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Ben Falk from Whole Systems Design, LLC joins me talk about permaculture design and what he has learned on his research site over the years.

He talks about how to break into the business as a designHe touches on cold climate infrastructure and heating with wood. And he goes into his thoughts on designing a property and why it's important to understand the land's capability and how you should relate that to your goals.

We also spend some time talking about the mass selection of plant genetics for a site, stressing the importance of over stacking the system in the beginning to see what works and what doesn't.

Key Takeaways:

Get some experience working with the land and systems before you start designing properties as "a designer."

You can reduce your wood usage by 30-40% by drying wood well versus haphazardly drying it.

Cold humid climates have a low tolerance for bad moisture detailing in structures. When designing a home detail carefully to keep the home dry and get water out.

Grow tree multi-purpose tree species for fuel wood. Consider black locusts - fixes nitrogen, fast grower, rot resistant wood, good fuel wood, and makes great saw logs.

Have goals but understand the land's capability so you can adjust those goals as needed. Don't fight against the land's tendencies and capabilities, work with it, not against it.

Most people have more land than they can manage well. Moving down in acreage might be advantageous. It is better to manage 5 acres right than 100 acres wrong.

Most people can have most of their needs met on 5-10 acres. Unless you have a commercial aspect or grazing component.

Have a good access plan for your site. Don't box yourself out. Start and maintain a clear access pattern which is based on the water flow throughout the site.

For site selection general location and access are a quick way to filter down a list of a lot of properties. Then look to the Keyline Scale of Permanance. Consider water security and controlling as much of a watershed as you can.

Focus on manageability with regards to plantings. Plant based on water access with on contour swales.

Not all permaculture techniques will work on all sites. So don't expect that.

Practice the mass selection of genetics. Identify the best genetics from your site by growing trees from seed. Plant as many tress as you can on a site, way closer than you would ever imagine, and cut out the ones that don't do well.

Use the first 3-5 years on a site to learn what does well. Years 5-10 are when you focus on plants and families that really want ot grow on your site - microclimate - aspect - soils. And there is no way to know which ones will work unless you start putting a lot of plants in the ground.

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Direct download: PVP027-REPLAY.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture,farming -- posted at: 7:07am PDT