Chris Ferguson

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since Jul 25, 2015
San Francisco Bay Area
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Recent posts by Chris Ferguson

We have both subterranean and wood-eating termites.  I'm assuming they wouldn't travel the 20 feet under the patio to the house structure.(?)  We did have to replace eaten wall frames and such to clear them out before.  They do a great job for nature's decomposition.  Perhaps I can dig in my hugelkultur every once in a while to see if there are any nests forming.   I remember Bill Mollison's video where he was lying down in a potato patch he had installed and said, "Once there were thousands of ants here.  Now only potatoes". LOL. The permaculture microbes displaced them, I assume..

Are you in Nevada?  I had a permaculture garden near Henderson - Las Vegas for six years.  I was amazed what could grow in the Great Basin Desert.  Permaculture works there, for sure.  We grew the Hawaiian tropic tomato.  We planted a Native American demonstration garden in Boulder City.  They made flour out of the mesquite tree bean pods and the camas root (Lewis and Clark) (not the toxic ones).

Chris
Permaculture Enthusiast
6 days ago
Hi again.  I'm a GGG - girl, gardener, grower:   "Christine".  Ken, you bring up a can-of-worms for me or should I say "can-of-terms"?   The cinder block wall is at the edge of a patio so not against the house, however, the property I purchased three years ago had severe termite issues.  Many nests.   What is the question of hugelkultur and termites?  I'm not read up on it.

Chris
6 days ago
Thank you for your guidance.  I have an idea now that it will work.  Oh, I did read somewhere that oak is alleopathic?  Hmmm, I used the leaves in my compost before.  I'll focus on alder, cottonwood or other types of logs just in case.
Chris
Permaculture Enthusiast
1 week ago
Hello:
I have an area in the garden to build my hugelkultur bed but one side is a 2 foot high cinder block wall.  Would that affect the aeration or would it be okay up against the wall?  Also, I will have to bring in logs to the property.  Is there a certain kind of log that's best?  There is plenty of oak trees in my area of California.  

Chris
Permaculture Enthusiast
1 week ago
So Melissa Miles says to fill in the spaces between the logs and top off the bed enough to cover with 1" to 2" topsoil and mulch.  Doesn't sound too thick.  I'm wondering if your sod would be fine barring any issues from the aeration decreasing.

I'm converting my keyhole-designed garden beds into hugelkultur beds next year.  It will follow a swaled contour on which I have fruit trees planted on the down side berm.  I'm debating on what type of logs I should get since I currently live in suburbia and don't have the benefit of culling a food forest property.
Christine
Fellow Permaculture Enthusiast

Melissa Miles from the Perm Research Design Institute website:
>>>>>>>>>
Creating a hugelkultur garden bed is a relatively simple process:

1. Select an area with approximately these dimensions: 6 feet by 3 feet
2. Gather materials for the project:  Fallen logs, branches, twigs, fallen leaves (the “under utilized” biomass from the site). Avoid using cedar, walnut or other tree species deemed allelopathic. Nitrogen rich material (manure or kitchen waste work well and will help to maintain a proper carbon to nitrogen ratio in the decomposing mass within the hugelkulter bed).

Top soil (enough to cover the other layers of the bed with a depth of 1 – 2”) and some mulching material (straw works well).

3. Lay the logs (the largest of the biomass debris) down as the first layer of the hugelkulter bed. Next, add a layer of branches, then a layer of small sticks and twigs. Hugelkultur beds work best when they are roughly 3 feet high (though this method is forgiving, and there is no fixed rule as to the size of the bed. That is where the “art” comes in!)

4. Water these layers well
5. Begin filling in spaces between the logs, twigs and branches with leaf litter and manure of kitchen scraps.
6. Finally, top off the bed with 1 – 2” of top soil and a layer of mulch.

The hugelkulter bed will benefit from “curing” a bit, so it is best to prepare the bed several months prior to planting time (prepare the bed in the fall for a spring planting, for example, in temperate northern climates), but hugelkultur beds can be planted immediately. Plant seeds or transplants into the hugelkulter bed as you would any other garden bed. Happy hugelkulturing!

3 months ago
Brian, I read your thread and it all looks well for installing that pond wall hugelkultur.  It definitely should work to add the winter heat.  One thing I was wondering is what the pond side wall is made of?  Is there a question of the newly installed hugelkultur rotting and decomposing the pond wall?   Also, is there a way for you to get a detailed aerial view of your Zone 1 property for the natural contour lines to be seen?  

Good luck in battling your autoimmune disorder.  I've been reading a book titled, "Deep Nutrition" by Catherine Shanahan, M.D. to learn about food for my own early-60s prediabetes.

Thanks for the photos.  It really helps to visualize what you are trying to accomplish.
Christine
Fellow Permaculture Enthusiast
3 months ago
Marco:  What is the distance for over-stacking coppice trees?  I would chop-and-drop them  but don't know of root competition.   I have a plot in suburbia that is 20 feet wide x 40 feet long.  I'm using the recommended sprays from The Holistic Orchard since they are newly planted.  Eventually, I hope the guild takes over Permaculture-style.  Thanks, Chris
1 year ago
Hi Johny:  I'm not far behind you.  I was a Permaculturist outside of Las Vegas (Henderson / Boulder City).  Then I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area.  I have a suburban lot and planted 25 dwarf bare root trees - many varieties and early-mid-late season ripenings.  I had to plant them in a hedgerow.  Now I'm planning the guild.  I'm thinking of planting bush peas for nitrogen-fixing.  Do you know of a good tap root plant to help with the root zone?   I want to shy away from Comfrey since I'm thinking I don't have the room and want to plant more edibles.  I'm reading the book "The Holistic Orchard" and hope to get my natural sprays ready for Spring:  fish , Neem oil, microbes, BT, and fermented Stinging Nettles.  Any other guild plants that you are considering?  I would love to plant some Acacia trees for chop-and-drop but don't know if I have room???  Chris, Your Fellow Permaculturist
1 year ago
Good question, Kathleen.  I do have berries on the small lot: blueberries, blackberries, raspberries. two grapes but could dedicate the open area to larger bushes.  Isn't Serviceberry a large shrub?  And Goji berry?  Maybe some currant bushes.  These would take up the area that I considered for another hedgerow.  Do you have suggestions for additional berries?   I'm not sure about nuts.  I have two almond trees, dwarves, but I don't think my suburban lot could handle a large nut tree.   Am I wrong to think 60 to 80 feet for most nuts?  Regards, Chris Ferguson
1 year ago
I haven't read the whole thread so please excuse any overlap I might write.  So I hear you on the drive for biodiversity.   I live on a suburban lot and have 25 fruit trees planted.  How could I do that?  Well, I purchased the slips on dwarfing root stock from an online retailer and then planted as a hedgerow.  I obeyed the rule of planting early-mid-late season varieties to have smaller harvest over time.   They are three years old now and beginning to produce.
That said, I have room for two more hedgerows - about 14 trees each.   What is your idea of creating this diversity?   Should I search out local natives and find a different variety of each fruit - not offered by the online store?   If I plant by seed, then I'll get full-size trees and I read that grafting onto dwarf stock allows for earlier fruiting.  Not sure I understand the why.    Your fellow permaculture enthusiast.
1 year ago