It definitely looks like tradescantia to me, which works as it's the same family as 'dayflower'.
Are there 'joints' (nodes) at short intervals along stems, and the whole plant snaps into a million pieces extremely easily, especially at the root?
tradescantia will grow from any little piece with a node, so it's vital to do a really good cleanup job.
If it's grown into a thick mat, it can be rolled up like a carpet, then spread in the sun until it's completely dried out and composted.
And I mean definitely dead, or it will just eat the compost
tradescantia used to be commonly known as 'wandering Jew' in NZ, but it's often called 'wandering dew' now-
Maybe because 'wandering Jew' sounds a bit...xenophobic or something.
And also because it collects/protects a lot of water under itself.
It's considered a real problem in our native bush as it grows into a seedling-excluding 'mat'.
I've read permaculture conversations where Geeoff Lawton recommends it as a food forest groundcover though...
I'd certainly never plant it on purpose!
james Apodaca wrote: what resources, tricks and techniques are you guys utilizing to locate information on plant ID's?
I don't use specific databases.
I'd do something really un-hightech like closely observing the plant, picking out its unusual features and entering them into a search engine.
Mind you, I just did that with as many of tradescantia's features as I could think of-
it was there, but buried in 'what is this weed' type PDFs that I'd then have to dig through
We are experimenting with green manure and living mulch this winter and next year.
We have loads of Fat Hen (wild spinach) growing around the farm, which we forage for and eat, so I've harvested some seeds and sown a couple of empty beds with that in the thought that:
1) we can eat it when it grows
2) that it an annual so as long it we don't let it go to seed all is good next season (not too sure how it will winter - we'll see)
3) we can crop and drop and use as a mulch (it also seems to be one of the few things in the garden that the slugs stay away from!)
In two beds we have Mustard, Green in Snow and in another Giant Red, both of which will winter and the same 3 points apply as above with the exception that the slugs will attack it
In another bed we are going to sow white and red clover which we will be cropping and dropping, however with this bed I'm contemplating allowing the clover to continue to grow and plant through it so that it acts as a living mulch which can also be a green manure when it gets too much. My only concern with this is that is will be a good habitat for the slugs so we might have to be careful what we plant in that bed.
I currently looking for other green manure/living mulches we have some vetchs growing around the place once I've identified them I'll harvest the seeds and use that on another bed, same a crop and drop. Another living mulch/green manure that I'm looking at is weed grass (which isn't a grass - not sure which family it belongs to) and pineapple weed.
I'm really kind on growing green manure that can also act as a living mulch so long as it doesn't compete too much much with the veggies.
Time to feed our natural yeast start. It's a special treat for the hens when there's extra. They clean the bowl with extreme prejudice then turn it into the best eggs around. Systems feeding systems feeding systems!
(sort of like the back to eden garden, how it performs better when it has chicken manure placed on top of it. When it's just the wood chips/mulch some people have trouble with it breaking down and I think it might be because there is a lack of... nitrogen? Microbe food? Microbes themselves?
I'm not quite sure, but Joel Salatin's composting system comes to mind, except out in a garden plot acting as a mulch while it decomposes, as opposed to being in a barn and then spread out on pastures)
Cassie Langstraat wrote:What do I do with the non-bulbs part?
You mean the stalks/fronds 'sprouting' from the bulb?
I just chop the stalks off in one go about where they start getting 'stalky'.
The stalks are usually tender, and you could strip the fronds off and leave the stalks on if you like.
If I'm cooking the fennel I cut off all the fronds and don't cook them-I find the texture icky, or they just carbonise!
If using in salads, I often add the youngest yellow-green fronds, very finely cut.
The older fronds are pretty strong flavoured/tough and go in the compost
i have a gristmill - it is 16-20 inches. not sure too much more on it. also have a corn husker and forge and huge sawmill blade. i'm researching its value. if anyone has any info or questions, please reply!
Here's a thought for your chickens _ my local butcher saves the waste off his meat bandsaw for me (I'm a good customer). I cook it up with a week or two's vege peels (frozen while waiting) and thicken with waste bread I buy from a local baker for $3 a flour bag full. I freeze it in 500ml tubs, warm in the microwave as a treat on frosty mornings. My girls love it.
I can get bulk litter from a local horse stud, and the guy I buy my feed from. I mow public land at the rear of our place and scrounge fallen leaves wherever I find them.
I've had compost heaps that have steamed for three months! I exchange a barrow full of chicken enriched soil from the run with two barrows of worm filled compost. No need to spread it!!
Leila, thanks for the heads up. Will definitely take a good look at that. I'll have to look up cross pollination.
Angelicka, that sounds like a great idea. I remember planning out a terrace/reinforcement wall and came across the berm/swale system and how to solidify slopes. I figured it would be worth a shot to see if it could be workable given the steepness of the hill. I have not gotten around to the berm/swales yet themselves (including one to go inbetween the 2 rows and bottom to catch rain on the hill side.
thank you so much for the input! this goes a long ways into figuring out what to do next.
We have a leaf eater. You don't want to clog your tank with rubbish. Given the quality of most town water these days I would always want to be able to drink the rain water. But for that it is more important to clear the gutters every now and then.
Ronaldo Montoya wrote:... necessary to have a green house in the forest garden(...)or can i avoid this?
As the other posters said-I can't imagine it would be necessary, or even desirable in your warm, dry climate.
On that subject, people can give much better help if the poster has some climate info and general location on their profile
The perennial plants I start need to be able to cope outside;
the only things that get extra warmth are subtropical annuals like eggplants-but my climate's not in the least tropical
Ronaldo, I'm interested to know whether the info your reading is talking about climates like your own?
I don't think of greenhouses as being designed for tropical climates, only temperate or cooler.
Something that I imagine could be very useful in your climate is a shade house, which protects plants that have evolved to begin life in a forest understory
As of today we have had sufficient private donations through our bank accounts to top up our total high enough to clear the debt!
Congratulations on raising the money to pay off the debt. However you now need to take action to make sure this doesn't happen again. So let me summarize what I think happened only I will use different words than you did in describing what happened.
1. A local group of people threatened you with violence (sale of your land) and you responded by quickly handing over, over $30,000 NZD. Am I right about the substance of what happened?
In New York City, when this happens we call it racketeering and a mob shakedown. People who do this kind of extortion are criminals and the world is full of them. If the groups are relatively small, we call them organized crime. If the groups are bigger, they call themselves government.
If you don't want this to happen again soon, you need to take proactive action right now to put these thieves psychologically in your debt.
You haven't made peace with them until they owe you a favor and they know it!
First you need to read, "Influence, the Psychology of Persuasion" by Robert Cialdini.
The cucumber slices got way too soft after just a couple days. Maybe black tea would help next time. I don't have any grape leave or Oak leaves nearby that I'm sure haven't been sprayed. Has anyone here used tea bags?
I have a cauleflower, carrot, celery, red pepper mix in the crock now. Day 3, not much happening yet. BTW, I'm eating the sauerkraut that I have in several jars in the frig at a rapid pace. I've had a cold bowl for breakfast almost every day this week. Crunchy and sour and good! I'm glad I added the caraway seed when fermenting. It makes it even better when cold. I will do that again with future ferments. Maybe I'll add an apple for additional flavor nest time.
Personally I see nothing wrong with letting your worms do the work. The castings they leave behind are an excellent nutrient source for the garden. And as long as you're not smelling a foul odor, then the pile is doing fine. It does not have to heat up in order to decompose. The only reason I run some hot compost piles is to process material that may be full of unwanted seeds or contain manures that might contain parasite eggs. Since I don't use commercial farm manures, I don't need to worry about killing dangerous pathogens that proliferate many commercial operations. More than half of my composting effort goes into cold or cool composting.
Since most people complain about not having enough worms, I guess you earn a gold star! You must be doing something right. Congrads!
Duane Hennon: it does have square stems, but the flowers are too light and spread out to be anise hyssop.
Judith Browning, thanks for the picture. As far as I can tell, the flowers are a perfect match. And the leaves are that color and have those teeth along the edge. However, they are a little narrower and more pointed then in your picture. Do you suppose that could be a regional variation or a different variety?
Smell is so subjective and variable that I really can't say what is smells like exactly, but definitely minty.
As I have heard, the mint family is quite variable, and the species in it are fluid, so maybe we can't get an exact ID.
But if anybody else has any other comments I would be glad to hear them!
wayne stephen wrote:I remember the figs in the SW coming in June/July and then a second round in September . The later ones would be full of wasp larva so you had to settle for the earlier ones. What variety is it ? Mission figs get as big as maples.
Dry the fig, and wait for the wasps to vanish? I couldn't find anything online about eating wasp larva.
Failures are a very important part of learning. Most of us do not have the old experienced neighbour who grows everything and anyway this neighbour would not
have realized that the climate has changed or trials new things maybe...
There is something with permaculture to first sit down an make a big plan. Yes this has some advantages, you cannot make this plan without experience. Even if you are an experienced gardener, this site is new. So I would advocate to make a rough plan, then go out and start somewhere. Do something every week. And adjust your plan in the meantime.
Thanks William. I think you make an interesting point about how toxic juglone can be. In such a small garden with such shallow soils though, I think it makes sense to take all the action I can to shield against it. Thankfully many of the plants the client is keen to grow (or keep in a few cases) are juglone-tolerant anyway. The mulberry idea seemed like a neat way of combining a great fruit with a way of helping the garden develop well regardless of the walnut.
It took me two days just to figure out what a "Purple Mooseage" is, and I still haven't even figured out how to respond to one. This is one of the aspects of this site that I think could be improved. In any case, this is an attempt to comply.
Although graphical designs like this may seem informative, and a way to propose what you want, I think they have limited utility in an actual real-world setting. You will never find exactly the property that meets your idealized scheme for how to put things together. You may try to envision a permaculture scheme that looks very nice on paper (or the monitor), but once you own a real piece of land, you figure out very quickly that the land decides for you what you are going to do, not the other way around! There are innumerable factors like the terrain, shade from neighbors, zoning restrictions, prevailing winds, ext. that have a striking impact on what you can do on a piece of land. Basicly, you find a piece of land first, then you carefully design it around the microenvironment of the individual site you have.
Part of the problem I think is that you are focusing on how the design meets your needs, instead of meeting the needs of the plants. You need to first understand the biology of the plants themselves before you start to incorporate them into any kind of design scheme.
In any case, this virtual design helps us pinpoint conceptual mistakes you are making because you aren't taking in consideration the biology of your selected trees. For example, you list one single pistachio in your forest garden. If you delved into background biology of pistachio, you'd find out that pistachios are monecious, and individual trees are either male, or female, and never both. If you plant just one, it physically can not bear nuts, even if it's female. Pecans also, while they are diecious, are classed into two different biotypes, and you need a mix of both biotypes to get nuts.
On my own piece of land, the weather reports and thermometers indicate that I'm in USDA climate zone 8A, or at worst, zone 7B (http://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/ushzmap.html). About 90% of the yearly precipitation is rain, and snowfalls are limited to 3-4 per year. It's SUPPOSED to be mild here! Still, observing the winter kill of frost-sensitive trees I've planted, the practical zoning is more like 6A-6B. Another observation is that although some trees are hardy enough to survive the winter chill (olive), their timing of flowering is off and I don't get any fruit. This is obvious in that I had multiple trees, one planted at my suburban southern California home, and the other in my Sierra foothills homestead site. The suburban tree has already produced two sequential crops of olives, whereas the foothills tree has none. This is another example of how the real-world microclimate of your site influences your real outcomes.
Speaking of scrubbies, the stainless ones do rust in my experience, but I've never had a problem with the chrome ones. They are great for a lot of scrubbing jobs surprisingly without scratching. With the ringer I would wonder about rust.
Thanks Nicola - I actually found this forum through a hint to that scandinavian section, but it's not enough to follow only that yet and this discussion happened to deal a similar situation... I'll be more on the recieving side of information exchange for a quite some time still, as I'm a total newbie. It would be lovely to find someone close enough to visit, too, or to find the time to visit a permacourse or smth. We live on the border of Satakunta, Etelä-Pohjanmaa and Pirkanmaa.
We don't and won't have livestock, and our indoor cats dont' produce THAT much manure, but I think we might get some horse manure with mostly just the transportation costs. Straw, maybe... At the moment we have old cutter shavings used as insulation in our roof terrace (molden due to consturction mistakes, thus removed - I'm really grateful it hasn't been raining for a while!) What I don't have is the money to buy any substantial amounts of good compost. The grass has been planted (before I moved here) on cheap "topsoil" (= from an old field) which definitely came with perennial weed roots. They aren't a problem as long as only grass is grown, but they are still alive there and start taking over if they get a chance.
I'm hoping to grow
- hedges, as this a windy field and there's no privacy whatsoever - this is really a priority!
- a few fruit trees and some more berry trees and bushes
- something else to eat
- a lot of beatiful things to see (really missing that part!) - trees, bushes, perennials
I suppose the mulch has to be really thick for those trees. The clay is so hard you can't dig through it with a spade - an iron lever is needed. Think of 9m clay as in parts of Pohjanmaa. And as realistically we might only have some 20 years here, I'd like to get this started and growing fast. Especially all those hedges and trees. We don't even have much shade here, as the house is on the north-east end of this long area. Oh well, we DO have birches in the middle, but as they have so utterly competitive root system, I'm dreaming of replacing them with something else.
This plot is a bit too much of challenge for me, but at the moment I'm trying to concentrate on those hedges, first trees and such. When I get reasonable plot done (=in a sensible scale and all fixed things marked), I think I'll post it on the scandinavian section for comments with a wider description. Just have to manage some urgent things during the next few weeks first...
They sell mail order anywhere. and yes they sell bug pants, gaiters and hoods. Check out "canoening in the north" type blogs - everyone there will agree this is the best brand for real protection and durability.
I quite understand - I remember reading that passage of the book half a dozen times before I got my head around it. Short version - you can get the genetics out of 'sterile' plants by repeatedly crossing them with fertile relatives. It opens up options when considering plant breeding for new varieties. Your first generation cross is likely to be sterile, especially if using distant relatives, but over a number of years you can often breed back to a fertile cross with the genetics of both.
In the case of the bocking varieties - one of their most useful traits is their sterility, so they don't run rampant.
Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote: But is there a form of phosphoric acid available that's not in a soft drink? Thanks!
Two possibilities: 1) If you make your own biochar, put bones in with the biomass that you are charring. By having bone char in with your biochar, you have a source of phosphate ion that can leach into the soil and bind up any soluble lead.
2) If you think that is too slow, because leaching the phosphate out of the bone char is a slow process, you can get the phosphate into solution as phosphoric acid by soaking the bones in vinegar:
I'm still trying to figure out what "organic" means.
Oh, I know they have 5 digit SKU codes at the grocery store and sell for twice as much, and then there is this recent study about the level of anti-oxidants in organic veggies, but I think I would still prefer the "weeds" out of my garden than the organic stuff that is trucked in from who knows where. For me, permaculture is better than 'organic' because it is local.
Mike Feddersen wrote:I wonder how many people fail to post their thoughts and Ideas because they fear being laughed at or ridiculed?
That certainly never stops me; I'm well aware I often talk rubbish
I do avoid answering posts where the op needs important info and I don't know it
especially with technical things like design, fencing, cattle...
Mike Feddersen wrote: I also wonder if the people that have Zero Replies start thinking self-consciously that....(feel in the blank)
I think quite possibly-I know I've felt a bit plaintive when a question (or more likely what I thought iwas insightful, fascinating, whatever but is actually...rubbish)
Mike Feddersen wrote:I try to mind the "no hostility" vibe of the forum
Since 'be nice' is the only rule, it's easy
I'd say asking people with unanswered posts friendly questions that get them to define what they want may well bring more help.
The subject line can make a big difference. Maybe hit 'report' and suggest the staff edit the subject line for clarity?
*Note* the staff do not edit people's actual posts!
Mike Feddersen wrote:I notice I use "I" quite often
I use it constantly. Paul strongly encourages it, partly because it emphasises that we're talking about our own experiences/understandings
Not 'The Truth'.
There's a few thread about it around the place...
I've been pursuing the simple plan of burying the worst stuff at the very bottom. Only nice cottonwood and alder near the surface. The plants can reach where they will. Undesirable woods can sit there out of where most growth occurs and hold water while they slowly break down and become less toxic..
I find beets very easy to ferment. I slice them because that's the way I typically eat them. I like eating sections of garlic cloves that have been fermented enough to not be so spicy. I like the idea of slicing them up so they decrease the spiciness faster. I think I will try that soon. Grating may be too much processing. In general, I try to keep the form as close as possible to the original plant food. I think it's healthier, but slicing the garlic is probably a better mid solution. Thanks for the idea. I have read and I agree experientially that it's good to have a pretty high proportion of cruciferous vegetables in your sauerkraut. Not only are they among the healthiest of all vegetables, they seem to help to get the correct form of bacteria more successfully. Beets are related to cruciferous vegetables. I often use at least part of the liquid from my previous batch to get them to ferment correctly more quickly and with less salt. Then you don't have to worry as much about the proportion of cruciferous vegetables.
One of NZ's nicknames is 'the shaky isles'. I'm perched on some very youthful, exuberant geology!
Wellington like Su Ba's place, is overdue for 'the big one'-but it could show up tonight, or in 500 years...
Christchurch was always considered to be pretty 'safe'
but apparently there's a previously unknown fault line and there were two major quakes in 2010-2011.
Look up liquefaction If your geology fits with that, avoid building around:
reclaimed land, drained swamp, close to waterways, an ancient river fan or what used to be beach but become 'land' when the last big one hit
(the last two are under my house)
Get a serious earthquake kit together. After the Christchurch earthquakes, people were queuing for water within hours.
I have over 200 liters of water in 20 liter containers, plus whatever's in my rain barrels.
And a lot of canned food, sleeping bag, propane, etc, etc
Don't get cans with pull tabs-in an earthquake, they're likely to burst.
On that note, I have two can openers and a multitool.
The last thing I want to be doing after an earthquake is trying to find my way into cans!
Don't rely on being able to eat food from your garden if you have sewerage pipes nearby-in Christchurch, entire suburbs were inundated with raw sewerage.
Get to know your neighbours
Have an escape plan, especially if you're on the coast
Then, don't worry-it's boring
Oh, and never, ever store heavy things above head height (you should've seen the mess at my aunt's from all the broken jars of fruit)
D. Logan wrote:
Kudzu is the same way in the south, but a hundredfold worse depending on the growing conditions. Where it has been planted, it pretty much overtakes. I have seen no plant it wont grow over and eventually choke out.
I can only speak from experience and what I have seen the plant do to once beautiful forests and hillsides is not worth the benefits it offers.
When I see kudzu, what I'm looking at is neglect. Pieces of dirt that nobody maintains or cares about. Abandoned farmhouses or fields. Vacant lots. Yes, in those areas it can grow a foot a day, strangle all the other plants, and become a monoculture. Where there are grazing animals, lawns being mowed, fields being plowed and planted, there isn't any kudzu.
Sure, once it has been established it may take more than a couple of seasons of cutting/grazing/tilling/mowing to eradicate it. But along the lines of the saying "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade" I would say "when life gives you kudzu, get some goats and plan on a cabrito barbecue.