Part of the restoration process for older neglected homes is to rejuvenate the land and make it productive. For our permaculture B&B project, we created a pond and some hugelbeets, then planted fruit and nut trees and shrubs and broadcast seed mix including sunflowers, millet, barley, carrots, corn, clover, alfalfa, radish, quinoa and a bunch more. No weeding or watering has taken place since planting. This is the fertility building phase where we try to entice as many wild critters as possible to come and eat, paying with their fertile droppings. Next year we will be planting for a harvest.
We char all of our old wood; painted, cedar shingles, whatever. The method does not use a retort although that would be best, we have too much bulky material, so we strategically pile it up and then babysit with a hose and rake to ensure full char. I know we lose a lot of carbon this way, but it's better than no biochar. This area will later be remediated with King Stropharia mushrooms The cool closet is for long term food storage at 40-50F. It is in the basement on the north wall and utilizes cold water pipes for cooling. Hi levels of insulation and a repurposed walk-in cooler door will complete the enclosure. Notice that the water pipes are situated so that condensing water is dripping in only one spot.
Rain water is stored in the pond, the small spigot coming out of the gravel is used to fill the pond with irrigation water if necessary or to drain excess water to the garden.
Willie Smits: Village Based Permaculture Approaches in Indonesia (video)