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Reading the texts

 
pollinator
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a very interesting compilation of words we have here
 
pollinator
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Are you saying I'm not making sense?

In my defense, I'm trying to show the wise that I'm not an idiot. Which is difficult...'cause they're wise.
 
gardener
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Here is a forum where one who has knowledge whether from text or worldly experience can share.
A teacher who with a new class begins by saying you know nothing and are unworthy of my time is not a good teacher.
A good teacher begins by seeing all of that unlimited/unharnessed potential and begins to share what she/he knows.
A good leader understands that strengths and weaknesses are a fact of life and that he/she has to adjust according to underlings knowledge and ability. A leader sometimes has to get his/her hands dirty and always be ready to learn new skills sometimes in the field.
We have to understand that there is a curve of knowledge and experience on the forum. I am certaimly not at 100% I don't think that any of us are.
But to say that one who has experiences and real time hands on is less worthy than one who has read the books just might not be true.
I'd much rather get into a ring with a book learned boxer than one who had 20 previous fights and never read the book.
Experience has value.
 
steward
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A good teacher learns first where their students are - and goes on from there. If you teach what they already know, you risk losing them so that when you do arrive at something they need to know, they have already turned you off.

An advantage of the format of a forum such as this is you answer the questions people have, instead of giving them answers to questions they don't yet know. And, if they are curious, they may well choose to read all the background material.

But then again, they might just have a chicken tractor and improve their life just a bit.

I like to think of it this way. I am not an organic farmer, I am not an environmentalist, I am not even a business man. I am a person. And my approach is as unique as I am. And all I hope is every year, I improve in my relationship with mankind, with society, with the environment and yes, my understanding.

But I am fine if all you want is a chicken tractor... not everyone has to buy a small Latin American country one farm at a time. (I think I just got an agreement for another 93 acres or so).
 
Robert Ray
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My point exactly Fred a good teacher would see that individuals on the forum have varying degrees of knowledge and experience.
Experience is  personal verifiable knowledge after all.
 
                                  
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Robert Ray wrote:
But to say that one who has experiences and real time hands on is less worthy than one who has read the books just might not be true.



Huh??? Who is saying that?  No one.  What those who value the texts are saying is that to understand permaculture, the discipline, you have to be familiar with the principles, concepts, language and framework, which you get most efficiently from reading the damn books.  Doesn't mean experience isn't valuable.  Of course it is.  You seem to be doing your best to defend the wisdom of not reading the core texts.  But if you don't know what's in the texts, you're basing this on nothing.  For someone like that, I think maybe it's a good idea not read them.  They would make no sense.
 
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Ultimatly success depends on many things.Read as much as is practical but be sure to try it out as well.This really is a blown up duality here.Of course the texts have value but ultimatly reality is what you can get away with so...I do get tired of meeting idea jockeys in the permi scene.People with opinions but little aplicable experience and you Can tell the difference.
 
Robert Ray
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If your in the area feel free to come see.
Perhaps your alluding Wittgenstein's beetle in a box is where I got the feeling that you were negating experience. But as I have said previously some experience can be verifiable.
A successful forest restoration is a visualy verifiable experience, not contained in the box.
Though Wittgenstein's premise is that we can not know what ones minds/personal perspective is as far as experience I don't think he is discussing hands on creation experiences.
The texts aren't tablets from the mountain. The concepts can be shared without the need for a highlighter.
Here is your chance and forum to share.... concept one:
 
                              
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Robert Ray wrote:
  The texts aren't tablets from the mountain. The concepts can be shared without the need for a highlighter.



bingo amen right there
 
                                  
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Again, how would you know what they are or are not if you haven't read them?
 
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   I expect all permies would read these books if they were cheap or available via public library. Sadly, they are not. Some of the prices are simply outrageous. PDCs are often the same. Therefore, short of theft, experience is all that remains. I have read many of these texts myself, and I have to say I have learned more from this forum and Sepp's book (Robert Hart's book as well) that that big, "hoity-toity" Designer's Manual.
 
                              
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If you are in the Portland, OR area, there are copies of Fukuoka's Book, Gaias Garden, and another big expensive Forest Gardening book I can't remember the title of, at the library of PCC at Rock Creek. You have to be a student to check them out. They also have a nice selection of books with information about gardening with NW native plants--not permie oriented--but full of info on what makes them happy, ethnobotany info etc. They also have that cool! Mycelium Running(?) book, Aroras book, etc. Worth an afternoon to prowl the stacks.
 
Robert Ray
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Back to Wittgenstein....my box does include the reading of the texts.
What made you assume it did not?

Here is a proposal with Paul's forum we can create a multi authored text of PERMIE's own PDC manual.

With that a text would exist here and be available to all visitors and lurkers.
 
                                  
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Robert Ray wrote:
Back to Wittgenstein....my box does include the reading of the texts.  What made you assume it did not?



I was responding to the immediately preceding poster.  Glad to hear the texts are in your box.
 
Robert Ray
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Concept 1:  ?
 
Matt Ferrall
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bruc33,yes its hard to gain experience when the system has you tied down in a job.They really dont want people to have an actuall relationship with their landscape as it makes them less dependent on the system.I have also had a job before.It made me feel really grouchy so I can really relate to what youve been saying.
 
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Who is this they? There isn't some room where people are plotting to isolate people from the landscape, isolation is, if anything, a biproduct of other means that are good for various things in their own right (like education, and industrialization, and standardization).
 
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They = Real Estate rich folk that handle property rights and power. Lots of interest in sitting in a small room, or more probably in the backyard, planning on how to get people to give up t heir land rights :+D It does happen. National Parks are a good part of it as well - in the disguise of "saving the land and animals", while they sell bits more and more of it to private owners and businesses.
 
Matt Ferrall
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I am assuming by the style of your posts that you have a job,Emerson.They is whatever forces you into that position.Had you read the texts I have(like a great article in the permiculture activist)You would have read how it was explicit policy for colonists to displace natives to create a labor pool in africa. Also,it is a bit more work but perhaps you could limit your responses to at least some connection to the thread title!
 
Emerson White
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I'll address the last point first, the thread is alive, threads are living changing things, I'd be happy to stay on topic if everyone else would, you brought "they" up, so I pursued that point.

Displacing the natives to create a labor pool has tremendous (A) racial/imperial and (B) economic forces behind it. On the racial/imperial side of things colonists are landing in an area that is filled with different people, the peoples who conquer their neighbors go on to outnumber the people who don't, and the conquerers keep on doing what they are doing and pretty soon you have naturally selected for conquerers. Economically pushing the others into a labor pool allows the conquerers to get some industrial work out of the conquered people, enabling more of what they want to be done to happen.

If your theory is correct then "They" should have killed Squanto outright, for trying to spread connection to the land. The connection with the land went with industrialization, and more importantly television. Industrialization allowed a few relatively small groups of people to do the thinking for large portions of land, and television (truly the ultimate drug) made it so no one cared. Though to be fair politics played a big roll in them squeezing the land like a tube of toothpaste, during the Nixon administration housewives were marching the streets over food prices. To remedy this Nixon set the brilliant agricultural economist Earl Butz (read those) to the task, however when ever a politically expedient maneuver is accepted at face value as the right move you get clumsy legislation and that is what we got, and corn became king.

Edging back on topic, before you make grand economic and political assumptions you ought to read some Adam Smith, some John Maynard Keynes, and read about Hayek too. [size=6pt][sub](Paul totally has permission to go into my post and change those to his proprietary links in case anyone buys one of em)[/sub][/size].

Unlike horticulture economics is not something you can understand based on living in the woods and tending a garden, though I have found my extensive biological knowledge to give me a serious edge.

Oh, everyone should also read Darwins Origin of species and Dawkins Selfish gene (which is mostly about how altruism is beneficial in a broad range of circumstances).

I'm quite certain that evolution is the best explanation for how and why we came to be, and as such understanding evolution (which is at its heart a theory of organismic economics) forms a skeleton of knowledge to build on. It's amazing how wonderful it feels to use a little predictive power, and turn a solid theory (like evolution) to your advantage in the garden.
 
master steward
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It has been a particularly crazy week for me.    So it pisses me off that somebody needed to suggest that somebody else on this site was less than perfect.  I deleted that.

My apologies to another poster that replied to that stinging comment - I needed to delete that too. 

I would like to remind folks of this thread.

Since I am really low on time these days I am very tempted to delete the whole thread and be done with it. 

I think the stuff about the wiki can be taken up in the tinkering forum.  We do have a wiki here.  And I think getting a lot of first rate information out would be pretty easy.  Take a favorite thread and make it onto a wiki page. 

 
                              
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bruc33ef wrote:
I was responding to the immediately preceding poster.  Glad to hear the texts are in your box.



(let's see if I can manage a reply without going crosseyed trying to keep track of where I am)

Please read Ray's comment again, you're reply was NOT what he was saying--he wasn't saying "don't read the texts" AT ALL. I simply agreed with that I think(speculate, deduce, imagine) Ray was saying (ha).

 
Robert Ray
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Dang it You have x-ray Wittgenstein glasses.. quit looking at what's in my beetle box
 
paul wheaton
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It is possible that some stuff doesn't make sense anymore because of stuff I deleted.

 
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Bruc33ef's post that started this thread has inspired some spirited discussion.  He is perfectly correct in one point.  You cannot in reality, comment, argue for or against, or critique, something you have not read.  It is impossible.  We can only surmise from comments and discussion what the text truly says and then take a position.  That is if, we are debating contents of the texts...

Having said that, if the "sacred texts" cause one to be a zealot, then all objective thinking goes out the window.  All theories and practices can be flawed flawed, as we see with new revelations in science.  Practical experience has a major role in the development of workable and sustainable permaculture design.  I don't think the engraved in stone rules and hard and fast practices will not go without modification in years to come.

As a side comment, permaculture will find it difficulty becoming a majority practice, IMO.  It requires most to be landowners, and leaves the vast majority of the world's populace out of the loop.  Economics of acquiring education, tenant majority cities, and 98% of the inhabitants of this planet with a net worth of less than $500 (very true,) leaves this practice as an almost unattainable reality.  At least for now.

None of my comments are intended to demean or minimize the importance of trying to do the best we can on an individual basis and hope to interest others in doing the same.  We do not live in a vacuum.
 
James Koss
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I was just about to leave without replying to anything, but Northeast Al...

Permaculture, in many ways, is greatly utilized by the poor and landless. Growing and tending to life in the city, and doing projects with the most poor of the world (in crisis locations like in India) is something that exists right now. Heck, you don't even have to read the books to know that - just youtube and google this.

The only reason to think Permaculture won't catch the majority, is because it's rather new - and it's ideas, by the time they catch on, will have many different names. And that's not important. So im optimist about it
 
Al Loria
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Phuein,

I hope you didn't think I was poo-pooing on permaculture.  As a new learner of the benefits, I too am optimistic, or maybe I should say, hopeful, but cautiously so.  Inner cities have little land available outside of vacant lots, and maybe roof space.  I cannot see easily providing for them on a sustainable scale given the limited amount of land area.  Vertical use might help, but it will require more innovation, and yes, new methods yet to be discovered.  That was my reasoning for saying there will be change in permaculture because, in its present form, permaculture is probably limited by its current model.  Just one example where my thinking takes me.  And it is just an opinion anyway, which would be nice if it is proven wrong.

The poor have it the worst.  Governments not as free as ours will be an impediment, multinational corporations, another stumbling block, and the fact that they are trying to get their next meal may make them not look at the long term benefits.

The newness of permaculture is surely a reason, which you pointed out, of it not being as popular as it might eventually be, but trying to convince others without the mass media attention and possibly blessing of the powers that be, it is a grass roots effort at best.  How many multinational agricultural corps and their Monsanto providers are actually going to take this lying down?  Big bucks wields a big stick, or carrot, as the case may be.  Thinking it through to its logical end, I see a ceiling which needs a force to penetrate.

I am in agreement that all of this is in the noble cause of saving our planet, and by extension, our lives.  It will take a long period of time, barring any other major disaster like BP has in order to get more on board.  Let's hope it doesn't need to come to that.

Precious reserves of resources are being used up at a mind boggling pace.  Water, air, petroleum and minerals are being either stripped from the earth, or polluted. 

Technology has brought us to where we are sustaining, but it is not sustainable.  I get that.  And, only recently understood it myself.  How many others are there who understand what is happening?   And how many will change the way they live to do the things necessary to allow the human race to survive?  I couldn't even begin to guess.  I know, I sound like a pessimist.  Fortunately, those who are brighter will lead the way in solving the problems that face us on a global scale.

Many problems, and many theories for a solution.  Mix in a little greed as the game changer and you get another wrinkle to iron out.

Reading text alone will not solve the problem.  Understanding it alone will not either.  A change on an unprecedented scale must happen.  We've had the Bible for thousands of years, and you just need to look around you.

I hope I didn't drift too far off topic.  I can do that a lot.  My apologies if I did.



 
Fred Morgan
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I just bought and downloaded for my Kindle Gaia's Garden, Second Edition. Since I am among the crippled after more than 3 hours on a horse yesterday I should have some time to read...
 
Emerson White
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Fred Morgan wrote:
I just bought and downloaded for my Kindle Gaia's Garden, Second Edition. Since I am among the crippled after more than 3 hours on a horse yesterday I should have some time to read...



I D/Led that too, but haven't cracked it yet, been too busy with other things.
 
Al Loria
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Gaia's Garden.  Great book.  Got it last month, and it was my first read having anything related to permaculture.  You two will enjoy it.
 
Fred Morgan
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Northeast Al wrote:
Gaia's Garden.  Great book.  Got it last month, and it was my first read having anything related to permaculture.  You two will enjoy it.



Very readable - which is nice.  I find it pretty much in line with what I have understood in the past, as well as am doing. My approach is generally start something in the cradle (hey, babies need a lot of care) and help it grow up to be on its own, with a little help. I do it with gardens, I do with business - heck, even kids.

I hate anything that makes me focus on it too much - so many other interesting things to do.
 
Al Loria
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Fred,

Wonderful way to approach many things in life.  Nurturing with the intent of letting it grow and become mature.  I like that.

I kept waiting for Gaia's Garden to turn into a manifesto, and was pleasantly surprised when it unfolded into an entertaining, as well as, educational read.  Toby is a master at speaking to his audience, not down to them.  He definitely makes you feel comfortable.

All the best to you in Pura Vidaville.


Al
 
Fred Morgan
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I just had an idea. Instead of doing my normal attempt of being obsessive in my garden design. I am going to take say 20% of my seeds, mix them together - and then plant in a single bed. 

Not like I don't have too many seeds - as usual... 

One interesting interaction, strawberries are a serious challenge here - but they are doing fine under my okra trees (yeah, they are supposed to be plants, but they are nearly over 8 feet tall now - and not more than six months old - Clemson Spineless, selected for 8 seasons here)

 
James Koss
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Northeast Al, it seems you haven't done your research o-o Or taken from others' research better said :+P

Actually the ability to grow a city's own food in the city's borders is suspected to be in the tens of percentage. Different sources, different numbers, but still very valuable amounts. Also, you seem to be talking about issues growing vertically, but there are plenty of examples in existence, even though not aimed toward practical use sadly:
http://unusuallife.com/2006/12/10/vertical-gardens/

To demonstrate how much food can be grown in a small space, a 2006 pilot project on a sub-acre lot on the outskirts of Philadelphia hauled in $67,000 from crops like salad greens and baby vegetables. In Milwaukee, a 1-acre (0.4 hectare) farm filled with greenhouses, tilapia tanks and poultry pens grossed more than $220,000.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1826271,00.html#ixzz0pmKHGn2O



very interesting thread on the relevancy of this:
http://urbanevolution.org/thinktank/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=11
:+D

There are more sources, some from Mollison quoting number, but I'm not gonna look for them now. Might be in the Manual, which is unsearchable sadly.

New research, gotta be interesting (and I've got a feeling it'll be positive as well):
http://farmingconcrete.com/

Anyhow lot's of research for any city lover. I'm not included
 
Al Loria
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Phuein,

Thanks for taking the time to do the research and put up the links.  Very interesting stuff, and it looks like there are those that are using innovative ways and brain power to make a difference.

Obviously, there are methods in there that do not conform to the design manual, even though that is an assumption on my part, and not really permaculture at all, from what I do know, but it does show how it might be feasible.

It will be a challenge and success will be built upon success.  We would have to see how much of it gets accepted.  At least there are those that are thinking.

Thanks again.
 
                                  
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Northeast Al wrote:
Bruc33ef's post that started this thread has inspired some spirited discussion.  He is perfectly correct in one point.  You cannot in reality, comment, argue for or against, or critique, something you have not read.  It is impossible.  We can only surmise from comments and discussion what the text truly says and then take a position.  That is if, we are debating contents of the texts...



Thank you for getting it.  That was exactly my point, and my only point.  Somehow, some people took that to be an implicit attack on experience or Mom's apple pie or something. 

Northeast Al wrote:
As a side comment, permaculture will find it difficulty becoming a majority practice, IMO.  It requires most to be landowners, and leaves the vast majority of the world's populace out of the loop.  Economics of acquiring education, tenant majority cities, and 98% of the inhabitants of this planet with a net worth of less than $500 (very true,) leaves this practice as an almost unattainable reality.  At least for now.



Actually, permaculture was designed to be independent of scale and is very applicable to urban/poor living conditions.  Read some of Mollison's interviews (available online) where he recounts his experiences staying in an apartment in Stockholm and growing stuff on the balcony and in the window, and the videos of aiding the poor in Africa and rooftop urban permaculture in India, and community gardens in New York.  Also Google 'window farms', 'keyhole gardens', 'vertical gardens' and 'living roofs' for examples of small-scale urban permaculture.  This is also finding its way in to PDC courses as well, now.  I think it is Midwest Permaculture that offers courses on the urban applications, and Robert Waldrop in Oklahoma City also does excellent work in this area.  The Dervais family in CA (several youtube videos) does remarkable stuff with less than 1/4 acre, actually supporting themselves with what they grow in just that space.  Agreed that it is certainly more of a challenge in urban areas, but that may be because the initial thrust came out of the rural (Australian) experience and moved on to other rural environments and hasn't yet been fully applied to urban locales, but that is certainly changing.
 
                                  
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Great links, Phuein! 

Whataya think about Patrick Blanc's stuff?  I sorta have mixed feelings about it.  On the one hand (and maybe most importantly) it promises to change peoples' urban aesthetics, inspiring them to integrate more of nature in with artificial urban environments.  OTOH, some of those vertical walls, especially the interior ones, seem to be resource hogs that require lots of inputs, such as artificial light, hydroponics chemicals, electrified water pumps and the like.  And I don't think any of them are edible either for birds or humans.  It's hard not to like them, though.

 
Al Loria
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Bruc33ef, Getting it, is half the fun.  Discussing it, is the other half.

Many of us are resistant to change, and the attack on mom and apple pie can come from many directions.  Also, we all want to put our own ideas, experience and changes to a design.  That is the part of the discussion we should embrace.  Nothing is really engraved in stone.  Starting from a point of reference, like the design texts, many divergent thoughts can be explored in discussion and debate.

The more I learn, the more likely I will understand permaculture as having broader appeal and practicality.  Time will tell.



 
Robert Ray
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I guess that's what I've tried to say is before there is a 1.0 version there is discussion and trials and after 1.0, experience and further trials and discussion brings about version 2.0.
But it all starts out with discussion and trials and I can see where an outsider can, with fresh insight, enter a discussion and have valid and workable idea with just a fundamental idea of the project or desired outcome.
 
                                  
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Northeast Al wrote:
Gaia's Garden.  Great book.  Got it last month, and it was my first read having anything related to permaculture.  You two will enjoy it.



It has quickly become a classic, for sure.  I have both editions.  The second edition has more on urban permaculture, which is a welcome trend as mentioned elsewhere.  I think it's especially good at summarizing, "translating," updating and paring the most practical aspects of the Design Manual.  That apparently infuriated Mollison, who tried to quash it, but I think most people are grateful for it.  I don't think it replaces the DM, though.  I'm on about my third reading of that one and I always get more out of it at every reading.
 
Why does your bag say "bombs"? The reason I ask is that my bag says "tiny ads" and it has stuff like this:
permaculture bootcamp - learn permaculture through a little hard work
https://permies.com/wiki/bootcamp
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