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Steve Thorn

garden master
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since Nov 12, 2018
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Steve started his first "permaculture" garden when he was about 7 years old and has been addicted to growing things ever since! It was only about 20 square feet back then, and he didn't know much about gardening except what was on the back of the seed packet, but he knew he didn't want to use any fertilizer or pesticides, and wanted to grow everything as naturally as possible.
Years later, when he got some land of his own, he started planting a larger garden, berry bushes, and fruit trees, and also discovered permaculture and Permies! Permaculture has made growing things so much easier and enjoyable! He is passionate about growing things naturally using natural farming and permaculture methods to minimize work and maximize enjoyment!
He is also passionate about saving seed and creating new and locally adapted vegetable and own root fruit varieties to increase the natural growing vigor, flavor, and pest and disease resistance of the plants, to make them easier and more enjoyable to grow.
Creating a plant nursery selling these types of plants occupies most of his free time right now, and he is hoping to start selling these types of plants and seeds soon! He has learned so much from the Permies community and is excited to learn and share our experiences together!
Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
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Recent posts by Steve Thorn

My brain is thinking about permaculture a lot of time, probably too much, but I guess it's a good thing to be thinking about.

A lot of the ideas my brain creates aren't any good, but some of them could have some potential. The problem is that I forget about them half of the time.

In order to try to remedy this, I've set up a place on my phone that I can jot down notes quickly and save them for later.

I've heard Sepp Holzer mention that he keeps a pen beside his bed, as a lot of the time he gets ideas in the middle of the night, and he immediately writes them down. I think both my body and mind shut down completely during sleep, so I probably won't have any epiphanies in the late night hours, but I'm going to have my phone ready at night too just in case.

I seem to get most of my best ideas in the late morning or early afternoon.

Do you have a method for taking down notes or ideas when you get them so you don't forget? Is there a certain time of day that you get the most or best ideas?
2 days ago

Eric Hanson wrote:Steve,

On reflection, I think I planted my blueberries in a bad spot.  I put them near the bottom of a dam for my pond (the pond was there when I bought the land).  The dam is huge given the amount of water being held back.  The base is gigantic and slopes upwards only slightly.  I can easily mow sideways without fear of rollover.  My point is that given the shallow slope, the dam is not the problem.

The problem is that the area I planted in is close to a fence row that I let grow wild.  It has plenty of honey locust, and every plant grow like mad.  When I put the blueberries in, the fence row was a mere 4’ tall.  Today it towers 15-20’ and the branches reach out over my blueberries!  When I planted them, the blueberries were in near full sun.  Today they are in about 1/2 shade.  The blueberries are growing towards the sun.  They look like they are leaning over, reaching for the sun.  They do produce fruit, but not as much as I would have liked.  Not all of the blueberries survived, I think they failed to thrive due to lack of sunlight.

I need a bunch of new woodchips and I think I will do a little trimming and thinning near the area.  I don’t want to thin too much as this woody barrier provided some visual and sound barrier against my new noisy neighbors. I will update after I do my trimming, but I feel comfortable stating that blueberries really want full sunlight.


Yeah Eric, I've noticed the ones of mine that have thrived the most, are ones with access to moist soil with lots of organic matter and a good amount of sunlight.
3 days ago

Sena Kassim wrote:Beautiful photos!

Thank you Sena!

We'd like to plant more at the bottom of our garden hill. Has anyone had experience with too much winter moisture in the soil adversely effecting their health?

I could mix in more sand and organic matter...thoughts?

I have some in an area that gets pretty wet during the winter, and they seem to be enjoying the spot so far. Like you mentioned, I have put some organic matter, mainly leaves, around them which have broken down and seems to absorb some of the excess moisture, but the soil still gets pretty wet sometimes.

I hope you get some tasty blueberries soon!
3 days ago
It seems like to me the small scoop/rake in the pictures above would work well for the lowbush blueberries, and the tarp/ umbrella method would work well with the taller varieties of blueberries.
1 week ago

Travis Johnson wrote:Are we talking High Bush, or Low Bush Blueberries?

In Maine, we have low bush blueberries if that makes a difference.

My blueberry bushes are Rabbiteye blueberries, more similar to highbush blueberries.
1 week ago

Mike Jay Haasl wrote:Hey, what about a big umbrella with one triangle of umbrella fabric removed?  Then you can tuck the umbrella under the plant more with the trunk in that missing triangle.

That's a great idea Mike!
1 week ago
I would use a rake and bucket like mentioned above if my blueberries looked like this every time, ripening at the same time.

They usually ripen at very different times though, like this. I'm glad they do though, because it spreads out the harvest over a longer period of time, providing fresh berries over the span of a few weeks!

1 week ago

Bryant RedHawk wrote:This year every time some got ripe, wolf took care of picking them, but none ever made it to the house.

I have that problem too.
1 week ago
I found a video of the umbrella harvesting, again with mulberries, but same concept.

It looks like a lot of berries were wasted in this video. Using a super large umbrella would help I think.

With blueberries, I bet it would be a easier to have more precision with the smaller branches, so almost no berries would fall off of the umbrella.

1 week ago
This is kind of what I was picturing, except this is with mulberries, same basic concept though.

Lay a tarp down, shake a branch, and pour in a bucket. I imagine it could be super fast this way. This would be difficult if the blueberry bush had other plants right beside it though. Maybe holding up an upside down umbrella underneath it in that case could work.

1 week ago