Douglas Crouch

+ Follow
since Feb 07, 2010
Apples and Likes
Total received
In last 30 days
Total given
Total received
Received in last 30 days
Total given
Given in last 30 days
Forums and Threads
Scavenger Hunt
expand Pioneer Scavenger Hunt

Recent posts by Douglas Crouch

So things continue to snowball at Treasure Lake, Permaculture and organic farm.  all good stuff unfolding.  The next is Mycotopia @Treasure Lake. Romain Bernard Picasso, will continue to lead Mycology open source events at the lake and paid workshops.  To get familiar with the fungi world try out the following dates for free:
Saturday June 9th - 9am-11am
Log & totem inoculation

Saturday June 23rd - 9am-11am
guilds & outdoor outdoor beds if you need more info
5 months ago
An examination into the sculpting of the earth for water infiltration.  A diverse approach to the palette of earthworks available for this critical point of regeneration. Join us at Treasure Lake for some permaculture in action!

In this weekend course, we will be sculpting the earth for water harvesting and access all the while bringing a greater level of biodiversity to the property grounds. The course aims to give you tools for managing landscapes holistically and speeding along the regeneration work that stems from this holistic approach. The course will be a unique blend of observing existing systems, implementing new ones, and designing for those in the future.  The course will constantly weave through the TreeYo Holistic Model of Development thus intertwining many factors of development.  From soils to budgets, from nursery operations to machinery types, this course will be a kicksatarter for moving your own projects or consulting forward. The course will flow from theory, to the planning and design both inside and in the field, and move into concentrated times of implementation.

We will be examining and working with many of the following earthworks:
  • Swales
    Check dams
    Silt traps
    Terraces, hand and machine made
    rain gardens/ pit gardens/ banana circles
    diversion drains
    sunken and raised beds

  • We will be looking in-depth towards when to use these particular earthworks and how to execute them with care, precision, and the post work to make them function optimally.  By using a diversity of earthworks in different zones to match particular needs of the land through contextual and climatic review, you will walk away with a greater confidence on which to choose for accelerating succession and evolution at different sites.  We aim to improve the hydrological cycle at Treasure Lake and within the greater watershed of the area and invite you to be apart of that.  This is the next step for the site, to lay the mainframe and from there start to work with others in the watershed to maintain higher water quality within Treasure Lake.
    6 months ago
    All Day Plantwalks, Hands-on Plant Activities, Children’s Activities, Informative Plant Presentations, as well as Vendors and Tradeshow of the Greater Cincinnati area Plant People!
    Location: Treasure Lake and Dark Wood Farm, Petersburg, Kentucky. 2590 Lawrenceburg Ferry Road.
    Facilitators: Doug Crouch, Rebecca Wood, Celeste Shumrick, Ben Belty, Michael Hood, Abby Artemesia, Ande Schewe, Lawrence Greene,
    Jeremy Schewe, Susan VonderHaar, Ellil Rose
    more info:

    There is a calling for more collaboration and community around creating opportunities that are accessible and affordable all the while very dynamic. This event has come together from that need whilst offering a space for learning, family interaction, and a communal spring gathering occurs. This event is created and produced by some of the Ohio River Valley and beyonds best plant based business’ and organizations.
    With a deep sense of gratitude and excitement we are bringing this experience closer to Cincinnati! We invite you to join us, unplug for the day, and immerse yourselves into the wonders nature provides and offers.
    At all times several things will be happening, indoor presentations, outdoor walks or hands on, vending, kids activities, and space to just be.
    It’s really about cultivating in yourself a deeper awareness of your connection with plants, and enjoy walking away knowing a bit more than you have before, and perhaps be inspired as you walk into the spring season closer to nature and refreshed in your connection with others on their own plant journeys as well… Enjoy a plant and nature experience with a community, and perhaps bring the family and create a memory together…

    Host Site:
    Treasure Lake with Dark Wood Farm
    Treasure lake is local small business focused on recreation in nature, from hiking to birding, boating to fishing that has been in the Crouch family since 1984.  It’s a wonderfully scenic place hidden in the hills of the Northwestern Corner of Northern Kentucky and Boone County only 22 miles from downtown Cincinnati.  We have been hard at work developing the broad acre forest for bio-diversity and wild food abundance.  With our thickets of spicebush and paw paw in the understory and towering hickories and oaks in the overstory, the wildlife love it here and we are sure you will too.  Camping is on one of our flat ridges that perch above the 15 acre pay fishing lake.  Furthermore, it is a community center of sorts as well with entertainment and nature immersion uniquely blending together! The property also now features Dark Wood Farm run by Annie Woods, a local growing local foods.  The farm runs a 50-person CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program from May- November and sell their produce to restaurants in the greater Cincinnati area. Furthermore, the following Permaculture elements and functions that can be experienced are:
  • Non Timber forest product development including a focus on wildlife management
    Extensive Native Food Forest and specific management techniques to enhance this
    Hot & Cold Composting (Vermiculture) systems for boosting soil life, picking up on waste streams, and cycling nutrients
    Market Garden that feeds into local foods and creates employment
    Natural Building with a focus on social space creation and our stage
    Event and Festival hosting to create a cultural gathering point for many points of culture

  • Schedule of Events
    Full Presenters Bios and Talk Descriptions Expanded Click Here
    March 30th: optional camp and campsite fun with music, separate camping fee applies
    March 31st:
    8:30 am- Arrival registration, greet and meets.
    9:00 am- 10:15 am
    Plant Walk A: Plant Folklore and a Permaculture Perspective: Rebecca Wood, Ande Schewe, Doug Crouch
    Presentation A: Basic Healing, First-time Medicine Making: Celeste Shumrick
    10:15 am-10:30 am Tabling and Networking break
    10:30 am-12:00 pm
    Celeste showing off her love for plants and hands in the earth
    Plant Walk B: Wild Edible & Herbal Walkabout: Abby Artemesia and the Wandering School
    Presentation B: From nut to flour: an acorn processing primer, Interactive with Michael Hood and Ben Betly
    12:00 pm -1:30 pm Lunch Break, networking and tabling
    1:30 pm-3:00 pm
    Plant walk C: Plantwalk Teachers Walk- Folklore, Science, Medicinal, Research, Personal Experience, etc.- Numerous facilitators
    Presentation C: GeoBotany: Power of Knowing Natural Communities: Jeremy Schewe
    3:15 pm -4:30 pm
    Plant Walk Hands on D:: Planting Forest Medicinals: Doug Crouch and others
    Presentation D: Monoculture Roots Drum Circle, Lawrence Greene
    4:30 pm -4:45 pm: tabling and networking
    4:45 pm – 6:00 pm
    Plant Walk E: Plant Spirit Medicine- Deepening our Plant Relations: Rebecca Wood
    6:00 pm farewells and option to camp for additional separate fee
    Kids Program Schedule:
    “Guided Connection to Earth” uses Senses and Artful Creation for a full day of Nature emergence.  Two experienced facilitators will be hosting Kids’ Programming activities to run concurrently with event speakers/break schedule.  At 6 pm the children will present their Plantwalkers encounters with a Performance Art piece.
    For the Kiddies (ages 5+, accompanied younger children welcome.  Teens/tweens are appreciated Program Assistants)
    7 months ago
    huge can of worms.  You will hear a lot of different answers.  There is a move towards those holding a diploma in Permaculture or even Permaculture education are those allowed to teach and give out certificates.  I stick to the 14 chapters of the designers manual, blend a bit of new stuff in, and do an exhaustive design project. 
    8 months ago
    New TreeYo EDU article release: Drylands Tree Crop Selection.  This is one of the sections I cover in the PDC and having worked many years in the Mediterranean and other drylands/ brittle regions it was a fun article to recall all I have learned over the years.  Being back in the humid temperate part of the world, we can grow some, but not all of these.


    Introduction Pattern

    Drylands Tree Crop selection is determined not only by the dryness of the climate but of course also by temperatures.  Having worked in both Mediterranean areas, temperate drylands, and tropical brittle climates, there is some crossover in some of the climates but not in others.  Bill Mollison defined drylands as below 500 mm of precipitation but we must also realize that there are climates that we think of drylands because they are brittle climates.  So although they may fall just above that, like where I worked in Southern Spain in 2016-17 (600 mm of rain), they are really just brittle climates that go around seven months with little rainfall and an exacerbated sporadicness in these changing days of climate. Additionally, where I worked in Neuquen, Argentina was a drylands area but also very temperate so this list focuses on those warmer parts of the drylands. Also this list is very general and the reality is that often local environments have edible plants that locals incorporate in their diets traditionally and modernly and need to be considered.  When composing this list in a PDC with students, you will always find that this happens as students throw out a name of a plant they interacted with in their travels or home lands.  Thats what makes this listing hard because does one search for such list in the tropical section or temperate even though they live in a drylands?

    All drylands planting are aided by some sort of infiltration earthwork in general so do remember that. Microclimate accentuation is also very important.  For example I saw citrus thriving in Ibiza, Spain next to Carob and Olives whilst there for a PDC assignment.  However within these amazing terraces that all three were planted on, the Citrus were in the valleys, which the terraces also crossed.  You could see
    the soil was better there than on the ridges and I also think that had to do with how they treated the soil in the valleys as well.  Because it wasn’t as straight and uniform as the long ridges, the soil seemed to be less often plowed giving more integral resilience to the valley soil.  Also it always comes up, in reflection of Geoff Lawton’s Greening the Desert Film, irrigation will always help plantings get off the ground.  As stated in that video very plainly, drip irrigation was used to get those plantings up off the ground. Of course in some parts of the world this is not possible but hand watering periodically does occur to ensure establishment.   Also not stated in that video was the fact that Dr. Elaine Ingham was there spraying compost tea so seeding those microbes back in the ecosystem is very critical to success. Furthermore, you may see certain crops grown in the drylands of certain areas like California or Central Asia but are often sucking out groundwater through massive irrigation infrastructure.  Furthemore, remember that in drylands there are specific establishment strategies, which some are seen at my other article called Corridor Planting. And part of that also involves establishing pioneer plants before hand, hardy in their nature, and often nitrogen fixers to accelerate succession and evolution.  Also windbreaks are sometimes needed before any tree crop planting is done and often some form of mechanical or biological soil treatment. Basically a forwarding of succession needs to occur before planting; building soil, providing a better microclimate through slowing winds and sun, and infiltrating more water.

    8 months ago
    The more we know about climate the better off we will be towards implementing the ethical basis of permaculture in our projects. Thats how i finish this latest TreeYo EDU article back in Chapter 5, Climate. Savory's Brittleness scale is a great context builder for your sites and is an important design assessment tool. Is your site Brittle or Non Brittle, does your ecosystem easily break when presented stress or rebound quickly when the same stresses of modernity are presented? Read more at the link below!


    In the recent years of Permaculture, about the last ten (2008-2017), there has been a fusion of Permaculture and Holistic Management (HM).  This brought in the terms regenerative agriculture, Carbon Farming, and many more terms like Darren Doherty’s Regrarians movement.  They all stem from the same desire to enhance the ecosystem’s inherent quality and the agroecology interaction.  HM has a bigger focus on decision-making while permaculture more on design so the two actually fit together well. Unfortunately it is rumored that Mollison wasn’t a big fan of Savory, but alas, now the fusion has happened and Mollison’s climate classification is strengthened by Savory’s Brittleness of Climate Scale.

    Brittleness Pattern

    The brittleness scale goes beyond just temperature and rainfall, which are the two climate classifications that Bill presented.  It does center around rainfall but Mollison looked at total rainfall and temperature ranges while the brittleness scale looks at precipitation distribution and totals with its correlation to the presence of humidity as well as temperatures.  It is amazing that as we zoom around the world the same pattern that J. Russel Smith presented of forest, field, plow, desert resulted in varying results.  In many places in the world it did indeed result in a desert whilst in others a green condition persists despite “the burning and the looting” as to quote Bob Marley.  This is what typifies the brittleness scale, this varying result of ecosystem degradation. HM uses a 1-10 scale to describe brittle and non brittle climates but I will steer away from that for your further research.

    Brittleness is defined by wiki as the following:

    A material is brittle if, when subjected to stress, it breaks without significant plastic deformation. Brittle materials absorb relatively little energy prior to fracture, even those of high strength.

    Thus our ecosystems are under significant stress these days and even though the above description is in reference to materials, it can easily be applied across disciplines.  So when ecosystems are brittle, they can absorb less and less energy prior to their failure even though structurally it might even appear very sound.  For example in some ecosystems in the world, a forest may stand looking very strong and if you present stress (deforestation, burning, ploughing, use of chemicals, over or under grazing, pollution, etc.), the ecosystem declines quickly and rebounds very slowly.  However in other climates the same stress is presented and they rebound quickly (succession).  This is brittleness and is tied again to the distribution of rainfall and its total amount and relationship to humidity. It involves also temperatures and the time and space relationship of a given ecosystem and larger climatic factors. Thus below we will use rainfall/temperature distribution charts throughout the months of the year to display this. Also certain land forms and other climatic factors will create more humid conditions including proximity to the sea, fog, temperature variations, valley and ridge conditions, soils higher in organic matter percentage, and also wind patterns. When you put all these together the mosaic of climate becomes clearer. In essence you can have a much more brittle landscape than another despite having a higher yearly rainfall. The Koppen Geiger map system helps with understanding climate analog, but I find regions that I have traveled to in other parts of the world to be labeled similar to others and yet they are different climates and ecosystems.

    9 months ago
    Our economy is riddled with flaws.  In this new article of mine, I present the basis of the argument against it, an ethical approach to economy.  Its part of my chapter 14 solutions from my online book, which indeed embodies the article itself, Fair Share Economics.  Do you still share like your parents taught you to when you were a kid? enjoy!

    Written by Doug Crouch

    The basis of Permaculture are the ethics that Mollison and Holmgren diligently investigated to be reflective of the crossover of all cultures.  It became in its shortened, tagline like way, to “earth care, people care and fair share”.  We examine the last one, fair share, it’s often how we can achieve the first two.  There has been an evolution of this ethic and it is seen in the following:

    Set Limits to Population and Consumption: A Designers Manual, Bill Mollison 1981
    Return of surplus of time, money, and materials towards this ends (earth care and people care): Introduction to Permaculture, Bill Mollison 1991
    Fair Share: Set Limits and Redistribute Surplus. Permaculture: Principles and pathways beyond Sustainability, David Holmgren 2002
    Limit consumption, redistribute excess. The way I state it normally

    Historical Background

    Many cultures had traditions of redistributing surplus to avoid extreme hierarchical concentrations of power.  One of the ones I studied whilst in University was from the Indigenous cultures of the Pacific Northwest of North America.  The best fisher people were given the best fishing holes and the worst vice versa.  In our current hierarchical society of gross wealth inequality that would have meant the lesser valued people would starve while the ones with this great skill and great real estate (think location, location, location of modern society), would have accumulated vast forms of wealth and would prosper at the expense of others.  Instead they had a once a year festival/ work party called a potlatch, where the modern word potluck comes from. There they had cultural events and practices like smoking salmon to preserve them in their great spawning runs and exchanging forms of wealth.  And the fish resource, their staple crop, was redistributed so no person would starve.  Call it socialism or communism, the lesser people didn’t have to work in drudgery to afford to buy fish from the higher people in what would be analogous to how capitalism works.  All work mattered and there was a sharing of surplus to ensure healthy populations and time could then be spent in functional arts and crafts, aesthetic art, and spiritual investigation.

    Philanthropy and many forms of Capitol Holistic Perspective on Wealth

    Over the years of exploring a more holistic viewpoint of wealth, we have come to understand that many forms of capital exist.  The stories are far too often from travelers seeing how other cultures give when they have so little and happiness seems to be achieved by a simpler life.  Yet in western culture the long running examination on status has been how many assets you have obtained, which in return gives you your status symbol.  However, the backlash on that perspective is growing stronger as you can’t eat money, health isn’t measured in money, and so on and so on.  In highly developed, industrialized societies we have forgone a holistic long-term perspective on wealth for a short-term, instant gratification system that creates a sense of scarcity.  Abundance thinking can be achieved even when you have very little and this scarcity mind-set is what creates conditions for the rat race of society.  Bob Marley said in his track Rat Race the following:

    Don’t forget your history;
    Know your destiny:
    In the abundance of water,
    The fool is thirsty.
    Rat race, rat race, rat race!

    Rat race!
    Oh, it’s a disgrace
    To see the human-race
    In a rat race, rat race!

    Even those who appear to have so much are often not truly wealthy because their wealth is leveraged by debt.  So they own nothing and the banks are actually getting rich off of their excessive lifestyles. Those with vast stockpiles of financial wealth are analogous to kings and they need their serfs to support the kingdom.
    9 months ago
    Course Link:

    February and March: Weekend PDC with the Cincinnati Permaculture Institute


    Dates and Times:
    Friday – Feb 23rd – 6-9pm
    Saturday – Feb 24th – 9-7pm
    Sunday – Feb 25th – 9-6pm
    Saturday – Mar 3rd – 9-7pm
    Sunday – Mar 4th – 9-6pm
    Saturday – Mar 10th – 9-7pm
    Sunday – Mar 11th – 9-6pm
    Saturday – Mar 17th – 9-7pm
    Saturday Mar 18th – 9-7pm
    cincinnati Permaculture digging
    Locations: Treasure Lake, Wind Dance Farm, and Imago at the Enright Urban Ecovillage
    Facilitators: Doug Crouch, Ande Schewe, Braden Trauth and others from the Cincinnati Permaculture Guild
    Course Fee: 700$($200 deposit) By February 1st
              780$($200 deposit) After September February 1st
    ****includes catered lunches  ****
    For more information and to register details contact the following:
    Register Here – At the bottom of the CPI inquiry page.

    THE COURSE: Format and Content
    The course will be a weekend PDC spread out over four weekends   This format allows for extra time for students to digest the material during the week off making it a great format for a holistic learning experience.  Students will also receive hands-on experience and also ample work time on the final design project and presentation. The course will be a certified through TreeYo Permaculture as we are guided by Bill Mollison’s curriculum that comprises the 14 chapters of his book “Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual”. Our schedule reflects this commitment and has a strong emphasis on how the design principles and process influence site develop and systems management. We will cover the following topics throughout the course:

    ++Ethics, Principles, and Methods of Permaculture Design
    ++Pattern Understanding: Interpretation and Application
    ++Climatic Factors: Broad Climatic Zones and Microclimate – Effects on Landscape and Design
    ++Water: Harvesting, Conservation, and landscape hydration with Earthworks
    ++Trees and their Energy Transactions: Tree Systems for landscapes and Tree Identification
    ++Soils: Classification, Food Web, and Restoration
    ++Aquaculture: Food Web, Aquatic Plants, Chinampas, Tyre Ponds, Water Quality Parameters
    ++Animal Systems: Integrate worms, chickens, goats, and many other animals in your design
    ++Strategies for Tropical, Dryland, and Temperate Climates: Influences on Vegetation, Housing, and Earthworks
    ++Introduction to Natural Building: Earth as a Building Material
    ++Fermentation and Nutrition: Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Sourdough Bread and Pickles
    ++Local Food Systems:  CSA-Community Supported Agriculture,  Cooperatives, Food-Coops
    ++Social and Economic Permaculture: Bio-Regional Organisation, Living in Communities, Transition Towns and Local Resiliency
    ++And last but not least: A journey into our local ecosystem that is incredibly biodiverse and a unique food forest in its natural structure. The connections made here in this class will forward your environmental literacy and build community with other proactive stewards. 
    1 year ago
    Looking for solutions around water quality? Silt traps might help. This new TreeYo EDU article is in the earthworks chapter explains a simple yet effective technique for increasing water quality by trapping sands and silts before they enter other earthworks or man made structures such as tanks.


    This earthwork, while simple in its nature, is very worthwhile in several different contexts to achieve higher water quality and prevent sedimentation in other earthworks.  This helps to save time and money and allow other earthworks to be more energy efficient through working with slope dynamics.  The pattern behind it is more edge; that in the past beavers probably did this work but we now use machines and hand tools to slow the descent of sediments from entering into other earthworks.  They are located for ease of access and the subsequent cleaning so their sediment trapping capability stays high.  In disturbed landscapes, which most are these days, it is truly amazing to see just how much sediment moves and subsequently caught.


    I have seen or implemented several different types of silt traps in my years of work and travel.  While above I say these earthworks, they can also be man-made structures from concrete given the right context.  In one such case at Terra Mae, our original development project in Portugal, there was a diversion drain across the road leading to a pipe.  Instead of this pipe going straight to its final destination, a 16,000 gallon or 64,000 liter tank, it instead was piped in and out of a silt trap first.  Thus the immense rain water runoff from the road laden with all sorts of sediment, but mostly sand and silts, was led from the diversion drain into a silt trap concrete box then to the water tank.  Without it sedimentation would occur at a higher rate and necessitate cleaning of the tank more often.  This is a very big process as we have gone through it at many sites there in Portugal.  Also without the silt trap you run the risk of clogging pipes as the outlet is located towards the bottom of the tank.  Furthermore it also diminishes volume capacity, which is paramount in these locations of brittle climates where rain can be sparse or non existent for five to seven months. This applies both to tanks and also earthen structures say a dam created for irrigation.
    1 year ago
    Get the links here
    September 30th- Treasure Fest– one day celebrating the fall season with bluegrass, pickin music, and reggae along with local foods and an ecology walk. I will be giving my ecology walk as one of the things going on at this fall festival at @Treasure Lake in Petersburg, Kentucky. Great lineup of musicians and some amazing local foods cooked up by Ryan Doan. come and enjoy on September 30th, the bluegrass state will be having some bluegrass and reggae music jams.
    October 14th- Forest and Farm Tour– one morning and afternoon tour with lunch. Myself and the farmers of Dark Wood Farm, who run the market garden operation at the lake will be heading this one up.
    October 20th-22nd- Weekend Food Forest Course– weekend course focused on growing food in a layered approach.  Myself and another local/ international permaculture teacher will lead you through this weekend of fun with planting, learning and demonstration.
    1 year ago