[identity profile] gailmom.livejournal.com
I want to put this here so we can find it later. This is going to be an important formula. :)

To calculate cubic yards of (whatever) needed: Area length (ft.) x width (ft.) x inches high, divided by 324 = cubic yards

This has helped us determine that we will need approximately 5 cubic yards of peat moss, 5 cubic yards of vermiculite, and 5 cubic yards of compost to do the 505 sq ft of beds in the front yard. (eep!)

I have no idea yet where we will get the peat moss and vermiculite, but the compost is available from the city of Bryan composting facility. At $28/ton (ton= approximately 2 cubit yards) I'm not too worried about that part of the expense. :) Anyone know where we should be looking for a source of the other stuff?

Hey! Looks like they will deliver for $60 as well. Wonder if they would be willing to deliver the free bark mulch and how much that would cost. Think we could piggyback em on the same delivery charge? (I doubt it, since it would need to be separate, but it can't hurt to ask!)

[identity profile] gailmom.livejournal.com
Lest you think I've *only* been laying around laughing when [livejournal.com profile] gryphynshadow  realizes she has put a garden box 50 feet underground in google sketch, and making comments like "that's great, but where are the windows?" and then running away to avoid being strangled....

I have also been practicing my own obsession. It involved dollar signs of course, that's where many of my obsessions lead to.

I've been using the internet, a notebook, and a calculator (with a couple trips out back with the tape measure, where Monkey helped me measure things and then absconded with the tape measure for the rest of the day) to figure out the best way to build our chicken pen.

[livejournal.com profile] laughingturtle  did her chicken pen the quick and easy way, which was tempting to me. She bought a dog kennel, installed it, then put chicken wire across the top. That has worked fairly well for her, but I hesitated to use it in our yard. We have a creek running behind our property, which means we get good things like dragonflies, geckos and other lizards, bees and butterflies, etc. But we also get not-so-good things like raccoons, snakes (including poisonous ones), mosquitos, and possoms.

So whatever structure we build needs to be proof against raccoons and at least the larger snakes. The openings in a pre-built dog kennel might be too big for that.

I did make a materials list, check measurements of what would fit in the area we have designated the chicken space, etc. and figured it, just in case we decided that convenience now was worth "gambling" on whether the dog kennel would work in our yard.

The dog kennel version *seemed* cheaper at $222 (all sums are including tax). But if marauding creatures cause us to have to backfit the pen with poultry netting, we will end up at $320  for the whole thing by the time we are done.

Using t-posts, poultry netting, and two purchased gates, we end up spending $366 incl. tax for certain BUT that actually ends up cheaper if you assume that the snakes I've seen in my yard aren't above stealing chickens and eggs.

Kennel kit option if we don't have to backfit: $222 fora  7 1/2' X 13' X 6' tall pen= 97.5 sq ft of space, at $2.27 per sq foot

Kennel kit option if we do have to backfit: $320 for a 7 1/2 X 13' X 6 foot tall pen= 97.5 sq ft of space, at $3.28 per sq foot

"Build it yourself" option: $366 for a 20' X 8' X 6 foot tall pen= 160 sq ft of space, at $2.29 per sq foot

Given those numbers, and how close the price per square foot is even if we "gamble" and win, the conclusion has been that even with the extra initial labor involved, the poultry netting pen is the way to go. It will absolutely take longer, but we will know we don't have to worry about raccoons, and at 1"x1" squares, hopefully any snake that can get in will be small enough for the chickens to kill and eat. :P

I'm headed out of town this weekend and next (J is ecstatic at the idea of some time alone in the house *grin*), so the obtaining of supplies and installing of chicken pen have been scheduled for the last two weekends of this month. If we are very lucky, we'll manage to round up some volunteers before then. :D

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Suburban Permaculture Project

May 2011

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