Dooley Tunner

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since Mar 18, 2015
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Recent posts by Dooley Tunner

Some farms I visited in Ecuador were growing coffee, bananas, citrus, avocados all together in a food jungle. The coffee and bananas seemed to be the main sales crop.
3 years ago
I want to know the answer to this question too!! I hope we find out about this cultivar. What is it's name, do you know? Where in Europe is it cultivated?
3 years ago
Thank you for the heads up. This looks Awesome. I live in Bellingham but I've never been out to Vashon. I hope I'll have the chance to come down there for the workshop.
3 years ago
Hello Zach and the rest of the permies out there!

I have been farming on other people's land for about 7 years now, but I want to get onto some of my own land. I live in a place where land is available but quite expensive. It is a great market near a prosperous small city, and I want to stay nearby. I am daunted by the process of looking for the right land to establish a permaculture homestead and micro farm and even more by how to afford it. Neither my partner or I do the kinds of work that qualify for bank financing (self-employed, low income), and we would prefer to stay away from that "death grip" anyway.

My question is if you have any advice on how to best go about looking for affordable land that is good for permaculture farming, what to look for when evaluating it and then how to get alternative financing. I know this is three questions in one but... There I went. Looking forward to all ideas! Thanks.
3 years ago
Than you Zach for weighing in. Simplicity is much needed needed in our culture. I agree very much that a village style approach to Permaculture is of paramount importance for culture shift - different folks filling different niches, within reason. However, it is so easy for me to get excited about so many elements and patterns (not to mention species of plants and animal!) and how they interact - which is why permaculture is so very appealing. It is not just a lettuce farm or a pumpkin patch. There is the impulse to produce as much of your on livelihood as possible: vegetables, meat, fruits, shelter, fiber, fuel. It all comes together in the homestead design. But all of a sudden there are 10,000 projects to do and systems to check in on. As with any thing, it is of course a matter of balance. I want to learn how to embrace simplicity but at the same time increase my tolerance for minor chaos and build my skills of focus and attention to detail so that I have increased stamina in shifting clear focus from one element to another to another, while keeping the big picture in mind and not getting overwhelmed by the details. If there are any practices or mental patterns you (and anyone else) employ intentional to cultivate this kind of sharpness of mind, I would love to learn about it.
3 years ago
Permaculture is a simple idea with a complex reality taking into account so many of the variables that conventional and one-dimensional organic farming do not. It is so easy for busy growers large and small to be seduced into one-size-fits-all and magic bullet approaches to farming that improve their bottom line or make their lives "easier" but externalize a lot of the cost. Market farming has always been a major hustle to make a living and integrating it with the expanded reality of permaculture design often feels overwhelming. Micro-farming offers to make the farm around us slower and more human-scaled - allowing us to pay very close attention to detail. What are some of the key mental, emotional, psychological, personal (etc) habits for successful permaculture market farming? What practices do you cultivate to stay balanced, aware and connected? What does it take to keep it all together and in perspective? What does it take to "stay ahead of the ball" if that is possible? Working proactively with focus and observational awareness and not always in disaster management mode? What does it take to stay in "the flow" i.e. open-focused, equanimous and ENERGIZED by your work?

Of course there are some obvious and generic answers to this question that come stright from the principles of PC, and that translate right into mental PC, such as "observe" and "start small" and "go with the flow." And I have my own ideas about this question, but I am here with beginners mind to see what some others with deep experience have to say. These aspects of psychological or inner permaculture are not always discussed. The implication in the typical permaculture conversation is that it's all about design and techniques in the "outer" landscape," but I am just as curious about the inner landscape and how we can intentionally cultivate and integrate the two. It is not a given that growing a garden makes you a permaculture super-hero. For most of us, many old mental habits must be broken down and inspected, and new ones put in place, to truly flourish and take permaculture to the edges it wants to walk.

Many thanks to anyone who can answer these questions out of their experience in this work.
3 years ago
Thanks for your input everyone. I think we are going to go with a dense planting of some columnar evergreens while leaving enough space between them and the chainlink for Cramer to run his trail between them.
3 years ago
So, I'm helping a friend redesign part of their 5,000 sq.ft. urban yard here in Washington. The place is on the corner of a busy road and a quiet side street. Their Catahoula dog runs those two fence lines along the two streets constantly, to track and bark at pedestrians, bicyclists, mopeds... everything except cars. So, there is a well-worn trail along those two fence lines where the surfaces are all torn up and rutted. Whether it was once mulch, grass, pebbles, whatever, now it's a dog trail. He (Cramer, the dog) has even run down a NZ flax plant.

So my friend can't get the dog to stop, and doesn't know how to train it out of him. I realize that a dog like this needs lots and lots of work to do herding cows, but.... that isn't going to happen. We want to figure out how to re-landscape these areas with plants that will provide privacy from the roads, but won't get run down/dug up by the dog in the establishment phase. Where the dog's trail crosses a grass pathway, the grass is all torn up. Mulch cannot be applied; it only gets scattered. Same with ground cover plants. The soil here in NW Washington is so wet all winter that the soil structure is easily turned to mud and grass is easily torn up.

Does anyone have any experience working with the flow of this kind of dog energy to either work around the dog's activity, redirect the dog, or develop a dog-impervious planting design? Any experience training or incentivizing a dog to do something else?
What we are trying to accomplish is a way to either discourage the behavior or design around it in a way that is attractive. What we are trying to avoid is putting in plantings that the dog will destroy.

Thanks everyone!
3 years ago