Ask Geoff Lawton a Question - Session 1

Discussion in 'Put Your Questions to the Experts!' started by CraigMackintosh, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. CraigMackintosh

    CraigMackintosh *****

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    Hi All

    If you've ever wanted to put a question directly to Geoff Lawton for answering, now's your chance! Reply to this post with your question(s), and after I've collected enough worthy questions, I'll record a Skype conversation with Geoff, where he'll answer them for us. I'll then post the video response at bottom of this thread.

    Then we'll start a new thread, with new questions, and so on.

    And, we'll also (in other threads I'll start in this sub-forum) ask other permie experts questions - so we can get responses from different angles and different specialties (different climates, areas of expertise, etc.).

    So, please send in your thoughtful questions!

    Note: In this particular sub-forum ('Put your questions to the experts!'), please do not attempt to start new threads, as they will be deleted. Only site admin, who will be putting the questions to the expert, will start the threads in this sub-forum. Each thread will begin with questions, and end with the resulting video with answers. Thanks all.)
     
  2. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Yaaaay! So glad to see this happening here. Thanks Geoff and Craig and PRI. I see there is a new sub forum for this, good idea.

    Would you consider at some point also having quest expert Q and As in threads like at permies? Still enough people that find it hard to watch video online.
     
  3. CraigMackintosh

    CraigMackintosh *****

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    Hi Pebble. If we get a lot of demand to do text-based answers, we could look at it, but the reason I want to do it by video is that it's faster for the busy experts to respond to a Skype conversation than it is for them to take hours typing out responses (and many expert permies are terrible typists!) :) Doing it by video should ensure this becomes a more regular, active activity.
     
  4. matto

    matto Junior Member

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    My question to Geoff Lawton would be why is David Holmgren not credited to being a co-founder of Permaculture in his video, Introduction to Permaculture, as well as not being credited on the PRI site introduction.

    This is not a clerical oversight, and I know that Bill has slowly excluded David out of his stories of where he got the "vision" of permaculture, even though Permaculture One was based largely David's thesis and research from 1976.
     
  5. Synergy

    Synergy Junior Member

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    There is so much gloomy speculation on the direction that our situation on this planet is going I find it hard to engage people around me to look at issues and seek better solutions. I would like to ask Geoff, as a person who is seeing a more global perspective , does he see permaculture gaining strength with hopes of reaching a critical mass to change how 'progressive development ' is destroying the environment? Also what other movements that are not publicized much on this website does he find inspiration in ? Does he foresee any upcoming disruptive forces such as a decline of cheap fuel empowering a change to more harmonious development of our civilization ?
     
  6. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    This is great, Craig! Thanks!

    Hello Geoff! I've not seen this addressed anywhere and am glad to have this opportunity to air the question. I have caliche (calcium carbonate) at varying depths around my property (21 acres). Area climate is BSK (Koppen-Geiger) shrub-steppe (where evapo-transpiration exceeds precipitation). The surrounds are mostly in dryland wheat or cattle ... my place would be more suitable for cattle as the remaining "soil" is generally shallow (due to the washing away of approximately 200 feet of soil during the Missoula Floods at the end of the last ice age). Soil and well water are alkaline. Average annual precipitation is between 9 and 12 inches. Quite cold winters. This is in eastern Washington state in the USA. My question is whether to jackhammer some 10 ft diameter holes through the caliche and plant some succession trees (the roots of which could continue to break-up the caliche in an ever widening area) or go another direction and begin intensive soil building right on top of it? It seems to me that most of the existing soil is too shallow to support stands of trees in this dry area.

    Thanks for any ideas you can provide!
    Bill Kearns
     
  7. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    A lot of our new members express a desire to be able to buy acreage to be able to 'do' permaculture and express despair about being stuck in suburbia. Is there scope for permaculture and its practitioners to succeed and thrive in the urban environment, or should we all be saving up for a parcel of land?
     
  8. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    It's difficult to find consistent information on the use and construction of swales on virtually flat land. Can you give some general information on the dimensions, depth, width etc? Including how far apart swales need to be. Perhaps you could give some indication of how the general soil type might effect these construction issues also?

    Thanks in Advance

    Grahame
     
  9. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    My question, and it can be shortened, paraphrased or edited if needs be:

    What are your Top Ten Perennial (or self-seeding) 'Survival Foods' for each major climate? The term 'Survival' is used loosely.


    Second question(s) if the first doesn't make it:

    What's more important in a NFT, its traits or inoculation with the correct rhizobia? Should a Food Forester always endeavour to use an inoculated plant over one that isn't?
     
  10. Robert Knops

    Robert Knops Junior Member

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    I would like to ask. How can we insure that really more people will take permaculture up in harmonie with nature and not as a commercial thing and really change their lives, while theirs a division between people that can only live with technology, economie and industry (they are the people who develop new rules) and people that still are in harmonie with mother nature (have for the most no real power and the group is relative small)? Would there be a possibility to really create a big movement in a short time so that our civilization can change fast enough to stop the global deserfication... and why aren't we doing it rite now (ofcourse we are doing something but its one step at a time, while more steps for our distruction are set every day (by other people ofcourse) / rainforest, overfishing, deserfication... / the change is big that we will be to late). Is permaculture working together with nature- and invironment organisations. Like WNF, Greenpeace... and who decides what's done and what's not done?

    Craig's response: Hi Robert, this is a bit unwieldy. There are too many questions, and you're also trying to answer some of them. Please try again in the next round, and keep the question(s) succinct and to the point. Thank you.
     
  11. Finchj

    Finchj Junior Member

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    Thank you both for making this happen.

    Geoff: In your recent podcast with the Duke of Permaculture, the two of you began to have a conversation revolving around the application and use of swales, keyline, and hugelkulture in cold climates. Here in Finland we have a wet, cold climate. Soils can vary greatly in composition between locations due to the movement of glaciers, but it seems that a heavy clay soil is quite common.

    A very common sight in agricultural fields are large pools (almost the size of ponds, some quite large) at the bottom of hills. According to some, Finland or Suomi, derives its name from its swampy nature (English- fen & Suomea- suo). Droughts are not unheard of, but we are expected to be on the receiving end of more precipitation in the future due to climate change.

    Given the land's natural state as swamp, clay soils which are prone to water logging, and cold climate, I am particularly interested in hearing you speak more about the application of water harvesting techniques in high latitude environments.

    Craig's comment: Hi Finchj - There doesn't seem to be a clear question here. Your sentence "I am particularly interested in hearing you speak more about the application of water harvesting techniques in high latitude environments." is very broad. Please try again in round 2 of this Q&A series.
     
  12. annad

    annad Junior Member

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    Hello Geoff, and thanks for this opportunity. I am wondering if you have any solutions to lead contamination in the soil. We have some from lead paint chipping off an old house, but a lot more in an area where trash and cinders were buried behind the barn in the late 19th and early 20th century. We live on a small, in-town lot, so we'd like to be able to garden or forest-garden in this area if possible. We are in coastal Maine, a moist, cool/cold climate, and our soil is heavy clay. I have been using lots of seaweed and wood chip mulches, both of which we have ample supplies. Thanks for any help or ideas you can offer.
     
  13. CraigMackintosh

    CraigMackintosh *****

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    Geoff's Video Response to Questions - Round 1

    Hi All. Here's our first response from Geoff, for Round 1 of the Q&A series. I hope you find it helpful. If you have feedback on how we do this, then feel free to let me know. I'll start Round 2 in another thread. Please do try to keep your writing/questions succinct and to the point, but obviously still with enough information so that Geoff can give the best response.

    Thanks all for participating!

    [video=youtube;bYV-xpS6T_g]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYV-xpS6T_g[/video]​
     
  14. SteveWieler

    SteveWieler New Member

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    Annad, here's something in relation to contamination I found though Paul Stamets FaceBook feed. It's called "the Grafton
    Project."

    Check it
    https://vimeo.com/52968171
     
  15. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Haha, Geoff used my very own 'it depends' on me.
     
  16. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    This was a fabulous idea Craig. So many great tips all hidden in there.

    And so funny that Grahame's chickens came home to roost!
     
  17. Finchj

    Finchj Junior Member

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    Will do!

    What a rapid turn around time with these questions. Listening now before going to class.

    I will rewrite my question and submit it for round 2!
     
  18. annad

    annad Junior Member

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    Thanks, SteveWieler. That seems to be a method to deal with organic chemicals, which are easier to deal with than heavy metals, since they break down, which heavy metals do not ...
     
  19. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    The video response to our questions was superb! Thanks Craig and Geoff ... I especially liked the format of the questions as catalysts for discussion between you two.

    Great stuff!
     
  20. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Will the video be downloadable? How about an audio-only version of the convo, for people with limited broadband?
     

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