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Mike Barkley

gardener & hugelmaster
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since Mar 01, 2018
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After a long career electro-geeking for R&D labs in the electronic industry Mike has checked out of the rat race & moved to the woods. Not entirely off grid but trying to achieve that goal. He raises a few animals & enjoys growing healthy food in various gardens. He is a life long nature lover, adventure seeker, & to a certain extent a minimalist. Eventually bears will probably eat him & turn him into compost. He is ok with that.
mountains of Tennessee
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Recent posts by Mike Barkley

Crystal, each individual post has a quote button. You can use that to respond to questions or just put each person's name in front of each reply in a list of replies. Welcome to permies. Less lawn, more food. That's the plan!
The 22 aspects of PEP. Is this what you're looking for Claire?
The only thing that is not thriving this year, or at least doing reasonably well, are carrots & potatoes. Carrots just hate me. The potatoes were started with grocery store potatoes because I didn't go to the co-op to buy seed potatoes. All the other seeds were from previous gardens or purchased last winter before the creeping crud hit.

We've had a nonstop supply of chards & kales since last fall. Still plucking a few cabbage leaves. Harvested a nice batch of turnips & beets this year. Some tasty asparagus too. Garlic & fava beans both did very well over winter. Recently started harvesting several types of beans. Tomatoes are just now starting to ripen. Picked the first few yesterday. Strawberries, corn, sweet potatoes, black eyed peas, & okra are all doing good. We've been eating a small but steady supply of yellow squash & zucchini. Butternut & spaghetti squash are about baseball sized now. No sign of watermelons or pumpkins yet but they look healthy & are starting to flower. Sunroots are 6-7 feet tall & starting to flower. Walking onions are walking. Rhubarb has HUGE stalks & leaves this year. A very late frost impeded things a little but it's hard to tell now. Except peppers. Didn't restart enough of them. Buckwheat & peanuts are doing good. Those are almost guaranteed to grow here. Buckwheat is mostly for chickens & bees but so far I've harvested 10 or 15 pounds for people food. The elderberry looks good except one that was knocked over by storms twice. They are fairly young plants so this year looks to be their first significant harvest.

Borage, comfrey, sunflowers, & flowers in general are all blooming. The yarrow looks like it needs help. Cukes are marginal but will probably continue to produce. Cantaloupes are picking up the slack!
excellent sweet potato source

Try the greens once the plants can spare a few. Discover why the animals like them so much. Yum.

I had just finished planting sweet potatoes when that late cold blast arrived. They struggled a little but survived & look good now.
A drop or two of lemongrass oil goes inside the hive. I don't think it matters exactly where other than inside.
1 week ago
BT is a natural product to use for cabbage moths. I haven't needed it for a few years but it does work.
1 week ago

If we plant brassicas in the late summer/early fall for early winter harvest, are there fewer pests?

That has been my experience.
1 week ago
I think l leaves are a big plus which is why I intentionally add them to new hugelbeds & every other garden space.
1 week ago