elle sagenev

pollinator
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since Jun 13, 2014
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kids duck forest garden chicken pig bee greening the desert homestead
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Recent posts by elle sagenev

Just wanted to add that I am doing my darndest to keep a sane house for the kids. We are being protective but not fostering an environment of fear. So we aren't stressed out anxious afraid but I do not want to get covid and pass it on so we're being careful.
4 days ago
I'm not afraid for me. I'm protecting a few people who are already compromised and would likely die. I love them and don't want to kill them!

We listen to a comedy duo podcast, The Pete and Sebastian Show. We had been complaining there wasn't a new podcast available and then they put out one where Pete's Dad died from Covid and it was heart breaking.
4 days ago
This post is very old but I got some pictures yesterday to add to it. Keep in mind with these pics that it is 2 weeks since the hard snow that caused the drifts. It's just been too windy to get outside to take pictures.

I set up this tire barrier a few years ago. I had hoped it would catch blowing sainfoin seeds and start some growing stuff in a dead zone. So far no sainfoin but it is doing a very interesting job of catching snow.

Looks like the fire ant hills are also interesting snow fences. Each hill had a collection of snow around it.

Tumbleweeds collected on the fence have made an amazing snow mass.

Our path is just barely crowned but it's collecting snow as well.
4 days ago

Annie Collins wrote:

Saucey Mama wrote:Out story, to answer your question: We first bought and raised a female Toulouse named Mother. The children are the ones who've taken care of her since she was a wee gosling, so I don't know if it is from their interaction with her, the fact that she's female, or just her personality, but she's incredibly docile. In fact, she's so docile she wasn't making a good guard! Then our friends who also have gaggle of children told us they were having problems with their male Toulouse, apparently he was too good at guarding and killed their rooster and attacked one of them. Well, we really wanted to hatch goslings, so we said we would take him to breed with ours. We named him Father and had a cute little prenuptial ceremony (neck tie included!) when we introduced the two to each other. Upon getting him home, we noticed an immediate difference in their temperaments- he has been very guarding since day 1 of coming home and man he is SO LOUD!!! So he does a great job warning us any time a predator is near. Knowing that he has a history of aggressiveness I have not let my smaller children (under 8ish) in the run with him, and only allow my older children (9 & 11) to do the care. We have had no problems with him for a full year until now. They are definitely mating finally, as my husband and I witnessed it the other day, so she's laying fertile eggs and ever since he has become MEAN. He attacked both of my older sons this week, grabbing hold of their clothes with his bill, biting their hands and breaking the skin! And beating their legs with his wings so hard it left immediate bruising! My oldest says it feels like he's waking you with a metal poll. Well yesterday my 9 year old went to put out a fresh waterer and apparently in doing so got too close to Mother. Father attacked for the last time. I fear he could seriously injure a smaller child or even a larger one if they happened to trip and become below his eye level. Father is now off feed, he'll be dinner next weekend. It's just not worth the risk to me and I share my story to say- yes, they can be dangerous!



This is a bit of sad story, both for goose and children. I wonder if one were to give consequences to a goose acting out, if that would possibly change the behavior. Consequences, both positive and negative, are part of nature, after all, and how we all learn. I have never had a goose so know little about them as far as direct interaction. But I have known a lot of dogs in my life and have been training them for decades. I have also had my share of cats. All were taught what was acceptable behavior and what wasn't through the use of positive and negative consequences, including our cats. It is amazing how much cats can be taught as far as behavior. With one of ours, as little as tossing a small pillow at him (not throwing it, just tossing it) was enough of a consequence for him to stop the unwanted behavior. If a pillow wasn't available then something else that would not hurt him, but make clear that whatever he was doing was not acceptable. These type of things work very well. I wonder if there would have been something one could do to make clear to the goose in no uncertain terms that the behavior he was doing was unacceptable and thereby put a stop to it? In my world, giving a clear, swift consequence that will stop a very unwanted/dangerous behavior is better than killing the animal. But like I said, I don't know if that is possible with a goose. I somehow get the sense, however, that it would be. I have seen my share of dogs that were very aggressive that people said would not be able to be changed and should be put down have a complete turn-around in their behavior through good, fair, and consequent training. I've also seen a couple of horses be taught to stop aggressive behavior and be saved from being put down. But like I said, I have never had a goose. After reading these stories, however, I'd love the experience of a relationship with one!



I've only had the two geese but my son would carry a large stick to hit them with when they would attack him and it made no difference. The killing of the chicken was the last straw for me and yes it was them, watched them do it.
4 days ago
Put dish soap in the water, don a glove that will protect you from the heat and get your hand in the scald pot to rub the duck feathers. This is how you get the feathers plucked easily. That is what we have discovered over years of water fowl processing.
1 week ago

John Indaburgh wrote:I read the whole thread and have a few suggestions. I think it may be wise to start with rootstocks first; get them established. Take apples which I know more of than other fruits. Antonovka is considered to establish a strong root system and is fairly cold hardy. I don't know how it does in a dry environment. Another option may be the B118 apple rootstock which is from Russia, actually Poland I believe. There's a thread on another site that may be useful as they discuss cold hardy apples and apple rootstocks.

There are two apples, that I know of that reproduce well from seed. One is Famuese. This is an edible apple which will reproduce from seed; which would give you trees with no graft to break. The link is to a nursery in Maine; which doesn't sell seeds. I bought Antonovka seeds from F. W. Schumacher Co for under $11. There must be at least a 100 seeds in the pack. I'd suggest you plant the entire pack into a nursery bed covered with screen to protect them from pests? Squirrels here.

Peaches grow well from pits and are said to reproduce fairly well. There are peaches that are more cold hardy.

You might consider buying fruit grown locally and planting the seeds. These may be landraced to your area and do better than seeds from afar.



I do have a peach tree that has survived thus far. Plums seem to do the best as far as survival and the worst as far as setting fruit. Of the original trees I planted the only 2 remaining are plums. I've yet to get any fruit from anything. They bloom early, the blossoms freeze, end of story. Of the few fruit bushes I've had the fruits have been eaten before I ever get to them.
1 week ago

Devon Olsen wrote:Elle, hope the bs isn't getting you down too bad, i wanted to stop by and leave a few words, as well as ask for some updates, if you're willing.

A few years back i remember coming out for a quick tour of the young prioperty and i remember a few things that I thought were particularly unique about your site, the first being that you used a trencher as a quick way to form water harvesting features and to help keep the driveway dry during wet periods, hows that working out?


It is still working out as a water diversion from our driveway. Works incredibly well actually.

second was the collection of "pit gardens" that you had about and the few swales around, have those done ok? perhaps green grasses near the botom and struggling plants on the sides or is everything doing well?


My answer here is yes and no. They do work to collect water I have had plants volunteering in them. Grasses mostly. They do not work as the ground animals and rabbits find it all too easy to hide in them and eat EVERYTHING. It matters not what I do to protect them. If I protect them above ground they simply go under. At this point I need a cement moat sunk at least 3' in and 3' out to protect anything. I did try planting trees into the exact bottom of the kraters as well, to help with water. That worked well until they filled with blowing snow and the weight of it snapped the trees off. I can't win.

third, i know you had a good collection of young trees about the place, has survival rates on all of them been terrible or have a few survived? p.s. where I'm at in the plains north of casper, i tend to consider 5-10% survival rate a raving sucess lol! for example I placed over 100 cuttings and bare root plants in the ground last spring and I'd be surprised to see any of them come up
I will say that the trees that tend to transplant the best for me are 3-5 years old, thye seem robust enough at that age to develop a root system and survive, the one years tend to die during their first summer when the droughts come.


I've planted a wide range of ages as sizes of trees. The plants from One Green World have the best root systems and survive our drought conditions the best. However, that helps them little against the little furries.

and i remember that you were growing osage orange, are those still alive and kicking?


Eaten. Completely. They survived a good 3 years but constantly being eaten off finally killed them.

Your greenhouse, btw is looking much better than mine and definitely more ready for the 2021 season!


The wind blew two windows out so far this year. One I was able to put back up, the other shattered. The hole is currently filled in with sheet metal. So I'm not so sure about that. Plus I have no idea how but birds have found a way in. I was just asking my husband yesterday if there was a poison for sparrows on the market. I need it.

Keep your head up, from one wyoming hippy to another!
Something I am attempting this year to protect plantings from the wind is debris fencing and planting trees within that, perhaps thats an option?


I have done several variations of this so far. I built a tire wall that was rather curvy out in the pasture. It's been doing good things for the snow. The trees there were doing well too. We just walked this weekend though. Eaten.

Honestly ya'll, I appreciate the support but I'm pretty done. I'm severely depressed about the whole thing. I just keep telling my husband my heart wants green growing things and I'll never have them. I've even waged war on all living things, which is very unpermie of me. We have cats that are doing a lot of killing and boy, we need more of them. We shoot things. I happily throw rolos down every hole I see. We turn a blind eye to the activities of a very happy badger. We see hawks on our telephone poles. Our rodent population is just completely out of control. Every single thing I do to try to grow things just helps the rodents further. We had to cut down a bunch of dead trees and we piled them up in a brush line as a snow fence. Worked wonders but it also worked wonders to protect a rabbit from a hawk. I actually watched the hawk try desperately to get through to this rabbit time and time again. It couldn't. /sigh
1 week ago
I have american guinea hogs
2 weeks ago

Trace Oswald wrote:

elle sagenev wrote:They were right. It isn't possible.



Can you figure out why it seems to be impossible?  It isn't the cold, because I can grow fruit trees here, and it is colder here.  Length of daylight shouldn't be an issue, because again, it's worse here.  It isn't lack of cold hours.  Wind is a problem, but it's possible to put up small windbreaks to help with that.  So, is it that the soil is that bad?  Or lack of water?  Or ?  I'm not doubting what you say, but the phrase "isn't possible" is a challenge to me



Combination of all things. In fact I started only planting trees inside my fenced garden area where I have drip irrigation going. Rabbits and ground squirrels are really happy with my efforts there. I planted in the bottom of the kraters for water and wind protection but then the snow blew over the trees and snapped them. For everything I try some new method of killing my plants is exposed. I just can't.
2 weeks ago

D. Logan wrote:

elle sagenev wrote:They were right. It isn't possible.



I'm sorry your first attempt was unsuccessful. I am sure it is a true heartbreak that they didn't make it. Do you intend to give up and go to other projects or do you think that you might try again with more knowledge under your belt?

Armed with experience and more research, another go may yield greater success. I assume a blend of drought and high wind were major factors in the failure. Maybe stacking techniques could be helpful.

I've heard of training fruit trees to grow low to the ground can allow some (including citrus) to grow where they otherwise wouldn't be capable. Large stone or cob structures to catch the sun near trees and radiate it back on them. Protecting the young trunks in winter in some way. Just spitballing ideas to help improve your odds.

As to varieties, since you'd be starting from scratch, you would be better able to select for the area's challenges. For example, Manchurian Apricot is supposedly well adapted to Northern Wyoming. Some sour cherries and some extremely cold-hardy apples on crabapple stock are supposed to manage fairly well up that way also.



This wasn't one attempt. In fact I'm still stupidly planting trees. I've tried near everything more than once. Different locations. Different earth works. My barriers to success are HIGH! We are high. We are dry. We are cold. We are WINDY! We are a refuge for plant predators. Put it all together and I can't keep anything alive.
2 weeks ago