The World Domination Gardening is a set of 3 DVD’s by Paul Wheaton. The DVD’s are over six hours long all together! The footage is from a real life work-shop in California and shows how to make a pond, a swale, and a hügelbed.
There is a lot of information contained in the 3 DVD’s. Some of it is repetitive and I think it could have been better edited. But as Paul states in the beginning: If you’re expecting a Hollywood style movie, you will be disappointed. However, I have the feeling most people interested in permaculture, are not too impressed by Hollywood anyway.
What I liked best about these DVD’s are that they illustrate that things don’t always work out as you plan. Not even for the experienced guys! And that’s perfectly fine. Changing your plans as you go is part of the process of adapting your design to the actual location and situation.
The first DVD goes over how to make a pond. We get to see the whole process from planning to finished pond, including a surprise rain fall. And we follow the changes in the design as it is adapted along the way. We see the technique used, and Paul also discusses alternative methods to making ponds. However, after watching this DVD I still don’t feel confident to go out and build a pond on my own. I think for me to feel ok with working with water in this way, I would need to be on site and actually be part of the process.
The second DVD shows how to do a swale. The first half of the DVD is about the process of making the swale. The last half is a year later when we return to the sight to see how it has developed. And there are several conversations with different people, including Geoff Lawton, on how the site turned out, and what could be done better and how to move forwards. It kind of sums up the entire workshop too. And also they discuss different options of how things can be done showing that there is no right or wrong way, it comes down to personal preferences in the end.
In the last DVD we see how a hügelbed is made. We learn the principles that are important to remember, like choosing the right angle relative to the sun, using materials like stone that stores heat, how a deep pond could be incorporated etc. We also get to see a construction of a hügelsystem at Pauls place in Montana where they are trying to get a lemon tree to grow outdoors year round. Sepp Holzer has demonstrated how to do this in the Alps, and Paul is attempting to do this in Montana as well. To finish off we go back to the hügelbed in California a year later to see how it turned out.
Each DVD can be watched alone if you are only interested in one of the topics. But I watched all, and I think most will! So watching all the DVDs I think it was a bit confusing to follow the progress as the plans changed quite radically during the workshop. And then each DVD returned to different previous stages of the plan. But it was quite cool to have Geoff Lawton comment on the work that was done in each of the DVDs. And I also liked that we could see the site one year later.
I feel the DVD’s contained a lot of useful information and tips. Just from listening to the conversations you can pick up a lot of nifty tricks along the way. I for sure learned a lot and there are plenty of ideas that I can incorporate in my own permaculture work, even if I am not going to make any ponds just yet. However, I feel ok with making both swales and hügelbeds.
Here is the trailer if you are interested in watching it: