Maddy Harland opens with a discussion on crop protection. Stephanie Hafferty work with Charles Dowding and his methods for no dig gardening. His core income is from gardening and selling salad to local restaurants. The article shares some of the real secrets of how to grow in raised bed systems and minimize pest damage without any chemicals. The back story is that this system can be replicated where people want good organic food. Paul has some good notes and he feels like the article was written just for him. Maddy is trying to enthuse people with the magazine article.
Paul liked the rocket stove hotub. Maddy agreed that this article was right up Paul’s alley. Paul admitted that he is just not a huge fan of hot tubs or hot springs. Paul explains how he just finished his Rocket Mass Heater Innovator’s Event. Paul wants to start a new blog where he gives feedback on each article in the Permaculture Magazine. Paul makes a few constructive comments on how to improve the design of the rocket stove hot tub. Maddy explains that there is some better technology out there to make the design better but the folks who wrote the article are not hard core rocket stove designers.
Next a review of natural swimming pools is discussed. Paul has lots of comments but overall liked the article. Maddy explains how David and Ben worked together on the design. Paul mentions the Joe Salatin statement that anything worth doing is worth doing wrong first. Paul was excited that anyone who tries to improve things is advancing our ideas. Maddy agrees that by refining designs there is always room for improvement. Paul loved how much detail there was in the documentation. Paul suggests using a J tube design and more riser would help out too.
At the Innovators event, they tried several designs. A Wheaton Labs they were able to get a redwood tub but ran out of time trying to get the tub to hold water. Paul has banned the pocket rocket because they lose metal during the burn. Erica Wisner has come up with a ceramic design that can be submersed and used to heat the water. Maddy and Paul compliment Erica on how clever she is.
Next Paul discusses John Di Lu’s article and his travels through China. Paul is looking at a picture of a road through the desert with greenways on either side. Maddy discusses some details on how the Chinese accomplished the project. The greenway was built to keep the paved road from melting during the hottest times of the year. Some temperatures reached 158 F with no greenway but once the greenway was built and the plants were established the temperature was closer to 77 F in the greenway. The ecosystem also allowed animals to start returning to the area as well. In some areas there was a 113 F temperature differential. Where the plant ecosystems grew then came the insects and animals.
Maddy was excited because this shows that we can repair the planet with regenerative ecosystems once we educate the policy makers and decision makers. Paul and Maddy agree that once the three main species start to do their work, cooling things down, now other plants can be introduced that are a little less heat tolerant. Maddy points out that one of the three pioneer species is a valuable starch that can be sold and the money used to help pay for maintenance of the greenway. Paul has an idea to build a distiller that can separate the salt from the water and those two products might be of value too.
Pandora Thomas is the next person discussed. Maddy met her in London and is a big fan of her work. Paul and Maddy both want Permaculture to go viral and needs to be all inclusive. Maddy feels that there are numerous leaders out there and they come from many places across the globe. Next is Diana Leafe Christian, a dear friend of Paul. Paul loves talking with her and her discussion of the use of micro grids to power her refrigerator. Paul explains how an old chest freezer can be rigged up as a fridge and it will use 1/10th of the energy needed. Conservation is a key component to any microgrid system and Paul loves this about Diana’s article.
Paul jokingly mentions Hogwarts and how little electricity they use in England. Maddy explains how ball point pens are typically used by muggles. The microgrid article does discuss some of the consolidation techniques to focus the knowledge so that only a few people need to know the system and other people can just be consumers. Maddy explains that a good system can be made up of a small community with a few people who know all about the system and other people can be users or consumers. The idea of an energy revolution could even be spread to span an entire town. Maddy seems to think that America is ahead of England when it comes to power and microgrid systems.
Maddy explains how after Fukishima, Japan was able to reduce their power consumption by 30% through conservation. Paul feels that most people are just being fed bullshit about conservation. If 75% of our energy costs go to heating and cooling Paul feels that this is a good place to start where we can make improvements. Next is the ethics article that Maddy wrote. Paul feels that he and Maddy could discuss this article for hours and hours. Paul was presented with the idea that the third ethic could be “Future care”. Paul feels that bad guys will use the three ethics to fit their own agenda. Maddy’s series is a four part series and the ethics was part one. Some debate has come up that fair shares is a form of communism and Maddy does not agree with this statement. Maddy feels that earth care is obviously important. If you look at Permaculture functioning within social systems people care is critical to good permaculture design. Paul discusses that Return of Surplus to the other two as Maddy has explained in the article and Paul feels that people do not fully understand the ethics.
Paul was hoping to engage Maddy on the Future Care topic. Maddy thinks that is may be a seven generation type of thinking. Paul’s last topic to discuss is the straw-bale gardening. Paul feels that one item worth mentioning is that conventional straw is coated with persistant herbicides and 95% of what you plant will not grow. Hay has the same problem here in America. Paul just feels that if you are going to try straw or hay to make sure it is organic because even if you use manure from animals that were fed straw with pesticides the manure from those animals will contain that toxic gick.
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