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ある家族のパーマカルチャー的自然調和への冒険


by guibi

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November!

(Stop reading this entry! This is an unfinished post. Wait for the real post in a day or two.
Feel free to read earlier posts! :-)

Time to post an update before I forget what I got up to this month. Seemed like an awfully busy one.
Most of the jobs this month were finishing up things that I'd left half done. I've added three strands of wire to the fence all around to act as extra deer deterrence. Built 3 gates and hung 4 (John's gate was waiting for hinges). Planted about a dozen new fruit trees, some replacing those that got deered last winter (kaki, apple, nashi), others just adding to the variety (Paw Paw, Feijoa, Wolfberry, Almond, Peach, Cranberry and others). I also moved some of our surviving rootstock out into the woods where I'm looking forward to seeing it develop (if it survives out there, deer and all). The orchards got a major tidy up and I sowed heaps of hairy vetch and clover in the areas Kazumi will be building the understory next spring.
I consolidated two of the three compost piles so as to increase the volume and hopefully the temperature within, thereby speed up the decomposing and killing any seed that's made it this far. If it goes right, I'll have about a ton of wicked compost next spring. What was the third compost heap is now full of autumn leaves and when that's done (maybe next winter) there'll be another half ton of tip-top, seed free compost ready for spreading.
I've cut up a bunch of tree trunks that I'd left lying around the place, so we now have benches placed in strategic locations. It'll be great to just veg out with a book on them in the spring... Ha! Who am I kidding? Time to read? Pah!
# by guibi | 2013-11-30 22:36 | This month...

The One Straw Revolution?... pffffft!

Well, it's turned into another bi-monthly report, but here it is at last. お待たせしました!
Sept~Oct
I started the month in need of a break from the yurt. I'd spent all summer in there and was starting to make silly little mistakes, so I decided to turn my attentions elsewhere for a bit before I made any big ones.
I've been scrounging glass for the shed windows and "the green-house-to-be " all year and had enough to complete the shed so got down to doing that. Needless to say I didn't finish the job, (hey who do you think I am?) but I got all the sills and surrounds -John will probably teach me the real names later- done and rather spiffy they look too.
I would have got the windows themselves in, but suddenly got an email from a WWOOFer. "A WWOOFer?" I hear you ask. Yes. A WillingWorkerOnOrganicFarms-er. Basically, WWOOFers are folk looking to exchange their labour for accommodation and food. They do this to either learn more about organic farming or just to prolong their trip. The WWOOFer who wrote to me had been involved in a number of Permaculture projects in Europe, but was about to arrive in Japan and had read about us. "Maybe I could stay for a few weeks and help you out..." or words to that effect. Never one to look a gift-horse in the mouth, I wrote back explaining the lack of creature comforts, the heavy nature of the work I had in mind and not to expect a garden of eden as what we were still doing was basically re-building the soil.
She surprised me with her response: "Fine. I'll be there on the 14th."

Click here to read on...
# by guibi | 2012-10-14 00:00 | This month...

measure, measure again, cut, fit. Repeat.

It's been a loong, hot, sweaty couple of months since I last posted here but, having just returned from Hokkaido, I feel refreshed enough to sit down at the computer and type.
I've been basically focusing on the yurt interior which, as you probably know, is taking a darned sight longer than putting up the yurt itself did. Very few pieces of wood are the same dimensions, lots of them have to go together to make curved surfaces and unlike the deck, most of the pieces fit together by way of a joint rather than with galvanized hardware and bolts. Also, there are less places where I can say "Fuck it. That'll do...". Pretty much every piece is a finishing piece and making it not just functional but also looking crisp and proper chews through time no end.

measure, measure again, cut, fit. Repeat._a0272054_18315956.jpg

(more pics here)

The main changes since last time I wrote are:
- The loft/ceiling is up and solid. Now we have somewhere for stuff that we don't want to look at every day.
- Emma's room, our room, the bathroom and the kitchen are pretty much done. Most of the t&g paneling is on, and looking great if I say so myself. Electrical outlets are in place, and the wiring is all ready to be pulled through the walls (yes, I've left off the odd piece of wall paneling so that I can do this easily, and yes, all the holes in the stud work that it'll pass through are drilled and sanded smooth).
- The kitchen and bathroom fittings are all in place and no floor joists are in the way of the drainpipes. The hot and cold water pipes are in the walls and seem to be water tight... fingers crossed! The gas piping just needs connecting at both ends (bottle and cooker).
- Overhead kitchen cabinets are together and awaiting paint and the fitting of some old window frames that we are going to use as doors.

Still to do are interior doors; genkan; book shelves; our desks; the 'L' of the kitchen; doors for the under-counter kitchen cabinets and Emma's bed/desk combination. Then I have to plug the electrics together and connect the solar PVs etc. I also have to dig two filtration tanks near our water supply and run a pipe from them down to the yurt. Why didn't I do this earlier? Basically because it's too bloody hot to be out digging two 1500 litre tanks and a 50m 50x50cm trench. "Get a digger in!" do I hear you say? Nah. I can do it myself if only it were cooler. I'll wait.

Our friends Iain and Tomoko, having found their land at long last, came to pick up the last of their stuff from the shed a couple of weeks ago. While they were here we press-ganged them into giving us a hand to re-distribute the canvas yurt wall so that it was more evenly tensioned all around. Now it looks much better, and should be better in the case of a big blow (Typhoon season just around the corner). It wasn't that it was a heavy job but it needed lots of hands. Big thanks to you, guys!

So, slow but steady progress here. Of course I've had no time at all for the veg beds, much to I&T's disgust (sorry guys, only got two hands!), but despite that K and I have done some re-thinking regarding the layout and will be making major changes this winter. Should be much easier to handle... more on that when it happens.
That about wraps it up for this post. I hope to find time to get a September report out, but it may well turn into a Sept/Oct report after all. Again, we'll see.
Later!
# by guibi | 2012-08-30 18:33 | Yurt:ゲル

June Update.

The rainy season is officially upon us, not that you'd know it up here. We've had maybe 3 days of serious rainy season rain (and the new drain worked just fine), a week or so of clammy hot 'n' humid and the rest of the time relatively cool (high 20s) and cloudy. Perfect weather for the veg! Perfect weather for the weeds! We've had a lot of success with carrots, beetroot, peas, daikon, pac-choi, rocket and amaranth (last years crop self seeded). Our corn is about ready and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that nothing will steal them. The corn patch is netted in this year, we live and learn!
June Update._a0272054_143118.jpg


More
# by guibi | 2012-06-29 01:44 | This month...

Venison Sausages...

Venison sausages, that's what I think we need.
The deer have been back again and made short work of our proudest plum and had a good go at one of our apricot trees.
I suppose the lesson from this is that a fence is only as good as its weakest point, and the weak point would be the lack of gates, I suppose.
I've spent the last few months (between other jobs) digging holes for and erecting 172, 3m fence posts around the perimeter of Guibi. I then stretched wire mesh between them, as one does.
Venison Sausages..._a0272054_120235.jpg

(more pics here ).

Trouble is that I haven't got all the gates made and hung yet. We also intend to run an electric wire or three above the fencing, just to get the point across! In the mean time, the deer are still able to get at our trees. So, this brings me back to sausages. Anyone out there with a gun who feels like going halves on a deer's worth of sausages?
# by guibi | 2012-05-29 01:24 | Forest Garden:食べる森

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November!
at 2013-11-30 22:36
The One Straw ..
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measure, measu..
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