In my last post, I was discussing the importance of getting Simmi’s room done for her therapy to resume, however, we’ve been outside for much of the last few weeks now slaving over tumbleweeds. For anyone who has never removed huge tumbleweeds, let me tell you that it’s backbreaking work! Some of the weeds have such a thick trunk at the base, that it takes quite a bit of work to get them out of the ground. Making matters worse is the fact that they have very viable seeds….THOUSANDS of seeds, and just disturbing each of these tumbleweeds releases the seeds to the ground. So far most of the tumbleweeds in the front yard have been removed, as well as the NE quadrant of the land. I cringe every time a tumbleweed is uprooted and dragged to its final location because all we are doing is creating a massive amount of tumbleweeds to spring up next year. Staying vigilant in removing them when they are very young will help to keep them more under control.
There is a lot of pollen out right now, and digging up the tumbleweeds means a lot of sneezing and a hacking cough for all involved. I took a break from weeding a few days ago, and I’ve been doing the research on the different systems we’d like to have in place. Since much of the tumble weeds have been removed, we’ve been able to observe the land better. I ended up side tracked by those damn tumbleweeds, and now I’m a mental mess. LOL I need to start focusing my attentions back on the interior of the house, and my impulses say keep going with the outside! Grrr! Both the interior and the exterior of our home are important, but if we are ever going to get our chicken pasture established, it means that I need to balance my time between interior work and exterior work. This has proven to be a major challenge for me.

Observing the land has allowed us to also see exactly where we are going to place structures. One of the mini projects that was completed outside was the removal of some fenced area of the chicken pasture. Since we don’t have any proper parking, we allotted some space in the front part of the chicken pasture for our cars. Now we have a level area to park our cars.

Another thing that was accomplished was the planning of the chicken coop. We were going to move the coop to a different location, but instead, we’ll be leaving it in its current location and adding on to each side of the shed to create the coop. The chicken run will extend into the chicken pasture. We will also be utilizing the back of the chicken pasture for our top bar beehives. Directly behind the house and courtyard is where our future kitchen garden was going to be. After lengthy discussion and research, we’re moving in the direction of actually making the full kitchen garden area as well as some of the chicken pasture into an aquaponic greenhouse. Originally we were planning on doing some aquaponics, but it makes far more sense to make our kitchen garden a year round productive operation. I think the thing that sold me on doing a full aquaponic kitchen garden was the amount of water that is saved. I know it probably seems like a contradiction, but it is a closed loop system that uses less water than we’d end up using since we are in the high desert. Water conservation is very important here (and everywhere), and trying to keep raised garden beds moist can be a challenge in these dry lands.

I’ve been busy researching the kind of greenhouse we’ll build, how we will construct our aquaponic system, the kind of materials we’ll use and finally the time frame for when we’ll start doing it all. I know that I’ve made more work for myself, but for my own state of mind, I need to know exactly what goes into each of these systems, do cost analysis, and figure out how each system works with the next. An interesting thing that I did discover with aquaponics is that tropical fruit trees can be grown in these systems and an even more interesting tid bit is that earthworms thrive in an aquaponic system. I’m excited about all the possibilities aquaponics can provide. Fresh fruits, vegetables and fish year round for our family is an amazing prospect. I can’t wait!