Worm Towers


“How to make a Worm Tower”
Blog Article from the Good Folks at Milkwood Permaculture – Australia
A Video Short
Easiest Way to Recycle Kitchen Scraps and Feed your Garden – Worm Towers…!!!
It’s as simple as digging a hole, sliding in a pipe or long narrow bucket with holes in the sides on bottom half of it, and burying it 2/3 of the way down into the bed. 

Then every day or two, you take off the top (which is there to keep the flies out) and dump fresh kitchen scraps in. The worms will digest the scraps and carry the fertility in their casting out into your garden bed.

Scraps + Worms + Moisture = World Best Fertilizer…!!!

Becky and I have plans to make several of these this year. I think it is a brilliant idea and will keep you posted on how it works for us.

Click Here for the 2-min. YouTube Video
Lonnie Shanahan (also of Australia) Explains

Hugelkultur

‘Hugelkultur’ Your Woody Materials
Burying Woody Material and Junk Firewood to Help Next Year’s Plants Grow 

Someone asked us upon hearing the word “hugelkultur” for the first time if it was appropriate to use the word in proper company. It’s a mouthful alright.

Hugelkultur is an old German concept/word meaning “hill-culture”. Wood is buried under topsoil (either in a hole or right on the ground) and as it breaks down, it holds lots of moisture and provides sustained nutrients for plant growth. It is one of the best methods that Becky and I incorporate to use up all of the extra woody materials from around our house. Why not put all the good carbon to use below the plants we want to grow?

More on “Hugelkultur” Definition

Pictured: Students Proudly Straddling Wood-Chunks in Hugelkultur Bed at one of our Permaculture Courses in California

Click Here for a Picture Sequence
of the digging of this Hugelkultur Bed

Heating His Home with Compost?


Meet Our Friend Rob Frost from the Milwaukee, WI Area
 

Back in the 1970s, a Frenchman by the name of Jean Pain of built a compost pile from woodchips about the size of a garage. Inside the pile he had coiled around a single, very long hose that he could run clean water through. In the very center of the pile was a very large-sealed-tank holding a slurry of cow manure.

Once the pile started to heat up he was able to run water through the hose at will and extract some of the heat. He had all the hot running water he needed for bathing, washing, and get this…for heating his home…for 18 months…!!! And from the manure tank in the center he extracted enought methane to provide gas to his stove and oven but more impressively, he compressed it into tanks and ran his automobiles from it. And when he was all done, he had a pile of fantastic compost for his gardens.

Our friend Rob Frost is attempting a mini version of this for his suburban home. 
Thanks for the inspiration Rob!

 

 


Rob’s Home Heating Experiment

Hope in a Changing Climate

I Loved this Documentary – I Recommend the Trailer 

Even if you only watch the first minute of this trailer, it is worth it. With logging and over-grazing on the hillsides on the Loess Plateau in China, the land had become devoid of all vegetation. This was of little concern to the large urban population centers until the flooding began. With no vegetation at the head of the great watersheds of the Yellow River, the rain waters washed down the river valleys in torrents carrying topsoil and flooding the cities.

Take a look at what the application of basic permaculture principles were able to accomplish over a 10 year period. – such principles as ‘hold water on the landscape where it lands’ and ‘use plants to hold water, build soil and sustain life.’   AMAZING FOOTAGE.

Click here to watch the trailer.
You can watch the full length version here.

Homemade Grow Boxes


Self Irrigating PlanterI Loved this YouTube Video
Frank and his Homemade Grow Boxes

Build Your Own Self Irrigating Planter (SIP)
Meet Frank Fekonia from Queensland, Australia. Living in a relatively dry climate on a south facing slope he needed to come up with a way of growing bountiful gardens on rocky soil, on steep terrain, and with little water. Similar to the SIP, why not build tall raised beds or planters that conserve water while minimizing the amount of bending over to work the beds. Certainly he could figure out a way to build them for under $200 each. He did better than that. He built over a dozen of them for almost ‘nothink’. I love the creativity of Franks idea.