less professional human subject Indian study.
Mukia Maderaspatana leaf: 4.5grams/day, after 45 days = ∆ 23/15 Raja 2007. Note: also called Melothria Maderaspatana. Vine grows to zone 5, eBay only seed source found (from Poland).
Stevia leaf: 11% stevioside. 11% at 750mg extract = 7 grams/day dried leaf.
2nd study claimed concentration 4.4%-9.9%. (17 grams/day worst case)
3rd study claimed concentration 6.5%-8.6%.
1. A 3 x 250mg/day of stevioside extract = 10% BP reduction.
2. 2nd study: 500mg/day of stevioside extract = 6.5% reduction.
3. Try say…11grams/day dry leaf + 500ml HOT water. (1:45 ratio).
Possibly dangerous stuff:
Hibiscus tea: 2.6 grams/day ABSOLUTE MAXIMUM = ∆ 7/3.
Testicular/sperm issues above max dose! Try 1.3 grams?
Beetroot Juice: 250ml = ∆ 8/5. Nitrate causes cancer? Also use of mouthwash kills bacteria in the mouth needed for nitrate-nitrite conversion.
Cardamom powder: 3 grams/day, after 90 days = ∆ 19/12.
Chlorogenic acid: after 90 days 140mg/day = ∆ 15/5. Maximum dose 300mg/day.
Olive Leaf extract: absolute minimum 1gram/day of 20% oleuropein extract decreased BP by ∆11.5/4.8. 20% x gram = 200mg. Oleuropein is generally the most prominent phenolic compound in olive cultivars and can reach concentrations of up to 140 mg/gram on a dry matter basis in young olives and 60–90 mg/gram of dry matter in the leaves. Which at 60mg/gram to get 200mg requires 3.33grams of dried leaf. 6mg/gram dried leaf 2nd source = 33 grams dried leaf/day.
Taurine: 1.6grams/day = ∆ 7/5. A 6 gram/day study found improvement in 1 week.
You've certainly done your homework! So....from all this comprehensive/detailed study, what are you taking away from it - presumably not the whole lot!? 🤪
I did a little research into beetroot i.e. hoping it might prove a valid alternative to the wretched tablets I loathe taking daily for high blood pressure. What I came away with is that, being a plant, there is no way of establishing a stable/standardised dosage. Of course you could err on the side of caution but it scared me off going down that route. Also, as you say, there's a link between nitrate and cancer; it seems to be a complex issue, yes? So, thus far, I'm still stuck with the tablets.
I've lifted weights off and on for years and tried a lot of diets. Paleo will get you lean and hard. But, you'll hit a plateau without carbs especially if you lift heavy or do high intensity work either in real life or the gym. I think a varied diet of meat and fish that is raised well and fed a natural diet (or wild harvested), fresh plant food raised naturally and nutrient dense, good carbs and good fats, is the best long term diet.... or, in other words... the typical diet most folks ate for thousands of years before scientists and doctors (who are so notoriously in vibrant and rude good health... right? Nope!) gave us diets. Cook your own food and bake your own bread.... grow it yourself or buy from people who do things the right way... avoid processed foods... work hard... don't worry.
Padraig - I'm afraid I'm not familiar with what percentage clay/sand etc, you are looking for for cob. Do you have any soil remaining that you haven't done jar tests with?
If you tell me what percentages you are looking for, i can try to explain how that kind of soil is "supposed" to feel - in my field work, I'm usually only 5-10% off from my estimates to lab results. Unfortunately, soil classification is one of those things that's really easy to explain and get a feel for in person, but really hard to teach over the internet!
If you are in doubt about if it's suitable for cob - my other suggestion would be to just build a test block with different percentages of straw, let it dry, and see how it performs. Clay and silt physical properties can vary so dramatically from location to location that it's probably the only way to reliably see how something will perform.
Cardio does not exist. There is no exercise that targets the heart muscle specifically and exclusively.
That first statement would be true if the sentence following was the definition of "cardio", but it isn't. The commonly accepted definition of cardio exercise is exercise that elevates your heart rate. It isn't exercise which elevates your heart rate exclusively. By your definition, you may as well say there is no such thing as strength training, because all strength training causes an elevated heart rate, so all strength training is really cardio. People differentiate between cardio and strength training because different types of training focus on more or less on each of them. Weight training focuses primarily on strength, but it is impossible to lift weights without elevating your heart rate. Brisk walking focuses on cardio vascular training but it is impossible to do without muscle fiber involvement. There will always be overlap, but that doesn't mean that calling a type of training cardio or strength training is worthless. It simply shows where the focus is.
Two thoughts on that. First, placer are the same as aluvial deposits. Second, if you found lode deposits, you can pull out some rocks containing gold and sell them at a multiple price to collectors. They make for good pieces ..
denise ra wrote:Trace, I'm on my phone and can't tell what country you're in. In the US we have USGS us Geological Survey. Every state and County has information in Web Soil Survey which can tell me from looking at it what kind of soils I'm liable to have and more importantly what their properties are, such as whether they are good for building foundations, roads, farming, ...
Denise, thank you! I didn't even think of that. Great idea.
Thank you for sharing this list.
Rabbit manure is one of my favorite compost/fertilizer components. I raise show rabbits (around 100 head), so always have plenty of fresh & aged manure to work with.
Strangely, I've had plants burned by fresh rabbit manure, and it has even killed grass around the piles where I dump the wheelbarrow on barn-cleaning days. I suspect, however, this is due more to the urine than the manure. My rabbits are kept in stackable cages with catch-pans under each cage so, when I empty them each week I have a week's worth of manure, urine, spilled feed, and a small handful of compressed pine pellets used to soak up urine. Since rabbit urine is so high in ammonia, I assume that is what's too "hot" for direct application. Furthermore, after it's dumped out in the sun for a couple of days it's usually okay to apply, which is probably due to the urine drying out and bacteria breaking down the ammonia.
I recently built my first real compost bin and learned that dumping the trays as a few layers is a great way to heat up the pile. I generally apply it over a layer of "browns" and top with a layer of forest soil & shredded wood/leaves, which releases steam on cooler days. I've also been layering it & filling spaces in my buried hugel beds, which I hope will be beneficial in the decaying process of the logs.
If you are having problems with "some plants in your garden", then I doubt it is your soil PH doing so.
You always get your PH right before adding fertilizers because that unlocks the plants ability to glean nutrients.
If your whole garden was suffering, I would say that PH problems was the case, but since you only have a few suffering, i am betting that your micronutrients are lacking. The major nutrients like NPK would affect a higher amount of plants. For instance if you lacked nitrogen, almost all of your garden would be suffering, not just a few plants. So I would do a soil test and figure out what you are lacking.
I am just guessing, but I bet it is iron, copper or zinc...something along those lines; the specific plants that are struggling, particularly liking a micronutrient that is just not there in your soil.
You got to test though because as I always say! It is just a guess, unless you test!
So, my post was moved to the other thread because it contained info for both, which is fine, but I thought that I would contribute to this one directly.
I don't take psych meds anymore, after being on them for most of my adult life. The most important thing for me was reducing stress. For a long time, I was fixated on what other people can do, and trying to be like them. But I'm not other people, and accepting my limitations has been liberating. Eating whole foods that I grow has helped as well. I look at it as a two-for. Being outside, working in the garden, I find life-affirming, it brings me peace. And eating the food a grow just brings it to another level. It isn't something that you can just purchase, connection to your food is important, at least it is to me.
If something needs to be Rube Goldbergy for it to be cheap to construct and operate, so be it. It well may be that it only appears to be so, and that the complexity actually is necessary.
I think that drawing water from low-humidity air is one of the best foci for grid-independent sustainable energy sources. If that can be accomplished, it would be possible to have drip irrigation for individual trees, or lines of trees, for establishment in areas that will sustain them once established, and which will be slowly humidified and greened as a result.
I think that the ability of some solar panel setups to produce drinking water as a byproduct of electricity production is brilliant, too, and if that were coupled with intensive pasture upgrading and rotational grazing, even the harshest conditions could be made, well, pastoral, due to the added water and shade from the panels, and grazing between and underneath increasing the nutrient cycling and soil generation.
Incidentally, I would envision the cool, dry air doing really well in a cool dehydrator. You're already talking about it being a low-humidity environment. A cold dessicator that preserves heat-sensitive compounds in fruit, veggies, and herbs might be really useful.
Spencer, this type of innovation is critical, in my opinion. Please keep us posted. Good work, and good luck.
I very much appreciate your words. Not to be too -- existential -- my particular brand of scholarship has not really precipitated much in the way of encouragement: normally half-hearted derision.
By way of addressing the points you have raised, I have done preliminary work in the use of a solid desiccant (granulated calco-silica-carbon) placed in an evacuated solar tube. I would then use an RV venturi vent (they're neat - the vent can rotate into the wind, and the wind blowing through creates vacuum within the black-water tank vent line) as a means of creating a draft through the system with ambient wind. The venturi ideally draws atmosphere through the desiccant so as to saturate it. When the sun rises (humidity is highest just before sunrise) the solar tube then heats precipitating two reactions: the chamber temperature activates a "wax-motor" valve (paraffin based thermostatic valve like the one in your car, but different temperature) and this valve closes the intake of the atmosphere and creates a minor pressure drop in the system should the wind continue. The second reaction is the desorption of the water from the desiccant.
The atmosphere ducting leading to the venturi passes through an earth-cooled condenser coil with a catch basin. The minor pressure drop created by the venturi working against the closed valve slightly lowers the desorption temperature of the desiccant and thusly the "air" produced during the desorption cycle is much more humid - until the desiccant is dried out and ready for the next adsorption cycle.
The net result of this system is a rather simplified device that operates directly on ambient wind and solar energy, without any conversion losses (no electricity), one single moving part (paraffin wax expanding as it heats, contracting as it cools), and provides small amounts of pure water dependent upon ambient humidity.
It's a glass and plastic thing, say 8 feet tall and 3 inches wide - and the best part? I would like to stick it right in a raised bed planter. It's job is to make a little moist zone around the roots of the plant. Yeah - a true "Self-Watering" planter.
Additionally, my work in the wet-desiccant system leads me to believe that the working fluid may serve double duty as the electrolyte in a rechargeable chloride battery. In this scheme, it would be a wind/solar recharged battery that happens to produce water as a byproduct. That one gets me really excited as, frankly, the materials involved, while not inert, are totally within the capability of nature to handle without any trouble at all - they're actually nutrients after a single bio-process. Carbon, manganese, calcium, and chlorine.
So, what is stopping me?? What slows my work?
I fund my research with my Visa card and, not to be too whiny: it is precarious and slow.
End of the day, if you're inclined I could very much use assistance in getting parts.
The water-systems, and the adjunct battery cell are within the class of work that I have decided I will not patent. I have no trouble sharing the theory and design and, when I have completed a functional apparatus, I will publish it for public consumption. Free to any manufacturer or DIYer who wants.
Maybe I can build and sell some, but the design itself is too important for me to hide with IP protections.
Have you any way (social media, Patreon, etc...) to help??
Acacias are said to be nitrogen fixers, since they are legumes, and I see them mentioned in this forum every now and then. I guess people are planting them as part of tree guilds. Living in Chile (mediterranean to semiarid), there is a bountyfull of trees that only grow here, lots of them draught hardy and even edible, and the local Acacia Caven is one of them. A spiny shrub, slow growing, hated by all.
Now I have come over some research abouth the A. Cavens role in the local forests. The author found a close relationship to other young trees growing under the canopy of the Acacias, thus providing shade, humidity and maybe nitrogen. The paper then proposes that the Acacias are nurse trees for the other trees, which will eventually outgrow them.
Of course I wrote an email to the author of the paper, who was so friendly to reply. According to her observation, the younger trees growing under the canopy of Acacia had their stems literally only centimeters away from the Acacia stem. I understand this is much much closer than the permaculturists would recommend, e.g. if you are planting a forest garden, or any sort of tree guilds. Furthermore, in her opinion, the Acacias provide mainly humidity, but there is no significant effect of nitrogen fixing
So I am wondering: is it advantageous to plant Acacias next to other trees in general, the saplings being 5cms away from each other?
To find out what herbicides are being used, a strategy is to ask around for who sells hay in the area. Then ask them for their expert opinions about which herbicides are effective for local weeds. Sometimes the chemical dealers can tell you all about what works, is affordable, and popular.
Once you know the trade names, the chemistry is all available online.
Chris Kott wrote:Look at zai pits. I think they do a lot of what you're discussing. Also, the pit idea is good for not only trapping rainfall and runoff, but also sediment and leaf drop, making more soil.
If you are concerned about aridity and desertification, I suggest you look at Air well (condenser)s. Those combined with drought-hardy trees that shelter the less-hardy will help combat its spread.
You seem to have a grasp on the type of arid-climate preparations you need. I think that, along the lines Ruth suggested, you might find other techniques that reverse the local spread of desertification, which will make the garden-scale adaptations you need less severe.
Chris, your link doesn't take you to a valid article.
Devin Lavign wrote:Please do not get land next to a gold operation.
Yes they use cyanide and other very toxic chemicals in the processing of it. It never stays contained and always gets into the ground water. Longer they have been at the site worse off the contamination will be. With those water basins, please find another option.
Yes some mines are using cyanide and sulphuric acid for gold recovery, others are using harmless gravity circuits that don't use any chemicals at all. Since the operation is close to a river bed, I would suggest the latter (placer mining). If it even is a mine - there is no information on this, and sure there is no way to tell from a low resolution satellite image.
Some mining operations are environmentally safe, others are not. Some mines grow eatable fish in their wastewater ponds.
This thread is a few months old, so probably the discussion is moot. But just in case:
As a former water quality lawyer for the gold mining industry, I can say with some confidence that while nothing is 100%, contamination is definitely the way to bet if you can't get good certain information. And buying land is a really big bet!
In a desert with only three inches of rain a year, gravity circuits and placer mining are unlikely; the water demand is too high. And even if that's what they are doing, they'll be using expensive chemical surfactants (fancy soaps and detergents) so they can keep recirculating the water even after it gets loaded with sediments and still have it "work" to wash the gold free of the sediments. Those surfactants are not dish soap; they are bad mojo. And they leach into the ground water very easily.
The low resolution satellite image is plenty good to show lots and lots of buildings. That suggests a complicated processing infrastructure. Which means lots of chemical steps, which means lots of contamination. Placer mining is very simple. One big processing plant, you put material in one end with lots of water, you get tailings and sludge out the other end, you collect the water in a pond and circulate it back around to pump it through again. You do not get fish in that pond because the water is carrying all the sediment it will bear.
The only place you will ever find fish in a pond at a gold mine is at a fancy demonstration project assembled by one of the big international mine operators like Rio Tinto to show off for journalists and NGOs. They'll have a dedicated staff of water chemists making sure that pond stays within parameters for their demonstration fish. It doesn't happen otherwise. Except possibly where a mine design means that they need, like eight tailings ponds for periods of high volume mining, but during low volume operations they are only using three ponds, but the mine is in a wet environment so the other five ponds just fill up with surface water and rainwater, but no tailings are being added for months or years.
A gold mine is nobody's best neighbor choice for a permaculture property. It might be OK, but it might be a toxic nightmare, and the two possibilities are not even close to roughly equal!
Alder Burns wrote: Beware that moving plants from one of these zones to another may result in their becoming "invasives"....
... Observe what's growing around you in the region and what other folks are planting....
.... For trees things like olive, fig, pomegranate come first to mind. Unless you have excellent irrigation, plan to grow most of your gardens in the rainy cool season. Mulch and manure of all sorts is the solution to hard clay soil....better incorporated or buried than left on the surface, in my experience....in part this is motivated by fire danger....which is also common in these climates.
Hi Alder, great reply! Introducing plants to Chile is not only questionable, but under local law downright illegal. I would get picked out at the x-ray machine at the airport and heavily fined for anything brought into the country
Watching locals might help, but considering the extreme escepticism locals have to anything ancient, I reconed it would be better to start from scratch.
I was thinking about planting trees in winter, and doing mulch, plant them in ditches etc- looks like it makes sense cheers!