New Project - Could send me to the insane asylum

Very informative, and in my opinion very interesting too. Especially now that I've basically been watching you grow ever since I joined this forum. It's very inspiring and I can't wait to see what your property will look like in the future.
Thank you for sharing this with us.
 
Thanks @Mandy Onderwater ! The project isn't necessarily intended to be an absolute blueprint for a design, but to get across that you understand and integrate the permaculture ethics of earth care, people care, and fair share / future care as well as the 12 principles:
(I'm not sure if those will behave as links...I tried searching for a list...in our lectures it seemed to always be presented as an image)

It really was an informative course. Happily, it did get into some hands-on concepts around gardens, orcharding, buildings, as well as community. One takeaway I got is that there isn't such as thing as self-sufficient as that implies being alone and we can't be all things. We can design and improve our properties and family life to be a lot more resilient and anti-fragile, but we exist and function in community (such as this one). It really is about a different way of thinking and behaving, particularly thinking about impacts of a change and how they affect the entire system.
 
Oh no, but it'd likely get the idea of options you have across regardless.
Yes, the links work :D

That is a very interesting concept indeed. Humans are deemed to be a social species, so us functioning in a community isn't far stretched at all. In one way or another I think most of us do strive to interact, share and learn with one another.
Examples could be, I've got a pretty fair hang on gardening. I can produce some food. But my friend is a much better cook than I am, so my produce could become something better in her hands. If people worked together like that, we would all be for the better.
But another concept would be even countries working together; some fruit and veg really don't grow where I live and what grows here isn't normally available there. The simple import and export makes a huge impact, without people often realising.
 
With respect to import / export of food, one of the biggest impacts we can have is eating locally and seasonally. For example, fresh strawberries used to be a treat as they have a relatively short production season. At some point, it went commercial / industrial and now we can get fresh strawberries year round, when buying locally we can usually only get them for about a month. However, the ones we get in the winter are pale inside (rather than the bright red of a freshly-picked ripe strawberry) and there isn't much in the way of flavour. What if we only purchased the local ones in season, treated them as a treat, and perhaps processed some for the off-season? One comment I've heard noted is that it takes an average of 9 or 10 (I forget which) kCal to get every 1 kCal of food in the supermarket. That can be through transport, processing, etc. It's certainly something to think on. Whenever I hear someone talk about the energy of food or how cattle are killing the planet, I think about this number, roll my eyes, and consider whether I want to engage or just walk away.

At a summit I attended last year (I think it was the Ecosystem Restoration Camps...this year's summit is coming up soon), a government official from an African nation (I'm afraid I don't recall which one) mentioned that they export all their production of maize (corn) after harvest, then import at a different time of year. How does that make sense? On top of that, on a continent with food security issues, why are they growing a crop that originated in North America rather than whatever was more of a staple for them in earlier times? It was noted that they're battling some sort of pest that the only natural predators occur in North America. Sigh.

I don't mean to be preaching here...I just think people need to think more about their food, where it comes from, and the choices we make.

On another note, I was out to the country briefly today and took a couple photos. We've had a bit of warmer weather in the past week, and had a couple days up around the freezing mark.

New Project - Could send me to the insane asylum

That's a stark contrast between the field around our property with no vegetation / significant stubble and the snow piled up on our property. There is some exposed ground at our place, but that will go away as I plant more materials. The dark in the foreground is from the wind erosion on fields like that around us. To the right side, we see currants that are probably 75-100 cm tall.

New Project - Could send me to the insane asylum

I didn't have my pruning saw with me today. I think I'm going to take this apple down to just above the graft and make a point of protecting it better. One thing I learned this winter is that the critters doing this are not snowshoe hares, but white-tailed jackrabbits. I hadn't realized there was more than one variety that changes to white in the winter. The jackrabbit is quite a bit bigger than a snowshoe hare.

Back in February, I did place an order for plant material from one of our regular sources. There are some perennials in the mix (sunchoke and asparagus), but it's mostly trees and shrubs. I'd counted at one point and it totals over 200 plants that I'll get to deal with in spring. Of course, that isn't counting seeds nor the additional plant material we plan to obtain.

On another note, yesterday was a Seedy Saturday event. Happily, it was walking distance from the house. I spent far more than hoped, but far less than feared. There was a bit of a seed exchange, and some information booths as well as some commercial booths. There were also a number of speakers - I managed to take in one talk about pollinator support and another about pruning fruit trees. It was really good and it supported a local community group.
 
With respect to import / export of food, one of the biggest impacts we can have is eating locally and seasonally. For example, fresh strawberries used to be a treat as they have a relatively short production season. At some point, it went commercial / industrial and now we can get fresh strawberries year round, when buying locally we can usually only get them for about a month. However, the ones we get in the winter are pale inside (rather than the bright red of a freshly-picked ripe strawberry) and there isn't much in the way of flavour. What if we only purchased the local ones in season, treated them as a treat, and perhaps processed some for the off-season? One comment I've heard noted is that it takes an average of 9 or 10 (I forget which) kCal to get every 1 kCal of food in the supermarket. That can be through transport, processing, etc. It's certainly something to think on. Whenever I hear someone talk about the energy of food or how cattle are killing the planet, I think about this number, roll my eyes, and consider whether I want to engage or just walk away.

At a summit I attended last year (I think it was the Ecosystem Restoration Camps...this year's summit is coming up soon), a government official from an African nation (I'm afraid I don't recall which one) mentioned that they export all their production of maize (corn) after harvest, then import at a different time of year. How does that make sense? On top of that, on a continent with food security issues, why are they growing a crop that originated in North America rather than whatever was more of a staple for them in earlier times? It was noted that they're battling some sort of pest that the only natural predators occur in North America. Sigh.

I don't mean to be preaching here...I just think people need to think more about their food, where it comes from, and the choices we make.

On another note, I was out to the country briefly today and took a couple photos. We've had a bit of warmer weather in the past week, and had a couple days up around the freezing mark.

View attachment 8925
That's a stark contrast between the field around our property with no vegetation / significant stubble and the snow piled up on our property. There is some exposed ground at our place, but that will go away as I plant more materials. The dark in the foreground is from the wind erosion on fields like that around us. To the right side, we see currants that are probably 75-100 cm tall.

View attachment 8926
I didn't have my pruning saw with me today. I think I'm going to take this apple down to just above the graft and make a point of protecting it better. One thing I learned this winter is that the critters doing this are not snowshoe hares, but white-tailed jackrabbits. I hadn't realized there was more than one variety that changes to white in the winter. The jackrabbit is quite a bit bigger than a snowshoe hare.

Back in February, I did place an order for plant material from one of our regular sources. There are some perennials in the mix (sunchoke and asparagus), but it's mostly trees and shrubs. I'd counted at one point and it totals over 200 plants that I'll get to deal with in spring. Of course, that isn't counting seeds nor the additional plant material we plan to obtain.

On another note, yesterday was a Seedy Saturday event. Happily, it was walking distance from the house. I spent far more than hoped, but far less than feared. There was a bit of a seed exchange, and some information booths as well as some commercial booths. There were also a number of speakers - I managed to take in one talk about pollinator support and another about pruning fruit trees. It was really good and it supported a local community group.
dang he did a number on the trunk try sprinkling some fox or coyote urine around the trees see if that keeps them away. but watch out for them dangerous Jack-a-loupe they can be mean and ornery if cornered
New Project - Could send me to the insane asylum
 
On the bald prairie, it's tough to corner anything...if I start to see them around, I'll make a point of bringing Phoenix with me so I can sic 60 lbs of poodle on them ;)
 
I don't have much in the way of photos this spring, but wanted to let you know that I survived another winter and have been getting some work done on the acreage while I can. It's a hectic time of year as I've been starting seeds indoors, preparing and planting shrubs and trees, working on some propagation, and beginning to plant shrubs and trees. It's always interesting trying to coordinate my schedule with that of Ma Nature...yesterday, the temperature dropped from 25 C at 11:00 to 12 C at 16:00...I was out planting and got wet...with the wind, by the time I was done I was quite chilled and perhaps starting down the road of mild hypothermia. Heated seat in the truck on the drive home was nice, as well as being able to change into dry clothes.

Thus far this year, we've planted 10 pussy willow, 11 'Fall Gold' raspberries, 15 sea buckthorn, 2 aronia, 2 Kerr crab apple, 1 hazelbert (hazel nut / filbert), and 1 'Trader' mulberry. So, I'm about 10-15% done planting of the new plant materials. Yesterday I was hoping to get the asparagus and Jerusalem artichoke planted as well, but it got pretty mucky...those will be a priority this weekend.

I'm not sure how I feel about it yet, but I purchased a post hole auger with 9" auger that runs on the 3 point hitch of the tractor. In soft, wet soil it works really well. In drier, more compacted soil, it doesn't get very deep, but the bit has a point to it that makes it deep enough for most of the bare root material. The way it attaches to the tractor is pretty tough, making it more challenging to swap with other tools, so it's staying on the tractor for the moment and I'll take it off once I'm convinced I've drilled enough holes.
 
i had an old ford jubilee tractor years ago i made a tripod on casters with a chain fall and even then it was a bear swapping it on and off , that tractor was terrible to run a digger i wont even tell you how many times i got that SOB stuck or twisted up in roots
 
Oh no- stay warm!

I can only imagine how amazing this growing year is going to be 😍
I'm getting so excited to see what it's going to be like.

Granddad always puts a sprinkler on the soil a day before he does the digging, so that it's well and thoroughly soaked. He always says it makes it easier to dig, and the soil stays in a better shape or something like that.
 
Oh no- stay warm!

I can only imagine how amazing this growing year is going to be 😍
I'm getting so excited to see what it's going to be like.

Granddad always puts a sprinkler on the soil a day before he does the digging, so that it's well and thoroughly soaked. He always says it makes it easier to dig, and the soil stays in a better shape or something like that.
Your Granddad knows what he's doing. Ground soil contains clay, some in huge amounts, some in lesser amounts, but it's always there to some degree, and when dry, it's rock hard, when wet, it's soft. You don't want the ground to be soggy wet, damp/moist is best, because the clay is still soft but the rest of the soil isn't a mud fest and will keep its shape when dug instead of slopping all over the place - the same reason why sandcastles are best built with damp sand rather than dry or soaking wet. That's why the day before is best to put the water on it, give it time to soak in and drain away, leaving the soil damp/moist the next day, perfect for digging.
 
Ahh that explains it. Sometimes when we have to dig, he will actively have a hose going at the same time. Our soil consists mostly of clay and rock.

Ensuring it's moist before augering, might help you too @DThille
 
Hi Mandy. Sorry I haven't been back much. One of the challenges is that when I get out of the habit of regularly checking in on a site / forum, other stuff takes its place and it's tough to get back into the swing of things. On top of that, I took three road trips in June and July...since early May I've put over 11,000 km on my truck.

The Permaculture Design Course was completed and I have my certificate. On the one hand, all it means is that I took a course and submitted a project. On the other, it means I could hang out a shingle as a permaculture designer (not that I feel confident enough to do so). It was a valuable learning experience. I took the course through Verge Permaculture and they have an online forum / community as well and a lot of continuing education - I've taken two additional masterclasses (gardening for storage climates, perennial plant propagation), am currently going through Advanced Home Orcharding (with Stefan Sobkowiak - he's got a fun YouTube channel) and in September will be one given by Dan Chiras on home energy resilience.

This year has been a tough one from the garden perspective. Our spring was normal / damp and then around our last frost date it got dry and into the mid-30s, so we had really poor seed germination. The hot dry weather has been ideal for grasshoppers, much to my chagrin, so a lot of what came up has been decimated. That said, even having eaten the leaves off the garlic, we did get a harvest of scapes and now bulbs, the tomatoes and peppers are progressing, and some of the squashes should produce something. The popcorn and flint corn (for grinding to corn meal) were fenced off and are doing OK...we'll see if that turns into a harvest. Of course, with dry weather, we've had to spend a lot of time watering the new trees and shrubs rather than getting to work on other projects. So, disappointing, but still productive...it gets me outside in fresh air and sunlight and I get some exercise as a result.

My latest project, completed earlier today, is an air prune bed. The concept is that if you keep the bottom of a bed off the ground and exposed to the air, plant roots (primarily for trees) will self-prune themselves so they don't get root-bound in pots or similar as they are developing.
New Project - Could send me to the insane asylum

Wood assembled yesterday.

New Project - Could send me to the insane asylum

By using 2x8 for the ends and 2x6 for the sides, we get an air gap created.

New Project - Could send me to the insane asylum

The uprights extend below the upper section to be able to lock the two sections together.

New Project - Could send me to the insane asylum

Base with 1/2" square hardware cloth on the bottom.

New Project - Could send me to the insane asylum

Screening in the top excludes squirrels, voles, rabbits and deer who may take a liking to the young tender plants. Of course it isn't a fine enough screen to keep out crickets and grasshoppers.

The next project is some swale and berm creation. We don't have a lot of contour on the property so this hasn't been a really high priority.

The other plan is to get a delivery of compost and start creating additional beds that are slightly raised for the garden spaces.
 
Frankly, I'm just happy seeing you are healthy and thriving. Glad to see you back here mate.

Sounds like you've been on the road quite a bit! I hope it was fun though :D

That's awesome! Congratulations on getting your certificate. I bet the knowledge you gained is quite valuable. The other studies sound very interesting too. Are you intending on making your garden your profession, or is this all a labour of love?

Yeah I hear you. Weather has been funny here too. I'm having poor germination of plants I was really excited to grow because it's too hot and wet here; abnormal for a dry-season Winter. I haven't been able to grow many plants and a lot of my plants show signs of struggle or poor growth this season. Hopefully next season will be better - even if that means I miss out on growing some of my favourites.

I have heard of airprune beds before! I've heard both good and bad stories about them. One major downside I hear of, is that the bed tends to dry out faster and may have a completely different water schedule than the other parts of your garden. But at the same time drainage is awesome, and they don't tend to get waterlogged at all, which can be great. Do ensure you have something on the bottom layer that keeps your soil/bark/etc from getting washed out.

If crickets do become an issue, you can easily tie some finer mesh to the existing one, and once the plant matures/cricket season ends you can easily remove it.

Those sound like really nice projects, and if you find the time I would love to see updates on it 😍
 
Back
Top Bottom