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Allan Babb

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since Mar 18, 2012
Greater New Orleans, LA, USA
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Recent posts by Allan Babb

Alex Apfelbaum wrote:I see a few aspects that may give Permaculture a bad image to some people :

- It's seen as "unscientific" : A lot in Permaculture is based on the effects of inteconnections within a whole system, that makes it the oposite of a typical scientific experiment where you isolate things to pinpoint specific factors and results. Permaculture is also about trusting nature, the scientific mind doesn't like that.

Ecology is a (relatively) new science. Ecology and permaculture are very close cousins. There are a lot of people who don't have a firm grasp on science, or have kept up to date since leaving school.

- There is a "new-age/hippie/hipster/alternative/callitwhatever" side to Permaculture that attracts a certain kind of people who may not be taken seriously by the average professional farmer.

Yeah, I feel this vibe sometimes too. But I'm no hippie, I'm not a hipster. I might be considered alternative(and likely callitwhatever).

- There are no big corporations and celebrities endorsing it, no marketing, no big brands. In effect it doesn't really exist in the global media world, so how can it be serious ? (some people think like that.. sadly)

It is unfortunate that some people think this way. There's also nothing of real value that actually gets advertised these days. So this might be for the best.

It really depends on the people you talk to, these three points can also be seen as giving Permaculture a good image !

I like to draw my own conclusions from the facts.
2 years ago
Just an FYI. They make blades specifically for green wood(well, wet really): That's far from the only blade, many companies make them.
2 years ago
Sweet, now we have more Asiatic insects to go with our Asiatic plants.

Maybe the US and China can just trade landmasses. We give them all of their familiar plants and insects, while we get the beginnings of an industrialized nation so people can get rich quick while raping new land. /sarcasm

Reading a little on wikipedia, it seems they take a fancy to legumes in general and not just soybeans and kudzu. I guess it's time to use less annual nitrogen fixing legumes and more shrubs/trees. I assume the reason soybeans were mentioned is because people make lots of money from them.
5 years ago

Deno McFez wrote:.this past week the "ladies" have been in molt

Moulting takes some serious energy. I'd not be surprised if that moulting is what's causing the drop in egg laying.
5 years ago
MOST heavy metals only become an issue with low pH, they just aren't soluble, so plants won't uptake them in to their roots. I'll be damned if I can find anything on this, however(outside of the normal chart showing plant nutrients at pH). Compost is an amazing substance and can make some highly toxic substances inert and it also raises the pH. Again, finding a source of information is troublesome. But at least this is a starting point for your research. If I were doing this project, I'd just turn the entire lot in to one big compost pile and let nature take her course for about a year. See what grows, how well it does and let observation be your guide.
5 years ago

Jay C. White Cloud wrote:Hello Allan,

Thank you so much for responding, I hope I have not presented myself as too harsh. I also did not want to sound to culturally biased or judgemental, so please forgive me if I came across that way. We all have our "thin spots," and one of mine is what seems to be a never ending "we (Anglo Culture) know what is best for you" mentality. I probably read too much into things sometimes, (please forgive) but I grew up in the south under the parentage of mixed race, and more often than not, I see things from the minority or "3rd world," perspective.

I was born in Scotland, I am British by birth and my mother is German. You don't get more anglo saxon than me. I know what western civilization has done, and continues to do. I also live in Louisiana, so I know what you're talking about there too. Being a white male, I get to listen to a lot of it, even if it's not directed at me. The 3rd world is the majority of humans, which the 1st world continues to abuse, even if we're ignorant about it. Sustainability and ecofriendly are just advertising cliches these days and are becoming meaningless, they're the new "Extra Strength" and "New and Improved". Ah, consumerism, which the CNC built house promotes. I won't deny that it has a cool factor(and speaks to my inner geek), but that's all it has in my book. Seeing consumerism for what it is has to be one of the bigger benefits to learning permaculture.

What I'm saying is that you have no need to apologize. I was just joking, hence the ":p". Text does not do a good job of transmitting emotions.
5 years ago
While I like the open source aspect of the project, I have to tentatively agree with Jay about the care for earth aspect of this project(even though I'm a white European male :p). I realize that there are shanty towns and towns even made of cardboard across the world, but using sheet goods that last 25 years even when pressure treated is not the way to go. Most houses built these days have a 50 year life expectancy, I can't see the wikihouses lasting half that. This has a large possibility of forcing people to be greater consumers of forests, which we can't really afford. Not to mention all the chemicals that go into making sheet "lumber". Teaching people how to build traditional housing would be a much better approach(earthen housing that lasts 1000+ years for example and there are plenty of houses built during the Tudor period that still exist). We, as 1st world nations, need to approach 3rd world standards, not the other way around. True craftsmen need to make a comeback.
5 years ago

Abe Connally wrote:

Allan Babb wrote:It's the same with Energy Star. What you read on the tag may have absolutely nothing to do with the model you're buying. Like it's so difficult to connect a usage meter to an appliance...

that's not the hard part.

But do you do it on an appliance in Alaska or Florida?

Or somewhere in the middle. I'm not sure what temps people keep up north, but mid to high 70's sounds about right for us southern folk, inside the house at least. Though cooler is better for most electrical devices.
5 years ago
It's the same with Energy Star. What you read on the tag may have absolutely nothing to do with the model you're buying. Like it's so difficult to connect a usage meter to an appliance...
5 years ago

Wesley johnsen wrote:i want to get some opinions on preserving forests and do you think forests are better off being owned fully by organizations and or gov for full commons ownership or do you think private stewards like tree farmers should be the owners? i fear commons will take away the rewards of private timber sales but i still like land being open to the public. i know in the northeast u.s. they like the easement route where a private stewards work the land while a conservation easement and public access easement are placed on the land through the state gov, land trust or organization like say the nature conservancy. any opinions would be helpful.

I'd say start an organization just for the protection of specific forests. Government, usually, does a terrible job when it comes to local issues(there are exceptions, of course). The same issues can be applied to any other organization on a national, or state, scale. You can work with those agencies, but keep all decision making between the locals. With just locals being in control, you can easily set up guidelines and rules that are pertinent to your neck of the woods(pun intended!). That's my $0.02 on the subject.
5 years ago