Thanks for sharing your knowledge. Your book looks great, and I'll be ordering a copy today.
Do you have any safety recommendations for those who wish to compress into canisters? Wondering about best practices to avoid mixing in oxygen, and if the high hydrogen content of scrubbed gas will quickly deteriorate a metal tank.
In addition to the great culinary uses, staghorn, dwarf, and smooth sumac are all highly medicinal, and have a strong anti-microbial action, among other things. I've successfully used the bark against Staph and Strep infections, and there's a long and well documented history of other medicinal applications.
It grows rampantly around the edges of my young food forest, so I pollard them to feed goats and keep em from encroaching. They are a great and rapidly regenerative fodder source, and according to my goats, are just about the tastiest thing ever. They'll completely strip and debark them in minutes, turning them into EXCELLENT rocket stove fuel. I've also had some success using them as a trellis for vertical growers around the edges of my fields.
On the primitive tech side, they make great friction fire spindles, and the pithy cores can easily be hollowed out for pipes, blow guns, straws for coal burning, etc.
Anyone ever used it? XPS in particular is supposed to maintain almost all of it's R value, even after years of use and exposure to moisture, etc. I'm curious if anyone has experience with reclaimed or re-purposed insulation to back that up or otherwise.
It would be pretty darn green to use 100% recycled/reclaimed insulation, that was 30% recycled waste to begin with. Not to mention, the price makes it far more accessible than the new stuff. I have a local source for a load of R-15 Foamular that was reclaimed during a demolition job. Costs about 1/3 as much as brand new pink board, and is in great shape, so I plan to double up on it and add an extra R-10 or 15 to my thermal wrap.
Have any permies out there worked with the stuff? Does it hold up as well as the manufacturer claims?
I say go with two layers overlapped to seal up the seams. I don't think you need to worry much about compression with Foamular. It's really made for applications like that and can hold up fine under pressure. I definitely wouldn't put it under a tire wall though, unless it's part of a specially engineered concrete footer or something.
As for insulating the slab, that's a hotly debated topic. The folks in Taos recommended against it for my build, rightly pointing out that it would cut off a huge part of the thermal battery. I live in a very wet location though, so I'm considering using this stuff under the sub-floor: http://www.thebarrier.com
How high is the water table at your build site? As long as you're more than 5 feet above year round, it may be more effective to spend that money on extra drainage to keep the thermal wrap dry (french drain around the whole perimeter). Definitely stick with at least R-20 XPS for the thermal wrap.
Su kraus wrote:My daughter is living in Senegal, W Africa and has been told it is very common to get parasites especially foot worm. Searching the web I found a company selling a trio of Balck Walnut tincture (made from green hulls of walnut) whole cloves and one other thing I've forgotten! Does anyone know if this is valid or have any recommendations of herbal remedies I should send my daughter. Thank you.
The Black Walnut / Clove / Wormwood trio is highly effective for a wide range of parasites. It's very important to take them together, as through synergy, the whole is greater than the sum of each part. The clove tincture disrupts them in the larval phase and prevents reinfection after the parents are long gone. The juglone and thujone (primary medicinal compounds active in the other two herbs) are very strong, and shouldn't really be taken regularly, though living in Senegal, doing a flush once a month is a very good idea.
More importantly, as was already mentioned, have her ask the locals what works for them.
Yes, they will multiply just fine if you leave them alone, though it takes a few years. Some disturbance / division of the tubers will speed up the process greatly, like it does with wild stands of sunchokes. I'd dig a few up and divide them into 3 or 4 and replant. If you do the same every time you harvest in the future, the patch will grow larger and healthier every year.
wayne stephen wrote:I planted 25 or so tubers last year. They did fairly well . I am interested in this batch for stock not this years food. If I leave them where they are will they multiply or do I need to dig them up and replant? I have too many other projects right now. I have heard they become woodier as they stay in ground but I assume they will form better eating tubers if I replant later. Right now I am just interested in forming a huge patch then to become bigger patches. What results have you all had ?
Colloidal silver, usnea, echinacea, oregano oil, goldenseal (and other berberine containing plants like oregon grape, barberry, goldthread..) are all fantastic for dealing with various infections. These are all fairly common, but sounds like you may not be able to access any of those from where you're at.
A reasonable alternative that's served me well is "fire cider", which can be made from commonly available ingredients. I've stepped on a bunch of rusty nails out in the barn and had various run-ins with wild critters, and relied on it rather than doing the whole tetanus shot and antibiotic routine. I've had great success using it for other things as well.
There are lots of variations on this same theme floating around out there, but here's the basic recipe:
Apple Cider Vinegar (the good live stuff with the "mother")
Horseradish (a decent quantity grated up)
1 whole bulb of garlic
1 whole onion
1 large chunk of cayenne pepper (any good hot Capsicum will work - I use 1/4 of a ghost pepper)
Blend it all up and chug a little at a time with water. Can be used topically also.
Personally, I like black cherries and find them fairly easy to harvest in large enough quantities. They're small but yield a lot. I've dried them and used them with Cornelian Cherry Dogwood in fruit leather. Delicious.
If you're going to remove them, they make good mushroom logs. I removed one recently while clearing a build site for an Earthship. Sawed it up and used it for mushroom logs (reishi, lions mane, shittake, etc) and it's worked great for that.
Dave Aiken wrote:Good tips, Michael. Thank you.
So the next question is, assuming they're black cherry, should they stay or should they go? My plan was to plant a sugar maple or perhaps a shellbark hickory, with some berry producers nearby (aronia and/or service berry). My goal is human edible fruits/nuts. The black cherry is not great for either. The lumber value is high, but I'll never harvest the timber for that purpose. If a tree must be removed, or if one is wind damaged, for example, I may use the lumber for something, but that's not my goal.
Hard to say with total certainty without a closer look, but they are almost certainly cherry trees. Look like pin cherries to me.
Dave Aiken wrote:OK, guys. Gold star to anybody that can identify these two young trees. I have a couple of guesses, but since there are no leaves this time of year and they're young, it's very tough because the bark isn't fully developed. I had my saw at the ready, but since I was pretty unsure, I spared them for now. I have largely cleared some rough canopy trees from this area to make room for some new tree plantings this spring. But I'd kick myself if I removed something I later found to be quite desirable...been there, done that. Rather not repeat that mistake.
Bark is dark with white spots. This may change as the trees mature (unless I drop them, per my plan)
Fine by me! I have a "wild" source to forage from on the shore of Lake Erie that is virtually unlimited. It's been cool to watch it's progress spreading down the beach, turning sand into dark topsoil
Tracy Lee wrote:Ian, You might have more requests for comfrey than you bargained for ( : I to am looking for some rootstock but would not be able to get it in the ground until late april, early may. Do you have any extra for around that time? Just starting out with permaculture so dont have much in the way of perrenial seeds to trade. However I do have some heirloom veggie seeds if that interests you.
Great insight. Wood Nettle is very common here, and we've transplanted a bunch of it into our zone 3-4. I prefer the taste, and as you mentioned, it is much happier in shady spots than Stinging Nettle. Here it thrives in small openings of mature forest around Eastern Hemlock, Beech, White Oak, etc - normally at least 50% shade). It seems to have more of an affinity for water than it's relatives, and loves rich humus. The sting isn't quite as intense as Stinging Nettle (particularly the stuff you have down in SC - ouch!), but it will still let you know if you're out of line. I find it is as nice to you as you are to it, and usually forage from it without gloves.
Don't have any seeds left this year (aside from tinctured ones), but would be happy to trade or sell some rhizome cuttings.
The syrup is fantastic. While the sap isn't as sugary straight from the tree as that of a Sugar maple (which just means you have to collect slightly more of it),
I find the end product is slightly richer and more maple-ey than Acer saccharum (Sugar) or any other maples that I've tried. Many indigenous folks preferred it for this reason. I suspect that this might also indicate a greater concentration of the health benefiting compounds found in standard maple syrup.
Maple seeds in general are edible and tasty if cooked. Just boil em up, add butter & salt, and enjoy.
The inner bark (cambium) can be eaten cooked or raw, though it's not very nice to the tree or palatable to us. IMO, the best way to consume the cambium of any edible tree is cooked in stew, or dried and pounded into flour, then mixed with other flours to the desired texture and flavor. They tend to combine well with flour made from cattail corms & pollen, acorn, hazelnut, or wheat if you're in need of a gluten fix
Generally, they are a sign of heavy, wet soil, and a high water table. Makes sense with the nearby pond.
They make great maple syrup, better and richer than Sugar Maple in my opinion, though the yield is lower. They also produce a huge amount of edible seeds that get gobbled up quickly by deer and rodents, and the leaves / inner bark are both edible as well (surprisingly mild but definitely not a first choice).
They're crappy firewood, but are an excellent candidate for hugelkultur, and among the best woods for friction fire sets, if you're into that sorta thing. I have a few of them around my place, and find they attract a lot of insectivorous birds, due to the sap and interesting bark texture. While they grow fairly tall and produce a lot of mass, the shade is rather dappled, so many things still grow well under and around them that otherwise wouldn't with other maples. In our case, they host a naturally occurring guild of Motherwort, Chickweed, Poke, and Marshmallow. Around the drip line we've added Stinging Nettle, along with Alfalfa, Licorice, and a few other plants with DEEP root systems to break up the heavy soil and promote drainage. So far so good.
If you plan to remove them, I would do so a little at a time. They hold a lot of water and do a great job of keeping the topsoil in place - you may find it alters the water table quite a bit if done too quickly. Useful replacements under those conditions could include Black Locust, Alder, and Pin Oak.
I'd be happy to send you some root cuttings. We grow Russian Bocking-14 (Symphytum x uplandicum) under our trees and True Comfrey elsewhere for medicine. Shoot me a PM and let me know which you're looking for.
Plant native deciduous and conifer trees, along with hyper-accumulating mycorrhizal mushrooms, particularly Gomphidius glutinosus, Craterellus tubaeformis, and Laccaria amethystina (all native to pines). G. glutinosus has been reported to absorb – via the mycelium – and concentrate radioactive Cesium 137 more than 10,000-fold over ambient background levels. Many other mycorrhizal mushroom species also hyper-accumulate.
Considering the immense area covered by fungal mycorrhizae, this could theoretically mop up radioactive isotopes over large chunks of land.
In addition to mycoremediation, zeolite has been used with great results in Chernobyl and other disaster sites. I suspect biochar could be used to much the same effect.
Jen Shrock wrote:I am in Crawford County NW PA too.
Just starting the journey. Been reading a lot. Starting to come up with a possible plan of attack for my semi-urban lot (.42 acres which is plenty for one person to manage). Currently taking and online course to get my PDC.
Deep rooted plants are the way to go. I've had the most success with seed mixes heavy on vernal alfalfa. Super deep roots (up to 30ish feet) that get in and break up that clay, pull nutrients from down deep, and fix nitrogen from the air on top of it all. Planting alfalfa, lupine, radishes, burdock and the like with good, quick biomass producers like comfrey might do you well.
awesome. thanks so much for the input. where are you located, if i might ask?
i'll throw down some more mulch and we'll see what happens in the spring. it's planted on the sunny, downward end of a swale and a small pond in a little pocket of warmth, so i'm hopeful it will be back next year with a vengeance. having self sustaining buckwheat would be amazing. this years crop was surprisingly easy to process, and combined with big volunteer patches of wild amaranth, lambs quarters, perennial rye, and few other goodies, it's already put a big dent in our feed bill.
Tal Frulot wrote:No problem here with intense winters. I'm just colecting seeds to sow them all year long, lots i just throw back to patches and cover with some mulch. It'll come out next spring like it did this year.
wondering if any permies out there have managed to establish a reliably self-seeding patch of buckwheat in a place with cold winters...
i grew a bunch this year in a polyculture setup for chicken feed and am wondering if any of the leftover seed will pop up next year when the soil warms. i've heard from folks in slightly warmer climates that it self-seeds very well, even with several months of freezing temperatures. wondering if i can get away with the same here in "zone 5" where winters are a bit more intense.