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Looking for people living in southern grow zone who plant and grow all year

 
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Ulla Bisgaard wrote:
I also love, that I have found like minded people, who doesn’t think I am crazy for doing what I do, so a big thanks to you all for that.



We arrived here under the welcoming umbrella of some local CA Rare Fruit Growers, through whom I learned a lot of insights & got some valuable species & varieties.  Very few were organic-, sustainability-, regeneration-, drought-, subsistence-orientated, let alone permies, though I did follow that MeetUp group for years hoping for something collective to happen.  Anyway, happy to connect with some of you here & now!
 
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Patrik Schumann wrote:
We arrived here under the welcoming umbrella of some local CA Rare Fruit Growers, through whom I learned a lot of insights & got some valuable species & varieties.  Very few were organic-, sustainability-, regeneration-, drought-, subsistence-orientated, let alone permies, though I did follow that MeetUp group for years hoping for something collective to happen.  Anyway, happy to connect with some of you here & now!



I agree. I used to be a member of the San Diego gardener group, but left after getting tons of bad advice, and being ridiculed for my ideas. At one point, their expert told me to toss some seedlings I was growing, because the roots turned a little brown whenever I changed the water. No advice on saving them. Well I did save them, and got 3 huge healthy plants out of it. In the end though, it was the environment of self importance, bullying and negativity, that made me leave. It simply became clear that we don’t see the same things when we look at our gardens. Where I see ecosystems, diversity and soil improvements. They see ugliness and weeds. Where I want to work with the environment (food for all), they look at how to tame and/or eradicate it. Just something as simply as what Allen Brooker says about sterile soil. They don’t agree and want the soil and compost to be sterile when spread. Instead I ask, why are you trying to change nature? I love my weeds. I will give you, that I don’t love all of them, but it’s fairly easy to encourage the ones you like to grow. You just leave those alone and remove the ones you don’t like. Eventually the “good” weeds will outcompete the “bad” ones.
While Allen Brooker gave me the scientific explanation, I had already observed that my seedlings did better when started in native soil. It made me very happy that I dropped the other group, and started here instead.
It was such a relief to finally find a group of people, who thought the same was, and also wanted to work with the environment holistically.
Anyway, I am very happy having connected with you and other as well, and I hope we eventually will be able to meet up and inspire each others.
 
Patrik Schumann
Posts: 95
Location: Nuevo Mexico, Alta California, New York, Andalucia
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Ulla Bisgaard wrote:

I agree. I used to be a member of the San Diego gardener group, but left after getting tons of bad advice, and being ridiculed for my ideas. At one point, their expert told me to toss some seedlings I was growing, because the roots turned a little brown whenever I changed the water. No advice on saving them. Well I did save them, and got 3 huge healthy plants out of it. In the end though, it was the environment of self importance, bullying and negativity, that made me leave. It simply became clear that we don’t see the same things when we look at our gardens. Where I see ecosystems, diversity and soil improvements. They see ugliness and weeds. Where I want to work with the environment (food for all), they look at how to tame and/or eradicate it. Just something as simply as what Allen Brooker says about sterile soil. They don’t agree and want the soil and compost to be sterile when spread. Instead I ask, why are you trying to change nature? I love my weeds. I will give you, that I don’t love all of them, but it’s fairly easy to encourage the ones you like to grow. You just leave those alone and remove the ones you don’t like. Eventually the “good” weeds will outcompete the “bad” ones.
While Allen Brooker gave me the scientific explanation, I had already observed that my seedlings did better when started in native soil. It made me very happy that I dropped the other group, and started here instead.
It was such a relief to finally find a group of people, who thought the same was, and also wanted to work with the environment holistically.
Anyway, I am very happy having connected with you and other as well, and I hope we eventually will be able to meet up and inspire each others.



Somewhat like your gardeners experience, our urban eco-homesteader/ NM cultural backlands (plus my off-kilter European) ways made us stand out & ultimately alone in our 'hood, at our son's school, even among my wife's high school friends.  Anyway, we're also seven years in, our soil is living & jamming, our enormous raintanks are overflowing, our woody plantings well established, our beds mulched plus pushing volunteers, & just as we fallow & prepare to take our son around communities elsewhere in the world, we're looking forward to meeting anyone & everyone here with similar pursuits.  I'll be off soon for a few weeks to catch up with our NM homestead projects which I haven't seen to in 18 months.  
 
Ulla Bisgaard
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Today I ordered a rose hip plant to add to our orchard. It will arrive in about a month, which is when my rock roses will arrive too.
Do you guy have any suggestions for other shrubs and bushes that will be able to survive here and be a good addition to what will hopefully eventually become a food forest garden?
I think that’s what’s the hardest for me. Even though we have been in the US for 20 years, my knowledge of shrubs and their names are still something I am struggling with. Often I end up searching for the Latin names of plants, but it’s not always working, and I just don’t know enough yet,  about what plants can thrive here.

 
Patrik Schumann
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Location: Nuevo Mexico, Alta California, New York, Andalucia
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Ulla Bisgaard wrote:Today I ordered a rose hip plant to add to our orchard. It will arrive in about a month, which is when my rock roses will arrive too.
Do you guy have any suggestions for other shrubs and bushes that will be able to survive here and be a good addition to what will hopefully eventually become a food forest garden?
I think that’s what’s the hardest for me. Even though we have been in the US for 20 years, my knowledge of shrubs and their names are still something I am struggling with. Often I end up searching for the Latin names of plants, but it’s not always working, and I just don’t know enough yet,  about what plants can thrive here.



I plant local native shrubs for wildlife, edible native shrubs for people, that zone's Permaculture poultry forage matrix shrubs, & then any others that might work: sumac, elder, plum, cherry, currant, gooseberry, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, hazelnut, medlar, quince, pitanga, araça-uçu, eugenia, jaboticaba, etc.  Some die but over the years I fill the gaps with more.
 
Ulla Bisgaard
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Patrik Schumann wrote:
I plant local native shrubs for wildlife, edible native shrubs for people, that zone's Permaculture poultry forage matrix shrubs, & then any others that might work: sumac, elder, plum, cherry, currant, gooseberry, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, hazelnut, medlar, quince, pitanga, araça-uçu, eugenia, jaboticaba, etc.  Some die but over the years I fill the gaps with more.



So far, out of your list, I have planted Elder, plum, raspberry and blackberry. I am on the waiting list for a Pitanga, and are considering a jaboticaba as well. I am also thinking about getting a Natal plum. What are your thoughts on that? Their height variant from 2 to 20 feet depending on the variety.
 
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Ulla Bisgaard wrote:Yeah, I was thinking about nuts, but we already have our neighbors pecan tree to deal with, and it’s very messy. I know that some isn’t messy, but as Jen said they do take a long time to grow large.

I like the idea of the mulberry though, we have talked about it before. I will look for the Pakistani one online, and see if I can find one. We have lots of room for more trees.



If you think pecans are messy, I'm afraid that you'll find that mulberries are many times worse. Although I'm on enough land where neither one bothers me very much.
 
Ulla Bisgaard
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John Greenan wrote:

Ulla Bisgaard wrote:Yeah, I was thinking about nuts, but we already have our neighbors pecan tree to deal with, and it’s very messy. I know that some isn’t messy, but as Jen said they do take a long time to grow large.

I like the idea of the mulberry though, we have talked about it before. I will look for the Pakistani one online, and see if I can find one. We have lots of room for more trees.



If you think pecans are messy, I'm afraid that you'll find that mulberries are many times worse. Although I'm on enough land where neither one bothers me very much.



Yeah, both are. Messy is okay, and the mulberries we can eat. The pecans are too hard to handle, but I guess we could collect and crack them.
 
Patrik Schumann
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Ulla Bisgaard wrote:

So far, out of your list, I have planted Elder, plum, raspberry and blackberry. I am on the waiting list for a Pitanga, and are considering a jaboticaba as well. I am also thinking about getting a Natal plum. What are your thoughts on that? Their height variant from 2 to 20 feet depending on the variety.



I don't have or know natal plum, but why not?  I plant & try everything, working from native through locally-adapted to locally-adaptable, ie from similar climate bioregions.  Our NM & CA homestead growspaces are only ~4500sf/ 418m² (on ~8"/ 20cm precip - drought + irrigation), just enough to produce complete nutrition for our family of three by Edible Plantscape with bio-intensive, so we just plant alternating tree-shrub-tree, etc, as close as 18"/ 0.5m around/ across our outdoor spaces, espalier/ prune for integrated & filtering canopy, then grow 2-3 layers underneath as well.  That way every drop of water (rain- first, gray- second, conveyed- least) reaches something.
 
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Glad I found this thread! I'm a long time lurker on permies, first time poster. I too live in San Diego County, eastern Escondido, with 0.8 acre lot, mostly flat, but slightly sloped in some areas and on septic. Have about 30 fruit producing trees and shrubs, a mix of established and still developing:
Many kinds of citrus
Avocados
Grapes
Pomegranate
Apricots
Passion fruit
Loquat
Pears
Apples
Feijoa
Almond (?)
Peaches
Dragon fruit
Raspberry
Blackberry
Mulberry
Perennial dino kale

Some of the fruit producing trees and shrubs are on a series of terraces.
2 main rectangular raised beds for annuals, and 2 circular raised beds using fire rings, then a bunch of grow bags.

We water everything by hand since the sprinkler drip system is currently broken. The water situation is one that I think about a lot but haven't found good workable solutions that we can afford. I've had lots of success with a couple of mulch drops from a free service called chip drop as well as a few cubic yards of free mushroom compost. I also intermix a lot of native perennials throughout but since our area is so big nothing looks like it's intensively cultivated. Most everything has to get planted in gopher cages, even aloes and lavenders and sages now. We had great success one year with traps but they got too smart for those.

I use a modified hugelkultur using the plant refuse we tend to have a lot of, palm parts, smaller sticks and logs etc. We keep seven chickens in a big area and use hemp bedding ,which is fantastic. They're used bedding gets integrated into compost and near the bottom of the beds.

 
Ulla Bisgaard
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Mari Zarpour wrote:Glad I found this thread! I'm a long time lurker on permies, first time poster. I too live in San Diego County, eastern Escondido, with 0.8 acre lot, mostly flat, but slightly sloped in some areas and on septic. Have about 30 fruit producing trees and shrubs


Congratulations on your first post. I think you are going to love engaging in conversations here on permies.
We have a lot of gopher problems too. Hellen A. From the garden master course thinks we need snakes and cats to take care of those and the rats. We have the cats, and while it helps, we still need the cages. I want to attract snakes to my orchard, but my husband are scared of them. We will see where we end up. I hope that once my area are more grown in, we will have fewer problems with them.
Right now, I am working on adding layers of  plants, scrubs and trees. I sowed a lot of seeds around my trees today. Lots of borage, yarrow, dandelions, poppies, licorice basil,  wildflowers and more, that I don’t remember the name of. With all of the rain we have been getting, it’s the ideal time to throw in those seeds.
I had 5 raised beds for annuals and perennials in our back yard. Last year we added 1 more bed, and this year another 5 beds. My goal is to grow enough onions, garlic and sweet potatoes to last us a year, and enough winter squash to last us through the cold season. I am already growing enough brassicas to last us through winter, but had to buy my winter squash. Aside from focusing on feeding my family I am slowly adding more and more perennials to the beds. 3 of my raised beds are full perennials only and another 2 has a mix.
Welcome onboard. It’s very interesting that you are using terasses to grow on. Paul W. Has a lot of info about terasses and other landscape amendments, it’s interesting to hear about. My lot are pretty flat, so we don’t need to.
 
Patrik Schumann
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Location: Nuevo Mexico, Alta California, New York, Andalucia
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We're preparing to go on worldschooling sabbatical & realise that whoever's in the house will likely not be able to manage gophers, rain-water & gray-water irrigation, weeds, or harvesting.  The gophers come back despite us blocking their passage from under the sidewalk & street, putting 2' footings under all our boundary/ retaining walls we had to rebuild, having replanted almost everything in cages, & using good traps that work well but they wall them off now.  The large-capacity rain-tanks are gravity-fed/ no pumps, require hand-watering as pressure/ flow drops, & won't last the dry season anyway.  Gray-water is much greater in quantity but relentless daily batches & worse quality than conveyed-water with most occupants.  Weeds are helpful for a while, until the stinging nettles take over & everything reseeds.  If one isn't ready well in advance of harvesting, the birds, squirrels, & rats get most everything.  Even fallowed our place produces a bounty.  Anyone have insightful experience with housemates, renters, caretakers of their homesteads?
 
Ulla Bisgaard
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Patrik Schumann wrote:We're preparing to go on worldschooling sabbatical & realise that whoever's in the house will likely not be able to manage gophers, rain-water & gray-water irrigation, weeds, or harvesting.  The gophers come back despite us blocking their passage from under the sidewalk & street, putting 2' footings under all our boundary/ retaining walls we had to rebuild, having replanted almost everything in cages, & using good traps that work well but they wall them off now.  The large-capacity rain-tanks are gravity-fed/ no pumps, require hand-watering as pressure/ flow drops, & won't last the dry season anyway.  Gray-water is much greater in quantity but relentless daily batches & worse quality than conveyed-water with most occupants.  Weeds are helpful for a while, until the stinging nettles take over & everything reseeds.  If one isn't ready well in advance of harvesting, the birds, squirrels, & rats get most everything.  Even fallowed our place produces a bounty.  Anyone have insightful experience with housemates, renters, caretakers of their homesteads?



Maybe ask in one of the forums here. Maybe a skip student, would like to come in a try their hands at handling a homestead? All you can do is ask.
 
Patrik Schumann
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Ulla Bisgaard wrote:

Patrik Schumann wrote:Anyone have insightful experience with housemates, renters, caretakers of their homesteads?



Maybe ask in one of the forums here. Maybe a skip student, would like to come in a try their hands at handling a homestead? All you can do is ask.



Yes.  Before that we're refining the ask.  I have lots of experience over decades with housemates, renters, caretakers at my homestead in New Mexico, most of it well less than satisfactory.  There occupants are legally responsible for the weeding at least.  Here we have the challenge that the house has to carry itself financially + factoring in the Edible Plantscape even fallowed is a wildcard.  We offered it to the urban backyard gardens CSA for production but no response.  We've had neighbours, gardener, CA Rare Fruit Grower friends help with watering once a week, but even when not burdensome that is often too complicated/ disrupted by distraction & reductionism.  
 
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Ulla Bisgaard wrote:

Patrik Schumann wrote:
We arrived here under the welcoming umbrella of some local CA Rare Fruit Growers, through whom I learned a lot of insights & got some valuable species & varieties.  Very few were organic-, sustainability-, regeneration-, drought-, subsistence-orientated, let alone permies, though I did follow that MeetUp group for years hoping for something collective to happen.  Anyway, happy to connect with some of you here & now!



I agree. I used to be a member of the San Diego gardener group, but left after getting tons of bad advice, and being ridiculed for my ideas. At one point, their expert told me to toss some seedlings I was growing, because the roots turned a little brown whenever I changed the water. No advice on saving them. Well I did save them, and got 3 huge healthy plants out of it. In the end though, it was the environment of self importance, bullying and negativity, that made me leave. It simply became clear that we don’t see the same things when we look at our gardens. Where I see ecosystems, diversity and soil improvements. They see ugliness and weeds. Where I want to work with the environment (food for all), they look at how to tame and/or eradicate it. Just something as simply as what Allen Brooker says about sterile soil. They don’t agree and want the soil and compost to be sterile when spread. Instead I ask, why are you trying to change nature? I love my weeds. I will give you, that I don’t love all of them, but it’s fairly easy to encourage the ones you like to grow. You just leave those alone and remove the ones you don’t like. Eventually the “good” weeds will outcompete the “bad” ones.
While Allen Brooker gave me the scientific explanation, I had already observed that my seedlings did better when started in native soil. It made me very happy that I dropped the other group, and started here instead.
It was such a relief to finally find a group of people, who thought the same was, and also wanted to work with the environment holistically.
Anyway, I am very happy having connected with you and other as well, and I hope we eventually will be able to meet up and inspire each others.



I am glad to see you are persistent and don't stay with a meetup group that has their different approach that they are pushy about. I can conclude that there are such groups to avoid, I still would like a group I find that has those in it who are a community or are aiming at being a community where they grow all they can, for food including vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts, and other useful plants, and with simple living away from cities being independent with this would be valued. I am very interested in methods that correspond to those of the natural farming Masanobu Fukuoka wrote about, and mixing compatible vegetation rather than having plots for crops. I have doubts that there are any meetup groups looking for all of those things, and still I would see some things differently. So it is better that I try taking this direction where I can with any I find with land where I can do so, when I can come to that. And I am in California and see it would be better to find what is closer for that rather than where I would travel much further away.
 
Ulla Bisgaard
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The work on the orchard are coming along slowly but steadily. I have planted blackberries and raspberries in corners where they will be protected. My Mulberry tree arrived, and was really small, but hopefully it will grow fast.
I found a site for plant clearance which had good trees for low prices. I bought a Natal plum in 15 gallons, a strawberry guava and two passion fruit vines. Now to figure out where to put them. These four are all very large ones, that will give us fruit this or next year. I added a picture of them. My oldest daughter insisted that she had to be in the photo for size comparison LOL.
I finally pulled myself together and had soil testing done in the orchard,  and the soil quality isn’t too bad. See the pictures
I am going back and forward about whether I should add sulfur, so please look and let me know. The company that tested it, says to do it, but I am not completely sure. The PH is 7.2 which is a little high, but not much.
I also went around and direct sowed herbs and flowers under the trees. We will have to wait and see if they come up. We have had almost non stop rain the last long while, so I am behind with a lot of tasks, but it will happen, when it happens, and the rain has given me the most fantastic green cabbages and collards.
Last but not least. I am making my own sweet potato slips this year, and are so happy it’s working out. Lots to grow now and in the future.
7925AD03-BC14-4CE1-B96A-730BFB656E19.png
Soil test
Soil test
8A03BE08-4C97-47E9-8E0F-75126DCFD33D.png
Soil test page 2
Soil test page 2
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My new trees, with my daughter for size LOL
My new trees, with my daughter for size LOL
B289A89C-43D4-43E5-8E19-40F3E8E49F4E.jpeg
Cabbages
Cabbages
642CDCF7-636A-48FF-ACE4-114ABCFD8626.jpeg
Collards
Collards
ADF3F084-AF85-40B3-9441-0230B9F9EBEF.jpeg
Cabbages and collards
Cabbages and celery
 
Ulla Bisgaard
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I thought it might be time to give an update on our Orchard/foodforrest and back yard vegetable gardens. I have attached the plan for the Orchard, as it looks right now.
This winter I have added blackberries, raspberries, Natal plum, Strawberry Guava, California Rockroses, Rosa rosehip, passion fruit, and Mulberry. The guava and Mulberry are to give more shade, and the climbers because I love berries, and vines is a good addition.
I have also sowed borage, dandelions and mint underneath the trees, and are planning to plant sweet potato vines around and over the septic tank. Once I can see the soil (right now too many weeds), I am spreading wildflowers and sowing vegetables.
Right now, I am struggling with finding the right spot and trellis set up for the 2 passion fruits I bought. Like the rock roses their use are twofold since the flowers are medicinal and fruit edible.
There are really only two places they can go in the orchard. After the septic tank, or next to the Peach, where I have marked out space for future grapes. It would mean switching the grapes to the other side, but that’s okay too, since I haven’t planted them yet.
Btw. Funny story. Sometimes I can loose confidence in a project. That’s what happened when I started growing sweet potato slips. I need 40 slips to cover my needs, so I put 8 sweet potatoes in soil. As you might guess, that was way too many (100+). It’s not a huge problem though, since I am in a buy nothing group. By this I mean, that now 14 of my neighbors will be getting slips to grow sweet potatoes this year. Is it strange, that this makes me happy? It might be that I love feeding people and give them the tools to feed themselves.
In the back yard my son and I put in drip irrigation and expanded the garden with 6 new beds. Otherwise I wouldn’t have enough room for everything I am growing and will be growing over the next many years.
03287E25-3C33-4180-A2CA-CAA3177A7B3F.jpeg
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[Thumbnail for 279722C1-0F6E-4731-B6B9-9174518B9560.jpeg]
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[Thumbnail for F1AD6882-6D86-4770-8B25-6FB58D9DE514.jpeg]
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[Thumbnail for 0CD496CC-F070-4A70-8165-9A6D57CC7BFA.jpeg]
 
Patrik Schumann
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Location: Nuevo Mexico, Alta California, New York, Andalucia
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We straddle a small canyon & it seems like everyone looks down on our small house, so as part of our boundary/ retaining wall project I put in a 15' poles * 75' cables trellis system.  The passionfruit quickly spread & covered one side, while the grapes & sweet potato are slowly taking over the other.  I aim to mix in kiwi.  

As we approach our sabbatical not having found anyone to cultivate our place, it seems such a shame after last year's drought & during this year's excess rain to fallow the garden beds a second year.  At least the subsistence hedge/ perimeter plantings & all the volunteers are doing well.  

The gopher popped up on the other side of the house in the last planting without wire cages, and is having their way with our artichokes.
 
Ulla Bisgaard
pollinator
Posts: 263
Location: Grow zone 10b. Southern California,close to the Mexican boarder
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Jen Fulkerson wrote:Hi Ulla I'm zone 9b and have managed to grow comfrey. It was a struggle, but I finally got a true comfrey crown to grow for a couple of years now. I planted it under an apricot tree with a tree collared on the side to provide shade from the afternoon sun.  Last year I started true comfrey from seed. Two grew One lived through the miserable hot summer. So if you're determined, keep comfrey watered well until it's established, then it gets easier.

If you don't want to go to the trouble borage is from the same family as comfrey. It has a lot of the same benefits like being a dynamic accumulator.  I find it super easy to grow. It isn't a perinatal, but will reseed itself like crazy.  You will find it popping up all over. It's easy to pull unwanted plants.  It's pretty, tastes like cucumber, but the fuzzy texture isn't very appealing. The flowers also tastes like cucumber, and pretty in salad.



I have something exciting to show you. I planted comfrey, at the base of some of the trees, after spreading borage seeds, came to nothing. Then when I went to check them today. Right next to it, was a nice large borage plant growing. I also planted borage indoors, and it did have a bad germination rate, which I didn’t know before I tried germinating indoors. So, it looks like borage will grow there just fine, as long as it actually germinates. This makes planting borage and comfrey looking more promising.
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Ulla Bisgaard wrote:

Jen Fulkerson wrote:Hi Ulla I'm zone 9b and have managed to grow comfrey. It was a struggle, but I finally got a true comfrey crown to grow for a couple of years now. I planted it under an apricot tree with a tree collared on the side to provide shade from the afternoon sun.  Last year I started true comfrey from seed. Two grew One lived through the miserable hot summer. So if you're determined, keep comfrey watered well until it's established, then it gets easier.

If you don't want to go to the trouble borage is from the same family as comfrey. It has a lot of the same benefits like being a dynamic accumulator.  I find it super easy to grow. It isn't a perinatal, but will reseed itself like crazy.  You will find it popping up all over. It's easy to pull unwanted plants.  It's pretty, tastes like cucumber, but the fuzzy texture isn't very appealing. The flowers also tastes like cucumber, and pretty in salad.



Thank you, I think I will try borage, I have tried comfrey before and it just can’t survive here. The trees in our orchard isn’t super large yet, except for the avocados. So there really isn’t any place I can put it, where there is shade, though I do grow tree collards. I only just started them this winter. I do have two old orange trees, growing on their own next to the driveway. Maybe I can try comfrey there. Those two trees needs some TLC anyway. Rf
I did order rock roses, which I hope will live in the orchard. It’s a crazy good medicinal plant, and taste great in tea too.
So far I have bananas, peaches, apples, plums, avocado, elderberries, tangerines and lemons growing there. I think I need something with a big wide canopy to help bring the temperature down. We also have nettles, mallow and mustard cress growing there wild, plus  a mix of difference grasses. I am trying to add in some wild flowers and other species to get some diversity. I want to move at least some of it, to use as living mulch, but my husband isn’t happy, because he feeds it to his rabbits.


I think Mimosa is wonderful for lowering temps with light shadewhile providing nitrogen fixation; it grows quickly.
I live in Mobile, Al and although it is listed as 8b on maps actually has 9a temps.  I have used The Planting Wheel for Mobile, AL which was developed by a local grower many years ago.  It is accessible on the web and lists when to plant what, including starting transplants, for most veggies that we grow annually.  We can grow food here all year round but I have very limited items that will grow during our summer heat and humidity; hibiscus do well and field peas have perennialized themselves in my garden.  We also have short windows for tomatoes as it gets too hot too quickly after being cold.  Kale is perrennial in my garden, fennel lasts many years if I do not harvest all of it, and mustard self sows.  Blackberry, dewberry, blueberry, raspberry, strawberry all do well with little input as do muscadine grapes.  Citrus that can tolerate light frosts ( satsumas, meyer lemon, blood orange) all do well but require lots of food; I plant comfrey at the base of each tree on the north side and it does well once established ( extra water first year and since I have to feed the citrus the first two years I can keep an eye on it).  Elderberry, loquat,, pear Japanese persimmon all producing.  Still waiting for figs, pomegranate, peaches, plums, hazels, chinquapin, fejoa, mulberry, and a couple other fruits to start producing.  Diascorea are great here; very simple to grow as well as cold tolerant ginger and taro.  
 
Ulla Bisgaard
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Posts: 263
Location: Grow zone 10b. Southern California,close to the Mexican boarder
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I am loving my gardens more and more. The second garden are coming along nicely. I have 3 beds full of pumpkins and winter squash, which are loving life. Everything are so beautiful, and since we added irrigation and shade, my herbs has exploded with growth this year. I have never been able to harvest this many herbs, so I am very happy. It looks like I won’t have to buy any culinary or medicinal herbs this year, which is a first.
Here is a video from my YouTube channel, showing the beauty I am experiencing right now.

https://youtu.be/q6I6mH5avY0
 
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Location: South Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain)
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I'm on a subtropical spanish island next to the Sahara desert. Can grow all year round. Melons, corn, moringa and papayas don't do a lot during "winter" (which is like a north european summer but with short days). spinach, peas and lettuce struggle during summer unless in shade of trees. just grow stuff a couple of zones down in winter but remember daylight hours will drop.

in general stuff grows in conditions where google says it won't, given enough trial and error, so try it and help out with windbreaks etc.
 
Ulla Bisgaard
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Posts: 263
Location: Grow zone 10b. Southern California,close to the Mexican boarder
175
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Fall on our California Homestead

Fall has arrived in California with constantly changing temperatures and humidity. My melons got powder mold, something I should have predicted and pre treated for. It’s a lesson I won’t forget next year. As you know, if you have read my other posts, planting melons in fall are one of my experiments this year, and except for the PM I am satisfied with what I see.
The pumpkins and winter squash patch are still producing. I am testing out a new way to protect my melons, squash and pumpkins from rats and gophers and it seems to work. What I am doing is wrap each fruit in a soft gopher net. It’s a metal net similar to chain mail. So far non of the ones I have wrapped has been eaten, and the beauty of this product, is that it can be stretched so it will expand as the fruit grows.
Beans are still coming is and so are tomatillos and peppers. I am canning 9 pints of garlic green beans today in my pressure canner.
It always amazes me how fast the garden grows. I have been in bed for the last week, because I hurt my back, and in that time it seems like everything has exploded. Right now I still can’t do a lot, so it’s a bit frustrating to see work piling up. I can tell you, that the chickens will get a lot of food from the garden, once I am better. My mugwort is strangling my Rosemary and my mint are trying to spread to the next bed over. I have a ton of holy Basil, mullein and comfrey to harvest too and the sweet potatoes have started to die back.
These are all blessing though. The chickens will benefit from the herbs, with better health and the compost will be enriched with all of the comfrey.
Next year I will be in a better position to take care of it, since we are getting a freeze dryer. This will enable me to dry a lot more than I am doing now.
Filling the front year with mulch and compost are slow going, but we are slowly getting it done. I have planted strawberries and I am ready to plant garlic and onions. I am going to sow carrots between the onions and garlic, since those two grow really well together. As for fruit, we are still eating storage apples, and have started harvesting strawberry guava. Those little fruits are very delicious especially in smoothies. When I am in the front yard, I keep picking and eating them. It also looks like we will get a bumper crop of passion fruit, and in a month or so the melons will be ripe and ready for picking. These fruits will keep us going until after new years, when we will be able to start harvesting oranges again.
I think the best thing about fall and spring, is that I can see my pantries filling up with canned, dried and frozen produce. The top of my canning shelves are full of pumpkins and winter squash, and there are garlic and onions having in bags of the shelves. It brings me peace, and I fell blessed by the earth we live on. There is so much beauty and health to find in a garden, if you just look. Is it hard work, yes, but it’s worth it. Every time I am out there I feel the connection to the planet we live on and I feel blessed to have this home. Sitting and meditating or just breathing in and looking around, at all of the wild rabbits, snakes, birds and insects that are all around me. It fortifies my belief that we can live a life where we find a balance between us and nature.
A while ago I was asked why I thought we have so many gophers and rats in the San Diego area, and the answer is actually very simple. We broke the balance with nature, so now we are paying the price. When we build homes and industries, we pushes out the predators and established better food sources for rodents, so it’s not surprising that the population has exploded. If we want to bring back that balance, we need to make room for Coyotes, Owls and Snakes, who are the natural predators for that animal group. It’s not easy, but it’s something to think about.
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Pumpkins if gopher nets
Pumpkins if gopher nets
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Melon in gopher nets
Melon in gopher nets
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Thai snake beans
Thai snake beans
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Cassava plants for flour
Cassava plants for flour
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Seedling trays for the raised bed garden
Seedling trays for the raised bed garden
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Compost and mulch
Compost and mulch
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Juice for winter
Juice for winter
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Pear butter
Pear butter
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Elderberries
Elderberries
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Elderberry juice for the freezer
Elderberry juice for the freezer
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Elderberry soup with cinnamon croutons
Elderberry soup with cinnamon croutons
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Tomatillos Okra Beans and Peppers
Tomatillos Okra Beans and Peppers
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Black futsu pumpkins/winter squash
Black futsu pumpkins/winter squash
 
Ulla Bisgaard
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Posts: 263
Location: Grow zone 10b. Southern California,close to the Mexican boarder
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We are now in fall here on the homestead and things are changing. We had a fantastic summer harvest, which we are not completely done with yet, as we still need to harvest sweet potatoes, cassava and have lots of spinach and collards that we can harvest from all year round. Here is a status of what we have harvested so far:
60 pounds of cucumbers aka 400 cucumbers in total
21 pounds of tomatoes
5 pounds of peas
25 pounds of green beans and more coming
30 pounds of spinach
10 pounds of lettuce
10 pounds of onions since my onions bolted and rotted.
20 pounds of spring onions
20 pounds of garlic
20 pounds of celery
50 pounds of collard greens
30 pounds of green cabbages
8 pounds of red cabbages
35 pound of tomatillos
4 pounds of peppers
10 pounds each of okra, cauliflower and broccoli
225 pounds of pumpkins and winter squash
2 pounds of kohlrabi
5 pounds of carrots
2 pounds of radishes
40 pounds of peaches
100 pounds of oranges
2 pounds of plums
2 pounds of strawberry guava
20 pounds of apples
2 pounds of raspberries and blackberries
40 pounds of grapefruit
10 pounds of pomegranates
10 pounds of tangerines
10 pounds of lemons
10 pounds of melons
I think this has been a nice harvest for the year so far. Right now I have planted 270 onions and 300 garlics in two new beds, plus strawberries in the forest garden. In the forest garden we also have a lot of passion fruits coming in soon, as the plants are booming with fruit. We are also adding a 6 inch layer of compost and mulch all over the forest, so get it ready for wild flower seeds, herbs and other annual seeds.
In the raised bed garden, we are adding 3 more beds bring my total up to 16 beds. I have a lot of seedlings started, so now that most of the beds has been harvested, we have started topping them all up with compost. This weekend I am harvesting the last elderberries in the forest garden, and planting some boisen berries and alpine strawberries.
Today I direct seeded carrots and are going to plant leeks and red cabbages. Next week it will be time to harvest sweet potatoes and then ginger and turmeric. In early December it will be time to harvest the cassava and to see how successful I have been there. I am looking forward to making my own cassava flour.
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Ulla Bisgaard
pollinator
Posts: 263
Location: Grow zone 10b. Southern California,close to the Mexican boarder
175
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We are now in February 2024. I/we are behind with a lot of things. I had a mini stroke Christmas Day, plus a medical port had caused a blood infection. Even though I was only hospitalized for a week, it has still taken me until now to feel well enough to do any gardening and food preservation.
Instead my family has taken care of the most urgent chores and the rest was left until I am feeling better. While I was recovering in bed, they finished the last three beds, for our raised bed garden. They each have an arbor between them, something I have wanted for a long time. I am looking forward to peas, melons and other vines there.
The rainy season finally hit us, with storm/flood warnings, so soon it will be time to spread flower seeds in the front yard forest orchard. It also meant that we had to harvest all ripe citrus, to prevent the fruits from splitting in the trees. We have 2 orange trees, one are ripe now and one isn’t. The first one, that we think are Cara Cara oranges were ripe, so we harvested that tree and got 100 pounds of sweet fruits.
Next we harvested my Meyer Lemons, and we got 71 pounds of those. So far we are almost done processing the oranges. We made 9 half pints of orange marmalade, the rest of them were juiced and frozen so we can get them freeze dried. We still have 45 pounds of lemons left to process into lemon curd, candied lemon slices and what nots, but we have vacuum packed and frozen 20 whole lemons, 1 gallon of slices and 1 gallon of quartered lemons. We have also made 2 gallons of fermented lemons and 13 pints of strawberry lemonade concentrate.
I still have lots of pumpkins and winter squash to process into flesh and seeds for oil, and lots of garlic to peel as well.
So what are we harvesting right now:
Lettuce, for us lettuce is a cold season food. It’s really hard to grow during the summer heat
Cherry/grape tomatoes I just harvested the very last I found on the plants. Give them to the chickens though, since they didn’t look very nice.
Spinach we have two perennial types. Both produce year round.
cutting celery I have two that survived bolting and frost, plus I planted an additional 12 plants
spring onions, I always plant onions too close, and then harvest som as green/spring onions.
Collard greens All of our collards are loving the weather and are producing nice sweet leaves
Oranges and lemons as you already know
Tangerines are starting to ripening
Passion fruits are also ripening slowly
Rapid and early cauliflower and broccoli are also giving us our first harvests
Kohlrabi purple kind are ready.
I feel so blessed to finally have the gardens of my dreams. The back yard raised bed garden are thriving. Including the 3 raised beds I put on the edge of the forest garden, we now have 16 beds. This is more than double the growing space we had 3 years ago.
I only got about a pound out of my cassava plants, but I am not giving up. I think I know where I went wrong. We had irrigation problems, plus there wasn’t enough space for the roots. I also transplanted the, outside too early.
In the food forest, some of my micro climates changed, because my neighbors cut down a lot of trees, we will have to wait and see what a difference it will make. Good though is that we now have a tree for an owl box.
I have been adding bird houses in different places in and around the trees. They are popular. We had hummingbirds fighting over them.
Once the last of the compost has been spread, I am planting hibiscus and tree collards along the fence to our neighbors. I already spread out plants, cuttings and seeds for wild garlic, wild leeks and wild plus walking onions. In about 2 weeks, all of the berry bushes I ordered will start to arrive.
Until then, it’s all about spreading compost and remove the weeds I don’t like.
Last note for February, today we also welcomed the second gopher snake to the forest orchard/garden. It had found a home by my passion fruit, which isn’t the best place, so I relocated it to the prickly pear where the other snake I have seen lives.  My husband gave me a metal garden bench for Christmas and I love it. I installed a bird bath, since I find that if the birds has access to water, they leave my berries alone. I have some art and two fountains on my wishlist for my birthday in April.
This isn’t going to be the traditional food forest garden, and that’s okay because this is my project, and I want art and flowers there too. I want these 3300 square feet area to be a magic place where you can find food, herbs, art, wonder and peace. Where I can worship and meditate. Right now most of the trees are small, so as they grow things will change, and there will be things we have room for now, that won’t fit later. That’s okay too, this place will grow and spread out, and competition will show which plants ends up staying and thriving and which ones won’t.
I have added some photos of the garden, plants and out food preservation efforts. Hope you enjoy.
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Ulla Bisgaard
pollinator
Posts: 263
Location: Grow zone 10b. Southern California,close to the Mexican boarder
175
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From plant to flour “cassava roots”.
When Peter (my husband) and I first started talking about food security, one of our concerns was access to a good healthy gluten free flour. The two flours we use the most, in our household are almond and cassava.
Almonds I am still thinking about. I would have to find the perfect microclimate spot for it, or it won’t grow here. Almonds are picky. They don’t like drying out and they don’t like sitting in water. It’s also a bit hot for them here where we live.
It’s different with Cassava. Cassava is a root in the yucca family. They love water, and they love the sun and heat even more.
This experiment started a couple of years ago. I keep getting better, but are still not getting a lot of roots. I  planted 4 plants in February and 4 plants in Maj. The ones I plants in February never rooted, and we didn’t get very large roots on the others, which leaves me to conclude several things from the observations I have done since planting. I will need to start them indoors, so they get a longer growing season without the exposure to frost. Once they have settled in, they had no problems with the light frost we got in December and January.  I will also make sure there are looser soil with more organic matter, to add nutrients and make it easier to spread out.  I also planted the other plants with them, and that restricted them as well. I won’t do that next time. I am also going to do some more research to figure out if there are anything else I can do.
Anyway, we did get about 2 pounds of roots, and I bought an additional 15 pounds of roots, so I could go ahead and make flour.  I wanted to do it now, before I committed to growing more, to see how tough the processing would be.
It was interesting to see that the sender had dipped the roots in wax before shipping to extend shelf life. I am going to make a note of that. Normally they go bad pretty quick.
The roots were first peeled and then boiled. Once cooled down, we mashed them and froze them on trays and then freeze dried them for 30 hours on 150F.
Then I broke it into pieces and ground them up in my grain mill.
“Note that you can’t use a stone grain mill. You need one of the ones that has a steel blade”
Last I ran them through a shifter to get any little bits and pieces out of the flour.
Then all that was left, was to pack it in a Mylar bag with a Selica bag and an oxygen absorber, and put them in the freezer.
All research I did, said that the flour will go bad unless you store it in the freezer. Now, keep in mind, that I used a freeze dryer. All the tutorials I could find online used a dehydrator or an oven to dry the roots. I don’t know if freeze drying will extend the life of the flour, but I hope it will.
Conclusions:
I will need to start the roots inside, as soon as I have harvested roots outside, and then plant them out in April/May when there no longer are any risk of frost damage.
Make sure the roots get plenty of water. We didn’t always do that, and they suffered for it.
Dip the roots in wax, if you can’t process them right away
The boiling and mashing method works really well for making a nice flour. At some point I want to try the raw method, where the roots are fermented instead of boiled.
You can definitely with very little work grow your own cassava roots for flour, if you life down south in grow zone 10+. We are in grow zone 10a, people in zone 11 or hotter won’t get any frost, and will not have to start the plants indoors.
The processing wasn’t too bad. Most of my problems was from not knowing my grain mill well enough yet. I am also very happy I bought an electric shifter. It would have taken way too much work, shifting it all by hand.
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Cassava plant
Cassava plant
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Cassava roots
Cassava roots
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Boiling
Boiling
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Mashed
Mashed
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Finished freeze drying
Finished freeze drying
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Milling process
Milling process
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Shifting process
Shifting process
 
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