Steve Farmer

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since Apr 01, 2015
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forest garden trees greening the desert
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Recent posts by Steve Farmer

start with what you know works - fig trees. plant loads of them and give them water to help them thru the first two or three summers. experiment with other plants amongst and below the fig trees. fig trees are easy to propagate, grow fast, tolerate aggressive pruning, and send deep roots, they are a gift as a pioneer tree in your setting.
1 day ago

Michael Cox wrote:I have recently returned from a trip to Tenerife which has similar fresh volcanic rocks.

Tenerife, my home.

the problem with lack of volunteer plants starting in the rock is the wind and lack of rain. and goats, lizards and rabbits.

a little help by excluding animals and providing water in the first summer or two can give a tree a great start, and then it will survive on its own.

the terraces are built from native rock. big rocks makng the walls and crushed rock making up the "soil". the crushed rock, which i guess is like, or maybe the same as scoria, is called jable. its very light  floats in water until it becomes water logged and has a porous structure with huge surface area a la biochar. its great but needs to become established to get the life going. there is probably no place on earth as productive as a tenerife jable terrace, once you have it started. most sun hours per year of any place on earth, no winter and volcanic rock dust for free. i pay 81 cents per cubic metre of water. mountain ranwater via a reservoir and agricultural pipe network.
1 day ago
that soil is great. same as mine. no need to import soil. dig or drill down, add water, plant a small pioneering N fixing tree in the dust or sand created by digging/drilling. place a 2 gallon plastic bottle over it (after cutting off top n bottom of bottle) to protect from critters.

let the roots of stuff you plant grow your soil.

there's plenty of green stuff in your foto which proves you can grow there.
1 day ago

Brett Andrzejewski wrote:I had come to the same conclusion about the concrete pots.  I never plan to waste my time with them again.

I have some ideas on pot design for subsurface irrigation and concrete is easy and cheap to prototype with. I'm aware concrete is porous and might need to be sealed. Just how wasteful are such pots? It's only the base that will be concrete whilst the upper part exposed to the air will be an off the shelf plant pot.

I'd rather lose a bit of water than double the complexity by sealing the concrete. After prototyping I'd be more willing to seal or perhaps avoid concrete altogether.
2 months ago
Get some shade and ground cover using RGGS and wicking beds. These are very efficient with water and slightly less complicated to build than hydroponics. You need to do whatever you can to grow something so you can get started with some biomass. The RGGS/wicking output (branch trimmings, leaves etc) can get you started with material for mulch, compost to build your sand into soil.
2 months ago
Not manufacturing as such but an idea is to run a compressor to fill cylinders with compressed air. These cylinders can be used to run air tools, inflate tyres, for scuba diving or .....
2 months ago
Hi, I've only watched a couple of vids so far and looks good so will watch some more but obviously will take a while to see it all.

can someone point me to which vid covers preparing the bed ie what its filled with please? ta
The above for €399 is a 3KW inverter but only a 1KW charge controller.

Here is a 3KW inverter with 4KW charger at €599
4 months ago