Tag Archives: permaculture

WOW Still Growing in TX~!! (12.15.18) Garden Update - DIY Homestead Zero Waste Minimalist

**WOW Still Growing in TX~!! (12.15.18) Garden Update – DIY Homestead Zero Waste Minimalist**



View Time:11:11Minutes



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more than everybody this Marc Crawford sustainable frugal living and it is December 15th we're getting some sunshine as you can see it's really not that cold but I got thin Bloods covered up anyway I wanted to give you a quick update of our garden we've been somewhat successful come with me we'll check it out ok this is our new structure here that we created with the free pallets we got videos on that you can check out we've got the landscape fabric inside blind inside with compost we actually we have the the core Google method they call it the kugel I guess and there's like say there's videos on that the rest of it filled up with compost now look at the earlier video you would have seen this was full of cucumbers against this welded wire here and we were able to harvest quite a few cucumbers and Teresa has pickled four deal pickles and bread-and-butter pickles I think they call him was really cool and then the rest of them had in our salads against end over there we had ochre plants we had ochre plants over the over there as well okra plants didn't make it we've got a little bit of harvest from the okra but not month I mainly just the small ones for salads the the freezes that we had we had some early freezes here in Texas as well as across the country as the second freeze pretty much did in the okra plants and killed them so the rest here were snap beans and they were Bush beans and we've got we got a lot of those those were very delicious very good and then we had some world crow planted down here you'll see in the other video but anyway this been I plants root in the soil that actually adds to the nitrogen to the soil as it breaks down and I tilled it up at chicken manure compost in this area out it with leaves and so that one's put to bed for the winter that one's done now this bed over here we had tomato plants here and we probably got maybe a dozen tomatoes off of that and of course the like I said the okra plants were here they froze out and died we got a few but the tomatoes we actually had to plant the we had to harvest the tomato plants before the second freeze because we knew it was going to be a hard one and would kill them so several probably about six half-a-dozen of the tomatoes we had to put in the house and let them just ripen in there the rest of all this is beets and they're our root crop so they've done well through the freeze they've been okay and still growing healthy and strong as you can see here we did an intense planning method with the beets so they're not gonna be real large or over in this area here we have our carrots and again we did an intensive planting for our carrots which you can go either way if you do the regular spacing you'll get the larger carrots if you do intensive spacing like this you get more carrots but you're going to get the smaller salad size carrots that's what we were going for here another reason we weren't really sure how well they would do and you can see here they did very very well and it awesome one of the videos I meant 'add what they look like they look pathetic after the thunderstorm is beat them down but obviously they all came back very very well so we've got lots of basically baby carrots over here the last bed of our four new ones it is you can see put to bed do the same thing over here with the compost and leaves put to bed the only thing is we left is the sugar pea plant the one sugar pea plant that we didn't tie up to the welded wire we just left it on its own and it actually survived if you look in the earlier videos we had like three or four plants here that we're just hanging down I'm pretty sure what I did wrong on these just for your knowledge is I planted them too shallow and so they grew but the roots weren't very deep and that was detrimental to the plants so they didn't make it but this one here we we just kept kind of pushing up this way so it would stay out of the dirt and it actually survived there's a couple of plants there and this one actually has some sugar peas on it to harvest I'll show you one maybe you can see one right there this one right here that one right there is ready to harvest but doesn't have a whole lot on it but the one surviving sugar pea plant okay that's it for our new area let's go into the existing garden structure over here check it out our existing garden structure but actually they're all existing this is our older garden structure along with the UV tarp on it or shade cloth the hydroponics was a pathetic disaster we're just busy with the livestock and different things so we're going to let this go until next spring we put pearl light in it and that was a big mistake it's just a lot better with gravel we've we've done it with gravel before and didn't have the gravel to put in until we had lots of pearl light as you can see the bag over there and we got bags over here or perlite so the issue with the perlite is make some ass floats too easily it gets down into the orifices where it drains into the tub and that's a big issue so we're gonna go back to the pea gravel on this I'm sure it'll be a lot better anyway let's take a look right over here we've got these are some transplants from the cups we actually germinated from seed and then transplanted on me here this is spinach you can see there we've got about a half a dozen spinach plants and they're doing real well very good plants and the rest of this is more radish we planted a lot of radish one reason is because radish is very easy to grow and as you can tell here this is pretty much ready to harvest we're going to harvest most of this today if not all of it I said in earlier videos we love radish with barbacoa tacos and salads I love it I mean some people it's not for them it may not be for you but it gives your salads a little bite a little spice and it's healthy very good for you my favourite is in barbacoa tacos with onions cilantro that's the best so anyway let me pull one of these up and you can see without pulling them up here you can see you can see them right there they get that one that's what we're looking at see how big that one is anyway we've got quite a few of them in there time to harvest we'll give some to family we'll eat a bunch and over in this bed we have some broccoli which has just been tore up by the pests you can see just tore up this there's still barely hanging on but I don't think they're gonna make it through the winter and the rest of this bed is yet to be composted and we're gonna put some chicken manure or compost in this on the top of it fill it in and put leaves on it same way put it to bed for the winter get rid of all of them the weeds anyway thanks for watching the video again this is Mark Crawford with sustainable through the living we do our share our videos all of our videos are listed as Creative Commons use which means feel free to share them no copyright infringement or anything like that we are sustainable through the living the idea is to help others away from the debt be more productive be more of a producer rather than a just a consumer in times of disaster and catastrophe and that sort of thing which we've had you may have lived through that you know how important it is to have you know vital things like food water shelter so check out our videos on our Channel that's what we're all about we have our own videos we share others videos as well again thanks for watching be sure to subscribe down below if this is a shared video you can just type in sustainable frugal living and go to our website we appreciate you if you subscribe give us a thumbs up and as always god bless

87% off electric heat bill: REALLY saving energy

**87% off electric heat bill: REALLY saving energy**



View Time:3:17Minutes



Sign up for my daily-ish email, or my devious plots for world domination:

I made this video to augment my article “REALLY Saving Energy with The Heat Bubble: how I cut 87% off of my electric heat by heating the person instead of the whole house”. This is a DIY alternative form of energy conservation

Camille Pearl comes over to my house and tests my energy saving theories for herself. We start off stripping off her clothes that are more than just a single, normal layer people might wear in a fully heated area. Then we have her stand in the cool area until she feels too cold, then move her to the desk with the micro personal heaters.

It was in this video where Camille first refers to this as a “bubble.” And now, that’s what we call this technique: “a heat bubble”.

She starts off too cold, and then spends 30 minutes at the heated desk area. At the end of the 30 minutes she is fully warmed up and feels like she could work there indefinitely.

We then turn off the micro heat and see how long she can hold out until she feels too cold to keep working. About three minutes and ten seconds.

Quick summary of micro heaters:
40 watts: incandescent light bulb in a chick brooder configuration
25 watts: heated keyboard
15 watts: dog bed heater / heating pad
2.5 watts: heated mouse

82.5 watts total.

A homemade approach to save the environment. Alternatives are sources for home production. This may be a big boost to renewable energy efforts.

Relevant threads at permies:

music by Jimmy Pardo
see she gets the point alright so you can see on the thermometer that it's like just a hair over 50 right now and so are you feeling a little cold from walking around the room my fingers are real cold my feet are cold um yeah I just pulled my sweater sleeves down alright um make yourself comfortable get some work done you thank you and don't mind if I do okay that's thirty minutes how do you feel I feel good I'm very comfortable tops of my feet it warmed up the tops of my hands warmed up okay so when you say the tops of your feet the tops of your hands warmed up I dig it too the bottoms of your hands the bottoms our feet warmed up right away right those were the first things um that I could feel the warmth from the warmth from the heat lamp is not nearly as noticeable as from the devices that I'm actually touching can you look up into the lamp and see what the wattage on it is 120 volts it looks like 40 watts all right so um now what does it feel like what's the temperature feel like where you are well um I feel like I'm in a warm little bubble I mean it could be 70 degrees in here for all I know okay how do you normally tolerate the cold um I get cold um pretty easily uh you know I can I can stand it but I get uncomfortable pretty fast and I typically work at a computer all day with the thermostat in my house set between 60 and 60 to 63 degrees but I frequently have to turn on a space heater on my feet keep it on for a while and then turn it off on my leg skate so it's kind of an ongoing process throughout the day and it seems like I mean I don't know how much energy we're using right here but it seems like we're likely using less than a space heater with require and in a way it's a lot more you know like low low maintenance because I'm not adjusting anything after I sat down all right so let's move to the next phase turn it up turn it all off tada keep on working but see how you feel getting cold alright so is it okay there I think that's called it that's time if you like this sort of thing come on out to the forums at permease comm where we talk about really saving energy homesteading and permaculture all the time

5 Money Saving Tips for Beginning Gardeners (Frugal Gardening)

**5 Money Saving Tips for Beginning Gardeners (Frugal Gardening)**



View Time:9:9Minutes



Today I share my top 5 tips to help beginning gardeners save money.

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0:19 weigh the pros & cons before investing in raised beds
3:36 have your soil tested before spending a lot of money on fertilizers and amendments
5:07 grow edible perennials
6:04 make compost only from free inputs
7:22 cover the ground with free organic mulch

Oscar the cat cameos:
6:08 6:26 7:15


OYR is all about growing a lot of food on a little land using sustainable organic methods, while keeping costs and labor at a minimum. Emphasis is placed on improving soil quality with compost and mulch. No store-bought fertilizers, soil amendments, pesticides, compost activators, etc. are used.
growing your own food can be expensive but it doesn't have to be and I wouldn't want concerns over cost to prevent anyone from starting their first garden so today I thought I'd share my top 5 money-saving tips for beginning gardeners raised beds are very popular among home gardeners and I certainly like them a lot but if you're starting a new garden building several raised beds can be quite expensive so today's first money saving tip for beginning gardeners is to weigh the pros and cons of raised beds before making the investment to help you with your decision if raised beds are right for you let's talk about some of their pros and cons let's start with the pros first if your native soil is very poor you might want to consider raised beds for example if your soil is hard clay very sandy or full of rocks a raised bed filled with quality garden soil will get you growing right away let may take a few years to improve the fertility of your native soil next so our raised beds are quite shallow taller beds are more accessible to those of us with back problems or other physical challenges and if the edge of the bed is wide enough you can even sit on it for easier planting weeding and harvesting other pros include reduced soil compaction and erosion improve drainage a narration and at least initially a weed free area to plant in finally one of the reasons we built our raised beds is our garden slopes away from the Sun which is a significant disadvantage in a garden that's already quite shaded so we built our raised beds to slope sunny toward the Sun of course the more your slope is away from the Sun the greater the advantage raised beds can provide now let's talk about some of the cons since this video is about saving money we'll start with the cost if you have to buy or build several raised beds and fill them with soil it can be quite expensive especially if you're buying all the components of the soil that you're adding to the beds a 4 by 8 raised bed can easily run over $100 if you have to purchase the materials and soil and the cost adds up fast if you're building several beds also if the beds are made of wood or some other material that breaks down you'll have to replace the beds eventually by contrast setting up a 4 by 8 bed in the native soil using a no dig approach would cost next to nothing for example the autumn before you start planting you could cover the area with brown corrugated cardboard and then cover that with compost you could also use free or mulches like untreated grass clippings autumn leaves used coffee grounds and crushed eggshells even if you had to buy the compost your overall cost would be very little raised beds also had to be watered more frequently because water moves through them faster and evaporates faster than in the native soil so raised beds will increase your watering costs especially in taller beds finally because of the small soil mass in raised beds the soil temperature fluctuates much more than the soil in the ground and it gets much hotter in the summer and this can be an issue for some crops in hotter climates once again here are the pros and cons raised beds that we talked about in today's video if you watch a lot of gardening videos like I do you've probably seen other channels they have amazing gardens and they don't use raised beds charles doubting garden is an example that comes to mind but there are many other excellent examples so before making the decision to invest in raised beds make sure to weigh the pros and cons you don't need to use them you'll save a lot of money another major expense for many gardeners is fertilizers and soil amendments there are so many products out there as well as conflicting advice that's hard for beginning gardeners to figure out what their garden really needs fortunately there's something you can do to eliminate a lot of this guesswork and this leads to tip number 2 before spending a lot of money on fertilizers and amendments have your soil tested by a professional lab in the US local soil tests are available through your Agricultural Extension which you can find online where we live for about 25 dollars you can have your soil tested by a lab for essential plant elements a variety of beneficial elements soil pH percentage of organic matter and cation exchange capacity which is a measure of soils nutrient holding capacity the lab will tell you if levels are too low too high and they'll provide recommendations on how to correct any issues with your soil so at a very low cost twenty five dollars in our case you can figure out what your garden soil really needs and perhaps more importantly you can identify what it doesn't need by learning what your soil doesn't need you can potentially save hundreds of dollars in fertilizers and amendments in the long run and you don't have to have your soil tested every year we test ours every three to four years just to give us an update on how we're doing and our last test showed us what we pretty much already knew our soil is high in nutrients just from compost and mulch and there's no need for additional fertilizers three years ago we made a small one-time investment in a bare root Red Haven peach tree and now we'll have peaches for many years to come with very little ongoing cost now that's a great investment money saving tip number three is to make sure to include some edible perennials in your garden of course we love our annual crops too but they require new investments every year whether it's new seeds new plant starts or electricity in the grow room you don't even have to water most of our perennials because we get a good amount of rain and free organic mulch holds moisture in the soil and we don't fertilize our perennials we simply mulch them with free organic mulch like wood chips so our ongoing costs are next to nothing in addition to being a great investment edible perennials are also some of our favorite garden treats we're currently growing over 30 different perennials including peaches Asian pears blackberries raspberries strawberries blueberries and asparagus our garden is powered by compost and we've made all of our own compost for years without spending a penny on inputs money saving tip number four is to make your own compost using only free inputs like kitchen scraps autumn leaves untreated grass clippings straw woodchips garden waste and used coffee grounds from the local coffee shop making compost can be as simple or as complicated as you make it we currently use a very simple approach we pile organic matter in a bin and wait for it to decompose we don't worry about the carbon to nitrogen ratio we don't turn it or even water it we just wait the compost is usually ready in one to two years and to make sure we have a steady supply we always keep two to three piles going at the same time of course when you're starting your first garden you probably don't want to wait a year or more for finished compost in that case you'll want to make a hot compost pile but no matter how you make it there's a good chance you can make all the compost you need using only free inputs and if you apply compost to your garden annually there's a good chance you'll eventually won't need to buy additional fertilizer the fifth money saving tip is to keep the soil covered with free organic mulch I like to use chop and drop garden waste untreated grass clippings autumn leaves wood chips and straw organic mulches save money by saving water and providing a slow release of nutrients into the soil which reduces fertilizer requirements motors also help reduce diseases like blossom end rot and blight in the improved soil structure and increased populations of beneficial soil organisms people are sometimes concerned that using organic mulch will attract unwanted pests like slugs and snails in our case I think we did see an increase in slugs in the first year but after that we've seen a steady decline in slugs and basically all pass over the last 20 years to the point where pests are really not a huge problem in our garden and I think that's because the mulch provides habitat not only for pests but also for their predators of course you'll see different results in different gardens and in different climates so if you're concerned about mulch attracting pests try using a layer of compost to cover the soil instead and once again here my top five money-saving tips for beginning gardeners if you have any questions about these tips please let me know in a comment below and for more money-saving tips please hold on for another 20 seconds for links to oh why are videos with more money-saving tips you

Sustainable City Living on 1/10th of an Acre - Degrowth in the Suburbs

**Sustainable City Living on 1/10th of an Acre – Degrowth in the Suburbs**



View Time:15:26Minutes



This film tells the story of one small family practicing urban sufficiency. They live on 1/10th of an acre in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. By living more simply and utilizing alternative technologies this household draws 75-80% less electricity from the grid than the Australian average (per capita). At the same time they’re exporting five times that amount in solar energy back into the grid.

Support Happen Films –
Watch our feature-film Living the Change –

Samuel Alexander’s new book Degrowth in the Suburbs: A Radical Urban Imaginary –

Thanks to Charlie Kilman for working with us on this film! Check out his YouTube channel Our Changing Climate –

Some useful resources (please note that neither Happen Films nor Sam and Helen, the subject of this film, have any affiliation at all with the companies linked to below):

The biodigester unit Sam and Helen have:

Two articles by Sam on this particular unit:

The parabolic dish Sam and Helen have:

The solar oven Sam and Helen have:
there's the sustainability reason to consumers and resilience reason and they're both important and it's interesting how much overlap there is between the practices of sustainability and the practices of resilience than this context there seems to be almost 100% overlap the same practices of self-sufficiency frugality exploring renewable energy can take the same form whether you're being driven by sustainability reasons or wanting to be able to adapt if you find yourself with less money or more in secure financial situation or contracting economy hi I'm Helen I'm Sam we live here in Coburg which is about seven kilometres north of the melbourne city centre with our son who's 12 it's a fairly standard three-bedroom weatherboard house on about tenth of an acre so when I moved here I'd to this house in 2004 had a very lovely green lawn at the front and a garden at the back with lawn and a few natives but it wasn't a productive space so one of the first things that I did was dig some Veggie beds and over the years Sam moved in we worked together and trying to fruit trees at the back and then started doing some more work at the front expanded the areas there so it's now become a really productive space producing food in our home is a really important part of this certain for me and then cooking that food preserving it and just enjoying it the more you read about environmental problems the more you read about social justice issues the more you learn that the world's going in a difficult direction we're grossly over consuming the planet's resources there are literally billions around the world who are by any humane sands under consuming and yet even the richest nations even there it's just people are still seeming to seek ever more and more if it's the case that when ecological overshoot while billions still need to lift the material living standards in some form to live well that implies that the most over consuming nations and regions of the world need to contract not through a recession but through sort of plan deliberate contraction that's what D growth means and it seems to me to be the only coherent way to move toward one planet living this is our solid ish and it works like a stovetop so you just pop a kettle or saucepan on there uses the power of the Sun to heat up and the other great thing about it is it packs down really neatly so it's pretty portable as well one of my passions and concerns is the role of energy and the civilization that we find ourselves in there's this widespread idea that we'll simply be able to transition to green energy solar panels or even nuclear power and maintain this way of life I've come to the position that we probably can't run a globalized consumer society purely on renewable energy and that's made us think through a range of energy practices that are trying to build resilience and to kind of deal thoughtfully coherently with the problems of peak oil and climate change in our suburban plot we have started by putting solar panels on the roof about five years ago we put two kilowatts on and then when we disconnected from guests about six months ago we put another four kilowatts on this is our most recent and perhaps unusual renewable energy technology it's a biogas digester which we call Betty we have been putting in about a kilogram and a half of food waste into the biogas digester and over the last four months it's provided essentially all of our cooking gas and I've also set up a biogas hot water system and it's connected to an outside shower so Adam doesn't replace our indoor hot water system but it does supplement it we don't produce enough food waste to feed it ourselves once a week I've bike down to the local fruit and veggie market hop into their bin and take about ten kilograms of food biogas is produced when organic matter biodegrades in the absence of oxygen and when it does that it produces a mixture of gases which can be used to provide a number of energy services from cooking to heating space to lighting and heating water it's been incredible means of providing clean green free net zero carbon emissions energy in it for me the first year of doctoral study you have this extraordinary privilege of essentially having to read a lot and through that exposure to environmental literature social justice literature I came across the writings of Henry David Thoreau Thoros method essentially is to explore the good life in non materialistic ways and that struck a chord with me and I guess most of my work has been about thinking through the politics and the macroeconomics of that notion of sufficiency you know it just made sense if there were certain problems Butthead certain solutions even if they were vague solutions and uncertain solutions to try to explore them in practice that's been the experiment of our household in the last decade it's been a process not a destination and it will probably remain a process my upbringing was very much centered around growing around food and making things and repairing things not necessarily for environmental reasons nor related to being less wasteful and being self-sufficient and so being able to be somewhere like this who have been able to practice it I think it's been a bit of an evolution rather than a sudden change for me certainly it wasn't a case of waking up overnight and saying I've got to change something we have this tenth of an acre in Melbourne suburbia and we recognize that there is a privilege that comes with it and that not everybody can access especially in Melbourne like we probably wouldn't be able to afford this house if it was purchased today these practices are available to us but not necessarily universally available and I think that's important for people to recognize summer subs ideas saved quite radical after needed allocation a bit of persuading to adopt those but actually turned up so no regrets at all people ask me how how do you have time for all the stuff that you do I I work four days a week but it's probably about making time it's about prioritizing working the garden or cooking or sewing over watching TV something like that but it's also it's a really enjoyable activity to get out in the garden and harvest food so it's got value in the process as well as enjoying the outcome and you know we both have been able to work about four days a week each which again we recognized as a privilege but also it's been enabled by us being pretty frugal and thoughtful with money and practicing voluntary simplicity living as simply as we can in a material sense and when you kind of go through the various aspects of a household's outgoings you can often find that it can be trimmed so there's a car we generally don't use it all that often because we cycle or we hit public transport most of the time so we recently put it on the car next door platform it enables people that are close by to rent your car when you're not using it so it's all done through an app when somebody books the car in the available time they're given a code for the lockbox and the person can then don't get key and and off they go when a borrower takes our car they pay a daily or an errand charge and they pay per kilometer we then get a bit of income at the end of each month it means that not so many cars on the road so far it's worked really well for us so we're able to look out the curb and we do need it and the rest of the time other people can book it otherwise a car would have been something in the driveway doing nothing so it's win-win that we again households that won't be able to tighten the belt easily but I think in you know Australian affluent society there are lots of households that would be able to consume considerably less and that means you're less committed to working those hours to pay for that consumption that's the kind of key trade-off and the most attractive self-interested argument about this way of life is that you're exchanging superfluous consumption for more time more freedom it looks as if the burden is going to be on individuals households and communities to be the prime driver for change and so it's not that that's necessarily the best or the most efficient way to do it but if people come to the conclusion that they can't rely on governments then it follows that the drivers for change have to be wouldn't worry people at the grassroots level getting active and so that's what motivated us to do everything we can here but household action in itself has its limitations these are ultimately systemic structural problems I mean the question becomes how can household action help change those structures I think that's where community engagement becomes important and collective action becomes important and also to think through the question of how structures change there will never be a politics or a macroeconomics of sufficiency until there is a culture that demands it we feel the need to try to practice our values in our context knowing that household action is a necessary part of any change but ultimately the problems of the environment and social justice issues are systemic issues there's a deep self-interest in practicing this way of life as well like it is their background motivations for environmental and social justice reasons but ultimately we're living you know what we feel happier bitter richer for your lives because we don't need to fund high consumption living somehow it is right you've got land grow food if you have the opportunity to buy something secondhand why would you buy it new you can ride a bike why would you take a car it just feels right to do things that way everyone thanks for watching another happen films short it was really cool to explore another urban example of resilience and we're excited to be doing more of that in the future if you'd like to help us make that happen please consider supporting us on patreon there's a link in the description below the video which you can click and find out more info on how to do that thank you for watching and we'll see you the next film bye guys

Gabe Brown - How to save money on fertilisers // Learning from Nature

**Gabe Brown – How to save money on fertilisers // Learning from Nature**



View Time:16:18Minutes



Gabe Brown doesn’t need fertilisers anymore. He has restored his ‘natura’l nutrient recycling system saving money on fertilisers.

Want to know how – Get our FREE checklist – affordable ways to restore your soil (

Filmed at the 2017 Dave Brandt Field Day by the Ohio NoTill Council, I have edited the video to condense it to 15 minutes, but if you prefer, you can watch the complete video here (youtube.com/watch?v=_2IURGFk5Yw).

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Learning from Nature
When Dr Wendy Seabrook, the founder of Learning from Nature, bought Hill Top Farm 10 years ago, she wanted to find an easier way to grow.

“I had enough experience to understand the challenges of both growing food for my family and making an income using organic practices. I was intrigued by the interesting results innovative growers were getting from improving ecological functions in their farms and gardens.

Here was a practical way to grow food. An approach that made growing easier, reduced costs, and allowed Nature back into farms and gardens again. As an Ecologist it seemed the logical way to go.”

Get other FREE publications at –
so I was asked to come here and speak today about how we blend things together on our operation near Bismarck North Dakota and they think of our farm as an ecosystem so what do we have in common you know what does a rancher from North Dakota have in common with a farmer in Iowa or Pennsylvania or Washington or Canada no matter where you're from what do we have in common the answer of course is soil you know I'm blessed in that I get to spend about six months out of the year traveling all over the world talking about soil health and I can honestly say that no matter where I go I'm a hundred percent confident that the principles that I use to get our ranch to be an ecosystem in North Dakota are the same as they are no matter where I'm talking you know I often tell people when I come to a group and they'll say yeah it works in North Dakota but it won't work here no it will work on your operation the principles are the same anywhere the tools may be a little different that you use but the principles are the same anywhere now a little bit about our operation our ranch is about five thousand acres located directly outside the city of Bismarck it was fun the ranch was founded by my in-laws in 1956 we get about 15 to 16 inches of total precipitation tender 11 inches from rain and the other 4 to 5 inches is from the 70 plus inches of snow that we normally get when my in-laws farmed it there's about 2,000 acres of cropland it was heavy heavy tillage and they farmed at half crop half summer follow so and the crops were all small grains primarily spring wheat oats and barley a lot of tillage synthetic fertilizers some pesticides some fungicides in the land lay fallow every other year all monocultures now I was very fortunate in 1991 when my wife and I bought that operation from them that we did some baseline soils work and our CS came out and they did some infiltration tests what they found is we could only infiltrate a half of an inch of rainfall per hour now much of the rainfall we get in our location is in late May June comes as thunderstorms we might give two to three inches in a downpour well I was losing most of that it was running off it wasn't infiltrating into the soil now NRCS also did some soil testing and what they found on our cropland organic matter levels were only from one point six to one point nine percent now historically speaking soil scientists tell us that in that area the northern plains we should have been in the seven to eight percent range so in other words we had lost over 75 percent of the organic matter in our soils due to the farming practices now our grazing system we have a little over three thousand acres of grazing land in perennials two thousand of that is true native rangeland to our knowledge it's never ever been tilled then another thousand was cropland at one time that has been put back into perennials when my in-laws farmed the operation they could run about sixty-five cow-calf pairs and 20 yearlings is all on those acres it was season-long grazing wood Cavan the corrals cattle and get moved out to those pastures grazed and on them the entire summer then they might run on crop aftermath for a little while and then they'd be fed hay six months months out of the year I really came through the 90s to realize that I had degraded the resource and through tillage my topsoil was eroding the organic matter was leaving ray Archuleta said it best when he put this slide together and I hate to give him too much credit but it's true when he titled this slide this soil is naked hungry thirsty and running a fever and I realized that was what I had been doing with my operation and I had come to accept that degraded resource as I said when I travel around the country and around the world speaking I get people that say yeah but you don't understand this is our soil type no you don't understand you have come to accept the resource you have it's degraded and I can honestly say I have never ever been on an operation anywhere that's not degraded including my own we all need to think of regenerating our landscapes now there's many symptoms of a degraded resource and I just put some of them down here I don't care which one it is that's just a symptom that really isn't the problem so you can think of what fits your operation in my mind the current production model is all about killing I tell people I used to wake up every day trying to decide what I was going to kill that it was it going to be a weed a pass to fungus I also contend that we've killed our diversity we're killing our soil and in so doing we're killing our profit I didn't have the projections for Ohio but I didn't find these projections projected crop returns for the major crops in North Dakota this year but that really makes you wanted farm doesn't it every single crop they're projecting a negative return I had to look at another way of doing things in the way that I found that works best is Nature's Way look at how nature operates in nature there's no mechanical disturbance we can all agree on that that's fact in nature there's always armor on the soil surface nature tries to cover herself as Ray said that's why they if you go out and have bare fallow you're going to get weeds coming nature's trying to cover herself she's trying to protect the soil surface nature cycles water very efficiently through our farming practices as ray showed we've destroyed that water we need to heal it in nature there's living plant root networks and that those networks are very efficient at cycling and moving nutrients via the biology also I get really upset when we consider what we're doing in farming and ranching today is conventional I argue this as conventional nature has been around for thousands and thousands of years that's the model we need to emulate so I was fortunate enough that I had a group of scientists come to the place about a year and a half ago and they decided to look at for operations mine and three others all these are in very close proximity all the same soil types and they're in such close proximity that I guarantee you the rainfall does not is not much different we're going to take a look at those four first operations an organic operation now this operator to his credit is very diverse I mean he grows corn and spring wheat and winter wheat and barley and oats and soybeans and dry edible beans and alfalfa's and clovers very very diverse operation no livestock but he tails now it just so happens the year that that the scientists were there three of these operations grew sunflowers but take a look at that soil you see how its crusted how its capped on the soil surface how is water going to infiltrate in there the infiltration tests on this producers operation showed that we could infiltrate about 0.6 tenths of an inch per hour okay that's it you can see how the horizontal breaks in there from the tillage how our plant roots going to get down into that soil profile house water going to infiltrate organic matter levels on this soil were about 1.6 percent second operation was he considers himself a no-till er I'd call him minimum till because he does have points on his cedar he also applies anhydrous in those points very low diversity he only grew for 35 years the only two crops this gentleman grew were flax and springle that's it just keeps rotating this photo is taken in in the fall of 19 2015 he had seated spring wheat on this field May 22nd we had 45 inches 40 excuse me three and a half inches of rain in 45 minutes washed his entire spring leader a crop away and he had to plant sunflowers I told my son see that's God's Way of making him get diversity you know so he did plant sunflowers you look at this soil it's same conditions exist crusting on the soil surface horizontal breaking if I back up if this allows me to do that you would think those were the same two soils same field correct not much different infiltration rates were slightly better at about seven tenths of an inch per hour on this field organic matter levels were pretty much the same one and a half to 1.7 percent okay third operation this operator large operation almost 40,000 cropland acres medium what I call medium diversity corn sunflowers malting barley springle soybeans no cover crops no livestock high high use though of synthetics fertilizers pesticides fungicides seed treatments take a look at that soil that's 20 plus years no-till that's the porous soil we looked at it is like a brick the high use of synthetic fertilizers has destroyed that soil infiltration rates were the poorest they measured at less than 1/2 of an inch per hour organic matter levels were about 1.9 percent look at that that's 20 years of no-till and yet I talked to many many no-till groups that say I'm an old tailor I got it figured out really really forth operation was our operation we've been no-till 100% since 1994 we have high diversity of our cash crops and cover crops as I'm going to show you coming up we integrate livestock on all of our cropland we have used zero synthetics but by that I mean fertilizers pesticides and fungicides since 2007 we do occasionally use a herbicide now dr. Haney is going to explain this this afternoon but I put this slide in there just to preface the following slide dr. Haney says that soil organic matter is the house that microbes live in water extractable organic carbon is the food that they eat so on the next slide here I'm going to show you the test results that dr. Haney ran from those four operations look at that that's pounds of nitrogen phosphorus and potassium there ain't a lick of difference between those other three operations okay now look at the bottom line which is my operation zero synthetics added since 2007 four years as I traveled around speaking people would tell me Gabe your systems going to crash you can get nitrogen out of the atmosphere but you're going to run out of phosphorus potassium in your micronutrients really really then why do my levels keep increasing every year now of course technically they're not increasing in the soil but the the amount available to the plants is increasing now that final column on your right that's water extractable organic carbon and I'm going to let dr. Haney explain all about it but that's the food that biology eats so you look at the amount that my soils have available as compared to the others and you see how I'm able to get crop production profitable yields without the use of synthetics as I said I've accomplished that with zero added fertility x' microbials foliar x' compost or any other input added to the system with the exception of seed and a small amount of livestock mineral that's it because I'm simply emulating nature it really is that easy I went back here and I figured all my yields over the past nine years on the left is my yields over the past nine years since I quit using those synthetics on the right is our County average okay you can see that all the major crops I'm significantly higher than County average and I'm able to do that at a low cost of production these are my costs averaged over the past nine years for those four crops that's cost per bushel corn a year ago last fall locally dropped to a dollar sixty three because of our basis because you just can't get rail cars into North Dakota dollar sixty three I can still make a few pennies now not much but see I get real tired of people talking about yield we have to start talking about profit I'll take profit over yield any day okay what about micronutrients I so wish when I started moving down this path that I would have had the foresight to archive some of my soils because then I I would have been able to go back and have it tested today to see the amount of micronutrients I had available at the time this is data from a friend of mine in Australia Colin's ice he did have the foresight to archive some of his soils when he started look at all those micronutrients this is the percent increase in all those micronutrients both available in total in the past twenty years since he's moved down a regenerative that people say oh I can't you know I can't produce I'm short of these micronutrients really if we grow things and focus on healing our eco systems we can increase the availability of those micronutrients on Collins operation organic carbon has increased over 200% that's phenomenal I get really tired about people talking about climate change we can take care of that as producers if we move to regenerative model because we'll put that carbon back in the cycle where it belongs it isn't rocket science we just have to grow things