Yes. I could never eat a wedge of lemon, but I ate almost a whole wedge of fermented lemon the other day. (It had popped up out of the brine and had some white fungus on one edge. I used kitchen scissors to cut off the fuzzy part, and ended up just eating the rest of it.)
Autumn olive prune very nicely. In fact, before it occurred to me to prune to reduce shade and thus enhance companion plantings, I would occasionally prune one just to create an unusual view while playing my disc golf course (integrally woven with the farm). Here are, in order, a particularly lovely bush/tree, followed by a before and after image of one that I pruned this morning. Since I am in the planning stages for the farm, this year I will grow a wide variety of things under the ones I have pruned this winter, between 20–30 so far, and see what happens.
I'm with Dan on this. Practicalities matter. And yeah, keeping stuff out of the waste stream is good too. I've grown stuff in those polystyrene boxes you get refrigerated stuff delivered in sometimes. I've used a whole bunch of plastic pots I acquired from family/friends. (Though they wear out eventually... having said that I've just realised that the pot I'm thinking of I've been using for over 10 years now so that's not a bad lifetime for thin plastic ). I've grown in a pair of old boots. I've seen an awesome container garden made from half-tyres hung on a wall. (Like the boots, though, watering is an issue as there's not much soil in there.) I reckon using what you've got is the best bet.
Sadly there are no fowl in my systems yet. The predator issue means I'll need fencing and housing that will be a ton of work to make with the scrounged materials I have. It's on the list, but without a target date.
Deb Rebel wrote:William, the best I can guess is they hold about 20 gallons; or if you DO stoop to buying commercial potmix (like metromix), they take one bag of metromix to pretty much fill up.
Cool, I currently take free 55 gallon drums and cut the tops off, then cut 30 gallon drums around their midpoint and use each half, flipped upside down as the 15 gallon reservoirs. Getting 30 gallon drums is kinda hard, so an even bigger alternative would be great.
I basically like composted manure and a wicking medium for the containers, tried wood pellets for the wicking, not so good, peat is better, but unsustainable...
hau, Tash, What drew me to permaculture? I started as a kid who came to my grandparent's farm during summers. My grandfather, taught me to only disturb the earth mother when it was the only way to grow what we wanted to grow, otherwise it was always best to poke holes for planting seeds. We also gave the earth things it needed to thrive, such as the remains of the fish we caught for food, these were usually put at the bottom of the hole we poked for planting a seed, then some dirt was put back then the seed and the little bit of dirt left. If we needed to put grasses in the cow pastures, we just spread it on top of what was already there.
Later in life, I went to college and studied chemistry, biology, horticulture, and agriculture. I received degrees in the first three. I then spent a year and a half creating new or improved vegetable plants of which the seeds were the cash crop. I worked in Orchards, making trees healthier and able to produce more fruit or nut crops. Next time I was in the civilian life, I spent a lot of my time with farmers, promoting methods to save their top soil and improve the productivity of their land. I promoted not tilling the soil, that made it available for the winds to take away. I promoted growing cover crops and just cutting them down and leaving them on top of the dirt, so the material would work into the ground through natural means. I talked about the use of compost, mixed with rotted manures, used as a top dressing on fields that were going to be laid fallow for a season and how this would add to the soil and future crops. I told of the false pretense that chemical fertilizers help crops grow strong and healthy, how this just spent money and never really did the dirt any good.
Now I mostly keep to myself, This site is one of two places I share what I have learned by experiment, practice and knowledge learned.
So, I guess I came to permaculture a long time ago, by being born into it. Holistic methods have always been part of me. Nurturing nature and building the soil from the top down have always been my methods to make things grow.
I have been reading about witch hazel as a bee plant. What I have found is that there are several types of witch hazel, the natives, common (eastern) witch hazel that blooms in the late fall to winter, the vernal (ozark) witch hazel that blooms in early spring, and a Chinese and a Japanese witch hazel and a hybrid of the Asian ones. The Asian varieties are claimed to be more colorful with more blossoms. I can't seem to find any information on how these compare for actual nectar production. It seems that many time hybridized plants that are showier have less nectar. Does anyone know of a source of information or anecdotal information on the bees attraction to the different types of witch hazel?
Simon Johnson wrote:
1) On the subject of copying content from one post to another; is it ok to copy pictures from one thread to another? Or should we do as mentioned above and just copy the link to the post?
Do that as much as you want. No need to cite source cuz the images are already here. Unless, of course, the image was not uploaded here, but was embedded here and citing the source was the decent thing to do.
2) Does Paul's stuff constitute the whole of everything on permies.com plus his other stuff, or just the stuff he has produced from richsoil.com/youtube/his blog etc. and not everything on permies.com?
If I am paying to host it, then it falls into this umbrella. So it includes my images, my words. And then if. say, burra posts 20 pictures to a thread, then I'm gonna go with that stuff falls under my copyright. So if somebody, somewhere uses more than one image and one paragraph then I am not okay with that.
On the other hand, if burra posts, say, 20 pictures here and she gives permission for use of those pics, then by all means, use them as much as you like within burra's comfort zone (as long as a web site isn't showing the pictures somewhere else and I am doing the image hosting).
I have to say that I heartily encourage budding photographers to post lower res images here and mention their photography site in the signature. Or, when they post an image here, they can mention that the high res version is available at some stock photo site for a fee. I think that this can lead to some good residual income streams.
one more: Can we use Paul's stuff in posts on permies.com, or is that the same as an article/blog?
My images on richsoil/permies can be reposted to permies a thousand times and that's just peachy.
I know nothing, but some obvious things come to mind.
Trees pull up nutrients from deep in the ground every year and shed all those nutrients all over the grass. Perhaps some deciduous trees could help out your soil. like someone else said, you may have to alter the existing soil to get it going a little faster than waiting for acorns to climb up a hill. lime, remove a few coniferous trees, plant some nitrogen fixing perennials that work in the area, etc...wait a few years. voila, better soil for better plant health for better animal health.
Since the title of this sounds pretty general I'd like to ask how a chopping block or wooden cutting board should be initially treated and if it should at all. Does it depend on wether or not it's a general cutting board or one specifically for meat like Paul's? I've heard of rubbing it down with some mineral oil.
Here's my new (or 8 year old and never yet used) block made by my father-in-law from a piece of bowling alley I rescued. We finally have a kitchen to put it in!
I hope adding my question here is okay and I wonder if the chopping block problem has been resolved?
Cj Verde wrote:
I do think religious buildings/ground are great public places that could/should have permaculture plans but maybe it's time to start a new thread to cross pollinate ideas. I have no idea what forum that would go in.
Perhaps it can go in the Permaculture forum?
Either there or Urban or Community. I say Urban because even in the rural area where I live, Houses of worship are in town.
You could start a thread in any of those forums and a moderator will move it or cross link it if they think it's appropriate.
In my experience, Biochar works just about anyplace you put it as long as you give it a good soak in some bioactive such as manure tea or a tea made of crushed up mushrooms or spores. Once the biochar goes into the ground, these treatments get the microbes going. If you already have good beds with active soil microbes they will find that biochar quickly on their own.
I have a pile of biochar that sits on a part of my land that is full of spawn and other good microbes. I turn this pile when I need to make additions to a space that is going to be used for planting crops or trees.
I also make biochar on a regular basis for now since I am still doing some clearing of land for orchards. I use the "junk" trees and blackberry canes I have to cut down for this. The hickories get used for more useful purposes. I keep all the white oaks growing since I only harvest them when I need barrel stave material, and then I only take out a small quantity.
Rob Breeden wrote:So I was wondering if anyone has experience in inter-planting other species with tomatoes such as in a guild; ie. to help with nutrient balance, attracting pollinators, pest control, etc. Thanks.
I find tomatoes are by far the most difficult plants to plolyculture-
while I can take a guess at their mature girth depending on whether they're staked, sprawled etc,
once they get going they grow so fast, and messily...
That said, I usually plant fast-growing things like lettuce and coriander between the young tomatoes.
They'll mostly come out before the toms get into the 'swamp everything' stage
I recently broadcast a mix of buckwheat, lupins, short sunflowers, cosmos and a few other bits and bobs in one tomato patch.
I don't care at all if the tomatoes overwhelm nearly everything,
but my tomatoes are planted early and take a while to take off-
I'm not risking them getting pushed out by the support plants!
I find insect pollination isn't an issue with tomatoes as they're generally wind pollinated.
I grow my tomatoes in more-or-less the same places every year:
my garden is very small, and appropriate spots are limited.
Aside from the year of the late blight apocalypse, I've been ok.
I add plenty of compost and seaweed.
How big are these saplings you are transplanting? Are they bare root or come with a root ball on them?
With bare root trees I dig a hole that is a bit bigger than the roots when set on the ground, and I dig it deep enough to put the tree's at the same depth it was in the nursery but with a built up mound of soil to rest it on.
With root ball trees, pretty much the same and then I cut the ball with a sharp knife to release the rootlets.
Dirt from the hole - I don't care what kind of soil I plant in, I always take all the dirt from the hole, mix in composted steer manure and peat moss at a 5:1:1 mix level of soil to the other two. I also will punch into the sides and bottom of the hole if the soil is heavily clay based - this gives the roots a path into them and they will continue the break. Back filling - like I said above, I'll put a mound of soil in the bottom to lift my sapling to the right height, settle the roots into place, lightly water the area, put a few shovels full of dirt down, lightly tamp, and continue to fill it on out in that manner. Finish off the top with a peat/composted manure mix and water it is well, which usually means a five gallon bucket of water into it. I will stake them with rebar and hay twine equidistant around it to keep the roots stable from being wind blown and give them a chance to stabilize and mate with their new location.
Transplanting larger saplings is bit of work, small slips can be easily inserted into harvested areas with a digging tool and the like. To have success with saplings - no easy method that I know of that works consistently.
ETA - don't forget a cage/fence around it to protect it from critters. They do love that soft bark.
Leila - we spent a Christmas in Auckland where we went to the Domain to see Santa arrive by a sleigh moving through the crowd on a cherry-picker while shooting fireworks out its tailpipe. That's where I first learned of pimms and pavlova
CJ - both those latkes sound wonderful. DH's family tradition has Polish potato cakes, plotsky, but we have no recipe, only his memories.
What's always bugged me about tiny homes on wheels is the shape more than the size. Long and skinny doesn't get it for me. I've always wondered about buying two trailers, each of which has half of a tiny house, that could be pulled up parallel to each other and joined. Of course moving would be more difficult but how often is that done? You would need temporary bracing to move half a house though.
John Pollard wrote:
Get gravel on our road/trail.
Finish electric easement.
get as much growing here as possible aside from the existing oak/hickory/dogwood.
Get some chickens for meat and eggs
Build my shop
Well, I didn't get any gravel on the driveway but it is wider and longer.
Electric easement is done
Grew a little garden and some grass grew in places I cleared.
Got some laying hens
Got half the materials here for the shop
Gravel and shop will get finished in the spring with tax money, meat birds are now on the 2015 list, I did get more trees out of the way to let sun in for a bigger garden and started on raised beds, The rest of the materials for the shop are in two different places, each over 100 miles away and each requires multiple trips. Now that gas prices are down, it's more feasible and we did make a few trips this year.
So many different ways of seeing things . I like Mike Pilarski's approach, which seems to be that you get your plants established enough that they just take over, and you make your way among them as best you can I do not know my plants nearly well enough for his seemingly chaotic and random approach, but he does, and for him it is tremendously productive with a minimum of effort. Paths need to be maintained, after all, and they don't produce anything per se
Salatin is not particularly running silvopasture, but his specific techniques are not the point so much as his approaches to the problems. He puts an enormous value on his forest land, whethe his cows graze in it or not
When you go to deal with all that "junk" remember to evaluate it for usefulness in what you are trying to do. I recall Peter Bane in a book including as part of his design a "supply storage area", which he acknowledged might well look like junk to other people and might be made up largely of other people's junk. Thing being that lots of things that are no longer good for their original purpose may still have lots of potential for other useful applications. Clean up, but don't clear it out before you consider potential uses.
Climbers in temperate zones - people tend to forget that squash and beans are both natural climbers. Might want to watch out for multi pound squash falling from trees though Hardy kiwi is a temperate climber that produces well for many people. Maypop, a temperate passion flower, the flowers are beautiful and unexpected for temperate zone plants. The fruit get mixed reviews and I can hardly wait to get some growing
Remember, for perspective, that permaculture begins with the three ethics - the overarching goals - care for people, care for the planet, return the surplus.
From those three, we next consider our own goals as they nest within the three. With goals envisioned, we can start considering the means of achieving them.
You already have one of the biggest hurdles for many of us - a piece of land to work with. That lets you skip some of the process, where we evaluate our options for where to go about pursuing our goals, and the land search.
When you look at a piece of land, there are techniques for evaluating the land (I think Lawton has the best information on this at I have seen). Remember as you evaluate the land to keep your goals in mind, but to be flexible enough to recognize how the land will best work with you toward your goals. For example, you have a vision of a food forest. Don't let yourself be overly attached to it being in a specific place, if that place does not look like it will make a good food forest when you do your evaluation.
Going on forever here The point being to work from the largest scale down to the smallest. Goals within the ethics, environmental factors on the land, patterns and mechanisms for achieving the goals within the environment, details like what plants and where, animals and their infrastructures. From the broad and sweeping concepts down to the nitty gritty details of which fence energizer to keep the goats out of the food forest
Rick LaJambe wrote: I've seen video of Geoff Lawton where he describes putting fish, roadkill, old jeans, leather boots, or slow moving interns into hot piles and it all breaks down. What about the bones?
I'm in the 'compost everything' camp, but mine isn't fast and hot like Geoff Lawton's piles-
it can take months to break down if I'm especially lazy.
If only I had some slow moving interns to speed things up a bit
I normally ferment my beans. I eat them usually 2-3 times a week. I usually eat a different kind each time. Originally, I put some kefir in there and they started to ferment. I think it makes it easier to digest. When I'm done with a batch, I'll put a few tablespoons of the old fermented beans in the new cooked beans.
I eat natto regularly too, but like the other John, I have to mix them with other things that actually have flavor and have a texture other than slimy. There's an extremely healthy powder called amla-indian gooseberry. Powder + slime = no longer too powdery and no longer too slimy. I usually eat them in nori wraps with walnuts, olives and other flavorful items.
I also think it should also go beyond acreage - we jumped off the cliff and farm income isn't a side thing - it's our entire focus. It's our sole source of income; that puts a different perspecitve on thing as well.