Oct 102014
 
spore lore, habitat it and they will come, tony mcguigan, habitat garden, wildlife habitat, soil, soil under my nails, gardening, gardens, native plants, permaculture, wildlife garden, environmental education, ecological landscaping, compost, cricket, corral, buried wood, hugelkultur, native bees, native pollinators, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Laguna Foundation, Orchard View School, fir posts, oak logs

spore lore, habitat it and they will come, tony mcguigan, habitat garden, wildlife habitat, soil, soil under my nails, gardening, gardens, native plants, permaculture, wildlife garden, environmental education, ecological landscaping, compost, cricket, corral, buried wood, hugelkultur, native bees, native pollinators, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Laguna Foundation, Orchard View School, fir posts, oak logs

Compost Cricket Corral is a wildlife habitat installation at The Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation‘s complex, Laguna Environmental Center, in Santa Rosa, California, 95401.

Compost Cricket Corral, installed on October 8, 2014 (2 days ago at this writing), is also about both creating an efficient compost system for the Laguna Environment and also having students experience working with Nature, in Nature.

spore lore, habitat it and they will come, tony mcguigan, habitat garden, wildlife habitat, soil, soil under my nails, gardening, gardens, native plants, permaculture, wildlife garden, environmental education, ecological landscaping, compost, cricket, corral, buried wood, hugelkultur, native bees, native pollinators, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Laguna Foundation, Orchard View School, fir posts, oak logsStakes mark the pole locations for Compost Cricket Corral. Nice view of Stone Farm’s northern pasture, Irwin creek, and Mount St. Helena while we work! The above pic is where Spore Lore left off detailing the progress of Compost Cricket Corral, on 9-4-2014: “Compost Cricket Corral“.

spore lore, habitat it and they will come, tony mcguigan, habitat garden, wildlife habitat, soil, soil under my nails, gardening, gardens, native plants, permaculture, wildlife garden, environmental education, ecological landscaping, compost, cricket, corral, buried wood, hugelkultur, native bees, native pollinators, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Laguna Foundation, Orchard View School, fir posts, oak logsCompost Cricket Corral – The Before. This is installation day, leaving off from September’s prep of the site. The stakes, as discussed in last month’s article, show the location of the 8 posts to be installed. Six postholes have been partially dug.  The 8 posts will create 3 compost bin areas, each roughly 6 feet X 6 feet.

spore lore, habitat it and they will come, tony mcguigan, habitat garden, wildlife habitat, soil, soil under my nails, gardening, gardens, native plants, permaculture, wildlife garden, environmental education, ecological landscaping, compost, cricket, corral, buried wood, hugelkultur, native bees, native pollinators, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Laguna Foundation, Orchard View School, fir posts, oak logsSome prep before the students arrive today. The 8 post holes are started and filled with water to make digging deeper in the adobe clay soil easier. Large concrete chucks were found under the soil; they will be used later in the project.  True, the blocks were very hard to extract from the soil but they will come in handy to support the posts upright.  As is said in Permaculture, “The problem is the solution.”

spore lore, habitat it and they will come, tony mcguigan, habitat garden, wildlife habitat, soil, soil under my nails, gardening, gardens, native plants, permaculture, wildlife garden, environmental education, ecological landscaping, compost, cricket, corral, buried wood, hugelkultur, native bees, native pollinators, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Laguna Foundation, Orchard View School, fir posts, oak logsThe students are here! Biology students from Orchard View School, in Sebastopol, will be installing Compost Cricket Corral. Lots of posthole digging! Old wood to be gathered and a wood chip pile to be shifted over a few feet.

spore lore, habitat it and they will come, tony mcguigan, habitat garden, wildlife habitat, soil, soil under my nails, gardening, gardens, native plants, permaculture, wildlife garden, environmental education, ecological landscaping, compost, cricket, corral, buried wood, hugelkultur, native bees, native pollinators, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Laguna Foundation, Orchard View School, fir posts, oak logsDigging, digging, digging.  Outdoor classrooms include fresh air, sometimes exercise like this one, and kinesthetic learning, or otherwise known as, tactile learning.  Doing is learning!  Note the large wood chip pile (right foreground).

spore lore, habitat it and they will come, tony mcguigan, habitat garden, wildlife habitat, soil, soil under my nails, gardening, gardens, native plants, permaculture, wildlife garden, environmental education, ecological landscaping, compost, cricket, corral, buried wood, hugelkultur, native bees, native pollinators, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Laguna Foundation, Orchard View School, fir posts, oak logs5/16” holes are drilled 3″ deep into the top of the posts to encourage insects to habitat in them.

spore lore, habitat it and they will come, tony mcguigan, habitat garden, wildlife habitat, soil, soil under my nails, gardening, gardens, native plants, permaculture, wildlife garden, environmental education, ecological landscaping, compost, cricket, corral, buried wood, hugelkultur, native bees, native pollinators, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Laguna Foundation, Orchard View School, fir posts, oak logsMeasuring holes to get 3 plus feet deep.   The deep holes will better support the posts without having to pour new/fresh concrete at their bases.  Also, the overkill deep, untreated fir wood posts will hold life-sustaining water for the habitat’s soil microbes, larger critters, and fungi/plant growth.

spore lore, habitat it and they will come, tony mcguigan, habitat garden, wildlife habitat, soil, soil under my nails, gardening, gardens, native plants, permaculture, wildlife garden, environmental education, ecological landscaping, compost, cricket, corral, buried wood, hugelkultur, native bees, native pollinators, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Laguna Foundation, Orchard View School, fir posts, oak logsA post is placed in its hole, then leveled vertically. Concrete chucks are used to hold the posts in place and to create shelter cavities for wildlife.

spore lore, habitat it and they will come, tony mcguigan, habitat garden, wildlife habitat, soil, soil under my nails, gardening, gardens, native plants, permaculture, wildlife garden, environmental education, ecological landscaping, compost, cricket, corral, buried wood, hugelkultur, native bees, native pollinators, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Laguna Foundation, Orchard View School, fir posts, oak logs Habitat installation at the Laguna Foundation might be hard work but it sure beats being in the classroom. Outdoor classrooms rock!

spore lore, habitat it and they will come, tony mcguigan, habitat garden, wildlife habitat, soil, soil under my nails, gardening, gardens, native plants, permaculture, wildlife garden, environmental education, ecological landscaping, compost, cricket, corral, buried wood, hugelkultur, native bees, native pollinators, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Laguna Foundation, Orchard View School, fir posts, oak logsThe Biology students from Orchard View School (Sebastopol, California; teacher: Sunny Galbraith) have installed Compost Cricket Corral’s 8 vertical posts AND have fled. What great work they did! Local materials, especially those that others consider “junk”, will become this wildlife habitat’s treasures.

The compost bins now have defined areas – making compost will now be more efficient for the Laguna Environmental Center at Stone Farm.

spore lore, habitat it and they will come, tony mcguigan, habitat garden, wildlife habitat, soil, soil under my nails, gardening, gardens, native plants, permaculture, wildlife garden, environmental education, ecological landscaping, compost, cricket, corral, buried wood, hugelkultur, native bees, native pollinators, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Laguna Foundation, Orchard View School, fir posts, oak logsNW view. Student-carried oak logs await insertion into Compost Cricket Corral.

Class is over; Tony stays on to finish the habitat installation. Students gathered these oak logs from the farm to be used in the habitat installation. The logs are used to edge the back of the compost corrals and to create a wood pile next to one end bin. That log pile will house gastropods (snails and slugs), insects, other crawly critters, lizards, snakes, and other animals. The purpose of this habitat installation is to maximize the compost area – the animals sheltering nearby will visit the compost and add to its richness. Rich biodiversity at the compost will create better soil, faster.

spore lore, habitat it and they will come, tony mcguigan, habitat garden, wildlife habitat, soil, soil under my nails, gardening, gardens, native plants, permaculture, wildlife garden, environmental education, ecological landscaping, compost, cricket, corral, buried wood, hugelkultur, native bees, native pollinators, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Laguna Foundation, Orchard View School, fir posts, oak logsW view. Half of this refuse concrete blocks pile was used to support Compost Cricket Corral’s posts. The blocks were snuggled up against all sides of each post, in the gaps of the posthole.  No new concrete was poured/made for this installation.

Stacking functions (Permaculture) – let’s clean this place up, raise the level of the compost, AND create habitat. Old concrete chunks are used to bolster the back edge of the compost. A raised floor to the compost pile will help it drain better, preventing an anaerobic condition (no oxygen to support decomposition) in the rainy winter months.  Besides holding logs in place, the concrete chunks also create cavities for critters.

spore lore, habitat it and they will come, tony mcguigan, habitat garden, wildlife habitat, soil, soil under my nails, gardening, gardens, native plants, permaculture, wildlife garden, environmental education, ecological landscaping, compost, cricket, corral, buried wood, hugelkultur, native bees, native pollinators, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Laguna Foundation, Orchard View School, fir posts, oak logs The sun is setting on this project. Posts are in, the soil base is leveled, and the log pile has been started (far end).

spore lore, habitat it and they will come, tony mcguigan, habitat garden, wildlife habitat, soil, soil under my nails, gardening, gardens, native plants, permaculture, wildlife garden, environmental education, ecological landscaping, compost, cricket, corral, buried wood, hugelkultur, native bees, native pollinators, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Laguna Foundation, Orchard View School, fir posts, oak logsTime to call it a night. I finalized the project under a rising full moon. Excited to see the finished result in the morning!

spore lore, habitat it and they will come, tony mcguigan, habitat garden, wildlife habitat, soil, soil under my nails, gardening, gardens, native plants, permaculture, wildlife garden, environmental education, ecological landscaping, compost, cricket, corral, buried wood, hugelkultur, native bees, native pollinators, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Laguna Foundation, Orchard View School, fir posts, oak logsNE view. Compost Cricket Corral (CCC) was completed last night and given a good sprinkle of water before being to put sleep by the chill night, enjoying its warm Northern California October night, till the warm fog rolled in this morning.

 

spore lore, habitat it and they will come, tony mcguigan, habitat garden, wildlife habitat, soil, soil under my nails, gardening, gardens, native plants, permaculture, wildlife garden, environmental education, ecological landscaping, compost, cricket, corral, buried wood, hugelkultur, native bees, native pollinators, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Laguna Foundation, Orchard View School, fir posts, oak logsE view.  The next morning.  Finished and looking good! Ready to make compost and invite the growing neighborhood of critters.

spore lore, habitat it and they will come, tony mcguigan, habitat garden, wildlife habitat, soil, soil under my nails, gardening, gardens, native plants, permaculture, wildlife garden, environmental education, ecological landscaping, compost, cricket, corral, buried wood, hugelkultur, native bees, native pollinators, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Laguna Foundation, Orchard View School, fir posts, oak logs N view.  3 compost pile bins, each roughly 6 feet X 6 feet.

spore lore, habitat it and they will come, tony mcguigan, habitat garden, wildlife habitat, soil, soil under my nails, gardening, gardens, native plants, permaculture, wildlife garden, environmental education, ecological landscaping, compost, cricket, corral, buried wood, hugelkultur, native bees, native pollinators, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Laguna Foundation, Orchard View School, fir posts, oak logsNW view. Note the sawdust from drilling insect holes on the tarp in the foreground.

spore lore, habitat it and they will come, tony mcguigan, habitat garden, wildlife habitat, soil, soil under my nails, gardening, gardens, native plants, permaculture, wildlife garden, environmental education, ecological landscaping, compost, cricket, corral, buried wood, hugelkultur, native bees, native pollinators, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Laguna Foundation, Orchard View School, fir posts, oak logsNE view. The log pile, Log Pile Apartments, will house many critters.

spore lore, habitat it and they will come, tony mcguigan, habitat garden, wildlife habitat, soil, soil under my nails, gardening, gardens, native plants, permaculture, wildlife garden, environmental education, ecological landscaping, compost, cricket, corral, buried wood, hugelkultur, native bees, native pollinators, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Laguna Foundation, Orchard View School, fir posts, oak logsWest view. Critters will travel between the compost, log pile, wood chip pile, and surrounding fenceline.

spore lore, habitat it and they will come, tony mcguigan, habitat garden, wildlife habitat, soil, soil under my nails, gardening, gardens, native plants, permaculture, wildlife garden, environmental education, ecological landscaping, compost, cricket, corral, buried wood, hugelkultur, native bees, native pollinators, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Laguna Foundation, Orchard View School, fir posts, oak logsVacancy at Log Pile Apartments.

spore lore, habitat it and they will come, tony mcguigan, habitat garden, wildlife habitat, soil, soil under my nails, gardening, gardens, native plants, permaculture, wildlife garden, environmental education, ecological landscaping, compost, cricket, corral, buried wood, hugelkultur, native bees, native pollinators, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Laguna Foundation, Orchard View School, fir posts, oak logs5/16” holes drilled into posts to encourage insects to live in the wood. These fir posts will invite insects and fungi to thrive in Compost Cricket Corral. Fir wood (#3 rough) was specifically chosen because of its vulnerability to Nature.

spore lore, habitat it and they will come, tony mcguigan, habitat garden, wildlife habitat, soil, soil under my nails, gardening, gardens, native plants, permaculture, wildlife garden, environmental education, ecological landscaping, compost, cricket, corral, buried wood, hugelkultur, native bees, native pollinators, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Laguna Foundation, Orchard View School, fir posts, oak logsClose-up of post insect holes.

Other Photos of Habitat-Friendly Features of Compost Cricket Corral:

spore lore, habitat it and they will come, tony mcguigan, habitat garden, wildlife habitat, soil, soil under my nails, gardening, gardens, native plants, permaculture, wildlife garden, environmental education, ecological landscaping, compost, cricket, corral, buried wood, hugelkultur, native bees, native pollinators, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Laguna Foundation, Orchard View School, fir posts, oak logs

spore lore, habitat it and they will come, tony mcguigan, habitat garden, wildlife habitat, soil, soil under my nails, gardening, gardens, native plants, permaculture, wildlife garden, environmental education, ecological landscaping, compost, cricket, corral, buried wood, hugelkultur, native bees, native pollinators, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Laguna Foundation, Orchard View School, fir posts, oak logs

spore lore, habitat it and they will come, tony mcguigan, habitat garden, wildlife habitat, soil, soil under my nails, gardening, gardens, native plants, permaculture, wildlife garden, environmental education, ecological landscaping, compost, cricket, corral, buried wood, hugelkultur, native bees, native pollinators, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Laguna Foundation, Orchard View School, fir posts, oak logs

spore lore, habitat it and they will come, tony mcguigan, habitat garden, wildlife habitat, soil, soil under my nails, gardening, gardens, native plants, permaculture, wildlife garden, environmental education, ecological landscaping, compost, cricket, corral, buried wood, hugelkultur, native bees, native pollinators, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Laguna Foundation, Orchard View School, fir posts, oak logs

spore lore, habitat it and they will come, tony mcguigan, habitat garden, wildlife habitat, soil, soil under my nails, gardening, gardens, native plants, permaculture, wildlife garden, environmental education, ecological landscaping, compost, cricket, corral, buried wood, hugelkultur, native bees, native pollinators, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Laguna Foundation, Orchard View School, fir posts, oak logs

spore lore, habitat it and they will come, tony mcguigan, habitat garden, wildlife habitat, soil, soil under my nails, gardening, gardens, native plants, permaculture, wildlife garden, environmental education, ecological landscaping, compost, cricket, corral, buried wood, hugelkultur, native bees, native pollinators, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Laguna Foundation, Orchard View School, fir posts, oak logs

spore lore, habitat it and they will come, tony mcguigan, habitat garden, wildlife habitat, soil, soil under my nails, gardening, gardens, native plants, permaculture, wildlife garden, environmental education, ecological landscaping, compost, cricket, corral, buried wood, hugelkultur, native bees, native pollinators, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Laguna Foundation, Orchard View School, fir posts, oak logs

Nice job, again, Sunny and the Biology students (Uly, Tristan, Nick, Moses, Matt, Lily, Leo, Lauren, Kaleb, Jenna, Hannah, Cordy, Coco, Brendan), and Dave.

Everyone, enjoy your wildlife habitat creations!  Play outdoors!

Tony

Sep 042014
 
The BEFORE -- area behind the Laguna Foundation's native plant nursery before installation of Compost Cricket Corral, which will consolidate the compost pile and provide wildlife habitat.

The BEFORE — area behind the Laguna Foundation’s native plant nursery before installation of Compost Cricket Corral, which will consolidate the compost pile and provide wildlife habitat.

Yesterday, I started prep work for a wildlife habitat installation, Compost Cricket Corral, at the Laguna Environmental Center, which is the headquarters and showcase educational property for the Laguna Foundation.

Staking out Compost Cricket Corral's post locations, which will define three compost piles/bins.

Staking out Compost Cricket Corral’s post locations, which will define three compost piles/bins.  No T-square, but piping with a 90-degree elbow worked fine.

We will be installing vertical driftwood posts to replace the current stakes; the posts are to encourage insect activity.

See:

Insect Hotels — Inspiration Green

Insect Hotels – Encourage Beneficial Insects Into Your Garden

Creating Habitat For Native Bees | Deep Roots at Home

spore lore, habitat it and they will come, tony mcguigan, habitat garden, wildlife habitat, soil, soil under my nails, gardening, gardens, native plants, permaculture, wildlife garden, environmental education, ecological landscaping, compost, cricket, corral, buried wood, hugelkultur, native bees, native pollinators, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Laguna Foundation, Orchard View School, fir posts, oak logs

 

Compost Cricket Corral, that is, the new and improved compost pile(s), will be within easy access of the nursery’s work stations.

Stakes mark the pole locations for Compost Cricket Corral.  Nice view of Stone Farm's northern pasture, Irwin creek, and Mount St. Helena while we work!

Stakes mark the pole locations for Compost Cricket Corral. Nice view of Stone Farm’s northern pasture, Irwin creek, and Mount St. Helena while we work!

This project will be completed in October by Sunny Galbraith’s biology students from Orchard View School, Sebastopol, California.  Compost Cricket Corral will be our first wildlife habitat installation for this school year.  Chirp chirp!

Enjoy your habitat garden.

Tony

 

Feb 142014
 
Golden Crowned Sparrow in Tulip MagnoliaTwig Pile

Twisty Toad Tunnel is a hugelkultur wildlife habitat in our Northern California garden.  I severely pruned back a lichen-covered and overgrown tulip magnolia tree and stuffed the cut-down limbs, prunings, and cutting into The Bog — a hole in our garden where we make soil by winter and grow crops by summer.  Much of the magnolia cuttings are elegantly draped with lichens, surely a beneficial source of wildlife shelter and food for animals microscopic to crawling to larger.

The beginning of this post focuses on video installations of Twisty Toad Tunnel.

The last paragraph provides you with a link to learn more about Twisty Toad Tunnels’ rich lichen contribution to out wildlife habitat hugelkultur.

Installation of Twisty Toad Tunnel


Learn more about Twisty Toad Tunnels’ rich lichens

Today (the 14th) is my monthly blog post at Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens.  This month, my blog article discusses how lichens support wildlife habitat in our residential gardens.

Enjoy!  And please comment me under my NP & WG article if you have any comments or questions.

Tony

Aug 032013
 
Cozy Cottage Egg Farm 1st Egg
Cozy Cottage Egg Farm 1st Egg

Cozy Cottage Egg Farm's 1st egg, layed by our Bard Rock hen, Marmalade. The coins are used for relative size: a Norwegian 5 kroner coin and a U.S. quarter (25 cents) coin. The eggshell was very thin and split open in the coop. Still yummy out of the fry pan!

Cozy Cottage Egg Farm 1st egg was layed!

Watch the video:

 

 

Happy habitat food forest!

Tony

Apr 022013
 

Contest Entries

During each calendar month, Spore Lore will accept postings of residential wildlife habitats to Spore Lore’s facebook page, Habitat It and They Will Come.

click to post your Habitat of the Month entry

Click to post your Habitat of the Month entry.

Contest entries must include:

1) The name of the garden habitat.

2) The 4 components of wildlife habitat:

SHELTER =

FOOD =

WATER =

SPACE TO RAISE YOUNG =

3) At least one picture of the the wildlife habitat.

Entry Awards and Contest Winners

All Habitat of the Month Contest entries will receive a “Habitat It!” bumper sticker.  Habitat of the Month, as in the The Winner, will receive a signed copy of Tony McGuigan’s book, Habitat It and They Will Come.  The month’s winning habitat will be chosen from a review of Comments (facebook) posted to the entry AND ALSO from Tony’s impression of the contest entry.  In the case of a tie, two (2) winners, both declared “Habitat of the Month” will be announced.

Contest entries (postings to the facebook page Habitat It and They Will Come) will be accepted till noon (Pacific treefrog time) of the 28th day of the month (26th day for February).  Contest winners will be announced by 6PM (Pacific treefrog time) on the 30th day of the same month (28th for February).  Contest winners will be announced primarily at Spore Lore’s website (sporelore.com\Blog\Habitat of the Month Contest) and at Spore Lore’s facebook page (Habitat It and They Will Come).

To receive your contest entry “Spore Lore” sticker, and/or receive a book if your habitat is chosen as Habitat of the Month, please email your postal address to habitatofthemonth@sporelore.com; please include the name of your habitat in your email.

Please enter your garden habitat one time only.  However, if significant changes have been made to the habitat and/or significant documentation (like pictures!) of the habitat is available, then the same habitat may be re-submitted as a new contest entry. 

Create wildlife habitat and have fun.

Post your habitat to Habitat of the Month.

Good Luck!

Fine Print — Other Rules

There is no cash value for any contest rewards or contest prizes.

Participants/Entrants of the Contest give Spore Lore permission to leave contest posts on Spore Lore’s facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/HabitatItAndTheyWillCome, and to post Contest entries and Contest winner announcements to Spore Lore’s facebook pages (Habitat It and They Will Come, Spore Lore, and Tony McGuigan), as well as Tony McGuigan’s/Spore Lore’s other social media sites (Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube) and Spore Lore’s website (sporelore.com).   Spore Lore reserves the right to use the winner’s name (if provided in the contest entry), habitat name and habitat location (if provided in the contest entry),  for publicity purposes only in connection with the Contest and for no other reason.

Spore Lore is not bound to announce contest entries/winner/winners. 

GOVERNING LAW: Contest governed by the laws of California and subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations. Accordingly, all issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of the Contestant and Sponsor in connection with the Contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of California, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of the State of California or any other jurisdiction). The Contest is void where prohibited by any applicable law. Contestants, by participating in this Contest, hereby waive and release, and agree to hold harmless Spore Lore and all of its respective officers, directors, employees and representatives and agents, from and against, any and all rights, claims and causes of action whatsoever that they may have, or which may arise, against any of them for any liability for any matter, cause or thing whatsoever, including but not limited to any injury, loss, damage, whether direct, compensatory, incidental or consequential, to person, including death, and /or property, arising in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from their acceptance, possession, use or misuse of any prize, or their participation in this Contest, or any prize-related activity. By participating in this Contest, Contestants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of Sponsor. Except where prohibited by law, by accepting a prize, winner agrees that Spore may use the winner’s name, address (state), photograph, likeness, and/or prize information for advertising, publicity and promotional purposes and to the use of statements made by or attributed to winner relating to Spore Lore or to this Contest and grants to Spore Lore any and all rights to said use without further notice and/or compensation except where prohibited by law.


Nov 182012
 
Lemon Pot with hugelkultur layer under soil.

Day 3 in this 6-day video series: Preparing patio pots for winter veggie planting.

First a video  re “Patio Veggie Pots”,  then some patio veggie planting pics (below the video):

Patio Veggie Pots 3 of 6 (video):

 

Patio Veggie Planting (pics):

 

Lemon Pot with hugelkultur layer under soil.

Lemon Pot with a thick layer of "garden debris" (if there is such a thing!) under the planting soil. The composting organics will eventually turn to soil and add some richness to the existing soil. The process of burying organic matter in piles to breakdown over years is called hugelkultur, a German term and garden art.

 

For a detailed discussion,

clear graphics, and lots of pics of hugelkultur,

Click to go to Paul Weaton's blog entry on Hugelkultur.

Click image to go to http://www.richsoil.com/hugelkultur/

see Paul Weaton’s blog at:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy planting veggies on your patio and see you tomorrow.

Tony

 

Nov 092012
 
2-month old roots of the young tree collard start.

You have landed on Day 5 in this 5-day series of videos depicting propagation of tree collard cuttings.  Enjoy!

 

First a video  re “Collard Propagation”.   Today’s video is part 5 of 5 (1/day) for the series!   THEN some tree collard  pics (below the video):

 

Tree Collard Propagation — 5 of 5 videos

 

Young Tree Collard Starts (pics):

 

Tree Collard cuttings/starts after 2 month's growth.

Tree Collard cuttings/starts after 2 month's growth, left pot only. Healthy!

 

Close-up of tree collard cuttings 2 months old.

Close-up of tree collard cuttings 2 months old. Lots of growth.

 

2 month old tree collard cutting growing on Dragon Spine Ridge.

2 month old tree collard cutting growing on Dragon Spine Ridge. The specimen of focus here is the collard plant on the right. I pulled it up to inspect the root growth (to show YOU!), dug the roots back into the soil, and pruned off its top. Pruning off the top was advised (by me) because the inspection most likely destroyed some root mass. Less root mass, THEN less foliage will be supported. I also wanted to top off the young plant to encourage it to branch out lower rather than higher. See the next two pics.

 

2-month old roots of the young tree collard start.

2-month old roots of the young tree collard start. Good healthy soil, good healthy root growth. A good day!

 

Young Tree Collard is back on its feet.

Young Tree Collard is back on its feet, a rock to help it hunker into the ground after my rude root inspection.

 

Happy collard propagation and see you tomorrow.

Tony

 

 

Nov 082012
 
Transplanting tree collard cutting - 2

You have landed on Day 3 in this 5-day series of videos depicting propagation of tree collard cuttings.  Enjoy!

 

First a video  re “Collard Propagation”.   Today’s video is part 3 of 5 (1/day) for the series!   THEN some collard tree pics (below the video):

 

Tree Collard Propagation — 3 of 5 videos

 

 

Transplanting Tree Collard Cuttings for Propagation (pics):

Transplanting tree collard cutting - 1

Transplanting tree collard cutting - 1 of 4. Note the bend in the cutting. Could be very difficult to stab this cutting into the ground and keep the leaves off the soil-mulch surface. But working with what we have, we'll lie the cutting on its side. The extra length of cutting (not pruning it back because of the bend) will allow more root development and better ensure propagation.

 

Transplanting tree collard cutting - 2

Transplanting tree collard cutting 2 of 4. Perfect fit for this tree collard cutting that has two 90-degree bends in it. Permaculture principle #1 = the problem is the solution. Because of its twists and turns, this cutting has primo real estate in the topsoil layer – look at how well the cutting, or new root system travels horizontally, along the rich microbe-abundant topsoil layer.

 

Transplanting tree collard cutting - 3

Transplanting tree collard cutting - 3 of 4. The topsoil layer is returned over the cutting. Leave it as you found it. The soil microbes have had a heck of a day (I hate moving!), but they will get a second chance at thriving, alongside the transplanted tree collard cutting. The green manure (boring people call them “weeds”) are also pushed back into place with the lightly packed topsoil. Those plants/greens are going to be mulched over (next pic) so they will boost the existing community of soil microbes. And the soil microbes and the tree collard cutting’s new roots will live happily ever after.

 

 

Transplanting tree collard cutting - 4

Transplanting tree collard cutting - 4 of 4. Rice straw (old, perhaps last year's bale) is used to mulch over the tree collard cutting. Moisture retention is critical while the cutting decides to thrive or not. Note the chop-and-drop'ed dock plant (lower right); see text below re chop-and-drop.

Note the chop-and-drop’ed dock plant in the above pic (lower right).  Sure it could have been ripped out while I was digging in the transplant.  BUT, I would rather have the dock plant’s large, voluptuous leaves soak in the sun’s rays, create carbon (sugars) and other organic matter in the form of more leaves and a more developed root system.  THEN, I will come along again (for the umpteenth time!) and demand that the plant start all over.  Besides perhaps emotionally scarring Dock, the leaves I’ve collected can be used to make mulch, compost, or salad.  The root system that was supporting all that leaf growth dies back; the leaves are no longer feeding it.  Those died-back roots then become food for the soil as well as organic material that retains moisture for the new roots to come as the dock plant regrows.

Chop and drop video by TrevorsGarden.

Happy collard propagation and see you tomorrow.

Tony

 

 

Nov 042012
 
Squash grown for green manure

You have landed on Day 4 in this 6-day series of videos depicting the fine art of collecting/processing/storing pumpkin seeds.  Enjoy!

 

First some pumpkin pics:

Day 1 = flowers

Day 2 = vine

Day 3  = new fruit

Today  = green manure

Day  5 = seed saving

Day 6  = seed planting

 

THEN a video  re “Saving Happy Halloween Pumpkin Carving Seeds”.   6 videos (1/day) for the series!

 

Green Manure

Squash grown for green manure

Squash grown for green manure to establish new planting bed. The over-planted (like WAY TOO MANY!!!) squash and pumpkin vines will be harvested to create soil. Likewise, the vines could be "chop-and-drop'ed" in place and covered with soil -- the vines would become a rich source of compostable material as microbes, fungi, and critters (insects, etc.) break it down.

 

Tony harvests green manure (squash vines) to feed earthworms

Tony harvests green manure (squash vines) to feed earthworms. Those are not just squash vines that have grown ridiculously abundandant. Those are sheets of moisture, sponges of sugar, and whole communities of resident microbes/insects. Earthworm bin, compost pile, under a new soil mound, the harvested squash vine is a delicacy for the garden.

Sure, composting can be rewarding.   But frankly, I hate turning the pile.   Permaculture slacker!   But I do try to make up for some of my sins.   My favorite use of green manure is to pile it and mound soil over it.   I try to imagine the  busy life of microbes/crawly critters/earthworms/mollusks/a rooting skunk all working the pile.   Indentured servitude in my soil mound, and I have no guilt!    In fact, I have provided jobs.

Green Manure from Norwegian Hill Basket.

Green Manure from Norwegian Hill Basket.

 

Harvest from Norwegian Hill Basket.

Harvest from Norwegian Hill Basket. The fruit is nice, it's food. The squash flowers are very nice to have; they can be breaded and fried for a delicacy. The green manure, and a piled high wheelbarrow of it!, is Life worth living for, realized dreams, a reason to keep on going. We now have organic material to create healthier soil. Talk about riches!

And my favorite use of green manure — burying it.  For one, I believe plants above the mound will have an easier time sending roots into the warm soil.   Roots that  seek the warmth and nutritious moisture that the breaking down greens provide will send roots along the loosely packed decayin greens and grow far and wide.

Leaf Trench Highway filled with green manure, including squash greens.

Leaf Trench Highway filled with green manure, including squash greens. LTH, our soil-making trench, stores our green mulch for six months to a year. The greens are layered with other garden assets, like brown leaves, rotten fruit, and twigs according to REMP standards. Invented by you, whenever you find the time, Real Estate Marketting Principles, are very effective in the garden -- what can you do to have microbes and critters big and small want to move in your mix of organics. For one, water the area. Once you attract the critters and microbes, relax. Harvest your compost-rich soil when ready.

Saving Happy Halloween Pumpkin Carving Seeds — 4 of 6

Happy seed saving and see you tomorrow.

Tony

 

 

Nov 032012
 
Young Pumpkin in Percy's Pearmain Portal

You have landed on Day 3 in this 6-day series of videos depicting the fine art of collecting/processing/storing pumpkin seeds.  Enjoy!

 

First some pumpkin pics:

Day 1 = flowers

Day 2 = vine

Today  = new fruit

Day 4  = green manure

Day  5 = seed saving

Day 6  = seed planting

 

THEN a video  re “Saving Happy Halloween Pumpkin Carving Seeds”.   6 videos (1/day) for the series!

 

Young Pumpkin in Percy's Pearmain Portal

Young Pumpkin in Percy's Pearmain Portal. Note the thick stem, a sign that this pumpkin is going to be a biggy! Also note how the stem comes off the vine at a 90-degree angle, which will allow the vine to sit on top of the soon-to-be large pumpkin. Note the shriveled, dieing off flower. See the next pic, which shows this pumpkin's growth a month later.

 

 

Adolescent pumpkin in Percy's Pearmain Portal

Adolescent pumpkin (maybe Junior High). Note 1) how the vine was dragged up on top of the pumpkin (the vine was alongside the fruit when younger; see previous pic) so that the growing pumpkin would not pull away from the vine. With the vine on top and pumpkin below, why wanting the fruit to come off of the vine at a 90 degree angle (as mentioned in previous pic) becomes clearer.

 

 

Young pumpkin growing across Rock Birdbath

Young pumpkin growing across Rock Birdbath. Note how quickly the fruit has grown yet the vine is not very developed beyond it. Also note how the young pumpkin still has the shriveled flower attached.

 

Years later, I am starting to really have fun with the lushness, almost unreasonable growth, of pumpkin vine.

 

Skyward Netted Pumpkin

Skyward Netted Pumpkin. Now this project has been fun! My goal was to have a pumpkin grow in the air, suspended off the ground. This pumpkin almost made it to the top, that is, to the crossing bamboo poles, where I was wanting a pumpkin to hang out for a while – at least till Halloween. Spore Lore’s blog entry, 20121030 Skyward Pumpkins and Happy Halloween, tells all.

 

Skyward Netted Pumpkin -- close-up

Skyward Netted Pumpkin -- close-up view. Note the thick stem, 90-degree stem, and the black plastic landscape netting that supports the weight of the pumpkin in the air on the not-so-strong vine.

 

And my favorite of the year…drumroll, please!

 

Skyward Nestled Pumpkin -- close-up view

Skyward Nestled Pumpkin -- close-up view. At last, a pumpkin vine has climbed up to the very crotch of the bamboo teepee AND fruited in a perfect orientation to wedge itself in FOREVER! You do it – I am not going to be the one to tell Skyward Nestled Pumpkin it’s time to move on.

Saving Happy Halloween Pumpkin Carving Seeds — 3 of 6


Happy seed saving and see you tomorrow.

Tony