Joop Corbin - swomp

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since Jan 01, 2010
Amsterdam, the netherlands
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Recent posts by Joop Corbin - swomp

dave, this pattern was exactly what i have been mulling over as a pattern for the market garden i want to start...

great photo.
5 years ago
Usually a 2 metre hign fence is advised... that would be erhmmm 6/7 ft?

Holzer has this receipe for protecting trees, some kind of gunk he makes with bones, elsewhere on these forums you can find more info on that.
maybe there is a way of using this stuff around the garden beds? if so that would be a lot cheaper.
5 years ago
Hey all,

I think we could consider some more factors and techniques than just hugel beds. Though when you are in a dry climate any technique that suggests less need for irrigation might be something to try out i think it isnt necisary to make a holy grail out of building hugel beds. This technique originated in european climates, and even though spain doesnt get much rainfall, and a big part of the country looks like desert, it is in a much higher lattitude. Like some people allready pointed out, that makes up for different natural mechanisms at work.

When in a north african region, or something alike, I personally wouldnt go out all of my way just to build these hugel beds. Part of the system is based on building little hills, not only burying wood. And like Topic starter allready said, sunken beds in stead of raised beds are a much smarter thing in those climates. Also It might be worth while to look more at examples of permaculturalists who have been practicing in similar climates, like geoff lawton was in jordan, and morroco. Luckily australia, the place where permaculture evolved, has very similar climates, and people came up with all kind of solutions and techniques. Like creating shade by planting trees adapted to your region, and so layering your garden (or stacking in space).

Strategies like adding organic matter, not nessicarily wood, but any kind of OM you can find does improve the soil's ability to retain moist and not tilling of the soil also gets way more important the closer to the equator you get. Then there are all kind of techniques like the use of stones and rocks to collect dew can be of great help.

I am not saying not to use buried wood when in north african type regions. If you do have a source for wood it could help a lot, though it stil might be wise to dig even deeper to bury the wood so you can still have sunken bed (with buried wood). The permaculture design manual and other australian recources cóuld be more helpfull when in this climates then sepp's book or patrick whitefields, because they are based on european climates.

And me too, am curiously awaiting results from all you brave desert dwellers who are going to experiment with buried wood.

6 years ago
yams is yams, sweet potatoes are sweet potatoes, though some yams are not long but roundish, still stringy ans less sweet than sweet potatoes. Totally different families and genus.

From wiki:

The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the family Convolvulaceae.

Yam is the common name for some species in the genus Dioscorea (family Dioscoreaceae).

Ah but wait, also from wiki, apperently in north america you guys start mixing stuff up:

Although the softer, orange variety is often called a yam in parts of North America, the sweet potato is botanically very distinct from the other vegetable called a yam, which is native to Africa and Asia and belongs to the monocot family Dioscoreaceae. To prevent confusion, the United States Department of Agriculture requires sweet potatoes labeled as "yams" to be labeled also as "sweet potatoes".[3]

6 years ago

i am very interested in this as well.

and i think it goes even further than just the urban heat islands.

Think about it, vegetated surfaces will create chemical energy from sunlight through photosynthesis. unvegetated surface (concrete, pavement or bare soil alike) will turn the sun's energy in to warmth/heat*. We all know how significant this can influence microclimate by experience, several degrees in temperature from a well vegetated area to a bare soil or concrete area.

When on hot days we look for refuge between trees we generally asume it is the shade that provides this cooler microclimates, when it is actually mostly because of the suns energy being turned into chemical energy in stead of heat. The shade merely reduces the direct sunlight to our skin (heating our own temperature), the photosynthesis actually reduces the temperature of our surroundings.

especially trees are very effective in making chemical energy out of sunlight.

If we take these significant differences into consideration. And we take the amount of deforestation that has been going on for the past century or so. (plus al desertification and urbanisation). It would seem this would have a large effect on global warming.

My question for quite some time now is:
Has this ever been studied?

hoping anyone here has more info,
but i will also ask aroud in the climate change and peakoil scene...

*= light-> short wavelenght energy into heat-> long wavelength energy.
6 years ago
Hi there,

I am assuming most land is used as pasture in that region?
But are there others growing plants for food in your region? If so, visiting them would probably give you a decent idea of what can and cannot grow there.

Of course permaculture can widen these possibilities, by creating microclimates you can push the conditions more towards the desires of crops you want to grow.

By; using hedgerows as windbreaks, using the slope in the right way, creating ponds in the right place, and using rocks/boulders, can create warmer microclimates.

I have found that using the plants for a future database can give more insight in plants and their desired conditions.

I have probably stated the obvious here, maybe you can narrow down your question, it will make it easier for people who do not live in same conditions to envision answers.

6 years ago
Hey could it be the thousand head kale?
Brassica napus subsp. napus or: Brassica oleracea convar. acephala var. medullosa

they become really bushy.

thousand headed kale

hmmm, lets look it up, where is my copy of gaia's garden...

and then there are tree-cabbage, walking stick cabbage and palm cabbage...
6 years ago

I would say permaculture food production is very "biointensive" at least to the meaning of producing more than conventional ag in the same amount of space.

i would agree!

is asked because i thnik the biointensive system is a very interesing one for the zone one. When i reas about it it mentioned being based on five 'pillars' one on which was annually double digging. It also mentioned as i recall the statement that it would only work when all five pillars were used because they togheter build this system. (which ofcorse didnt prevent me from loaning from their pamphlets whatever i thought suitable for me.)

i didnt know the double digging was more a loose thing that could also be avoided as much as possible.

i myself have double dug beds when creating new zone 1 (intensive) garden beds, and i imagine doing so again maybe, but i obviously would like to create the situation where i dont do that at all.

happy i got that clarified: yes, the biointensive system as defined by j. jeavons and ecology action is completely compatible whith permaculture.

sorry for the sidetrack, lets get ontopic again.
6 years ago
Hi ludi
(i hope im not leading the topic offtopic too much)

would you describe the biointensive system as completely combatible with permaculture?
as i recall j. jeavons did promote the yearly 'double digging' of the soil, would you include this practice as well when using biointensive(-type) gardening whitin a permaculture system?
6 years ago
i dont particularly like the taste.

mixed in with other greens its ok in a salad, but i dont use it as main ingredient fresh.
cooked its fine for soups. Also its strong taste is perfect for making 'pesto'. a free pesto plant!

i would never cultivate it, but its nice when invasive wild plants can be put to good use, it makes the act of controlling it feel less purposeless.
6 years ago