Rain, mud, Jackhammering caliche, drying onions & hops, paying off the mortgage, water storage tanks, setting up the seed room, building the earth berm green house, living fence, tire walls, putting away 2 Ton of pellets by hand, and cooking on the wood stove, life.

The rain has passed with more on the way.

The Earth Berm Green house is coming along nicely.

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I’ve started experimenting with tire walls, Will was hoping that my experience with pounding tires would convince me it’s too much work. Hah! Nope. I love it. Many more will be built, including those around at least two more earth shelters on the property so my friends and family can have a place to watch the open night sky in silence and quietude. He will write about the entire build process in a blog once the GH is completed.

In the mean time all kinds of projects are underway:

  • Harvesting and drying onions and hops

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  • Setting up the seed room
  • Unloading 2 Tons of pellets by hand


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  • Retrieving four water tanks ordered back in September

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Renaming Descadora after she shook off her near – death experience at 8 weeks old and emerged to a decidedly different energy; Yoshimi who battles the Pink Robots; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzlMeTxVdH8

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Getting Yoshi spayed. She takes on the job of protector of the GH area

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ground work for the living fence around the arbor

Degraded Silt Mud and Lots of It and Completely Hydrophobic dirt…

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Buckets of water at 2:45pm

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One Hour Later

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The temporary fence will stand long enough to shield the wind, be repaired & restored (while standing) until the living fence gets a foot hold, then it will come down. In this environment (wind) it couldn’t possibly be expected to stand as permanent infrastructure especially in this unique configuration.

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The half circle trench conforming to the design around the southern side of the grape arbor is dug 3′ down and amended with compost & horse manure. Top dressed with more compost, horse manure, mulched and later drip irrigation for the live willow fence. Onions & garlic will be added to deter the pocket gophers, and a support species will take the outside position (TBD) to shield the willows from wind/sun in the first three years of growth.

We’ve just closed down both collection projects; yard waste from the local town and horse manure from another location. It’s Winter. The combined collection has added another 20 Ton (at least) of biomass to the property .

When the sun goes down around 4:30pm we head indoors to scan alternative media, blogs and articles for news and information regarding limits to growth on a finite planet. Keeping a close eye on the foundering Empire, the choice was made to pay off the mortgage and buy tangible infrastructure by dissolving a portion of the worthless 401k vapor paper.

Then it’s back outside the following day to take up more earth based realistic pursuits like insulating the GH, setting the tanks and jackhammering caliche to make way for the Syrup Tree project (more on that later in detail).

Here is the beginning of the new forest that just arrived by mail; Butternut Juglans cinerea, Sugar Maple Acer saccharum, and Black Birch, Betula lenta.

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And of course, the caliche pit. Yeah, right in the beginning I was stupid enough to think I could just punch holes for each individual tree…

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…until we both reviewed the design and realized that wouldn’t work. So the whole area gets dug up for a much better design!

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We are on a deadline both in terms of the weather and the needs of the new dormant trees that have to be in the ground before January. Backhoes, they’re useful. As long as we have petroleum available (especially at this economic contraction price) it’s crunch time to make the greatest change for the least effort because 1 gallon of fuel = 6,000 hours of human labor.

The full detailed design will be forth – coming.

The chickens are getting a new area to play and scratch in as soon as we get the area fenced off. It’s to the north of the GH enclosure and needs serious help. Meanwhile the GH temps and humidity are perfect, considering the design is passive heat and cooling.

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I was just talking to my friend Sylvia and the subject of FB came up for a link and not to be a jerk (she loves me) I simply don’t have time to deal with Ass Book given the far more worth while time pursuits with projects that really matter to me. Although I will say I rely on her for the inspiring pictures and uplifting philosophies sent my way to keep me from getting too serious.

We have been incredibly lucky to assist Dr. Mariam Raqib and Samsortya, working to reforest and restore food systems in parts of Afghanistan. Dr. Deborah Berman contacted us recently to ask for our input regarding the beginning of a Land Trust 501c3 organization that will be ready to receive Conservation Land Trust  easements in Eastern Washington as early as 2017.

AND like I said, Sylvia always comes through with the pics. Thanks Sylvia!

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cheers,

sheila