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Podcast 099 – Lessons from the Forest

 
Destiny Hagest
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Summary

Paul and jack spirko (of The Survival Podcast talk about lessons you can learn from the forest, as applied to permaculture. They discuss the arrangement of trees in Jack’s forest, where water pools at the bottom, and trees grow on the contour line.

Paul talks about bringing back creeks, and they cover some interesting concepts, like how slow water creates life, and nature never monocrops. A lot of great basic permaculture principles are covered in the context of how things work in a forest system.

Moving along, Paul and Jack also talk about veganism and paleo diet health, as well as the subject of brainwashing, particularly in regards to the notorious CFL phenomenon.

Relevant Threads
The Survival Podcast
Woodland Forum
Finding contour lines - DIY tool
replacing irrigation with permaculture
Creating a creek in a dry gully
Fungi forum
River as edge, and solutions
Terracing/raised bed advice needed
To plow or not to plow
tilling vs. not tilling
Natural Gardening no pests
Laws, Gardening, and Agriculture - The MATH
Lambsquarter and deciding which weeds to keep
Raw food, veganism, and calorie restriction
Questions about eating paleo

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Michael Holland
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I was really confused when I saw podcast 99 when I have 351 in itunes so I looked through older threads in the forum until I found this https://permies.com/t/60350/book-review-podcasts-free-podcasts
Looks like a number of old podcasts that weren't available to the public are being cleaned up and then made available here.

@Destiny would it be possible to include one line at the top when you post these so that new people like me don't get too confused
e.g. "This is a remastered podcast that is being made available again. It was originally published on MM/DD/YYYY"

Thanks for all the hard work!
 
Jotham Bessey
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The tiller. I switch to no till, permanent beds many years ago. Wow! all the time and energy I've wasted!
 
Destiny Hagest
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Michael Holland wrote:I was really confused when I saw podcast 99 when I have 351 in itunes so I looked through older threads in the forum until I found this https://permies.com/t/60350/book-review-podcasts-free-podcasts
Looks like a number of old podcasts that weren't available to the public are being cleaned up and then made available here.

@Destiny would it be possible to include one line at the top when you post these so that new people like me don't get too confused
e.g. "This is a remastered podcast that is being made available again. It was originally published on MM/DD/YYYY"

Thanks for all the hard work!


Maaaaybe The idea is that we're just getting these podcasts into places they were already supposed to be, so I don't want to further confuse matters with inconsistency in their formatting. As we announce these new threads in the dailyish, we're mentioning that they're 'free again', so I'm hoping that will explain it to folks, but I think the format needs to stay pretty uniform.

Thank you for noting this though, all the more proof that we need to put the emphasis on "free again" when we announce them.
 
Liz Hoxie
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I just listened to this one. I have a problem wrapping my head around certain concepts, like swales and hugels. I finally grasped the concept of swales by thinking of them as drainage ditches. After listening to Jack Spirko,  I saw the hugels as windbreaks/snow fences! Then I'd look around and see them occurring naturally EVERYWHERE! The foundation for permaculture is already here, we just have to see it.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Liz Hoxie wrote: I finally grasped the concept of swales by thinking of them as drainage ditches.


They are the opposite of drainage ditches.  Their purpose is to hold water and allow it to soak into the ground, not drain away.
 
Liz Hoxie
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Perhaps I should call them irrigation ditches since they direct water into the ground to be utilized. To me, drainage ditches don't necessarily drain water AWAY, but direct it in a useful way.
 
Tyler Ludens
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As long as you understand what you mean; my concern is that other folks, seeing "irrigation ditch" will think of a ditch which moves water from one place to another, whereas the purpose of a swale is to hold the water in one place.

"The essentials of swale construction are simple; they are all built on contour or dead level survey lines, and are neither intended nor permitted for water flow.  Their function is just to hold water."  Bill Mollison, Permaculture A Designers Manual, page 167.

(I'm worried I look like a fussy nit-picker)
 
Liz Hoxie
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That statement by Bill Mollison is why I couldn't understand swales. I was thinking he meant holding water above ground, like a pond. To me, water caught in a swale is moving, just down.
 
Destiny Hagest
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I had a hard time with that concept at first as well - when I pictured something holding water, to me that meant it was hollow. Now I like to think of a swale as a pond with a sponge in it, where the sponge is an absorbent earth mixture, but I'm a weirdo. Swales stumped me for a bit there too.
 
Liz Hoxie
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Thanks, Destiny. You have just convinced me that we're not weird. When the light dawned on me and I said to my husband that a swale was sort of a ditch, he looked at me like it should've been obvious. He has to translate some things for me.
 
Tyler Ludens
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I really love this podcast.  I think my favorite part is when Jack says "You would be using your church to feed people - which is what you're supposed to be doing!"  But boy howdy, that burn pile stuff, resonates so much.
 
Daniel Ray
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Just listened to Paul's podcast 99 and it drove me to permies. This podcast partly discusses the amount of organic material piled and burned every year by the home owner, the forestry and or logging industry. As Paul and Jack Spirko agree, this shit needs to stop! This material needs to do its part in the forest by breaking down, adding organic matter, and retaining moisture. How does the average landowner spread the gospel of this basic permaculture principle?

To be fair, I think the average individual was just raised to think that clearing the forest of debris and burning it is somehow the healthiest thing to do. How does this community educate the public on this topic? Just by example? Any ideas?

Also, has anyone seen any information on correlations between clearing/burning and natural forest fires? It seems to me that the reduction in soil moisture would lead to drier conditions and worse forest fires, but I haven't seen any evidence of this, just speculation. Cheers!
 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
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