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About EternalNoob

  • Rank
    Advanced Member

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  • Location
    Washington State USA

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  • Interests
    Farming, Aquaponics, D.I.Y. projects
  1. I have a volume of the redbook. It's several years old. Want me to find it? I'll let you borrow it if you promise to return it. As smatthew noted it is focused heavily on the growing of ornamental flowering plants. You can find plenty of snippets on the interwebs to see the quality and type of information you will get.
  2. Pigeons eh? They can be some real good eating. Much easier (imo) to care for than chickens. Much quieter as well. There are old breeds that are utilitarian in nature. Even ones that are darn near flightless (can be a good or a bad thing). If you can keep your lines clean they sell for a surprising amount too. Looking forward to watching your system develop.
  3. I just ran across a cool video about Ron Pecoffs R&D facility. Cool stuff!
  4. It most certainly did happen in my case. I believe it happened mainly because the wood I used was pretty green. I experienced terrible growth the first year and had to irrigate. The second year was comparable production (without irrigation) to my irrigated field and the third year was nuts. I had a pumpkin come up as a volunteer and that thing just took off. 1 single vine produced at least 20 carving sized pumpkins and the vines spread to a size of about 50x15 feet solid. Nothing else could get a foothold. My chickens loved it. An entire flock (like 15 hens and a roo) could disappear into it and happily forage all day. You couldn't even see them except for the occasional head popping out to see what was up. Amazing. This will be it's 4th year. I'm thinking about just spreading wildflowers for the bees and forage for the chickens. I just dumped a 50 foot windrow of compost on it.
  5. Speaking of whole foods. I think I read somewhere that they have never closed a store. They're opening one near me and have done a helluva job on social media reaching out to local producers. I thought about going but I don't like contracts. Contracts require responsibility. I'm the exact opposite of responsible. I like u-pickers and sitting in the shade.
  6. I've been thinking about this subject a lot over the last couple of days. While I like to pat myself on the back for not doing this, that or the other thing the reality is that I do rely on my trusty Deere to get stuff done. I know that every time I bust that beast out of it's slumber I'm beating up my soil and burning up dinosaurs that could be used for things that are much more useful and recyclable. I know that mono cropping isn't best for the plants or the nature that I'm constantly fighting to keep at bay. I have a greenbelt/woodlot. It's very nice and it borders a river. I have some friends that have spearheaded a movement in my area to install a large food forest and because of their care have reversed the trend of declining salmon stocks in the stream that wanders through it. It's a wonderful place that I have enjoyed many a time. I think I'll invite them over for a beer (and a covert permaculture consultation) and go plant some trees and maybe transplant some blueberries this weekend.
  7. Yup. If you want to have cheap food that requires minimal (or underpaid) labor. Minimal labor requires big efficient machines. Simple as that really. Until we are all willing to pay more for our food and our farmers are willing to make less to produce it that's just the way it's gotta be. Or everybody takes some responsibility for what ends up in their bellies and grows their own. I think that's where permaculture really shines. On the hobby farm and in the yard. I hate lawns.
  8. Probably so. Speaking of hydroponics. I'm currently researching hydro grown raspberries. Raspberries are a pain in my ass. Mainly because even though they are a high value crop the second I bust out my trusty hoe to keep the stupid thistle at bay the crop becomes worthless. I refuse to spray. I also don't trust anyone else with a hoe and every misguided swipe takes out next years berries. Anyways... My berries are at the end of their productive lives. 10 years is pretty good go for a plot (when you keep them tightly confined to rows which is against their nature). Here's what I'm thinking. Remove what's left of my current plot. Put down a quality weed block within the rows. Then I'll plant up a bunch of berries in grow bags and redo the irrigation to use drip emitters fed from a hydro reservoir. I've used grow bags for tomatoes and the ones rated for 5 years of use should hold up great. Around here it is generally accepted that you'll get 5-7 years of max production out of a field. I'll stagger plantings so that I'm never without. Drip irrigation will cut down on many if not most of the problems associated with water and raspberries. If I could put them under a high tunnal that would be even better. Then I would keep the morning dew and bird poop off of them. I also think my back will thank me for it. Like this: Totally not relevant to the conversation and for that I apologize.
  9. I just went through this ordeal. Because I'm not very smart my initial plan to use a bottom drain and a standpipe was not able to happen so I opted to use a 2 inch bulkhead on the end wall of the trough as low as possible. I bought my bulkheads from allied and opted for the ones that are slip fit. Reason being is that I wanted to be able to easily remove the pvp I have installed on the inside of the trough and the ability to adjust my water level because adjustment is good. It makes it possible to drain the bed out within an inch of the bottom. Since I have the slightest grade in the bottom towards the drain I get most of the water out. Should make cleaning very easy. The pvc inside the bed that attaches to the bulkhead consists of a 90 and two pieces of 2" pvc. One short to attach the 90 to the bulkhead and one long to act as my standpipe. I don't have a pic of the inside but outside it looks like this: P.S. I used Allied bulkheads in my media beds too and those are threaded. They are standard thread and with some "pipe dope" they sealed up very nice to my threaded pvc couplings. Cheers!
  10. An alternative video on Mr. Shepards farm can be seen here for those who are not signed up to Mr. Lawtons website.
  11. Ok. I finally finished watching the video. I'm finding it very hard to believe that having the proper soil biology for the specific crop grown will eradicate all (or an acceptable level of) disease and predation by insects and other creatures that want to eat my produce more than I do. She's trying to tell me that proper soil biology will stop cabbage worms, coddling moth and apple maggot? Proper soil biology will eradicate European canker and scab on my apple trees? I suppose ultimately for me it doesn't matter because I'm not going to spray anything to get rid of stuff. Instead I'll use other methods to the best of my ability. Apparently even after dumping tons of compost all over the place and not spraying stuff I've still got an imbalance in my soil because I get some nasty weeds every single year. Mainly smaranthus palmeri aka pig weed. I don't mind it so much because as a seedling it is delectable. The bad part about this weed in particular is that it germinates profusely which means I have to be very careful how I seed stuff. I guess according to her I need to figure out where on her little grid amaranth falls and then inoculate my soil with the proper microflora to grow a different crop and therefore minimize the amaranths ability to take over. Makes sense I suppose because it doesn't grow at all in my raspberries which I have mulched differently than my open field that borders them. Interesting and relevant to my interests. I'm not buying everything she says without further research but I'm certainly interested. Wonder if there is any proof online of her claims about increased productivity? Specifically her claims about the Dakotas.
  12. Nah. Doesn't answer my doubts at all. In fact from what I've seen so far it reinforces my beliefs. My doubts are related to profitability in terms of mainstream ag vs permaculture and their respective abilities to "feed the world". What she is endorsing is a component of permaculture in a round about sort of way but it applies more so to straight organic ag. Based on my personal experience (as someone who doesn't use inorganic fertilizers or pesticides) permaculture does not lend itself very well at all to the efficient use of labor. Labor is by far the most expensive expense in most businesses I know of. My point was that until people decide to live an agrarian lifestyle and "lower" their standard of living permaculture on a wide scale doesn't (as I've witnessed) and won't work. If I were given 10 acres and never had to make a dime on it I would do just fine. Maybe even have enough of something special to trade with a neighbor for something I suck at growing or making. But that's not the world I live in. BTW. When I think about permaculture based ag I think of things like tree guilds, companion planting, stacked plantings and all the various nifty ways of saving and using water efficiently. None of those things make harvesting an efficient task. Maybe food is too cheap. Or people are too lazy and concerned with things that don't actually matter. I dunno. I just like digging in soil and tinkering with stuff. If the discussion was about ag using organic principles it would be different. Still a heated subject but if what the video proposes works and the technology was there to ensure that it is indeed successful (vs traditional mainstream ag) then ya. Let's do this. Cheers! Sorry for another rant.
  13. I love the concept of permaculture. I really really do. I know a lot of folks in my area that are REALLY into it. Several make a living from it. The problem I have seen and experienced with it to date is that it (as a movement) suffers from much of the same issues as aquaponics. Every "successful" or renowned permaculturist that I know or have met makes their living off of education or some product that is permaculture approved. I have tried many permaculture principals on the farm I manage. It just makes sense to me. To emulate (and perhaps enhance) natural systems instead of fighting it all the time. Unfortunately it often involves much more physical labor to get it going and or to harvest. I have also not seen or experienced yields of marketable produce that come anywhere near that of conventional farming or even those that follow organic principles. You would think that after the 15 or so years I've been aware of it in my area that a single permaculturist would make it to market with their bountiful harvest. Nope! Not that I've seen. And I go to a lot of markets in several cities. Ever tried to harvest enough produce to take to market in a food forest? Sure. It's a nice walk in the park but to profit from that walk is incredibly hard. Especially when the stall next to you has the same produce and can sell at much lower rates because they were able to harvest en masse. That's what I have to say about profit. It's a moot point if you're willing to lower your standard of living though... I've also noticed that a lot of people are turned off by "the look" of permaculture. I mean in a landscape. It has been my experience that people generally like order. They like the efficiency of straight rows, trimmed trees and bushes. Most permaculture gardens I've seen (or planted myself) have been chaos. They might look cute for awhile after planting but so many are set it and forget it until harvest. I will say that the one year I did a big market garden with the idea of chaos (bunched companion plantings,cover crops and what not) that it was a huge hit with all of the kids that came to my farm for tours. It was an adventure to find things in there. It was a lot of fun. It's my understanding that the idea initially stemmed from the idea that agriculture could (or should) be somewhat if not actually permanent. It wasn't until later that all of the social and appropriate technology aspects of what is now permaculuture were integrated. I like both aspects. Especially on the hobby farm or perhaps the backyard scale. I don't know. I guess if everyone were inclined to live an agrarian lifestyle as PART of a managed ecosystem it would be cool. But that isn't going to happen. Not until we experience a huge die off because of some kind of shtf situation. We're too many. We love modern convenience. Not sure if this post is appropriate to the thread but that's what came out when I started to reply. Sorry!