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Holzer proceeded to take a long handled tool to ream out a pathway to the heart of the bramble. This serves as a passage for the chickens to use when dodging the fatal advances of birds of prey and predator beasts too big to enter the natural labyrinth.
He touted the many treats available to our avian amigos especially the bugs and overripe blackberries that will fall. He then described taking a long handled paddle, like a baker may use in a wood fired oven, building a comfy nest upon it and pushing the paddle into the passageway.
The chickens would naturally want to lay their eggs in it and a human could harvest them by pulling it out of the brush without having to come into contact with one sticker or thorn.
It was a tidy turn of events for this oft’ hated fixture of the Northwest. When Holzer was asked about the coverage for the chickens in the snow when there are no leaves to divert precipitation, he grabbed another fixture of the Northwest, a Douglas Fir bough and draped it across the top with an almost audible, “Voila!” Again showing, in Holzer’s world, nature has all the answers.
Elsewhere in animal housing take a look at the completed Earth Berm Animal Shelter.
This is a mortar-less marvel. We saw the beginning structure in an earlier article with a backhoe lifting the boulders into place. Note the two white PVC vent pipes sticking up at the back. If one is going to use their shelter for food storage one must add vents.
A long pipe runs underground cooling/heating the air to earth temperature before entering the shelter and directing the air to run along the foot of the walls and vent out the top. The pipes along the floor are perforated and covered in gravel.
Doors would also be added, so that the stores can be sealed away from nature’s little moochers, no disrespect voles. The roof is solid round timbers covered in cloth and pond liner and a meter or so of dirt. They are building terrace gardens above it.
Does it keep items cool? It was remarkable cooler at the rear of the cellar than the front. There is a test and this little cellar passed with flying colors. The test is as old as manual labor. Assemble a group of hard working humans and they will always find the coolest place to keep their beer. Look what I found in the back corner!
Look for more articles on Sepp Holzer Permaculture and the just concluded month of workshops in the MastersConnection Newsletters.
Next Up: Building a pond without using a pond liner- is he all wet?
For more information about Sepp Holzer Permaculture in the Yelm area-Click Here
- Category: Articles