Oh Goodie!! A whole book on Elderberries! I am looking forward to it.
We moved to SW New Mexico 2 years ago and while we have planted many fruit trees and shrubs, the shrub elderberries were the only that have born heavily thus far ( not counting strawberries and raspberries). In just one year!
We made a couple of gallons of elderberry elixir this fall and it's been keeping us healthy this winter. Elderberries, ginger, calendula flowers, cardamon, cinnamon, rosehips, lemon peel and of course, brandy and honey.
We have several varieties one of which is a Mexican Elderberry which grows into a big tree! We've got some that grow in town nearby and they bear oodles of flowers and fruit all summer long.
I don't actually know the varieties of the other elderberries I have planted because I dug up roots from neighbours and they did not know the names.
Maybe you can answer this question I have John:
How do I know if I have a variety that needs to be cut back every spring to make fruit? I've read that some do and some don't? I'd like to get another big crop this year. My shrubs are already leafing out now.
Thanks for your berry wonderful book!
We live in an intentional community in SW New Mexico and enjoyed reading about all of your experience, skills and passion for a land-based lifestyle.
I am going to paste a copy of a recent "invitation" that we've been working on but have not yet posted. Feel free to contact us for more info if you've not found a place to land yet and might be interested.
Wishing you abundance and joy on your path!
Sunny and Sequoia
A Gardening and Farming Opportunity at the Southwest Sufi Community
To all young and young at heart able-bodied visionary gardeners and aspiring farmers!!!
We are looking for interested persons with farming / gardening / permaculture experience who may consider living at the Southwest Sufi Community (SSC), to take advantage of an opportunity to further develop the gardening and farming on our land northwest of Silver City, NM.
About the Land:
The SSC occupies nearly 1500 acres of mesa and canyon land bordering the Gila National Forest, with grassland and oak-juniper-pinyon country above and wetland and riparian woods below. It was formerly a part of the Avery Ranch, which existed up until the 1950’s. The land is bisected by Bear Creek, a tributary of the Gila river and is one of the few year-round streams in Southern, NM. Most of the land is in a conservation easement under the New Mexico Land Conservancy, which preserves wilderness and wetland habitats in perpetuity.
The growing areas include two fields. The first is the South Field, approx. 1 acre on the south side of Bear Creek, and is the more developed of the two, is currently being gardened, and is fully fenced. The second or North Field is approx. 1.7 acres on the north side of the creek and is in the process of being fenced. These two fields have adjudicated surface water rights dating to 1890. We are currently developing a solar pumping system to bring water from Bear Creek to the gardens more readily. Water supply to the upper residential areas includes one private and one community well, both of which are solar powered and permitted for agricultural use. A spring provides high quality drinking water to the lower area ranch house, and the overflow is used in the gardens. Elevation at the growing fields is about 5300 ft. Being in a canyon we are sheltered from much of the winds of late winter and spring.
The soil is loam and sandy loam soil and the climate is typical upland southwestern climate with summer monsoon rains, with some fall and winter precipitation, approx. 16-22 inches per year. Frost free is early May through early October. We are in USDA Zone 7a. This land is very amenable for growing vegetables, fruits, grain plots, and herbs. One member has been successful in growing heritage seeds, and two others have been very successful with vegetables. One couple is raising goats and chickens and providing eggs and goat dairy products to the community. Possibilities include market gardening, medicinal herbs, fruits, beekeeping and animal husbandry, along with deeper levels of permaculture and related practices. We have a Kubota tractor and will be acquiring attachments for working the land. Cottage industries are welcomed and encouraged
If you are interested and feel this community would be one you would like to be a part of, come and visit and stay for a time and see if the SSC is for you.
Contact our Host Coordinator Sequoia Neuman at email@example.com before coming, if you are wishing to visit us, and also for directions.
Check out our website at https://sites.google.com/site/southwestsuficommunity/ The SSC is also registered with the Fellowship of Intentional Communities, and on Facebook under ‘SSC Community’.
Google Earth coordinates: 32 degrees, 55’49” N, 108 degrees, 23’ 53” W. (degrees-minutes-seconds)
I just returned from a trip to Germany. We were in a very fine restaurant in a lovely mountain Tal( valley) and were served fresh rolls with a small dish of a white fatty- looking substance. I was afraid to try it as it kinda looked like Crisco but my Uncle had a taste and informed me that it was goose fat! It was delicious and I scraped the bowl clean. A few days later we were served goose fat again- goose is popular in restaurants over the holidays- but this time it had some herbs mixed in with it. Yummy!
We render down the fat from our buck goats when we butcher. The tallow is great for cooking with and also for making a really nice salve/balm when mixed with oil and herbs. The tallow seems to make the salve more absorbable on the skin than a salve made with bees wax instead. The internal fat near the kidneys is supposed to be the most nutritious.
I've never heard of LAB serum so I had to look it up. Seems like it is a lactic acid solution whereas the EM also has yeasts and other microorganisms besides the lactic acid ones. So it may be more effective because of its diversity of micro -species.
But you could try it, I suppose and give us a report back!
I agree that these chemical scents are pervasive!! We've tried washing over and over, using vinegar and hanging on the line in intense sun for sometimes three weeks. And still the noxious smell lingers. Ugh.
What seems to help the most is EM- Effective Microorganisms. Just a tsp in the wash water and if you can put another tsp in the rinse water all the better. We've also had great success using it to eliminate other smells, like gasoline on the hands after working on vehicles, cigarette odours lingering in cars or houses, ammonia from manure in the barn. It is very useful stuff!
We have been hauling detritus from our streambed to the garden. It's a bit of an uphill haul on foot with a back pack but definitely worth it! Our little stream floods occasionally, depositing lots of branches, twigs, leaves, pine cones, seeds, bugs, you name it from higher elevations into piles along the bank. After a couple of months/years it starts to break down somewhat and when we dig into the piles there are hundreds of earthworms and fungal webs and probably nutrients that are missing from our soil.
We've been using the more broken-down castings from the earthworm activity in these piles in seedling soil mixes and the more rough stuff for mulch on shrubs and trees. We also add a good layer of the fungal- rich detritus to the bottom of fruit tree holes to encourage a fungal dominated soil. The new trees seem to be loving it! Lots of mushrooms too.
If we had a burro, we'd be mulching the entire garden with this treasure of a resource!
We've been experimenting with Black medic as a living mulch and so far we like it better than the white clover. The Medic stays low, fixes nitrogen and does not seem as aggressive.
I got the idea from seeing it in nature but could not find any seed for sale online. So transplanted some plants from the wild and it has taken off.
Easy to cut it back a little if it wanders too far and feed it to the goats.
Other medics are taller. Black is the wild version and seems better suited for a living cover.
And it's tiny yellow flowers are simply delightful!
Thank you for the information Jim. It seems that we received some inaccurate info from friends. So we'll be doing some more research and , as you suggested, test patches to see if the aliz sticks to the lime wash!
Hello Bob and Jim,
Your book looks fabulous! The "Details" are so important in strawbale building.
We built our 500 sqft strawbale house a couple of years ago. The interior and exterior walls have an inch and a half of earthen plaster on them and later we added three coats of lime wash made with well-aged lime putty to protect the walls while we decided on what to do for the the final coat.
Even though it's dry here in SW NM, we do get seasonal torrential monsoons with wind-driven rain.
We are now about to start in on the final coat of Aliz which will have clay, fine mica, kaolin, natural pigment and wheat paste. We've heard that wheat paste will make the final coat more water impermeable and more resistant to erosion, supposedly.
My question is , if the wheat paste creates greater water impermeability, will it also inhibit breathability of the walls? We definitely want our walls to breathe to prevent molds and other nasties growing in there. Plus, living in a breathing home feels soooo good.
An answer to this question will help us to breathe more easily as we go into the finishing of our walls!
Thank you for what you do and for sharing your experience with us.
We've got a small herd of Nubian milk goats and are working to minimize outside inputs. We do feed alfalfa and sprouted barley but are able to cut down on those feeds with things we grow here.
In summer they get a huge variety of weeds! They grow in the garden beds and we chop them down and let them come up again several times. Sowthistle, Prickly lettuce, amaranth, lambsquarters, mallow, primrose, chicory, prostate knotweed, dandelion, dock and lots of other goodies. They are high in minerals and nutrition. They also get lots of kale( they need iodine supplement if you feed too much brassicas), chard and other cultivated greens. When there is an excess and the weather is dry, I harvest weeds and kale and nettles and spread them out on a sheet to dry, then bag them for winter. They love their super greens in winter time! Just a handful in their grain dish at milking time.
I've also dried gallons of zucchini and it is their favourite winter treat. Cookies! They like them fresh in summer too. They get all of the winter squash that did not mature and I grow lots of extra for them that I store and cut up for winter feed.
We grow mangel beets, carrots and rutabagas for them. At our last farm, we stored them in the root cellar because we had gophers gorging on them if we left them in the ground. But here we can leave them in the ground, mulched, for less work. Before we moved we were growing and storing an extra 1000 pounds of root crops for our herd of about 7-10 goats. We're working to get more happening here at our new place.
We grow lots of sunflowers in summer and feed the heads- broken up a bit- green to the animals. Jerusalem artichokes and yacon leaves are good. I am experimenting with forage chicory and they love it. It has been shown to be antiparasitical. We are creating a pasture with all of their favourite weeds and forage chicory will play a big part in this. I am pleased to see that the chicory from last year is already 6 inches tall and it has been a cold winter here, still getting down into the single digits.
Comfrey is a great protein crop for goats. They say you can grow something like 9 tons per acre!
I als let them browse in the wild and bring home for them, mtn mahogany, willow, live oak, ceanothus red root, pinon....
The more selection, the better IMO.
I'm sure there's more but that's all I can remember for now.
These are two kale varieties that have grown tall for me. They have overwintered in New Mexico and grown 6 foot tall at least. Thousand headed gets a lot of side shoots and I have a few plants that have gone through their second winter, unprotected outside with the lowest temp down to 5 degrees.
Ancient variety from the UK was mentioned in Vilmorin’s The Vegetable Garden in 1885 as a productive, multi-branching type that also goes by the name “branching borecole”. Vilmorin also mentions that the variety originally hailed from western France. Peter Miller of Kings Seed mentioned that Thousandhead kale was long appreciated in the UK as a fodder crop, but it has been re-discovered as a tasty culinary variety. Leaves are smooth with lightly curled edges for easier pest management. Those who have struggled with cabbage worms understand how caterpillars love to hide in the folds of curly kale leaves. This variety is just lightly curled at the edges, making caterpillars easier to spot and treat! This seed was sourced from Kings Seed of England; the King family has been in the seed business for centuries. John Kemp King began selling seeds in 1793; his grandson Ernest William began Kings Seeds, and it has been in business for 130 years! Kings Seed is the last remaining horticultural wholesale seed house left in England and still a family affair. Miller has worked for the company 55 years, and his grandfather also worked for Kings since 1913( from Baker Creek Heirlooms)
Brassica napas Open Pollinated Heirloom 50 days. Grows 6" to 6'
Dutch heirloom grown and eaten for centuries in central Holland. Young leaves are flat with tender, juicy red stems. These may be harvested in spring when about 6" and continue harvesting through the spring and on into winter. Grow as you would other kales.
Use in salads, stir-frys, soups etc. and enjoy the fine taste of this winter hardy variety that bears a resemblance to Red Russian but more tender and juicier leaves. When we grow this plant it is a sampling of medieval food. Thank you to Carol Deppe for introducing it to us. ( from Nichols Nursery)
I had a crown fall off years ago and did not want to get it replaced. I have read that 90% or so of crowned teeth eventually die.
I did a lot of research and found a guy( can't remember his name) who talked about how teeth are meant to remineralize given the proper oral environment. Saliva has minerals in it. However, most toothpaste has glycerin as an ingredient and glycerin coats the teeth and keeps the remineralization from occurring in cavities. So they just get bigger and bigger.
I thought to myself, wouldn't it be ironic if the very thing all dentists recommend us to use every day was keeping the natural process of remineralization from happening as it is supposed to? So I made up my own tooth powder and swore off toothpaste there and then.
Over time, the exposed raw tooth stub, started to "grow' a tough leathery coating. And no decay ever happened, even though it had no enamel on it from being ground down to place the crown years before. I had it checked out by a dentist who confirmed that it was protected by the remineralization. This stub did not "grow" back the tooth structure, but it does not seem to need another crown.
My teeth have been way healthier with no new cavities since quitting toothpaste 10 years ago! I used baking soda and salt for awhile but now I use a mineral powder that is not so salty. You can find a clay based toothpaste- glycerin -free- in the health food stores these days.
Thank you Kate. That makes sense. Do you find that the goats exude a Sulphur smell? And does it effect the taste of the milk at all?
Someone recommended feeding it for external parasites like fleas and ticks. I have started giving it to our LGD for fleas. So far the goats don't seem to have any fleas. But I did wonder if it would taint the milk if I did feed them some Sulphur. I've heard it is also great for hooves and skin.
Interesting about Sulphur helping with Selenium absorption. Good to know.
How wonderful to spread your love for goats far and wide with your book! I'm excited for you and wish you much success with your venture.
We've been raising dairy goats for 12 years now and are in love with the lifestyle as well as with the wonderful dairy products they produce. Fresh Squeezed raw goat milk and scrumptious cheeses and creamy yogurt> Mmmmmm!
I have a question for you: What is the purpose for supplementing with sulphur? Do you use yellow sulphur powder?
If you are in the Las Tusas that is near Sapello, NM( Mora County) then the Soil and Water Conservation office in Mora rents farm equipment for a good cost. They even have a person come and run the equipment for you depending on what it is. We have rented fence post augers, tractor 3pt hitch tillers, seeders, chippers, etc. It is a great resource!
We had some really lovely flood irrigated grass/alfalfa pastures in Cleveland, just past Mora. Saw lots of improvement rotating a small herd of dairy goats, free range chickens and adding minerals and more diversity of forbes. The pastures had been over grazed by horses before we moved there but they came back nicely in just a couple of years. It is very good pasture country if you can deal with the pocket gophers. We grew some beautiful alfalfa, but the gophers love to eat on the roots.
There is a guy down the Sapello river from you who is an expert in beavers. He has permission to relocate them from ranches where people are trying to get rid of them. He has an experimental place where he re introduced beaver, planted willows and cottonwood for them and then tests water quality. water was much cleaner after bringing in beavers and his riparian area is improving dramatically from when the previous owners were over grazing cattle that eroded the stream banks.
Hi Tony..... we have been heating well water with high calcium water in our wood stove for our outdoor hot tub bathes and showers..... using magnets DOES work... it somehow aligns the water molecules..... so that it does NOT build up as scale on your hot water pipes..... look up... (google), magnets to remove calcium scale..... there are several companies selling them.... they work throughout your whole system, for many years if placed where the water enters your house.... it is easy... don't make it anymore complicated than necessary.... Sunny
Hi everyone..... Johnmark is using a BROAD AX for squaring those timbers...… it is the proper hand ax for flattening or squaring logs …(on one side for floor rafters, or two sides for log cabin walls or all four sides for a squared timber log cabin)….. I have a hand forged BROAD AX, made in Sweden.... (brand new)….. that I am no longer needing.... since I moved from the pacific northwest forest land.... to the high desert of southern New Mexico...…. it is a great tool for building tight log cabins.... I will pass it on to someone that can use it for $100..... plus $20 for U.P.S. or Fedex shipping...….. contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org Johnmark, you are doing such fine and rewarding work.... such a pleasure using hand tools to create functional beauty.... Sunny
Hay folks...… there is a much easier way to make a very similar fence..... we have made many of them to keep goats in and deer out...……… buy a 150 ft roll of 48" high, woven wire field fence.... (sold at most feed stores and building supply stores) $146 for a roll...………….. then weave in sticks, branches, grape stakes, or any type of long thin piece of wood...… weave it into each section of the woven wire fence AFTER you have put it up on fence posts (wood or steel)….. about 4"to 6" apart...…. looks just the same as your photos there... but you let the fence company do all the wire twisting.... you just install the sticks.... they don't need to touch the ground.... it also keeps rabbit and chickens in.... hope this helps.... it has worked well for us for many years on several homesteads....
I raised rabbits for many years in a colony situation and have to disagree with Jay in that we collected and used their droppings very effectively this way.
We enclosed an approximately 12x 20 foot space with 7 'welded wire fencing. It was not fastened tightly and it angled outwards slightly so that it was wobbly enough to deter any raccoon or cat trying to climb in. Since the welded wire has 2x4" holes- big enough for bunny kits to escape through- we added 3 feet of poultry fencing to the bottom , all the way around. 6 inches of it was bent to run along the ground, so they could not dig underneath. Then.....all the way around the inside, we overlapped another 3 feet of poultry fencing that lay on top of the ground all the way around the "coop". This kept them from tunneling out close to the fence. This was secured with earth staples.
But, in the middle of the pen was an area without anything on the ground. This was where they would dig their burrows. Eventually there was a network of underground tunnels and burrows where they would go to keep cool in summer, warm in winter and to have their kits. Heat is a big killer of rabbits and we never lost any to heat with this system. If you get a lot of rain, it can be helpful to have some kind of roofing over an area to keep the tunnels from flooding.
When the kits were about 10 days old, they would emerge from the burrows and start eating with the others. We had 20 to 80 bunnies in a colony like this, including the bucks. When they became mature they would start fighting, so we would have to cull to make sure there weren't too many at one time.
Rabbits tend to self-regulate their numbers based on available space in a colony, so if the population became too large , they would have smaller litters.
We really enjoyed giving them a chance to live a somewhat "natural " life, running and hopping and digging and interacting with one anther. I could never have my bunnies in cages again after seeing how well they thrived in this kind of environment.
And twice per year, we would go in and harvest already-composted manure. Gold for the garden!
Joel Salatin's son has raised rabbits for many years and they put Basic-H in the water to keep them from getting parasites. We did have pinworms in the rabbits before we did this. But other than that the rabbits were extremely healthy. Joel's son did a lot of "linebreeding" , as did we, and we never had problems with the close breedings even after 8 years of not introducing any new genetics. If you start with healthy genetics, it makes all the difference.
Wild Rabbits do carry Tularemia which can be deadly for humans that eat the rabbit. Even getting it on your hands can transmit the organisms, but I think it's just in the blood, not on the coat. But you might want to research it and see. I know that the disease is active in the summer and that's why you are not supposed to eat wild rabbit in months that do not have an "r" in them ( rabbit hunting rules).
We used to raise rabbits in a colony situation( not in little cages) and offered them a Redmond Salt "rock" that you can find in a lot of feed stores these days. They really liked it. It's a naturally occurring salt lick complete with good minerals including the trace minerals.
Rabbit poop is the best for creating an earthworm farm. We would let the poop build up and it would compost in place. When we dug down a foot or so, it was absolutely loaded with earthworms. Added to the garden or made into worm casting tea....it was a super amendment.
"Citrisolv" is a good solvent/thinner for applying oils and getting them to penetrate wood instead of ethanol or other petroleum products I have not used it with wax but it works really well with oil. We applied a citrisolv /walnut oil finish to our mesquite counter top in several coats and it has worked really well. Totally non-toxic. Citrisolv is made from orange peels( D-limonene). We found ours in the health food store. Walnut oil is one of the oils that will polymerize( as does Linseed oil) as it dries. Good for sealing cutting boards, cabinets, wood countertops and ....earthen floors!
After several oil/citrisolv coats, we applied the wax.
We bought 5 gallons of walnut oil- food grade- from Liberty Naturals.
I am working towards this goal with my herd. I've been following a woman in New Mexico , Nancy Coonridge, ( you can do a search online for Coonridge Farm, there are several good articles on her) who has been successfully browsing her herd of 75 goats for many years on 300+ acres. She only feeds the occasional alfalfa when the weather is bad a few days per year and the goats won't go out. She's got some Maremma dogs who go out with the herd and they spend all day browsing the rim rock country.
They are fed no grain whatsoever.
I have not been to her place and seen her operation but have corresponded with her to ask questions. She suggests working towards a no grain/hay herd over a few generations by breeding the does that do well in this situation and culling those that do not. She says the quantity of milk is less than if they were fed hay, of course, but with 75 goats it does not matter that much. She makes an exquisite chevre that she sells at markets and online and is certified organic.
I am already seeing, in my herd, that the kids that are raised browsing in the wild are becoming more adapted to the browsing lifestyle than their moms who browsed less. Each generation should become hardier and more resilient and more able to turn the less concentrated foods into milk production.
In the meantime, I grow a lot of comfrey, chicory and other weeds for the goats, as well as winter root crops to feed as I decrease their grain consumption. It took many generations to create goats that "need" grain and alfalfa to produce milk and probably will take a few to have them adapt again to a more natural diet. And I think it depends on the environment too. Goats need a wide variety of browse to choose from. They have a high need for minerals and they can only thrive while in producing kids and milk if they have lots of different forbes, shrubs, trees, etc available.
To Iona and Michael, I hope you will get this message.
I've lost both of your emails when the ol' laptop went kaput. I'm so sorry not to have gotten back to you. We are usually very prompt in our replies and I know what it's like to not hear back from a sincere request.
After looking for a long time for our "ideal" of a Ringing Cedars-type community, and not having any leads, we decided this winter that it was time to make a move anyway. We did not want to put another few years of investment into our place here knowing we would eventually move. So....we found a community( not ringing cedars) in SW New Mexico that comes close to fitting our ideal in some ways. It's really difficult to find a place that has everything we want. But it is remote, off grid, good water, lots of sunshine, mild climate, infinite browsing potential for the goats, we can build what we want, spiritual( am I allowed to say that here?) and inhabited by a small group of folks who's #1 motivation is to "study the sacred manuscript of Nature". Something that Anastasia might say!
We are in the middle of moving now, very chaotic but full of promise for a bright future. Just waiting for a well driller to come and give us some water to create our oasis.
I thank you both so much for responding to our ad and for having this vision in your hearts. I trust that the Kins Domains will find their footing here in the US and people like us will have land on which to flourish and thrive.
Hi.... I have had really good luck keeping deer out and goats in... buy putting up 4 ft. high woven wire fence (field fence).... then weaving in and out sharp sticks, thus extending the fence up to about 7 ft, as a picket fence having vertical pickets every 4"- 6" or so.... this takes time on a two acre fence... but it adds up with persistence.... cutting willows, alder, or hazel.... all of which grow new branches after being cut... or go to a lumber yard or sawmill site and ask for their trim sticks.... (usually sold cheap as fire starter kindling..... when done the sticks last many years, being up in the air and not on the ground..... and you have what looks like a beautiful 'third world' stick fence....
Hello A Walton....... Presently the homestead/Farm is fully functioning...... But we (the people who built the homestead from the ground up).... are moving away..... Now we have an agreement with Hummingbird community (who's land this is on)..... that we can not sell the buildings or homestead itself, but we can take with us, the solar Grundfos pump, and all the solar equipment that powers the pump, and supplies electricity to the straw bale house.... so if we strip the homestead of the pump and solar equipment then it has NO water or electricity... and the new residents would have to replace ,buy and install..... all of that to have water & power again....... so the new Stewards, could give us $12K for all the equipment and have a fully functional homestead that they could live in, for the rest of their lives...... this is the agreement we had with the community..... we could be here the rest of our lives... but life brought us surprising chages. and we are moving away..... so.... either the new residents pay us for the solar equipment or the buy, and install it all themselves... after we move and take it with us.... .. SUCH A DEAL, if you want to homestead and live in a VERY LOVING community.... a completely fully functioning Homestead, Straw bale house, greenhouse, root cellar, ponds, productive shallow well, alfalfa field, barn, pasture and gardens with 18 ft. of rich, dark topsoil............. for $12K.................... AWESOME
Opportunity for Permaculture Stewards at Hummingbird Community
Are you passionate about growing healthy organic food?
Do you have an inner calling to be a farmer/ gardener in a community of like-hearted people?
Would you feel inspired to participate in co-creating a demonstration/ educational center for regenerative living?
Do you have a yearning to be empowered to express your full potential?
If this resonates with you and you experience a “YES!”,
read on and let’s explore possibilities!
Hummingbird Community, located on 485 acres in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Northern NM has a functioning permaculture 5 acre Homestead/Farm already established. We are offering an opportunity for a gardener, farmer and or permaculture person/s to live at and take over the care and nurturing of our beautiful Eden Garden/Homestead. The community is seeking individuals who deeply resonate with Hummingbird’s vision, mission and values.
The Eden Farm includes the following infrastructure:
• 350 sqft, 1 bedroom strawbale/cob house with fenced yard and graded potential future homesite
• 12x24’ double walled greenhouse
• 12x24’ 3 stall goat barn and milking room
• 12x24’ haystorage/firewood shed
• Outdoor shower and kitchen buildings
• ½ acre double fenced raised-bed garden with deep rich topsoil
• Many fruit, and windbreak trees and berry shrubs and perennials, several years established
• 1 acre fenced alfalfa field with flood irrigation rights from ditch/acequia
• 1 acre fenced pasture with flood irrigation from acequia
• Flow- through pond( lined) fed by acequia, plus a second small pond fed from overflow from the gravity feed water system
• Chicken coop
• 10x16’ root cellar
• 12x24’ shop/carport
• 100 ft deep well with excellent water, producing 50+ GPM
• 3000 gallon water tank above house and barn and garden for existing gravity feed water system
Eden is completely off- grid and currently runs with two sets of solar arrays, one for the house and one for the solar powered well pump. The water system gravity feeds water to all of the buildings & gardens with good pressure. The house also has a battery bank and charge controller/inverter as part of the system.
There is a need for $12,000 to secure this solar equipment, thus, making it a Turn-key situation and support the re-location of the current stewards of Eden, while retaining the solar electricity and water systems at the Eden Farm/Homestead....
Contact us to learn more and explore possibilities!
Hi.... we too have a Grundfos SQflex pump..... they come custom set up for your needs... depending on how high you need to lift the water from the level in the well to point of use.... and how many gallons a minute you can or need to pump from that well..... our well is 100 ft deep and can put out 50+ gallons a minute.... we bought a grundfos pump that pumps 25 gallons a minute... and lifts the water 185 ft....... to a 3,000 gallon storage tank on a hill...... and from there is gravity feed to our house, barn, greenhouse and gardens..... we only need to run it for about 3 hours to fill the tank and then it lasts for weeks, ..... this system needs no batteries (because we turn it on when the sun is shining)....... these pumps run on direct sunlight DC or AC...... they have a low power shut off and a too much power and run dry shut off, to protect the motor.... we feel they are the very best well pump for solar application... price around $2,000
Hi Michael, Loren and Joana...... Please look at our post... titled "Do you want to share your land"..... here at; https://permies.com/t/53324/SHARE-LAND-experienced-mature-Homesteading ...... and let us know if there is an attraction to perhaps live together there on your Kentucky property...... the reason we have avoided south/eastern states, is because of the 'chiggers' and ticks.... because we like to be outside, barefoot most of the time..... How is it there for you guys..? I think we have a lot in common and share a lot of the same values.... thanks, Sunny and Sequoia
I'd like to add another couple of reasons to befriend weeds in the garden.
We've got a small herd of dairy goats in a dry , high desert climate. We've also got a very weedy but super-productive 1/2 acre of annual veggies. For three months of the year a significant part of the goats' diet consists of weeds from the garden that I cut back( never pull them) and throw over the fence. They will grow back and provide a continual source of nutritious forbes for my hard-working girls. So we are turning our weeds into milk and cheese and cutting our feed costs in the process! Many weeds are dynamic accumulators and I also harvest and dry a lot of them for winter use to add to the feed for a plant-based mineral supplement for the goats.
We've got a plant called sow thistle , an annual that comes up every year. And the goats just love it. I looked it up and it is high in protein( supposedly a very popular staple in NZ and other countries) and increases milk production. I didn't have to plant the seeds and it grows itself. This is just one example of the bounty that happens when we invite nature to co-create with us( as opposed to trying to dominate the garden with our own agenda)
I also have a theory that by leaving some weeds to grow in amongst the crops( but like Eric said, being careful that they don't out- compete the food plants) they help the soil microorganisms and mycorrhyzae to thrive. From what I have read, mycorrhyzae do not form symbiotic relationships with some plants like brassicas and chard. So those beds might not foster as healthy soil as beds with other things growing in them. But if there are weeds growing in the beds with the brassicas....well then maybe they are encouraging the fungal growth in the soil. Plus the fact that we really do not know how plants roots interact with one another. They exchange information and nutrients and all kinds of things that we are only just beginning to understand.
I realize that it takes a huge amount of energy to process the sap into mattresses and then ship them from sri lanka to the US and therefore does not necessarily fit the bill of being sustainable. But it's still nice to know that the material you are sleeping on came from a tree! And to have the unsurpassed level of comfort that that "tree" can provide.
I'm with Eric and others who love their natural latex mattresses!
I spent many many years looking for the perfect mattress and had a lot of back problems and sleep problems with most typical mattresses , especially after they started to wear down. Not to mention sensitivities to the toxins in most mattresses. YUK.
I did a lot of research on latex and discovered that it was pretty natural(sap comes from trees) , non flammable so no fire retardants, lasts a long long time( they claim 25 years without breaking down) , no off- gassing, and so many other wonderful points that I was sold.
But......the price was wayyyyy beyond our budget, so what to do?
I looked around online until I found a place that sells latex "toppers". They are about 6" of latex and meant to put over your existing mattress to make it more firm.
This same company also sold "seconds" ; toppers that had minor flaws.
I managed to find 2 seconds toppers, queen sized, firm, with a natural cotton zippered cover that fits both of them together for under $700.
I had never spent anywhere near that amount of money on a bed before but, I'll tell ya, it has been the BEST investment I have ever made in my life!! Both my husband and I are totally in love with this bed. It is unbelievably comfortable and we sleep soundly and peacefully knowing we are not breathing fire retardants for 1/3 of our life.
Easy to move too as we haul in inside for the winter and outside to our outdoor bedroom for summertime.
I am totally sold on natural latex beds.
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We really like what you are suggesting. It seems to fit nicely with what we( my husband and I) are looking to co-create with others.
Could you tell us where you are located so we know if it's even in an area that we'd be interested in?
Well... If it was me doing this, (and I have built a few underground 'Hobbit' houses from the ground up)...... I would cover all areas of existing house, that are going to be buried with rubber pond liner, (totally waterproof for 35-50 years)..... then I would build a cinder block retaining wall up against the pond liner, as high as the dirt is going to be...... this retaining wall will need a cement foundation about a foot wide, and as deep as frost line, reinforced with rebar in the holes, and the holes filled with cement..... because this is actually hold the settling dirt back from leaning on your house... I would also dig & fill with gravel a 'French drain' on the uphill side of the retaining wall before back filling....... I have done this retaining wall/French drain, curved around the up hill side of a round buried Mandan 'earth lodge'... and during heave rain periods... there were two little creeks flowing out of the down hill ends of the French drains.... forget about sealing the brick surface on the house proper... the pond liner will keep the water out..... good luck...