S Bengi

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since Nov 29, 2012
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forest garden solar
Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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Recent posts by S Bengi

After you fix your current problem. You will have to deal with all the trees on, near and downstream of your pond.
Even a quick google search will tell you it is a no-no.

You might have to divert as much water as possible that is flowing into your 'pond'.
And then build a NEW DAM diwnhill or uphill of the current dam.

I dont blame you for the current trees on the dam. But with all those trees on your dam, even if you fix this current hole another one will pop-up in a no time again.

If for some reason you don't build a new dam and only repair this one.
Then the 1st step would be to stop the current water erosion by lowering the pond level to below the hole in the pond:
1) Electric/Gas Pump to pump out the water faster than it is coming in
•) Deepen and possible widen your overflow so that water doesn"t make it up to the hole in the dam
•) Divert water before it makes it into your pond with ditches or swales  etc etc

I like you gabion retaining wall idea alot use that for the new dam as well too
10 hours ago
Is it by any chance near angel's landing?

1 day ago
A regular Hugel is 2ft to 10ft higher than ground level.

In the desert my recommendation is to make it lower than ground level aka a sunken hugel.
In effect what you are build is a really deep swale that is then partially refilled with wood/twig/straw/compost.
But still with enough depressions to hold and slow down water.
1 day ago
It looks like you are in zone 7b, with even distribution of rain throughout the year.

My recommendations would be:
1) Earthworks (Swales or Terrace or Berms, etc)
2) Carbon (straw, hay, biochar, woodchip, Animal Litter, Compost)
3) Soil Life (Mushroom Slurries, Worm Tea, Composting worms, mushroom, Animal Litter, Compost)
4) Nitrogen Fixers (about 80% of the ground cover should be nitrogen fixers e.g. Fava Beans, Dutch Clover, Alfalfa, etc)
5) Other Seeds/cover crop (mint/thyme family, carrot/dill family, onion/garlic family, wheat/oats/grass family)
6) Fruit Trees esp Fall Planted Bare-Roots.


7) Spring Planted 3ft wide Garden Rows of Produce to sell at the market
You can grow and sell
Herbs in the onion or dill or mint/thyme family
Mushroom Oyster & Wine Cap, but others are very doable
Vegetables Cabbage/Kale family, Spinach/Chard family, Lettuce/Dandelion family.
Potatoes/Tomatoes family, Squash/Melon family, Starchy Storage root crops.

8) Spring BeeHive
1 day ago
When you said 2b/3a I was thinking Alaska Arctic Circle cold with only 3hrs of sunlight in the winter and only 3months with no risk of snow.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daytime#/media/File:Hours_of_daylight_vs_latitude_vs_day_of_year_cmglee.svg
But with 10hrs of sunlight it seems that you are only 33N of the equator. Are you in Wyomin/Colorado?

I hope that you are able to grow alot of mushroom in your basement (Oyster+Wine Cap).
Just hang some bags filled with woodchip/straw from the basement celling aka vertical growing.
You can also grow vegetables/herbs vertically too in your basement aka Zip Tower. While it is very energy intensive.
I think it is still better than shipping vegetable from the other side of the country or the other side of the world.


1 day ago
I wonder how many hours of sunlight you get in the winter. If it is alot then maybe a lean-to greenhouse could be used.

If you have some native fish, maybe a pond.
If you have some native mammals you harvest the ones that come on your property.
You can also grow mushroom.
If you are near the sea, maybe harvest fish and sea-vegetables.

What did the natives, 500 yrs ago eat/harvest in your area?
2 days ago
It seems that alot of people in USA also eat the skin. In the Caribbean no one eats the skin similar to banana skin or orange skin.
In fact the leaves/bark/skin can be used as a toxic insecticide. Just soak them in some water and then spray the toxic tea on the plants that have been over-run by insects.

In fact some French guys came to the Caribbean started drinking 'pawpaw leaf tea' (specifically soursop leaf tea) and eating the skin of it.
It didn't end well for them, they ended up with Parkinsons and other brain disorder. In fact it is thru these 1990's test samples the western medical world was able to quantify the insecticide and neurotoxins in the pawpaw family.
https://scienceofparkinsons.com/2017/12/16/paq/#more-48745

Edit: Now that I think about it the pawpaws with citrus overtones (sour) are never eaten straight from the tree only the sweet ones were on occasion.
Instead they were neutralized with lime juice and milk.

But all is not lost, the pawpaw fruit also contain a host of wonderful MPAQ, PAQ and melatonin-like compounds that protect and rejuvenate neurons.
https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.6b00297
2 days ago

It belongs to the genus Asimina in the same plant family (the Annonaceae) as the TROPICAL custard-apple, cherimoya, sweetsop, ylang-ylang and soursop.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asimina_triloba

There is about 2000 species in the entire 'american pawpaw family - Annonaceae'
Out of the 2000 species only about 10 grows in temperate/american climate the others are all tropical.
Some native to the tropics of Central&South America including the Caribbean, others from tropical Africa and Asia.

In the Caribbean, custard-apple, cherimoya, sweetsop, and quite a few other 'wild' species are eaten (they are also all sweet). There are a few 'sour' species including soursop and it's related wild species.

I do understand that most of the former British colonies in the world except America use the world pawpaw to identify papaya, similar to football vs soccer.
Luckily I didn't get confused by pawpaw vs papaya.


2 days ago
I like the idea of using machinery to help out on a food forest.

I would focus on just the core 2.2 acres (1 hectare). and the other 20acres (9 hectare), I would focus on putting in swales and maybe ponds.
I would even go so far as to harvest all the biomass/carbon from the entire 22acres(10hectare) and just concentrate it on just the core area to enrich it.
After getting that 1st area fully established I would then, move outwards to create a silvo-pasture.
5 days ago