38°F and high winds means staying inside today. Good time to review the summer and plot for next year.
Made progress on the Upscale Burrow by buying 50 percent of the exterior walls. Not finished stashing them out of the way, but only 75 left to move neatly under the trailerstead as dry stack skirting. I get as much use out of things as I can make up.
Progress on hand shoveling the cutout’s back edge to even it up and get it ready for foundation work. It isn’t a large area and is the best soil on my property. Rather than hiring soil compacting heavy equipment I chose to remove it by hand like the precious resource it is.
I used the soil along with compost to fill my new raised bed, now filled with blueberries. Used some to fill 10 large ceramic pots for dwarf fruit trees that will be kept in my courtyard after my Burrow is built. The rest was added to my closest Hugelkultur bed.
Shoveled about a fifth of the pile of crusher fines that came with my property and which is sitting in the middle of my proposed Upscale Burrow. It is becoming pathways around my home. Some was used to fill and anchor concrete blocks for my raised bed. Machine removal just shifts the problem a few feet so I chose to create beautiful pathways, and that also requires edging stones from uphill. As I outline the paths with stones I fill in with crusher fines. I sliced the rotted carpet from inside the trailerstead in 2 foot widths, then laid it down beneath the gravel. No weeds, no landfill. There were a few beautiful perennials in the way that I carefully transplanted. It’s a process I will continue next year. Tickled me when a coworker showed me my undulating pathways on Google Earth.
Ten new dwarf fruiting trees in ceramic pots! Five new elderberry shrubs. Thousands more wildflower seeds.
Consideration of early retirement. My new career of one year faded out as customers faded away. I have a high close rate, but our best supporting employees faded away. I am looking for a job in the market economy even though early retirement may be the way it plays out.
Applying for a building permit for the Upscale Burrow, getting the plumbing stubbed in, and foundation poured would make my heart go pitty pat.
The New Mexico market economy values the trailerstead between $5000 and $10000 and selling would keep it out of a landfill. I would salvage it for use in either the Burrow or storage building but not sure it would save me more than $5000 plus landfill.
The 2×2 construction drives my decision to build; I could tart it up but it would still be 2×2 fragile. In high winds. Last year’s heavy snow got roof collapse warnings for such as mine. Even my shed is 2×4. Hmmm 10×12 tiny house?
The fun part is the land itself.
I am out of saffron and that delicious spice retails for $5000 per pound. Saffron is as easy to grow as any crocus I have met. The market economy charges so much because the expense is in harvesting the tiny stigmas from the flower… one to three stigmas per bloom. I am now in zone 5, one zone too cold for saffron. I will make a U shaped bed facing south, creating a small microclimate for them because yes, this spice is worth the trouble. While I am at it, I will make a raised bed because… the knees, the knees. All courtyard beds will be raised sez me.
A new Hugelkultur bed on my barren northwest corner. I have tried several trees in that bare spot, along with wildflower seeds. No go. Last chance is an elderberry and One Seed Juniper seeds.
I expect my giant plants to compost down and improve the soil like last year’s growth did. Yay! Home grown humus!
Next spring I will start demolition of sticker plants because I already shaded/pulled out the tumbleweeds. My plan is judicious use of a spray bottle filled with plain white vinegar (cheap) to spray the sticker plants and kill them before they seed the next generation.
I will use a piece of cardboard to block preferred plants from a vinegar shower. This is my circular economy answer to buying market economy Roundup that dumps poison into my soil and our common drinking water. No circle in that death trap.
Vinegar kills the plant and a day or two later you can pick it up to toss in compost or let it compost in place. Spring growth in a wildflower garden covers quickly if the plant is sprayed early.
As always, I will collect seeds and distribute them in my Food Forest. I will continue to seed the gap up the hill but will focus on seeding wildflowers on the uphill driveway created by the prior owners. I want their roadway to become my orchard and will start that process next summer.
I want to see what the birds and bears brought in as well. They are tireless workers for the common good in a circular economy.
I want to establish a blackberry patch up the hill adjacent to the proposed driveway/orchard. I have chosen a good spot where blackberries can entwine with a Gambel Oak patch. I hope the two together will fend off marauding mule deer long enough to get at least one oak tree above their reach. It should grow fast because all these knee high oaks are fairly old and have deep roots already.
My desire is for higher production of acorns, the premier wildlife food in the US. I will leave uncounted numbers of oaks for mule deer browse. My goal is expansion of the common food supply, not eradication of mule deer browse.