Thanks Doc! I'm glad to hear that this technique is t least somewhat valid, that really opens up quite a few more doors and seems like a great way to repurpose what otherwise would be a waisted resource for many folks as they transition away from toxic chemical agg!!! Thanks again!
Thanks for all the info and suggestions guys, this should really help out!!! So I have a bit of a follow up..... I've got a line on a 220gallon conical bottom mixing tank for cheap, the hitch is that it was used to mix herbicides on a commercial farm. I've heard that you can rinse the tanks with hydrogen peroxide solution several times and it will neutralize the toxic elements and make the tank useful again. Has anyone heard or done this with success or should I just keep looking?
I've read that making a compost tea of horsetail (equicetum sp?) is great for addressing fungal issues in your garden plants. I haven't been able to find a good recipe with directions, does anyone have a good resource or recommendation for brewing and applying horsetail tea for your plants.
Does anyone have suggestions or resources for building a brewer in the 100-200 gallon range? We have a broad acre property that we manage and I would like to start incorporating compost teas into our pasture ground. Thanks
Travis, I'm always interested in meeting with folks in the area and sharing experiences. It's great to have someone you can bounce ideas off of and brainstorm solutions to our unique problems that we run into in this neck of the woods! Let me know what you come up with-Dave
I think a combination of window alcoves and recesses would be pretty interesting. Maybe alcoves on the south side and recesses in other areas. Pretty interesting idea, I guess it would depend on your climate.... a nice recessed bed in a warmer climate would be really nice but maybe not so much during those frigid northern winters!
Just wondering if anyone has thoughts on using the 1000 lb 4x8x3 big bales. We've used them for temporary livestock shelters in the winter, but haven't made anything permanent. They can be a bear to get into position, but I'm wondering if there are any other drawbacks that anyone can think of before I get too carried away with permanent buildings!
I give this one 10 out of 10 acorns.
My brother in law randomly gave me Omnivore's Dilemma one year and once I picked it up I didn't put it down. It's infectious in the best way possible. I credit this book with starting me down the permaculture path, introducing my family to the work of Joel Salatin, and eventually leading me here to Permies!!! Michael Pollan documents the three major food producing systems that our society has to offer and allows the reader to draw their own conclusions and solutions. This may not be for everyone, but I really appreciated his relatively unbiased portrayal of our food production systems without demonizing any particular producer. It's a great read and a really good way to inspire folks to come up with solutions or just be angry at a bad guy if they want to! A little bit of something for everyone!!!
It always struck me as odd that you had to purchase special cultures to make cheese at home.....well guess what you don't!!! David Asher explains the the how and the why of making nearly every type of cheese imaginable.
Based solely on the environment and treatment of your ferment you can choose what kind of cheese you want using only the naturally occurring cultures in raw milk or kefir! This is truly a game changer for the home dairy, I wish we would have gotten this book when we brought home our milk cow. Even if you don't have your own cow or access to raw milk the author lines out exactly how to create your own starters and create the conditions necessary to whip up your own batch of whatever flavor of cheese you want. This one's a winner for sure!!!
I give this book 8 out of 10 acorns......
Building a Better World in your back yard is chocked full of information on how to do just that! Everything from simple lifestyle changes to blowing holes in corporate manipulation of how we "should" be living our lives, it's in there. I feel like this book hits the bull's eye for its stated purpose....getting permaculture into the minds of folks who otherwise wouldn't be able or willing to think about it. The early copy (thanks guys for letting me have a sneak peak!) was a fairly easy read, with a good flow and layout. For folks who are familiar with Paul and his work (i.e. listened to all his podcasts, read his articles, prowling the forums here for a while) there's not a whole lot of new information here. This wasn't supposed to be a bunch of new information though and the authors were pretty open about that from the start so that's ok!
I like the collaboration of the authors and the overall polishing of Paul's work turned out very well....smoothed a little to be slightly less abrasive for some and creates a bigger audience for permaculture. I will have no second thoughts about giving a physical copy of this book to my 80 year old mother-in-law or letting my teenage daughter thumb through it! Well written an edited, a very good product...well done folks, well done!!!
Another thing to watch out for with Ruth Stout's methods or any deep mulch technique is that it can make a really great habitat for some pretty destructructive vermin. Not just snails and slugs but mice and voles as well. Over time the predictors will move in, but in the beginning steps should be taken to minimize those destructructive little creatures! Having a heavy border of course wood chips surrounding your beds helps quite a bit with the file problem.....
BTW, if you're looking to ferment the spent brewers grain (someone mentioned that earlier) you'll need to supply some sort of carbohydrate since most will be leached out of the grains in the brewing process. I've used soaked fresh grains for this with pretty good success int he past. Lot's of protein not much carbohydrate in the the spent grains so you'll need to take that into account as you formulate your feed ration. I like pigs and chickens/ducks for the grains myself....
To get a really good idea of what that pasture will sustainable support you'll want to get a forage inventory done. You can contact your local NRCS or soil conservation district and they'll likely do the testing for you. Once you find out exactly how much forage your land produces you can figure the carrying capacity. You'll get pretty good regrowth with your long growing season and irrigated pasture, but you will want to make sure you have a long enough rest to fully recover your pasture between grazing events. That time will likely change from season to season and you'll have to be flexible to get the best results from your land. Figure out how much forage you've got and go from there. Your cattle will need to consume in the neighborhood of 3% of their body weight in dry matter daily, more if you're looking to finish an animal on pasture.
I'd go with Jevon's Grow Biointinsive method for what you are describing. Predominantly staples and compostables, and a smaller percentage of what most people would consider "garden" crops (i.e. tomatoes, greens, etc). Check out the Biointinsive method for specific recommendations....
Dave Dahlsrud wrote:Looks like it works pretty well with Helen's presentation!
Dave, my records show that you bought helen's presentation just as a normal, direct purchase, not as a gift.
If you did buy it as a gift, then we found a bug in our stuff. But I am seeing the other purchases as gifts.
Paul, so I totally screwed that one up, but I'm on a mobile device and going back through I'm not seeing the buy as a gift option on any of the links so it doesn't look like it works with my android phone chrome browser...
9 out of 10 Acorns....
This is an exhaustive reference for the homesteader or small farm owner. Just so many good references and resources listed a guy can't even name them all. Just a quality resource for any of us who like this sort of thing....
Nothing else like them that I've found that is so subtle and convenient for opening a dialog about Permaculture. The art is superb and it's fun for the entire family to pull out a deck and just start reading and finding the hidden names, etc.
I think you would end up with a more uniform coverage in your mulch by fluffing the hay a bit so that everything is more homogenized and locked together. It seems like the edges of the flakes wouldn't lock together very well and give an easy route for grass and weeds to come up through the paper and mulch at those seams, if that makes sense. As the fluffed hay compacts it intertwines giving you a better sheet layer instead of the tile effect you might end up with using the flakes.
That's right Deb the carbon comes from the atmosphere. Got a set of NiFe batteries myself, reconditioned Edison cells from Zapworks in Montana. The documentation that came with them along with Edison's original writings call for a layer of mineral oil on top of the electrolyte to seal out atmospheric contamination that can lead to carbon fouling of the electrolyte and plates thus reducing the efficiency of the battery bank until the fouling is corrected. My understanding is the KOH has a chemical reaction with the CO2 in the atmosphere that causes the problem.
I think you would end up with carbon building up on the exposed plates and fouling your electrolyte. You would loose considerable efficiency of that cell, but on the bright side all you have to do is drain the electrolyte, open up the cell and clean it off with a pressure washer, then reassemble and refill with fresh electrolyte.
Put some chains on your tractor and drive in reverse over the the area as you're broadcasting, zig-zaging as you go to get something like even coverage and contact......solar fence charger, some poly line, and rent a few cows for a week or two......sometimes the NRCS guys have or know somebody with a pasture drill you could rent or hire out.....scrape the "mulch" layer off, spread the seed, then re-spread the mulch.....or jsut spread the seed and hope for the best!
I would look at moving the wood chips aside and filling that void with compost or a planting mix and then run your seeds and starts into that. Here's a pretty good video of what I'm talking about....should solve your problems!
I wouldn't hold out a lot of hope with the cedar chips for quite some time, but your oak should work very well for the wine caps. Not sure about the white wood, but likely will be fine as well. You might want to consider some 50-75% shade cloth until things get established in your beds if you're wanting your spawn to colonize well and stay viable. I kind of like to grab hand fulls of spawn and plug it into the chips rather than mixing it all together evenly. You can mix in some soaked straw to get your spawn colonizing a little faster as well...it's easy food for the wine caps but they use it up quickly.
Good wood! I wouldn't think twice about using that stuff, you could mix in some fresher wood too if you have access to it to prolong the benefits of your hugel beds. I made beds just like this in my greenhouse and it works fantastic! You will likely have to add more dirt and organic matter to keep the beds filled every year (I know I do!) but they work great for annuals.
One thing to think of is maybe not using cedar next time to build your beds. The same stuff that keeps it from rotting fast can also have detrimental effects on your plants and you will loose some of the hugel benefits as far as microryza fungi establishment etc. I used douglas fir to make mine and they are holding up really well after 4 years, but I know I'll be working them over soon....
Your giant oak log will work just fine for a hugel, but like they said it will decompose overtime and you'll be left with either a much smaller mound or a depression that will need to be filled. Grass will grow just fine on a mound like that as will your hydrangeas.
Do you plan on digging a trench and burying the log partially below grade, or just bringing in a bunch of dirt to throw over the top of the log where it sits?
Just toss plenty of soil over the top of the mound and you'll be fine. Your woody core will lock up a good bit of the nitrogen in the manure anyway, I wouldn't worry about it too much....plus you could just plant really hungry plants like pumpkins, etc.
Premier 1 is probably the best poultry net you can buy. It's lasted years for me, so it's been well worth the cost. Make sure you have plenty of spark(don't skimp on your fence charger) and ground the heck out of it.....you won't be sorry!
I would just toss them in the run with a bunch of carbon like wood chips or straw and let nature take its course. Eventually the guts will be no more as either chicken food or compost that can be spread on a grow bed.....
With that size of lot to work with I would sheet mulch the whole thing to get started and then start looking at some of the planting strategies developed by John Jeavons and the Grow Biointensive crew at Ecology Action. They have some really good info on intensive production on a small scale....or large!
michelle salois wrote:I've just been thinking I want to move to this method too. I've not been happy with the wood chips approach since smaller seeds just don't work as well but grass invaded anyway. gotta find a way to transport hay though to my city lot.
You might be able to get a farmer to deliver you hay and straw in small bales if you live near a hay producing area. I've had really good luck getting hay and straw delivered through Craigslist, you'll pay a little more for the convenience of having it delivered and you'll pay a little more for the small bales than you would for big squares or round bales, but you pay less for the tractor, pick up, and trailer for moving it yourself....
We haul water with a 275 gallon tank as well. It's not that big of a deal to go out with the water tank and refill for us since we do daily moves from one paddock to the next and will move the water about once a week to keep up with the cows. We're already out with the cows every day so hauling water doesn't add that much more time. It all depends on what kind of management you plan on doing with the rented farm. For me I would mob graze the property, moving at least daily, integrate those paddocks rotations into my own property (one large herd), and haul water in when I needed.
I know Greg Judy runs one herd commingled with bulls, heifers, newborns all of it together. He's had good success with this system in Missouri, but he has a large herd. That being said I separate my bulls away from the heifers (keep them with my milking cow), but I have plenty of room. I think if I were in your situation and I really liked the bull (for more reasons than just being a pet) I would try out the commingled herd and see what happens. I don't think one season would be catastrophic in the long run....
Kamaar, I've found that a lot of people will get on board if you just start doing something. For instance at your community garden if you wanted to start implementing a Ruth Stout style garden first convert your plot to that style and get one other person to do the same(that way it's not just your crazy idea), once you have that first follower and an example to point to it becomes MUCH easier to have a productive conversation about larger scale projects.....