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Geoff Lawton's online PDC course- Concepts and Themes in Design  RSS feed

 
Rebecca Holman
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Released April 12, 2014

Excerpt from Introduction to Permaculture DVD and Course Notes
1.Introduction to Concepts and Themes in Design
2.Hierarchy of Soil Creation in Natural Systems
3.Elements - Needs and Products - The Sun the Source of Energy - Characteristics of Natural Ecosystems
4.An Example of Designing Elements Into a System - Tagari Farm Northern NSW Australia
5.Weeds - Pioneers - Niches
6. Weeds - Fast Tracking Recovery by Design - Techniques
7.Diversity Leads to Stability - Connections Between Elements - Positioning of Elements
8.Use of Natural Resources - Energy - Edge Opportunities
9.Capturing Energy Extending Entropy
10. Categories of Resources
11.Dispersal of Yield Over Time - Diversity of Plants - Perennial Food Advantages
15. Concepts and Themes in Design Class Questions
12.Diversity and Security - Yield and Energy Inputs - Niches
13.Mollisonian Permaculture Principles
14.Conclusion to Concepts and Themes in Design

Discussion for Introduction Videos Is Here
 
Sam Boisseau
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Watched the first 3 so far.


a) I like the idea that as long as the sun is shining, you can have a system that improves over time. So that even if you have a loss in your system, the sun can provide more energy than that loss.


b) I found the hierarchy of soil production in natural systems interesting:

1 Shallow marine-mangroves and estuaries
2 Shallow lakes and ponds
3 Forests.
4 Prairies and savanna range lands
5 Mulched crop gardens


Makes me wonder if I can get more out of my ponds. Lots of food for thought.
 
Rebecca Holman
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They sent out the link for the Mollison Designer Manual.

Here is the link to the PERMIES forum where The Designers Manual is already talking about.

The shipping for the book from Australia is over $50, but I see that Powell's in Oregon has it on sale, while you are not getting the 25% off the savings in shipping more than makes up for this.

People In the US can order from Powells for less and also use PayPal if you want to.
 
Sam Boisseau
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Rebecca Holman wrote:They sent out the link for the Mollison Designer Manual.

Here is the link to the forum where The Designers Manual is already talking about.

The shipping for the book from Australia is over $50, but I see that Powell's in Oregon has it on sale, while you are not getting the 25% off the savings in shipping more than makes up for this.

People In the US can order from Powells for less and also use PayPal if you want to.



Aren't you in the US? It's $78 for the book and $6 postage with the discount. They send it from the USA.

I'm in Canada and the $35 postage was a bit hard to swallow but I couldn't find a better deal.

EDIT: indeed your link might offer a better deal for rest of world people. Might be the same price for Canada. Their shipping rates http://www.powells.com/info/shipping.html


EDIT 2: Someone mentioned amazon.de as a supercheap option for Euro people.
 
Sam Boisseau
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I'm on 6. Weeds - Fast Tracking Recovery by Design - Techniques


I thought the 4 examples of damaged soils and the type of weeds that grow there was brilliant.
 
Rebecca Holman
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They sent out some clarification for the postage for the book as I gather a number of people, such as myself had questions. Here are the new postage numbers

Regarding shipping cost :For the geoff lawton On-Line PDC we have the following postage costs across five different sections of the world. Shipping is charged in the Australian Dollar currency (AUD) It is as follows:

USA address $6, (which is about $5.59 USD on the rate table)
AU address $13.64 ,
NZ address $44,
CA address $35
anywhere else in the world address $ 54

It is very confusing as the book comes up saying it is $104 and shipping is $63 for me, so if you are as confused as I am it is best to put in a support ticket about this.
 
Rebecca Holman
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Sam Boisseau wrote:I'm on 6. Weeds - Fast Tracking Recovery by Design - Techniques


I thought the 4 examples of damaged soils and the type of weeds that grow there was brilliant.


Yes I liked that as well. Here is a nice online page that also speaks to this, for those not in the course.

Reading Your Weeds: What's Your Soil Telling You?
 
Cj Sloane
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I've watch all the new Q&A but they seem to be missing #11. Does anyone know anything about that?
 
Jared Stanley
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Per Rebecca's invitation, I am posting the 'overview' videos I have been doing on my YouTube channel here on her weekly chains about the course.

I've had a YouTube channel for a few years and I knew that I would be too busy with the PDC to record most of my usual YouTube videos, so I decided I would do these overviews for the purpose of:

1) Getting the PDC info deeper embedded in my skull
2) Spread the concepts of Permaculture to more people
3) As a precursor to our own PDC far down the line.

I hope you enjoy:

 
Rebecca Holman
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Cj Verde wrote:I've watch all the new Q&A but they seem to be missing #11. Does anyone know anything about that?


I am not sure..have you sent in a support ticket to Geoff's team?
 
Cj Sloane
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I was a student last year so I don't think I can put in a support ticket. Just wondering if they mis-numbered them.
 
Rebecca Holman
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Cj Verde wrote:I was a student last year so I don't think I can put in a support ticket. Just wondering if they mis-numbered them.


I think anyone can send in a support ticket. If you are on the site and watch the new Q&As then you can send in a ticket..

You can certainly give it a try..

In looking at the Q&As for this segment, I don't think they are missing anything. Some are bunched into the Other Questions..so he did NOT make a separate video for each segment far as I can tell.
 
Bill Puckett
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My notes...

2 - Concepts and Themes in Design


2.1 - The Hierarchy of Soil Creation in Natural Systems

Shallow marine areas are the most soil productive, followed by shallow lakes and ponds. These soils contain anaerobic life which, if brought inland, feed aerobic soil life as they naturalize into the new environment. Forests are the third most productive, followed by savanah and prairie.


2.2 - Elements: Needs and Products; The Sun the Source of Energy; Characteristics of Natural Ecosystems

Aim to create a system that is an organism unto itself. Elements include plants, animals, structures, etc. Each has needs and each produce things. Design synergies to create as much internal conversion as possible. An interconnected web of life can rebound quickly after harvest or disaster.


2.3 - An Example of Designing Elements Into A System: Tagari Farm, Norther NSW, Australia

Tagari Farm was a 5 acre property designed by Bill Mollison that Geoff lived on for 3.5 years. It was a rectangular grassland with a uniform slope down to a road that had a house on it 1/3 of the way up from the road. Bill created a small dam in an upper corner with a swale across the property ending in a level spillway for overflow events. Below that, another dam and swale going the opposite direction. Below that, another dam (with a small island) and swale. Below that, a berm directing water around the house. Below the house, a dam and swale that extended underneath the driveway and spilled over on one side. Below that was a final large dam and swale and, finally, a pond near the road. The downhill side of each swale was planted in trees. Animals could be kept between swales to add nutrient. The pond was planted with reeds to gather nutrient before the water finally left the property. Those reeds were occasionally harvested and used as mulch back near the top of the property. That human interaction induced further nutrient cycling, increasing onsite fertility.


2.4 - Weeds, Pioneers, Niches

Weeds are crowded out of ecosystems.

Leaving land fallow to recover its fertility only works when there is enough native ecosystem surrounding the land in question.


2.5 - Weeds; Fast Tracking Recovery By Design Techniques

Soil may contain a startling variety of dormant seeds awaiting a germination trigger. One method of learning about your soil is to create small test plots and subject them to different treatments like compaction, plowing, burning, overcropping, flooding, etc. You will often see decompactor plants with deep taproots sprout in the compacted plot. In the plowed plot feather root stabilizer plants may germinate. Burnt land is depleted of potassium, so things like bracken fern and blade grasses that excel at finding potassium may appear. In the overcropped plot you are likely to get nitrogen fixers. This knowledge can also be used to determine site history.

Permaculture Design is about fast tracking systems to the climax you desire. It's a multidimensional approach involving patterns, processes and timing.


2.6 - Diversity Leads to Stability; Connections Between Elements; Positioning Elements

Interactive diversity leads to stability, which leads to fertility and potential productivity.


2.7 - Use of Natural Resources; Energy; Edge Opportunities

When using natural resources, minimize waste, thoroughly replace lost minerals, do a careful energy accounting and biosocial impact assessment. Buffer or eliminate any negative impact.

Any system that is oversupplied with energy that can't be put to productive use will go into chaos. However, the ultimate opportunity for creative form is on the verge of chaos.

Energy is a constant, in one form or another. Life is one containment mechanism. As we deplete the capacity of the earth to store energy, the climate is destabilized by more ambient, transitory forms.


2.8 - Capturing Energy; Extending Entropy

Entropy is spent energy. Water on a mountaintop possess a great deal of potential energy. As it flows downhill, that potential is converted to entropy.


2.9 - Categories of Resources

Five categories (examples): those that increase with modest use (pasture), those that are unaffected by use (fruit tree), those that degrade or disappear without use (annual garden), those that decrease with use (timber) and those that pollute or destroy other resources (toxic chemicals).


2.10 - Dispersal of Yield Over Time; Diversity of Plants; Perennial Food Advantages

Varietal selection (early, mid, late season) and early/late ripening situations can be employed to disperse yield over time. For instance combining early greenhouse germination with an early variety or a late variety with thermal mass.

Big agriculture has annualized many perennials through selection in order to synchronize harvest for a convenient mass yield.


2.11 - Diversity and Security; Yield and Energy Inputs; Niches

The forced production of an element typically shortens its lifespan.

Niches may be found in space, time, or both.


2.12 - Mollisonian Permaculture Principles

Water is a highly efficient medium of production. Fish produce protein far quicker than land based animals. The chinese water chestnut is a super high yield crop. Bullrush is a very fast growing animal forage.

Work with nature, rather than against it. Everything is a resource, it's up to us to determine how best to use resources. Remember that matter is energy incarnate. The problem is the solution. Make the least change for the maximum effect. The system's richness is only limited to the imagination of the designer.

Everything gardens.


QnA 2.1

Tropical topsoil is very thin, normally 1-2" around the equator.

Desert soils in arid climates are quite fertile if you can get them moisturized because there is often a lot of unused nutrient parked in them.


QnA 2.2

Nutrient often accumulates in indentations on arid land via wind deposition.


QnA 2.3

In general, water systems reach their maximum infiltration potential in about 7 years. That's about how long it takes to saturate the land to the point that water is continuously exiting the system.

If you want to maximize your swales, in general, the base of a swale shouldn't be lower in elevation than the tops of the trees (to be) planted at the next lower swale.
 
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