Compost

  • Compost

    Compost

    Some say you are not a real gardener unless you make compost, while I don’t believe this as there are many ways to feed the soil with alternative methods, I do believe its important for many reasons. Beside reducing the amount of waste entering landfill sites, you will have a useful product that benefits your garden and your gardening, especially if you propagate your own plants from seeds or cuttings. There is a lot to know about successful composting and plenty of information is available in books and on the Internet. While the basic concepts behind making compost are constant, some adjustments in methods and compost bin construction will help…

  • Compost,  Courses,  Interns

    Compost Showers

    I guess most people wonder what showers and compost have to do with each other, being showered with compost is probably not anyone’s idea of being cleaned. However there is a perfectly valid connection and it’s one we have been exploiting now for four years and to good effect. Most people want to have a warm or even a hot shower most of the time, with the exception of perhaps in really hot weather. A well constructed compost heat can and does produce exceptional amounts of heat. This heat is usually not exploited, and is seldom exploited to good effect outside of hot beds, which are gaining popularity again within…

  • Animals,  Compost,  Food

    Compost and Chickens

    This year we have decided to try out a new idea, we always bring our chickens in off of the grass where they follow the cows around. This serves a few purposes, they are closer for us to tend to during the winter, it gets them and us off the grass and lets it recover from all the foot fall, and it keeps the chickens safe from hungry predators. This year though we are giving them new winter quarters, we have made an enclosure around two of our compost heaps. These are normally full by this time of year and are just left to overwinter and finish the composting process.…

  • Compost,  Food

    Mining Nutrients

    Fiona and I have spent a couple of days cleaning out our cow shed of last winters bedding and cows muck mix. This litter is compacted and does not compost well so some sort of aeration has to take place to help speed up the process. This year we are putting all the litter in one windrow in an alley designed in to our forest garden, this a two meter wide clear area between rows of trees and shrubs we use for annual crops on a rotation. First one of us fills the wheelbarrows above Fiona is taking the first shift filling the barrows. Then I wheel the barrow out…

  • Compost,  Food

    New Raised Beds

    We have had an issue with wild rabbits for the last couple of years in part this is a success for us, when we arrived here in 2004 we would never see wild rabbits on or near our property. Travel five kilometres or so to near by villages and they would be all over the verges and sometimes in the road. On some of our land we have excluded domestic stock and let it naturally regenerate, and now we are  seeing wild rabbits here for the first time, the natural regeneration is providing habitat. We have also planted hedges round our vegetable garden and this is now a wildlife corridor the…

  • Compost,  Food,  Land

    Black Gold

    Soil is the foundation of our civilisation its the single most important element of natural systems, it’s also the most complex element and the one we know the least about. It’s also the element we treat with the least respect we take it for granted and abuse it like a disposable commodity. Unless we are Permaculturist’s then it becomes central to our thinking and behaviour we seek to build soil and try to come to a greater understanding of the complexities of soil and the life within it. Soil is the mixture of minerals, organic matter, gases, liquids and a myriad of organisms that can support plant life. It is…

  • Animals,  Compost

    Chick Aerators

    Using the same logic as the poly-face farms model for pigs we have purchased twenty, four week old chicks to help  feed us through the summer during our building and permaculture courses. We keep our sheep in a purpose built shed during the winter to preserve their foot health and give the dormant pastures a rest from their foot traffic which simply poaches (undermines) the ground. This leaves us with an abundance of spoilt hay and sheep’s dung in their shed, this mixture is not easy to deal with as it tends to matt together as it decomposes, making moving it difficult with hand tools. So we have combined our…


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