Judith Browning wrote:I hope to be able to share but am reluctant to count my pits before they're hatched...they look great so far and I know there will be some curculio damage.
Judith, would you please put me on your list for peach pits in case you have some to share this year? I've been reading this thread about the peaches you've been growing, and I'm so intrigued! I don't have any peaches yet in my tree "collection", and these sound as though they would be a wonderful addition to my food-forest-to-be.
I'll have to check out that Brave browser. Right now I use Opera with Ghostery addon to eliminate (most) tracking. I'm familiar with Duck Duck Go, and I use it as a secondary search engine, but my primary is StartPage.
Laura VanAntwerp wrote:Rosie, we are in your boat. Married for 16 years, a few kids, and now I'm begging to leave it all behind and live on our mountainside. Like your spouse, my husband has different ideas...he wants to let his federal job play out, etc. Me? I can't get out of dodge and away from the DC area fast enough. It's a cut-throat rat race here. As for my husband, he is onboard with homegrown, healthy living. Heck, he exercises regularly and stays super fit for the job. As for the property, it's near Asheville NC...and we're in the DC area. His job is all-consuming...as in 80 hours a week sometimes. Especially during campaign season...
As for kids, they are the reason I'm still here. He and I have been through tough times, but 16 years and a few kids complicates the decision-making process!
Wow, we and our situations are a lot more alike than I realized! We're just 20 years farther down the road than y'all are. Sometimes I have felt as though I was going it alone, and that no one else in the family shared my dreams and vision. Now I find they are more on board than I thought.
I totally get you on leaving DC (I refused to let my husband bid outside of Texas in the past ten years or so.) Is your husband willing/able to bid out sometime in the near future? How many more years before he retires? What sort of property are you in now (rental/owned, house/apartment, amount of yard/property, etc.)? Can you take baby steps to get to where you want to end up?
Here's a recommendation for your consideration (what I would do in your shoes): If Asheville is where y'all plan to retire, and he's on board with that, then start by spending a weekend each month down there on your property, doing a little bit at a time. Your kids are probably old enough to help with some of it. If your husband can get away to go with you, great, otherwise, take the kids and go. In the mean time, start planting what you can where you are. Maybe start plants in containers that you'll take with you to your property as soon as they can be transplanted. Think long term. Step by step, get your infrastructure built. Maybe you hire some of it done. If I were in the DC area, I would totally visit Joel Salatin's place to get more insipiration (take hubby and the kids if at all possible, and let them catch the vision). Play the long game and stick this thing out. I think it will be worth it in the end, when he retires and y'all can move there full-time.
My husband is decidedly a city boy. I didn't realize what a country girl I am until long after we were married (like, 15 years in). I think that we want a lot of the same things, but we have different ideas of how to get there. For me, the best approach has been the gradual one, introducing him little by little to a slower-paced, more healthful lifestyle. At the very least, he humors me and helps me out a little bit here and there. I think his biggest concern is getting stuck with all of the work, but as I've become healthier, I'm able to do more, and his concern is diminishing. I'm also working on convincing him that a food forest will be a lot less work to maintain after it's established, and that we won't be mowing acres and acres of grass.
Can you bring your partner along gradually? Will he at least buy into the idea of more homegrown, healthy food? Maybe he's willing to finance your efforts if you (perhaps with some hired help) do the actual projects?
Also, how far is this property from your current location? Can you work your dream part-time for now? Can/will he commute, or split his time between work during the week and the new property on the weekends? If the answer to both of those is "no", then you're going to have to choose between him and the lifestyle you are proposing. Choose wisely, if for no other reason than your children's sake.
Bryant RedHawk wrote:Adding comfrey to small trees in small containers (5 gal for a tree is a small container) will ensure that the tree roots will not get the water or nutrients the tree needs for early life.
Is there anything I can plant in the pots with the trees that will benefit the trees (i.e. feed the soil they're in), or should I just wait until they're in the ground?
Scott Foster wrote:I do companion plant in my pots but I wouldn't use Comfrey as trace mentioned, it gets big really fast. I like putting a tree out in a mini polyculture when I can. I guess it depends on how long your trees will be in pots.
I'm hoping to be able to get them into the ground next spring, early summer at the latest. So, a year, maybe.
You could do an annual herb garden, plant some perennial flowers like Echinacea purpurea or just use a pretty cover crop like clover.
You mean, in the same pots with the trees? I do have some herbs growing in other pots, but on the back patio where I can get to them quickly and easily to snip a few leaves, etc. The trees are in the corner, away from the house, because I simply don't have room for them closer to the house.
Just as a side note. I'm planting my comfrey a little further from my trees than before. I didn't realize how big it gets. Some of my plants are five feet tall and almost as wide.
I have about ten fruit trees of various types in pots, waiting until we have our own place to plant them in the ground (hopefully next spring). Would it be beneficial to plant some comfrey in the pots now, or should I just wait until the trees are in the ground?
Tim Lutz wrote:I do have abundant root shoots that I could bench. Sounds interesting. So I could cut some and place in a jar of water with a "type" of rooting aid?
I did exactly that with 50 fruit tree cuttings of various types. I put them in bottles with about an inch of water, along with a little bit of weak willow tea (I didn't have much willow available). That was about three weeks ago. Last week, I potted them up into 1-gallon pots. More than half already have buds and even leaves on them.
Am looking to graft my virgina beauty next spring, onto a larger shoot that came up a distance from a tree we removed for being tipped over by wind.
I think that if you're going to graft, you need to do it immediately. Rooting first is going to just set you back, if it even works at all.
What about growing willows from seed? I have about a dozen little willow saplings that are currently in containers (planning to plant them into the ground once we get our own place, hopefully next spring). With all of our rains, they're getting plenty of water in their 3-gallon containers.
No. Black Soldier Fly larvae are composters. They are very FAST composters, so they will process your compost much more quickly than it would compost on its own or even with worms. All the adults do is lay eggs and die.
If you use the right materials for mulch, no. Some people have the mistaken idea that the mulch will rob the soil (and plants) of nitrogen as it breaks down. If it is used as a mulch (i.e. a layer on top of the soil) instead of mixed into the soil, any nitrogen pull is negligible. You want to make your mulch layer as thick as you can, even up to 12", and you want a mix of greens and browns. A layer of compost at the bottom, a layer of ramial wood chips (small pieces of branches and leaves), and a layer of manure on top will give your food forest a really good basis of nutrients.
Gabe Brown and Ray Archuleta have some great YouTube videos on cover crops. Look for the newer ones--they no longer use or recommend RoundUp to terminate the cover crops. Here's a good one from Gabe Brown to get you started:
Tyler Ludens wrote:I poured boiling water over them and soaked them overnight. But I would say I only have minimum success with germination. I planted a lot (at least a dozen, maybe 2 dozen) of Moringa seeds, but only got 5 survivors, which are doing very well after a slow start. They don't like it until it gets nice and hot. Planting early was a failure. Even if they came up, they weakened and died in the cool Spring.
Good to know, thanks! It's already hot here, so maybe I'll have success this time.
My plan, when we have some property of our own (hopefully next spring), is to sheet-mulch Back to Eden style (cardboard - 4-6" compost - 8-10" ramial wood chips and leaves - 1-2" manure) as much as I have materials for. (I'm already doing this on a small scale where we are now.) For the rest, I will plant a multi-species, multi-type cover crop, then chop-and-drop it (perhaps multiple times). No tilling or digging (other than water control and planting holes) on my property, ever. I also want to incorporate animals (chickens, ducks, maybe goats) in some way, but not sure yet how I want to go about it. It will depend on how soon I'm able to get some animals, or perhaps borrow some. If necessary, I may incorporate some Korean Natural Farming inputs, as well.
I want something with spaces big enough to write stuff in. As in roughly 3"x3". I couldn't care less about pictures. I don't use my calendars for wall art. And paper that's heavy enough to take some erasing (pencil) and not bleed through (pen).
Nicole Alderman wrote:I'm thinking it might be necessary to wait until the two weeks is over? Which seems really annoying, but since this is all about making the preparations correctly and safely, I think we might need the picture of it all the way finished. I'll let Paul make that call, though.
I've always understood that a tincture needs at least six weeks, not two weeks. I tincture mine for at least 6 (or until I get around to straining them).
What about starting fruit/nut/soil-building trees/shrubs from cuttings? I just started 51 fruit tree cuttings. It'll be a few weeks before I know how many of them "took", but already quite a few are showing new growth, and at least one already had a small root on it when I potted it up.
For Texas, Texas mountain laurel, Texas redbud, and retama (palo verde) are good, native leguminous trees. I would like to propose a Texas version (maybe more than one--we have seven different climates in Texas) that includes growing one of those three, either from cuttings or seeds (Texas mountain laurel, in particular, is very slow-growing). I hesitate to include mesquite because of its invasiveness.
Chaya Foedus wrote:They ARE great machines, but they shipped the manufacturing of the motor over to China in 1995. Pre-1995 models do great with home-milled flour, post-1995 models will eventually burn out if you push your luck.
I have to agree with this. I LOVE my KitchenAid mixer, but I've had mine since the mid-1980s. My sister-in-law has one of the newer ones, and it clearly isn't as sturdy. The other issue, as someone else mentioned, is that many of the attachments are mostly plastic now, instead of the metal that came with mine. Some of my attachments are the newer plastic models, as well, and they are definitely showing their wear.
If anyone is in the market for one, I HIGHLY recommend you get a model that has the support arms for the bowl, instead of the bowl that screws into the base. My mother's mixer has the screw-in bowl, and after a while it doesn't stay screwed in anymore. Oh, and spring for an extra bowl if you do any amount of baking at all. You will be glad you did.
Tyler Ludens wrote:I can give some recommendations on what to look for here:
Very helpful list, thanks!
After living through Hurricane Harvey, I am MUCH more conscious of flood zones now. Thankfully, my hubby has always been diligent to make sure wherever we lived was outside of at least the 100-year flood plain, even when I didn't think it was that big a deal, and it saved our bacon during Harvey. Our neighborhood was surrounded by water (no in or out), but our house was fine.
I looked for a thread for Texans to share info, best practices, etc. but was unable to find such a thread. Can we start one here?
I currently live in Montgomery County, and we're looking for a place (1 acre or more) to buy near here where we can settle until hubby retires in 5-6 years. After that, we're considering the area SE of Austin (perhaps Bastrop County) with more acreage.
I'm hoping for info (and maybe some leads) on purchasing property in those two areas, as well as design info that is specific to Texas (lots of flatland). I'm also looking for ideas and recommendations on specific plant varieties to grow (food, medicine, pollinator attractors, etc.), tips and techniques, and so on.
Tyler Ludens wrote:If you haven't seen it before, be sure to watch this video by Geoff Lawton, about what to look for in a property:
Great video (as always), but doesn't really tell you what to look for. It really just shows what you can do with this particular property. I would really love to see some recommendations for central and SE Texas, considering our particular climates.
I hope it's ok to revive this discussion. I"m just now reading through PDM for the first time.
It seems to me that much of the section on Zone and Sector Analysis applies more to a much larger property than I am envisioning for myself, or at least one with much more variation in climate and elevation. We haven't purchased property yet, but we will likely be starting with about an acre or less of essentially flat land. Should we be actively looking for something with more slope?
Pretty sure that's illegal. Check with your county agricultural department. Why on earth is he trying to kill your plants?
Definitely a TALL fence, as tall as you can make it. And NO on the "Roundup Ready" stuff.
One thing you can do to remediate the areas he's already sprayed is with mycellium. You can probably purchase it at a garden center near you. If nothing else, get some mushrooms from the grocery store and bury them. Also, cover with layers of compost, wood chips, and manure.