paul has a new video  

 



visit the thread.

see the DVDs.

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200 times more permaculture  RSS feed

 
master steward
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We had a permies.com staff meeting yesterday.  We've been having them every week.   Totally voluntary - about six people. 

We were going over some stuff, and I was asked to help folks understand something.  So I started to explain.  And then I felt I needed to explain the "why" behind that.  But then I felt the need to explain the "why" of the whole site and something hit me.

In October of 2012 I was pumping out youtube videos, podcasts, articles and working a lot on the forums.  But I desperately needed land to do my projects and prove some things.  A big part of that was the idea of it being 20+ people rather than just me. 

During the meeting I presented the idea of how all of the stuff I was doing could be called "x" and what I wanted was "200x" - so 200 times more of what I was doing.   I went on to propose that to get to 200x, it might take 500 people.  

So rather than me focusing on going back to "x" the mission is to figure out how to get 500 people to come up with 200x.  That requires frameworks.  That requires more permies.com staff.  That requires boots in our bootcamp program and people to manage all of these things.  At the same time, I don't have a lot of coin, so we replace coin with creativity and we find people that seem to share the desire for 200x.  I checked in with the staff on the call and it seemed that they were keen on this. 

Permies.com has taken steps to make it less of "the paul wheaton show" and more of "the permies community show".  After all, at 200x I would be 0.5% of the show. 



Bill Mollison makes it pretty clear that a big part of permaculture is replacing petroleum with people



So rather than having a big tractor and a big harvester and a big truck to take food to town, you have a 40 people.  Design a large scale system for people rather than machinery.  I think most people struggle to wrap their heads around what that would look like, or how it would work. 



I would like to see hundreds of thousands of permaculture demonstration sites all over the world.  

I would like to see hundreds of millions of people using permaculture on a regular enough basis that "permaculture" is a household word.   

I can see a path where 500 of us can make that happen through cooperation and hard work.  



We currently have about 50 people that are at least moderately active on the permies.com staff.   I suggested that we need to get that number up to 300.   And we had some discussion about how to do that. 

We currently have a few people working stuff in our permaculture bootcamp.  We need to fill that out to six, and do it long enough that we might be able to handle 12.   And maybe two years from now, we might be able to carry 24. 

There are three pieces of property next to mine.   I like the idea that those properties are purchased by permies and they each carry out their own vision in community.  

I would like to see more ants and deep roots people on the lab, pushing projects forward.   I would like to get to the point that we have several natural building instructors and we have at least one person that manages the seppers program. 

Is it possible that some of these programs will turn into huge successes and could be used by others?

With 300 people on the permies.com staff, I think we can infect more brains with permaculture.   And we can take infected brains and pump more and more permaculture information into those brains.   Somebody told me that people all over the world are struggling to fill good PDCs.   Maybe we can see to it that those PDCs get filled and there are lots more. 



By myself, I seem to have gotten a certain amount done.  It wasn't hard.  In fact, it seems a little creepy that I am now thought of as some sort of permaculture leader.  I would think that the people we consider leaders in permaculture would be ...   better.  So rather than keep doing what I have done in the past, I wish to grow a huge crop of permies.   And out of that crop there will be dozens of permie leaders that are far better than me.  Hopefully younger - so if they do this for their entire life, they will have a much more significant reach. 


These are my feelings.  This is my very squishy plan.   This is what I am trying to pull off and I am horribly unqualified to do it.   But, maybe there are 500 people out there willing to throw their shoulder in and we can at least try. 

I'm trying.

If this is similar to how you feel, or if you wanna play too, click on the thumbs up for this post and comment on this thread and share your thoughts.   Prove to the world of observers that might see this over the next 20 years that this is not the thoughts of just one kook, but ....     hundreds?   (yeah, hundreds would be super cool)




 
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I think hundreds of Permies.com staff would be awesome.  It's a wonderful way to get the ideas out there.  Video content and getting picked up in internet searches/facebook/etc sounds like an effective way to spread the word.

To change the world I see a path:  More people need to hear about permaculture.  Then they'll want to see it in action (online or in person).  Then they'll ease into it or maybe dive in head first.  Then they'll tell someone else about it.  Lather rinse repeat.  Naysayers and trolls will fight it but if we win the other 80% of people, we win the war.

I think Permies is a tremendous place to see permaculture in action and get help as you start your journey down the path. 

I think we need to work on getting people to hear about permaculture and getting folks from that stage to trying it out successfully.  Once they've sheet mulched their back yard, they are a likely convert.

How do we get the word out more?  Posting about permaculture online helps.  Talking to everyone you know about it helps.  Having your property be a beacon in the local area helps.  Spreading the ideas in different ways would be very helpful.  I just heard about new housing developments where instead of mingling the houses around golf courses they are built around an organic farm.  Spreading the permaculture concept from many different angles will get it into the general public's awareness.  We just need to get more people started on the path and make it easy for them to get going. 

How do we help them to get started?  Maybe a "Permaculture 101: Getting started" class on the forum could be a way to help people along?  PDC's are great but the general public won't go for that.  We need to make it easy, logical and show a benefit to make them take notice.

Fictitious conversation #1:
Me:  Hello neighbor, if you take a PDC or read 4 books you can become versed enough in permaculture to redesign your property to provide all your food and medicine needs, save fossil fuel and help the environment.
Her:  No thanks, I've got a job, two kids and no time.

Fictitious conversation #2:
Me:  Hello neighbor, did you know those leaves you're burning could compost down and feed your flower bed?  Then you don't need to fertilize them.  And you can eat those nasturtiums.  I'll sneak a broccoli in here so you can eat it in 2 months when it's ready.
Her:  Hmm, hadn't thought about it that way.  How do you do this compost thing?  Can you put other veggies in with flowers? 

I doubt my permaculture work will count towards your 500 but I am committed to doing the following:
Make my homestead an oasis of permaculture and self reliance that I can show to others
Attempt to start a homesteading club for my area to assemble like minded folks (and spread the word)
Share my ideas, successes and failures on Permies to help others along the journey
Spend time on Reddit to help others and spread the word
 
steward
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paul wheaton wrote:
Bill Mollison makes it pretty clear that a big part of permaculture is replacing petroleum with people



This.  200 times this.

I'm reading about how artificial intelligence is going to displace a lot of people from their jobs, and maybe we need to come up with a universal wage for all the ex-truck drivers and factory workers replaced by robots.  And I think -- we need to be employing thousands and thousands more people in food production!  Really awesome healthy food, grown in polyculture.  Selective chop'n'drop management of over-exuberant polyculture members is too complex for a robot to manage, but humans can do it with just some training.  Same thing with harvesting food from a polyculture.  It requires a combination of knowledge, recognition and fine motor skills that robots are years away from accomplishing.

Instead of spending millions trying to make "clean coal," we could engage in greening the desert projects all over the planet, primarily in places that humans desertified in the first place.  (Think about "the fertile crescent" and what that implies, then look up where that is.)

How about instead of riots in the streets from angry unemployed masses, we have massive permaculture food production and we save the planet at the same time?  Sounds good to me.
 
steward
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One of the hardest things to do in this space is to stop being mad at the bad guys.  Putting that energy into a garden or small animal operation such as rabbits or quail, is a great start to moving forward and leaving the bad guys to fight among themselves. 


It's funny, last year was the first year in my life that I didn't spend a dime on fruit. I grew enough and preserved enough to last for a couple of years.  I spent less on meat and veggies than ever before and I'm raising a family of four with growing kids.  I quit working (for money) almost a decade ago and I'm still saving money.  It's  strange that more people don't do this. It's actually not that hard.  really... it's not that hard.  The hard part is convincing other people that it's worth the initial effort.    I think they think I'm some sort of magician or food conjurer. I am



Do permaculture, I'm living proof. 
 
pollinator
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I am all in with this idea, although I am under qualified and stuck out here in the sticks of Africa... If I can help, here I am.
 
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To my mind you/we need to do something epic and then once its done say "look what we did".

Owning land to try stuff and prove stuff is great but your land is already beautiful forest so you could have all sorts of technical breakthrus and 2% more organic soil in a raised bed from one year to the next but what is there to show the untrained eye with a 20 second attention span?

If you could take a patch of stinky landfill or an expanse of concrete or a stretch of poisoned river and fix it, document it and publish it, then it would go viral.
 
Mother Tree
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Steve Farmer wrote:To my mind you/we need to do something epic and then once its done say "look what we did".


I think what Paul is trying to say is that he's already attempting to do far more than is humanly possible and what is needed is for more people to take on some responsibility for doing the stuff that needs to be done.

You have a nice bit of polluted river you can adopt?
 
gardener
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It's one of the most fulfilling and equally frustrating paths imaginable.  In southern VA, land of industrial ag and toxic food, I know the importance of having a perma-farm; a place to show people how it can be done.  It's not an easy path although my brain cannot comprehend why that is so.  I've been a lousy staffer, and I feel badly about that - but I'm here.  I'm so very much with all of you, attempting to spread the word through the bounty of our farm, walk abouts, chats and by example.   Thanks to all of you, for regularly letting me know that I'm not alone in my efforts although more days than not, it feels as though I'm the lone local lover of our planet. For that I am sincerely grateful.
my-path.jpg
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Steve Farmer
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Burra Maluca wrote:... attempting to do far more than is humanly possible and what is needed is for more people ...


For scale yes that's a problem but permaculture is about doing more with less for instance getting animals to do your soil compaction and getting birds to control the insects and tree canopy to shade the part sun veggies. What can we do on a small scale to show how to do something with surprising/pleasing/amusing/dramatic results? For instance there's a lot of Sepp stuff that is really interesting but not much footage of it floating around virally on social media. Using Sepp technique to create a spring on Paul's land could be feasible, and if documented on video in before/construction/after timeframes to show how somewhere that has a dry season now has a year round spring then this could go viral.

Apart from getting the word out, If you put a vid on youtube and get a few million hits there's some serious money there.
 
pollinator
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The United States tends to drive the rest of the world, and as such we tend to be fickle people. What I see happening is a resurgence away from the traditional Kubota-Organic farm to a more Fossil-Free Organic Farm type system. Sepp might have proposed using more people to replace fossil fuel powered machinery, but there is one inherent problem with that concept and this is...people suck.

Now wait you might say, did you not just post on how you care so much for people. How can you say that in good conscience?

Well it is true, I do have a true heart for people, and 99 out of 100 are great people, but that 1 person who is miserable can really drag down the entire community as many intentional communities can attest (sadly). Some amazing things can happen when people all pull together like in the case of the farmer in Missouri who needed to move his barn a few hundred feet from the river where it often flooded. He got the town organized enough so that 344 people lifted up the barn and walking in unison moved it several hundred feet away. Without question, working in unison people can accomplish a lot. But it is hard to get all those people motivated, and I think that is really the challenge. I am not capable of such human resource allocation that is for sure!!

But if 344 people moving a barn a few hundred feet without equipment is impressive, what about a SINGLE person a barn several hundred feet by HIMSELF? It was done through physics which goes to show that through ample use of our minds, a lot can be done individually as well. (It is about 2:20 in on the second YouTube Video posted)

But after seeing the two videos you can see one thing that is apparent; it took a lot of preparation for those accomplishments to be made. On a farm or homestead, time is in short supply, so that is why I see Fossil Fuelless Farming as being the next big thing...but not with horses! Oh no! I say that because there is an inherent problem with horses, they eat a lot of hay. Today farms are a fraction of the size they were. In Maine the average farm is a mere 160 acres. To farm enough to be self-sufficient would require half the land based to be placed into hay just to feed the horses that was doing the work. That would be okay, except property taxes are now such that it ends up being a Catch-22. The property taxes cause the cost of living to go up, so that a farm needs more acres on which to farm, which requires more land, which costs more in property taxes, which increases the cost of living, which requires more land on which to farm, which requires more land, which costs more in property taxes...

the answer to that is to do work with a better "conversion rate", which would be "the amount of work accomplished to feed consumed". In other words, using smaller animals like donkey's, dogs, goats, etc. That is what I am excited to see; the innovation of that, which has to be brought to society. Granted there is some of that stuff now; tack for dogs and goats for instance, but not on a easily obtainable scale and implements sized for this micro-farming type of fuelless farming. Think mini crimp rollers, tillage equipment, or ground driven grain combines for instance.

For myself, like Paul Wheaton, there are too many acres to my farm and not enough of me. My wife helps out, but she is bound to the rearing of 4 young children. I am in hopes that some medical attention tomorrow can get my stamina improved and that I will have more energy in which to devote to my farm and so more things can be accomplished, but still there is only so much one man can do in a days time. Though I live in the Permie Capital of the world due to my location here in Maine, I do not feel I have the skills required to get even a few interns or even employees pushing my farm in a better direction. I just lack those skills. I have a heart for people so I tend to get walked on far too much, then suddenly blow up when I have reached my breaking point. I am a jerk my Permie friends.  But all is not lost. While I do not practice fuelless farming, I have a farm commodity that is very energy efficient. I also use micro-equipment like my 25 hp Kubota and my 6 hp Wallenstein trailer to accomplish a lot with the minimal amount of fuel consumed. A local dairy farmer once said, "You accomplish a lot for just having a tiny farm tractor", and I took that as a compliment.

But while I am deeply ingrained on my farm here, and will never leave (10 generations,) there is no question that Paul Wheaton, Burra and Joycelyn would teach ME so much, and make such great neighbors, not to mention TJ Jefferson, Joseph Lofthouse, Tyler Ludens, Anne Miller, Regan Dixon, Todd Parr and so many more that it is a travesty that I cannot remember more great members on here. I know some about farming granted, but I have so more to learn.



 
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Maureen Atsali wrote:I am all in with this idea, although I am under qualified and stuck out here in the sticks of Africa... If I can help, here I am.


You mean, you're ready to learn, not overconfident in your capabilities, and located in a frontier for permaculture where you can spread the word?  Perfect! 
 
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Well said Paul! 

I'm hopeful and confident that with many many more of us 'trying', the idea of permaculture will get over a hump and take off into the fringes of the mainstream.

...from one who is also trying from my small piece of the world  

 
pollinator
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Great Stuff and awesome to see people desiring positive permaculture influence in our communities and the world. 

I think that the greatest benefit of Permies.com is that we can get huge diversity in problem solving ideas. It gives us better information from around the globe, easier access to information that may be better than what we have locally. However, this needs to get offline too. Like the ant village we need to begin cultivating relationships in our own communities and spread from there. I love seeing the "guest stars"--that is what they are to me-- at wheaton labs. People are willing to travel and communicate for the purpose of spreading permaculture. I also very much like the model of Cob Cottage Company doing workshops and builds outside of their own community.

Five years ago I realized how amazing natural building is, and three years ago that branch of permies led me to permaculture as a whole. All I want to do now is build bale and cob houses and I'm starting in the Bitterroots of Montana. In the future I hope to see more collaboration between individuals, companies and communities in permaculture practice.
 
gardener
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Steve Farmer wrote:To my mind you/we need to do something epic and then once its done say "look what we did".

Owning land to try stuff and prove stuff is great but your land is already beautiful forest so you could have all sorts of technical breakthrus and 2% more organic soil in a raised bed from one year to the next but what is there to show the untrained eye with a 20 second attention span?

If you could take a patch of stinky landfill or an expanse of concrete or a stretch of poisoned river and fix it, document it and publish it, then it would go viral.


here is a link to a project of epic proportions.  Posted 10 years ago, it has yet to go viral . If that is not a project of epic proportion, and resounding success, then I don't know what is.

http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2007/03/15/restoring-chinas-loess-plateau

Paul, did you say 100 million people receive the daily-ish?  ONE HUNDRED MILLION   I think THAT is epic.

I think geoff lawton's work, especially in the arid Middle East, is also worthy of the label "epic", and yet

I think the comment "but what is there to show the untrained eye with a 20 second attention span?" exemplifies the attitude that impedes the advance of sustainability, and part of what makes mass acceptance of permaculture and sustainability so hard. 

The non-permaculture way yields instant results and the actual costs are hidden from view. 

Permaculture & sustainability take time, patience, and focus.  They require independent observation, thought, analysis and action.  Much of their benefit is hidden from view. (Eg the relation between soil health and climate change, drought flood cycle, etc).  Also much of the benefit is not, cannot be "Owned".  When water table is recharged by one land owner, everyone on the aquifer benefits.  When O2 is generated by plants, it is available to all. 

I think Paul is looking for hundreds of people who have not been acculturated to prefer the  instant rewards (whose costs remain hidden by the efforts of huge corporations and profit-making philosophy and organization).  I think he is asking other imperfect people to join him so that we are all working the same direction, to reach more people, show more gain, and to draw support and encouragement from each other on what might otherwise be a sometimes discouraging, difficult and lonely journey.

Together we can "save the world",  is a fairly common desire here in the Permie community.  Alone and in small groups we are ignored because we have done nothing "epic".  It appears to me, that Paul is suggesting the organization could benefit from a little more tightly organized structure and focus.



 
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I'm all in. Excited to finish my PDC with Geoff online and then start contributing any way I can. I think one of the first steps for a wider acceptance of Permaculture is to clear the "hippy" name from it. Not that the hippy name in general is bad...but the people who make decisions and such seem to have the notion that permaculture people are just tree huggers...when really it's about changing the way we design and live our lives in order to better our local communities and slowly the world at large. I agree, Paul, that having demonstration sites (of ALL sizes) is important so people can see the benefit of moving towards a more "lazy" and beneficial system for all. Let me know what I can do to help!
 
pollinator
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So I told the staff that I would gladly share some of my 73 years of experience.  I now get requests for unanswered posts in some forums and each week 12 interesting post on topics you are interested in. I try to get my camera out and share some of the problems that I made solutions. If a 1000 of us do that 200x should be easy compared to carrying a barn
 
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I am totally on board.  Which is why I took an online course for a PDC.  I care for my 89 year old mom and my husband who has been on oxygen for 2 and 1/2 years so taking of for a pdc  course was not feasible.  I have 13 acres, 11 forested. I drew up my design for the final design for the course, which would ideally be a learning center as well.  Around the corner from me is the World Fellowship Center (started by some communist back in the day; lost of struggles with McCarthy era folks but it is till in action.  I am hoping to get them on board so we can get a permaculture class at their facility with tours and work days at my farm.  We're still under several feet of snow so it will be a will before work starts.  Although building a dome home has been a dream since I was a youngster (I'm 59 now) I still think it will be a longs shot.
Filename: last-permaculture-scan.pdf
Description: perm design for Moose Hollow Farm
File size: 675 Kbytes
 
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Bill Mollison makes it pretty clear that a big part of permaculture is replacing petroleum with people


We agree with the above statement.  The problem is how to find enough people that are motivated.

From the Statistics from Paul efforts of

january through march of 2017

permies:  3.8 million visits and 64.1 million pageviews

richsoil: 0.9 visits and 2.5 million pageviews

youtube:  0.4 million views


total: 5.1 million visits and 70.0 million pageviews


total for all time through then end of march 2017:  97.5 million visits, one can see that there plenty of interest. 


We agree there needs to be more permaculture demonstration sites.

I would like to see hundreds of thousands of Permaculture demonstration sites all over the world.  

I would like to see hundreds of millions of people using permaculture on a regular enough basis that "permaculture" is a household word.   

I can see a path where 500 of us can make that happen through cooperation and hard work. 


We have been wrestling with this problem for 5 years and this is what we have accomplished.

We do nothing but design “permaculture type” products and  procedures.  We presently have an 80 acre experiment ranch, two (2) demo sites, with a third coming on line this summer.  Our demo sites are directly on Hwy 101 on the Oregon Coast.

We have 12 people who have committed to spend 25 hours a week to develop “permaculture type” products and procedures.

To understand how and why people join us https://sustainablelivingcenteroregon.com/about/

To see what we have developed

Vegetables. . .. . .. . .New Ways to Grow
www.YurtCloche.com
www.VeggieSack.com
www.GoandGrowHouse.com                                                      
www.HiDensityFood.com

Tomatoes. . .. . .From July to Thanksgiving
www.TomatoBarrel.com

Lettuce…...Grow lettuce all year on your deck when there is no electrical power
www.KratkyTub.com

Chickens. . ..Eggs What do you do with your chickens when there is no feed to buy
www.ChickenSanctuary.com
www.ChickenProteinDispenser.com
www.NoWasteFeeder.com 
www.CleanChickenWater.com                     
www.RatProofBarrel.com
www.RentToOwnChickens.com
www.LEDsEggs.com
www.RollaWayEggs.com

What else will you learn?

Fertilizer: When there is no fertilizer to purchase
www.BokashiMachine.com
www.SaveRainDrops.com
www.SunDrinkingWater.com

The trouble as we see it is that we can’t get completely away from needing some money.

People who try to live a Permaculture, Off the Grid, or Sustainable life style still must buy things.  Even the pioneers of old had to get supplies from the trading post!
Either you must:

 Growing a lot of crops to sell
 Raising lots of livestock to sell
OR
Someone must hold down a day job

You will need money to buy the things you can’t produce: for example, gasoline.

Chores are largely focused on the production and preservation of food and livestock. That doesn’t leave much time to work a 40-hour work week.  

We understand the second golden rule.

…….He Who has the Gold Makes the Rules…….

You may not like this rule, you may not agree with this rule, but it controls the world.

Watch what happen to societies, when there is no “gold” (in the form of jobs, social security, SSI, food stamps, or unemployment insurance)

Watch the county Venezuela as the oil revenue “gold” continue to decrease.

To be Sustainable, it is not just enough to have food, water, energy, and shelter, you need money.  We can’t get completely away from needing some “gold”.

We have seen more than one Homesteader give up because they could not make the payments.

The intent of our Permaculture Demonstration Sites is to show our 12-residence members and the general public that they can use our Products and Procedures somewhere else with no strings attached.  

The Products and Procedures are designed that a person (with no interest in Permaculture) would purchase them  because they see the value to them.

To Learn How to Support Yourself as a Permaculture Enthusiast  https://permies.com/t/60604/support-Permaculture-Enthusiast






 
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I personally relate to the second post in this thread, made by Mike Jay. I feel like "fictitious conversation #2" is the direction I'm personally having with people. It's the case of physical rewards that I can show people before I start to delve into teaching them things they would have thought insane without seeing the results first. When I can show people the food I've grown in plain sight in what they believe to be just a nice looking front yard flower garden it can open their minds to change. If I hadn't shown them the food first, my neighbors would simply tell me there's a law against gardening in front yards. I feel like that is the path some of us tread, others are on the pdc path, the website path, the permaculture community path, etc. I discovered permaculture because of paul's you tube hugelkulture videos, every time we show others the quantitative results we educate and change minds. So, here's to 200x more permaculture, whichever way we can.
 
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I also feel that demonstrating results is the most effective form of teaching.  My husband and I hope to demonstrate that by using permaculture principles and techniques we can save our county road from the next big flood.  This isn't as dramatic as developing a full-on permaculture demonstration site, but it would still be keen.

 
Nick Jennison
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Tyler Ludens wrote:I also feel that demonstrating results is the most effective form of teaching.  My husband and I hope to demonstrate that by using permaculture principles and techniques we can save our county road from the next big flood.  This isn't as dramatic as developing a full-on permaculture demonstration site, but it would still be keen.



That is great work to be doing! Supporting the local community with permaculture principles = people care. Trying to save the infrastructure is a good goal AND at the same time you're preventing erosion with the  potential to harvest the runoff water for something else productive. That's a great thing to call a demonstration site and one we should most definitely want to show off to the wider community!

Be the change- that's what permies do.
 
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Tyler Ludens wrote:I also feel that demonstrating results is the most effective form of teaching.  My husband and I hope to demonstrate that by using permaculture principles and techniques we can save our county road from the next big flood.  This isn't as dramatic as developing a full-on permaculture demonstration site, but it would still be keen.



Hi Tyler, You may find some good information for saving your road on this site -  http://www.watershedartisans.com/ ; Scroll to the bottom and download the free PDF.  If you look up the name  Craig Sponholtz  on YouTube  you'll see numerous videos of his erosion control work. This guy is a real expert at his profession, I learned a lot from him for sure. Growing up and living on an organic ranch/farm in the Southwest, I've been keen on trying to stop erosion all my life and this guy definitely has the goods. I hope it's of help to you.

Cheers, Joe
 
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Paul,

I was thinking about this yesterday. There are benefits to oppression or political weakness. It requires local adaptation and relational spread, which is more durable. It also appears slow until it isn't. Geometric expansion is the goal, and different things will speak to different people. There is no one cultural meme that works universally.

To change the world I see a path:  More people need to hear about permaculture.  Then they'll want to see it in action (online or in person).  Then they'll ease into it or maybe dive in head first.  Then they'll tell someone else about it.  Lather rinse repeat.  Naysayers and trolls will fight it but if we win the other 80% of people, we win the war.


Yes! I am limping along learning stuff. My neighbor is now doing it, we have installed a couple hundred feet of hugels that replaced a chemical ag field and planted the rest in clover to regenerate. His brother thinks we both are nuts, but he is interested. He chemical farms a couple hundred acres. I talked to him about no-till, mostly the economics. Maybe we can move him to Gabe Brown style eventually. I have coworkers who are doing small scale stuff at their house. They are interested in upscaling to land. Moving homes is a BIG step. They are thinking about it. I got them to save coffee grounds at work and I get a couple pounds every day, and they are even turning off lights when they go home (sometimes). I have some neighborhood kids that I let do some "work" that takes twice my time supervising them, but they get to eat berries from their efforts, and they will understand where food comes from. I will be set up to propagate plants next spring and there are now two people locally that I can trade plants with to increase diversity at our places. I am trying to set up a distribution channel/farmers market, which is the hardest aspect/barrier to adoption.

I love Mike Jay's fictitious conversations- there are a subset of people that develop a sort of evangelical fervor, perhaps something just "clicks" with them and they are all-in. But I think most people it is a more gradual process. The fact that Bill Mollison said something is not going to get person #2 to build a WOFATI.

I don't know what exactly permies.com staff means, I will be honest. I know there are several people that moderate and many more that contribute content that is quite valuable. Permies in my opinion is valuable specifically because it is more like a network than a library. I am not sure there is enough solid science to build a Wikipermia yet, but I appreciate the effort going into testing hypotheses and doing the real lifting. I am going to build a small WOFATI and see how it does in the humidity. I have a couple other projects going on that I think are innovative and if they work I will publish them. I don't get two weeks off to take a PDC in person but I will likely do one online over the winter. I will admit moving to Montana is a bridge too far for me at my age and family situation. Am I a fractional "x"?

I hope I can bloom where I am planted based on the above. I have been at this about a year. Maybe this is an experimental station in a couple years. If there is something I can do more formally remotely I would be cool with that.  I would not discount the fractional "x's" in your schema.
 
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I'm a beacon in my local area, but I'm afraid not many people are listening in on my frequency.  To be a permie is to be an oddball, to march to the beat of a different drummer.  People will start listening when they can see that it works out better than what they are doing now.  Every time you get a repeat customer who comments "hey, this really tastes good; this is better than what you get in the store" you have an opportunity to make another permie convert.  Then they will listen to other permie ideas.

Keep on keeping on.....

 
pollinator
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I hope to be able to contribute to this effort. It is hard to balance a family, fulltime work job and my permaculture efforts and then also take the time to document what I'm doing, make it available online, promote it, etc. But I'm trying to do that on here and I'm also trying to find time to help other people out by posting responses to their questions. I really appreciate having this site as a resource to help with all of our efforts!

I hope my land can become a demonstration site - my wife and I don't plan on ever selling the place so we have a long time (we are both in our early 30s) to do this work. Our place is close to town making it easy for people to see it visit and sits along a fairly busy road making it very visible. Plus despite being smallish (2.86 acres) there is a lot of potential in my opinion - seasonal stream, wetland area, slopes, flat areas. It is also almost a blank slate at the moment so any changes that I make will be very visible and before / after pics should really jump out even to an untrained eye. One of my summer tasks is to establish "photo points" - marked points on my property where I will be taking seasonal pictures to track the changes overtime. I will also have access to a drone soon to help document the changes.

I want to make a blog, do a weekly vlog on YouTube, make some simple how-to ebooks, etc. as a way to promote my work and share it with people. I hope this community can help with this and I hope that my materials would be of some value to this community.

So I'm in and I will keep doing what I can to help! Restoration and permaculture are my passions and I'm going to be doing this the rest of my life!
 
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I think that Paul is first of all  suggesting something focussed close to the Permies.com effort and Wheaton Labs.  It’s central to achieving the worthwhile aims he has.  And I understand that, support and applaud it.

Still, I believe the discussion of the topic here also suggests broader principles of “many hands”, and of coordinated multi-person efforts with ground rules.  Not everybody has a rural acreage, and not everybody has even a back yard (many condo and apartment dwellers do not).

Do I risk diluting the original intent of this thread if I mention a couple of basic ideas that I feel relate to the “culture” part of perma-culture?

Some time back I started a couple threads, one about cooperative work organized (at least on occasion) among neighbors:
https://permies.com/t/39844/Share-barn-raising-type-stories

The other thread is about cooperative shops (or co-ops in general), where the investment in very useful but often expensive tools and equipment can be defrayed:
https://permies.com/t/44847/experience-running-cooperative-shops-wood

Truthfully, I feel these are equally important to the land-use, food production, shelter provision that we more usually associate with the term permaculture.  They definitely partake of the "do more with less" idea.  (But feel free to avoid going there, in this discussion — and tell me if it's out of line — if you regard it as a detrimental digression.)
 
Tyler Ludens
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Joel Bercardin wrote: Not everybody has a rural acreage, and not everybody has even a back yard (many condo and apartment dwellers do not).


People often post on permies offering free land in exchange for working it.  Permies.com could become a clearing house for connecting land-havers with land-needers.  There's no lack of land available for people who want to work it.  It just might not be in their personal yard.

 
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I've taken a PDC, and found that the most valuable part was the retooling-one's-brain part, and looking at one's surroundings with new eyes.  So now I'm trying to proceed with two halves of one brain that aren't talking to each other--the creative half that sees the problem as the solution, does a lot of un-gardening, and happily makes unconventional messes experiments in playing with the flow of things on the land and around the house.  The other uptight half of the brain tries to grow conventional crops, berates self for having a black thumb, and sees failed projects everywhere.  Depending which half of my brain is on the ascendant, I am either confirming that wheels have been invented and gravity still works, or I am lamenting over the lost investment of yet more seeds and seedlings, and the cost of the groceries that I still have to buy, in my seventh year of trying to make this patch gloriously abundant.  So, I don't find myself a poster child for permaculture success at this point.  At best I'm someone who understands both the permaculture approach and the conventional resistance.  If you need someone like that, here I am.

I'm not close to Wheaton Labs, but live in a somewhat similar biome with a lower sun angle.  I'm not intending to move, but might be able to share notes, if I ever learn anything.
 
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Watching gardening shows on pbs, I've heard the word "permaculture" in the past year more than the past 20 years combined.

Please don't fret that it's not happening.  It may not be centralized or measurable, but everyone has their own little sphere of influence. If people are coming here to learn or contribute, there's a reasonable assumption they are doing the same in their daily lives outside of this forum.
 
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The issue, it would seem to me, would be one of scalability.  Can you scale the existing structure to 500 people?  Adding 500 people to support Wheaton Labs, the Permies.Com site, etc. would be a lot of people, and at some point perhaps overkill.  It might start to be a matter of people falling all over each other.  Too much a good thing is still too much.

Imagine McDonalds building a restaurant with 500 employees.  Too much. 

But what would it look like for Wheaton Labs to go to a franchise model?  Like McDonalds, decentralizing those resources and spreading them around suddenly makes the product more accessible and the human resources fully utilized.

Would there be a way for you to set the criteria for 200 or more demonstration sites (franchises) and have people apply for their site to be listed? 


A couple of anticipated questions.

1.  Why would I want my farm or home to be listed as a Permies Franchise?  Because you believe in the cause—save the planet, feed the world, regenerate what was once destroyed, and build resiliency.

2.  What's in it for me?  Will I profit?  Perhaps, but that's up to you.  Franchisees could certainly use the Permies.Com name and network to sell their products, but they'd have to be open to the fact that if you take the label, your site has to be open for people to visit and for educational events to take place, and for those in the leadership to exercise a measure of standardization and a list of expectations for what they want everyone to do.

3.  What's the big idea?  Exposure of the permaculture design philosophy, education of a much larger group of people, and advocacy for like-minded people.

4.  What about cool people like Geoff Laughton and Joel Salatin?  They are already Permaculture studs.  Gabe Brown.  Ben Falk.  Folks like that.  If they were to get on board and be willing to call their site a Permies franchise, wouldn't that be amazing?  Absolutely.  We're talking about creating a brand big enough to absorb the best examples of Permaculture around the world. 

5.  Who sets the standards of what would or wouldn't be considered a Permies franchise?  I would imagine that getting the best minds in a room and establishing a criteria for what would be considered adequate would be necessary.  Someone like Diego Footer is already doing this, to a degree.

6.  Would people go for it?  Aren't Permie-type people fiercely independent and averse to such organizational and standardization efforts?  Yes.  By their nature, environmental and sustainability type groups tend to be egalitarian in structure, which means that they can never grow larger than 150 to 200 people.  Once they get that big, they find an excuse to break up and split.  Anyone who studies organizational structure can tell you that you can't manage a group larger than 200 people without at least 3 levels of hierarchy, and most likely, 4.  So there is the rub: the people most likely to want to do this sort of thing are allergic to hierarchy, standardization, and structure.  If you want an organization of 500 people, there simply must be hierarchy with levels of executive leadership that will be making far-reaching decisions for the group.

One additional thought on this aversion to organization: movements RARELY transition into organizations.  Movements are wild beasts the run through the forest with strength and beauty.  You can't domesticate them.  Black Lives Matter, Standing Rock, Occupy Wall Street. . . you name the most recent movements . . . they don't translate into organizations.  So movements catch fire and spread quickly.  But if you try to tame them, organize them, and make them last, those early adapters are usually the ones who scream the loudest about "It's not like it used to be when nobody was in it for the money and everything was corporatized, man."  So my hunch is that if you want to scale this to 500 people, much of the "movement" language and methods will have to give ground to things like standards, signed agreements, and such.

Hippies don't like that.

Paul, if you were to create such a franchise structure (perhaps with 2 or 3 different levels of certification), I'd be thrilled to work toward getting my small suburban home on such a list.  I'd be thrilled to be part of the 500 person army you're assembling.  I'd be thrilled to open my home a couple of times a year for educational events, tours, a demonstration site, etc.  I'm sure there are hundreds of others on this board who would desire to do the same.

 
Tj Jefferson
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I planted 150 seedlings this morning. I need to sit down. Is it too early for beer? Crap, yeah it is.

So doing manual labor lets me think. Here's my thinking:

From OP/Paul:
"During the meeting I presented the idea of how all of the stuff I was doing could be called "x" and what I wanted was "200x" - so 200 times more of what I was doing." 


I think, Paul, that in aggregate, considerably more is being done than you are aware. I think the issue is one if perception. A big part of that on my end is TOO MUCH DOING, and not enough documentation. I take some pictures and post stuff now and again, but I am working to get more toward a Travis Johnson ability to prove my success both scientifically (with expenditures of time/money/fuel vs. increased species/soil measurables) and emotionally (I post more pictures because I know that's what sells- and Jocelyn begs and stuff). Many of us are self-motivated, and as such we are often not good at the outfacing aspects of this, which includes distibution BTW.

Am I close to home here? 

So if this is a big percentage of the issue- I can help!! In terms of the other outfacing aspects, I need to plant more trees and think about it. I think what Marco said about franchises is interesting, but franchises are all about standardization. Permaculture is opposite. It is more like the time-honored guild system, where you apprenticed and learned from a master. I actually think the PDC concept is a partial solution at best. I go to a chiropractor sometimes. There are literally probably millions of them, and they all have a piece of paper that says they can do chiropractic. But I have been to several who were just not very good, and I wasted my money and risked injury. They are no doubt still mostly doing their thing, no change in competency.

I have been to a select few who were VERY good. Actually the last one was not even a chiropractor, he was some other affiliated certification. One of my coworkers used to be a chiroprator, and he said internally in the field they know they expanded too fast and lost the quality control- but the schools made a ton of money in student loans. They lost the benefit of apprenticeship which is ultimately consumer trust.

We know that the modality can work, but due to poor quality control the uptake has been limited. People try it, don't get a benefit and write it off. In fact large studies have shown minimal benefit! But smaller studies with a few high-quality practitioners have shown marked benefit, even blinded appropriately!

So I see Wheaton Labs partly as an apprenticeship- you work for someone and learn exponentially more than you could from a book or on the internet. There are many places doing internships/apprenticeships, but yours is pretty far in the experimental, which is important. If you are paying with years of your life you want to maximize it. No one wants to summer intern for HP, they want to be at Tesla amiright? You have a brand. To some degree you extend your brand to other endeavors like Permaculture Voices (which is top-notch), but you don't want to extend it too far.

Other aspects are the Permies.com site, which has no brand control advertised- its a sandbox. This has volunteer labor as moderators, and probably could use more. Is this the shortfall you perceive?

Then there are professional content extensions of the Labs that are either paid (like the stuff formerly on scubbly) and unpaid like YouTube content and podcasts. I think moving the podcasts to a paid content model seems smart. I personally pay for high-value podcasts for my work rather than low-quality free ones. This gives you content control which moves it more into a trusted product. So Permies.com is the gateway drug for the premium content. It seems like this is another area that you are looking to expand, but is likely to require someone local.
Or is it? Can we as digital minions make videos for the evil empire? Is there a suite of cheap/free or cloud software that we can use to make it premium quality? I am trying to learn SketchUp for my Wo-Baa-ti sheep shelter, and I could probably shoot some video (unfortunately generally I am working alone so might need some equipment). It seems like that would lower the production price, i.e. no one is travelling, just electrons.  

Is there a way you could participate in the gig economy, where trusted agents are available for premium digital consultation?

Just some ideas, trying to figure out how the majority of users on here would be more contributory. Coffee is done back to the salt mines.
 
paul wheaton
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I wish for permies.com to become 200 times bigger than it is now.  That there are 500 people who make it great, and about 20 people that were "incubated" here that end up being 2x.   So when you list off the top 100 permaculture people in the world for all time, I end up being #44.   In other words, my efforts here fell into the space of "gardening gardeners".  I end up being a forgotten footnote because this site was used as a springboard for the people that made a far bigger difference than I ever did.  Further still, all of the stuff on this site from those 500 people is so big that it has garnered global attention.  And nearly everybody in the world is not only aware of permaculture, but it means "an excellent design science; about working with nature instead of working against nature". 

So the mission here, at permies.com, becomes an attempt to reach 200x with 500 people.  This is about sharing a thousand bricks and each brick might be presented in a hundred different ways - all far better than anything I have done. 

So rather than me focusing on my presentation of one brick, I have been focusing on providing a framework for hundreds of people to provide thousands of presentations of thousands of bricks.

The purpose of this thread is simply demonstrate that I'm not just one kook.   I am hopeful that hundreds of people will express that they wish to work toward the same goal, or a similar goal.  That they will volunteer their time and effort to being part of the 500.  Maybe they will demonstrate some bricks in their backyard, or share video of some bricks, or share pictures of some bricks, or share links to some bricks, or help people understand some bricks .....    each working in a way that helps amplify all of this stuff ... with the end result being that we might all, collectively, achieve 200x.

A thumbs up on the first post of this thread says, perhaps, "I will put in two hours each week toward x". 

And then if I talk to somebody else and tell them about all this and they say "nobody would do that.  nobody would waste their time on that." I can point to this thread, where, I hope there are hundreds of upvotes for the first post.



 
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I'm new to the "official" permaculture movement, but have been experimenting and practicing many of the concepts accidentally. A year or so ago, I decided to get more focused in my studies. Which is how I found this site. Which is most excellent! I appreciate reading about so many like-minded people and learning how they accomplish goals and solve problems.

I have a 35 acre patch of bentonite, with a few yucca, greasewood and cheatgrass plants on it. My test patch of rehab (1/8 acre) went well, so I've begun the full-scale rehab and will be posting pictures along the way. At this point, it's a hobby. In 10 years, I hope for it to be a living.
So, I'm one more cog in your wheel!
The plan:
-I have river water access and installed a rife river pump yesterday. http://www.riferam.com/pumps.html It's working well, so my biggest challenge is at least mitigated, if not solved.
-I'm planting every edible perennial I can find which has even a remote shot at growing in my zone 4 climate. Densely. From seed. Only the strong shall survive!
-since I have water now, I'm planting (Bareroot stock) some fast-growing willow-poplar hybrids to create a source of biomass (if you've met bentonite soil, you know why).

- no animals yet (do deer and antelope count?), but later. When I can feed them from my land.

I'm just here looking for guidance, so thanks for creating a venue for idea-exchange!
 
Joe DiMeglio
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Tj Jefferson wrote:

Can we as digital minions make videos for the evil empire? Is there a suite of cheap/free or cloud software that we can use to make it premium quality? I am trying to learn SketchUp for my Wo-Baa-ti sheep shelter, and I could probably shoot some video (unfortunately generally I am working alone so might need some equipment). It seems like that would lower the production price, i.e. no one is travelling, just electrons.  


Hi TJ,

You mentioned using SketchUp and I just wanted to let you know about this new, free software that is supposed to be much better, called Fusion 360. I just saw it on a video last night and the guy doing the video is offering tutorial in it at a link under the vid.  Here's the link if you're interested  -   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkYoo16MpTc   ;

Regarding shooting video - One tip I'd like to give anyone shooting video outdoors if to use a good mic windscreen. I see way to many videos where the wind noise makes it all but unwatchable.  A long haired "Fake Fur" sock over the regular foam windscreen is a cheap and effective way to go. The other tip I would offer videographers is "Pan Sloooooooowly"  Especially with lower bit rate cameras, the image smear is really bad when panning quickly.  The camera cannot resolve moving images like our amazing eyeballs can.  Let's represent our work in the best possible way!

I also agree with what you said about apprenticing and quality outcomes, I've had the same experience with chiropractors too - some amazing and very effective, some cookie-cutter and not good or even counterproductive.  I've also seem a few "permaculture designers" who appear to not really get it and make "Type 1 Errors" consistently.  Competence is super important for the Earth, the People and the credibility and thus adoption & spread of Permaculture.  I think that quality presentations like SketchUp designs and good Video/Audio are another part of that for sure.

I also agree that a decentralized movement is more effective than a more centralized one and is consistent with Permaculture design principles. Nature doesn't centralize, it distributes widely for the most part. Lots of permies doing their work in their own locale is part of the way Permaculture spreads naturally, like a mycelial net. From my experience, modern industrialized humans seem to like to make chains, whereas Nature likes to make webs.

Cheers, Joe

 
Joe DiMeglio
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John Arross wrote:

I have a 35 acre patch of bentonite, with a few yucca, greasewood and cheatgrass plants on it.



Hi John,

Welcome to Permies! I'm glad you found the site. It's really an amazing resource. I'm curious from your description of your biome - Zone 4 with bentonite, yucca, greasewood, (AKA; creosote, like we have here, I'm assuming?) and cheatgrass - Sounds like you're in some high desert area. I'm down in Tucson, AZ, and just wondering where you're based? I probably have some resources to help you out from my drylands experience. I'm a native and grew up on an organic farm here, so I'm a desert rat for sure. Don't hesitate to ask any question here, people are friendly and ready to help around these parts!

Best, Joe


 
John Arross
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Sounds like you're in some high desert area. I'm down in Tucson, AZ, and just wondering where you're based?

Joe,

You are correct about my biome. High desert. Casper, Wyoming. I have access to a section of the north Platte, which I just tapped into two days ago. There are some patches of sand in addition to the bentonite, but it's all a work in progress.

I'm looking for every way possible to improve organic matter content of my soil, while not burning a billion gallons of diesel in the process.
I've started planting woody perennials, vetch, oilseed radishes, and about anything I can find that MIGHT grow. Growing from seed so I can try a lot of things without as much expense and heartbreak of watching a nursery plant wither and die.

This year, I have my first hugelculture bed and I'm trying some things from sepp holder and mark Sheppards books.

I have a lot to learn. Anything you're willing to share is welcome as it's hard to find references for my specific climate.

Thanks for the reply.
John

 
Mike Jay
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paul wheaton wrote:
A thumbs up on the first post of this thread says, perhaps, "I will put in two hours each week toward x". 

And then if I talk to somebody else and tell them about all this and they say "nobody would do that.  nobody would waste their time on that." I can point to this thread, where, I hope there are hundreds of upvotes for the first post.



Hi Paul, I will put in two hours each week towards starting a homesteading club in my community.  The initial goal will be to get other homestead oriented folks (especially newer people) in touch with one another to learn and share.  I will push the discussions and tactics away from chemicals and towards permaculture. 

I'll also put at least 30 hours into building a chicken coop from pallets, making automatic feeders, waterers and door closers that require no electricity and share the results on Permies.  (I may have to use electricity to keep the water from freezing though)
 
Joe DiMeglio
Posts: 47
Location: Tucson, AZ Zone 9A/9B
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John Arross wrote:
I'm looking for every way possible to improve organic matter content of my soil, while not burning a billion gallons of diesel in the process.
I've started planting woody perennials, vetch, oilseed radishes, and about anything I can find that MIGHT grow. Growing from seed so I can try a lot of things without as much expense and heartbreak of watching a nursery plant wither and die.

This year, I have my first hugelculture bed and I'm trying some things from sepp holder and mark Sheppards books.

I have a lot to learn. Anything you're willing to share is welcome as it's hard to find references for my specific climate.

Thanks for the reply.
John



Hey John, You're on the right track trying to improve the soil first. Keep that as your #1 goal and you can't go wrong.  My best recommendation is to immerse yourself in Elaine Ingham's soil health videos and website - soilfoodweb.com  as a first step. She has a free micro course there that you can take. Here are a few of her best videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2H60ritjag   ; The Roots of Your Profits

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzthQyMaQaQ&t=155s   ; Healthy Soil for Healthy Plants.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXBIxFAxtlQ ; Life in the Soil 1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3s73_elaNP8  ; Part 2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GatAEMYu__o    ; Grow crops that resist pests - a shorty

Also look into her vids on compost and compost tea/extract/humic acid.



If you've got compaction, which I'm sure you do with Bentonite, you may also try Daikon radish. Try sowing your desired crops in among the native stuff as shelter plants, we do that a lot in the hot desert. Nitrogen fixers are also huge in arid lands, so lots of support species. I have lists of desert legumes I can send you, so just ask if you want them.

One huge benefit is that Bentonite will seal a dam or pond like nothing else, so you have the perfect stuff for lots of farm dams/ponds. Possibly connected with Keyline strips, swales or drainage ditches and tree belts. Look into Darren Doherty for his ideas doing this type of connected system. A video is below.


Since you don't want to burn tons of diesel in the process, I recommend using animals to improve your soil.  You may be able to run some goats to graze off the undesirable stuff while fertilizing and creating beneficial disturbance patterns and converting that scrub to milk and meat.  Look on YouTube for "using goats to clear land" for ideas.

For animal grazing systems, I highly recommend Greg Judy's work  - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GCskgbeSqE           ;
Greg runs cattle, sheep, goats and fowl all on the same paddocks, either together or in succession with amazing results. Polyculture first with plants, then with animals. Just like Nature.

You can look into Gabe Brown's stuff as well.   Like this gem -  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yPjoh9YJMk

Here's a series well worth the time investment - Putting Grasslands to Work -  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMvpop6BdBA  ; Elaine again.

Of course, most stuff on Holistic Management and it's developer, Alan Savory, is awesome.

Darren Doherty, who uses a full-to-bulging toolbox containing Permaculture, Holistic Management, Keyline Design, Soil Foodweb, Living Machines and just about anything else he can find to regenerate the land.   This one is a fave of mine -   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZfAE-j3wVA    ; and there's lots more of him on the web.

Sepp and Mark Sheppard are definitely worthy teachers of course, but you know about them.

As for your specific Biome, I'll do some poking around, because there isn't much out there on high desert regenerative farming.

I hope this is helpful and not overwhelming for you. Just take your time and enjoy geeking out on all this stuff. Soon you'll be unable to see the world any other way - Regrarian Goggles welded to your noggin!

All the Best, Joe


 
Joe DiMeglio
Posts: 47
Location: Tucson, AZ Zone 9A/9B
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John Arross wrote:

I'm looking for every way possible to improve organic matter content of my soil, while not burning a billion gallons of diesel in the process.
I've started planting woody perennials, vetch, oilseed radishes, and about anything I can find that MIGHT grow. Growing from seed so I can try a lot of things without as much expense and heartbreak of watching a nursery plant wither and die.


Hey John,  I forgot to add that we have an awesome seed company here in Tucson called Native Seed Search that finds, propagates and sells seeds that are adapted to drylands - especially edibles. With your efforts to bring in more organic matter, the more diverse the mix, the better, so here is a catalog page from NSS for High Desert seeds.  - You can also contact them for advice. Lots of smart folks there.

https://shop.nativeseeds.org/collections/catalog/high-desert ;

There's also High Desert Seeds in Colorado -  http://www.highdesertseed.com/     ; And  High Country Gardens - http://www.highcountrygardens.com/perennial-plants  ; Wildflower mixes encourage pollinators, and gosh darn it, they're just plain purty!  A lot of their species grow down here too.

Here's some resources from Albuquerque Public Library that might be useful -  http://abqlibrary.org/seeds/HighDesertGardeningResources

If you google "High Desert Seeds"  of similar searches, there's some good stuff out there.   I've got a lot of stuff on water harvesting, making small dams, and erosion control too if you want any of that - mostly on PDF's.  Just let me know if you're interested.

Regarding watching expensive nursery plants die, I hear ya. It's a drag, so seeds are the best way to go. There's a good thread on here about seed starting mediums too. I recommend 2/3 sharp sand - free on the inside bends of rivers -  and 1/3 locally made compost.  I learned that one from Mr Lawton and I like it a lot.  For broadcast seed, watering them in with compost tea and some mulch at the time of sowing is a great way to go.

Cheers!
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
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I wanted to add my suggestion for another seed source for western desert  soils, so I put it on this thread:

https://permies.com/t/64794/seed-resources-arid-alkaline-lands#552318
 
If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford. Tiny ad:
Jacqueline Freeman - Honeybee Techniques - streaming video
https://permies.com/wiki/65175/videos/digital-market/Jacqueline-Freeman-Honeybee-Techniques-streaming
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