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Samantha Hall

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since Nov 10, 2016
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Recent posts by Samantha Hall

This thread is really long so I hope I haven't overlooked an answer to this already.
I have a lot of grapes every year. When I planted them I didn't know what I was doing. Anyway, they are a bit small and taste, only okay. We eat some fresh but there's a limit due to their taste. We're not interested in making wine with them and when we made jelly, it seemed to take too much sugar for the jelly to be tasty. So my question is.....does anyone have any additional ideas, recipes or any other ways we can preserve or use our grapes?
3 days ago

Anita Martin wrote:Regarding mosquito larvae and small ponds:
I really wouldn't put in goldfish or any other fish at all. They unbalance any natural habitat and that's exactly what you want to create: a natural habitat.

I can't speak for all climate zones, but in my garden (Germany) when we installed our little pond three years ago it took some weeks to have the first mosquito larvae. But in the same period the first predators came and I would say today that the pond itself hardly allows to hatch any mosquito larvae. If we have any, they come from the rain water barrels and similar.

Our predators for larvae are mostly dragonfly larvae (the dragonflies came really quickly) and backswimmers (Notonectidae). I once spotted newts in the pond and had a short visit from frogs, but unfortunately our garden is a bit off from natural occurrences of amphibes and so I am still waiting patiently for more to arrive.
ETA: Coming from the garden I remembered that another way of controlling mosquitos are Gerridae - english names I have found are water striders, water skeeters, water scooters, water bugs, pond skaters, water skippers, Jesus bugs, or water skimmers.
They take care of all critters on the surface of the water.

If your pond is the only natural water in the surroundings, you could inoculate your new pond with water from an existing pond to get the aquatic life going.!



This gives me a.lot to think about. I've always adored ponds with some fish but I completely see your point.
I have a creek that's actually been turned into an irrigational canal by the city. It does have water skippers and Nutria in it, as well.as lots of dragonflies flying around. I can hear frogs around so I know they're somewhere. I live in a neighborhood where people put poison on the lawns and sidewalks and that drains to the creek (at least it does when the rains come). If it weren't for that, I'd try to incorporate the creek somehow. The edges are grown over with blackberry and the city mandates that we cut them each July. So I can't get blackberries from them.

Anyway, thank you so much for your reply. I'm going to work on a natural pond and see if I can get dragonflies and frogs to come around. I once had an alligator lizard (not sure of the real name) get in the bottom of a bucket that had a bit of water in it. Not sure if they live in water or was just thirsty. I'll need to look them up.
Thank you so much for this information.
1 week ago

Cara Campbell wrote:What about Mosquito Dunks in the pond? I use them in the containers of water we collect, and as long as I make sure there's some of the dunk in there, we don't get mosquitos breeding.



I have heard of those but don't know much about them. I guess I assumed they were toxic somehow but they must not be. I'll look into them,.as that's a great idea! Thank you so much!!!
2 weeks ago
I would like to attract frogs to my garden. I have a small place with a creek through it. A few years ago I had a small water feature and they populated it so I'm sure they'll return with a bit of effort. I will be putting in a pond next year but this year only a water feature.

Here's my question: how can I have a small water feature and not add to the mosquito population? If we don't keep the population down, the city comes around and sprays the entire neighborhood with insect (including bees) poison 🤪 So I can't have a breeding place for mosquitoes. I'm hoping there's a natural way to keep mosquitoes out of a small water feature.  If not, I'll need to wait until I can put in a pond with fish 😁 I have thought that maybe a small pump to keep the water moving would do the trick?

Also on the subject of attracting wildlife. I don't know exactly what they're called but we call them alligator lizards. I've found two of them this year so far. I'm sure they are good predators and my granddaughters love to see them.

2 weeks ago
I don't know what I was thinking....or not thinking.

Of course! Ashland has a great book store that will either be carrying it or can get it for me

Thank you!!!
Thank you. I was hoping to purchase it from somewhere that is small and family run besides the all powerful Amazon. But it that's the only place then it will do.
Im actually looks for the features book "Your Edible Yard".

I will also take a look.at the book you mentioned.

Thank you for taking the time to reply
I have looked around and realize that I may be missing it but I can't find where to purchase your book. And when I went to the link for reviews, I didn't find your book there.

I'm probably just tech enept so sorry for asking. But maybe I'm not the only one not finding it 🤷
Welcome, welcome!

Absolutely adore the cover of your book!

Do you have tips for shade edible gardens in your book? Thank you!
I have 3 huge trees on my small property. Two are Corkscrew Willows (huge but only 17 years old) and the 3rd is a very old and a type of Willow but not sure exactly. The very old tree has major limbs that die each year and so it's growing a lot of lower branches to make up for that....and that is causing even more shade this year.

Anyway, each year I lose more and more sun. Half of my growing area is right now in deep shade. I don't like cutting down trees but I think if I don't, my edible growing area will be quite limited. The Corkscrews keep growing and growing and growing. The 3rd old tree is right in the middle of my yard with the Corkscrews on adjacent sides.

I'm looking for advice. Does anyone have advice on this situation. It's currently causing me a lot of distres, lol. Is cutting down trees a horrible thing to do to Nature and should I figure out how to work around them?

Any advice is much appreciated. Especially anyone who's had this situation and either cut down a tree or has worked with the shade. I've also thought that maybe they could all three be trimmed?

I also thought of having an Arborist come out and evaluate. Does anyone know of a Permaculture Arborist in Southern Oregon?

Thank you so much!!!

Sam