Daron Williams

garden master
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since Oct 08, 2016
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From a young age growing up in arid Eastern Washington Daron learned the importance of protecting our rivers and watersheds. This was later enforced while working to restore water systems in England, and studying climate change in the Fiji Islands. Daron has worked to protect the waters of the Pacific Northwest through jobs with several non-profits, the US Geological Survey and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality.
Through this hands-on field experience and with degrees in water resources, political science and a master’s in environmental studies, Daron understands the challenge of protecting our region's natural habitats – Daron is meeting these challenges head on through his current role as the Restoration and Public Access Manager for a local Land Trust.
Daron was also brought up with a passion for growing his own food. Throughout his youth, his family grew approximately half of the vegetables they consumed in the backyard of a suburban home. Given this background in water and gardening, it was no surprise that permaculture and other ecological based methods for growing food would appeal to Daron.
Now that Daron and his wife have purchased land with a small house, Daron hopes to be able to apply what he has learned over the years to create a demonstration ecological based garden/farm system to provide for his family and to share with others what works and what does not.
Olympia, WA - Zone 8a/b
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Recent posts by Daron Williams

Just over a day left in this giveaway - if you have not entered make sure you don't miss out!
2 days ago
Do you want to grow more food?

Growing food for you and your family is a core part of the homesteading life. But sometimes it is hard to know where to start. You have this land but where do you start?

I know for my own land it can feel overwhelming – should I get chickens, or should I focus on creating an abundant garden? Or is there something else I should do first?

Learning from other homesteaders who are further along in this journey has always helped me make better choices for my homestead.

I watch Justin Rhoads vlog most days and have learned a lot from his videos. Especially, from his DVD’s: Permaculture Chickens and The Great American Farm Tour.

To celebrate the end of Justin Rhoad’s 100 Days of Growing Food Challenge and his YouTube channel recently reaching 300k subscribers Justin is giving away 10 Packets of Food Growing Know How to 10 lucky winners.

Do You Want to Grow More Food? Click to Enter the Giveaway

So, what is in these packets?

  • 1-year access to Justin Rhoad’s DIY Abundance Community ($179). This will give you access to an ever growing How to Library of videos and access to an exclusive Facebook forum. Plus, you will have direct access to Justin when you need help with your homestead.

  • The Premium addition of Justin Rhoad’s Permaculture Chickens DVD ($139). Learn everything you need to know for raising chickens from hatching to plate.

  • The Premium addition of Justin Rhoad’s The Great American Farm Tour DVD ($159). Be inspired by farms from across the country. Seeing what others are doing on their farms and homestead will inspire you to do more than you ever thought possible.

  • With just over 2 days left on Justin’s giveaway don’t miss your chance to win one of these 10 packets!

    Do You Want to Grow More Food? Click to Enter the Giveaway
    2 days ago
    Wordpress is the dominate blogging service if you want full control over your site and have a standalone site. But you might also check out https://medium.com or https://steemit.com if you are less worried about having your own standalone site.
    4 days ago
    Does a swale slow the movement of groundwater by creating an area that is more saturated than the surrounding area? I think it does and here is my reasoning.

    The water holding capacity of soil is determined by the amount of space between all the individual particles. This space also determines the rate of flow through the soil.

    A swale is essentially a void space which would hold more water than soil taking up the same volume. It would also take less energy for the groundwater to fill the void space of the swale than to fill the space between the soil particles.

    My thought is that this would slow the flow of groundwater and essentially create a "traffic jam" backing up groundwater behind the swale and slowing the overall flow uphill of the swale.

    Downhill of the swale the rate of flow should return to essentially normal which would be why a series of swales would be more effective than just one. Even if the amount of surface water is fairly minimal after the first.

    My main point is that I think this reduction of the flow rate of the groundwater is a benefit of a swale in addition to its ability to intercept surface flow.

    In not trying to argue against the underground dam idea - I think it is a great tool to add to the toolbox. I just think swales are doing more than was described above.
    4 days ago
    For my own business I'm going to try using Steemit which is a blockchain based social media site with it's own cryptocurrency called steem. Nice thing is there is no energy intensive currency mining with it. It is all based around people creating content and the community liking individual posts which then gives each creator a portion of the cryptocurrency created. You can cash out for US dollars.

    It is small at the moment but seems to be getting traction. It is decentralized and does not seem to have the negative issues commonly associated with cryptocurrency. The site would work well for blogs, vlogs, and anyone creating digital content on a regular basis.
    I have had luck with https://nextdoor.com for local stuff. People in my area are fairly active and it has been a good way for me to find free stuff from people in my area.
    Chop and drop is a common technique used in food forests to build the organic material content of the soil. Could just go through and chop and drop before harvesting or just don't worry about stepping on the plants and treat that as a rough chop and drop.
    1 week ago

    Listen Online

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    Credit: Eric Tolbert

    Paul and Jocelyn are on a road trip through rural Montana and start off the podcast with an overview of several hot springs they were able to visit, managing to visit one near Whitehall Montana, even though Jocelyn is in flip-flops, with a broken foot and not supposed to be walking on uneven ground.

    Paul's current Kickstarter managed to top out at an amazing $80,000 dollars on an initial funding request of $8,700 dollars. The Kickstarter occurred in the middle of Paul's current PDC and Appropriate Technology Course, causing an energy drain on Paul. Jocelyn points out that sitting behind a computer is exhausting, more than some people realize. Paul discusses the difficulties of producing and generating the content for the Kickstarter at the same time as everything else.

    Coincidentally Paul and Jocelyn's Ten Year Anniversary (tin or aluminum in case you would like to send a gift or card) occurs just after the Kickstarter ends and that prompts the trip to the Hot Springs and the Lincoln, Montana Blackfoot Pathway's Sculpture Art Park. Paul and Jocelyn talk about the expenses associated with a Kickstarter campaign, the actual costs associated with the Kickstarter and what else is involved in creating the stretch goals and other expenses that occur with every event and project.

    Mr. Slappy (a new term that hasn't come up previously during the over 400 podcasts) is a phrase that Paul remembers from his childhood but is unsure of the origin, but probably comes from a movie. Basically  "Mr. Slappy" is a motivating person on each project who has to slap people around so they get with the program and understand that they need to "get shit done or we are all going to starve". Without  a "Mr. Slappy" nothing much ever seems to get done and nothing moves forward.

    Paul would like to think many projects today would be going forward without someone taking the role of "Mr. Slappy" but it seems that there are not many self-starters currently working. Many people bail when things seem to be getting tough or might get tough without actually attempting a task and figuring it out even when things get bumpy. Jocelyn points out that we have to work with the material we have, not the material we want.

    The conversation moves on to discussing that Wheaton Labs is looking for someone, preferably with experience, to take on the role of Rental/Event Manager. Paul is open to someone with no experience attempting the job but they would have to be open to transitioning out of the role if it proves to be a poor fit. It is pointed out that Montana has some challenges with rental locations because of the sheer distance between locations. Internet access can be an obstacle to people living at the lab if they don’t have a data plan or hotspot so a future manager would be wise to take that into account and have a plan to deal with that as part of the job requirement.

    Paul and Jocelyn then turn to talking about the Rocket Oven Kickstarter occurring in parallel with the Peasant PDC, the Scientific PDC and the ATC events. Paul gives credit to Alan Booker for running an information intensive PDC, well organized and packed full of useful stuff. Jocelyn was very impressed with Alan's knowledge and teaching prowess but found it a little overwhelming when all the men went into "engineer speak" and would really like to have more women come participate in events and activities at the lab (a point a future Event/Rental manager would be wise to explore). Kudos were also given to Chris "Uncle Mud" McClellan who ran the ATC this year, along with guest instructor James S. Juczak.

    The podcast comes to a close with a brief discussion about Paul's next Kickstarter that will be for his new book, probably occurring several months from now. The new book is in process of being written and edited at this time and Paul is also working on the PEP (Permaculture Experience according to Paul) courses. PEP courses will be a series of educational programs that are currently being defined. PEP1 currently is being worked out as a two week course, PEP2 is a three month program, PEP3 will be a one year program and PEP4 will be a three year program. A more in-depth discussion of PEP can  be found at permies.com in the educational forum.

    Relevant Threads

    Steven Harris
    Dan Ohmann (The Grass-Fed Homestead)
    Rocket Oven Kickstarter
    Wheaton Labs Appropriate Technology Course
    Blackfoot Pathways Sculpture Park
    Wheaton Labs PDC
    Permie's Rental/Event Manger Position
    Eldenbridge Institute (Alan Booker)
    Chris "Uncle Mud" McClellan
    James S. Juczak - The High Art and Subtle Science of Scrounging

    Support the Empire

    Help support the empire and get all of the podcasts in a bundle here in the digital market at permies.

    To support production of these podcasts, make a donation here at Paul's Patreon page.

    This podcast was made possible thanks to:

    Full Name
    Bill Crim
    wade L
    James Tutor
    Suleiman ALAQEL
    Josh Phillips
    Jocelyn Campbell
    Jason Hower
    Ash Jackson
    thomas adams
    Julia Mason
    Dominic Crolius
    David Ingraham
    Miroslav Ultrama
    Bill Erickson
    Lisa Goodspeed
    G Cooper
    Wayne Fajkus
    Eivind W. Bjoerkavaag
    Keith Kuhnsman
    Dylan Butler
    Dana Martin
    Cody W.
    Interesting - I have not heard of it. I would love to hear from anyone that has experience with it.
    2 weeks ago
    DIY Solar Dehydrator

    I'm excited about building my own solar dehydrator. This time of year I tend to get so many fruits/berries and vegetables that I can't eat them all fresh and my freezer does not have room for them all. Making fruit leathers and just drying the fruits/berries and vegetables to use as snacks and in cooking would help keep a lot more on hand and enjoy my summer harvest through the winter.

    Have you built your own solar dehydrator? Please comment and share your experience - what works and what does not.

    I'm planning on building the WheatonATC1 model offered for sell through permies. Looks like a great solar dehydrator and if you are interested check out the link to purchase the plans so you can build your own too!

    Check out the solar dehydrator plans being offered through permies and please comment bellow to share your own experience with solar dehydrators.

    The Misoula1 is another great solar dehydrator that is being offered through permies.

    You can see the Wheaton1ATC model in action here:

    2 weeks ago