Mike are you using this solely for drying and then moving to a covered area after the two years? It looks awesome. I'm just trying to figure out once it's time to burn how do you remove wood while utilizing your shake style covering.
I've only ever used traditional grandpa taught me style stacking and it's always been under an over hang or a structure specifically for covering the wood.
I am really intrigued by the space saving possibilities and structural soundness of the stacking.
Mike Haasl wrote:I've been cutting down dying birch trees and bucking/splitting them for use in two winters. I stack in a holzhausen style which is a round wood pile. We can get 4-5 cords of wood into a 10x10 footprint. Due to drying issues in the core of the pile, this year we're doing two cylindrical stacks and trying to leave the core open. We'll also take some pallet wood and make a roof over the stacks so it looks like a single pitch version Shakespeare's globe theater.
The holzhausen started today with the rings of wood that start the stacks on an inward tilt. We reuse them because it takes a while to find chunks that lay flat.
Starting pile of wood is 10' long (per tape measure on the ground) and the general middle height is 3' so it's well over 1/2 face cord.
Mike this is the coolest woodpile I've ever seen!
I would love to see a picture of the completed holzhausen!
William Bronson wrote:I'm so sorry to hear about the rats attacking your birds, that sounds horrible!
I found voles in my above ground hugel as well.
I'm not sure if the structure has voids or if it's simply a good environment for burrowing.
I still use buried wood, but now I bury my wood below grade,use a variety of wood at each layer, and pack soil in at each layer.
This doesn't seem to attract rodents in the same way.
I am not sure how you feel about traps, but I have found a handful of sunflower seeds floating in a bucket half full of water to be an effective trap for rats and mice.
I have used those traps and electric traps And spring traps ha
I was gettin two or three every time I set them but they just overwhelmed me.
It's probably from the neighbor that feeds all the the strays ha
I like the idea of putting them below grade and I've been thinking about how to pack it tighter this year.
Trace Oswald wrote: Sometimes the simplest answer is the right answer. I think tearing it out was the answer. I prefer to make my systems less complex for me to handle, rather than more. You could get cats or dogs (I have both) but in my opinion, it isn't worth it to have animals if it is just to keep your hugel rat free. All animals need time, care, money. There are certainly other answers to the problem, but nature doesn't always think the solution is what we think it should be. Nature may be perfectly happy with a giant rat colony living there. I think you did the right thing.
Thanks trace, I definetly dont want to bring in more animals to care for. I have a dog and she does get some of them but i dont think i can give that level of quality to my livestock and additional animals.
I am going to rebuild but with a much less lazy and more intentional building method
Scott Foster wrote:I had mouse problems in a hugel key mound for about 2 years and then the snakes showed up. I had no snakes or reptiles, now I have everything. I have a hugel key mound right outside that the deer are bedding down in. I almost ran into a deer in my driveway one night. I still have mice/rats but I think they are in a rhythm with the critters that eat them. Last winter the mice moved into the house but this year I didn't have one mouse in the house.
I've noticed that everything takes longer doing it the natural way. Many of the permaculture functions stack on one another, the more you do and the longer it grows, the more biodiverse the more you start to see balance. I have some heirloom roses that I started last year. I was just thinking about how tempted I am to use fertilizer, but I won't do it. It's not worth it. I will keep amending the soil and eventually I'll have healthy rose bushes that explode.
I agree with you it takes longer and I am hoping that redesigning the mound from the ground up will allows for a slower influx of the rats. I dont want them gone I just want them to be in balance . They were over whelming. I'd go out and feed the quail inside a locked building and then minutes later I'd go out and the food that lasts the quail two days would be gone.
I like the bringing predator habit in idea and I like the idea of packing down my base better. I think those are low input high impact
That get better each year.
Good luck with your roses!
I just mix garret juice some fish emulsion rain water and urine to put on mine and it seems that the microbiome accepts the offering ha that's the purplest thing I've ever said
Daron Williams wrote:Sometimes it also just takes time. Predators tend to show up after the prey does--I'm not sure how long you waited but it could take a couple years for enough predators to show up to bring the prey into balance. Doing what you can to create habitat for the predators helps too. Large rock piles and log piles can be good. These will house the prey too but the predators will also move in. I have a vole issue so I'm planning to install barn owl boxes each year for the next few years until I have a good 6+ resident barn owls. Might even go for more. I'm also going to add a bunch of large log piles away from my core growing areas but close enough that predators like weasels and even coyotes can take shelter in them.
Also, I have found with hugelkultur beds that the more careful you are about filling in all the cracks and spaces between the logs the less issues you will have with voles, rats and other similar sized critters. I stopped using smaller branches in my hugelkultur beds because it was impossible to fill in all the gaps--instead I just cut those up and use them for mulch on top of the beds. My hugelkultur beds settle a lot less and there aren't any ideal spaces for tunneling animals. I get a few of these critters still but a lot less. I'm also adding log piles and rock piles around and on my hugelkultur beds to make more habitat for snakes. I'm still hoping one day a weasel shows up but so far I haven't seen one on my property.
As I have been doing this the last few years my vole population has steadily declined and rats are a lot rarer then they used to be. But I still need to get the barn owl boxes up and add more habitat features. To me it comes down to having enough habitat for the predators and then playing the long game knowing that the prey will show up first. This is why habitat features and features like the barn owl boxes are so important. They give the predators a reason to stick around.
I was thinking that my base being built and then packed in could be part of the problem.i am going to lay the logs on top of my small brown green clay and sand mix them ad it to the top of that row then build up in a pattern like that
Also I'm going to get some owl boxes built and maybe try to make coyote calls of the evening ha
I already have at least 2 owls I'd love to have some more
Jamin Grey wrote:If cats aren't an option, what about two or three Rat Terriers? More than one, because dogs coordinate when hunting together.
(I've never used Terriers myself - I'm a Pyrenees guy, because they're oh so big and fluffy, and staggeringly intelligent, but not very helpful with rats)
I was hoping to keep the animal input low but I have heard about this guy and his mongruel hoard I dont know of it was jack spirko or if my friend told me about the rat hunting teams but I have considered it. I was a dog trainer for a while but to be honest trainings multiple dogs is hard work when you have another job and I like to be lazy haha
It is a good idea but I dont know what to do with all the rat bodies after they get them. These things were the their to half size of rat terriers haha I know they could handle them but surely that can't eat them all and effectively control the population. There were so many.
As soon as I tore down the mound it was like a horror show rats poured out like blood from an open artery
So the mound had to go.
I was wondering if adding clay and sand to the cracks between the layers of logs as I build it would help because this is under some good compost action for a while and it made beautiful soil but the logs were nearly pristine and as it composted it made open space for the myriad of rat tunnels
I believed the beds to be the issue because the rat pressure was not there before the beds and the colony was housed in the hugel bed.
You are correct I was lax in storing my feed because it was in a shed and I hadn't had problems before. The quail were also inside in a commercial cage with poop trays under neath but the ranta would squeeze in there to get at their feet or in the tray that hangs on the front with feed.
I definetly need to rethink how to seal off the shed better and make access to water and cover more difficult.
Thank you lorinne!
James Landreth wrote:I knew a couple once who trained their dogs to hunt rats and then hired that out as a service. I'm not sure what became of them. I did see it in action once and it seemed fairly effective. I'm sure you wouldn't get all of them though.
I've had voles in my hugel mounds and that leads to them eating the roots of things, and then coyotes digging up the hugel mounds to get the voles. Keeping the grass mowed down around them helps because birds of prey are better able to control them. If you could find a way to increase your weasel population that might help too.
I had several owls around and plenty of hawks. I thought the snakes would have been good at keeping the rat population down but they got a foothold.
I think I'd have to move from central kentucky to get more weasel action.
The grass down there was never mowed be cause it wasn't really grass hah lots of native low growth and the deer mowed it for me.
Next time I'll hit it with the weed eater to give the birds a kill zone
Flax seed ground in a coffee grinder can be added one part flax to 3 parts water to make egg replacement add that three or four tablespoons of that to almond flour and a cup of roasted butternut squash and fry them in sunflower oil for some pancakes
Golden beet salad makes for a rather palatable meal when you have little produce in the garden you can use dried white beans. It if you have green beans that works too
Golden beets roasted in 2 parts olive oil 1 part bacon fat in a Dutch oven
Add your beans of choice
Add some red onion
Some of last years pumpkin seeds you were going to plant but then roasted instead
Apple cider vinegar and orange juice to make a little dressing and throw that on top of some chopped basil and mint salad
The beets still taste like first but you'll never know it
I am in zone 6b in kentucky and I made a large hugel bed at the base of a steep hill. I made small sales done the face of the hill and planted berry bushes and brambles trying to catch as much water as possible and using the mound to get rid of some trees the utility company kindly downed and left in my yard.
I filled the cracks of the pyramid shaped base of logs with compost rabbit manure quail manure woodchips and topsoil .
As it ages it settled and I had erosion problems from the rain. I fixed that with deeper swales and it settled in beautifully.
I went to planting and threw seed all over it with all the old half used seed bags I could find and some clover. It looked really awesome so to add to the aesthetic I added wild flowers.
It served so many functions for me but the one that I did not intend is the habitat it created. First I saw insects then I saw birds then voles. All fine and dandy
After the first year I started having rat problems and figured out they had created a kingdom down there.
They got into my quail feed and peed in my rabit feed fixed that with hard containers but now they have taken to catching my quail by the feet and eating their legs off.
I dont want to use poison so after the following season of horrors
I finally tore it all down.
If does anyone know where I went wrong or how I can build it better to avoid this next time?
A daily email is not something a typical person will volunteer to receive at least not until they see the value of this community.
As a new comer I dont want to over step but I believe it is more pertinent to focus on monthly or weeklyish type emails that a someone unfamiliar to wheaton labs may sign up for.
New members will want quick gratification and shiny pictures with beginner topics and probably not every day.
It seems like when I heard about permaculture first I wanted all the cute herb spiral pictures and goat cartoons and clever building ideas you see on pinterest and some of the lighter books.
After a few weeks or months I started getting frustrated with the petty stuff. I needed something stronger and moved up to salatin and wendel berry stuff but then I needed more so I moved to gaias garden and the hunger grew I needed the hard stuff the mollison text book!
Now I'm so thirsty for it that I gladly sign up for daily emails and click the plain text links.
That was a bit over dramatic but I think my point is clear.
I would rather the seldom sent emails be focused on for glamour and drawing folks to the community while the dailyish remain how it is raw but of great substance.
I have an old hand crank burr grinder. That's a great idea. If it proves successful I'll post some pictures.
Leave it to lehmans to have the answer!
It looks like two rubber plates making an abrasion grinder could be less complicated than my original ideas. That would be a great bit of open source appropriate tech for farmers following the trend of these grains.
I'm almost ashamed to tell this but I've planted 6 lbs of Jerusalem artichoke over the past three years in different properties and it seems they are all cursed to live only one season. Possibly from the heavy deer pressure in the area...they were a great sacrifice crop.
My go to veggies that are bullet proof are kentucky wonder beans planted in deep mulch radishes from seed on any disturbed soil and zucchini. Around here people have zucchini sitting in boxes by the road with a sign saying please take some and I've had more than one friend dump several giant zucchinis in my truck bed while I wasn't looking.
Thanks scott I believe that is a mill for making flour. From what I understand einkorn has an additional step to processing that modern wheat does not. Hulling being the step between threshing and milling.
Recently I listened to Nicolas burtners free lesson on victory gardens. It was a good listen for new gardeners and I suggest you check it out.
During the lesson he suggests growing einkorn wheat for 1/40 of an acre. It looks that in that 120 sq ft you could reasonably attain a crop yield of about 40 lbs. That's all from google as I've never grown wheat but it seems like a good choice because my wife has certain wheat allergies and it looks like a 5ft tall plant that grows in small spaces and creates a lot of green bio mass would be a good permaculture plant.
My hesitancy comes from all I've read about hulling these older grains. Is there a readily available technology for hulling that won't break the bank or does anyone have any ideas for a diy hulling machine for smaller amounts of grains that would be feasible for accessing the nutrients within?
Welcome to permies! I am new to the forums but I have enjoyed them so far. I look forward to seeing contributions from you and the wonderful ideas they will inspire from the other minds on the forums.
I hadn't heard of your book until just now as I've learned toward the appropriate technology portion of this group but I am interested to read this title as I start to move toward the gardening and meat production areas of permaculture in my life.
Thanks for joining the discussion!
The original designs were awesome but the addition of the dandelion greens make it more overtly wheaton. I think the w needs to be very straight lined and bold to make a clear "I'm wheaton and I'm fucking awesome" statement. Subtle jokes are the best best it seems with logos you have to be bold enough that it can never be confused but just subtle enough that its clever.
These are great work! I can't wait to see what you come up with through this illuminating thread