Janet Reed wrote:I have boulders. Lots of them. Some VW size..some Mini Cooper size. I have extensive plantings in back of and in front of boulders. I use them more for shading than for heat retention and plant foxglove under their shade and in the crevices of their protection.
I do note that here I have great success growing lavender with its roots being protected by boulders. Out in the open I lose lavender. I’m in the colder drier PNW.
I plant horseradish on the North side of boulders for the root protection and it flourishes.
I plant Hollyhocks in the shade of boulders because I have learned they like their roots shaded/protected and the tops Sunnyside and hot.
I have a small forest of oregano that flourishes on top of the sunny hot side of boulders.
I’m sure there is heat retention there somewhere...I mostly enjoy my monolithic friends for their beauty.
Thank you - your suggestions are now my starting point!
I'm converting a small area into a food forest, and in the garden space is a granite boulder the size of a small car. The area was covered in ivy which I cleared, followed by a wood chip mulch on the exposed soil. The south facing boulder acts as a divider between a lower and upper area and I'm curious if people have observations they've made about the micro-climates that result from a situation like this. In particular -
Above & behind the boulder is an area where I imagine the soil will be kept warmer due to the thermal mass - are there some plants that thrive in warmer soil even though their above ground portions are more exposed? Until I establish a windbreak I can expect a regular cool breeze to take away any warm air.
In front of the boulder I imagine a radiant heat but likely less heat transferred to the soil - so the flip side of the above question - are there plants that thrive in warmer air but not necessarily warmer soil? Am I over thinking this, and the heat from the boulder should affect the area in front of it too?
The boulder is white granite and seems pretty reflective - could this a negative factor in its uptake of solar heat?
Plant recommendations welcome! :) This is in USDA Zone 8a.
D. Logan wrote:Important Note: The PEA program is about to get some revamps and upgrades. If anyone is currently working on a badge in the program, please let me know. Hopefully this won't be an inconvenience to anyone, but the current iteration was left in a half-finished state that doesn't hold true to Paul's vision of where PEA should go. Many of the changes are likely to be minor things adapting it to be more of a closed system not requiring one to visit any property aside from the interior of one's dwelling.
Interesting.. so the PEA program won't require access to property? I'm kinda curious about a middle ground program - somewhere in along the lines of "skill to permaculture your suburban lot / garden space". For example, smallish hugulkultur might be viable in some cases or a management of a few fruit trees..
As way of background, let me say I'm a huge fan of the ideas behind PEP, and appreciate the Paul-ness of the endeavour. In addition to clearly delineated requirements, many of the badge threads have questions about viable variations or substitutions. When a proposed alternative doesn't quite match the intention, the arbiter will often suggest perhaps starting a PE_X, hinting that everyone could have their own achievement certification systems. In the open source world of software development there is a common practice of 'forking' projects with open licenses - that is to say taking an existing project and applying modifications to it. What I'm curious about though, is if it is permissible for people to base their own PE badge systems off what Paul and the rest of the team have created.
Effectively what I'm asking is - "what license governs the PEP system?"
thomas rubino wrote:
I took a look at those regulations and they apply to outside burning not indoor heating.
Wow - I hadn't considered that there would be different laws for indoor and outdoor heating, but that makes perfect sense.
thomas rubino wrote:
A search thru the towns website did not turn up any regulations at all.
Do other people in town burn wood?
Some rocket mass heaters are really a form of a masonry heater.
Some locals will allow those & some would only let a certified mason build one.
Keep looking there is a rule book in Surrey somewhere... you just need to find a copy.
Here are the rules for BC. https://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/218_2016#section2 Looked to me like a masonry stove description was liberal enough that a batchbox brick bell rmh should qualify.
EEeeeenteresting.. I will keep at it and report back, but yes people do burn wood, I just don't know if it's done legally or not.
Thank you for putting your time into this!
I recently listened to Paul's Podcast with Chris McClellan on interacting with municipal governments on the topic of rocket mass heaters (episode 481 - aside from the challenging audio quality, this is an excellent episode) and it inspired me to investigate how viable a rmh would be in my home city of Surrey. The best I could find was this rather daunting page on municipal burning regulations. Has anyone around here tried to get a permit for a rmh? Since getting rmh approval here appears that it will be a challenge, does anyone know if there are cities/towns in BC that welcome them?
I'd love to find some permies in the South Surrey / White Rock area. When the border opens I will have the chance to visit some of the wonderful looking projects in Washington State, but for now I guess I'm limited to nerding out with fellow Canadians.
Anthony Saber wrote:
The procedure to get any produce garden up and running is pretty simple. It starts with a soil test using the William Albrecht method of getting
the mineral ratios correct.
Thanks for sharing! I was following up on your suggestions and in my digging I found some criticisms of the Albrecht method. In particular, here's a recent report from the University of Minnesota that states as part of the conclusion "Ratio-based fertilization theories like the Albrecht Method provide scant proof that they offer any economic or soil health advantage to farmers." As far as I can tell, the Albrecht method might inadvertently provide some soil benefits but there isn't science backing it. I don't know if this matters to you or not, but I found it interesting while investigating your reply.
Nicole Alderman wrote:$65,116!!! Another stretch goal reached!!
Next stretch goal:
This is a seriously great book!!! I learned a lot about not just scrounging, but also some great building advice. Wonderful, wonderful book! You can read my review HERE.
I know this might defeat the purpose / incentive of adding a new book, but if anyone is going to make use of a book on scrounging, it would be the backers who can't afford to pony up the $100.. - any chance of making it available to the $10 backers ?
Robin Katz wrote:
If you still want to build a garden on the soil, I would recommend a barrier put down first then make big tall raised beds to minimize the chance of contaminating the soil you're cultivating.
I was considering that since the driveway isn't super huge, I'm sure if I got a digger out for a couple of days I could remove the driveway and a few inches of dirt. That said, this is likely beyond my current budget of ~zero dollars.
I'll have to reconsider my plans for the driveway space. A small scale farmer friend of mine swears by container gardening for his tomatoes on a derelict tennis court. He says the surface acts as a heatsink and increases their productivity. I'm going to investigate how I can use this to my advantage - maybe I can break up the asphalt into small terraces.. hmm. If this was for the long haul (10+ years) I would work towards soil remediation, but given that this lot is likely to be developed in that time I'll stick to the basics.
Robin Katz wrote:
This is not an ideal situation but finding clever ways to get around the problems is what this forum is all about. Good luck!
Thanks Robin (and everyone else who contributed) - having people provide food for thought on this is a great relief
Wow! thanks for the replies and insightful discussion!
To add more context - any "real" future development of the property will entail a complete leveling of everything on it. (The lot next door had 20+ mature trees on it one day and zero after the developers were done 'site prep'). The city has already made it very clear that the land will need to be subdivided before any future permits are granted. Given that the house is right on said road and the offending driveway takes up the bulk of what would an entire lot, they will be destroyed. The property has the driveway in the front (as mentioned) and a rear driveway to a carport, so day to day (and emergency) access is accounted for. The front driveway hasn't seen active use in years and is blocked off by a felled tree on one side of the loop and a giant mound of woodchips on the other.
The state of asphalt is pretty poor.. it's 40+ years old and the neighbours' mature trees (RIP) had roots that extended onto my property and pushed up the driveway. I've taken a sledgehammer to part of it to gauge the depth and it's only a 4" pour.
In terms of scope, it does look like a daunting task. I'm currently unemployed so I do have the time for this, though I'm not sure my body could handle doing it with just the sledgehammer.
I have been using the flat part at the top as a platform for a bunch of planters, but once I get to the parts where there is a slope the planters look weird and seem unstable.
Cristo - thanks for the suggestions. I guess I won't use the asphalt as a part of my terracing idea (if terracing ends up being the direction I want to go)
Tereza - the part I removed had dirt underneath. Your comment made me think I should poke around a bit more before I assume the whole underlayer is the same.
So, I'm stewarding some urban land and I've been given permission from the owner to do what I wanted in the yard. The front yard is pretty large (1/6 of an acre) and has a nice gentle south facing slope which seems ideal for growing things. Problem is there is an asphalt driveway that loops around most of the perimeter and takes up a a lot of space. I'm not sure which approach to take in terms of getting a garden going and have some questions:
Is there value in building soil on top of asphalt ? If so, does the answer change when said asphalt is sloped (~10 degree slope) ?
Is the soil under the asphalt likely to be toxic? (I'm broke at the moment, but if I were to remove the asphalt I would get the newly exposed dirt tested)
If I decide to remove the asphalt, any recommendations for method?
Suggestions for how to use the asphalt chunks ?
I was thinking I might be able to use the asphalt pieces to make small, foot high retaining walls to terrace the slope but I'm not sure how viable that would be.
Thanks for reading and your considerations - any ideas / thoughts / suggestions you care to share will be appreciated!
I'm have a very similar situation! I've got a massive fir tree in the centre of my yard. For me there is also a nearby large (3m /15' tall) rhododendron and a japanese maple that I can't remove, so I'm hoping to design a food forest around these. The area has ~15cm / 6" of fir needles, combined with the leaves from the rhodo and maple so I think it should be acidic and fungal dominated. This is just north of the US/Canada border - USDA zone 8b.
I'd love some suggestions as to what might grow well in these conditions and if etiquette allows, to extend the question to non native perennial food plants as well.