Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

We are probably above average in this category but we work pretty hard at it.  At home it means I only have to take one can of actual garbage and two cans of recyclables to the dump every two months.  At the farm it is on a whole different scale.

While the curtain drain was being dug, my friend S and I spent the weekend chipping limbs from the trees taken down during the site prep.  The logs will be stripped of their bark and stored in the barn to cure so we can use them when we build our passive solar cob and timber home.

M limbing trees

M limbing trees

After we worked through one of the large piles of limbs (and there are more – lots more!) S hopped in her trusty skidsteer to grab a scoop of this and a scoop of that so we could layer the sod scraped from the site with the woodchips to get some compost started.  I sprayed liquid fish between each layer.  Needless to say, the light breeze that day did not endear me to my friends at  meal times…

On the far right you can see the mountain of sod scraped off of the site in the picture below. As much topsoil as possible was put back on the site after grading – this was the really lumpy stuff too hard to spread.

on the far right you can see the mountain of sod scraped off of the site.  As much topsoil as possible was put back on the site after grading - this was the really lumpy stuff too hard to spread.

Over to the right you can see the piles of wood chippings and S layering in the sod. As always, Magpie is supervising. It’s hard to imagine that this “parking lot” will be a beautiful perennial garden with a lovely pond and garden benches someday…

over to the right you can see the piles of wood chippings

The finished compost pile and M “doing the hustle” – J must be honking the track hoe horn!

the finished compost pile and M "doing the hustle"!

Trunks and roots from the trees cleared for the building site will be used in large hugelkultur beds.

trunks and roots from trees cleared from the building site will be used for large hugelkultur beds

Meanwhile back at the ranch… I have been picking up loads of cardboard boxes off of my local freecycle to use when we start to layout our perennial planting beds.  Not a day goes by that someone isn’t listing free moving boxes, so I have an ample supply.  This is a picture of just one haul!  The cardboard will be the bottom layer of our sheet mulching to help kill the sod but preserve the nutrients and add organic matter to the soil.


I’ve also been bagging up the straw bedding and chicken poop from the coop at home in 55 gallon contractor bags and dragging them out to the farm each week.  I have quite a pile  accumulated and have been adding our kitchen and paper scraps from the weekend camping at the farm to it as well as buckets of compost from home to help get things going.  Since I didn’t have time to get a veg garden in at home this year, I decided the huge mountain of compost I’d built could be put to better use at the farm, so I just fill as many 5 gallon buckets as I can each week and haul them out with me whenever I head down.  These materials will also be used for sheet mulching.


About La Femme Farmer

Starting up a small farm is the goal for the second half of my life. It's a late start I know, but better late than NEVER! Growing food, cooking and eating are my passions and now I get to do it full-time (and then some). and yes, that's a tomato from my garden!
This entry was posted in Chickens, Compost, Gardening, Homesteading, Mulch, Preparing the land, Sustainability and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    • Thanks! I just popped over to your blog and see you are very passionate and concerned about the state of the world we live in – great work too! I also noted you live in Australia – the birthplace of permaculture, so if you haven’t heard of it yet, I think you could possibly find it interesting and worthwhile. Bill Mollison (Tagari Farm) and Geoff Lawton are the most famous permaculture guys and both live in Australia. I’m posting soon about our farm plan which incorporates permaculture design. Thanks for stopping by.

      • cmartdesign says:

        Wow Thanks, send me a link when you do i would love to have a read, my brother is into permaculture its amazing, i making these connections with fellow life enthusiasts is so fantastic, it makes me very happy.


    Here is the link to my post on our permaculture design which also has links to other permie stuff. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I love the vision implied in your statement about the pond and bench and beautiful perennial beds.

    • Thanks – here’s to hoping the vision comes alive soon. I’ve been stockpiling sheet mulching materials and so even though all of the keyline plowing in this area is being reversed somewhat by the compaction, I think we can recover it pretty quickly with the sheet mulching.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s