Michelle Heath wrote:Not sure of what area of Maryland you're in, but you may want to check and make sure currants aren't prohibited. Here I believe black currants are banned statewide and all currants are banned in certain counties due to white pine blister rust. I am not permitted to grow them (or gooseberries) in my county, but it's okay in the county where my parents live. So my currants and gooseberries are 30 miles away and unfortunately I don't get to reap much of the harves.t
My wife found the same thing online! Last we checked the ban had been widely lifted as it wasn't found to be effective in preventing spread. Will check again just in case
Last year's perennials included blueberries, Apple, pear, Asian pear, and peaches. This year we're adding cherries, another apple, 3 more blueberries, goji berries, elderberries (2), and raspberries. Our hope is that in a few years we'll have a couple of blueberry hedges, an orchard, and a smattering of both beautiful and fruitful plants everywhere around the property.
Does anyone have recommendations for other perennial fruit plants? We are also looking into currants, recently found out cranberries likely won't grow in Maryland.
Emptying the compost pile and seeing how much larger it was than last year.
Peach blossoms (our first ever!)
Egg production back up to sustainable levels (no more egg-free breakfasts!)
A box of new perennial plants on the doorstep (more fruit! )
The blossoms on our 30 foot pear tree going gangbusters (before I get in there and prune the interior)
Jan White wrote:I run elderberries through my omega juicer, a vertical auger model from ten+ years ago. It removes the seeds, stems and skins and lets everything else through. I end up with a very thick, smooth liquid. Works well for jam, syrup, vinegar.
How would you go about making elderberry vinegar? I've always wanted to try making vinegar, and this year we're putting two elderberry plants in the ground :)
I have been struggling with this topic for a while. At present we have an orchard (peaches may come in this year, but apples, pears, and Asian pears are a couple years off), chickens, a garden, fruit bushes, and just got rabbits. I think we can make a decent chunk of food , but certainly not enough for self sustainment.
We will look to expand our wild edibles knowledge as options appear to abound. Mulberry, blackwalnut, and raspberries all grow in our area, a couple of chestnut trees, and wild greens are common. We have no plans to grow grains and plan to buy them (stock up).
I have a mental disconnect at present with preserving food. Canning lids appear to be single use affairs, so having a year over year supply seems tough. Makes me wish we had a freeze dryer.
Do you normally make then drink, or go the whole aging route? I find the whole testing over years thing really interesting :)
We usually leave it to age in the demijohn for about a year and then start drinking once we bottle up. Depending on the batch size, we do end up ageing some inadvertently. Also if it doesn't taste nice right away, we'll try ageing, usually for at least six months but often for a year or longer. I finally used up the last bottle of a 2014 elderberry wine just last month. It still wasn't that great, so I used it for cooking instead--a lot of our cider is used in cooking too :)
If all else fails it goes in the pot! I'm hoping to try my hand at making vinegar, these hobbies should dovetail nicely :)
I like beer, wine, bourbon, and lots of other things.
My current drink of choice is lime seltzer, the juice of a whole lime, and whatever clear liquor I have on hand. Ran out of tequila (obvious pairing, and very tasty), didn't much fancy rum in it, and vodka has been a steady choice. I need to try bourbon, but wish I had rye on hand because it sounds interesting.
With warm weather coming back around I foresee this being a mainstay, right up there with tart lemonade and gin
G Freden wrote:We've made some excellent elderberry/blackberry wine. Also some just so-so. I've got a couple of gallons of the latest batch fermenting from last autumn and am looking forward to trying it in the summer. I've also made rhubarb wine (drinkable), elderflower wine (light and refreshing), elderberry wine (not that great). And apple cider which is also a bit of a hit and miss--but is the one wine which I don't have to add extra sugar to, which is why I continue to make it: it's free :)
In the future I hope to make plum cider and perry (pear cider), as my own trees start to produce more, but I can't comment on either of them just yet.
Do you normally make then drink, or go the whole aging route? I find the whole testing over years thing really interesting :)
It's also been fun discovering what flowers were already there before we moved in. I didn't manage to get photos of all of them, but I've seen:
Red and white dogwood
Some kind of pink/red magnolia
pear, sour cherry, and crabapple (they all have flowers, but those are more of fruit trees so not sure I should include them)
Pretty fun so far, wonder what I'll see this year :)
Ralph Sluder wrote:Pear trees are very easy to propagate from cuttings.. I use about an 8in cutting from tip of a young branch. remove all lower leaves and place into perlite and coco coir 50-50. . Keep moist for several weeks till roots start grow out from bottom. ( I use clear plastic cups with a few holes in bottom). You will probably get over a 50% success rate.
When you say all of the lower leafs, how much is usually left at the end? We had a pretty bad success rate comparatively.
Not sure if it's too late to snip some twigs and apply rooting hormone. My wife did that this year and out of 20 or so, 5 are still alive and (pretty sure) have taken root. Don't know if that's a normal rate, but it's what we're seeing.
I think other options might be that on-tree rooting method or grafting, neither of which I've tried.
We planted our first 3 bushes a few weeks ago. I think they were liberty and brightwell. I'd like to find some low bush varieties to try too, it turns out MD can support all 3 varieties and I'd like to have the diversity. That, and the tiny wild blueberry type are my favorite in terms of flavor
One year ago, my wife and I moved from our rented condo to a 1.9 acre property with a house from somewhere between 1870 and 1900 (the records building burned down!). At the beginning, we knew we wanted to garden and a bunch of other things, and got to work as quickly as possible. We turned out 6 garden beds, fenced it in, and spent the rest of the growing season weeding, ferrying water, and loving every second of it.
Started our first ever garden
created 12'x3'x2' of compost
learned how to fix a garden tractor
fixed up a derelict chicken coop (still needs gutters, paint, and a little more love, but it's got chickens!)
raised chickens and harvested eggs
fought off squirrels
foraged for berries
loved every minute of it.
Now that we're heading into year 2, we've started expanding. Year 2 goals:
Bees (currently on week 3 with our 2 hives! One painted yellow, and one blue :) )
a small orchard (7 trees planted: 2 pears, 2 asian pears, 2 peaches, 1 apple; would have been 2 apples but one went out of stock)
blueberries (3 bushes planted, planning on having somewhere around 10-12 eventually, some as harvest-able hedges)
a cutting garden (seedlings in pots, working on it!)
Small garden stand in our front yard
finish chicken coop
remove burn pile (gotta be somewhere around 250 sq ft of piled up sticks and logs. half burned so far, took a week of evening fires)
Install water collection near garden (and never have to walk watering cans out there again!)
I'm sure there's more, but I'll look forward to seeing this post a year from now and seeing what we managed. I'll add a couple photos for fun, thanks everyone here for all the helpful articles, it's been really fun reading :)
Michael Cox wrote:I think with a 3D printer and pots to print I’d be looking for more interesting constructions. A tiered planter? A modular system for seedlings?
Absolutely! Lots of options out there, I just wanted something simple that I could scale easily and stack when I was done with them. There's even designs like castle turrets you can fill full of plants :)
Aj Richardson wrote:I'm not aware of any printer that can use shredded plastic, as by their nature, they use gears to feed the just-hot-enough plastic through a tiny hole (the extrusion process, it doesnt actually melt the plastic, just warm it)
What you could do is make your own extruder or look for a plastic extruder. Depending on the printer you would want particular sizes. Either 1.75mm or 2.85mm diameter.
The plastic that works best that you probably have on hand is HDPE (high density poly ethylene). That's your milk jugs and things like that.
There may be some youtube videos on custom extruder, but I imagine modifying an oil extruder may work if you have the right tools. Buying an extruder can be expensive, upwards of $3000 last time I looked (I taught 3d printing maintenance and building to highschool students, and was hoping to do the same thing)
There's a FB group for this that's very DIY on builds for filament extruders if anyone is interested
Fred Phillips wrote:PLA plastic (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polylactic_acid) has a lot going for it. Made from starch, waterproof, biodegradable (or not, depending on composition), can be used for utensils and packaging, and scraps can be directly extruded as new filament. If consumer products and packaging were made from it, when enough was saved up it could be taken to a local extruder similar to the way grain was processed to flour by a local miller. Current PLA filament costs about $20 a kilogram, so using it in packaging could be a big selling point.
Gotta love PLA! You can get it for a smidge cheaper as well if you look around. There's a Texas based company called Zyltech (https://www.zyltech.com?aff=26) where with the code MELTY you can get 15% off, making PLA a smidge above $16/kg. Right now I'm averaging 20 pots per kg, so around $0.80 a piece not including electricity (cheap). I'm glad mine hasn't degraded yet, but we'll see how many years they last!
I’ve been thinking about getting a 3D printer, but I don’t want one that runs on filaments, I would like to get one that’ll accept shredded plastic so I can do my own recycling. I figure I could make all sorts of small parts for use around the farm as well as hobbies (plastic insulators for electric fences, internal prototype parts for my raspberry pi robots, crank baits and various fishing lures, etc).
I haven’t started researching this yet, but I would think that a 3D printer that lets consumers recycle their own plastics might be a desirable trait in a consumer level printer. (especially considering how most plastic recycling in the US is just a lie, and they just shuffle most of it to landfills).
Granted I would have to clean, sort, shred, grade, and dry my own base materials, but that isn’t too difficult to do. Are you aware of any 3D printers that do what I am wanting? If not, are you able to provide feedback to any printer makers that there might be a demand for a 3D printer that lets customer recycle their own used plastic? (I try to buy in glass if possible, but avoiding plastic is pretty difficult and having a way to recycle ourselves and turn it into something we can and will use again is a very cool idea. I do my own glass blowing and metal smithing, but 3D printed plastic parts could prove useful). I really like 3D printing, but I also do not like plastic, so filaments are out. But I would embrace a viable, artistic, utilitarian, and practical way to recycle my own via 3D printing.
There is one other possible solution and that is if someone makes a way for consumers to make their own filament roll out of their own recycling. But that puts the plastic through an extra heating and cooling cycle and I suspect that could be bad for quality and integrity.
Anywhoo... If you find yourself searching for ideas for future prints, consider kids toys that you could give away (as long as the plastic is BPA free).
Thanks for sharing!
Hey Paul! This is a common desire among 3d printer operators, but it's difficult to accomplish. There is a working path, though: recycle plastic into filament and then print with that filament. The problem with going directly from shreds to prints is the inconsistency of the media. A filament has a certain amount of tolerance (these days, generally 1.75mm +/- 0.05mm) and printing from shreds would be tough to be as consistent. There are ready built options out there for making your own filament, but you'll likely need to experiment with recycling to find the recipe and settings that work for you.
There are a couple of companies that make filament from recycled materials, so you could go with those but I understand wanting to DIY the whole shebang.
Let me know if you want to know more! I love chatting about 3D printing :)
I do review work for a number of different filament brands and, as such, end up with a glut of leftover materials. Last year when my wife and I moved onto our new property I started using the spare filament to make 4" planter pots for starting tomatoes. Those pots sat out in the sun all year, and this year they're back in action. Now I have more filament, and the cycle continues. So far I've made about 140 of them and still haven't used up the colors of material I don't care much about. While this might not fall much under "recycling," I thought the DIY of it was fun and wanted to share that not only do they work, but they work for more than one year of continuous use.
I'll have to give this a go. I have a huge burn pile that came with our property and could make some char while burning. Don't think I'll get too concerned about it, maybe use some paint cans and start small. I assume I can just add the biochar to my compost pile for next year and everything will be happy
We get a good number of people like this in my 3D printing group. The trouble gets worse when a couple of very dedicated people start making fake accounts and harassing people. The internet can be both an enlightening and needlessly cruel place.
Melonie Corder wrote:I'm not new to foraging wilds but am new to backyard cultivating. Oyster's are pretty simple and grow in most hardwoods. For my permaculture beds I'm trying some wine caps, there are many discussions on this forum if you search. About to try some lions mane. Chicken of the woods will grow on fir, if you have any leftovers I'd try to make a slurry and pour on an old stump.
Welcome to the dark, damp side :)
Leftovers are long gone, but I'll remember that for next time! We don't have any fir (I think we have a spruce, in MD), but I can ask around for some. I've already got the bug out for a 1 ft diam oak log. I do like the thought of pouring mushroom slurry on old stumps, we have a couple....2 cedar and 2 black walnut if anything grows on those. I will have to check around!
Will definitely dive into the posts here, need to do my due diligence :)
My wife found a nice spot of hen of the woods mushrooms this past year, and I've kind of gotten bit by the bug and want to learn more about mushrooms. Right now I'm trying to learn more about growing mushrooms in the back yard as we have a small grove of black walnuts where nothing but grass will grow under them. I figured maybe starting a mushroom log there would be a good start. Does anyone have advice on back yard mushroom growing? Things they recommend trying? I don't mind things that will take a few years to pay off, just getting my toes wet in something new.
Thomas - Any reading suggestions on reading for batchboxes? I'm all for being able to be next to it.
Trace - My door faces east, but my big problem would be having the contents of the room visible from the street. I have a window on the south side I'm considering trying to pull some kind of solar setup through, but my wife might be trying to plant a cutting garden bed there, so I may not get dibs.
I love RMH's, but I'm loathe to give up too much floor space in my shop. If there's a good compromise there, I'm all for it. Right now I'm leaning towards a wood burning stove as there are woods not too far away and I can harvest some when I go on hikes (downed by storms, at least).
The plastic on the doors is a great plan. If I plan to only move the middle 2 doors, I should be able to hang a nice continuous piece on each side. I could even just hang 2 sheets from the frame above the doors to the floor, and pin back the opening when needed. Appreciate the idea!
Will also look into portable propane, there are some sales going on.
That makes a lot of sense. The walls on 2 sides are cinder block, and the back wall is stone. Above that is metal roof on wood framing. I think the roof portions should be easy to insulate, and I'm guessing the cinderblock walls will need some kind of framing to hold insulation to. There are also windows on those walls, so I'll need to extend the window frame.
The hardest part (at least in my mind) is the barn doors. I'll need some kind of flexible flaps to overlap the doors, and perhaps the same for the inch or two they hang off the ground.
I'll look into designing in some kind of wood stove to my layout
PS - ideally I won't be covering the back (stone) wall in anything as I really like how it looks. May have to sacrifice efficiency for aesthetics there, but I'll take it!