Megan Carlisle

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since Jan 04, 2018
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Recent posts by Megan Carlisle

The best way to iradicate invasive species...  just keep trying!  
I also think the method of paying children 25 cents a snail is brilliant.  Kids are great at finding them, the low to the ground advantage.
6 months ago

Priscilla Stilwell wrote:Looks great! I never quite understood why it was important to dig down. I know that provides access to more moisture, but if the idea is to mimic nature, seems that your process is more than sufficient!

I think it is only important to dig into the ground in arid environments, I think that it really helps connect the roots with the water table and can eventually build irrigation free systems.  if you are in a wet environment i would suggest against it as the roots will benefit from more drainage.
7 months ago
I saw a great idea from Geoff Lawtons greening the dessert project where they had chicken tractor the ran back and forth over the compost area.  They pile all the stuff up and then when its time to turn they put the chicken on top of it and they rip the pile apart.  Then you rake it back together into a pile, fully aerated and fertilized.  
8 months ago
I gave up Facebook 6 years ago when they started letting algorithms listen to what you are saying.    Honestly my life is better without it, my energy does not go through the roller coaster of feeling people have that I rarely see or speak too.  I think for a system based in Ethics like permaculture, even if your business benefits from the advertising, that is because of the very reason you hate facebook and started this thread in the first place.    So much of our world would be better if we gave up our addiction we know are bad for us, TV, Junk food, drama, consumption... when you finally give them up and break the cycle you realize wait my life is actually BETTER!!!  Action is the anecdote to apathy...
For people looking to make a permacultre business plan i highly recommend this book "The Permaculture market garden: a visual guide to profitable whole systems farm business" by Geoff Loeks.  The book blew away my expectation, owning many garden permacultre book I was presently surprised by how much this book helped me visualize a permaculture based business plan.   He teaches about building guild business's 3-4 different elements that feed into each other and make up the total years income.    His example way, CSA, Education, Garlic seed.  They spread out throughout the year, each with their prime time of work.  The book also covers the importance of Design in work flows from one production area to another...
8 months ago

Hugo Morvan wrote:Slightly off topic. I care to disagree Megan. Nitrogen is taken away in the form of produce in ever increasing quantities into ever growing cities. Where the sewer system takes it all in. Civilized rich countries are composting it in giant plants. It's very rich in nitrogen, tomatoes are abundant, but it's full of chemical toxins and medicines and recreational drug components. In theory it could be taken out. It's just too expensive.

Thanks Hugo,
I actually don't think we disagree at all, I work with coming up with solutions to toxins for a living and the ethical questions around these issues keep me up at night.  I of course don't think that suggesting the world return to subsistence farming is going to work, and while idealism has many solutions, transition is the only path worth our time at the moment.  The disscusion on Humanure was about the closed loop system as far as nutrients and I was saying that subsistence closes the loop, again not practical but a necessary element to a nutrient cycle discussion.  
As far as the toxins in compost and human waste goes these are tough things to make ethical calls on, for importing toxins is never a fun idea and exporting them does not solve the problem, in fact exporting toxins has made a HUGE problem in the global south.  When it comes to heavy metals, is dilution the solution to pollution?    I digress this is a subject for different thread...
I am so glad permies is discussing this issue, nutrient cycles on a global scale is hard to wrap our heads around but critical for addressing the issues of agriculture and creating transition.  Composting on a municipal level is great and for every one to do this and bring it back to farms contains a carbon footprint as welll...  The more localized it all is the better...
8 months ago
I was so excited to find this thread as I am writing a permaculture bioremediation course and was just writing about nutrient cycles.  This is interesting perspective, an the first post on permies i have found to be questioning nitrogen fixers... way to be edgy, after all edge is where the most growth happens.  My research was actually about nitrous oxcide as a little examined greenhouse gas, i was under the impression that healthy soil full of life holds on to nutrients.  In a permculture  system you would be using the nitrogen fixers to draw down atmospheric nitrogen but in healthy soil it would not leach away downstream or get released through tilling.  This still seems like a better system than hauling it to the farm with fossil fuels.  Also most places you could collect Ag runoff are going to have a bunch more toxins with them such as heavy metals.  Now some would argue that a permaculture farm is the best place to put some trace toxins as they will break down faster in the healthy soils, that being said people don't seem to be volunteering for decentralized toxins on their farm.  

The difficult thing is that agriculture seems to be the great cycle disrupter being that making a living by selling produce ships nutrients away from the system, humanure is a great thing but only works closed loop if the farm is purely for subsistence.   Permaculture gets flake from critics about weather it can be "taken to scale"  and i think it is scale that may be the root of our problems, getting creative solution to fix the broken system will only work so long.  So much of this mindset comes from the agrarian state that turned the fertile crescent into a dessert long before Fritz Habor messed with the nitrogen cycle.  If nitrogen fixing trees are not a solution, and neither is driving it back upstream, than maybe the only solution is subsistence, localized close loop systems?  I
8 months ago
Hi there,
Intrigued by your post, I am a permaculture teacher and my husband is a master multimedia artist, we are currently in Ecuador working on writing permaculture curriculum for Bio-remediation. we are looking to expatriate from the chaos of the United states but are struggling to get residency as we don't make a living in a legible by governments manor.    It is my understanding that at a US citizen I don't need any paper to live in work in the US commonwealth.  Is that true?
Ultimately i would love to know more about how you decided on saipan and if you are happy about your decision to move there...
8 months ago
I found my first reference to the claim in David Tyndall's book sacred soil that the ceramic vessels were for fermented humanure.  

"In literature on Terra Preta, the prevailing view is that the ceramic shards come from middens, household waste, also from some burials, and, most importantly, also from clay vessels for fermenting human excrement into humanure (also see terra preta: how the worlds most fertile soil can help reverse climate change an reduce worl hungar by david suzuki pg 42 and chapter 6) Clay vessels of 20-60 liter capacity with lids were found lined up in terra pretta soils.  They contained fermented human excrement, a potent source of fertility." (pg 83)

This is so fascinating to me...  As someone who is deep into my soul searching about aerobic and anaerobic microbes this adds fuel to the fire.  The possibility that they made the vessels to be disposable with terra preta in mind adds new layers the the "cradle to cradle" materials philosophy.  Also more cases about how advanced indigenous cultures were about understanding nutrient cycles and fertility.  
9 months ago
If it infects fodder corn it makes me want to breed it up to do some "guerrilla sporing" across the Midwest.   Seems like justice to fight back against the drifting GMO genetics and "property theft" lawsuits to inoculate them with this gross looking Aztec delicacy.

It is also interesting to note that this may have been a fungal component to the famous 3 sisters guild.  
9 months ago