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sensus fidelium Podcast Permaculture

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Philip G.:
I recently listened to this podcast on sensus fidelium.  I like the priest, and the couple they interview are doing a pretty good job.  Give it a listen.  The only thing that I was disappointed to hear about was that they are doing the "back to eden" gardening method.  The BTE method is basically the method that got people thinking it is a good idea to put wood chips all over your yard.  And, you know what I think about wood chips.  This approach fails to grasp the fact that compost requires greens and browns.  If you just place browns such as wood chips all over your property, it will still require "greens", which means nitrogen, in order to break down.  This means that the wood chips steal nitrogen from the soil they are sitting on in order to break down.  That is nitrogen that your plants need in order to grow well.  It is a sleight of hand approach.  What you give with one hand(wood chips), you take away with the other(nitrogen in the soil).  BTE gardening is not a sustainable imitation of nature.  It is dare I say witchcraft. 

They mention that they are following the joel salatin model of animal management, which I think is a really good thing.  I have read a couple of his books, and he has got a good thing going.  However, the couple interviewed mentions if I recall correctly a type of "amish catholicism" approach.  And, I have to respond that I think they are mistaken.  Joel Salatin often mentions that he is/his approach is not a "ludite" approach.  He prides himself in this.  And, back to eden gardening is definately not an "amish" type of approach.  Back to eden gardening could not exist without modern technological forestry machines that grind trees up in to wood chips.  If this couple truly wants to promote a type of amish catholicism, which I think is a good thing and in fact the perfection of the movement, then they are going to have to depart from both Salatin and BTE gardening in my opinion. 

The amish have a "country" precisely because they don't take short cuts like electric fences and the like.  The amish are known for holding the rear technologically.  Salatin is more a combination of the best of both to create a highly profitable quality homestead/farming model.  Both are great in their own right, but they are not to be confused with each other.  That I would say is the only flaw in this couples reasoning.  The amish have their own country as a result of "permanent" investments.  The salatin farming model can be picked up, and relocated with ease to new geography, and operations would not suffer to greatly.  An amish approach is investing in the location permanently and creating a generational approach.  Which is why they call amish Pennsylvania amish "country".  What is the ideal?  The ideal in my opinion has to be considered the amish model, if you can do it. 

If this couple sees themself as a family first, and a religious operation second(implied by their farms name "eucharisteo farms" as opposed to "their last name ... Farm"), they can potentially accomplish the amish method.  But, in my opinion, it is the other way around.  That is simply my take.  I like Joel Salatin.  I don't like the BTE method.  And, I certainly don't discourage fantasizing about "amish" catholicism.  But, I think this couple has a ways to go, with many more sacrifices before they can make that claim.  Until then, it is simply an enthusiastic interview with a noisy baby in the background.  Cheers!

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkIghllHYEw

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