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No Small Dreams
No Small Dreams
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Graceville, Queensland, AU
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No Small Dreams

No Small Dreams

Graceville, AU

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Back to No Small Dreams

Beginnings of a productive backyard

Project: No Small Dreams

Posted by Tim Auld almost 13 years ago

There has been some action at No Small Dreams: a big pile of wood chips landed and a pond has been dug!

I don't know why exactly, but the neighbour decided that the few trees in his back yard - a mango, a poinciana and a Chinese elm were to go. Ever the permie I saw a resource where others saw waste, and asked him if we could take the chips. When the loppers arrived I had them point the chipper into our yard. The pile stretched quite a way!

Brian had organised an earth mover soon after to level some spoil from the renovations and dig a pond. In the process we got him to pile up the chips in the corner, out of the way of future work on the intensive garden beds. As the chips were moved great plumes of steam arose! I'm sure it did a good job introducing oxygen and spreading the fungal spores too.

There's much talk of how to make a good hot compost, but I tell you what: fresh wood chip piles satisfy enough criteria to make it scorching! There is still steam coming off it over a week later and you can't hold your hand in just 20cm below the surface. You could get a lot of hot water out of that, and perhaps generate power using an airconditioner in reverse, like done in solar ponds. Inside there is so much fungus working it looks like everything is covered in mould.

The pond wasn't completely dug by the excavator so we had to dig out the deeper sections with mattocks and cut back nearby tree roots to avoid puncture. Bedding sand was used to cushion the PVC liner. The pond was half filled and let sit for a while to stretch the liner into shape.

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