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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Outdoor Work

Hi Everyone...Chad Here.  This week, I've been busy doing things outside since the weather is appropriate now.  I've decided to put the garden directly in front of the Earthship to make use of the microclimate produced by the angled glass, proximity to the hose, and nitrogen inputs of the blackwater system.  We'll do annual crops on the West 1/2, perennial crops on the East, and non-edibles like flowers and pumpkins over the leach line and sand filter.  More pictures of this in the future, as not much has been done so far.

On Monday, my dad came with his Kubota to help divert surface water which comes from the North.  I'm following a permaculture system brought to my attention by Ben Falk of Whole Systems Design in Vermont.  He has a book coming out but not until June...too late for what I need to do right now, unfortunately.  I have fruit and berry trees coming next week, and they will be incorporated into our system.
Basically, we created swales - on contour - and seeded the bare spots with clover and other nitrogen-fixers for a cover crop.  On the swales, we will be growing a variety of fruit, nut, and berry-producing trees that will soak up the runoff, nitrogen, and organic fertilizers.

Mulch (donated by Windswept Tree Service in Cortland) and burlap will act as a weed guard for the trees, positioned at the top of the berm.  A lot of planning has gone into this as some trees need male pollinators, specific pH and sun requirements, and/or lots of space.

The chickens take advantage of the overturned soil to search for worms and grubs.  These free-range strutters are now producing about 10-13 deep-orange yolked eggs a day now. 

1 comment :

  1. Thanks for the update Chad! More pictures of your Dad please. Hey, shoot me another email because I deleted your recent message but forgot that I don't have your current one saved. I guess I was too dependent on fb...