John Wheeler

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since Nov 06, 2011
Slippery Rock, PA
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Recent posts by John Wheeler

I just wanted to say that the first kickstarter I ever supported was the second fire DVD one. I got the 8 DVD set with all 3 versions. Even though I've downloaded all 4 of the old DVDs, I've only watched about half of one of them. On The Other Hand, the Permaculture Rhymer's Manual I have probably listened to an average of about once a day since then.

The point of this is, I'm not sure if I would buy the cards by themselves in a Kickstarter (unless the discount was ridiculous, like a brick for the price of 2 decks), but I could easily be swayed by extra "candy".
If you don't get an answer, try letting a small patch flower/go to seed and post a picture of that. It is much easier to identify grasses from the seed heads.
4 years ago
Really not a good idea to buy charcoal that is meant for burning and use it as a soil amendment. In addition to glues and fillers, some charcoal even has lighter fluid added to it. And if you're really unlucky, you could get charred coal, which is quite a bit different from biochar. This is the whole reason they use the prefix "bio".

That said, there are people who sell biochar that has been prepared for immediate use in the garden. And while your best results will come from burning in a fancy retort, I get decent results burning in a open fire pit until the coals fall apart easily when hit (at which point they almost ring) and then dousing with water.
4 years ago
Is there any truth to that statement?

Well, what exactly are you trying to do?

Are you trying to kill off weed seeds?
Are you trying to heat your water for showers?
Are you trying to make compost freakishly fast?

Or, are you just trying to make a good fertilizer? Because if it's any of the first three, definitely, you want to compost leaves separately. But if you are just trying to make good fertilizer and don't mind waiting a little while longer, it's probably not worth the bother. However, you do want to make sure you get the ratio of C:N correct, and leaves generally don't come at the same time as everything else, so I generally do have a separate bin to store leaves to add to the general compost pile a little at a time.
4 years ago

Alex Ames wrote:

Linda Ford wrote:What about the plates of beer I always heard about. Has anyone tried that?

It kills them well enough but I wonder if it should be used outside the garden rather
than in it. It is like "calling all slugs" when you put the beer out!

My suggestion is to put the traps at the corners of your garden. That way for any pest on the outside of your garden, the shortest path to the nearest trap will not cross your garden. I haven't tried it with beer and slugs but it seemed to work pretty well with yellow jackets and Japanese beetles.
4 years ago

Burra Maluca wrote:
One of the reviews on amazon says that

Few people know that this is the same book as Permaculture: A Designers' Manual. I've compared them side by side and only the cover and first few pages are different.

Can anyone confirm that this is true or not?

Here's the link to amazon - Permaculture:A practical guide for a substainable future

Somewhat of a moot point, as the PDM is cheaper and more readily available, unless you already have a copy.... but they are roughly the same length.
Someone has made a pedal-powered chipper:

Obviously there is a limit to how large a stick you can put through that, but then again, there probably are better uses you can be making for larger wood.
5 years ago
I certainly don't make money doing Permaculture, but my time commitment is generally in the single digits of hours per week. I really don't know anyone who makes money "doing Permaculture"; I do, however, have at least 3 friends who make a living farming full-time who do use Permaculture techniques. The distinction is that they are not "purists"; they are willing to do what they have to to make money. Not that they violate the ethical principles, but they aren't for example above growing salad greens in a greenhouse in winter to keep their income up.

In case you're wondering, here are their websites:
5 years ago
The most important thing is having a clear vision of what you want. The second most is having a written plan.
So, since you said to keep 'em coming, here are some more questions:

What parts do you find fun?
What would you do with your time if you had a genie that did everything you asked it to?
What are you good at?
How many people are on board with this project? What do they enjoy? What are they good at?
Are you literally keeping a list of what you need to research? Are you organizing the results of your research in a way that is handy for you to reference?
Do you have experience in gardening or homesteading?
Do you or people in your group have experience with marketing or fundraising?
What is your plan for financing the purchase of the land?
How many people will this place support financially/materially, both initially and in the long run? (recognizing that with permaculture many needs can be provided for without using money)
5 years ago
Sounds exciting... I wish you the best of luck in this endeavor.

Do you mind if I ask you some questions about yourself? LOL because I do have a background in real estate, and I think being able to market yourself will be an integral part of your success.
What is your background in Permaculture?
Do you have experience managing large projects?
How much teaching experience do you have?
What makes you different from other Permaculture teachers?
Have you done much marketing or fundraising?

Also, what is going to make your place special? Are you just trying to draw people from the Boston area or all over the East Coast?
5 years ago