Jonathan Baldwerm

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since Jun 06, 2019
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Coos Bay, Oregon
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Recent posts by Jonathan Baldwerm

I've had collard and kale seed and put out volunteers all over the place the following year.  They may not breed to type if you have other brassicas flowering. The leaves from my collard volunteers still tasted fine, but some were oddly a little bit fuzzier than the parent plants.  Not sure what they crossed with in my garden.

Myron Platte wrote:

Jonathan Baldwerm wrote:

Myron Platte wrote:If you plan on removing the scotch broom, know that it is a pioneer nitrogen fixer, and it will need to be replaced with something else that fulfills the same function. I searched pfaf for nitrogen fixing pioneers that can tolerate maritime exposure and grow in your climate zone. The list is surprisingly short:
https://pfaf.org/user/DatabaseSearhResult.aspx



I would definitely axe the scotch broom. It has decimated our sand dunes up the coast in southern Oregon.  It also has been shown to alter soil chemistry to make it harder for other plants (especially natives) to establish.  Its seeds can last for 80 years, making it nearly impossible to fully eradicate. Around here, the native coastal nitrogen fixers are primarily lupine species, though I do see trifolium wormskioldi growing on the beach at a few parks, but it is not common.  There are species of ceonothus that grow on the coast.
Deerr vetch and mountain goldbanner occasionally show up near the coast as well.


Scotch broom is a pioneer. First it dominates an area, then dies off when conditions are less favorable. Left to itself, a field of scotch broom will progress to a forest. Bushy nitrogen fixers are essential to succession.



That might be true for inland places, not so much on the coast.  We are a disturbance based environment, so scotch broom always dominates. The little islands of scrubby trees in the dunes don't shade it out particularly well, and are themselves not very long lived in the harsh environment.

Just south of me its cousin, gorse, has taken over all the dunes.  If you search gorse in bandon, you get lovely photos of yellow flowered spiky plants covering hundreds of square miles of dunes.  It has been there for over 100 years now, and nothing has shaded it out yet.
3 years ago

Myron Platte wrote:If you plan on removing the scotch broom, know that it is a pioneer nitrogen fixer, and it will need to be replaced with something else that fulfills the same function. I searched pfaf for nitrogen fixing pioneers that can tolerate maritime exposure and grow in your climate zone. The list is surprisingly short:
https://pfaf.org/user/DatabaseSearhResult.aspx



I would definitely axe the scotch broom. It has decimated our sand dunes up the coast in southern Oregon.  It also has been shown to alter soil chemistry to make it harder for other plants (especially natives) to establish.  Its seeds can last for 80 years, making it nearly impossible to fully eradicate. Around here, the native coastal nitrogen fixers are primarily lupine species, though I do see trifolium wormskioldi growing on the beach at a few parks, but it is not common.  There are species of ceonothus that grow on the coast.
Deerr vetch and mountain goldbanner occasionally show up near the coast as well.
3 years ago
I work in the woods, and see a lot of old roads get naturally reclaimed pretty quickly.  I am in Oregon, though, so maybe all our rain helps with that.  Pioneer road-eating species I commonly see taking over gravel roads are manzanita, coyotebrush, clovers and grasses if it's a dry ridgetop road. Roads near creek bottoms get taken over by salmonberry and alder in short order. Some roads I drove 5 years ago I can hardly walk now. A road with little to no gravel should be even easier.  The BLM usually reclaims their old dirt roads by putting a tank trap at the front, then covering the road with oat straw. Sometimes this works really well and they have a grassy road the next season, sometimes it takes longer.
3 years ago
Greetings from just up the coast! As someone who regularly goes through Port Orford for work (Crazy Norwegians is great for lunch) I can vouch for everything said about Port Orford. I used to work at the Elk River hatchery, and the wilderness land just past there is some of the most beautiful you can find in Oregon. I didn't know the town was looking to implement permaculuture but as someone who has been following some permaculture ideas the last few years I hope you find a good fit for city manager.
3 years ago
I haven't tried the smothering technique, but I started adding some bulbed/cormed perennial native flowers to my yard last summer and they are beginning to come up now.  I have had mixed luck with seeds, probably because I didn't eliminate competitors. I don't know about your area but here in Oregon we have quite a few of them adapted to coexisting with grass.  Tolmies cats ear, camas and native irises come to mind, but there are quite a few others I don't know the names of.  There's a native oak meadow about an hour from my house up on Forest Service land that most people don't know about and it is quite lovely in the spring and early summer with various flower species, many of them perennials.
3 years ago
I've never used vermicomposting for heat, my worm bin is a cold conpost system.  Hot composting can be done fine at 0 c though.  I live in a mild climate where 0 c is about as cold as it gets, and I hot compost all winter.  Typically my compost temp is a bit lower during the cold months where nights are around freezing temp, but still stays around 50-55 c.  Worms don't like it that hot, so any that colonize the pile stay around the edges and avoid the hot middle of the pile.
3 years ago
Thank you Joylynn, Nicole and Kate.  I use the site almost entirely from my smartphone, but thanks to you three I can still visit recent topics in desktop mode.  A little more scrolling, but glad it still works!
You might want to check out some of Paul Stamets' books as well.  He used fungi in burlap bags as a way to clean up water runoff from cattleyards.  When the state tested the water downstream of his biofilters, they found it was very much cleaned up by the fungi.  He also has info on fungi that clean up oil spills and heavy metal accumulation.  Can't recall if he mentioned any that cleaned up pesticides or herbicides directly.
I use scotch broom a lot in my hot compost, particularly in the winter when green stuff is harder to come by.  It definitely helps heat the pile up, can still get it to 130-140 degrees in December.  Never noticed any toxicity problems, and a lot goes into my annual garden.

With regards to cold composting, not sure how long the chemicals stick around.  I vermicompost some similarly to a study I read (attached.) The study is pretty cool because they accurately measured phytotoxicity and nutrients from start to finish.
4 years ago