mica howard

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since Mar 27, 2013
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Recent posts by mica howard

Seeking scholarly articles relating to topsoil erosion. I am writing a research paper on the problems with conventional agriculture as they relate to topsoil degradation and erosion. I will post my sources as I find them I just thought some folks on here might have some articles in mind.
5 years ago
Thanks for the response. This confirms what I already thought about using truck tires. Too bad though since I could have alot of truck tires delivered and dumped right on the site.
5 years ago
What type of tires do people use for there tire walls? I have access to alot of heavy duty truck tires, but I am not sure if those tires would be to difficult to work with. Would passenger car tires be prefered over heavy duty truck tires?
Thanks,
Mica
5 years ago
Thanks all for the input.
I will post some pictures of the site, test trenches, amendments, logs, etc. as I get closer to construction. It looks like a client may have us haul away her manure in the next few months, yeah.
5 years ago
Many excavation contractors do brush work prior to cutting building pads and other earthworks. It would be worth picking up the phone book and calling around. Additionally, many contractors are willing to load it for you if you can come while they are moving brush.
5 years ago
My soil is fairly rich, black with lots of worms for about a foot or so, then clay. At least in that site most other areas on the property are clay.
5 years ago
I have about 10-12 yards of manure on site for the project, I could get more but there would be transport costs associated. I was thinking that 10 yards of material would be minimal for a top dressing, could be wrong. Maybe it would be good to get a full transfer load, 36 yards, to layer in below and in between the logs? I could layer manure in with a backhoe while the excavator is moving logs. Seems like that would certainly be enough organic material. Would the extra organic material justify the cost? Associated costs would be moving a backhoe and a transfer truck to retrieve more manure. Probably three to four hundred dollars.
I have heard mixed things about burying wood chips, is there a general rule there? I was figuring on layering additional wood chips and manure after the beds are constructed.
5 years ago
I built 3 small hugelkultur beds this year in my garden. I am looking to build one or two larger beds for next year. I work for a heavy equipment operator and have access to a bulldozer, excavator,backhoe, bobcat, etc., as well as a very experienced and conscientious operator. I have access to rotten and green logs, our company does "fire clearance" work that generates a lot of logs. I have established connections with some local tree services for chipped brush as well as a local horse training barn. I am located in the foothills of California. The site I am thinking is a pasture with a very gentle slope to the east, and good southern exposure.

I am open to any advice on layout or construction. I am currently picturing cutting a trench with the bulldozer then ripping the bottom of the trench, to aid in water infiltration. I am planning on setting the sod layer to the side. Then using the track-hoe fill the trench with logs up to maybe 6' above grade? Again using the track-hoe place the sod on top of the log pile and then dress the top with the fill dirt, and composted horse manure. I was thinking about dressing the mounds with wood chips, I have access to about 200 yards.

The logs I have access to are primarily Ponderosa Pine, Live Oak, Black Oak, White Fir, and some cedar. All the logs are in a very large pile and some are rotted to the point of no identification. All the logs are in 6' lengths for legal transport. I have been able to I.D. and set aside all the cedar so far.
My primary questions are. How deep should the trench be? How deep should it be ripped? I have 18" and 3' rippers available. Should I do any amendments to the trench before the logs go in? Should I orient the bed East to West or place it on contour? What might be the ideal length and height of the beds? I am thinking fifty or so feet long and six feet tall.
Thanks for any help or advice,
Mica
5 years ago