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Dale's series of farm improvement projects. -stream and waterfall -access, view platform, steps ...  RSS feed

 
Dale Hodgins
garden master
Posts: 6680
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
252
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My seasonal stream is fed by runoff from the surrounding forest. The watershed is maybe a couple thousand acres. During peak flow, it runs at 53 acre feet per day. For at least 6 months, it stops completely. The first 3 shots were taken in April 2012 a few weeks before it stopped for the summer. There are times when it is 50 times larger. During winter rains, the cascade toward the river valley 150 ft below is quite dramatic, but not rare. Hundreds of little seasonal streams feed the Nanaino River. There's 3 on my neighbor's place. Most people don't see them as a landscape feature worth developing. They dry up during the nicest weather. There are no fish.

I intend to build some stone steps and a viewing platform with strong railings. The ground cover of Oregon grape and salal are slippery when wet. It's quite dangerous to approach these steep sided little valleys when the flow is high. One slip and you could be swept away on a very bumpy ride to the river.

In summer, the area is more moist than the surrounding dry slopes. Morning and evening sun get in, but the tall forest to the south blocks mid day sun. It's the perfect spot for a picnic. The viewing platform will be designed mostly to accommodate summer entertaining and viewing of the forest garden that will be planted. Berries will dominate. The idea is to have them close at hand for immediate consumption. The area is too small for it to be a major cash crop area.
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Dale Hodgins
garden master
Posts: 6680
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
252
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This is the area just above the waterfalls. Last week it was covered with bracken fern, salmon berries and little maples and other trees. I've mulched some and dragged some up the slope. My road is about 12 feet above the river bed and above the culvert.

I stood in the river bed while mulching these salmon berries. Heavy snow often flattens these and butterfly bush, making an impenetrable thicket. All of a 1000 sq ft area is now walkable. It took 3 hours of hard slogging.
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Dale Hodgins
garden master
Posts: 6680
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
252
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The river bed is mostly muck, with a few big rocks. I intend to place some nice specimens of conglomerate and colorful stuff. Small rocks are always swept away by the winter deluge. The slopes of this little valley are man made. The land was sculpted to accommodate my culvert and road 15 years ago. Erosion is not much of an issue on this rocky terrain. Still, I won't do much digging. I will do a little "tree stump terracing. This involves laying a cedar log against the uphill sides of two trees or stumps that are approximately level with one another. Soil is added to create a level area. Most trees here are cottonwood. Stumps rot fast. On well drained soil, they are quite tolerant of being buried a little. I'll plant on these terraces. The trees here are all under 15 years old, but I estimate some to be 60 feet tall. If a tree dies or a stump rots out, new ones quickly fill the void. I'm going to manage for light shade. Once a terrace is created, berry bushes and fruit tree roots should hold the shape. Plums do well at the bottom of gullies.

They piled in some big rocks when the culvert was installed. They lie flat enough to become steps. Some will weigh a ton or more. The height of these steps is up to 30 inches (2/3 of a meter). Luckily, they are quite broad. I have many nice rocks and more are turned up every time the excavator is used. These rocks will be cleaned really well and a bed of concrete will be prepared as bedding for more steps to be added to the giant ones. Even these smaller rocks will top 500 lb each. A sling will be employed and the excavator will lower them into place.
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a wee bit from the empire
2017 Rocket Mass Heater Workshop Jamboree - 15 workshops in one event
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