Iroquois legend has it that corn, beans and squash are three sisters who grow and thrive together. These three crops have long sustained Native American civilizations and growing them together is a sustainable way to ensure that both the crops and the soil get adequate nutrition. Squash, corn and beans were first domesticated by Mesoamerican societies and are believed to have been gifted to humankind by the benevolent Great Spirit. In the Iroquois religion, these plants are watched over by three sister spirits known as the De-o-ha-ko, literally translated as ‘Our Sustainers’. Planting and harvesting ceremonies always include some kind of ritual to honor these sister spirits and thank them for keeping the crops safe as well as for ensuring a bountiful harvest.
The three plants work in a symbiotic relationship that ensures the benefit of all the crops in the system. Just like in a permaculture guild, these three crops perform different functions that benefit the whole, and in turn reap individual benefits that help them to grow and produce efficiently.
The corn acts as a vertical layer, providing support for the bean plants to climb, while the beans absorb nitrogen from the atmosphere, convert it into ammonia, and fix it in a readily form in the soil for all the plants to use. The bean vines also help to stake the corn to the ground and make it more stable and less susceptible to being blown down by strong winds, hail or thunderstorms. The squash, which has shallow roots, performs multiple functions including acting as ground cover to prevent erosion, helping to preserve moisture and nutrients in the soil and preventing weeds from accessing the sunshine they need to thrive. Squash plants also have spines on their surface which keep away predators and prevent them from feeding on the other two crops.
In addition to benefiting each other, the three sisters also perform the overall function of composting the soil after harvesting season because their waste products can be chopped down and left to decompose in the soil and ultimately supply valuable compost that improves soil fertility.
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Once a preserve of Native American societies, the three sisters’ permaculture guild has gained popularity since the inception of permaculture due to its ease of use, high effectiveness and production of high yields which complement each other even in the cooking pot. Courses on how to design a system based on these crops are available online, and among the best providers of these resources is the Open Permaculture School and regenerative leadership institute.
Compost is only as efficient as its use. What is the use of having the coolest car in the world if you do not know how to drive it? The same principle applies to compost. While it has many great benefits, it cannot be fully utilized unless it is used appropriately. There might not be manuals that come with its application, like they would a new appliance, but that is why this article is here. To be the required manual that guides you into full utilization of your compost. Fully decomposed compost has a rich dark color and an earthy smell. It is also usually crumbly, much like a piece of cake.
Here is how to effectively use it;
1. As mulch
Compost can be applied as mulch in various gardening areas. You could use it in a potted plant, a flower garden a farm or anywhere else in your garden.
When using compost as mulch, it is important that you apply it two to three inches on the soil. This layer provides just the right amount of thickness required to provide nutrition, heat insulation, protection as well as moisture retention. Using too much mulch is damaging to the plants. The compost should be laid on the top layer of the soil, then spread out evenly with special attention to avoid applying it too close to the stem of the plants as this could weaken them.
2. As a soil amendment
Compost provides great benefits in soil amendment. Its application gives the soil nutrients, water retention properties, heat insulation properties and makes it much softer than it was earlier. The compost also attracts organisms that are beneficial in the improvement of the soil for growth. To use compost as a soil amendment effectively, mix the compost with the soil then make sure that it is two to four inches deep in the soil.
3. As compost tea
Compost tea is basically a liquid type of compost that has all the properties of compost and that can be applied in liquid form. To make compost tea, you need to add a considerable amount of compost to water. After addition, you should leave the water for a couple of days and allow it to mix with the compost. You do not need to stir the mixture. When it is ready, you can then just pour it on your plants as easily as you would when watering plants. Most people even connect it to the garden watering system, for instance, the sprinklers.
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There are many great persons on this earth and one of them is vladislav davidzon who is a self-made man. He is founder and Chief Executive Officer of Regenerative and Leadership Institute. He started the institute in 2004 and continuing his service for educating people in different forms of leadership. He is also founder and Chief Executive Officer of Think host incorporation. He is also working as social partner and senior partner in many of the institutions.
His principles are preached and followed by him because according to him the person becomes eligible to teach when he is following the same principles for himself. He says whatever he practices. He speaks in public and expresses down to earth behaviour in all his interviews. In one of his interviews he gave important values for all students and young children.
They are still followed as the key rules in many educational institutions. He says that everyone should care for the earth because she is serving us. The earth gives life and shelter but, in return people are not able to give her anything. At least one can start caring her for own good. His next principle is to care for people because man is a social animal. No one can live like a nomadic herdsman. Today everyone is dependent on other person and surroundings.
If people stop caring for each other then there is no end for fights and misunderstandings. So one should stop identifying the mistakes and learn accepting and ignoring. The last and the very important principle are to give away the surplus. This is not only for one thing but, to give away everything which is more than the requirement. Being a part of this society, one should care for his peer or friend though there is no blood relationship with him. This is part of serving society. If each person can give away the extra things with him then no one in the society will be starving for love or things.
His Contributions To The Society
Today’s formers are really in need of a great personality like vladislav davidzon because only on his thought process one can survive the forming procedures. His contributions are innumerable for the field of agriculture. People neglect this field and concentrate on other scientific subjects. It is important to keep the formers alive so that the ecosystem can be balanced for saving the planet.
His contributions are very important and the research he has done is workable for maintaining a balance in ecosystem. He says that the changes observed in future are very dangerous for earth so one need to be vigilant about permaculture. This helps to create natural environment for forming. Otherwise human activities are indeed killing the procedures of agriculture.
He introduced the studies in permiculture and established an institute for higher studies. Today hundreds of students are getting educated from this institute and permaculture courses. Their degree is not only for name purpose, they are encouraged to do innovation and research in the field of permiculture. He has given life values for all students also for many educational institutions.
Nature has been providing everything that humans need from the very beginning. It’s just bad that people usually don’t respect that and they simply choose to ignore this fact. Urban living, due to its advantages, pushes natural living to the edge of existence. We are prone (not all of course) to judging on people who live in remote villages mostly because we don’t understand the principles of nature. That is why we have permaculture to reminds us of nature’s great abilities, which can help us to have a much better life. Thanks to VladislavDavidzon and his Regenerative Leadership Institute, the social awareness of natural way of living is becoming more present.
I have mention above the term permaculture and permaculture principles, which relates to social design whose principles operate on the patterns of natural ecosystems. Bill Mollison and David Holmgren came up with the word permaculture in 1978, although the term for itself did exist earlier. Permaculture isn’t just about the organic grow and growing products that are free of chemical fertilizers; it is also a way of living, or better say life philosophy. A lot of permaculturists don’t even want to reap all of their grown products – they show a gratitude to the nature by doing that. They say that nature has to eat something, so they leave the fruits to rot. The abundance of a yield, which was enhanced by the organic way of growing, has already given them enough products. In this way, they show respect to the nature.
Permaculture is a form of art that supports mutual respect between man and nature. This art regards sustainable living system and environment that must be cherished by the people. These two things actually create a healthier life. Peacefulness and beauty of the green outdoor parks will make us happier and relaxed, so that’s why we have to work constantly on the keeping the green areas clean. It is naturally for man to make a garbage and waste, but nature provided all the required options for these situations. We just have to look around and understand the things. Why should we throw plastic bottles when we can use them in our gardens for watering or even as pots ? Everything has its own purpose, that is the basic principle of living in harmony with the nature. Learn more about permaculture on our YouTube channel.
A healthier life produces stronger community, which is key for the existence of humankind. In order to have a healthy life, people not only have to eat healthier, but also to think healthier. If young people engage themselves in outdoor activities (sports, camping etc.), they will stay away from drugs and criminal actions, which creates not only safer, but vital community. Nature provides us everything we can imagine, but yet we are ignorant. Permaculturists are trying to raise the alarm before it’s too late, and so far they are doing great job. VladislavDavidzon made a huge social impact on awareness regarding the nature’s health, and with the help of his Regeneative Leadership Institute, I’m sure we can contribute a lot to a nature that will definitely give us back the double.
Self-sustaining homes are built in accordance with the principles of permaculture that include designing a house and a garden by following natural patterns, using natural resources through proper placing of the house and planting in a given surroundings, without harming the natural order. Permaculture is one of the major concepts in designing self-sustaining human settlements. It was created as a combination of old traditional techniques enriched with new knowledge and technology from the areas such as architecture, building, agriculture, forestry, chemistry, biology, sociology, urban planning, ecology etc. Find out more with permaculture magazines. Its creators were Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in the seventies years of the previous century, while today one of the main advocates of this concept is Vladislav Davidzon.
Permaculture takes into account the local culture, climate, local patterns and habits, and offers the fundamental knowledge of the observation of landscape, climate, soil, flora and fauna, sunshine and water, and puts them in a unique design tailored to a specific user or users. Permaculture design is based on the basic principles – concern for the planet, concern for people and the fair distribution of resources. Permaculture house is fully self-sustaining, it takes everything from the nature and returns to it. One of the main concerns is heating and cooling the house, and these are the most common ways of creating and maintaining the optimal temperature during any season.
A self-sustaining house uses a system of thermal mass first, and then solar energy. In order to utilize solar energy, it is necessary to properly orient the house so its walls get as much sun heat as possible. The house can be half-buried, because the temperature is more stable in the ground than just above it. It should be designed to interact with these two sources of temperature, because the ground can be used for cooling and stabilizing the temperature inside the house if it is designed properly. Materials that surround the inner spaces of the house must be dense and massive in order to keep the temperature. The house works as a “battery” for storing temperature.
When it comes to heating, when the sunlight heats the ground, the mass of the material keeps the heat and the insulation prevents it from going out. The greater is the mass, the greater is the capacity to store heat. When there is less sunlight, stored heat is emitted as the heat travels in the direction of the cold. If the house is turned to the south with the large windows on that side, the heat can “fill” the floors and the walls on the north, so during the night they let the heat inside the room.
If cooling is needed, access to sunlight is blocked and natural air circulation is applied. Thermal mass coexist with the mass of the ground and makes a kind of battery to generate the required temperature.
The self-sustaining households also use solar energy to produce electricity. It is most commonly produced by using solar panels, and the energy is stored in batteries from which it is used for all elements of the household (washing machines, computers, kitchen appliances, vacuum cleaners, etc.).