Myron Platte

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since Jan 28, 2020
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Recent posts by Myron Platte

Gaurī Rasp wrote:Myron, thank you re: the info on using black walnut hulls in the garden. I threw most of them around the edge of the garden which gets built up w all the weeds I pull & it all composts down.
Now I’m on to cracking the walnuts…the first one I tried wouldn’t even open w a small sledge hammer! Yikes! Another foraging labor of love!

The way of opening walnuts that I prefer, is to take two walnuts in your hand, side by side, with the ridge of one against the ridge of the other, and then squeeze, hard. The shells will slide off each other surprisingly easily.

Gaurī Rasp wrote:
Currently I’m collecting, husking, cleaning & curing the abundant black walnuts on our land. I watched tons of videos to get the easiest methods but is this a labor of love! ♥️

    Gaurī, welcome to the forums! I just noticed your mention of black walnuts. The husks can be very good mulch/fertilizer. They do great things for soil. The concern with them is, of course, juglone. But the most juglone produced by the black walnut tree gets exuded by the roots, and that is where most of the alleopathic effect comes from. You may want to use the hulls only around non-juglone-sensitive plants, or you may want to do some tests, but since you’re already processing black walnuts, I figured I would tell you about the value of the hulls.
Aspens and cottonwoods fix nitrogen. I am pretty sure that sunchokes do not. As long as the soil is well draining, and they aren't in deep shade, the sunchokes should be happy campers. This season I did an experiment and planted some sunchokes in partial shade. They did better than the sunchokes in the sun, because we had a drought. So, some shade can be good even for the most sun-loving plants, depending.
1 month ago
During the concussion, especially during a coma and as quickly as possible, progesterone cream is supposed to put the brain into a rebuilding mode, like that of a child in the womb. We have always dosed with salmon oil for head injuries, if we feared brain damage. Maybe there are some herbs that stimulate progesterone production?
1 month ago
I saw you say that your tiger lilies are edible. Exercise caution. Some are edible, but some varieties are poisonous. Unfortunately, differentiating by sight is very hard. Doing a poison test, however, isn't difficult. Here are the steps:
1) Touch with your hand. Wait at least two days. Observe symptoms.
2) Touch to your lips. Wait at least two days. Observe symptoms.
3) Tiny taste. Take a small bite. Wait at least two days. Observe symptoms.
4) Large taste. Eat a handful. Wait at least two days. Observe symptoms.
5) Eat several handfuls. Wait at least two days. Observe symptoms.
6) All that remains would be to gorge yourself and wait for any ill effects. I like to think this is optional
If you can find someone who hunts squirrels with a falcon, and recommend your site, they could do pretty well for themselves.
1 month ago
Weasel habitat?
1 month ago
I eat apple seeds all the time. They’re delicious, and very good for you. The statistic I remember hearing, was that you would have to eat a cup of apple seeds without the apple to experience ill effects. I challenge anyone to find anyone who has experienced cyanide poisoning from apple seeds. In my country, apricot pits are sold as nuts, by the kilo. Delicious. Never heard of a case of poisoning there, either.
1 month ago
Polyface farm. It's a family farm. Different complementary enterprises are run by different people, all according to the vision of the legal owner of the farm, the Salatin patriarch. Not long ago, the transition was made from Joel as leader to Daniel. It was a gradual process. When someone marries into, or is born into the family, they start up their own complementary enterprise.

I like this model, and I would like to propose a model for intentional community inspired by it. (From here on, I make many statements about "how it must be". This is not intended to mean that everyone has to do it that way, but that for the model I'm proposing, this is how I envision it.)

It must be clear who gets final say in the decision-making process, and it must be one person. This means all conflicts are ultimately resolvable.
People must be thoroughly vetted before they are allowed into the community. A multi-year very strict probation period may be warranted.
People should have a plan and a written explanation for how they will serve the community, with complementary enterprises, goods, services and expertise.
The community should have one accepted faith, which is a point of agreement for everyone.
The community should have clearly understood boundaries between private lots and between private lots and community land.
The community needs a common goal or mission. This can take the form of rehabilitating and stewarding the entire watershed, and such a project can be driven by farming enterprises.
The community should have a provision for and a prerogative to spawn new communities after it's own image, on new land paid for by the surpluses of the income of the original community.
The community should retain economic ties to other communities, and nearby cities, supplying them with meat, dairy, greens, eggs, honey, candles, tours, shoes, textiles, smoked pureed fish, fruit preserves, pickles, plants, pets, firewood, lumber, horses, nuts and any other goods that there's demand for, and that can be grown and/or manufactured in the community. Again, extra income should be devoted to the establishment of more of these systems in the area.

Thoughts? Criticism? Better ideas?
1 month ago

Chris Kott wrote:I hate it, because I would prefer to be able to proceed naively forward, with all people my friends, and all animals attuned to the wonder that I wish to bestow upon the earth, so they won't dig up and nibble all my hard fucking toil.

People are like animals. We are, in fact, animals. We are just arguably more complex. Well some of us, anyways. In any event, I have always thought that intentional community missed the point entirely.

If the point of the community is only to have a community, it's integrity is reliant solely on shared vision, which is fallacy. Nobody sees anything from the same perspective. Our individual eyes don't even see the same picture; our brains have to work out the differences and merge the images, along with input from our other senses, into a single coherent comprehension.

My feeling is, as with any human endeavour, that the point of community must make itself of substantial value to some group of individuals, in terms of sustaining them materially as a community. So a community devoted to, say, the restoration and controlled management of a herd of bison would do their good ecological works in plains management, and the community would thrive off an annual culling of all but a tenth of the male population (in actuality, the numbers required for a healthy breeding herd, from what I have read, involve one bull for every twenty cows, but diversity is better).

What is critical about this is that the financial impetus of the meat and hides from the yearly cull would be too great an incentive to allow pettiness and infighting to dominate, and would make it necessary to structure elements of the community as a business, such that it is possible to have dispute resolution tied to a financial incentive for the whole group.

So I think that people shouldn't just start communities. I think that the only way to make community sustainable is if there is a central "industry," in the way that industries of centuries past essentially built company towns to house workers as that community's largest employer, and would invest in supportive and service industry businesses.

It needn't be destructive or extractive in nature. Intensive and extensive range management in conjunction with a herd revitalisation and renewal program for bison could result in annual herd growth of something approaching a third, if I am remembering correctly, and the corresponding biosphere rejuvenation of a keystone species doing what it should never have stopped doing.

It also needn't necessarily involve stepping into the ecological niche as predator every time, although from honey bee to the largest bovine, it's hard to argue with the resource-concentrating ability of animals simply living their best lives. If you have a community coming together lousy with textile artists, it's logical that your community's financial impetus be textile-related.

I do realise that the idea expounded about community on this site is that the ideal, the opimum and ultimate permacultural level indicates that we share our roof with near two-dozen other people; I reject that idea. Of all the animal kindreds, we humans are closest to wolves. That is why some of their children came to live with our ancestors, and continue to be important parts of our lives today. Packs only get so large, and can only have one leading voice, one Alpha or pack leader. I think that humans are much the same.

I think farming villages are probably the best format we could possibly look at in terms of designing a resilient, sustainable community that grows. If the annual harvest fails, everyone suffers, so historically speaking, even those who were usually drunk and barely ever reliable for anything most of the year-round would sober up and work twenty-hour days, at a pace that would kill most people in the western world today, for planting and harvesting. Starving if the work doesn't get done is a powerful incentive.

At the same time, while community could be close, close enough to share a community heating and cogeneration facility, say, they would also each have their own households, should they choose to. I would expect there to be some accomodation, either in-town, or perhaps a billet system, for single people wishing to defray individual costs by joining a household or staying in communal housing with shared facilities and common space.

It sounds like Andy has turned the idea of permacultural community into its raison d'etre; rent generates the income, which is brought in by people largely working off-site, and a paid permacultural groundskeeper makes the magic happen. I am glad it's working for him, but I would be looking for another financial tie for the community's next iteration. A commuters' bubble sounds like a tenuous financial footing to me.

But I wish him good luck, and hope that perhaps Andy will post here and give us some of his insight.


Chris, this is the best insight I have seen on this subject, yet. I would like to emphasize that wolf packs are nuclear families, not random groupings of individuals. Each household should probably be a nuclear family, and, since humans are human, setting very strict boundaries needs to be okay, for the safety of everyone involved.