The GO BOX Storage Permaculture Project has had a bumper crop of raspberries, sour cherries and currants. Come for a FREE u-pick. Bring a few friends.
GO BOX Storage is having a FREE u-pick for raspberries, sour cherries and red currents! The FREE u-pick will be for the week of June 29-30, 2015. We will be CLOSED for Canada Day and reopen for picking on July 2-3, 2015.
1. Example of heavily mulched area in back of the mobile greenhouse. Heavy mulching reduces how much watering is required.
2. Here’s an example of how the the mobile chicken hutch can kill couch-grass in just a few days. On the right is an area worked by the mobile chicken hutch. On the left is an area before the chickens have had a change to scratch and dig.
3. Here are the chickens in the mobile chicken hutch. Note the fresh grass. Everyday we feed the chickens fresh grass from a cover-crop in the greenhouse.
4. Here’s a picture of the greenhouse. In the front of the greenhouse is a cover-crop of wheat, oats and barley. This grass — roots and all — are fed to the chickens. When we are ready to plant the area, we mulch directly on top of the cover-crop and plant into the mulch.
5. This is the cold frame just in back of the greenhouse. We have been getting production of greens for over three weeks.
The last frost date in Kamloops is May 1-10th. Many experienced gardeners do not plant outside until the Victoria Day weekend. Greenhouses and cold frames can really push the length of the growing season.
SOS TIP: Watch for the annual GO BOX Storage Online Garage Sale. Starting next week!
Shaen has just converted the winter chicken house into a mobile greenhouse. During the winter the chickens live in the greenhouse and fertilize and keep the soil biologically active. In the spring the chickens are moved to pasture. The greenhouse is based on Eliot Coleman’s mobile greenhouse design. This is the poor man’s version!
1. This picture shows the simple wood rails that the greenhouse slides on.
2. Shaen moved the greenhouse about 10 feet. The wet soil acted like a lubricate on the rails. It took less than 10 minutes to move the greenhouse. Most of the time was spent moving items inside the greenhouse out of the way.
3. It looks like the chickens built about 10 inches of soil over the winter! The chickens got very excited because of the fresh soil edge and all the exposed bugs.
4. This is the front of the greenhouse after it was moved to the new location. Shaen is building more rails to move the greenhouse farther forward. Shaen wants to have at least three positions for the greenhouse.
5. Shaen had a chance to clean up the greenhouse. The nesting box is where old dressers go to die! Everything in the chicken house has been made with waste building materials and garbage.
6. After moving the chickens to pasture, the greenhouse is cleaned out and made ready for planting. In front of the greenhouse is a green crop of oats, barley and wheat.
7. Shaen built a cold frame inside the greenhouse to start an early crop of greens. The last frost day in our area is May 1-10th.
8. Using bedding plants produced in the indoor growing unit, Shaen planted out six weeks before the last frost day. The cold frame has sustained a number of heavy frosts.
9. Shaen is very close to having the first outdoor harvest of 2015. We have already been harvesting dandelions, chives and parsley from the other cold frames!
This old, broken-down barbecue — with a little creativity — will have a new life! On the left, is a gobox that has been converted into a mobile workshop.
Shaen and I were standing around, trying to decide what to do with this old, broken-down barbecue. We were thinking about the hassle of disassembling the barbecue so it could go into the garbage or the alternative of driving all the way to the dump. Then it occurred to us to re-purpose the barbecue. But into what?
Like all creative acts, the process is a mystery to me. But within minutes the old barbecue had been transformed in our minds into a mobile potting bench!
We used the forklift to lift the barbecue off the framework. It could have been done by hand but it was easier this way.
I unbolted the barbecue from the metal framework. We used the forklift to take the weight of the barbecue.
I cleaned out the grates and lava stone. Shaen removed the propane gear for spare parts. Shaen was wondering if we could use the barbecue as a fire pit. (We will try that idea out later.)
I reassembled the framework. I thought the small tray in front would be good for storing small tools. Then Shaen cut some scape OSB board for a working surface. Shaen added an unused recycling box for storage of larger gardening tools.
The mobile potting bench is very light and moves extremely well. It took us about an hour to build and we have saved ourselves a trip to the dump. I did throw out the control panel and barbecue burner into the garbage.
Here is the mobile potting bench with an unused recycling bin used for garden tool storage.
The mobile potting bench will go really well with the mobile lighting system. The plants on top of the mobile potting bench are some of our elderberry cuttings. This is the kind of “recycling” we like to do!
This is best raspberry crop we’ve had in the eight years we have been in Kamloops! The berries are huge!
GO BOX Storage is having a FREE u-pick for raspberries, sour cherries and red currents! The FREE u-pick will be for the week of July 21-25, 2014. Come and join us for a day of GLEANING WITHOUT GOVERNMENT.
The GO BOX Permaculture Project has a new rooster.
If you have been reading the GO BOX Permaculture Project, you know that our Silkie hatched out three chicks last year. We knew two were hens but the third started to have characteristics of a rooster but he didn’t crow. We were happy about this because a crowing rooster can disturb the peace early in the morning.
The mystery solved itself a few weeks ago. We heard this horrible noise coming from the chicken house. It was the rooster’s first attempt at a proto-crow. Within two weeks, he had figured out how to crow.
If we get any complains about noise, we will have to put him in the stew pot. It’s sad, but part of living in cities. His future may be uncertain, but he is an impressive fellow!
Here is the Silkie and one of her chickens. He’s grown into an impressive fellow.
We are aware that greywater is not presently allowed in the City of Kamloops. We hope Art Ludwig’s books in the local library will foster conversation and increase awareness of the benefits of greywater in dry climates.
The government officials are concerned that greywater could be a “health hazard”. I find it interesting that I can spray pesticide, herbicide and fungicide and that’s legal, but reclaiming water from my laundry machine or bathtub is a health hazard!
Until greywater is legal in Kamloops, we can still collect rainwater off our roofs and use this water on our gardens. Thank goodness, that’s still legal in Kamloops.
If you would like to learn more about greywater, Deanna Hurstfield sent me this article called Rainwater Harvesting and Grey Water Reuse. This greywater review of practices was completed by the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association(CWWA) for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation(CMHC).
What would it be like if we could build our own homes? What would we do with our time if we didn’t have to work for the bank?
The Hand Sculpted House: A Practical and Philosophical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage by Ianto Evans could help you find your own brand of freedom. If you would like more information about this book please see Freedom From “The Treadmill”.
It’s easy to create wild bird habitat. It doesn’t need to cost a fortune. Creating wild bird habitat can actually save money. The GO BOX permaculture project shows how to take a waste product — save a neighbor trucking costs — while creating a wild bird brier.
Kamloops Powder Coating pruned their Russian Olive trees. This became an opportunity to create a wild bird brier, while saving KPC a trip to Cinnamin Ridge Composting Facility.
A few weeks ago, Kamloops Powder Coating pruned their Russian Olive trees. They were planning on trucking the branches down to Cinnamon Ridge Composting Facility which is over 30km away. We asked them if they would like to give the branches to the GO BOX permaculture project. They were very happy to do so. Using the branches in the local area saved Kamloops Powder Coating staffing and trucking costs, while helping create habitat for local birds. Helping the environment doesn’t need to cost money — if done right — it should save money.
Here is Shaen moving the branches and brush into the ditch.
This ditch is actually an emergency drainage canal for the Municipal Water System. The City of Kamloops has blown out this emergency drainage canal only once in the seven years we have been in Kamloops. But this canal cannot have any obstruction for this emergency flow of water. A wild bird brier will not obstruct this canal and will create wild bird habitat. A wild bird brier is the best and highest use for this area.
Russian Olive trees are perfect habitat for wild birds. Russian Olive trees can have up to 3″ spikes to protect the bark from browsing animals. This brier will help protect any nesting birds from predators.
Shaen had the new wild bird habitat finished in about an hour of work.
Here are the girls getting used to the new location after a move. They really like lawn clippings for their nesting boxes.
I guess an occupational hazard of running a mobile storage company like GO BOX Storage is wanting to make everything “mobile”. Over the last few years, we have moved away from permanent structures to mobile structures for our permaculture activities. There is a real flexibility in going mobile.
There is no right or wrong way to do mobile housing; we just want to share what has worked for us. Nor will everything we do work in all situations but the idea of mobile housing for livestock should be considered.
Many of us move regularly and having mobile housing will save money and increase choice. Moving livestock to a new location — at least seasonally — will break the pathogen cycle and help maintain healthy livestock. The elements of our Mobile Chicken Housing are:
A chicken hutch that can be moved with a forklift.
Fencing that can be rolled up and moved to another location. The posts can be removed and used again.
We use goboxes for storing livestock feed and farming equipment. The goboxes are moved with a forklift, making moving a breeze.
This mobile chicken house can be moved with a forklift. The tarp catches the chicken manure for later use in the garden or to super-charge the compost pile.
Shaen uses cement blocks and wood shims to level the mobile chicken house so any slope is suitable. The white tarp is to catch the chicken manure that falls through the mesh floor of the chicken house. The mesh floor makes a healthy environment for the chickens and avoids the onerous task of mucking out the chicken house.
This is one of two chicken runs for our layers. The goboxes are used to store feed and equipment.
Chickens love to free-range, but they are vigorous scratchers, and can damage plants quickly.
Chickens are not vegetarians. Chickens are omnivores like us. Their favorite food is bugs and they spend all day scratching to find their preferred food. Chickens that lay eggs need a very high fat and protein diet or they will stop laying.