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Thread: Permaculture (Food Forests), a Beginners Guide

  1. #11
    Hundhedensk "Friend of Germanics"
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    There is something interesting called polyculture too. Many farmers use monoculture, and that is not good for the earth.

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    Eala Freia Fresena
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    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 I know you cannot simply calculate like that but it seems to be feasible.


    So I don't know what the worry is about.
    weel nich will dieken dej mot wieken

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    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.
    Life is like a fire hydrant- sometimes you help people put out their fires, but most of the time you just get peed on by every dog in the neighborhood.

  4. #14
    Eala Freia Fresena
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    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.
    weel nich will dieken dej mot wieken

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    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.
    Life is like a fire hydrant- sometimes you help people put out their fires, but most of the time you just get peed on by every dog in the neighborhood.

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    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!

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    Senior Member Schneider's Avatar
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    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_fo...ket_garden.htm

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Schneider View Post
    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_fo...ket_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.
    Life is like a fire hydrant- sometimes you help people put out their fires, but most of the time you just get peed on by every dog in the neighborhood.

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    Senior Member Schneider's Avatar
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    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....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Schneider View Post
    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.
    Life is like a fire hydrant- sometimes you help people put out their fires, but most of the time you just get peed on by every dog in the neighborhood.

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