I’m pretty sure I have come up with a solution. I’m never planting cabbage again. It’s been a few years so I thought my luck may have changed. It did not. I had beautiful plants direct seeded in early March. They all bolted.
I currently have alpine strawberries and thyme as my perennial ground covers. I also use self seeding purslane. Although it’s a bit taller than a normal ground cover it’s a slow starter and my vegetables get a nice head start. Although not widespread I can find room between my thyme plants to drop a tomato or cucumber. I just let it run along the top of the thyme and have zero pest issues. Strawberry are literally everywhere. I say I use alpine berries but I tried several low growers years ago and I now cannot tell. Regular strawberries don’t work quite as well for me. They get out ahead of any direct seedings. Transplants do well though. I’ve learned a lot on this thread and I’m very appreciative.
Good morning Richard! The name of the farm is Las Acacias. It’s outside of Salento. The main thing I remember was chop and drop with legumes, tropical flowers and banana trees. They really had a lot of legumes, some I’m not familiar with.
Being a coffee person this would be a place you’d love! There are a lot of coffee farms in close proximity. We had coffee from another smaller farm literally across the ridge. It tasted completely different. Speaking of taste, Las Acacias’s espresso had an incredibly strong citrus flavor and smell. The first sip made my head spin! Luckily I had acclimated by the second and third cup!
That’s an interesting take Gilbert. I’ve been following the advice of Dr Elaine Ingham. Not sure I spelled that correctly. She’s really big on fungal dominance. I’m going to look into what you’re saying, thanks!
This is the mimosa tree I mentioned as a new sprout. A lot of folks hate them because they’re very invasive, I was one of them. But knowing about their nitrogen fixing prowess and the incredible smell of the blooms changed my mind. Plus if you pay attention the saplings are easily identified and plucked out as needed.
This thread really took off! I appreciate everyone’s help here as always. Since I’m cooking dinner I only quickly scanned the thread. Everyone is dead on about the chicken compost. It’s really the best thing I’ve ever used. I had to build my run on a hill. I dump yard waste in the top and by the time the chicks are finished I dig it out the bottom. I’ll be back after cooking a giant frittata!
Two years ago a gladly accepted a large wood chip delivery. I wanted to use it as mulch, walkways and the highly thought of Back to Eden style garden. I won’t be making the same mistake again. Even two years later it’s very difficult to direct seed into and only the most robust plants survive transplantation. Even with really good soil underneath trying to direct seed is more of a waste of seed than anything. Birds, rabbit and squirrels kick the chips all over the seed smothering them out before or shortly after germination.
There are upsides if you have years to wait. They not only bring in a ton of worms but they make a great above ground bed for regular and sweet potatoes. I’m also using a mix of chips and yard waste as a drop zone for questionable seed. This includes cantaloupe, pumpkins, ground cherries and tomatoes. So far so good on the pumpkin and cantaloupe.
I also watched the Back to Eden videos in awe but it takes a long time. If the title is truthful then Adam and Eve had one hell of a wood chipper!
Anne, this is an excellent post. I’m going to have to look up all of the trees you speak of because I’m not familiar I’m afraid. I’m curious if you have Mimosa/silk trees where you live? I have a bunch on my farm. I was a bit afraid of them when we moved here because they’re invasive. I have learned to love them though. I even trellis cucumbers, and beans up them. I’ll cut off all limbs except the ones I need and plant. It’s a fast grower so I’ll have to prune several times a season.
Sorry, got off course there. I’ve heard the flowers can be used in tinctures but I’m not sure how.
It’s certainly been a bad year for tomatoes. Not only did we have a frost six weeks later than normal, since Monday it’s rained six inches here. I still have a porch full of new starts that I don’t want to drown.
Due to the past few months my wife is going to let me get a proper greenhouse. Hopefully that will fix my issues next season.
This propolis stuff is fascinating. My neighbor has bees and I’ll get with him about collecting.
My Polish friend Marta brought me some 192 proof stuff from her home. I’m not sure how I would describe it. It was something! There’s one available here that I’ve seen. It’s called Diesel and I guess you could actually power a car with it!
Thanks for the replies Hugo and Anita! This is really becoming a great thread! I’m not well schooled in tinctures so I was hoping to learn and I am.
I’ve only used 100 proof vodka in our tinctures because it seemed the easiest. I’ve never had the desire to go further in learning until recently. The bee propolis mix you are describing sounds like a magic elixir and I’d love to try some. Can you detail the steps here?
I know what you mean about lemon balm popping up in unusual ways. Since it smells of lemony goodness I thought it would make a good smudge stick for repelling summer bugs. Turns out it smells horrible when burnt. I have found other ways to use it. You said you didn’t like it in tea but try this. Get a pot of water boiling. Go outside and grab a big handful of lemon balm and drop it in. Cut the heat off and wait until it’s cooler (15 minutes). Strain the mixer or just pull out what you can and sweeten with your favorite sweetener. Drink it hot or cold from the fridge later. I’m betting you’ll love it!
Thanks Kat! This is the reason I started this thread! The fact that I have self sowing California poppies makes me want to try that tincture. Thanks for mentioning the elderberry one as well. I have plenty of trees and I’ve not tinctured them yet. Do you use the flowers for that?
I thought about mentioning another mix but not really sure it fits into this thread. My neighbor is Chinese. Her dad lived until he was around 100. The only medicine he ever took was golden raisins soaked in gin. His recipe called for the cheapest gin you could find. After it sits for a few months it takes on an entirely new flavor. His daughter jokingly calls it the Chinese Cure. According to him it did fix anything that was wrong.
Hello Eric! I think you’re on the right path. I want to pass along a word of caution with the winter pea. As you’ve seen they easily role up and are portable. What you didn’t see is how long they take to break down. In the past I have failed trying a Fukuoka style mulch over new seed without extra steps. I have succeeded in putting in new seed and stomping down the spent pea plants over the seed using a thin layer of the pea vines. I think winter rye is way easier but it lacks the initial nitrogen input the way peas do. I have even mowed down the peas, planted seed and sprinkled the bagged collection over the new seeds. That’s way more consistent but not as fun and stomping them down with your boots! Let me know what you try and how it works out!
Hey thanks Orin! Something I wish I would have included is this spot gets four hours of sun a day max. It’s amazingly productive given its location. I’ve read that elderberries will not bloom if they don’t get enough sun. These are blooming great regardless. Before I made these this spot was in terrible shape due to erosion.
Great post Phil. I don’t have cattle and not sure of their needs. In an effort to grow chicken feed and cover crop I’ve planted the cheapest wild birdseed I could find. I’m not even sure what that grain mix is. I have harvested millet and kenaf (I’m aware of what the leaves look like 😂) may be worth a try because it’s all extremely drought tolerant. Keep the faith. I hope things get better soon!
Two pictures, three years difference. These two hugelcultures are now growing some six elderberries, one grapevine, red potatoes, assorted greens and strawberries. It’s also become one of the places for seeds I’m not sure if viable.
Now that we are pushing towards June I’ve got a lot of plants, trees, herbs and flowers ready for use. I’d love to use all parts and tonight I’m thinking about homemade medicine.
I’ve made some tinctures in the last few years but I think it’s time to expand. What are your favorites? Maybe a recipe or two as well. Here are a few I’ve made and I can’t wait to here from you!
Thanks Jordan and D. I really like the mattock idea and think that’s where I’ll start. The video was quite educational. I really didn’t know there was that much of a difference that’s not readily visible without a closer look. I love the bowl idea too. What a timeless piece! My aunt’s grandad carved a large bowl out of wood and she still has it. It would be so cool to pass something down like that. I guess that’s what you did before tv and smart phones.
That’s a great story Rufus. To be honest I didn’t know you could get that kind of detail from one. I guess I’m like the lady in your story, just rough and rustic.
I’m guessing I need to look into this more. I saw a fellow use one that was the size of a hammer. I’ve got 16 acres of wood and creating something like a trough or water feature would be awesome! Maybe I could get the family that makes the Russian hoe to make one. Is that thing slick or what!
My buddy and his wife built a log cabin a few years back. They had an old six foot piece of hand cut wood that they wanted as a mantle. It just wasn’t rough enough for the look they wanted. The ended up firing a few rounds from a 12 gauge into it then putting a finish on. Looks so good.
This is a great thread and I would feel confident getting one except for what I saw as a kid. I remember my great granddad using a scythe. Like Obi Wan said, “It is an elegant weapon.” In his hands it certainly was. As a forty something novice I was a dab clunky. Actually a lot clunky. I absolutely couldn’t use it and had no idea how anyone else could. It seems so short and the blade seemed way to long. I told my dad that the handle was just too short. He replied that my granddad was 6’4”. I’m 5’8”.I gave up and handed it back to him feeling rotten. How was it I couldn’t use it at all?
Does anyone have an adze they really love? I’m at the point where I want things to be pleasing to look at not just functional. Like having water spill into a garden pond from a beautifully cut log not just a plastic waterfall. Thoughts?
Hey Hannah. Wow, tough question! I love working with hand tools. I don’t like the noise of powered tools because I find it distracting. There are so many axes to choose from and I want to try them all! I have an old felling axe that I use whenever possible. I have an oldish splitting maul that I liked until I used my neighbor’s new one. Those with the funny head and the fiberglass handle are incredible! I’m sure there are some really fantastic, pricey
models of hatchets that I would love. For regular around the house stuff I really like my Fiskars hatchet. I’m hoping this thread gets more attention. I’d like to hear what others say about the subject.
Alright, quite confused here. I have the mulberries that I’ve posted here. I finally tracked down my neighbor’s wild mulberry tree. Then a book of mine tells me there’s a red mulberry that looks like a sassafras tree.
Here’s what I want to do. Graft them all together on all trees. What I understand is that red mulberry trees have leaves resembling sassafras leaves but all the other varieties look pretty much the same. I’m going to post some pictures. Can anyone tell me if the last picture is a red mulberry? I don’t want to waste scion wood if not. Thanks
Thank you Mr Markus. I’m just wondering if I can get a decent edge. If so could I keep it. I’m probably going to buy the one featured in the dailyish but going to keep looking through my junk for a good fit. I was hoarding before it was cool.
That was the first thing I looked at Jen. I have a few old blades that I saved for something like this. Mine are old and quite thick. Not something I wanted to tangle with. I’m going to keep looking around though. I horde therefore I am.