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Francis Graf

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since Jan 20, 2017
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hugelkultur fish rabbit
Milwaukee, WI
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Recent posts by Francis Graf

Ive heard of people using Korean Natural Farming methods to break up dense mineral soils.

Namely JMS.

3 years ago
Straightforward seed germination chamber.

Cuts seed germination rate by 50-75%, and gets near 100% germination for those hard to start seeds.

Essentially its a insulated, water proofed, box, to maintain ideal temps and humidity.
3 years ago

She went back and sat on the eggs as we moved along, so I hope she is still committed to the nest.

Ill have to go back and check it out next time Im there.
3 years ago
Was picking rocks in the field the other day, and this mama bird wanted to make sure we didnt mistake her eggs for rocks.

Can anyone tell me what bird this is?

3 years ago
Had a concrete mixer laying around, and put it to use mixing soil.

The process went much quicker, and didnt wear my arms out like usual hand mixing in a tub.

1 pt compost
1 pt peat
1 pt coir
1 pt perlite [fine]
1 pt vermiculite [fine]
1/4 pt sand

3 years ago
1/2 acre project.  

We are doing 6  4'x7'x50' mounds this year, and hopefully another 6 next year.

Originally were going to dig trenches, but the area is low and waterlogged, so we dont feel it is necessary or prudent.
So now we are just going to build the mounds on the existing soil.

More to come soon!

3 years ago
Here are some good videos Ive bookmarked on this topic.  

3 years ago
Looking to do the same here in WI, zone 5b, will be following this thread closely.

Considering two methods:

No till living/dead mulch,  planting winter rye, crimp rolling and using a small seeder like this.

This would allow for one person to do much more work.


A true living mulch like you are trying for.

Here are some plants I have been considering;

I am leaning towards the living mulch because we dont have a ton of land [3/4 ace], plenty better ways to spend money than on equipment, and have plenty of help.
3 years ago
Yeah totally, Ive seen people do it in carboard boxes!

Ive never used wood up to this point, only plastic. Dan [DIY flow through] said he was having problems with the wood after only 6 months, but I think thats because he used plywood.

If he used 1x6 planks it would probably last longer and be easier to repair, plus it would add some passive ventilation to the lower compression zones, to prevent it from going anaerobic.
3 years ago
That flow through bin is great, I sent that exact video to my friend yesterday.  
So many of the DIY flow through bins have troubles, that one is by far the best.  

I am not convinced that either the vertical or the flow through are less work than a horizontal though, but probably faster.

If you wait the 2 months for all of the worms to migrate, there is no lighting tricks needed, and no worm separation.  
When compared to vertical, there are no trays to deal with, and higher volume.

When the designer of that flow through critiques his design, he talks about durability issues, and using pressure treated wood instead.  
The PT wood may be fine for the worms, but what about the microbial life, which is really what we are after here, and that PT wood is designed to kill?
A simple horizontal system like the one in the video I linked, has a liner and the bin will last a long time.

If one had volume and needed it done fast, I think the flow through design is hard to beat, but for passive home use I think horizontal migration is the way to go.

For high turnover, active production, THIS is what ya really want, or some DIY design that has a motorized harvest.

3 years ago