[permaculture] Progressive Limitations

Fred Gerendasy fred at cookingupastory.com
Sun Jun 5 17:37:43 EDT 2011


This video may be of interest to those in this group, and that happen  
to relate to this discussion: Urban Fruit Gleaning

Fred Gerendasy
Cooking Up a Story
On Jun 5, 2011, at 1:03 PM, Evan wrote:

> I really appreciate this message. I think it hits to a core of my  
> thoughts concerning how I've seen permaculture and organic gardening  
> approached in suburban and urban environments. As I've moved to a  
> rural area, it's required me to think a lot about the things that in  
> the city are just readily available -- leaves, woodchips, composts,  
> produce scraps, etc. I feel like most of the urban folks I know are  
> pretty locked into relying on these inputs, and I don't blame them.  
> I fill my truck up with biomass -- manures, sawdusts, woodchips --  
> whenever I can to bring home. But I also think a good deal about how  
> to gather my own mulches and build soil without inputs. Heck, I  
> can't even manage a compost pile because I have so few kitchen  
> scraps (well, there's a humanure pile, but that might not be ready  
> for a couple of years).
>
> Lately I've been scything hay for mulch in the garden, gathering  
> pine straw from beneath the white pines, trucking in sawdust from a  
> horse-logging job not far from here, and hoping to score an  
> abandoned wood chip pile around the corner. If I relied on the mulch  
> yard and the $20/yard hardwood mulch, I'd be broke so fast.
>
> My future mulches will probably involve lots of Rubus canes and leaf  
> litter deposits, some from logs I'll lay down with the intent of  
> catching leaves....
>
> Evan
>
> On Jun 5, 2011, at 10:13 AM, Dan Halsey, 612-720-5001 Halsey1.com  
> wrote:
>
>> I think gleaning is great. Harvesting the forgotten assets helps  
>> the plants
>> too. Gorilla gardening and clandestine operations in hidden spaces  
>> is a
>> resource few pursue. I also think that such things are short lived  
>> in a
>> resource poor economy which we may enter gradually. Locally the "fee"
>> woodchip market has dried up due to subsidies to garbage burning  
>> pants to
>> use renewable resources. They are paid to burn the organic material  
>> we need
>> for soil building. Sad. Also compost is getting more expensive and  
>> after a
>> hundred more community gardens have sprung up, the standard for  
>> soil is
>> fresh compost, not natural soils enhanced by organic matter grown  
>> on-site.
>>
>> As gleaning is popularized, community gardens extend, and  
>> populations move
>> to increase their natural capital, I think we shall see a shortage  
>> of all
>> the things we have come to take for granted including, raw organic
>> materials, water, space, and  vacant urban land.
>>
>> We need to overtly integrate ourselves locally and socially with the
>> neighborhoods that will inevitably need experience. Develop the  
>> systems now
>> in the mid-block yards of property owners in common garden  
>> communities, and
>> they will be established and appreciated even before an urgent need
>> develops.
>>
>> Daniel Halsey
>> SouthWoods Forest Gardens
>> 17766 Langford Blvd
>> Prior Lake, MN 55372
>>
>> 612-720-5001
>> Southwoodscenter.com
>> Southwoodsforestgardens.blogspot.com
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
>> [mailto:permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org]On Behalf Of
>> permaculture-request at lists.ibiblio.org
>> Sent: Saturday, June 04, 2011 11:01 AM
>> To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
>> Subject: permaculture Digest, Vol 101, Issue 3
>>
>>
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>> Today's Topics:
>>
>>  1. Re: (Sub)urban Permaculture Elements (Jason Gerhardt)
>>  2. Re: (Sub)urban permaculture (jenny Nazak)
>>
>>
>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 1
>> Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2011 11:22:16 -0600
>> From: Jason Gerhardt <jasongerhardt at gmail.com>
>> Subject: Re: [permaculture] (Sub)urban Permaculture Elements
>> To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
>> Message-ID: <BANLkTi=25UJVG7R9JymL7AVzCeiMpM3=zg at mail.gmail.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
>>
>> Bob, Glenn, all,
>> I am one such urban resident who works in the rural lands to  
>> regenerate the
>> potential of the larger landscapes. However, as an urban resident I  
>> tend to
>> think in terms of bioregional zones of use about my food supply.  
>> Out my door
>> in my zone 1 of concrete and asphalt gridiron on top of which I  
>> have a
>> significant potted garden growing my micronutrient and vegetable  
>> base in the
>> form of greens, salads of various types, cabbage, broccoli/cauli,  
>> summer
>> fruits, figs, culinary herbs, etc. I can walk outside and eat an  
>> instant
>> salad at anytime. I also guerilla garden various patches of  
>> abandoned land
>> in my neighborhood where I grow beans and have larger compost  
>> setups. In the
>> neighborhoods surrounding mine (nearly the rest of the town) I  
>> glean plums,
>> apples, apricots, grapes, seeds of rare plants, and scionwood from  
>> the bones
>> leftover of the agricultural traditions that once existed within city
>> limits, as well as clients forest gardens. This I consider my zone 2.
>> Outside of city limits I work on several properties implementing
>> permaculture design for broadacre agriculture by doing just what  
>> you suggest
>> in the form of water harvesting earthworks, orchard systems,  
>> animals, and
>> polycultural cereal grain production (very small scale). This is my  
>> zone 3.
>> Beyond that are the larger produce farms that bring food to the  
>> farmer's
>> market where I get things like melons, pickling vege, tomatoes for  
>> canning,
>> and loads of winter squash for storage. That is my zone 4. I also  
>> spend
>> sometime in the higher mountains in my bioregional zone 5 where I  
>> forage for
>> morel and porcini mushrooms, seeds of native plants, potherbs, wild  
>> berries,
>> etc. Even with all this (though it could be ramped up a  
>> hundredfold) I still
>> regularly walk two blocks to the natural food store where I  
>> participate in
>> the global food chain for perhaps the bulk of my caloric needs,  
>> though that
>> gets less and less as time goes on.
>>
>> I think if we intensively apply zonation to our bioregions we will  
>> get a lot
>> better at feeding ourselves locally which will halt the expansion of
>> inappropriate farmland and allow for the repair and restoration of  
>> some
>> farmland to mixed native ecosystems and regenerative agriculture.
>>
>> The amount of food that once came from within the limits of most  
>> cities and
>> towns is massive compared to what it is now. As an example, in the  
>> early
>> 1900's Boulder County Colorado was an exporter of fruits, whereas  
>> now we
>> import nearly all of our fruit from around the world or the Western  
>> Slope of
>> Colorado. Things change quickly it would seem. I think it is really  
>> easy to
>> produce vegetables on the home scale and that large scale produce  
>> farming
>> could be made nearly obsolete if we had a revolution of home  
>> gardening using
>> permaculture techniques. It makes a lot of sense that the larger  
>> local
>> acreages should be focusing on protein and calorie production  
>> rather than
>> produce. I think the work of Darren Doherty's RegenAg is perhaps  
>> the most
>> promising initiative for this work.
>>
>> As a past produce market farmer, in arid lands of the western US
>> particularly, I have to say I don't wish that way of agriculture on  
>> anyone.
>> Keeping up with the bugs, watering, super weeds, etc. just sucks.  
>> I'd rather
>> educate every city dweller to grow their own salads. It makes so  
>> much more
>> sense on a backyard scale where things like mulch and micro water  
>> harvesting
>> can be employed.
>>
>> In my experience, there a challenges to doing permaculture in both  
>> rural and
>> urban/suburban environments (mostly the social structures). I think  
>> both
>> need it equally and instead of choosing one over the other we  
>> should go with
>> what makes sense.  To me using zones to design our food supply  
>> lines is just
>> common sense, and it is zones that will determine where things  
>> should go and
>> where the focus should be set.
>>
>> Jason
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 2
>> Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2011 18:29:49 -0500
>> From: jenny Nazak <jnazak at yahoo.com>
>> Subject: Re: [permaculture] (Sub)urban permaculture
>> To: "permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org" <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
>> Cc: "permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org" <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
>> Message-ID: <13D14C59-9499-461E-B514-710D3DC3B28E at yahoo.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain;	charset=us-ascii
>>
>> What an excellent thread! I grew up in the suburbs, have been a  
>> gung-ho
>> city-rat all my adult life. And in the past few years have had many
>> enjoyable, fruitful experiences along the lines of what Glenn  
>> describes.
>>
>> Most recently, I spent a couple of months on a friend's farm,  
>> helping out
>> with sign-painting, marketing, cooking, and what I call  
>> "permaculture home
>> ec": using permaculture principles to improve the design of household
>> processes such as dishwashing, laundry, cooking, cleanup etc.
>>
>> In exchange for doing work I love, and having that work be very much
>> appreciated, I got beautiful rustic sleeping quarters and all the  
>> fresh
>> vegetables, eggs, pork, milk, and other wonderful local food I  
>> could eat. I
>> also had enough time to fulfill my responsibilities as public- 
>> relations
>> coordinator of a permaculture guild (an occupation I am able to do  
>> almost
>> entirely online and by phone).
>>
>> And my hosts were happy to let me hold my solar-cooking workshops  
>> at the
>> farm. (BTW I timed the workshops to make it easy for my students to  
>> shop at
>> the farm stand during its regular business hours.)
>>
>> A huge win-win, all in all, I would say!
>>
>>> From what I can see, such opportunities abound. I have stayed on  
>>> many farms
>> and ranches over the years, and they all had one thing in common:  
>> They were
>> short-handed. They needed more HUMANS!
>>
>> Being small businesses and cash-strapped, family farms and ranches  
>> are good
>> places to find work-trade opportunities.
>>
>> City-rat though I may be, I've gotten to participate in planting,
>> harvesting, butchering, marketing, and many other aspects of  
>> farming over
>> the years. All without having (or wanting) any land of my own.
>>
>> As a bonus: The friends' farm I stayed at recently, was located on  
>> a city
>> bus line with frequent service!
>>
>> Jenny
>>
>> Jenny Nazak
>> A semi-nomadic permaculture factotum
>> Based mainly in Ormond-By-the-Sea, FL, and Austin, TX
>>
>> Glenn wrote:
>>
>> "With patience and persistence you can find ways to partner with some
>> homesteaders and fearless, curious, or generous farmers, and become  
>> a farmer
>> yourself -- city dweller, with no land, no barn, no tractor, but a  
>> stake in
>> the business.  Picture helping with fencing, or buying a few sheep to
>> supplement a cow herd, planting black beans or wheat "
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
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>
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