Sunday, July 17, 2016

On playing Mother Nature; Part 1

We are gardeners, we love plants, we tend our plots in our human ways, and when they grow we grow.  The longer we have a garden the closer we feel to nature.  The closer we feel to nature the more we study nature.
 My teacher Sepp Holzer has validated the value of these unseen relationships we form with our gardens and by relation the connection to all of nature.
 Nature/Nurture there is little difference.  If I have groked anything in this endeavor it is that nature endures beyond my attention span, I am not going to be the caregiver for the planting I have made; Nature is.  Natural forces are the determining factor for the survival of every living thing, and we humans are ignoring the endurance of natural inevitabilities; instead of using these forces for the abundance so easily obtained.
We have learned by study, yes every one of us who pays attention recieves a tiny message every time we stop to smell the roses so to speak.
Can we take walk now into the forest, can we now rest among the clover for an hour and imagine our hand doing good upon the land?
Allow the small things to exist, the weeds as you might call them are the blankets for our soils billions of years in the making. They are doing work so important you may never understand it... let that be o.k.
Be a deer some days nip at the tops of your most prized flowers or peppers. Be a pig and dig.. If we keep gardens away from animals we have a lot of work to do imitating them. Over time the lack of animals among our gardens is going to be glaring.
In an urban/suburban environ we do well to draw animals to the garden or find ways to imitate their influence.
We lay manure, and that seems to be the extent of the understanding the general public has embraced as truth.
We need frogs, snakes, bees bugs and yes and even deer.. why?? Resilience, natural selection.  Especially w/ perennials/ food forest type plantings... but even in a tiny plot .. bugs will reveal the weakest plants in your plots.  Resilience comes from stress in many cases.
Compost is another one of natures wonder drugs for greenery, organic matter properly broken down or laid upon the surface will provide.
When applying most amendments or organic matter, leave them on the surface and allow worms the most accessible animal in uber sterile urban container plantings, started in bagged soil; worms can be immensely beneficial in such situations.  Worms will bring down what they need and do the composting for you if making a compost bin or pile, is not for whatever reason is NOT "happening". I have watched them pull small bit of leaves or grass down their holes while observing my garden beds in the early evenings and in the morning fog.  I have even seen them take down ting lettuce seedlings and in effect thinning them for me.
When I seed a surface I over do it.. just like nature I place many many seeds down, planning for failure, planning for bugs and birds. The strongest survive and self thin by dominance, the stand out, the specimen supreme. I lose thousands of seedling this way, intentionally as a natural selection method. Rarely do I find an entire batch of seeds to be so flawless as to produce a dozen such specimens in a single clump of sprouted seeds.  Mostly broadcasting seeds, in most cases not burying them in rows. I consider and have observed watering to be enough disturbance to cover seeds till germination.  A light covering of grass clippings or straw acts as a perfect coverage and support for emerging seedlings, just as in a natural field or hillside.
I enjoy pretending to be mother nature, making natural trellises, gathering seeds and twigs.. turds and stones to assemble at the feet of my plants for their well being and my own.

Many different plants together ... nature's way of defending against bug issues .. friendly frogs help too.

I am not saying let deer wreck your prized plantings, I'm saying prune heavily sometimes like a deer would. Dig out roots from the side of a large perennial like a pig..thereby thinning the clump. Dump some manure.. dare I say encourage some peeing on the bushes. You are an animal after all ;) 

Monday, June 27, 2016

"Learn Holzer Permaculture in practice in the footsteps of Sepp Holzer" (with Sepp Holzer)

It IS my fondest wish, to go to this event in Austria;
This man Sepp Holzer and his support community are cutting edge in AgroForestry, Natural Farming Systems, Learning to read and listen to the land. A tour of the world's most amazing permaculture paradise. One week in heaven learning from Sepp Holzer and the Perma Vitae crew ..his band of angels!
An epic experience guaranteed!!
Mittwoch, August 24, 2016 to Freitag, September 2, 2016
Übelbach/Steiermark; Jennersdorf/Burgenland

August 24 to September 2 | Austria 2016
"Learn Holzer Permaculture in Practice in the footsteps of Sepp Holzer!”

English Seminar with simultaneous translation from German

Trip Highlights
Learning from and meeting Sepp Holzer - the Master of Holzer Permaculture
Visiting the first Edible Village of Austria
Learning from the Rebel Beekeeper of Austria
Learning at the first Wilderness Culture Farm in Europe
Learning how to harvest Seeds
Building an Earth Stable
Experiencing Austrian Tradition
Making your own Schnaps, Bread and more
Visiting the largest and most famous spa in Austria

Seminar Program
Meeting in Graz | August 24
Meeting point: Graz Airport
Departure: 2pm
Trip to Ubelbach (30km)
Dinner: 6pm Introductions and getting know each other

Ubelbach/Styria | August 25 – 27

August 25
09:00 am Breakfast
10:00 am Welcome - „7 Steps to Creating an Edible City“ and Tour around the edible village“
                  with Sandra and Johnny Peham
12:00 pm Lunch
01:30 pm Tour in PEGGAU (Wilderness Culture Garden) 
06:00 pm Dinner

August 26
09:00 am Breakfast
10.00 am Wilderness Culture Principles with Johnny Peham
                  Planning and Creating an Edible Garden
12:30 pm Lunch
01:30 pm Wilderness Culture: Planning and Creating an Edible Garden
09:00 am–05:00 pm: Additional Option: Food Processing with Sandra Peham
                                       How do bake your own bread and making vegan ice cream.
05:00 pm Party with Traditional Austrian music, Attire, and Dance followed by
August 27
07:00 am Breakfast
08:00 am Trip to the mountain Beekeeper
09:00 am Natural Beekeeping - Lunch, (about 40 km Drive)
04:00 pm Departure, Drive to Jennersdorf to meet Sepp Holzer (Distance 140 km)

Jennersdorf/Burgenland | August 28 - September 1

August 28
08:00 am Breakfast
10:00 am Lecture with Sepp Holzer
12:00 pm Lunch
02:00 am Tour of the Holzerhof with Sepp Holzer
05:00 am Tour of the Wildness Culture Farm with Judith Anger
07:00 pm Dinner

August 29
08:00 am Breakfast
09:00 am Tour of the Holzerhof with Sepp Holzer
12:00 pm Lunch
02:00 pm Tour of the Holzerhof with Sepp Holzer
07:00 pm Dinner and Wine Tasting

August 30
08:00 am Breakfast
09:00 am Lecture with Sepp Holzer
12:00 pm Lunch
02:00 pm Consulting with Sepp Holzer on your own project
05:00 pm Conclusion of workshop with Sepp Holzer
07:00 pm Dinner and making your own “Schnaps“

August 31
08:00 am Breakfast
09:00 am Building an Earthstable at the Wildniss Culture Farm
12:00 pm Lunch
02:00 pm Making Bone Sauce and Working with Traditional Tools
06:00 pm Dinner
07:00 pm Trip to the biggest spa in Austria

September 1
08:00 am Breakfast
09:00 am Building an Earthstable at the Wildniss Culture Farm
12:00 pm Lunch
02:00 pm Harvesting and Processing Seeds
07:00 pm Certifcation hand outs, Farwell Party with Sepp Holzer and
                  the Permavitae Crew

September 2
08:00 am Transport to Graz Airport

Seminar Cost | € 2,500.00
Includes: Seminar, transportation, translation, meals, accommodation,
Wine tasting, visiting the largest Austrian spa
Does not include: Drinks

Register via Email
Please send your email to and you will receive the registration form for the seminar.

Sepp Holzer, Agrar Pioneer
Johnny Peham, graduated Holzer Permaculture Practitioner and Consultant,Wildernessculture Expert 
Judith Anger, graduated Holzer Permaculture Practitioner and Consultant,Wildernessculture Expert 
Sandra Peham, Consultant for "Edible Villages and Cities"
Wolfgang Schmidinger, graduated Holzer Permaculture Practitioner, carpenter
Tom the Beekeeper

Seminar Details
This trip will be conducted only when the minimum number of 15 participants is met. The maximum number of participants is 30.

Additional Information
Family friendly: come with the whole family and we will help facilitate a great family trip!
Healthy and Natural Food meeting Dietary Preference!
Volunteers are welcome at the Wilderness Culture Farmand the edible projects in and around Übelbach! 

Copied with permission from Perma Vitae

After this tour you can participate in a ten-day seminar with Josef Andreas Holzer (without Sepp Holzer) at the "Krameterhof"!
September 3 to September 12
Informations: office@krameterhof.