Anjovi Kulam

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since Jan 03, 2014
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Recent posts by Anjovi Kulam

Leila, thanks for the heads up. Will definitely take a good look at that. I'll have to look up cross pollination.

Angelicka, that sounds like a great idea. I remember planning out a terrace/reinforcement wall and came across the berm/swale system and how to solidify slopes. I figured it would be worth a shot to see if it could be workable given the steepness of the hill. I have not gotten around to the berm/swales yet themselves (including one to go inbetween the 2 rows and bottom to catch rain on the hill side.

thank you so much for the input! this goes a long ways into figuring out what to do next.
6 years ago
Nice blog jen! That's something new to think about (cutting/trimming the tree's)
Otherwise as far as planting the tree's goes I think I've got 2 (maybe 3) good candidates for locations.

1st 1 is at the top of the hill towards the side of our lot, their's actually a patch of potatoes and grapes (still have to build a vine wall for them) growing at the side of the house which should be fine. I'm pondering cutting the tree that is their down to make more room...Not sure though I'm thinking the main focus will be the back yard until we run out of stuff to do (mainly to find out what to do before updating the neighbourhood value)

for the 2nd and possible 3rd they would be in a location that is out of the way of the rest of the garden. For now we were thinking of just making a lounge area until we can figure out what to do with it. (chickens is the 1st idea)

As far as tree's go, we were thinking of 1 apple tree, and a hazelnut tree. I've still got to put more thought into that.

I think that's the best option galadriel, the sunlight seems to work just perfectly in regards to that.
6 years ago
that looks great jen! i can only imagine what it will look like in due time.

Love the idea with the mulch rings, definitely going to apply that right away. I did notice the other day that i'm getting a bit of soil errosion (cracks in the wet ground, perhaps their being watered too much?) on the hill side path. I've been thinking about a swale + berm at the top of the hill for fully conserving rainfall.

The main thing that's got me stumped about tree's right now is that i'm not sure if they will block too much sunlight. In this case the morning sun comes from the bottom of the hill (which they get a good fill of) but towards noon and mid day it falls behind my neighbor's house and tree's up the hill from us. Their still seems to be a decent amount of sun but i think if i plant tree's on the top of the hill it might block what little their is left.

Although i could also imagine this being a good thing as it can get pretty hot here and if the morning sun was enough for them the shade would probably be nice. I imagine the same logic could be applied to the greenhouse as well if it is right at all.

I was thinking though that if the hill side garden didn't turn out it wouldn't be as bad if i designated more of that hill side towards that earthship/greenhouse idea.

here's a rough sketch, just incase the hill side shape is a little unclear to folks (mainly want to emphasize the pathway in between the 2 corn patches, the one i'm noticing slight cracks in as i walk on it *of course i didn't label it on the picture. It's currently were clover is pointing*)

Otherwise we've been both debating on whether or not to roto till the hill side were the corn grows. I don't think it would be that helpful when considering you would essentially be resetting the soil ecosystem albeit with a fair amount of green clover as added mulch, but then again I'm hardly qualified to be sure of that. Would it be something that'd be worth doing when first developing the garden or should we just avoid it all together and keep everything intact from here on?

many thanks!
6 years ago
Hey folks!

So my mother and I have been working on her backyard, trying to make something sustainable out of it.
So far what we have done:

-Re carved the hill making a stair way as well as a sloping garden bed and a flat area (for who know's what, we were thinking a chicken pen but that could be a long ways off)
-Repurposed an old rotting shed into a cute little green house
-Covered all of the hill with white dutch clover to help solidify the soil and help get the eco system going.
-Planted some crops (brocolli,corn,colli flower,tomatoes,etc.)

Before i show some pics I figure I'll drop some idea's for the future that are currently in the 'what if' stage.
- A chicken pen
- A giant compost pile (as shown in geoff lawton's soil video or here:
- Upgrading the green house making it bigger (will need to cut into the hill some more, and make more room for it)
- Making an earthship/greenhouse as shown by the valhalla folks
-Otherwise finding fruit tree's, green mulch, developing guilds, and other general stuff (that i honestly don't know too much about)

I'm mainly just debating what sort of things someone might recommend me off the bat. For a relatively small space such as this I want to eventually get things going so their working on their own.
some information about the place:
- plant zone 4/3
- about 2 inches of rain every month.

I'm curious as to what you think about the sloped hill covered in dutch clover and chocked out plants...I should probably be finding out if i should be going emergency mode to reverse what's happening their.

Many Thanks!
6 years ago
I've been looking into 'the angle of repose' and have not found anything really solid pertaining to my project.
Just wondering if anyone might have a guess as to what angle i should shoot for. From what I've gathered the soil
is clay.

Does that mean I should be safe as long as it falls under 40 degrees? If so I'm thinking i can just get going on that and make room for little pathways in between certain garden rows as I go, as well as swale/berms when I'm ready to implement them.
6 years ago
I wouldn't mind stone like that actually as little mini walls inbetween the slope beds (if i need them at all). I'm looking forward to carving out the hill and showing the next phase of the plan (and progress pictures) just gotta give my back a day or two to recuperate..hehe

also have gaia's garden as well as seppholzer's permaculture ordered. Previously read a bit of both of them on my ebook reader but I'm thinking a good second look with their paperback versions should be a good second take in fleshing this plan out some more. I'm thinking it's safe to say that creating that slope should be a productive use of time though and will lay the ground for whats next.

pics are starting to show a little more of how it's going to look overall though. I'm thinking for were I put pathways on the hill (between the garden beds and inbetween the greenhouse and stairs) I'll probably have to put mini walls up but if i can get a good stone to double as a pathway that could be pretty neat. from their i can design some sort of swale/berm system to direct water to all of the beds and perhaps have something going towards the green house as well.

Still don't have any particular plants in mind yet, but am thinking that will come as i continue shaping things and reading up on books, experimenting, etc.
6 years ago
I'm starting to like the sound of that more, perhaps i can just make pathways that help reinforce what little pressure their is.
I suppose at that rate what I'd need to do is just find a way to fill in what I dug out without too much erosion happening.
6 years ago
Or perhaps i could just do something like this. I figure with either setup I could cut the hill back a bit to make the overall slope less steep.
6 years ago
That's interesting Miles, I've been cooking up a little something (although half baked) myself that could be considered similar in some aspects.

This is just a rough sketch, but what I'm mainly trying to convey here is some sort of hugelkultur/retainingwall/swale sort of setup. I have NO grounded idea of how this might be useful...hehe

I was mainly just trying to think of ways to have everything working in such a way that it might hold itself together, be accessible and perhaps provide some usefulness to the rest of the backyard garden. I sort of had the idea of these mini "U" shaped walls come out at the top right corner/bottom left corner or vice versa. I have no idea if the 2 semi walls would have any practical use (those terrace plateau's that they make) or if it would help in stabilizing the general setup for the long term.....and save on the biological imprint/money/etc. I was thinking that alot of the stability could be allocated to certain plants/roots but having the mini walls their as well could be useful and look neat.

-I was thinking that the slopes themselves could be a potential place for hugelkultur to happen (swales for water,logs for retaining water, stones for pathway + heat) was thinking that with the right plants they could be stable enough to function.
-The mini Ushaped, retaining walls could be used for general stability of the whole thing + room for whatever would grow good their. No idea of it's practicality. add some french drains/drainage pipe behind them.
-have some swale system that can provide water for both the slope portion of the yard as well as garden beds below (around were the green house is in the pictures)

I don't feel their is much else in the way of explaining it (feel free to pick my brain on what it was thinking), but I wanted to bounce it off you guys. Maybe course correct it if it has any potential. I was thinking that their could be dozens of ways to modify it and do cool things with it....but...that' s inexperienced me talking.

edit notes:

-Though off the bat I'd probably reverse how the terrace walls are, as the sunlight comes through in such a way that the higher wall would be blocking some of the light. It wouldn't be as much of a problem the other way.
-I forgot to draw berms
-The little grey circles are stones
6 years ago
Thanks Jay! going to delve into these some more when i get off of work, from the quick glance i got though i can imagine a combination of some of these (mainly erosion control)
anywho's I'll be back to see if i can find a good propisition.
6 years ago