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Diamond pattern farming ?

 
John Brock
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Hi everyone,

I am planning to go live on a farm (which is sort of permaculture) ---- yes, it upsets me as well that they are still tilling the soil , because the grass got to high !!! This sort of thing partially puts a halt to simply getting on a train / plain over to BC to work on their farm . I will later send out a msg on the forum here...

In any case, looking on there site, I saw a technique they used "Diamond pattern farming" and I have never heard of it and am wondering if anyone know anything about it !

Thanks ! And if you see this and are from BC, looking for a dependable hard worker, I will gladly send you a nice email with my cover letter and send you my resume in case you want it !
 
Derick Greenly
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Hmm... Do you have any info on diamond pattern farming to share with us?
I tried to find some info on the technique, and 100% of search results were World of Warcraft-related. Is there a chance that the farm doubles as a comic book store?
 
Nicolas Cantin
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Could it be the same thing as Quincunx or staggered planting pattern ?
Staggered planting looks like a diamond in itself.. which allows you to plant closer together for the same in-between trees distance.
here is a quick article i just found with an image showing the pattern : http://planstlaurent.qc.ca/en/riparian_revegetation_guide/planning_revegetation_work.html

cheers,
 
R Scott
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Yes, more info PLEASE.

 
John Brock
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http://mossybanks.ca/2014/04/17/planting-brassica/

They claim to be permaculture based, but Im not seeing it much at all.... And not sure why, I am really really uncomfortable with the use of animal tractors.... They are completely in cages and it does not feel like that is "working with nature", that is controlling nature.

In any case, it seems to be a way to get more edge / plant more in the area ? What do you think ?

Still, I am sick of seeing mulch around plants, I want to be somewhere where there is living mulch and when people complain about weeds, its chop and drop, or chop and eat...

Am I too "picky" ?

Jake
 
Kris schulenburg
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They used to talk about that in "Organic Gardening" 35+ years ago (it may have been based on "Square Foot Gardening"). The rational was if you planted the plants in that pattern in a bed, you could get more plants in a given space compared to rows. The other benefit was it would shade out some weeds. It does work but my beds are still weedy if neglected or not mulched. you can always diversify your plants to make a polyculture. You gotta eat something while the food forest is growing.
 
R Scott
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That is John Jeovens and biointensive method. It isn't actually diamond, it is equidistant or cellular. You do get more plants in an area that if you plant rows or grids. It works, there are a lot of things in the full-on biointensive that are LABOR intensive so most people don't do all of it. Square foot, SPIN, etc. all use some similar concepts but not all as they try to optimize for time or something else.

Biointensive shares a common permaculture goal in zero outside input. I think it is a critical part in self sufficiency for me, but I have taken shortcuts because of time limits and land abundance compared to the target audience of most of these "suburban" methods.

Some don't like tractors at all. I think tractors are a great tool to focus animals--just like you have to make some people sit down at a desk to get their work done, sometimes you have to focus the attention of the animal in a small area to get that area DONE. There is a balance that needs to be maintained. Those duck tractors looked small to me at first blush, but as a brood nest they are more than adequate if moved more than daily. Our broody hens LIKE to be tucked back in a private space like that. So I can't pass judgement based on a couple pictures with no backstory. The ducks don't look sad...
 
Cj Sloane
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They probably use biointensive methods like John Jeavon's How to grow more vegetables... for their annual crops. Trees can be spaced like that too. When the plants touch it creates a mulch but you have to put a little mulch down till that happens. Also called Hexagonal planting.
 
Cj Sloane
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Jake Nisenboim wrote:
They claim to be permaculture based, but Im not seeing it much at all.... And not sure why, I am really really uncomfortable with the use of animal tractors.... They are completely in cages and it does not feel like that is "working with nature", that is controlling nature.

In any case, it seems to be a way to get more edge / plant more in the area ? What do you think ?

Still, I am sick of seeing mulch around plants, I want to be somewhere where there is living mulch and when people complain about weeds, its chop and drop, or chop and eat...

Am I too "picky" ?

Jake


Looks pretty "permaculture" to me. Paul doesn't like animal tractors but sometimes it's the best solution - especially if you're trying to set up a food forest. It's certainly permaculture 1.0 debate on if its 2.0. You can have living mulch around perennials, annuals I'm not so sure. Chop & drop is good but when you've got a lot of projects going on it can get away from you so mulch isn't bad too.
 
elle sagenev
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Jake Nisenboim wrote:http://mossybanks.ca/2014/04/17/planting-brassica/

They claim to be permaculture based, but Im not seeing it much at all.... And not sure why, I am really really uncomfortable with the use of animal tractors.... They are completely in cages and it does not feel like that is "working with nature", that is controlling nature.

In any case, it seems to be a way to get more edge / plant more in the area ? What do you think ?

Still, I am sick of seeing mulch around plants, I want to be somewhere where there is living mulch and when people complain about weeds, its chop and drop, or chop and eat...

Am I too "picky" ?

Jake


If you are talking chickens it's probably much safter for them to be in the cage. Also, chickens have a way of eating what we don't want them to eat. I know people who rely entirely upon chicken tilling and if you think the chickens are sad about it you'd be mistaken.
 
John Brock
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Danielle Venegas wrote:
Jake Nisenboim wrote:http://mossybanks.ca/2014/04/17/planting-brassica/

They claim to be permaculture based, but Im not seeing it much at all.... And not sure why, I am really really uncomfortable with the use of animal tractors.... They are completely in cages and it does not feel like that is "working with nature", that is controlling nature.

In any case, it seems to be a way to get more edge / plant more in the area ? What do you think ?

Still, I am sick of seeing mulch around plants, I want to be somewhere where there is living mulch and when people complain about weeds, its chop and drop, or chop and eat...

Am I too "picky" ?

Jake


If you are talking chickens it's probably much safter for them to be in the cage. Also, chickens have a way of eating what we don't want them to eat. I know people who rely entirely upon chicken tilling and if you think the chickens are sad about it you'd be mistaken.



With all do respect, that is a subjective assertion..... How could you possibly be certain that these chickens are or are not sad...

I have also worked an a good number of farms and the farms where the chickens roams freely were entirely fine, they did not eat the herbs, brassicas, simply mulberries that dropped when rippened.

Again, that is subjective.... what do "we" "not want them to eat"? I say this with all respect, but many different groups of people, such as indiginous people and others, believe we should leave an abundance of food for wildlife and other animals. Also, every situation and farm is different, if there is a lack of food, I might not want chickens to eat all of my kale, but if they do, they are not doing anything wrong.

Respectively, you have not made an argument which supports chicken tilling....

I believe it is morally "wrong" to keep animals cooped up in a confined area such as a "chicken tractor". I haven't claimed to make an argument against it, but your assertions should not be mistaken for an argument either.

Again, please don't take this as me being passive aggressive in any way, but you cannot claim that is chicken is or is not happy; especially as you proceed to take away part of its freedom to roam peacefully and do as nature intended.
 
John Brock
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Kris schulenburg wrote:They used to talk about that in "Organic Gardening" 35+ years ago (it may have been based on "Square Foot Gardening"). The rational was if you planted the plants in that pattern in a bed, you could get more plants in a given space compared to rows. The other benefit was it would shade out some weeds. It does work but my beds are still weedy if neglected or not mulched. you can always diversify your plants to make a polyculture. You gotta eat something while the food forest is growing.


Makes sense ! Thanks for the response. I figured it was to get the most use out of your land, and you are entirely right, a polyculture would also be very realistic in this.
 
John Brock
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R Scott wrote:That is John Jeovens and biointensive method. It isn't actually diamond, it is equidistant or cellular. You do get more plants in an area that if you plant rows or grids. It works, there are a lot of things in the full-on biointensive that are LABOR intensive so most people don't do all of it. Square foot, SPIN, etc. all use some similar concepts but not all as they try to optimize for time or something else.

Biointensive shares a common permaculture goal in zero outside input. I think it is a critical part in self sufficiency for me, but I have taken shortcuts because of time limits and land abundance compared to the target audience of most of these "suburban" methods.

Some don't like tractors at all. I think tractors are a great tool to focus animals--just like you have to make some people sit down at a desk to get their work done, sometimes you have to focus the attention of the animal in a small area to get that area DONE. There is a balance that needs to be maintained. Those duck tractors looked small to me at first blush, but as a brood nest they are more than adequate if moved more than daily. Our broody hens LIKE to be tucked back in a private space like that. So I can't pass judgement based on a couple pictures with no backstory. The ducks don't look sad...


Makes sense! I appreciate your knowledge and response.

I totally agree with the idea that tractors are a great tool to focus animals; though, I don't think we can claim whether an animal is happy or not as we subject it to such behaviour. Just as an animal in a zoo might "look happy", perhaps it has never experienced true freedom and we cannot objectively determine whether or not an animal is happy. My personal belief is that we should attempt to work with nature and the freedom and uncertainty of it.... Though I do agree, at times, perhaps only a few times, maximum is would be alright to use an animal tractor to clear the land for a future food forest.. I simply don't believe we can make statements though of the happiness level of these animals. To me its seems like a way to argue the morality of such a system... which i don't think can be determined.

Jake
 
John Brock
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@CJ,

That is very interesting, I really appreciate the resources and information.

Yeah I see it is surely more "permaculture" than most conventional organic and such farms, though, they even have pictures up tilling the soil because weeds got to high. It simply bugged me... I am really looking for an oppurtunity to work where I can learn all about forest farming and permaculture. Of course, I dont know a whole lot about permaculture, but when I see stuff like that it turns me off.

I totally agree with you. For setting up a food forest, animal tractors are 100% ideal.

My problem with what they are doing though, is that have multiple (rabbits, sheep, chickens, ducks, etc) so they are basically using their livestock in order to continue their monocrop garden / farm. That is what it seems like to me. In any case, I don't like the idea that they claim to be free ranging their animals when they are simply in animal tractors all day. That to me is not free range.

Agreed. I wasn't totally clear; it just seems their farm is established enough that they could be using these techniques. Though, in my opinion, I have no real proof for this, mulching is WAY more laborious and time-consuming than chop & drop. I've worked on farms where we are mulching all day and maybe get 2 or 3 rows done only... I could totally be wrong though.

In any case, I 100% agree with everything you said and do believe animal tractors have their time and place... But i don't think they should be subjected to that everyday.

Jake
 
Cj Sloane
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Jake Nisenboim wrote:Though, in my opinion, I have no real proof for this, mulching is WAY more laborious and time-consuming than chop & drop. I've worked on farms where we are mulching all day and maybe get 2 or 3 rows done only... I could totally be wrong though.


In my hoophouse, I put down a deep layer of wood chips after planting and then I'm done. Doesn't really take too long and it's good for the whole season! Chop & drop is much more frequent.

As for the farm, try to keep an open mind. It's tough when you're young and/or newly passionate about something. Have you listened to Paul's keynote for the Permaculture Voices Conference? The audio is available at 290 – Increasing the Velocity of Permaculture. It's about the infighting tendencies in the Permaculture community.

He ends his talk by saying that if we want to increase the velocity of permaculture, we have to embrace the concept that there are many artisans and many schools of thoughts.
 
Mike Haych
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Jake Nisenboim wrote:Still, I am sick of seeing mulch around plants, I want to be somewhere where there is living mulch and when people complain about weeds, its chop and drop, or chop and eat...

Am I too "picky" ?

Jake


I wouldn't say too picky. Perhaps lacking the experience of using mulches, living or otherwise. Living mulches have their place. Identify the living mulches that interest you and try them. Observe what happens. Then adjust, if needed, and try again. We use both living mulches and "mulch around plants". Each works well and is matched to the plants.
 
Leila Rich
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Jake Nisenboim wrote:I am sick of seeing mulch around plants, I want to be somewhere where there is living mulch and when people complain about weeds, its chop and drop, or chop and eat...
Am I too "picky" ?

Jake, I think this is an 'each to their own' situation.
I mulch madly; to me permaculture is about trying to create a system that initially mimics nature,
and if it works, it basically 'becomes'
I don't have livestock, but I think tractors are sometimes given a bad name by unskilled people.
 
Cj Sloane
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Leila Rich wrote:
I mulch madly; to me permaculture is about trying to create a system that initially mimics nature,


Yeah, that's a good point, particularly for this thread. The forest floor has very little growing on it, due to mulch from the fallen debris and tight spacing of the plants. The only tilling is when a tree falls over and coincidentally, opens up the canopy.
 
elle sagenev
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Jake Nisenboim wrote:
Danielle Venegas wrote:
Jake Nisenboim wrote:http://mossybanks.ca/2014/04/17/planting-brassica/

They claim to be permaculture based, but Im not seeing it much at all.... And not sure why, I am really really uncomfortable with the use of animal tractors.... They are completely in cages and it does not feel like that is "working with nature", that is controlling nature.

In any case, it seems to be a way to get more edge / plant more in the area ? What do you think ?

Still, I am sick of seeing mulch around plants, I want to be somewhere where there is living mulch and when people complain about weeds, its chop and drop, or chop and eat...

Am I too "picky" ?

Jake


If you are talking chickens it's probably much safter for them to be in the cage. Also, chickens have a way of eating what we don't want them to eat. I know people who rely entirely upon chicken tilling and if you think the chickens are sad about it you'd be mistaken.



With all do respect, that is a subjective assertion..... How could you possibly be certain that these chickens are or are not sad...

I have also worked an a good number of farms and the farms where the chickens roams freely were entirely fine, they did not eat the herbs, brassicas, simply mulberries that dropped when rippened.

Again, that is subjective.... what do "we" "not want them to eat"? I say this with all respect, but many different groups of people, such as indiginous people and others, believe we should leave an abundance of food for wildlife and other animals. Also, every situation and farm is different, if there is a lack of food, I might not want chickens to eat all of my kale, but if they do, they are not doing anything wrong.

Respectively, you have not made an argument which supports chicken tilling....

I believe it is morally "wrong" to keep animals cooped up in a confined area such as a "chicken tractor". I haven't claimed to make an argument against it, but your assertions should not be mistaken for an argument either.

Again, please don't take this as me being passive aggressive in any way, but you cannot claim that is chicken is or is not happy; especially as you proceed to take away part of its freedom to roam peacefully and do as nature intended.


My chickens are "free range" and have not once, in 2 years, left their run. The ducks, peacocks and turkeys do but the chickens have not. When I collect bugs and food from around the property and bring it to them they are delirious with joy. I think I just need to build a tractor and force them out. Plus, much safer in the tractor. Predators and all. I'm not sure there are any happy chickens when heads are missing.

I planted my garden beside the run once. I wanted it to be easier for me to get manure to it. They loved it. The ducks and guineas ate absolutely everything. I couldn't blame them, I put it right there, but I didn't get a single veggie out of it. This year I moved it far away and have so far had a bounty of harvest. I could plant more than I need to supply the poultry, and I do bring them the excess, but I know that if left to their own devices they will eat my veggie garden before the bugs and weeds I want them to eat.

I don't really believe I need to make an argument to support chicken tilling. It's economical and the poultry get fresh food. Those who do it are very kind to their birds. You have a moral objection to it. That is your right, I shall not attempt to sway you. I find nothing morally reprehensible with the practice and support it's use.
 
Cj Sloane
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Danielle Venegas wrote:
My chickens are "free range" and have not once, in 2 years, left their run.


Totally not my experience! I have tried to contain them in electronetting, clipped a wing, clipped both wings, they still get out. It's tough to keep my trees mulched with them scratching everything up. In my case, they are generally safe from predators because I have livestock guard dogs (LGDs) who convince predators there are easier meals else where.

BTW, it makes everyday an easter egg hunt, except during the winter when I try to keep them in my hoophouse.
 
Frank Brentwood
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Jake Nisenboim wrote:Am I too "picky" ?


No.

And yes.

Maybe...

You have every right to your personal vision of permaculture. And every right to be 'picky' about who you work with/for.

And so do they.

Everyone does.

Until some Government Agency with a TLA forces a 2,500 page definition of "Permaculture" on us and starts regulating use of the word, everyone is free to say they are practicing it. No matter what they are doing.

You disagree with some of their practices and/or methods. That's totally fine. You are free to work for/with them or not. Your choice. You might want to take a look at Paul's 'eco scale'.

Personally, I have learned a lot in some jobs that I utterly hated. If you want to look at it philosophically, take it as an opportunity to learn what you can from their example. Maybe you only learn things that are stuff that you will never do on your own. Maybe you learn that it's not as bad as it might look. Maybe you can even educate them on methods/practices that might be more in line with your philosophy.

But tread lightly. Some people don't take advice well. Or criticism.

Good luck in your decision, whatever it may end up being.
 
elle sagenev
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Cj Verde wrote:
Danielle Venegas wrote:
My chickens are "free range" and have not once, in 2 years, left their run.


Totally not my experience! I have tried to contain them in electronetting, clipped a wing, clipped both wings, they still get out. It's tough to keep my trees mulched with them scratching everything up. In my case, they are generally safe from predators because I have livestock guard dogs (LGDs) who convince predators there are easier meals else where.

BTW, it makes everyday an easter egg hunt, except during the winter when I try to keep them in my hoophouse.


I think it's probably that the area they are in is large. It's a very large horse barn that I house them in. Then I have an uncovered run attached to that that I used to keep our dogs in. So I just leave the gate open for the birds to go in and out but the chickens never do. Even when I'm coming with food they'll race to the gate but they won't go out it. Mental block I guess.
 
Troy Rhodes
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Free range chickens in my neck of the woods would disappear in a week or two. Predator pressure is very high. EVERYTHING eats chickens. We got scads of raccoons, stray/wild/neglected dogs, stray/wild/neglected cats, hawks, fox, skunks, weasels and coyotes. I probably missed a few.

Mulch is what you see on the forest floor. I'm good with mulch. If you find a living mulch that does even better, good on you. But living mulch is not universally better in every situation. You know, it depends...


I can learn stuff from people who do not share my exact political, or permaculture point of view. I can even learn stuff from the folks doing it wrong and badly, by negative example.


Once you learn how to look at it, everything becomes a knowledge weapon.


troy
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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