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Mnewby's Projects

 
steward
Posts: 809
Location: Italy, Siena, Gaiole in Chianti zone 9
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yup I can see where the swales could fit in, I guess if you're thinking of a perennial tree system, with a horse fit pasture dams aren't necessary.
What trees are you thinking of a part from Black locust, something that can give nuts, like almonds or something else?
well black locust is a quick grower but can get out of control easily.
the keyline would be the top for that situation for sure.
 
gardener
Posts: 697
Location: Mount Shasta, CA Zone 8a Mediterranean climate
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Here's an initial planting list for the swales only:

Trees:

Acacia sp.
Caragana sp.
Robinia sp.
Sophora Japonicum
Quercus sp.
Castanea sp.
Pinus ponderosa
Thuja sp.

Shrubs:

Acacia sp.
Caragana sp.
Cercis sp.
Comptonia sp.
Elaeagnus sp.
Hippophea rhamnoids
Ulex parviflora
Sherpherdia argentea
Mahonia sp.
Corylus sp.

Low/Herbaceous:

Trifolium sp.
Lupinus sp.
Medicago sp.
Mahonia sp.
Cicer sp.
Dalea sp.
Genista sp.
Lathyrus latifolus
Vicia faba major

 
Michael Newby
gardener
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Location: Mount Shasta, CA Zone 8a Mediterranean climate
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Got some pictures of the property yesterday while we were doing some surveying. Can you say star thistle?

The first picture's got a pretty good dust devil going in it, they're pretty common on the property right now. Windbreaks are going to be vital on this project.

The next two pictures were basically to show off the view we're working with. Almost enough to make one not notice the heat, or the star thistle needles, almost.

20150722_161502.jpg
Dust Devil
Dust Devil
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Hammering Stakes
Hammering Stakes
20150724_150202.jpg
What a view!
What a view!
 
Michael Newby
gardener
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Location: Mount Shasta, CA Zone 8a Mediterranean climate
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Waiting on bids to come in for the earthwork side of things so I can see if I can compete renting a dozer. I'm really really hoping I can do it myself renting a dozer, it'll mean I get to run a D6 Cat for a week or so, which will be some good experience.

While waiting I did get some time to work on a small hand-dug swale at my place that will catch a good amount of runoff and direct it to the pig pond. They're calling for thunderstorms in the next few days so hopefully we'll be right underneath a big dumper so I can see how it works.
20150806_123219-1-.jpg
Beginning of a Swale
Beginning of a Swale
 
Michael Newby
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Breaking ground on the first of 3 large swales. These swales have big potential catchment if we get a 2 or 3 inch gully-washer so they're made to hold a lot of water. Max depth before overflow will be 2.5 feet in a 16 foot wide swale. It should be rare that we get overflow but the potential is definitely there.
20150831_091254.jpg
Big dozer
Big dozer
20150831_095359.jpg
Moving earth
Moving earth
 
Michael Newby
gardener
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So we got ~1600 ft of swale roughed in today! It's so exciting to actually see this big swale snaking across the land on contour.
20150831_122924.jpg
Checking Level
Checking Level
20150831_123319.jpg
Panorama
Panorama
 
Michael Newby
gardener
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A quick video of the swale making action!
 
pollinator
Posts: 4665
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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Wow those are big uns! What is the next step ? Will you plant them or mulch them or anything?
 
Michael Newby
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Due to budget/availability the client narrowed the trees down to chestnuts and oaks interplanted with black locust trees. We've then got a couple different dryland pasture/soil-builder seed mixes from Peaceful Valley Farm Supply that will get broadcast all over. Once the seeds have been broadcast there's ten or fifteen tons of spent hay the client got their hands on that we'll spread as a mulch.

I'm trying to talk them into buying a crimper-roller to use for yearly pasture maintenance along with grazing their horses but so far the clients are really reluctant.
 
Michael Newby
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Okay, things are moving a little slowly on the large swale installation project. The swales are installed and the spillways are mostly rocked in but we're in a holding pattern now while waiting for trees to become available.
20150919_150008.jpg
Rock ready to be spread in the spillway
Rock ready to be spread in the spillway
20150919_145529.jpg
If you look close you can see all three swales
If you look close you can see all three swales
 
Michael Newby
gardener
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Updated the Pig Pond thread with a few pictures. I have fish! Some feeder fish that I put in the pond a few months ago for mosquito control not only survived, they thrived and gave me (lots of) babies!
 
Michael Newby
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I'M SO EXCITED!

Client sent me pictures of the swales this morning after they finally got more than just a sprinkling. Man it feels good to see that long line of standing water! And did you notice the trees? They're finally going in, too. Can't wait to see how this project looks in five years.

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[Thumbnail for IMG956341.jpg]
 
Posts: 1172
Location: Central Wyoming -zone 4
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Nice looking project Michael, looks like fun:)
 
pollinator
Posts: 11804
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I have a question about those trees - are there no deer in that area? - trees planted in the open like that around here wouldn't stand a chance!
 
Michael Newby
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Tyler Ludens wrote:I have a question about those trees - are there no deer in that area? - trees planted in the open like that around here wouldn't stand a chance!



Due to mismanagement of both hunting and land resources, there's not really that much deer pressure here. Couple that with the fact that there's irrigated agricultural fields all around that are more palatable and minimal protection is enough. In the fields here we have had to worry more about jackrabbits stripping the fresh bark off the whips.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Maybe those new tree lines can become future deer habitat!
 
Michael Newby
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Managed to go out myself and grab a quick video of the largest swale while it still had water in it:

 
Michael Newby
gardener
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Made a thread talking about what I've been attempting to do as far as developing my income streams.

Here's a preview of one of the things I do, basically getting paid good money to safely do dangerous work:



Not necessarily the best long-term income stream but I do think I can develop it into other less demanding methods of generating income.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Truly impressive!
 
Michael Newby
gardener
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It's really been feeling a lot like spring around here on the days that the sun is shining.

The willows have been waking up and some have the most beautiful colors going on. Did you know that each little fuzzy bud on the willow is actually tons of tiny little flowers? They're really beautiful, I think.

I also finally got the time to make a couple of three log benches to sit on by the pond. I really enjoy having my coffee out there and watching the mucovies and fish in the pond.

If things go right these next few weeks I should be getting another batch of pigs to raise in pond site two, so I'm really looking forward to that right now. That spot is big enough that I'll be able to have a floating duck island to help keep them safe from the coyotes.
20160317_113712-1-.jpg
pretty willow flowers
pretty willow flowers
20160317_113607-1-.jpg
lots of pollen
lots of pollen
20160317_113453-1-.jpg
ducks and benches
ducks and benches
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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I have bench and pond envy.

 
Michael Newby
gardener
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Location: Mount Shasta, CA Zone 8a Mediterranean climate
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Things are waking up ever so slowly around here. I'm sure it would go a little faster if the weather would make up its mind instead of switching from highs of 80F one day dropping to a high of 52 the next day then snow the next morning!

I've noticed this shrub all over in the woods and had always assumed it was some sort of Vaccinium but now that I've looked closer I realize that the leaf/branching arrangement is wrong (opposite vs. alternate for Vacc. sp) and the tiny flowers look like some of the Euonymus sp. flowers I've seen. Needless to say these pictures will also be in the plant forum asking for an ID...

There's some silk tassel shrubs (Garrya fremontii) in bloom that I always love to see.

And then there's the great find of the week: Morels! This is the most I've found on property. I've seen one or two in the previous years but never enough to harvest. This time there was enough for me to harvest about 2/3 of what I saw peeking up and have a good little sautee with garlic and butter.

20160405_171235.jpg
Vaccinium looking shrub in bloom
Vaccinium looking shrub in bloom
20160405_171215.jpg
such tiny flowers
such tiny flowers
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Silk Tassel
Silk Tassel
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woodsy treats!
woodsy treats!
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biggest one
biggest one
20160414_182708.jpg
perfect amount for a sautee
perfect amount for a sautee
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Excellent morels!
 
Michael Newby
gardener
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A friend let me borrow the it's backhoe for a while so there's been a lot of action going on here at the ol' Newby homestead.

The biggest project has been prepping the next pond site before bringing in pigs to seal it. This pond will catch the overflow from the first pond then it's overflow will be directed to an area that will eventually be a vernal pond.
20160505_101509_002.jpg
Diggin' dirt
Diggin' dirt
20160505_101015.jpg
Building up the freeboard
Building up the freeboard
20160507_084707.jpg
Ready for pigs
Ready for pigs
 
Michael Newby
gardener
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Finally got around to updating the progress on the pig pond.  

Here's one of my favorite shots of the pond:



I've been pretty busy this summer with all kinds of things but one of the bigger undertakings has been hand hewing some beams for a project on the ol' homestead.



 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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The pond looks fantastic!

 
gardener
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Location: Okanogan Highlands, Washington
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Change of topic - I just caught up with your thread here, and am super-excited showing Ernie some of the shots of your place near Mt. Shasta.  Caterpillar 287 is a rockin' monster!

Ernie, of course, needs to be different... the thing he got excited about was that manzanita is a wood he likes to trade for.  
Larger trunks makes wonderful goat-crooks, walking canes, and tough enough for mallets and marlinspikes for rope work.

So as you get going on the "big" hugels, maybe keep an eye out for a few nice big gnarly pieces for us magpies?

Thanks,
Erica & Ernie
 
Michael Newby
gardener
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Erica Wisner wrote:
Ernie, of course, needs to be different... the thing he got excited about was that manzanita is a wood he likes to trade for.  
Larger trunks makes wonderful goat-crooks, walking canes, and tough enough for mallets and marlinspikes for rope work.

So as you get going on the "big" hugels, maybe keep an eye out for a few nice big gnarly pieces for us magpies?

Thanks,
Erica & Ernie



We don't get that much in the name of large trunks on the manzanita here, that's more the white manzanita a little further south.  I've seen those get to over 15' tall with almost 2' trunks but I would call those old growth.  The red manzanita here is old if it gets to be 7-8' tall and over 10" at the trunk.  The burls, though, now those make some amazing pieces of art!  

Should you ever find yourself passing by on I-5 feel free to swing by and you can have all you want to harvest.  It really is lovely wood, if only I didn't have a zillion other higher priority projects on my list - all in time...
 
Michael Newby
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One of the projects I've been working on is making swales in my wannabe food forest area.  Since I have such an over abundance of wood chips I've been using the older ones to make swales that will increase water infiltration directly over the root zones of the trees.  We had a nice little spring snowstorm the other day and the snow really emphasized the swales on the land.

The last picture is jut one of all the worms that were grubbing on an old pumpkin from last Halloween that I had tossed out onto one of the piles of wood chips.  I ended up splitting them up amongst the fruit trees.
20170325_114424.jpg
Snow between swales
Snow between swales
20170325_114410.jpg
Swales catching snow
Swales catching snow
20170322_153126.jpg
Happy worms
Happy worms
 
Michael Newby
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Another project that I have slowly been progressing on is a dry stacked stone retaining wall. My goal is to have a nice little kitchen herb garden planted in this area. I guess I'd say the basic design is a keyhole style garden.  
20170327_082945.jpg
Dry stack retaining wall
Dry stack retaining wall
20170327_082922.jpg
Dry stack retaining wall view 2
Dry stack retaining wall view 2
 
gardener
Posts: 1227
Location: Longbranch, WA
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You know how to make your animals work, gley ponds with pigs and ducks and backfill with chickens.
 
Michael Newby
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Location: Mount Shasta, CA Zone 8a Mediterranean climate
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I got a bit more done on the retaining wall this weekend.  At least now the wife can picture where the herb garden is going to be.

It's been warming up a bit and my nectarine tree is sooo close to blooming.  This tree's flowers are really fragrant so I'm pretty excited about the bloom, not to mention all the potential fruit the blooms represent.
20170402_181142.jpg
Nectarine about to bloom
Nectarine about to bloom
20170402_181045.jpg
More nectarine buds
More nectarine buds
20170402_180631.jpg
Dry stack retaining wall progress
Dry stack retaining wall progress
20170402_180450.jpg
Dry stack retaining wall different angle
Dry stack retaining wall different angle
 
pollinator
Posts: 453
Location: Western Kenya
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Looks great!
 
Posts: 17
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
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Thank you for taking the time to document all of your work. Your photos of the pond formation process have been the best resource I've found for actually convincing people that gleying can be done!

Best of luck with all of your current and future endeavors!
 
Michael Newby
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Got a bit more done on the herb garden wall, you can actually tell it's a keyhole style bed now.  A little more work and the bed will be ready for a bunch of manure and aged wood chips.  
20170512_080722.jpg
Looking like a keyhole
Looking like a keyhole
20170512_080747.jpg
Keyhole retaining wall view 2
Keyhole retaining wall view 2
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