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Steve Taylor
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Location: Akron, Ohio
chicken hugelkultur woodworking
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Here are a few pictures from the garden this year.
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Steve Taylor
Posts: 136
Location: Akron, Ohio
chicken hugelkultur woodworking
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The warm weather In late December melted all the snow and left a large puddle below the swing set.  So when life gives you puddles you make hugle beds.

So I dug a drainage ditch that led the standing water into the garden to be absorbed. Then filled in the ditch with wood, leaves, grass, and dirt again.  The new raised beds have hugle ditches between the rows now. 
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Nick Watkins
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Glad I wasn't the only one working on the garden during that amazing reprieve! I procrastinated on planting garlic this fall so all last week, I had a storm door placed over one of my raised beds with straw and leaves shoved under the door edges for insulation. I'd never experimented with season extending techniques, but the idea here was simply to harness the sunny barely-above-freezing days to hopefully thaw the soil out enough to plant on the next warmish day. "It's crazy enough to work!" I said.

Monday came and I was delighted to find that the soil was a balmy 40 degrees 8" down! Good enough for garlic, good enough for me! The soil under the insulated portions of soil were still frozen for about the top 4" but thawed underneath, which indicates to me that the door and litter insulating the top of the bed caused any heat gained during the day to escape laterally through the wood structure of the bed in the evening. I planted 5 cloves of elephant garlic, 29 cloves of Spanish Roja, 32 cloves or early Italian purple, and 31 cloves from the Duganski garlic I grew last year, naturally all organic. Hopefully this year is as productive as last year, my first year growing garlic.
 
Steve Taylor
Posts: 136
Location: Akron, Ohio
chicken hugelkultur woodworking
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Working on another hugel bed today.  This is two days and probably three hours of digging.  But I've stacking functions as using it for my exercise, I never liked jogging anyway 😉

This is all done with my trusty spade.  Digging with it the last three years has dulled the tip.  Which may have led me to think of a name for our plot.  The unpointed spade, or something along those lines.
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Steve Taylor
Posts: 136
Location: Akron, Ohio
chicken hugelkultur woodworking
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Nick Watkins wrote:Glad I wasn't the only one working on the garden during that amazing reprieve!


It was great to get back to working the soil.

Nick Watkins wrote: thaw the soil out enough to plant on the next warmish day. "It's crazy enough to work!" I said.

Monday came and I was delighted to find that the soil was a balmy 40 degrees 8" down! Good enough for garlic, good enough for me! Hopefully this year is as productive as last year, my first year growing garlic.


It's better to get it in the ground late then never.  I still haven't gotten over the hump with garlic with regard to harvesting enough to use all year and have enough to plant for next year.  I hope to get there in the next two years though.
 
Steve Taylor
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I think I'll call this feature Snake River falls. The naming of features or areas for our plot was an enjoyable part of reading Evan's Any Log and it inspired the name.  Thanks Evan!

The second photo is of a future raspberry walk where I'll be planting a long row of berries.  This bed started by digging up the sod along the line/ contour for water retention and slow transfer downhill (sometimes stream).  I flipped the sod over and covered with grass trimmings sticks and leaves.  When the grass grew long in areas I dug through again making a wider bed, then mulched again.  That is where it's at now, but I did need to steal some mulch for Snake River falls.
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Steve Taylor
Posts: 136
Location: Akron, Ohio
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Hey everyone,

The snow melted again which led to more digging and mulching.  I am thankful for the water, but working in the mud gets messy fast. 

All this water has increased the flow in our local artisnal spring where we get our water from.  Last night it rained even more so that spring should be flowing faster soon.  The past two months it nearly dried up, according to the locals the only time it stopped flowing was a drought in the 80's, so I'm very thankful it didn't.
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Steve Taylor
Posts: 136
Location: Akron, Ohio
chicken hugelkultur woodworking
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Here a few more pictures from the garden.  Mullein is growing next to the black raspberry.  I wanted to point out that every part of the raspberry that is underground will be a source of a new shoot in spring.  Those new shoots will be dug up and either planted in a long row (raspberry walk) or potted up.  These thriving berrys were wildcrafted from the woods edge and transplanted into the garden.  It took off like crazy with the improved sun exposure, soil, and water conditions.  I will guess I can get 5-10 plants from this one.  Plus if I dig up all the shoots and the main plant to transplant elsewhere, eventually new shoots will emerge in the empty space from deep roots left behind.  Those are all reasons these plants were chosen for the Pay-It-Forward program.  Plus they are delicious, nutritious, medicinal, can make a living fence/barrier, and are very healthy and easy to care for!
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Steve Taylor
Posts: 136
Location: Akron, Ohio
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Yesterday there was more rain.  I was glad to see the garden holding water well, but also allowing it to flow through. 

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Steve Taylor
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Appreciate your local possum
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Steve Taylor
Posts: 136
Location: Akron, Ohio
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Yesterday I cut down a large dead tree, thought to be an elm.  The tree measured 68in circumference and 20in diameter. 

I have three 40V batteries two are 4 amp hours and one is 2 amp hours that work with my 16in Greenworks chainsaw.  The chainsaw does start to lose power at what I estimate to be 30% battery charge.  Often I will switch to a fully charged battery, if available.  I used 3/4 of all three batteries, in addition to half of another 4amp recharged.  Total of 9 amp hours to fell the tree.

Canola oil was used in the chainsaw all weekend.  I noticed the chainsaw went through the canola oil at the same rate it would have with bar and chain oil.  Thank you Permies for that tip!
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Steve Taylor
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Hi everyone,

Since Spring decided to come in January for a week, we have been busy working outside.  We have battled with dangerous vines (for me contact dermititis on the line).  Spent many hours making hugle culture ditches to hold water in our garden.

Here are the steps I take to make hugle culture ditches. 
1. Choose my raised bed location so they act as mini dams, to hold and slow water

2. Dig a spade deep or up to 18in deep ditch on contour to hold water in a puddle.

3. Fill those puddles up with decomposed wood from the forest ( grass clippings and leaves if available)

4. Cover up the wood with the dirt used to dig the ditch.

The process reminds me of the secret underground pond permaculture block Paul Presented In one of his videos. 

Sometimes my raised beds have a hugle ditch on both sides to catch water coming and going.

 
Steve Taylor
Posts: 136
Location: Akron, Ohio
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We really like this method of mushroom cultivation vs the drilled logs and plugs.  It seems to have the most long term upside.

http://articles.extension.org/pages/73313/youtube-series-forest-farmed-lions-mane-oyster-and-stropharia-mushrooms

What do you think Permies? 

We found their video tutorials very helpful.  I'm excited to incorporate agro forestry into our farm.

We also decided on a name for our farm.  Check us out at https://www.3redbarns.com

 
Nick Watkins
pollinator
Posts: 38
Location: Akron, Ohio
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Steve Taylor wrote:We really like this method of mushroom cultivation vs the drilled logs and plugs.  It seems to have the most long term upside.

http://articles.extension.org/pages/73313/youtube-series-forest-farmed-lions-mane-oyster-and-stropharia-mushrooms

What do you think Permies? 

We found their video tutorials very helpful.  I'm excited to incorporate agro forestry into our farm.

We also decided on a name for our farm.  Check us out at https://www.3redbarns.com



I like name for the farm and the little site you have going there. Were the structures there when you moved in?

Very cool series on starting mushrooms. I've seen others use this technique for mushroom cultivation but have never seen the process. Were you looking to do this on your property? It makes me wish I had my place out in the woods already!
 
Steve Taylor
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Nick Watkins wrote:

I like name for the farm and the little site you have going there. Were the structures there when you moved in?

Were you looking to do this on your property? It makes me wish I had my place out in the woods already!


Thanks Nick, ya the barns were there.  Yes, that is the plan to start setting up those totum logs in the forest.  We have a mostly conifer section close to the house that we will use first. 
 
Steve Taylor
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Here are some resources I'm finding useful.  I believe we have identified basswood, cottonwood, birch, and poplar as suitable candidates for oyster mushroom cultivation. 

In the first PDF they barried part of the oyster log vertically, to maintain moisture.  It is an interesting method I will try in the further future.

To start I'm leaning towards the totem method covered with paper leaf bag (no watering and only need chainsaw, paper bags, and sawdust innoculent).  But I'm also wanting to soak logs for faster production to have something to sell this year. Both methods could complement each other.  I need to learn more about soaking or watering logs. 
Filename: MushroomCultivationGuide.pdf
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Filename: Tree-Species-Chart.pdf
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