Hugo Morvan

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since Nov 04, 2017
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forest garden fish fungi trees food preservation cooking solar wood heat woodworking homestead
I am a carpenter/mason/gardener etc, living in France, Morvan. Have small garden with about 200 different plantspecies a small natural pond, wild fish. Share a veggie plot/tree nurserie/mushroom grow operation with a local bio cattle ranger, it is being turned into a permaculture style bio diversity reserve. Seed saving and plant propagation are important factors.
Every year i learn to use more of my own produce, cooking it, potting it up. As well as medicinal herbs/balms. Try to be as self sufficient as financially possible without getting into debt. Spreading the perma culture life style and mind set, which is the only sustainable path forward on this potentially heaven of a planet we are currently ravaging with our short sighted and detached material world views which lead to depression, loneliness, illness, poverty and madness.
France, Burgundy, parc naturel Morvan
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Recent posts by Hugo Morvan

Phacelia does well where i am. It's beautiful, early and late bloomer, self seeding, good for compost( i use it as mulch in my veggie beds if it is robbing light of a vegetable, i don't think it's edible for you or your rabbit though, but pollinators love it!
Asters are perennial flowers, late bloomers, bees love it to get that autumn boost in the hive.
Hyssops is a great herb for lungs , easy from seed if you get the right one, beautiful, flowers all summer, attracts loads of insects and is perennial.
Agastaches, leaks, echinacea,cosmos, fennel, pulmanoria,marjoram,sage and thyme might be interesting to tick some boxes.
I got it from a book gardening for wildlife.
2 days ago
Nice! I'd put them in soil in pots. Medium size  pots, get the root as deep as possible. The leave just above the ground. Water well and keep in a shaded place the first weeks, no frost. Until they start to really perk up, start moving them into partial shade and when they seem adapted to that and you have some real growth go for it. Water from the bottom or sparsely.
But more important then the times i mention between the moving is follow your own feeling. Look at the plants, which ones are ready, which ones have to stay more protected.. Same with watering.
I prefer that the plant knows it's a tough world out there and prefer to kind of give the idea to create more roots. It's a balancing act between, they need foliage to get energy from the sun to grow roots, but if they're in water all the time they "think" they can get away with putting all energy in making foliage. Then when they move into full sun/lamps they might die. That's why some people use misters, which keep the foliage moist too, so no water evaporates, but some time they will have to start making roots.
I like it when the whole of the pot fills up with roots between transplanting. Others put them into place immediately, but i figure that can only be done if you have loads and or keep a super watchfull eye.
3 days ago
Happy to hear the Siberian temperatures did not happen where you are. Minus 38 degrees Celsius (-36,4F) in the Pyrenees ain't no fun and it's bad for trees in Scandinavia, let alone Spain!
Do you have something like a strategy for climate chaos?  
I have not been specific, i meant to have a mechanic fence around your seed propagation area, not around the whole of the place!
If that is not feasible monetary, maybe look into wildlife repelling shrubs. Maythorn,Crataegus monogyna or Sloethorn/blackthorn prunus spinosa are two prickly bushes that spring to mind, in europe we form hedges with those, might be similar where you are, or there might be another similarly functioning shrub. But to be honest i am always surprised how much more terrible things tend to be on the other side of the pond, so i might be completely off with my suggestion.
1 week ago
Wow! Patrick! Sounds like a good plan to me, great potential! Keep us posted with updates!

I believe people, being people, will be more inclined to respond to specific questions.
Your project is covering many, many different topics which all have been more or less covered on Permies as a whole. Maybe chiming in at them. Revive old topics with new posts. I say this because i am afraid such a huge project might go unnoticed otherwise in the avalange of new posts Permies recieves on a daily basis.
I mean we're a helpfull friendly bunch and as eager to learn of you as you are to learn of previous experiences of others.  

All sounds good. Regarding the landracing, since you're not living there, i would make a mechanic industrial fence discouraging most wildlife. And propagate in there and harvest seeds that have had their first hard lonely season. This way it ensures you won't be wasting years and have lots of seeds to STUN away with on less protected areas of the terrain maybe selecting for traits that repel wildlife. Then bring them back into the fence for superpropagation reasons. Later grow shrubs in front the ugly fence or get rid in total once it's all going. If you have enough seeds that would ensure your position in exchanging them with others in the same climate zones once you have tracked them down. Because that unstable climate freaking which many notice is going to make it more difficult then it already was, it might be necessary to team up with others. Whilst they have a supercold season and select those traits you might be having a super dry season and select for that. Later bringing these two kinds of landraces together might select for a plant able to better resist both extremes.
1 week ago
Hi Patrick.
I wouldn't know because your situation is so different than mine. No moose and bears here. We have cows and horses and lots of bad fencing, so i try to protect the active garden as well as it goes. Now in wintertime, the pastures are not growing enough food, a horse has been in and 4 young bulls have partied there an afternoon. It's annoying, they eat stuff, but most will just grow back if they didn't take the roots out. They trample on things that's more damaging than the eating. But most plants and trees they nibbled from will just recover come spring. In your case it might be much more of a problem because there is a huge difference between finding a bear in your apple tree or finding some horsemanure and ripped out carrots. There are threads about people-bear encounters on permies, try the search bar.Mooses same thing, if they love the stuff you grow they might return quite often, but if it's too alien to what they're used to in the forest it might be not a real concern.
Growing quite a lot of what they love at the edges could repel them from entering your zone 1, close to the house.

If you're looking into growing landrace seed stock get locally adapted seeds and start growing it and save the seeds, that way you will get a healthy bunch of many of whatever you are growing, adapted to local plagues/weather. Losses can easily be replaced in cases of seed saving.

How is the soil there? Need for covercrops like white dutch clover? There is a whole forum about covercrops.
Nitrogenfixing berries like goumi might be interesting.
How about streams and sources? Well, greywater. Can you save a lot of roofwater in a pond high up close-ish to the house?
Is there a lot of wind and how to block it? Will nitrogenfixing trees like pseudoacacia/black locust for chop and drop be an option? They could function as a wind break and chop and drop material.

Is your forest a monoculture or natural?

Sorry, you get more questions then answers from me.
1 week ago
Hi Dan, i started doing exactly this, this year and it works fine. i did them in early summer and dug deep holes and filled it completely with woodchips and cardboard on top. Watered it at times, it had a great refuge under ten inches of damp chips and i harvested in the autumn. Now it's spreading all over the paths hopefully. Many other mushrooms show up everywhere, i walk on all the paths, they couldn't care less. I use white dutch clover as a woodchip  path cover crop as well.
inoculated path
2 weeks ago
Yes to the reasons mentioned above, i'd like to take it a step further and say that one should only keep plant varieties going that will produce enough viable seed, otherwise try a new one from another producer. Best would be a seed exchange or get it from neighbors. Getting seed that work to a seed exchange means that others can mix all varieties and landrace themselves. Sorry if i'm too optimistic.
You can try to start earlier and have all your seedlings killed and try again. You can give some to other people who'd like to start, or exchange or sell. It's very valuable that if you have a collection of varieties that work in your area that people that want to start can start with something that works.
It's very discouraging that seed companies sell from the best soils possible, weak varieties that need a lot of tending to and chemicals instead of selling seeds that will work on the most terrible grounds without chemical molly coddling.
This man shows what one can do in a small garden.
2 weeks ago
Thanks Konstantinos for the compliment about my yell. I was pretty chuffed with myself when it popped out of my brain, but you're the first to notice and say something about it. Feel free to use it if it helps.
True about the many great examples around the world. I hope to be part of those one day. I believe these examples share a few things : relentless passion, a pioneering spirit combined with a just do it mentality, capacity to learn from errors made, a supportive loving family and some financial leeway. From the first 3 can come the fourth and fifth.
Good luck with your new projects and i'm looking forward to reading about them!
2 weeks ago
Thank you Leigh Tate for the compliment.
It's better if no phosphates come in , so if it's not in your waste water it can't come in, i'd say except if it somehow gets in in the filtering system.
I've helped build a natural swimming pool and studied the book "How to build a Natural Swimming Pool" by Wolfram Kircher and Andrea Thon, university people who really study this. Where we did the natural swimming pool, they wanted to do the same as you are planning on, filtering the greywater with a lot of helophytes. They will oxygenate the substrate their root systems are in and take up quite a lot of nutrients, but bacteria will still flush into your pool, carrying nutrients in them. Overtime it will build up.
Somewhere in this book they adviced against it. It took me a week to study it, rattling up all that stuff from chemistry in the back of my head, and i'm not planning on doing that again. They adviced against all sorts of water entering except rain water, because it is so neutral and lacking in nutrients.
I just pass it on, maybe i assume wrongly you'd like something clear people would love to swim in.

It's a shame you can't get plants from the nature where you live, they would love a change of thriving in a new environment where they'll be admired. It looks like i advocate plundering nature the way i've worded it,in my previous post, but i never will or have. One plant or bit of a plant will grow hundredfold in a season when happy in it's new environment. If the government has decided it's illegal, then make sure one bit of plant doesn't accidentally got stuck in a boot or canoe, because that would be breaking the law.
2 weeks ago