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Hersir
Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010, 01:08 AM
"Permaculture offers a radical approach to food production and urban renewal, water, energy and pollution. It integrates ecology, landscape, organic gardening, architecture and agro-forestry in creating a rich and sustainable way of living. It uses appropriate technology giving high yields for low energy inputs, achieving a resource of great diversity and stability. The design principles are equally applicable to both urban and rural dwellers" - Bill Mollison

More here http://permaculture-media-download.blogspot.com/2010/10/permaculture-beginners-guide.html

SpearBrave
Saturday, July 9th, 2011, 10:48 PM
Here is a BBC movie on permaculture, I think this is worthy of discussion as sooner or later we are going to run out of fossil fuels.

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I'm on the fence about this method of farming because I don't think it can produce the amount of food needed to support the population.

Hersir
Saturday, July 9th, 2011, 11:06 PM
Thanks, I'll check it out!
Here is one of the permaculture books I have:

http://www.amazon.com/Sepp-Holzers-Permaculture-Small-Scale-Gardening/dp/160358370X

Sepp Holzer runs a permaculture farm in Austria.
http://www.krameterhof.at/en/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sepp_Holzer

wittwer
Wednesday, July 13th, 2011, 05:51 PM
I'm on the fence about this method of farming because I don't think it can produce the amount of food needed to support the population.[/QUOTE]

Spearbrave, I'm with you on this one. Indvidual subsistence farming cannot produce the quantity of food necessary to feed the World's seven billion and growing population. As for Permaculture, it's an interesting model for individual or communal subsistence farming designed to fit into various ecological niches with a minimum of disruption to the ecological systems themselves either in the the short term or long term. For it to work, the world would have to reverse the trend of population movement from the agraian rural environments to the industrialized urban environments as has taken place over the millenia. This would be a radical shift which I don't think is likely to occur... Modern Ag.? It's all about hybrid seeds, fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and water. The ingredients necessary to maximize crop yields and feed an exploding population.

Žoreišar
Wednesday, July 13th, 2011, 06:33 PM
Indvidual subsistence farming cannot produce the quantity of food necessary to feed the World's seven billion and growing population.Perhaps, but in the documentary, it is stated that permacultural methods actually can yield more food per square feet than what conventional farming can. Either way, I would like to see some documentation from both sides of that notion.

Hersir
Wednesday, July 13th, 2011, 06:53 PM
Why would we need to feed everybody? Surely we need take care of our Germanic people first.

There are tons of un-used space, we can grow crops on roof tops (this will give insulation against heat in summer, and against cold in winter), school gardens (so they can learn about nature) etc...

Even on a balcony or a windowsstill you are able to have something.
Square-foot gardening and raised bed gardening.

SpearBrave
Wednesday, July 13th, 2011, 09:06 PM
Perhaps, but in the documentary, it is stated that permacultural methods actually can yield more food per square feet than what conventional farming can. Either way, I would like to see some documentation from both sides of that notion.

I have been reading about permaculture for about a year now, and it seems there are as many definitions of the word as there as experts on the subject, all of the definitions though have one simple thing in common it is working with nature to produce a food crop.

There are a couple of permaculture farms close to me ( at least two that I have been to ) They both grow less food on 10 acres than I do with my personal garden which is about a acre +. I don't use any commercial fertilizers or pesticides or herbicides. I keep track of my yields from year to year and compared them to permaculture sites and my yields are over 3 times on one + acre compared to 10 acres of permaculture. The down side is I do use a husqvarna gas tiller, but have recently purchased 3 wheel push plows. I also spend much more time tending my garden than the permaculture farms do meaning much more labor involved.

In the film she talks to the old woman who talks about the days of animal power. I also live around the Amish and they have higher yields than even the modern farmers using chemicals. On the grand scale of things I think this is the way to go.

Also a note on permaculture, I started looking into it to cut back on time, but not the quantity or quality of the food being grown. I'm still very much on the fence about that to.

Mvix
Wednesday, July 13th, 2011, 09:41 PM
Thanks for posting this I found this documentary to be very interesting.
I wonder if Germanic countries could be totally self sufficient.

SpearBrave
Wednesday, July 13th, 2011, 10:11 PM
There is no doubt that Germanic countries can become totally self sufficient when it comes to food production, especially if you include the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. It just depends on which farming methods will work best to utilize the land available in a preserving manner. Not only do we have to preserve our race and culture, but we must also preserve our land.

Turin son of Hurin
Wednesday, July 13th, 2011, 11:39 PM
this is great stuff Im buying land and implimenting it.
Its going to be a private country. Come and live there enjoy dirt roads and living in sheds. My private country isn't going to get in debt for the sake of keeping up appearances

Hersir
Thursday, July 14th, 2011, 12:47 AM
There is something interesting called polyculture too. Many farmers use monoculture, and that is not good for the earth.

Ocko
Thursday, July 14th, 2011, 04:08 PM
They said they can feed 10 people per acre.

For a town with 50,000 people you would need 5,000 acre. That is not a lot.

i don't know whether it is climate depended, but I guess in Cal you wouldn't be able to feed 10 of an acre unless you get creative with the plants you use. Most likely you would need soil improvement and more rain/water.

For 7 billion people you need then 700 million acre.

In 2007 we had 922 million acre farmland in the US. It would mean the US alone could feed the rest of the world with that method. (numbers from USDA (http://www.ers.usda.gov/StateFacts/US.htm) I know you cannot simply calculate like that but it seems to be feasible.


So I don't know what the worry is about.

SpearBrave
Thursday, July 14th, 2011, 09:44 PM
I'm not really worried so much if we have enough land, I just wonder really how how good of a system permaculture is. Often times with something like this I'm very skeptical, if it sounds too good to be true it usually is.

There are many unanswered questions about this system. I think that if we change to permaculture there would have to be a huge change in diet, meaning less cereal grains, most likely less beef and pork products.

Don't get me wrong I am very interested in permaculture and am not totally dismissing the idea, I just think it is not all that some people are claiming. I think that if you mixed permaculture with traditional non-chemical farming we could produce even more with less land use, leaving more true wild areas for wildlife and as land reserves.

Ocko
Friday, July 15th, 2011, 12:52 AM
To rate 'goodness' of a system by the yiels/harvest is one way to measure.

What I like about it is the regeneration of the soil through biodiversity.

As the yield is not so important as one can feed for sure the whole of the US with it, I like the restoration of nature. It gives one more of the impression of a pre-agricultural time.

For sure it will change the diet and therfore to less grains. I am not into nutrition and do not know whether it would be a good thing or not. I for myself do that already as most of the grain is GMO.

The soil is key to good farming, that is a no-brainer. And the way they work seems to be healthy to the environment too. The reason for the killing of the biomasse underneath the surface might be the chemicals you put on top. I remember to see ploughing and tons of seagulls (and a bird which in Friesland is called : Akermantje wippsteert) picking insects from it. which means the soil has been fairly healthy.

I also know that bio-dyn farming is growing in Germany (my sister married a farmer). i do not know how much meat they produce but they also work with everything on one farm. Often I drive by on this big feederlots and the stink does not smell very healthy.

SpearBrave
Friday, July 15th, 2011, 02:08 AM
The problem is that most American farms have somewhat self regenerating soil just by rotating crops. This has led to mass grain production with the use of chemicals instead of manual cultivation. As stated in other threads I'm a bird hunter one thing I am noticing is that in areas where they practice this no-till chemical farming the game bird populations are decreasing without hunting or predator pressure, while ares that use traditional manual cultivation the game bird numbers are increasing.

One thing for sure permaculture would be very good for game populations, maybe even too good. When you create layers or marginal areas it attracts more game animals. This could be a good thing if you harvest these animals also.

So many pros and cons, I think this will be a tough nut to crack. ;)

Hersir
Friday, July 15th, 2011, 04:50 AM
Sepp Holzer dosnt plow his earth, plowing gives short term gains but it's bad in the long run. He works with animals, and he has some pigs in moveable shelters who dig up the earth for him.

And as you write SpearBrave, polyculture is bad for the soil, but also bad for the ecosystem, bees dont like polycultures for example.

Sepp also has a fix for that game problem Spearbreave. He decides to work with nature and not against it, he plants enough food for everyone. We are after all HEATHENS!

Schneider
Monday, August 15th, 2011, 02:18 AM
Properly managed Polyculture is excellent for the soil and environment. Poly, as in many. Not just corn, not just permaculture.

Properly managed, plowing has both short and long term benefits.

Draft animals can be used efficiently on small to medium scale farms. More efficient than tractors.

Intensively managed healthy soils produce far more that modern monoculture.

http://www.ruralheritage.com/back_forty/market_garden.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8reHVRqXZ8

SpearBrave
Monday, August 15th, 2011, 02:26 AM
Properly managed Polyculture is excellent for the soil and environment. Poly, as in many. Not just corn, not just permaculture.

Properly managed, plowing has both short and long term benefits.

Draft animals can be used efficiently on small to medium scale farms. More efficient than tractors.

Intensively managed healthy soils produce far more that modern monoculture.

http://www.ruralheritage.com/back_forty/market_garden.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8reHVRqXZ8

I think that is the best method. I live around several Amish settlements and they practice poly-culture. They farm with horses and they are very productive and most do not use commercial fertilizers or pesticides. All in all I think that is the best system.

Schneider
Monday, August 15th, 2011, 02:30 AM
I see permaculture(the concept) as an important part of a farm/community. Woodlots are a prime example. Selectively harvested, constantly(over many years) improved. Sustainable....

SpearBrave
Monday, August 15th, 2011, 02:40 AM
I see permaculture(the concept) as an important part of a farm/community. Woodlots are a prime example. Selectively harvested, constantly(over many years) improved. Sustainable....

I think it would work on small scale only, the biggest downside is that it does take years to develop and produce a slight amount of food.

Since I first began researching permaculture I have discovered many myths about it. One of the biggest is that it is not labour intensive it is very labour intensive. The other is the yields, very low for the amount of land used. The quality also is not as good in many cases.

I think crop rotation plus smaller farms using animal power is the key more than permaculture. Most farm land is very sustainable in this fashion.

BigNoise
Wednesday, August 17th, 2011, 10:30 PM
Everyone's version of "permaculture" is different, but I think that in general, it's the right idea. Monoculture, chemicals, intensive tilling, etc. are not healthy or sustainable for man, beast, or earth.

Sepp Holzer's farm is absolutely brilliant...a huge inspiration for sure.

I think the ideal would be small scale permaculture, on a family to neighborhood level. Combine that with grass fed livestock on rotationally grazed pastures, mimicking the natural cycles of large herbivores in nature.

Joel Salatin is probably the biggest voice for this method of raising animals. Google or YouTube him...an incredibly knowledgeable, passionate, inspirational man.

Northumbria
Friday, January 6th, 2012, 04:13 PM
Spearbrave, I'm with you on this one. Indvidual subsistence farming cannot produce the quantity of food necessary to feed the World's seven billion and growing population. As for Permaculture, it's an interesting model for individual or communal subsistence farming designed to fit into various ecological niches with a minimum of disruption to the ecological systems themselves either in the the short term or long term. For it to work, the world would have to reverse the trend of population movement from the agraian rural environments to the industrialized urban environments as has taken place over the millenia. This would be a radical shift which I don't think is likely to occur... Modern Ag.? It's all about hybrid seeds, fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and water. The ingredients necessary to maximize crop yields and feed an exploding population.

Yeah, this is what I think.

I personally prefer high farming / rotational farming. If done well it doesn't need fertilisers and such farms were actually very good for wildlife. The trick to making it work is to include grazing animals.


There are a couple of permaculture farms close to me ( at least two that I have been to ) They both grow less food on 10 acres than I do with my personal garden which is about a acre +. I don't use any commercial fertilizers or pesticides or herbicides.

I think permaculture is wishful thinking, people with not much experience of farming discussing how it should be.
It's a nice theory, but I don't think it can work as well as rotational farming.

If anyone has read Seymour's book "self sufficiency" (I have a link to the file version) then that explains in brief a few things about conserving the soil and rotating crops and livestock.


Thanks for posting this I found this documentary to be very interesting.
I wonder if Germanic countries could be totally self sufficient.

In some important things yes, mainly staple crops - most cereals, certain vegetables and fruit and livestock and dairy.

For example England is self-sufficient in cereals (wheat, rye, oats, the rest...), dairy products, beef, lamb and pork (but strangely not bacon because it is a very popular cut - much imported from Denmark).
But it's not self-sufficient in vegetables apart from potatoes and maize (used as fodder here).

In the 1970s and 80s self sufficiency was very high but it has gone down due to less intensive farming (thanks to the EU) and more things being imported from warm countries which we don't produce - coffee, tea, chocolate, tropical fruits.

If you take out warm-climate produce which is imported then you'd find that self-sufficiency is actually rather high. Another point is that so much food is wasted - thrown away by supermarkets and consumers.
Also a lot of grain is fed to livestock which isn't good for self-sufficiency neither.

Many vegetarians say that if we all became veggie there'd be enough land to feed the world, but there'd be much less protein and a lot of wasted land.
Around 40% of England is suitable for Arable, the rest is split between grazing land, urban areas and unworked land. Around 15% of this grazing land could be used to grow hardier crops such as oats, leeks or turnips but most is only good for grazing and would be wasted without animals.


Most Germanic countries are self sufficient in a few things, but not in others. If combined together they'd likely be self-sufficient in most cool-climate produce if not all.

America and Canada import mainly grain to feed livestock but there's not much chance they'll will starve any time soon. ;)


There is no doubt that Germanic countries can become totally self sufficient when it comes to food production, especially if you include the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. It just depends on which farming methods will work best to utilize the land available in a preserving manner. Not only do we have to preserve our race and culture, but we must also preserve our land.

Yes, I get annoyed when I see bare fields in autumn. Most farmers sow grass and clover to put fertility back in and stop erosion but a few don't.
I also hate seeing the same crops in the same place year after year, it is not good for the fertility of the land at all.

Either 1 or 2 year rotation, for example maize one year, grass, clover and cattle the next.

Northumbria
Friday, January 6th, 2012, 04:22 PM
For 7 billion people you need then 700 million acre.

In 2007 we had 922 million acre farmland in the US. It would mean the US alone could feed the rest of the world with that method. (numbers from USDA (http://www.ers.usda.gov/StateFacts/US.htm) I know you cannot simply calculate like that but it seems to be feasible.


So I don't know what the worry is about.

Yes, but there needs to be 700 million acres of arable.

Hersir
Wednesday, January 18th, 2012, 07:43 AM
Hugelkultur raised beds article by Sepp Holzer (http://www.krameterhof.at/pdf/presse/permaculture-pm68.pdf)

ampersand
Monday, January 30th, 2012, 02:11 PM
Another interesting video, featuring the Holzers:

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