035 – Sepp Holzer Film Presentation Part 2

Published 12 years ago in Permaculture , Podcasts , Sepp Holzer - 0 Comments

The podcasts begins as Sepp Holzer’s Aquaculture movie has concluded. Paul states that the Q&A has to be short. He points out that in the movie, Sepp would talk for a long period, but the translation would be brief. From his own experience with three translators, Sepp uses a lot of language that the translators refuse to translate. Paul states that in the terraces video, Sepp was ‘pissed’ about the subject he was speaking on and after a very long speech, the translator gave a four word explanation of what was said.

The first question is regarding what was said about ponds being sealed. Paul responds that Sepp gave a two day presentation about pond sealing, and the answer to most questions like this is ‘It depends’. Sepp got his ideas about sealing ponds from watching pigs, while the traditional method he was told was ‘foil’ which seems to mean pond liner. Sepp originally went with the advice of pond liners, but after observing a pig wallow retaining water, he studied what it was they had done. He tested the method with a track hoe and it worked.

Part of the trick seems to be getting the largest track hoe possible with the smallest bucket it can use. By pushing down hard enough to lift the tracks of the track hoe and repeating each width of the bucket, it forms a seal. Another method Sepp mentions is to mix the material in water and allow it to separate. Rocks and heavier materials will sink, while the silt and clay will stay higher. This way it creates a sealed layer in your pond.

For a lake, he creates a dam with a key and seals only the dam. This way, the lake comes from the groundwater itself. In clay soil, dam building becomes difficult. If built wrong, it turns weak in the rain and will breach. Paul offers that pond building has a lot to it, so there isn’t a single obvious recipe. Paul talks about a mountain that he would love to see with many ponds, but that some would be very upset about even though it could supply the whole area. It is stated that most people only like what they are used to (IE: chemical companies).

The next question is about how, with all of the production on Sepp’s land, he and his wife can’t cover all of the labors. Paul rewords the question for the benefit of others. It used to be that Sepp did a lot of what we would expect, but due to law complications, he no longer does things the way we would expect. He gets a lot of money and people get a lot of food from his land. Since there are so many complicated laws about the sale of foods in his country, he instead charges 95 Euros (about $130 at the time) to come and visit his land.

You park at the bottom of the hill, go up to the gate and pay the fee. Once in, you can do
whatever you want. Wandering and tours are mentioned. If you ‘happen’ to have filled your backpack up with food, more power to you. Seeds or whatever you want is fair game. Paul also notes that most of this food is better for you than the best Organic you can find. Because it is a true polyculture, all of the plants are gaining nutrients we may not even be aware of yet. You can get all sorts of amazing foods for less than the average organic in the stores if you can fill a pack up well. In so doing, you avoid all sorts of monoculture centric laws and regulations. Paul mentions Permies.com as a way to mention local produce that you have to get people to visit.

The final question was about Sepp coming to the US. Paul states that you should sign up for the mailing list. Paul knows there was a website for it, but in the next month (as of this podcast), things should be determined well enough for Paul to make an email announcement. He mentions his local mailing list also announces local events on short notice. At the point of this podcast, Sepp’s site wasn’t even accepting money yet. The bulk of funds was coming from the woman bringing Sepp over, but the classes offered are her way of recouping some of the expense. At that time, things were still being worked out and permits being obtained. The things she wanted were mostly pond related. Paul
was going to mention more, but time cut short since they had only 5 minutes to put away the chairs and vacate the library.

Relevant Threads

Sandy Soil Water Retention
American Pilot Project
Pigs Sealing Ponds
Sepp Making Lakes

Credit: D. Logan

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