Efren Turner

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since Mar 24, 2018
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Recent posts by Efren Turner

 Don't you want to see it before making big plans around it?  

Haha! Story of my life.  I've only seen the Zack Weiss half of the freebies so far.  I'm already super excited and thinking about waaaaaay-over-my-head, purpose-driven-business plans.

0th- Use a data analytic approach to decide a site location with highest (total expected life improving benefit) / (cost+externalities) ratio.  Start data logging for publication.  Onboard impact investors.
1st- Rent-to-own the best choice of cheap, dry land with highest potential for water enhanced life and education.
2nd- Hire a Zack Wiess-level water-permie to lead a tamara-style groundwater restoration project while training a larger crew.  Or a Rusty Davis-level keyline permie Or a....______
3rd- If the project works - buy the land the following year.  Grow site into a teaching agro-ecology.
3rd- If the project doesn't work - give the land back to the title holder with apologies. Rinse and repeat with more skill, <$150k expense, and moderate externalities]
4th- Publish results and data regardless of success]

My apologies about the off-topic.  

I gotta just buy y'alls video series now. I intend to buy the big one because we mostly live off-grid with bad internet... HD will look better on a projector... you have a VIP permie instructor cast, so even though videos probably work precisely in the way I intend - its still supporting yall.
11 months ago
Hi Paul,
Thank you for making these video sets available.  

My org, Life's Collective, is doing more and more permaculture and only one of us has a PDC.  After a fire burned our place last fall we have been rebuilding all aspects - including our library.  We have temp workers and wwoofers sometimes and we'd like to teach them more than we have been.  If you're cool with it I'd like to use the videos as searchable reference material before we start on a new project - probably watched on laptops or a projector; As well as general education for our whole staff and wwoofers, particularly those who cant attend a PDC - probably watched on a projector with a few people watching at once.

How do you feel about us using this a general education tool on our farm for staff and wwofers (about 10 people per year)?

How do the HD or non-HD video versions look on a projector?

I see there are sections with different topics.  How are the 170ish hrs of video divided up? How searchable are topics and subtopics?

Any other thoughts?

Thank you,
11 months ago
Hi folks,
Would you please let us know your thoughts?

Us, Postfire
Our org, Life's Collective, has a purpose of helping life thrive to the best of our ability. We have a >40 acre hilly, 2-20% slope, farm/property... and a 1 acre, flat garden-becoming-a-farm in central Mendocino county, California.  The big farm burned completely in October in the regional firestorm, this killed about 80% of the mixed:
madrone>fir>valley oak>manzanita>black oak>toyon>pine>guardian oak>soap root>baytree... woodlands and it burnt almost all soil nitrogen and killed most of the non-meadow area's seed banks.  Our folks survived but not all our neighbors did. RIP J, S, K, K.  The turkys mostly survived, only saw one dead.  Some deer survived, seems like there are less.  The animals are short on food  

I would like to do regenerative, broad-acre agro-ecology... efficiently - on both farms.  We don't have much money anymore.  We have decent credit and ok income from cannabis.  We can get funding if its needed, worth it and if it will make a huge difference.  My team will follow a regenerative approach if it is realistic this year, postfire, with limited labor, limited expertise and we can afford it or its worth funding. Otherwise my team will want us to focus on stupider, more capitalistic cannabis farming while we recover financially from most our stuff burning down. There are a lot of permies all around my region, many whom we know well enough that they'd help us.  Our current skills are: some ag, some permaculture, some nature connection, a lot of cannabis chemistry, some science+tech, and a lot of cannabis farming.

We don't own any heavy equipment which didn't burn... except that most of our diesel dump-bed flat-bed 3500 4x4 didnt burn .  Our friends will loan us just about any heavy equipment we might need.  (dozers, a skid steer, a backhoe, a grader, a skip loader, excavator).  We actively make a lot of compost tea.  We have 1000sqft of radiant heated greenhouse nursery and 4000 sqft of unheated greenhouse at a leased flat land. We've been erosion seeding the burnt property with native grasses and wildflowers so far.

Regen Plan 1.0a
Pattern Recognition Josh's + my idea is we yoeman keyline plow almost on contour, all over the big burnt farm.  While doing so - we compost tea inject and seed directly into the keyline.  We also plant a variety of trees into the keyline.  At some point we chop over ~85% of the fully dead trees on contour as bioswales next to the keylines.  Leave some dead trees for bird condos.   In areas the tree's *roots* also seem dead too we may terrace it with a dozer and bioswale with the dead trees.  Fall 2018 - intending to switch the radiant heated greenhouse nursery tables from propane to compost heating; with the compost being made out of burnt tree parts and..._______? (insert good idea for green matter?).

Your thoughts?

What would you recommend we do?

Want to come out here and show us?

Who has a yeoman in norcal I can get access to?

Otherwise, would our dozer driving buddy with his rippers work ok or would the heavy dozer compact too much?

Any ecology suggestions? I was planning on doing mostly native crops and a lot of synergistic-guild planting.

Thank you,
11 months ago
[Editing my reply because Larisa has a great, simple solar-direct excess-dump electric heating method.]

I'd say - use larisa's offgrid direct-electric method if you want to use electricity.

Generally speaking - any heating and cool takes a lot of energy.  Heating water with electricity takes more electricity than you'd expect.  Storing electricity off-grid wastes a lot of it and is expensive.  So, I don't recommend storing electricity in batteries and then using it to heat water.

Folks at the Solar Living Institute are anticipation large improvements in electric batteries over the next few years (bc of electric cars, etc).  They are recommending buying the cheapest batteries and switching. ...These performance improvements may or may not make sense as far as ecological externalities.

I use propane on-demand / tankless water heaters atm.  I had a small one for a shower untill the whole region burned down, including my lil shower.  I now have a big outdoor one for a offgrid radiant hot water system to heat a nursery. The good thing about it is the whole system minus the heater itsself can turn into a compost heated radiant system as soon as we build it/have a bunch of money... Tankless heaters have efficiency ratings.  A good one will use >90somthing% of the propane/heat and a crappy one will use 80somthing% of the BTUs.  So I recommend getting a good one.
11 months ago