Blocks and Biocontrol
Updated: Jul 9, 2020
It’s been a long process of designing the layout of All One One All. I’ve tried to envision the problems of the future, and preempt them.
Moving electronet is hard! Or, it’s hard when things go wrong. We decided on 42′ spacing between the rows because that would accommodate three (12-foot) electronet sections. We’ll have fodder shrubs in between those rows, and we need a way to enclose sections of them with electronet. So we decided that the farm would be made of rectangles 36’x82′ that we’ll call “blocks.” We have sections of electronet that are 82 feet (seven panels). This way, we can have consistent paddock sizes and keep the “doors” of the paddocks in places that make sense (like, next to tomorrow’s paddock).
planning our blocks!
The farm will have about 70 blocks. Each one will have two rows of fodder shrubs, 14′ apart from each other, and 14′ from the rows of fruit trees. The fodder shrubs will be planted in a bed 70′ long by 4′ wide. This leaves space at the end of each block for the electronet.
This means that we have 140 planting sections in between the fruit tree rows! It’ll mostly be mulberry, willow, black locust, and other high-protein fodder shrubs. But we’ll be able to incorporate other elements into this same geometry.
brush pile is started!
I got to take a short course with the Xerces Society a few years ago, focused on conservation biocontrol. Basically, the enemy of my enemy is my friend, for bugs. Rather than buy shipments of lady beetles, conservation biocontrol focuses on creating good habitat for beneficials so they show up on their own. We got the guide book:
We want to have brush piles, wildflower meadows, native warm season grasses, and places for various spiders to overwinter. We don’t want these to get in the way of our apple picking, though! So each of these will get a 70’x4′ section of the farm. We’ll be able to move electronet smoothly around these elements.