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Update on Heart of the Earth Farm (My Homestead)

 
pollinator
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Location: Ohio River Valley, Zone 6b
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So, we're on farm plan version 19 now. I think last I checked in it was version 7, so things have certainly changed.

I'll organize the progress by zones. I don't have pictures so written descriptions will have to do. Our camera is not working properly.

Home and Outdoor Kitchen
Currently, the house still needs some repairs, but this is forthcoming.
The outdoor kitchen is coming together. I plan to build the counter tops, bread oven, and smokehouse this winter.
I also plan to screen in a dining area in our breezeway.

Workshops
We have set up a woodworking and leather working shop in our garage, with a detached blacksmith shop and wood burning multi-purpose kiln (pottery, lime, charcoal)
In the house we have a textile arts room which contains 3 looms, 2 sewing machines, and etc...

Vegetable Garden
We have a deer fence around our current vegetable garden around where the chickens used to be. It's a welded wire fence 6 ft tall, with 8 inch wide corner posts. I made the gate latch and gate out of free wood. It has raised beds to deal with the excessive rain we get, and they have loads of biochar and compost in them. There's also a Ruth Stout Area and we modified it a bit by using rye straw instead of hay. We found you should stack the flakes like shingles on a roof and don't fluff up the straw. It kills the grass pretty good and you have to wait a year to use the plot or the grass comes back. But then, Oh My Goodness... We're expecting our peppers and squash to do very well in that area next year. I have a hand dug well for watering the garden. My tomatoes did extremely well this year and the plants took over the garden. We grew Mortgage Lifter and Abe Lincoln. Mortgage lifter tomatoes are extremely tasty but a bit too acidic and they upset my ulcer, so I've been giving them away. We don't plan to grow tomatoes again as neither of the medically required diets my household is on allow them. We are also now restricted to sweet peppers as well, so I'm growing paprika from now on. I plan to breed the ultimate paprika peppers in lieu of my tomato project. Sweet peppers are the only edible nightshade family plants that don't upset our bodies in some way or another.

Vinyard and Kiwi Trellis
This is a work in progress. I've built a grape arbor and planted concord grapes on it. I plan to build a row type trellis for more grapes, and a trellis for kiwi by the wood shop. This is all kind of in the same area in zone 1, so not going to be neglected. Plus, with grandma having Hashimoto's disease, we need wine and vinegar without preservatives.

Front Garden
This area is a Work in Progress. We have 4 raised beds built and partly filled, and we will be paving the area around it with scrap brick and gravel for ease of maintenance. The soil dug out for the paving will fill up the beds the rest of the way. Then we'll mulch with rye straw shingles. These are essentially 2 and 1/2 ft tall tidy hugel mounds that our neighbors won't hate.

Fedge
The Hazel trees didn't all make it through the winter, we have 14 out of 25, but it was a lot colder than normal. I'm going to fill in the gaps this winter with Seaberry and Blueberry so that when we lay the hedge in a few years, there are no thin spots, and it's also biodiverse with a guild of sorts. I ordered an out of print book on traditional English hedge laying so I can make it. The hedge is to block noise from the road and be a food source.

Food Forest
We currently have 22 trees in the food forest including 15 kinds of apples, 2 kinds of cherries, 2 kinds of peaches, a plum, an almond, and a fig. I plan to add the berry bushes and nitrogen fixing companions this year now that the fruit are established. I have started a number of trees in pots on the patio for transplanting this winter. I went with the Grocery Row concept from David the Good's videos, and I like it, the acess with the garden cart is easy, and will continue to be for some time to come.

Silvopasture/ Copses
The Silvopasture is not yet fenced in, but the trees have been planted. We plan to get a family milk cow in a few years, so we're in no particular rush to fence it in. It contains 2 copses for sustainable timber and fuel. The first copse is persimmon wood, and the second is willow. When we've just cut the copses, we will put up temporary electric netting to keep out the cow and calf until the shoots are above their reach. We expect them to fertilize the copses for us.

Barn
Our Barn has been designed and the site is going to be prepared this winter. It is designed to house 2-4 pigs in deep bedding, 24 laying hens, and our milk cow and her calf. It has a rainwater system for soaking feed and watering the animals. It's based on the KNF system, but with modifications for our local conditions. That being extra ventilation mostly.

Grain/ Beans for Animal Feed
This area will actually be tilled for a very important reason. The soil is actually pretty dead and we need to work in a lot of organic matter, plus we need to broadcast sow it and rake it in, so it has to have loose soil. At some point we may be able to switch to no-till, but that's not what we need in the short term. We plan to grow wheat, dent corn, and a variety of different bush beans to feed our livestock, It probably won't be all of their food, but it will help us save on feed costs. We plan to finish the pigs on fallen buggy fruit which in 5 years when we get livestock again, will be producing very well.
 
pollinator
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introduction-to-Korean-Natural-Farming [KNF]

An explanation makes it easier to understand.

...in the 1960s, Dr. Cho Han Kyu sought to design a way for local farmers to generate all or most of a farm’s own fertility needs out of waste products from the farm itself—egg shells, compost, wild plants, etc.

Dr. Cho thus combined plant biology with a Korean penchant for fermentation and, through much testing, developed what is now referred to as Korean Natural Farming.

 
Ryan Hobbs
pollinator
Posts: 644
Location: Ohio River Valley, Zone 6b
167
purity forest garden foraging food preservation building homestead
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John C Daley wrote:introduction-to-Korean-Natural-Farming [KNF]

An explanation makes it easier to understand.

...in the 1960s, Dr. Cho Han Kyu sought to design a way for local farmers to generate all or most of a farm’s own fertility needs out of waste products from the farm itself—egg shells, compost, wild plants, etc.

Dr. Cho thus combined plant biology with a Korean penchant for fermentation and, through much testing, developed what is now referred to as Korean Natural Farming.



Yup, that's the one. I kind of expected people here to have heard of it before, but if you've never heard of it, there's a youtuber guy with a macadamia nut and mango farm that has tutorials and studied with Master Cho, his name is Chris Trump. He has videos on every aspect of the system. While I don't currently use it in the garden (it's kind of a terra preta system in the raised beds portion of the garden), the KNF system's way of keeping animals is the most practical way I have come across. And the output will be KNF compost, which I can use all around the farm to increase the fertility. I'm not adhering strictly to the system, as I live in quite a different climate and quite a long way away from the sea (most recipes involve sea water). Here are my substitutions:

Original - Local Adaptation
brown sugar - beet sugar with a small amount of sub-par sorghum syrup mixed in (the stuff that burned or was rendered poorly or has an off flavor)
sea water - kraut juice mixed with pond water (for dissolved minerals and aquatic bacteria)
Wood chips - wood chips and crop residues mixed 70:30 (wood chips are in short supply but not impossible to get)
rice hulls - corn cobs and chaff from threshing other grains, probably won't have enough and will have to mix cheap flour with sawdust to make up the rest

We can easily make the LAB, FPJ, vinegar, and other inputs.
 
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