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Hans Quistorff
pollinator
Posts: 781
Location: Longbranch, WA
44
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I will start this thread to put my farm history and my stuff that I often link to so I can link back to permies.com instead of all over the web.
I would like to start earlier but the pictures are on crashed hard drives and cameras and these I have because I posted them to Facebook.
Fall of 2009 We are trying to get our manufactured home ready to move in but during the summer I have been managing the gardens that my sister left me when she died and I inherited the farm. It did not have the name yet. when I took berries to the farmers market they were listed as Erickson Rd. farm. When I mentioned to the market manager that was not a good name because there are several other farms on the road and suggested Qberry Farm she loved it. So here is what it was like.
She was getting small barrels that bleach for sterilizing equipment from her friends raw milk dairy. The tops were cut off and they were made into planters so she did not have to bend over and weeds and pests had a difficult time getting into her garden. She was also planting in 55 gallon drums that her husband had been bringing home from the dump where he worked. [There will be a lot more on his stash of repurposed goods later]
Freezing weather was coming and I wanted to keep some of the plants producing. There was a car port over an old house trailer that had to be removed so I reassembled it over the barrel garden where with small modifications it has remained until now. I will attach three pictures to show the progression.
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Hans Quistorff
pollinator
Posts: 781
Location: Longbranch, WA
44
chicken goat rabbit solar tiny house wofati
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Located some pictures of of preparing the house that might be helpful:

First the driveway had to be widened to bring in the two sections of the house. The drive was only 15 feet wide with ditches on both sides with tall trees on the property line and overgrown plumb orchard to the West.
Where the excavator is located there was a seedling apple tree with good flavor so I ask the operator if he could save it. So he scooped it up and carried up the hill and dropped it in an oped perk hole. Now that it is out in the sun it is producing even better.

The deck on each side was part of the house contract but I added the porch roof on each side later. The electric meter had to be 30' from the door so I planed it out so that after the conduit was buried one foot I could run water back from the house to the utility pole. The meter box has a secondary main so even before the house was put in I could run electricity from that to the barn and well. This time with the water on the bottom and the electric above. Then another breaker allowed me to run outside outlets back to the utility pole so that I have electric and water there for a camp trailer. Then you can see the wire that continues to the front of the house and on to the greenhouse which I have not buried yet when the picture was taken.

Code required a 2' sloping grade 10 ' out from the house so that cut into the edge of the existing flower garden. I put a french drain along the north and west edges of that grade which also receives the gutter drains from the north end and the carport. It was a scramble collecting bulbs and plants from each run of the bulldozer but things found a new home and the ones in the tires were able to stay there.
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Excavator is where apple tree was located. 5" of fill added to that side.
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On cement slab where old house was located. Note wire on ground.
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4' from west deck to french drain at edge of grade slope
 
Hans Quistorff
pollinator
Posts: 781
Location: Longbranch, WA
44
chicken goat rabbit solar tiny house wofati
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Now that I have located my old dropbox account I can revive more of the account of restoring the farm. Principle: Observe, plan, action. The summer 2009 was productive but chaotic. My sister had the berries somewhat organized so that friends could come and pick them, the rows were not consistent some going east to west and some north to south and some filling with bind weed if I turned my back for a couple days.
The boysenberries had been planted above the house in soil that was poor and in competition with the old apple tree. The tree was partially burnt by the house fire and had to be removed for the grade of the new house. So I was scurrying in front of the bulldozer as they were dug up and was able to hell them in for the winter. The line crew dumped a load of chips up hill from their new home and I dug 2 trenches placed the crowns in the bottom and back filled with the chips which had started to turn white with mycelium. They produced very well until the deer discovered they tasted better than the himalayan blackberries.
The first picture is fall raspberries ripening in November but molding in the rain. This set me to thinking about being able to cover this patch and extend the harvest season. This will be one of the themes as this project progresses.
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Actual date of this picture is november-need weater protection
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Geting my berry rows lined up from north to south-see future
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Transplanted boysenberries also north to south - new ground
 
Hans Quistorff
pollinator
Posts: 781
Location: Longbranch, WA
44
chicken goat rabbit solar tiny house wofati
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Little transition here observing what grows naturally and how to make it work for me. Boysenberries from my last post. What is called locally woodland orchid had spread into the disturbed ground between the berrie rows. It has proved to be a very important part of my poly culture. It shades out undesirables grows 6 to 8 feet tall which shades the tender Loganberries from sunburn by the evening sun. It has large snap dragon like blooms which keep the bumble bees in the patch to pollinate the berries. I will try to get pictures of it blooming and being tramped down to return the water filled stalks to the soil.
I had some portable garage frames and was able to obtain some others and a lot of scaffolding cover plastic that had grommets that allowed me to tie it to the frame so I started on covering my berry patch.
Pictures are small because they were taken with my flip phone. So there is also a camara transition in here.
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Boysenberries in bloom happy in the woodchips
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These plants had naturalized in the berry patche
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Starting my plan to cover the berries.
 
Hans Quistorff
pollinator
Posts: 781
Location: Longbranch, WA
44
chicken goat rabbit solar tiny house wofati
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That winter braught a damaging snow storm which did some major pruning on these probably about 100 year old apple trees. but what about my coverd berries?
2012-01-29-01.01.18.jpeg
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Hollow apple tree lost branch that shaded barn windows
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Second old apple tree dammage
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Third tree dammage
 
Hans Quistorff
pollinator
Posts: 781
Location: Longbranch, WA
44
chicken goat rabbit solar tiny house wofati
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The berry shelter survived unscathed an onl required poking the plastic from the inside to knock the snow off before it got heavy with the rain that fallows.
There was a large greengage plum in the middle of the patch and many seedlings coming up so I have been selecting them to be both posts and overstory for the raspberries. Because they bloom earlier inside this also spreads the harvest out longer.
Another naturalised or native plant I'm not sure which comes up around the berry canes and blocks light from other seeds that require warmer temperature to germinate. Then it dies when summer temperatures arrive leaving a mulch around the canes.
Between the rows I lay down strips of carpet which prevents the raspberries from sending up shoots in the walkway as well as weeds.
It was so nice to be down there today while it was raining outside and prune dead wood and overgrowth on the plums and retie the raspberries for spring production. I also cleaned up the rugs from fallen leaves and turned them over if they were wet and grass seed had sprouted in them.
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Raspberries survived the brutal winter and get an early start
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Overstory of plums also get an early start
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Around the berry canes the spring ground cover bloomes
 
Dillon Nichols
pollinator
Posts: 597
Location: Victoria BC
27
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Nifty. I've seen you mention the raspberry-greenhouse in other threads, and had been meaning to ask for more details.

Can you expand on how well it works in terms of season extension, and anything you'd change if implementing from scratch?

Based on my experiences with other plants in greenhouses I would have expected to maybe get some mold problems with fall berries even if protected against rain, simply due to the humidity levels; have you had any trouble with this?


Your groundcover looks like a dead nettle, though the pic would need to be larger for me to be confident of that. Purple dead nettle is what I'm used to, but yours isn't terribly purple, so maybe red dead nettle, which just has a bit of red at the top of the plant?
 
Hans Quistorff
pollinator
Posts: 781
Location: Longbranch, WA
44
chicken goat rabbit solar tiny house wofati
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Post Yesterday 10:21:12 PM Subject: Qberry Farm
Can you expand on how well it works in terms of season extension, and anything you'd change if implementing from scratch?

This gives me an excuse to post today's picture. I would say that it extends the season about one month on each end that is 2 months. The temperature in there yesterday was 70F while the sun was shining. It cooled down quickly during a hard shower to ambient 50F. What I would change assembling it I would have staked the frame down securely before putting the fabric on. While I was gon to get stakes the wind picked it up and turned it south west and set it back down on the rows.
Based on my experiences with other plants in greenhouses I would have expected to maybe get some mold problems with fall berries even if protected against rain, simply due to the humidity levels; have you had any trouble with this?
Because this is not a sealed unit, each frame segment is an individual strip of fabric overlapped on the frame, it self vents when the pressure inside from the temperature difference or wind raises the lapped fabric. It can drip condensate over night but generally it gets too dry and I have to keep the drip system from a rain barrel going on the center row.
Your groundcover looks like a dead nettle,
I don't know about the name. it definitely is not a perennial but comes up from seed each year and then seeds itself and dies back. It is not stinging nettle. The color you can see at the top of the plant is the blossom which is a pale purple.

I got a lot done in there yesterday, chipping prunings and turning the carpet and more pruning and retying the canes.
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Peach blossoms started 1st of march in hoop house
 
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