I am excited for the Bozeman visit and my burning questions would be the big ones of what to expect or how
to prepare or what to read or the deeper question of how does Mr. Holzer see the place and possibility
of the United States in his vision.
This is definitely the best question we got on Permies and will be asked to Sepp during our meeting next Monday. Great question Will!
My suggested reading list in order: "Desert or Paradise" "Sepp Holzer's Permaculture" "Agro-Rebel"
Sepp is a fountain of information and clarity, the more you know going in to the workshop the more you'll be able to gain from the experience.
What to expect:
Sepp Holzer is coming to share his approach and methods for restoring the hydro-logical balance and health of our planet.
Over the course of 5 days he will help us learn as much as possible, teaching a new generation of land healers and stewards. It really is all so logical and simple when you make space in your brain for natural thinking. I learned more about healing the planet in 11 days with Sepp, this past spring, than in my entire life beforehand. It opens gateways and provides tangible solution to so many human problems.
"Ja ich hab da große Hoffnungen für die USA weil das Interesse in den USA genauso groß ist wie in Russland, das hat auch seine Gründe muß ich sagen, weil man sieht welche riesen Flächen auch dort versteppen, verwüsten und abbrennen, dann da ist sehr viel zu tun. Ich glaub daß man auch sehr viel erreichen kann wenn man in Modellprojekten den Leuten zeigt was möglich ist, daß man ohne Chemie und ohne großen Maschineneinsatz, es sei denn es sind Renaturierungen, es ist Bau- und Wasserlanschaften, dort ist es ja nicht anders möglich, umgeht sodaß auch ein einfacher Bürger auf wenig Grund vielleicht nur mit paar tausen Quratmetern seine Lebensmittel prouzieren kann un gut leben kann."
I have great hopes for the US, because the interest in the US is as high as in Russia. I have to say there are reasons for that, if you see what huge areas are becoming steppe, desert, and burn down you can see there is lots of work to do. So much can be achieved by showing folks model projects. Without using chemicals or major machinery (except in the construction of water landscapes which would not be possible otherwise) regular citizens with small amounts of land, maybe just a few thousand square meters, can produce their own food and live well.
If Sepp is still taking questions, I was wondering about his thoughts on straw for animal bedding. Does he use straw of does he use other plant materials which can be dried for the same purpose? And why would any permaculture practitioner use straw (which is costly and may contain herbicides) when for example, evergreens could provide the same benefit?
I am eagerly awaiting attending the Duluth, Minn workshop with Sepp Holzer. It is not just the US that needs him so badly, but all of North America and indeed the world.
I live in Canada, on Manitoulin Island, the largest fresh water island in the world, located in Lake Huron. We have an amazing amount of water here -we are on an island that has hundreds of lakes on it, some of which have islands on them which have lakes on them, which have islands in those lakes......But,even here , our water table is lowering rapidly- Lake Huron continues to show worseningly historically low water levels (mainly because the USA is taking huge, non-sustainable amounts of water out of the Great Lakes system to slake its ever-growing thirst) and on my farm, springs which the oldtimers say have never dried up in 90 years dried up in last summer's drought.
I hope to learn how to restore the hydrological balance on my farm and keep those springs running. If anyone can help me learn how to do this, it is Sepp Holzer. I also believe that water is a living being, the essence of life - Herr Holzer seems to have this same respect for water.
Kevin, someone asked your same question at last year's workshop in Montana. Sepp does use straw for his animal bedding. He talks about how all you need to do is throw the straw in the animal shelter and the pigs will arrange it how they like if for their bedding.
He is most certainly NOT using straw that contains herbicides or has ever been sprayed. When asked about the potential contamination of straw he said "if his neighbor is spraying his fields then he does not buy straw from that neighbor."
The more people demand pesticide, herbicide, and chemical free straw the more it will be produced. That is one nice thing about a free market, it is driven by consumer choice. Once the consumers decide that there is no use for contaminated straw farmers will not be able to sell it. Then producing chemical and herbicide free straw will be more profitable.
The thing about straw, or any other agricultural product, is that you never really know what's been put on it. The difference with something like straw, which goes directly on the ground, or the garden, is that the effects are immediate. That is, stuff stops growing due to the residual herbicides. I would think that permaculture would be for people to gather the material from either their own location, or from a plant that never requires any sort of pesticide, like pine needles and twigs.
I'm experimenting on how animal manure with wood ash can render the nasty stuff in pine safe for mulching the soil. as I haven't read much about pine as a mulch base on this forum, I might be barking up the wrong tree. Hopefully not though, as I'm surrounded by pine forests.