Maarten Smet

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since Jun 07, 2018
Kentucky - Zone6
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Recent posts by Maarten Smet

I live in zone 6 and have a property 30 min away from where I live where I want to have some chickens. I don't have the time to drive 1h round trip each day to attend to their needs, so I have been tinkering with a set-up so daily attendance is not needed:

- PVC piping system for multiple days of grain/food (pretty straight-forward)
- Cool nesting area so eggs stay cool in the summer (pretty straight-forward)
- Water is more difficult, keeping it unfrozen in the winter. So my current thinking is: 4 inch PVC pipes that go under the group, below the frostline, PVC piping goes into a well-insulated shelter (think straw bale and plaster shelter, the height of a dog house, with small opening for chicken and one tiny window for light). I envision the shelter to be long, but most of that will be to have the PVC pipe run horizontally as to store enough water for the chickens for half a week, majority of that pipe will be unaccessible by chickens but wrapped in heavy insulation/surrounded by straw bales/plaster for insulation. Small section (uninsulated) will have chicken nipples. The idea is that the water in the ground will be warmed by the ground temperature, that water (as it is less dense), will float to the top into the shelter. That, combined with the insulation around most of the pipe would hopefully prevent the pipe from freezing.

I don't have electricity close to my suggested chicken coop and a solar set-up is not fool-proof enough to my liking. Any suggestions?

Thanks

Maarten
3 months ago
I read the book, it is a good autobiographic book but it does not reveal a secret sauce on how to become successful in permaculture. Most of the "gems" I did find were ones I already knew from reading the boards here and from other books so you don't miss anything if you do not or cannot buy the book.

A lot of book space is spent on all his fights with local government regarding regulations and permits, I am not really into that.

M
1 year ago
Ralph,

I have some high deer pressure at my property and they seem to leave my comfrey alone, so before spending too much time and/or energy to protect your comfrey plants, perhaps you can use a couple of your plants as test plants to see if your deer eat it.

M
1 year ago
You can drill holes in a pvc pipe and put it in the ground in one of your garden beds, the onions will eventually break down, something like this:
https://offbeathome.com/worm-tube-composting/

You can cover it so mice/rats cannot get to it. Easier than digging a hole every time you want to bury a new batch of onions

M
1 year ago
Some suggestions:
- Goumi
- Cilantro, easily self-seeds
- Sunchokes
- Gooseberries

Equipment:
- Hori Hori knife

If you have a pond:
- Duckweed
- Azolla

Maarten
1 year ago
My favorite tree is Comfrey

It is not a tree, but I don't care

Maarten
1 year ago
Hello

I am using my chickens as my composters and feed them all kinds of veggie/fruit leftovers. The compost is used in my garden beds, but since I am unfamiliar with how some vegetables look in their early stages, if I weed too early, I may take out some volunteer plants. How do people here generally deal with this? At what point do you weed your beds? My predicament is the earlier you do it, the easier it is to remove weeds but you may eliminate some awesome plants.

Thanks

Maarten
I am in Northern Kentucky with heavy clay. I have South/South East facing gooseberries in a raised bed that do fine in warm weather. I planted currants North/North East so barely any sun and they are struggling mightily as yours. They are only in about 4 inches of topsoil/compost versus foot and a half at least for the gooseberries.

My guess it is not the sun but the roots of your plants having trouble digging into the clay soil (same as mine)

My 2 cents

M
1 year ago
Gail,

Some other ideas:
- Use the land for your own Russian comfrey nursery (get the infertile Bocking 14 so it only spreads through root cuttings): you can start with one plant, after a year you can cut the comfrey root in small pieces and make a comfrey ring around the tree. Once you move to your own land, you can dig up the many comfrey plants and use the root cuttings for your own comfrey patch. It will survive the two bush clearings easily.
- Same for sunchokes.

M
1 year ago
Since you have trees in that lot, have you considered guerilla grafting, grafting fruit branches on those trees (assuming they are compatible)?

M
1 year ago