Apr 18, 2015

Blocks of Change

So many issues with change. We are baling Sand Love Grass for soil OM in the red sandy soils of West Texas. Two balers have tapped out, saying the ground is too rough. An ecologist said we should burn and/or disk the entire 160 acres of bumpy sparse grass land, while I see the plowed cotton fields blowing away nearby. Grazing is expensive if you want paddocks, otherwise cattle ranchers are happy to let the cattle in and eat it to nothing.

With tufts of grass far apart. what is the low calorie solution. Scything seems too energy costly. Long term, we need OM, ground cover, wind abatement. All on 6 - 12 annual inches of rain. No key-lining or sub-soiling needed.  For now we are focusing on the zone 1 homestead, hoop houses, berms, and plants. The field will wait.

Apr 15, 2015

Slugs Occupy Vermicomposting Farm. Good, Bad, Ugly? Depends.

In seeing the slugs in the worm boxes at American University in Beirut,  I thought I would investigate whether they are carnivorous. Some are. Its good to familiarize ourselves with co-occupants in the worm ecology. I wonder if they eat the worm eggs.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/54/Limax_maximus_variability.jpg
Testacella haliotidea Draparnaud

A Leopard Slug is omnivorous, eating other small slugs. But mostly eats fungus and OM.
Leopard slugs are know vectors of meningitis (just don’t eat them raw).    This photo is from the AUB worm farm.
Probably not an issue and not a plant eater.






Worm-Eating Slugs Family Testacellidae

Fauna of Soil Ecology
This carnivorous semi-slug  spends most of its time underground, where it   hunts and consumes earthworms, snails and slugs . The shelled  slug  is commonly   found in disturbed habitats like gardens, parks and agricultural fields.   This slug  is able to burrow to depths of up to one meter during periods of   aestivation. This animal has not been reported to feed on plant material and as such should not pose a threat to agricultural produce.  The ecological impact that this species may have on other terrestrial   mollusc  species has not been documented.



http://idtools.org/id/mollusc/factsheet.php?name=Testacella%20haliotidea

http://tcpermaculture.com/site/2013/05/24/predatory-gastropods-aka-carnivorous-snails-and-slugs/

Worm-Eating Slugs (Testacella species, Family Testacellidae): Found in Europe, Africa,  Britain, and Islands in the North Atlantic. These slugs with a shell (yeah, they are still called slugs, not snails) primarily eat earthworms and live most their lives underground. There are some reports of these slugs eating insect larvae as well.
Ghost Slug (Selenochlamys ysbryda, Family Trigonochlamydidae): Found in the UK and Europe down to Turkey. Also a earthworm eater.

Mar 26, 2015

Permaculture Master Planning Course - Daniel Halsey

Permaculture Master Planning Course with Daniel Halsey

Location: Red Deer - TBA
This event occurs daily from August 11 - 14 starting at 9:00 am until 5:00 pm.


photo: geofflawton.com

The Centre for Urban Agriculture in Alberta
is pleased to host Daniel Halsey of the Permaculture Research Institute USA for a 4-day Permaculture Master Planning course from Tuesday, Aug 11 through Friday, Aug 14!

Please note: This intensive design course is limited to 20 people. Having completed an Introduction to Permaculture workshop or the full 72-hour Permaculture Design Certificate course will enhance your experience but are not required to take this course. All proceeds go towards the certification of The Centre for Urban Agriculture in Alberta as an Urban Permaculture Research Institute.

Synopsis:

Design your landscape working with nature by recognizing that our ecological landscape is filled with possibilities. Locked-up in urban lots, fields, or broad acres are the means to sustain an abundant lifestyle for growing food, collecting fresh rain water for domestic use, and reducing dependence on purchased consumer resources. This four-day intensive design course will unlock the ecological capital that abounds within your own landscape and the neighborhood that surrounds it.

Participants will be taught the skills and foresight needed to assess, conceptualize and design a property into a perpetual harvest garden that aligns with and leverages the local climate and available resources. Learn ecological landscape design language and techniques while using the permaculture design process to create an ecologically-resilient residence and harvest-abundant landscape. (Full course details below - subject to change)

Trainer Bio:


Daniel Halsey, MPS, PRI Certified Designer and Instructor
Dan is a certified permaculture designer and teacher for the Permaculture Research Institute USA. Certified by the International Permaculture Research Institute (Australia), Dan travels nationally and internationally teaching permaculture and ecological design to permaculture design certification students, homesteaders, and landscape designers.

Co-author of Integrated Forest Gardening: The Complete Guide to Polycultures and Plant Guilds in Permaculture Systems, and originator of the Natural Capital Plant Database, Dan and his wife Ginny manage self-sustaining forest gardens of fruiting trees, shrubs and nut crops at SouthWoods Forest Gardens, a permaculture design, demonstration, and educational site located on a twenty-five-acre wetland savannah in Prior Lake, Minnesota

 

 

Please note: This intensive design course is limited to 20 people. Having completed an Introduction to Permaculture workshop or the full 72-hour Permaculture Design Certificate course will enhance your experience but are not required to take this course. All proceeds go towards the certification of The Centre for Urban Agriculture in Alberta as an Urban Permaculture Research Institute.

Registration Fees:

$675.00 + GST* per person
*includes a copy of Integrated Forest Gardening, lunches and snacks / beverages

(early-bird rate $600 if registered and paid by May 31, 2015) - cash, cheque, or e-money transfer accepted. Registration deadline is July 12, 2015. Sorry, no refunds available after the deadline.

To register please contact Rene Michalak at 403-505-4550 or by email at rene@urbanpermaculture.ca

Student materials list is provided below; some items will need to be purchased at a specialty art or office supply store if you do not already have them; we recommend Alberta Art & Drafting in Red Deer.
  • T-square 36”,
  • Drafting tape,
  • Triangles: 45-90 degree & 30-60 degree,
  • scissors,
  • compass,
  • drafting pencils - HB, B, 2H, 4H,
  • 8 scale ruler,
  • large and small circle templates,
  • tube for carrying drawings,
  • 8-scale graph paper;
  • sheet size 24” x 36” (approx. 4 sheets), 24" x 36" vellum paper , 2 sheets bumwad (tracing) paper,
  • glue stick or double-stick tape,
  • eraser,
  • black ink pens - minimum of 3 tips: narrow, medium, bold

Accommodations:

There are many quality and affordable hotels in the Red Deer area. Local camping and billeting options are also available but please book your accommodations early (summer is a busy time for tourism):
______________________________________________________________________

Full Course Details:

(Subject to change)

This 4-day course will culminate with each participant completing a technical design ready for implementation. Make sure you keep time available outside of class to complete the assignments. Students working on a personal design for their property should secure a detailed property map prior to the course.

Who should attend?
Landscapers, architects, landscape architects, homesteaders, ecological designers, teachers, resource engineers, home/land owners, and permaculturists!

Schedule:

Course delivery is a combination of 3-hour lectures, demonstrations, and practice sessions with extensive homework assignments (4 to 5 hrs). The course wraps up with a final design workshop finishing the concepts with plants, materials, and final critique.

Day 1 - Homestead Design I: Base Plan and Homestead Site Assessment
Overview Paper Language, Bubble Maps, Concept, Draft, Final Draft, Final Design
Assignment - Homestead Base Mapping Measurements. Demonstration: Site Assessment and Base Mapping

Day 2 - Homestead Design II: Permaculture Concepts for the Sustained Homestead
Classroom Pencil Practice: Tools, Landscape Symbols, Complete Your Base Map, and using "bumwad". Assignment - Finish base map and start bubble maps. Demonstration: Access, Water Works, and Homestead Resources
Day 3 - Homestead Design III: The Design Progression
Classroom Pencil Practice: Refining the concepts, allowing natures energy flow to enhance soil fertility and transfer bubble concepts to draft design. Demonstration: Systems Thinking and Design

Day 4 - Homestead Design IV: Concept and Draft Design Workshop
Style Demo, Practice and Supervised Work Session. Determining plant size and placement, polycultures, ecological functions and seasonal access. Assignment - Complete draft design. Demonstration: Polyculture Design, Ecological Facilitation, Resource Partitioning

Final Design and Supervised Work Session
The final steps to a sustainable design: Plant Selection, Ground Covers, Material Calculations, Implementation Notes and Logistics. Demonstration: Plant Database Queries and Internet Resources on Urban Design

For more info on Dan's design process check out, "How to Create a Permaculture Design" at www.geofflawton.com - it's a 20-minute video where the theory of Permaculture pattern design is explored using Dan's SouthWoods Forest Gardens demonstration site. Here's the teaser trailer...

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Jan 20, 2015

What is our ecological function on the Earth?

Through research and investigation every plant and animal on the earth has been categorized for its characteristics and ecological functions. Every animal except human beings. What is the ecological function of mankind on the Earth?

Having studied and designed agricultural ecosystems as well as sustainable homesteads, I have come to the conclusion that the ecological function of mankind is to raise the carrying capacity of our planet. We can by good design and good decisions actually increase the availability of food, clean water, clean air, and the resources for a comfortable lifestyle.

On my own homestead and on those I have designed it is obvious that it does not take much effort to create a self sustaining and resilient food production system. It is a system that over-yields and can feed many more people than those occupying the land. It is also a system that feeds all the plants and organisms that support it. The principles of permaculture, holistic management, and a restorative culture make possible the vision to create a new future where everybody gets fed.

Jan 6, 2015

First Year Wintering Livestock, Goats for Now

When you enter permaculture and begin listening to the land, you soon learn to sense the site conditions as they change, sometimes before. Each season fine tunes our perception to deeper detail. It wasn't until I owned and tended livestock that I truly felt the harmonics of change.

The sensory connection to the land is immediate upon the implementation of a design or planting space. The connection with a living creature, especially one as intelligent as horses, goats or pigs brings a whole new level of understanding. Watching the thermometer, wind, and humidity brings a realization that something else is out there enduring the conditions that would otherwise make quick history of ourselves.

Dec 30, 2014

Beneficial Habitat: Beetle Banks




Ground Beetle
Large expanses and widening fields for crop production have substantially limited the access of beneficial insects to field crop prey. The ecological services provided by naturally occurring pest predators is increasingly impeded spatially as the fields grow. The field edges, being the over-wintering and refuge for beneficial insects, are the primary source of conservation pest management in many crops. As much as 35% of pest management and crop protection comes from naturally occurring biological controls. Increasing the natural capital needed to enhance the supportive habitat is a low investment and a high return strategy for growers. 

This technique is also important in the ecological design of food production areas on homestead or in a production orchard. Many times we think of beneficial habitat for the use of pollinators and flying insects. We need to remember that there is a great diversity of beneficial insects that need habitat. Beetles play an important role in controlling past populations in our growing spaces.

Beetle Banks, suggested by Southerton (1984) are grassy ridges within crop fields, which by their position, decrease the travel distance of flying or crawling beneficial insects. Field edges of rough Tussock grass covered banks (Luff 1966) support a high density population of Caribidae ( Large Ground Beetles) and Staphylinidae (Smaller Rove Beetles) (Thomas 1991).   
Rove Beetle
Reducing the distance from edge to edge increased the frequency and duration of insects in the center areas of the fields. Especially in Spring, as the insects migrate further into the field following aphid and other pest populations. Although Collins, et al (2002) refers to it as decreasing field size, I believe the banks are an integral part of the field itself and a permanent fixture within the cropping system. The control of cereal aphids has been the motivation for many of the studies to be cited. Polyphagous arthropods are important players in the natural biocontrol of wheat pests. Conservation Biocontrols are the  " ..techniques to encourage and conserve populations of naturally occurring (pest) predators..." (Collins et al, 2003).
According to Collins et al. (2003), the most needed Integrated Crop Management (ICM) component is natural biocontrol agents (BCA).  The most important BCAs in Cereal aphid control are polyphagous (predators of multiple prey, not specific) arthropods. Since expanded agricultural intensification has removed or degraded field boundary areas, added habitat spaces are needed for increased polyphagous predator benefit.






Field edges of rough Tussock grass covered banks (Luff 1966) support a high density population of Caribidae and Staphylinidae (Thomas 1991).  Beetle Banks, suggested by Southerton (1984) are grassy ridges within crop fields, which by their position, decrease the travel distance of  beneficial insects, flying or crawling. Reducing the distance from edge to edge increases the frequency and duration of beneficial insects in the central areas of the growing space. 
Function of Beetle Banks
The function of the beetle banks is to increase supportive habitat for conservation biocontrol, reduce stress on predators of crop pests, and the travel time from over wintering habitat to field center.  The over-wintering refuges (Beetle banks) are placed mid field and allowed to regenerate foliage from seed and natural sources. Colonization by local plant, animal, and insect genera may take time to disperse from existing habitat.  Transfers from previous spaces are affected by soil, distance and quality of field margins, and insecticide used in field areas. Generally, banks are seeded and left to natural species movement (Collins et al. 2003).  From all studies reviewed, none inoculated the beetle banks with field margin soils or plants. Barren strips were seeded and started without the trophic system existing in the unplowed habitat of field edges. Using the comparison of the field margins as the banks mature gives a good baseline for the progress of the monitored insects. In practice it may be better to transplant dormant grasses and soils from the margins into the banks to inoculate and accelerate the banks succession

 
Key design considerations

Provide plant diversity and structure in the buffer.

Protect buffer from disturbances (e.g., pesticides, tillage).

Predation of insect pests generally increases with the percentage of buffer habitat in the area.

US Forest Service 1400 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
Locate buffers throughout the fields and landscape to encourage dispersal of beneficial insects.

Buffers may provide habitat for some pest insects but this can be reduced by selecting appropriate plants Beetle banks are long, planted berms that provide habitat for beneficial insects.
 

The Goal

  1. The manipulated habitat increases the population of beneficial insects
  2. Beneficial arthropods move from the enhanced habitat to have an area of agricultural value
  3. The beneficial arthropods established and/or remain in growing space long enough to provide an significant impact on the pests for increased harvest              (from Loughner R. et al, 2010)

Do beetle banks do this?

Can the habitat enrichment increase PCs enrichment and the supporting trophic levels to sustain an ecological and best economic benefit?

Design and Installation

•With farm equipment, the bank is created by careful two-direction plowing, with furrows plowed against each other, during autumn cultivation.
•Machine drill or hand sow with a mixture of perennial grasses including at least 30% tussock-and mat-forming species (in the UK, these include orchard grass (Dactylisglomerata) and Timothy grass). •The rest of the mixture can consist of fescues and bents.
•For good establishment these can be sown at a rate of 70 kg/ha (62 lbs./acre).
•Three mowing cuts may be necessary in the first year (when the sward reaches 10cm) to encourage grasses to tiller and control invasive annual weeds.
•Once established, cuts are needed only to encourage dead tussocks to regenerate, and to control woody species (approx. once in three years).
•Being within the field, beetle banks are particularly susceptible to pesticide drift.

Dec 28, 2014

Using Adobe Illustrator for Ecological Strategy and Landscape Design

Using Adobe Illustrator for Ecological 

Strategy and Landscape Design 

 January 23-26, 2015

An intensive course with direct instruction for learning Adobe Illustrator skills and work flow.
Click to register here: SouthWoods AI
By popular demand we offer this intense training to get pencil design and ecological concepts into professional graphics on computer.  Small intensive design classes are limited to 12 tables. Register early.  Classes will be held at SouthWoods in Prior Lake, MN. See details below. Any class can be taken individually, however the Adobe® Illustrator  series is a progressive learning format building from all sessions. New students must sign up for HLDS to attend the Illustrator training. Past HLDS students or experieced designers may take Illustrator training as a stand alone course.


A trial version of AI can be downloaded at: http://www.adobe.com/downloads.html
Students will have access to tutorials, example files, templates, symbol libraries, take home exercises, importable survey graphics, and much more.


Instructor: Daniel Halsey, MPS, Certified Designer and Teacher of Permaculture Design

Schedule:
Session 1   Digital Design Training I: Basic tools, layers, and software operation  
Session 2   Digital Design Training II: Using Tools, Workspace, and the Digital Base Map

Session 3   Digital Design Training III: Pencil Concepts to Digital Graphics, Symbol Libraries
Session 4   Digital Design Training IV: The Key, Plant Lists, Call Outs, Output
Session 5   Digital Design Training V: Supervised Work Session for Active Project Sites
Call SouthWoods for sponsoring a series at your location.  612-720-5001  


Digital Design I: Basic tools, layers, and software operation
Overview- The structure and features of AI and how we it them in design. Each week we will have case studies, incorporate the design process, and look at the step by step layering of information and details . Assignment: Take home hand-outs and practice symbols and graphic styles.


Digital Design II: Using Tools, Workspace, and the Digital Base Map
Classroom Tool Practice: Tools, Making Landscape Symbols, Importing your resource files and base map to the title block.
Assignment: Bring finished basemap to next class, output BW copy at OfficeMax.


Digital Design III: Pencil Concepts to Digital Graphics, Symbol Libraries
Classroom Skill practice: Refining the concepts, shapes, and readability. Looking for patterns in the landscape.


Digital Design IV: Supervised Work Session for Designs
Style Demo, Practice and Supervised Work Session. . Assignment - Complete draft design Demonstration: Calculating spaces and materials wih Acrobat.  


Digital Design V: The Key, Plant Lists, Call Outs, Output and Narratives


Materials List: Laptop PC or Mac, Updated Adobe Illustrator Software, Plant Database Access (supplied),
Printer (at home), Adobe Acrobat for PDFs, Internet Access, & Drop Box® Access Account (No iPads or Surface PCs).

When:  Friday Night, Saturday 9-4, Sunday10-5, Monday 9-5, (24 hours of instruction)           
Where: SouthWoods Forest Gardens, 17766 Langford Blvd, Prior Lake, MN 55372
                          
Limited tables so design classes are limited to 12 people. 
$400 for the weekend. Lodging not included.
$500 for LACES credits.

Dec 16, 2014

Southwoods Receives National Accreditation from the Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System

I am very happy to announce that Southwoods permaculture and design courses are now approved by LACES,  The Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System for providing accredited educational services.

Members of associated organizations can now fulfill their continuing education credits by taking courses in ecological strategy and design from Southwoods Forest Gardens.

 Courses are listed on the SouthWoods Website at SouthWoodscenter.com


Wintering the goats.

The goats are teaching a lot through observation. They are very good at diversifying their diet. They have a choice of alfalfa, hay, and straw; along with some twigs and brush.

Although they love the alfalfa as its comes in fresh and then soon turn to the hay and twigs. Out in the woods they are striping the bark from young basswood (by design) and downed ash.

If its not snowing heavily or too cold, they head out to the woods and browse on small twigs and stems from the fall's foraged plants.

Last week they learned the pond was now not liquid and proceeded to expand their territory.  Somewhat of an issue since that is the border of their area and I have to keep them contained. The back paddock fence dead ends on two sides in wetland ponds.

With the warm days I wanted to get them back into the orchard cleaning up the grasses, but we got more snow again, and they don't seem to want to move the snow away. I rake away the snow and then they will eat grass. 

The manure pile is growing and will be added to the gardens and worm bins. Some great garden crops will result next summer.  I wish I could train them to use one spot. They seem not to recognized the difference between food, bedding, and toilet.

No small adventure having any livestock.

Dec 2, 2014

Thermal Mass and Insulation Strategy

Notes from SouthWoods Professional Permaculture Series


Thermal Mass and Insulation, Local Conditions Dictate the Mix.
Building strategies in changing climates vary based on the biomic tendencies of the region.  Cold or hot regions also have sub-regions of precipitation, wind, and landforms. In either hot or cold climate strategies, principles and solutions still apply; it’s the various materials and conditions on site that dictate the implementation. In mountainous and higher latitudes, the cold can be relentless. Unlike a Desert, the daytime and nighttime temperatures (Diurnal Temperature Variations) may not fluctuate enough to use thermal mass to buffer the changes, such as with adobe or earth bag homes.   

In terms of building and construction, a thermal mass is essentially a solid that absorbs heat from the sun during the day and slowly radiates the heat at night. It may take the form of a thick wall or floor slab, made of either stone, concrete, clay, adobe, brick, or
even a volume of water. A thermal mass offers a much more energy efficient alternative to using a standard, forced-air heating system.   Heat is transferred from a thermal mass by radiation, convection and conduction. In the winter, the heat moves from the wall to the interior space, and in the summer, it works in the opposite direction and is expelled outdoors. Therefore, a consistent and comfortable temperature may be maintained throughout the day. The right orientation for a thermal mass depends on the climate in which a structure is built. In a cold climate, it should face the winter sun, whereas in a warm climate, it should not be exposed to direct sunlight. In general, the larger the mass, the more effectively it performs.

The continuous lower temperatures quickly transfer into the thermal mass, and in time, begin to absorb the heat within the structure.  Large log or stone homes, which keep cool in summer as the temperatures cool at night and rise during the day, lose their benefit in a cold climate. This relationship between structure and function needs serious consideration when planning a natural building. Should the thermal mass be inside? Such as with a rocket stove fireplace and insolation in the exterior walls. Or, should the thermal mass be on the outside to moderate the diurnal temperature differential of hot days and cold nights? There would seem to be hybrid combinations for every climate. How dense and how thick should the walls be in each situation? What is the strategy of isolation and mass density to achieve the best efficiency? Each side of a building may have a different material. Highly insulate on the side against prevailing winds and appropriate glazing on the sunny side.

 Insulation is used much more in colder climates to abate the infusion of extreme temperatures into a structure. Homes have thick walls and roofs filled with millions of airlocks cells that moderate the temperature change between the two sides. Double and triple pane glass is used in the windows to add a barrier to temperature change between the solid materials. Air and gases are used between the panes of glass,
much like a thermos bottle, which uses a vacuum chamber between the outer wall and inner container filled with hot liquid. Reducing the energy transfer on the edges increases the energy storage capacity of the space.

While working in Haiti I found that the dense block buildings a cool place in the day, but frigid each night. As a result, I lay on top of my 0ºF Polarguard sleeping bag in the sweltering temps of the late evening and around 2 AM, when the cold woke me up, I crawled inside the warmed bag. Part of the solution might be integrating our own habits with the dynamics of the built environment, just as we do the natural environment. Inside our homes we can insulate ourselves with fingerless gloves, and a sweater, or stocking cap. This is much easier than another cord of firewood or gallons of fuel oil. Start with zone “0”. Cultural adaptation is much easier than mechanical solutions. – Dan Halsey

So we have two principles working in a cold climate. There is the thermal mass of the structure including the air or water within the structure and the degree of insulation, which buffers the temperature changes across the layers of the edge or exterior surface.

 High tunnels used in agriculture have translucent sides that allow light to enter and heat the air inside. The thermal mass of the air in the high tunnel buffers the temperature changes at night. Using row covers in a high tunnel stratifies the air (insulates) and again slows the heat transfer from the cooling exterior to the plants beneath. Double plastic on the exterior is many times inflated by a fan or even bubble to increase the insolation factor.

Organisms use respiration and change their insulation depending on conditions. The dynamic relationship between thermal mass and insulation is optimized when managed as needed (warm blooded), rather than being a static and passive system (cold blooded).  Low temperatures extract energy from sources of heat. Cold climate systems slow that heat energy loss and minimize calories used to replace it. Using sector maps can help in this too.
Text Box: Diagram of a thermal massconsumerenergycenter.org
In the end, think of your construction model in polyculture terms. Is it a homogenous “monoculture” of materials regardless of the external aspect, or a mix of materials used in conjunction with each walls external exposure?  Is your building static or does it (and you) respond dynamically and creatively to change in the seasons? Within the climate and the changing seasons, the modality you choose (cordwood, rammed earth, earth sheltered, earth bag, straw bale, conventional wood framed, concrete, adobe, or a hybrid), the building materials will set up a cycle of benefits and/or disadvantages. Knowing the dynamics of the final structure within a climate should be well understood before a design is implemented. You will be living in it.

---

New Technology: Phase Change Materials
(Source: http://www.new4old.eu/guidelines/D3_Part2_H2.html)
Phase change materials (PCM) are special materials for increasing the heat storage capacity without adding extra weight to the structure. Here the phase change is used for energy storage. As the temperature increases, the material changes phase from solid to liquid and during the chemical process energy is absorbed. This way the room temperature will be lower. Later when the temperature decreases, the material changes phase from liquid to solid and dissipates the heat.
This energy is expended and removed from the room through night-time warming of the air. Ventilation can be increased with a fan and the air blown directly on the phase change mass. The temperature of the PCM itself remains constant during the reactions.
For building applications, the phase change should take place near the comfort temperatures, between 18 and 25°C. The phase change point depends on the type of material applied. If this temperature is too low, the heat storage capacity is exhausted too early, if it is high, starts too late and the influence is small. -Hegger, Auch-Schwelk, Fuchs and Rosenkranz. Construction Materials Manual, Birkhaeuser, 2006
Microencapsulated PCM (e.g. paraffin) can be mixed to interior plaster, wallboard panels or aerated cement blocks and applied in the building without any special measures, just like conventional materials. Encapsulation is important, as the PCM must not be in direct contact with other materials to avoid damages due to the “melting” process. 30 mm plaster coating with 30 % PCM has a heat storage capacity equivalent to 180 mm concrete. -Fraunhofer ISE, Germany, www.pcm-storage.info

Aug 6, 2014

IFG is Out!

  The book is available and getting great reviews.
Chelsea Green Promo below. 

This book is the first, and most comprehensive, guide about plant guilds ever written, and covers in detail both what guilds are and how to design and construct them, complete with 
extensive color photography and design illustrations. Included is information on:

• What we can observe about natural plant guilds in the wild and the importance of observation;
• Detailed research on the structure of plant guilds, and a portrait of an oak tree (a guild unto itself);
• Animal interactions with plant guilds;
• Steps to guild design, construction, and dynamics: from assessment to design to implementation;
• Fifteen detailed plant guilds, five each from the three authors based on their unique perspectives;
• Guild project management: budgets, implementation, management, and maintenance.



Author Signed:   $32.00 + 5.50 shipping.
Signed by Author/ Designer/Illustrator Daniel Halsey
Books available now.
Book and Bundles

Integrated Forest Gardening

The Complete Guide to Polycultures and Plant Guilds in Permaculture Systems

by Wayne Weiseman, Daniel Halsey, Bryce Ruddock

Praise

"Integrated Forest Gardeningmakes the process of creating complex agroecosystems more understandable and achievable. It is a fine guide to designing forest garden and polycultural systems using Permaculture principles." —Martin Crawford, author of Creating a Forest Garden

"We stand at a new threshold. The history of food production has tended ever more narrowly towards monoculture, whereas a sustainable future can only be based on polyculture. But we're desperately short of knowledge on polycultures. While mainstream research still chases the chimera of fossil-fueled monoculture, a small band of visionaries is working to develop the knowledge we need to carry us forward to the future. Just such are the authors of this book and the wisdom it contains is part of that movement." —Patrick Whitefield, permaculture teacher; author, The Earth Care Manual

"This is an intimate insight into the world of plant guilds. The authors have taken the broad land based overview and zoom the reader into the micro detail of these plant polycultures. Details of root structure, seeding patterns, and relationships with the surrounding environment have been carefully observed and are well laid out in the plant guild lists. This book is an important contribution to every permaculture designer's library and will appeal to all those wishing to grow sustainable polycultures whether broadscale or in the garden." —Ben Law, author, The Woodland Way and Roundwood Timber Framing

"This rich feast of nature love by three experienced and working permaculture designers pushes into the hard task of creating recombinant ecosystems, a field where few have gone before. The authors expose the logic and lore of working guilds, the symbiotic plant assemblies of productive landscapes. Full of design insight into the needs and opportunities of both plants and the people who live with them, Integrated Forest Gardening offers a panoply of example guilds, work procedures, and luscious images to inspire and guide the perennial food gardener onto a path of ecological renewal." —Peter Bane, author of The Permaculture Handbook and publisher of Permaculture Activist magazine

"Integrated Forest Gardening fills a major gap in the canon of permaculture books, giving us, at last, a detailed guide to guild and polyculture design. No longer is this subject mysterious and daunting; in this book we now have specific instructions for designing and installing multi-species plant groups. Chapter 7, which describes 15 guilds and their plant members, is a golden nugget worth the price of the book alone. This is an essential book for all food foresters and ecological designers." —Toby Hemenway, Author of Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture

"Reading Integrated Forest Gardening was like taking a walk through a well-orchestrated whole systems design! As a plant enthusiast and systems thinker this book spoke my language. It is rare to find in one book such depth of user-friendly detail. It demystifies the mythical nature of the forest garden and brings its strategies to easy application. This book is a must for all plant lovers." —Jude Hobbs, Cascadia Permaculture

"For the design work we do at Midwest Permaculture, when we need experienced advice on planting systems we turn to the three gentlemen who collaborated on this impressive work. The book is thorough, accessible, and timely. So wish we had this insightful compilation when we first started. It's a gem!" —Bill and Becky Wilson, Midwest Permaculture

"Integrated Forest Gardening is an evolution from Bill Mollison's original teachings, built upon by countless designs and a straightforward process. Both the seasoned and new designer can use this work to confidently approach a project, weaving land, client, and vision into an abundant and joyful reality." —Javan K. Bernakevitch, Educator and Agroecology Designer
- See more at: http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/item/integrated_forest_gardening:paperback/praise/#sthash.V0dlJay9.dpuf

Integrated Forest Gardening

The Complete Guide to Polycultures and Plant Guilds in Permaculture Systems

by Wayne Weiseman, Daniel Halsey, Bryce Ruddock

Praise

"Integrated Forest Gardeningmakes the process of creating complex agroecosystems more understandable and achievable. It is a fine guide to designing forest garden and polycultural systems using Permaculture principles." —Martin Crawford, author of Creating a Forest Garden


"We stand at a new threshold. The history of food production has tended ever more narrowly towards monoculture, whereas a sustainable future can only be based on polyculture. But we're desperately short of knowledge on polycultures. While mainstream research still chases the chimera of fossil-fueled monoculture, a small band of visionaries is working to develop the knowledge we need to carry us forward to the future. Just such are the authors of this book and the wisdom it contains is part of that movement." —Patrick Whitefield, permaculture teacher; author, The Earth Care Manual


"This is an intimate insight into the world of plant guilds. The authors have taken the broad land based overview and zoom the reader into the micro detail of these plant polycultures. Details of root structure, seeding patterns, and relationships with the surrounding environment have been carefully observed and are well laid out in the plant guild lists. This book is an important contribution to every permaculture designer's library and will appeal to all those wishing to grow sustainable polycultures whether broadscale or in the garden." —Ben Law, author, The Woodland Way and Roundwood Timber Framing


"This rich feast of nature love by three experienced and working permaculture designers pushes into the hard task of creating recombinant ecosystems, a field where few have gone before. The authors expose the logic and lore of working guilds, the symbiotic plant assemblies of productive landscapes. Full of design insight into the needs and opportunities of both plants and the people who live with them, Integrated Forest Gardening offers a panoply of example guilds, work procedures, and luscious images to inspire and guide the perennial food gardener onto a path of ecological renewal." —Peter Bane, author of The Permaculture Handbook and publisher of Permaculture Activist magazine


"Integrated Forest Gardening fills a major gap in the canon of permaculture books, giving us, at last, a detailed guide to guild and polyculture design. No longer is this subject mysterious and daunting; in this book we now have specific instructions for designing and installing multi-species plant groups. Chapter 7, which describes 15 guilds and their plant members, is a golden nugget worth the price of the book alone. This is an essential book for all food foresters and ecological designers." —Toby Hemenway, Author of Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture


"Reading Integrated Forest Gardening was like taking a walk through a well-orchestrated whole systems design! As a plant enthusiast and systems thinker this book spoke my language. It is rare to find in one book such depth of user-friendly detail. It demystifies the mythical nature of the forest garden and brings its strategies to easy application. This book is a must for all plant lovers." —Jude Hobbs, Cascadia Permaculture


"For the design work we do at Midwest Permaculture, when we need experienced advice on planting systems we turn to the three gentlemen who collaborated on this impressive work. The book is thorough, accessible, and timely. So wish we had this insightful compilation when we first started. It's a gem!" —Bill and Becky Wilson, Midwest Permaculture


"Integrated Forest Gardening is an evolution from Bill Mollison's original teachings, built upon by countless designs and a straightforward process. Both the seasoned and new designer can use this work to confidently approach a project, weaving land, client, and vision into an abundant and joyful reality." —Javan K. Bernakevitch, Educator and Agroecology Designer
- See more at: http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/item/integrated_forest_gardening:paperback/praise/#sthash.V0dlJay9.dpuf
  IFG Workshops and Courses listed at the SouthWoodscenter Website.
Go to Amazon  Author Page
Critical Praise
"Integrated Forest Gardeningmakes the process of creating complex agroecosystems more understandable and achievable. It is a fine guide to designing forest garden and polycultural systems using Permaculture principles."
—Martin Crawford, author of Creating a Forest Garden

"We stand at a new threshold. The history of food production has tended ever more narrowly towards monoculture, whereas a sustainable future can only be based on polyculture. But we're desperately short of knowledge on polycultures. While mainstream research still chases the chimera of fossil-fueled monoculture, a small band of visionaries is working to develop the knowledge we need to carry us forward to the future. Just such are the authors of this book and the wisdom it contains is part of that movement."
—Patrick Whitefield, permaculture teacher; author, The Earth Care Manual

"This is an intimate insight into the world of plant guilds. The authors have taken the broad land based overview and zoom the reader into the micro detail of these plant polycultures. Details of root structure, seeding patterns, and relationships with the surrounding environment have been carefully observed and are well laid out in the plant guild lists. This book is an important contribution to every permaculture designer's library and will appeal to all those wishing to grow sustainable polycultures whether broadscale or in the garden."
—Ben Law, author, The Woodland Way and Roundwood Timber Framing

"This rich feast of nature love by three experienced and working permaculture designers pushes into the hard task of creating recombinant ecosystems, a field where few have gone before. The authors expose the logic and lore of working guilds, the symbiotic plant assemblies of productive landscapes. Full of design insight into the needs and opportunities of both plants and the people who live with them, Integrated Forest Gardening offers a panoply of example guilds, work procedures, and luscious images to inspire and guide the perennial food gardener onto a path of ecological renewal."
—Peter Bane, author of The Permaculture Handbook and publisher of Permaculture Activist magazine

"Integrated Forest Gardening fills a major gap in the canon of permaculture books, giving us, at last, a detailed guide to guild and polyculture design. No longer is this subject mysterious and daunting; in this book we now have specific instructions for designing and installing multi-species plant groups. Chapter 7, which describes 15 guilds and their plant members, is a golden nugget worth the price of the book alone. This is an essential book for all food foresters and ecological designers."
—Toby Hemenway, Author of Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture

"Reading Integrated Forest Gardening was like taking a walk through a well-orchestrated whole systems design! As a plant enthusiast and systems thinker this book spoke my language. It is rare to find in one book such depth of user-friendly detail. It demystifies the mythical nature of the forest garden and brings its strategies to easy application. This book is a must for all plant lovers."
—Jude Hobbs, Cascadia Permaculture

"For the design work we do at Midwest Permaculture, when we need experienced advice on planting systems we turn to the three gentlemen who collaborated on this impressive work. The book is thorough, accessible, and timely. So wish we had this insightful compilation when we first started. It's a gem!"
—Bill and Becky Wilson, Midwest Permaculture

"Integrated Forest Gardening is an evolution from Bill Mollison's original teachings, built upon by countless designs and a straightforward process. Both the seasoned and new designer can use this work to confidently approach a project, weaving land, client, and vision into an abundant and joyful reality."
—Javan K. Bernakevitch, Educator and Agroecology Designer

Integrated Forest Gardening

The Complete Guide to Polycultures and Plant Guilds in Permaculture Systems

by Wayne Weiseman, Daniel Halsey, Bryce Ruddock

Praise

"Integrated Forest Gardeningmakes the process of creating complex agroecosystems more understandable and achievable. It is a fine guide to designing forest garden and polycultural systems using Permaculture principles." —Martin Crawford, author of Creating a Forest Garden

"We stand at a new threshold. The history of food production has tended ever more narrowly towards monoculture, whereas a sustainable future can only be based on polyculture. But we're desperately short of knowledge on polycultures. While mainstream research still chases the chimera of fossil-fueled monoculture, a small band of visionaries is working to develop the knowledge we need to carry us forward to the future. Just such are the authors of this book and the wisdom it contains is part of that movement." —Patrick Whitefield, permaculture teacher; author, The Earth Care Manual

"This is an intimate insight into the world of plant guilds. The authors have taken the broad land based overview and zoom the reader into the micro detail of these plant polycultures. Details of root structure, seeding patterns, and relationships with the surrounding environment have been carefully observed and are well laid out in the plant guild lists. This book is an important contribution to every permaculture designer's library and will appeal to all those wishing to grow sustainable polycultures whether broadscale or in the garden." —Ben Law, author, The Woodland Way and Roundwood Timber Framing

"This rich feast of nature love by three experienced and working permaculture designers pushes into the hard task of creating recombinant ecosystems, a field where few have gone before. The authors expose the logic and lore of working guilds, the symbiotic plant assemblies of productive landscapes. Full of design insight into the needs and opportunities of both plants and the people who live with them, Integrated Forest Gardening offers a panoply of example guilds, work procedures, and luscious images to inspire and guide the perennial food gardener onto a path of ecological renewal." —Peter Bane, author of The Permaculture Handbook and publisher of Permaculture Activist magazine

"Integrated Forest Gardening fills a major gap in the canon of permaculture books, giving us, at last, a detailed guide to guild and polyculture design. No longer is this subject mysterious and daunting; in this book we now have specific instructions for designing and installing multi-species plant groups. Chapter 7, which describes 15 guilds and their plant members, is a golden nugget worth the price of the book alone. This is an essential book for all food foresters and ecological designers." —Toby Hemenway, Author of Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture

"Reading Integrated Forest Gardening was like taking a walk through a well-orchestrated whole systems design! As a plant enthusiast and systems thinker this book spoke my language. It is rare to find in one book such depth of user-friendly detail. It demystifies the mythical nature of the forest garden and brings its strategies to easy application. This book is a must for all plant lovers." —Jude Hobbs, Cascadia Permaculture

"For the design work we do at Midwest Permaculture, when we need experienced advice on planting systems we turn to the three gentlemen who collaborated on this impressive work. The book is thorough, accessible, and timely. So wish we had this insightful compilation when we first started. It's a gem!" —Bill and Becky Wilson, Midwest Permaculture

"Integrated Forest Gardening is an evolution from Bill Mollison's original teachings, built upon by countless designs and a straightforward process. Both the seasoned and new designer can use this work to confidently approach a project, weaving land, client, and vision into an abundant and joyful reality." —Javan K. Bernakevitch, Educator and Agroecology Designer
- See more at: http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/item/integrated_forest_gardening:paperback/praise/#sthash.V0dlJay9.dpuf

Permaculture and Polyculture Consulting and Design

Permaculture and Polyculture Consulting and Design
Getting to know your property, the plants you have and those you can grow, is a fulfilling endeavor. With most I am the steward of the land. I give them good soil biology and they do the rest. If I group them in cohesive plant communities, they respond with greater yields. If I encourage the micro-organisms (Fungus and bacteria) , the roots obsorb more nutrients making a pest and disease resistant plant. A stronger plant that gives us more organic food and takes less energy.

A Ten Acre Farm Transformed to an Edible Forest Garden

A Ten Acre Farm Transformed to an Edible Forest Garden
Self Renewing Fertility, Soil Building, Water Catchment, Tea Trail Swale, Erosion Control and Native American Medicinals