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PostPosted: Aug 2nd, '18, 18:56 
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Thanks Rob, but I've already got it out of that rambunctious part of my brain where I hope it'll pop back to life next Spring.
Google photos appears to have cleaned up and made a nice animation out of my Bull Elk photos. Let's see if I can post a GIF... https://photos.app.goo.gl/9zgvctN2QpjsXaCr5
Okay cool I just had to shrink it...
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Specs: 2600 gallon (347.56cf) Masonry fish pond. 44cf GBs. 200 gal (26.7cf) ST. 15 gal (2cf) RFF. 50 gal (6.7cf) biofilter. Brook trout and Comets.


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PostPosted: Aug 2nd, '18, 19:54 
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I got a little bit done on my Hugel yesterday, although I was pretty sore from the day before.
Attachment:
Hugelkultur-berm-Koi-pond-half-drained.jpg
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Draining the little pond gave me a chance to give a good cleaning to the biomedia in the main filter. However I did forget to raise the RFF which had settled and is now the lowest point in the system making it control the water level in the pond, doh!
I'll raise it next time I do a deep cleaning of this system. I also pulled out some of the Hornwart which was covered in string algae and that made more room for the fish to swim around. I don't know why I have such an aversion to thinning and trimming?
Attachment:
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It turns out that indeed I had added treated blocks under the low edges of the Koi pond spa project so it was easy to make a wedge to sledge in between the block and the spa to raise that corner up and get it level. Doing this was a bit freaky as there was still thousands of pounds of water in the spa/pond not to mention all the interconnected PVC pipes between the filters and the spa. One whack at a time. :shifty:
Attachment:
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I don't know if you can see it, but the barrel in the middle is the RFF which has settled and is now below the level of the fully filled pond. Now the water overflows evenly across the back in a rain storm. Which I saw yesterday as we got yet another downpour. The RFF is the place where the water spills over after things settle down. I'll need to address this new issue before Winter when having water overflow near the barrels can worsen the settling of the barrels. In hindsight, I should have set the barrels on concrete, now retrofitting a slab will be problematic.
Attachment:
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After leveling the spa, I decided to take it easy and work on some light duty projects like making sauerkraut and working on the airlift pump in our aquaponics greenhouse.
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Note to self: Don't leave the can of PVC cement outside during rainstorms, water may leak into can and cancel gluing project for the day!

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Specs: 2600 gallon (347.56cf) Masonry fish pond. 44cf GBs. 200 gal (26.7cf) ST. 15 gal (2cf) RFF. 50 gal (6.7cf) biofilter. Brook trout and Comets.


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PostPosted: Aug 2nd, '18, 21:35 
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what good are we if we let you put it on the back burner until spring? we're here to make you want to expand more! =) I don't have the money to do much right now so I need to push others to spend what money they have LOL.

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PostPosted: Aug 2nd, '18, 23:27 
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rininger85 wrote:
what good are we if we let you put it on the back burner until spring? we're here to make you want to expand more! =) I don't have the money to do much right now so I need to push others to spend what money they have LOL.

:laughing3:

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Specs: 2600 gallon (347.56cf) Masonry fish pond. 44cf GBs. 200 gal (26.7cf) ST. 15 gal (2cf) RFF. 50 gal (6.7cf) biofilter. Brook trout and Comets.


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PostPosted: Aug 5th, '18, 00:15 
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Good morning.
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The sun still comes in the north facing windows of the kitchen in the morning and it lit up the finished purple sauerkraut with the most delightful color. It looks like candy to me!
I had a most wonderful visit from longtime friend Eric Rogers yesterday. We hadn't seen each other in neither of us could recall how long. Thank you for thinking of us and coming out to visit.
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This cabbage came from the local farmers market, I've just returned from there again with more fodder for my even healthier diet. Saddens me that our garden was a flop again this year, but it looks like others have had good luck this season so that makes up for it. Knowing the quantity of Crookneck squash comes from one plant makes it difficult to pay even fifty cents for one, but I need to up my dietary fiber consumption if I'm going to get a handle on the root cause of this autoimmune disease; an unhealthy gut.
Quick image tour of the koi pond landscaping and general upgrading.
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I accidentally threw dirt behind the filter barrels thinking I was stabilizing it or I don't know what, doh!
Attachment:
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Luckily I felt well enough to remove it before it got packed in.
How do imagine that went, lol?
I has just jacked that low side of the spa when I needed to look and see how the PVC plumbing was handling the strain.
Whoops, I just put that dirt there.
Attachment:
Backyard-Koi-pond-Hugelkultur-ditch-closer-August-4th-2018.jpg
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I did not work on the ditch for the Hugelkultur berm by the Koi pond as I needed to recuperate from the day before work.
I had a fantastic time putting my workshop back together after neglect from being ill.
Attachment:
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This morning I decided it was time to clear off the dinning room table so I could design the aquarium cabinet I've been gearing up for with the work in the shop.
In case I hadn't written about that stand design, it's going to be unlike many popular cabinets seen around the interwebs. My design will not use 2"X4's as a frame. I need to build some cabinets for the house anyway so I thought I'd practice cabinetry making with the aquarium cabinet.
Hope you have a fantastic day too!
Brian

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Specs: 2600 gallon (347.56cf) Masonry fish pond. 44cf GBs. 200 gal (26.7cf) ST. 15 gal (2cf) RFF. 50 gal (6.7cf) biofilter. Brook trout and Comets.


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PostPosted: Aug 5th, '18, 21:09 
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Good morning
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Good Morning-Aug-5th-2018.jpg
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I've spent a little bit of time yesterday contemplating ideas for this aquarium cabinet I am building.
Attachment:
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Inexperience is a factor so please chime in if you see I'm trying to do the something the overly difficult way.
As an example I'll describe the back panel here, but the sides and front and possibly the doors too, could be done with the same technique except using thinner dimension lumber.
I know I said I wasn't going to use 2" by 4"s, lol.
I'm thinking I might be able to use the router or table saw to cut a notch in the 1 1/2" width of a 2" by 4" as seen in the lower right of my first drawing.
I'll create a panel insert by joining the edges of the 1" by 12" lumber I bought the other day.

I can see that I'll need to build a sturdy, flat and true work table for building these cabinets. That'll take up a lot of space in my little shop, but I think that'll be okay as my DIY mechanic days are numbered. Perhaps I'm being naive, again, I hope to get some joy from working with cabinetry and maybe even get good at it along the way.
I do love retirement and hobbies
Anyway, the inserts will be set in a channel cut in the 2" x 4" lumber.
One of the things I like about this idea is the 2"x4" will provide a hefty top to set the 45 gallon aquarium upon and the bottom will get feet on the corners to make leveling easier on our imperfect floors.

The idea in this design is all about shear strength. Each doweled together insert of the panel will in turn fit snugly in the channel of the 2"x4" where it'll be glued creating two directional grain laminated independent structure.
Each panel will in turn be doweled at the corners to tie the whole cabinet together creating what I imagine as a great lateral shear strength.
This design will provide a clean interior free of additional framing.

Meanwhile back in the jungle:Backyard-Koi-pond-thriving-August-4th-2018
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I have to mention having a water garden through the Spring drought offered so much hope and relaxation for me.
While getting tools organized, sharpened and the shop cleaned I'm able to do minor repairs easily. I've had this little porch swing that used to be at my parents house years ago and has been sitting on the ground outside my shop waiting for me to give it some TLC and possibly life again.
Attachment:
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It's still fragile, but it works and man o man it is so nice to sit here next to our new smoker and enjoy the backyard!
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I need to pick a few peppers. Speaking of food, I went to the Farmers Market on Saturday morning and bought three pounds of beans of three different colors. I looked up how to freeze fresh beans and blanched them and laid them out flat in Zip-lock baggies and froze them all. That felt really good and wholesome too. Now we'll have beans when we need them, yay!
Attachment:
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Thank goodness we've finally got some squash growing. Most of the seedlings we started in the Spring got infested with aphids so I had to remove them from the greenhouse so as not to unduly overwhelm that ecosystem while I waited for a new company to ship Ladybugs. In the meantime the seedlings were severely stunted. With the blessed rains of these past few weeks the surviving plants are finally growing albeit three months behind schedule.
I've also bought eight pepper plants off the 40% Off rack at Hacienda Home Center. Of those I washed the dirt off the roots of four and planted those in the top media beds of our aquaponics greenhouse.
The tomatoes in the greenhouse think they own the place and shoot new growth into every nook and cranny with sunlight in the greenhouse. I spent another hour in there yesterday trimming suckers and following vines to see if a shoot was producing fruit and if not removing it. That is seriously time consuming, but I need to get any available sunlight onto those upper media beds where the peppers are as well as a variety of Fall seeds I just planted.

Yesterday I've worked on the excavation around the Koi pond bringing the dig around to the front of the barrel filters in order to free the 3" PVC drain pipe from the dirt so I can raise the barrels with minimal stress on the fittings.

The more time I spend out here the more I see the connections I need to make with the new improved backyard garden and landscaping and Koi pond integration.
I've lamented in the past over having to cover the Koi pond in the Winter making it literally unsightly for five months out of the year.
While I can't imagine being able to count on Global Warming to give us consistently warmer Winters, I do see a trend away from those negative twenty degree nights we came to know and love, lol.
Now I'm thinking what I'll concern myself with on the Koi pond is creating a cover for the barrel filters with a space between them and the exposed East side of the spa where I can place a small oil filled heater to add a little heat during the cold nights. The construction of the cover will need to allow the side and top panels to be easily removed for maintenance.
That's all for now folks.
Y'all have a great Sunday.
Love love
Brian Rodgers

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Specs: 2600 gallon (347.56cf) Masonry fish pond. 44cf GBs. 200 gal (26.7cf) ST. 15 gal (2cf) RFF. 50 gal (6.7cf) biofilter. Brook trout and Comets.


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PostPosted: Aug 5th, '18, 21:54 
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Don't bet on those nice winters, without the -20 stuff. :D
No bikini time in December or January, Brian.

NOAA has a 70% El Nino prediction for this winter. I would like to see 120% :D so I can moan and groan and bitch about to much snow.


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PostPosted: Aug 5th, '18, 22:11 
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gnoib wrote:
Don't bet on those nice winters, without the -20 stuff. :D
No bikini time in December or January, Brian.

NOAA has a 70% El Nino prediction for this winter. I would like to see 120% :D so I can moan and groan and bitch about to much snow.

Thanks Gnoib
You got me wondering... http://www.noaa.gov/news/2017-was-one-of-three-warmest-years-on-record-international-report-confirms
Attachment:
NOAA-Number-of-hot-days-each-year-since-1950-relative-to-the-1961-1990-baseline_BAMS.png
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I know less where I should know more when it comes to weather. When I get some time I'll check this out: https://www.weather.gov/jetstream/

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Specs: 2600 gallon (347.56cf) Masonry fish pond. 44cf GBs. 200 gal (26.7cf) ST. 15 gal (2cf) RFF. 50 gal (6.7cf) biofilter. Brook trout and Comets.


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PostPosted: Aug 5th, '18, 23:00 
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It is just the altitude we live at, that will bring us those bitter cold winter nights, no matter what.
I always have to put it into perspective, to remind myself.
Germanies highest mountain Zugspitze, in the Alps, is 7500 and a bit feet high and has all year around snow and a glacier.
Sure the comparison has a flaw, latitude, we are, when it comes to that, about were Sicily is, without the Mafia, mind you. ( or not? ) :D

Last winter without the snow was not to bad, just a few weeks with those -20. No snow no heat reflection.

No question climate change is real, but locally some factors dictate what we get in the winter.

Here some historical irony of our neck of the woods.
The Anasazi civilization peaked at the end of a 300 years wet period. before that was a 600 years drought, after that came a 600 years drought. When them Europeans came to this area it was the start of a wet period, with plenty of water and now it looks like that the pendulum is swinging back towards drought, plus climate change, plus a huge population and farming desert land.
Our generation will be fine, but the next ?


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PostPosted: Aug 8th, '18, 19:25 
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Nice going Boss. Enjoying your thread.


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PostPosted: Aug 10th, '18, 23:18 
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Good morning
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I'm glowing people tell me

Here is something I've been thinking about a lot this Summer. As we attempt to better our health though diet, one of the items we're concerned with is the quality of meat we're consuming. Currently we rent out our entire 50 acre pasture to a local gentleman on a seasonal basis. At other times in the past we also cut what's called vega hay which in a good year we'll reap half of what is cut with the other half of the hay going to whoever cuts the hay which would amount to 100 or so bales of hay going for $3.50 per bale.

There are some issues with the system put in place by my father many decades ago, the most profound is the effects of climate change on our ability to irrigate the pasture for hay production. We saw no snow pack on the Sangre De Christo mountains here in northern New Mexico this year. No snow pack means no runoff and no runoff means no acequi water. Also we struggle constantly with the cows getting in our yard because we now have a small Koi pond which attracts thirsty cows.

This year it was made more difficult because the pasture renter lost the place nearby in which he walked to cows to during the times they weren't here.

You may be aware that recently I've gone from being a pescatarian to again eating meat because my health issues were limiting my diet and meat was again needed to round it out and make shopping a little easier. Now that I have heavily researched dietary needs in order to reduce the horrid effects of an auto-immune disease which thanks to a homeopathic practitioner I now know is called Palindromic Rheumatism. More on the state of my health later.

I need to go ahead and eat meat, but not stockyard produced meat. I need grass fed meat! So now I'm faced with working out how I can get my hands on quality beef. We've considered growing our own animals, but there are drawbacks in that such as the time it takes to grow a healthy herd to the point where it can be culled for meat. We need quality meat as soon as possible.

A second issue with the way we've done our pastures in the past is the cows are on the entire field and they tend to eat their favorite grasses first. When animals are left to eat the best grasses this gives the grasses and plants they prefer less a head start over the good grasses. In the end the pasture leans toward the lessor quality flora. To combat this, smart ranchers rotate pastures placing cattle in higher numbers on smaller fields which makes the cows eat everything more evenly.

Dad considered this property recreational, my plan is to bring it into a more sustainable format. I want to add fences to create a manageable grazing program. My plan has two phases: Phase one is to divide the pasture down the middle from the river to the fence below our house. This division provides cows access to the river from whichever side of the pasture they are on.

The beauty of this plan is we can now rent the pasture out on a year round basis. We have a good relationship with John P Vigil. He pays rent for 12 cows being $60 per month for five or six months. If my plan works, we'll be able to convert to a year round rental. Obviously going year round doubles the income from the pasture. More importantly I hope the increased rental period gets us closer to our goal of trading for one or even one half of a butcher-able cow per year, providing us with the much needed grass fed beef in our diet.

I've used Google maps to measure fences and quantity of fence posts needed for this plan. I've created screenshots for the fascinating results of those findings. Until this morning I've been under the assumption the pasture was one hundred acres divided in half by the lower half being irrigated and the upper dry, okally dookey let's go!

Measure-new-pasture-fence-2356-feet
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Measure-new-pasture-fence-2356-feet Our house is the blue dot on the bottom. The Sapello river is to the north and on top of these screenshots.

measure-fence-Miguels-corner-to-complex
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measure-fence-Miguel's-corner-to-complex.jpg This fence would be part of phase two providing 5.3 acres of irrigated land for growing vega hay for storage to feed in Winter months. This will require 47 T posts to enclose.
measure-new-irrigated-hay-field-area.png
measure-new-irrigated-hay-field-area.png here is another shot showing the enclosed area for hay production on hopefully irrigated land

measure-fence-upper-gate-to-cattle-guard-complex
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measure-fence-upper-gate-to-cattle-guard-complex.jpg This fence also part of phase two will provide separation of the driveway from the cattle pasture and keep the cows out from the home sites. There is still property on the other (West)side of the driveway which could be used for something, perhaps more home sites. For example Brittany and Adam are considering putting a mobile home or a modular home somewhere.

Area-pasture-section-phase-one.png

Area-pasture-section-phase-one.png Google maps is amazing for these type of measurements! This gave me square feet 538,773.7 sqft which I converted to 12.4 acres. This is the first pasture created by one fence using T posts every 20 feet or 118 posts. T posts from Tractor Supply $3.79 or an investment of $447.22

measure-area-pasture-section-phase-two.png

measure-area-pasture-section-phase-two.png This fenced in area creates a pasture of 18.7 acres with what looks like a third of it irrigated. I didn't do enough math on it yet to get specifics other than it needs 47 T posts to complete. Of course we'll need barbed wire for all these fences, although for the first phase I believe we have enough on hand to accomplish a good fence and if not we can do electric fences in the meantime. The posts are most important.

There is still the small field down in front of the river which can also be divided, however for now in my plan I'll leave it in one section as there is a right-a-way across down there and I'd have to make more gates annoying the neighbors, so I'll leave that open. For certain though the riparian area is important to protect from the cows and it'll need attention. I'd love to build a fishing pond down there with the help of USDA water conservation and possible get help from NM Fish and Game to stock it for a public fishing hole off the river.

This is where I'm heading.

Brian Rodgers

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Specs: 2600 gallon (347.56cf) Masonry fish pond. 44cf GBs. 200 gal (26.7cf) ST. 15 gal (2cf) RFF. 50 gal (6.7cf) biofilter. Brook trout and Comets.


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PostPosted: Aug 11th, '18, 00:24 
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Easy solution to short term need of good healthy lien meat on a budget... take up hunting shoot one of those elk. It'll keep you in meat long enough to start raising your own. Get a couple hogs to feed your scraps to... never had better pork than a home grown pig. I'm on the hunt for a couple hogs again because our freezer is finally empty (of hog meat anyways... still a lot of venison from last year)... went about 2 years on one hog with it mixed in with our other meat sources in the freezer. Then sell the second hog to pay for raising the first one.

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PostPosted: Aug 11th, '18, 05:38 
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There is still the small field down in front of the river which can also be divided, however for now in my plan I'll leave it in one section as there is a right-a-way across down there and I'd have to make more gates annoying the neighbors, so I'll leave that open.

Brian you could put in Cattle Grids, cattle wont cross the grid and there's no gates to annoy your neighbors.


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My System:
viewtopic.php?f=18&t=15600&hilit=joblow%27s+system

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https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtiiZv ... iWEVFANEVQ
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PostPosted: Aug 11th, '18, 20:51 
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Location: 2.2 kilometers up, NM, USA
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Location: Sapello, New Mexico USA
Holy guacamole! >>> What an eye opener:


Treating the farm as an Ecosystem with Gabe Brown Part 1
Only wish it had subtitles; I can hear Gabe really well, but questions by audience members not so well.
I woke ridiculously early this morning and watched this and I'm so glad I did.
Like you said, this is the key to our health as well as the health of our soil.
I also like the that he says, "Sustainable is good," but he prefers "Regenerative agriculture, is better."
Not having farm equipment we've not tilled the soil in the pasture, but certainly did so in the gardens here. Now on one field we had terracing and tilling done, some forty years ago. I'd have to say that field and soil is in the worst shape of any on this property.
I'll go and dig a shovelful of soil from different spots on our fields and have a good look at the composition. This is exciting I'll go do that today while my son is here visiting and hopefully get his interest up where mine is currently after watching Part 1.
Thank you. I feel better educated already.
Brian

Hehe, let me backup a little bit and let you know what just happened, okay?

Yesterday I had posted my newsletter to the forum at Permaculture forums specifically https://permies.com/t/90998/Pasture-rotation-year-rental
Pasture rotation year round rental
Although not aquaponics, I'm posting this because this is very important for my education of how plants grow.

One of the responses was as follows:
Bryan,

I grew up out west, during a relatively wet period, and our year-round carrying capacity was 10 acres per 1000lbs of animal, up to 100 acres, depending on the fields. I would expect your carrying capacity is not that different. Have you looked at any research on this? If you are overstocking, your pasture will degrade quickly. It doesn't matter if you are mob grazing or not, plants need inputs to produce forage, and you cannot exceed them or they will be replaced by unpalatable species. Your representative pictures show Indian paintbrush and some very wiry grasses and thistle invasion. That area should have buffalograss/grama and other deep-rooted forage. Your 5 acres of irrigated field may be able to reseed the dryer areas with good management but it should be built into the plan. It could be your standing stock for the dryer part of the year.

You can increase the carrying capacity quite nicely by mob grazing, but not x10 I don't think. Not quickly anyhow. My sherpa on this has been Gabe Brown, and I recommend you look at his videos, not because of how he does it (he's in North Dakota and you are very much not), but by how he thinks about it. Same with Greg Judy, who is more like my climate. Both have adapted to their climate, and have had success. They both have massive acreages to forage. I can't cut and paste from their plans. What I can do is see how they approach the issues of stocking density and standing forage in normal hay periods. This is transferrable I think. If you can find someone in the area who has been successful, you are more likely to find pearls of wisdom that will prevent failure.

As Wayne has pointed out, the workload of moving three cows is not very different from moving 300 cows like Joel Salatin or the others who are well known. Likewise, the workload of moving 30 goats is not that different from 3 cows, and they are tailor made for dryland foraging, and will eat some of the knapweed and thistle cows won't. There are other species that may improve your forage better. Some sheep relish knapweed and the other taproot rosette formers. You may have coyote issues or something that preclude it, but something to think about. If you just want a cheap source of beef, your hourly cost needs to be assessed, and they are expensive to butcher. Often the inputs will make it more expensive than just buying a share outright. I'd love cows but did an assessment and figure I would need to get access to around 40 acres in this climate to make it worth the fencing and management costs to mob graze. And this is a rich environment.

Lastly, I would suggest you consider a silvopasture plan, and maybe some earthworks. If you have a wet season and a dry one, that can extend your growing season nicely, and keep more humidity around from two mechanisms. Sunlight is not a deficit there, but wind and intense sunlight really reduce the ability of forage to regenerate. I also planned my treelines as fencing for temporary polywire, which saves some money.

Sadly, all of these things take either money or time or both. It is priceless to find someone near you to shamelessly steal their ideas, and most are happy to help.

Standing on the shoulders of giants. Giants with dirt under their nails

I've yet to research "silvopasture," but it's my intention to learn all of these techniques. One of the amazing parts of this process is it doesn't cost anything to learn. I'll certainly put off buying fence posts for now and look to improve the soil health before I do anything else.

This is so damn encouraging, I can't even begin to convey what this means to me and my health, other than to say, "hope heals."

Brian {Future Farmer} Rodgers

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:dontknow: I don't understand all I know about this :dontknow:
Specs: 2600 gallon (347.56cf) Masonry fish pond. 44cf GBs. 200 gal (26.7cf) ST. 15 gal (2cf) RFF. 50 gal (6.7cf) biofilter. Brook trout and Comets.


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PostPosted: Aug 12th, '18, 09:26 
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Brian,
Thanks for another great read. I'll look at your video when I have a couple of spare hours, but I think you might also gain some insight from watching "Allan Savory, How to fight desertification and reverse climate change" (sorry, don't have the URL) on Ted Talks and then goole some of the other projects he's been working on over the years. I think it will help shape your plans.
You are so right about the importance of diet/biome and its connection to health. Fortunately, in Oz, we almost only ever eat grassfed beef and anything else just doesn't taste right. Is elk edible? Surely some of that steak on the hoof you photographed passing your property could be readily converted for the plate.
Gnoibs?....70% chance of El Nino? Wow, I hope not. Already most of eastern Australia is bare dirt, especially NSW. If it is like this before an EL Nino is declared heaven help us further down the track (In this part of the world El Nino means drought and most of the country is already very much there). Fortunately, my state is still green, but we have already sent all of our fodder north. There is nothing left.
Boss, I have really enjoyed reading your posts and see parallels to my world atm. What a pleasure to finally clear out my workshop (Was full of the kids gear after they left home) and retirement now means time to LIVE and contemplate the world AKA projects for me LOL.
I was also impressed with your candy coloured sauerkraut. Looks delicious.
Fortunately our dirt garden and AP are both producing well but I don't know how you guys cope with such severe winters (for us an extraordinarily cold night is 4 or 5C (About 40F. Now that our daughter lives in Sydney, she can't cope even with our cold LOL).
Anyhow, happy projects around the patch and keep up the posts. Love it,
Cheers,
Norm


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