Joshua Myrvaagnes

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since Mar 20, 2014
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kids purity trees urban writing
Connected or reconnected. Fit with the right cycles and in the right season. Nourished and nurtured with natural energy. Aware of place and part.
Student of nature's intelligence and permaculture, want to live in community, teach human movement with my hands, in light of F. M. Alexander's discoveries.
Ask me about drL, the rotational-mob-grazing format for human interactions.
Massachusetts, 6b, suburban, nearish coast, 50x50, full sun, 40" year-round even distribution
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Recent posts by Joshua Myrvaagnes

Probably too late now, but Paul's podcast on "A Road Lies Easy on the Land" has lots of great info on road building on the cheap.  I gather the most important thing is to shape the road with a bit of a crown to shed water and avoid rutting.  I gather this can be done with heavy equipment, a one-time cost, or with a lot of labor by hand.

Anyway, was poking around for Vermonters to connect with, I'm from Boston too and looking at land in Vermont, Northeast Kingdom and such.
2 weeks ago
Someone I spoke with today told me about this activist who built water catchment systems that restored hydrology and re-greened desert areas in India, Baba Amte.  There' s lots of articles about his activism and work helping lepers, but not as much about what he did to create self-sufficient villages.  Anyone have any info about his work or techniques?  
1 month ago
update--found a permaculture the making, in vermont.  Living Tree Alliance is more like a moshav (co-housing) with farm, woods, and more.   A web search should find them, if not send me a purple mooseage and I'll dig it up.
1 month ago
Sorry, had non-working keyboard earlier.

I don't have photos, maybe my partner has.  Alli I can show is the contour map of the site for now.

Thanks for replying, I'll post photos  tomorrow if we do have any.
1 month ago
here one photo .
1 month ago
Oh, left out a few details.
1 gallons per minute....I would guesstimate the spring is putting out about 2 to 5 of these.
2 pond size: it's about 30' in diameter, approximately round, definitely an artificial construct.  Maybe 10' deep from the lip to the bottom.  I'm thinking I'd stick goldfish in it at most until it's clearly stable, start it as a duck playground.  Maybe just fill it with buckets or use the spring's pipe for just a few minutes at a time.
1 month ago
Thanks Mike, that's beautiful!

Here's my idea for a bamboo Holzer monk:

You use bamboo in the sides of the L, and then for the fitting you use metal.  The metal can slide on the bottom piece, unlike bamboo-on-bamboo, and the metal there won't burst from a freeze because it's just a short joint piece (am I correct in that assumption?) The seal can be accomplished with something soft and fibrous, it doesn't need to be perfectly sealed.  

I don't know how well bamboo will hold up if submerged in a lot of anaerobic and even some aerobic microbial activity.  You might want to empty the monk in the winter by adding a little extra length to the top pipe, raising it a few inches above the water level so it's no longer receiving water (assuming the inflow also is stopping or intermittent), when inflow begins again at times it will flow through the L pipe and not be frozen for the moment until the inflow stops again.

Anyone wanna poke holes in this idea haha?
1 month ago
This week on This Old Pond, we look at a pond site that has been dry for ??? with an inflow from a ? real spring / ? false spring through about 100' of 2" pipe.  Reportedly it would take $10,000 or so to repair it; the spring pipe enters "at the bottom of the pond" (?), there is no visible outflow pipe (purely because everything is covered in snow and I had only about ten minutes to look at it before having to go).  We're moving to the site in May and renting, but if we can get the pond up and running we're (probably) welcome to use it, stock it with fish, let our ducks have at it, put our weed in there, wait, no not put our weed in there, put our weeds in there for biomass.

The spring is across the road but deeded to the farm.  The spring box roof is completely rotted out, but it's a double cement chamber and it was running.  Because it made a little mountain of ice I am concluding that it is a real enough spring, and also because there's a real spring on the other side of that same landform about 5" drive.  This spring here seems like it was still running when the really cold air came along and adding piles of water to form that little ice mound.  A. false spring would have stopped sooner and not made much of a mound.  But I may be overestimating.

I found the flexible pipe removed from the spring's pipe and stuck into the side of the stream there, and also clogged with leaves and ice.  I put it in the brook to try to thaw it, I have not heard anything from the farmer about the pond starting to fill up since then.

The farmer currently there has never used the pond, so far as I can tell, and I don't know the previous farmer or who built the pond.

The farmer-owner doesn't have time to devote to this project, or even think about it really, and I do not have a schematic of the pond to show.  All she could say was that it was leaky, and trees had started growing through the bottom.

My questions:

1. what is the standard schematic for a pond like this?  where would the outflow likely be? is there one or did they just expect it to run to overflow all the time or you would run across the road and disconnect the pipe from the spring every time you wanted to stop the refill?
2. by "leaky" how much water loss would they be seeing here? if supplemented with swales, or roof catchment, might the water in the pond then be sufficient to compensate for the leak? when Sepp Holzer says it's fine to have a leaky pond, is he talking about the same kind of thing as this pond? how bad does it get that an average farmer will abandon a pond site?
3. assuming it has an outflow, could it be sealed by the power of mighty ducks alone, or would pigs be needed? would goats (available on the farm) be helpful to root out the trees, or make it worse by de-compacting the soil?
4. if we rented some pigs, about how long would they need under these conditions to do the job? are they reliable contractors? do they text with their friends when on the job or smoke?
5. assuming it has an outflow, can that be turned into a siphon situation that then is contained at an adjustable height, say, in a barrel on a pulley, so you can raise and lower the level in the pond?
6. thoughts on trickle tube or Holzer monk?
7. would it be a worthwhile "pond" for the ducks even if it leaks like all get-out but keeps a puddle in the bottom some of the time, or is it going to wash the dam away?

As I type this up, I'm thinking it would make sense to jumpstart the gley with a bunch of manure.  There's chicken manure and goat handy, though the farmer may be using as much as possible for plants.  There should be some available in the region.  Spring leaves are also a possibility, there's acres of woods to gather material from.

I realize most of these questions are probably not answerable without more information from the site, but I'm putting them out there for any thoughts you have or experiences you can share.

1 month ago

John Polk wrote:What happened there, was somebody imported a couple dozen beavers, about 50 years ago, hoping to get rich raising them for their pelts.  They didn't get rich, so they just released them into the wild.  The beaver has no natural predator in the region.  Their population on the island is now over 100,000, and growing, despite trapping efforts.  One trapper is trapping over 1,000 per year, but it isn't reducing their population.

Beaver meat sells for $40/pound on-line, I hope they're eating/selling the meat too as well as the pelts.  (OK, now let the beaver jokes begin).
1 month ago

Michael Cox wrote:Our glueing project. Pigs have been in for a month, and it is starting to show signs of working. Held water for 3 days since last rain. We have no surface flows here, as we are on chalk, so this is a very promising start.

some pig! Any updates on the Original Ponder?
1 month ago