Margaret Wolf

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since Aug 06, 2012
Retired Navy wife, Mother of four big kids, closet landscape designer, frustrated organic gardener. Finally bought our dream farm, loving the Colorado life at 6500 feet!
Calhan, Colorado
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Recent posts by Margaret Wolf

Hi Kelly,
Sorry I did not answer you before this! The back part of our property is quite hilly. I have no idea what the slope is though. We have some of what look to be natural swales on our property, although they could also be man made to prevent runoff damage. There are several meadow areas on either side of the arroyo. We have been told by neighbors that the arroyo does run after a substantial rainfall. However because we are in a drought, there is no standing, let alone running water in it now. I do know there is one area that has cat tails growing in it and there is a bunch of horsetail grass...which leads me to believe there is water not to far under the surface.

I would love to have someone else look at our property and give us some suggestions.

Margaret
8 years ago
I have never purchased organic foods because I thought they were more nutritious...it has always been about staying away from genetically modified foods, and pesticides. For me that makes organic foods intrinsically healthier. I smell "Monster-santo" behind this testing...

Margaret
8 years ago
Perhaps I have missed it, as I am fairly new. I read somewhere that sod should be placed upside down on the hugelbeds, however in some of the pictures I have seen, it looks like it was placed right side up. Could someone help me with this please?

Thanks!
margaret
8 years ago
Thanks Rick! I am definitely looking at it as an investment in our future. Starting from scratch can be a very positive thing on many levels!

Margaret
8 years ago
Hi Jay,
Our garden area is currently 525 sq. ft. fenced, we also currently house our chickens in that area as well. We hope to start our with four Hugelkultur beds for planting next Spring. Our average annual rainfall is about 13" and average annual snowfall about 43". The Black Forest Slash and Mulch is approximately 25 miles from my home. I do not feel badly "importing" wood and mulch from there because I did and will volunteer each time. Working for a great cause is never a bad thing, even if it does not benefit one directly, although this time and in the future it will benefit us directly. In addition, since where we live on the Eastern plains where there are few to no trees, it is a given that we will have to import trees, bushes, mulch, etc. to establish our property. We just moved to this property in June and it was 40 acres of grassland with a house; one mature and half a dozen immature Aspen trees on it; and a seasonal arroyo; it is a blank slate. We are literally starting our homestead from scratch. There several of bushy outcroppings around the arroyo, but I would not disturb those as they are bird and bunny habitats. There are several meadow areas, and there is some moisture in the arroyo, although in out drought situation, we will have to rely on groundwater for our gardening until our beds are established. We have since added cross fencing for out livestock, a fenced garden/chicken area, an 84'X24' barn/with hay storage for our horses and donkeys, and two sizable sheds, one for the garden and one for my husband's tools and his reloading area. We do not have the equipment necessary to grow, tet, and bale our own alfalfa or hay. We are hoping that through hugelkultur we will be able to grow much of our own food and introduce some type of food forest. Our animals will be managed through rotational grazing once we add a bit more cross-fencing. We will most likely always need to bring in hay, but for the first time in the 20 years of owning horses, we will not have to purchase hay except for the winter months.

MEWolf
8 years ago
A HUGE thank you to Matt Middleton for pointing me to the Black Forest Slash and Mulch Program. Not only is it an awesome source for wood for my Hugel beds, they are just a darn nice bunch of people. I volunteered there today, and came home with a pick up truck bed FULL of all kinds of wood for our next two beds!!! What a great lead!

MEWolf
8 years ago
Thank you all for the kind words, encouragement and suggestions. We have been transiting for the last two years = two major moves of us and all our livestock, and pets in the last two summers. I have not been able to garden like I always did before. It felt like something was definitely missing, so it feels really good to be doing something. I will add pics once we get the rest of the dirt on the bed, the sod on top and trim with rocks.

MEWolf
8 years ago
Hi Matt!
Nice to chat with someone close! Thanks for this information! How do I go about finding out more about this program, location, times, etc.? Would it be on the El Paso County website?

MEWolf
8 years ago
Thanks Tyler! We are at 6500' here on the plains of Colorado. It was actually a very pleasant day today, which is why we attempted this project today.
8 years ago
It was a fairly easy process, had the help of my DH and DS. We were able to make about a three foot high bed with about two feet under ground. The only wood we had available on our property is Aspen and Salt Cedar. We refrained from using the Cedar because of it anti-fungal properties. We filled it in with some green Aspen leaves and branches, soil, and horse manure and hay. We watered it really well, and we will allow it to 'rest" for about two weeks with some additional watering. After two weeks I will add more soil, and sod over the top. I 'may' try and plant a couple of cold hardy seeds to see what happens, but I am thinking maybe it would be better to allow it to rest over the winter and do it's decomposing thing. I will be interested to see what transpires with this bed because of the soft wood we used. In the succeeding beds I think I will purchase some hard wood firewood. The best part is it feels really good to start down our permaculture path. To finally be doing something, is so much better than doing nothing.

MEWolf

8 years ago