[permaculture] Updating my PC Compost & Soils PresentationsandHand-outs - Oxygen-Ethylene Cycle

steveread steveread at free.fr
Thu Jun 5 09:28:03 EDT 2008



My pleasure Dick


on s similar subject, is there a coprehensive PmC'ish book list anywhere? if not we could compile one using the forum.



  
Kenavo, 


Steve

Directeur de     l  'Université Populaire de Permaculture
Biographie     (SteveR) http://permacultureinstitute.pbwiki.com/

 
2008-06-0515:26:47 

Re: [permaculture] Updating my PC Compost & Soils PresentationsandHand-outs - Oxygen-Ethylene Cycle
To Steveread, et.al.,

Thanks for the great reference to Widdowson's book. My local library had a
copy and it is super - to the point, carefully but simply explained, a great
compendium of natural farming and the unbelievable amount/depth of soil
biology, and "all you never were told in (a US) Ag school or soil book".
Basic and profound at the same time - a real find. Thanks so much.

Both your note and the book re-confirm my opinions and PC presentations. An
excerpt will replace my current handout which explains it ok, but doesn't
have the context that Widdowson has. The literature/world according to
GOOGLE is very slim on the O-E cycle - probably because you can't see it in
a lab - you have to be "on the farm" and "in the dirt" to catch it.

I noted in one reference (exactly where now since gone) the role of the
Ethylene cycle in taking compost to humus (vs directly to CO2) and thus
sequestering it for hundreds/thousands of years as those great little
sponges that hold water, provide humicacid, and aid immensely in cation
exchange. Open soil, burning sun, hot compost, not letting compost "finish"
- all seem to be breaking this cycle, which add greatly to the carbon
(dioxide) bloom and glabal warming. Biodynamic composting seems to allow the
O-E process a lot better - so does good old Mother Nature with her forest
floor and prairie grasslands humus development (aka cold sheet composting).

Thanks again for the reference - right on and enjoyable to read. Thanks also
for the Mollison '85 PDC Syllabus link. Very helpful and affirming to get
back to an original source.

Dick Pierce

On Mon, Jun 2, 2008 at 2:23 AM, steveread  <steveread at free.fr > wrote:

>
>
> R.W. Widdowson
> Towards holistic agriculture
> Pergamon Press  0-08-034211-6
>
> This has a really easy to use explanation of not only the ethylene cycle
> but also cation exchange capacity and some interesting stuff on allelopathy,
> bulk density and a chapter on keyline. A most excellent book that I use as a
> key core text for PDC's. I certainly hope that its taught on PDC's
> everywhere as the ethylene cycle and in particular its destruction can be
> used so readily to demonstrate the "because I did something I've then got to
> do loads of other things" consequences of chemical farming, compared to
> (modern) natural farming.
>
> The PDC syllabus is really something that need urgently addressing
> worldwide, the Designers manual is of course the course text/syllabus but
> from what I am given to understand there is something of a pick and mix
> approach leading to aspects of PmC design being either not taught or glossed
> over. Here in France we are redeveloping the old design course syllabus (
> http://steveread.free.fr/downloads/Design%20Course%20Syllabus.pdf),
> updating it, adding in to use this as a course syllabus with of course the
> manual as the main course text, the idea being that all courses in France
> will be based on the core that is in the syllabus, aspects will be covered
> and developed through use of the Manual and other texts.
>
> Another point is that any book that becomes or has a tendency to become a
> countries key PdC text should contain everything ++ that is in the Manual,
> the Hebrew version is a good example of this whereas in the UK Patrick
> Whitefields  book is very popular as the course text and he has in the main
> concentrated on, and done a nice job,  gardening/farming aspects and as the
> subtitle says its cool-temperate oriented.
>
> A problem in general is that the Designers Manual doesn't exist in some
> languages eg French and is also quite expensive for some people.
>
>
>
>
> Kenavo,
>
>
> Steve
>
> Directeur de     l  'Université Populaire de Permaculture
> Biographie     (SteveR) http://permacultureinstitute.pbwiki.com/
>
>
> 2008-06-0207:35:25
>
> [permaculture] Updating my PC Compost & Soils Presentations andHand-outs -
> your insights, updated sources appreciat
> Hello, folks. I'm getting ready for 2 Courses and researching the
> oxygen-ethylene cycle - a concept that seems logical, favors
> undisturbed/un-tilled land, is yet another cycle that modern ag ignores,
> allows humus creation (carbon sequestering) and anaerobic activity. It
> appears to be un-mentioned, but yet a part of, biodynamic composting,
> possibly the reason one lets a regular compost file "finish itself off" for
> 6 months after it no longer heats up on turning (aeration), and a major
> component of/argument for no-till/leave crop residues on field.
>
> Anaerobic and the O-E cycle appear [sort of tangentially] in PC outlines,
> discussions, and one handout on soils (Lea Harrison, PC Activist #26) - I
> find very little mention anywhere else. Perhaps this is because it is a
> non-subject or closet item with modern ag? Is it still a valid view? Still
> good PC and PC-ag-science? Are there other/newer articles or champions
> these
> days?  Does you have any more recent articles or references? Thanks in
> advance for info if you do.
>
> I look at the NRCS and the Elaine Ingam literature and seem to get no real
> talk of anaerobic or that aerobic = good guy, anaerobic = bad guy; slight
> reference to anaerobic role in creating humus (then a chart shows humus to
> be 50% of organic material, as stable material, the 50% being actively
> broken down). On pathogens - confusing on plant pathogens - human vs. plant
> - alluded to that human are anaerobic and another place that plant
> pathogens
> are aerobic - I doubt both.
>
> My real question and quest is whether Oxygen-Ethylene cycle  and
> Aerobic-Anaerobic cycling is an real and current and agreed-to subject, or
> is it a firm belief in PC circles and not elsewhere, or is it a topic
> that's
> passé' in both soil science and PC camps? Should it be championed or should
> it be let to fade?
>
> Great PC minds and data bases out there - would appreciate your posting
> your
> insights and references to recent sources. Many thanks.
>
>
> Thank you very much for your help.
>
> Regards
>
> Dick Pierce
>
> --
> DickPierceDesigns at gmail.com
> Austin, TX & SE-NE cell- 512-992-8858
>
> Please check out www.permie.us for courses:
>
> -Martha's Vineyard, S'Dartmouth, MA in Sept., and
> -Austin, TX from Sept.27 - Nov 22.
>
> -Dick's PC-Bio. on www.permie.us
> Also check: YouTube Dick Pierce
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