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Welcome back Zach Weiss of Holzer Agroecology

 
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This week Zach Weiss of Holzer Agroecology will be joining us to answer our questions about Holzer's techniques and much more (he's a greenhouse wizard).

We are giving away one ticket to any of the workshops (Whitehall, MT, Malibu, CA, and Gimli, Manitoba) five copies of Sepp Holzer's book Desert or Paradise.

Zach will be popping into the forum over the next few days answering questions and joining in discussions.

From now through this Friday, any posts in this forum, ie the Sepp Holzer forum, could be selected to win.

To win, you must use a name that follows our naming policy and you must have your email set up in Paul's daily-ish email..

The winners will be notified by email and must respond within 24 hours.

You can find out more about Holzer Agroecology here.

Posts in this thread won't count, but please feel free to say hi to Zach and make him feel at home!

Make sure the discussions follow's permies' publishing standards
 
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I just added comments to his earth powered greenhouse thread under greenhouses. Is there a way to link that thread across or should I end up posting an entire new thread with my question? Since Krater gardens are a part of his original thread, it would fit in the Holzer forum. I definitely want to be sure that it counts toward an opportunity at a ticket!
 
Adrien Lapointe
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When did you post the question?
 
Jen Shrock
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Time stamp on it says 7:50 PM, so two minutes after you posted this thread.
 
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Zach, I appreciate your recent posts. I'm intrigued by the bee hive using hollowed out logs. Also the uses of terraces (swales as well?) to create a spring. Hope to learn a lot more.
 
Adrien Lapointe
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Jen Shrock wrote:Time stamp on it says 7:50 PM, so two minutes after you posted this thread.



You're good
 
Jen Shrock
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Even though it was in the greenhouse forum and not the Sepp Holzer forum? Think I might create the question here and edit out my comment in the greenhouse thread to be sure.
 
Adrien Lapointe
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Jen Shrock wrote:Even though it was in the greenhouse forum and not the Sepp Holzer forum? Think I might create the question here and edit out my comment in the greenhouse thread to be sure.



Ah! it has to be in this forum.
 
Jen Shrock
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I took care of it. Moved my comments over to a new thread in this forum and deleted out what I had in the thread in the greenhouse forum. It is applicable to this forum and might get a lot of feedback this week, which would be good to work through the "if it makes sense" thought process. Thanks for helping.
 
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I'm using an rmh setup with a 100'long copper coil and a small circulating pump that heats my radiant floor and can also be switched over to fill the hot water tank for showers

but it does so at the expense of my cob bench not getting as much heat
 
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Hello Zach, and Paul,
I am so glad that I stumbled upon you. It is like you are inside my head, and I find it hard to believe I did not know about Sepp or permaculture before. I have been an avid gardener/landscaper for about 15 years and you guys have the keys to everything! I love the podcasts and will definitely be doing some serious reading on permaculture. I have also viewed some of Geoff Lawtons videos and I am blown away! I think food forests are great and it is kind of what I was trying to do to my yard, but have not been terribly successful. But I think that is all going to change soon! I would love to read any of Sepp's books for direction. Thanks again for all your great information, and I will stay tuned.
 
Jen Shrock
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Lawrence - Sepp's book Sepp Holzer Permaculture is what inspired me down the Permaculture path. It has a little about a lot of things in it and will get those creative juices flowing even more!
 
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id love that book!
 
Lawrence Rickson
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Hi Jen,
Thanks for the vote of confidence, I hope my creativity will someday supply me and my family with an abundance of food right outside my door!
 
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This book looks amazing:) I don't have any questions really, right now, but I'd love a chance at winning !! Thank you :)
 
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My question is about Sepp's ancient grain varieties. There are many people with gluten intolerances. There's some evidence to suggest that the massive hybridization of grains have led to the explosion in gluten intolerance and celiac disease. Some have suggested that ancient varieties of wheat rye barley would not have the characteristics that would bring on or aggravate celiac disease.

In your interactions with Sepp Or from research of your own Is there any evidence that these ancient varieties might help and be useful to those with celiac disease?

Also, any chance of you giving a tree chopping seminar?

I'm really interested in the workshop.
 
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Bill McGee- Zach, I appreciate your recent posts. I'm intrigued by the bee hive using hollowed out logs. Also the uses of terraces (swales as well?) to create a spring.



Bill, I echo this sentiment. It seems to me that some of Sepp's most profound offerings and teachings stem from this very principle. As he has said when he has visited the states "It is the water's house that we are building."

With the installation he did in Montana at the Place of Gathering in 2013, this point was constantly emphasized. It is through the broadscale rehydration of landscapes that self-perpetuating food forests have an opportunity to take hold. At that installation there are now 3 new springs as a result of the installation. Below is an image I drew explaining how water percolates into surrounding soil and concentrates at certain points in the landscape. Zach has shared an awesome video of the building of a "Bubbler" to have the spring water flow out of a hollowed wood spout and into a trough, maybe he could post that again?

That crawl of water through the soil has paramount implications in the effort to naturalize cultivation. In the photo below you can see where a mound was built next to the pond. This is not a hugel with wood but it is simply a mound made out of fine sediments. Water can "crawl" through soil better when it is fine (INCLUDING UPHILL AGAINST GRAVITY!!!). One of the ponds he built here at place of gathering has a long shorline. In late july when everything was brown, the area along this shorline for about 8 feet was green. A month later in late august that green line had crawled to about 13 feet away from the shoreline UP A HILL!!! Similarly, we have a stretch of land with a pond on the upside and pond on the lowerside. On this stretch of land is almost a kilometer of hugels Sepp had built. The water flows from the upper pond to the lower one through the soil... the water flowing through that soil is then drawn up into the hugels to help keep them moist (but by no means provide for all of there water needs for intensive annual cultivation). What's more is there is a fog that forms between the two ponds in the morning. This fog leaves dew covering the leaves of the jeruseleum artichokes planted at the top of the hugels.... this dew drips down on the hugels. So in a sense these hugels are over head and sub irrigated by natures means!! attached is a shot of those hugels and ponds from the air.

Zach, when you saw his efforts in the old world did you see him employing flood irrigation in any situations?
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Zach,

I think Paul alluded to a new Sepp book. Is that true? If so, what is the topic? When does it come out?
 
Michael Billington
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Morgan Bowen - Some have suggested that ancient varieties of wheat rye barley would not have the characteristics that would bring on or aggravate celiac disease.

In your interactions with Sepp Or from research of your own Is there any evidence that these ancient varieties might help and be useful to those with celiac disease?



We grew some of this Rye (the primordial corn is the english translation we were gave when he came to montana) after we luckily got our hands on some. Gluten is said to be a biological deterent to help prevent seed head loving feigns from eating the reproductive organ of grass, the grain. We grew three kinds of rye, one of them being sepps. On the other two rye I saw no insects on the seed heads. However on Sepp's rye there were tiny little mites living the life on the seed heads. In the attached photo of the seed head you can see them as the little black dots. There was a ladybug larva eating these little buggers (which as far as i could tell had no negative effects on the grains themselves). This might suggest, it may be a stretch, that this ancient variety of Rye has a lower gluten content.

This rye grew incrediblly. Amazing. It was eye level with me and I am 6'4". I used some of the straw from this rye to cover the floor of an underground sauna I built. The amazing feature of this straw was that it doesnt break up and become dusty like most straw, it stays in rigid hollowed stems that seem to decompose slowly. This is why we used the straw from this rye to mulch the fruit trees that surround our ponds, the large hollow stems provide wonderful thermal buffering of the roots from our cold winter days. Each seed produced a plant with 12-36 stalks, on each stalk was 30-120 seeds!! Think of the exponential growth!!! We planted some in the spring, it didnt go to seed that year, it only grew. However after a winter they produced grain this year. The grain has been called perennial rye by some, but it turns out to be biennial. The grain heads are suprisingly easy to thresh when they are properly dried. The stalks have a very unique aqua blue tint to them. This Ancient Rye was able to out compete even Canary Reed Grass (an agressive wetland invader that inhibits ungulate digestion and chokes wetlands water flow and oxygenation). the grain heads are of average size but differ from other ryes in there grindability. They tend to grind easy and seem to make a less dark brown of flour than rye flour we tend to see in the store. I only had the heart to make one tiny little pancake topped with chokecherry syrup for fear of wasting this most precious rye that has traveled the world.

In reference to Celiacs, Sepp had us plant Jeruseleum artichokes. We are on a reservation where diabetes is an epidemic as a result of the indigenous' diet being robbed from them. That is why we planted tons of it, you remember eh Zach? Jeruseleum artichokes are rich in inulin. " In addition to being a versatile ingredient, inulin has many health benefits. Inulin increases calcium absorption[13] and possibly magnesium absorption,[14] while promoting the growth of beneficial intestinal bacteria."- wikipedia.org. Inulin helps to regulate sugar in the body and blood by working in conjunction with insulin. The digestivemicroflora are also the reason for why so many people get so gassy from j.chokes. Jeruseleum artichokes and there inulin behave like the famous indigenous food of Camas (Camassia). This root was traditionally cooked in pits for 1-3 days until the inulin broke down into fructose (the thing that makes bananas so epic). These slow roasted roots were then dried and pounded into flour.

Here is the kicker, ready? This flour, a product of the inulin present in camas and J.Chokes (and chicory, and budock, and thistle...), actually prevented diabetes... the exact opposite effect of the white flour that today leads to diabetes.... what a trip huh?

Zach, where did you see Sepp spread his grains? what purposes was he using them for? He suggested we spread rye on our dam wall to hold the soil in place. We didnt spread it over the whole dam wall and in the places we didnt spread rye, knapweed dominated. (see photo) Perhaps the allelopathic effects of rye can out do the alleleopathic effects of Knapweed. Perhaps a rye, lupin, sunflower polyculture could out compete knapweed as they are all allelopathic as well.
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ladybug eating the little mites on Sepp
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Bundles of harvested Eukorn
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Knapweed ourcompeted by rye
 
Jen Shrock
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Great stuff, Michael. Please keep sharing!
 
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Michael Billington wrote:

This might suggest, it may be a stretch, that this ancient variety of Rye has a lower gluten content.


Her ein Italy the university of Florence is doing some research on ancient grains and has edmonstrated that it has less gluten content. there are some studies that are being done for finding low gluten grains that can be tolerated frome people that are gluten intolerant, not celiac.
it will be a very big hit if demonstrated, and we, as a movement, find growing solutions. I am looking for seeds and want to plant some little plots for my companion, she is intolerant to gluten, and would like then to manage to produce flour for local bakeries. it's one of my many ideas on what I will do on my land.

 
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Lorenzo Costa wrote:

Michael Billington wrote:

This might suggest, it may be a stretch, that this ancient variety of Rye has a lower gluten content.


Her ein Italy the university of Florence is doing some research on ancient grains and has edmonstrated that it has less gluten content. there are some studies that are being done for finding low gluten grains that can be tolerated frome people that are gluten intolerant, not celiac.
it will be a very big hit if demonstrated, and we, as a movement, find growing solutions. I am looking for seeds and want to plant some little plots for my companion, she is intolerant to gluten, and would like then to manage to produce flour for local bakeries. it's one of my many ideas on what I will do on my land.



Just wanted to chime in on the lesser gluten content within ancient grains because I saw a video recently about it where the functional medicine practitioner state the wheat of today is typically not known as wheat but rather by it's scientific name (dependent upon the strain created), and is genetically unidentifiable from perhaps the oldest strain of wheat known to man, Einkorn wheat. Per Dr. Hyman (a leader in functional medicine) modern wheat "...contains twice the number of chromosomes. This means it codes for a much larger variety of gluten proteins, or “super gluten,” as Dr. Hyman likes to say.

It contains high levels of a “super starch” amylopectin A, which excels at making both Cinabons and bellies swell.

And it’s full of wheat polypeptides called gluteomorphins, which trigger an opiate-like response in the brain, so guess what? You’ll want more Frankenwheat."


My wife is a lot more sensitive to wheat than I am, but I have noticed personally after being gluten free for about 5 months now I'm feeling quite good and I feel less inflamation in my body and get less headaches. When I have tried to go back to eating the way I used to, I get the opiate feeling and typically an MSG like headache. Any idea where the type of rye mentioned above can be found?

 
Adrien Lapointe
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So I ran the winner picker and we have 3 winners!

Jen Shrock (workshop)
Jay Angler (book)
and
Luke Vaillancourt (book)

Congratulations Jen, Jay and Luke!

I sent you an email to ask for the email address of the person that first referred you to Permies.com. That person (if qualified) will also get a copy of the book and a permies care package.
 
Jen Shrock
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YAHOO!!! You have no idea how happy and excited you have just made me!
 
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Thanks for the awesome questions all week everybody and congratulations Jen!

Morgan Bowen wrote:In your interactions with Sepp Or from research of your own Is there any evidence that these ancient varieties might help and be useful to those with celiac disease? Also, any chance of you giving a tree chopping seminar?



From what I understand the gliadin protein in Einkorn is not as toxic to people with celiac's disease. From Michael's observations it sounds like it is not as toxic for the mites either! My guess is that it would be quite acceptable for people with gluten intolerance and would be worth a try for people with celiac. I've been told by a naturopathic doctor that a lot of times gluten in tolerances are often due to the rancid fats in the grains we eat, without the fat component the body struggles to properly digest the protein. A lot of the grain that we eat today is ground long before we eat it. Once the grain is opened the fat starts to go rancid. Even the "whole grains" you buy in the grocery store often have this same problem. If you grow grain (or buy bulk from someone who does) and grind it yourself then the fat is present in unaltered form. For many people with "gluten in tolerances" this solves the problem. This does not work for people with celiac's disease. That said celiac's seems to have almost become a fad, and for the majority of the people the rancid fats are the problem, as opposed to the gluten.

I'm up for another tree chopping lesson whenever you like

Sheri Menelli wrote:I think Paul alluded to a new Sepp book. Is that true? If so, what is the topic? When does it come out?



Paul did indeed allude to a new book, and it is indeed true. Unfortunately I can't say any more than that as none of the details have been finalized yet.

Michael Billington wrote:Zach, when you saw his efforts in the old world did you see him employing flood irrigation in any situations?



No flood irrigation to speak of. They do use the monks quite a bit to move water between ponds. For example after they lower the water to harvest one pond, they lower the monk in the next pond in order to fill it up again once they are done.

Michael Billington wrote:where did you see Sepp spread his grains? what purposes was he using them for?



At the Holzerhof and Krameterhof the grain was always on terraces. A wonderful mix of stuff for year 1, cut it back and then the grain dominates year 2. I imagine that a dam wall would be a great place for it, shorter bunching strong roots. I imagine it would be almost like mini bamboo, stabilizing everything without growing roots so deep that they eventually compromise the dam. At Ben Falks I saw a dam (built before he bought the property) that had water running over the whole dam several feed deep during hurricane Katrina. The builders never put in a backup spillway (this was of course the first thing he did). All that water flowing right over the dam for probably a day or even more yet the dam remained un-compromised. That really set it the tremendous advantage that biological systems can provide.

The einkorn, lupin, sunflower polyculture sounds like a great combo to go at knapweed, I'm very interested to hear how it works out if you try it. Also I've got some Krameterhof lupine for you if you want to propagate. I've heard that the European lupine is edible, one of the reasons Sepp is so fond of lupines.

Michael Billington wrote:Each seed produced a plant with 12-36 stalks, on each stalk was 30-120 seeds!! Think of the exponential growth!!!



It sounds like you got quite the harvest, nice work!!! I think that this grain is a real game changer because it is so vital and easy to process. On the thread Sepp's Perennial Grain I have more pictures of Sepp's grain in Austria and a brief explanation of what Sepp and Josef said about it. There is also a picture of the year 1 polyculture that Sepp grows this grain with.

I have offered to send people a small amount of this grain, once I harvest, for them to propagate. I've asked that they send me seed from their favorite plant (to assure the people I send it to will have the confidence and competence to propagate it). As I just got my hands on it I won't have a harvest till fall 2015. Would you have a small amount to send to people so we can spread this wonderful plant as much as possible? People would be ecstatic with just enough so that they can harvest their own seed and propagate it from there. I think we should do everything we can to spread this great plant as far, wide and quickly as we can.
 
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Hi Zach,

I'd like your input on diversifying a 10-acre piece of land that I bought last year. It is in zone 8b near Mt Lassen, CA, mostly flat with a creek and a pond. 100 years ago this was a lumber mill site, and I believe the original trees were cedar and some varieties of oak. Now the soil is very compacted and the only trees are 60-year-old ponderosa pine scattered about. No diversity. We are planning earthworks for a food forest in the open meadow and for better water movement across the property. What trees would you recommend for the wooded areas?
 
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