World Domination Gardening?

You guys probably know that the half-ass hugelkultur beds I built a few years ago rock my world. They have been super productive.

In fact, I like this permaculture bed-building technique so much that in a recent re-build of some of my old traditional raised beds, I experimented with making a normal raised beds into “secret” hugelkultur raised bed! There’s a whole post on that coming up.

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My hugelkultur beds are way smaller than these.

But in the meantime I wanted to let all my fellow Permie-curious and hugel-loving readers know that my friend Paul (you may remember him as the guy behind those Permaculture Playing Cards I gave away several months ago) from Permies.com is running a Kickstarter campaign to fund a 3 DVD video set called World Domination Gardening.

You can watch the Kickstarter video:

“World Domination?” You might be thinking, “Isn’t that kinda….like…forceful for a bunch of hippie gardener types?”

And the answer would be, absolutely! And that is classic Paul. He doesn’t just want to create sustainable, beyond-organic gardens that produce crazy amounts of food in unlikely and superficially difficult growing areas (like the desert, or the Alps). He wants a world where the ecological stewardship of permaculture farmers is economically rewarded and made viable on a universal scale.

Basically, he wants to change the freaking world one hugelkultur mound and chicken paddock and fruit tree guild at a time. Paul thinks on a pretty big scale. I maintain that this is because he is a ridiculously tall man-giant, and can’t help it: larger-than-life is just normal for him.

As you might expect, this 3 DVD set covers big, permaculture land shaping techniques like hugelkultur, berms and swales and natural pond building without a liner. A lot of the stuff in those DVDs is for folks on acreage – they use an excavator, not a shovel, to move dirt around.

Large scale – are you seeing a theme, here?

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I wanna drive an excavator! Who’s with me?

But for those of us who aren’t going to be putting a backhoe in our backyard any time soon, Paul’s also putting together a 15-minute micro documentary all about hugelkultur gardening that talks about to modify microclimates, build soil and plant diversity and how permaculture differs from organic methodology.

The mini-video is the thing I’m most excited about because it’s most relevant to my urban situation, and it’s the Kickstarter “prize” for anyone who donates a dollar (or more) to the DVD Kickstarter. I’m gonna throw my dollar in the pot to get the chance to learn more about hugelkultur and climate hacking, and I thought some of you guys might want to as well. A buck for World Domination seems pretty reasonable.

And should you feel the need to divest yourself of more money, there are lots of levels of support for this Kickstarter with prizes you can compare here.

Check out the World Domination Gardening Kickstarter and see if it’s your brand of crazy. And if you are perma-curious, definitely pop over to Permies.com, where a ton of knowledgeable people geek out about the many facets of permaculture all day long.

Now, seriously, hands up – who wants to drive an excavator?

Comments

  1. Paul is my kinda guy, I’m in! I have the acreage, but somehow am more content doing small scale things. My hugel start never got beyond quarter ass, for lack of good material to add to the woody base. A work in progress. Kick starter rocks. Let’s change this world, one garden at the time.

  2. I drove an excavator! At Wheaton Laboratories, no less!! It was lots of fun. Paul’s brother Tim had it parked in a good spot, so I wasn’t rolling around, just grabbing big tree stumps, picking them up, swinging them over and dumping them about 30 feet away.

    It was so much fun. I’m told I was very good, for a first timer. Did I say it was fun? :-)

    Anyway, I’ve ordered the 3 DVD set, mostly to support the empire, but I greatly encourage all of you to just pledge $1 so you can watch the 15 minute hugelkultur mini documentary. It should be lots of fun, with Paul as your narrator and guide and Bart doing the cool animations.

    If Paul can get 3000 people to sign up for at least $1 each, then he will release the video to the world, but if he doesn’t then your only chance to enjoy it will be via ponying up $1. Spread the word, I’d really like to see the 3000 people thing happen.

  3. We have the acreage and now that I’ve seen what a tiny hugelkultur mound can do – grow a freaking amount of pumpkins with one seed – we’ve started using my small bucket tractor to make more of these things.
    And I’m in a wheelchair 50% of the day. If I can do it, you can do it. Go plant something, but make the hugelkultur mound first.
    Thanks Chef Erica, for giving Permies.com a boost.

  4. what the dickensens is permaculture

  5. Nancy Sutton says:

    Ditto on excitement about the mini-hugel video!! Can’t wait :) I committed my dollar when I got Paul’s first ‘dailyish email’ alert! LUV permies.com. Only 50 hours to go!!!

    Permaculture… it has an official definition per the originator, Bill Mollison of Tasmania, around saving the earth, people and the future, but when I ran across it in the 80′s the idea seemed like a cross between two favorite books, “Edible Landscaping” and “Biomimicry”.. swimming in Design for Sustainability… no, make that “Regeneration”. It may be our saving grace…… :)

  6. This stuff is so cool. I’ve become a little obsessed with the small-scale permaculture. I’m definitely going to try some hugel beds this coming year. But what i’m getting really REALLY excited about is trying out a bunch of different perennial vegetables. If anyone hasn’t read the book “Perennial Vegetables” by Eric Toensmeir, they should. Awe–some.
    I’ve got a long list now of plants I’m trying to find sources for, (because in case you didn’t know–a wide variety of perennial vegetables are hard to find in the states. Apparently we’re a little behind on perennials. Besides of course asparagus and rhubarb)
    I’ve spent a serious chunk of time researching online sources. If I have to order seeds from the UK I just might…but if anyone knows of any places near Seattle that grow perennial vegetables…I’d LOVE to know about it.
    Things like…saltbush, good king henry, western front perennial kale, branching bush kale, profusion sorrel, edible day lily (flore peno), mashua, oca, ostrich fern, water celery…..

  7. I want o drive an excavator. We were just talking about how fun it would be have a little one for our farm – just a little guy. We’ve already named it Beauregard.

  8. One of those little backhoe without a tractor that pulls itself around by its bucket would do for me.

  9. Nancy Sutton says:

    Micah, check out Toensmeier’s and Bates’ latest book, ‘Paradise Lot’, where they tried out a lot of those perennials…. and found there are a few that they wish they hadn’t introduced :)

    Btw, (OT?), I just happened to be checking out Annette Cottrell’s blog, and ran across her list -
    Top Picks for PNW Perennial Vegetables
    Alexander’s Seeds (Smyrnium olusatrum)
    Artichoke (Cynara scolymus)
    Chives (Alium schoenoprasum)
    Garden Dandelion (Chichorium intybus)
    Jeruselem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus)
    Tree Kale (Brassica oleracea ramose)
    Lovage (Levisticum officinale)
    Ramps (Allium triccocum)
    Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum)
    Salt Bush (Atriplex halimus)
    Sea Kale (Crambe maratima)
    French Sorrel (Rumex scutatus)
    Wood Sorrel (Oxalis acetosella)
    Turkish Rocket (Brassica unias orientalis)

    Top Picks for PNW Reseeding Vegetables
    Arugula (Eruca sativa)
    Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium)
    Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum)
    Garden Cress (Lepidium sativum)
    Good King Henry (Chenopodium bonushnricus)
    Kale (Brassica olerecea acephala)
    Lettuce (Lactuca sativa)
    Mache (Valerianella locusta)
    Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)
    Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)
    Swiss Chard (Beta vulgaris)

    I’d add asparagus and cardoon… plus Bishop’s Weed for an excellent insectary plant (and superb bouquet filler ;). Erica has me excited about arugula :)

    • Thanks Nancy! Yes, I really do need to check our ‘Paradise Lot’. And yes, I have read that about some of the perennial vegetables. I’m plenty nervous about certain plants. I’ve heard that ‘Edible Forest Gardens’ is really awesome too.
      Great list also. I’ll have to check out the blog.

  10. Thanks for posting. Our family just contributed to the KickStarter & I love the idea! We live on a 1/4 acre suburban lot in the Willamette Valley and enjoy our 4 garden beds. We will convert at least 1 to a hugelkultur bed this Spring. Our chickens get to play in our garden beds after Fall harvest and I’ll bet we have to permanently ban the chickens from that hill as they adore flattening everything they encounter :)

  11. I do not wish to drive the excavator… all I can picture is it turned over in a ditch, with me (hopefully) shrieking for help from beneath it. BUT, I would love to pay somebody else to drive the excavator and excavate some hugel beds for me!

  12. I love driving the Excavator! We had two different weekend-long adventures with an excavator this past summer, utilizing them to move brush across the property and a myriad other chores. I admit I felt a bit guilty for the carbon footprint of the fuel for the damn thing, but it saved me many hours of back-breaking labor had we done everything by hand! We have a problem on our property with a high water table, so we actually created a small trench that runs from our pond, to the property line and rains into a small swampy area behind us to help drain excess water instead of flooding our yard (not that we’d ever have excess water in WA…hehe). We then used the Excavator to create the beginnings of hugelkulturs on either side of the trench running it’s length, with the idea that whatever water runs through it may also be soaked up into the hugels to water the food we grow in them! They’re not finished or planted yet, so it’s just a theory at this point, but it wouldn’t have been possible without that big ol’ piece of machinery! We’ll see how the growing goes come summer time…

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