Treeyo Project Update:  Evolving through Rooting

It was an itinerant permaculture teaching and project installation company, a brand identified with being on the move.  I made the conscious choice to not go on with this lifestyle for many reasons. Rather rooting into community and long term intensive site development is the goal.  This holistic vision has kept me put in Northern Kentucky since 2017 September other than a working holiday this past fall/ winter to my familiar Iberian roots.

Teaching

What once was my staple, teaching, has now dwindled down consciously and due to lack of interest in my local market for current offerings.  I tried to run a weekend PDC this again winter but that didn’t work here in the Cincinnati tristate region.  I did get to teach here at the lake on the topics of food forest and forestry in the Year Long PDC run by Braden Truth and the Cincinnati Permaculture Institute.  It really is a

Treasure Lake Zone 3 Planting
Treasure Lake Zone 3 Planting with Year Long PDC group

passion of mine to teach and always nice to show off the work you have been doing for nearly two decades in the forest (more on that below). It was a great group and we did get some work done in a zone 3 area I have been developing including last falls earthworks.  The space has been evolving since 2014 and will take its next evolution in the upcoming day class with Abby Artemisia in our event called Planting Abundance on May 18th.  Unique offerings like this is what I will try as I work my way into other avenues of teaching, rather than the globetrotting PDC circuit.

Planting Abundance: Herbal Walk and Permaculture Planting With Abby and Doug

Abby did interview me for a podcast as well and I got to talk about my passion of Paw Paw’s.

I will also be offering workshops at the Whippoorwill Festival in July in Kentucky and rumor is I might be starting to teach at University of Cincinnati’s horticulture department for Permaculture.

Treasure Lake

The fall last year, 2018, was brutal with the continued heat and non stop event planning and all the work and maintenance that comes with that.  I then left for Europe as soon as we closed for the season and finally took a breath to work on another passion; writing.  After spending three months in Iberia I cracked on with my beloved winter forestry work that I among calling Active Forest Management and launching a new movement around that.  The cutting of non natives and natives to make way for the understory paw paw and spicebush, the continuing to plug up streams with rock dams and woody debris, small and large diameter, and felling trees for mushroom innoculation.  This year I worked with one of my closest neighbors who has a shining example of 1/2 acre permaculture, Daniel Biedenbender, on the mushroom inoculation.  We removed quite a few box elders in the aforementioned zone 3 space that we are developing. The logs this time are at his fathers house down the road by a few miles as resources are starting to not be so boundary centric in the building of community here in Petersburg, KY. This winter work is great prep for getting the physical body back in shape for the looming busyness of spring. Much of that spring time has been devoted to nursery work again with the Cincinnati Permaculture Insititues Growing Value Nursery having a spillover/ secondary location here at the lake.  It’s fun work, but tough on the body indeed and honestly I am glad it has just a few more hours of work to be done to resettled for the season. Alongside of that I have been sprouting hundreds of Paw Paw seed from selected fruits from last years harvest.  Fun stuff as I put together elements of my own nursery as well.

Speaking of mushrooms, our King Stropharia beds that were inoculated in May and June of 2018 came thumping along with honestly more mushrooms than we could handle (and now a second flush is happening).  Emphatically by the bag full we have been harvesting them! I had never grown them before and will be better prepared for selling next flush.  For now we have all been eating lots of mushrooms around here since again the morel season hasn’t been great and these mushrooms keep us satisfied.  Part of those beds are also part of a western hedgerow on the edge of Annie Woods Dark Wood Farm market garden.  All the plants are super thriving which is a great sign to know that these mushrooms can be cultivated along with perennials like fruit trees, berrybushes, and perennial veg.  I definitely did have to pull the wood chips and fall leaves away from the trunks of the plants as the wine cap mycelium is indeed very aggressive. I have planted in more currants, Jostaberry, and gooseberry to finish filling out the space.

The other hedgerow, on the north end of the market garden, originally planted in fall 2017, continues to expand.  Everything is looking great, even the pear I had to whack back just above the graft after the deer rub got it as there was a miscommunicationabotu fencing when I left to Europe in the fall.  oops.  These nuclei are great to see displaying the small scale intensive principle for sure. And being full on growth during this warm and wet spring it is chop and drop time of course as well. Furthermore, I am now dropping in a few more layers of the food forests hedgerow as I developed the anchors and guild herbaceous plants and now adding more fruiting bushes like currants, Aronia, and more.  I have also expanded both east and west with more fruit tree nuclei, Japanese plum and Asian Pear, which meets up against a back stop that my grandfather had built for his dreams of having a softball diamond here.  It had become junk pile over the years but some hard work has it ready for vines, I do believe hardy kiwi it is. Maybe Akebia, decision has to be made today, ha. Oh and some hoops too!

The businesses of Treasure Lake have also been a backdrop ongoing conversation and evolution with the owners, my father and my two aunties.  So we decided to shut the pay fishing lake, campground, and the bar other than our Tuesday Night Ping Pong and Friday night Open Jam (now turning into Sunday afternoon instead of Friday), which are quite communal events.  The culture of camping and the pay lake and the event production of music shows honestly had become toxic with people simply over doing it and not respecting the land (not everyone but a few rotten apples do spoil the bunch).  Unfortunately people live in excess, I once was there and am no saint, although quite sober these days.  Anyway this allows me to have more time and space to dedicate to projects here on the land and elsewhere and build community further.

Pong jam
Pong jam

Community

The biggest journey of living in this economically depressed rural area during tough times in the states other than for the wealthy is indeed building community. There is a small group of us, but it is expanding as the roots are put down further.  Running a bar at the lake does generate tips and rather than take it all for myself, i simply use it as a tree planting fund.  So both the local Biedenbender homesteads, Daniel and Colleen and Josh and Maddy, have received big donations of plants to make their homesteads more robust and our community more resilient.  Our network extends beyond this but these are the folks I work with the most in my local area. I also am working with my longtime event production co manager, Bryan Schaffer and we will soon get his pear trees in the ground that were also donated through the tips for tree planting program. Furthermore, I of course work with Annie Woods and her Dark Wood Farm market garden that is still on the land as well.  There are still next steps and people are constantly asking about moving to this area since it is only 30 minutes from downtown Cincinnati, Covington, and Newport, our tri-cities on the river. Also I continue to make my trips two hours south to continue building community with the Berea crews it is my respite.

Lesourdsville

Another exciting opportunity I am working on is turning a normal park design into a permaculture landscape.  More on that one in the next blog as we are moving from vision and assessment phase into the conceptual design in this moment.

Lesourdsville, becoming anew park
Lesourdsville in Monroe, Ohio, becoming anew park

There is a lot going onion life these days and big next steps are occurring in rooting, even if they are tiny.  Hint that was foreshadowing.

New Article Release From App Tech Chapter

TreeYo EDU: This article focuses on examining the depth of electricity in our current lives and how to produce it renewably, as well as conversion and storage. Electricity is everywhere in our lives and one of the main design considerations for a regenerative homestead. Create edge in the cultural landscape through breaking up centralized control over this resource. https://treeyopermacultureedu.com/appropriate-technology/renewable-electricity-production-conversion-and-storage/

Insect Decline Blog: A letter back to a Student who asked about this vital topic

Response to Carolien via this article:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0006320718313636

Insects are the basis of the food chain for so much.  Birds for example are one of the many creatures that thrive off of them, well certain types thats for sure but even predatory birds that eat larger forms of life depend on bugs to build the food chain blocks.  In the states we all know the story of DDT and Bald Eagles, ironically the very symbol of our nation. I am sure you get that so here is the philosophical point.

Des Cartes. This french philosopher said man is separate from nature, mind and body are separate.  Cartesian Dualism is in fact the cause of this separation that allows people to read such a thing and then not act.  People stopped seeing in patterns and only have a rational worldview.  Essentially this is the missing link in the new age spiritual realm and a message i really wish to hit home with in my next education pursuits of an online PDC/ subsricption.

Rene Des Cartes

For example with cows, yes they are a mammal with specific caloric needs and health needs, yet rely tremendously on the symbiosis of their gut bacteria and protozoa.  So we began to grow corn and soy and other row crops to meet their caloric needs to gain weight quickly.  It had the repercussions of disease but science had already sorted that out with antibiotics, steroids, growth hormones, vaccines, and all those great advancements rationally took care of the other side of the equation of them feeding on foods they shouldn’t be eating evolutionarily.  We have stepped into the roles of gods and left behind simply being stewards of his/ their creation.  The monotheistic world religions are very materialistic and dominate a worldview perpetuated by Des Cartes.  Spirituality now is viewed in materialism rather than wholism. This is why Constatine crushed the pagan religions because they were holistic thinkers bent on cooperation not competition.

Same happened with plants and fertilizers after the war.  Yes fertilizers make incredible plant growth but then disease and pests proliferate.  So yes, science had already developed nerve toxins for war such as organophosphates and started to spray crops when the plagues came.  Its nerve poison.  And we spray it all the time throughout the whole world.  Agent orange was one of them and Vietnam soldiers are still degrading and dying from this awful poisoning beset by their governments.  And people ask why is there so many mental health problems, our nervous system and endocrine system is now plagued with the very poisons that were meant to free us from starvation.

In the states 90% of the population lives in cities.  Politicians are clueless on agriculture.  But they make the policy.  Its a business reinforced by the need for GDP infusion based on competition.  We are not collaboratively meeting the needs of a growing population and an environmental catastrophe.  Mankind reads such an article and responds with no action.  gross wealth inequality is one of the reasons why because organic and local is more expensive theoretically.  But our tax monies go towards subsidies of industrial agriculture which costs so the prices of those foods remain cheap.  Imagine buying your fertilizer in a bag vs making your own compost, rich in life.  Its chemistry vs biology.  Its GDP vs self sufficiency or local economy.  Its the global reticulation of materials and energy that makes the rich richer.  The billionaire class is no different than the feudal lords and kings of the past. Because so many live in the city, the countryside is raped.  Insects lose habitat because of it and are dwindling in large part to pesticides and poisoned manures.  War against nature and war in humanity is mainly about capitalism vs other ideologies.  They want a bigger market for more GDP.  Its that simple.  And meanwhile in the cities the majority of people struggle to meet ends meat.  Their purchases are based on simple mathematical equations of price of food not holistic health perspective.  Humans also stopped educating themselves about nature known also as environmental literacy.  You maybe able to read a book or do algebra but can you identify five trees?  Simply knowing what trees you are walking by, what birds you hear calling, and what fish are jumping is a good beginning to reconnecting. Educate yourselves for gods sake! People are clueless that their fertilizing of their lawns, their buying of doritos, their yoga pant purchases, their netfilx and chilling are killing this planet. And no one is perfect, surely not me.

Thomas Malthus was also an important philosopher that I studied in University twenty years ago.  He said that human population can only grow based on food supply.   Its a simple ecological proposition.  So humanity took that and created shit tons of food yet empty on real nutrition hence the diseases of today like diabetes.  Its a nutritional deficiency.  Neo Malthusians state that we will always find new technologies to circumvent the feedback loops of nature and our population growth then is essentially infinite.  Its madness.  We rape and pillage our natural resources for a made up set of laws around economy. Capitalism is driving humanity to extinction, the ultimate form of death.  Because yes we all die at some point, and many of us pass our DNA to the next generation.  But there will come a point in time when our DNA is so fried from all the poison that viable human beings are no longer possible, MAD MAX STYLE.

Yet a burgeoning movement of people growing foods alternatively exists.  So will the people of today support those farmers, those land regenerators, those providers of insect refuge and habitat?  That is the fundamental question of humanity.  We are hell bent on watching netflix not nature, we are hellbent on purchasing from Amazon not local artisans, we are hell bent on entertaining ourselves with hollywood rather than interacting with nature.  And no i do not mean simply going for a walk in the park, i refer to actively stewarding pieces of land.  We are an evolving species and our path towards technological and artificial intelligence is usurping our connection to nature.  It is our gods given right to be, not just to do.  We can in fact roll this tide into regeneration.  It takes courage, tenacity, patience, pattern thinking, material knowledge, and many other virtues that society has indeed forgotten.  It maybe cooperation more than anything else.

So for me it indeed doesn’t affect much cause all the days of my life are hellbent on giving back to a planet that gives me life.  I shall dwell in the house of the lord forever. Stewardship.

thank you for this question.  hugs

 

EDU Earthly: Treasure Lake, KY Stream Repair update: VLOG of Back to Back days of footage

One rock dams/ gabbions and large woody debris gully stuffers, Treasure Lake, Kentucky, USA. January 2019.

The videos bellow are taken about 24 hours apart in mid January 2019.  One during a high flow situation due to rain on top of snow.  Then as the stream flow slows down, you can see the architecture of our restoring natural hydrology work in the second video.  It shows an incised creek being reshaped, habitat created, water and nutrients slowed and filtered. Only one years worth of work during a few pulsations. Basically as we put it, be the beaver!! Watch them both and check out the link below for more on this technique I have employed across the world. Also there are design maps at the bottom to understand it more contextually.

https://treeyopermacultureedu.com/chapter-7-water/restoring-natural-stream-hydrology/

HIGH FLOW STORM EVENT

LOWER FLOW NEXT DAY

 

New Article: Cut and Carry: Animals Chapter

As the debate rages on whether we should be eating meat or not, I publish my latest article within the animals chapter to present another key facet to holistic animal management; Cut and Carry. Its a traditional technique that has been adapted by Permaculturists to ensure healthier animals and pastures. Read about it here and the nuances of it all. meanwhile enjoy the wonderful new header art from my dear friend and fellow permit, Joana Amorim. https://treeyopermacultureedu.com/animal-systems/cut-and-carry/

 

Terra Alta Food Forest Update: A Vlog from my old home: Sintra, Portugal

 

It was a true joy to see it again. Years and years of effort to rehabilitate what once was just an abandoned track of land.  The stacking in space and time, the building of resources to enhance succession, the diversity, it is all there on this special slice of land at Terra Alta, Sintra, Portugal.  Its former state was simply being completely covered by blackberries with few trees on it.  Now its a thriving jungle of food that has produced a lot over the years and now as the trees mature, its more the fruits that are the reward.

 

 

I stewarded this space from 2012 to 2016 and was the main architect of its development.  I worked hand in hand with Pedro, the founder of the project, and many a volunteers and students and other permaculture professionals along the way.  It is a joy to come back to such a spot.  Now the need for soil building operations has lessened and less maintenance needs other than pruning. However Pedro and his cohorts continue to develop it and enhance its beauty and functionality!

read more on food forests:

https://treeyopermacultureedu.com/chapter-6-trees/food-forests-or-forest-gardens/

Appropriate Technology intro article into a new chapter release

“You can’t go from grid entangled to off the grid over night.” In this new chapter with the TreeYo EDU online book, I get philosophical on what energy consumption and reliance on the grid is all about. I finish with a call for action, another quote from the article, ” Thus I challenge you to map your energy usage, see where you can complete cycles, and begin to incorporate biology and localism to emerge from reliance to independence energetically.” BTW, new look to website, same great info. https://treeyopermacultureedu.com/appropriate-technology/