Permaculture emergency Help needed

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by PeterFD, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    Oh, and look out for "medical mushrooms" they are illegal where I am!! And unless you are a serious expert in mushrooms, if you or your goats eat the wrong kind, they can be fatal. A family of 4 here went hiking, ate mushrooms they found, and all need kidney transplants. I think it's a very specifically trained kind of endeavor :)

    In california the state says it is legal to grow medical marijuana, but the government says it's not, so people who are licensed to grow it get arrested by the feds and put in jail! Npobody needs this kind of grief :)

    However, if you eat two bagels covered with poppy seeds, you'll test positive on a blood drug test~ :)
     
  2. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    Also, Sepp Holzer is big into buckwheat. It, too, is high in protein: 18% with biological values above 90%.[10]

    This can be explained by a high concentration of all essential amino acids[11], especially lysine, threonine, tryptophan, and the sulphur-containing amino acids.[12]ou

    And since you want to improve your soil the permaculture way at the same time you feed your goats, getting good biodiversity in there is important.' A mix of flowers, herbs, clovers and grains would help the plants help each other, bring in beneficials. monocropping with just one grain is not ideal. As long as you've got water and sunshine this spring and summer, get as much out of it as you can :)
     
  3. PeterFD

    PeterFD Junior Member

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    Hi Jana

    Many thanks for the immense amount of information. A lot is way beyond my comprehension, however the compost teas, etc., sound interesting.

    Some of what you wrote reminds me of a book I read in the 1970’s called “The secret Life of Plants” by Lyall Watson (I think that’s how he spelt his first name – I still have a copy somewhere). The book included all sorts of techniques, including the ability to get a response from a plant by connecting it up to a “lie detector”. Allegedly, he could get a plant to open his garage door by merely thinking hard about the plant which caused the “lie detector” to pickup a signal, via the plant, that then activated a relay that started the motor to open the garage door.

    Sweetpea – many thanks for the info on Amaranth. You certainly saved me making a big mistake with the flowering variety.

    The information for the Giant Orange Chinese species is as follows. Apparently the seeds are currently located in Lithuania – Eastern Europe.

    Name: Amaranth Chinese Giant Orange
    Height / Spread: 240 cm (8ft)
    Plant Type: Vegetable
    Best sow time: March-April
    Germination time: 2 weeks
    Flower time/color: July-September
    DESCRIPTION:
    Beautiful large dark orange seed heads on giant plants to 8 feet tall, with green leaves with orange ribs. Leaves excellent cooked like spinach, or great for baby salad greens. Light tan seeds, delicious eaten like sesame seed. A dramatic background plant in the flower-garden, next to a red-leaf type

    I also came across a “beetroot” type ginseng that looks interesting. A company in Bolivia provides the seeds. I will post the details below – may be of interest to Jana.

    Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is a hearty root vegetable grown in the high Andes of Bolivia and Peru. Cultivated since pre-Incan times, it is prized by indigenous peoples for its nutritional and medicinal properties along with its power as an aphrodisiac, energy enhancer and hormonal balancer
    Nutritional Profile:
    A dietary staple for the indigenous peoples of the Andes, Maca (L. meyenii) is rich in nutrients, containing 31 different minerals, amino acids, antioxidants, alkaloids and sterols. Maca is an "adaptogen", a substance which brings the body to a heightened state of resistance to disease. Studies suggest that it has a balancing effect on the hypothalamus, which in turn balances other endocrine glands in the body.
    Clinical Research:
    Maca (L. meyenii) root has flourished for thousands of years in the high Andes at altitudes up to 14,000 feet, in extreme climatic conditions where few other plants can survive a single season. Scientists suggest that Maca's remarkable endurance may help to explain its energizing and adaptogenic properties
     
  4. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    Peter, wow, that maca sounds amazing, very interesting. From what I read about it, it sounds like it only does well in severe climates. But here's a few tidbits:

    Maca is sometimes interplanted with potatoes, as it is known to maca farmers that the plant itself naturally repels most root crop pests. Maca croplands are fertilized mainly with sheep and alpaca manure, and are often rested for a period of years to rebuild nutrients in the soils. 8–10 months elapse between sowing and maturity for harvest. The yield for a cultivated hectare is approximately 5 tons. Maca is typically dried for further processing, which yields about 1.5 tons total. Although maca has been cultivated outside the Andes, it is not yet clear whether it develops the same active constituents or potency. Hypocotyls grown from Peruvian seeds form with difficulty at low elevations, in greenhouses or in warm climates. Seeds obtained from Bolivian maca, which is native to lower altitudes, are more easily grown under such conditions [6]. During Spanish colonization maca was used as currency.[8][9]

    I ordered some of the giant orange amaranth, so I'll toss it out there with my buckwheat and keep my fingers crossed :)
     
  5. PeterFD

    PeterFD Junior Member

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    Hi again Sweetpea

    Thanks for the information on Maca. In my search for plants that guild, I noted that sunflowers and corn guild, and both seem to guild with potatoes. Your comment about Maca being interplanted with potatoes suggests that it may also be a Sunflower/corn guild plant.

    I haven’t got round to ordering the giant orange amaranth yet, however, as you are confident enough to give it a try I will follow suite. I will need about 2000 seeds to make any impact so I’ll have to check the Piggybank!

    Is the George Harrison quote at the end of your postings the ex-Beatle from Liverpool?

    Personally, I’m a great Tracy Chapman fan (Talking about a revolution; Sorry is all you can’t say; Fast car; - all really inspiring). I noted that during an interview, some years ago, when asked what else she would like to do with her life, she replied “I’m really keen on Organic Farming”.

    Perhaps a potential member for the Permaculture group?

    Would it presume upon our short acquaintance to ask if you have a first name other than “Sweetpea”?

    Regards, Peter
     
  6. frosty

    frosty Junior Member

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    Hi Peter

    I have been following this topic with interest but I am a little confused as to what you are trying to do .......... you want a crop for winter feeding yet seem to be wanting it to be grazed ........ wont the paddock be under snow ?

    If you want to store feed for winter you could collect prunings from trees and even enquire about grape vine prunings. A friend of mine in the UK also cuts and dries stinging nettles as winter feed for her goats - the love them and do well on them

    In the long term mulberry trees are an excellent option. Another freind of mine ( I subscribe to an international list of goatkeepers ) in the Dominican Republic has a commercial dairy and her main fodder is mulberry trees cuttings.

    If these goats are milking they are also going to need carbs from grain and minerals. Have you considered this ? what breed of goat are they coloured goats have particularly high mineral needs and usually cannot give milk and survive by living on pasture alone ........... I am also concerned that some of the plants suggested are very high in protein - are you aware that rations too high protein can cause numerous serious problems in dairy goats like laminitis and acetonemia (sp)

    frosty
     
  7. PeterFD

    PeterFD Junior Member

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    Hi Frosty, thanks for posting.

    Essentially, I have food stocks until about mid April, after that the goats will have to forage on the outside for their food. I have a large park of about 4 hectares which I’m irrigating by diverting water that’s normally lost via a drainage channel.

    I have a further 4 hectares, possibly six, if I can get a couple of swale operational, in which I can grow some form of winter forage to collect.

    Currently we have the white Sanaan milking goats but intend to change to the Boer meat goats (money permitting).

    Unlike the Sanaan goats (that require a good goat shed for the cold months), the boers tend to be much more “hardy” and whilst needing some protection, can forage outside for most of the year.

    So, in answer to your question, we need a mixed environment that would tend towards maximal bio-diversity and plant guilding.

    Unfortunately, due to the accident which resulted in a building falling down on all our agricultural equipment and demolishing the covered storage for our winter stocks, we’re reduced to a pickaxe and spade to achieve all this!

    There is always the possibility that our insurance company will pay-up (it’s been a year now since the accident) – we live in hope.

    Thanks for your help,

    Peter
     
  8. permup

    permup Junior Member

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    Unfortunately I think you are missing the point of permaculture, and are looking for a solution on this forum that I doubt you will find. Permaculture is not about supporting a monoculture of goats. Its about designing property and adding a variety of elements in order to emulate nature. In turn, the property will essentially support itself. You will probably find that your land can support a range of plant and animal life, but not at such high numbers as the ravenous herds you describe. Consider selling most of the goats off and go into a range of other income-generating sources that your land will sustain.
     
  9. PeterFD

    PeterFD Junior Member

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    Hi Permup

    I hope I’m not missing the point of Permaculture but rather going through the process of establishing a Permaculture.

    From what I’ve read about permaculture, and certainly viewing such projects as “greening the desert”, it is often assumed that you can start with a “clean slate” – all be it not under the most favourable of conditions.

    An African village may be considered as a Monoculture of human beings, however, I’ve yet to read that its necessary to get rid of ravenous humans because they’re inconvenient to some preconceived idea of what a permaculture should idealistically consist of.

    If Permaculture is to be of any real value to the entire world, not just some isolated patch of degraded land, then it must “come of age” and learn to start with what already exists.

    In circumstances where a Permaculture is introduced into an existing system there must surely be a period of transition, which will allow all key components to come into balance.

    If “earth care” plus “people care” plus “fair share” is to equal more than “hot air”, then there must be the realisation that all living creatures have an intrinsic value and cannot simply be “got rid of”.

    Perhaps it’s time for a new “Avante Guarde” of Permaculture to help heal the world without the need to kill it first?
     
  10. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    Permup, Peter didn't say his land couldn't handle it. He said he lost his equipment and goat shelter and place to store goat food in an accident. He's behind the 8 ball and up against snow at the end of a short growing season. He's had this herd since 2004,. so it's obviously not ravenous. You could at least have a little compassion for his situation.

    Peter, while I don't agree with greening of deserts, because a desert is doing just fine for what it is, I don't think anyone is suggesting people die off in order to create a balance. But making an already productive piece of land even more productive and healthy without breaking one's back is the main goal. There are extremists in Permaculture as there are in any field. It isn't the cure-all, it doesn't have a magic bullet. But at least it does get u. s looking and learning about the real world and how it works. I certainly have learned just from this thread good alternatives to grains and biodiversity. :)
     
  11. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Dear Peter
    I am currently reading a book by Terry Leahy titled "Permaculture strategy for the South African Villages". I wonder if it has the information and support you are needing. Terry certainly has done work on gently handling of traditions that can run contrary to sustainable development and seems fully aware of the need to develop at a pace set by local traditions. It is written in a practical style and reads well. ISBN 978-0-9752177-4-0 The back of the book says it
    hope this helps regards Mark
     
  12. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    peter, did you get the price info i sent on the seeds? :)
     
  13. PeterFD

    PeterFD Junior Member

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    Hi Mark. Thanks for the posting. As soon as I am able I will try and get hold of the book you recommended.

    Sweetpea. Many thanks for your posting and email. I did try and respond to the latter, however, the technology may have failed me! Either you will have two copies or non at all.

    As a new adherent to Permaculture I suppose I am a little susceptible to the hype. You are quite right, Sweetpea, in thinking that Permaculture is currently being offered-up as a “magic bullet”. Comments from Geof Lawton, such as “Permaculture is the only game in town”, and “”everything else looks like a dead end, literally, a dead end”, can have an influence!

    Following Permup’s posting, my head has entered such a period of indecision!!

    Sweetpea, please let me know if you received my email, if not I will try again.

    Many thanks for the help, and moral support,

    Peter
     
  14. frosty

    frosty Junior Member

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    Hi Peter

    Permaps post is "talking' from the point of view of a permaculture purist ......... we, like you are primarily goatkeepers but we keep our goats in a manner that applies Permaculture principals. That is we are much more sustainable than a non Permaculture goat operation but as goats are our main purpose we are not permacultur purists ...............

    maybe that is just a lot of waffle but hoping it helps !!!

    In regards to your answer to my previous post are you intending to milk the Boer goats for cheesemaking ? If so are you aware that a Boer goat will only give about 1 litre of milk ? dont know if they are available in France but the other South African breed the Kalahari reds sound even tougher and I believe give more milk

    We have British Alpines but are considering outcrossing to get more hybred vigor. Our main problem is the goats withstanding heat

    frosty
     
  15. PeterFD

    PeterFD Junior Member

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    Hi Frosty

    We currently have the white swiss saanen goats, renowned for they’re milk producing qualities. We just produce milk for the local dairy to transform into cheese. The cost of all the equipment to meet government regulations in prohibitively expensive and the goat cheese market has reach saturation point!

    Saanen’s, like most milking goats, have a very thin fat layer, which makes them susceptible to the cold, any chilly drafts and any changes in diet.

    Our general idea is to switch to Boer goats and move into the small, but constantly expanding, goat meat market. Initially, we had thought of crossing the Saanen females with a boer male to give a meatier goat with lots of extra milk for the babies. It’s apparently very important that boer kids are suckled from their mother and not fed on substitute (which currently happens with the Saanen kids).

    Essentially, Boer goats are a bit like Permaculture. Left to their own devices, they naturally adapt to their environment, the summer heat, the winter cold; they look after their kids and themselves with little intervention needed; and they accommodate themselves to whatever happens to be available to eat at that moment in time.

    So the general plan is Permaculture for food, Boer goats for meat and (hopefully) a small profit to invest.

    I’ve got a couple of 1kw wind turbine motors and some rota’s but need the plate to attach the rota’s to the motors. I’ve got the controllers to connect the output to a car/tractor battery so the possibility of going off-grid exists – although I suspect I’ll need some solar panels.

    Recently I got a copy of Kaki Hunter and Donald Kiffmeyers “Earthbag Building manual”, so building some form of structure, if only for storage, remains a possibility.

    The principle problems of time and money are the limiting factors so I’ve tried to put down a rough three-year plan.

    In France we have a small Permaculture Institute that has shown an interest in my project. However, I would have to find the time and money to do the Permaculture Certificate course first. After that, I may be able to get some woofers to help.

    Good luck with the Alpines, I know the breed – very similar to Saanen.

    Thanks for posting,

    Peter
     
  16. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    You can have woofers if you are organic. You don't have to have a pc course or even be doing permaculture at all.
     
  17. PeterFD

    PeterFD Junior Member

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    Hi pebble

    I don’t know the rules (if that’s the right word) for getting help from woofers. I was just commenting on the response I got from the Permaculture group in France.

    However, as a minimum, I would assume that you would need to provide food and accommodation, and probably the odd “outing” and some pocket money to help everyone feel that they were not simply being exploited.

    Secondly, you would need some organised plan to work too (hence the need for the PC course).

    Currently we’re in a position to provide neither. However, if all goes well, this time next year we should be able to offer some very interesting projects and all the necessary support.

    Thanks for the information,

    Peter
     

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