Category Archives: Permaculture

Entropy, my Love

Permaculture is definitely a methodology intending to bend the vector of chaos and reduce the pace in which disorder degrade our world. In this process, considering the incredible  amount of energy coming from the sun we, as permies, are able to produce abundance by orchestrating the creation of a biodiverse ecosystem.

Mainstream scientists have claimed  lately that entropy is not really disorder and found  an ultimate shelter in the postulate that it is about  information conservation and the manipulation of mathematical sets which include statistical trends and probability.

There could be another perspective, related to  anthropocentrism. Let’s consider Chaos as a vector based on the notion of quantity, and Order as a vector based on the notion of quality (structure, meaning).

In this new perspective and considering universal laws like synergy and emergence we could induce that entropy is producing order . I give you an example ; by repeating a basic  pattern a large amount of time  (here quantity of disordered identical elements is involved) can emerge a structure identified as unique and particular (here quality is involved). In an anthropogenic perspective now; if I don’t like to scratch the bottom of a pan to remove the attached remaining food I let the pan soak so that the degradation of the glued remaining food will dilute in water and allow me to clean the pan. In my perspective (a higher level of emergence; human organisation) the final result has more structure and quality even if in a lower physical state the entropy has increased.

The question becomes ; does the notion of information conservation  needs to take into consideration the quantic leap in quality in information transformation ?

It is intellectually stunning to consider that if entropy could be more fundamental than the arrow of time another law of the universe is as well extremely fundamental;  Emergence. E.g. the big bang, or the infinity of proto-parrallel-universe producing our interesting universe.

… and they seem to be linked somehow.

This could be a fundamental question related to the perspective in which we consider mathematics as well. Are mathematics  a product of our universe or a product on a higher emergent level; we, human.

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Impact of global warming on food, worldwide

Reforestation with food forest seems to be the best answer to creating food resilience;

  • more productivity per square meter when using Permaculture and re-balancing the ratio between crops (less) and vegetables (more).
  • carbon sequestration to reduce global warming
  • weather stability (temperature, hygrometry, extreme weather)

The issue stands in the agro-industry where crop is considered as biomass; an input in the transformation process to produce industrial food. Re-architecturing the supply chain would represent a monumental investment and an important shift in the balance of power.

Chop and Drop – Alternative

The advantage of chop and drop is the use of the most nutritious part of the tree to create a rich organic layer on the soil which will be processed by fungus to regenerate the soil in the initial steps of reforestation. The two factors to consider are as following;

  • 80% of the nutrients in the tree are found in the branches from 1cm to 5cm of diameter;
  • Before the leaves fall from the branches (natural process of deciduous trees) the nutrients present in the leaves come back to the branches, therefore the leaves which are falling naturally on the floor do not have a lot of nutrients.

In this video the main point is taking advantage of rich nutrient leaves, including a certain ratio of nitrogen to make easy composting, an alternative to chop and drop.

The monitoring of the compost pile can be made through various techniques demanding low labor;

  • nitrogen addition using animal urine spread on the pile (accelerator toward hot-composting);
  • Inclusion of bamboo canes in the pile during its formation to create oxygen canals and avoid turning the pile. This will depends on the leave material and its capacity to create cavities in the pile; soft leaves will compact and create an anaerobic environment (to be avoided). Mixture of hard and curved leaves with soft leaves can help as well;
  • addition of composting worms after the hot phase to increase the quantity of beneficial micro-organisms;
  • inclusion of green layers for microorganisms inoculation and nitrogen ratio increase;
  • inclusion of bamboo leaves (e.g. still green following the same process of harvesting) will provide with silicates which is used by microorganism to create aggregates together with the soil when the compost is added to the top soil.

MIT developed a method to produce graphene in high quantity

Graphene mass production was the industrial bottleneck to allow derived technologies to uprise. Graphene will allow a technical leverage like never before in green technologies;

  • Solid state batteries and super-capacitors able to be recharged in minutes with an extensive number of cycle , which means rapid obsolescence of thermic motors and explosion of Electric Vehicle commercialization.
  • Breakthroughs in photovoltaic technology and industrialization
  • Carbon bases materials of high resistance versus plastic or metal
  • Water desalination cost reduction (although negative impact could happen in this area if not managed properly)

 

Biochar, Permaculture and Biomimicry

Biochar has been put on the front of the stage when large areas of Amazon were identified as fertile although tropical soil is usually poor. South American Indian civilization is the only to have increased soil fertility, Every other civilization in history has been responsible for soil depletion, often associated with civilization collapse.

The beneficial properties of Biochar identified till now are;

  • Soil texture modification improving water availability. Addition of biochar to clay improve drainage, addition of biochar to sand improve water retention
  • Creation of a stable environment for microorganisms and nutrients
  • Source of carbon for microorganisms
  • Modification of soil acidity

The objective of this video is to emphasize the idea that biochar production in a Permaculture food forest could be a step of a process, being a byproduct of food cooking or ceramic cooking more than the result of a main intend.  In the process of reducing the number or the biomass of fast growing leguminous trees planted at the first stages of forest succession and the production of firewood as a way to maintain the forest in a pre-climax stage to optimize biomass production, biochar production is a continuous process of fertility development and carbon sequestration starting usually in Zone 1 and extending in consecutive zones.

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