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Paul once again sits down with his usual crew (Mark, Katie, Opalyn, and probably Kyle) to discuss the building codes at Wheaton Labs, as well as a chunk on straw.

Last year Paul bought in organic hay from several hours away for $5 a bale.  Since then, several people have tried to buy it off of him, not realizing that he’d have to add on so much in the form of fuel costs and manhours in delivery and maintenance, that being priced just to break even would be around $50 per bale.  This topic came about from Allerton Abbey’s lack of a duff layer that came about as the two people building it simply were not able to get it done in time.  

Regarding the duff layer of a wofati, mark wonders if it’s acceptable to use non-organic hay or straw bales for them as they’re not going on the garden, but rather between two layers of plastic isolating it from the rest of the world.  Paul still doesn’t want to take the chance that a rock could poke a hole in the plastic and let the gick that’s almost invariably in the non-organic bales out and contaminate the rest of the property.  Yes, the toxins have a half-life, but the half-life of them on the surface is going to be much shorter than when they’re buried away from sun, rain, and active growth, probably closer to a century than the 5-10 years above ground.  On the other hand, he’s ok for using cardboard as both duff and duff protection, as cardboard is a known value – if you go to take the roof apart, you know what to do with it, unlike with inorganic straw that would be assumed to be organic and spread around.

Relevant Threads

Wofati and Earth Berm forum

Wheaton Laboratory forum

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Location: Longbranch, WA Mild wet winter dry climate change now hot summer
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I suggest they plant winter wheat and grow their own straw. Triple  purpose, winter cover for disturbed soil, straw and feed for the chickens. At least that i how it works for me. I just buy a bag of feed wheat because I don't care about the variety and it is usually a mixture.
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Is it too late to plant winter wheat?
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I have been thinking about for a while and finally drafted two documents that would be relevant and wanted to drive some discussion to the posts I made about it.

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133 hours of video: the 2017 Permaculture Design Course and Appropriate Technology Course
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