Monday, March 29, 2010

Lazy Rainy Day....

...well sort of. It started like any other day as of late, that is, with rain. I donned what rain gear I got and headed out to look at the new keyhole bed of veggies & around the property. I found another pile of wood debris from construction around the house and a passage to my foundation. Boarded that up while taking a mental note of more things left by the previous land owners. Then removed about 40' of hog wire fencing from the house around the area of my pump house which has left an odd flowing feeling in my wife and I.

The area used to feel oppressive and stagnant, and we suspect the area was fenced up as some sort of dog run. Now the fence line is open, and feels freely flowing when there. Hard to describe, but utterly wonderful.

Which naturally lad me to thinking about water as I often do and the Austrian Forester & Scientist Viktor Schauberger. I watched his theroies in practice today as white birds over the distant winter lake took to the air in between cycles of intense and low pressure rain. I also thought about all the clear cutting I have seen since living in Oregon and what it is doing to the water supply and planet.

Weather or not you believe in global warming does not matter here. What does matter is this little story about Schauberger. He and some others walked up a mountain to find out why ((It just started hailing here for the 2nd time in an hour)) a specific spring stopped flowing with water. When they got there, they saw that the spring area had been hacked and slashed of all its trees, brushes and ground cover plants. So, they re-covered the spring area as best they could with what they had around them. Long story short, the water came back.

The point I am making is as we humans change the landscape around us thinking we are doing better then the Earth has, or doing it for profit there is a consequence. Lately, that consequence is water. We have deforested countless areas, and the moisture that used to be there has gone away, as such, the Earth will do what it has to in order to compensate. Water will hide till the forests come back, be it by us leaving land alone, repopulating areas with new trees, or what have you.

Well, enough esoteric thought for now. I am going to go have some organic home made ice cream from a hand crank ice cream maker. It is actually the best ice cream I have ever had, and to think... was a test batch for when a friend comes up this week. Bye all!

PS - It stopped hailing and now it is raining cats and dogs!! :)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

It's Sunday, and the work week is actually never over. When you buy a new home there is always something to do, rain or shine, in sickness our perfect health. Hmm, that sounds vaguely similar.

Well, either way, despite my cold this week I got the permaculture spiral done, met a new friend we named Eddie, and put top soil over my keyhole vegetable beds. Next spring planting vegetables won't be as harried or problematic but more on that in the future.

As for today I planted:

36 Bok Choy (I love Kim Chee and will be making some with this)
12 Daikon radish
6 Siberian Wild Kale
4 Kohlrabi
3 Calendula
15' of Purple Viking Potatoes

I also broadcast sowed a wildflower mix of seeds over the former property owners vegetable garden which was taken apart today. The wildflower mix had in it seeds of Yarrow, English Lavender, Feverfew, Bee Balm, Shasta Daisy, Primrose, Flax, Poppy, Clover and a lot more.

Being that the former vegetable garden is on the edge of my orchard near the path to the lower portion of my property this wildflower mix provides a few extra purposes besides looking nice. It will help revitalize the soil of the old vegetable garden It will attract beneficial insects to the orchard which will in turn balance out the destructive insects in the area. What we are looking for here is balance, which is something in this modern age seems to be a esoteric vice.

I still have pumpkins & other squashes, baby corn, beans and a whole lot more to plant next week depending on weather & visitors. Right now in the seedling trays next to me are herbs & cukes. Out in the mini-greenhouse is artichoke, Lilac, celeriac, and more.

There is always something more to do, I just need to remember to do it in balance else I will burn out & get some kind of exhaustion sickness again. I.E. - Feed the spirit.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Our New Friend...

This is a new friend on our property that we have named "Eddie." No he isn't named after the mascot of a band, he is so named after the actor / comedian Eddie Izzard. Our Eddie was found late yesterday afternoon as he scouted around for large bugs to devour near one of our strawberry patches. Eddie is better then any pesticide possible and I look forward to sharing our existence with him on this property.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Herb Spiral

Well, over the last week I built an Herb Spiral to foster the permaculture mindset. Think of your home in zones, 1 through 5. I'll explain these over a few days in the future in detail, but for now I am working in "Zone 1" or the area around the home the most.

For example, I am removing bucket by bucketful gravel from a walkway to foster a walkway near our pump house which happens to be next to where we are building a passive solar greenhouse using cob, & strawbale techniques this summer / early fall. In front of that, we have our herb spiral.

So what is that herb spiral anyway? Well, it is exactly what it implies. A spiral of herbs, and spices which all have culinary or medicinal uses. In this particular herb spiral we have, in order, starting from the top of the spiral down, Rosemary, dill, Oregano, Thyme, Chamomile, Coneflower, Sage (2 types)Tarragon, Fennel, Chives, Parsley (2 types) Cilantro, Calendula, and Feverfew.

To build the spiral, and mark off the area, I first outlined the area with cardboard that we used while moving here. Then we covered that with 2" of woody compost & chicken manure. On top of that I put some seaweed that has been rinsed very well.

To that, I added 6" of straw today while it rained like my own personal sprinkler system. Tomorrow I will add some top soil (organic) mixed with chicken compost around the plants in the spiral. I will keep doing this as I fill the rest of this garden area with herbs, flowers, and vegetables. After that, I will only green mulch this area once a year. :)

I still have cucumbers, edible chrysanthemum, yarrow, potatoes, chives, dill, nasturtiums, daikon radishes, bok choy cabbages, artichokes, baby corn, beans, mustard, kale, squashes, pumpkins, and more to plant, but those are going all over the garden mixed in with flowers that will attract and balance the insect populations, as well as provide green mulch for up coming months.

All my starter vegetables are what is know as NON-GMO which stands for Not Genetically Modified, and many of those are Heirloom seeds.

I believe in protecting our genetic diversity on our planet because I do not want to see some blight come and wipe out food crops like the Irish Potato Famine of the 1840's which displaced some 1,000,000 people and killed just as many occur again on this planet.

In a couple of months I will revisit this herb spiral garden so you can see how it is coming along.

More food worries...

"...despite the fact that hundreds of peer-reviewed studies have shown that nanoparticles pose potential risks to human health -- and, more specifically, that when ingested can cause DNA damage that can prefigure cancer and heart and brain disease."

As if GMO foods, or foods that contain high fructose corn syrup or MSG was bad enough, now we have nanoparticles showing up in foods we already are eating and there is absolutely NOTHING we can do about it when we shop at stores for food items.

"20 of the world's largest food manufacturers -- among them Nestlé, as well as Hershey, Cargill, Campbell Soup, Sara Lee, and H.J. Heinz -- have their own in-house nano-labs, or have contracted with major universities to do nano-related food product development. But they are not eager to broadcast those efforts."

These are the same companies that have things like High Fructose Corn Syrup ( A cause of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and mercury poisoning as of 2005) or MSG (A chemical that effects the brain and nervous system).

I for one support Jamie Oliver and his Food Revolution after seeing him on TEDS and it is why here, at my families Coquille Permaculture Project the land will be treated with respect & love. That means no cultivation of the soil, no use of chemicals / fertilizers, no weeding, and no pesticides.

Source of quotes: AOL News Public Health

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

And so it begins...

...this lil blog is made for my family, friends, and anyone who comes across it wishing to see what I have been up to regarding our Permaculture project.

For the last month or so I have been moving in with my wife, getting to know some new animals on the property, and struggling to make do in the garden with minimal tools & money.

The first major project, an herb spiral near the front door will be mostly completed tomorrow.