Paul and Zach Weiss are talking about Sepp Holzer's Spring Terrace and Paul's Humus Well and how they are similar but different.
Paul asks Zach to describe himself which he does by calling himself a person who enables people to achieve their goals with their land in a much shorter time frame. Paul says that's boring and that he was thinking that Zach was Sepp's protege. Zach says that he has worked with Sepp since 2012 as his protege.
Paul estimates that he has spent about 40 days with Sepp over the years and Zach estimates his days with Sepp at between 100-200 days. He now sees Sepp about once a year.
Sepp is 77 years old and still very youthful. One time recently he torn the chainsaw from Zach's hands and proceeded to use it himself when he decided that Zach wasn't doing it quickly enough. He now lives at the Holzerhoff. Paul tells the story of how Sepp got the property that became the Holzerhoff with some help from Zach.
Paul notes that Sepp is doing amazing work and changing the world and that people hate him for that. Similarly to how they hate Willy Schmitz. Paul notes that he has also gotten some hate but knows it's not enough so he feels he needs to do more stuff. Zach says he's not getting much hate at all yet but has gotten some. Paul says he actually gets more "you're crazy" from people.
Sepp's Spring Terrace is actually the subject of today's talk and Paul's humus well which is similar but different.
Zach got to see Alan Booker last year at Paul's PDC and he had first met him at the 2013 Holzer workshop.
Zach says that Alan is incredibly detailed and has lots of depth in his PDC.
Paul talks about the 2012 Dayton PDC that was attended by lots of his podcast people who felt that the info was too amateur or beginner for their liking. It would be good for people that are new to permaculture but not people who have listened to most all of Paul's podcasts.
Zach points out that originally, 30 years ago, PDCs were designed to teach beginners.
Alan Booker's PDC would be good for people like the podcast people, engineers & scientists and educators. Alan will be teaching Paul's PDC again this year and Alan thinks that his is the best PDC in the world right now. Paul says that it would be too much for a beginner though.
The topic moves to natural swimming pools of which Zach has now made several in different environments. Paul and Zach both agree that the idea of putting toxins in our recreational water areas is kind of crazy. Especially when there are other alternatives that are pretty easy and simple. Zach actually has an upcoming project that is using municipal water which the city website says is safe for drinking as long as you are not a pregnant woman or if you have any kidney problems. Again crazy.
Paul stopped at "The Pit" on the way to Butte. Zach adds that it is 770 acres of an open pit mine, the Berkley Pit. The information there asserts that the water is deadly toxic but they also say that it is completely safe. Zach notes that starting in 2020, the water accumulating there is expected to start overflowing into the Silver Creek and to the Columbia River and out to the ocean.
Zach can't imagine that we would still be using chlorine in a few more years when the alternative is so simple and easy.
Paul notes that people seem to be less tolerate of chemicals like chlorine. Probably due to the fact that there are more and more toxins in our environment.
Paul calls Zach a globe trotter and Zach notes that he has worked on 5 different continents this last year. Paul says that Zach is an English speaking, less angry version of Sepp. He also notes that Sepp doesn't like to work for rich people who just want a novelty item put on their property. He says that lots of people want to use the word permaculture but what they really mean is landscaping.
Zach says his specialty is earthworks and water features. An earthen body (pond) recharges the water system whereas a pond liner is just an external tank that aids in evaporation.
Talk turns to Paul's latest kickstarter. Zach will be throwing in a presentation with slides as one of the give-aways. Paul notes that it is amazing the amount of people throwing in freebies for the 1st 48 hours of the kickstarter. Raven is adding a drop spindle tutorial, Lonnie is adding "Catch the Rain", Michael Judd is offering up his hugulkultur chapter and Thomas Ellpole is giving the first 8 chapters of his new book. Zach likes Paul's idea of decentralized distribution of his book. Paul is trying to make his book crazy cheap to buy by the dozen so that people will pass it along to friends. He thinks that his book is the best one of its kind. He is super excited about the 1st 48 hour thing and people are still donating stuff. Paul had shared his book with about 30 authors and polished the book even more from their feedback but he's got to stop and get it out now.
Kickstarter has the most incentivizing by saying that if you don't fund it, it just won't happen. In the last kickstarter that Paul had, the funding was happening so fast that they were having trouble coming up with new stretch goals. The last 3 days of the kickstarter got more than the entire rest of it.
Paul is excited but also nervous that it won't fund. Zach notes that Paul is always worried that it won't fund. Paul comes back with the fact that he has never done a book before. Although he has also written a large book on hugulkultur that he hasn't looked at in 2 years now and he has written a book on fallacy.
Zach sees that one of the big problems with permaculture is the fact that the PDC is actually an introductory course. He has come into several projects behind someone else who had taken a PDC but didn't actually know what they were doing. He really likes the idea of Paul's PEP program. Paul notes that the PEP program would actually prove that the people actually know their stuff.
Paul asks Zach who he would want more, someone enthusiastic or someone who has already done all the PEP stuff. Zach says that only 3% of the people he has worked with actually have the experience or ability to work as hard as they say they can. Paul notes that with the PEP program there will be photographic proof of a person's accomplishments. Zach likes how it is decentralized and can be done anywhere with a cellphone camera.
Paul feels that cold climate, sloped forests are the best place for permaculture. Zach likes the beautiful tropical places too. Paul hates the tropical parasites and bugs. He recently saw a video of the 10 reasons why not to love Hawaii. 1 - no soil, lava rock 2- parasites and insects 3- don't eat the stuff you grow there secondary to slugs 4- can't have stuff secondary to mold and theft 5- can't go barefoot, lava rocks 6- red ants (Zach had a bad experience with red ant bite) 7- can't make friends, people leave all the time 8- can't get regular fruit, only tropical stuff.
Paul recalls that Skeeter did a presentation on Belize and talked about how they would strip naked and pick the parasites off each other each night. Paul also notes that there is no lime disease in Montana although they do have a few ticks. With it's colder weather and dryer climate there are fewer ticks and bugs.
Paul is supposed to meet up with Willy Schmitz in Hawaii soon. Twice before a group in Hawaii had attempted to put together an event that Paul, Willy and Geoff Lawton as well as others were going to attend but both times it fizzled.
Paul feels that Willy is probably out Sepping Sepp. He says that talking to Willy makes him feel even less smart than when he talks with Sepp. Willy is working on a really large scale. He also notes that it is hard to record a podcast with Sepp due to the language barrier.
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I met Zach recently during a presentation he did local to me. As we went around the room, i made a point to state that we were in the presence of a person that will be known as one of the greatest in permaculture, he just doesn't know it yet. If he does, he is too modest to show it.
That pretty much sums it up Zach. But that summary can conclude that he is reachable and available. Good luck getting sepp or lawton out to consult or do work on your place. I doubt it can hapoen. As of today, it's possible with Zach. How he is not booked up for 10 years blows my mind.
I liked the talk about the lack of experiance a pdc gives. An example i can give is trade school. It will teach you to weld and you can leave and get a job welding. Not true with a pdc. Paul/zach thinks that the future of PEP can be a proving ground for this. As he gets past sand and into bigger badges, i agree that it can be a great portfolio of proof. Original reasons has been mating up elderly land owners with potential buyers(or inheritance) so that the land can continue on after they die This proof of ability has more reason for more people to participate. HIRE ME, I KNOW WHAT I AM DOING! I like that extra reason.
He has a decent youtube about natural pools on his youtube channel at Elemental Ecosystems.
As far as ponds, the presentation he gave at the 2017 pdc has the most info. It comes from the questions bring asked by the group vs the presentation itself. After understanding HOW he builds ponds. Its the only method TO build a pond. Its brilliant. Most people catch surface runoff with all the ick involved. He catches subsurface water that is clean and held in place ready to displace water lost to evaporation. The water irrigates more of your land as well as recharges aquifers. Neither of which a typical sealed pond will do.
I think that video is on paul wheatons youtube channel. It was used as bonus preview for the sale of the pdc.