Seriously looking at putting in a rocket mass heater similar to the 6 inch unit that was in my shop with underfloor fresh air vent. Although, if i am required to install an ERV unit, do i need a fresh air vent ?
I'd ask that over on the RMH forum - definitely not my area. Part is making sure the fresh air is where you need it! ERV's need electricity to run, but with all the things in a modern home that off-gas, along with our tendency to build tighter houses for energy efficiency, I can understand them being required. Mind you, I'm the sort of person who can't stand "new car smell" - makes me feel exhausted and ill.
There's a reason that rafters are normally a maximum of 2 ft apart - often 18". Sag is it!
I was writing while Kenneth was posting and I agree with him completely!
As the roof is currently, it is under engineered. I was also going to suggest that the current 2x4's be upgraded to 2x6 at least. The people who built our barn overhang used 2x4's and the first winter after we bought the property, a heavier than average snowfall damaged one whole corner of the building.
A man takes his sick Chihuahua to the veterinarian. They’re immediately taken back to a room.
Soon, a Labrador walks in, sniffs the Chihuahua for 10 minutes and leaves. Then a cat comes in, stares at the Chihuahua for 10 minutes and leaves. Finally, the doctor
comes in, prescribes some medicine and hands the man a $250 bill.
“This must be a mistake,” the man says. “I’ve been here only 20 minutes!”
“No mistake,” the doctor says. “It’s $100 for the lab test, $100 for the cat scan and $50 for the medicine.”
All the windows are just to meet the 10 % window area to floor area building code...
I hear you! There are times to try for exemptions, and there are times to get on with building a home even if you have to compromise to do so!
My Hobbit Home is about as far from "natural" as you can get, poured concrete footings and walls, foam insulation on all sides, with s.i.ps panels out front. Have not been kicked off the forums yet...
People get kicked of for breaking our "be nice" rule, not for building a house that's more sustainable than most North American houses, even if to meet local codes, you're using materials the Codes understand.
My biggest issues with modern housing are:
1. They're only designed for a 50 to 70 year life-span. Will your design do better than that?
2. They're really energy in-efficient - both cooling and heating. Have you calculated whether your earth-berming and design will allow for minimal heating/cooling costs?
3. Many have far more square footage - and in the wrong places - than people need or even really want - big houses make more profit than well designed small houses. You haven't posted a drawing of the inside layout. Do that and you may get all sorts of people chiming in with opinions! Like do you have an integral cool/cold cellar food storage area? Do you have a work-shop area? A kitchen you can cook and process food in? These are the sorts of things permies drool over!
4. You only have to read the latest weather-related disasters (you said you were in Ontario. You guys just got hammered with that bad low that went past mostly north of my current Vancouver Island location) and the costs in destroyed houses, sometimes whole towns, that are happening. If you genuinely believe that your house will survive most of what Mother Nature might throw at it, that is sustainable, even if it's using materials like concrete that are not as "sustainable" as cob.
Good luck with your build, and yes, please keep posting updates!
I would like to point out, that one of the alterations i have been forced to make, are the window wells.
To me it looks like your "window well" is like a light well - you're just looking out the window at the well.
Is it supposed to be back-up egress as well?
Or just natural light in which case, are you loosing a lot of insulation for what you're getting?
I guess in my mind, I would find some way of making the "soil back fill" in the window area, some sort of stepped affair which would allow you to plant into it. Assuming the window does open, I might plant herbs there so if I want to make something, I could just pop out the window and grab chives/oregano/sage/parsley or whatever herbs you're partial to.
John C Daley wrote:START A PROTEST EVENT
- 'CHOOKS DESERVE A FAIR GO', chook deserve the same rights as humans, chook rights, ts time we welcomed them to our properties and made them feel welcome. Their eggs are yummy too!
If you're going to take that approach, I'd add - "Pets with benefits are better than pets that just cost money! Chooks are better than TV, communicate with you (if you speak chicken), organic pest control for garden areas, give you feathers, organic fertilizer for your garden (some processing required), and breakfast. What do dogs give you???
Did you research the germinating needs of the plants your seed mix contained? How many would actually like living on the slope you have?
Did you spread *all* the seed? If not, could you consider spreading some in flats now and see how it fairs under supervision?
Have you considered taking the seed mix and turning it into seed balls? I've not had an appropriate place to use seed balls, but my understanding is that they give the seeds better odds of germinating.
Both my friend and my sister have CPAP machines for sleep apnea. These machines may not be as "natural" as you are all hoping for, but I will say that for these two individuals the machine has been extremely beneficial.
My sister needed surgery. While in hospital recovering, the nurses would get her up into a recliner. If she fell asleep, the nurses would know because her sensor would start beeping in the nursing station. They said that if she thought she'd fall asleep in the recliner, she had to ask the nurses to move her machine near enough that she could put it on, because clearly even a nap in a recliner dropped her blood O2 level.
That said, I will send her some of these videos. If something less intrusive can help her, she'll be all for it!
Every person is different, and every treatment has its pro and cons. It's worth trying multiple approaches. For example, even if the exercises don't work now - if using a CPAP helps you loose weight (poor sleep habits tend to make weight loss extremely difficult), once the weight is lower, the exercises might be enough. That said, my sister has lost weight many times over her life and *always* gains it back. Nothing is ever simple!
An area near me, the Council decided to draft a chicken policy. Local chicken-lovers objected to some of the proposed rules, on the grounds that it would not be healthy/kind to the chickens and the Council changed the draft to include that input.
I tend to agree with Craig - a different local Council refused to draft a reasonable local policy, and so has the council where my sisters live. In some places, the only way change is likely to happen is by running for office, and having other chicken-friendly, food-security conscious people also run for office.
The place I would start is to find as many policies that you can in communities similar to yours, ideally in relatively similar eco-systems. Find out if possible (maybe write a letter to the local newspaper asking?) what the locals like or dislike about their chicken policy, whether many complaints or no complaints have been generated by locals having back-yard flocks, whether locals are even aware there is a policy and what it is.
Luckily, I'm on what is locally called, "Agricultural Land Reserve". I can not only have chickens, but the local Council has a chicken coop size policy which includes a height limitation which I have a few friends that wouldn't like! (assuming that's the "outside height" which doesn't allow for rafters etc.)
A coop must:
(a) provide at least .37 m2 (4ft 2) of coop floor area per each head of poultry;
(b) be no larger than 9.2m2 (100ft2) in floor area;
(c) provide a minimum of .92 m2 (10ft 2) of roofed outdoor enclosure;
(d) be no more than 2 m (6.5 ft.) in height;
(e) be sited and setback no less than 7.6 m from all property lines;
(f) provide and maintain at least one perch that is at least 15 cm long for
each head of poultry;
(g) provide and maintain at least one nest box for each head of poultry; and
(h) be secured from sunset to sunrise, with poultry kept within.
I also disagree that you need 1 nest box/chicken - I think it encourages boxes that are minimal in size and construction. I make relatively deep boxes so they're dark and cozy and my birds really like them.
I'm finding that my Honeyberries aren't very happy either. I've tried twice in two spots, but I'm thinking both spots are hotter and dryer in the summer than they like. In both locations I've lost one variety, so I no longer have cross pollinating happening.
I understand your feelings Cathy - if they're not happy, I might as well grow something in that spot that might be happier. I haven't ripped minr out because I haven't got an alternative plant for the spot. Goumis don't seem to be invasive here, so I may try to get more of them. They also prefer to cross pollinate and I've only got one bush. I'm hoping I'll get berries this year, so I can at least taste them, but I knew it would take time to get established and had mostly planted it to feed the rhubarb near it.
I also might decide to try transplanting them elsewhere - if they're not happy where they are, if they die because I moved them, it's no real loss.
Bike ped stuff? Far better than an electric car, but it does seem to stink of sacrifice.
The degree to which this "stinks of sacrifice" is multifaceted.
1. When I was much younger, I biked for enjoyment with a group, and for the exercise as I was working in a semi-sedentary job at the time. My father used to go bike camping with his father in England (he immigrated in his mid-twenties to Canada). When I was homeschooling my younger boy, I took him and his friend bike camping to a local island for 2 nights and it was a fun outing - we saw Orca for the first and only time!
Many humans think they deserve "new experiences" and "holidays". If they can also consider the petroleum foot-print of that, and choose biking as a way to accomplish it, I think it can be a positive. However, compared to walking, it takes better infrastructure and more embodied energy.
2. I think it's possible to "make people want to bike or walk" by using intelligent design. In a car, most of the scenery that's close up is either boring, or going by too fast. Making paths human and bike friendly, enticing and enjoyable can be as simple as planting flowers instead of grass, having shade trees instead of fences, and maybe having a few surprises, such as art-work (faerie doors, driftwood creations, "shaped" plants, tool art) hidden in plain sight. In a well-designed Ecovillage these things can be built in, but it would be lovely to have Ecovillages in a network - I've heard/read of "wild-life corridors" - my mind is thinking "human corridors" between ecovillages. The new civilization!
I totally agree that having some metric so that people can challenge themselves to use less petroleum is a great goal. I know that when my sister bought her retirement home she intentionally bought in a location that would help reduce the miles she needed to put on her car. However, she'd had my dad as a role model, and he'd done the same thing - he wanted a home near some tennis courts, near the library, and near some shops. It had a large enough back-yard to do some serious veggie gardening, although he hadn't heard the term "permaculture" at the time. My other sister now lives in that house, and if it weren't for the restrictive city ordinances, it would be a great pemaculture property.
when I first read your post because I thought, "Huh, I have quite a lot of Douglas firs and I rarely see them just laying around in a thick layer on the ground.
I have plenty of Doug Fir, but how much the cones are noticeable seems to be about which way the wind is blowing when they come down. We've got two gravel "farm roads", one goes north to our "big field" and one goes east to our new garden/workshop area. I'm often wheeling carts of some sort and running into cones is a nuisance, so if the wind or the squirrels have knocked a lot of cones down on either road, I tend to rake them up.
They take a *long* time to decompose in my composts. That doesn't bother me, as I consider it the same concept of building a hugel - it's sequestering carbon and holding moisture, so let it take its time. I've seen plant roots grow through the gaps in a cone, anchoring themselves and I expect harvesting something they want from them. That said, coming up with more uses that might be better than "compost" because it helps in a different way or might be brilliant for my property is always a good thing.
How interesting! I was given some seed of a different citrus and none of it germinated, and I believe now that it would have been far too dried out. The fresher seed of the lemon I put in, germinated quite well. I learn so much neat stuff here on permies!
Have you seen some of the techniques used in Russia to grow lemons further north. They did do a lot of work of choosing successful plants, and taking those seeds and moving further north, but they also did some interesting pruning approaches.
Scroll down and you see a tree that just a foot or two tall, with the branches splayed out to keep it low for frost protection. Putting flat rocks as mulch under it would help reflect up daytime heat in the evening.
I've got 4 baby lemons I started from seed with the intention of trying this system. I'm on Vancouver Island, BC, and there are people that grow lemons here with protection, but I'm not sure how many survived this past winter. At least if it's low to the ground, putting something over it when the weather is outside of the norms is possible.
A friend of mine's husband built her a raised planter out of Heat Treated (HT) packing pallets with 2"x2" posts going up the corners and above to about 6 ft, which made it easy to surround it with deer fencing which in our ecosystem is required. Pallets are normally 40" wide, but you can't always salvage the edges, so I recall it ended up just over 3 ft a side, which is 9 square feet of planting space.
It's amazing how quickly a pair of tomato plants take over that space! If you're thinking 2 ft square, I think you will have to look for midget versions of many of the plants. I have a number of 1/2 barrels that I use beside a shed as there's gravel there but also sun which I'm generally short on. A 1/2 barrel is about 2' across and there's a number of people who grow surprising things in them. I've got potatoes started in one, and by the end of the day will have a tomato planted in another. I'll often plant beans with the tomato, but it would be a small variety like Maxibel Filet. I regularly add walking onions near the edge (if I'm not adding beans - beans and onions don't play nice), and try to get some early lettuce going if the weather permits.
One thing I do with the barrels and taught my friend to do also, is to put punky wood at the bottom to act like a hugel sponge. Some sort of wicking water system would make it easier to care for. As much as I don't like importing things, a small bed like this would benefit from the addition of coir to help hold the water. I'm trying to use more biochar in place of coir, but so long as I only use a little coir and it helps me feed my family, it's at least a natural, biodegradable, and renewable resource.
Also be aware that some "trees crops" aren't self-fertile, so you'd need two planters! In that space, I'd certainly lean towards a tree on dwarf root-stock or something that's naturally shrubby in your zone. A different friend planted a Mulberry in a 1/2 barrel and it's now so root bound, I figure it will take a saw to extricate it. The only thing that's growing with it is walking onions. We just had a particularly bad winter, and I'm hoping it made it through. This is an issue to consider also - we had atypically cold weather and a raised planter is going to freeze harder than the same space in the ground. The planter may need insulation (think bags of leaves or organic hay or straw) around it for the winter. I lost a 6 year old Hazelnut in a small hugel and the only apparent reason was that it froze harder than other plants in the area due to it being higher up with less insulating soil.
I recently saw a post where people take a whole plastic barrel and make a wicking bed out of it, using a saw to cut planting pockets and heat the plastic and use a wine bottle to stretch the plastic into a pocket shape. This would give you other places to add layers - like strawberries/oregano on the sunny side, walking onions on the shady side, and a larger central shrubby tree out the top. It looked interesting, but I've never tried it and I'd prefer to see how people like them 4 years from now! In my climate, I tend to be pretty suspicious that the plants at the bottom will be too wet, and the ones at the top dry out too fast. Or that people water it twice a day, which I don't have time for!
So I understand your desire to make it a true representation of food forest cooperation, but you may need to consider focusing on a healthy poly-culture of herbs and perennials (I've got some asparagus in a barrel for example), without trying to represent all the layers.
if I make a second raised bed I'll use concrete blocks since they are much cheaper & plant alyssum in the in the holes of the blocks.
I used some called "Allen Blocks" to make a raised edge between my driveway, a slightly higher front walk, and the house where there's a garden that's about 5 ft by 5 ft. The Allen blocks have a larger hole than typical concrete blocks, and then smaller triangular holes where two block meet. In that one strip of 4 blocks, the first is covered because the hose bib is there, then there's sage, then two varieties of chives, then oregano. I used similar blocks south of the front walk and they have spring and fall crocus, walking onion, Old English Thyme, marjoram, and "Hens and Chicks". So blocks with holes can be put to good use!
I tried to put some punky wood in the bottom of each hole as I was planting - think hügelkultur on a micro-scale. Now I make small quantities of biochar and I highly recommend that for clay soil. It helps to lighten heavy clay and supports microbes.
Worms have a lot of microbes in their guts which they poop out, so I love it when I find a worm orgy in my compost! I've had some success with my clay soil by digging holes straight down and putting anything compostable in them. (wood chips, leaves, veggie scraps etc) In my rocky-clay soil, I always feel I've done great if I get 12 to 18 inches down the first time. After a season or two, I sometimes go back and try to dig the hole deeper. I dig the decent "soil" out into pots, then dig the clay soil out and remove big rocks, then mix the good an bad together along with biochar, more veggie scraps, more wood-chips or punky wood.
"Clay soil" is relative. I have not found root crops to help as much as some places suggest they can - my clay/rock combo has been compressed by the last ice-sheet. Even trees struggle with it - there are not a lot of tap-root trees in my ecosystem. But that clay soil has great potential once it gets stuff mixed in and give the microbes and worms a chance to transform it. Clay in HOA's has often been compacted by heavy machinery. If it takes a pick-axe to dig it, you'll likely need to help it out with more than just root crops. Poly-cultures will do wonders to make it into "soil", but I agree with Daniel Schmidt - sometimes you have to disturb things to get the process started.
Robert's got it!
I've been rebuilding 4x8' bottomless shelters to get mommy ducks on grass with whatever they hatched for me - I use Muscovy as moms because they're so good at it, but so far have given them goose eggs, Muscovy eggs, or Khaki Campbell eggs. One of the shelters needed a pop-door as a retrofit, and I used the notcher to make a "birds mouth" on both ends of a piece of pipe so I could screw through the tabs to the vertical pipes rather than having to take more space up by using "T" fittings. If people want a picture of that, I will have to ask Mom - as soon as I had the shelter finished and in the field, Mom + 3 day-old Khaki ducklings moved in.
@ John Shong - Hubby bought a really impressive bending tool for tubes and we've used it for hoops over some raised beds that allow me to add either row cover or bird netting easily. It takes more hand strength to operate than I've got unfortunately, as I could use about 10 more hoops, particularly with the wet spring we're having.
I was working at the edge of the field when I heard a really happy bird sound. I looked up and saw a swallow swooping out of our field with a fluffy white feather (probably from our goose) almost 1/2 its wingspan. Swallow's mate was likely making the happy noises as it flew along too, heading for my neighbor's house where I happen to know there are some swallow nest boxes set up.
I've only every had inky cap come up in my lawn, and rarely more than 3 in a group, so all I can say is, "WOW" you've got happy, happy fungi!
I've heard that there's also a chemical they tend to clean from the environment that you don't want in your body, so I will also second the, "don't eat too many", although I've never had a bad reaction. I heard that a decade ago, and can't remember what it was, but my sad memory is suggesting it was something I considered a "heavy metal". So you might want to do some research specifically about Inky Caps to see if they might be simply sequestering something you don't want in your soil, or if there's any chance something in your hugel was exposed to toxins (possibly naturally in the geology of your land, possibly introduced decades ago, possibly somehow brought in recently - this is *not* about panicking or blaming - it's about identifying and fixing).
First thing I think I need to do is find a pattern that works well for me with fewer pieces.
I "think" what you're implying here is that you want to make fewer, "shaped looms" as from what I understand from this whole thread, is that you need a shaped loom for each piece - although technically pattern pieces that say, "cut two" you could use the same loom, but work on the "top side" and then work on the "bottom side".
To my mind, it's a balance. Having a bunch of narrow pieces of weaving allow you to shape the finished garment without cutting or adding thickness with darts. If I was going to do this much work, I'd want something that really suits my figure and fits well, and fewer pieces could defeat that goal.
My lizard brain is saying, "be careful what you wish for" - and I really want you to tackle this project *and* be pleased with the results, so please consider at least doing a scrap fabric mock-up of the pattern you decide on. My lizard brain isn't always on the right track and it may be misinterpreting what you're thinking - there's a place for simplicity but there's also a place for "well-tailored"!
So I’m thinking I should be careful to check with officials to see if there is some time limit I have to finish this temporary shelter and apply for a building permit.
That sort of thing can be *very* locality dependent, so a careful check is important. Some places seem to have few rules, but my municipality is crazy strict about it. You may still get away with it if the neighbors don't complain, but again, where we live, some neighbors seem to have nothing to do but complain!
Personally, I prefer fairly standard shed or gable roof styles. A-frames may seem easy to build, but you get a lot of useless space due to the steep ceiling, and it's much harder to put windows where you want them. In a forested area, I'd keep the roof as simple as is reasonable because every nook and cranny is a place for tree duff to collect and create a fire hazard. We had only one week to buy a house when Hubby was transferred here, and we're both ready to tear off the roof for something more practical. It's too steep and a place that doesn't require a steep roof, making it deadly to work on, and it's got all sorts of valley's and little chunks of eves trough that need regular cleaning or they start growing trees! You might think that eves troughs aren't important on a small building, but under certain conditions, you can get foundational instability if you don't control run-off properly. That doesn't need to be done with eves trough - I'd vote for "ground trough" if I could get it, as they'd be much easier to clean out!
A friend talked me into buying some "everbearing" strawberry plants one year, and I was totally unimpressed. Maybe if they were babied they'd do well.
When we bought our property, there was a large patch that required minimal care. I'd try to mark older plants and remove them in June when the harvest was over. Periodically, I took some of the babies and planted them elsewhere. Production is partly based on the spring weather, but I've been using the same plant offspring for 20 years now. If I want to move them, I root the runners into little pots by just putting a flat rock over the "umbilical cord" (sorry, I'm sure there' a botanical name for that part of the plant, but I don't know what it is!) to hold the baby in the pot until it's put down roots. It's also dependent on whether the deer manage to break in and mow all the greenery... sigh... I try to protect them from that!
Dorothy Pohorelow wrote:Remember you can make like half a front and seam pieces together which would allow you to use narrower pieces of cardboard...
Or alternatively you can take narrow pieces of cardboard and make two layers with the corrugations at 90 degrees to each other, assuming a thicker layer would work. I think I've seen the cardboard loom idea somewhere, and some of the examples looked really wimpy to me. The two layers would need to be firmly attached - white glue might be the easiest.
That said, if fridge/freezer boxes are available, go for it!
I am wondering now if these islands could help prawn farmers to reduce over fertilization in their grow ponds.
Especially in Southeast Asia ponds are after a year a complete biological disaster...
I can't remember where I read about it, but there was a fellow who set up a floating system like C. Letellier posted a picture of, in a highly polluted lake in China and grew flowers for the cut flower market and the improvement in the lake water quality was extremely positive. There's likely a link somewhere within Geoff Lawton's system, as I think he has a video of a small version.
I don't see these floating systems as exactly the same beast as a chinampas. Chinampas are more like making boggy peninsulas to tremendously create more "edge", but they go down to the lake bottom and involve trees and shrubs. The floating systems genuinely float and I see them as being a low soil version of Aquaponics/hydroponics where the lake provides most or all of the nutrients and no pumps are involved unless the water body itself requires a pump for aeration. (And simple aeration pumps require much less power compared to lifting heavy water up many feet to fill hydroponic grow beds.)
I can *totally* see a version of the floating gardens helping both improve the water quality in prawn grow ponds, but if there isn't anything in the water that will pass through plants to hurt humans, it would be a way to diversify and "stack functions" - sale/export of prawns for cash, while providing quality food for your family and community all on the same area.
As I've read about soil science here on permies and through my public library, we need to make much more effort to treat all sorts of grey water and sewage through artificial wetlands and aerated composting systems to recapture all the nutrients represented by human outputs. Too much "nitrogen" in various forms, entering groundwater and from there, into wells is a septic system fail - it may not make you sick in the same way that e-coli does, but it's bad for humans. My understanding is that this issue is not confined to septic systems, but that many municipal water treatment systems discharge far too many nutrients into local water-ways than nature can handle, affecting water quality for downstream communities relying on that same water-way or aquifer for their drinking water.
They were coming off winter and they were pretty fat. I had just let them out to begin free ranging again which tends to make them more fit, if you know what I mean.
I think this could be a crucial observation - you had just let out "couch-potato" pigs who'd been getting no exercise and were carrying extra weight. They may not have had the muscle conditioning or heart health to handle the extra effort the hole required of them?
So the purpose of the "fertilizer" is to speed up a "phytoplankton bloom".
From wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phytoplankton "Phytoplankton form the base of marine and freshwater food webs and are key players in the global carbon cycle. They account for about half of global photosynthetic activity and at least half of the oxygen production, despite amounting to only about 1% of the global plant biomass."
The trouble with this article is that they're mostly talking about Ocean phytoplankton, rather than Lake phytoplankton. It mentions that, "Phytoplankton are crucially dependent on minerals. These are primarily macronutrients such as nitrate, phosphate or silicic acid, whose availability is governed by the balance between the so-called biological pump and upwelling of deep, nutrient-rich waters." However it goes on to say that both iron and B Vitamins are needed and areas of the Ocean that is short on either of those results in low levels of phytoplankton.
So is the purpose of the phytoplankton to feed the fish or produce oxygen for the fish or both? Both would certainly be required to maintain a healthy fish population.
Is your plan of increasing the fish population to feed yourself, or sell to local customers?
What is the water turnover/source in this pond?
One of the big words in permaculture is "polyculture" - lots of variety so that as Paul Wheaton said (approximately), "the carrots don't have to eat carrot poop". So multiple species of fish is just a start. But to give more "edge" to the pond by adding a variety of plants, which also allow fish eggs and spawn to survive long enough to grow and provide a variety of foods for both humans and fish.
Joshua, those are interesting chart you posted, but exactly what is a "fertilized" vs "unfertilized" pond - what and how are they suggesting you fertilize it? I know from reading about aquaponics, fish generate a lot of nitrogen out of their "poop" and that it takes a very large numbers of plants to keep the water healthy and oxygenated for the fish to be healthy.
Giving us some approximations on the depth of the pond and the ecosystem you live in would be helpful.
When I read your subject line, I did *not* assume that the only food you were focused on was fish - can I re-focus you a little - how do you turn the pond into a polyculture of fish/plants/etc?
Options to consider:
1. rearrange the edges of the pond to create "chinampas" beds.
2. definitely edible edge plants as Greg Mosser suggested - are you in an area that would grow wild rice or lotus root or edible water lily?
3. there are people who make floating rafts and plant "wicking beds" for annual veggies. Depending on how you do it, you may be able to get fish food out of it as well as people food - let the fish prune roots that stray too low, or add plenty of earthworms and let them escape into the water assuming you're not in an area where earthworms are considered invasive.
4. do you have a surplus of a problem land animal (think rats and squirrel)? I've read of people putting carcasses on a frame above the water to attract flies and the resulting maggots for fish feed. I've read that a lot of the issue with "farmed fish" is that the feed is based on unsustainable resources. Here on permies, we try to do better!
But the room doesn't FEEL angular. It feels like it's happy being round (alas, I now sound like a lune to all but the artists). Plus, it's the most common alternative to thatch here, and I have a slight aversion to doing what everyone else is doing.
With feelings like those, you will likely feel quite at home here on Permies! Putting a noticeably angular metal roof on a round, natural material building doesn't work for me either. Also, metal roofs can make some buildings much hotter in the summer and colder if you have a "colder" time of year.
A little bit about your typical weather would be helpful. You identified, "sunny", but are you at all prone to wind-storms or heavy rain periods?
One thing to consider is how long the roof might last with some of the options you're considering. If the material is cheap enough, you may not be bothered by having to do repairs/replace parts every 5 years, but in some ecosystems, that's the reality of bamboo. I love building with it (I have two patches), but I don't have a type that I'd trust for a whole roof. That said, you mentioned that you'd consider the Latex cement option. In a heart-beat, I'd put down latex-cement to make a firm, bug-proof roof and then cover it with bamboo for ascetics and to protect the roof from the sun, and to help with rain-water capture (although I could find a way to do that with just the latex-cement - I'd much prefer to do so with bamboo). All that said, I admit that the wet environment I live in, influences my attitude, particularly this year as we've had several winter months with as much as twice the "average monthly rainfall".
Off-topic: If bamboo is getting out of control in an area, geese will eat the shoots in the spring. I have to protect my P. dulcis patch during "shoot" season, or I'll get none for my own dinner and no new culms! Bamboo is a grass, and my geese are grass eaters - duh!
And the bad news is... farms such as you're imagining Scott are having to compete with farms that are either subsidized or are destroying the soil or have at least one family member working off farm subsidizing the farm debt or all three. Cheap food - and specifically the expectation of cheap food - has been part of our mindset ever since some guy promised, "a chicken in every pot".
I'm happy to get more farms at least protecting and building their soil, producing nutritionally dense food, and treating their animals humanely even if it has to be done in a subsidized manner. I do believe we may get there. A webinar I watched recently was with authors of a book which isn't out yet, "What Your Food Ate: How to Heal Our Land and Reclaim Our Health". There's long been a belief that "organic" farming (let alone better than organic) can't "feed the world" and the authors challenge that belief and are doing research to prove it. There book may have the names of farms that would fit your description, but again, so many rely on woofers or similar (although some people I know claim woofers often are more trouble than they're worth).
Small farms used to just feed the farmers and their community. A *huge* percentage of our population used to be involved in growing food 100 years ago, compared to a very small percentage now. And yet, modern farmers want the standard of living society says is required to be happy. Most of them are in debt due to the system despite off-farm income.
So part of the question may need to be, "How do we define "Economic Success"?