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bob day
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buckingham, virginia, United States
Climate Zone:
Warm Temperate

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Darlene Galbreath David Pitman Franek Lazarewicz Gregory Crawford Henry Maxey Laurie Whiston Mary Fink
David Pitman Franek Lazarewicz Geoff Lawton Gregory Crawford Laurie Whiston

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Posted by bob day 12 months ago

That website gets updated pretty regularly, but lots has happened since my last update here, My dams have been considerably improved, with the purchase of a used backhoe, working some of last summer, but with the backhoe down for repairs quite often, I was still able to widen and raise the dam levels considerably, although unusually wet weather has pretty much kept the ponds full, so much of the work now is just  maintenance and clearing around the edges.

Some catfish survived and got quite big after the severe drought the fall before last, and  the goldfish have also started to recover pretty well. I have been keeping the 2" drain on the middle pond flowing continuously for some time, and that pond has finally been connected with a swale to the little contour pond. The middle dam is not completely to it's finished height, but is  above the normal water level with only a couple more feet of freeboard to add.

This has filled the contour pond to overflow slightly, and the water seems to be pushing my work around the ridge. A little more height on the contour dam and it will connect to that swale that has been waiting patiently for me to catch up.

The roof on my house is approaching a finish, but a great deal will depend on the weather this summer. The inside structure/skeleton is getting hardened and once that framework is in place I'll be able to add a real roof instead of just a temporary covering.

My Earth tube has still not been started, something I plan to do this spring/summer with the hope of a passive air conditioning before the hottest months.

The latest stove iteration is called a Double Shoe-box Rocket, DSR for short, and I'm experimenting with a hot water add on that does not require as much active technology as the coil with thermostat and circulating pump. It has been a good practice piece, and I am gathering materials to start experimenting with geo polymers, a sort of high temperature cement using cheaper ingredients that are more eco friendly than regular cement.

As usual I'm rearranging the garden beds and with luck this new arrangement will lead to a more permanent configuration. I'm utilizing the principles of the keyhole  combined with the 4'x4' raised beds running around the perimeter. The current experiment is approximately 10'x10' with a 2' keyhole slot and it will be filled with existing garden soil about 1/2 way, heavily mulched with cardboard and paper, then filled the rest of the way with shredded mulch, pine needles, straw, whatever is available. Further alterations will likely take the form of raising the beds with additional  boards and deeper mulch.

I have given a lot of thought to Giving this a super structure made of fencing for trellis crops (and to keep deer out) and then covering it all with a sheet of plastic in the winter to extend the season.

The final project I'm aiming at is a Koi pond, I have 9 small koi I've kept in an aquarium this winter that seem to be thriving, and I have plans to enlarge the kitchen garden pond into something big enough to swim in, kept clean with a biological filter. I have been looking at that edge which is still in 20 year regrowth and shading out the garden almost completely. Building a koi pond there could dovetail with the clearing that needs to be done for the earth tube and give considerably more sun to the area.

There's lots of other things going on, improved trellis over the south side windows for a few wonderful grape vines, moving a banana circle to give way for more productive crops close to the house, etc etc

I have lots of pics on my website and lots  more details.

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My Permaculture Qualifications
Pri verified
Geoff Lawton online PDC 2014
Type: Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course
Teacher: Geoff Lawton
Location: Online
Date: Apr 2014

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