Episode-1138- Low Input vs. High Input Permaculture Design

The Survival Podcast show

Summary: TweetContour Based Wood Core Beds from Today’s Episode I figured now would be a good time to discuss this subject as it applies to two major projects underway at the Spirko homestead.  Of course we just recently completed the contour based wood core garden beds at our first workshop.  Those who attended also got to see the area that will be our “showcase urban forest garden”, an area of 2700-3500 square feet depending on what we actually use of it. The work involved in establishment of these two systems is dramatically different.  One required a lot of initial inputs, mulch, wood cores, heavy equipment, fungal and bacterial inoculation, organic fertilizer  and lots of manual labor.  The result is pretty much a turn key system.  While it will take a year to fully mature, it is a long term and very stable system. The new project, the forest garden will be remarkably low input.  We did dig out one hole for a garden pond based out of a stock tank and a short trench to connect it to one upgrade.  But the work could have been done in a day with a shovel by one person. Today I will contrast these two systems and discuss the permaculture concept of an “energy audit” and why it is critical to our long tern sustainability.  Specifically if the SHTF, we will immediately go into a scenario where what comes out must at least equal what we put in.  Today this is measured in money with no concept of the damage done to the system long term.  Tomorrow that likely won’t be an option. Join Me Today to Discuss… Contour based wood core beds Initial materials 12 yards of wood mulch About 5 tons of wood core 30-40 lbs of blood meal 15-20 lbs of bone meal 5 lbs of cover crop seed 4 days of heavy equipment usage 20 gallons of gasoline Work required and system output analysis One man 2 months 110 feet by hand 20 men, one machine 160 feet in 1.5 days in the rain System life time, annuals 10-15 years, perennials infinite Required ongoing inputs, planting, weeding, fertility, mulching Primary attributes, water harvesting, nutrient retention, erosion resistance 3000 Square Foot Forest Garden Initial Materials Landscaping timbers (20-35) Large spikes (40-70) 2 galvanized stock tanks 6 ft by 2 ft (capacity 840 gallons) 1 galvanized oval end tank 2 x 1 x 6 ft (for reed bed) 4 polyethylene barrels for aquaponics system Gravel for the aquaponics system Pumps for the aquaponics system 1 Polyethylene tank, capacity 1,500 gallons PVC pipes and fittings Hardwood mulch (20-25 yards) Rain gutters for out building Electrical wiring Work required and system output analysis 1 Person, time required unknown but work load is easy Aquaponics system is an add on Required ongoing inputs, planting, weeding, fertility, mulching, pruning System life time infinite for most components Primary attributes, water harvesting, nutrient retention, erosion resistance, protein production, energy conserving Final analysis Forest garden will take longer but require less phyical and machine labor Wood core system is more conducive to row crops Both systems require many initial inputs, the list grows Both systems are true long term systems developing their own cycles The forest garden is more energy conserving and easier to maintain On a larger property the two systems provide for each other Planting and plants must be calculated based on final designs and are not really suited to direct comparison Resources for Today’s Show… Members Support Brigade 13Skills.com Join Our Forum TSP Mint TSP Gear WalkingToFreedom Western Botanicals – (sponsor of the day) Harvest Eating – (sponsor of the day) Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK and you might hear yourself on the air.[...]