The Big Project, Part 2

stoneunhengedMay 7, 2007

A few photos to illustrate the progress on the permaculture garden. I haven't done any vertical construction yet, but there's a lot of work that's been put into the foundation infrastructure.

There is a large pond that borders the north side of this property, so it acts as a natural insect barrier on that side of the garden. I've created a bug "no crawl zone" consisting of chicken breeding pens along the south border and a large communal free-range pen along part of the east border. The breeding chicken pens will each house about one rooster and three hens. Around the pens I've built a retaining wall that will be backfilled with topsoil and used as a raised bed garden to grow herbs and plants that attract predator insects like sweet alyssum. Here are a couple of pictures of the concrete slab for the breeding pens and the windmill pad:

The breeding chickens will lay eggs that will be incubated to produce meat birds for home consumption. Once out of the heated brooder, the chicks go in these rolling pens for a few weeks:

Wood chips are placed under the rolling pens and the high-nitrogen chicken manure mixes with the high-carbon wood chips and forms compost. I simply roll the pens away and can shovel the compost that has formed underneath.

Here's a picture of some young chickens in the rolling pens (the chickens in the foreground are rare Light Sussex):

After the chickens have reached a young adult size, they go into a large free range run with 6' tall fence. (This run forms the insect "no crawl zone" along the eastern portion of the of the garden.) The run is about 50' x 50'. Here, they grow out before they're slaughtered for meat or used to replenish my supply of egglayers or breeders.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the water for the permaculture garden will be supplied in large part by a used windmill. Here's a picture of the bullet-marked tail rotor:

And now, for a brief tour of some of the things on the farm. In an earlier post, somebody mentioned "woofers." Here is one of my six dogs. His name, appropriately enough, is Tank, and he weighs about 140 lbs.:

Here is another shot of my quickly growing red wattle pigs, probably about 50 lbs. at this point:

Here is a pair of wild turkeys I've had for a few years:

And here are the eggs I picked up out of their pen today:

I've hatched a couple dozen poults from this pair so far this year.

Here is my current set-up for outdoor tilapia tanks with a homemade filter system:

Here is a tank with small tilapia fry I hatched:

And here is a tank with some 6" tilapia:

Here is a pad in the permaculture garden showing the dual-line watering system, one with well water, the other with tilapia waste water:

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the tour. I'll post another update in a couple of weeks.

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pablo_nh(z4/5 NH)

You have a lot going on there! How many acres total? I was surprised to see the wild turkeys- do you need a special permit to have them?

I think that if Tank sniffed too hard I could lose my little dog up his nose.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 8:04AM
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stoneunhenged

I have 30 acres. About 80% is wooded in volunteer pines or bottomland deciduous trees. That's why I had to clear about 3/4 of an acre for the permaculture garden. Too little cleared land to do much traditional pastured livestock. I use breeds that were developed --intentionally or otherwise-- for forest existence. Thus, the pineywoods cattle, Gulf Coast native sheep, and red wattle pigs.

No permit is required for keeping wild turkeys. They are about as easy to raise as a domestic breed and less prone to disease.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 8:41AM
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