Latent Questions

Discussion in 'Put Your Questions to the Experts!' started by Pakanohida, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    It should be noted we have chooks, and ducks as of middle of march. We do plan to have goats & pigs some day. Sun is blocked most of the day during winter. Apples seem to do very well here despite being 15 miles from the coast (22 by river). This area is a temperate rainforest with rare & endangered trees such as Port Orford Cedar & Myrtlewood. We have deer, elk, bears, and smaller critters walking by, and through the property from time to time. River Otters have also been spotted along with Bald Eagels, Hawks, vultures, all the way down to sparrows, blue jays, cardinals, titmice and so on. The chickens have successfully been free ranging and returning to a tractor at night, but this is changing to pure pen / kitchen garden / food forest access. In my orchard turning food forest, I have been slowly interplanting currants and huckleberries. 10 semi-dwarf rootstock and scions for antique apples arrive next month as well. I also have a too much water problem in winter & horrific wind storms. These wind storms push the peak wind gusts at over 75 m.p.h. Despite this, I can grow year round on my dense clay soil, but I think I am solving that soil by using raised beds & worms / worm castings / worm tea from the worm farm (Red wigglers). In short, I think I have the hardest property possible for Permaculture, but despite that, my goal is to be free of the grid's electricity.

    Scions coming include:
    Opalescent
    Pumpkin Sweet
    Cox's Orange Pippin
    King of Tompkins County
    Chenago Strawberry
    Black Oxford
    Calville Blanc
    Wealthy
    Winter Banana
    Spitzenberg
    Sweet 16
    McIntosh
    Milo Gibson

    We already have 2 unknown apple trees, 4 Jonagold apple trees awaiting scions, 5 unknown plums, Elberta Peach, unknown cherry, a multigraft cherry, several multi graft apple & pear trees including a asian pear multi graft tree on trellis, blueberries, strawberries, salt bush, crabapple (2 types), all found on the property. Coppicing for firewood is not a problem and is an easy renewable resource.

    Lastly, on the west slope my Electrical CO-OP came in and dropped 70+ trees. I am by myself, but cutting them for firewood, and sledding them for building projects. Branches are being moved to become deadwood swales on contour along the western slope which I hope to plant in a few years. The gaps in between the deadwood swales (2m base, 1.5m high) I was planning for the larger livestock when they appear here.

    Deep Thanks for any and all advice.
     
  2. sherimenelli

    sherimenelli Junior Member

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    Restoring fertility to a small but steep hill

    Hi Geoff,


    My question is about restoring a hill that has been badly eroded.

    I live on a small lot (.25 acres) with a hill in my back yard beyond a flat yard of 40 feet. The hill is about 80 feet by 60 feet and fairly steep about 40 degrees

    I’m in northern San Diego county in Carlsbad, California - about 6 miles from the Ocean. We average 9 inches a year although about once every 8 years or so we have gotten as much as 22 inches. We get most of our rain during the winter months and then go for many months without any rain.

    Our subdivision was cut out a hill about 12 years ago. . It is fenced in so I don’t think I can get any kind of equipment in here.

    I have a few goals.
    1. I’d like to create a food forest on the hill.
    2. I’d like to make my hill beautifully green without watering often
    3. I’d like to teach my neighbors and my Home Owners Association (HOA) how to do this so that they are inspired to grow food and save money in water. (We have a lot of hills maintained by our HOA)

    I started working on fixing the erosion on the hill a few months ago. This is the ideal time since it is the rainy season. I have HUGE patches of pale beige soil (well more like dirt since there is no life in it)

    A few months ago, at the very bottom of the hill I had thrown a lot of extra straw down. I noticed that it was very moist in that area even after weeks of no rain and not irrigating it. It gave me the idea to add more organic matter to the soil to keep it from baking under the sun. After months of collecting as many bags of leaves from neighbors as I could, my hill now is quite covered in leaves. Still not as many as I really need to keep all of it moist but I took anything I could find. Plus I knew if I at least had them, I could use it to compost later if I wanted to.

    I then sprinkled red clover and white clover seed on the hill right before the rains. It is coming up nicely.

    I threw gypsum on the hill a month ago because about 4-6 inches underneath it is all clay. Above the clay is something that is loamy. I think whatever is left on the hill now is from adding top soil several times many years ago. I realize now I shouldn’t have bothered with the gypsum as it didn’t get on the clay anyway.

    Last week I seeded with lupine, creeping thyme, yarrow and chicory. There are a few bushes up there and I do have 3 California Pepper trees .(I’m wondering if I should cut them down since I think they prevent other plants from growing around it. I may have to leave at least one of them because my kids LOVE it as a hangout and it is currently one of the few shady areas on the hill. )

    I’d like to restore the hill and I’m considering a bit of terracing. If I do terrace, what is the best way to do it without having to use retaining walls? I can do the digging and hire a few guys to help me dig.

    How deep do you make the terraces? How far apart? Do I put them in straight across the hill or should they curve?

    Or is terracing a bad idea. Should I just dig holes 6 inches deep every few feet in the hill to help water to seep into the hill?

    I really need to figure this out and teach some neighbors. I have neighbors who water every other day. There hills don’t look much better than mine (now that green clover has started to come up and we’ve had winter rains) and I haven’t watered in many months. We have a bad water shortage in San Diego so using so much water on the hills really drives me crazy to see. Everyone does it.

    The reason I say that I’m not wanting to use retaining walls is because I imagine that would start getting expensive and I’d need outside expertise for that. I want a solution that I can teach to neighbors that would get them conserving water without spending a lot of money (which I know they wouldn’t do).


    Is there anything else you'd recommend so I can restore the fertility to the hill and get it ready for planting fruit trees in the next few years? I've thought about planting some nitrogen fixing bushes and trees as well but not sure when I should plant those - now or after I've had time to get ground cover established.


    Thanks!!!!
     
  3. French Island Farmer

    French Island Farmer New Member

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    Is there a better way to improve the pH of acid soils apart from applying dolomite, or lime? They are both very expensive.
     
  4. P4P

    P4P Junior Member

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    Can you assist us in transforming our100ha into a global permaculture training site?

    [​IMG]My name is Naakow Grant-Hayford and I represent the civil society NGO TRANSCEND International-Ghana. You can skip to the 2 final paragraphs :). I'll be glad to send you all and any info needed.

    CONTEXT: In 2010 I created an NGO called TRANSCEND International-Ghana TI-G. (Website coming soon, for now we're on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/permaculture.forpeace) We have just recently signed a contract which allows us to work on 100ha land as we deem fit for the next 83 years. We, TRANSCEND International-Ghana that is, deem permaculture to be the way ahead.

    We have 100ha situated just outside the capital of Ghana ACCRA (30 to 40 minutes away from airport), 60 minutes away from the Atlantic and at 200m altitude above sea level in the more-wet-than-dry-tropics. The terrain has been a reaforestation-site since 1986. We are now looking for permaculture expertise to retrofit it into a hybrid between the reaforestation site it has been and a "permaculture food forest". There are trees and some fruit trees among these but it wasn't as deliberate as permaculture would do it.

    I know for sure, that these are ideal conditions for a wonderful longterm Permaculture Design "Training and Course" site. And that is just the GOAL we would like to set up: A site where qualified trainers can carry out permaculture courses and trainings for that particular wet-dry tropical climatic zone. As a result, the TI-G site would evolve through the work of the professionals who teach on site and also from the work that the students would put in.

    So yes: That is why I am writing: Can you help us set up a permaculture university of sorts. Is there any way you can help us take the right steps ahead? Any suggestions? Contacts? Advice? Counsel? In short, how would you go about it, if you were asked to carry out the goal described above.

    Grateful for any and all answers,
    sincerely,
    Naakowb
     
  5. P4P

    P4P Junior Member

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    Hmm I tried to post something in here and i tried to link an aerial of the property... it turned out HUGE... hope we don't get eliminated by the moderator for this. The issue is rather dear to us. I wonder whether you'll take it serious enough in this forum. Please let me know whether you consider a different avenue of contacting Mr. Lawton more adequate.

    Thank you.
    NGH
     
  6. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Hi NGH - please note that the questions in this thread have now been answered - see Craig's note in post number 34. So your question will sit here unanswered, which would be a pity.

    The question thread number 5 is open. If you think that Bob Corker would be able to help out you might want to repost the question over there. Otherwise you are best to wait until a new round of questions for Geoff opens up.
     
  7. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Occupation:
    Farm manager/ educator
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    Hunter Valley New South Wales
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    Climate:
    warm temperate - some frost - changing every year
    you may be best to contact Geoff through the contacts on the PRI home page with the scope of the project.
     
  8. ozarkfarming

    ozarkfarming New Member

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    Latent Questions

    We live in the Ozarks and have a spring that is dependable 10 months of the year. My best guess is that we own about 10 acres of its recharge area. We pulled livestock off of it 8 years ago and it is in full blown succession. How should we manage it to provide maximum benefit from the spring? Trees or grass or shrubs? A mixture of all? I'm trying to account for transpiration, evaporation, soil retention--that sort of thing. The soil is very rocky and well drained with very little runoff even in extreme rains.
     
  9. TOMMYSURIA

    TOMMYSURIA Junior Member

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    What college degrees will better help me to be a all around permaculturist? I get to choose any degree all the way to a doctorate degree, pay for by my company. I ask before and got 20 difrent answer. Please help Geoff.
     
  10. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    Latent Questions

    We will be moving "Latent Questions" posted for Geoff or other experts that are not currently in a queue to be answered in this thread. It is possible that they may be included in future sets of questions directed to Geoff.

    If your question shows up in this thread, be aware that while it may be a GREAT question, it is not currently being considered.

    The procedure continues to be: A "current" thread will be posted to collect a set of questions for our guest expert. Once that set of questions has been addressed in a video/audio session, a new round will begin with a guest expert being announced. Previous threads are essentially closed for new questions, although there may be some commentary and information sharing posted relevant to that set of questions.

    Is this clear? If not, let us know.

    Thanks!
    Bill Kearns
     
  11. Natasha

    Natasha Junior Member

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    Vermicomposting Toilet?

    We live in a mobile home that has about two feet of clearance underneath. Currently, we are using the bucket compost toilet system. I would like to graduate to a system that needs less attention. I am having difficulty locating detailed information on indoor vermicomposting toilet systems. Is there a better way than the bucket system? I know there must be. Neither my husband nor I have building experience, so we are very wary of trying to rig something up without detailed instructions. There are so many things that could go wrong. The basics I have been able to find is that it should be a double chamber with some kind of connection between the two where the worms can migrate over on their own, once they are out of "food" in one chamber.

    Is sawdust fine for covering? Do you have to add water to keep it moist enough? Should you separate the urine? How do you make it seal to the underside of the house, so no flies can breed in it? If we have to dig into the ground to set a barrel or something for catching, how do we get it out again when it is full? How large does each chamber need to be to last six months for a family of five?
     
  12. Zed McJack

    Zed McJack Junior Member

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    I dont know is this proper place but...
    I registered for receiving Geoff Lawtons video links when they get ready. And I watched a couple of them, but then I was busy when "Urban Permaculture Micro Space is Live" was released. Same happened with video about "Permaculture in cold climate".
    Then finally when I had time to watch them they are not available only Permaculture Design Course video. And not only that, I posted comment in the Article announcing video and now whole Article is gone, only the trailer is left.

    Is there any way for me(us) to watch those videos?
     
  13. Ppermiez

    Ppermiez Junior Member

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    I am posting this in case it can get answered in the near future:

    -What are some successful permaculture-design eco-villages/sustainable communities that can be used as good examples?
    -Where are some good sources of information to further research these topics?
    -What do you think are the primary challenges to forming eco-villages in Australia and elsewhere, and what are the best solutions to those challenges?
    -Do you know of any good online resources for plant identification for climate relevant zones, an example being Plants for a future ( PFAF site )
    -What are some new and interesting nuances in spring boarding a PDC training/education into career/income sources to promote permie aims?

    Thank you!

    Peter Greg
    www.eco-village.net
     
  14. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    Crystal Waters ,Wytaliba" Starlight!!!????

    Human nature is the primary challenge! Lucky the problem is the solution!
     
  15. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    You need to talk to Max Lindegger, one of the designers of Crystal Waters. He also produced a small booklet on Ecovillages around Australia, from memory, that I had a quick flick through. Had most of your questions answered within it.

    But, after looking at your site, I'd gather most of your questions have been answered.
     

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