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Todays home, 6411 Sooke Rd.
We can sew seeds anywhere and return to them for cultivation.  When we have agreements with the people around us that give us access to land we can be more assured that our efforts in cultivation will be longer lasting.  Our rental agreement is 700$ per month as rent to own on the northern 1/4 acre of this 1/2 acre property.  Is is more shaded than our last rental however we have the right to cultivate plants on the Southern half which is very sunny.
Before...
After.. beds on contour.  Nursery plants between buildings in back ground.  This site is a midden so instead of digging we mulched with cardboard and bought two yards of soil. to make the beds.  We also added a yard of hose poop.  The pipes will make our electric fence.  Their locations had documented and approved by the archaeologist because inserting them will disturb the midden.  Scavenged double pained glass will make our future greenhouse.
 
Electric fencing to keep bears out and thin poly fencing to keep deer our is almost invisible in this picture.  We've added a cloche and greenhouse for extending the season.  This winter we will have plenty of greens and a few flowers to keep us happy and healthy.
aption

Our last rental...
Here is a field that we were granted access to by it's mortgage holder in exchange for two hours of work each week.  Unfortunately a long-term agreement was not negotiated and we had to leave in April 2014 so that their family could move in.
The first day
This rectangular plot was tilled in the spring and the first steps were to deliver the nursery plants, the compost bin, the chickens, their coop and their fence.
Free chickens
With nothing planted yet the chickens were free to range.  They ate their fill of bugs and fresh greens and we ate the best eggs in the world.  With the help of the plants in our nursery we learned which plants the chickens like to eat best.  Plastic cloches were used to save the plants from the chickens once we saw the damage.  Their favorite plants in order are Kale, peas, morning glory and grass.  As long as they had access to some of these, they left all the other stuff alone.
Water level
We moved one inverted 't' until the water level in the hose was equal on both 't's.  Placed a stake and when we finished we layed a hose down to make the contour line.  See the two inverted 't's and the hose marking a contour below left.

Raised beds on contour
We dug from the high side and made a mound on the low side of the contour marker (hose).

Swale mulched with cardboard and nursery plants
 We also moved the chickens to the middle of the field and put some potted plants for shade into their run.  The chickens we no longer allowed out as we had lost 3 of them to predators.  They still had a little run.  We set up over head irrigation to save time watering and to ensure that the soil on the whole site stayed moist so that it could grow as much bio-mass as possible and heal itself from the tillage and digging.

A map
Currently this is roughly what our bed, path and chicken fence looks like.  You can also see the compost, future ponds and the sprinklers.  The red "1" is a label for the current fencing configuration in the chickens rotation which will go clockwise and have 4 sections.

A plan
This map shows the planned locations of future tree and a greenhouse that amalgamates the chickens coop.  You can also see proposed trellises.  Plans for the greenhouse are underway and I hope to have it finished for the fall so that all our new babies will be safe and warm.
Greenhouse
This greenhouse is covered with 100% reused plastic bags that I salvaged from Refuse in Victoria.  The frame is made from bamboo and fastened together with salvaged used bike inner tubes.  Total cost 12$ for the rebar spikes on each of the 6 corners.  This is a picture before "welding" the bags together using a teflon coated clothes iron.

The top of the greenhouse was designed for a future chimney so we can keep things warm and cozy in the coldest winter days.

This is a picture after "welding" the bags together using a teflon coated clothes iron.

Rocket stove
Inside the greenhouse in November we've built a Rocket Stove.  You see the burn chamber where the flames actually burn sideways to the right under the box of matches (which was moved soon after the picture) and the tea pot and up the riser.  Next year, time permitting, the gases  coming out of the riser will be used for a mass heater in the shape of a bench like this link.
Raised beds.

These raise beds are made 100% of wooden shipping pallets and bicycle inner tubes (materials diverted from the waste stream.)  A pond can be dug to fill them completely with soil and then we can grow plants on the top, or a smaller amount of soil can be used to fill the 5 inch space between the studs of each pallet while the middle is used for composting where the heat and water retention will help plants grow.  When harvest time comes, one of the pallets is disconnect to get the finished compost out.  Look how much surface area there is for growing, this is efficient use of space and it reduces landfill waste.
We have a rotation plan!

Moving the chickens and ducks six times per year in a star pattern on five plots ensures that our crops are never in the same place from one year to the next (key to pest management) and that the birds will get fresh land to forage every 2 months.  Their fence (represented by the dashed lines) will move with them.  This rotation will take 5 years to complete and the birds will have moved 30 times.
Unfortunately, due to our eviction in 2014 we did not finish the rocket mass heater or have a chance to test out the 5 year rotation however our new home is more secure and while the move was the most stressful thing I've ever done we are now in a better place.  Yay!

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