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.
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 cold frame is about 5’D x 32’L. This cold frame will be for early greens inter-planted with germinating hazelnuts which will be transplanted later in the season.
Cold frames are a traditional gardening technology with a long history of use. Cold frames come in all shapes and sizes and are used to stretch the growing season. This year, Shaen built over 40 linear feet of cold frames in two areas of the garden.
This cold frame has been placed over an area where the chickens have spent the winter. Shaen will be planting heavy feeding plants like squash inter-planted with early lettuce.
These cold frames are very simple. They use 1/2″ PVC piping cut into 10′ sections, physically pushed into the soil. The plastic is standard vapor barrier with sections of 2″x4″ cut in half to weigh down the sides of the cold frame and bricks for the ends. Everything can be rolled up and put away for the winter months or the materials can be reused somewhere else.
Shaen also used these cold frames inside the greenhouses during the early spring and late fall. The idea is to stretch the seasons so we can get the more cold tolerate vegetables out of the greenhouse earlier and later in the season. This is a technique used by Eliot Coleman, famous for his movable winter greenhouses.
This is what it looks like inside the cold frame. The environment is very warm and moist.
After the cold frame was up for just a few days, some over-wintering red lettuce came up from the root.
This is an Elliot Coleman style, movable greenhouse. The greenhouse moves backwards and forwards on the wooden tracks.
The last frost day in our area of Kamloops is May 1-10th.
Last week we planted the Elliot Coleman style, movable greenhouse. This greenhouse is also used as a winter area for the chickens in the forward position. We planted into an back of the greenhouse area where the chickens weren’t kept for the winter. We will plant into the rich soil where the chicken wintered, later in the season.
The bedding plants came from our indoor growing unit. We are hoping the cold frame inside the greenhouse will stop any killing frost. Even if the frost does get our seedling, the indoor growing unit makes starting bedding plants a breeze.
This is a cold frame inside the greenhouse.
The boards are for walking on. They help avoid compressing the soil. Even the cat seems to know where to walk while she’s inspecting the new planting.
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!
The bundle on the left are spiny gooseberries which are a good hedge plant. The cuttings on the right are elderberries. Soaking the cutting in willow water helps the cuttings root.
Shaen is doing some plant propagation this spring for the GO BOX Permaculture Project. He is propagating goji berries, gooseberries, elderberries and two types of currents. Propagation is easy to do and can avoid the extra cost of purchasing plants.
Soak the cutting in willow water. Willow water has a naturally occurring rooting hormone or you can use commercial rooting hormone.
After the cuttings have rooted they are placed in soil. Shaen’s Propagation Growing Mix is: 1 part sand, 1 part peat moss, and 1 part perlite.
The cuttings are left in the pots until the roots grow out the bottom. The cuttings are carefully spit up and put into individual pots or directly planted out.
These are elderberries in the Propagation Mix.
The pots of cuttings are put into a container that can be covered with plastic to avoid the cuttings from drying out.
This mobile lighting system fits on a standard pallet and can be moved with a forklift.
One of the hazards of running a mobile storage company is wanting to make everything mobile.
Shaen has just completed a mobile lighting system for bedding plants. He built it out of waste lumber and scrap building materials. This mobile lighting system fits on a standard pallet and can be moved around the warehouse with a forklift.
The three florescent lights can be moved up and down to adjust the light intensity. The solid top is a good place for storing soil, seeds, watering cans and gardening equipment.
Shaen is going to start some of his early bedding plants soon. Shaen uses the bedding plants in the GO BOX Permaculture Project which produces a portion of our family’s food. In the mean time, our lemon tree and bay leaf plant are getting to enjoy some extra light.
The three lights can be lowered to adjust light intensity. The solid roof is good for storage.
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.
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.