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Episode two of the Permaculture Smackdown continues with Opalyn Rose, Katie, and Mark.  In this part the questions are posed by Paul’s patrons.

What trees would you recommend for planning in my zone 6b meadow with 22 inches of rain and snow, heavy clay soil and south facing meadow?   First thoughts are on earthworks, Hugelkultur, and berms – what about wind and water passing through?  Really want Hugelkultur to get out of the heavy clay and keep, for example, apple trees from suffocating in the clay.  After setting up Hugelkultur, he’d want about 10% covered with black locust trees, then a sprinkling of taprooted nut trees a bunch of apples, starting everything possible from seed.  Other than that, he’d recommend black walnut and loads of other fruit and nut trees.  Mark suggests broadcasting some fodder plants around the edge of the property to try and bribe deer away, but that’s a double-edged sword, as it also brings deer to the property.

Are there any examples of the sort of stuff that Paul does (Rocket Mass Heaters, composting toilets, greywater…) in urban environments?  Paul and co have recently finished the PEA gardening badge, which can be done completely indoors and thus eminently doable in an urban environment, even without a balcony or nearby park/garden.  When Ernie and Erica lived in Portland, they had a Rocket Mass Heater in their house, and a neighbor who regularly called authorities on them for this, that, and everything else never gave them hassle with it, if only because she didn’t know what it was (the complete lack of smoke helped).  Portland now has building regulation and insurance that covers RMHs, so they’re starting to become accepted.  Composting toilets are outlawed in cities, and with good reason – even with a good system, a slight fuckup makes a bunch of people sick and the law tries to prevent that.

Relevant Threads

PEA badge - Gardening

PEP greywater and willow feeders

Hugelkultur forum

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