Blogging anachronisms

August 18, 2013 in Homesteading by Claude

So, in order to get this blog rolling, I’m going to add quite some material on projects I have worked on so far, as well as ongoing stuff, of course. Since the work started about 18 months before the blog, this will lead to some anachronisms, but I figure that it’s better to just add the stories without worrying about the time line too much. That way it is more likely to get done =)

Maybe a short history of the project so far can give a bit of an overview, as well as an preview of what is to come on this blog soon:

We moved to our current home in the summer of 2010. We spent most of that summer renovating and settling in. The following spring, I set about putting a small vegetable garden in the sunniest spot of our yard. The yard is south-facing, but there is a large pine tree in the far corner and three really old apple trees that together cast a lot of shade, so the space for a productive vegetable bed was limited. The initial vegetable garden consisted of one raised bed that I started out under a plastic cover in the spring and it worked out quite well. We had more salad and spinach than we could eat, so we ended up handing out salad to our neighbours.

RaisedBed1

I did want to create a larger garden, though, to be able to grow more than just salad and a few herbs. Next to our house there is a field with a pond on it. The land surrounding the pond was kept as a meadow, and the rest of the field was growing cops. I figured that the meadow with the pond was probably not of much value to the farmer who used the land, so I might be able to purchase it. Luckily, I was, and by the time the deal was done, I had purchased one hectare of field. One third of that was the meadow/pond land and two thirds are part of the larger field that was used as crop-land. I was well excited about that! Now I had some real space to build more than just a garden, but a whole food production system. That was in the winter/spring of 2012. Around the same time, I got more and more into the idea of permaculture. So the desire for a larger garden to grow potatoes etc, turns into a permaculture project.

I will post all sorts of little projects that have happened since, but this should give a bit of a time line. First, I had the pond cleaned out a bit and dug it larger. Then I set about starting to restore soil on the part of the field that had been cultivated recently. It looked like concrete before anything grew on it. At the same time I built tow Hügelculture beds by hand and one larger one with the material that came out of the pond. Later that year, I purchased a little old Kubota tractor, to allow me to to stuff I couldn’t do otherwise, and to make life easier and work more efficient. I built a dump-trailer for the tractor form scratch, as well as a subsoiler and some other stuff. Stay tuned for more stories on that.

This year I built some raised beds on the new land and a couple more ponds. I planted loads of fruit trees and I started growing a hedge as a wind-break around the property. We also built a greenhouse this spring and another hoop-house is already planned. At the same time, I’m working on creating a proper design for the whole property. I have rough idea in my head and I’m implementing as I go along, but a properly made design would help. I have started on this using GIS software. More on that to come too…

I’ll post some of the old projects interspersed with currently ongoing stuff, so the timeline of events posted may get mixed up a little, but hey, that’s what happens when the blog starts later than the project =) Anyway, watch this space for stories on applied permacutlure design and a lot of fabrication projects. Watch this space!