Joshua Simon

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since Aug 12, 2013
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Recent posts by Joshua Simon

Marks last response was on July 21st. You consider that old?
Ok thanks
5 years ago
Hey Mark I meant to ask you this at the course. What types of groundcover are in your Forrest garden? Also how do you manage your wood lot?
5 years ago
Coppice Agroforestry: Perennial Silviculture for the 21st Century
a forthcoming book by Mark Krawczyk and Dave Jacke

We humans must develop land management systems that provide diverse products to meet our needs while regenerating healthy ecosystems. Coppice agroforestry systems can do exactly this.

I am so excited about this book!
5 years ago
I first read about Silvicuulture in Mark Shepard's book Restoration Agriculture.

Here is an interesting resource on the matter. I don't know if it applies to your region but there a lot of knowledge in this none the less. http://www.fao.org/docrep/x5672e/x5672e04.htm
5 years ago
I have not heard anyone mention a sub-soiler. It is like a strong piece of steel that cuts a slit effectively eliminating the compaction along it. This is pretty much the same as a keyline plow. In my opinion it is the best way to get your soil in good condition and pretty fast too. It works even better if you can inject compost tea and soil improving plants at the same time the lines are being ripped. This doesn't till the soil. Contrary to popular belief, that soil should be built from the top up, this does the opposite an is much less dependent on inputs to work.

Mark Shepard talks about this and after 2 yeas your soil will be radically different and much deeper. I was just at Marks farm this summer and I could easily stick my hand down a foot at least into very good loose friable, well airated, and rich organic matter soil in one of the subsoiler slits.

If you do this it will open up the clay to be broken down more easily by insect and roots will colonize further down looking for moisture and nutrients. Every year you will have some root decay and this will continue to improve the soil deeper down until finally the clay no longer resembles clay. It wll be rich and dark soil full of life. If you can do this the first two years and get soil improving crops as well as forage crops planted you can begin running animals in there. Hogs would be good because they will prepare the soil for you and after they leave the paddock you can begin seeding your food forest. I would recommend sowing some wild root stocks from seed that you can simply graft on to unless you want dwarfing root stocks. If you can grow your own root stock though in very tough conditions you know it will survive almost anything. After that you can graze cattle in a silviculture system managing as a savanah. I recommend planting trees that you can trim for the cattle. Quick growing like poplar. And if you so choose continue your succession into a complete closed canopy. This all can be done hand In hand with establishing your food forest. The first two years of subsoiling will do wonders for your soil and the animals will further improve that as long as you manage a good rotational grazing plan. And it will also be profitable why your food Forrest is coming up. If there are certain plants that you don't want your animals to touch just don't include them access to that area. You can have islands within the system where you develop the human aspect of your Forrest with medicinals and other edible beside the trees. The subsoiling will be enough to improve those sites, although I do recomend having animals on the entire area so all can derive equal benefits from animal fertilizer. Also Swales are a must and pocket ponds unless your site is historically swampy. You dont want it all to sink in to the ground.
One great aspect of Swales is that you can use them to distribute water as well as fertilizer over large areas. I don't hear people talk about it as much in that way. Say you have animals in one part of your swale system and you need there fertilizer in another part, a swale at 1% grade will distribute it where you need it. even to areas where you can't graze your animals for fear they would destroy som of your precious plantings.

Good luck in your project! Whatever it is you choose to do.
5 years ago
I think I just realized something! Before we can become less money oriented we have to create real wealth! I mean most money isn't based on real things. it is totally made up by banks or whatever. So like what Mark Shepard is doing he is essential taking something fake and making it real! Though it may seem money oriented now consider in 100 years that or continent is an abundance of food and medicinal plants where you can walk out the door to find whatever it is you need to eat! By that time we will have built the basis to truly transition out of the system!
5 years ago
Hi I think what Mark Shepard is doing is a good example. Anybody can come and start a business on Mark's land as long as it doesn't conflict with his ideals for it. Essential his frame work consist of a schedule F farm LLC and and then another LLC or Corporation Schedule C I think dealing with any off farm or consulting or real estate/land development work. He created a LLP at New Forrest Farm in Wisconsin of which his Schedule C Corporation is the General Manager. Any partners, other LLC's for example can come to live there build there own house ect. For example Mark Only deals with Perrenials, Hogs and earthworks/land management I think
There are several other limited partners involved who do other things. Annuals, sheep, chickens, Cattle ect. But it is all done the way the GM wants it done. One the important parts of this system is to understand he is using the capitalist system to change it but for better not worse. He studied people like Donald Trump and he has the same lawyer too. mark understands how the rich did what they did and acquired most of the wealth. Now he is using that same credit and loan game to create ecological paradises.

Another important aspect to reduce taxes and further promote the model is to create a charitable remainder trust. He then either creates an organization for that money to go to which in turn supports his business or he makes an agreement with some organization that they will use the money in a way that supports his business and essentially creates a feedback loop of which he can eliminate many taxes and tee feed his model further promoting it while supporting whatever organization he chooses or creates. So it is essential that we learn how to work around the system to create real change in this world I think. Im not sure that totally withdrawing from the world is going to work. It can't work we have to deal with the system that has been created. If we don't effectively some government will come with arms and rip us from our homes weather we like it or not. There is no place to hide anymore!
5 years ago
Hi, Greta,

I like what you are doing it sounds great.

I am in Virginia and am really intrigued by what you are attempting to create.

Do you know if you create a wetland system feeding into your pond it will make the water very clear and suitable for swimming. Concrete really is not reliable and prone to cracking or not totally sealing. Besides you can seal a pond naturally. I have been studying Sepp Holzer a lot. I am very into building Swales and ponds. I ally like the idea of design a system on contour with all sort of fruits, nuts, edible and anything inbetween. The main idea is to look at the biome your in to see what grows there and simply replace with more useful species. I.E. instead of growing native crab apple, grow the domesticated apple.

Anyways you can read my bio to find out more about me Greta. I well be finishing my internship in Woodstock, Va on a homestead at the end of august and will return to Richmond. From from then on the options are fairly open for me. Let's stay in touch.
5 years ago