Truth Against the World

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Kitsune Bamboo Nursery

This is the first Epiphany Now post to emmerge from my space phone blogger app bluetooth keyboard device.  I hope all goes well, and the many batteries it requies stay charged long enough to complete this communication (although currently I could just plug in and recharge but that doesn't sound as dramatic).  I plan to write much more here at Epiphany Now, but for now I'm just unveiling some intention into the digital cloud.

Shortly after dropping out of the Matrix I moved to my current residence.  My intention for my new unplugged lifestyle was to learn Permaculture and to create a garden of eatin' into the landscape.  I was following my bliss (and still am) and activeily writing the story of my destiny.  My words shapped the land and fostered the birth of an ecologically healthy landscape filled with intentional spiritual energy and meaning.  Essentially I've created a Druid food forrest painted in the Ogam ( the Ogam, or Ogham, is a celtic tree alphabet I happen to study).  

I bet I sound crazy as a shit house rat to a lot of people reading these words.  I don't care really what I sound like.  I'm authentically on fire and refuse to apologize for it.  

Anyways, when I moved here I dubbed my abode, outside of the actual house, "The Fox Den."  I mostly live outside.  Being that I'm domesticated I am forced to spend time indoors, but I am constantly attempting to minimize that time.  I blame it on Aspergers, at least to use the modern psychiatric explanation for my irregularities (than's an entire other bag of worms).  I'm a shaman at heart, and I have a theory that Aspergers may be displaced shamans, displaced by suburban sprawl and cookie cutter jobs complete with required behavior patterns.  It may be that I'm not an aspie, but a shaman, and it just so happens that the diagnosis for Aspergers overlaps qualities of a shaman.  Whatever the case, I have a very strong need to minimize my interaction with people.  I'm perfectly fine one on one, however, which would make sense following my shaman theory.  

I want to make it clear that I have no desire to fill some egoic need to be special.  I'm no more, or less special, than you or anybody else.  However, I am fundamentally different, and science explains that via a neurological be it.  

Kitsune is the Japanesse word for a fox, but it has strong mystical and magical associations in Japanese folklore culture as well (if you want an interesting read on the subject than I'd reccommend the wiki article for Kitsune).  When I moved here, and essentially devoted my life to Permaculture and Druidry, I had just found the fox to be a spirit animal that was following me around.  I resonated with fox, and so embraced that friendship and guidance that was being offered.  

Then the Bamboo Monster revealed itself to me.  I fell in love with that monster and was unable to resist the overwhelming need to suddenly begin digging up bamboo to plant it at the Fox Den.  Bamboo even began showing up at the Fox Den in pots due to a serrendipitous friendship that started one magical day in the woods at a near by park.  I have since began an internship with Keiji Oshima of Haiku Bamboo Nursery.  He has been teaching me everything he thinks I'm ready to learn about bamboo.  I am interested in the culture of bamboo and not just the growing of it.  Bamboo is very familiar to the shaman in me, and I know that is because I have known bamboo intimately before, just as I have known Kitsune.  

Therefore, to honor the relationship that I have with fox, bamboo, and Japanesse culture, I have decided to dub this bamboo nursery (with very heavy Permaculture overtones) Kitsune Bamboo Nursery.  To kick off the declaration I figured that I would share pictures of all the characters of bamboo that reside here.  I also want to publicly decree that the Bamboo Monster regurlarly hangs out here at Kitsune, but don't worry because he's a nice, and useful monster.  

Here at Kitsune Bamboo Nursery we have 11 varieites of bamboo (not counting two which we're trying to propagate rhizomally which are Moso, and Makinoi).  Two of those varieties are in pots only, they are Green Onion, and Koi.  Currently we have only Buddha Belly and Medake for sale, however next fall we will have several other varieties for sale.  Within four years all of our varieities will be for sale, hopefully.  I'd also like to note that I plan to have only four varieties growing at this site.  We will be moving bamboos to our Rock HIll property as they grow and we run out of room.  Kitsune Bamboo is already expanding habitate for the Bamboo Monster to inhabit.  

The picture below is a fall Madake shoot (phyllostachys bambusoides), planted August 2015, given to KBN (Kitsune Bamboo Nursery) by HBN (Haiku Bamboo Nursery) and showing how bamboo plays with water.  The presence of morning dew on bamboo auricles is considered a sign of good health.  This, however, is rain water.

The same Madake plant showing rhizomal character.  Phyllostachys like to snake in and out of the ground.  I'm performing an experient with this rhizome.  If you look closely at the left hand sid eof the picture you can barely see a rhizome leaf about to hit that rock.  I placed that rock there, and one under it in the ground, to study what the rhizome will due upon encontering it.  It appears that it is already aware of the rock and is simply going to go up and over it...but I'll see as time moves forward.  

Same Madake plant with a gift given to Ayden Zen by Stefani Oshima at the final intern day of the 2015 season.  Madake is one of the two most useful bamboos (according to Japanesse Culture, the other is Medake featured later).  Madake is a timber bamboo capable of 72 foot tall canes that are 6 inches in diameter.  Madake is very hard and it grows straight.  It's great for building structures or for splitting and weaving.  Madake is my favorite bamboo because it's the most useful to humans.  It's also used to make flutes (which Keiji Oshima makes and sales).
Koi (phyllostachy aurea 'Koi'
Some potted Buddha belly (phyllostachys Aurea).  This was the first bamboo plant I ever dug up.  Buddha Belly is valued due to its ornamental appeal for crafts because of it's compressed internodes.
Some more Buddha Belly, in the ground, with Hairy Vetch planted as a nitrogen fixing cover crop.  I'm trying to keep the bermuda at bay.
Medake (Pleioblastus simonii) purchased at HBN and planted here spring of 2015.  Medake and Madake are considered the most useful bamboos in Japan, and with good reason.
This is Phyllostachys Vivax which I propagated rhizomally.  The rhizomes were given to me by Gary McPhee (the serendipitous friend I met at the park)
This is fall growth.  Here you can see how beautiful this variety of Vivax is.  It's a timber bamboo that is celebrated for it's beauty.  It's wood is not very hard and often breaks due to the weight of ice in the winter.
Phyllostachys Aureosulcata f. Spectabalis.  This bamboo has the most character and a lot of beauty in my opinion.  It has variagation on the leafs like Koi, it geniculates (the can zig zags as it finishes the growth of the last couple of internodes), it changes colors in the sun, and it has the green sulcus with bright yellow canes.  It truly is a spectacular site to behold, but it is not a very useful bamboo...just beautiful.  
Showing the green sulcus of Spectabilis
Another timber bamboo I propagated early spring of 2015.  This is Phyllostachys Nigra Boryana, also known as snake skin bamboo.  Right now it's a sleeping giant capable of 60 foot canes that are 4 inches in diameter.
Bamboo island with two species of bamboo.
This is Phyllostachy Nigra Henon.  This is another bamboo that is considered to be one of the most beautiful, especially in Japan.  This is the original "Nigra," although it does not have black culms.  It's a very useful bamboo.
Close up of a Henon culm showing how it plays with slight color variations.
Psuedosasa Japonica, or Arrow bamboo, so called because the Japanesse used to make arrows with it due to it's straight growth and perfect diameter for crafting arrows.  It also makes a very effective screen for making neighbors dissappear.
This is yet another planting of Buddha Belly with some new growth.  This growth is from the last month.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Plugged Back In

After five years of resistance I'm back on Face Palm.  I blogged about the evils of Face Palm when I deleted my original account, you can read about that here.  I still agree with everything I wrote in that essay, but becoming a business owner has necessitated the removal of some idealism.  I got tired of losing business on Thumbtack because I couldn't respond quickly unless I was home with access to our laptop.  Often times people will select the first professional that contacts them (I know, I've been that professional several times).  We were also commonly receiving texts that said "no content," and I got tired of explaining to potential clients that I had an alleged dumb phone and all I got was "no content" rather than a text they had spent their time typing.  Several times they were long texts and I suspect that was the reason my alleged dumb phone couldn't handle it.  Still we fought on with our obsolete ways. 

Finally Wendy was off shooting a wedding and the phone went missing.  We decided we'd better just accept the fact that we needed smart phones, and so off to Sprint Wendy went to progress us into the 21st century.  I didn't go, but apparently the entire staff circled around my alleged dumb phone and made noises of amazement while they took turns passing around the alleged dumb phone marvel (it even had a touch screen, but we had fixed the phones so that they would not connect to the was a rumor touch from 2010).  They gave us two iphone 6's to replace our obsolescence.  The next day my laptop bit the bullet for the final time.  My laptop was a Toshiba Satellite that I bought in 2007.  I had the hard drive replaced and had to bring it in to the computer geek many times to have it fixed.  However, seeing as how an iphone is a computer, I found that by simply ordering a blue tooth keyboard for the iphone, along with an iphone stand, I could side step even needing a laptop.

Still, I resisted Face Palm.  I tried running my business Face Palm page, Ancient Earth Landscaping , using my wife's FB account on my phone, but that resulted in me posting to her page.  We couldn't figure out how I could run my page using her account on my phone, and it was just adding frustration to her life attempting to figure it out.  I thought about it and realized that I really had no leg to stand on where opposition to FB was concerned.  I had plugged back in, and that was necessitated by my need to run a business FB account.  You can't have just a business account.  All my opposition was doing was making my wife's life more complicated.  It was rapidly shaping up to my return to FB, and so here I am, completely plugged back in. 

I enjoy being able to listen to Spotify with blue tooth headphones anywhere I go.  The CD player in my truck stopped working years ago, so up till now I've been at the mercy of the radio.  I haven't listened to the radio in my truck since I got my iphone.  I have a camera, a video recorder, a calendar, a virtual jukebox, and the apps keep piling up (so far it's Thumbtack, Spotify, Weather, Blogger, Wikipedia, youtube, FB, and yes even Angry Birds).  It's great except for when I imagine myself holding that damn "phone" staring into the virtual world that I've detested for so long.  My world is the green world of plants and soil, not the virtual world of Face Palm and Instagram, except for the fact that these virtual places are part of my world now.  I'm embracing this inherent hypocrisy.  What am I to do other than accept it?

What is a reason to resist any longer?  The world went and got virtual, at least where people are concerned.  Now Wendy and I can lay in bed and be blissfully alone together in the evening (we have a healthy love life, but you know what I mean).  As far as privacy is concerned, what of it?  I'm amazed at how frazzled so many facepalmer's seem to be about the privacy issue with Face Palm.  What privacy?  Maybe some of my readers haven't heard about a federal agency called the "National Security Agency," or NSA, and the city they have in the desert that is five times the size of Washington DC dedicated to the surveillance of every communication of all stripes in the good ole Fascist States of America.  Every phone call, text, Face Palm message, email, and squeaky fart you let out is recorded and pigeon holed into your communication record at the NSA.  You can read about this fact here.  Here is a quick excerpt from the linked article:

 Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.” It is, in some measure, the realization of the “total information awareness” program created during the first term of the Bush administration—an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy.

 So, if you are upset about privacy on Face Palm than you obviously have not been paying attention.  Of course there is the Patriot Act to consider.  If you don't know, that's the legislation that was enacted day's after 9/11 that makes it legal for our government to make you disappear and tell nobody about it.  You'll never be seen or heard from again and this is all legal.  They just have to suspect that you are a terrorist and away you disappear.  So if you don't want to have your privacy trampled on than you should no longer communicate with any kind of device.  Don't talk on a land line, don't use a cell phone, and don't use the internet under any capacity because even your google searches are being recorded by the NSA.  This brings me to the final issue I'll be tackling in this essay...that's right, gun control (and now for my promised trick where I make some Face Palm friends disappear).

In my opinion "gun control" is where you slow your breathing, keep both eyes open as you look through your iron sites (or scope), calm your nerves, and finally slowly exhale as you gently pull back on the trigger knowing that your aim is true.  I am not a violent person.  In fact, I don't believe in violence.  When I was training in Nihon Ghoshin Aikido my Sensei first taught me how to not fight.  He taught me how to use my words to diffuse any aggression and how to not get cornered and assure an escape route if at all possible.  Then he taught me how to use the energy of my attacker against him to cause controlled pain via joint locks and pressure points to further convince him that violence was not the answer.  Then he taught me how to kill with extreme prejudice and efficiency using my attackers weapon.  That's when I stopped training having achieved Ni Kyu or student instructor with all 50 techniques in the art and joined the Navy.

Firstly I'm not going to surrender my guns because I like them.  Occasionally I put venison on the table for my family to eat by hunting with my riffle.  This is 100% organic meat, and it's as organic as meat gets being that the animal has eaten from the wilderness it's entire life.  I could do this with a bow and arrow, but I don't have a bow and arrow right now.  I have guns.  Secondly all disarming the populace would do is to ensure that only our tyrannical government and criminals would have guns.  Law abiding citizens would be the only people without guns.  The hunting industry in the U.S. is a billion dollar industry and so removing guns would remove a lot of jobs from our atrophying economy.  If citizens don't need guns than why do police need guns?  Why does the military need guns?  Would the proponents of "gun control" agree that the military and police should surrender their guns?  I think not.  The fact of the matter is that guns exist, and so bad people have guns, and therefore I need guns.  If I could hockity pockety wokity whack every gun off of the planet I would do so, and I would happily hunt for my venison with bow and arrow, but I, nor anybody else on this side of mortal, have that ability.

Now for the school shootings, isn't this a bit like the terrorist bogey man?  You can't fight terrorism because terrorism resides in the black heart of the terrorist.  At any moment anybody can decide to be a terrorist, just as any kid can decide to go to school and start killing.  Let us imagine for a moment that all guns are completely eradicated from the Earth, even the world's military's don't have guns any longer.  Now some high schooler that's all bent out of shape because daddy left years ago and mommy has taken to prostitution to put food on the table and pay bills.  She's an alcoholic and on cussitol to cope leaving her virtually paralyzed to care for our bent high schooler.  On top of all of this he can't get a girlfriend to save his life, and nobody wants to be friends with him because he has bad hygiene and his breath constantly stinks.  He's also socially awkward.  Well he's had enough of this shit and decides he wants to die, but before he goes he wants to release his rage on the peers that have caused him so much pain.  He acquires a Samurai sword and spends weeks getting it as sharp as possible.  He goes to school one day and just as he enters the main hall minutes before the bell rings, he pulls out the sword and starts decapitating heads.  How many heads do you think he could decapitate before being stopped by the police?  Remember, there are no longer any guns, so I guess the local law enforcement would have to taser him?

Now, before you delete me from your Face Palm friend list, let me apologize for being so crass and brazen with making my point.  I am an Aspie after all, and I can relate to the feelings of the imagined high schooler I just created.  My father left when I was four and I have always been slightly awkward socially.  I was lucky enough to have the unconditional love of a beautiful mother (and I still do), and I was also able to find romantic love as a teenager, and I had a few friends to boot.  I'm not trying to make lite of the recent school shootings, or any school shooting for that matter.  I feel for all of the people caught up in these tragedies, but I also know that our government regularly kills innocent civilians with drones and that they drop bombs on hospitals, mosques, and red cross centers (I was on the USS Carl Vinson during Operation Enduring Freedom and I know this first hand).  There is no shortage of tragedies in our imperfect world.  Removing guns will accomplish nothing except making it easier for criminals to commit crime.  Guns or no, it's not guns that kill it's people.  Now go ahead and hit delete.  Your delusions will not stop me from telling the truth.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

American Anti-culture: A lament

Every Friday I drive up the mountain to intern with Keiji Oshima. He's teaching me about bamboo. Some days the lesson is to sit in a Sasa Veitchi patch and pull weeds, and on others it's learning the art of splitting bamboo for the purposes of weaving it into baskets. I'm learning how to farm bamboo for the health of the grove. The goal is to produce quality bamboo canes for craft and the table. Bamboo is a way of life that creates a culture. In the United States we don't have a culture, and I'm pretty sure we don't want one. There are houses that are lived in on this Earth that are made up entirely of bamboo. That means you can literally live in bamboo, and you can eat it with utensils made of it while you sit in a bamboo chair at a bamboo table in a bamboo house...bamboo! You can do all of that with wood as well, but wood can't grow 47 inches in 24 hours like Phyllostachy Edulis (moso) can, and good luck trying to eat wood. Bamboo has the highest protein count of any vegetable, but this is not an essay about bamboo, it's more a lament about the sucking void of an anti-culture that I live in. Quite simply this is therapy for me. Read on at your own emotional risk because I've got no warm fuzzies for you about the future.

In my yard I have a diverse array of food growing: apple, peach, cherry, black locust, hazelnut, pomegranate, bamboo, grapevine, black berry, raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, corn, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, gourds, all manner of cucurbit, peas, beans, herbs, chickens, and others. Diversity is my main tactic. There's also swales, hugelkulture, key hole gardens, cob, and vernal pools. I've done the best job I can designing and installing permaculture into this yard. I don't even like calling it a yard any longer because that word doesn't honor the sweat, blood, thought, emotion, and intentionality I've put into the food forest that is my "yard." A yard is something that is terrorized by mechanical tyranny and synthetic chemicals every other week. The goal of this anti-culture way of thinking is to somehow control nature, to keep it in straight lines and caged in a delusion of the collective human mind. We have dominion over a collapsing way of life contained in a biosphere that is becoming hostile to life. I'm not going to now launch into a list of all the problems our world is facing right now. This would be a good point in the essay to do so, but there are plenty of blogs in the doomosphere that can supply that list for you. The list of food growing in my "yard" is the only list you'll find in this particular rant.

The great irony of my life is that when I'm not permaculturing in my yard I'm riding a lawn mower and operating a weed eather, and yes I even spray round up from time to time. Nobody wants to pay me for my permaculture knowledge in this anti-culture, but they will gladly pay me to keep nature in line in their yards. All of that food growing in my yard and I still shop at costco. Regardless of my hyperactive distaste of hypocrisy it seems I'm unable to help myself from participating in it. Why do I buy and spray Monsanto round up and shop at Costco? Because I live in an anti-culture. I get paid to spray round up, not plant fruit trees (or god forbid, bamboo), and I shop at Costco because it's the cheapest way to feed two young boys. I'm not operating under the fantasy that paying 30% more for "organic" food is going to make my boys much healthier or save anything from my species. The air we breath is toxic and there are over 200 synthetic chemicals in the human body, and I'm supposed to believe that shopping at the local organic box store is going to keep me and my family more healthy!

I go to work and sweat...a lot. It's very hot and humid in the American South. After each job I'll take my T-shirt off and wring out a couple hundred cc's of sweat. I'll drink over a gallon of water in a day and I might pee once. I work very hard for the money I make, and so decisions like shop at costco and save a lot of money, or shop at Organic Box Store and piss my money away like I do all that water I drink, aren't really decisions at all...just common sense. I've got more food growing in my yard than probably 99% of the average home owner and yet I'm still dependent on Costco to supply the bulk of my families calories. Permaculture doesn't work without real community, and it damn sure doesn't work in an American anti-culture. It requires whole communities of people to all be concerned with food, medicine, and material cultivation. My neighbor tills his "garden spot" and then applies petrochemicals to it, and down the road there are 1000's of peach trees all in a line that get sprayed copiously all of the time. Without those petrochemicals my neighbor, and that atrocity of a "peach orchard" down the road, would all learn the hard way what petroleum dependency has done to our anti-culture.

I'm being forced to make up a culture. I've had no initiation into adulthood, unless you count bombing Afghanistan from the bowels of an aircraft carrier for control of the worlds heroine and petroleum as an initiation. I have no elders to look up to. My father has forsaken me and my family on account of arrogant pride. My mother does the best that she can, but she's got no idea either really...well she's got Jesus at least. I have no grandparents left. My wife is even worse off. Her daddy put a 30 aught 6 in his mouth a year before I met her, and her mother is an out of control narcissists that does more harm than good wherever she goes. She has no surviving grandparents either, and what did the whole lot teach us about our world and how we should make our way in it? Our way of life is to consume for profit sake while terrorizing resource rich countries with weapons of mass destruction, and that pretty much sums up America and it's grand ordeals about inalienable rights and freedom. I suppose we have a culture of "lawn care." If you're reading this during the daytime and you listen hard enough I'm sure you can hear a small engine attempting to control nature somewhere (and this privilage American's kill brown people of culture with drones for). Could there be a better way to vent our collective frustration then to grow just grass that has got to be mowed every other week...and fueled by petroleum I might add. Henry Ford and his ilk knew what they were doing with the invention of carcentric suburbia. They were being industrious, which is the highest good as long as it supports profit.

What am I to tell my two young boys about the world and their place in it? The future has no place for them. If they're lucky there will at least be some good human supporting biospheres left when it's their turn to start making babies, that is if the nuclear industry hasn't finished the job of making us all sterile. That industry is definitely doing their level best to destroy all ocean life. For a long time I used permaculture as a blank screen on which to project my hopium. I resigned from a low paying career as a medic after a short stent on fukitol didn't resolve my cognizant dissonance. Dissonance which was resonating from existence in an anti-culture. I went on a permaculture crusade of hope. Three years later my permaculture business partner realizes that hugelkulture isn't going to save the world and threw in the towel. Not that I blame him. Our anti-culture requires us to make money, not to dream up ways to fix this mess.

I'm supposed to remain optimistic in the face of all of this bad news. I'm supposed to somehow realize that our anti-culture is collapsing around us in all the ways that count, but yet there's reason to rejoice! There is a large for profit prison industry in this country for cryin' out loud. What the fuck! People are literally making millions of dollars on non-violent drug addicts turned industrial prison complex for profit slaves. They were only drug addicts in the first place because there was no place for them in our anti-culture. Who can blame them? Yet now they make our military uniforms. I suppose at least we're using our own domestic slaves now rather than the rest of the worlds. There is even a very entertaining show about it on Netflix called "Orange is the New Black." My wife and I have watched all three seasons. In the last season the women of the prison make panties for a lingerie company. Most Americans watching probably have no idea that the show is depicting reality. At any rate we watch it to escape from reality. One of the most important prescriptions for life in an American anti-culture is the remedy of sitting on our fattening asses while eating food chemicals anesthetized on a television screen, beer, and fukitol. I'm supposed to be optimistic. I have a tendency to forget that.

There is one small silver lining in the fight for optimism and hopium. The SUN foundation, a 501c3 non-profit of which I'm the CFO (chief financial officer), has a chance at receiving one million dollars to design a "Sunstead." You can read all about what that is by going to and reading our prospectus. If anything can give me hope it's SUN. As you have no doubt deduced at this point I need some hopium. We all do, at least those of us with our eyes wide open. I hope that SUN can shine and help to create at least one answer to this mess we are in. Now I'm off with my truck and trailer full of nature tyranny dispensation so that I can make some money to buy some Costco food to feed my family. At least I did provide them some home grown Irish cobler taters and zucinni for dinner last night. I'll take the small victories. I suppose I'm more prepared for the future than 99% of the rest of the non-1% Americans. On another optimistic state finally took the confederate flag off of the state capitol building today. I guess my state's no longer stuck in the mid 1800's intellectually any longer?

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Photojournal 6

I intend on blogging with words soon. I recently took my wife and two kids across country to see my side of the family this last December and January. We drove from SC to California and back. I turned 35 in Sedona Arizona. We've been back to SC now for a month. Lately i've been busy studying Celtic Mythology and Bamboo, practicing Druidry, moving earth around, raising children, and exercising the fine art of good husbandry. There's a lot I could say, but I'd rather let the pictures do the talking. It seems the writing portion of my life has been giving way to the reading and doing, but I'll always be a writer, and so I'll write again. Just can't say when. Soon...maybe...but not right now right soon...later soon!
That's me and "The American Poet" himself, Jim Morrison, on an American Flag that's tied to a bamboo cane and stuck into a berm.  That berm is the same berm you will see transformed, in this very blog, into a Hugel Dragon. 

That's the chicken coop.  It's been there for three years.  We recently moved it as you'll see.

devising my strategy just before moving the coop to behind that garage.  I had the help of my wife.
Those roosts are bamboo culms (canes) Wendy and I harvested from local groves.  The coop is slowly transforming into bamboo.  I'm also using bamboo canes for the small roof above the roost.  The roof is made of tin metal flashing and bamboo canes.  That blue thing in the center of the coop is a moving blanket I tied to a cane with hemp cordage and stones.

The first three hugelbeds constructed at the Fox Den in their third season.  I sewed Rye Grain, hairy vetch, and white clover last fall.  The round things are some of last year's gourds. 

That's Stink around skunk bug and I.  He came by to help me tie the roost poles to the cage.  I drilled a hole through the canes and lashed them to the fence with hemp cord

The vernal pool/pond.  My business partner, Taylor Maxson, and I made this pond last summer by reusing two full size blow up mattresses as the liner.  I'm about to add another section to this pond in that space in between the existing pond and the chicken coop.  I'm gonna make the amendment a few feet deep.

That's "Badgey," our rooster.  He's the one and only chicken to have been born here at the Fox Den.  He's a Red Star, which is a cross between a Rhode Island Red rooster and a Delaware hen.  He's about 6 months old now. 

the hugel spiral sewed with the same cover crop mixture used on my hugel beds.

Bamboo Island.  It has Phyllostachys Aurea and Nigra as well as Pseudosasa Japonica

the log and stone man in the center of Bamboo Island

The resident flamingo

Around the island is a trench 18 to 24 inches deep by 20 inches wide filled with sand.  I'm taming the Bamboo Monster by berming up as well as trenching and rhizome pruning. 

This is the original swale filled with mulch and sand.  I've got my other bamboo plantings in the center of the berm on the backside of the berm.  You can see the Phyllostachys Aureasulcata f. spectabilis in the background. 

Spectabilis, with Aurea Koi and Vivax.  All of my bamboos are juvenile plantings.  This will be spectabilis's second full season.  The Aurea Koi and Vivax are both baby plants.  Ironically the vivax is nothing more than a few blades coming off of a stem emerging from the ground.  The vivax blades are about an inch and a half long right now.  At maturity Vivax is capable of 65 foot canes that are 7 inches plus in diameter.  Right now it's a sleeping giant. 

This is the spectabilis up close.  These three canes emerged here last season.  The original three canes from the juvenile planting that I planted last spring were harvested for indoor decoration.  Those three canes were born right where they stand.  The one on the left has some frost damage. 

That's where the coop used to be.  You can see the white post that I had it lashed to.

This design was challanging.  We already had several existing plantings behind the coop.  We had to incorporate them into the design.  Wendy and I collaborated and she drew a snake eating it's tail.  What emerged from a two headed snake was a dragon.  This is the dragon hugel bed.

I moved the berm that was in front of the Gypsy House. 

Booga destroying the snow man Wendy made.

There's Tribann overseeing the mound building operation.

  The flag's now lashed to the post with a ten foot section of black rope. 

See the eyes of the dragon?

I buried the trunk of a maple tree in this bed.  The gourd has grubs we found while moving the Earth.  The chickens had a feast that day. 

Putting in the early spring greens.  Three types of lettuce, radish, a dwarf blue kale, spinach, and kohlrabi

The water had frozen on the bamboo.  It was melting off.  So what I photographed was ice melting off of the plant.

The finished hugel dragon. 

The tree is a Maygold Peach