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

One option would be to grow herbs.
A 4inch pot of thyme, rosemary, sage, etc can be sold for $5+.
Check the price for a tiny spring herbs at your usual superchain supermarket.

So with just 1000sqft you could be looking at  4pots per sqft and $5 per pot for a total of $20,000 in revenue. $5 *4 *1000.
And you could do at least 3 sets of harvest spaced 2 months apart so more like $120,000 assuming you had the market and you didn't need walkway.
you can even buy the potted hers in 4inch pots 1/2 ready for about $2 each. Easily giving you 7 harvest a year at 4,000 plants per harvest at $3 gross profit.
Unlike cut/picked harvest, the potted herbs can last for a few weeks/months if needed or cant be sold

Roasted garlic can also generate similar amount of revenue, but they are more prepared product so the red tape and paperwork might be more. And the marker would be less.

A couple bee hives that you sell raw honey from would also be wonderful.
And if you could somehow get a market (maybe online) to sell composting worms at $20/lbs that would also be good.
2 weeks ago
Your raspberries will grow wonderful in you location+zone, even in shade you will still get some berries.

They will fruit the year you get it, because the fruiting bud are already there from last year.
And it might even fruit the next year because most of it's root are still in the acidic potted soil it came in.
After that you will get less/zero fruits if the soil ph is too high. Even that you are on the east coast it is very likely that your soil is acidic enough where you will still get a harvest. But if you add slow release pure sulphur into the hole when you plant it and around the dripline then you be fine for 10yrs.
3 weeks ago
Very few Americans are employed as farmers because we have given our jobs to technology/machinery/robots.
In fact most tangible manufacturing jobs have been given to automation machinery/robot and not to humans no matter the country.

We are now at the point were alot of service jobs are now being given to software/robot.

So I worry more about that it used to employ 100 people to make a XYZ in the old days but now 90 of those jobs have been given to automated machinery and we dont complain about that but we complain about the 5 that have been given to some foreign country. One could call that injustice.

I want to buy my food made from low-tech manure vs high tech fertilizer. Small batch hand harvested vs self-driving and harvesting farm equipment. I rather know that our collective $100 when to employ 10people and no machinery vs 1person and 10 AI-robot.

But Free Trade means the free movement of (1)money, (2)goods/services, and (3)people/corporation.
We should make it illegal for american companies to do any biz with Iran, North Korea or any country in the world, so no more microsoft software in EU or Africa and likewise we should stop those companies from other countries from doing biz here.
We should also stop americans from investing in other countries with our money and we should stop them from investing in our country too. 
3 weeks ago
With the plastic bags filled with earth idea, the plastic is going to breakdown and not last too long in the sun.
You will then have microscopic plastic on your vegetables, and also they will leach whatever "wonderful" chemical it has.

I do prefer the stone idea more, due to the fact that it is more natural and permanent. 

I do think that vines and brambles will take over a house much less a slope if given enough time and no upkeep.
So I am not too sure how much weeding time you will save.

I like the idea of getting some plants/woodchip/etc on the slope and then some goose/duck/chicken/sheep to keep it in check with some rotational grazing.
3 weeks ago
They are not too steep, they can used to survive and they can still can survive with just plant cover.
So my recommendation is just to get plants growing on the slopes, get some Nitrogen fixing plants (dutch clover and over seed 30lbs/acre)
You could also get some some haybale/strawbale and get some oyster mushroom growing.
The haybale can ask like a "gabion/block" and the mushroom will turn it into a mat as it decompose and hold the soil.

Now as to how to get rid of the bramble. Well......
3 weeks ago
Short Answer is NO woodchip does not acidify your soil

I have heard people say that drinking apple cider vinegar with a pH of 2.4 as alkalizing which I find to be confusing.
I will say that raminal woodchip have a pH very close to 6.8 and even dry regular woodchip have a pH close to 7.

I will say that if you bury woodchip it will create an explosion of fungi soil life, and they will out-compete the plant roots and "stunt" the plant.
To avoid this "over-population" of fungi and plant "stunting" don't bury the woodchip only lay it on top of the soil as in regular mulching.

Pine Needles like Lemons do have a pH of 3.
So if you were to blend either one up the liquid would have a low pH.
However if you just leave them to dry out, acids like the water will evaporate and the drymass will have a pH of 7.
The acids are also water soluble and really just gets washed away or deconstructed after they react with the soil.
3 weeks ago
It sounds like you only have 3months where plants and microbes can really do there stuff.
So I would add at least 2lbs composting worms to the system once the plants leaf out.

Add some kefir inoculatant once the plants leave out too so as to have the good bacteria/microbe outcompete the bad (e-coli) bacteria.

I few needs of the system and how to improve it
Increase Carbon - Sawdust
Increase Temp - Earth Sheltered/Basement/Heater
Increase Oxygen - Solar Ventilation, Stirring the mush,
Increase Decomposition - add worms, bacteria
Reduce Water - Increase Airflow and water input in the system
4 weeks ago
Even if the water was running over sand based on what you said it should still be flowing a bit further.
So I worry that said hole will get bigger and one day swallow your home.
Maybe you have a "cave" under that layer of clay?
It could be a buried gas/oil tank that has rotted out or a oil septic tank or something.
4 weeks ago
I have seen people do
1)Grey Water
2)Worm Bed
3)Sediment Filter
4)Duckweed/Azolla Tank
5)Fish Tank
6)Oyster Mushroom Grow Tower (wood chip/straw)
7)Vegetable Grow Bed (sand/gravel bed)
8) Pump, piping, etc

If you are adding 100gallon per day to the system, then your system would have to be  1,000 gallon aka 10X otherwise you can shock the system.

The fish will eat the worms, oyster mushroom compost (mycelium after you eat the the fruiting body, chickens will also eat this), duckweed/Azolla (sheep/goat/cow can also eat this or green manure for compost), you could also add a BSF composting/fish feeder unit in the summer, and also a bug zapper feeder for the fish/chicken.
4 weeks ago
1)Electric Heating Element(100%) powered by solar panel-electric (15%)
2)CO2 Heat Pump (500% to 100%) powered by solar panel-electric (15%)
4)Gas Powered

Stratified Hot Water Tank = max temp 195F
Stratified Hot Water Tank = 700+ gallon

Domestic Hot Water (120F)
Radiant Floor (80F) or Radiator on Wall (140F)

I would say that battery is your 700gallon hot water tank, you just have to insulate it well and if possible stratify it.
I have seen plans for a 1)cement tank filled with 2)rigid insulation then 3)pond liner then 4)hot water.

As for how much energy your system will need each day or each month. it depends.
Once we figure out how much energy your system will be needing.
We can then figure out how much input/solar panels you need and what your storage(thermal/battery) you will need and the size heating element.

Energy Need
Domestic Hot Water = How many gallons of water per day at what temp and how much insulation of piping
Radiant Heating = Will you be using this for radiant heating and how much BTU do you currently use for heating, how insulated is your current place/etc
Tank Insulation = How much heat is being lost from your tank, how many btu

4 weeks ago