Boris Forkel

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since Jul 20, 2015
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hugelkultur forest garden chicken
I studied architecture and spatial planning; reading the Work of Derrick Jensen got me into Permaculture, which i consider my main occupation ever since.
Heidelberg, South Germany
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Recent posts by Boris Forkel

Very cool thread, inspired me to come up with a few own attempts:

Premise 1:
"Modern agriculture - like mining and all other modern industrial processes -
draws energy and ressources from the land to the cities.
Permaculture is "a Design science with ethics" (G.Lawton) and is about keeping and storing energy where
it is and restoring what is already lost."

Modification of Premise 1:
"Industrial Civilization - with modern agriculture, mining and all other modern industrial processes -
draws energy and ressources from the land to the cities.
Permaculture is "a Design science with ethics" (G.Lawton) and is about keeping and storing energy where
it is and restoring what is already lost."

"Agriculture is consuming soil, Permaculture is building soil."

„Agricultural societies - Civilisations - always lead to war, waste, and genocide.
(i recommend the work of e.g Derrick Jensen (books), the historian David E. Stannard (books)
or Toby Hemenway (talks) for sharp and clear analysis);
Permaculture is about ending the war for a future of peace and plenty.
(Bill Mollison; [modified])

"Only permies will survive."

„Permaculture is really kind of envisioning a horticultural society as opposed to an agricultural
(Toby Hemenway)

„Agriculture is the conversion of ecosystems into people."
(Toby Hemenway)
„Permaculture is people building ecosystems“

The dominant culture's story:
"The gods made the world for man, but they botched the job, so we had to take matters in to our own,
more competent hands."
Permaculture's story:
"The gods made man for the world, the same way they made salmon and sparrows and rabbits for the world;
this seems to have worked pretty well so far, so we can take it easy and leave the running of the world
to the gods."
(Daniel Quinn (1992): Ishmael, p.241 [modified])
4 years ago
Dear Paul & Casie,
thank you for the quick reply. Casie's guess was right, that's the thread i was looking for.
That Paul himself didn't find it might be a hint that the search function could need a bit of improvement.
I liked that one:

Q: "If you could only say ONE sentence to non permies about permaculture, to try to make them understand the importance of it, what would it be? "
A: "probably not helping - but the shortest i can come up with is: '' "
Hello all,
recently i read a thread here in the forums started by Cassie about definitions of permaculture in one sentence. I liked it a lot and wanted to read over it again a few days later, but couldn't find it. I had that problem before an wonder how to find a particular thread in the forums. I searched for "what is permaculture", "definition of permaculture", "Definition", "sentence" etc. Also searching for an exact phrase with "..." doesn't work, the search gives out just any thread containing any of the terms.
Any ideas how to find that tread again?

chestnuts are great, they used to be a main food crop in some areas in Europe during medieval times. Downsides are that they're only available in the fall, and they don't store for more than about two weeks. One good way to preserve them is to pickle them in honey, raw or cooked, which makes a delicious and highly nutritional food stock for the winter.
4 years ago
For all my life, i used this popular combination for washing dishes:

Those scouring pads are cheap and handy, when they're old i still use them to clean the bathroom, but after all it's a throw-away product made of plastic. I imagined the huge pile of plastic waste i produced during my lifetime with this way of washing dishes, and i thought i should come up with a better solution.

Here it is: The DIY durable hemp fiber pad.

Hemp string is available at the hardware store and pretty cheap. I chose that material because hemp fiber is known for its durability concerning continuous contact with water (that's why it was used in sea travel before the invention of plastics). I'd appreciate any experiments with e.g nettle fiber though.
You can knit or crochet it in any form you find convenient, for me my mum made two different forms. The one in the classic potholder-shape works best so far.

I was really surprised how well it works! It's a bit stiff at the beginning, but gets softer after some use. The cleaning properties are excellent, i had no more need to use any detergent, cause is removes even animal fats an grease pretty well.

I hope you enjoy & share this idea.

Edit: I got rewarded with an apple for this post immediately! Great, thanks!
4 years ago
It's so strange to me that everybody in the English-speaking world calls them "Jerusalem Artichoke" or "Sunchoke"...
In Germany, everyone refers to them as "Topinambur". As far as my research goes, this is the name of the native people who cultivated them on the east coast of south America (Tupi/Tupinamba).
4 years ago
I only received part 1 this time. Last time both parts.
I didn't get the 2. mail.
I once too attended a course at an outdoor school, but in Germany. They had similar structures, a bit more "primitive", only made of poles and small branches all covered with soil, no extra barrier for moisture. A bit like a cave, half-open with a fireplace at the open side. Still absolutely rain-proof and very warm and comfy to sleep, but probably not very durable.
The more i think about it, the more i realize that the tepee-type structure is one of the most evolved and sophisticated designs for human shelter. The cone-shape provides excellent stability, the steep walls allow for fast water-runoff, it's easy to built wherever long poles are available, there are adapted types of this structure for winter, summer and different climate zones. Important element for a good function of this design is the fire in the center, since it dries out the structure (whether its cotton, buffalo hide or turf/bark) from the inside and helps the wood to dry frequently after getting moist. Smoke also adds to the durability of animal skin-covered shelter. Once abandoned, without fire burning daily, these structures will decompose very fast, as mentioned in the video, which is also a good function of that design. No deconstruction needed, just leave it and it will feed the soil.
In my opinion, a very permie-style type of building, which deserves further research and experiment for adaption to different climate zones and modern improvement, such as rmh's, windows, electricity etc.
4 years ago
Thank you Cassie for this inspiration. That's what i was looking for, the tepee for the temperate, moist woodlands. I Love the shape and construction of the tepee for its ease and stability, but the cotton lining is just not suitable for wet climate, it rots very fast. The sami-version provides insulation with turf and a waterproof layer of birchbark, simple and effective.
I think of a slightly modernized version with windows, pondliner instead of birchbark and covered with soil... cheap and easy to build, can later be equipped with rmh.
Nice! Looking forward to build such a structure in springtime.
4 years ago