Author Topic: Permaculture speech ideas  (Read 2613 times)

Offline surfivor

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Permaculture speech ideas
« on: March 08, 2016, 07:56:35 PM »
 I am giving a 7 minute speech on permaculture at toastmasters in 2 weeks. I have already done a speech on permaculture. I mentioned huggle beds as well as mushrooms.

 Mostly I do these talks to help with my interview skills for software jobs .. I think this will be speech number 10 for me. Originally I think Cedar had suggested toastmasters. It has been a big help, thanks

 Anyway these are my ideas:

 I want to talk about how Geoff Lawton greened the desert using hardy nitrogen fixing trees, swales, and lush cover crops. I will mention how sand does not retain water and organic material is needed .. This was at Wadi Rum, at first they did not follow his Lawtons exact recommendations so it did not do well until the second time around.

I want to also talk about Sepp Holzer, he created micro climates by having the sun reflect off of water and then hit rocks. His ponds where elongated and allowed oxygenation of the water which helped promote fish life. He believes irrigation washes away nutrients ..

 I will talk about soil types. Soil is composed of minerals which is either sand, silt, or clay. Clay is problematic because it can prevent roots to grow and water not to permeate the soil. Some clay can be broken up using gypsum or certain types of plants such as comfrey, daikon, or field peas. Some clay is dispersive and other clay is a more solid type that is more difficult to work with. If I dig down in some areas at my BOL I do hit a clay layer within 18 inches or so.

 The mineral part of the soil is such that it takes about 1000 years to produce 1 inch of soil. The organic part of the soil forms much more rapidly and can be sped up by various gardening strategies, composting, green manure etc

I will talk about relationships between fungi/bacteria and roots and how these organisms help the plants obtain nutrients. Tilling of the soil harms these organisms .. We also have similar microbes in our stomach ..

 Any other ideas or points you can let me know ..

Offline I.L.W.

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Re: Permaculture speech ideas
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2016, 07:27:50 AM »
I would talk about the decentralization of food.

Permaculture enables food production on a small scale, without the maintenance or knowledge requirements of conventional gardening. A 1/8th acre suburban yard can be setup once by permaculturist in a self-sustaining way and the home owner need only harvest the food. If one in 10 people had a mini food-forest, that's an insane amount of food which can be produced.

From an ecology standpoint, it reduces the transport fuel cost of food significantly. If even 5% of your food is growing on site, that's a major reduction in fuel.

For the No-GMO crowd, perennial plants aren't the primary target of those efforts, since the customers don't need to be rebilled every year.

From a health perspective, you get total control over the usage of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. You can have a cache of food which uses none of those things,

Municipal waste management... You don't need a compost pile, you can just dump fruit & vegetable wastes, paper and cardboard in the food forest, reducing landfill use.

From the survival perspective: with drought, disease and other crop failure problems, by spreading out production, society becomes more resilient. Look at the egg contamination in California a few years back, when 80% of the eggs sold in the state came from one large producer who's manure management practices were abysmal. Or the frequent recurrence of e coli in spinach crops. Even if a flood wipes out all the crops in your area, increased production means there is more food available to truck in and resupply those areas without driving up prices.

From a social aspect, community food forests (or just replacing street-side trees with food producing trees) in low income areas can provide healthier food for people who are eating mostly dollar menu and raman noodle. Unlike food stamp programs, this could provide food to low income populations with no additional expense to the tax payer.

The list goes on and on. When you decentralize food production, you decentralize control over food. That's a boost to personal liberty, a reduction in cost, provides a wider selection of food products, and creates regionally distinct culinary market.

I would frame the discussion in terms of urban planning. Pick a neighborhood in a city, show "there are X square acres of unused land in the area which could be converted to food production". Selection of climate appropriate species can reduce water consumption over the lawns they replace, again, there is minimal or no upkeep needed after installation if planned for that purpose. "These plants produce X amount of food"... "The food has X value"....

Show them, here's $800,000 worth of food produced for 100 households in a low income area.

Alternatively (you only have 7 minutes, lol)...

Talk about permaculture in terms of technology. Many people see it as an agrarian throwback to pre industrialization. They think that adopting these practices and philosophies means condemning modern practices. Not true. Technology merges very well with permaculture. Where would permaculture be without the internet? In a book, on a shelf in a library nobody visits. It would be dead. Communication and learning tools are vital.

Then there's automation. More aptly, permaculture as a model for automation. The principals are identical between these two practices. Maximize output, minimize labor, waste and expense, re-use all waste possible...

Mushrooms are a wood chipper. Bacteria is a furnace. Any mechanization we need has an organic counterpart. There is fuel in the form of sunlight and carbohydrates, productive systems are assembly lines.

Burdock seeds were a model for Velcro, or the numerous super adhesives inspired by insects... but that's just mimicry of an individual characteristic. When you mimic the interaction of systems, that takes things to a new level.

Offline surfivor

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Re: Permaculture speech ideas
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2016, 08:06:29 AM »
I.L.W, Thanks that great. I can always use more ideas. If I don't get that stuff into this speech I can do it for the next one. It can take me awhile to study all that and internalize it. With the spring weather coming on I am starting to focus on gardening, surfing, hiking and all but I still will do some speeches but not as much as during the winter.  I was doing almost 2 speeches per month, I will probably do like one every 6 weeks or so for awhile unless my current web development contract ends. In that case I might ramp up again because I will need more practice for interviews. It seems pretty likely that my contract won't make it all the way to November, but we will see. It's good to keep these ideas going for future speeches ..

« Last Edit: March 09, 2016, 08:12:15 AM by surfivor »

Offline longshadow

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Re: Permaculture speech ideas
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2016, 03:40:40 PM »
Surfivor you could also talk about the post WW2 "War on Agriculture" and the widespread use of Super-phosphates and how plants/foods are de-mineralized with the industrial application of N-P-K.  It is also a good segway into the rise in Copper and Iron excess/deficiency diseases in the USA.  Problems with Copper used to belong to those who reside in dryland realms now Copper excess is found throughout the US population.   

Offline Scmb

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Re: Permaculture speech ideas
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2016, 01:47:28 PM »
I would definitely include the relationship between companion plants and guilds. Something about the way nature uses it and how each plant has at least one job if not multiple. Also I'd talk about weeds and all the good aspects they do for soil rehabilitation. That would go nice with the anti herbicide talk