Acadia Tucker

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since Mar 10, 2020
Acadia Tucker is a regenerative farmer, climate activist, and author. Her books are a call to action to citizen gardeners everywhere, and lay the groundwork for planting an organic, regenerative garden. For her, this is gardening as if our future depends on it.
Before becoming an author, Acadia started a four-season organic market garden in Washington State inspired by farming pioneers Eliot Coleman and Jean-Martin Fortier. While managing the farm, Acadia grew 200 different food crops before heading back to school at the University of British Columbia to complete a Masters in Land and Water Systems.
She lives in Maine and New Hampshire with her farm dog, Nimbus, and grows hops to support locally sourced craft beer in New England, when she isn't raising perennials in her own backyard.
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Recent posts by Acadia Tucker

It can be a little tricky finding a good source of seed for some of the stranger perennial foods. I've found good success with Territorial Seeds. You can purchase walking onions here: https://territorialseed.com/products/onion-egyptian-walking?variant=12786191106147  
3 months ago
Mulch is a perennial garden must. It helps to suppress weeds, retain moisture, and insulate your plants in the winter. Mulch works best when applied in an even layer, two to four inches deep. Make sure to keep it a few inches from the base of your plants so it doesn’t rot them.

I spread wood chips along my pathways to prevent hard-packed soil, and a layer of shredded leaves and grass clipping or straw on my plant beds. But you can use pretty much anything from plain cardboard or newspaper to coco fiber or shredded tree waste from your local municipality. I much prefer organic materials, which can be broken down by soil microbes, rather than synthetic mulches like landscape fabric, which does nothing for soil health. The best organic mulches are readily available, cheap, and easy to spread.

Does anyone have any creative mulch materials or ideas?
3 months ago
Climate change is going to be a real problem for gardeners, especially those that love perennials! In your texas climate, things are changing quickly. I've dug up some facts while writing Growing Good Food

What’s changing:

Over the past century, the average annual temperature in this region rose by 1 to 2 degrees, and it’s likely to get worse. By 2050, temperatures will likely jump by another 3 to 5 degrees. One result will be a rise in the number of 100-plus-degree days: extremely hot conditions now last for about a week a year, but scientists expect that to quadruple by 2050. The increased risk of drought will be most pronounced in the southeastern horn of Texas.
Since the beginning of the century, the frequency of extreme storms has increased by about 40 percent. But unlike storms in the rest of the country, their intensity hasn’t changed all that much. In an interesting new pattern, it’s now more likely that long droughts will follow big flood events. In 2017, Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, bringing close to 50 inches of rain and relentless winds. More than 30,000 people were evacuated from their homes, and 88 people died. Only a few months after this disaster, nearly 40 percent of the state was experiencing drought, up from just 4 percent before the hurricane hit. Understanding the effects of this new superwet-to-superdry swing is becoming an important focus for climate experts. Some research suggests the region could become drier than it has ever been in the last 1,000 years.

What it means for growers:

Gardeners will have to rely on irrigation to help fruits and vegetables weather the long, hot summers. Since water supplies are already at risk due to aquifers being depleted faster than they can refill, it’s likely growers will be subject to tougher water restrictions. The hotter temperatures will also worsen pest and weed problems all over the region. Agriculture may have to relocate to cooler northern zones as summer heat stress and the lack of water threaten crop yields. At its worst, the intense heat could prevent crops from growing at all.
3 months ago
I think planting any herb in a well drained and sunny area is the best beginner plant. I also think walking onions are a great idea too! I love how my "creep" around the garden and regrow from fallen seeds
3 months ago
I get asked a lot "Why don't my perennials come back?" Here are a few tips that I personally use to increase my success!

1. Plant new plants in the early fall. Avoiding the heat stress of summer and allowing your perennials to grow roots before the frost is a good approach!
2. Water your plants well for the first season (even when it's not hot). Once they re established, they'll begin to find water on their own.
3. Let your perennials go to seed. I find spreading some seeds around at the end of the season helps to establish patches quickly!
4. Make sure youre picking perennials that over winter in your growing zone.
5. Improve soil drainage if perennials keep dying. They need well drained soil or their roots will rot over time.

What are some of your tips for successfully growing perennials year after year?
3 months ago
Hello Everyone! I am excited to be a part of the conversation this week!
3 months ago
I like to start new garden beds with what I find around my neighborhood. I use cardboard and wood chips to cover the turf. The cardboard I save from amazon packages and the wood chips come from my local utility company when they clear the lines. Look in your local phone book for companies and give them a call. They usually have to pay to get rid of them so if you're on their way home they are happy to make a drop!

For soil, I compost in place or sheet mulch with grass clippings, leaves, food scraps and old straw that I stash away throughout the year. I plant directly into this mound after a little top dress of compost. Before you know it the heap decomposes into nice soil.

For plants, I ask neighbors for volunteers that they don't want. This year I managed to score 200 strawberry plants found on the side of the road! And the year before that 10 blueberry bushes! I also buy seeds with a friend to cut costs. If you're only planting a small space purchasing a whole seed packet, of lets say lettuce, can be over kill.

For water, you can save big in the long run by investing in a rain water barrel. It costs money upfront but over time it will pay for itself, especially if you live in areas with high water costs.
6 months ago
It's so delightful to see all of your responses. I invite anyone with questions to post it as a new topic on the forum to open up a discussion!
6 months ago
These are all fantastic suggestions. It is so true that there are no "one size fits all" gardening approaches even though the basics are the same! I am definitely going to try the rake and roll technique for peas mentioned by Tim. For those asking about good spring time cover crops my go to plants are field peas, crimson clover and winter rye!  
6 months ago
Hello Everyone!

I am curious to see the different ways people successfully integrate cover crops into their backyard carbon gardens. With the goal to minimize soil disruption and the use of herbicides, how do you get rid of the cover crops prior to planting your spring crops?

Where I live in the Northeast it's easy to plant a cover crop in the fall for a living mulch that naturally dies from the winters cold. But what about you warm weather gardeners? What tips have you learned over the years?
6 months ago