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

Greg Martin wrote:Last year I planted a couple of giant ornamental onions, Gladiator to the left and Mount Everest to the right in front of a goumi seedling.  I planted them because I've heard that they are bred from wild onions that are foraged for.  I was curious if I would like the bulbs, but with their large wide leaves I was also curious how those might taste.  So when I walked past them both I decided to take a nibble.  I can tell they are alliums, but I was shocked by how very mild the leaves were on both plants.  The Mount Everest leaves somehow even reminded me a bit of cabbage....???  I will be experimenting more with these leaves as they get larger.

i added Egyptian walking onions under my cherries last summer . anxious to see how well they spread.
2 months ago

Greg Martin wrote:They have lovely little flowers too!  This one is the cultivar 'Eastern Prince' which I got from One Green World.  Generally for schisandra you need a male vine to pollinate the female vines, but Eastern Prince is self fertile.  I haven't tried to germinate the seeds yet as I keep cooking them all :)

i have one as well its slow to establish but took off finally this summer. how long before yours fruited?
2 months ago

Greg Martin wrote:Working from home is a strange challenge for me.  I don't miss the commute at all, but I miss time with my coworkers and experimental work in the lab.  One perk happened yesterday morning.  My home office has a window that overlooks a large section of my forest garden and there was, for a lack of a better word, a wildlife party out there.  I never walk into the forest garden without seeing a decent amount of wildlife, but yesterday was bonkers.  From my window I saw many species all descend into the garden at the same time and then leave together.  The trees and shrubs were shaking from all the birds that were taking turns getting a nice berry meal.  The beach rose shoots were getting pulled to the ground to offer up there large hips to chipmunks.  I couldn't make out all the bird species, though I did notice a pair of pileated woodpeckers in the larger surrounding native forest edge overlooking the forest garden as well as a pair of blue jays.  I'm not sure what either of those pairs were up to, but several other species of birds were hitting the cornelian cherries and elderberries in swooping waves.  It was a sea of motion that lasted for a nice bit of the morning and then as suddenly as it started it was over and things went back to their normal rhythm.

It was a nice treat getting to watch a full blown wildlife party.  Sharing my permaculture bounty with wildlife has always been part of my goal and they have been a part of the creative process, spreading my plants into new combinations I had not considered.  I very much enjoyed being the host in my small way.

  the last couple years I've noticed the wildlife and good insects in my food forrest have exploded as well but the difference is they don't seem to care for my fruits. they may take some but its not noticeable. could be because I'm surrounded by abandoned fields full of chokecherry and high bush cranberry. think they prefer those.
2 months ago
good job Greg! wish i could grow them here.
2 months ago
i fill my raised beds halfway with old branches then fill in between with coffee grounds /chic manure. i then fill in the rest with potting soil and mulch with 3in. of wood chips. i then make rows in the wood chips and plant in the soil. wood chips help keep the moisture in. in fall i till it all in with some blood and bonemeal. next spring its ready to plant again.
2 months ago

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!
3 months 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.
4 months 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!
4 months 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.
4 months 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.