steve bossie

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since Sep 10, 2015
Northern Maine, USA (zone 3b-4a)
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Recent posts by steve bossie

Marco Benito wrote:Lay down wood chips thick and heavy everywhere.  The Chooks will love the biology that magically shows up.  When I say thick and heavy I mean 8 to 12 inches of wood chips.  I functions as a deep litter, cover the earth, gives the chooks lots to do, provides lots of food....I could go on and on but why.  They will wipe out the currants and gooseberries, not necessarily the plants, but the leaves and fruit they can reach.  Giving them the life forms that show up in the wood chips is a real plus for all parties concerned.   Edible Acres does have awesome documentation on chickens, wood chips, and composting.

ido the same with arborist chips except i put nearly 2ft and it last all season keeping it dry in there. i got several flushes of blewit mushrooms just downhill outside the run. nice big ones too!
1 month ago
i grew out several siberian pea shrubs until they were about 2 ft tall and planted them in my chic run. in one season they have grown 4 ft.! the seeds are nearly 30% protein and double as a food source in the fall. if they get out of hand they can be pruned and the chickens fed the foliage which is also very nutritious . make sure to plant in full sun and fairly well drained soil. i planted mine in mounds with some gravel in the soil to help drainage. i then put flat rocks around the root ball to keep the chics from digging them up. i read somewhere that during ww2 the russians got their chickens thru the winters feeding pea shrub seed exclusively. a good plant to have around. in a pinch the seeds can be ground into a flour and used to make bread also.
1 month ago
Dennis, i highly recommend oyster mushrooms for hardwood stumps. phoenix oysters will grow on pine. wine caps are better for wood chips/ straw and would have a hard time eating solid wood. oysters are professionals at it. id mix it up and put some summer and some fall fruiting ones. everything mushrooms is the cheapest source I've found for spawn. id just get some sawdust spawn and cut a bunch of holes with the saw and pack it in. cover with  cardboard or a thin board  to keep it from drying out and protect the mycelium from the sun. those stumps will fruit for a very long time. I'm jealous! good luck!
1 month ago
they are also good at repelling bad insects. my father used to grow them every third row in the garden and plant a few with his tomatoes. the seeds from the previous year would also pop up all over the garden. some were weeded out and some left to keep it all going.
1 month ago
next time try to source some cedar. that stuff lasts forever and you don't need to treat it. all my beds are white cedar.
i agree with Greg. graft just as the tree is starting to leaf out. out of 10 pear grafts put on my mtn ash, only 1 didn't take. so now i have 6 varieties of pears on this 6ft. tree.
3 months ago
planted several siberian pea shrubs as a supplement for my chickens. the seeds are very high in protein. I've read the russians got their chickens thru the winter in ww2 feeding these seeds exclusively. they are very fast growers and very drought tolerant. have mine growing in gravel.
4 months ago
I've found green wood chips keeps weed seeds from germinating for at least 6 months. why i put some down every spring. to keep weeds from growing on them. been doing this for 7 yrs. i hate weeding.
4 months ago

C Rogers wrote:I get from my neighbor both composted layer chicken manure that is just manure (with the occasional feather or broken egg) and also chicken manure that also has allot of wood shavings in it. The center ally is filled with shavings while the nest area has raised slats that eventually fills with manure. I add both of these manures to my gardens and have noticed that since adding the shavings my plants haven't had any issues of nitrogen deficiencies. My plants are still dark green and growing well. One thing I have also noticed is something growing in my gardens that wasn't growing there before I started using both the regular manure and the shavings manure is fungi. I have mushrooms and other fungi growing in my gardens now. In just a few short years my soil has changed from being 5.3 pH to 6.0 after 1 year, to 6.4 pH in 2 years and now is 6.6 pH after 3 years. The only other thing I added besides 5-7 tons of manure to the acre was about 1 ton of ash but that's spread over 3 acres so about 700 lbs. to the acre. This ash is a mixture of incinerated chickens and ash from my wood heater. Besides the pH change my soil also turned from testing medium to low in N, P, K, S, Mg, Mn, Zn, Ca, to high in all macro and micronutrients by 2nd year and now they are showing very high in all but K which is high after just 3 years. I also must say that I personally grow intensively which usually depletes nutrients as 1 acre of intensively grown okra would normally take 3 acres of conventionally row crop. Tomatoes are a little less,about 2-2.5 acres, while onions and carrots are close to 5-7 acres of conventionally grown row crops. I also rotate between 3- one acre fields and every year one of the 3 is in legumes all year (clover in fall to early spring, then peas and beans in late fall through summer and again in clover that fall after harvest) and then that 1 acre is rotated back into vegetables. With all that said, I must agree with Dr. Redhawk as me adding the shavings hasn't lowered yields, hasn't caused N deficiency, has added OM, and though my soil isn't loam quite yet it has made my sandy soil into sandy loam in what I would call a very short time.

i too mulch with my chic manure. my soil is opposite of yours. heavy clay and very rocky. i planted most things on mounds or raised beds and mulch them with green chic manure. in the last 3 yrs my soil is covered with a few inches of black soil under the mulch and everything is growing like crazy. no watering needed. haven't checked ph but it must be ideal as the plant/ tree growth is phenomenal! was 5.5 before mulching. i add another 3in. every spring and its from the previous winter.
4 months ago

Jen Fulkerson wrote:If you're worried about the construction impurities you can put wood chips on the top and add wine cap mushrooms. They will help eliminate toxins, and break down the wood chips to make amazing soil.  Good luck.

make sure you discard the mushrooms that grow in another spot as the toxins are concentrated in the flesh. ;)
4 months ago