I took a bunch of pictures today, I wish I had done it a month ago when everything was giant green, and fresh. However, I have many videos of that time and I will be editing on them soon enough. Most posts, and videos especially, will be done in the winter for the prior summer. This is simply when I have more time, and less money, so it’s a good thing to occupy my broke winter mind.
I took pictures of many more things, but, this post is concentrated in the main 1/10 acre garden space. You will see earth works, artistic creation, small ponds, and more. I only water when I really feel it needs to be or it will die. I am after specific seeds here. So you will notice the limp texture of the plants on the dry land. Keep in mind, this garden would be dead as that skunk on the side of the road up from my place if this was traditional organic technique…
What we see here is the far South ‘sink’ as I call it. In heavy rain it will fill from the river created through the property, and over flow to the South in extra heavy rains. On the back side of the area is a large woody bed, then six fruit trees just behind that. The goal here as always with these gardening techniques, is to turn the soil into a living sponge, so this sink soaks the surrounding sponge, and releases the rest back into the water table for home use.
These pictures by the way are not professional, so I hope if you are interested as an example for your own property that you will enlarge the pictures on your screen. Right click and open in a new tab.
This is the back side of that sink and woody bed. Notice the micro-climates I make by texturing the land, varying mulches, and the addition of entire trees, logs, and stones. Though hard to see, in this ten foot by twenty-foot area there are two three year plumbs, one flowering crab apple, and two apple trees (two years at nursery). This is only two growing seasons into this project and doing so with intentional hardship placed on the plants; so it could be better as far as more polyculture under these trees, and greener for this time of year, but it will be in years to come. Patience. These trees were watered three times after they were planted this spring, then never again, and they are thriving! Its the shallow rooted annuals that suffer in this still poor soil. However, just the mulches alone are starting that sponge, and the more time goes on the more life will be in the soil including mycorrhizal fungi, which, I will continue to inculcate until my supply is gone.
Here we see an example of one of my more naturalistic woody piles. Instead of burying the wood, which is a great thing to do, I also just make piles of logs I cannot split by hand, then cover them with mulches and just enough dirt to make an awesome snake retreat. You can clearly see the butternut plant and cucumbers, now dead, which fully covered this entire area a month ago. The seeds are harvested, and the rest is left to see what will come up next spring. Saving the seeds is my insurance, but its the plants that will regenerate themselves that I am really looking for, I want their seeds. This area is really enjoyed by the chickens, as the squash bugs are plump! Yes, I let the squash bugs go, because I want to attract their predators.
Here is another set of annuals that should be dead; no water since the last rain over a month ago, and 95-100 temperatures the last two weeks. But natural permaculture techniques are keeping the peach trees strong, and the okra alive. The peaches were planted the first season, and again, were only watered a few times to get them established. They would be four years old now (two in the pot at the nursery).
Here we see an example of playful creation with a five foot forked piece of tree. Previously in the season, it had peas then cucumbers bunched half way up its height. In the back ground you can see the paddock and barn system, we will do a quick review of it soon. Deep rooted plants in this area capitalize on a second septic system for grey water only.
Ms. Chicky hanging in the Polk Weed and Virgina Creeper.
I put this in here as an example of trash utilization. When I find something that is free and I see a future use for it, I save it. I am not a hoarder, my place is well-kept. If you can’t find the will to stop your car and pick up a hose from next to a garbage can, that you can fix for $2. You have an issue. I recycled 2×4’s to build an octagonal frame, then sheathed it in reclaimed 1/2″ plywood, then a covering of leftover scrap corrugated tin from the barn. Previous to this, I had a blue pool tarp over this grey water system, now I don’t. Thanks me!
This was a cherry tree that was dead when I moved in. I turned it into garden food (not really, mother does that for me), then decorated it with the ax and additional logs, then I grew stuff by it, let other things grow there because they wanted to, and walla. Magnifico!
Here we have the front pond. I am still working at getting it sealed, as I want this one to be more than a sink. I want small aquatic life, like frogs, goldfish, and maybe even salamanders or a turtle. I will go into more detail with these water ways and catchments, as many of them are connected and deserve their spot light.
Here we see the pond from the other side, It measures approximately three feet deep when full, four-foot wide, and fifteen feet long in a tear drop shape. Again, we see my tendency to make things look natural with the large cedar log extruding from the pond. This does not have to be done, food-scaping as it can be called, is more like traditional landscaping just mostly with food plants instead of ornamental’s. Those systems are more labor intensive, and not as healthy, but still a viable option for HOA, or if the natural look just isn’t your thing. As long as you want to grow food, we will find a way to accommodate you.
And last are two examples of rock decoration and wildlife shelter as the upper one shows, art for the lower picture, and as thermal mass from both. Not to mention the minerals leaching out and being taken up by plants, which, helps make our true medicine called food.
I have been making rock piles for a few years now, but just this year I stood on the shoulders of an asshole to create this little balancing act. So credit where due right?! Indeed, ass or not, let us give credit to those we learn from, at least once… This one is created out of three 50-80lbs stones, and a light weight piece of lava rock to cap it off. No chipping, just balancing. It’s probably about 3 feet tall, and has stood solid through some pretty intense Kansas winds. I will move it later to a new location, and give the base stone a better cradle, right now it is shimmed with small stones to keep the base stone where it needs to be.
Sweet, thanks for checking it out folks. I’ll be back.
Until then, how about a tune? Here