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Chris Chaisson

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since Sep 06, 2009
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Recent posts by Chris Chaisson

I totally agree. and totally disagree-

I won't get into why i disagree, as i believe there are far too many people over intellectualizing the permaculture movement who ahve never farmed, and that they project their "ideal" notions of how the world should work from a place of privilege- not hunger.

Conversely in Latin America we are seeing an explosion of permaculture acceptance by the poor because it so easily resembles the milpa.

Bottomline- a greenhouse can make a poor family food sovereign in the cold north- and built and used properly it can be almost totally cogenerative.

In VT you can see "sunrooms" on the north sides of buildings for the view.

but growing greens without heat in a gh will be less carbon intensive than getting them from cali.

we are experimenting with earth bermed greenhouses but only in places where you get the minimum of 5-6 hours light at solstice- found and determined with solar arc finder.

VTers are having luck with aquaponics systmes and combining citrus and other trees in their greenhouses. The thermal mass of the plants themselvs actually balance temperatures as their root and soil mass hold heat.

Eliot Coleman has also figured out that low tunnels in greenhouses are more effective than heating greenhouses at all if you - have enough light. In fact light is more important than heat- his research has shown.

Unfortunately if we build exposed northern walls with a plastic r-value of 1 we will waste heat. so why build a greenhouse, when you can start plants inside a warm place under lights and impove into cold frame??

It really is nice though to have a greenhouse full of plants when it is -40 degrees out.

10 years ago
My experience has shown me that shredded paper and cardboard work well, especially when well layered with grass clippings for air, nitrogen, and hence . composting.

Soils are also a big factor: sand will be less likely to turn it into gley due to porosity in soil. Clay will be opposite.

We are also working with inoculating the carboard with stropharia mycelium. This seems to be the biggest missing element- overall soil health. especially if you are sheet mulching on tilled or disturbed soil.

As far as contaminants go- watch for shiny and glossy surfaces. compounds will be broke down by mushrooms, but heavy metals will not. grow a mustard crop??

Soil temp is extremely affected by sheetmulch and will not work in northern climates for vegetables other than cold loving crops.   

My latest thoughts have been to use a hammer mill to shred the cardboard and place shredded cardboard on top of myceliated cardboard.

check out our east coast mushroom lab:

Pix will come in october.
10 years ago