Permaculture Discovery Part II

See an ideal tropical paradise Permaculture design by one of Permaculture’s experts. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-uKzGaUmzg&feature=related

This one is by the co-founder of Permaculture, Bill Mollison. NYC is a lot less like Paradise and more like where we live. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNZxvgpUteQ&feature=related

Now for one by Bill Wilson, part of an 18 segment webinar series well worth watching if you have the interest and time. This one is about the suburbs, very related to the SFV. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yC9jagUMgI&feature=mfu_in_order&list=U

As a final piece related to growing the soil and Permaculture go here to see our country’s leading fungi expert Paul Stamets writing on Permaculture and mushrooms. http://www.fungi.com/mycotech/permaculture.html

Happy Permaculture Exploring.

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Permaculture Discovery Series Continues–What Fun!

What a wonderful bunch of people who came to my backyard as strangers and because of our mutual interest in caring for each other and the earth, came away as new friends. There is a new swale on the hill above my house and a berm ready for planting. It’s mostly in the shade so here is a short list of some of the plantings I’m considering for the berm and a photo of our merry band of earth lovers finding the contour with our homemade gizmo.


Bushes:
Serviceberries
Blackberries
Gooseberries
Raspberries
Low Plants:
Garlic chives
Onions
Argali
Bush Beans
Rhubarb
Herbs:
Coriander
Comfrey
Chamomile
Ginseng
Lemon Balm
Trees:
Mulberries
Filbert/hazelnut

On Feb. 13th we will gather again and I’ll be posting some new items for home work, meaning enlightenment that can begin at home. Diversity, one of the principles of Permaculture was evidenced in the mix of people in our yard. Some were already Permaculture trained, others had only heard about it days before. One was 7 years old and at least one in her 80’s. Everyone brought snacks to share..an entrenched form of sharing the surplus, one of the three main ethical principles of Permaculture.

Here is Toby Hemeway’s recipe for The Ultimate Bombproof Mulch I got mostly from his book, “Gaia’s Garden,” a must have.

The Ultimate Bombproof Sheet Mulch—Toby Hemenway, “Gaia’s Garden.

Wet each layer thoroughly. Soak sheets several times to insure water goes through to the ground. Don’t walk on the paper layer.

  1. A thin layer of high-nitrogen material, manure, blood or cottonseed meal fresh grass clippings or other lush greens or cast-off produce from restaurants or markets. If the ground is mostly clay, dig down with pitchfork and just move slightly in several places. Do not turn the dirt over.
  2. Newspaper or cardboard, in a continuous light blocking layer to smother existing plants. Overlap it and newspaper should be 1/8th to ½ inches thick.
  3. Another thin layer of manure to encourage worms.
  4. Bulk mulch—8-12 inches of hay, straw, yard waste, leaves, seaweed, stable sweepings, etc. Don’t worry about seeds in this layer, but mix browns with grass, or other fresh greens, about one part to four of total. Make this layer damp but not wet.
  5. An inch or two of compost or you can substitute plain soil.
  6. Two inches of weed free organic matter, e.g. fine bark, wood shavings for a finished look.

We’ll be doing a good bunch of sheet mulching in the yard of one of our participant’s. Nothing like hands-on to learn something for good. I meant that in every way. More to come soon. Stay tuned.

Running Fast in the Slow Lane

It’s been an amazing holiday season with great needs, great gifts and wonderful celebrations. I’m learning a lot about letting things happen as they will. Amazing I could get this far in life and not know how little control I have over events and timing that are part of my life. Still, I do know that life is precious, deep, full of love and joy and that I have a part to play in celebrating that on this gorgeous planet.

I’m growing Shiitake mushrooms on the kit my daughter-in-law’s sister gave me for a Chanukah gift. Say nothing of reading Paul Stamets’ wonderful tome, “Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms,” that were part of her gift. I’m obsessed with mushrooms and understand the author’s claim that they can save the world! Watch him here:

http://www.ted.com/talks/paul_stamets_on_6_ways_mushrooms_can_save_the_world.html

Want to try growing mushrooms at home? Here’s an article to help.

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/11/oyster-mushrooms-coffee.php

More fungi here later. Happy spawning.