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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
 
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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



I'm also basing my thoughts on a current project building raised beds for the herb and flower gardens out front of my place. Mine are being built of treated wood. It may not be the best material from a permie perspective, but there are termites in the soil, and they won't eat the copper sulfate in the green treated lumber. We also are not eating roots that come out of the beds.
 
Eric Hanson
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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
 
Ryan Hobbs
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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



I think the compromise plan is good.

In my case with the raised beds, the soil contacts the wood in more than just the edges. I can use greenhouse plastic to seperate it if the treated lumber is too toxic for the plants. But the termites are the most pressing issue. I have to work with what I got, so I just have to do non-permie things from time to time.
 
Eric Hanson
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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
 
Ryan Hobbs
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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



I'm not worried about herbs from the beds. But I am familiar with the dangers of the copper compound. As long as I don't put in any copper-bio-accumulators, it should be fine. I can find out if a plant is a bio-accumulator before consumption by burning it. A blue or green flame means the copper is too highly concentrated. If metalic copper detectable by microscope is in the ashes, it is even worse. I do make pottery and, do a not insignificant amount of chemistry for it. I use copper in several forms to achieve various shades of pink, red, blue, and green. I have treated fungal diseases in my gardens with the copper from my pottery. Turns out that in tomatoes, a bit of green copper oxide at the base solves the rust wilt problem. The plant takes it up and it kills the fungus. The amount used was so little that I was not concerned about toxicity in the tomatoes. The amount in the raised beds is far greater, hence the greenhouse poly. The roll I need to cover my greenhouse is going to have some excess. I can staple it to the inside of the boxes to prevent most root contact and allow me to grow mushrooms in the beds. I was going to grow King Stroparia (because it is a huge mushroom and bigger is better), but wine caps and oysters in different beds might be nice for variety's sake. Oysters will eat anything. They will even consume crude oil or cig butts on a substrate. I can use them on straw if I don't have enough wood chips. I'm not growing vegetables in there. Just herbs and flowers and mushrooms. But, I will be using them for medicine and so I will test them all annually for copper. If I am particularly worried (IE the mushrooms are not growing), I can send in a soil sample to the extension office and ask about copper and sulfur content.

I can't think of the prompt right now, I'm stuck on my raised beds LOL. Mine have 3 ft paths, 4 should be fine, just size them for your wheelbarrow or garden cart. It should be able to turn any corners and pass by comfortably.
 
Eric Hanson
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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
 
Ryan Hobbs
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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



Finished and move on. Raised beds negate need for mech.
 
Eric Hanson
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Done!  How bout we open another thread titled “hypothetical homestead” in the meaningless drivel section?

Eric
 
Ryan Hobbs
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Eric Hanson wrote:Done!  How bout we open another thread titled “hypothetical homestead” in the meaningless drivel section?

Eric



Go for it. I feel like starting out with 80 acres of heavy woodland and steep slopes and a natural spring and just hand tools. That's it. Just that. I have to run an errand, so I will be answering it at length in a few hours after dinner. I have often thought about that scenario. Let's say tennessee.
 
Eric Hanson
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Ryan, try this link:

https://permies.com/t/129625/Hypothetical-homestead#1016883

Linked to “Hypothetical homestead” in Meaningless Drivel”

Eric
 
Ryan Hobbs
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Eric Hanson wrote:Ryan, try this link:

https://permies.com/t/129625/Hypothetical-homestead#1016883

Linked to “Hypothetical homestead” in Meaningless Drivel”

Eric



It turned into something pretty cool. You never did link to the original tho.
 
Eric Hanson
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My apologies.  I was working from my phone.  I thought I had.  I am spoiled on my desktop.  I just rebuilt it with a new motherboard, 32gig ram, i7 processor and all my software runs from an m.2 sdd.  It’s a zippy system.  Best of all, I run 3 monitors (25inch) so I can see a lot of information all at once.

On my phone I can hardly see anything.

Eric
 
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I tried to start a flock once, bought 3 ewelambs and a ramlamb, and put them in an Electronet fence during the day.  It kept the lambs in. But, a stray dog spooked the lambs.  One got tangled in the net.  Whether she died from heart attack caused by fright it by electrocution, I don't know.  
 My advice is don't depend on flexible net, even electrical.  Build a good fence first.  Use field wire with a 4"x4" opening, 4' high.  I found non-standard rolls at a scrap metal dealer in Ada OK selling the wire by the pound.  It came out to about 1/3 the retail price.
 
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