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

I actually recommend fall planting vs spring planting.
So order some more fruit trees+inoculants.

So to fix your soil you need more carbon in it.
Buy/Make a few ton/cord of BioChar.
Woodchop and straw will also help.
Buy 3 or so 25Lbs bags of dutch clover and broadcast soon.
Make some worm tea and innoculate your entire 2acres. Do it monthly.
Do the same with mushroom slurries.
Add rockdust.
Add diakon radish in the spring to help with soil aeration, water and soil life.


Unknown insect pressure could be part of the problem so get the following planted.
Onion/Garlic Family
Mint/Thyme Family
Dill/Carrot Family.
Make and spray worm tea monthly


14 hours ago
Its all about diversity, and redundancy, so 2+ income stream is the way to go.
And talk about stacking function, the raw  (-) emotion that the night job creates is not a waste to be avoid, no it is feedstock for the creative side of things
14 hours ago
I like the idea of each for 6months of the year.
Doing winter construction in the deserts of Phoenix, AZ,
Summer farming in fertile Upstate New York.

Farming as a income source is 80% about 'commission-sales' and only 20% about good old farming.

In a ideal world I would love to see everyone by age 29 in a
zero mortgage fully owned,
self built solar powered home,
and onsite food production for owner (Homestead)
with 6 month income generating market garden (Farmstead).
followed by 3 month contract/consultant work doing trade (Tax season accountant, Database/Email server migration, Electrician, etc,etc).
3 month vacation/mini-retirement (Travelling/fishing/art/craft/continuing education/volunteering).
14 hours ago
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
1 day ago
Is it by any chance near angel's landing?

2 days 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.
2 days 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
2 days 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.


3 days 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?
3 days ago