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Mavie Bucy
Posts: 10
Location: High Plains of Southeastern Colorado, Zone 6a
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Hey,
I'm Mavie. I am a wife and mother of three grown children. My husband (Madoc) and I live with our six dogs, in a rock house on the prairie in southern Colorado.

I've read through some of the introductions. I'm afraid I'm not nearly as exciting, or excited, as other new comers. In the last 47 years, I've done a bit of this and that. We've raised livestock (rabbits, chickens, goats) we've milked, sheared, and butchered. This was all much more necessary with three teenagers at home.

Now my husband and I don't need as much. My topics of interest are gardens on windblown drought-ridden plains, greywater, humanure, adobe, minimizing, and simplifying.
What has been a common thread throughout my life, make it myself, or do without. Most of the things I want are the knowledge or inspiration to figure out how to work around buying it.

An example; I don't want to work for money to pay the electric company to power the well to put fresh water in the toilet so I can flush. I don't want to spend any of my limited life working for money to buy toilet paper to wipe with. So I have a bucket, a compost pile, and family clothes.

Our hobbies are, reading, dog behavior, playing music, long walks, crocheting, and the list goes on. I've gone from making goat milk, cheese, etc., to making soy milk, cheese, etc. Our daughter says we have a hobby of the month. I think our hobby is trying out new hobbies.

Yes, I always talk/write jumping from singular to plural. Madoc and I are always together. What you can't here is the southern dialect. I lived most of my life in southern Louisiana.

Over the years in my search for answers, I've stumbled across this forum many times. It's great to be here.
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
88
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Welcome to permies Mavie
Your post strikes many, many chords with me, and I'm sure it will with many others!
It sounds like you've got heaps of great experiences to share.
"gardens on windblown drought-ridden" (insert 'sand dune') especially jumped out at me as pretty much describing my place...
 
Mavie Bucy
Posts: 10
Location: High Plains of Southeastern Colorado, Zone 6a
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Hey Leila,

I noticed in your signature, pertinent info about your location. I'm trying to set mine to read like yours.

Since we are remote (and out personal weather station died), I got my info from the nearest town listed on weatherbase.com. We are at an elevation of 5,144 ft (1,568m), we get an average annual precipitation of 13.9 inches (353mm) and we have a yearly average of 39 days with precipitation. This info was over the last 16 years.

It seems even the tumble weeds are dying.
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
289
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Welcome to permies,com

In a semi-arid region like yours, you should look into hugelkultur @ http://www.permies.com/forums/f-117/hugelkultur

In dry areas, it is usually best to put them below the surface. What rains you do receive will soak in, and last for months.
Use plenty of mulch on top to keep the sun and winds from evaporating the precious water you do get.



 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
88
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Re the location info, here's a handy thread
It makes a huge difference knowing some details, and I'm always happy when I see people with some info up there, especially when it's specific detail, as 'zones' aren't something we use over here.
Woah. You are dry.
As you see, I actually get lots of rain, but a gagillion cubic meters of sand creates some pretty extreme drainage
 
Mavie Bucy
Posts: 10
Location: High Plains of Southeastern Colorado, Zone 6a
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Leila, I couldn't get your link to work. Maybe it's just me, I'll keep trying.

My USDA hadiness zone is 6a, but so is most of Ohio and half of Missouri. The last few years have been so dry, but we've lost gardens to bugs, critters, hail, and one year a weird little tornado.

John, I'm trying to wrap my head around a hugelkultur that is below the surface. How deep would that be dug out? I'll have to look at it more, I was just thinking it would be a mound above ground. Which here, would blow away.

We were thinking of a waffle garden this year, with adobe walls around it. Just a little one, to experiment with.

My husband really wants a sunroom. We have the rooms, south facing, but the money needed is just barely there. We almost did it last year, but something came up, I can't even remember what now.

I'm going to try to post a pic of where we live. I figure this is the thread I should practice on.
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Our house.
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
88
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Mavie, my link should work now
Adding to John's suggestion; I've got an experimental hugel made last winter with 'rounds' of a large rotting trunk, buried by maybe 1/3 and covered with compost, horse manure and the 'soil' from underneath.
I just chucked a random mix of seeds at it for a cover-crop over summer. I'll quite possibly plant deep-rooted carbon crops over winter to help build up the soil and so on.

This thread is one of many that might help: hugel in hot, arid climates
 
Miles Flansburg
steward
Posts: 4027
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
172
bee books forest garden fungi greening the desert hugelkultur
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Howdy Mavie, I am in Denver. Do you have a larger town near you that would have people who trim trees ,who might give you some? Anything you can get made of wood could help with the hugels. Looks like you need a lot more trees planted ? Keyline plowing and swales would also help hold any moisture you do get.
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1359
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
9
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The area looks flat, so imprinting, wood pits, and maybe swales.
But it seems like you guys have found a way to work with just 13inch or rain why everyone complains about their 30inches. LOL
 
Mavie Bucy
Posts: 10
Location: High Plains of Southeastern Colorado, Zone 6a
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That hot arid hugel link is just what I needed to read!

Well, as for larger towns? Um, no, we don't have any of those. The nearest tree trimmers are 90 miles from here, which is not out of the question, I'm just thinking of the best option. I am rethinking our wood situation, we have a few rooms we are about to take down, that will give us some scraps. I'm thinking of having a trench dug out, so we could add to it as we have available material.

We also have a tree that needs to come down. Because trees are so rare here, we hate to do it, so we've been putting it off for years. The tree over hangs our roof and power line, and is pushing into the basement wall. We are getting a wood chipper in the next few months, before tackling the tree. It will be a very sad day when we do.

Yes, we are in a very flat area. Although, locals say we live on a "hill". Most people would call it a high spot on the prairie.

Thanks for the ideas!
 
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