Wyll Greenewood

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since Mar 16, 2013
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Recent posts by Wyll Greenewood

Well, nice touch with the curve, good luck getting access all around!

How high? Well I am new at this but my first hugel gave me many lessons, regardless of the advice and copious reading on the subject I have actually discovered more in the act of doing the job. One thing is quite evident, to defy gravity to hold the soil in place one HAS to start with a wide enough base to form a "standard" or "peaked" bed, AT LEAST as wide as you want your bed to be high. If you only want a low rise then the gradient is far more easily tacked, i made a "trial" bed 40" wide and have a domed bed 36" high, this is going to be for herbs and some edible flowers.

Good fortune in your hugel, keep us informed.

Wyll
4 years ago
Paul,

Thank you for the video, I had actually seen this but thought the "nailing" was only for "triangular" hugels, as all the photo and video evidence seems to imply. Doing this for a "typical" hugel with a rounded off top and steeper sides seems to have limited success - so far!

Wyll
4 years ago
Jamie,

Good to see the success you have had thus far. How did you move all that soil?
4 years ago
Having the desire and time to start a hugel of my very own I read as much as I could find including the amazing selection here, but once started I realised that I am probably making numerous mistakes.
I have one bed of misc wood: stumps, trunks, branches, and some fallen leaves/debris 11 feet long, 5 feet wide and 5 feet tall. There is a good deal of rich local soil along with the wood and I am trying to place inversed sod all over the bed to allow more soil on top. Problem i find is KEEPING the sod and soil in place to get seedlings in soon. Suggestion anyone?
This is the first of 5 beds I would like to prep this year, I have lots of soil and sod to transfer and not far from here I can load my pickup with decomposed and freshly fallen/cut trees and bring them to my plot.
Another problem I have is that I am working alone and it is quite an undertaking, a 5 hour load/unload of wood is not unusual and so far i have made 5 rould trips to supply my greedy new beds, plus I am limited to the size of the stumps, trunks etc that I can physically handle.
Has anyone had a similar situation?
I spend so much time in the garden, such as it is, that my wife thinks I am crazy, perhaps I am
Thanks in advance.
4 years ago

Burra Maluca wrote:One of your posts has been deleted - it was complaining about another post, which we also deleted so yours no longer fitted in the thread.

Is that what you were referring to? Or are you having problems with posts not showing up at all?



This seems to be okay now, thank you for the communique,

WEG

Deb Stephens wrote:

Cynthia Hobbs wrote:
... if I do end up implementing permaculture myself I can't see myself changing my vegan ways because it would still interfere with my personal beliefs of how animals ought to be treated. I would be happy to encourgae wild animals into my garden and utilise their manure, but not keep animals to intentionally cause their deaths ultimately, I believe animals have a right to exist in their own right and live a life that nature intended them to live. I DO agree with the permaculture idea of nature being a system and animals being a part of that system, but I don't necessarily believe that farming animals of is a natural process.



You wanted discussion, so here is my two cents...
First -- I am a vegan (mostly - see below)
I find it interesting that most vegans do not think keeping animals can fit in with the vegan ethic. It always seems that there is that whole "NO animals = Good vs. ANY animals = Bad" dynamic going on. What about "Animals, YES, but still vegan AND an animal lover" possibility? I bring this up because up until about a year ago, I had been an ovo-lacto-vegetarian for nearly 30 years. I ate very little dairy because I could not quite feel right about even the so-called "humanely raised" cows and goats necessary to the dairy industry, but I ate eggs freely because we raise our own hens. (Very happy, truly free-range hens, I might add.) Last year, I really couldn't take the guilt any more and went to an almost 100% vegan diet. (The eggs were and still are actually more for the dogs and cats than for us -- we don't believe in forcing obligatory carnivores to be vegans, and feeding them healthy eggs from well-cared for and cherished hens -- who by the way, abandon these same eggs to rot when they are not broody -- gives them animal protein without lost lives or our having to compromise our ethics by purchasing meat products at the store.)

I still eat eggs, but that is it. And as I said, the hens we have are very happy. They hatched here -- after the initial 6 we bought way back in 1992, we have not needed to buy any more except once when a huge black snake ate the entire bunch of one of our hen's two-week-old babies while she was parading them around the goat yard. (I saw the snake when there were two left, but couldn't get through the gate and across the big yard fast enough to stop the snake. It was horrifying to see!) She was so despondent that I went to a hatchery and bought 10 Buff Orphington 3-day-old chicks and put them with her in the place she had been using for her babies. I wish you could have heard the excited, happy clucks coming out of that box! She was in absolute ecstasy to find that "her" babies had somehow come back to her. Next day she preened and clucked and mothered like a new hen. I didn't like buying chicks from a hatchery, but the difference it made to the emotional well-being of that momma hen made it worth it. (And by the way, when our hens hatch out chicks, some of them ARE roosters. That's okay too. We love them and care for them and they all die of natural causes -- usually well into their teens. No chicken has ever been killed by humans on this homestead, though we have lost a few over the years to non-human predators.) Our chickens roam freely through the garden, goat yard and woods -- the only tyranny imposed upon them is that we count them and lock them in their house at night for their own safety. Considering the horrible lives that most chickens have, those few we got from the hatchery were saved incredibly cruel deaths because we purchased them. That is why the idea that keeping animals is somehow exploitative and cruel is so inexplicable to me. Shouldn't a truly ethical person try to find ways to help animals by rescuing them from factory farms and cruel situations to care for them in loving environments?

In some ways, the idea that keeping animals is unethical and wrong for a vegan is akin to saying that all the children "enslaved" in clothing and toy factories in third world countries should be put out on the streets to enjoy their freedom from slavery. Okay, then what? Is it okay at that point to offer them food and shelter or do we leave them entirely free to starve to death or be exploited by someone else? Remember, they no longer have a job, so they won't be able to pay for food and shelter themselves. When you solve one problem, sometimes you only open the door to another.

Many domestic animals are just as helpless when offered their freedom. They grow up in human-controlled environments, being cared for (or abused and neglected) and knowing nothing of what it means to be a free, wild animal because they AREN'T. If you decide to free all the dogs and cats in the shelter by opening the doors, you will have sentenced them to slow death by disease and starvation or left them at the mercy of fast automobiles, dog-fighters and generally nasty types who look for strays to exploit them as bait, for crush movies, or just to have something smaller and less powerful than they are to beat and abuse because they can. But hey, they're FREE, and that's what counts. Free to live their lives however they want to while they die of neglect because they were never intended by Nature to live without humans. Same thing goes for laboratory animals like monkeys and mice. I hate laboratories, but only a simple-minded and heartless FOOL would think that they could turn loose poor creatures whose lives have never been free, whose entire existence has been that cage or box. Some extremist animal rights groups, trying to do the right thing for animals have been responsible for sending many "rescued" animals into a psychological hell that they never recovered from by simply opening the door and saying "come out -- your free". Let's all work on freeing them, but do it in a way that truly saves them rather than throwing them -- in the name of freedom --into a confusing world that literally terrifies them to death. You can talk about the exploitation of cows and goats and pigs as well, but what do you propose we DO with them after we set them free? Pigs and goats would probably take fairly well to being turned loose in the woods somewhere, but have you ever seen a WILD cow? (not a water buffalo or a wild species of bovine, but a domesticated cow.) And if you care about wildlife at all, what do you think the impact of turning millions of head of cows, goats and pigs loose in the wild would be on the natural ecosystems there?

We have goats. They are all rescues. We have dogs and cats as well -- all rescues. Only the chickens are not rescues (or are they?) All of these animals are subject to our control and our whims, but they are anything but pitiable or exploited. They are fed regularly (I even cook two meals a day for the dogs to ensure their diet is balanced.) They live in the house with us (well, the dogs and cats anyway). They are given medical care when needed and they get more attention, cuddles and all around love than most human children. When the time comes and they are no longer healthy and comfortable, we sometimes have to make hard decisions, but that day never comes before trying our best to cure them and prolong their lives as best we can -- until the quality of life is so deteriorated that we feel it would be crueler to prolong than to end it. Yes, we make life and death decisions for them. Tell me though, is it less cruel to allow a suffering animal to die naturally, often in severe pain and over a prolonged period just because we have no "right" to interfere with their freedom? What makes FREEDOM so much more important than COMPASSION?

So... I am a mostly vegan, as is my husband... BUT... we do have animals (and use their by-products -- aka manure). I do not feel that our being vegan is in any way compromised by choosing to ignore the plight of so many abandoned and neglected animals merely because to do so would limit their freedom. I deplore animal exploitation and I am actively working every day to help animals in any way I can, but there are right and wrong ways to do things. You can't just open all the doors and declare the problem solved unless you also follow up and help the prisoners to acclimate to this new and often terrifying freedom you CHOSE to GIVE them. (Capitalized to make you aware that even opening doors is manipulative.)

Again, just my two cents.



Deb,
I think that your "two cents" are worth a lot more, I also believe that your basic guidelines follow mine and many others both here and in the world out there. It is in reading passages like yours that I and others can add a little more to our knowledge and perspective. Thank you.
WEG
5 years ago
Can anyone give me a reason why my recent posts have not appeared after sending them?

Okay, the obvious reason is that they truly meaningless drivel but they are MY meaningless drivel.

WEG

Wyll Greenewood wrote:

Greta Fields wrote:Jeanine, Carol and others, I enjoy reading about the way you have animals and eat. However, what I find missing on most all vegan forums is a discussion of wild animals. There is some here. When Starlings or other wild animals don't fit, I think it is people out of place. People are part of nature, but have torn up nature, so of course the crows are going to poop on your college campus. Where else can they stop to sleep? They see trees, stop to roost overnight.
By living close to nature, I have rediscovered biodiversity as my friend, not the enemy. The snakes, as someone here noted, control the voles. [And hawks control snake babies.' I don't judge the animals, I just live with them and enjoy them, and find them to be incredibly self reliant. But Jeanine, was it you who said snakes don't make holes? They DO. Copperheads will drill a hole down into grass or your compost
I saw a Copperhead go9 down one hole and went to look at it. He had woven grass stems in a beautiful spiral around the hole, like a crop circle with a hole in the middle.
Shows what we know about snakes.
Several years later, a snake near that same hole made a perfect circle about `12 inches in diameter in the grass. Apparently he went round and round and round. I was mowing. Suddenly I hit a terrapin and cut it in half, and I was horrified --I can still see the terror in its eyes. Shows what we know: I think the snake was attempting to warn me not to ow there either.



Greta and all here,
We need not actually place good animal ethics with veganism, lets us not preclude that anyone practicing being vegan as a choice will also have the heart to treat animals as we seem to.
This being said I will stress that the closer we get to both "nature" and hands on management of animals the closer we get to the spirit of things. Once one realises the essence and importance of a harmonious life with our natural surroundings, including the flora and fauna, things can only improve for us and them.
The example of your snake circle is a good window into much that is hidden from "normal" people, those "in touch" with the land come to see this often and in myriad ways.




As a brief follow up to this thread: I consulted with a life-long Buddhist friend over his impressions of the groups of his fellows who are members of some sects that are totally vegan. What I found out (as well as discovering that there are two distinct forms of Buddhism and myriad lesser) was that there was no apparent greater occurrence of dementia or mental deterioration than "normal" people in their environment.
Whether this is due to their advanced spiritual state or some unknown factor is not evident, but i have to admit that the Buddhists I do know are special people.
5 years ago

Greta Fields wrote:Jeanine, Carol and others, I enjoy reading about the way you have animals and eat. However, what I find missing on most all vegan forums is a discussion of wild animals. There is some here. When Starlings or other wild animals don't fit, I think it is people out of place. People are part of nature, but have torn up nature, so of course the crows are going to poop on your college campus. Where else can they stop to sleep? They see trees, stop to roost overnight.
By living close to nature, I have rediscovered biodiversity as my friend, not the enemy. The snakes, as someone here noted, control the voles. [And hawks control snake babies.' I don't judge the animals, I just live with them and enjoy them, and find them to be incredibly self reliant. But Jeanine, was it you who said snakes don't make holes? They DO. Copperheads will drill a hole down into grass or your compost
I saw a Copperhead go9 down one hole and went to look at it. He had woven grass stems in a beautiful spiral around the hole, like a crop circle with a hole in the middle.
Shows what we know about snakes.
Several years later, a snake near that same hole made a perfect circle about `12 inches in diameter in the grass. Apparently he went round and round and round. I was mowing. Suddenly I hit a terrapin and cut it in half, and I was horrified --I can still see the terror in its eyes. Shows what we know: I think the snake was attempting to warn me not to ow there either.



Greta and all here,
We need not actually place good animal ethics with veganism, lets us not preclude that anyone practicing being vegan as a choice will also have the heart to treat animals as we seem to.
This being said I will stress that the closer we get to both "nature" and hands on management of animals the closer we get to the spirit of things. Once one realises the essence and importance of a harmonious life with our natural surroundings, including the flora and fauna, things can only improve for us and them.
The example of your snake circle is a good window into much that is hidden from "normal" people, those "in touch" with the land come to see this often and in myriad ways.
5 years ago