James Dunn

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since Jan 14, 2016
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hugelkultur forest garden chicken
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Recent posts by James Dunn

Solid advice Matu. The leaves started to turn brown and curl up after a day. I ended up removing my fungus friend, pruning the leaves, draining the excess water, and taking the greenhouse top off to let it dry out some. Hoping it sprouts more leaves in a few days. If so, I'll try the greenhouse thing again with more air holes.

Luckily, Apple tree B has been isolated and appears to be thriving.
4 years ago
There's some kind of hyphae growing around one of my apple tree starts. I'm not sure what it is. It doesn't seem to be negatively affecting the plant though. Monitoring it for now. Ever seen anything like it?
4 years ago
You're right, Patrick. The soil was totally frozen. A hoop structure may be the way to go. There is a small amount of pine shavings on top from what was left in the bag. I thought, "What could it hurt?" I can sweep it off though.

A foot of top soil? Wow. That's like 25 40lb bags. I'll check with the local feed 'n' seed store to see what kind of deal I can get for a pickup truck bed full of top soil.

Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I've still got loads to learn!
4 years ago
After searching the forums a bit more, I've decided to plant some veggies that are "winter hardy" and hope for the best. Worst case scenario, I chop and drop in the springtime, and sow again.
5 years ago
tl;dr I'm not sure what to sow in my hugelbed during the winter months, if anything.

Permie noob here. I found this place via YouTube, through researching chickens and farming. My chickens have been slowly revitalizing the earth in my backyard. The soil was garbage when I moved in a little over 2yrs ago. I don't know what the last tenants did. I still find old batteries in the yard from time to time. Anyway, this year things started growing, and I let just them. Partly because I'm lazy, and partly because I was curious as to what would happen. We've got lichen and moss and tall grasses and weeds and saplings. Even a couple of volunteer tomato vines. I really only trimmed the area a few times with the weed whacker, just to discourage snakes from making a home near my birds. Sort of chop and drop. I let the milkweed alone, because it drew in a bunch of cool insects like the monarch butterfly and tiny garden wasps. It grew to at least 4ft tall.

You guys inspired me with all this permaculture stuff, and so now I'm trying my hand at hugelculture. I don't think the landlord will care one way or the other, as long as the rent's on time. I already had a bunch of wood in my backyard from fallen/felled trees. More than I could have used for firewood. Also, the stars aligned, and I had a 3 day break in the cold weather that happened to coincide with my days off work! Providence!

So I piled the wood East to West, along the contour of my yard. As I was moving the wood, I found a ton of fungus under there, and even some tiny microclimates where green grass was still growing! The chickens loved that. Raked some halfway decomposed autumn leaves into a few piles. Cut down any brush on the property that was still standing and piled it. Spread out a bale of hay on top of the wood and added the leaves. Then, dug a mini-swale about 7in deep (since ground is frozen today) along the North side of the hugelbed, to catch the rainwater runoff from South side of the house (where we're missing a gutter), and piled the dirt on top. Topped it off with the brush, and filled the mini-swale with pine shavings that I had around for chicken bedding. The finished product is about 15' x 5' x 2-1/4' tall.

I tried to follow along with Paul's article and video as closely as possible. But the very last step is to sow seeds immediately. It's actually snowing today. I'm not sure what to plant, if anything.

I'm attaching some pictures I took during the process. Enjoy!
5 years ago
Feeling the teeth sweaters in the wee hours, and not having access to my toothbrush here at work, I immediately walked outside, and pulled a suitable stick off a tree (not sure what kind) and began chewing on it. This thing is amazing. Toothpaste is for chumps! Thanks for the knowledge.
5 years ago