Cesum Pec

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since Jan 17, 2012
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Recent posts by Cesum Pec

Does anyone have any pro or con book recommendations for beginning permaculture? I've been looking around, and there is lots of stuff out there that doesn't apply to my farm. I'm north of Orlando, zone 9, all sand in the top 2 - 5 feet with some clay-sand mix down to 20+ft, slightly acidic, 1% organic matter, zero rocks. There is a gentle roll in the land, with no more than 40 ft difference between the peak and the lowest point. Due to the soil structure, there is no erosion or run off; no matter how hard or long it rains, the water runs right thru the soil, never leaving a puddle. The only pooled water is at the very lowest points where wild hogs have rooted for centuries and deposited enough muck to seal the bottom. In any farming / gardening / landscaping books, I often run into the problem of recommendations being more appropriate to the other 47 CONUS states.

I would like to start converting small sections of my farm to a permaculture design. I'm looking for books that are cover general concepts as well as specific how to info. Any assistance is greatly appreciated.
7 years ago
It sounds to me like you are carrying the manure down the hill. Why not just pile the manure at the top of the hill and leave it to compost. Horse manure is close enough to the proper C:N ratio that it doesn't have to have extra carbon. Don't turn the compost as that promotes more fungal growth and leave the piles for a year. Any runoff will run down hill into the orchard. Carry only finished compost down the hill to save labor.
7 years ago
PW - care to expand upon why you think Hu-poo composting is worse in some ways than septic?

Labor - hu-poo worse in one sense, but for those of us who compost anyway and are always looking for more free nutrients, it is no more labor than we would expend on livestock manure composting
Cost to install - humanure is way mo'bettah
Cost to maintain - septic better especially if you attribute composting costs, gathering carbon, emptying buckets, to waste disposal vs fertilizer manufacturing.
Impact on groundwater - assuming both are properly done and not over loaded, I'm guessing they are about the same.
Pathogen separation from human recontact - I think you are probably right on that issue, even though a hot compost pile is a great pathogen killer, there are possible recontact possibilities in handling waste buckets
Nutrient recycling - humanure is way mo'bettah

I'm sure there are other issues I'm forgetting to consider

7 years ago
figs at chestnut hill farm

per these folks who work closely with UF, figs are self pollinating
7 years ago
Have you considered fruit juice as an acidifying agent? (chart is unverified but hey, it was on the Internet)

Orange Juice - 4.35
Lemon Juice - 2.75
Grapefruit Juice- 3.65
Lime - 2.88
Apple Juice 3.35 - 4.00
Apricot Nectar 3.78
Grape Juice 3.4
Pineapple Juice, canned 3.30 - 3.60
Prune Juice 3.95 - 3.97
Guava nectar 5.50

I have wild citrus so that's an easy choice for me, but you probably have something near by and if you convert it to vinegar, you can get the Ph into the low 4 range.

Note, I have not tried this and don't know what unintended consequences may be. I'm planting Blues later this year in sandy, hi Ca soil and I am using hugelculture and composted sludge to improve water holding capacity and tilth. I plan on trying juice from sour oranges to lower the Ph. I assume the sugars in the juice should be good for encouraging microbes.
7 years ago
Here's an article that may prove helpful: weight of soil

If you use the general estimate that the top 6.7 inches of good, loamy soil is 2M lbs, one acre inch weighs roughly 300,000 lbs. with roughly 39 inches in a meter, you would need 11,700,000 lbs of biomatter to create an acre meter of soil. I'llleave it to you to do the heavy lifting with a really big wheelbarrow, and to convert to metric since I don't know if Italians even think in acres.

All the above is subject to so many variables in the types of materials, water content, decay rates, etc, that it is probably meaningless except to show that it takes a HUGE amount of material.
7 years ago
I'm not sure how you will think about this, but instead of landscape fabric that I would have to purchase, I did an experiment using carpet. I have a friend with a carpet store and the old carpet he rips out goes to the landfill. So I diverted some to use as road stabilizer under sugar sand. Some carpet is made of plastic so I don't especially like adding a non biodegradable to the soil, but I had to do something to firm up the road.

The sugar sand is almost fluid when driving heavy vehicles across it, it sort of splashes to the sides of the drive. The loose sand slows and sometimes stops 2WD vehicles. It even stopped my truck in 4WD when I was pulling a 20K lb trailer.

I used my tractor to scrape off 6 inches of sand, laid the carpet down, and covered it with sand. It has been down a year and I just had the farm logged. About 120 loads of logs, with truck and loaded trailer weighing well more than 60K pounds crossed the road section with carpet. The carpeted area held up well better than the uncarpeted zones, doesn't slow or stop vehicles, and my only complaint is that in some places the edges of the carpet got pulled up.

I think the 6 inches of sand should have been about 10 or 12 inches instead, but I'm afraid that much sand will not keep the road hardness I"m looking for. I might have to crack open the wallet and get some gravel to put on the carpet before the sand goes on.

I'm also planning on digging a small pond and am going to use several layers of old carpet under the pond liner.
8 years ago

Adam Ormes wrote:Nobody loves me! I think I'll go and watch some more Geoff Lawton videos, he loves me, he always smiles...

well, Adam, you get no love from me, sorry.

I've got very sandy soil, bedrock no where to be found in the first 10 - 12 feet of sand, and am wondering all the same things as you. I have a 4 - 5 acre garden / orchard going in on a gentle slope that I cleared from a semi tropical jungle state. The timber was cut and will go in low hugel type rows which I think I want to be about 6 ft wide. I desperately need the water retention. Having not been able to find anyone to provide guidance, I'm just winging it.
8 years ago