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pollinator
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Last night I found out the 5 sheep are still alive! Hopefully they will still be in the same location & I'll be able to lead them into a barn with grain....
 
Cj Sloane
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The sheep returned to the same spot Saturday evening and I was able to get one back. At this rate they'll all be home by Thanksgiving... if their luck holds out!

I did get 3 in this woman's barn but they got spooked and I couldn't close the barn doors. I tried using the shepherd's crook but the only thing that worked was getting them to eat corn right in front of me, then I grabbed a leg and threw a leash on the one & somehow got her in the back of my Subaru!

Ugh. It's torture!!!
 
Cj Sloane
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Yay! Torture is over!

18 days on the lamb and finally they've been captured!


Instead of going out to dinner for our 22 wedding anniversary, we shuttled ewes in the back on the Subaru!
 
Cj Sloane
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In the summer of 2011 I took a tour of Ben Falk's place. I came away thinking I needed swales & black locust. Oh, if only I had Black Locust here... It took about a month and then my husband & I found one right next to one of the paddocks. Then he found a really big one. I still bought 50 little ones for less than a buck each but their growth rate has been mediocre. I just spotted 25 nice looking saplings coming off the big tree. I think the free ranging sheep had been hindering their growth but they're off and running now that the sheep are confined.

The last 2 years I've been thinking that I need lots of Oaks producing lots of acorns for pigs & chickens. Oh, if only I had Oaks here..... I do have some oaks but they haven't produced many acorns but now the Oak I didn't cut down in front of the house has got a fair amount of acorns. I went looking in the woods on my property for more. I found a few good producers but my husband, finder of all things, showed me the mother tree! It's probably 7 to 8 feet in diameter and loaded with acorns. I can't really fence it off for the pig the way things are set up but maybe in the future.

In the meantime, I'm going to clear out a better path towards it, cutting down some smaller trees to advantage the dozens of small oaks around the big tree. It's kind of amazing that they're growing & producing on ledge which is totally not arable land. I'll have to experiment pollarding some of them because there was a really big one that fell over - probably the roots couldn't secure it in the ledge after it got so tall. Pollarding will yield good mushroom bolts, too.
 
pollinator
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Cj, I am not going to stoop to a pun about the Mother Tree being in Portugal, I will not do it I won't ! How ever you may want to consider
that your description of your big Oak sounds like a 'Wolfe tree and as long as its health other trees may not grow well close to it ! Big AL
 
Cj Sloane
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Allow me to introduce the 2 newest farm animals:

Big white dog on the left is Sugar, formerly named Carrots. With any luck we'll have some Maremma puppies soon.


And this little guy is Miss Piggy's new boyfriend, AKA Kermit the frog. I believe the first possible breeding date is Dec. 16th but I'd just as soon we hit the next cycle. So with a little more luck we'll have piglets the end of May.
 
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Good luck on all fronts!

You'll have to let us know (as if you wouldn't, lol) when those puppies need homes.
 
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Location: Vermont, annual average precipitation is 39.87 Inches
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Such exciting news! I think Maremmas are the most likely LGD I could convince my husband to get! I'd like to wait until the human baby is a bit older then perhaps I could arrange for a strategic visit if you have another litter then to let him fall in love with one or two! *evil grin*
 
Cj Sloane
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I'm now resorting to watering the livestock via the hose from the house! Just documenting this here so I can check back. I had to do this briefly last year I believe. It was very dry till December, I think. If this gorgeous weather keeps up I'll need to develop some alternate strategies.
 
Cj Sloane
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Mike Leo wrote:
You'll have to let us know (as if you wouldn't, lol) when those puppies need homes.


Ha! Well, it's been quite the roller coaster ride with the puppies!

I went in to Sugar's paddock yesterday to put some hay in her dog house because she was due yesterday & I couldn't find her. She jumped the fence and was back with the sheep in their shelter. Then I heard a "mewing" sound and found one puppy, clearly rejected. I bought a heating pad, puppy formula and bottle and we did our best but it died by morning. There was something wrong with it's leg.

My daughter was pretty bummed and went to visit Sugar before work and she came running back to say there were more puppies! Looks like 2 died, 1 is iffy, 1 looked great and I think 4 more looked pretty good. Hard to tell who was nursing exactly.
 
allen lumley
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Cj : Our thoughts, prayers, and good wishes ! Just adopted an orphan Kitten soon to be a great Mouser if the silver grey coat is any guide at all !Big Al
 
Cj Sloane
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Not much to look at yet:


We've been giving Sugar some left over burgers from last night, making it easy to take a good pic.
 
Cj Sloane
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Thing 1 and Thing 2 were dispatched Monday and last night we had the most excellent lamb ever! It wasn't really lamb but mutton which must get a bad rap from eating nasty culls. I'm not the best butcher but I did manage to cut some "porterhouse" with the cleaver. Each one was no more than 2" and maybe 3/4" thick but really some of the best lamb I've ever had. My husband, who has said he doesn't really even like lamb said he was looking forward to more lamb tonight. I think I'll try to debone a leg.

Meanwhile I'm attempting to process my first hides:


They were sheared in the spring & look pretty good. I'm curing them outside on sunny days, picking away at the fat, waiting for my other curing supplies to come, following this video:
 
Cj Sloane
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Looking a little more like puppies:
 
Mike Leo
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Beautiful.
 
Posts: 161
Location: Northern New Mexico, Latitude:35 degrees N, Elevation:6000'
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I like what you have going on Cj. I had a pyrenees about 15 years ago.....boy did he wander. LOL Pretty neat dog. My grandpa got a maramot....."just googled this, I can't find anything called a maramot sheep dog." Anyhow that's what my grandpa always called her. But maybe she's a maremma..?? Dunno? But anyhow, she's a great dog. My uncles 40 cows (20 pair) got loose about three weeks ago, and she kept them all off the lawn and out of my forest garden. It was awesome, she stood guard all night and kept them in one of the fields. Every time the cows got close to the opening that's right next to the house/yard, she would jump up, charge at them with her tail flagging this way and that, while growl/barking at them until they ran back into the field. I'm surprised the cows didn't scatter to the mountains though.....there was another opening away from the house next to a road that goes right up the mountain.

How did your perone hive work out? Any more pictures of it? Is it a full size perone? I'm going to build one at some point, and I may also experiment with one that's slightly smaller in size....dunno yet. I currently have a top bar and a warre occupied with bees. I had a dead out last winter with the TBH....I'm not into the whole having to tend to the hive thing, so I didn't move the cluster of bees next to the honey stores before winter and they moved away from the honey. The winter before they did just fine though. But it's the first year with the warre, I thought I would like it, but having to lift the boxes is kinda dumb...IMO. LOL Maybe I only think it's dumb because when I went to add another box to the bottom (nadir) I didn't have a wire to pull through between the bottom board and the bottom box. So I used fishing line which didn't really work........but in the end I couldn't get the bottom board to release while trying to lift the boxes by hand "I didn't build a lift"......so I reached around with my foot, "I was at the back of the hive", and placed it on the landing board while lifting the boxes.......yeah that was fun. I didn't protect my hands. LOL And when the board finally did release, it was maybe an inch off the stand and it didn't release gently, I was trying not to lift the boxes too high.....so basically as soon as the bottom board released, I also set the boxes back down unintentionally.....heard a bunch of bees squish......they boiled out of the hive in rapid succession and I was sent running for cover while screaming like a little girl. LOL Okay not really, they're actually not that aggressive....but I still hate being stung, it always itches for several days. The hardest part for me still...is being calm when I've done too much to the bees and they get angry.
 
Cj Sloane
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First frost of the year.

The hive is extra quiet now but here's a pic of the hive from a week or so ago:

Yes, it's a full sized Perone. The weather was excellent & they filled it up about 75% with comb.

Joshua, was your grandfather's dog big & white? The behavior doesn't exactly sound like a Maremma but could be.
 
Joshua Parke
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Thanks for the picture.

Yeah, she's a big white dog with a deep sounding bark. At night she barks at the coyotes and keeps them away. When my grandparents had llamas, she used to, "hang out", with them. She looks like the pictures of the maremma sheepdog's on the internet. Maybe he was always saying maremma and I was simply thinking he was saying maramot. I dunno. She doesn't chase livestock or anything like that. She just seemed to be very aware that I didn't want the cows going through my garden or trampling the yard, and so she kept them in the field where they were supposed to be. Honestly I don't know what was going through her head, but it was amazing to see her do that. She literally sat guard all night to keep the cows in the field where they need to be.....and then in the morning she stood guard while I closed the gates and gathered panels to close off an opening in the field...."the cows broke out of a different field and ended up in this one"
 
Cj Sloane
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What a roller coaster ride with the puppies!

They are now living in the kids bathroom, in the tub making a huge mess! The irony of finally having an empty nest only to be cleaning up lots of puppy poop. Yucko. But they are cute!
 
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Cj Verde wrote: But they are cute!
I'm usually immune to cute animals, but these guys have me going "aaaw, look at the cute puppies"
 
Cj Sloane
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Harvested 5 roosters today, good practice for next Sunday's turkey harvest! I could easily kill another 5, maybe even 10 but I've got shiitakes to inoculate tomorrow. The fat on these guys was just insanely day-glow orange! They are now in the stock pot simmering away.

Next up, Sugar and the Sugar Cubes:



2 of these puppies might still be available if any locals are interested. They are 6 weeks old and have 2 more weeks to spend with here. They already know what it feels like to get head butted by a ewe and how to shoo chickens away from their food without hurting the chickens.
 
Cj Sloane
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I mentioned to one of my sources for hay that I could use another 100 bales. He said he wasn't sure if he could get it to me before the storm. I told him no problem either way but yesterday he delivered 93 bales stacked neatly... 1/4 of a mile from my hay barn. He couldn't make it up the rest of the way because the driveway was a little icy.



Moving that many bales during blizzard conditions... not the best morning. Hubby moved most of it luckily. His reward? A hot bath and a roasted chicken.
 
Cj Sloane
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I got quite the eyeful this morning! If all goes as planned, Miss Piggy and Kermit the Pig are due May 25th. Kermit is 198 days old and that is the suggested age for having a boar breed for the first time. He is still much smaller than Miss Piggy who is the oldest and biggest pig I've ever had!
 
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Congratulations Cj! Let's hear it for Vermonters... is it a coincidence that you won on Town Meeting Day? I think not.

Edit: Should have been clearer, congrats on being chosen "project of the week" winner!
 
Cj Sloane
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Thanks Kelly. I couldn't imagine where my extra apples came from!

It has certainly been a long, cold snowy winter this year. Maybe not quite as cold as when I first moved up here 22 years ago, but close.

Supplying feed to my livestock has been challenging, especially this winter. If I have any advice to give to aspiring homesteaders it'd be to get your systems in place, especially the living systems like trees. Of course, it's hard to know that till you have animals so the best thing is probably to buy a few feeders (pigs or lambs) and then you'll have a much better idea of the systems you'll need, especially if you keep good records.

I think there is a second issue which is storage. Even if I could grow 1000 lbs of acorns, apples, and other misc feed, I don't think I could store it securely, i.e. without it getting moldy or eaten by little critters.

So that's what I'll be working on this year, growing and storing livestock feed, and possibly cutting back on livestock.

Except that I might add guineas... for tick control!
 
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Congratulations, CJ! I have enjoyed reading your exploits. Quite the inspiration!
 
Cj Sloane
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Thanks Valerie. I'm looking forward to mud season ending and seeing how my new trees came thru the winter. Kermit the pig has survived his 2nd scheduled appointment with the slaughter! We try to limit driving on the driveway during mud season his harvest has been pushed back another 3 weeks.

In about a week I should have my 2nd and final round of maremma puppies. Then maybe piglets and hopefully another lamb.

In the meantime, I'm pollarding lots of trees for shiitake bolts, tree fodder, and firewood. As long as its above say 35° and not raining this is a nice time to be in the woods - no ticks!
 
Cj Sloane
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Lamb #2 born this afternoon. Odd time for a lamb but I'll take it!
 
Cj Sloane
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The trees I planted last spring are finally coming to life, except for the real slow pokes like Black Locust & Mulberry. As I was cleaning up my tiny hand dug swales I came across a sprouted acorn. It was much better rooted than it looked so I left it and marked it with a few flags. A bonus use of swales? They plant their own trees?

 
Cj Sloane
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Cross posting this because it's a huge part of my permaculture experiment.

It seems like there are three ways to feed tree fodder to livestock.
1. Cut and carry.
2. Cut and let them pick off the leaves and leave the mess for you to clean up.
3. Don't cut and let them browse.
I pollarded a bunch of Oaks last year and they look great. Here's a before & after pic (about 3 days):
 
Cj Sloane
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I'm pretty sure I planted these Seaberry in the spring of 2012. I planted 10, 6 survived and 2 of those are female. They are started to put out new shrubs so I can see how they would form a thicket. This was an unimproved variety and they seem to be about a third of the size of improved varieties.

This is the first year we have got any fruit. They are tart and hard to pick because the ripe ones seem to squish instead of pull off the plant. That might not matter if you picked into a clean jar since you will want to crush them anyway to get the juice/pulp out of them.

The sheep did nibble at the leaves a bit when I let them have access in the spring.

</script>
 
Cj Sloane
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I've had all sorts of homesteading successes and failures this year but I need a cold miserable day to document them. This crazy development can't wait.

We have two problems at night - the Maremma who stays on our deck and barks (wish he would get off the deck and go investigate) and roosters crowing.

The UNTHINKABLE has happened! At 3 am when the rooster(s) start crowing, our Maremma IMITATES the rooster.
 
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Location: Greybull WY north central WY zone 4 bordering on 3
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Back to your original question of keeping the ground around a feeder decent. Build an organic cap around it works for everything but pigs.(they root stuff out to much) Dump wood chips, sticks, bad hay or any other organic that your livestock will not eat around the feeder and let them walk it into the mud. The problem actually gets worse in the short term till you get enough organic mixed with the mud. Eventually you end up with an organic material shield basically floating over the mud.

As for the pond getting to warm for fish you might try putting floating gardens on pond to shade the water. I know the water under my tomato raft stays 10 to 20 degrees cooler than the water beside it.
 
allen lumley
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C. Letellier : This is the 1st time I have heard of a Floating Tomato-Raft ! I am off to find out more information but am wondering if you have more to share ?!

For the good of the Crafts ! Big AL


 
C. Letellier
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Sure I can share.

I have been doing this for a little over a decade. It started when I got an Earthbox for my mother. Normal tomatoes in pots in front of the house need to be watered twice a day on high heat days. The Earthbox by having a reservoir and wicking will mostly do at least 2 days in the same place. That got me to think what if that reservoir could be bigger? I had a 4ft square piece of the 2 inch construction foam of the type that isn't supposed to absorb water and some scraps of same to build edges with. To attach the edges I used foam save construction glue and pinned it with nails. I then punched 4 evenly spaced about 3 1/2 inch diameter holes in it. Covered it in landscape fabric and pushed pockets into the fabric down into the water and then covered it all in potting soil. Got decent tomatoes the first year but learned a few things along the way. First is that as the plants set fruit the float sinks which changes how the water wicks and the plants were struggling with being to wet especially late season. Pulled the float in in the fall and took it in. But cows got into where it was stored and the foam got broken.

But it had worked so easily I decide to invest in a new foam. Did 2 things to counter the plants getting to wet the next year. I reduced the number of wicking holes to 2 from the original 4 when I made the new foam and I added rocks that I could remove to reduce the weight. Things got better. Still a bit of yellowing from over water late season. But this was the year that really proved the worth of the system. Had water delivery problems and the garden plants produced very little while the plants floating on the pond did wonderfully. And I had far less labor in them. I had started with potting soil so no weeding and in one of the driest climates on earth I had never watered them past when I put the plants out.

Now we are to year 3. The float when I pulled it the previous fall had waterlogged a bit but by spring was dry again so it was reused. Next lesson learned is that foam water logs faster the next year. Had a bit of trouble with yellow plants in spite of being able to remove weight from the float. By the end the 2nd year the soil was nearly floating right at level with the water rather than above it.

Next thought was what about stacking the float damaged by being water logged with another foam. So that is whay I did year 4. This put the float a bit higher and I was concerned would it wick that high. So I piled more soil on to sink it a bit. Deeper soil means needing higher side walls. So I changed from rocks as removable weight to 2 liter pop bottles. Advantage in the spring of having water as mass to protect plants from freezing under the plastic cover and late season the roots should hold the soil together enough when bottles removed or partially emptied. Plants did better with deeper soil. Another year down and okay for the year.

Next years problems with foam sinking to much in spite of being double stacked. That lead to my most expensive mistake doing this. That fall I decide that maybe I needed to protect the foam from the water. Get a new foam to start with. The plan to fiberglass it like a surf board. One of the brands of auto body fiber glass resin is safe for food. So since I was doing large areas I mixed a big batch spread the first, layed the fiber and poured the rest of the resin over it. Everything is looking good. Come back about 10 minutes later and most of the foam has melted and the resin and melted foam are sticking to the floor. Opps. So much for that plan. Some research and I learn that there are special resins that are foam safe but that they are more expensive and by the time I get a hazadous materials shipping charge on them I think to high priced for this project.

Okay so what do I try now? Next idea was to tie floats under the foam to help hold it up. I have plenty of 2 liter bottles around so lets start there. Use bailing twine like belts around the foam to hold the bottles under the foam. Problem is that by the end of the season the twine is cutting the foam and wind and wave have torn some of the bottles out from under the float. Got a decent crop but the foam is basically dead yet again. I can't keep wasting foam like this but love the system for tomatoes. Some other vegetables have done okay but the tomatoes are loving it. While in a properly tended garden production per plant is higher in out climate things are so water sensitive it is very easy to screw up while this system on the other hand is basically plant and ignore till time to pick. To pick lay on the pier and float the garden by while you pick. Want to look from another angle turn the garden around and float it by again. The main garden has coon an skunk problems. But this garden only has ever had a coon problem once when it floated and sort of wedged under the pier so the coons jumped down from the pier in. Never have had a skunk problem. Having a permanent moat helps greatly with this. And when grasshoppers decimate the normal garden the floating one has come through with far less damage. Partly moat and partly you scare the grasshoppers off it and they end up in the water and many don't make it back. Over all it has been very worth while. Now there are a few problems that a normal garden doesn't have to though. We don't have a slug problem here because our climate is to dry. But tomatoes that hang off into the water will be destroyed by pond snails. They ignore plants in the water but the fruit simply is destroyed. And I had one year that about half of my first planting of plants was destroyed by muskrats playing on the float. They had been sunning themselves on it and had been harmless but they had a fight or something and leveled about half the plants on the float on night.

Now I will stop and share a bit of history learned along the way. The Mayans used floating gardens, floating stuff was likely used in the gardens of Babylon, the chinese have used floating gardens and there is a tribe on a lake in Africa that floats everything including the gardens on the lake to list a few. At any rate it turns out that floating gardens date back thousands of years and have been used by many cultures. That brings us to the modern world. The first article I found on someone else doing this was in farm show magazine/newspaper. It was a guy from TX who was building a raft of 10 or 12 inch pvc pipes capped on both ends and tied together just like a log raft. His floating garden you actually walked on. He was using leaves from the trees in the fall to cover the raft as his soil. Since he had way more raft his "soil" could be deeper and he was growing nearly everything. I have also encountered since several articles on doing it on actual log rafts.

This brings us to my need to redesign my raft. The pvc log raft sounded like a great idea till I priced what end caps cost. So what could I do that I could afford? Log rafts were out because I didn't have the logs and was concerned about them water logging over time and sinking. The 2 liter pop bottles are incredibly durable and looked like they would have worked if I had a solid frame work to tie them to instead of trying to anchor them to the foam. The foam can't water log if it is never in the water and I have it from the previous failures. I also wanted permanent structure to be able to cover the plants fall and spring.

This lead to my current design. The framework is 4" schedule PVC to give me rigidity. Allowing for the corners it is 4 feet wide so the foam rests down the curve a bit so it is supported both horizontally and vertically by the pipe. My length was determined by what was left over from the 10 ft joints of pipe allowing for that fit down the curve and for the space taken by the corners. Primary buoyancy is provided by 70 2 liter pop bottles laying on their sides. 7 rows of 10 each. In 3 sets of rows the necks are interlace like fingers. All the necks are tied together with bale twine. 3 sets of 20(10 face each way) and 1 set of 10. I then tie the twine to the pipes on the side of the frame work. Between the frame work corralling the bottles and the fact that they are tied they have stayed perfectly Over the top of this goes the foam sheeting and edges just like before except now the foam doesn't touch the water. This gives a foam size a little over 6 feet long by 4 feet wide. Over this the landscape fabric, The edges of the foam and landscape fabric are covered with a bunch of the woven poly cat food sacks turned inside out. This protects both the landscape fabric and the foam from the sun. Inside the edges the entire perimeter is lined with 2 liter bottles full of water laying on their sides. This about doubles the height of the soil you can hold on, gives thermal mass for spring and fall and helps hold the foam in place. Once that is all in place 2 furring strips with nails down through them were laid long ways on sides to protect the foam rails from the twine. The nails anchor the boards side to side to the foam and also pin the landscape fabric and catfood sacks in place. Twine is then run from side to side over the top and between bottle ends to tie the foam to the framework. It is now trapped by the bottles and twine on the bottom and by the crisscrossing twine over the rails on the top. Doing a crisscross X above everything running diagonally from corner to corner on the framework is a set of arches of 1" pvc to support row cover plastic for spring and fall. The potting soil is then added. The wicking pockets of soil down to the water just push a float bottle aside each and there are 2 of them. Same about 3 1/2" hole I used in the first float.

The first year of the redesign I was running the recycled foam so it was in 2 pieces. Found the lack of rigidity at the joint caused the foam to sag. Needs to be a full sheet. So replaced the foam for the second year. This design works out nicely for a 4x8 sheet. Cut it to length and then cut the remainder in roughly 2" wide strips to form the perimeter. Basically no waste. Worked beautifully the second year. Because of various things I didn't get it pulled that year so it spent the winter in the reservoir. No apparent damage from that. This lead to my only crop failure with this system though. Since I hadn't unloaded the past year's potting soil I let lazy tempt me into reusing it. About 6 weeks after transplant the tomato plants started showing nutrient deficiencies(Mg and Ca) and they were not growing as good either so I slugged them with fertilizer. Got a bit to much on and killed about half the plants and badly stunted the rest. Left the float out for the winter the next year too. Everything was still fine in mid march. The next time I looked at the float was in April and something had completely wrecked the foam. As best I can tell about the time the ice was going out something(guessing deer) had tried to step on the float and fallen through one corner. In the struggle the foam was broken else where besides. So now I have to replace the foam again. The next year I tried piling the potting soil way deeper in the middle rather than roughly leveling it. Looked good to begin with but then the foam bent and saggedunder the uneven load. By fall the foam was actually down in the water in the middle. If I try that again I will have to add some rigid joists from side to side over the necks of the bottles.

First picture is from back when I was using the foam on the water system. The float in the background was a bunch of lettuce and other stuff that didn't do real good because it simply stayed a bit to wet.



The next picture is from the redesigned system
[img]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151773097071789&set=pb.757311788.-2207520000.1452813503.&type=3&theater[/img]

Now for lessons learned along the way.

The "soil" needs to be nearly pure larger organic matter. It gets to soggy otherwise. Manure and dirt mixed was the worst. Best tried is miracle grow potting soil over several inches of leaves and grass clippings and a does of fertilizer mid season to bump the nitrogen..

The cover over the plants seals nicely because it is down in the water on all sides. It also helps protect the edges from wind so those are good things. The bad is that it gets super hot inside because it doesn't leak and you can easily scald plants spring and fall. Keep thinking need to design some sort of thermal siphon vent into the system.

The crisscross pipes are not heavy enough for high winds by themselves. Think it needs to be arches across the narrow direction. This would also let them be taller as you will notice the plants had to be packed down to go under the cover in the fall.

I have had trouble the last 2 years with some long legged really long billed brown bird about the size of a black bird. They punch holes in all the tomatoes. The first year I was blaming rodents or thinking maybe I had a coon or something getting on the raft so I covered the raft in traps. Leg hold down to mouse traps. I could trap hard because none of my animals were going to get on a floating island. Caught 2 birds in traps and the problem went away. Never did catch it this last year but the problem was identical. Will likely need to add bird netting into the future.

Now about the bottles. Because I wanted them mildly pressured up so they didn't collapse I filled them mid winter after they had been outside. The first year just a couple of bottles had leaked off enough to not be under pressure. By the 3rd year when I was replacing the float about half were no longer under pressure but only one was collapsing.

For the future, the bottles for the next float I sealed the caps with silicon too hoping to improve the seal. I have been collecting salad dressing jars and washing them and I will seal them too. They just exactly fit down the pvc pipe. My thinking here is that even if the frame springs a leak the jars will keep it floating.

Now I am only guessing but I think this can be used to conserve water. The farm magazines all tell you that a closed row cover crop uses less water than bare soil. Wouldn't the same thing apply over water? So my thinking is I can conserve water and grow a crop at the same time. And I know it keeps the water cooler under the float so enough floats should help the water cool enough for fish. Plus spooking the grasshoppers off the float is providing fish food as well as reducing insect damage. If I can get 2 identical stock tanks I can easily check this much. If that proves out then can the float structures be 3D printed with recycled plastics to grow a crop and save water at the same time? Use 2 liter bottles as load cells simply because they are easy to replace and build a plastic frame work they snap into. Start the crops on a float in the greenhouse and then move the whole float out in the spring so they don't have to be transplanted.




 
Cj Sloane
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You might want to cross post this somewhere. You report the post and request a new thread be made... not sure the best forum.
 
C. Letellier
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A shorter description is posted somewhere else on permies and there is at least one other thread of someone discussing a floating garden that drew almost no interest. So I am guessing any interest in this topic is small.

But I can certainly have it moved if needed.

 
Cj Sloane
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No need to move it.
 
Cj Sloane
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Yesterday was horrible! 2 of my LGDs had been missing for about 4 days and the oldest came back alone and died after a few days. He was 10 so I'm hoping it was from natural causes. On top of that, the calf born last July died for no apparent reason I could see except that I was due statistically, maybe.

I had decided on scaling out of the cows anyway but such a loss is disappointing.

I'll be adding ducks this spring, bringing in more turkeys, and hope to expand the bees and mushrooms while planting lots of productive trees. A fodder forest alternating BL & Alder for nitrogen fixing with apples, mulberry, persimmon.
 
Valerie Dawnstar
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Location: North Central New York
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So sorry to hear about your losses. It takes a certain kind of fortitude to deal with that. It is one of the reasons I am reluctant to add livestock. But I have to have bees.
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