Episode-1574- Frank Thrall on Permaculture and Keyline Systems — 16 Comments

  1. Speaking about the road sides uses. We just back from Jamaica and they graze goats and horses on leashes to both keep the grass down and have a yield from it

  2. Great show. Starting your own 4H club was great out of the box thinking. I have been interested in learning more about keyline systems, maybe you could post some suggested links in the comments.

  3. I found your podcast a few months ago, and would like to say that I enjoy it very much. Keep up the good work. If I might though, I would like to give you my perspective on some of your interviews. Although very conversational and often times very informative, I find that sometimes they seem to drift with no particular point in view.

    Today was a good example. As a newbie to all that is permaculture, I have no idea what a key line system is, and after more than an hour interviewing your guest, I still have no idea what a key line system is. Neither you nor your guest ever gave it even a basic definition, unless I somehow missed it. I kept waiting for it so as to gain some basic understanding of the concept and see if I might beneficially apply it at home but it never came.

    It seemed like the interview kinda petered out, ending with your guest undecided as to whether he was going to actually do something useful in his life or just continue rearranging the deck chairs on the public education system. Perhaps an interview outline that keeps the conversation moving to a point?

    Anyway, I hope you will take this in the way it is intended, to make a great show even better, and not as an unduly harsh criticism. You have made my work days pass much more quickly and most of the time I feel like I have learned something as well. I in particularly enjoy Alex’s and your takes on the history segments. Also, you have me re-inspired to finish the backyard orchard and garden that I started about 6 years ago but got derailed some time back. I’m even considering a duck-a-ponics system after watching a number of your duck chronicles episodes.


    • Guests always submit a form with set up questions and we always follow that. As I said in the intro this was an academic topic on some levels, I knew it would not be for everyone. I DO NOT and never will try to make EVERY SHOW for EVERYONE, that would make my show like all the other bullshit out there, pandering to the lowest common denominator on all subjects.

      Your comment about rearranging the deck chairs is also petty and low. This may be hard for you to get but for what we advocate to make real inroads it takes all of us. A grad student doing Masters Level research work on key line systems for broad acre systems amounting to rearranging the deck chairs, wow, talk about missing it.

      This is how USDA codes end up getting written.

      Can I go into that world, no. Do I want to, no, I would rather shoot myself in the face with an acid gun! But I am sure as hell glad that some people can and will do this type of work.

      Basically this show was advanced beyond your level, some will be.

      A lot of keyline is frankly beyond my level! It is difficult to teach in person or in video, so with audio all we can provide is the basic concept, spread water from the valleys to the ridges.

      • I would like to offer my apologies for my word choice with respect to Mr. Thrall’s potential future activities.

        My views about the academic world (in which I was a Faculty member for nearly six years before my recent separation, the reasons for which I will not go into here) publishing papers by the truck load which few people read and fewer still act on was not meant to be the main point of my comment. So, again, my apologies.

        The main point was intended to be that an already GREAT show would be that much better if the interviews had a little more structure. I certainly am not suggesting that you dumb them down in any way, only that they be a bit more purposeful with 1 or perhaps 2 discreet takeaways, better still if said takeaways were actionable.

        I realize that I have no real business telling you how to run yours, but you did ask for feedback and comments. I wouldn’t have said anything if I didn’t care. I just hope that you will take it for what it’s worth (which might not be much) and not let the “good enough” be the enemy of the “better”.



  4. I actually live about 20 minutes from Chico, Ca. I’d love to meet up with Frank sometime and give him my ear for some of his idea’s on permaculture.

  5. Regarding gardens: Our UK friends call their veggie gardens Allotments. I stumbled on the term doing a search for growing potatoes in containers. So if you want know how people in the UK garden search for Allotment on youtube. The word itself has some interesting origins. People with little to no land such as apartment dwellers often rent an Allotment from their local government to garden in. The measure of the allotment plots is predetermined and payment is due annually. There is usually a waiting period to get an allotment. Anyway, just a little trivia.

  6. Jack-

    /sarc on
    Jade Helm is in with Wal-mart!

    The closed Wal-mart stores have secret tunnels that Jade helm will use to get all across the US! And Wal-mart is an anagram for Mart-law…Martial Law!! ahhhhh They’re gonna get us!

    /sarc off

    I hope you got a laugh! Keep up the awesome work bro!

    -KC in Austin

  7. If I see Jade Helm come up on my FB feed one more time, I am going to start defriending folks, some of them family!

    Jack, you may have mentioned this before, but what gets me is the people hollering the loudest that our troops should only defend the homeland are the most hysterical when it comes to them training here.

    Now excuse me while I go get imprisoned at Wally World….

  8. Maybe Jade Helm has been doubled fried in conspiracy theories to hide something else. Has anyone asked, why the government may be conducting such an extensive military training in the southwest? Is the homeland at risk in any shape way or form? I wouldn’t dismiss this training as ‘just training’, especially at a time when we are sending lots of assets and equipment back home from the ME .

    I don’t fear fema camps or round-up operations but perhaps the government is preparing for something else.

  9. there actually has been some intelligent analysis of Jade Helm in the conspiratorial realm….. this guy is a real dummie….

    • Intelligent analysis in the conspiracy realm? Wow, now who is the dummy?

      If Jade Helm was a conspiracy you’d not have Military PR people talking about it. While you are paying attention to this which will have no more impact on your life than troops running up Cardiac Hill at Ft. Benning and Tank Hill at Ft. Jackson what is going on elsewhere is what you should be paying attention to, if there is any conspiracy that is it.

      If there is anything at all to Jade it is that Jade is the hot chick the magician uses to distract you from something else.

  10. Great show!

    Having been born, raised and spending a career in Modesto, Ca, and still living and retired in the County, it is refreshing to hear someone like Frank who is here doing the work.