Ma and I have been hard at work around the farm getting things ready for the upcoming growing season. I found an ad from a friend on facebook that had these lick tubs for sale for $5 each. They will serve as a good part of our water catchment until we get something a little more permanent and then we can use them for tree planters and who knows what else. Maybe a water feature in the food forest. Hey, that’s an idea!
You will notice there is a fence outside the fence, Well, folks we have goats that free range so everything planted needs protection. We have a major fence project in the planning stages that will afford the heathens as well like to call them their very own places. It will eventually afford us the opportunity to do some cell grazing and really take our little farm to a new level.
I know it looks a little on the trashy side but it has to be protected and we had this old frame sitting around anyhow so it fit the bill. We don’t have very many pretty trees around the place so this one will be a good start and one day maybe I can carve yellow willow spoons and Ma can weave a yellow willow basket. Sounds like a plan right?
As I was digging the big hole for these few trees I was piling soil and my pile ended up being pretty much on contour so since I was shovel happy anyhow I decided to make a small swale. I suppose it’s not really a true swale in every sense of of the word but it is a mound with a ditch on the uphill side. Its on eyeballed contour and when I pour it full of water is soaks right in. So I plan to leave it for now and see what happens. If anything goes awry I can very easily fill the ditch in and level everything back out but for now I think it will make for interesting observation.
I know, I know, we need to get that mound planted but since we aren’t sure that we will be keeping I think we’ll just sheet mulch it and let it rest until we decide one way or another. I would like to address something. I know you real true died in the wool permaculturists are probably throwing a fit right now seeing those store bought soil bags in the background. I have to be honest you are going to see a certain amount of them in the shots around the OKA at least for the next little while. We have honestly scaled back this year and we plan to continue that trend to the point where we never have to buy it again. We are going hard core soil building as of today, but more on that in the next post.
We really are working on it. Last year after sheet mulching out entire veggie garden and planting into straw ala Geoff Lawton on his Building Soil the Permaculture Way DVD we have reaped the benefits of about an inch and a half more soil in that area. This year Ma has decided to switch it up and build beds more on contour instead of two long downhill beds. I am pretty sure most of our water ended up down at the north end of our garden last year. I think her idea of laying the beds out like she is will greatly help with water retention.
I think it’s pretty obvious that there are two beds in the foreground with a sort of zig zig walkway the third one is just started in this pic, you can see where it will be, see the little pile of dirt by the shovels leaning up by the gate post? Further down toward the fence she is going to build a u-shaped bed to fill this area out. You may also notice our irrigation lines are a bit displaced. I think it will be a fairly easy fix to get our drip system back online once Ma has all of her beds built and mulched. It should be as simple as a couple of cuts and a couple of 90 degree connections and a plug to complete the job.
I think our little food forest/garden area is really gonna come to fruition this year. We look forward to the progress we are sure to make and we are glad you guys are interested in all the new stuff we have working. Please come back.
As it turns out we are in a drought here on OKA, most of Oklahoma is under drought conditions as a matter of fact. It sure hurts to see rain makers like this one miss you by a few paltry miles. Drought is just one more reason why permaculture is so important and Ma and I hope to bring it to the forefront of our little corner of the world. Hopefully we can do our part to spread the word, it really is that important.
Well, that’s about all I got, take it easy.
Good post! I like the frame around the new tree, we are going to be putting in a few new fruit trees this year and its got me scheming about ways to protect them in a way that looks nice and will still allow for keeping the grass trimmed.
Right on Mark, I’m not sure i will do much mowing behind the frame but I get what you are saying. I will most likely just mulch it like crazy but I may open it up enough to plant some supporting species like an autumn olive or some comfrey but most definitely mulch.
As Geoff would say “good on ya mate!”
Freakin’ sweet! Dude, the hubs pulled a willow tree baby out of the ditch last summer and brought it home for me while it was still over 100 degrees out. I surrounded it with the shopping carts my son found in a dumpster, an old screen door, and threw a blanket over the top. it was seriously crappy looking, but it got the job done. Your tree’s shelter looks downright fancy in comparison. (Shhh, i buy dirt too).
Ha, that frame was originally going to be a chicken coop but my carpentry skills shined right through and it has been sentenced to a life of protecting trees. I think it will serve us well in that capacity. I hope that this will be the last year we buy soil.