I say that the procurment began today, but really it started last week when I came home with a van full of pallets to disassemble in order to make a chicken coop tractor and some furniture for the boy to play on in his room… However, I think that Lindsay is starting to see how much we can actually do and is getting on board with the pallets and chickens!! Woot Woot!!
Pallets, why pallets. I know they aren’t the best wood out there, but there are plenty of them available for free and I’m not building the taj mahal here. just a few farm uses and sheds. Who knows there might be fence that comes out of these. Before all that though we are taking them apart so that we can at least use the best of the best here to make what we need and use the scrap for just that.
So this weekend’s project is to have a chicken tractor built to house at least 6 chickens Figure that should be about 6 feet of roosting space needed. So that’s 2 x 3ft roosting rails that will be made out of spare limbs. Not to mention trying to provide 4ft in the tractor for each chicken so 24ft all together…. That seems larger than anticipated, but we’ll see how it all comes together.
Another great part of the day is the discovery of a bees nest in a log near the north west end of the yard near the shed. It’s in an area that is not ventured into very often so we are just going to leave them be and have them pollinate for us.
That’s it for today! Hopefully harvesting some squash soon…
Finally after much deliberation and trial and error and simply not having the right pieces the water is flowing to all needed locations on the farm.
Talk about a pain. I was able to get the pump working at it’s correct capacity and it actually does move a fair amount of water. This lesson was called “GO TO THE STORE AND GET THE RIGHT PIECES FIRST!”. Sometimes Jerry-riging something can only work for so long, and if its not working, maybe you should just do it right. Lesson learned, oh and remember to bring the pieces with you to the store so you can test out the ones your buying. (Came home with a bag full of irrigation pieces a size too large.)
So with finally getting this water flow issue accomplished I then spread the water out to four locations.
1 – Far east of Hugle 1
2 – Middle of Hugle 1 and 2
3 – Around west side of Hugle 1 to create a stream between Hugle 2 and Hugle 3 and 4 just to the north.
4 – Ran a small trench across the driveway to Fruit Tree Row.
With this setup I hope to eventually be able to have the water that is supplied to Hugle Island and Fruit Tree Row be recirculated within those two spots pumped up from the middle ponds.
Still haven’t even touched the idea of fixing the cistern. I have a feeling that is going to be a winter project. Until then we can start to dig out the drainage pipe so it is at least not back flowing into the basement. Right now it is capped off at the ditch, but I feel I’m wasting water since the cistern is not filling up and that water is just flowing down the ditch…..
I did learn that the pump can not be placed directly in the the plastic reservoir as the water gets sucked out of it too quick and it floats. I ended up taking the reservoir out and placing the water suction pipe in the hole and that worked great. Maybe once we get the reservoir secured in the hole so it can’t float we will try again with the pipe directly in the reservoir.
That was about it for yesterday besides working on some pallets. Looking forward to chickens soon.
Today i made up my first attempt at making a fertilizer tea for the farm with some comfrey I had around the area. Essentially all I did was grab up some comfrey and masticated it so that when I put it in the reservoir with some circulating water it would already be broken down a little.
The setup was simple. I used one of the reservoirs that I buried to mix the solution. There are two pumps running. One to circulate the water and the other to lift the water out of the reservoir and splash is back into the water. creating a mixing and aerating effect to the mixture. I’m hoping that it will be ready by the time I get outside.
Also picked up a bunch of pallets today to start some farm projects. I got lucky at this paint place in pueblo and they filled up my van! how awesome. Got real lucky with that. We should bring them some eggs or maybe cookies since we won’t be getting a ton of eggs off the bat, but who doesn’t like cookies?! Cookies only need a couple eggs..
Weather: It was nice most of the day. It did get a little warmer near the middle of the day, some clouds (thought it might sprinkle at one point). The sunset and an eerie tint to it, surrealistic.
So the pump blew the other day and it has been a trial getting everything watered. Since then we have been on the prowl for a new pump (well used first) and finding out that pumps are not exactly easy to find in thrift stores and pawn shops. Just a heads up on future endeavors.
So after an ordeal of a day today, finally breaking down and buying a new pump, I decided to go with a pump from Big R, after trying a transfer pump from Harbor Freight and utterly failing at that. That pump didn’t pump a thing… Can’t even begin to say ho much prime water I through at that thing..
Back we go to a simply utility sump pump with a 20′ lift. about the same as the Mondi I had, except that it was a little more power full as the Mondi was 1/4 and this one is a 1/3HP. However that electrical cord that comes with the new pump is only 6′ long! WTF! talk about a frustrating event. Off we went to put the pump in the back containers and power it from the shed.
Along with the new sump, i tried the harbor freight one again and it started doing some pumping… guess it only really wanted a 1′ lift… Anyways I devised a patchwork piping system to get the water from the back to the from through irrigation pipes I pulled up from the east side of the house. I would like an open aqueduct style setup eventually though, I know it sounds quirky, but the water should be in the open and come splashing down in a waterfall-esque fashion near the front of Hugel Island.
Well that’s it for today.
Great weather to work in today. overcast and breezy all day. Torrential downpour around 4 that lasted maybe 20 mins.
Tested a lot of the systems that i was setting up for irrigation. Seems that the run off from the road heads down the middle of the western driveway instead of running into the Hugel Island (yup, new term and i’m running with it.) where I had wanted to. Instead it ran over the driveway to the western fruit row and flooded everything in that area, however the new bed I leveled today for root vegetables held it’s ground great. I ended up double ditching the area, one was the water path around the trees and the other being the back fill irrigation ditch from the plum tree.
Solution?: raise up the middle of the driveway… no…. probably best to drop the catch from the road sooner than where the headcut is now. this way all the water gets diverted to the Hugels and a caught instead of running off.
Hugel 4 COMPLETE!! Finished it off with some undertree mulch from the back of the acre and some hay. Nicely broadcast some seed into it. What it was I have no clue. I know that I was planning on getting some flowers in this one in order to try and attract more insects, birds, bees, and the lot.
Root bed was leveled and seeded with tree mulch and hay. Then drenched by the rain!
Outside of the runoff being misplaced I would say that the land took the water well, I did not get a chance to check out the ponds, but maybe we’ll have an update on that tomorrow.
Maybe we should get better about taking pictures of all this. Seems like getting it done is more important than documenting it. Was listening to Mark Shepard on regenerative agriculture saying that people would get after him about not having a web presence as in depth as they thought he should. His response being that of just because someone doesn’t have a web presence the fact they are doing it should mean more. Do the work, share if possible. Or if you even want to. What’s you’re Tao?
SO today wasn’t that bad… Looking back.
Finally got some tools back to a neighbor and was talking about the irrigation piping i took up from the east side of our house. He had mentioned that I might want to look in my basement, just in case. After looking in the basement I found that there was a leak from the ditch water, however, the leak was coming from the western side of the house.
My deductions, the piping that is used as an outlet for the cistern is set too high so no water will escape, instead the water overflows the cistern and back flows to the house. No good.
Temp solution. I was able to cap the inlet for the cistern and then widened the eastern ditch in order to accommodate for the extra water.
Hugel 4 is on it’s way to completion. I wanted to get it done before a storm was supposed tom come though, it didn’t, and I stopped prematurely, so awaits the Hugel 4 to be completed tomorrow maybe. At least 3 feet of wood/dirt/wood mulch/wood/charcoal/wood/wood mulch/. More tomorrow, we built 3 feet to level ground and tomorrow we go above ground another 3 feet.
Finally fix dolly to cart stuff around with thanks so a neighbors help and some extra wheels!
Well today went off alright. Injuries seem to be healing up.
Seeded and watered Hugel 3.
Seeds Planted: (All from Botanikka)
Mammoth Red Clover
St. Johns Wort
Basil (Lemon, Purple Osmin, Dwarf Greek)
All herbs, no vegtables, except the base pumpkin and cantalope. I wonder if maybe I should have made this one bigger. The 3x3x3 structure was taken from Masanobu Fukuoka. I think that is where I heard that this was the perfect size. It might have been Paul Wheaton.
Seems like the soil surrounding is seriously compacted. The water took forever to soak in. Built a bit of a water catch in order to stop water from running downhill instead of filling the Hugel.
Seeded Hugel 3, but also seeded tree river with pumpkin seeds as well as cantalope. Seeded the shop pond with pumpkin and cantalope as well as the base of Hugel 3.
Took off a few branches from the elm near the shop.
Starting to plan out chicken coop built onto the side of the shop.
Watered All hanging flowers, moved large hanging flower pot to back. Also moved strawberries in back as they were getting eaten by deer.
Grasshoppers are still everywhere, however i felt like there was less today. Might have just been in my head…. Maybe they ate everything they could and left. I want them to leave.
I set up a perching nest for the birds to sit and hopefully catch these little hoppers. I put a bunch of limbs together with a bucket of water underneath for bathing… we’ll see how it works.
Today was not to bad weather wise. The sun was hot, but I was able to find alternate projects in the shade to work on, however still drug myself out into the sun in order to try and finish this hugle mound.
This morning I put up more bamboo stakes for the privacy fence on the ODG.
Watered grow, front two hugle mounds, Lindsays plants and the herbs up front.
Hugle One seemed to be drying out a bit faster than it should be. I deduced that when the neighbors cut down their mulberry tree up front it created a wind tunnel that is sucking the moisture out plants.
Released both water containers for trees on west side of property.
DAY ENDER @ 4pm
While breaking a branch with my foot and pulling the branch towards me, a previously broken stem on the branch punctured my skin on the leg. This was my lesson for the day as it turned out that I probably could have used a bit more water to stay hydrated myself and make better decisions on breaking sticks down.
Used a comfrey poultice and leaf wrap in an attempt to heal faster.
Hello World!! Coming to ya straight out of Canyon City, CO. This is the first real post on the Mad Love Farms website and we are excited to have you. We started out and still are a nothing and no how farm… In other words we are no where close to the farm we will become, however you get to watch us grow if you choose to follow us here.
Mad Love Farms is an ever developing farm ran by the Kittel family, primarily at the moment by Shawn Kittel who uses the farm as his own personal meditative therapy. This was the beginning of the Love. Our family culture is one that tries to express Mad Love in all things we attempt, whether success of failure follows. This is how we approached our farm and will continue to journey down this path keeping the plants in mind while caring for them.
We strive to be a wholly organic farm here. No pesticides, no fumes, no fuels. Most of our fertilizers are derived right here on the farm from plant matter at the moment and possibly animal inputs (chicken, cow, etc.) in the future. Our focus is not in developing great plants, but instead on developing the soil that the plants develop within. Our theory, great soil makes for great plants and great plants will have little to no need for pesticides or any growth enhancements products. High Brix is the term I think.
The thought on pesticides is to provide natural ones such as a birds, snakes, predatory insects and etc..
We figure nature knows what it’s doing here and only look to mimic nature while placing a little human interaction and design into the mix..
Not exactly sure what we are doing yet, but are having fun figuring it out. All things in time.
So that’s us. This is our farm built on Mad Love.