Home page and where to get Shonin Risa's books: https://sites.google.com/view/risabear

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Observation and interaction

Here is one of twelve collages on The Permaculture Principles and how they might be applied, especially in the maritime Pacific Northwest. Concepts from David Holmgren's Essence of Permaculture.


"Observe and interact."

In recent years we have, by whatever causes, had fewer infestations here of insect pests, slugs and snails.

Perhaps one reason is that we keep an eye out for ways to encourage predation of these. By maintaining habitat refuges, we're seeing an increase in 1. garter snakes and gopher snakes, 2. tree frogs, and 3. orb weavers, yellow garden spiders, and barn spiders. Also, we encourage 4. the ducks and chickens to spend time in the garden and orchard, especially in winter. When we find a ladybug or other beneficial on our walks, we bring it home if it seems okay to do so.

Through observation we can adapt to some changes. For example, we spotted a trend in increased supply of plantains, amaranths and false dandelion on the premises. We looked these up and ended up adding them to our diet and using the plantains for topical medication as well.

Bigger changes are leading us to other thoughts. Poison oak is on the increase, showing up on level ground and not just in the trees as formerly. We think from this, and hearing that rattlers are also extending their range, that our climate is drying and may affect the well, as our limited groundwater is seasonal-rains dependent. We can collect rain and drought-proof the garden somewhat, but may also need to add a water barrel and rotary pump for visits to the river, less than two miles off. We're nearing the end of our career here, but there's no point being driven off the place prematurely through lack of observation and interaction.

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