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Chad Hadsell

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since Apr 14, 2012
Portland, OR
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Recent posts by Chad Hadsell

I like Salal, but I can't seem to find any definitive info on how it would do in the mid-west. It's berries are vaguely fuzzy, and taste like a slightly blander blueberry. It does fantasticly in the shade out here in the PNW.
6 years ago

Cris Bessette wrote:So the subject question "should all permaculture stuff be free", doesn't even make sense to me, it already IS free, just as long as you want to work just as hard as Toby Hemenway, Paul Wheaton, Masanobu Fukuoka, etc. to ferret out all the information and put it together in a form that is easy to access.


Sometimes I hear the argument that permaculture information is too important not to be freely available in an easily accessible form. That doesn't change the fact that it costs money and/or time to make that happen.

A friend of mine subscribes to that argument, especially when it comes to permaculture as a wider design concept applied to realms outside of gardening. However, when he decided that an easy to access permaculture training should be free, he didn't complain about other people's (often well-deserved) fees. Instead, he raised money through crowd-funding (He's at somewhere around $15,000 raised right now, I think) and will be releasing a free online permaculture course very soon.

Of course, he also still runs paid in-person courses. These things exist quite happily side-by-side.

Here’s how I see it:
At a very basic level, Permaculture is like math. It’s a collection of ideas, theories, facts, and practices that provides a useful way of interacting with the world around us.

There is no cost for using math, but there are all sorts of costs for learning and/or teaching math. There are also all sorts of ways to go about learning math, and each has its own price point.

Newton discovered a lot of truths about math, but people didn’t pay him when they passed along those ideas to others. They *did* pay him for the book he wrote. Anyone can teach anything about math without paying royalties, etc.--as long as they write their own textbook or otherwise deliver the information themselves. They just can’t take someone else’s textbook, copy it, and give it away.

So what it comes down to is this: If I wanted to become an engineer, I’d very willingly pay for an excellent textbook/DVD/etc. about math. I’d also seek out sources of free information. And I’d also encourage someone who had great material and who wanted to distribute that material for free. They exist side-by-side.

For instance: MIT is now putting all of their courses online, for free. They are also still full to the brim with paying students.

Permaculture as a concept, like math, is already inherently free. Permaculture content, created by an individual or group, costs whatever that individual or group feels is fair--mediated of course by what consumers are willing to pay.

Again, that's just how I see it.
Last Christmas my mother and mother-in-law both gave us a set of those teflon coated sheets meant to go in the bottom of the oven to catch drips and such. They might make cleaning the oven easy, but when a product comes with a warning that they shouldn't be used in the same house as any birds... well... it won't be used by me, either.

Out of curiosity, why are these bulbs teflon coated? Do people have problems with crud getting stuck on bulbs?
7 years ago
Due to an abundant crop of various berries, and recent switch to raw cat food for our feline companion, I'm looking to pick up a chest freezer. Does anyone here have any tips on what to look for in one? Are there brands to avoid? Any specific recommendations? All I know right now is that I want one that is efficient (hence the chest freezer over the upright) and that it can probably be on the smaller side (5 to 7 cubic feet, or so)
7 years ago

Shawn Harper wrote:This year I'm doing an experiment. I'm trying one of those grow bag thingys and then doing it the old fashion way (in a raised bed dumping straw on top). I will gladly report back which works best.

I'll be looking forward to your report! I've only tried growing potatoes in Portland twice, and both times I used a "tower" approach. The first time failed completely, and the second time only yielded about 3 gnarled little taters per seed potato.

I used a 18 inch wide, 3 foot tall ring of wire fencing. I filled it up with straw, and used scraps of weed-blocker cloth around the outside edges to keep out more light as the plants grew.This year I'm just growing 'em in the ground. Different year and a different variety of potatoes, though.

It will be interesting to see your results, to really be able to compare the bag/tower approach to the ground with few other variables.
7 years ago
Well, I ended up finding the buy/sell/trade section, and buying some comfrey from Coe's Comfrey.
My new problem is this: I had been intending to plant it in my fruit tree guilds,but now I'm finding more than a few people who are saying that its too heavy of a feeder and will compete with the tree too much for Nitrogen.
What do y'all think? Is 3 to 4 feet out from the trunk a reasonable place to plant it? Or should I have a separate "mulch guild" elsewhere?
7 years ago
I've been looking for comfrey to plant in my fruit tree guilds on my small urban lot. After reading this thread, I'm more interested in getting some than ever! But: it seems like no one carries it locally. I'm looking specifically for Bocking 14 Russian Comfrey, since my lot is small and I'll need one that doesn't spread much.

I know that a few places have it available for mail order, but I'm hoping to avoid paying shipping that costs twice as much as the plant itself.

Does anyone in the Portland, OR area have some that you're willing to divide up and sell for a couple of bucks? I'll even come by and do the division, if you like.

7 years ago