Monday, February 7, 2011

Agro-forestry + Aquaculture = Permaculture

"Sepp and Veronica Holzer, Austrian mountainside permaculturalists from before the term was invented, at their farm the Kramaterhof, became well known only after publicity in 2000. Sepp Holzer narrates the history of synergistic ideas that have made his farm a high production combination of agroforestry, aquaculture, terraces and raised beds, water heat exchange, self-produced electricity, pig raising, and fish farming without toxic pesticides, herbicides, or having to buy additional foods to feed the pigs and fish. The Kramaterhof farm is more biodiverse than his surrounding "pine tree desert" landscape and it generates its own Mediterranean microclimate through ingenious techniques--despite being 1500 meters up in the Austrian Tyrol. The Tyrol, with some of the finest skiing in Europe, under Sepp's care can grow lemons and kiwis. The film and his discussion provide a treasure trove of abstract techniques you can use. Learn how to integrate these techniques based on his 40 years of experimental expansion across 45 acres. He has turned marginal, erosion-prone mountain lands with poor, acidic soils into a stable Eden on Earth with rich soils, high biodiversity, and high productivity. This is done without irrigation, without expensive pesticides and herbicides, and without any imported fish, cattle, or pig feed. Instead it utilizes well chosen ecological cycles to expand production naturally. Sustainability and high productivity are elegantly conjoined."

Another good video of Sepp Holzer and his methods of sustainable forestry, agriculture and aquaculture. The most impressive part is how carefully woven every system is and how well one keep the next in check as well as improving it. What I like about Sepp is that so much of his knowledge is based upon observation not having several PhD's in engineering and materials science. Just spending time watching how water drains, heat being held in and the directions of winds then manipulating the landscape to take advantage of the traits that you want.

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