Nils Rehmann

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since Sep 10, 2012
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Recent posts by Nils Rehmann

We have a little blog where we describe our efforts towards Permaculture

by far not the best, but we try to keep it interesting.
11 years ago
The mushroom idea also had crossed my mind. I wonder whether you can grow ceps close to the old pine and fir stumps? Oyster mushrooms should work great and shitakee on the hardwood.

I am glad to hear that the planting side by side also echoes my thoughts.
11 years ago
Hi all,

we are currently contemplating to buy a 80 acre piece of land to set up a Permaculture education center in eastern Canada. The area is recently clear cut (recently as in the last weeks and as I write this). The land is rather inexpensive and has access to a lake as well as some springs on the ground.

I wonder about the stumpage that will be left in the ground after the cutting process. I don't think that I will have money or means to clear all the stumps off the ground. However, our plan forsees a large agroforestry system and food forest. How would I best deal with the stumps. will I just leave them in the ground and plant trees next to them? Will that hamper the growth of the trees.

Maybe someone here knows.

Greetings from a slowly slowly thawing Canada.

11 years ago
Hi Laura,

I agree with most of your statements. However Solar energy is not heat initially. We perceive it as such, but heat can not travel through space. Solar is light and therefore the dualism of photons becomes important. Otherwise solar power would not be possible in the way we produce it or you could just heat up the panels and produce electricity.

I sold my dryer, and dry my clothes outside in the summer and inside in the winter. I have exposed beams in my kitchen where the wood stove is located and stuff dries really fast. It also keeps my humidity up in the winter, where most people need humidifiers to prevent looking like yesterdays prunes. So I don't even need the dehumidifier. And that water is actually quite dirty. Because of the design of dehumidifiers the amount of spores and moulds ion the water collected is through the roof.

11 years ago
I wonder whether in your book you will be dealing with cold climate farming techniques. There is quite a bit of information out there that pretends to deal with cold climate, but most of this is temperate climate. With 4-5 months of winter, where I live is a completely different cattle of fish. Any suggestions on how to create microclimates (like Sepp e.g.) or how maybe farm through the winter would be helpful.
11 years ago
Hi there again,

@Adrian, sorry for not answering on you post earlier, I was away for the weekend. I do not know what concentrations we are looking at when it comes to Pharmaceuticals and which ones are the predominant ones. I could find out though if I can find the time to sift through some papers.

As for chemicals getting absorbed through the skin or breathing from wood that has taken up man made chemicals through sewage water. I personally don't think that there is any problem. Maybe one or two molecules make it through this long chain of events, but it is very unlikely or nearly impossible to have any effect on our body. I think the drinking water issue is a far more problematic one. Many chemicals will get altered and changed throughout the pathway that they flow through. Especially plants have a wonderful way of changing and breaking down chemicals. What ever is in your floorboards, I am sure that the glue and varnish that is put on them is several orders of magnitude more detrimental to ones health than leftover pharmaceuticals.

I take it a little bit like I take cigarette smoke. While it is fashionable to complain about the health effects of cigarette smoke and second (or now even third) hand smoke I think the danger is much much lower when walking passed a smoker than standing behind a school bus at a red traffic light. Nobody ever says anything about that. Our kids get lulled in Diesel fumes every day and yet the one guy with the cigarette on the other side of the car park gets troubled because he/she is endangering our kids health.
HI Adrien,

I am still trying to find out about the availability of the podcast. One of my colleagues has ask me about it as well.

I know a fair bit about the pharmaceuticals that end up in the water supply. Or at least can find out about it. I work a a chemist in Canada and we do water sampling as well as soil testing. So ask away if you want to know anything in particular. I might not know straight off hand but can find out.

One of the chemicals that I was not aware of, but thinking about it makes sense, was DEET. That wonderful bug spray North Americans are using by the hecto gallon every year.
More disturbing were pharmaceuticals that act as so called "endocrine disrupters". Those chemicals are of steroidal nature and mimic hormones. I was aware of those before. Only 1-2% of the active ingredient of birth control pills is digested by the body. The rest is "discharged" and ends up in our sewage systems. Since treatment plants are not designed (not yet) to target those chemicals they end up in our watersheds and at some point in your glass on the dinner table. Great, right?
The problem with those are that in the aquatic environment they can cause aquatic species to turn from male to female, or at least exhibit female physiology and become sterile. Needless to point out what goes along with that.

I will try to get a link to the webinar. Dr. Snyder explored certain treatment methods to decrease the amount and concentration of such anthropogenic chemicals and explains his findings in detail. He also points out how the distribution of the chemicals in Lake Mead are different depending on the chemical compound.

Hope this helps.

Interesting that this post comes up today. I just attended a webinar about just this topic by Dr. Snyder. His team has been looking at pharmaceuticals and other "wasteproducts" in our drinking water supply with special attention to Lake Mead.

I did ask him about phyto-remediation (aka constructed wetlands) and he admitted that this is a field scientists are only starting to look at properly. However, the amount of "human by-products" in our surface and groundwater is enormous. Another colleague of mine who invited me to speak at a conference gave a talk about the "low fat diet impact" which concentrated on sucralose in waste and groundwater.

I have heard that certain reeds and rushes have been found to remediate even POPs such as Dioxins and PCBs (I think I heard that in Bill Mollisons Aquaculture series. Does anybody know where I can find the study about that?