Eric Hanson wrote:Ryan,
Sorry, coffee does this to me! Actually I was thinking beds 4-8’ wide and maybe 50’ long separated by say 4’ paths. I realize this is a chore to build, but the soil is magnificently fertile.
But this is building on my present project, which is based on raised beds and wood chips Inoculated with mushrooms which is having a wonderful effect on the bedding.
Maybe this helps a bit, but I really don’t mean to overwhelm,
Eric Hanson wrote:Ryan,
Right about the treated lumber. I see three options:
Option #1 Use plastic decking for the edges. It won't rot, but it is expensive
Option #2 Use regular lumber (2x10?) but paint with a special masonry paint. This is time consuming, but cheaper that option #1. It is also what I am doing with my raised beds. I will try to get the name of the product later
Option #3 Sou Shi Ban (sp?) This is regular wood treated with fire. Basically hold a torch to the wood and char the outside. After charring, you can either use directly or treat with linseed oil. This option is probably the cheapest, but most time consuming
So how about a compromise. I say we do one, long 4-8' wide by 20-50' long raised bed the first year. Each year we add another raised bed while leaving a 4-6' path in between. The path can be a sort of pasture for ducks which could be corralled and moved on. Eventually we get something like 4-6 huge raised beds. We collect chipping materials all summer, put compost heaps in them, etc, then have a chip fest in the fall and chip up a whole pile of wood. This is sort of what I do right now. I desperately need to trim back my living hedge because it really intrudes to my grass lands. I will hopefully do this sometime before February. I will then rent a big, 12 inch chipper (used to use a 7 inch chipper, but it was not up to the job) and chip a whole pile of woodchips. Ideally I would have already done the chipping by this point and the chips would be aging over the winter and by spring I would spread out and lay down on my existing beds.
Right now I am in desperate need of more chips because my wine caps are ravenously consuming what I stockpiled for them this spring. It is amazing what those mushrooms will go through, but they also make for amazingly fertile bedding.
So what do you think about this compromise plan?
Eric Hanson wrote:Ryan,
I just did a quick mental note. So an 8' by 50' raised bed is 4000 square feet. Put another way, this is just a bit under 1/10 acre. True, this is a huge bed, but the bed will be a tremendously productive piece of ground.
Do you think that a 4' gap between beds is enough? What about using ducks to keep the grass down? Personally I would not want to get in and mow that space (and really, mowing isn't going to help this plan much).
So what do you think about mechanization? Is there a need for a tiller? How about a small tractor? Something in between? These possibilities are wide open.
Regarding your termites, I totally understand why you are doing what you are doing. Termites can really eat up wood in no time if you are not careful and lining with plastic is probably the best way to minimize the effects of the treatment. Fortunately, treated wood is no longer CCA which was pretty toxic stuff. Now it is CCX. CCX is less toxic by a wide margin. Unfortunately, it is not non-toxic. I honestly don't know how dangerous it is in soil. but to be safe, of course, best to keep it away from things we want to eat.
Eric Hanson wrote:Regarding paths, I was thinking along the same lines. I was thinking about rolling a nice garden cart through.
On a side note, for my own garden beds, I plan to eventually make them about 20 inches tall or taller. At present the plan is to make every bed raised up using 2x10 lumber. But I have an old back injury and I am not getting any younger, so the less I bend over, the better. At some time I would like to add another 2x10 to my existing beds so I don’t have to bend over. But that’s for the future.
So on our hypothetical, should we include some mechanization or do we declare it finished and move on?
Eric Hanson wrote:Done! How bout we open another thread titled “hypothetical homestead” in the meaningless drivel section?
Eric Hanson wrote:Ryan, try this link:
Linked to “Hypothetical homestead” in Meaningless Drivel”
Amanda Parker wrote:I am raising dairy sheep right now and I love it! I have several east friesian ewes and some Finnsheep ewes who are also known to be quite milky. My ran is a Finnsheep/friesian cross. I did it because I raised goats when I was younger and im just not a fan. I am also a spinner, Weaver, felter, and knitter so I really wanted an animal that could pull double duty. They actually pull triple duty as I get milk, wool and meat ;) from ram lambs that we don't need or cull.
I wouldn't go back to goats for anything. I love the taste of the milk and the wonderful cheeses I make. Their wool is beautiful and provides an extra source of income for us. And sheep are much easier to care for than goats in my opinion.
I did have trouble finding breeding stock as well. I had to have my babies transported from the Midwest and I paid about 400 per ewe lamb. The Finn's were much cheaper. ...
I think your set up will do fine if you do rotational grazing but you will need a place for your ram unless you choose to keep him with the flock, I don't because I don't like not knowing when lambs are due. Just be diligent with parasite checks and field hygiene. Small acreage can be bad for parasites as they tend to build up.
Best of luck with your dairy flock!!!
-Magnolia Knoll Farm and Fiber