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A permaculture design in a small Russian land plot.

 
Posts: 143
Location: Russia, ~250m altitude, zone 6a, Moscow oblast, in the greater Sergeiv Posad reigon.
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    I recently made a design for a Russian family who are friends of mine. They live on the north side of a hill, and the ground is usually quite soggy in the spring, summer, and autumn. Wind comes from the west, and this map is oriented with north as up-left. Thoughts?
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pollinator
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Hi Myron,

I liked your post because you gave us cool drawings to view in case  we can offer you suggestions here.  If none of the experts pipe up, then I'll nudge them.  It would be really cool if you actually post pics here of your project if you get to implement the design!
 
steward
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Hi Myron, there's an excellent permaculture youtuber with the channel Edible Acres.  He has a north facing site with very wet soil.  You could likely get a bunch of ideas from his videos.  The things that come to mind are to give the water a place to flow (small waterways and ponds) and to create raised beds for plants that need to be up and dry.  
 
Myron Platte
Posts: 143
Location: Russia, ~250m altitude, zone 6a, Moscow oblast, in the greater Sergeiv Posad reigon.
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Mike Haasl wrote:Hi Myron, there's an excellent permaculture youtuber with the channel Edible Acres.  He has a north facing site with very wet soil.  You could likely get a bunch of ideas from his videos.  The things that come to mind are to give the water a place to flow (small waterways and ponds) and to create raised beds for plants that need to be up and dry.  


    Raised beds are included in this design. Soil from the paths goes on the garden beds.
    The swale at the bottom will have a spillway that I’m hoping will run fairly regularly once rehydration is completed.
    A few of the swales are terraced at a two percent grade.
    Depending on how much water comes down from the upper slope, the bottom left corner, which is already soggy, might be chinampa-type developments instead of the swales I show here.
    Thanks for the input, it’s very helpful!
 
Myron Platte
Posts: 143
Location: Russia, ~250m altitude, zone 6a, Moscow oblast, in the greater Sergeiv Posad reigon.
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Orin Raichart wrote:Hi Myron,

I liked your post because you gave us cool drawings to view in case  we can offer you suggestions here.  If none of the experts pipe up, then I'll nudge them.  It would be really cool if you actually post pics here of your project if you get to implement the design!


    Drawing it on paper really helps me think it through properly. I will get photos!
    One oddity about this project is that we have no money to afford an earthmover, so we are going to attempt building a dam by hand. It’s going to be a big challenge, but I know how to make a dam, and I think we can do it. To get proper compaction we’ll probably use a bunch of people jumping on a board on top of the layers of clay as we build it up, the way the Chinese built the wall.
 
Myron Platte
Posts: 143
Location: Russia, ~250m altitude, zone 6a, Moscow oblast, in the greater Sergeiv Posad reigon.
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Anyone have a clue what to plant next to the pond for duck forage?
 
Myron Platte
Posts: 143
Location: Russia, ~250m altitude, zone 6a, Moscow oblast, in the greater Sergeiv Posad reigon.
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Also, companions for rose bushes? Would they be the same as other rose plants?
 
Myron Platte
Posts: 143
Location: Russia, ~250m altitude, zone 6a, Moscow oblast, in the greater Sergeiv Posad reigon.
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New design. Many changes. I made the pond bigger and moved it to the middle of the garden, so that it will give a much better heat sync effect and have more potential energy. I put the chicken run around the uphill side of the house, the tiny greenhouse will be on the uphill side of the house, and doubles as a winter chicken house. The water that comes off the house will carry nutrient from the chicken run to the garden, through a silt trap. The overflow from the pond goes through a patch of rose bushes in a guild with parsley and probably a couple other things. The ducks for the pond will probably be Muscovies, because they debug gardens really well. The water that flows out of the garden goes to a silt trap, then through a series of larger connected rings with water-loving plants on them. Beside this “terraced water garden” as I call it, there are flowering and berry bushes, downhill of it, in the overflow stream, are cranberry and viburnum, and below that, a last little water collection spot with a willow guild. Every extra nook and cranny will be filled with as many flowers as humanly possible, to be beautiful and to attract insects for the birds to eat. I stuck blueberries in sunny spots. Every graph square is three meters across.
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Myron Platte
Posts: 143
Location: Russia, ~250m altitude, zone 6a, Moscow oblast, in the greater Sergeiv Posad reigon.
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Before I forget, I would like to thank Edible Acres YouTube channel for inspiring the chicken run design, Mike Haasl, for his suggestions about water management and for recommending Edible Acres, and my brother, who saw the ideal spot for a willow tree that I overlooked.
 
pollinator
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Having pines shades the land, and prevents it from heating up in spring. How is the pH of the soil, is the acidification from the pine needles intended?
Have you thought about mulberries?
 
Myron Platte
Posts: 143
Location: Russia, ~250m altitude, zone 6a, Moscow oblast, in the greater Sergeiv Posad reigon.
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hans muster wrote:Having pines shades the land, and prevents it from heating up in spring. How is the pH of the soil, is the acidification from the pine needles intended?
Have you thought about mulberries?


    The acidification is intended. pH is slightly on the acidic side currently, judging from plants currently there, but the soil will also get alkalinized by proper aeration and drainage. The main purpose of the pines is a windbreak. A small variety of pine and/or occasional harvest is probably in order. I have not considered mulberries. If this was my land, pines probably wouldn’t be my choice of windbreak, but the owner loves pines and specifically asked for them.
 
pollinator
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You forgot zones?
Also, I would avoid straight lines. Nature doesn't make things straight ;) she likes them round, or at least curved.
 
Myron Platte
Posts: 143
Location: Russia, ~250m altitude, zone 6a, Moscow oblast, in the greater Sergeiv Posad reigon.
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Flora Eerschay wrote:You forgot zones?
Also, I would avoid straight lines. Nature doesn't make things straight ;) she likes them round, or at least curved.


    I didn’t draw in the zones, but I’m taking them into account. For instance, the chicken house is right outside the front door. The garden beds are laid out on contour, you just can’t see it because this property is so narrow. The tree line is straight because it follows the fence and the road, and because it follows the access pathway to the birch grove.
 
Myron Platte
Posts: 143
Location: Russia, ~250m altitude, zone 6a, Moscow oblast, in the greater Sergeiv Posad reigon.
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    Alright, I've got another idea for the micro-scale design of this property. Y'all know about worm farms, right? What if I install a primarily rain-watered worm farm right below the silt trap that gets catchment from the roof and chicken run? I think it could be dug into the ground, held up on the downhill side by a wall formed by the soil pulled from the basin, maybe with a pipe for worm juice drainage. I know the worms won't be sealed in, but in my mind that's a feature, because they can burrow during the winter to avoid a die-off, and there's no danger that they'll run away from their food supply. The plan is that the whole garden will get the liquid fertilizer automatically, by virtue of the water flow, and the worm castings will be as convenient to spread as possible. the manure supply would be from the chicken house uphill, the manure will have to age in piles for a while first. there is a reliable source of kitchen scraps, so that's covered. Another (I think) advantage to this system is that earthworms eat compost worm's castings, so even more processing is done before the castings get to the garden. Any problems that you foresee?
 
Myron Platte
Posts: 143
Location: Russia, ~250m altitude, zone 6a, Moscow oblast, in the greater Sergeiv Posad reigon.
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    Is this garden bed layout overly complicated? The only two incompatible plants here are carrots and dill, so I put the carrots in the back as single harvest veggies that don’t need regular visits, and the dill in front, as it’s a Russian staple. Questions, Comments?
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Myron Platte
Posts: 143
Location: Russia, ~250m altitude, zone 6a, Moscow oblast, in the greater Sergeiv Posad reigon.
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   The snow’s melting, and it’s go time! I made these thirty-some vampire-killers during the winter because survey flags are not easy to find here. Surveying beings today! I’m going with three of my brothers who desperately want to help.
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Myron Platte
Posts: 143
Location: Russia, ~250m altitude, zone 6a, Moscow oblast, in the greater Sergeiv Posad reigon.
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    We got two swales surveyed in the three hours of sunlight we had left.
It was too dark for photos by the time We finished the second one, but here are pics of the second. This one is actually at a 2% grade down to point where we put three stakes, and then 2% grade up.
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Location: PNW Columbia Gorge
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Myron Platte wrote:Anyone have a clue what to plant next to the pond for duck forage?


Ducks do well in rice systems. In the shallows of your pond you could plant wild or native verities of rice. BTW i like your art work.
 
Myron Platte
Posts: 143
Location: Russia, ~250m altitude, zone 6a, Moscow oblast, in the greater Sergeiv Posad reigon.
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    Right after that last post everything froze again, and we had to wait a few weeks for things to warm up again. I used that time to get seeds and think the design through a few more times. Now work is beginning in earnest. We had a pleasant surprise when we started digging the first swale. A drainage pipe that I didn’t even know about came down from around the house. It was installed a while ago to drain the runoff from the roof. All I saw was water coming to the surface at one place, and that a swale to direct the water to some useful purpose would be warranted. And the source of the water happened to be this drain pipe. Pics:
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