Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Paul's husp thread got me thinking......

On the http://www.permies.com/ forum Paul Wheaton had a thread on husp (horticulture of the united states of pochahontas)..here is a link to the thread:

recently he has added a new thread regarding this thought, here is a link to the new thread:

here is a quote from the above thread:

The first chunk (4 acres) would be called "permaculture" and is roughly defined as "ten times better than organic". I know that what "better" is would probably change from person to person, but since this would be my property, then I guess I get to make the call on what "better" means.

The second chunk (about 100 acres) would be called "symbiculture". I would roughly define this as "ten times better than permaculture".

The last chunk (remaining acres) would be "husp". Roughly "ten times better than symbiculture".

Already I find myself leaning on this definition to better express myself. So before the podcast even comes out, I want to express this stuff.

Some quick attributes ....


- paint is allowed, but not much. Maybe ten times less than you would find on a typical organic farm
- cars may be parked there, but care is taken to make sure stuff does not leak into the soil.
- imported organic matter is allowed (very carefully selected)


- very little paint is allowed
- imported organic matter is not allowed
- limited use of plastic
- electric vehicles allowed
- use of a trac hoe once a year is acceptable.


- zero paint allowed
- no plastics
- no galvanized stuff
- stainless steel and glass are okay
- no electricity
- no plumbing
- nothing is ever burned (no fire, no candles)
- clothing restrictions (no synthetic fibers, shoes, etc.)
- no trac hoe

I expect that I would live in the symbiculture section.

I think that the husp section has a LOT of stuff to still figure out. But that was always the intention with husp: it is far more advanced than I can imagine, and I wish to make a feeble attempt to discover what could be. With the parameters outlined, one challenge seems to be lighting. Jon and I talked about this a bit. He was thinking candles might be okay. I said that the cleanest candles do put stuff into the air, and they consume oxygen from the air.

At this time, the only type of building I imagine building on the property is wofati. I suppose there could be other options presented at some point in time, but I don't know what. Smoking and drugs are not allowed anywhere on the property. Some alcohol is allowed.

I think that figuring out how things can work in the husp area is what I think these forums are for. I mean to say that when I created these forums, it solved a lot of things and gave me a place to "grow" with like minded folks. And now, many years later, these forums do all of these things, but the thing that is the most important is the "grow" thing. There is so much about husp I am not sure about and wish to try and figure out - and I am leaning heavily on these forums to do that.

Ok this entire idea got me really thinking about the area that we have just reached with the new road that Joel has put through our property to the North beyond the big tree.

This area was pulped off 40 plus years ago, which ruined it and made a mess, but it has been left to itself for the last 40 years..basically untouched. The land has done an amazing job of healing itself..and I was so blessed to be able to reach it now that we have the trails through our woods.

I don't have a lot of photos of the area..but there are a few that were taken "just off the road" about 100 feet north of where we ended the road building when we walked through the woods to our property lines.

Both Joel and I were amazed at how beautiful some of the areas were, but I had no camera with me when I went to the farthest areas, so I wasn't able to get photos there. But I can describe them.

One of the farthest areas is a woods that is so dense that the sun can barely reach the ground. The trees are mostly large cedar and Canadian Hemlock trees and the ground is nearly bare with only a few plants, some of which are wild huckleberry plants with green berries on them when we were back there. Lots of signs of bear in this area.

As you walk back toward our house the area gets sunnier and sunnier and in these areas there are maple trees that have been growing since the area was pulped off, so some are larger now, 40 years old. There are also thousands of baby maples and baby Canadian Hemlocks in those sunnier spots..some only inches tall. There is a meadowy area that has a lot of baby quaking aspen trees surrounded by wildflowers and grasses, this is such a pretty area my son said we should bring a picnic table back there.

At the end of our road we hope to dig a pond and bring the drainage ditches across somewhat to keep the water flowing from our pond to the creek north of us..but we wouldn't dig into this beautiful area of woods that hasn't been disturbed for 40 years.

I like the idea that Paul has of the husp area, where there are no fires, no chemicals, no heavy equipment, etc (as in the quote above)..but that you could go in there to forage, meditate, rest and enjoy nature.

I'd love to leave this unspoiled (for 40 years) area as natural as possible, maybe not even clearing out the trails to walk, but where you'd have to hike around the fallen logs and brambles to get to the beautiful places...but would like to keep it accessible enough to be able to continue to enjoy it as I age (61 this month)..as what is the point if you can't even be there to enjoy it.

I do like the fact that the only thing you see right now that tells you that people have been there are the propertly line markers..and I would even like to have those less visible...but still there so as to know what is ours and what is the neighbors.

This is an area really close to the road and would be in view of the pond if we put a small one in at the end of the road, where Joel thought it would be nice to have a picnic table. This would be at the edge of the more wilderness area, so less wildernessy, but I see no need to "improve" upon it or clear trails through it as it is already beautiful. The dark backdrop through the trees, are the Canadian Hemlocks in a deeper forest area..this area is near the opening in the woods with the huge tree, and it gets a lot of sun. It is also a dip and mound area where there are a lot of rotting fallen trees, and low swampy areas, a lower area that is wet in spring.
This area is slightly North of the above photo, and is getting toward the more evergreen woodsy area and where the young maples begin. You can see it is still fairly open to the sun for another hundred feet or so and then you start to get into the deeper woods (which I didn't get photographs of). As you go into the woods you begin to have more bare ground and less meadowy plants.
In this photo I waas standing in the edge of the woodsy area looking back over the meadow..to the left and deeper into the photo is an oldfield that is being reclaimed by trees and shrubs (you can see the clearing through th trees). To the right of this photo is the opening with the huge tree in the photo below.
Instead of walking back into the older woods, while I had the camera with me, Ron and I crossed the opening North of the giant tree, and proceeded out of the property on the west side of the property. This area also has some older trees, mostly cedar, but isn't as pretty as the areas on the NE of the property. Below are a few photos taken on the NW sides of the property where we now have a road (since this photo was taken) to give us access to the giant tree and to this part of our property.

This is still NE slightly of the opening with the large tree, above, where the maples are getting a little larger and more dense..as are the Canadian Hemlocks.

This area is NW of the large tree, a little more dense woods. Last week we did build a trail to the area in this photo and the photo below..but this will be the farthest North that our trails will be built. There are a lot of dead ash trees up to this point that will be removed for firewood, but North of here, all fallen trees will be left to feed the soil and the wildlife.

You can see here that there are 3 large trees all falling together, but not completely down yet..our trail ends at this point by the huge tree in the clearing. This area is very thick hemic soil that would be impossible to dig or put a trail through except in the areas that we have already gotten through with the tractor. We will maintain these trails but not put any roads farther north  than this point, the areas north will be limited to foot hiking...and rough trails around fallen logs and bramble areas...trees that fall here will not be moved.
Hmmmm..Paul doesn't want any plastic in his husp area, but I believe that in order to show photos I'll have to hike back with my camera so I can photograph the more wild and older areas someday, but right now it is still unspoiled by even my camera lens..

These areas would be on the edge of my symbiculture area, trails will be allowed in to remove firewood and to access areas to build ponds and creeks and clear access areas for use, also trees, shrubs, plants and vines will be added to produce food in the areas up to this point, along and at the end of the trails. But as you move North and east and west, at the end of the trails, the areas will not be developed any more than they are at this point. They will be left to mature on their own, to self fertilize, self water, and self maintain.

There are many areas in the blog here that I talk about the trails, ponds and food forest gardens, but this area will be left as natural as it is possible after having been pulped off more than 40 years ago. It is healing and people that walk into these areas can experience healing and peace and be able to meditate without disturbances of trails, or manmade intrusions...beyond earlier damage already done.

1 comment:

  1. Love the picturs of your property. We are transplants from Mi to MO and I do miss the northern woods. Spent all my summers on Lake Huron by AuGres and in up by christmas. One of my fondest memories is riding horseback on the Cross MI trail ride. We are blessed with 80 acres of woods...some of which are so thick I've never even hiked back there. Had some selective timbering done last year and the loggers made us some nice trails. All supervised by Forestry dept. as we didn't want our land torn up. First time we logged the fella used mules but he's too old to do that kind of work now. Plan to spend some time reading your old posts.