Friday, July 30, 2010

Keep on trucking...

Things are taking a long time to do, but they get done slowly. I finished working in the veggie beds and moved onto working on the fencing. It will surround the old veggie garden, but has moved to include a deck with an arbor, an area cleared for a greenhouse, and the current shop. It gives us more room for food and medicinal herbs.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Digging still...

I am busting my butt, working till I can barely move daily digging the new vegetable beds as well as increasing the fence line.

One thing that is concerning me is that the Alder trees, well some, have already started to change color as an indicator of fall. On the plus side of things though I have been watching a hawk or some other raptor fly over the property daily crying for a new mate. So, in other words life is all good.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


While tilling I came across a very loud clank. I stopped the tiller, looked down and found I was trying to till over a cement thing. This is odd I thought to myself so I cleared the top away with a shovel.

Then I learned it was the start of a wall or foundation. So I busted out the mattock and cleared it away. Came to find an 1' long, 6" wide, 18" deep blocks were oddly placed in the near middle of the veggie garden.

It took a while, but they all got out yesterday. Near as we can figure it, we think it was put in as what a person would set an RV on top of. So, a sorta foundation was discovered buried in 1' of earth. Now I have to go back and till more today prior to going to see "Willow" at the Egyptian Theater tonight.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Despite what my body wishes, I need to get this tilling and plant beds finished. I am trying to as best I can. However yesterday I was disrupted by going out and running errands & getting the best damn burger in the county of at Forby's. in Coos Bay.

Incidentally, the DOT landslide area I described yesterday may not of been the full cause, but certainly a very possible factor since the area I described is a mere 50' away from the slide. Given the geology of the area, the 2 are very possibly linked. Oh well, life moves on.

Keeping all this in mind as I make the beds, I am still trying to figure out the best way to set the rows given the limited sun light for this area in winter. I must adhere to rule one, observe. Observe the land, which way the water want to flow, will I need diversion ditches and so on. I also need to keep in mind the video had 20" walkways, and a minimum of 10" height for the beds. This too is foremost on my mind.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I have been reflecting on the landslide that occured in Coos Bay / North Bend on 101 near "The Mill." Over winter I remember seeing trees at the top of the hill, and then they were cut down, as was the brush.

Over time I saw black plastic go down over the soil with tires on top. Time moved on.

Now I for one am not surprised at all to the landslide occurring. The trees being cut and removed killed all the roots which were holding the soil in place. Then adding plastic on top to further kill any grass, weeds, etc just made the problem worse, just as I reported would happen if Oregon DOT kept up using herbicide on hillsides after clear cutting the trees and brush with chainsaws.

Well, it is in the past now. Nothing we can do about it but sit in traffic while it clears. As for what is going on here, there has been a lot. The keyhole veggie garden got the vegetation cut down on Monday. Tuesday I bought fencing from Coos Bay Grange, and worked on removing the veggies from the keyhole vegetable garden. I also tilled most of the soil and started building the raised beds.

Now I will finish the raised beds by moving the soil via a rake or shovel and then I will re-till the paths in order to increase the height of the beds as per the videos that were posted recently.

See you tomorrow. :)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Still at it....

Well, both Oregon DOT & I are both at it, all be it at different jobs. Let's start with Oregon DOT. The other day, as I drove from my orchard towards (Koh-Kwill) Coquille on 42S I saw Oregon DOT spray a herbicide within several hundred feet of the Coquille River.

I mst admit I was ravingly upset for a while as I saw this. Right now, that same herbicide is leeching itself into the Coquille River getting into our drinking water, and the fish that people catch. This can, and often does lead to cancer of various types especially for the sprayers, no matter how well protected they are. Sadly, my wife and I were afforded to protection as they sprayed by us. If you think that cancer from sprays such as this cannot happen to you, or your children I encourage you to look up the film, "Food Beware."

As for what I am doing, I am busting my butt protecting my garden as best I can while trying dig an area for cob while leveling it out for a new cistern. The strawberries recently lost all the tops of thier leaves thanks to the deer. I also lost the top of a new granny smith apple tree!! I guess this is pruning for the future by nature.

I will admit one thing that has nothing to do with permaculture nor permaculture ethics. Right now I am indulging in some much needed coffee from Fat Tuesday's here in Coquille as I right this. The Milky Way coffee made by "Chris" the amazing while he is holding down the fort while Winchester Bay has its Oceanfest.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Keyhole Veggie Beds Changing Part 3

Sorry for taking so long with the last and final part of the series, I have been digging dirt till I pass out in order to get to the subsoil for cobbing.

This system is where we are going next here. First things first, we need to knock down the old fencing, and measure the area as well as the slope, but that is the next post! Cheers!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Keyhole Veggie Beds Changing Part 2

This is part 2 of our ongoing series found on YouTube. Those of you who do not have highspeed internet access will be pleased to note that what is on this video is going to be replicated in a new design for my veggie garden.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Keyhole Veggie Beds Changing

I have been watching this video for 2 years now. It explains some of the principles of M. Fukuoka while using Permaculture practices. In short, this is how I am making my new veggie garden.

Over the next few days I will be linking this series of videos for you to enjoy and learn from. You can skip ahead by going directly to YouTube.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Quick lines...

I was very exhaustively busy this weekend with an orchard full of guests due to the SCA event in Gold Beach. However, I did manage to get some chop n drop work done in the orchard since the fruit trees have not been pruned in what appears to be many years.

((Yes, this combat is one thing people do))

For those of you who do not know what the SCA is, it stands for the Society for Creative Anachronism. What they do is...
"The SCA is an international organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe. Our "Known World" consists of 19 kingdoms, with over 30,000 members residing in countries around the world. Members, dressed in clothing of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, attend events which feature tournaments, royal courts, feasts, dancing, various classes & workshops, and more.
It was easy to see and learn how this can be helpful to a "permie" (One who practices permaculture). The very first people we met taught us how to dye plants properly using "Madder" which can be grown and is very expensive to use. However, the results were amazing. I learned a lot also from "Master Grendel" a smithy from the "Red Wolf Forge" as I watched and learned from him over 2 days regarding blacksmiths. I watched him make tent spikes, cooking equipment and the like. Now to apply things here... that's the trick of it. ;)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Living Roof

I had a roof in my backyard behind my carport collecting leaves and sticks on a daily basis and it looked just plain awful so here is what I did.

First I swept off the asphalt shingle roof. Then I added carpet padding and set it up so that the water would drain properly and won't pool in the back. Then I added a layer of black plastic.

Next I put down a layer of fresh mulch comprised of tree and leaf matter as well as mosses. Then for the final level I added a layer of straw that has been decomposing with horse manure. As you can see, I saved some of the grass that was already growing out of that.

At the Cob Cottage Company across town, they have built similar roofs that have lasted over 15 years. This is already double the traditional asphalt shingle system which makes me happy, not to mention I will have a new wildflower garden every year out my window!!