Michael Helmersson wrote:The other bed was entirely unplanned, unwatered, had less sunlight and was built on a pile of fresh compostables accumulated over the winter. I think I'll be going with the less effort approach next year.
Cute dogs! And they're always present for harvesting. Every item harvested has a "Dog tax".
The yield is quite impressive for the unattended bed! I would go with the easy way too. Maybe putting a liner over the black composter will reduce the temperature? Like a big card board box or burlap wrapping? It is still a very nice container. Yes, I was thinking that too, unless I come up with something that wants the heat and dry soil.
I will have to pull the rest of my squash vines shortly. There are enormous amount of squash bugs hiding in the grass underneath.
If you could describe or sketch out a rough idea of your site's topography and features, that would help.
I'm always looking for dirt/soil/gravel at my high water table, zero-topography site. My new neighbour has expressed an interest in having a pond dug, so I've been thinking of ways to move the excavated material to my location.
Ac Baker wrote:One suggestion from a friend who knows more about fruit trees than I, is that these are effectively a 'yellow bullace' but the fruit is improved by the Victoria plum as a pollinator on another neighbouring plot?
Am I reading this correctly? I'm hearing that the pollen source is affecting the flavour of the resulting fruit.
We have used a Biosand Filter for the past 6 years. It has required zero maintenance in that time and only requires regular feedings of well water to remain functional. I built it myself from scavenged materials. The cost was a few dollars for a few pieces of PVC pipe and fittings. The idea came from this website: https://www.cawst.org/services/expertise/biosand-filter/more-information and I adapted it to suit the materials I had available. We only use it for our drinking and cooking water, so daily throughput is pretty minimal. As far as I know, we are still alive and healthy with minimal signs of monsterism.
Any chance you'd be willing to take a couple of pictures about how the pipe is attached to the dehydrator? Are they permanently attached, or can you whack the pipe into the ground and then set the dehydrator on top, which would make it easier to store in the winter or change its location if needed. Thanks.
The pipe is permanently attached to the dehydrator, but I put a sleeve of poly pipe into the ground. This allows the dehydrator to be easily turned and be removed for winter. I put a stick with a cap on it in the poly pipe to keep dirt and snow out when not in use. The poly pipe was easy to install. I first used a bar to jab the ground and get the hole as plumb as possible and opened up for the poly. Then I inserted a piece of the iron pipe with a cap on it into the poly pipe for rigidity while pounding it into the ground.
I'll endeavour to take a photo once the sun comes up.
Larisa Walk wrote: The details are left "vague" so that people will utilize locally available materials for the most part. Once the basic concept is understood there are all sorts of possibilities for scrounging.
I built three 2'x4' dehydrators based on your designs. We bought screens from you (6 years ago?) and they are holding up as new. I used old discarded skylights for the collector with scrap aluminum painted black, and iron pipe for the 2-axis stand. Simple, cheap, secure and effective. Bummer that the sun isn't around much this time of year though.
Michael Helmersson wrote:I have a spaghetti squash plant growing in a big black composter that I filled with the best soil and amendments that I could muster. It seems to be doing well and has at least a dozen small squash starting to take shape. My question is, should I be reducing the number of squash in order to direct more resources to fewer squash, or will the plant be able to raise all these babies to maturity? It's located in a full sun location, gets water whenever it wants and has fertility galore in it's soil. Frost may be here in a couple of weeks.
We harvested all of our squash a few days ago and the results were interesting. The composter filled with goodness produced about 20 pounds and our other bed produced about 30 pounds. The composter became very needy once summer heat and drought kicked in. Regular watering and occasional shading was required to keep it from being overly sad. The other bed was entirely unplanned, unwatered, had less sunlight and was built on a pile of fresh compostables accumulated over the winter. I think I'll be going with the less effort approach next year.
Final yield was slightly disappointing, the volume has reduced quite a bit and there is a bit of ash indicating that the twigs were burning a bit in there. Either the fire was too hot, or oxygen was getting into the tin. I can try letting the fire die down a bit first when I try it again.
I think the important result was that you made your first batch. I've always got stuff charring, and the results of each batch help me to adjust how I do subsequent batches. If you play with your container, adjust the time it's in there and the type of material you're charring, you'll get different results. Maybe better results. My first attempts were heavily leaning toward the ash category.
In this latest blog post from Steven, he reports on his apple breeding results from this past season and then announces that he is going to need to leave his land and likely end much of his work. That's 15 years of work that has already produced successes, with lots of potential for much more. All of it is about to fizzle out.
If any of you can direct some positive thoughts his way in hopes of turning things around for him, maybe this guy can get back to doing more good things.
Peter Ellis wrote:I might suggest that the word "weed" is counter-productive.
I agree with you, Peter. I find the topic of "weeds" is one of the toughest fallacies to overcome. The term is so ubiquitous, and I haven't found a practical alternative, so whenever I have to discuss "the plants that are growing where I want something else to thrive", I grudgingly accept "weeds" as an easier term.
We have a total of 13 plum trees growing in Zone 1b. We have a Fofonoff from Hardy Fruit Trees that flowered last year (alone, so no fruit) but none of the 13 flowered this year. These trees are all under 5 years old, so we're not expecting anything until maybe next year.
Brookgold-1 **died but rootstock has shot up enthusiastically
This PDF might be of interest: https://research-groups.usask.ca/fruit/documents/other-crops-/plums-pdf.pdf
Thanks for posting this. I've only skimmed a few segments of the video series to get a feel for what they're doing and will download for later viewing. This looks like an option for me to store some water and not have it as vulnerable to freezing in the fall. It looks complex, but logical.
Sarah Naputi wrote:I planted some tubers I got in the mail earlier this year and they only sprouted a couple leaves. Will they grow anything next year or should I buy some more?
I'm not sure what your climate is like but we have groundnuts that were planted 4 or 5 years ago and they took years to get established. I think the recommendation is to not disturb them for two growing seasons. We harvested a few tiny tubers this spring and replanted them in a better (hopefully) location. Where we live, we are pushing the limits of Apios' preferred climate though.
I'm sorry you haven't gotten any replies yet. I've added your thread to a couple of other forum headings in hopes that it will catch someone's eye. I can't give you any advice because my land has next to no topography. I do like looking at your maps though, because I can fantasize about having hills. Man, that'd be sweet.
**Fingers crossed for a better welcome to Permies**
I'm in Canada, so downloading digital content may not be possible for me. Otherwise, I would pay the $ to get a good look at what is going on at Wheatonia. I have caught glimpses here and there of the goings-on there, but I rarely see the full scope of the landscape and the magnitude of what has been accomplished thus far. My mind fills in the big blanks and is eventually proven very wrong when I see some of the short videos from visitors.
I've been thinking about this a lot lately-- I really don't have a clear picture of your world, but I have wanted to be a part of it for years.
olin erickson wrote:Things are taking shape, but 4 years here and I can’t seem to grow anything except flowers on my fruit trees.
I can relate to that. Actually, we have 3 trees that were planted 7 years ago and we still haven't gotten flowers from them, let alone fruit. I need to do some research this winter to find out if there's anything I can do to promote flowering, or if there's something I'm currently doing to inhibit it.
John F Dean wrote:Given the pictures available, I would buy if the price was right. It would be nice to see pictures of the inside.
I bought our cookstove when it was already 30 years old, and the seller seemed knowledgeable about using and maintaining them. It took one season of daily use for me to learn how to treat it properly and to realize that the original owner had not. Permanent damage was done. In hindsight, I should have looked closer at the inside of the stove, but I would not have known what to look for. Some of the things the seller said to me would have been red flags to someone who knew about cast iron cookstoves. Finding someone familiar with the type of stove you're considering buying and asking them to look it over would be wise.
I still love our Waterford Stanley, but it's had a rough life.
Isaac Hunter wrote: Why not just make the stove pipe 5" or 6"? Why make it so difficult for the end user to have to custom fab something together? I think I will be able to use 6" pipe instead and just secure it to the stove collar with some screws. But it will be trial and error at best.
I guess that's what happens when your civilization begins to die. Odd stove pipe sizes.
The hardware store where I live has a crimping tool that they loan out and people use it to adapt oddball ducts to fit each other.
Our Waterford Stanley cookstove does not keep a fire or coals overnight so in the cold months I need to feed it once or twice during the night. My method is to drink a glass of water before going to sleep and I usually have to get up to pee right about when the fire needs reloading. With practice, I can gauge how much water to drink during the night so I time my wake-ups to maintain comfortable temperatures.
John F Dean wrote:This week will see me going on the roof to clean the chimney. So, how often do you do it and how?
I usually clean our chimney 2 or 3 times per season. This seems excessive, but there are a few good reasons.
1- We burn mostly spruce, which seems to generate a lot of creosote.
2- We have a cookstove, which really isn't very efficient, and is almost always just idling.
3- We live in a canvas yurt which could conceivably ignite easily.
Our chimney rarely has much buildup in it but the cap really gathers a thick coating of creosote. We've never had a chimney fire but we did have a chimney cap fire once. It probably looked ridiculous when I was standing on our porch trying to throw shovelfuls of snow at the cap to put it out.
To clean the chimney and cap requires quite a bit of planning, as the cookstove needs to be somewhat cool in order to stifle the draft. Sweeping when there's a draft blowing soot and smoke in your face is no fun. I usually time this for a sunny, warm afternoon when the cookstove's heat is not needed. The only way to access the chimney is to squeeze up through an opening in the toono (Mongolian skylight), so a custom length ladder needs to be brought inside.
This whole process is a hassle but mostly just for the mid-winter cleaning when it can be challenging to have the weather and personal schedule line up.
J. Adams wrote:Roadside stands can be a major or secondary source of income for local farmers, and I wanted to share images here of some great ones for inspiration and ideas. I'll continue to add new ones here and there. Would love it if others show images of roadside stands you find impressive (even if it's your own if it's been successful!) For starters, I love this roadside stand using an older flatbed farm vehicle.
Suzanne Shaddix wrote:I don't even know what to say about this guy... He's so inspiring and amazing, I'm just speechless!
Thank you for posting this video. This guy's lifestyle is inspiring on many levels, and should be required viewing for anyone who might feel like their life is in a rut. Just when you think you've seen every possible way of living a life, someone like this comes along and creates a whole new category.
His wagon/trailer is an amazingly versatile kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, storefront, dairy and more.
This thread: https://permies.com/t/164098/Russian-Fruit-Trenches featured an article that mentioned a Russian project to increase fruit tree hardiness. Their method was to take seeds from trees and plant them further north, then collect seeds from the fruit generated there and plant them further north again. The project was based on the idea that trees pass on hardiness traits in their seed DNA and that gradual changes in environment can be adapted to genetically. This logic suggests that the hardiness of seeds for a particular cultivar can vary greatly based on the location of the parent tree.
bruce Fine wrote:the longer I live here the more I realize there is a reason why so many of the wood residential buildings, sheds and outbuildings are built on piles of rocks way off the ground.
the heavy clay soil does not to let go of moisture in it. even some very very old log cabins ive seen are built on top of piles of rocks at the corners.
Sometimes, it's easy to think that we modern folks have superior knowledge at our fingertips and that the old-timers were working without all the advantages we have. We can be blinded to the obvious logic that is right under our noses.
Paul Fookes wrote:
But above all we need to realise that it was not me who committed those atrocities on you or you on me, but in order to make both our worlds a better place, we need to meet at a common table
This is where I always wind up whenever this topic comes up and it often provokes conflict. The peoples of the world that were robbed of their lands and their culture are right to be angry, but I feel like that anger is being misdirected toward people that had no say in what happened and were not the true beneficiaries of the initial injustice. It seems very convenient that all this pent up anger is being diffused and dissipated amongst the non-indigenous populace while the vast bulk of wealth generated by conquest continues to accumulate in a very few hands. I think somebody is getting away with something and they are laughing at what we are arguing about.
I'm struggling to get Bob Gordon elders to establish. I've also got one or two Wyldwoods but all of them are having a hard time. They all seem to get winter killed, then regrow from their roots each year. There has been no compounded growth, just annual efforts that are wiped out each winter. Are they really that delicate?