Planting Abundance: Herbal Walk and Permaculture Planting With Abby and Doug

Doug Crouch teaching at Treasure Lake, KY

Stoked to be back teaching with my partner in crime Abby Artemisia. I really enjoy our dynamic flow of meeting permaculture with the herbalism/ foraging world. Masculine and feminine. Cultivating and foraging, learning and doing this time. She only comes into town every once in awhile, catch her while you can!

Planting Abundance: Herbal Walk and Permaculture Planting With Abby and Doug

New Article Release from TreeYo EDU: Renewable Electric

TreeYo EDU: This article focuses on examining the depth of electricity in our current lives and how to produce it renewably, as well as conversion and storage. Electricity is everywhere in our lives and one of the main design considerations for a regenerative homestead. Create edge in the cultural landscape through breaking up centralized control over this resource.

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Drone image: Lucas Thompson

Insect Decline Blog: A letter back to a Student who asked about this vital topic

I have been penpaling with a past student of mine Carolien from the Netherlands lately. She asked about the insect decline problem and humanities failure to respond. So here is my response cause i thought you might want to read it as well. Philosophical and holistic is the blog.

EDU Earthly Vlog from Treasure Lake, KY: Stream Repair

EDU Earthly Vlog from Treasure Lake, KY: I get the fortunate timing of seeing a big work of stream repair over a two day period, high flow and medium flow to highlight several techniques in restoring natural hydrology. Quite pleased with the work and thankful for all who helped with it. Play with rocks in a creek like you are a kid again and well…. be the beaver! Express the run, riffle, pool pattern.

New Article: Cut and Carry: Animals Chapter

As the debate rages on whether we should be eating meat or not, I publish my latest article within the animals chapter to present another key facet to holistic animal management; Cut and Carry. Its a traditional technique that has been adapted by Permaculturists to ensure healthier animals and pastures. Read about it here and the nuances of it all. meanwhile enjoy the wonderful new header art from my dear friend and fellow permie, Joana Amorim.

Terra Alta Food Forest Update: A Vlog from my old home: Sintra, Portugal

It was a true joy to see it again. Years and years of effort to rehabilitate what once was just an abandoned track of land. The stacking in space and time, the building of resources to enhance succession, the diversity, it is all there on this special slice of land at Terra Alta, Sintra, Portugal. Its former state was simply being completely covered by blackberries with few trees on it. Now its a thriving jungle of food that has produced a lot over the years and now as the trees mature, its more the fruits that are the reward.

New Article Release: Opener for New Chapter on Appropriate Technology

“You can’t go from grid entangled to off the grid over night.” In this new chapter with the TreeYo EDU online book, I get philosophical on what energy consumption and reliance on the grid is all about.  I finish with a call for action, another quote from the article, ” Thus I challenge you to map your energy usage, see where you can complete cycles, and begin to incorporate biology and localism to emerge from reliance to independence energetically.” BTW, new look to website, same great info.

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Drone image: Lucas Thompson, Treasure Lake in foreground, the authors home, and in the back industrialism

Latest article release from Design Process Chapter: Conceptual and master planning: Idea generation and refinement.

This is really where the fun comes in because the analytics of previous steps let the information and imagination flow into creating the dreams of what could be.


Make Trees Great Again: A series in Making America (or the whole world) Great Again

Written by Doug Crouch
Trees have so incredibly much inherent value, both intrinsically and materially. Society, in the large part, began to focus solely only them for their material value, especially those in positions of power. However, there is a growing trend of those recognizing both at the same time, that trees have material value and their mere existence, their lives, have great value. By that I mean more people are hugging trees. So not only must we replant forests, we must steward those already existing. And we need to do that whilst meeting some of the current demands, create new demands through altered purchasing, and create value for forests beyond just whacking them down. In the end, yes #letsplantsometreesyo and give back to these beings which have historically given so much to humanity. 13 tips below of how to make trees great again.
Old growth Shumard Oak basking in the sun, Treasure Lake, KY
1. #letsplantsometreesyo: indeed reforestation is key to the continued existence of civilization. Both utility and native species must be considered. Trees help to build soil, regulate the hydrological cycle, create a more harmonious climate, create oxygen, and habitat for biodiversity. Their association with fungi, both when alive and dead, are vast cleaners, which is vital in this vastly polluted world we live in.

2. Switch from google to Ecosia: we do web searches not “google it” as the cultural phrase dictates. By switching to the tree planting search engine Ecosia, we redistribute surplus away from a behemoth company to one that funnels resources into reforestation programs. They have unlocked a clever trick to plant trees, will you?

3. Edible landscaping: human beings across the world love to care for land. Many are blessed to have small plots of land in the suburbs or villages. Vast amount of resources are pumped into this yet beyond sights and smells not much return happens. Instead plant edible trees, shrubs, and bushes that give that extra functionality.
4. Incorporate tree planting for feeding livestock: the reason animals are so detrimental to the environment is actually the system of feeding annual grains to them indoors in a materialistic way that only modern man could manifest. Instead bring the extra feed they need in the form of the abundance of trees like acorns, carob bean pods, or black locust leaves.
5. Buy organically grown fruits, nuts and bean pods: trees can’t be great if they are sprayed with chemicals and fertilized synthetically. Only when they work in conjunction with nature are they great again. Honor those who do this, commit your purchasing power to employing these farmers not the ones who rely on chemicals.
6. Get your sugars from trees not beets: yes most of the sugar one consumes is from sugar beets, not even sugar cane these days. Consequently buy expensive maple syrup, coconut sugar, or even fruit pulp like american persimmon for sugars. And if you eat less sugar you will be healthier so buying expensive sugar and seeing it as a luxury is a great overall approach.
7. Hug a tree: building relationships with trees is vital for the mutual existence of both humans and forests. Go to the forest and listen to the trees and let them feel you. Nature deficit disorder is well documented and take those who can’t go to the forest so easily, inner city children and elderly for example, to the forest so they also can connect.
8. Heat or cook with wood or solar, efficiently: when you have to heat or cook with wood you build an intimate relationship with trees. You have to harvest, cure it, learn to light it, manage the fires temperature, etc. When relying on other sources these external inputs have no story. If you choose to take this on make sure your stoves are efficient so wood, the life of a tree, is not wasted. Maybe even better is to spare the life of the tree through a solar stove like the GoSun or passively orientate your house so more heat is gained in the winter.
9. Keep a beehive: when you start beekeeping, you have a much more in tune rhythm with trees because of how much they give to the bees. You will be less likely to cut trees and you will want to plant more. Flowers and shade have a whole new meaning.
10. Tourism in trees: stay in a treehouse, take a canopy tour, or go on an eco holiday where you learn about trees and biodiversity of the local area. Camp on properties where people steward trees and are committed to planting more or caring for their already existing one, chemical free.
11. Curb your consumption: monoculture forestry supplies the ridiculous appetite of societies need for building material, toilet paper, and the like. Find ways around these things through natural building construction with earth or the wash instead of wipe method of hygiene. Also if you use wood, timber frame or buy wood locally so you connect with the ecosystem where they were cut.
12. Graze animals, particularly goats, in fire prone zones: catastrophic forest fires are becoming the norm. Because colonialism ruined the old growth forest, we have the opportunity to help forest with shepherded goats or even small mountain cows. This controls ladder fuels and allows fires to be normal not so violent and frankly deadly.
13. Forage and cultivate non-timber forest products: Foraging the abundance of forest products such as medicinal herbs and wild mushrooms really makes you grateful that forests exist.  To further that, instead of cutting the forest, see what you can grow there like cultivated medicinal herbs, mushrooms, maple syrup, native fruits and nuts, all the while creating fish and wildlife habitat. Paw Paw, had to say it.
In the end we must return to the woods not only for purely viewing pleasure, but also to be stewards.  Parks have given us opportunities to be and observe, but besides the park workers, not to interact.  Interacting and playing the symphony of life within the biodiverse interconnections that thrive amongst the forest dwellers, well thats how we make trees great again.

TreeYo EDU article: Meeting the basic needs of animals on a Pattern Level

I write not only for my sake, but so you have something to do on the internet but scroll. So this next article in my online book is in the Animal Chapter and it examines meeting their basic needs. Having kept animals on different farms all over the world, its been fun to write in this chapter. This year i got to keep ducks and goats at Treasure Lake, which was lots of work and quite fun at times. I share with you some insights in this article. enjoy and share!