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Podcast 047 - Review of Gaia's Garden, Chapter 5

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Location: Kingston, Canada (USDA zone 5a)
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Paul Wheaton and Jocelyn Campbell discuss chapter 5 of Gaia's Garden, by Toby Hemenway. The chapter was on catching, conserving, and using water. Toby writes of "the 5 fold path to water wisdom," which includes: 1. having rich soil with lots of organic matter, 2. deep mulching 3. locating plants according to water needs 4. planting densely so leaves are shading the ground, and 5. soil contouring.

Paul has a thread at permies on replacing irrigation with permaculture. Paul's list of things to utilize goes like this: 1. hugelkultur 2. polyculture 3. trees 4. mulch 5. raised humidity or morning dew 6. keyline 7. terraces 8. reducing wind 9. swales 10. less transplanting, more seed starting 11. taprooting species 12. paddock shift grazing 13. dew ponds 14. stacked rocks 15. edges, and 16. shade.

Paul mentions several threads. One is creating a creek from a dry gully. Another is the man who planted trees, which is about a 30 minute video Paul really loves. He also recommends the threads growing tomatoes without irrigation or fertilizer and Sepp Holzer uses no irrigation. He goes into the disadvantages of using drip systems, and how they ought to become obsolete within the first 3 years if used to help start a permaculture site.

He reads, "the cheapest place to store water is in the soil." Paul describes one of Mark Vander Meer's massive "greening" projects in Montana, and shares the "island/polka dot" strategy. He and Jocelyn discuss: making contours using an A-frame tool; native and non-native plants; mulch slowing soil-warming in the spring; and the thread composted in place--plants not thriving, which talks about the grower having a lack of carbon and needing to go pee on their soil. They also discuss rocks as mulch, water catchment, and greywater. A great resource is Art Ludwig's Create an Oasis with Greywater. They end with a discussion of sewage, and recapturing our own waste streams safely. Paul mentions the poop beast thread.

Relevant Threads

Water Harvesting
Rainwater Catchment Forum
Green Way to Take Care of Sewage

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