Simon Gooder

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since Apr 22, 2019
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hugelkultur dog forest garden fungi foraging cooking ungarbage
Haida Gwaii, British Columbia (7b)
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Recent posts by Simon Gooder

Kim Goodwin — As a co-founder with Ben, I'll happily respond here.

Thanks for the great feedback. This is definitely something that stands out to me as well. In the sidebar, you can search by location — if there is a listing for it. Additionally, here's a quick link to only North American products.

Zamzam Khan — As John C Daley says, be the first! I happen to know there are quite a few folks in the UK on our networks, just not listing things at the moment. The closest we have to you currently are some products from Germany. It's totally free to list, and there are successful swaps happening every day!

In other news, thank you so much Permies team for featuring this post on the Permies Daily-ish!! Ben and I met on here, so Permapeople is a baby of Permies.
Since we posted this, we have released a few more fun features, like a garden pattern designer, where you can lay out your gardens on a grid, using your own pre-made lists, or search the plant database.

We've also quietly release a garden journal feature, where you can quickly and easily log your gardening progress; take notes, save pictures, and share with others. The more you use it, the more powerful it gets. Each piece of data you enter in your journal will inform the rest of the community. Want to know when your neighbour transplanted their tomatoes, or when you seeded the turnips last summer? If you use the journal, we'll be able to tell you.

Additionally, we're getting ready to release our gardener dashboard. We'll give you up to date weather with tips; know when to cover or harvest before a frost, when to sow seed, or when to transplant.  This dashboard will grow as we gather more data. The idea being we'll be able to tell you when/what other folks in your climate are doing.

Please note: When we talk about collecting data, this is anonymous and for your benefit only. We are an open and non-commercial entity. You even have access to all the plant data, and can edit it accordingly; add your own images, update planting methods, or just comment for other gardeners. Our whole concept with data collection is a circular economy of mutually beneficial actors. Each element in the system is and should be complementary to other elements in the system. Each person's input benefits another's outcomes.

Don't hesitate to reach out with any questions or feedback. We're always open, and we're an organization built FOR the community BY the community. Ben and I use Permapeople for our own research/planning maybe more than anyone else on the platform, so we're always looking to improve and jam with other perma-people.
1 month ago
Hey Team!

Wanted to follow-up with an alternative to MavenFair... I've been around the forums at Permies for a few years now, but about 8 months ago I connected with another Permie and we set out on our big adventure of creating an entire platform for Permies and regenerative, home-based producers.

We've recently released an Open Marketplace where small-scale producers can sell/trade any regenerative or sustainably sourced products. The best part is that it's totally free! We're a regenerative, 100% organic organization - currently funding everything from our own pockets. We do have about 140+ items in the marketplace already, mainly seeds at the moment, but are looking to help some sellers get their products out there.

Some features of the marketplace:
- Potential buyers/traders can search via a map
- Sellers get their own "profile" page for their marketplace/shop where they can easily share their listed products via a URL
- Full marketplace search
- Support for barter/trade/swap options
- Basic messaging system through private anonymous email (without payment processing) to connect buyers and sellers
- Supporting features - like interactive plant lists (to list for trade items
- Canadian and German operated

You can check it out here. And if you have any questions or feedback, please don't hesitate to reach out. We are building this to facilitate localized, circular, regenerative economies - not for profit. We're also willing to assist in some marketing efforts (for free) if anyone would like to take the plunge and get their stuff out there.
8 months ago
Glad to hear it Derrick! Thanks for letting us know. Please don't hesitate to pass along any feedback that might make things easier for you. We're actively developing the platform and pushing updates almost daily.
This is a cool idea - but I wonder how well Bitcoin (specifically) fits in with the values of the community, what with it's intensive energy consumption. I don't mean to bring down the party, but there are plenty of other more sustainable coins to play with. There's even a "regenerative currency" coin called Seeds which might fit better. Although it's not as valuable as BTC it may be a viable option. The team at SEEDS is also open to working with organizations, and there could be some collaboration opportunities here as well!

I've got a contact of one of the peeps behind it, so let me know if you want to connect with them.

9 months ago
Hey Team,

Just wanted to follow up with an update. Since we launched last months, we've managed to get a ton of support from the permaculture and backyard gardening community.

We've got almost 100 different types of seeds in the open marketplace already - the vast majority of them available for swaps or trades.

In case you're looking for a unique variety, or have some seeds of your own to sell/swap, check out the marketplace at permapeople!

We've also made some major updates to the plant database, and plant discovery is a lot easier and more powerful!
Melonie Corder - Yikes - that first one took a beating, but the new one looks fantastically professional. I will definitely keep yours in mind for goals when I build my next one. This looks really fantastic, thank you for sharing.

Gregory Campbell - Thanks for the tip! I'm very new to carpentry, and have been mainly feeling out my designs organically, but this is a great point I will definitely keep in mind in the future, and I could see it eventually biting me in the ass.
10 months ago

Stacy Witscher - Sounds like you might be in a higher zone than me, but year-round growing is wonderful. I've been able to grow the cold-weather greens without any issues in the fall/winter, and in the summer the spaghetti squash polycultures are my favourite. These greenhouses are fun!

Jay Angler - Thanks! I'm on Haida Gwaii, and we may get a few inches for a few days, but that's it. I haven't experienced a snow on it yet, though the arch is steep, and I have no doubt it holds enough heat to keep the few inches of snow melting and sliding off. I suppose a freak snow-storm could happen, but it rarely dips below 2 or 3 here for more than a couple days.

We had 2 Indian Runners and they were a joy to watch. They went after some scary large slugs (like 15cm long), and most of the time managed to excitedly choke them down.

10 months ago
This is great! I’d love to see a picture if you have any.

Regarding the ducks, they are magnificent slug control, and I had a similar experience. We did let the ducks into the greenhouse when they were younger, but they quickly became snackers. That said, I’d let 2 of them in there once in a while if the plants were mature enough!

Glad you had such a good experience, even after such a loss from the cyclone!
10 months ago

The mission

Living on the Northwest Coast of British Columbia is beautiful - but it has its drawbacks. I need a greenhouse just as much to divert the rain as I do for the season extension. My first season gardening here was a disaster. Between the slugs, deer, and neverending rain - I managed to eke out a wonderous supply of tea herbs – but not much else from the garden.

To solve several of these issues that led to such a disappointing production (besides still learning the land and its ways) I set out to build a greenhouse, and apply as many permaculture principles to the thing I could.

Requirements and constraints

  • I already knew I would likely need to purchase poly for this, so it should cut out as many outside inputs as possible
  • It should be built in such a way that I can recycle, reuse or salvage as many materials as possible
  • The design can’t be too complex, because I’m just not that handy (yet)
  • It should be relatively cheap
  • It should survive the crazy winter winds (the islanders up there eat 100km/h gusts for breakfast)
  • It should be large enough to grow a significant amount of food - on all axes
  • The door and path should be wide enough to allow a wheelbarrow through
  • It should fit somewhere out of the way while optimizing sun exposure

  • Designing

    I’ve been a fan of Edible Acres’ YouTube channel for years now - and always enjoyed their experiments. One of these experiments is the cattle panel greenhouse. This design seemed to fit all the criteria I had for this project so naturally, I got to work.

    For the most part, I knew my designs would largely have the be based on the material I could acquire for this project. I needed something to form the shape and hold the poly.

    I set out clearing an area that was overgrown with salmonberry bushes, and staking out approximate sizes. There were very little earthworks required, besides clearing a few salmonberry rootballs and covering the area in a few wheel-barrow loads of sand in an attempt to improve drainage around the future greenhouse.

    It was already early spring by this time, and I had started and acquired a ton of seedlings that were ready to grow.

    Acquiring materials

    One thing I always hated about the property was that the surrounding woods had been used as a dumping site in years past. However, as they say in permaculture: the problem becomes the solution. I scrounged around and took stock of everything I had at my disposal.

    ➤ Find the full list of materials and more on the build process in the original post.

    Unexpected success

    One of my favourite aspects of this setup was the vertical space. Although the greenhouse itself is only 6’6” high, there is ample room for vining plants to grow up the sides, using the mesh as a trellis. This worked remarkably well for vining squash. It was a wonderful surprise to walk into the greenhouse and admire all my hanging spaghetti squash as they brightened towards harvest. Tomatoes were a lot easier to manage, with jute tied to the top of the arch guiding the plants along in between the squash.

    The tomatoes and spaghetti squash flourished here. Many of the other crops did not. It could be attributed to several factors (as is gardening), but both of these crops are especially well suited towards this environment. I think I’ll be doubling up on these next time!

    As an added bonus, the greenhouse seemed to prove an ideal habitat for the little green tree-frogs we’ve seen around the yard. At one point we counted over 20 of them hanging out in the greenhouse! They loved the spots between the slabs of the raised bed and the poly. Nice and point, and ready for action if any bugs should come near. Being a source of heat, it also attracted a number of bugs so it made for a perfect tree frog habitat. The frogs in the picture below lived in the cannabis plant for over a week, nestled in the leaves.

    Mistakes and what I would do differently

    My biggest mistake has nothing to do with the design of this greenhouse, but with how I put the garden beds together; I built the frames before putting the cardboard and leaf mould down - in an attempt to smother the grass and buttercup underneath. What I should have done was place the cardboard and leaves down before framing the beds, so the buttercups and grass wouldn’t have as much room to creep through the cracks.

    Another issue is water saturation. I placed the greenhouse on a flat spot, at the bottom of a slight pitch. When it rains for days on end (as it does up here) this ground get very saturated, and the water seeps through the soil into the greenhouse, creating a terribly wet environment. If I had thought about this or had the means, I might have dug 9” down and filled the area with sand or gravel to assist in the drainage of the area. For now, I may have to dig a small diversion ditch around the backside of the greenhouse.

    One of my favourite parts of permaculture and gardening is experimentation. You can gain so much more from first-hand experience, and if you have the means to improve your outputs with even less input - why not give it a try?

    If you've got any DIY greenhouse successes or failures, I'd love to see some of them!

    For a bonus picture of my "pest control" roommates, and more details of what my build process looked like, check out the original post.

    10 months ago
    Hey Andy, this is a great idea! Myself and another permie are working on something similar at the moment. Currently you can only create guilds from a large database of plants, but we'll be working on more of the aspects soon too.

    If it's an option for you, I'd love to see if we could collaborate on this! I'll send you a purple moosage with my email if you're interested!
    10 months ago