Mike Turner, I'm on my phone so I can't see where you're located. I would really like to know how long it took you to get your bamboo groves growing and if you had to irrigate them? What size bamboo are you growing? I'm in Western Oklahoma next to the Texas panhandle and I really wondered about bamboo for cattle shade and structural building material. Would it grow up in my pastures where the wind blows all the time? Or do I need to put it down in my seasonal creek beds and gullies, but I would worry about it getting out of control.
A few suggestions -
if you're a member of Facebook there is a group called agricultural electric fence questions and answers. Electric fence will be much quicker and much less expensive than building a new fence of barbed wire. You will need to train the cattle to the fence. On this Facebook group you can ask how to train cattle that aren't yours.
I'm on my phone so I can't tell if you asked this question in the permied livestock cattle forum but if you didn't that would also be a good place to post this question.
As far as building 2 miles of barbed wire fence is concerned, my mentor has told me never to build fence, only to repair. I also ive in a brittle environment where cattle are not that profitable.
Besides or instead of reporting injured dead and trespassing cattle to the cattle owner it might be better if you report it to the sheriff, or the forest service. This hopefully gives you a record of trespassing by his cattle in the event you want to pursue legal action in the future or see if the forest service will give you the lease and take it away from him.
I am a person who usually has a list of a hundred things to do. And I let that list drive me crazy often. But I heard good advice from Allen Williams in a webinar the other day, he said get the low-hanging fruit. You get more accomplished with less energy when you do the projects that give you the biggest return for your time invested. He also said manage for what you want as opposed to what you don't want for instance invasive plants.
Cristo Balete, Our climates are very different, I'm semi-arid, presumably, something that is good in one climate may be bad in another. Every property owner ought to have some invasive species bookmarks for their area. On the surface, Elaeagnus sounds great but it is on my Invasive Species watchlist for my area. That in itself isn't the be-all-and-end-all, I can ask the local conservation district, the extension agent, and thoughtful neighbors what they have found in regards to Russian Olive and Autumn Olive which were the Elaeagnus species planted in this area in the past.
Autumn Olive: Good Intentions Gone Bad
An upcoming event in Oklahoma for owners/managers of larger properties- July 21, 2020, Understanding the Impacts of Fire on Your Property about using prescribed burns. This is a presentation by Noble Research Institute. Understanding the impacts of fire on your property.
Sam Dodson, What a useful thread for me as I too need very large and long hugels. Sharing your experience has helped me begin to think through my process. It would be great if you can post recent photos and tell us how your hugel system has worked for you and if you would do anything differently. Thanks!!
Kristin Bennett, From the thread it sounds like cedar on the bottom of the bed is fine with other woods above that. Also as far as grass is concerned I watched a youtube from Oklahoma Gardening channel that cut the grass out and put it upside down on the hugel as one of the layers. Depending on the type of grass you might want to bury it deeply in the hugel. Where are you located?
this spring everyday has a wind of over 70 km/h. It whips trees around and dries out the ground unforgivingly. I have planted many coniferous trees because once bigger they help greatly with the wind but found that if planted anywhere the wind can get to them while young they dry out and die but if kept under shade of another tree they do much better.
Good info, thanks.
Anne Miller, good links. Especially Deb Rebel's post in this thread: One piece of Advice. Winter Gardening sounds like a good idea and Bryant RedHawk's reply in this thread Fall Garden was helpful about knowing what to plant. Also some talk of Elliot Coleman's books; I used to have one around here somewhere. Winter gardening could really be the ticket as it's 95-100F in June, July and August. I tried to find info on autumn wind speed and direction but too much tornado info comes up and that is making me anxious.
Douglas Alpenstock, yes, observation is key, I hope to live there this fall and winter. Shelterbelts, I don't see many now but I will ask the Extension agent about them. Water in summer would be an issue if I'm not here.
Eric Hanson, When they do controlled/prescribed burns here for pasture regeneration they often plow a strip for a firebreak. I'm thinking about putting in a narrow loop road around my tiny homestead for this reason. It will need to be somewhat vegetated otherwise the winds will cause me to eat a lot of dirt. The wind commonly blows 20mph just about daily.
I worry about the water quality in the shallow ephemeral creeks and gullies because I have seen what looks like oil in the water. It probably is oil as I am in the gas fields of Western Oklahoma. I don't think there is any getting around it, though possibly I can plant some remediation plants upstream of my food forests. Projects within projects!! :0(
I will look for a likely spot in the gullies or creeks to plant a food forest guild and fence it off. I can plant some in July or September when I'm there. I'd like to get gallons of local seeds/fruit pits and poke them in the ground willy-nilly too. I haven't seen squirrels, I wonder what else would bury the fruit pits if I just dump them in the gullies? If I could get discarded local fruits I'm sure the coyotes would eat them and 'plant' them.
I will research "winter gardening". I don't know if I will have water this fall as I've gotten in bed with FSA, NRCS, and the local Conservation District and am waiting to see if they want to help me $$ with water infrastructure for livestock.
Observe...luckily I like to wander the place.
I believe I must create forest gardens but I am ambivalent because of ticks, chiggers, and coyotes. My place is on the Southern Great Plains - it's pasture cut with deep gullies and some shallower ephemeral low water creeks. The gully and creek area are the only forested areas, the rest is pasture. I've heard chiggers like moister areas and ticks can drop off trees onto me - ick!! I'm allergic to chiggers so bites for me are a 3 month ordeal. The coyotes run the gullies and creek beds from dusk to dawn and I have decided I like their company so I don't really want to intrude on their space which I think of as zone 5.
Because the plains are prone to wildfires and need controlled burns I think planting trees by my tiny house in the higher pasture areas is not a great idea. Also, the wind blows a lot and most of the time and I will not be irrigating. That leaves planting in the lower, treed, moister areas. Because of wildlife and livestock, I will have to fence in any gardens I build. I'm sure there are a number of microclimates if I'm willing to grow in separate areas.
I won't put the house in these lower areas as it would be too far to build a road to. There seem to be a lot of obstacles to forest gardens on the Plains. What strategies can I employ to make forest gardening on the Plains easier and sensible?
"Why do I keep shooting myself in the foot?" "Why am I suffering right now?" For me it was alcohol, food, caffeine, TV, lack of exercise, lack of friendship, on and on. The bottom line in the way we treat ourselves is trauma. The more trauma and the less recovery from trauma, the worse we treat ourselves. I did not have bad parents or big bad things that happened when I was a child but nonetheless every day was torture. Some of us are just born more delicate than others and so it takes less pain and distress to defeat us. In my case, my mother's family was disfunctional and she modeled those behaviors for me. I, of course, as a child and young to middle-aged adult just did what I knew. We did not talk about how we felt emotionally in my family so I was mid-40s before I realized I needed therapy. That helped a bit, but took too long and cost too much.
Ten years ago I suddenly had a burning desire to know Truth/God. That led to Liberation Unleashed forum where they help people see through the illusion of self. It also led to non-dual teacher Scott Kiloby who has trained many facilitators in the Living Inquiries and the Kiloby Inquiries. Inquiry helps me to take apart the conditioning and beliefs that make up my 'miserable self identity'. Inquiry does not just show me why I do something (overeat, chronic pain), it unhooks me from the thoughts, emotions, and body sensations that cause me to behave in unhealthy ways. There are many modes of working with trauma to heal; it's a very cutting-edge field nowadays. Do a little research and spend a little money and get better soon because life is much more enjoyable now than I ever thought it could be.
Ya'll have given me so much great information and things to consider in this thread, I truly appreciate you all.
Rufus Laggren wrote
It's all just "best guess" right now. Because it takes time and experience to know your style and what tools and equipment you will find comfortable, necessary. So spending less at this time, just for what you know you won't be able to get by w/out, is probably good policy
I've got to remember this, it takes some pressure off!
John C. Daley wrote
I built mine with a hinge point just a bit forward of 1/2 way along the trailer bed.
This meant it always returned to the 'down ' position, and the effort to tip it is greatly reduced.
I have a snap pin for holding it down.
The lifting mechanism consists of a pole rising above the front of the trailer about 4 feet. It has a 4 inch pulley at the top.
The winding mechanism is the same used to pull boats onto trailers, they are geared very low.
It is mounted to a horizontal bracket welded to the upright and pointing towards the tow hitch.
It is just far enough back to give clearance for your hand when winding the winch.
Another 4 inch pulley between the winch and the base of the pole near that horizontal bracket helps with the cable being smooth in its operation.
To lift the snap pin is released, the winch operated until the soil starts to move and a locking strut then swings under the trailer bed to hold it up.
John - What a good idea, how about some photos of this?
I have an old toyota sedan for driving to town when I don't have to haul something because town is 30 minutes away. I'd like to be able to haul large round or square bales of hay. Lots of old hay around that could go in hugels or be laid down to slow water on eroding slopes. Plus there may be cattle at some point - the tenant will move them but I might fetch hay. So I think trailer lights are a good idea for sure. If I'm only hauling 1 bale at a time do I need special brakes on the trailer or truck? A bale is about 1500#. I could buy an old truck with a tow package then I don't have to cobble it together. A trailer with low sides like John said is probably best for my dirt works. I can drive anything but older manuals are hard on my body.
A lot of my dirt hauling will be off-road across pastures after digging eroded soil out of low spots. The property elevation is from 2000' to 1900'. The soil description says a bit of 1-3% slope, a lot of 5-12% slope and the rest is steep gullies. One area I want to dig in is a blow-out from gas pipeline installation - it's 50' lower over about 1/8 mile distance.
I googled cheap 4x4s and this came up:
V6 Nissan Xterra 00-04 5000#
Mitsubishi Montero Sport 97-04 5000#
Kia Sorento 03-09 3500#
Jeep Grand cherokee 7400#, but I won't own one too many maintenance issues
Ford Ranger pickup 04-12 5500#
Ford Explorer/Mercury Mountaineer/Lincoln Aviator 06-10 7300#. At cars.com the V8 4x4 is $4000. If I search a while I can probly find one from an individual for $2000.
They definitely build rammed earth houses in New Zealand because there are papers that talk about how well they have or have not held up to earthquakes. Also, there is an alternative building code. Just look around a bit on New Zealand government websites for alternative building.
Hi Benjamin Mutton, it's been so many decades since I read dune, please remind me what the wind traps are for. A description of what I assume is your panel would also be enlightening. Also as I'm on my phone I can't tell where you're from and what your climate is so some info there would be appreciated.
I too am not flush with cash so look for inexpensive ways to do what I want done. How about doing some tinkering to adjust a used bike trailer for hauling materials? Here are some ideas. Images loaded bicycle trailers
I need a trailer to haul dirt - probably mostly loam, not much clay - around the 400 acres. I will use the dirt to make hugels, I may dig into the ground for a greenhouse, and I will haul materials around, and set up and move electric fence for cattle. The property is not flat so I'm thinking a shorter trailer is better and not too tall, perhaps a pick-up truck bed trailer. I need a ranch vehicle and I'm thinking a $500 4x4 Geo Tracker or a Suzuki Samurai because I hear they are cheap with a short wheel base. The vehicle will haul the trailer, be used to set up and move electric fence, and a general work truck on the place. I'm not mechanical or rich so there won't be any large equipment, just me and my trusty shovel. I currently don't have a pickup so may need one for hauling materials from town if the Tracker is not titled. Thoughts?
I believe you have to sign up to wish.com to access the items for sale. Here is the link for one of the many solar panel kits for sale. 1000W solar panel and 50A controller Here is the description:
The Latest Hot Sales Waterproof and Snowproof Polysilicon 780W 5V/12V Dual Output USB Solar Panel Flexible Monocrystalline Battery Charge with Dual High Efficiency USB Solar Controller(Option) for Home/Outdoor Solar Power Kit
1000W Solar Panel and 50A Controller
Only 5 left!
May 13 - Jul 5
Items are sold and shipped by Dawei FAITYCX FATION MAN WEARING SHOP
1 solar panel
a pair of alligator clips
1 car charger
1 solar charge controller option
Maximum power (Watt): 1000W
Working voltage (Vmp): 18V ± 0.3V
Working current (Imp): 1.6A ± 0.15A
Short circuit current (Isc): 1.8A ± 0.15A
Open circuit voltage (Voc): 20V ± 0.8V
Voltage temperature coefficient: (0.06510±0.15)%/°C
Current temperature coefficient: -(160±10) mA / °C Temperature coefficient Power: -(0.5±0.05)%/°C
Maximum system voltage: 20V
Ambient temperature: -40 ° C ~ 85 ° C
Air resistance: 50psi (2400pascals)
Snow resistance: 113psi (5400pascals)
Item size: about 420 * 280 * 5MM
High efficiency, conversion rate of 35-37%,
Solar panels for flexible surface mounting
Easy to install and easy to install
Maximum solar input:
Balance: 14.2V / 14.4V / 14.6V
Floating point: 13.7V (default, adjustable)
Discharge stop: 10.7V (default)
Discharge reconnect: 12.6V (default, adjustable)
Current consumption: <10mA
Working temperature: -35-60 °C
What do you think? I actually have a coupon for half off one item up to $100. So it would be $30US plus shipping.
In my decade of experience with community gardening I can tell you that a certain percentage of your gardeners will not manager their weeds or grass if it gets in the beds. We have bind weed here even after ten years. Do what you can about the grass, then move on.
If you mulch with wood chips in a dry climate they don't break down. If they get Incorporated into the soil they bind nitrogen, which is a bummer for new gardeners. We mulch out paths with chips and which later becomes great soil.
Remi Gall, I would really like to hear what has become of your walpini greenhouse. Did it fall into disuse or get repurposed? Or is it still a greenhouse? If so, what adjustments have been made in the last seven years since you posted? We can learn a lot about projects by how the hold up over time and how their use changes.