[permaculture] permaculture Digest, Vol 40, Issue 39

Maureen Sutton suttonmaureen at hotmail.com
Wed May 31 05:55:07 EDT 2006


I'm in sand, so double-digging is not my issue.  But as I read about it, I'm 
wondering why humusy stuff is not added while the double digging happens.  
Won't the clay eventually settle back as it was?  Why go to all that trouble 
and not amend at the same time?
Just some thoughts from the Sandhills of NC.

Maureen

>From: permaculture-request at lists.ibiblio.org
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>To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
>Subject: permaculture Digest, Vol 40, Issue 39
>Date: Wed, 31 May 2006 04:05:09 -0400
>
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>Today's Topics:
>
>    1. Re: keeping cool (Niels Corfield)
>    2. the double-digging issue (robscott at freeshell.org)
>    3. Re: ||Double-Digging - NOT (Don)
>    4. Re: Global Food Supply Near the Breaking Point ||
>       Double-Digging and John Jeavons' methods and books
>       (Lawrence F. London, Jr.)
>    5. Re: keeping cool (Robert Waldrop)
>    6. Re: Multiple digging without so much work. (Keith Johnson)
>    7. Re: Multiple digging without so much work. (Loren Davidson)
>    8. Re: keeping cool (Marimike6 at cs.com)
>    9. Re: keeping cool (Lawrence F. London, Jr.)
>
>
>----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>Message: 1
>Date: Wed, 31 May 2006 00:55:26 +0100
>From: Niels Corfield <mudguard at gmail.com>
>Subject: Re: [permaculture] keeping cool
>To: evansdk at earthlink.net,	permaculture
>	<permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
>Message-ID: <447CDB6E.5080509 at gmail.com>
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
>
>Simple answer is to plant trees or deciduous vines that shade the south
>facing aspect of your house.
>More specifically you should design with shade and plants.
>
>It is just this kind of issue that it is worth taking a course to resolve.
>Most people don't really have clear design goals when taking a course
>but you will, if you haven't already look into a Permaculture Design
>Course or an Intro to Permaculture. Though the former would be more
>thorough and you could use the resource of the teacher and the course,
>and support of the other students, to design a solution to your problem
>of seasonal temps/dwellings and get all sorts of other advantageous
>outputs like: food and fuel.
>
>It will not be a "quick" fix but it will be a good one, and it will be
>yours. That said some trees (e.g. Red alder) and vines will give shade
>in the second season, depending how close and how densely planted.
>
>Another design option is to create a trellis structure/arbour or
>shade-house outside, one that could have vines grow over it later but
>you would cover with palm leaves, tree branches, or any other material
>or fabric available.
>It really doesn't have to be anything grand. perhaps just some timbers
>leaned against your house, fixed to the wall and buried in the ground.
>
>Then when it rains you go indoors, or plant vine seeds/cuttings around
>your shade house.
>And in the winter your trees get planted.
>
>Some books show dwelling design examples that incorporate shade houses.
>Mollison's Intro to Permaculture
>http://www.fetchbook.info/compare.do?search=0908228082
>
>But again a design course is what really unlocks the door the box of
>delights.
>
>Allthebest,
>Niels
>http://del.icio.us/entrailer
>http://nocompost.blogspot.com/
>http://www.flickr.com/photos/65387153@N00/
>
>
>
>Kathy Evans wrote:
>
> >Hello all, Kathy in Missouri, new to the list, thanks for the welcome
> >earlier. I am trying to reduce my "energy footprint" but I turn into 
>wilted
> >lettuce when it's hot and humid not to mention I get very cranky. I would
> >like ideas for keeping the house cooler without a/c, given that I can't
> >afford to install new equipment at the moment, and/or for keeping myself
> >cool. I work at home. I take many brief cool showers. I've heard of 
>putting
> >a bowl of ice in front of a fan but haven't tried it.       Thanks, Kathy
> >
> >_______________________________________________
> >permaculture mailing list
> >permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> >http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
> >
> >
> >
>
>
>------------------------------
>
>Message: 2
>Date: Wed, 31 May 2006 00:33:21 +0000 (UTC)
>From: "robscott at freeshell.org" <robscott at freeshell.org>
>Subject: [permaculture] the double-digging issue
>To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
>Message-ID: <Pine.NEB.4.62.0605310007210.19774 at sdf.lonestar.org>
>Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed
>
>
>I took the Grow Biointensive Introductory Course with John Jeavons this
>spring. Having become familiar with the hearsay about the double-digging
>method, I wanted to hear Jeavons make the case for it himself. I was
>impressed by the thoroughness of the research they've done out there in
>Willits, California, as well as other places such as Mexico and Kenya.
>
>The Biointensive system is designed to meet human needs on the smallest
>piece of land with minimal or no inputs. That's why annual vegetables and
>double digging (on-site human labor) are emphasized. They grow crops for
>calories and carbon (for compost) and aim for self-reliance with minimal
>input.
>
>The double-digging makes sense where there are old, deep, clay soils. In
>these areas, crop growth can be severely limited by lack of oxygen to the
>roots, and double digging ensures that any area can become productive
>right away by improving drainage.
>
>Here in Illinois, there are more than 10 million acres with drainage pipes
>installed to create the same effect in America's agricultural heartland.
>Most of America's corn, soy, and wheat comes from fields with deep
>drainage, comparable to double dug beds. What Jeavons did is develop a
>small scale system for communities, and kept track of what worked and what
>didn't, so that people with limited land and clay soil could have a hope
>for self reliance in vegetables using simple tools, seed-saving, and
>compost. As he said to me: if you can get better results without double
>digging in your area, do a comparison and let's publish the data.
>
>Areas with less than 10" of soils don't really count against this
>system, Mitch, because they don't have deep anaerobic soil dynamics. Rock
>isn't soil. The design principle, if you will, is getting oxygen to plant
>roots, not only water. In some areas this won't be a major issue. Sandy
>soils, for instance. The issue is oxygen. Double-digging is just one
>method.
>
>Rob
>Urbana, IL
>
>
>
>
>------------------------------
>
>Message: 3
>Date: Tue, 30 May 2006 17:42:27 -0700
>From: "Don" <ujgs at 4dirs.com>
>Subject: Re: [permaculture] ||Double-Digging - NOT
>To: "permaculture" <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
>Message-ID: <01f301c6844b$17c09af0$0201a8c0 at dons>
>Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed; charset="iso-8859-1";
>	reply-type=original
>
>Hey Folks,
>I have heavy clay soils here in Mesa,AZ and I used to dig twice a year to
>prep for the spring and fall.
>Now I do NOT dig...I tickle the surface enouth to prep for seeds and that's
>it.
>
>I "Do no harm" to the living organisms and the biodiverse system that does
>the work for me...I replace the compost, plant worms, spray EM's, and use
>boards to stay off the soil and limit compaction. This allows the soil
>organisms to do the work for me "I can sit on the patio couch (mollison
>technique) knowing I set up the system to be more sustainable"
>
>My veggie bed is raised 6 inches, 20x20, spray irrigation (to volitate the
>chlorine from my tap water), org fert w/ em's, and then rotate the chickens
>in the bed!!!
>
>My seeds come up the same, my yields are the same and my Chiropractor gets
>less $$$.
>
>Don Titmus, Four Directions PermaCulture.
>Mesa, AZ.
>
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "E. E. Mitchamore Jr" <emitch at att.net>
>To: "permaculture" <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
>Sent: Tuesday, May 30, 2006 2:46 PM
>Subject: Re: [permaculture] Global Food Supply Near the Breaking Point
>||Double-Digging and John Jeavons' methods and books
>
>
> > Three comments about double-digging:
> >
> > 1) My soil is single-dig deep (then rock).
> > 2) In the absence of mechanical disturbance (introducing air) there is
> > little nutrient-producing biological activity below a foot of depth.  
>Thus
> > it's not very "natural".
> > 3) It's HARD WORK!
> >
> > So, if Jeavons' concepts are based on double-digging, it's not for me.
> >
> > E. E. "Mitch" Mitchamore
> > www.hillcountrynatives.biz
> >  ----- Original Message -----
> >  From: Lawrence F. London, Jr.
> >  To: permaculture
> >  Sent: Tuesday, May 30, 2006 1:40 PM
> >  Subject: Re: [permaculture] Global Food Supply Near the Breaking Point 
>||
> > Double-Digging and John Jeavons' methods and books
> >
> >
> >
> >  Double digging a garden plot may be the best way to improve soil 
>without
> > using
> >  any power equipment. Alan Chadwick and John Jeavons developed the 
>method
> >  and popularized it through lectures, workshops and publications. This
> > method
> >  began being widely used during the 1960's-1980's as many companies
> > marketed
> >  imported English-style garden tools that worked best when using this
> > gardening method.
> >  The basic array included short D-handled tools such as a digging spade
> > (straight point),
> >  a digging fork and a spade fork. You could do it all with these three
> > tools. A rake,
> >  garden spade, pitchfork or compost fork and manure fork or potato 
>digger
> > were also used.
> >
> >  A few references:
> >
> >  Ecology Action
> >  http://www.growbiointensive.org/biointensive/GROW-BIOINTENSIVE.html
> >  Jeavons' Books, Seeds and More:
> >  http://www.bountifulgardens.org/
> >  John Jeavons' books:
> >  "How To Grow More Vegetables That You Thought Possible On Less Land 
>Than
> > You Can Imagine"
> >  New 6th Edition
> >  http://www.growbiointensive.org/biointensive/book.html
> >
> >  Alan Chadwick lectures
> >  http://www.ibiblio.org/ecolandtech/orgfarm/permaculture/Alan.Chadwick/
> >
> >  Gardening Hand Tool SOurcelist
> >  http://market-farming.com/gardening-hand-tools.faq
> >
> >
> >
> >  _______________________________________________
> >  permaculture mailing list
> >  permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> >  http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
> > _______________________________________________
> > permaculture mailing list
> > permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> > http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
> >
>
>
>
>------------------------------
>
>Message: 4
>Date: Tue, 30 May 2006 21:08:26 -0400
>From: "Lawrence F. London, Jr." <lfl at intrex.net>
>Subject: Re: [permaculture] Global Food Supply Near the Breaking Point
>	|| Double-Digging and John Jeavons' methods and books
>To: "E. E. Mitchamore Jr" <emitch at att.net>,	permaculture
>	<permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
>Message-ID: <447CEC8A.2020308 at intrex.net>
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii; format=flowed
>
>E. E. Mitchamore Jr wrote:
>
> > Three comments about double-digging:
> >
> > 1) My soil is single-dig deep (then rock).
> > 2) In the absence of mechanical disturbance (introducing air) there is 
>little nutrient-producing biological activity below a foot of depth.  Thus 
>it's not very "natural".
> > 3) It's HARD WORK!
> >
> > So, if Jeavons' concepts are based on double-digging, it's not for me.
>
>He co-authored a book just for you: "Lazy Bed Gardening".
>Above-ground containerized raised beds will work fine.
>Get some free rock dust from a local quarry and mix it with manures and 
>compost;
>add also greensand, azomite, rock phosphate, high calcium limestone, 
>aragonits,
>blood meal, kelp meal, alfalfa meal. Work your soil as deep as you can then 
>segment off your individual garden plots and
>build masonry walls around them two feet tall. Add the above materials, mix 
>well, plant and water. Build tranlucent
>covers of nontoxic pressure treated lumber and sheets of polycarbonate to 
>extend your growing season into cold weather.
>
>LL
>
>
>
>------------------------------
>
>Message: 5
>Date: Tue, 30 May 2006 20:25:44 -0500
>From: "Robert Waldrop" <bwaldrop at cox.net>
>Subject: Re: [permaculture] keeping cool
>To: <evansdk at earthlink.net>,	"permaculture"
>	<permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
>Message-ID: <03ec01c68451$23991450$5c960c44 at bobcomputer>
>Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed; charset="iso-8859-1";
>	reply-type=original
>
>I live in Oklahoma City and this is our sixth
>summer without air conditioning in our central
>city home.  Here is a link to an essay I wrote
>describing how we manage to keep cool and
>comfortable without AC.
>
>http://www.energyconservationinfo.org/noacok.htm
>
>Bob Waldrop, OKC
>
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Kathy Evans" <evansdk at earthlink.net>
> > Hello all, Kathy in Missouri, new to the list,
> > thanks for the welcome
> > earlier. I am trying to reduce my "energy
> > footprint" but I turn into wilted
> > lettuce when it's hot and humid not to mention I
> > get very cranky. I would
> > like ideas for keeping the house cooler without
> > a/c, given that I can't
> > afford to install new equipment at the moment,
> > and/or for keeping myself
> > cool. I work at home. I take many brief cool
> > showers. I've heard of putting
> > a bowl of ice in front of a fan but haven't
> > tried it.       Thanks, Kathy
> >
>
>
>------------------------------
>
>Message: 6
>Date: Tue, 30 May 2006 21:50:58 -0400
>From: Keith Johnson <keithdj at mindspring.com>
>Subject: Re: [permaculture] Multiple digging without so much work.
>To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
>Message-ID: <447CF682.6080507 at mindspring.com>
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>
>Jeavon's book entered my gardening library 31 years ago. Ruth Stout's
>mulch books were my first. I did them both....a lot.... and now for the
>last 20 years I don't double dig, or even dig, if I can avoid it. I'm
>starting another home garden on a new site with very heavy clay (the
>kind you can roll into a pencil....very quickly...it wants to be a
>wetland or pond). At the age of 53, having previously personally bodily
>moved thousands and thousands of tons of rock, soil, mulch, gravel,
>compost, and more, I am electing to not dig once again. No need to work
>hard to produce the amount I have time to attend to. I rely heavily on
>perennials. I harvest my lawn and shrubbery and trees for mulch and
>glean the neighborhood for additional input. Salads are easy and so many
>things (like perennials) are next to effortless to grow. I could double
>dig. I still have the stamina and even, occasionally, time to do
>it....but I'm not likely to do so.  If I were trying to set some kind of
>local record for production, I might aerate the soil a little more. But
>I don't grow mostly annual vegetables (which prefer bacterially
>dominated soils...perens prefer fungal domination...kinky, eh?). I end
>up challenging most of my annuals to tolerate  higher levels of fungal
>soil since I have so many perennials. I save seed and find that open
>pollinated types can "learn" to thrive in many soil types as long as
>there is enough decomposing litter (and sometimes minerals) for them.
>With mulch I find that "pests" like voles, moles, etc, do an excellent
>job of "multiple digging", then the worms, millipedes, and pillbugs do
>their jobs of converting carbon, so I don't have to compost. Turns
>several problems into a solution. I'm quite fond of hugelkultur, too
>(which can also can yield a lovely compost for seedling mix).
>
>Keith
>
>Lawrence F. London, Jr. wrote:
>
> >Charles de Matas wrote:
> >
> >
> >>   Any idea why the indifference to double digging?  I am giving it a 
>try,
> >>to help with my compacted soil.  I double dug a small area some months 
>ago
> >>and am now waiting for some rain to plant in it.  It may not necessarily 
>be
> >>more labour intensive than non-digging methods. It can be done on a 
>small
> >>scale in zone 1 near the house.  If it produces more yield per sq. m. 
>and
> >>reduces need for water it may actually save labour (at least that's the
> >>theory).
> >>
> >>
> >
> >Double digging a garden plot may be the best way to improve soil without 
>using
> >any power equipment.
> >
>
>--
>Keith Johnson
>Permaculture Activist Magazine
>PO Box 5516
>Bloomington, IN 47408
>(812) 335-0383
>http://www.permacultureactivist.net
>also Patterns for Abundance Design & Consulting
>
>
>-------------- next part --------------
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>------------------------------
>
>Message: 7
>Date: Tue, 30 May 2006 19:26:08 -0700
>From: Loren Davidson <listmail at lorendavidson.com>
>Subject: Re: [permaculture] Multiple digging without so much work.
>To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
>Message-ID: <a06230500c0a2ad65a78f@[192.168.0.102]>
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed"
>
>At 9:50 PM -0400 5/30/06, Keith Johnson wrote:
> >Jeavon's book entered my gardening library 31 years ago. Ruth
> >Stout's mulch books were my first. I did them both....a lot.... and
> >now for the last 20 years I don't double dig, or even dig, if I can
> >avoid it.
>
>I'm with Keith on this.
>
>I've done my share of double-digging in the past. Somewhere along the
>line, I think I figured out why the Brits call this "bastard
>trenching." :)
>
>These days, unless I'm planting something like a tree or shrub, I
>don't dig. I try to follow the Pc principle of "letting Nature do the
>work.) For a quickie garden bed, I'll put down a layer of cardboard
>or newspaper, cover with several inches of compost, and just plant my
>seeds or transplants into the compost. I'll usually make a cut in the
>paper/cardboard below each plant. When I have time to plan ahead,
>I'll build a sheet mulch bed, let it rot for 3-6 months, and then
>plant into that. I like Toby's sheet mulch recipe from _Gaia's
>Garden_; it really *is* bulletproof.
>
>If I'm planting into heavy clay, I usually fork into the soil before
>layering stuff on top of it, just to provide some starter holes for
>roots. I don't dig, I don't turn or lift the soil with the spading
>fork; I just wiggle it into the ground with my weight on it and pull
>it out again. Once I've done this, I let the plant roots and the
>worms and other detritivores start mixing my layers of stuff with the
>underlying soil.
>
>Now if only I had a no-dig solution for my shrubs and trees...
>
>Loren
>--
>Loren Davidson		listmail at lorendavidson.com
>Music with tropical attitude - http://www.lorendavidson.com
>"There's just too much to see waiting in front of me, and I know
>that I can't go wrong" - J. Buffett
>
>
>------------------------------
>
>Message: 8
>Date: Wed, 31 May 2006 03:01:03 EDT
>From: Marimike6 at cs.com
>Subject: Re: [permaculture] keeping cool
>To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
>Message-ID: <3de.3b45915.31ae992f at cs.com>
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"
>
>Prevailing breezes above roof level are frequently as much as 15-20 degrees
>cooler than ground level air. In Pakistan for the past 3,000 years people 
>have
>put tall vents atop their homes, with the openings angled toward the
>prevailing winds. That way when it gets to be 120 degrees outside, a 
>cooling 100 degree
>breeze can circulate down the shaft and into the home.
>
>
>------------------------------
>
>Message: 9
>Date: Wed, 31 May 2006 04:05:01 -0400
>From: "Lawrence F. London, Jr." <lfl at intrex.net>
>Subject: Re: [permaculture] keeping cool
>To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
>Message-ID: <447D4E2D.301 at intrex.net>
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii; format=flowed
>
>Marimike6 at cs.com wrote:
>
> > Prevailing breezes above roof level are frequently as much as 15-20 
>degrees
> > cooler than ground level air. In Pakistan for the past 3,000 years 
>people have
> > put tall vents atop their homes, with the openings angled toward the
> > prevailing winds. That way when it gets to be 120 degrees outside, a 
>cooling 100 degree
> > breeze can circulate down the shaft and into the home.
>
>Passive cooling has been around forever in the Middle East, perhaps even 
>before the Islamic Moors of
>North Africa (or were they originally from the middle 
>east/Mediterranean/breadbasket area?) colonized Southern Spain,
>built the Alhambra and started the first university and the first library 
>while many of our ancestors were running
>around in bearskins proving Darwin's theories and, no doubt, brought solar 
>cooling to the West as well.
>
>They build masonry solar chimneys between a large domed cistern and a 
>multi-storied dwelling. The chimnet has openings
>near the top with metal plates mounted vertically and set back from the 
>opening. The sun heats the plate and causes
>convection currents in the tower. This pulls cool damp air from the cistern 
>into the dwelling, up throug the floors to
>finally exit through a wall back into the chimney and out the top.
>
>
>
>------------------------------
>
>_______________________________________________
>permaculture mailing list
>permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
>http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
>
>
>End of permaculture Digest, Vol 40, Issue 39
>********************************************





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