The manure wil stink like a pile of horse shit until you spread it as a layer of a few inches. As soon as the aerobic bacteria take over (a day or two) the stink will get replaced with a nice earthy fragrance. A lot of plants should do good in it if you let it sit like that over the winter.
Davis Bonk wrote:So overseed legumes so they choke out the weeds and themselves but can't compete with the garlic. I think I'm gonna give this a shot. Its still gonna require cultivation and or mulch around the plants.
It could work but i feel like that'd be sort of an anti-guild. I dunno.
I've planted some garlic last fall and and it began to shoot green few weeks back. I'm planing on growing it with carrots, parsley and peppers (with wood chips as mulch) and see how it goes. But that would not be considered cover crop and will require some weeding. The only thing i can think of in terms of cover crop for garlic would be strawberries. From what i read the are compatible with garlic. plus they don't grow high enough to suppress it and definitely could cover the ground dense enough.
We're renting a house that's sitting on a 3/4 acre lot in northwest Chicagoland. I sort of sheet-mulched about a half of it last September/October. Well actually i hauled in about 80 tons of (wood shavings based) horse manure and spread it about 8-10'' thick over maybe 20000 square feet. I casted winter rye seeds over all of it in November and early December and some of it (but not a lot) started sprouting before it got cold.
We also have a hugel structure that i made last year - about 1000 square feet 3 foot deep pit filled with wood and covered by soil, surrounded by a c shaped (and facing south) hugel bed - currently a skunk residence, who have been helping us with 'kitchen waste' recycling all winter long.
The soil here is quite good, loamy with maybe about 3 feet of topsoil. The previous owner was from what i heard very firm about not using any chemicals on or around the lot.
The plan is to grow food for our family (of six), sell the excess and save the income for a downpayment so we could purchase this (if the landlord is wiling to sell or other) property.
My grandparents were farmers and i did a lot of work around our garden with our parents but it was mostly till twice a year, plant in rows and weed a lot kind of farming. I'm trying to figure out how to do it the no-till, company planting style.
The soil is still frozen but i'm getting ready to start planting indoors. Tomatoes (which i plan on making our main $ crop) actually seem to grow better when transplanted so i'm thinking i could start with them about now. Maybe peppers as well since we're about 2 months from our last frost.
Cristo Balete wrote:Urban places are mostly privately owned, or maintained by tax dollars, so it costs everyone when plants show up that shouldn't be there.
These ripple effects are huge, and they can go on for hundreds of years
This is the State park motto: LEAVE ONLY FOOTPRINTS - TAKE ONLY MEMORIES.
I've seen the park crew in our municipality as they were spraying pesticides to contain the mosquito plague we had last summer, the ripple effect will include more mosquitoes next year and more pesticides i think.
Land ownership and tax dollar are important parts of of civilization which is apparently endangering the whole planet. Guerrilla gardening is an effort to change the paradigm and save us (humans and the rest) from extinction.
The hugel mound did so so in terms of producing vegetables this year with the exception of the bottom part that did fairly good.
The flat, buried in the ground part did and still is doing exceptionally well. Beets, carrots, parsley, potatoes, tomatoes, herbs, beens and peas grew abundantly. The only hing that didn't grow was cucumbers that started off nice but when the fruits started showing up they were very pale and the plants wilted quickly.
Cabbages, kale, onions and beets are still growing.
I added two more mounds on the sides connected to the one on the north end last week so now we have a C shaped space protected form the east, west and north and exposed towards the south. I'm planing on growing worm weather plants in there next year or even getting some greenhouse foil and growing things for transplants there early spring.
Tyler Ludens wrote:Yep, to me it looks like if they are an "accumulation" rather than a natural fall or a mulch, that you need to remove them. This is probably to avoid people having big messy piles of plant material in the yard (what we would probably call "a compost heap").
composting is allowed to with the exception of household garbage:)
3-9-7: COMPOSTING Properly maintained compost piles may be utilized by single-family units for gardening and landscaping purposes. Such may be located in the side or backyard, the farthest distance possible on site from neighboring residential structures, patios and swimming pools, a minimum of five feet (5') from the property line. Compost piles shall not contain household garbage and must be regularly maintained by turning the composing material to permit aeration and/or by application of chemicals to induce rapid decomposition and prevent offensive odors. (Ord. 0-90-26, 7-2-1990)
GARBAGE: Any rejected or waste household food, offal, swill or carrion and every accumulation of animal, fruit or vegetable matter that attends the preparation, use, cooking and dealing in, or storage of meats, fish, fowl, fruits or vegetables and any other matter of any nature, which are subject to decay, putrefaction and the generation of noxious or offensive gases or odor, or which during or after decay, may serve as a breeding or feeding material for rodents, flies or other germ carrying insects or animals.
But i was told by the landlord that the city would fine us if we don't remove the leaves that fell of trees.
Zach Muller wrote:Wow voy that sounds even more harsh than the puritan lawn laws around here. I would be interested to know how the law concerning leaves is worded, .
Leaves are considered landscape waste and as such they need to be removed.
"LANDSCAPE WASTE: All accumulations of grass or shrubbery cuttings, leaves, tree limbs three inches (3") or less in diameter, tree trimmings, brush, and other materials, accumulated as the result of the care of lawns, bushes, shrubbery, vines and trees."
Although as i'm reading it it says they have to be "the result of the care of lawns, bushes, shrubbery, vines and trees." so if the fell from trees they could stay on the ground but not if you rake them on a pile
My municipality seems to perceive itself as sort of upscale and do require all the leaves to be removed. I did rake the front lawn and used all the leaves as mulch for a new bed that i'm preparing for next year. The nice autumn fragrance vanished from the front yard though.
I had a conversation with the city inspector earlier this year when i tried to explain that what he saw as a bunch of unsightly weeds was in fact a wild life habitat crucial for the wellbeing of our yard. He decided not to make a fuss about it unless he gets complains from the neighbors so i try to 'educate' them a bit about how 'bugs' that live in the bushes keep cabbage worms at bay and a couple of unsprayed cabbage heads presented to them us prof help.
Explaining, to a city inspector, how leaving leaves to decay on the ground could actually benefit our local community would probably be a challenge.
Thank you Ben, I just placed the order. The cat is doing so so, he spends most of the time in our bed, drinks some water every now and then and doesn't really eat. But he still seems to have some fight in him. He is quite young, about 4 years old so i do have hope.
Our cat's belly got swollen quite a bit over the last couple of weeks so my wife took him to the vet today and it seems it's edema. The vet guessed it to be caused by the FIP which has no known (to the vet) cure and is fatal. He does look sick.
I started treating the cat with 'healing energy from my hands' which at the very least he seemed to enjoy. I also smudged him with sage ad gave him some goat milk with few drops of grapefruit seed extract.
Cats are hard to read but he does not appear to be done for. If i had to guess he does expect me to help him pull through.
I told my kids he might die and they cried a bit but they also decided to try to see if they can help with their 'healing hands'.
I wonder if anyone has any ideas or comments that could help our cat.
It's been looking fine. I didn't pay that close attention to the process when i brewed the tea with hot water so i can't tell if there's any difference, but the new Mother has formed nicely, the liquid smells nice and looks normal. Few more days and i'll report my wife's opinion regarding the taste.
BTW i used mint to close the circle this time to make it more refreshing in hot weather. I'll probably use ginger or cinnamon instead of mint when the weather gets cold. Those two belong to the element of Metal as well but, instead of mint's cooling abilities, have warming properties.
Thekla McDaniels wrote:Ah, "house hold compost activator" Like the liquid fertilizer that I make myself. I have dogs that are also fertilizer producers.
If that is your compost activator, I think you might want to consider other additions.
I really liked the idea of growing mycelia throughout the pile and waiting for it to give a flush or two of mushrooms, which might not be til sometime later in the growing season next time around. I'm sure there is a lot of knowledge in the myco forums. Paul Stamets' Mycelium Running is a great resource as is the book by Trad Cotter, but I can't remember the title of his. But if you want a nice active pile, that will take soil food web community to where ever you use your potting mix then my suggestion is to get some great compost and use it to inoculate your pile. Your household stuff feeds the organisms, but does not bring any soil organisms with it. There is no action without the organisms. If you have rich and alive soil, that also will inoculate the pile.
Where I am, the best inoculant I have found is "Happy Frog" soil conditioner and potting mix. I looked at it under the microscope to make sure it is full of life, and yes it is, but only if it has been stored properly (not out in the hot sun or stacked high on pallets where the internal bags have no chance of maintaining aerobic conditions.
Thanks again for pointing me in the right direction. I think the soil in my beds is quite alive and i could use it to inoculate the compost but i may give the Happy Frog conditioner a try.
Would i add the conditioner as I'm starting the pile or do i wait until it cools down and add it as i turn it?
Thekla McDaniels wrote:I don't know what's in the activator, and maybe the activator is for a specific mix of stuff in a particular ratio. Best to check that before going further.
I am a fan of cool slow decomposition rather than hot fast, and again I don't know what you are planning. My overall impression is that it's a workable idea. I think I would put plenty of rich and alive soil in with your chips and charcoal pile, try to get the wole soil food web established in there -- or make the conditions right for fungi to permeate the whole pile over the winter, rather than favoring the bacterial action.
Maybe you could even get some spawn and grow mushrooms on it, and harvest a flush or two of oyster mushrooms before you break up the pile for your potting mix.
Thanks for your ideas Thekla.
Household compost activator is a euphemism for urine:)
Dave Dahlsrud wrote:Could you expand a little on the order according to TCM? Just curious. The only thing that would worry me is putting the sugar in when you did, but if there's a solid reason to, then you thinking on the solar exposure seems reasonable enough to risk it.
The life circle can be described as a continuous (circular) flow of five elements (transitions): Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. They feed and stabilize each other in a particular way: Wood feeds Fire which feeds Earth which feeds Metal which feeds Water which feeds Wood and so on.
In preparing meals it is said to be beneficial to add ingredients in an order of which element they represent (nourish most).
Tea being bitter belongs to the transition of Fire, which is followed by sugar - sweet belongs to Earth, mint(spicy) belongs to Metal and (cold) water belongs to Water as on might guess. (hot water would belong in the order of Fire though). Kombucha being vinegary (sour) finds it's place in the element of Wood.
There's a whole lot more to it (a lot of which i don't know) but it works as basic patterns in preparing basic food.
BTW Five Elements is a spiritual concept and from what i gather it's not allowed to be tough in the Peoples Republic even though TCM has a prestigious place in todays China.
So the local law informed me they will fine me if i don't get rid of the big pile of branches i had way in the back of our back yard. The landlord rented a large wood chipper for a day and i chipped most of what i had and i burned the reminder.
On the plus side now i have maybe 1/3 of a cubic yard of charcoal and few cubic yards of wood chips a lot of which is made out of thin branches.
So i'm thinking i could mix some of the fine chips and charcoal with grass cuttings, add some ground limestone and seaweed, sprinkle with household compost activator and compost it.
Would that not make a good potting soil for next year transplants? What do you guys think?
Sounds like a great idea. In theory it 'should' work... however, with fermenting what works for one person may not for the next. Every ferment is unique, and every environment also so.
If it was me trying this, I would probably separate a Kombucha Mother into two parts (they don't mind being cut with scissors or just ripped apart if you are feeling strong) brew one part the normal way, and then experiment with the other half. That way if the new method gives horrid results then I would still have a back up.
Do let us know how it goes. It maybe that after a few tries with this new method, your SCOBY will have adapted and become even more awesome than a normal Kombucha brew.
Well i finally did it today. i put some green tee bags in a glass jar, added sugar, one bag of mint tea and poured in mineral, lightly carbonated water. I covered the jar with a glass lid and set it in full sun for half the day.
Later I fished out the bags, mixed the liquid a bit, added some Kombucha from the previous batch and put one of the Mothers from the previous as well - the one that had gone to the bottom.
The ingredients and sequence have got to do with the five elements of the Traditional Chinese Medicine. I did add sugar before i let it sit in the sun but my thoughts were that the sun rays would inhibit any unwanted microbe activity enough until Kombucha and the Mother take their part in it.
My wife likes kombucha which i don't drink because of the alcohol content. But it seems that the task of making it is mine.. Anyways i just had a thought of dipping tea in unboiled (mineral) water in a glass container which i'd set out to stand in sunlight for a day. Would kombucha like the tea?
Of things that are most likely already in your garden you could consider Chenopodium album L. - lamb's quarters. My uncle use to cook soups with it. From what i gather you eat only the young leaves because older leaves as the rest of the plant (but not the seeds) have some alkaloids.
I've not tried it but thistle is supposed to be edible as well.
Thanks again! Do you have any idea how much space is enough between the hugel and the house? Does the size of the lens depend on the height of the hugel? I was envisioning a fairly short hugel, basically a raised bed made of wood and soil instead of just soil.
Wood and energy I have, time is the issue. Hopefully in a month or two I'll have a bit more time to tackle this project.
I wouldn't think the hight of the hugel matters, it'll depend on the amount of water it stops/stores.
Could be like this:
or like this:
I imagine if the mound doesn't do that the house's foundation may act in a similar way but i have very limited actual knowledge of it and would encourage you to keep on investigating.
The idea of stacking functions will take you places. Using the hugel for growing food and keeping water out of your basement qualifies. From what i gather water is going to go down the slope, underneath the mound and collect in a form of an underground lens on the lower side of said mound. It'd suggest that there'd be sufficient distance between the huge and the houses foundation.
If you have enough wood and energy you could male several mounds across the slope or (/and) a Ushaped mound open towards the south that'd work as a sun trap as well.
I have few thought that may (or may not) be helpful.
Diverting water to neighboring property is illegal here in Illinois, it could be ok as long as the neighbor doesn't mind but if they file a complain one would have to take the structure down.
That being said, a wondering shape would stop more water and force it underneath than a straight line at an angle to the hill.
The sun is pretty high now but later in the year it won't be the case, from the map you drew it looks like the area where you plan for the hoop house is going to be shaded by the house and the garage for a large part of the day.
Sharon Cline wrote:Yes, I grow it in zone 5b. It is an annual for me since it is a tropical plant, but is fast growing. It grows close to the ground and sprawls outward, so it is a lovely ground cover. I makes a delightful tea. Powerful medicine!
Welcome to Permies, Sharon.
Do you grow it from the seed?
Dianne Goodacre wrote:Looking good! Is there still time this year to plant anything where you are? Something like kale?
Actually we may have 4 more months of a growing season here, 3 and a half at least so i'm still hoping to grow nice crop. As a matter of fact we finished the southern slope of the mound today. I covered it with top soil, me, my wife and kids casted a bunch of different seeds on it, i topped it with a layer of chipped wood and wife with kids covered it all with some weeds that grew abundantly just next to the hugel.
We seeded some squash, cantaloupe, sweet peas, broccoli, carrots, wild strawberries, white strawberries and maybe few more i can't remember.
Adam Buchler wrote:So I have 5 raised garden beds....each 50' x 4'. I want to plant some cover crops this fall to chop down in the spring and use a mulch. Any ideas about which tool is more appropriate given the size of my garden and the fact the the raised beds are "rounded" or "mounded". Wasn't sure if scythe was overkill. And to be honest at the moment I don't have any other use for scythe so I'm leaning towards a sickle. That being said where can I purchase one and is there a particular kind I should be looking for?
A scythe requires some room so you can swing it freely from side to side.Without the momentum it won't be effective and safe for that matter. Considering that the beds are rounded i'd imagine it'd be hard to use it anyway. As soon as you start hitting the soil with the blade it'll get dull real quick and it must be kept very sharp in order to do it's job.
A sickle seems more practical for a 4' wide rounded bed.
Look at the video if you will, that may help you make up your mind.
Thank you for the responses. The way i did it last year probably resembles the berm approach most. It does make the harvest job harder comparing to how i imagine the methods involving straw. i'm gonna have to try to source some straw and try it.