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No caterpilar, no big earth movement, no fencing...

 
pollinator
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Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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...And no cold climate!
Sorry for all those different things in 1 title!

Any sustainable (etc) technic is permaculture and at the same time personal.
Same AND different, this is life.

This is difficult already to transfer any example from a climate to another one,
not to mention sun exposure, rainfall, earth pH etc.

So I try to reach the essence of what people are talking about!
A recipe would work, more or less, with as much similarities as possible.

Yes we have the possibility in our modern world with petrol and iron and plastic material.
Is Holzer ecology absolutely linked with moving earth with caterpilars, making artifical ponds and so on?
I can see results that are self-keeping, but is it always with a lot of input at the start?
 
pollinator
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Xisca Nicolas wrote:Is Holzer ecology absolutely linked with moving earth with caterpilars, making artifical ponds and so on? I can see results that are self-keeping, but is it always with a lot of input at the start?



This is a great question. The only thing that Holzer Agroecology is absolutely linked to is nature. Reading the landscape you begin to develop a vision for what is possible, or what has existed in the past.

Sepp has gone to places before that he has recommended to not do a thing to the landscape. In the Redwoods last year he recommended very light earthworks, it was more important to care for and use the resources that are already available there.

The big machinery is used to repair landscapes that have been degraded and abused by our management. Hillsides have been logged, wetlands have been drained, in many cases it was these very machines causing the damage. You can't repair the damage of a 30 ton excavator with a shovel.

It is time for us to start repairing the damage that our species has inflicted. Using some of the last of our petrol to reshape the earth and repair it's water holding capacity is in my opinion one of the best gifts we can leave future generations. Sepp is never making an "artificial" pond, ponds are only possible when the landscape provides the opportunity for one. In most cases this is recreating water retention structures that were naturally in the landscape, before our abuse and mismanagement.
 
pollinator
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Great question! The same question has been stewing around in my head too. I recently moved to an "abused" fifteen acres that I'm determined to turn into a permaculture paradise. I honestly can't stand power tools, ringing phones ect. I'll never have the ponds and diversity of Sepp's place but I'm very content to work on it day after day with only hand tools. It's slow but oh so peaceful.
 
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Also i would prefer to use machinery to get quicker results(like zach said), this video shows how to build terraces without using any machinery. Even though this might take a while..

 
Xisca Nicolas
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Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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I am glad that you considere it a great question!
I also do the slow system, with a plant called vetiver, and will see the result for my climate...

And after 3 years I decided to put some machines for some terrace renovation work!

Zach, what you say is about permaculture, which is reading nature.
Is Sepp "only" a good permacculturist, or he has something "special", this is what I meant by taalking about essence, the essencial, the basis, what is specific to him. What makes him different...

I have heard about "failure" in some projects, but no more, I dunno what or where... was about some earth works that did not work as expected I think... Failure is human, I have no critic in saying this, and I prefer a man to a superman!
Which brought to my mind the idea that not everybody is adapted, or experienced, with all type of places,
thus, what is he best at?
 
Zach Weiss
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Permaculture is a design science started by a University Professor in Australia. It has a list of ethics and a design protocol. It leads with theory and brings that theory to life with land use techniques. There is structure to the design theory, and a University quality textbook to boot (Permaculture: A Designer's Manual). There is a sort of recipe, as you say. For many people this makes it much easier to learn.

For Holzer's methods there is no recipe book, no list of ethics, no design protocol. The way that Sepp developed his techniques is the reverse approach. Everything he knows he has learned through his own experience as a keen observer of nature; he's constantly experimenting and observing the outcomes. Communicating with and observing nature, reading the landscape and climate, these are the only "design protocols" that Sepp uses.

Sepp is more like a Native American coyote teacher than a university professor. He often answers questions with a question, and he never just gives you the answer to a question that was not thought about beforehand. If you are not thinking for yourself, without fear as a quick witted and keen observer (like the coyote), then you have failed from the very start. Nature is the ultimate guide and is always speaking to us all; all we have to do to listen is release our fear and open our senses.

It is a very special experience to spend some time with Sepp. He walks the world seeing catastrophic mismanagement of land, seeing the natural systems that were in place, that could be in place again. He sees the trees dying, the soil drying, nature telling us her current condition. What he sees is so simple, so logical; the fundamental aspects of living a meaningful existence in harmony with nature. Yet everywhere he goes this blows people's minds because they are so deep in the cripples of theory. Sepp has made every mistake you can imagine, we learn much more from our failures than our successes. These mistakes are a big part of why he has so much knowledge to share.

Sepp also speaks passionately about civil courage (which is sometimes but not always a part of permaculture). Seeing such degraded landscapes he understands that it is long overdue for the people to stand up and courageously advocate for the health of their lands. We cannot remain quite anymore while our world suffers one man made catastrophe after another.
 
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