Author Topic: Complicated / detailed PERMACULTURE  (Read 3476 times)

Yowbarb

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Re: Complicated / detailed PERMACULTURE
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2016, 11:34:40 PM »
PS Socrates,
I see your post from a long time ago, with more info about the Rhodesian Ridgeback. Good one!

http://planetxtownhall.com/index.php?topic=5190.msg81331#msg81331

Socrates

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Re: Ridgebacks
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2016, 10:52:54 AM »
They are not appreciative of repetitious activities that have little purpose for pack survival. For example, you can expect your Ridgeback to learn how to retrieve a ball in very short order, but he will not continue this pursuit if it is overdone. He is quite simply, too smart and too dignified for circus feats. The Ridgeback's opinion is that "you ought to get a Lab for that."
You oughtta get a Lab for that... Priceless!

I'd like to get a Vizsla to supplement the Ridgeback. Coincidentally they look a bit alike.
The male is about the same size as the Ridgeback bitch, though the bitch is heavier.
Vizsla are excellent scent hounds. Like the Komondor they are Hungarian. They are also very playful and very typical of the more 'stupid' kind of dog most people are used to when thinking about dogs.
I, for one, have always admired independent and proud dogs like Huskies, Afghan or Ridgeback.
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Yowbarb

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Re: Complicated / detailed PERMACULTURE
« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2016, 05:18:29 PM »
:) You know a lot about dogs...continue to share your knowledge..some good dogs really
could aid in survival...

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RMH: the rocket mass heater
« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2016, 10:49:46 PM »
:) You know a lot about dogs...
I really don't, but i've always loved dogs and the more i think about survival the more i get to appreciate they are truly your best friend. They may well be the ultimate survival tool. And don't forget they are also information: genetic information, i.e. it might well be lost if you're not careful.

ROCKET MASS HEATERS

Rocket mass heaters (or RMH for short) are another key permaculture tool. But they go way beyond just something to keep you warm. Don't think: "Yeah, yeah, heaters; got that covered" if you're not excited about RMH yet.

Burning wood; it's so much more than just about keeping warm. First you have to collect it; you have to have it. And you might not wanna waste it.
But by now you should have at least a general idea of the importance of forests (and proper animal husbandry) in relation to soil (and everything that goes along with having good soil). But a forest NEEDS it's wood. Wood that's breaking down is both feeding and protecting the forest floor. If you take your wood away to burn it, you are starving your forest. Slowly, but that's usually how forests get destroyed.

Rocket mass heaters only burn about 5% of what regular heaters demand so imagine cutting down one single tree as opposed to having to cut down 20.... That's what you're talking about.
RMH can accomplish this by 2 main feats:
- they burn up what you throw in there completely
- they catch all that heat and release it inside.
As opposed to heaters that burn incompletely and then need to let hot air escape the very room you're heating.

For survival purposes this also means that when you are burning wood to keep warm, you are not sending out 'smoke signals' [literally] to the rest of the world that scream: "OVER HERE! GET YOUR WARM STASH OF FUEL AND HUMAN FLESH TO EAT AND COOK RIGHT OVER HERE!" And you can be sure that hungry cold people will have a keen sense of smell by that point in time.
So then there's the RMH; it's exhausts are room temperature and have almost no odour.. It's basically CO2 and water that's escaping.
Survivors of crises in Haiti learned that cooking food brings on thieves, marauders and all kinds of human parasites [moochers]; they smell it and they come. Don't let them smell you...

Save your fuel. God knows how much of it you will be needing. And if you can find a way to get to 10 times as much fuel, you may be impressed with yourself though it would've been even smarter to have a way to NEED 20 times less!
In the end the RMH:
- saves fuel
- burns efficiently
- burns without sending out smoke signals
- saves you from wasting time dealing with fuel when you have better things to do (or no energy to do them)
- saves wood for the forest that needs the forest floor littered in decaying organic matter

The Duke of Permaculture Paul Wheaton is always stressing the importance of RMH and he's not even talking about survival!. When you bring survival into things, then the RMH really shines.
Know how to build one. It's not that hard. Just make sure you have a metal barrel stashed away.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2016, 05:28:20 AM by Socrates »
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SEEDS
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2016, 10:58:02 PM »
That would be great if the Turkey supplier works out! :)
Hoping...
Let us know!
Tuesday update: just received a message that he can send me 10 shoots for 20 euros [i proposed to him to send me TWO for 20...; seems like a fair guy].

Seeds; so much to say.
Did you know some seeds, particularly of tropical plants, only keep for a short while? So when you order BANANA seeds, for instance, you have to be ready to plant them right away. Not all seeds keep for thousands of years...
Seed balls are a bunch of seeds packed within a ball of manure (or some such medium) that you throw out so you just see which will establish themselves. in other words, you leave it to nature to sort it out. It's not a bad concept, i think [comes from Stef...]

You must appreciate that seeds contain GENETIC INFORMATION; and information can be lost.
Again [i've mentioned it before], we live in a world in which species (and technologies and elements) from all over the world make up our reality BUT that could all change quickly and dramatically. WE might not be able to imagine LOSING the bricks that make up our reality but that doesn't mean they WON'T... They could all be gone in a minute.

Seeds contain genetic information that we should be interested in preserving and protecting. If you travel the world you will find that most cultures deal with A FEW DOZEN species of vegetables and fruits (in spite ot global traffic and the internet). If you ALLOW such limited focus to determine your reality/fate, that is what your future will hold. On the other hand, we currently still have access to a global culture in which we can order seeds FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD for very little money. It's crazy when you think about it...

Entire ECONOMIES have been based on some species or other that offered some element or other that could efficiently be derived from it. Yet in OUR time we disregard such things and tend to assume A GLOBAL COMPENDIUM OF GENETIC MATERIAL will remain at our disposal.
It will not.
Unless you are serious about seeds.


It's not just about fruit trees and vegetables; when Geoff Lawton established an oasis in Jordan he first planted more NON-fruit-bearing trees than figs and such. He was laughed at but what he planted supplied nitrogen to the soil, grew up quickly in the arid conditions and provided the conditions the fruit-bearing trees needed to survive.

Bamboo, flax, cotton, rubber... These all come from trees and plants we need to save.
Of course we should save the best quality of seeds [talking about heirloom] but you also need to consider non-fruit-bearing species.

Certain seeds have very specific needs. Let's be frank: it's better to have 20 seeds WITH instructions on how to have them germinate rather than having 40 seeds without; if your seed will only germinate after a frost, in light/darkness, at so-and-so temperature... What good is it to you without that knowledge? Your collection of seeds should also be a collection of instructions and EACH AND EVERY SEED HAS SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS. Be serious about that or why even bother? Then you're playing Russian roulette with seeds and they are way too important for that.
Remember: mankind will survive. There is no question of that. There will be some idiots that manage to survive in some cave or other and make it through to the backside (as Mr. Masters would put it). But the difference between mankind starting off again from a stone age situation or mankind getting a head start so civilisation can be established before Planet X comes again, it all has to do with SAVING KNOWLEDGE and that includes saving GENETIC knowledge in the form of seeds and other key species.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2016, 11:38:59 PM by Socrates »
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Re: seed balls
« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2016, 11:05:44 AM »
Sorry, not "Stef"; i meant Sepp (Holzer)
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Practical physics lesson [do not be afraid]
« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2016, 11:30:47 PM »
If you're anything like me physics is not your cup of tea. Take it to a nerd!
However, there are a few principles everyone should understand since they could save your life and they're really about the very basic working of everyday things.
So forget your aversion to 'technical' stuff for a minute and try to remember the following:

CONDENSATION
Almost all air contains moisture and this will condensate if it comes over a colder surface.
Example: Say you're in a valley and the Sun is coming up behind you. The valley hill across from you is warming up in the sunlight but you are still in shade. The air of the valley is warming up but not the rocks on your side. If that warm air rises and hits those rocks, water vapor in the air will start to condensate. If the rocks are big enough, they will take a long time to heat up from the warmer air and remain relatively cold in relation to the air and condensation will continue.
So you can keep that in mind and use it to either create condensation artificially or to recognize where it will take place [at many locations this happens daily] and you can plant a tree there or something.

CARBONDIOXIDE IS HEAVIER THAN AIR
There's always CO2 in the air but when it can collect along the ground fast enough, it can displace O2 and then things can die. That's why you should never sleep next to certain large fires or in a field of tomatoes. One amazing incident how almost 2000 people were killed in minutes had to do with a killer fog of CO2, wiping out the entire village next to Lake Nyos.
So mind where you sleep. This knowledge can also be used to direct CO2 to plants that will appreciate it. Also, if you wish to be sure you are safe underground from CO2 surges, make sure your O2 can't be displaced that way.

HOT AIR RISES
When building a heater [like a RMH] you count on hot air rising. However, there are limits to this and you have to get what's going on, at least a little bit.
Hot air has mass but so does colder air. Obviously, one is displacing the other. So your hot air from your heating may be rising but it won't keep rising indefinately. It will either cool off to the point that it stops rising or it will have so much cold air to displace that it just hangs there; and at that point all that CO2 in the hot air isn't escaping and will start to fall because CO2 is heavier than air...
Sometimes your exhaust will need to be relocated or planned to let the air escape higher or lower. So huge chimneys that go up very high only work when they are putting out massive amounts of hot air. And even they couldn't do their job properly if it became cold enough outside.
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Re: acquiring vetiver
« Reply #22 on: October 25, 2016, 10:45:54 AM »
Vetiver Spain offers 12 shoots @ 25 euros, payment possible through Paypal.
I already received confirmation. Hell, his wife is Dutch; how convenient could it be?  ;D
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Socrates

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TOOLS; basic, simple, multi-functional or otherwise good
« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2016, 04:07:19 PM »
CHICKEN WIRE
If you could stockpile some chicken wire for after TSHTF, that would be awesome. It's also something to strive to make once you get to making iron and steel (which is just about throwing ore + coal [ratio 1:1] in a furnace). Chicken wire fencing keeps predators away from your chickens, it keeps the chickens (and other such livestock, obviously) where you need them to be, etc. etc.
It also can be very useful in setting up a terrace, a prime permaculture technique; if you just drive in stakes with chicken wire along a hill, this can get your wall started. Then you either pile up rocks against it; or use dirt and plant vetiver grass.
Chicken wire is also used for making gamions [rocks bound in chicken wire]; these are good for slowing down floods of water and debris (or water management in general) and can also lead to new terraces.

BAMBOO
If you haven't ordered bamboo seeds yet, i suggest you stop reading this second, go on Ebay or something, and invest a few bucks to get some. Bamboo is still used as a major construction material instead of steel in Asian countries. But though America or Europe are not known for their bamboo forests, bamboo seeds can today be readily ordered through the magic of the internet and international trade. Who needs a 'log cabin' when you could be building with bamboo?
Bamboo grows from seed to adult size in 3 to 4 MONTHS; in the 2 years following that it will mature so it can be harvested after just 3 years. [Folks in 'the West' are so used to using trees when other flora are much more efficient, like hemp would be a much better crop for making paper out of than wood is.]
You can imagine 100 uses for bamboo. It would be stupid not to have it if you could [and you can, so there].

HEMP
Hemp leaves and seeds are edible and very nutritious; hemp hurd can be used to make hempcrete with; hemp is used for making the best quality rope.
It used to be mandatory[!] for farmers in the U.S.A. to grow it; that should tell you something. In our world-gone-mad [politically correct] it has become ostracized but you should be able to get your hemp seed by the pound for a few bucks since it's sold as bird feed. It also makes a great survival food since it contains healthy fats and a wide range of amino acids among other things.
And don't forget that once you start rebuilding, you will be wanting to be making paper for writing asap.

WOOD CHIPPERS AND LEAF BLOWERS
As long as you have electricity/gasoline wood chippers will give you the wood chips that will help in the development of first rate soil. Alternatively, a leaf blower set to suck will chop up leaves and offer a similar product.

AXES
I loved Ilinda's post on stone axes; so good to know they're best used on fresh wood.
In general, if you view survival experts giving their opinions on tools, besides a good knife there's really nothing like owning a good axe. A sharp one can also be used for all kinds of things you might otherwise use a knife for. An axe head can be a versatile tool if you let it be. The same can be said for a knife, one might say, but you will ruin your knife if you get to splitting wood with it and you can't cut down a tree with a knife; on the other hand, you can get used to using your axe for many things people usually consider using a knife is evident.
I have an axe head in my bug-out-bag; the handle is too heavy and cumbersome and can be replaced by a good piece of wood, so that's out. But i wouldn't wanna be stuck somewhere for any length of time without an axe.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2016, 04:28:54 PM by Socrates »
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Re: acquiring vetiver
« Reply #24 on: November 29, 2016, 08:52:42 AM »
Vetiver Spain offers 12 shoots @ 25 euros, payment possible through Paypal.
I already received confirmation. Hell, his wife is Dutch; how convenient could it be?  ;D
YES! YES! YES!!!
Just received my vetiver from Spain.
I haven't been this happy since i received my grass mix from Cotswold Seeds years ago.
I still have another wish for my list: ordering mangrove seedlings. Almost all other things one can grow from seed but some things just require shoots, saplings or seedlings.
At 25 euros this vetiver is quite an expensive addition to my seed collection, but as an integral part of establishing terraces, which is in itself an integral part of permaculture, it is well worth the investment and i just feel grateful to have them in my possession for this price.
I have been trying to get a hold of some vetiver shoots for sooo long. This is just so great.
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Yowbarb

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Re: acquiring vetiver
« Reply #25 on: November 29, 2016, 09:07:28 PM »
Vetiver Spain offers 12 shoots @ 25 euros, payment possible through Paypal.
I already received confirmation. Hell, his wife is Dutch; how convenient could it be?  ;D
YES! YES! YES!!!
Just received my vetiver from Spain.
I haven't been this happy since i received my grass mix from Cotswold Seeds years ago.
I still have another wish for my list: ordering mangrove seedlings. Almost all other things one can grow from seed but some things just require shoots, saplings or seedlings.
At 25 euros this vetiver is quite an expensive addition to my seed collection, but as an integral part of establishing terraces, which is in itself an integral part of permaculture, it is well worth the investment and i just feel grateful to have them in my possession for this price.
I have been trying to get a hold of some vetiver shoots for sooo long. This is just so great.

Socrates! Awesome!! :) So happy for you.
I remember a few weeks ago we posted back and forth about possible suppliers.
:)

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Re: Vetiver
« Reply #26 on: November 29, 2016, 10:45:50 PM »
Yes, Yowbarb, and credit where credit is due, talking/posting about the matter here encouraged me to do yet another Google search which led me to VetiverSpain.
It's good to be reminded and to be busy with these important issues and sometimes we just need some support to do what needs to be done even if we're already convinced it does need to get done.
Anywho, finally there... I'm gonna protect these babies with all i got!

For anybody who's forgotten how wonderful Vetiver is [or is wondering wtf i've gotten wound up about], let me list it's qualities one last time again:
- will survive on poor soil under harsh conditions [think drought]
- survives being cut down well [like by goats]
- roots down vertically many meters, creating a growing self-healing organic subterranean wall
- stops water and soil from washing away
- is a cheap, natural, self-regenerating tool for establishing terraces
- is sterile and therefore won't run amok
- supplies fragrant roots that can be used for making perfume or incense
There are vetiver enthousiasts spreading this amazing grass around the world because of it's qualities and potential. It is a whole vetiver movement, in fact. Erosion is such a big deal in growing food and vetiver is one of the ultimate tools in combatting this and changing land from being desolate to being fruitful and supportive.
Hell, you can even make a business out of this stuff, for the world still has a long way to go before vetiver has become redundant.
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ilinda

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Re: Vetiver
« Reply #27 on: December 02, 2016, 04:45:42 PM »
Yes, Yowbarb, and credit where credit is due, talking/posting about the matter here encouraged me to do yet another Google search which led me to VetiverSpain.
It's good to be reminded and to be busy with these important issues and sometimes we just need some support to do what needs to be done even if we're already convinced it does need to get done.
Anywho, finally there... I'm gonna protect these babies with all i got!

For anybody who's forgotten how wonderful Vetiver is [or is wondering wtf i've gotten wound up about], let me list it's qualities one last time again:
- will survive on poor soil under harsh conditions [think drought]
- survives being cut down well [like by goats]
- roots down vertically many meters, creating a growing self-healing organic subterranean wall
- stops water and soil from washing away
- is a cheap, natural, self-regenerating tool for establishing terraces
- is sterile and therefore won't run amok
- supplies fragrant roots that can be used for making perfume or incense
There are vetiver enthousiasts spreading this amazing grass around the world because of it's qualities and potential. It is a whole vetiver movement, in fact. Erosion is such a big deal in growing food and vetiver is one of the ultimate tools in combatting this and changing land from being desolate to being fruitful and supportive.
Hell, you can even make a business out of this stuff, for the world still has a long way to go before vetiver has become redundant.
Sounds almost too good to be true.  And I've never heard of it before.  (But that's not saying much!)

Thanks for posting.

R.R. Book

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Re: Complicated / detailed PERMACULTURE
« Reply #28 on: April 21, 2017, 06:21:28 AM »
Quote
With the matter of permaculture, however, i found that the classic written by the hand of the master himself, the king of permaculture if you will, Bill Mollison, didn't help me out at all.

Hi Socrates, I've been spending a while reading Mollison's work, and have arrived at pretty much the same conclusion, with a few notable exceptions that stood out to me.  He is indeed preachy, but given the era in which he wrote, one feels his frustration at the giant mistake that he senses in the form of industrialized agriculture.  He is aware that governments could make better choices to protect critical natural resources, but are not doing so.  He is writing from a naive epoch in which citizens actually happily relied upon their governments to make such decisions on their behalf - those of us who are awake are long past that innocence.  So he preaches about the need to get back to self-reliance, homesteading and subsistence farming, the things that many of us are now attempting to do instinctively.

Where he excels is in traveling the third world and meeting indigenous populations face to face, working with them one species at a time to improve their lot using existing plants, materials and techniques that, once suitably arranged and established, would be capable of sustaining them, their families, their villages, and their land for generations.  He is not the only person in history to do this, but perhaps one of the most intrepid and vocal about it at the time in the pre-Internet age. 

Nowdays every person who has a garden is an experimenter, and we are blessed to have entire databases in which a broad sampling of experimenters can document their experience in the way a Wiki is managed.  One fine example of a modern organization doing the same work that Mollison was doing in the third world is ECHO, based in Florida: https://www.echonet.org/
It is mostly geared to tropical species, but we can still learn a lot from them.

Here are a few insights that I picked up from Mollison while wading through his missives:

*It takes only between 750 to 1000 square meters (roughly 8000 to 10,000 square feet or less than a quarter acre) to maintain a homestead with subsistence farming

*Except for walking paths, the ground should be fully covered with plants and none of it left bare

*When fishing, we should keep the smallest fish to eat and throw back the large ones for breeding

*Soil should be slit open, not spaded over

*Natural landscape features that may seem to be a disadvantage become functional advantages when thoughtful design is used

*Local cultural practices and lore regarding plants and other aspects of specific terrain come about for a good reason, and special rules of permaculture that are unique to the particular location may be derived from them, such as the ecological benefit of cows being sacred in India.

*The wellness of a homestead is evident within the first few steps out of the back door.










« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 06:38:20 AM by R.R. Book »

R.R. Book

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Re: Complicated / detailed PERMACULTURE
« Reply #29 on: June 08, 2017, 03:01:30 PM »
Uploading photo of sunchoke beds with pathways allowed to grow weeds, following Bill Mollison's rule of no bare soil.  It was difficult for me, at first, not to habitually hoe, but am enjoying the freedom now.  Many thanks to Socrates for bringing up Mollison in the discussion.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2017, 05:49:08 PM by R.R. Book »