Nick Neufeld

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since Dec 31, 2019
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forest garden trees
Starting a food forest (2020) on newly acquired pasture land. Apples, pears, plums, berries, hazels and asparagus will be our early focus.
North Thomas Lake, Manitoba
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Recent posts by Nick Neufeld

Brenda Hovanec wrote:It’s been mowed for at least 5-6 years. And kept short from the looks of things.. we had a really dry summer this year so everything dried up hard. Should I mulch it now before the snow hits the ground or wait until the spring and cross my fingers. I am told the bed is approx 1/4 acre. So it would be sad to lose

That would be a lot of mulch. I wouldn't bother until I knew they were alive.
If they don't send up spears in the spring it's because they were mowed for 6 years and were never mulched, not because you didn't mulch this winter.
Hi Shawn,
Did you install a rain cistern? I'm planning an off-grid cabin in Manitoba and would like to hear about your project and how it's working out. I'm hoping to use only rain and snow for domestic use. Not planning on digging a well.
7 hours ago
Hi Ariana,
I think that if you have easy access to lots of cardboard then using it would be faster and far easier than flipping sod. Both of those options are free, which is nice. I don't think topping cardboard with hay is necessary. It would look nicer though. I suggest that you start with the cardboard and then decide if you want something on it. If you overlap the cardboard it should be fairly wind resistant and might not need too many weights or pegs to keep it all in place.

For fertilizer - I haven't tried or researched the fertile holes idea but  top dressing just makes more sense to me. Oxygen helps the material break down aerobically and that doesn't happen as easily in a hole in the ground. Also, nature fertilizes from the surface and I like to follow her cues.

You asked about cover cropping - I don't really know how to achieve that while smothering the grass at the same time. If you leave the aisles as grass, you could over-seed that grass with clover to start fixing nitrogen.

If you've read my post this far you might have noticed I don't really know what I'm talking about. I'm just another guy on the internet with opinions. Anyways, good luck with your three sisters!
I'd suggest trying to step up your composting volume by collecting organics from away. In our area leaf bags have all been collected but there might still be some free leaves in your area. Talk to neighbours, nearby farms and nearby restaurants and coffee shops. If you're willing to collect consistently throughout the winter, you could have a mountain of finished compost in the late spring.

On a different note, I really like the YouTube videos produced by stefan sobkowiak. His permaculture orchard is grown in sandy soil and he's in a northern climate. He could be a good resource for you.
3 days ago
I would figure out the priorities and find a way to compromise among them. Some of the things that are most important to me right now are
I place being near family higher than being near ski hills. But I still find a way to get to the ski hills. As for bringing permaculture into my life - I think that can be done anywhere - from Ohio to Colorado to Timbuktu.

Anyways, enjoy the dreaming and planning.
1 week ago
I usually put dressing on my kale salads as early as is practical. The dressing can do some of that tenderizing on its own.
1 week ago
Thanks for clarifying. How long and cold are your winters?
In my super cold climate, I wouldn't have much faith that the seedlings would grow strong enough, quickly enough to be ready for winter. I could very well be wrong about the resilience of seedlings in my context, which is probably very different from your context.
2 weeks ago
Not sure I'll have helpful advice but I'll ask you to clarify - are these seed nuts from 2019 that sprouted in 2020? They're in a bed indoors with access to sunlight? Is the bed moveable to outside without digging the plants up?
2 weeks ago
Two dough kneading shoulder injuries in one short thread. Skandi and Ellendra, I don't take delight in your misfortunes, but I'm amazed by this coincidence. Maybe if I ever tried making bread I'd feel how physical it really is.
2 weeks ago
Jay, you're doing an amazing thing. I hope I can find a fraction of that success with my project.
2 weeks ago