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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Coffee, Hugulkultur (like) Bed

Still slowly harvesting coffee fruit. Pick, squeeze out the pip, soak in water to get rid of the pulp, dry in the sun and then pick off the paper shell to get at the green bean. Phew what a lot of work and because of the smallness of our beans there is still a little papery material adhering to the bean. Then a mind blowing thought. What about polishing the beans to rub off any residual material. Into the food processor at the lowest setting for a few minutes and then stand in the wind and empty from one container into another until all the debris blows away. Brilliant. Should have done it before.

You can still see some of the fine debris adhering to the sides

We have a hedge near the entrance to our yard which suffers badly from lack of moisture mainly due to two things. The lack of soil depth and the large spotted gum nearby. And no amount of watering seems to keep it from wilting for long.

Then a spark of an idea. We were both over the river cleaning up fallen poplars after the heavy winds. Larger logs with the tractor and smaller loaded into the RTV and trailer are carted to a cleared depression for stacking where the owner will at some time in the future burn. What a waste. Then I just happen to mention to Jean about Hugulkultur which I had heard on TSP and seen in a blog on Eight Acres Blog. Why not do something similar next to the hedge to help with moisture retention. And if it works we have endless supplies of material from across the river to use in other areas.

So we made a mini bed using some of the larger logs to contain a pile of the smaller sticks. Lacking soil (as did Farmer Liz) our solution was a whole lot of collected cow manure and then covered the entire construct with a thick layer of silage. We will in due course find out if size matters.

Does size matter?

The silage material we picked up for $30 a bale. It had been of poor quality and unsuitable for feed but when dried a little it is ideal for mulch.

Neatly sliced into segments with a chainsaw
I used the chainsaw to cut the silage into sections which are easily removed from the bale and transported on the wheelbarrow.

Nice thick biscuits transported easily

We also used some spare manure to feed one of the Lemon trees and covered it with silage mulch.

The small Lemon gets some attention

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