Dave Hunt

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since Oct 12, 2013
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Recent posts by Dave Hunt

Hi James,
Congrats on the 10 acres and cabin, that’s sounds awesome!  
Elderberry is a good plant to get started, they grow great from cuttings and can be pretty prolific.
I have some honey locust here and the thorns are pretty spectacular.  I would imagine they would keep deer out if turned into a hedge.  

I’m in NJ as well, Hunterdon County.  When we moved to this property I made sure to walk the property a lot and during all seasons. After a while I got a pretty good idea of what kind of plants and trees I had growing. Eventually I discovered we had a giant sweet cherry tree that I had passed by for a couple years before I found it.
You might have a bunch of great plants/trees already established on your property that are waiting to be found!  
Good luck with everything!  Keep us posted on your progress!
1 year ago
Hi Scott,
All in all it looks like you have a good looking Paw Paw tree! My initial thoughts are similar to what others mentioned with a few pointers to help going forward.

Like Daniel said the yellow leaves could be from too much water from all the rain you said you received (These leaves will end up falling off in most cases)  
Try to mix in some sand (or something that drains well) in your planting area next time you plant a tree to help with drainage.  It’s hard to do this after the fact but if you are careful of the root zone it’s possible.  

Sun burn
Young Paw paws also are sensitive to full sun during hot summers.  Since this tree has only been in this location a couple months you might have those upper leaves being affected by too much sun.  

Chances are wherever you got the tree from it had way more shade and the strong summer sun is a bit of a shock.  Shade cloth/burlap attached to two wood posts can provide enough afternoon shade.  It will be hardier next summer so you probably don’t have to shade it this year.  Although a little shade for the next month or so won’t hurt.  

I also noticed at least one leaf had a hole in it. Check the leaves for pest signs.  Check the back side of the leaves from insect pests, eggs, etc.  dispose of as necessary.  

Overall your tree looks great!  Good luck with it and keep us updated!
5 years ago
Wow great thread with a ton of info here!
I was thinking about raising a couple Jersey steers this year as well.  Since I have never done cows before I have been dragging my heels and busy with other projects.

Brian did you end of getting a calf or two? If so how is it working out?

Question for everyone, i know you guys were talking about bottle fed calves.  But would it be worthwhile to buy a weaned Jersey steer at about 300 lbs?  And if so what would a reasonable price range be?  

I was thinking about raising 2 steers for personal consumption.  Trying to figure out if it is worth it to buy at that size or not.  and if I should bring them on at the end of the summer or wait until next spring.  
5 years ago
We ditched the microwave about 5 years ago and haven't missed it.
We solve reheating left over rice by turning it into our version of fried rice with a little oil, onion, garlic and an egg or two in a pan.  
I happen to enjoy eating cold pasta but my Italian wife also heats it with a little olive oil in a skillet.  
Recently we discovered left over pancakes heat up nicely in the toaster.  
Best part of ditching the microwave is all the extra room on the counter!
7 years ago
Hey Joseph,
Everything is starting to go dormant here.  If you are still looking to get some extra plants let me know.  I have a some of mulberry, elderberry, persimmon, and goumi trees/plants I can give you.
Everything else we have right now would be seeds (paw paw, cherry, apple, pear, seaberry, etc.)  
Let me know if you have any interest.
7 years ago
Hi Matthew,
Congrats on the homestead!  I'm in western NJ too, Hunterdon county.  
Sounds like you got a bunch of good advice already.  
Just a few ideas from your initial post:
Almonds should be no problem.  Depending how far north you are you might have a hard time ripening pecans every year.
Apples are tough around here if you are going no spray.  I have had a lot more success with pears.  That being said I do have several apple trees and some years are better than others.  
To see a quicker return we started with a lot of berries.  Grapes do pretty well around here as well.
Again congrats on the homestead, keep us updated on what you decide to plant.
7 years ago
Great advice Marco!  It's so counter intuitive that thinning so much of your fruit will actually lead to better sized fruit.  It's hard to thin that much at first but once you do you will be happy you did.  
7 years ago
That stinks sounds like you've tried most everything.  It's always sad to see your plants get eaten.  A ground hog got into my garden the other night and took out nearly half of it so I can relate.  
If row covers and ducks/chickens are working it sounds like you need to start manually picking them off a few times each day.  I will hand pick beetles off my grapes and roses then feed them to my birds.  
You can also try drawing your birds right near the plants the hoppers are on.  Once you have your birds around give the plant a shake hopefully knocking the grasshoppers right to the waiting birds.  After a while your birds might start to make a bigger dent in the grasshopper population.  
I have found turkeys to be great grasshopper hunters.  If you can get your hands on a few turkeys let them go after the grasshoppers.  Good luck with them.  Hopefully you can get them under control.  
I can totally relate!  With 3 and a half kids all under 5 in a small house we realized a few things pretty quickly.

Bunk bed side guards are priceless.
As long as it's "somewhat" light outside there's never a bad time to go outside.  The middle guy likes to wake up with the sun so he helps me with the animal chores first thing.  
A little rain used to keep us inside with the first one, now it's fun to sit under a tree and listen to the rain.  
Winter is tough.

I have a peeing outside story that involves a 2 year old, a church picnic, and a few hundred people but that's for another time!
7 years ago
I don't know if it's my vision or the picture but I can't get a great look at it.  Plums are particularly susceptible to black knot.  Black knot can take hold in any bark crack or other tree I njury.  Give it a quick google.  
You might be at the beginning stages of it here but like I said I can't quite make out the picture on my phone.  Early stage black knot is typically hard to identify.  I would be curious to hear what everyone else thinks.  
If your tree has black knot you will be able to identify it better in the dormant period as it stands off a lot more.  
Once winter hits you want to prunye off the infected area.  It's a fungus and can spread so be sure to prune at least a few inches 4-6" on either side of the gall.  
After pruning clean your equipment throughly, gloves, clothing and pruners so you don't spread it to any of your other trees.  Lastly dispose of the infected wood.  
7 years ago