Patrick Edwards

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since Jul 05, 2020
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Currently located in central OK. Farmstead location is in northern VT.
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Recent posts by Patrick Edwards

Not sure if anyone ever answered this (I know I'm late) but as for ramps, as a spring ephemeral, they come up before the forest canopy can close in. They need the light and showing up early to photosynthesize is their niche. Then they bolt, drop seed, and retreat back into their roots. Therefore it seems unlikely that they would be successful under conifers. Since the canopy stays closed year round. I've certainly never seen them under conifers. I mostly find ramps (and ostrich ferns) in wet but well draining areas. Near dutchmans breeches, blue cohosh, trilliums, maples, birches, and ash. They prefer very rich forest soils. Though I've seen them growing in a garden bed before as well.

Blueberries and high bush cranberry would probably do fine among the pines. As well as chokecherry along the edges. All in all you'll probably have more luck on the edge of a pine forest than within it. Particularly if you have access to the south side of it. Though some things will grow there.

Side note - I am also in the NEK! Not far from Newport. So howdy, neighbor!

Ashley Phelps wrote:I want to piggy back on this conversation and ask about polycultures with Ramps, Ostrich and king Ferns, yarrow, tea berry, gooseberry, huckleberry, mulberry, wild ginger and since i read the above post maybe some loofahs . If any body has some ideas, recommendations on some pairings i'd appreciate the advice. I was thinking about planting mostly from seed for all of these but I would also appreciate some advice on that as well. I know some maybe better to propagate differently. I'm also open to all different kids of berries but wonder which species will still have an abundant yield under the pine trees and would do well with which.

I'm also wondering if these perennials would grow well in or on the edge of the pine forest?
-Groundnut, Good King Henry, Lovage, Rhubarb, Sorrel, Violet "Rebbecca", Chicory, wild grapes
any recommendations on strains and polycultures?

I have a large old pine forest cupped around our house.  Most of the Pine's green limbs begin well above our two story house in the N.E.K of Vermont. So there is a lot of dapple light. I think they are White pines. We also have a bit of Birch amongst them with a few Maples. On the western slope between the house and pine forest we have a huge maple tree. Ive heard Ostrich ferns grow best under maples? We also have some hostas, bleeding hearts growing in the forest. We are a zone four with slight slopes facing east west and south. On the slope that is south face we have a carpet of moss growing on the ground floor.

Thank you in advance for the help, and i hope this is an okay first post.
Looking forward to hear your thoughts,

2 months ago

Allan Babb wrote:Hello everyone.  I'm recently retired and looking to move out of Southeast Louisiana.  I can pretty much move anywhere, but New England is calling me.  I particularly like Vermont, and have visited several times.  While I've spent most of my life in the New Orleans area, I originally came from the northern part of the UK, so I'm not ignorant of snow.  One of the problems of being able to move anywhere is that I have no reason to move anywhere specific, so I'm having a problem settling on a single location(or 3).  What I'm looking for is a deciduous woodland on at least 10 acres.  I want to set up a woodworking shop for personal use, and I'm leaning towards a managed woodland coppice.  I prefer hand tools, so we're talking green woodworking with some carpentry thrown in.  I'm not all that interested in modern tools, and Vermont's collection of 2nd hand tools is one of the big draws(I suspect most of New England is that way, but hurricane hit gulf coast has slim pickings).  

I'd rather hang out with pagans than christians.  I won't be going to church on sundays, but you might catch me at a fire festival.  I'd rather hang out with liberals than conservatives(though New England conservatives seem to be a better breed than the ones down here...).  I do like a drink every now and again.  I do like a good burger.  A real butcher would be nice(especially one that can make bacon and/or sausages like the UK/Ireland).   A blacksmith that knows how to make tools would be great(I seem to remember a blacksmith by a huge store/mall type thing).  Farmers markets would be nice.  Since I'm up in age, closeness to a hospital from my inevitable first heart attack would be great(or good ambulance service).

I have no problem with owning a home in town for the winter, and relocating to the land once the land has thawed.  But I need to settle on an area first.  So my questions are:

Which areas are permaculture friendly(ie: lax building codes..on the land, I understand building codes in towns are usually for a good reason)?

Which areas to avoid completely?

Thanks in advance!

Hey Allan,

I'm up in the NEK in Orleans County, Vermont. I can't speak to everywhere but I can say that out here, most of your prerequisites are met. There are several local butchers. Probably a blacksmith or two. Lots of farms to trade with. Plenty of permaculture sorta stuff. Some damn fine burgers as well. This is not a particularly liberal part of the state but it's not like down south. I spent many years in Oklahoma and Texas and I grew up in the south mostly. Conservatives up here are usually more libertarian than neoconservative. And even in the more right wing part of the state, it's still a lot more liberal than most of the region you're hailing from. Farmers markets are in most towns/villages on the weekends during the growing season. There are also several farms you can just buy from directly. Or join their CSA. There is a hospital in Newport (I live fairly close to there) but I'm not sure where the next closest one is. I'm uninformed regarding the pagan stuff. I know it exists here though.

Building code restrictions really just have to do with how populated the area is and/or how touristy it is. And how close you are to a main road. Septic stuff is pretty strict but otherwise, in most places near where I am it is very lax.

I will say this - I've spent time in the northern part of the UK and lived in that part of the world for a while. The snow is not really that comparable from what I can tell. More importantly, the cold isn't. I'm not sure how much snow we had in total exactly last winter. I can tell you it was over 15ft. We also hit -28f with a windchill of -53f. It's not like that all winter mind you, but most winters will drop into the -20s at some point. And the days are very short. We are at 45° N and the sun pops up for a minute to say hello in deep winter. Then it's gone again. Winter is dark, long, and very cold. The growing season is quite short as well but it can be prolific.

Be aware that when it is that cold, nothing wants to work. Car doesn't want to start, generators, etc. Have backup systems. And backups for backups. I can tell you from personal experience that losing power in those sort of temps is not a good time.

And this time of year is all winter prep. In fact, much of the year is. Don't just show up in the Fall and expect to be ready for it. Unless you're in an apartment in town or something. And you will definitely need winter tires. Preferably with studs.

Anyway, I hope you find what you're looking for. If you have questions or have already landed up here, feel free to hit me up. Best way to reach me is probably at

Good luck!
9 months ago
Agreed with Mark. That's ruffed grouse poop.
1 year ago
Ayy! What up, Mark? Hope things are well.

Y'all should buy his book. ;)
1 year ago
That is good to know. I have similar Brussel sprout eating habits and a pack of seed. I hadn't figured out a guild for them yet but your plan sounds like a good one.
3 years ago

Patrick Edwards wrote:Okay. I bought the thing but now I can't for the life of me figure out where I download it from. It's probably obvious but I seem to be missing it.

Ignore me. I found it.
3 years ago
Okay. I bought the thing but now I can't for the life of me figure out where I download it from. It's probably obvious but I seem to be missing it.
3 years ago
Good points from everyone. Said database may be better organized by climate/soil type. Like a landrace seed sharing network and one could cross reference, "dry, clay, zone 7" or "silty loam, wet, zone 5", etc. It is correct that going simply by state would not be particularly useful. I am presently in Oklahoma and the quantity of highly varied microclimates here is significant. An hour or two east and I am in the forest and foothills of the Ozarks. An hour or two west and there are sand dunes. Still, I think the folks here could pull it off. Here we have the compulsive seed savers and as was mentioned above, after about three seasons one has the beginning of a serious landrace variety. Maybe I will make a separate thread for this. I think it could be super cool to have a network of folks sharing/selling/trading landrace varieties.
3 years ago
I'll be honest. Definitely didn't read through the whole thread but I just wanted to express my agreement about landrace seeds. Particularly if we want to have plants that can adapt to our changing environment(s). They are hard as hell to find though if you are wanting to get your garden started as such. Obviously, landrace seeds need to be locally cultivated. I was thinking that maybe we could get a database going or something that can show who is cultivating landrace varieties (and selling the seeds) and organize it by region, state, etc. Just a thought.
3 years ago