A.J. Gentry

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since Feb 13, 2012
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Recent posts by A.J. Gentry

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Paul Wheaton talks to Kane Jamison of Seattle Homestead, Lacia Lynne Bailey, and Jocelyn Campbell, reviewing the Urban Permaculture DVD with Geoff Lawton. Lacia uses a paddock shift system for urban pastured poultry, and raises urban dairy goats. Paul talks about permaculture and lawns. He likes the “mowable meadow.” Lacia calls it the “photosynthesizing gathering space.” Lawton advocates turning urban lawns into foodscapes. They talk about how all you have to do in a mature permaculture system is harvest. “Fedge” is a food hedge that keeps your animals in. Lawton uses lots of vertical space in creative ways, and says, “the more limitations you have inspire more creativity.” For intensive use of space, aquaponics has its place. Paul is not normally a fan of it, but is a fan of aquaculture. Paul talks about the toxicity of cardboard and newspaper. They talk about using greywater. They talk about predators in permaculture systems, and go into discussing birds. They talk about raising chickens, and water enhanced with nutrients from manure. Paul shares about Lawton’s project with an urban school for kids with challenges, and its positive impact. Paul recommends building a berm when people are next to a main street. They then talk about woodchips. Jocelyn brings up using pine boughs for chicken bedding and scraping mud off of boots. They then talk about composting, and the Jean Pain method of heating your showers with the compost pile.

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Would someone please clarify the difference between a berm and a terrace? From my reading I am having trouble discerning the difference.

Many thanks.
9 years ago
Meryt - The notes I took were on the California coffee berry. It has a fruit that is edible. I just checked Wikipedia real quick and it says the fruit is edible fresh or dried.


Cassie Langstraat wrote:I have a giant redwood tree in my urban backyard that causes a lot of shade. What are peoples experience with veggies that do well with only about 5 hours of sun? I know lettuce, but what else? I have done a bit of research online but I would like to hear real experiences.

This is a space that I have been gathering some information in for a little while. I have been jotting down shade plants for my zone -- which is zone 6. Most of my list is book / research knowledge. Except for the Jerusalem artichokes. I do have those doing pretty well in the shade.

Prefers Shade:
Paw Paw
Laurel Cherry
English Laurel
Black Current
Red Current
Black Raspberry

Partial Shade:
Jerusalem Artichoke
Sea Kale
American Persimmon
Date Plum
Golden Current
Wax Current
Garlic Cress
Lemonade Berry
Indian Cherry
Good King Henry
Chinese yam
Perennial Leek
Bloddy dock

I found the book Paradise Lot really eye-opening because the authors talk about a lot of stuff that surprised them that grew well in the shade. And stuff that isn't really known for doing well in the shade too.


Jocelyn Campbell wrote:

Bob Jordan wrote:I'm in Texas so attending events is out, but
I would purchase access to online videos, about specific topics, accessible 24/7.
Bob Jordan

Personally, I like the idea of offering our workshops to perhaps just a handful of in-person, hands-on people, and having video in place to offer it in webinar format - both live and accessible 24/7.

It means having the people and equipment for that available. When I mentioned it to Paul, it was akin to mentioning we'll build a taj mahal because we're still simply trying to get some basics in place.

The webinar piece is the space I have been putting a lot of thought in lately. I think some of the How To's lend themselves nicely to this format. What if this was presented in a Power Point style with short videos embedded? Or the videos could be on YouTube and accessed by the facilitator. I think the webinar would eliminate the travel / time constraint on folks.

The videos would take some time and commitment from people at the lab. But.... I don't think all of the work would have to be done from there.

If I were to do something like "How To Hugelkultur" it would look like this:

Session: 90 - 120 minutes.


What is Hugelkultur?
What wood to use or avoid?
How do you layer it? (5-10 minute video for this)
Small scale / broad scale.
How the heck do you keep the sides that steep? (5-10 minute video for this)
On contour versus not on contour? (5-10 minute video for this)
TEFA (10-15 minute video for this)
Sun scoop for microclimate. (5-10 minute video for this showing the sun angle calculation to warm that specific area two months before planting)
How to create a Cooling microclimate?
Hugelkultur combined with a terrace. (5-10 minute video for this)
Seed mix for 3 climates. Cool to cold, Dry, Tropic


Q&A at the end with Paul

The Power Point slides could be sent to the people that attended. So they would have a take away. And the software used to show the Power Point can also be 'recorded'. So that people could watch it over and over and people that didn't attend the live session could still watch. That would give it 24/7 availability.

9 years ago
Alder and Ben,

Good, thought-provoking posts. Thank you both.

I had previously been thinking lawn alternative and less work. I think my new plan is going to be sit in each of these areas for a bit. An hour or two just observing and taking notes. It's is ironic because I do feel as if I still have individual elements as opposed to a system... I think spending thoughtful time on stacking will be very beneficial.

9 years ago

Sign me up! With a name like that I am destined for greatness.
9 years ago
Oh Nooooooooo.

Mine translates to Sunshine Callgirl.

9 years ago