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Posts Tagged ‘Teacher’

Permaculture design principles

…”The underlying theme of my lazy gardening post was that a lazy gardener spends most of her time designing the garden and less time actually working.

Well, funny enough, as I was yesterday browsing the internet for inspiration for designs of my permaculture garden(s), I found out that someone beat me to the punch. My lazy gardening principles aren’t as revolutionary as I’d like them to be. It has all been done before.

No biggy.

During my research, I’ve seen all these funny expressions being thrown around. Words like SADIMET, OBREDIMET, CEAP were being used. I’ve tried to dig deeper and look for a resource where all these words are explained in one place.

I was out of luck. So I decided to settle this once and for all and write a concise post, describing each of these in plain English. If you’re an organizational junkie (like me), you’ll like this post. If you’re not, just take what you find useful and run with it”…

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peakprosperity.com writes…

“Permaculture” is a word fast gaining adoption in (and beyond) the agricultural and gardening worlds. We see it mentioned fairly often here on PeakProsperity.com.

But what exactly does it mean?

When asked, many of our readers have a fuzzy sense, at best. So, we’ve asked one of the top experts in the permaculture field, Toby Hemenway, to provide an ‘everyman’s’ overview of the philosophy, science and best practices of the craft. His book, Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture has been the world’s best-selling permaculture book the past 8 years running.

At its essence, permaculture is about understanding and appreciating how systems naturally operate, and combining those systems in intelligent ways to accomplish intended goals, sustainably.

And while it’s mostly applied to food production and land management today, the principles of permaculture make just as much sense for our economic, energetic, social and other systems. Which is why we want to provide the Peak Prosperity audience with a solid grounding on the subject — as Chris and I plan to actively integrate much of it going forward into the “lens” we look through at this site…”

Source and Podcast

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ngm.nationalgeographic.com – National Geographic Society

Explore the world’s new coastlines if sea level rises 216 feet. The maps here show the world as it is now, with only one difference: All the ice on land has melted and drained into the sea, raising it 216 feet and creating new shorelines for our continents and inland seas.  There are more than five million cubic miles of ice on Earth, and some scientists say it would take more than 5,000 years to melt it all. If we continue adding carbon to the atmosphere, we’ll very likely create an ice-free planet, with an average temperature of perhaps 80 degrees Fahrenheit instead of the current 58.

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larrakia.csiro.au writes…

Traditional knowledge can tell us much about the ecology of northern Australia. CSIRO, as part of the Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge program, worked with six language groups – the Gooniyandi and Walmajarri from the Fitzroy River area in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, the Ngan’gi, Malakmalak and Wagiman from the Daly River region in the Northern Territory, and the Gulumoerrgin/Larrakia from the Darwin region – over five years to develop a series of calendars representing Aboriginal seasonal knowledge.

Gulumoerrgin (Larrakia) Seasons

 

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eartheasy.com writes…

“What’s in your soil?

In fact, half of the ideal loam consists of elements we don’t consider to be soil at all: water (25%) and air (25%).  But the solid components determine how much air and water the soil can hold.  Organic matter — humus (decaying plants) and soil organisms — may only account for about 5% of your garden soil.  The balance is mineral particles of varying size, including sand (largest), silt (finer), and clay (finest).  The more sand, the more air the soil will hold, but water will drain away too quickly if sand content is too high.  Silt and clay hold water more effectively, but too much and there may be no room for the air which is essential for root respiration and nutrient exchange.

And so, when we asses soil for gardening, we’re looking for an ideal balance of elements.

When sand, silt, clay, and humus are each present in roughly equivalent quantities, you have a good loam to bring a smile to any gardener’s face.  Once you discover what’s in a spade-full of your own dirt, you can choose to add various amendments to make conditions more hospitable for your garden’s intended occupants.  Or to take another approach, you can choose your plantings based on your soil.  Perennials and fruit trees like sandier (though still moist) soil, while many vegetables such as melons, squash, and brassicas including broccoli, cabbage, and brussels sprouts will do well in denser, wetter soil.  Talk to other local gardeners who may have similar soil.

How to get a good soil sample

Choose a representative spot in a garden bed or planned planting site.  You may wish to test a few different areas, as results can vary even within a small area.  Remove any plants and debris from the surface.  Use a shovel to remove a chunk of soil about 6-8 inches deep and set it aside.  Now you are ready to scoop your testing material into a container.  Insert your trowel vertically along the edges of the hole to obtain a cross-section of topsoil.  This is the crucial layer for most garden plants, especially annuals.  Mix up the resulting strips of soil until you have a fairly uniform substance.

Use your senses
Rub some dirt between your fingers and take a close look.  Is it gritty, crumbly, sticky, fluffy, silky?  You will begin to understand the texture and composition of your garden just by looking and touching.  Next, bring a handful near your face and take a deep breath.  How does it smell?  If your soil is fertile with an abundance of healthy microorganisms, it will smell pleasant and “earthy”.  Any offensive odor indicates your soil is putrefying with anaerobic bacteria and needs aerating — just like tender roots, the “good” bacteria need oxygen to thrive.

Test 1: Soil Composition

Trowel four inches of soil into a quart-sized glass mason jar.  Fill the jar with water up to the neck, tightly screw on the lid, and shake vigorously.  Now set the jar aside for at least 24 hours.  When you return the next day, the sample will have settled into visible layers showing the proportions of your soil components.  Sand goes quickly to the bottom, with silt just above, then clay, then organic matter.  Bits of undecomposed plant matter will float on top.  If the water is still opaque with dissolved clay, try leaving the jar in a dark place (to prevent algae growth) for a few more days.  Measure each layer.
soil_assessment02

 

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Mother earth news writes…

The following information is summarized from the introduction of The Root Development of Vegetable Cropswhich is available for free on the Holistic Agriculture Library website.

If you’re as much of a plant nerd as we are, prepare to get absorbed. John E. Weaver, an American botanist, prairie ecologist and Professor at the University of Nebraska, completed a massive project in the year ofOnion Maturing 1927. With the help of his team of assistants, Weaver meticulously illustrated the root development of 34 popular vegetable crops (see the illustration of mature onion roots, right). In the massive undertaking that was partly botanical and partly archeological, Weaver and his team dug trenches approximately 5 feet deep to study the plant’s root systems from the side. The five-foot-deep trench created a big enough expanse onto which the scientists could slowly chisel with hand picks and ice picks to uncover and carefully examine the vegetable’s complicated root systems.

This painstaking work required much patience and expertise. The plants were studied and illustrated at multiple stages of growth in order to best represent general, long-term root habits. Every plant studied was grown in sets of at least three. This was done so that an excavation performed at two weeks of growth would not affect the results of an excavation performed after six weeks or two months. Every set of fragile roots was left undisturbed until it was time to dig.

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[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4J9sWEZR6E]

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