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one year in

 
Posts: 56
Location: battle mountain, nevada
19
hugelkultur forest garden food preservation
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gotta start by saying i havent been on here much in the last year and i miss it.  but there is alot to do on a new homestead.  so last year we finally got our place.  8 acres in rural northern nevada.  its pretty flat  dry desert about 4600ft in elevation. the land is mostly hard clay.  test i have done show about 50%, with 25 sand and 25 silt approximately. the valley is large but completely surrounded by mountain tops..  i wanted a place i could really put my heart and soul into, that needed it, so i could make my own little paradise and help heal at least a little piece of our beautiful planet.  lots of work, but very rewarding.

the front yard was previously sodded and has an automatic sprinkler system that had been really let go.  started out trying to find all the heads.  got 12 lines with about 6 heads per line. some heads work,  some of the selenoids are still good, but there is alot of work to be done there,  got all the selenoids and input lines dug up, and plan on replacing some and changed the layout a lot.

the yard was/ is overgrown with these desert plants that i have been thinning out. piling them up on some of the bare clay areas.  only organic matter i have for free right now.  they are really deep rooted so pulling them out really helps till the soil.
along the fenceline by the road i have been digging 6 foot wide mounds with 6 foot in between.  these will eventually be for fruit or nut trees, but need to get some good organic matter in them first. i also dug a ditch around each mound and connecting them all.   plan on staggering mounds like this from the fence toward the house creating a little forest between us and the road.  i dig a 2 foot hole in the middle of each mound and dumped a few days worth of kitchen scraps in then water the heck out of them. planting 3 sisters, or okra and a mix of seeds, on each mound.  t in between the mounds i planted a mix of stuff just to see what would come up.  pretty much took all the seeds i have been gathering over the last couple years and put them all together. lots of okra and buckwheat plus some turnips radishes carrots peppers lettuces beans flowers.   been told root crops grow well here.  i have found lots of worms so loving that.
along the fences i have been planting beans.  all the free food they are giving away right now tends to include alot more beans then people think they can eat.  had several friends give me a few cases of dried beans.  definately gonna help with my organic matter for my soil around here.  so much of it is just bare, but not as much as last year

we were given 4 hens and a rooster.  and also a billie goat. i was not ready for any animals, but we are making it work.  our only shed became a coop, and we built goat a little lean to.  apparently they are all pretty happy.  so much so that 3 of the neighbors hens came and joined our flock.  we tried to take the back but they just came back so he said just keep them. his live in a barn and there are about 20 of them.  ours roam all over the yard working and eating and making all sorts of noise from sunup to about an hour before the sun sets then go back to their coop.  doing a lttle research i found our originals were originally raised for fighting.  their eggs are about half the size of a regular chicken egg, with dark gold yolks.  i had quit eating eggs when all we could get was store bought, but these are good and filling.
the goat was a rescue.  i wanted to borrow him from the neighbor to eat up some of my tall weedy stuff.  our neighbor has a professional rodeo arena that doesnt get used anymore.  goat was living out there all by himself.  he had been giving to the neighbor, so he said keep him.  didn't know what else to do so we keep him as best as we can.  he is lonely for other goats, probably, so we try to visit and interact with him as best we can. not ready for another one yet.    definately learning a thing or to from him.  like don't play if you dont want him to play back.  he hasnt intentionally butted anyone hard.  he will look fierce go up, go down, charge, then stop just short and gentle put his head against you and push a little.

our back 5 acres was just a field full of desert sage and creosote bushes.  my husband drug most of that up, with the woody parts all going into the start of a hugle bed.  it wont be the greatest but it will be a start.  found out the ground wasn't as flat as we thought it was.  there is no slope per say, less then 2 feet difference from the lowest to highest point, but it was something to find some contour,
the neighbor has 2 bulls that we let him run back there.  they get hayed back there so hoping to see some alfalfa coming up, pretty sure that is what the majority of the hay it gets is.  got all sorts of piles of their leftovers covering the bare ground.  gonna work on putting a few dew ponds out there in the lowest areas to help catch and store moisture.  we don't get much except in the winter and an occasional night flash storm.

we have a decent size carport off the entire east side of the house. it really helps block alot of the summer sun from heating the house up to much. it is slowly getting enclosed to help heat and cool the house a little better.  a little greenhouse will fill up the south end.  gonna build in a rocket mass heater. also planning a sunken outdoor kitchen just of the carport with some type of hot tub and herb garden.  want to do temporary hot houses and eventually a full nursery around most of the rest of they house.  both to grow foood and to help warm and cool the house more naturally.

well thats about my year in review.  just plugging along trying to get stuff done and hoping someday i will find some permies close to home so we can help each other out.
 
pollinator
Posts: 2272
Location: Bendigo , Australia
142
dog gear plumbing earthworks bee building homestead
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Interesting to hear of your progress, well done.
Photos would be nice?
 
lisa goodspeed
Posts: 56
Location: battle mountain, nevada
19
hugelkultur forest garden food preservation
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soon
 
master steward
Posts: 5843
Location: USDA Zone 8a
1762
dog hunting food preservation cooking bee greening the desert
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Lisa, welcome back!

Great to hear all that you have done and it sounds like there is more to come.  Keep us posted.

I am looking forward to the pictures, too!
 
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