[permaculture] Overly optimistic permaculture attitudetowardsland

Margaret & Steven Eisenhauer eisenhauerdesign at earthlink.net
Tue Dec 8 18:57:10 EST 2009


WAG is the proverbial "wild ass guess".  I use cover cropping and have been
witnessing the importance of keeping the ground growing something everywhere
rather than bare earth cultivation.  This last year I discovered that my
sweet corn grew better where it was "weedy" (companion planted with native
volunteer plant doctors) than where I was cultivating it during a very dry
spell we had.  The soil had more moisture where the corn was growing with
other plants.  I realize that the more root mass in the soil the more life
is going on and when I mowed the co plants it fed my crop.  I am also
producing bio char in a gasification boiler I have installed that goes into
the compost for soil amendment.  This will be a new thing and I have high
hopes for all those little carbon batteries/or space stations for microbes
that I will be spreading around. 

Thanks for your note.


-----Original Message-----
From: permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Scott Vlaun
Sent: Thursday, December 03, 2009 3:00 PM
To: permaculture
Subject: Re: [permaculture] Overly optimistic permaculture

A couple of ideas come to mind that might help keep that expensive  
fertility in place.

The right cover crop combination can go a long way keeping fertility  
on the site with the extra benefit of hosting pollinators, etc.

Also biochar application is purported to help hold nutrients over  
time, along with the bonus of sequestering atmospheric carbon. We  
have a small trial going but nothing to report yet, although plenty  
are singing the praises.

What's WAG?

Scott Vlaun
Moose Pond Arts+Ecology
Design Solutions for a Sustainable Future

450 Main Street, Studio 2
Norway, Maine 04268
207-739-2409 Studio

On Dec 3, 2009, at 9:14 AM, Margaret & Steven Eisenhauer wrote:

I suspect all these fertility imports are unsustainable in a post oil  
So how do I garner fertility without employing a tremendous amount of
overhead, and the work to apply these materials?

I am looking at the farm organism model whereby there are many players -
plants/animals/microbes/people - all of which will do work for food  
with the
potential result of balance and resource availability/fertility.   
This is
systems modeling but with the added WAG that goes along with learning  
experience and often failing.

It is not easy or cheap - So my hat is off to those that are trying new
things and letting us know about it!

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