Permaculture Literacy – HHA

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  • Diana Furlong says:

    Even on a micro urban city plot this is good to know as every inch of available productive growing space is needed.

  • Carl Gibson says:

    Also a landscape where the minerals have been leached out of the soil are way more brittle I would think.

  • Adreena Carr says:

    can compaction of soil also be a determining factor of brittleness, especially in more suburban gardens? Also what happens if the overall humidity, rain levels, and temperature are very erratic – should we then observe brittleness in more stable weather?

    • Jesscy says:

      {HHA Coach} Hey Adreena! Yep. Soil compaction can be detrimental. As far as your second question…can you elaborate a bit more, please?

      Do continue through the modules as Bret delves deeper into this later on! 🙂

  • Loren Vansant says:

    I’ll be in Central Florida – so possibly around a 2-4 area. but I have always noticed that around the groves it’s only dirt – easily kicked up by the wind and nothing grows. A lot of that is due to chemicals and also the farmers coming in and removing everything. I’ve always looked at the land sadly and wondered how to help fix it. Which is one of the reasons for taking your course, so that I can go home and work on trying to help my area farmers. I also know I’ll have to take into account the chemicals used and who brings in equipment to collect fruit as well as those that bring in people to collect fruit.

  • Sophie Craggs says:

    So interesting.. The spot I am in is in varying degrees of ecological succession, mostly level 1 or 2. From what I can glean we are in a cool Mediterranean climate here on the gulf islands. I would say the brittleness definitely varies. In the summertime the places where the soil is bare are dusty and hard as rock, with most things (except the stinging nettle of dying off. In the winter time the property is very wet, but thriving and full of life and decomposition (thanks especially to the big leaf maples and alders). Spring time is my favorite because everything is so green and shooting up everywhere. I would like to do all that I can to improve the conditions over the summer to support the revitalizing of the land, as well as keeping the whole thing from turning into a swamp in the winter, as I know trees can suffer from root rot if conditions are too swampy. So looking forward to learning more, thanks for mentioning Hugelkultur beds! I think this will work well for the site!

  • susan tupper says:

    great to know that the tropical forest is not so brittle and recovery will be easier to achieve there…I remember dad saying his main problem was keeping the jungle at bay ..

  • Jennifer Evers says:

    I live in Virginia; cfa is the code based on the scale presented in the climate zone lesson watched previously. As far as brittleness goes, I’m thinking I’m somewhere in the middle leaning towards the lower numbers on this scale. Here’s my question—we have periods of intense humidity as well as lots of rain—at least it has been this way lately. I’m not nervous about doing something to the land as much as I am unsure about how to manage the two opposing parts of my climate. I live in an area built on top of natural springs, but the land compacts so easily be cause of the summer sun followed by pooling of water on top of this because of the crust formed with intense sun and humidity in the summer months. How would building a swail benefit my land when water is abundant but yet not readily absorbed because of how compact it is? This is where I struggle—I have mostly flat land that used to be farmland and yet areas of the land pool with water anytime we get a good downpour. Would it be more beneficial to capture this rainfall with rain barrels or build a swail? There is some slope to the land, but slight and this is where the water tends to collect. How exactly do I use this to the advantage of rebuilding my land? I am worried that without the right planning, I’ll only make the water pooling worse and not more beneficial to the concept of holistic management.

    • Bret James says:

      Jennifer – this is a big question and might bet better suited for our Q&A if I don’t answer completely enough in this comment. Swales in wet landscapes are sometimes not needed, if the soil has consistent moisture, and might even cause problems. So it might not benefit your land. The key question is: does this landscape need more water? If not then no swale needed. But if there are areas that are too wet and areas that are too dry then yes a swale might be beneficial to balance out the water from one area to another. Ponding is only a problem if the area is needed to be used for something, or there is another area that is too dry, and I would interpret ponding as a good thing (at least it’s not running off and has a chance to absorb).Swales A soil test will give you an idea of your soils water holding capacity (both from knowing the ratio of sand/silt/clay and looking at the CEC level on a laboratory analysis). Now compaction and crusting are expected if the wet areas are in use, so the ideal thing is to keep equipment and people off the area. Also, is the area bare or thick with grasses, clovers etc? The latter will prevent much of the soil crusting. Yes you are correct that you having a good understanding of exactly how to manage the different areas of your land is important! Let me know if we need to take this conversation into further depth on Facebook or in the Q&A Jennifer.

  • Teresa Woods says:

    I appreciated this one because it hit the nail on the head for me. I have been frozen over not knowing what to do and living in the fear of making it worse. . . Gaining the confidence to move forward is exactly why I signed up for this course.


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