Chris Kott

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since Jan 25, 2012
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Toronto, Ontario
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Recent posts by Chris Kott

That was a brainfart on my part. I had meant roomba.

The gantry idea could also be used in a non-stationary application, with one head per row seeding, weeding, and attending to a companion-planted square-foot gardening method in block-planted rows.

Not everyone wants to do what most of us permies want to, so permacultural methods that don't scale to levels equivalent to that which we wish them to replace aren't viable except on the cottage or homestead permaculture level.

Traditional permies, at this point, usually start talking about the human-scale aspect of permaculture. I like to keep in mind that, as anthropogenic climate change, from the wooden plow and goat through the industrial revolution, up to today have shown, the human-scale is larger than the homestead.

This kind of thinking, using technology as macro versions of 2D printers, with the landscape as a canvas and seed as the pigment, could allow for broad-acre intensive horticultural quality and scale food production, as well as intensive planting and management of pollinator food and habitat zones for, of course, the pollinators, and for topsoil runoff retention.

Yeah, I see what you mean, Paul. The biases are pretty evident, and in my opinion the focus too narrow to produce any useful conclusions, where the point isn't missed entirely.

1 day ago
Do what you feel appropriate. I don't know that I would want livestock munching on them, but you could  theoretically plant them somewhere else; burning them sounds like an overreaction to me.

If you don't want them, you could pot them up individually, or not, and try to give them away online, maybe for trade.

3 days ago
All parts of the plant are poisonous, but it is still used in limited quantities in herbalism.

You are safe to plant these wherever. The toxicity won't be imparted to anything. The most dangerous thing about the lily of the valley is that their berries often look appetizing to children; they shouldn't be unsupervised around lily of the valley.

Don't eat it, and don't handle broken plants with bare hands and then suck on your fingers. It won't negatively affect cherries, raspberries, or anything else that grows around them, though they prefer slightly alkaline soil, whereas most food plants that we enjoy, with few exceptions, prefer a soil pH just on the acidic side of things.

3 days ago
Where are you located, Cougina? Incidentally, some group alcohol, recreational drug use, and tobacco use, except for ceremony, in with the type of foolishness you describe.

Maybe you could describe yourself, your location, and your outlook for those wanting to know more.

Oh, and welcome to Permies.

3 days ago
Until the seasteading structure in question is one that grows and is self-repairing, they will always depreciate in value.

For me to do anything like this with a sailboat, apart from needing to learn how to sail confidently by myself or with a minimal crew, I would also need a job that I could work remotely, to pay for food and constant repairs.

But it's not unappealing. I would love to be able to sail around, carefree, popping in on any permies near a port of call.

3 days ago
Hi Efren.

The problem with industrial organic farming methods is the industrial part. That part basically requires a monocrop, lots of the same stuff planted in the same way, in the same space, coming to maturity at the same time, all to be easily harvestable by machine and sold as a bulk food good.

What this does is put thousands of the same thing in the same place, taking the same specific minerals and nutrients out of the same place, which causes nutrient and mineral deficiencies, which require amendment.

Nature tries to fix this by putting other plants in the same place, to maybe grab minerals and nutrients from other parts of the soil strata, to be shared out by fungal and bacterial interactions. We see this as a problem for harvest, and so spray the hell out of everything. So instead of having healthy, living soil that works to distribute needed minerals and nutrients to the different plants that need them, we get a sterile outdoor potting mixture that we have to amend ourselves.

Now because there is so much of the same thing in one place, it's scent profile is very prominent, drawing all the kinds of pest that like to eat that thing. So instead of doing the smart thing and interplanting with plants that disrupt that scent profile, we spray the hell out of everything. So instead of having healthy pollinators and predatory insects eating the errant pest insect, there's a sterile petri dish that anything can come along and infect, requiring constant monitoring and more interventions.

We permaculturalists like polycultures, both on the small scale, as seen with square-foot gardening techniques and companion planting, or in intermixed market-garden-style block-plantings strategically placed so that they benefit one another, or in food forests, where every trophic level is filled. We also like multi-speciation, for flexibility and resilience in the face of uncertain climate and weather conditions.

One tool in the permacultural toolbox with much history in western Europe is the idea of livestock-tight living fencing, or hedgerows. These provide a barrier to dessicating winds, food and shelter for pollinators and predatory insect and bird species, and in some cases even a crop themselves.

If I were set on using existing equipment, I would see if it were possible to make crop alleys the width of that equipment, with food forest-type hedgerows on-contour in between these crop lanes. That way, not only could I still have crops, the texture of the land would increase water infiltration, reduce wind dessication, and would let me plant different crops in adjacent rows, to add to the scent profile distraction work of the hedgerows.

As to specific species, for a truly permacultural crop, I would look to something that is perennial, and if it can be harvested more than once a season, more the better. Perennial grain crops are the holy grail in that sphere, because one of the biggest problems with broad-acre conventional agriculture, including conventional organic broad-acre agriculture, is the fact that much of it requires fields to be tilled and disked into airborne powder like seven times a season. Not only does that tend to kill off the whole soil microbiome and anything worm-sized or bigger living in it, too, but it makes it really hard to retain precious topsoil if you lose a bunch of it every time you sneeze, let alone if the wind picks up.

It depends largely on what you want to do. But you can't go wrong if you're choosing minimal till except for establishment, and no-till for maintenance, perennials and self-seeding annuals over crops that need to be seeded annually, if you utilise land-shaping methods to increase rain water infiltration, reduce dessication, and if you mulch to keep the soil living.

But spitball for us. Give us some idea of what kind of thing you're looking to do with your land. There's almost always a permacultural approach that can be looked into. It's easier for us to offer helpful advice if we're tweaking ideas you're already trying to implement.

Great question, though. One of the best for the advancement of permaculture. Keep us posted, and good luck!

3 days ago
So we are to be concerned over the heavy metals, chlorine, fluoride, and persistent toxic ick in the hot domestic water supply because it opens our pores, and the surfactants in the soap disrupt the phospholipid layer that usually protects our skin from absorbing bad stuff, but we can't expect to be able to use that same vehicle to deliver herbal medicine to our subdermal and dermal tissues?

I am not taking a position here, only pointing out contradictions in popularly held health concerns. I am also not going to comment on moringa, because I frankly don't know anything about it. We haven't yet crossed paths.

Also, it occurs to me that things applied to the outside of the body might be feeding the beneficial external microbiome. So if the colonies of beneficial fungi and bacteria on your skin are made happier and they start doing their job better, is it possible that it could speed the processes of things like immune response and healing, and even be responsible for blocking vectors of infection?

And as to limited duration of contact, who remembers those ivory commercials on TV, where they'd rub glass with ivory and their competitor brand, and ivory would rinse clean, but the competitor left soap residue? Many natural soaps I have used leave detectible residues, even if it's just a little coconut oil feel on the skin. Medicinal ingredients could potentially linger there, too, depending on the potency of the ingredients.

I am not saying anyone is wrong, only that there might be more going on here than is readily apparent.

I would be interested to hear from anyone practised in herbalism on the subject, and if we could get a dermatologist, that would be awesome, too.

Good line of questioning, though. It hadn't occurred to me to wonder to what extent what they put in soap intentionally, for therapeutic benefit, was actually absorbed, and to what extent it was psychological and sensory, making us feel better and cleaner by aromatherapy and association.

Dale, didn't you mention in another thread that they use moringa seeds to sterilise water? Wouldn't moringa have an anti-bacterial effect on the soap you put it in? I know that's a practical benefit outside the health claims that are the focus of the thread, but maybe that's the original purpose of moringa soap, with the rest you mentioned being hopeful afterthoughts used to sell the product.

3 days ago
Now that's the kind of conversation that lends itself to being on this site, in my opinion. In the article about her paper, the big three geoengineering ideas are talked about in brief. No mention of con-trails (or chem-trails), no mention of cloud-seeding, no creative reality-based fictions about looming doom.

Just a summary of the three avenues being looked at: solar radiation management through spraying of aerosols into the atmosphere, mimicking the effects of a volcanic eruption; alkalisation of the ocean through crushing tonnes of appropriate types of mineral and dumping them in the surf; and massive-widespread afforestation, to the tune of an area the size of Europe. This, along with a simply stated concern that, "...there are unknown unknowns," variables that affect variables in balance that we have no inkling of.

I am saving her paper to read for bedtime, but I have a feeling that they will find the afforestation model the least unintentionally impactful.

Thanks, Nick.

4 days ago