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Notes of Music, organic gardening, eco-building, Permaculture designs and explorations along this Path in Life.

2016-12-10

Hemp houses inaugurated

Beautiful hemp houses inaugurated in north-eastern Italy. Nice design maybe with a little conventional approach, without daring too much with shapes and concepts... but the ecobuilding movement is moving, step after step.



This house has a wooden frame, no concrete, no gas or other source of heating: just full thick hempcrete walls (hemp fiber and lime stone mix), heat-pump system and solar collectors. Lime rendered walls.

2016-11-09

Star dome slices

Last night I passed some time thinking and sketching out some drawings on how to divide a stardome in regular slices. This is my quick late-night sketch, but today together with my son we've done some handmade paper models as a little homeschooling practice and as a reference for further practical considerations.




2016-11-06

Golden gingko season

Time flies and seasons roll one after the other. Temperatures went lower already and colors are turning into fall before fading away with the winter. Gingko trees are turning golden before loosing all their leaves.


2016-10-24

Once upon a farm

A few days ago, while talking to a very good friend, I noticed that he was reading something different... so later I asked him about the book that he was holding and almost like it was the most normal thing he said: "I bought it online some time ago, for a couple hundred euros. Check it out!" When I did, I couldn't believe the amazing treasure that was open in front of my very eyes.


"The experinced farmer" from Cosimo Trinci
with the preface of Abbot Genovesi
Reprinted in Naples MDCCLXIX 1769

2016-10-05

Grape harvest duo

Rushing before the upcoming weather change and saving the latest ripe fruits from hungry birds and bugs (sorry guys...), we've just survived the effort and harvested over a hundred kilos of grapes from our little grapevine.


Dazed daddy face at the end of the day... and shiny son.
Giving big thanks to the Divine Wholeness. We did it! 

Time to share and process what we cannot eat.

2016-10-03

Grapes under syrup

Rush time! Grapevines are loaded with fruit but luckily a little less than usual... otherwise we would be in trouble to harvest it all. We need to proceed quickly an wisely to store the most that we can with the least effort as well as minimal equipment and manpower: Ohme made operation! It's all going to go... under syrup!


2016-09-30

Baby ginkgo nursery

Five months have passed. Since I've blogged on it last time, these baby ginkgo trees have grown up nicely, showing off their different attitudes and strength. They're all doing very well though here in north-eastern Italy.

April 19th, 2016
September 30th, 2016
Thinking often at those big mama-trees where they came from... next to that little shrine in northern Japan. I will definitely have to grow a shrine next to them, as soon as they go in the ground, possibly next year. We'll see.

2016-06-18

Follow the trees


Just another little meditation on Love, whatever it is...

We're sailing through very deep unknown waters.
The winds of division keep blowing. Disposable feelings fly out of the window. Debris of shattered dreams pile up in every corner. People hide their scars and try to heal their self-induced loneliness under the placebo of social connections. It's a Karma storm. 


 Look at this tree.

It's been through a tough storm that crack it open, slicing its trunk in four.


Umeboshi for all

So here's another Ohme made japanese food production... made in Italy. It's the cosmic appointment that was already set since last year. Slightly delayed following the weather and adjusting a better timing for this harvest, today we stocked about 10kg of umeboshi, the salty plums that are the base of many traditional dishes.



Yesterday we went to pick them up from a native tree in a park nearby, so they're basically organic wild crafted since the tree is totally abandoned to itself. It's been some sort of homeschooling practice with my son, so that he can learn how to prepare food he likes by himself. 

2016-06-15

Big biochar stove in action again

Here's the hot shot of the day... charring a post on top of our big Elsa stove using as biomass source the trimmings of the same grapevines where the biochar that was produced was then eventually deposited! Nice closed cycle of Carbon...


Check out the short video-clip with my little helper on the site!

2016-05-28

Biochar in the vineyard

Today, we have to get a chance of good weather before the next upcoming forecast rains: it's time to do some biochar in the vineyard... using some of the chopped up branches of grapevines that have been drying in the last days. I guess is counts as one of our special homeschooling days.



The preparation is a bit tricky since we have to prepare everything, loading the little car we have available at the moment and reach the spot: do the all thing then... pack up everything and get back home.


2016-05-24

Permaculture in miniature

Go and "get the moment" becomes a regular attitude when you're homeschooling and my son is my best teacher for this. If you ever have the chance to go play with the sand... then go for it! Do not loose the chance to do a little Permaculture study.




In fact there isn't just sand to play with: we are in the bed of a very wide creek that carries down rocks of all sizes. 

2016-05-21

Stardome meditations

I have been studying the stardome module on my own, since a few years now. At the beginning I didn't even know it was called like that... and just a few weeks ago I discovered the original tutorial from the japanese website. Anyway since I have worked out by myself the technique of how to do a geodesic ball (I may have to write on this too someday), I am still going forward on my meditations...



So I have been asking myself this simple question:

How to cut the sphere in two? That means also what is the ideal base of a stardome?

2016-05-17

Big stove beast: ready and hungry

Yeah... we're really getting so close now to the first test burn. Just a few little details need to be improved and my biggest Elsa stove is going to be making biochar soon.


The pattern needs to be tighten up, to maximize primary air flow.

2016-04-30

Feeding a big stove beast

In these days I am getting properly geared up to start feeding the biggest Elsa stove that I have ever built... piles of grapevines branches need to be efficiently chopped up and cannot wait anymore to become biochar and return to the soil that grew them.


Yes... that's a regular volleyball ball next to the main parts of the stove that still need to be put together. Not really sure now how to handle this baby as a cooking stove... but I guess that I'll figure that out later on, if I find a proper size pot to put on top of it!
There's a simple but handy trick that I am going to focus on now: it's about how to use efficiently a hand tool to produce large amounts of chopped out biomass, like branches and big leaves... you could use this trick whenever you need to process large amounts of biomass to add to your compost piles, like I did before.
So, check this out.

2016-04-22

Amazing grapes


"Amazing grape... amazing grape..."

Feels like hearing a new song in the air. But something special is happening: a Permaculture grapevine is blooming, growing, evolving day by day and it feels good. Really good! Check out some of the gorgeously unique living beings I have been called to look after: they're really amazing!




At the base... it's like this: the old part snapped leaving a hollow part where there's even a little bit of soil too! A little plant was growing there.



One wire less in the grapevine

In these days, between the many things to do, I am removing one of the wires, the lowest, about 45 cm (about 1' and a half) from the ground: this was used to support plants when they're small. Anyway I prefer to use stakes when it's necessary having an easier passage underneath the wires supporting the grapevines.

Dotted line on the lower wire

Something between lines

Today I have added another few seeds to a little experimental patch between the grapevine lines: it's all about natural farming... Lots of time it's going to pass before it gets to some decent production level. Anyway, the seeds I have found were already soooo old that I will really enjoy the surprise of whatever it comes.



A couple of selected japanese seeds from long time ago...

Tired of your tyres?

Some time ago, I had spotted some special presents along a small creek in the woods: between gorgeous meadows of bright flowers and green grasses... in a shady corner of the creek, four old tyres were laying down there.
Today, I just decided to go and take them out... all four of them! Tyres are treasure if you know how to use them. I always recommend people to watch a movie called Garbage warriors. It's about recycling of course. I really love it.


Anyway, so I went along this nice little country road, with our old family car...

2016-04-20

Wire with spurs and Permacultural views

Quick english translation on the go... as the daily practice meditation job is pruning grapevines according to one specific way of tying down the new branches that are going to bear fruit this year: here is the "wire with spurs", in italian "cordone speronato".

Double "cordone speronato"

2016-04-19

Ginkgo is growing

About one year ago, something started sprouting from a handfull of seeds that I had carried with me from Japan... really, I couldn't remember where I had picked those up and what they were. I just had to wait a bit more to find out.

2015 April 11th

2016-04-14

Stripes of madness

In a seemingly prompt karmic answer to my last meditation post on the usage of a scythe instead of a tractor, here is the point of view of another neighbor: chemical herbicide. 

Those orange stripes in the middle of the grass mark the passage of some deadly poison. 




Some of those poisons that the criminals at European parliament (I am not afraid to say so) have just recently allowed to keep selling as you can read in this article in italian.

2016-04-07

Sustainability is out of scythe

Moon is waning. Leaf day and grass is tall already.
It's time to sharpen the scythe and get some good exercise cutting grass under the grapevines. The movement is smooth, the sound of the blade feels like waves on the shore... every breathe flows on the same rhythm.

2016-04-01

Tie with wicker

Cool! I didn't know the correct english word for it :P and thanks to mr.Gççgle Translate hopefully I got it right. So apparently "wicker" is the english for the italian word "vimini", a variety of willow commonly used for basketry and... tying stuff!

Willow wicker between two grapevines
Our elders here still do it, so I decided to learn it right away as soon as I could... and teach my son as well! He can do it now that he is 8 years old, of course! This is our homeschooling way, right there in our never-ending outdoor classroom.



This is one of the many many ties that had to do to rearrange the little family vineyard that I am managing since last year.


At the end of this post there is a short video clip showing how to tie with wicker.
The next sequence shows one of the grapevines before and after pruning and tying session. A lot of branches had to come down from this really impressive puzzle. 

2016-03-30

Making room for mushrooms

It's been a few years now since last time I grew edible mushrooms at home. Today, making treasure of some maintenance cutting that I had to perform on a couple of willow trees, I prepared them into the medium base where to set some dry mycelium of oyster mushroom (pleurotus ostreatus).



Willow wood is the best kind to use for inoculating this type of mushrooms. In about two months time it should be ready to go in the ground; then hopefully in the fall of this year we should be harvesting the first batch. So this is what I did.

2016-03-18

Miso making days






In these days, I've been directing an amazing collective effort, working together at "Tempo Di Vivere" ecovillage: cooking, measuring, fermenting rice, mashing beans and we ended up with a whole bunch of Ohmemade miso... about 58,5 kilos all together.
Those are the filled up containers: but here's is how it all started.
Check it out!