Work has been completed on a new patio roof behind our farmhouse just in time for the start of the rainy season. This roof keeps our outdoor picnic area and workspace out of the heat and rain. The patio roof also helps keep blowing rain away from the back door, shop door and carport, as well as protect our ‘booster pump’ that irrigates the garden. The roof is made with metal framing and microconcrete roof tiles like the ones on our house.
The forest garden in the background (now approaching maturity after 5 years) looks better and better every year. As I’ve said a number of times, the forest garden has been one of the most enjoyable and life enhancing things I’ve ever done. Once fully established, few or no additional inputs will be needed, and the soil will improve over time instead of being depleted as happens with other agriculture/gardening systems. That’s the power of forests!
This experience has encouraged me to continue doing projects like this, especially since the new forest garden (out of sight to the right of the camera) is about 100 times more efficient than the first one. Please search our blog for keywords Forest Garden to read previous articles. There is currently a resurgence of interest in this ancient gardening method and now forest gardens are spreading around the world. It takes a lot of work to get the garden started initially, but the long term rewards are well worth it. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
4 thoughts on “New Patio Roof for our Sustainable Homestead”
Looks great Owen…a practical and relaxing communal space. Outdoor living must be ideal in your climate.
The food forest is intriguing…have you uploaded a video of your process?
I’m at the plastering stage of an earthbag studio I’m building for my sister in the UK…largely inspired by you and the information found on this site, as well as Atulya K Bingham. Thank you!
Glad we’ve been helpful. Search this blog for keywords Forest Garden and you’ll find articles and videos about each step. I documented pretty much everything every year so far. For me the whole process, the whole journey has created the ultimate life for health and happiness. It’s not just to save money or save the environment. Oh, and you can go to my Sustainable Homestead channel on YouTube. The link is in most of the previous articles.
I haven’t talked about the booster pump before. We’ve been using it for about 2 years now and it works great. It doubles the water pressure, which means you can water the garden twice as fast. So our current system consists of poly water tanks on a homemade wooden tower, our well and main Hitachi pump in the earthbag pumphouse (shown in foreground), and the booster pump. The booster pump is a cheap ‘no name’ $100 Chinese pump. I was very hesitant to buy it but our kids talked me into it. I expected it to burn out after a few months. Instead it’s been a real workhorse. Yeah, it could burn out any time, not sure. But no big deal if it does since it can be replaced for $100. The water pressure is so high that it’s hard to keep the PVC water lines from leaking.
The patio roof protects a key outdoor work area where we prep vegetables, cook, etc. It’s the perfect place to gather and relax because it’s right in the center of everything — sort of like a crossroads. Plus it’s behind the house away from the road and wind. Previously this area was covered with tarps but they kept flapping, tearing and falling apart.
So the water goes from the well to the water tower and then through the booster pump = gravity and the booster pump combined.