Frankies' Mandala

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by BanjoFrankie, Oct 1, 2014.

  1. BanjoFrankie

    BanjoFrankie Junior Member

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    Hi all, just joined and thought i'd post some photos to show you what im doing down here and maybe invite some feeback, possitive or negative I don't mind:) View attachment 2717 (I hope you can expand the image on your end as it uploaded kinda small...) Anyway, this is the my mandala so far and the dome is on its third station. In the centre station (the first) I planted spuds just to get something growing to keep back the cooch; Tassie Red wich is just popping up now, and Pontiac and Sebago that jumped out of the ground as soon as they went in a couple of weeks ago. The second station I planted with corn, again just to get something in. I have got a bunch of sprouties going so I think I might be able to get a guild of sorts going on the third bed when I move the chooks off soon. In the top right hand bed I cheated and didn't move the chooks on, but just terraced it and have planted climgbing beans in the fodder section and parsnip where the potatoes are supposedd to be. View attachment 2718 The wooden thing behind this bed on the top right is teracing as this spot is quite uneven, I just put some concrete in to hold it all up and will be digging it in soon. I have been digging out the cooch root systems on these beds - a big no-no in the no-dig gardening regime I know - but I have found from previous experience that the cooch just grows back with a vengance and strangles everything if i dont' at least get rid of a spade lench of roots. I have been using tyres, with the bottom wall cut out to plant my natives and other plants for this reason also - and to help mowing etc, and it seems to work. The big tractor tires are where I will be planting the fruit trees, whenever I have the cash to buy them:) The dog kennel is in the backgroud I she seems to like hanging around the chooks. I have fenced off the entire area with mesh to keep the dorpa sheep out. View attachment 2720 This photo is the top fence line where the sheep can't reach, and I planted a few diffent varieties of diggers beans that a friend gave me. Before I got all the mesh on the sheep got in and chewed them off, but they are coming back nicely. They didn't touch the potatoes, which surprised me. View attachment 2719 This photo is of the poly-tunnel im building with inspiration from Lindas' chook dome design. The archway pipe is one size bigger - 32mm class 12 (from memory) and it is all wired together like the dome. View attachment 2721 The horizontal rails are the 25mm pipe. The tunnel is 6meters long, about 3.8 meters wide and about 2.2 meters tall. A concrete slab would have been ideal but too costly so I just put compacted road base instead, weeds growing through the floor is going to be a big problem so i think I will concrete it bit by bit soon. For the footings I got 5'6ft star pickets and cut them in half, then trimmed the top so that the pipe would fit over the picket, sadly forgot to take a phot of these things. In retrospect bigger diameter pipe would have been alot easier, though im not sure if it would have arched over so well. The 32mm pipe needed abit of tention to bend as it was...i suppose an experament is in order. I then concreted these salvaged cedar 2 by 4 after painting them in 'Eco in-ground protecta' product, that is says on the label that it is organic farm certified and resists mould. I put these in to give the structure lateral strength and to hold the front door and this cool wooden french window I got at the tip for the back. I will also be putting in some diagonal builders strapping to help keep it relatively rigid. Then the skin, I cant wait to get this thing finished!
    Thats probably enough for now, I hope someone out there finds this interesting, would be keen to hear from you. Cheers amigos!
     

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  2. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    I have polytunnel envy now - that looks great!

    You could save your back and try leaving the chooks on for longer than the usual 2 weeks, then plant a green manure crop and bring them back earlier (as soon as it starts to come back) to get rid of the cooch grass. Ain't nobody got time for digging that stuff out by hand! Let your girls do it for you…. A bit of time invested in getting the soil built up now will benefit you down the track, even if you have to buy stuff from the shops for a bit longer.

    Are you aware that Linda has a blog called the Witches Kitchen? She's been a bit quiet lately but there's heaps more great ideas and recipes there that supplement the book. She's moved on from the domes and has home for fully enclosed garden beds (bandicoot issues) and moves the chooks between this but with the same general ideas as before. The one thing I learned most from it is the concept of making chicken compost. When the chooks are on a bed toss on everything you can that you would make compost out of - manure, leaves, shredded paper etc - balanced like you would if you were making compost i.e. not all nitrogen or all carbon, and let the chooks go to town on turning it over for you. When you move them off you end up with 6 inches of lovely freshly spread compost. Just be careful putting stuff with weed seeds or that propagates from runners in there as you'll have it make itself at home.
     
  3. BanjoFrankie

    BanjoFrankie Junior Member

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    Cheers eco, ill post some photos when the door and window go in - both from the tip - the best shop ever!
    I will definitly check out the Witches Kitchen! I just coincidently bought some manure crop seed the other day and will give it a go. Getting started on composting and soil making are high on my agenda. Im also doing a house renovation/extension using mostly recycled matierials and had excavated quite abit of decent soil that I have been using, but this is running out fast so getting this in gear is becoming a abit of a priority:)
     
  4. Chookie

    Chookie Junior Member

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    Looking good BanjoFrankie, look forward to seeing how it develops. The polytunnel looks awesome :y:

    The Witches kitchen was a good read too eco, cheers for that
     

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