Eric Thompson

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since Apr 23, 2011
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cattle forest garden trees earthworks food preservation
Bothell, WA - USA
Bothell, WA - USA
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Recent posts by Eric Thompson

A closeup picture would help - from far away they look like rose hips..
3 days ago
I would not keep any bull that shakes its head at you or you need to carry a stick for.  And triple that if the bull has horns!  

A younger bull should be fine, even if he misses a year being too young.  
5 days ago
We are selling our home of 11 years and moving closer to our farm - the kids are schooled, my day job is behind me, and we are moving o to retired life in Longview, WA!
The property has been my nursery, lab, prototyping garden, and food forest development site and makes an awesome homestead property with easy commute to the Seattle high tech companies -- but that feature makes the price and property tax pretty outrageously high...

Listing went live today!

That looks like it should work.  I have had success on a much smaller scale with the sod about 6 layers high and 2 feet wide.  I found planting potatoes into the flipped sod worked pretty well.  I also poked larger hardwood cuttings like pear and plum into these and those rooted better than soil and could easily be pushed deep.
3 weeks ago
My place has a lot of these conditions!  I have a lot of drainage ditches that I clean out into mounds to plant into.
Plum trees have been the best fruit for really wet sites, even with some standing water in the winter they seem to survive.  Elderberry are also pretty good there.  Hawthorn is also good there and can be used as a rootstock for many pears.
Apples and pears seem to be ok a foot or two up a mound.  Any mound will settle over time though so it will need added to if there is not any higher ground within 15 feet to get roots growing into.

1 month ago
I think an open swale/ditch will be a lot more maintainable that buried pipe or French drain.  If there is mud flow, a French drain will clog up pretty fast.

Having an open trench to the depth you need and a 20' culvert (12" or more") topped with some gravel is something easier to detect where any blockage is.

As far as the electrical line?  No good experience or suggestion there - hope you can figure that one out!
1 month ago
An apple tree will probably survive that.  I've seen a lot of "old" apple trees that fall over and eventually become 4-5 apple trees growing straight up all in a perfect line where the trunk was.  You can prune it significantly where anything is in the way but it will start growing vertically from wherever you leave it.  

If you want to get fancier with a leaning tree, you can plant a small apple to brace it up and even graft the branches by tying them tight together.
2 months ago
Our local bobcats will move so quietly through the woods, but when the crows detect them they will perch in the trees above them and make a horrible racket while following them around...
2 months ago
We have lots of these every year and they are a mainstay in preserves sweetened with plum or apple cider.

I also have them mixed into the vinegar we make and they are great!
2 months ago
Remember that a tree root mass is roughly equal to the mass above ground, so even though it looks big, it is really a pretty minor wound.  The tree will overcome it and not even be weakened to fall over..
3 months ago