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merry Christmas from N . AR!

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merry Christmas from N . AR!

Post  james lujack on 12/25/2011, 11:01 pm

I remember watching Mel Bartholomew on his PBS show on antenna tv.My wife bought me his first book in paperback (it is falling apart from use).Years passed and wife urged me to use knowledge from book even though the native soil in Michigan was sandy loam and of adequate fertility.First year I made one square with Mel's Mix.Second two more came along but funding this project required me using leaf and lawn clippings ,native soil and Mels Mix. I decided to retire ,pull up stakes and move south to N. Ar. I don't mean to insult AR. or anything but the farmer before me here farmed rocks.Mel's Mix came to my mind. There was a storm ravaged barn on the land .I finished tearing it down using wood for raised beds.The barn held horses at one time ( i could tell by the leftovers).The soil looks quite good.It is fun to recycle what God has blessed us with.

james lujack

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Join date : 2011-12-24
Age : 65
Location : zip72587 N.AR

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Re: merry Christmas from N . AR!

Post  Goosegirl on 12/26/2011, 7:47 am

My goodness - what a find bounce ! A barn-sized area of fully composted horse poo! Gardener' Dream! okay

I used to work with a lady that gardened (row, but oh well) on what was an old feed lot 10 years before she got the property. She had the BEST row garden I have ever seen! All that cow poo and barn scrapings that had just been left to lay for 10 years made wonderful compost to just dig in and plant.

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Re: merry Christmas from N . AR!

Post  staf74 on 12/26/2011, 2:07 pm

I have moved into a small farm with a sadly decaying milk house.The
walls seem sound enough(?) but roof is coming down.(I mean on its own.)
My question is would it be worthwhile to remove roof and form a hoop
thing over space left from old roof? What material should I use to
cover it and how would you simply figure out length of PVC to use?It is
a rather narrow(10ft.? x30ft.?) bldg. and would appreciate any input
you would have! Thats funny.I right buttoned your thanks Emoticons and I get a .............well thanks anyway.

Hi James,

(I'm gonna repost my reply here as others may not have seen your request in my hoop house thread)

Not sure if you have been officially welcomed so here goes.....

Sounds like the space has great potential, however, a few more details would help me to help you.

Are you planning on the SFG concept in the space?

At this point are you just looking to get a head start on the spring and therefore would like to cover seedlings?

I have a concern over the narrow space and the height of the walls. How high are the walls? Sounds like to me that they might shade the space too much for it to be viable unless you remove some height.

Can you post a pic?

Be glad to help if I can and I'm sure others will chime in.

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milkhouse into hoophouse

Post  james lujack on 12/26/2011, 5:03 pm

My what a quick response...........................................It will a sfg.The floor is sound and is concrete.There is a three foot drop maybe four foot at center that allowed folks to be shoulder level with the business end of the cows. Walls are about 8 ft high. Taking off a few courses of block is a good idea if I were just planning on veg. seedlings. I have a ten acre or more field in front that cattle were raised.I feel the need to fill it with diverse trees but need to buy small seedling because my back is getting old and wallet thin. Maybe a few less courses would help with heating the space.I also see what you mean about shade with high walls. Mels Mix is good growing medium for baby tree roots and native soil is almost pointless here. Sad Nearby oak tree supply much needed mulch Twisted Evil Concrete and block may hold in heat but passive solar could come from black plastic water filled barrels but how effective are they? Hey how did my huskies get in here? well. peaceout

james lujack

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Location : zip72587 N.AR

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Re: merry Christmas from N . AR!

Post  staf74 on 12/28/2011, 7:26 am

Is your intention to turn the space into more like a greenhouse?

Sounds like with the concrete floor and the walls, you could use the basic structure for that purpose with some modifications. I'm not sure how much work you want to put into it. I use hoops, plastic and old xmas lights for season extension but that is over a regular SFG 4x4 bed. I tried a few things for the heat (including black water jugs but was not satisfied) and settled on the lights. I'm sure your barn is far from power and the set-up might not work in your case but you get the idea about hoops and how frost protection is acheived. Here's an idea of what it looks like.


May I ask again, can you post a picture? That would really help me visualize the space. I wonder about drainage with a concrete floor?

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future of hoop house from milking parlor

Post  james lujack on 1/9/2012, 6:14 pm

I don't have a digital camera.Right now I am filling up some raised beds with some "top soil" from barn area .I am financially unable to use a MM in beds but am using a modified version using peat moss(not a good green idea) with some miraclegrow organic potting soil and lots of rotting hay.The soil I am getting is from area where either cattle or horses were kept.I have some saddle blankets and bridles that have damage from mice .There are a lot of cows here in area. The cats( my little darlin's) are using boxes for their outside litter boxes.The previous owners kept other farm animals corraled with chicken wire and such. I am seeing some success from placing fencing over tops of sq. ft. gardens. Evil or Very Mad I guess the hoop house is on back burner right now. affraid I am open for ideas. I seen a few items on you tube and so forth. cheers sawing logs

james lujack

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Location : zip72587 N.AR

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Re: merry Christmas from N . AR!

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