I have hilarious lumpy multi-lobed potatoes from planting them over some not-quite-spongy-enough small logs! Remarkably, the plants really produced. Funny-looking, though. I wasn't even going to plant that bed as I knew it had very little actual soil, but I planted so much I was running out of room. I've harvested the funny potatoes, but the amaranth is still growing, tall, and producing those fancy seed heads.
I'm in a 7b patch that is surrounded by 90' yellow pines and dotted with mature tulip poplars. I understand the shade concern. This year, with the warm spell in March, the leaves came out early and i think the early shade made even more prominent the uncommon coolness of May.
Similar in height to Jerusalem Artichoke is sochan (Rudbeckia laciniata), another member of the vast asteraceae family in the same sunflower tribe. This thrives in light shade, so i'd give it a strong recommendation. I haven't eaten any yet: i transplanted a volunteer plant from a spot to my garden and wanted to give it a year to establish.
On the other end of the height spectrum, violets -- the leaves make great additions to salads -- and sorrel have worked for me. I'm looking into Virgina waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum) both as an aggressive native for understory planting and as an edible.
Egyptian walking onions have worked wonderfully for me: it's taken some time to get used to using them, but their ruggedness is good.
I'm not crazy about chickweed and bittercress, edible winter annuals that will show up in my yard without invitation. I'm not brave enough for poke: i do grow it in my fenced area for the birds, because the deer eat down it everywhere else. I've been reading about how edible milkweed (particularly butterfly weed) is and i wonder i'f i'll brave that. As a perennial, butterfly weed's bright orange flowers might be welcome in your garden. I spent some time reading about the poisonous characteristics of potatoes just to try and put the risk in context.
I'm giving Scarlet Runner beans (Phaseolus coccineus) a try as a perennial. They're another attractive plant. 7b might be too warm, but i'm hoping they might be productive in the long autumn, and, as a perennial, get a jump in the spring.
I'm building a round wood timber frame house with strawbale infill. We're going with a rectangular design, in part because joinery in roundwood is a tricky enough art that adding the odd angles involved in doing round construction just doesn't seem like a good plan without lots of experience. I don't have lots of experience I've built a 10 x 10 combination pumphouse and rabbitry to protect our wellhead. That was my practice run I'm also building my shop, which IS being done in a round form, but with a reciprocal roof and the fairly classic (by now) "henge" pattern of framing.
When you're doing round wood timber framing, you're basically working with the same joinery techniques as with milled timber frames, with the added element of achieving mating faces in pieces that don't mate well. There's one joint I'm aware of that's specific to round wood framing and that's the "butter pat" joint. Ben Law is the top notch resource on round wood timber framing and, as far as I know, developed the butter pat joint. The vast majority of the joinery is mortise and tenon work. We had local engineers with experience doing timberframing draw up our final plans, both to get us through permitting more smoothly and to make sure my calculations were valid. Their drawings specify mortise and tenon joints same as you would see in milled frames. They specced some substantial standoffs and waterproofing between the concrete foundation and the posts. I wouldn't advise going with tarpaper in that role, I don't think it would be sufficient.
Ok I have tons of aronia berries,they are terrific producers. I have only dried them in the past. This year I will do tha again except i will make an oxymel with two pint jars half full of berries. The top half will be 3/4 honey and one quarter apple cider vinegar. Mixed thoroughly and left to its own devices for a month, then strained and into the fridge. Aronia are really high in antioxidants so 1 tablespoon every morning. My first time so will see how it turns out. By the way I have some connoisseurs robins that try to beat me to the harvest every year.
I hope they are still relevant. I worked on a bookmobile for about a year in northen MN. This thread prompted me to check. Yes, it is still operating. We would roll into little crossroad settlements and be the biggest event of the week. It was not uncommon for someone to ask me to pick out 20 books for them....of my choice. In the winter some of the stops, at a crossroad in the woods, would have people waiting with dog sleds. We served a social function well as providing books. People would invite us into their homes for tea and toast. We were the only people they had spoken to in the past two weeks.
But more than that. One heart breaking moment was when a little girl, she couldn't have been more than 14, who was very pregnant, asked me for a baby book. I showed her Dr Suess and a few others. She told me I misunderstood. She wanted a sex education book so that her little sister would not have to experience what she was. Of course, I found the book for her.
Libraries do much more than provide books. But it that was all they did, it would be enough.
Skandi Rogers wrote:When I knew I was going to move I kept 5 fruit trees in buckets for a year, I took them out of the pots they came in and put them into 12L buckets with hole drilled in the side around 1 inch up from the base. They all survived and have now been in the ground for 18months. I do not think it helped them get ahead however, as the trees I bought and planted straight away (also pot grown) are just the same size as the held over ones. It might be an idea for berry bushes especially if you want to get some black or redcurrants big enough to take cuttings off.
Once they went dormant I put them into the barn overwinter, it's not heated or insulated but it did protect them from wind.
I did approximately the same thing, and I agree, my own trees are not bigger than the one tree I managed to buy. But varieties and species for sale are extremely limited here, so I did do the bucket thing. I had a peach tree, mulberry tree, apple seedling, that I'd kept growing a year and a half, and then I also had lots of apricot seeds that I germinated in late winter in the greenhouse, and planted out the same spring when they were several inches tall.
We rotate our girls yes but i do think if you were to keep less than 12ish chics a stationary coop with deep litter would be more beneficial in a time an labor perspective. Plus you get more compost! We just use our winters to build up deep bedding compost.
Our previous move was to be close to our daughter. I like the location because it was rural, near a small town that had a bank and a dollar store and not too far from a bigger town with grocery stores.
My dear hubby hated everything about it. I hated the bigger city though I still loved where we lived.
I got tired of listening to how much dear hubby hated it. I use realtor.com and started looking at a very little town I was familiar with plus it was somewhere our daughter spent a lot of time. At first, I only found one property for sale so I started looking at the properties in the next county. That is how I found where we now live.
Both my dear hubby and I love it here. We have wildlife to watch and wildflower in the spring.
Everything has worked out well as our daughter sold her house and moved into our other house. It is like having a housesitter.
Georgia is nice, our son lived there for several years before moving back to Texas.
Sionnain - I would love to see your variegated tomatos!!! What is the variety name?
Skandi- the cardoons are lovely! I am considering trying artichokes here as an annual, they are marginal and need a lot of care but I love the taste...
They are supposedly Irish tomatoes. :)
I have no idea if they have a specific title, only that I managed to get a little bunch of seeds. To the best of my (probably deeply flawed and incomplete) knowledge, Ireland is the home of the only variegated leaf tomatoes. One of those things I could probably research further.
Also to note is that the variegated pattern isn't consistent on all leaves, and apparently comes out more in cooler weather. Something that probably would have been more prominent in a normal year, but this year is abnormally hot.
Anecdotally, I am here in Ontario, Canada, which is suffering under some truly awful tropical weather this summer, and of the 4 Irish tomato plants I have, the two in the sunny hot area are doing very poorly- stunted, runty, and downright miserable looking, with only a handful of tomatoes on each beaten little plant. The two I have in my partial-sun patio planter are extremely happy, and are doing quite well. Apparently everything produced in Ireland is allergic to sun, even summer fruits. . . .
It has helped me to avoid starting "advice arguments." No reason to explain to everybody who suggests something unusable that you're not going to follow their advice. Just thank them. Or, thank them and mention that your sandy soil, pure clay, tropical location or whatever, prevents you from taking their otherwise helpful advice.
I often feel the need to explain, but I also hate stepping on peoples' toes or hurting their feelings. So the above advice is something I remind myself of every time I feel those toes beneath my feet.
Aren't you lucky to find a plum tree already waiting for you! I expect that someone here knows the answer; it probably has something to do with pruning and giving it space. I, however, am not that person. I'm just here to say hi.
You might want to give a hint about where you are, or at least your USDA zone. It helps people when they give out agricultural advice!
I planted most of my potatoes in the nascent forest garden (i.e., a foot-thick carpet of aged wood chips in part sun). This week I noticed that most of them were dying. I dug one up experimentally, and discovered that potatoes were rotting under there!
The wood chips were almost always damp, but I watered pretty heavily during the drought. I guess too heavily! We had a big rainstorm for two days (several inches) and four days later, another one (at least 2 inches). Then I noticed how bedraggled they were.
There are perfectly good potatoes under there, too, so I'm going to harvest them before they are no good.
The best news is, those wood chips are really rotting! Crawling with mycelium. Perhaps this is why the drainage was compromised. I really thought the wood chips would drain easily. But it's turning to soil, and that's the whole point!
My lovage has always been in full sun. It loves it and so do the pollinators. It does appreciate water, but since it is within my veggie garden, it gets what it needs (with no special pampering whatsoever).
I thought Vermont was rural! I imagine that self-sufficiency really means something when you're that far from stores. Although I live in a pretty small town, I can get what I need three miles away at the general store.
I think it takes deep self-reliance to live far apart from other people, not just regarding self-sufficiency, but the ability to keep oneself company, and hold things together emotionally, even if life in the family is sometimes rocky.
How does one obtain salt if Peak Energy hits and we have a sudden, dramatic collapse of civilization and its systems of production and distribution?
'we' as in humanity or 'we' as in you and me as individuals?
'We' as in individuals can preposition a life time of salt for ourselves and our families. Depending on your source, depending on what you are doing with it and if it can be reused / cleaned up. I figure a tablespoon / day. ( mostly for food preservation, a tablespoon / salt per day is a bit much for consumption, but a few table spoons will go into a brine for that turkey. and it's probably way high. ). Call it 20 g a day, About 16 lbs a year. 160 lbs / decade. 1600 lbs per lifetime. that 1600 lbs of salt might take up about 3x 3x 4 ft in space. Depending on things. Packed into 55 gallon drums it'll last for your lifetime. One would probably pay more for the packaging than the salt it's self if one buys in bulk. ( rock salt is $250 / 2000 lbs ) Maybe get a nice old refer container ( air tight , water tight, with insulation) and keep a whole mess of long term storage stuff there, a lifetime of garden fertilizers, honey, animal salt licks and mineral supplements, grit for the chickens, maybe a few cans of various fasteners for building stuff later, salt.... diatomaceous earths... that's all I can think of at the moment. ) .
'We' as in humanity. Utah. the Utah salt mines and solar electric mining equipment. Mining a ton of salt doesn't take to long with the right diggers. There's no reason they need to be running diesel. Sure it might cost 3 times as much in power costs... 3 times basically 0 is still basically 0. The south has brine wells, and salt domes that are mined out as well. Solar panels or hydro power electric can work for a long time with low maintenance. Distribution by electrified rail. Salt doesn't go bad, so it can be slow and efficiently moved.
'We' personally have a few years supply of salt around, well... because it seems like a reasonable thing to do and I like corned beef.... probably like it too much.
Will Solol wrote: S Bengi, what do you mean by: "Build a grey water drainfield no permit needed, maybe stick it in a greenhouse like the current kickstarter."
Not to put words in his mouth, but I believe that S Bengi was referring to responsibly doing your own grey water system without referencing to Big Daddy for permission first. Paralegal grey water systems exist all over America, including ours while we lived in that place which we consider a hellhole, and if everything is biofiltered, (cattails, cottonwoods, and willows are wonderful for that) biodegradable, and the soil is full of life, a piece of paper from the government is completely irrelevant. If you do get a permit, you’re putting yourself on a list of people who have grey water systems, and if they illegalize it later, they’re coming for you first. Those are my rationale on the topic.
I'm still having trouble with this. I removed the first round of plants, and everything was OK until I found another plant with it today. The really odd thing is that the disease always hits the upper leaves first.
How about a compromise where you just till and prepare soil in a small strip within your existing meadow? Then by broadcasting your seeds there and babying them along, they'll grow up to be big and strong and ready to naturally drop enough seeds of their own to sally forth and become part of the rest of your meadow with the least amount of effort.
I want to try your peaches. I cut back on sugar so far that most commercially-sweetened things taste too sweet to me. And I discovered that the sugar tones down the flavor of things! You can always add some honey or maple syrup or sugar on the other end, if it's too sour. But approach with an open mind!
I used to be the plant guy at a big box store and learned a few thing too. I was talking with a master gardener who told me about amending the soil after planting. NC clay is not very inviting to many plants and some don’t live very long. She told me to dump mushroom compost around the trees and scratch it in without damaging any surface roots, then water. Well mushroom compost is four bucks a bag and I’m not doing it! Instead I mowed up leaves and grass clippings in the fall, mixed with wood chips and piled around the trees. I had fruit trees that were resurrected from doing this. There’s something about it that earthworms go nuts for!
Okay, after multiple false starts I have sprouts. Their first tour in the fridge was apparently not wet enough. I planted them in seed starter, set them in a mushroom container and made everything quite wet. Covered with plastic wrap and put in the fridge. In a couple of weeks, I’ve produced the sprouts pictured. Sorry it’s sideways!
Now what? I took off the plastic and took it out of the fridge. I kept it in the cool basement for a couple of days and now it’s on the porch. It needs to dry out some so I can tease these babies apart, a task I dread. The soil is still soggy, but it did get the job done!
My instructions say to keep the plants in gallon pots the first year, which is fine! But I’m all concerned about the planting medium. I can’t get my head around planting in pure clay, as was recommended (see my previous post). I do have clay deposits here and can easily access it. But! Is there some way to create a mineral-rich medium that will drain?
Ideas, anybody? I just purchased azomite; I'll be adding some of that.
May Lotito wrote:Yes, I took that picture. It's actually recaptured from the photo album I put together for my kids. I did a bit of nature photography over the years so I printed them out to teach kids about animal names and behaviors etc.
Awesome idea. Love your pictures. This spider almost looks unreal to me... I can see faces in her design! What a creature!
Not just about money. I grew this plant from 4" starter for 3 years and it started blooming this spring. Without this one, the other blacklace elderberry won't bear fruits. I guess it is soil fungal infection. I am going to get a compost tea application and see if that will stop the progress.
I understand the hard work of plant breeder need to be acknowledged and protected. The thing is there seems to be less and less choice of heirloom plants in the stores. Majority of plants sold in Lowe's are propagation prohibited if you read the labels carefully. Fine with perennials but for annuals, that's lots of money to buy them very year. I bought most of my plants from walmart: no brand, no label, cheap and robust. and I can propagate as many as I need. Or I just do wildflowers.
Leigh- why didnt I think of that? I used to do glass bottles in my large house plants all the time when I went away on vacation.... never thought to put them in the garden. Brilliant, I should try it for my beets which hate life right now, and maybe a few of the tomatos.
We did have rain here a week or so ago. I hung laundry up on a clear day, no forecast for rain. Within 20 min there was a downpour, and we got almost an inch!!! Not enough to recharge the aquifer, but the plants got a good drink. A few tiny sprinkles otherwise.
Skandi- that reminds me of university, where I was told the biggest potential threat to humans from climate change was a large melting of arctic ice, reversing the ocean currents and causing the UK and Scandinavia to have the frigid climate of Labrador, and labrador to have the moderate climate of the UK and Scandinavia (with the rest of western Europe and eastern North America essentially switching climates as well). Having been to Northern Labrador and having Danish relatives, and personally loving the snow and winter, I hope that's doesnt come true!
Anne Pratt wrote:
Congratulations on really doing the soil test.[/size] Me, I'm still toying with following my own advice.
Your post that gave me the motivation, so thank you! I got so many things on my to do list: need to finish up the chicken coop; buy a 8" long drill bit for making wasp hotel; haul hundreds of pounds of gypsum from menard, etc. etc.