Martijn Macaopino

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since Jul 17, 2018
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bike duck forest garden greening the desert homestead tiny house wood heat
Biochar enthusiast/stove developer and project manager at the Permaculture Playground
Algarve, Portugal
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Recent posts by Martijn Macaopino

I transplanted some vetiver slips last weekend, hopefully they take. I'll break up another plant or two soon as well and will post a picture then.
10 months ago
I guess I'll just go with vetiver indeed.
10 months ago
So what about lime wash instead of latex? It is all natural and can breath as well so you are not suffocating the tree.

I did go ahead and put this on some sunburned loquat trunks but wonder if it doesn't have negative consequences.
10 months ago
So I want to plant something in between my swale and what will be my greenhouse this winter to help prevent the side of the swale from eroding because of the runoff from the greenhouse.
The obvious choice here would be vetiver but I'm a bit disappointed that livestock can't eat it so I'd rather plant something that does the same yet can be eaten by either ducks or guinea pigs.

One alternative that comes to mind is Phalaris arundinacea but I have two worries:
1 doesn't it get way too hot for that here in the South of Portugal (up to 47C in summer)
2 I read that it can be quite invasive but wonder if it isn't too dry for that here anyway

The swale does get flood irrigated once in a while and has about a dozen guava seedlings planted on the berm itself (in between all the sage), some nitrogen fixing trees as well and then a couple more guava's and pomegranates directly below the berm.

Any ideas or other alternatives are welcome.
10 months ago

Nicola Stachurski wrote:
However, I asked my husband to dig some holes using his post hole attachment on his bobcat (skid steer). Then I chucked in organic matter/paper/cardboard, and refilled. Trees planted in these holes are 5 times the size in just one season. The holes seem to hang on to moisture too, so everything is surviving. I am looking forward to next summer, to see if there is another growth spurt once the rain arrives.

With this method there is a substantial risk that the tree will use that nice amended hole as if it were a nursery pot and not bother to go through the effort of digging its roots into the native soil.

One way to reduce the likelihood of this happening is to make the holes square so the corners encourage the roots to go into the native soil.
Personally though I stopped making nice amended holes and plant straight into the native (heavy clay) soil here and place all my amendments around the base of the tree followed by mulch.

Rain at my place is pretty much the same yet also the exact opposite, here in the Mediterranean our rain falls in winter and it is the hot summers that are dry.
10 months ago
Don't waste your money on buying wood chips and straw bales, invest in setting up a small tree nursery and plant trees everywhere, you can always remove them later.
A chipper is a good idea as well so you can make your own wood chips as soon as you can start pruning your trees. Sow crops in the wet season that produce as much biomass as possible and cut that down for mulch to put around the trees that you plant and only there, don't try and mulch whole areas.

A good crop for in between rows is sorghum, takes the heat like a champion and gives you a very edible yield.
10 months ago
Algarve Portugal, definitely Mediterranean with the dry season usually being anywhere between 5-7 months although last year we barely had any rain in Autumn and the real rain only started end of Februari and lasted longer than usual and we even had a 20mm rainfall event the 30th of June which is very unusual, we did get a almost 400mm so far so well on track to reach our annual average of 500mm. Although I have my doubt that is the real annual average if you only look at the last decade, my guess would be that it is less but I have only started measuring this year and recorded data is very unreliable because the differences from place to place here are huge.

Hottest we get is up to about 47C here but I have to say I'm in a nasty microclimate pocket that is sheltered from the cooler ocean breeze. By a small "mountain" range, I'm at about 150-160m elevation on a South facing slope which cause hot dry winds to sweep my place in summer and also my place can get frosts down to about -8C because of cold air sinking down from higher up the hill which makes growing the more tropical things challenging.

Something that I have identified as absolute champions here are pistachios, guavas in various forms including pineapple guava that isn't really a guava :p (still waiting for the guavas to fruit but growth, frost, heat and drought tolerance is good at least), sorghum and I'm quite pleased with the performance of the nitrogen fixer Desmanthus illinoensis. I have one tagasaste but it isn't growing all that much, Leucaena is a bit hit and miss and it seems that the winter frost knocks some of them back down although the pattern isn't clear and it could be wind as well that does them in.

'Native' stuff that grows here and needs little care if any at all are almonds, figs, olives, carob and strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo).

10 months ago
Xisca you have convinced me to try removing the hair next time I eat a guinea pig, I imagine this will also make it much nicer to roast them over some hot coals.

Do you remove the hair before or after gutting them?
10 months ago
Don't forget about tree fodder such as mulberry leaves.
10 months ago

Crunchy Bread wrote:I saw a setup one man designed which suspended GP cage over a fishtank to recyle their poop instantly.   Much as I like the idea of not having to muck out a stable of them, I know I also read that part of their diet is actually supposed to be supplemented by eating some of their own poop.  I have no idea how that's supposed to work, but there you go.  I'd be afraid that if they had no access to any poop ever sitting around they might actually have a nutritional deficiency.

But then again, I only know what I've read.  I never even raised a hamster.

This came up in a facebook group about raising gp's for meat as well and people said that they consume this special type of poop directly from their rectum (or from one of their colleagues') so mesh floors are not causing any problems with this.
10 months ago