Andrew Michaels

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since Sep 05, 2008
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Recent posts by Andrew Michaels

Hey guys.

I'm currently in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and just wondering if there are any cool permaculture farms in this area. In particular, I'm interested in tropical fruit growing. Any suggestions?
Anyone know if Mollison has said why the Permaculture Designer's Manual isn't in ebook format yet? Is it even still in print? I tend to see mostly used copies around on Amazon.

That book blows me away each time I crack it open, and it's a shame that it's so inaccessible. I travel a lot and it would be helpful to have an ebook version for laptops/tablets/phones, etc, so you can double check things.

I'm guessing it has to do with the pirating of the book, but I imagine overall profit would go up selling an ebook that was sometimes pirates rather than no ebook at all.
3 years ago
You don't hear permaculturists talking about soil remineralization very much.

Some organizations make it out to be incredibly critical:

Why don't we hear about this much in permaculture circles?
5 years ago
Awesome! Chaffin Family Orchards looks like what I'm looking for. Hopefully I can work something out.

Tyler Ludens wrote:

Hi guys.

I've reached a point where I'm ready to spend some time working on a profitable permaculture / sustainable / organic fruit orchard somewhere in the US, either as an intern or employee. It's my goal to own a small orchard myself, but I need some hands on experience.

My preference is in the South, Southwest, or Westen part of the country (warmer areas).

My criteria is that they make the majority of their income from the production and sale of fresh fruit from trees. They must be a profitable business that supports at least one person full time, not a backyard operation. I want them to be organic at the least, but preferably fairly sustainable in terms of inputs, and it would be amazing if they were doing permaculture.

Can anyone make any suggestions?


Hey guys.

Several months ago I watched a video of a talk given my a permaculture teacher whose name I cannot remember.

He talked about his effort to keyline plow a former ranch, which had been purchased by some sort of yogi/meditation guru for a retreat center.

The operation was a big success, etc.

Can anyone direct me to that video, or give me the presenter's name?


6 years ago
Yes, I was thinking that hugel mounds, perhaps keyhole hugel beds, rather than straight beds on contour might allow the water to drain better than with a long bed on contour.

Lloyd George wrote:hugel mounds?

6 years ago
Hey Guys.

I'm helping out at a CSA with a flooding problem, and several of us are trying to come up with solutions to get as much productivity out of the land as we can. We've been throwing around some ideas, but are looking for some outside thoughts as well. Your ideas would be appreciated.

I'm attaching a picture to this post below, and I'll be describing the elements of the site based on that photo.

The flooded area is surrounded by higher land to the north, east, and west.

To the south the land is a bit lower, and there is a small pond (in red) and a marshy wetlands (in blue) in that direction.

It receives rainfall from the higher surrounding areas, but also some runoff from the nearby road via a pipe. Although there are dryer periods when this is not an issue, flooding is something that happens on and off when rainfall is significant. The water moves from this area toward the pond slowly.

The area the CSA has to work with is limited and this area is important for getting around the property, so letting it be entirely marshy or turning it into a pond is not an option.

Ideally we'd like to come up with something that allows for people and tractors to move through the area while taking advantage of the water to increase productivity. Our budget is fairly limited, but we have access to manpower, earth, rocks, basic materials and hand tools, etc.

The path the tractors use to come through is in yellow. This spot often gets muddy and makes moving the tractor through a challenge. A way needs to be found to firm this area up.

Inside the area highlighted in green, we've got pallets laid down so people can walk over some wet terrain. To the left of the pallets is a prospective strawberry patch.

Between the yellow and green areas the land is slightly higher and slightly less flood prone, but flooding is still and issue here.

Our Ideas:

1) Place some sort of culvert under the tractor path and raise it up with earth and the many rocks we've got dug up around the property.

2) In the area to the left of the tractor path, to plant hugelkultur beds and/or swales and berms with pipes through them and or gaps w/spillways to allow the water to flow downward toward the pond. The berms and/or hugelkutur beds would have to be significantly elevated to ensure that they don't become too waterlogged for crops. However, our concern is that the beds and/or swales, particularly if they're placed on contour or nearly on contour, would end up blocking the flow of water toward the pond and making things more swampy.

My thought is that swales wound not be good way to move things along because they amount to digging a deeper ditch in an already too low area. However, one idea was to expect that this would be swamps and and plan to span the swale/swampy areas with pallettes or something else to allow access to the HK beds.

What thoughts do you guys have for working with this piece of land?

6 years ago
I'm getting a late start this year, but would like to plant some lettuce from seed before the month is out.

What varieties will grow well with such a late start in the Connecticut area?
6 years ago