I was delighted when I experimented saving my own rhubarb seed and it germinated and produced new plants . Definitely worth giving it a try . I have grown asparagus from purchased seed too, and I was much happier with the result than paying a dear price for some dried out corm from the nursery which failed about 90 percent of the time , however all the first year or two the plants are very delicate and cannot be harvested from till about the third year in my own experience .
I happened to get a load of green tree chips and mulched about 40 mostly young fruit and nut trees in fall with the chippings over top cardboard surrounding the fruit trees . Around that I wired pallets together to keep my horses off the sapling trees . What a disaster, that winter I lost 90 percent of my young trees to voles being protected while eating the bark and roots . After that I pulled up the cardboard and I limed the fields which seemed to deter the voles a bit. I also got a solar sound deterent that works well emitting a buzzing sound about every ten seconds, it seems to work. This year I cut holes in the bottom of a few pallets and in the day I rotate through the orchard tossing duck food inside the tree protection pallets so they eat the feed, any weeds are eaten or stomped and manured . That kept any cover from forming around the sapling and about 90 percent survival rate this winter . Note the ducks are locked away at night and those holes cut for the ducks to access the protected area around each sapling is accessible better to coyote hunting the voles . If you live more urban I recommend those solar mole and vole sound emitters to drive them away , i am not sure how they work by sound or vibration but I think they seem to make a difference . I also plan to plant daffodils , no such thing as too much deterent to vermin . Something else I noticed concerning vermin be they voles or rats , my 50 foot on hugelkulture bed is now two years old and hosting healthy growth of herbage and fungi , it also is magnetic for our cats as the rats or voles apparently think it is architecture put in place for them to breed .
I doubt I am bucking any traditions here in coastal British Columbia but it is Canada and people here are trying things. Personally I grow the fuzzy kiwi and oriental kiwi and have a lime I haul in and out of the house . I and others here are successful with figs but mostly I grow a lot of stuff that is not really pushing any new boundaries in regard to fruit and nut trees . Here you see a few microclimates getting good fruit on passion fruit vines and the odd bananas get small fruit without a greenhouse but they are not amounting to much . But pockets here are commercially growing olives , tea , and the Duncans in Saanich on Vancouver Island are famous for being successful with a number or citrus both outside but usually in a poly house . An exciting trial to me, here, is they have located high elevation avocado from around the globe and trialing to see if we might be successful producing fruit . So there are some bucking the trends for sure. Our grape growing regions are pushing new varieties as a lot of speculation is taking place , even the USDA say California will lose 70 % of their production capability before 2040 so it seems BC is all in to produce wine and champagnes . Hops have made a comeback commercially here as well. So people are definitely pushing to grow things in BC that may be more common in more southern regions . Once I get relatively successful growing our own food , I will get a little braver.
andrew curr wrote:IM having trouble with th full video!
I would Love to see MY cows!
I seent them to Zatuna Loaded with honey locust!
Andrew, the cows shown arriving in the video clip looked in beautiful shape, but you might want to see the video . I can see the benefits of rotational grazing but in our climate and geography I still see noxious plants like buttercup not being grazed can build up as the competing grass is eaten . Also diversity in the way I have been trying to add with purple clover is singled out and eaten and I cannot get it established as our animals selectively graze it till it dies out . Any permaculture solutions to this that work with the rotational cell grazing system or do you have to begin with pasture where buttercup has been erradicated with poisons?
Done in secret and no one thought to have their lawyer read the contract ? The journalist aunt never thought to investigate why this free trip and free seed storage had to be done in secret and never followed the money ? You should ask your aunt if one clause in the contract to submit seeds is granting the right of accession to Monsanto and Syngenta as it certainly use to be last time I read the contract , meaning they could access and manipulate the public domain genetics altering them and patenting the genetics of the new product .
I truly question why this clause was in there when Cary Fowler submitted the bulk of genetics Seed Savers Exchange had and how it was not slyly for the benefit of Syngenta and Monsanto along with other parties such as the Norwegian crown government funding the 'free' seed depository . When you read the article words “The seeds inside here are the very foundations of agriculture, past, present and future,” knowing the right of accession might be written into the contract gives it a whole new twist don't you think?
Some interesting comment on biopiracy related to this subject :
So this may seem innocent enough but puts massive seed collections worldwide into the hands of the likes of Monsanto ( as one of the funding contributors to the seed vault) granting them rights to modify public domain genetic materials and patent the resulting new biological organisms genetics . At this time we are foreseeing dwindling biodiversity and i have a hard time imagining Monsantos involvement being for the greater good .
Well I derive my income from breeding horses . At one time my veterinarian was advised the insurance industry would not cover him because of his work handling breeding stallions , I guess he shared that with me for a laugh because that is what I did too. I have had friends die handling horses, more than a few brain injuries mostly due to momentary lapses of inattention answering a cell phone, engaging in some conversation while handling a horse ( in our cases very athletic big horses bred to be very reactive for showjumping ) , and a lack of judgement reading the behaviour or attempting to deal with an animal that is behaving dangerously . A couple died from riding accidents . Things you don't expect can happen, I had a young 16.2 colt trample me vacating the cross ties when a woofer out of my line of sight pulled an aerasol can of sun block out and sprayed her arm and I was very lucky but it took a year for some of the wounds to fill in with flesh.
I have a healthy fear/respect of tractors and chainsaws but more experience dealing with animals . As I age I no longer want to engage in handling horses or other big animals , other than my own stallions whom I have known a long time . Rabbits and chickens are more in my comfort zone and shovel , rake and wheelbarrow are more my speed than a tractor.
I can see planted veggies growing in it , are you sure that is not the end product or are you making an assumption ? Point is this will not be a welcome addition in most urban areas where you actually want good community and to encourage urban local food production . And my second point is it could have been implemented much better , even if it is a tenanted property , with a little effort . Does it look like these people really made that effort ?
Bylaws for yard maintenance have been used to attack people trying hard to make lovely productive gardens where the norm is mowed grass and the more better examples out there, the more it might become accepted and standard practice.
I think that plantings in yards could be both functional and a lot more aesthetically pleasing than this example. I can't believe some people have lovely gardened yards and have the bylaw enforcement after them and examples like this practically invite issue within an urban neighbourhood . It would have taken work to dig down and place the wood and covered it with soil in a more functional placement than that , planted nicely but it could have been executed far better in my opinion and should have been in consideration of the urban neighbours and perhaps elicit interest from them in transforming their own yards.
Great comment Chris , wouldn't that fix those bankers if families put their money into their own welfare ( homes, businesses, education, experiences ) and not banks, mortgages and financial instruments? A pet peave of mine is lack of roof overhang protecting walls from moisture avoiding unneccessary mildew issues and giving shade during the heat of summer to increase the comfort of the inhabitants and perhaps inviting more transitional flow from inside living to outside areas and even garden rooms , so I think that design might be tweaked to better serve with more roof overhang .. I think even the sides designed to be built onto might have this overhang designed to be done beneficially to the future addition.
I have always thought the square footage in bedrooms was underutilized when a bed was not in use. I have seen a number of folding beds and even platforms that lowered from the ceiling but this is the first time I saw one I think I could utilize creating it myself. I think I would partition with a concealing glass block wall and use the raised space as an ensuite or a walk in closet and storage space and the bedroom might feel a little cramped when the bed is pulled out but roll it away and you quickly have an extra room that would not be inappropriate for say an exercise equipment room ? or even an office ? this is a dated looking photo but interesting idea. I could also picture a rock masonary or cob fireplace between the 'bedroom' and the raised area if it was a bathroom that could be stunning as well as functional ? :
I developed a bad rat problem over the summer raising organic meat chickens repeatedly all summer and recently this week a raccoon has been wreaking havoc with my chickens inside my barn . I have had my best results getting the rats with a little grain in the bottom of a large metal drum attracting rats that have access to getting in and once in cannot leap out, I unapologetically club them with a 2 x 6 to dispatch them. I have not erradicated them all yet . The other day I was dressed to go out in a light blouse and grabbed two hens I found roosting in the barn and locked them them in the hen house . About an hour later I noticed bites , I am suspecting flea bites on my skin. The next day I had a fever, sore joints and sore muscles , thinking I had the flu but no intestinal problems . Then I looked up the symptoms and found this , worth reading to be aware of how disease can pass from rodents to poultry through mites and fleas and ticks , onto people. I was feeling better today, 24 hours later so assumed my immune system has taken care of the issue (?) Tomorrow I am going to strip my stalls in the barn and hen house and lime everything to help get rid of fleas :
So far good results from the maple I used in a hugel bed which ended up being 50 feet long, 8 feet wide and only 3 feet high . I had lots of mushrooms volunteering from the stable bedding I topped it with and having a damp climate I expect it will decompose and be spongy in a few years. I have taken to cutting blackberry up, spreading it in my pastures to die out over winter then cover it with manure about 6 inches deep from the barn in spring to try and improve my pasture naturally but I think that is more of a mulch technique but I did get stronger forage growth .
Kids belong in permaculture as much as adults , and special accomodations for them be it taking the time to teach them or creating a swing in the nut grove or a sandbox in the raised beds, are all worthwhile. I cannot imagine not planning for kids and animals in my landscape .
Benjamin Hiatt wrote:Well, one idea is that you could have a horse mow your yard, and maybe train it to defecate in your garden or compost pile. You could also use it manure for biogas. And one thing my grandfather was interested in, but never got to do was to have a large horse, (like a Belgian, which are "gentle giants") turn a large wheel to generate power, or pump water. Although I don't know how well that would work out, or how efficient that would be.
I have yet to teach a horse to defecate in a specific spot : )
You do not need a big horse to turn a wheel for grinding or pumping water , or for that matter skid logs or other utilitarian uses. I am thinking harvesting the methane for use is an idea whos time has come .
Awe , my father was saddened to take me for a walk to see some mushrooms he was admiring and then finding them trampled, are you certain they will spore and generate more at any stage of development when trampled?
He would be relieved to know this but I would hate to tell him this and have him dissappointed . There is a child in all of us.
For me permaculture is such a mixed bag of eclectic things that are a win win solution. I think a secured area with play area for kids and salvaged concrete block raised beds high enough to sit on the edge might work for all ages , and in the quantity that is manageable and yet have other ground area gardens set in large fenced in paddocks that are rotated for chickens with a central chicken house/coup /garden tool shed which lightens the load rotating where you grow each year , fertilizing . Others parts might be mixed edible landscaping or grazing paddock and recreation areas mixed with tree fruit and nut production and perimeter multi use shelterbelt. Even before I reach my middle years I tend to tackle too much that gets beyond me and I have to step back and think smarter about how much work and how hard it is on me physically. If the extra nut and fruit trees get wild over the years and all I can tend is the closer groomed landcape and raised beds , well so be it. I hope for multigenerational living to make a big comeback , fewer people perhaps who cherish life and each other more but if it is just me I would like the area close to the home to be designed and put in place specifically with the very young and the elderly , or at least an aged or physically impaired version of myself in mind . I think a few things might be just as delightful as I age like a nice swing and a teeter totter and a shady hammock , well a few luxuries should be planned to be lifelong enjoyments and accesible at every age.
Check out the 2013 Skill Share Faire September 21 and 22 at Hovander Park in Whatcom County , Washington State . Lots of opportunity to learn a new skill for resiliency and self efficiency , trade and barter etc.
I am another fan of the muscovey ducks . The meat is good quality, I have made it myself but this week a neighbour and she was a better cook and hers was superb ! They are quiet and agreeable animals and I find they have nice natures . By the time my drakes are mature and have the red prominent flesh around their bills I am so enamored with their characters that I think they are all beautiful : ) They seem to be nice gentlemen with the ladies and don't seem to fight over the girls if there are a few for each male . If you had to have stealthy meat supply in your backyard I'd say muscovey and rabbits .
I think we, like other lives, have our role in the food chain where we are both predator and prey . I think those who think we are at the top of the food chain are kidding themselves however and the more antibiotic resistant bacteria we breed the more that point could be proven.
Radio Ecoshock is one of my favourites though they have not had anything new since July, the old podcasts have great environmental oriented topics and guests .
http://www.ecoshock.org/ I am active on Jack Spirko's Survival podcast forum too . I really appreciated some of the others mentioned on here , I listen as I do morning chores in the barn : )
I too used horse manure and bedding straight from the barn to cover a berm of miscellaneous windfalls and prunings from last winter and did not have soil to add . It is 3 feet high but I too think it will rot down quite a bit over a couple of years . I have not finished adding to it so other than commenting that the grass and weeds at the base are growing great and feeding my rabbits , I have not seen how well it will grow on the actual berm.
I am another failure at the no till system . And I will have a trillion weed seeds in my soil from this year and other years . I don't think I can afford to get it wrong this many times let alone once more . I seem to be battling the creeping buttercup too and that stuff did not even hesitate to grow through cardboard with cedar chips on top that I had hoped to keep the edges of the pasture from encroaching on the garden . Creeping buttercup is my number one challenge , fortunately I can eat a few of the other weeds : )
My sense of alarm was tweaked when I read that crops of say kiwi in New Zealand are sprayed with a substance that causes the plants to all bloom the same weeks while the rented bee hives are present. Elsewhere I had read the substances sprayed weeks before the pollinating dates were toxic to family pets and they were kept indoors . I am wondering if crops like the almond trees as well would be crop dusted with something that would regulate the plant production but produce toxic results to other living things besides the pesticides and fungacides and such we are familiar recognizing as problems ?
I believe it did get destroyed in a storm and he started over. About the walking path under the water, remember that 3/4 of our year the water is not exactly warm and that does not sound like being very wheelchair friendly but hopefully that path is optional . I really like your overall concept of putting people right into an aquaponic food garden using your background in tourism. I am sure with tenacity and perservence that anything is achievable .
It certainly is an ambitious plan. It made me think about what you could do making floating islands along a lake , which made me think of the guy who created Spiral Island which too was a unique and ambitious endeavour.
I am well acquainted with small rocky acreages, I had two acres south of the golf course on Prospect Lake road and I'll tell you Dale, manure would be very useful building the soil in that area : )
Thanks for your kind words Greta, you have no idea how lucky I am with horses and lousy I am with men : )
Something that saved me some money and kept my home feeling cozier too was using bubble wrap cut to friction fit in the windows and basically supporting it with a bit of scotch tape. On warm days it was easily pulled back and the windows opened for fresh air. I will be reusing it this year . I also found some bed comforters I really liked on sale for $30 and the thickness of them hung as drapes was very insulating for the windows as well. This winter I will have about a 6' by 24 ' foot cooler storage area insulated off from the furnace heated portion of my basement and used for canned goods and other storage that can be cool adjacent to the exterior access door. It will be one layer basically buffering the exterior from the interior . My exterior north side of my house has no windows and enough overhang that I am considering stacking hay bales off the ground on pallets outside under the eave in a single layer as an additional barrier insulating that wall . It can be fed off to the animals as springs gentler temperatures approach. I have not tried that idea but it holds a lot of appeal . Also inside my barn I can arrange hay stacked in the perimeter two stalls to help insulate the middle two stalls making it warmer for my rabbits and chickens if I need to move them inside for a cold snap . Warm and dry animals consume less feed too keep their body heat up.
Mick , truthfully my horses do not serve me much these days and I am pretty much work hard at keeping them with shipped in resources of feed because I am choosing not to breed horses anymore. You are quite right on a small acreage they are rarely appropriate and as I said in my first post , they are appropriate in permaculture in the right setting. Moving forward I will not be keeping any more horses and I aim to will rely more on bicycle as fuel costs rise , not on a horse drawn sulky. That said, few small acreages run by a single woman have produced a family's living for near two decades . I was a single mom for 18 years raising kids and living off my farm without any social assistance because I managed the stallions and shipped semen for breeding. So in that sense, it very much created a permaculture existence for us being able to live on and from 4 acres.