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  1. June 9, 2010 8:11 am

    I have to agree with Frank on this one. I was designing a child’s garden for my PDC class in NYC, and wanted to include tire gardens and a tire playground. After very extensive research, I also couldn’t find any solid scientific reports to suggest that a tires contact with the ground was hazardous. If Michael has any official (and recent) info that suggests otherwise, it would be great if he were to share it.

    Happy planting!

    • June 15, 2010 3:14 pm

      I don’t have any evidence. I just felt that Christopher’s concerns seemed reasonable and should be discussed or researched. I’ve used tires for terraforming, and building simple dams.

      I also wasn’t sure what was the connection he was drawing between use of tires and following Mollison’s ideas. I never specifically saw building with tires as a permaculture method. I’ve seen people all over central and north America use tires as building material who have never heard of permaculture or even care about sustainable design. Christopher then pointed out (with specific references) how many times tires are pictured or mentioned in Mollison’s Designer’s Manual which may suggest that those who adhere to an orthodox, Mollison-like version of permaculture design (I’ve never met such a person) would fetishize tire use or downplay the concern.

      I still don’t think tire-building is a “permaculture method.” The principles and methods of permaculture design are too broad to really focus specific building materials. But if a quality of tires is found to be the leaching of toxics I doubt the type of person who practices permaculture design would be interested in using them.


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