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Can we have a climate forum?

 
pollinator
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I do not want to speak about climate change, I want to speak
- about the specificities of local climates,
- about how to adapt a general theory to a specific climate,
- about what should be taken into account when choosing a variety or a cultivar.
...

I also want to ask people "who has a very similar climate to mine?" and I would love that other people could do the same.
So even the geographic forum is not adapted and I still haven't posted my topic.
I have looked by myself with Internet, and I thought it was very exciting,
and very interesting too.

Sure I can post some specific questions in different forums, but I like being global. This is not only growing, not only soil, this is really climate!
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
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I had to look at this topic very closely because I live in "the island of the 5000 micro-climates"!

Climate is about temperature, but more than the usda zone.
This is also about day and night difference, or winter/summer difference.
You can have the same minus as me, but a very different maxi in summer.

- This is also about what altitude,
- how far from the sea,
- with what sort of wind,
- not only how much rain but also when, winter or summer or regular.

This is about latitude, because it changes day length and shade needs.

This can also be about choosing the right place in the property, for animals and for plants.
I have just moved a feijoa I planted 2 years ago... My mistake was clearly a climate mistake!

Hope you like the idea!
 
gardener
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Would you be looking for more specific than Mollison's modified Koppen "Climates of the Earth" classification of:

Tropical Rainy Climates
  • Tropical Rainforest
  • Tropical Savannah

  • Dry Climates
  • Steppe
  • Desert

  • Humid Mesothermal Climates
  • Warm & Dry Winter
  • Monsoon & Upland Savanna
  • Warm & Dry Summer (Mediterranean)
  • Humid Temperate

  • Humid Microthermal Climates
  • Cold & Moist Winter
  • Cold & Dry Winter (Monsoon type)

  • Polar Climates
  • Tundra
  • Perpetual Frost
  •  
    Xisca Nicolas
    pollinator
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    I would not classify all climates but the ones that interest people who grow and who talk about it here.
    Then, how to make it practical and how to cut the limits... I am aware that some plants can grow in different zones, but it is not only about growing, it is about the job one has to do and the soil care.

    Can we make a cut between places 1) having frost 2) and those that are frost free ?
    Yes with some exceptions as it can be freezing in some very hot deserts.

    Actually, one climate already has a forum of its own, this is "greening the desert"!!!

    Then, at the other extremity, cold climates nearly have a forum: the "great white north - canada, alaska and greenland" shows some specific climate questions such as
    - "short-season garden questions"
    or
    - "Southern NB and other cold climate permies" with such questions as

    I'm looking for examples of other folks who have planted food forests in similar climates... How are our winters affecting you and your crops and how do you mitigate those affects? How and what are you storing during the winter?


    But this forum is more geographic (events, land purchase... and Scandinavia is not in the list) than openly climatic.
    Some permies have been posting there because no other place suited their questions.
    A "green and white" forum would be great!

    Then some facts in I am not wrong, 1) most permies live in the temperate zone, and they are mostly Americans, though some Europeans and Australian people are there. 2) not many permies are from real tropical zones, but at least California is subtropical/mediterranean, and Florida is subtropical wet with summer rain.

    Maybe, the temperate climate is what we mostly have, and do not need a specific forum. I would suggest that some climates including "desert" or "short-season", and surely some other climates, are specific enough to need some room of their own....
     
    Xisca Nicolas
    pollinator
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    So, thanks Ben for this clear basis that I did not know (had to look for some words in wiki!)
    and now I try to make a more precise proposition. Above, I have tried to show that the need looks there for my eyes, show that most people might not need it strongly because their climates, though different, are not so different... EXCEPT the 2 more extreme climates ...and they already have something of their own.

    I must say that this is really great that this forum allows a useful organization that allows a topic to be read in another forum. I noticed something else: Allan Savory came into "greening the desert" forum, but now there is a topic called "A Permaculturist’s Guide to Understanding Holistic Management" in the cattle forum. Yes, the desert forum is in the growing part, though not only plants are concerned.

    So I can imagine a climate forum, equal to growies and critters.

    - Greening the desert would be moved there at it is. As I do not live in a desert AND browse this forum, it might be ok to join there the dry subtropic and the Mediterranean climate. All about having a water problem to solve and warm temperatures at the same time. It would not matter to be totally frost-free or not.

    - Then a Green and White forum as I suggested by showing a real example of a specifically climatic topic. Finland would be welcome, and the geographic forum would stay the same. It would include living in mountains.

    - Then a place for warm and wet, that might include Florida and some more tropical places as well (Costa Rica...). It would be more oriented to summer rain, monsoon, south-east Asiatic trees such as litchis, or all-year rain, and frost free or almost.

    - Then, are there some folks in temperate really wet places, mangroves, marshes...?
    Other ideas?

    - I can also imagine a "general" climate forum for all that does not fit in the above. There, you can post pics of 2 journeys you did at the same place but at 10 years distance, telling about a climate change you saw. You can post a link you found about discovering Pondicherry in India where the vegetation and soil changed so amazingly after reforesting!
    Also, someone can write there a new topic about, let's say, his last big storm, how his garden resisted better than the neighbours' to an occasional drought or strong rain... Or comment about last years changes at his place and what he actually did to adapt.

    Hope it can be useful...
     
    steward
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    Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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    Hi Xisca, thanks for your suggestion.
    This is just my opinion, I'll let the other staff know about this thread.
    My take on it is that climates are so diverse (and changing...) that I imagine that making specific climate forums functional could be really difficult.
    I suppose I'd push for carefully-worded subject-lines with lots of 'key words': 'temperate coastal climate plants?'
    Specifically ask for advice from those in similar climates
    and my personal favourite: plenty of climate info in 'my profile'- 'general information about yourself'.
     
    Xisca Nicolas
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    Thanks Leila.

    I also think it is difficult if we go into details!
    That is why I suggest something large and only for the less common climates (the ones that more go out of temperate) and a general forum about climate and weather issues.

    I did not want to make a real "analysis", but I hope what I said about desert and cold (the 2 extremes) is visible, as it shows there is some need about weather talking.

    Also, talking with Allan Savory showed that greening the desert is both about growies and critters because it is about a specific climate.
     
    steward
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    Hm, I think a lot of folks already discuss climate-specific issues in the regional forums. Though in terms of the more general climates discussed here, finding analogous climates in the regional forums could be a bit challenging.

    I wonder if it would help, or be possible to add climate descriptions to the regional forum headers (though not necessarily the titles since that might mess up the SEO). That way one could scan the list and see "temperate northern climate" or "arid sub-tropical" or Xisca's general terms, or Ben's list of Mollison's terms.

    So, for example, the Bullock's permaculture homestead is on an island outside of Seattle that has a climate more akin to some areas in California than Seattle. And I'm thinking that even so, they might have a particularly soggy, cool spot/micro-climate similar to Seattle or England (ala Xisca's 5000 micro-climates). I could see someone posting something about some climate growing issues and adding it to multiple forums* that have analogous climates.

    (*Might need instructions somewhere on this, but I have to run to an appointment, sorry.)
     
    Xisca Nicolas
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    Thanks for discussing it! I am aware that we should do something very clear and useful.
    I think I understand what you say about multiple forums.
    If I understand, you talk about for example welcoming Allan Savory in the "greening desert" forum, and a topic discussed with him can be also added to the cattle forum.
    As you talk about very small climate differences, yes this would be too much and I was thinking about something more reduced and simple.

    I have looked at the regional forums, and the majority is not about weather but about meeting and local life. So there is a mix.

    I think a lot of folks already discuss climate-specific issues in the regional forums


    Yes, because the need is there,
    and it is the only place that is a little bit close to the idea.

    But some climates are very similar in different parts of the world, which is no more regional.
    And "Africa" forum talk about pdc and more, but you find all climates in the continent.
    I have been through the forums a lot to find any other solution before I started this topic.

    What is anyway interesting is that it made me think about it in a holistic way so that I went much further than my personal interest for climates.
     
    gardener
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    I have been inviting local friends to join me on specific posts in my regional forums, to discuss specific situations. We have a lot of different altitude-based regimes, for example, so even if you live within 10 miles of me we might be in effectively different climate zones. Luckily we have a fairly active local group, so there are dozens of interested folks and a half-dozen "experts" growing things at similar altitude in my case.

    I would also suggest looking at this database, which divides the globe up into specific wildlife biomes. It might be useful for determining ways to describe your region / subclimate better, what states provinces or territories are worth contacting for relevant information, and possibly even for looking at worldwide analogs. WWF Wildfinder
    For example, I was able to narrow down my own biome description based on what kinds of birds I see on my drive home, which in turn helps me find people in the "same" regional / climate zone to discuss food-growing or fire-protection tactics.

    Personally, I am beginning to suspect that there may not be as many worldwide analogs as I once thought.
    Even if two areas are relatively high and arid, one may get prevailing westerly winds and winter moisture, another may get summer monsoon or thunderstorm type moisture, another may have a prevailing wind from the shady side that evens out all drying conditions where a wind from the sunward side parches one side and leaves the other relatively lush.
    Even if you find a relevant climate for comparison, you then have to refine your understanding of whether their windbreak (for example) owes any of its effects to shade, frost protection, swale effects, beneficial insects, etc. in addition to the wind-protection it was nominally designed for.

    I think there is no substitute for going out in the landscape and looking deeply at what's already there; trying to understand what the limiting factors are. You could even plant 6 of something and try giving some of them extra water, others wind protection, others fertilizer, others shade, until you find what climate / fertility effects make the biggest difference. Not that most plants won't appreciate all of the above; but if you only have so much time or infrastructure budget, you want to be doing what makes the biggest difference. Ironically, that may be different for different plants, too.

    -EricaW


     
    Erica Wisner
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    I personally would love to see more discussion of conditions and responses, and less "land for sale," in the regional forums. But the land-for-sale posts tend to drop off pretty rapidly, where a good discussion can persist for several rounds.

    -Erica
     
    Xisca Nicolas
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    Erica Wisner wrote:Personally, I am beginning to suspect that there may not be as many worldwide analogs as I once thought.
    ...
    Even if you find a relevant climate for comparison, you then have to refine your understanding of ...

    trying to understand what the limiting factors are. You could even plant 6 of something and try giving some of them extra water, others wind protection, others fertilizer, others shade, until you find what climate / fertility effects make the biggest difference.



    I agree, there are not many analogues!
    ....But! We plant a lot of analogue plants!

    The 2 go together: compare, and refine the understanding.
    So I prefere to compare "almost" similar climates.
    Then the details show of so much!

    And this analogies / differences analysis
    helps me to adapt
    the analogues plants that we try to grow in our different climates / places...

    Sorry, the link leads me to an empty page, or I do not know how to use it!

    My analogues are to my knowledge California South, South Africa west, Australia west and Chile coast in the middle north, more or less...
    Have to look more about some parts of India as well, though I do not know if they have some winter rains (monson is summer rain)
    Thanks for your reply.
     
    My first bit of advice is that if you are going to be a mime, you shouldn't talk. Even the tiny ad is nodding:
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    http://woodheat.net
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