July 11, 2015


Malcolms shower-Small Prairie Farm

The farm has no water supply (except a dugout), but has power in the Quonset . Malcolm (the owner) has had to come up with unique ways to gather water, contain waste and make the dugout an ecosystem. He has tried to make the farm become sustainable with power.

Malcolm’s write ups:

The dugout windmill and pump system:
The dugout is 50ft w x150ftLx 12ft. deep. Brother Bruce and I put the wind mill together and up in about 2 days. We wanted aeration in the water to support plant life and possibly fish life in the future. The fish might go in this year yet. Trout we think. Yummy.

The Quonset roof rain water saving project:
BIMG_20150621_122736rother Bruce and I tar patched the roof that was rusting in a few spots. When we got done we had a sealed roof surface area of 40ft x 100ft. = 4000sq. ft. We then spent 3-4 days putting up eavestroughing on the lengths of 2 long sides. I had purchased 2 plastic 1250 gallon tanks and we put one on the middle of each quonset side. The eves feed into them. I discovered that it took about 1-1/2 inches of rain to fill them. The water is then pumped into a 400 gallon tank on wheels and pulled out to the gardens via tractor. The 400 hundred gallons will last a week or so.

Last year we had 18 inches of rain, so had plenty of rain water for the garden. Should we have a dry year, I can always draw from the dugout.

The 45-gallon barrel rainwater shower:
As you see from the picture we put a black barrel up on a stand. We needed a shower for us after a hard day in the garden. The dark barrel absorbs the heat from the sun and passes that heat into the water. Usually, the water is tepid warm at days end. This is warm enough for us.

Pallet fence project:
Pallet FenceBecause of the wind and snow from ol’mother nature, we needed a little wind protection and needed a snow catcher. I was able to gather up some hardwood pallets and stretch them in a zig-zag form across the garden.

In the winter the wind actually blows the snow over the garden and leaves the ground with minimum snow coverage. The fence stops or minimizes the wind, causing the snow to drop right there. It worked great for us. Also, it works as a windbreak and reduces the blossom loss of the plants.

The shelter belt tree project:
This was pretty straightforward. We were able to transplant trees to a better location for erosion prevention from wind and made a more desirable rest area.

A local tree planting outfit did the work for us, There was a string of trees in one of the fields that we harvested. For every tree he transplanted for me, he took one for himself. It was cost effective and worked great.

(Pictures up to come)

Outhouse building:
When you got to go – you got to go.
I dug the hole by hand in one day. It contains a 45-gallon barrel down there to keep it all together. Drilled holes in the sides and bottom let the buildups leach out slowly. A weekly cup full of enzyme liquid keeps it digesting.

The scrap 2 x 12 planking was very useful in building the walls. We found it lying around the property when we first bought the land. The outhouse is very solid.

(Pictures up to come)

The broken down dump truck project:
IMG_20150501_183402This old truck

(write up to come)

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