Andy Johnson

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since Feb 19, 2013
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Recent posts by Andy Johnson

Craig Dobbelyu wrote:You could use them to make rush lights, an alternative to candles. They are made by soaking the rush in heated animal fats and then hanging them up to dry/harden. I first saw it done on the show Tales from the Green Valley I don't remember what episode it was so here is a you tube link to full playlist

You can also see rush lights being made here.




Not as good as a candle but better than nothing.


Wow, that is one creative use!
4 years ago
Thanks everyone. From what you all posted I think it's a rush too. It's only in the wet areas of my land. I guess I can use it as an indicator for growing plants that need lots of water. Any other uses you can think of?
4 years ago
Hi, I have a stubborn weed in my blueberry field. I would like to know what it is so I can find better ways of managing it. Maybe there is even a use for it. Does any one recognize this thing? The picture doesn't show it but in the fall it gets a cluster of bulb like formations at the top kind of like a chive/onion. It doesn't smell like anything and is VERY hard to pull out or cut.
4 years ago
I suppose I could but lawyers are expensive and I would probably have to prove some kind of financial damage. That's hard to do when I don't make money yet. They had their farm established many years before I bought my property and I knew they were there before hand. Plus I'd rather not burn my bridges with my neighbors. I am going to see if I can negotiate with them and maybe get them to use something less dangerous to my bees than mustang max. I will probably throw in free pollination services in to the bargain. I use bacillus thuringiensis which is a bacteria that infects the cherry worm and supposedly doesn't harm anything else. It's organic but I don't know if it can be sprayed from a plane and how effective it would be. My bushes are too small to tell. In absence of that I was hoping a treeline might block it from my field and keep my bees out of their theirs.
6 years ago
Hi, I have a small 8 acre fledgling blueberry orchard. I have more land but its forest and I eventually want to farm that permaculture style. Right now I just want to run my cash crop (blueberries) organically. My problem is I border another blueberry farm that is full scale commercial. They spray mustang max from planes and I get drift on my side. I know this because I had the unfortunate experience of getting misted unexpectedly when a plane dumped the stuff on it's first pass. I tracked him down and his boss got and angry phone call but long term this will ruin my organic practices. I also keep bees and Mustang Max is a insecticide known to be harmful to bees.

My question is this, can I plant some fast growing pine trees at the boarder to block the in coming mist? I was thinking of eastern white pine since they grow fast. I don't have a ton of room between my blueberries and theirs though. I have maybe 12 ft. I need something tall and thin that grows fast. Pine would be a bonus because I could use the pine needles for some much needed pine mulch.

Also does anyone know of an alternative to mustang max that would control the cherry worm but not kill my bees? Maybe I could get my neighbor to switch if I provide free pollination services. Triple points if you know of something organic that I could use too! It would have to have some commercial history to it. Convincing someone to risk their lively hood on change will take some doing.
6 years ago
Mori,

That's awesome! I will definitely check out your site. I think I know the guy you are talking about. Joe's Blues right? I met him at a couple of different farmers markets. He seems like a nice guy. My land is sandy and dry for the most part. I do have a pond and the area near it is wet during part of the year. The land drains well so it depends on how much rain we get. I usually have a high water table unless there is a drought.
6 years ago
Jay,

Interesting, I may try some Lavender just to see. What variety did you plant? I think there are three main ones, English, Spanish and French.

6 years ago
David,

Thanks for your input. I am definitely going to look into the red clover. I have some growing naturally so seeding should take. Can you tell me more about "ericoid mycorrhizae"? I don't know what that is or where you get it.
6 years ago
David,

I had never heard of subterranean clover before. I had planned on the more common variety because my bees love it. The downside I guess would be lack of flowers from what I have been reading. It would be worth it to kill off the grass though.
6 years ago
JD Horn,

For the Mint, we have mint growing there but it's surprisingly not that pervasive. It's only in a few spots. There must be something it doesn't like in the soil. It's really unique stuff though. It smells like chocolate mint!
6 years ago