Dan Boone

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since Jan 24, 2014
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Dan Boone gardens, plants fruit trees, and tends wild fruit and nut trees and vines in Central Oklahoma.
Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
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Recent posts by Dan Boone

I think Jay's question about defining economic success is important to grapple with.  Is "raking in the dough" as a permaculturalist farmer/homesteader possible? I don't know. It does not seem to be common.  But Paul Wheaton's fable The Story Of Gert seems relevant here.  

In that story Ferd (who is the Goofus of the tale, where Gert is the Gallant) works his ass off with job and commute to rake in the dough.  Gert enjoys a better lifestyle with little income and even less cash.  Which of them is an example of economic success?  That's a question of values; some would say both, some would say neither, and some would pick out one or the other.  

If the challenge is to have Ferd's cash while living Gert's lifestyle, I think that's a hard one.

2 days ago
There's a person on Twitter who is a big Soay sheep enthusiast: @NeolithicSheep.  The Twitter account ranges over a wide range of topics from Soay sheep to Kerry cattle to ... well, let's just call it a bit of a carnival ride and leave it there.  There's also a Patreon that I think may have more sheep stuff on it.  You might find something useful perusing their links and media.

1 week ago
Thank you!  I simply could not visualize it, and the photos help enormously.  That's really clever and a huge attractiveness upgrade.
1 week ago

Kelly Craig wrote:
I wrap five gallon buckets with cedar strips I make with my bandsaw. If the buckets were left to the sun, they'd be brittle and dead in a couple years. Four years in, with the cedar as a shield, they're cute, going strong and not in a landfill somewhere.

I would really love to see photos of your cedar-armored buckets!  Or even more, shots of the strip-making and assembly process.

I use a lot of buckets, mostly upcycled from roadside litter.  (Oklahoma's litter laws aren't taken very seriously and people who let five gallon buckets blow out of the backs of their pickup trucks rarely stop and go back for them.)  So they come to me in various stages of pre-decomposition from UV exposure and they move on to the landfill when they start falling apart as I handle them.  Anything that extends their life and beautifies my container garden is of interest.
1 week ago
As y'all might imagine, using tires for planters is controversial in Permies circles. We've discussed it many times before.  I am something of a fan, myself.  I don't think there's any real clear science that examines the hazards of whole tires in the living environment (as opposed to ground up tire chunks, or tire dust, both of which are quite bad).  But I'm beyond the days when I was interested in rehashing old arguments.  Here's  a sort of roundup post I did more than five years ago, summarizing many of the previous threads and discussions here on the forum.  Notable is Paul Wheaton's opinion:

5 years ago: Big tires for "Keyhole-ish" design


paul wheaton wrote:
2)  My mission with these forums to gather knowledge about stuff far beyond organic.  I don't want to publish discussions on GMOs, herbicides or petroleum fertilizers - that's for other forums.  The use of tires is something that might be considered organic, therefore I will allow it.  but just barely.  And I do want the resulting discussion to strongly favor NOT using tires.  

3)  When I first started gardening, I really sucked at it.  But I quickly learned that I needed more soil.  And one of the things I did was use a big tractor tire and fill it with soil.  It worked awesome:  the rhubarb planted in it was HUGE!  It was about a year later that I started to feel uneasy about the tire and the potential toxins.  And a year after that that I started making plans to get rid of the tire.   And now I am adamantly against the idea of using tires in gardening.   Therefore, i cannot fault this path - I've done the same thing.  And I hope that folks coming to this site and reading this thread will come to the conclusion of not using tires in their stuff - thus avoided my past errors.

1 week ago
I saw a reference on Twitter today about thatching with "reeds" which made me wonder if you could make thatch bundles with Arundo Donax.  But I haven't had time to research that.

I do use Arundo Donax extensively for my garden stakes.  When stuck in the soil they are very much a single-season stick but they work great.  My rule of thumb on strength is that I break off the small end as low as the strength of my hands allows without going to an extraordinary effort, and then I use my electric pruning shears to remove one full "joint-to-joint" segment below that, leaving a clean end with no splinters/cracks and a strong reed.  However long or short I get is how long or short I get, but over time I've found it just isn't worth my time to continue messing with reeds that have a thin/weak end.  
2 weeks ago
Gonna quote myself from much earlier in the thread:

Dan Boone wrote:
If you knew that the $5 or the $10 object would be a trivial expense when it came time to buy another one, the problem is easy.  But how do you know?  Who can see the future?

Today I found this 1965 cartoon from Mad Magazine.  Who can see the future, indeed?

3 weeks ago
I just saw the following on the Merriwether's Foraging Texas FB page:

Just a reminder, toasted, young leaves of fig trees taste like coconut! Bake them in an oven at 375F for until crunchy/brittle then crush up and add wherever you'd put coconut. Mmmmmm!

No recipes, but one commenter showed a photo of fig leaf ice cream with the comment "Tastes just like coconut."

Another commenter said -- and this is highly relevant to my interests -- "Infused in vodka makes a wonderful drink!"

For context, I have a ton of fig plants that make lots of leaves but very little fruit (so far) due to mostly not being quite hardy enough for my conditions. So I am going to be trying this just as soon as this year's new growth gets going.
1 month ago

William Bronson wrote:
Overwintering it inside should be easy enough anyway,  it is said to prefer partial shade.

Duckweed I know is easy; just about any vessel with water in it will keep it happy as long as there is a little light.

Azolla is fussier.  The one year I had it, it didn't survive overwinter indoors in the one pot I assumed it would be happy in.  Not sure why.
1 month ago

William Bronson wrote: Perhaps I  could do a riff on a kiddie pool grow bag system .

I had a ten gallon yellow Igloo cooler with no lid that came from a garage sale for almost free.  I was using it like a small rain barrel and dipping plant water out of it with a dipper.  Somehow some azolla got in there on my dipper and grew so well, it would make a thick mat filling the surface about every three to five days.  Whereupon I would scoop it out with my hands and mulch something nearby.  

All of which is to say, yes, I think it would grow great in a kiddy pool, with or without grow bags.  I like the idea a lot because nutrients leached out of the growbags by rain or watering would be captured and eaten by the azolla, whereupon you just pick them up and put them back on your soil surface!
1 month ago