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Matt Todd

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since Apr 25, 2019
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Always a backyard gardener, now expanding into permaculture!
Northwest Missouri
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Recent posts by Matt Todd

Similar situation for me in Missiouri. Moved into a property that had a railroad grade through the middle that I wanted to clear since it had been neglected and access is important. How else do you enjoy your land?!
My best friend for this endevour was getting a brush cutter attachment for my string trimmer. Basically replacing the trimmer line head with a saw blade made for this purpose. So with a small nimble tool I was able to hack out all kinds of brambles and work around trees. The stuff that grows back is now tender enough for my mower to handle and getting rid of the invasives has really upped the bio diversity.

Set small goals for yourself, work a little each day.
"If in doubt, throw it out" applies extra to canned goods. Granted, if they were still fresh out of the cooker and haven't sat around at all then eat up.
If this happened a day or more ago, then dogs, chickens or compost to be safe.

I've lost a little water before, assumed it was just absorbing into the items being canned. But half a jar is a lot. Likely steamed its way out of loose lids and shouldn't be stored for later use.
1 day ago
I'd like to see more white/lighter coloration on the edges and a lighter underside to say for sure. They also look a bit thicker and one is bigger than I'm used to for reishi, maybe even missing the defined "stripes."

Mushroom ID is a hard game to play with shelf fungus like this, especially not in person. I would vote no on the side of caution.

Regional differences do come into play, and NC reishi could look different than the ones I see in Missouri. I'll be curious how others vote and throw this post a flag to get more eyes on it.  
1 day ago

Scott Stiller wrote:You’re smarter than me Matt. I get so stoked to plant stuff I go for it full speed!😂

Wellllllllll, I did plant all my perennial trees and shrubs in the ground before truly building the soil up. Granted, I amended the individual planting holes and some things are happy. But my honey berries and some fruit trees are not happy at all. So I too am gung-ho on planting with mixed results.  These Hugel projects really make you slow down and wait!
1 day ago

Scott Stiller wrote:Good looking project Matt. No matter what you do your growing medium will settle. Give it some time and see how much more you need to add before planting. It’s a common mistake and one I’ve made as well.

You bet! I heaped it on and fully expect it to heavily settle by the time I can plant in it. After piling 4 feet of leaves/grass/chicken manure in a cage and watching it break down to 4 inches of compost, I've learned the more material the merrier!
1 day ago
When I get lost in planning, I get analytical!
Measure your space and go to a free graph paper generator online so you can get the scale right for you, usually one foot per square (or whatever fits your situation on a single sheet of paper.)
Make a cheat sheet of how much spread to expect on your mature trees and shrubs.
Use scrap graph paper, or even better, a sticky note cut to the size of your future mature tree/shrub. Move your simulated plants around on your graph paper until you're satisfied.
Cardinal directions come into play when figuring for shade. But you should be able to factor that into your projections by studying the site.  
And once you're satisfied with your future on paper, stick a few marker flags in the ground you can start digging more secure in the knowledge that you factored in future growth.

Bonus: while your young trees/shrubs are still small and not making much shade yet, you have room between them to sneak in some annual vegetables!

Another tip: download Google Earth Pro on a PC and you will have a tool that shows you past satellite imagery. This has really helped me because you can see different years and different seasons of your site from the comfort of your desk. You can also use Pro to draw and measure superimposed on your site. I will try to do a tutorial on using satellite imagery for garden planning soon.
1 day ago
This Hugelbed design is for strawberry growing. To get a jump-start, I filled the top with purchased soil (on cardboard, not pictured.) The objective is to let the strawberry runners from year one cascade down into the next tier for next years berries and so on.

I used copper treated timber after a lot of reading to make sure that would be safe. The layers on the bottom tiers are logs>twigs>chicken poop>grass>wood chips>compost>grass>wood chips. The only issue so far is the standard one with container plants: the top tier of soil dries out rather quickly (that top layer stood alone for a couple months, so hopefully it stays more moist now that the rest is filled.)

I had hoped to get this done sooner in the year so there would be enough decomposition into soil in tier two so the runners would have a home…. but that didn’t happen. Some of the berry crowns didn’t survive so I guess this year I’ll just let the runners fill in the blank spots on the top tier.
5 days ago
Admittedly, I don't have much to contribute to this thread. But I did just watch this Youtube video that from a mad scientist I absolutely adore and came away understanding wood gas more than I ever did before just by seeing his trial and error. Sharing because it's hilarious and educational and the first time I've seen wood gas applied in a small engine context.

5 days ago
Hey all. I have a quarter acre clearing in a corner of my 7 acre property. Currently it's full of wildflowers and beginning to be colonized by oak trees saplings. The neighbor had kept it mowed but this is the first season it has been left alone. After setting the neighbor straight on boundaries, he has cleared an alternate path around my corner so it will continue to be left alone. So what should I do with it?

It is hard for me to access currently, through timber and a fence. I will try to get at least a walking path but hopefully big enough for small equipment too. I like the idea of leaving it to the wild flowers, so should I just go back a couple times a year to kill off the encroaching trees?

My wife thinks we should do a food plot for wildlife after seeing how our local conservation department will use some of their land to grow turnips for the deer. I would consider planting some low maintenance food forest plants. Plenty of forest around already so I like the biodiversity the clearing brings.  Any thoughts? Just looking for general management ideas. Thanks!
6 days ago
I just started my permaculture garden last year and included 10 haskap plants. They are not thriving and I even had to replace a couple this spring. The problem, I believe, is that I did not develop the soil first. I amended the individual planting spots with compost and whatnot to sweeten them up, then mulched with wood chips. But now I'm feeling like I should have put more care into getting the poor soil built up into rich soil first, because that seems to be what they want. The goumie berries next to them are doing great, which is part of why I assume that haskaps just want a nice soil from the get-go.
6 days ago