Gerald Benard

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since Jan 01, 2012
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Recent posts by Gerald Benard

Paul,
Just fixed my Permies email to match kickstarter. Thanks for the PODS.
-trailwest
I have a possibly ridiculous question:

I started a community garden in Austin, TX and one of my gardeners protested putting in a bee hive because European Honey Bees are not native. Do we know when European bees arrived in the US? Is the name European just a description and not really an indication of origin?

btw, we are putting in the bee hive anyway.

Thank you.

5 years ago
Dave,
I have both of your Edible Garden hardcovers and they are amazing reference sources as well as works of art.

I live in central Texas and got feedback from a local forest gardener that books on forest gardening that are written based in temperate climates stress access to sunshine. His feedback for central Texas was to plant understory trees and bushes on the East side of larger trees so that they will be protected from the searing afternoon heat/sun.

What do you think about this approach in southern climates?

Thank you.
5 years ago
I asked a forestry expert about the Holzer technique of harshly exposing bare root trees, roots and all, to the elements for a time before planting them to increase the chances of independent survival. He said that the trees are dormant and that the technique would have no effect.

Why does this work for Sepp?
6 years ago
Unbelievable page!

Check out Geoff's latest work merging Permaculture and Preparing for disasters at www.GeoffLawton.com. It's Free!
6 years ago
Paul and Helen's review of the DVD is very positive, especially on soil chemistry and texture. Only one DVD left on Amazon...

I agree with Paul on the focus on some soil scientists on the ick that can be added to the soil to maximize production. During my MG training, they specifically stated an "agnostic" approach to chemical vs. organic, they taught for 90+% on chemical growing.

Thanks for the ECO level 2 podcast ranging up to level 7.
Another great podcast Paul and Jocelyn!

I've had one meal like that in my lifetime and have never forgotten it. It is worth what people will pay for it. Wouldn't you want to run a restaurant that served all permaculture polyculture 15+ food for $750/meal? Even better yet, your idea to charge $200 for an exquisite permaculture meal. This is something that requires momentum. As more people understand permaculture, more will be willing to pay for it.

Farmers making $500K per year on modest acreage practicing permaculture will create a flood of people who build soil, grow healthy food, and attact other people to the movement. It takes a lot of up front energy to learn and practice permaculture with the payback from hardscaping and perennial systems in the years to come.

Put yourself in the shoes of someone with lots of time and no money, an 18 year old high school graduate. You have to decide how to put your time to the best use. If you find out permaculture farmers can do the right thing and make $500K, wouldn't that be a very attractive proposition? What if, instead, you find out you can be a permaculture farmer and make $10K per year and have no resources to grow your skills, teach others, or add more land under your stewardship? What is more likely to attract young, energetic talent? If you count only on the altruistic, permaculture will be a small footnote in the history of the productive use of land. Momentum will be built by attracting people through surplus (yes, profit).





Mark,
I like your skepticism about this. You'll believe it when you see it. I got started in permaculture after hearing about two books by Brad Lancaster at about the time he published them. His material is some of the best I've read, even with so much new stuff coming out. He is very much into capturing water in drylands. The focus of his books is not Hugelkultur but on earthworks in general. He cites an example in book 2 about a fire scorched landscape where the local people took the dead trees, placed them on contour (Lama, NM, The Lama Foundation, Page 82 of Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond Book 2), buried them in hay, and saved the scorched landscape by controlling and capturing rainwater run-off. He also writes about buried paper/junk mail and mounded wood chip swales with pictures. This adds to the references but not proof.

Are you specifically skeptical that the system holds water or that it won't get enough water on a flat surface and will require more frequent manual irrigation? I live in a place with long dry summers and know that I have to irrigate some in my garden beds. If I can space out these irrigations to once a month instead of 3 times a week, it seems like this would be a big win.
6 years ago
Mark,
I have noticed the same thing. Jack Spirko has posted YouTube videos where he created Hugel Swales and Hulgelkultur raised beds and have shown them months later. There is some stuff out there showing it much later but I can't remember where I have seen it. There will be a flood of long term pictures in the years to come...
-Gerald
6 years ago
Ben,
The thought also occured to me that a Hugelkultur bed will last 10 years while this container garden will last maybe 2-3 seasons. I think it may make more sense to find completely rotten wood and put it at the bottom of the pot. The wood I used was old but not completely rotten.

I'll keep this thread posted on my progress and let you know at the end of the season if it rotted and if it helped my plants grow.

I did make an SIP (Self-Irrigated Planter) last weekend to compare results.

Sorry to hear about your termite problem. This government requirement to poison your yard is rediculous.

Thanks,
-Gerald
6 years ago