Jondo Almondo

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since Oct 06, 2018
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Recent posts by Jondo Almondo

Given their waste-disposal methods involved open smoldering heaps of debris - I would argue that they were neither permacultural nor sustainable.

Permaculturists use thousands of modern scientific facts from various disciplines to inform their judgement. Sustainability can only be known with complex models that measure and account for the myriad inputs and outputs of human and natural systems.

The knowledge that allows sustainable, efficient living is a recent development and I think we should celebrate it as the futuristic lifestyle that it is.
46 minutes ago
I think saying "I'm just a hippy" is a bit of a cop out.
Most hippies never became permaculturists, instead preoccupied with music and systems of spirituality.
Permaculture is an interdisciplinary design science.
It is dauntingly complex and vast in it's scope.
I think it deserves respect and we sell it short if we frame it as anything other than what it is.
2 days ago
I enjoyed The Secret Life of Trees immensely, it combined modern science on forest ecology with the observations of a forester turned conservationist. A very poetic text.

Backster did tests with a lie detector that have not been replicable, had design issues and are now held in disrepute.
He also claimed plants had sentience and emotional capacity - which is hard to imagine a plant possessing without a central nervous system.
I think that the anthropomorphism of plants/animals/objects/landscapes does us much harm - particularly when it comes to our deep attachment to pets and gardens.

I think the decentralised learning system of plant tissues is actually a lot more fascinating without invoking the spectre of sentience and a 'soul' - which can be hard to pin down even in human biology (many neurobiologists believe that human consciousness and free-will are more illusory quirks of our physiology than real paradigms).

I note that "The Swiss Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology analyzed scientific data on plants, and concluded in 2009 that plants are entitled to a certain amount of 'dignity'" (this has resulted in constraints on some types of plant experiments that the government will fund).

While also, "The Animal Liberation Front argues that there is no evidence that plants can experience pain, and that to the extent they respond to stimuli, it is like a device such as a thermostat responding to sensors."
Plants have at least 20 different senses (including electromagnetism), but do not have a centralised nervous system, thus it was assumed they did not 'learn' things in any individual sense and simply had to make the most of their environment and genetics.

Research by Monica Gagliano has found Pavlovian learning in plants, associating the direction of a fan with a light source.
Pavlovian learning in plants

Other research from Gagliano determined that plants do not just seek out water using their sense of moisture-gradients, but also use the sound of water to determine where to put down roots with the greatest chance of finding water.
(Thus, soundproof water/sewerage pipes would be less likely to break from root-infiltration)
Plant roots use sound to locate water

Finally, the long-term persistence of plant-learning and how it relates to the plant's environment.
Persistence of plant learning

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The research is somewhat controversial, though I think the experiments were well designed and the research could be as applicable to the home garden as it could be to decentralised learning in AI systems.

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Notes:
"Appel and Cocroft found that recordings of the munching noises produced by caterpillars caused plants to flood their leaves with chemical defences designed to ward off attackers."
"...the ability of many plants to sample soil for nutrients and toxins via their roots, responding in ways that maximize growth and minimize risk; they do this by analyzing and responding to chemical gradients in a way the human body cannot.
As for sight, there is the well-known phenomenon of phototropism, in which leafy stems grow toward a light source to enhance photosynthesis. Add to this the less familiar ability of roots to detect light that penetrates soil, and then avoid it."
So, I made some large slurries of Agaricus campestris a month ago and drenched the mulch around my raised gardens and fruit trees with it.

Today a large clump of campestris mushroom fruit has appeared from the bottom of the compost bin (where I frequently dig out the rich soil), a few feet away from the nearest spot where I applied the slurry.
In many decades of living here and having a bin there, we've never had these mushrooms anywhere near this area or at all this time of year (40C).

I'm pretty sure the only explanation is that ants living in the dry mulch inside the bin (coarse palm fronds and lots of green tree prunings), ventured out and harvested the mycelium slurry and stored/farmed it in their nest.
The bin gets regular watering being adjacent to the gardens and the mushrooms are very blackened by the hot temperatures.

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I'd like to repeat this accidental ant-cultivation experiment, but with parasol mushrooms - which are delicious and easy to forage, but seem to grow exclusively with the help of ants.
3 days ago
I have mugwort happily growing under pine trees, its edible, but I favour it for biomass production, aroma and medicinal properties.
6 days ago
My favorite aspect of ebooks is hyperlinked contents page and footnotes - a hyperlinked index or bibliography is also useful.
1 week ago
I've known a few permies who give themselves much stress trying to convince others that permaculture is ethical/efficient/beautiful.

Given the cultural trajectory of humanity, most people will have no interest in nature, let alone permaculture or the ability to open their mind or question their personal criteria of aesthetics.
For this majority, mindset-change will only come when the tipping point is reached and mass-uptake, media and a regulatory framework makes it socially acceptable.

So I agree with Spencer, call them a poopy head and ignore them.
Do you Really need validation from these obtuse naysayers?
Energy saved not arguing can be spent on permaculture and sharing knowledge with interested parties.
1 week ago
Composting anaerobically (without oxygen) creates methane. Sun-exposed compost creates nitrogen gasses.

By putting a lid on your compost heap (plastic or soil) and by composting properly (30:1 C:N, moist but not soaked) you will reduce the emissions of your pile and retain nutrients that would otherwise enter the atmosphere.

Composting creates recalcitrant soil carbon in forms such as humic acid, which is a very environmentally friendly way of disposing of organic wastes.

Turning a compost frequently will encourage the nitrogen to escape, but you can achieve aeration through pile-structure or embedded pipes. Some people prefer to build cold piles that are primarily digested by fungi and do not get hot enough to volatilize the organic compounds.
1 week ago
I for one would like to see a back to top button, or at least a button at the bottom that links back to the forum main page.

(keyboard is usually tucked away to make desk space)