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Storage of Energy
Homesteading is the symbolic, grounded declaration of my self reliance. My passion holds strong, but there are a few techniques to be learned first. The main sustenance for a homesteading person is the storage of energy. The ability to capture and store ensues security and abundance for multiple seasons, years, and ultimately, generations. So what is energy? Energy on a land that can be captured starts with the sun. Every part of life on Earth is created and propelled by solar capture and use. Solar gain is transmitted into four key energy storages; water, living soil, trees, and seeds.
Each is fundamental and strategically chosen to be self maintaining, low depreciating in value, and resistant to theft or monopolization.
One of the key principles of permaculture is “Observe and Interact”. Observing each renewable source on a plot of land (or community), we can utilize the best practices of catching a storage of energy. Water interacts with the land ideally through rainfall, aquifers, rivers, and basins. Water can then be captured as reservoirs, dams, swales, tanks, cisterns, ponds, and swamps. The energy can be stored and transmuted into natural capital as vegetation, forests, and soils or can be used as immediate energy for irrigation and mechanical energy (watermills).
Living soil, another energy storage, is a critical element of healthy ecosystem. The essential chemical break down is carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen. When there is a large presence of humus on the ground, the soil metabolizes and stores these necessary nutrients. Humus comes from the rotting of plant life and then acts as a sponge absorbing water, carbon, and minerals. The minerals determine the alkalinity of the soil. They include calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium. Ideal PH level of the soil is 6.5. With the use of nitrogen fixing plants, herding of animals, and mycology we are able to remediate abused lands. Living soil that is abundant in humus, minerals, water, carbon, and nitrogen needs to be highly valued as a resource of homesteading. DSC_0066_1024
Here is a piece of land we are healing the soil with mycology, specifically king stropharia and oyster mushrooms
As the third energy resource, trees contribute to the ecosystem immensely. Contributing to foliage on the ground to break down into humus, acting as a cover for other plants and animals, and large carbon stores; trees are a wealth to be had! Because most trees are resilient after a few years, they become self maintaining, a keystone to the local ecology. Trees are able to reproduce without the need for felling and can easily be translated into material wealth of wood and fruits. Conjointly, the forest provides a habitat for animals, bees, herbs, fungi, and seeds which all have the capability to be valuable stores of energy.
The reproduction of plants, seeds, have unlimited capabilities making them one of the biggest investments of energy storage. Usually small in size, most seeds are easily stored for years on end. They are resistant to most environments and each seed has the capacity to produce futures seeds by the ten fold.
When we value the abundant resources from nature for its true worth, we can gain much more from it. The key to harnessing this energy is to observe these stores of energy in nature, understand the true value, and recreate this occurrence on a homesteading plot. The measurement of wealth can be attributed to how the energy is stored, how it can be transmuted into different forms, and how long the energy is thriving in storage. Wealth that is valued in this way can further our livelihoods in terms of bartering or monetary gain and secure our future. Talk about preparing for retirement!