i might not mind the mineral residues so i'm going to try a couple different recipes.
will post some photos once we do some testing.
going to ditch the olive idea and try camelina oil instead of olive and as a replacement for linseed/flax.
your post reminded me that linseed was actually flax and camelina is called "false flax" and also appears to have the same qualities:
we grew a trial plot of camelina this spring and got a crazy amount of yield.
super easy to grow (just drop seed in early spring), extremely drought resistant and fights the weeds like a champ!
got a larger test plot going right now, but not sure it will mature before winter.
thanks to you both for confirming that i was not completely bonkers.
this is best price i could find for non-sale thyme starters:
http://www.comnur.com/groundco.htm they have a pretty good reputation, though i'll probably wait until spring to order as i've been scrounging the clearance items from the local nurseries.
growing thyme from seed has been so far frustrating for me as i prefer to direct sow.
it appears that they need the perfect conditions to sprout and the weed seeds overtake the area beforehand.
we bought a new mop bucket with a wringer to squeeze the juice out.
works really good though i suppose if you are processing a large amount, building that car jack press would be more efficient in the long run.
cheers to Henrik at Whizbang for devising another elegantly cheap solution.
you're not too far off with your citrus juicer image, Chadwick -- but we're using potato rocks.
i was thinking borax as it is considered a "low-toxicity" preservative and it is effective against wood rot organisms and wood destroying insects (we want to use this primarily on reclaimed wood that may have active infestations of either/or/both). but, i'm going to attempt to honor your request and search for other ingredients. vinegar sounds like a definite option. going to stay away from ammonia for sure.
ok, realize that this might be sound completely stupid, but here goes:
we've been pickling black walnuts wherein the first step is to soak in a sea salt water bath for a couple weeks. usually that salt water is then thrown away, however, it has a beautiful walnut color and we would like to find an alternative use for it.
i understand that salt water is generally thought of as corrosive to wood, however, i keep thinking of how Venice is built upon timbers submerged in brackish water. most of the DIY walnut stains are water-based recipes (save for one that uses methyl alcohol, which we are not going to try), but was wondering if salt water might also be used as an acceptable stain for wood? the crazy line of thinking derives from the fact that salt has been the go-to preservative for all kinds of organic materials for centuries, may this not apply to wood as well (in small amounts of course)?
we would also most likely add borax to the solution as well, following an 100 year old recipe i found in an old homesteading book.
since i haven't found any evidence for this online (all discussion on salt preservatives on wood are focused on either borates or the dreaded CCA), wanted to throw this past the permies crew and see if this idea had potential merit or was completely offbase.
we are also considering soaking walnut husks in olive oil to create an oil-based stain, but didn't want to dispose of the walnut salt water, as it seems there could be a use for it somewhere.
thanks for any comments, even if they confirm that we are raging lunatics for even considering.
Heather, congrats on having a healthy family, i think the best "medicinals" are the ones that are also used as culinary herbs/teas in order to maintain that layer of protections against the bad bugs floating about. Matu mentioned a bunch. one thing i would add that is not an edible is jewelweed. best poison ivy/bug bite remedy i've ever found (better than plantain i/m/h/o). most easy to preserve is in vinegar. harvest a bunch, immediately blend it up with your chosen vinegar (i use 1/3 ACV and 2/3 white) and store in an airtight jar for the winter. next spring, strain and place in whiskey bottles for easy application with cotton balls. DO NOT use alcohol to preserve, those 2 do not get along at all.
Matu, if you can find some elderberry seedlings/seeds, you should get some going. gorgeous ornamental if nothing else. and freshly picked elderflowers can't be beat. go for 'sambucus nigra' if you can find. this is the medicinal variety.
also, in many areas, "white sage" is actually silver king wormwood, mugwort's cousin.
also have a love/hate relationship with the ToH.
about to take several females down before their seeds mature.
going to do the oyster mushroom pile thingy with most of the slash.
have had issues with using for firewood as it's so difficult to dry without fungi taking over in our humid climate, but just built a wood kiln so will try again.
would be an interesting experiment to try grafting.
maybe staghorn sumac would work (since they're in the same family)?
i buried some in some hugel mounds this season and saw absolutely no alleopathic effects.
in fact, the mounds produced some enormous plants with very little supplemental watering.
the wood i used laid on the ground for 6 months and was well rotted by that time.
Joseph : aren't amaranth & lambs quarters high in oxalic acid? i was juicing amaranth leaves & stems like crazy last month (we're growing it as a psuedograin crop this year) but stopped because i didn't want to overburden the kidneys.
as far as medicinals, how about elecampane, evening primrose, teasel & St. John's wort? (thinking of ones that would grow well in your climate without any work)
Nicole : how do you make nettle chips? sounds yumyumyummy...
John, deal, as long as I can throw in some barberry.
Scott, if you live near a commercial photo studio, you can get those big rolls of paper for free. they use them as backdrops and throw em out all the time.
nice idea with the rabbit tractor down in between the rows. fertilizer lands right next to where you need it.
there's so many gems already in this thread, but to riff off everyone else, for me, the wisest investments are the ones that kickstart the exponential function found everywhere in nature. if you don't have a specific direction yet, then pick ones that build your foundation (like the soil) and fill in the details as you go. like a chicken tractor and a 55 gallon drum to make biochar for instance.
also, i bet ya a golden acorn that if you got 15+ acres of woods, there's much more there then some scraggly pines and small maples. much much more.
one last thing: someone on one of the threads mentioned using a cheap sawzall with some wood blades for cutting wood less than an arm diameter. since then, i've using one for pretty much everything i'm doing right now. the chainsaw sits on the shelf.
we got the similar symptoms on many of our thistles here. was also thinking septoria -- it's spreading across our land like crazy. mints/basils/comfrey/mugwort/hibiscus/salvias/garlic mustard all have similar symptoms. was initially thinking it was due to the moisture in the air/soil (we had a very wet June/early July). whatever it is has had no effect on the strong thistles which are good 6 ft + at this point.
does any of her other plants have this or just thistles?
i've been hacking them and throwing in the pile to char to try and minimize spread of the whatever it is (fungus?).
the black fly hypothesis is interesting. maybe they are carrying the whatever it is from plant to plant on their "feet".
christo, echoing judith's concern, if you really want to grow that wisteria, i'd say (a) be willing to grow it in a big pot (like a 55 gallon drum) with no chance for it to root in the soil and (b) be willing to put an intensive effort in managing it so that (a) no seeds drop and (b) no vine tips hit soil. it's really the underground runners that cause its spread (and spread like wildfire as judith noted), but supposedly the seeds can lie dormant for 10-12 years before sprouting. we got a enormous monster that we inherited, so this word of caution is based upon seeing the effects of management neglect.
with that said, it's actually a great and easy chop & drop mulch plant. i usually just strip the leaves right off the plant with my hand and throw down as mulch. if i cut a vine, i'll make sure to dry it out thoroughly on a tarp or something, as i've seen it root itself. cut it back hard right after flowering to stop the seeds from maturing. it will grow back quickly, trust me.
kw, not only stiff, but a stringy stiff: i've tried running through the chipper, and it more than anything, is what jams up the blades/rotors. gonna to try charring it next. shame to waste all that good nitro and micronuts.
RR, i think it's admirable that you are being so considerate before experimenting with a species that is considered invasive in some parts of world.
(found this factsheet by the way: http://www.hear.org/pier/species/echinochloa_crus_galli.htm -- the only area that notes it's native is Hong Kong. interesting!)
but since you live on an island in a non-tropical climate, wouldn't this risk be diminished in your case? are there any grain farmers there?
i/o/w, let it be your guide along the way, but don't let the cautiousness get in the way of the experiment.
still think your idea of crossing crus galli with japanese millet is excellent. if i may introduce a corollary to your theorem : "There is a fine line between nutrition & edibility. Though I wonder if it's more a matter of personal preference shaped by cultural conditioning."
perhaps there is a sweet spot between the two species where vigour & edibility are ideal?
fyi, we found a bunch of wild yarrow growing under a giant eastern red this weekend.
overall, i've observed that the yarrow that is growing most vibrant overall is underneath dappled sunlight,
i/o/w, underneath the shade of a tree but not overwhelmed by it.
haven't seen any growing in deep shade.
also, a conifer mulch might help to balance out the soil chemistry.
haven't tried it, just a hunch.
no worries Judith...glad to hear you have a couple survivors...thanks for letting me know about the deer....have 12 plants coming from Richter's and was wondering about that...behind the fence they go! will pot a few up as well, just for insurance.
i read a theory once somewhere that for medicinals...environmental stress makes for a potent medicine, so as long as the plant survives, maybe the deer is doing you a favor?
we've been following the Buhner preventative protocol and have been going through astragalus like crazy...if all goes well, will still be 3+ years before we can harvest, but at least the ball is rolling...1000 mg a day for life is a lot a root!
Dillon, Chad : my bad, i failed to notice before that Chad specifically mentioned BC above. thus for you, "The List" is not The List, but just another useless list.
Big Al : yes, it's a Penn State link (great pun, btw) but the list is a Federal one (US), even though the US comprises a large collection of local climates. what may indeed be "invasive" in hot, humid FL may not be for you up there in the cool mountains of NY, nonetheless, both areas are subject to the same List. don't want to sidetrack the discussion, just something to be aware of, that's all.
we have some azolla here in a pond that was here when we got the place. not sure what species it is (didn't even know what it was until this thread), but, to echo Dillon's experience, it definitely suffered significant die-back during the winter and is far less aggressive in its spread than the duckweed. i agree that it's a nice looking plant.
cristo: re: duckweed -- you might want to try this method:
http://duckweedgardening.com/2014/06/10/lasagna-method-of-duckweed-compost/ i have burying it in small mounds with some wood slash in hopes that it helps break down the wood faster and the wood soaks in the nutrients from the duckweed.
i was just wondering if maybe incorporating it with char to make a duckweed biochar instead would even be a better method.
haha, harvesting barley with scissors...genius...you really got do a utube of that.
methinks you should follow where those dreams are leading you.
how to turn a problem ("noxious invasive") into a solution (edible crop)?
sounds like a well-justified reason to concentrate the plant in one area to me.
that seed is already gonna drop somewhere, even if you choose not to collect it.
you should drop that guy an email nonetheless, if nothing else, you'll probably have tons to talk about.
we got tons of creeper here. it's fast growing, but pretty innocuous as far as fast-growing vines go. i haven't seen it smother or strangle any trees or shrubs yet, unlike grape, honeysuckle or bittersweet. nice ground cover too. it's also one of the first to turn color, even before autumn starts, turning bright red. quite beautiful actually. i love it.
that is not to say that if this plant just happens to find itself in your pond, that there are not multiple productive uses for it.
from the wiki link, it looks like there a multiple species in the family with only one on The List.
yeah, amaranth's awesome. i'm gonna sow some more today with some clover just for sport as i just cleared out some dead shrubs & invasives yesterday, so we have a patch of bare soil and are expecting a deep hard rain this weekend.
i agree with joseph, it's a cool project you're doing. i really think alt-grains have tremendous future potential to help kick the nasty habit of chemical dependence.
how about amaranth?
i sowed some into a small plot of camelina and they're just chillin right now at about 2-3 inches high waiting for sunlight.
lots and lots of biomass after harvest.
not sure if the timing will be right though.
that's a tricky set of conditions you have.
i just buried some potato vines last week under more layers of straw, nettle and comfrey.
what i've noticed since then is that vines that had more than 4 sets of leaves above ground are doing well,
and the ones less than that have less (similar to the ones you have in the pictures) are not doing so well.
i also observed the soil particles sinking, what i've done to remediate is to sprinkle some finished compost on the top and let the rains soak it in.
what i'm concerned about right now is the heat, as potatoes don't like it.
if yours don't have any natural shade covering, you might want to consider throwing a non-black umbrella (or something similar) on top of the cage.
i wouldn't be surprised if it was too low. first offers usually are, especially when they're made to elderly disabled folk.
whatever happens, just don't sell yourself short, and consider that the "resale" value of your property may be radically underestimating the value of your land.
"Don't forget Jake, it's Chinatown."
you might want to read the stories of the people who held out in their rent-stabilized apartments around Atlantic Center in NYC when the developers came knocking.
not quite permaculture, so will leave it there with best wishes for a successful outcome for all of you.
thanks, Jessica, that's a totally leftfield idea, i like it. unfortunately, i was gifted a heavy duty chipper that wouldn't process the rhizomes very efficiently, but does make darn good chips, so that idea's out for me.
funny, my better half also got that book, but i haven't cracked it yet.
medicinals are where it's at, yea?
bet you got some good chaga up there in Maine.
i was listening to a talk about lyme & herbs and they were discussing rhodiola as one of the remedies.
you might have a good climate to grow that...
we've harvested a healthy batch of nettle & knotweed root and are now trying to process. the herb grinder we have just ain't cuttin it, both in terms of size and grinding ability. looking to upgrade, but all i've found so far is those commercial coffee grinders which start at about $1,000 and go up from there.
was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for a mid-range grinder that could handle roots/rhizomes without frying the motor and/or my patience.
-- after reading the story and knowing a bit about the larger drama regarding water in CA, i happen to agree that your instinct to be cautious & considerate, as well as a tad bit suspicious, is well-founded. it sounds to me like there very could be a much larger game being played here underneath the surface. $4M to do an earthen berm? seriously? if it really costs that much, all the permies with visions of giant earthworks undulating across the american landscape better get some more kickstarters up touts suite.
-- in an ideal world, the ideas that Michael et. al shared could be the foundation of a solution that solves a problem and yet works to solve another problem : how to grow successful food in a droughted landscape with elegantly efficient water harvesting. unfortunately, in this case, we seem to addressing a far less than ideal situation -- the point where the rubber meets the road imho when discussing building earthworks in large parts of the U.S. however, further discussion of this is probably a can of worms that i do not have enough apples to open, so it's best to leave that on the shelf for now.
-- in your particular case, it seems that the immediate issue is not the levy but how to best mitigate water from the road without exporting the problem to someone else. the challenge is do that without causing too much undue attention and/or create something that may cause you personal consequences down the line. it doesn't seem that the local authorities will be so helpful in this, so maybe it's best to consider a solution that's either (a) invisible or (b) visible but working within their "rules" without requiring the need for any permits. thus, this may require the need to be a bit more creative in devising a solution that is alternative to just "building an earthwork".
-- artfully designed planting somewhat perpendicular to slope might be a solution, ones that will create an underground root mass/aboveground biomass that will mimic the function of a swale berm in trapping surface and just below surface water and spread it across an area that can sponge up the excess. bamboo is a good idea yes, but non-spreading clumping bamboo. if so, make sure whomever you purchase from gives a receipt with the exact species planted, just in case you run into any future issues with someone claiming that you planted an "invasive species". also, fyi, at retail, clumping bamboo is not cheap, at least anywhere i've looked. maybe someone else could suggest an alternative species that could fulfill the same function. maybe native would be even better because then you would get props from the conservationists, if it ever came to that.
-- as far as the levy goes, i would consider slowly and quietly discovering the full backstory on why the original buyout offer was refused and maybe start planting seeds to soften that resistance so that just in case, that path may present itself again in the future, you could collectively harness your energy into getting the best price possible if it came to that. you may not all realize it yet, but it appears that you all may be sitting on some very valuable property. unfortunately, in the eyes of those pulling strings, the land may be most valuable when it is underwater. if so, then to them, it's just a question of how to remove obstacles as quickly & easily as possible. (that's not my opinion btw, but then again, i'm not anywhere near to being in charge.)