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Nerding out over permaculture

Discussion in 'THC Entrepreneurs' started by ls369, Aug 11, 2018.

  1. ls369

    ls369 New Member

    Apr 20, 2018
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    That Gordon White episode was so good I listened to it twice then dove into permaculture research. I'm planning to buy a house in a few years and this is totally something I want to do. Look up food forests, how fucking cool is this?!

    This video made me realize you can get a ton of produce out of a regular suburban yard once you dedicate a few years to fixing the soil and planning how to use the space. I thought I would need a few acres, but even a 1/4 acre can produce a ton of food. Has anyone tried this sort of thing themselves? How did it work out?
  2. genxgemini

    genxgemini Active Member

    Mar 15, 2018
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    *waves hello
    Soooooo fuckin' cool, man!
    ls369 likes this.
  3. shamangineer

    shamangineer Well-Known Member

    Nov 10, 2015
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    Permaculture is awesome, and that dude has a great food forest. I plan on using a mix of permaculture and biodynamic techniques once I have some land.

    Greening the Desert with Geoff Lawton:
    ls369 and (deleted member) like this.
  4. shamangineer

    shamangineer Well-Known Member

    Nov 10, 2015
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    Full Lesson: Gardening the biodynamic way
    ttsoares, ls369 and (deleted member) like this.
  5. ttsoares

    ttsoares Member

    Nov 8, 2018
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    #5 ttsoares, Nov 14, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018
  6. enjoypolo

    enjoypolo Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jun 17, 2016
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    I'm digging this thread up to share some tips I learned recently.

    My philosophy is that if you take care of the soil, and the soil will take care of the plants. Hence, it's important to know what makes soil fertile and what goes against it. Regarding the former, two things come to my mind: living organisms and bio-diversity. The more living beings reside in your soil: from bacteria, fungi, micro-organisms, insects, worms, the more it will contribute to a healthy, resilient eco-system. We should not under-estimate this point.

    It goes without saying that what makes you function properly and healthily, also applies to plants, insect and animals. Things like Moisture content (water) or pH (level of acidity) are things to keep an eye on. Again, as above so below: you feel thirsty, you drink water. It's too acid (low pH), you add lime, or wood ash (high ph/alkaline). It's sometimes tricky to assess the situation, but a good tip is smell. if it smells bad, something's gone sour (literally, acidic).

    I grew up believing that to make soil fertile, you first had to plow through it, rake it and weed out all the non-essential plants. Now, I'm more inclined to think in the opposite way by leaving the soil alone, so as to create as little damage as possible. Which brings me to this next method:

    No-Till Cardboard method

    The principle behind this method is simple: instead of digging in soil, we build on-top of soil by adding organic materials on top which will slowly decompose with the help of micro-organisms/insects, and progressively heal the soil beneath. The lasagna method as it's called, consists of layering (from bottom to top):

    - Cardboard (wet or you can add water later). Dig a hole thru the cardboard to plant your seed (or transplant your potted one)
    - manure: leave 5cm gap around plants.
    - compost : on top of manure, don't cover the plants. It's good to add 4-6 inches. This will be the foundation for your plants to grow,
    - mulch: straw or woodchips: around the plant, this helps absorb and preserve moisture and nutrients.

    The great thing about this method, is that you literally don't need to dig into soil, or very little (except for when you make holes to plant). Weeds will wither and die, and Worms, fungi and other MO simply start residing underneath all that goodness (cardboard provides a great home and food source for worms, whose castings are awesome for plants). and voila!

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    It's also great because there's always cardboard laying around the house, or the neighborhood (think Amazon packages). Just make sure you got all tapes and plastics off first. Some will complain about the color inks, and yes no-ink is better, but I don't think it's that big of an issue personally.

    Planning on using this method soon to get a garden started in my building. Last but not least, working with soil and nature in general, requires long-term thinking and patience. Don't expect your soil to become a food-forest right away. It may take a few years before it really makes a difference. But I suspect you'll be saving yourself a lot of time and hassle by building on top of soil, instead of scarifying/traumatizing the soil life by tilling and all that.

    Leave any comments or feedback below, I'm not expert but I figure these tips may be helpful now more than ever :)

    PS: Below is a chart about companion planting (many plants work in symbiosis with others, including flowers and trees) so I've been using this to plan my designs

    PS2: If you're curious and want to learn more, I recommend this site which features a huge library of books, including on biodynamic, permaculture, rainwater harvesting, and pretty much anything (including more esoteric ones, like Schauberger, Walter Russell): https://b-ok.cc/

    Attached Files:

    #6 enjoypolo, Mar 22, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2020