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Augustus Clark

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since Mar 11, 2013
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Lover of music, friends, trees, sunlight, rain, wind, fire, mountains, wildflowers, rivers.
Zone 6b
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Recent posts by Augustus Clark

I too just moved up here, my wife and I moved to the Cape in June. We're interested in permie stuff so if you find anything good in the RI/southeast Massachusetts area, let me know!
2 years ago
Surveying is a great skill to have, although you'll need to have access to relatively expensive equipment for it to be useful after your class is over. Cheap total stations can be had for a few thousands and up, but you also need tripods and prisms etc. It can be done also with old school analog equipment but even that isn't cheap. Still, as a newly minted civil engineer, I found my surveying course both fascinating and useful.

GIS programs such as ArcGIS can be useful but I think CAD programs (we used AutoCAD in school and I now use it at work) are even more useful. Try and take a course on that if you can.

We were also required to take a course on drafting which was fun but irrelevant in the face of CAD software. Still, if you didn't want to or couldn't go the modern route for some reason, all basic functions of CAD programs could theoretically be performed with a pencil and drafting tools. That's how everyone did it until the 80s/90s.

Oh! But to answer your question, unless you need extremely high precision, for some reason that isn't readily occurring to me right now, you don't really need any formal training for general permaculture planning purposes. Aerial imagery (available free), topographic maps (free or very cheap), and basic measuring skills (300' reel tape measure or similar) and a pencil should be adequate for every purpose I've ever heard of in this context.
2 years ago
Most of the things I mentioned are natives. They were all growing in this eco region prior to the human intervention in the 20th century that cut and disturbed everything as development occurred nearby. Planting a few grapes, blueberry bushes and coneflowers is a trivial deviation from the natural state of the region on a larger time scale. Also, 8 acres is a very large area; a few isolated plantings of native species is hardly vandalism.

What I meant by near-natives would be something like raspberry which may not normally grow in swamp, but would be found growing along the marginal land.
2 years ago
I'm thinking to plant native and near-native perennials inconspicuously and lightly farm this marshy area. Things I had in mind would be for instance, raspberry, blackberry, grape, blueberry ... mulberry? Fruit or nut trees?

I don't know what would be the best to do as far as food crops go, but I'd also like to include a few patches of butterfly-and-bee attractors, as I'd like to have a hive (on my property) in the future and would love to have some extra flowers for pollination. Was thinking some kind of guild diversity here.



http://imgur.com/a/kh0o1 - Not smart enough to figure out how to properly post images

The land is owned by a conservation trust, which gives the public the right to cross the land and engage in "passive recreation" like bird watching or photography. I live nearby and don't think anyone would mind if I enhanced the land with some plant species that are useful to humans. The last people that lived in my house used to lawnmow the area behind their house; I think this is a better use of the land.

It's all the land in green. It surrounds a perennial brook that's subject to tidal flows from the northwest direction, which empties out to or in from the ocean less than a mile away. However, it's rare for the water to be more than a few tenths of a foot deep during the summer months in the swampy area east of the road culvert, and the area beyond the culvert to the west opens into a very large grass marsh. The area all the way in the southeast is less swampy and more forested. It's all in USDA zone 6b. I don't think the salt water will be an issue if i just exclude the first few foot-contours near the water level.

I haven't fully explored the area, but it's pretty wild and is relatively thick with trees and underbrush. I think it wouldn't be too difficult to select a handful of locations and plant a few guilds and just manage it very un-intensively. There may already be some of these useful things growing in there?

Any advice or suggestions on species or varieties?
2 years ago
It's bug droppings. Nothing to be freaked out about. Here in MA it's under all the oak trees, everywhere.
2 years ago
I'm an engineering student in Morgantown; I've been reading permies for some time and hope one day to meld the disciplines of permaculture and engineering to help create a stable living environment for humans and other living things.
4 years ago
I'm pretty sure that's American beech, Fagus grandifolia.

Edit: specify American beech.
4 years ago
The actual quote is: "Facts are meaningless… you can use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true. Facts, shmacts."

I am a die-hard early Simpsons fan.
4 years ago