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Matt Hunter

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since Oct 08, 2013
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Recent posts by Matt Hunter

I'm looking and it seems that the Japanese Pagoda tree has been given a new genus, Styphnolobium Japonica, and is said not to fix nitrogen. Any comments on this?
4 years ago
Great topic. I made a video outlining how I lived in a tent in the woods for 9 months last year, while having a job and attending university. Here's a link to it:

I'm also on a bicycle tour right now, and I manage to take a nightly shower using less than a gallon of water. I'm about to make a video describing that process soon. Don't worry, not a demonstration, just an explanation.

Also, please explore my website and subscribe. I'm traveling across country on bicycle documenting permaculture projects and ideas.I plan to share tons of awesome information!
5 years ago
I made a video of this process. I have videos of many permaculture things, as I'm traveling around the country on bicycle and visiting every permaculture type place I can find.
5 years ago
I can't give any specific recommendations on pumps, but I did a video of a solar pump and irrigation system at the homestead of a fellow in Florida. This system has been in operation for over 22 years. I know he said that the price of a replacement pump ranged between $600 and $1200, depending on quality and water flow.
5 years ago
I like the ideas talked about here, so I also want to add some more big picture thoughts to the discussion. One of the main tenets of permaculture is redesigning our environment and behavior toward a system of less energy and seperation. My goals in my permaculture design are to create a more integrated and holistic system of existence.

That being said, I feel that the agri-design side of permaculture is best suited for close knit communities and family units, allowing these units to be more self sustaining, creating less of a need for commuting and grocery shopping. It is about creating localized subsets of individuals who are living in community together and providing for each others' needs, many people sharing excess yields from their personal permaculture gardens, sharing resources, skills, time, etc. Creating a system where people shop through a permaculture garden is an interesting idea, and may be a satisfying experience and learning tool for customers, but I don't see it as the best utilization of permaculture design.
5 years ago
Thank you for the idea. I like that.

So you pile up the wood chips and pine needles, put rotting logs around the borders and then fill inside between the logs with compost? did I understand that correctly?
5 years ago
Well that's good news. I'll start asking around for edible mushrooms this weekend. The varieties I have heard of that do well here are Oyster mushrooms (pleurotus pulmanarius and Pleurotus ostreatus), Shiitake mushrooms (Lentinula edodes), Lion's Mane mushrooms (Hericium erinaceus), and Reishi Mushrooms (Ganoderma lucidum). This is what I will look for unless you have other recommendations. I figure these will be best because they are edible. If I get some random mushrooms popping up I would like to be able to eat them or use them to inoculate logs. Any thoughts?
5 years ago
Dale -
Hey, thank you for pointing me in the direction of the leaf mold thread. I read it through and will definately be collecting leaves as fall carries on here. Also, thanks for pointing me toward the composting section - that gives me plent more to look at. What a great resource you all have created here with all your combined knowledge.

Mark -
It looks like everybody is agreeing on the mulch sapping the nitrogen. Thanks for the pointer on composting it. I was actually going to ask that question next.

Ken – Thanks for all the info.

I've seen that Florida muck when working at the sugar mills around Okeechobee. Good stuff. All I can do is dream of it.

We dug a pond in the back of the property a few years back and ended up with a pretty large pile of sand and muck. I really wish we would have had the foresight to separate the layers. There was about 8 ft of muck, then grey sands and then white sand. I’m afraid the pile I am now pulling from may be a mixture of muck and sand, but I guess that’s better than pure sand.

That's as good a plan as you need to get started.
Muck soils are the result of drained bogs. All kinds of organic matter in there. Nothing wrong with adding more. Muck soils have a tendency to blow away and oxidize which will diminish the depth of the A horizon over time. Keeping that soil covered will reduce wind erosion and oxidation of the humus. Eventually you'll be left with sand. Protect that soil as best you can. You'll have little fertility issues.

Great, yeah from what I have gathered about composts and soils, the more diversity of organisms the better you are. I’m not sure I have a holistic understanding of the role of carbon and nitrogen in composting, but I feel like I am starting to at least understand the rules. Maybe I will mix some of the wood mulch into the mix, but just go easy, and I’ll compost the rest and use it at a later date. I really would like to have some wood chips in there for some long term mycelium habitat.

Here's the funny part: If you did add a whole bunch of wood chips all at once, that's ok too.

I love nature, so forgiving.

For those leaves: leaf mold. I can't say enough good about it. For me, it's an absolute must have. Try it. You'll be sold.

Just spent a few hours reading about leaf mold, don’t think it’s going to make it into this installation, but I’m definitely going to start collecting.

The horse manure gives me pause.

Good to note. It’s actually donkey poops, but I will ask my neighbor if the donkeys were treated for worms. If so, maybe composting and aging will take care of the contaminate issue.

Also, thank all of you so much for being active contributors to permaculture. I have learned so much already from the knowledge you all have shared on this thread and others.
5 years ago
I have some conflicting information I hope to have some light shed on here. I took a PDC (Permaculture design course) about a month back and most everything we learned was sheet mulch, sheet mulch, sheet mulch for the food forests. It was recommended to use a layer of cardboard or some other similar meduim, a few inches of soil, and then 8 or so inches of finely ground wood chips. Now, after coming back home I took a one day food forest design course and the instructor advised against wood chips. He said it would work as a nitrogen sink and sap all the nitrogen from the soil. This makes sense to me, but I'm still unsure how to procede.

I am lucky enough to have a lot of materials to work with. This is what I have: Florida muck with a ph level of 6.0, finely ground wood chips (including moss, leaves, weeds, etc), dark compost/soil (made by the city dump), plenty of homemade compost, and horse manure. I have also created terraces for water retention and laid cardboard to block weeds. I tilled the area before tarracing to make the job easier and bread up the dense Florida sand.

My idea right now is to pretty much mix all these together into a big compost cassarole, throw some extra innoculent, mushroom spores, worms and go to planting.

Plants I have (we live in hardiness zone 9b): Florida Peach tree, citrus tree, fig tree, False Roselle (similar to cranberry hibiscus), muscadine grapes, Okinawa Spinach, Malabar spinach, amaranth, mint, mexican sunflower, Papaya, dragon fruit.

Any recommendations are welcomed. This is my first forest garden installation besides the class installation. I have photo and video documented all the work so far and will be having a local group of permies over to learn, give input, and help. I look forward to learing with you all.

5 years ago