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


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.


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...


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"


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


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.


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.


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.