Written by Bob,
Over the last few weeks I have been helping build a greenhouse/workshop for our family home.
Exploring how we use our sub-soil pumice to provide subfloor insulation, and mixing with lime to provide flooring. Incorporating a wicking bed, a soldier fly farm, and a worm farm into the greenhouse to make it an intensive production system. Also we’ve just had our Wastewater report completed for the Hawkes Bay Regional Council, more fodder for the building consents. The best part of this has been getting clarity on recycling our ‘wastes’ within a regenerative paradigm. The basic components of which are:
Urine separated → charging of biochar → charged biochar to gardens
Humanure → 60:1 C:N compost heap (low N loss) → compost to garden after 1 year rest
Greywater → biofilter/compost → compost heap → garden
Greywater → perennial composted growing beds →food or biomass/compost
Foodscraps → Black Soldier Fly Farm → larvae to chooks
Black Soldier Fly farm wastes → worm farm → chooks
What we get from all this is very little loss of nutrients, with most being incorporated into biological systems that regenerate the soil and support us.
In a world of increasing uncertainty, it’s great to be involved in projects where the aims are clear and the progress tangible. It is not difficult to see that as the globalisation of economic systems starts to unravel, we will need to become more self-reliant in our need to grow food, the greenhouse will be a significant part to that, bringing forward seedlings for our garden, holding a source of ginger and turmeric, both of which we appreciate, and recycling our food scraps into chook food. The workshop will become increasingly used not only to service the garden, but also to help craft all the little jobs involved with our new home.
We are feeling a gathering of momentum here, as the house plans evolve, and individual projects get underway. We don’t underestimate the challenges that travelling down the ‘path less traveled’ brings, however the satisfaction of doing so, and the benefits we are slowly but surely gathering, confirm the choice we all made to follow our dreams, just as the fruit trees we planted after we first arrived have now got their roots firmly into the silt sub-soils and we can anticipate a bigger crop than last year. These are thoughts that keep us going when we hanker for a little more comfort. We love what we are doing. Spring is in the air, it is time to bring out the seed packets once again and plan this seasons garden.