I'm in zone 5, But last winter closer to zone 4. All I could say would be to give it a try. they tend to get some tip burn around - 15 to -20, and under -25 can destroy next year's blossoms, but the tree will survive. We hit -26 last winter and there's still a few fruits growing. Late frosts are no big deal, I've had sprinklers freeze trying to protect them during a spring frost, and icicles hanging from the trees and they fruited decently, so now I don't bother protecting from late freeze. Usually they blossom mid April but this year they were a month late.
In my opinion, you have to tackle the concept of permaculture on the macro, vs micro scale. It's more a set of principles than an exact recipe for all situations. What works for one might not work for another. And temperate food forests exist in nature all over, wild apples in the hedge, mushrooms and hazelnuts and raspberries below, grapes tying it all together etc. It does seem tedious to collect a bunch of nuts for food, but when you look at the macro, it's you and your family collecting nutritious food and spending quality time, whereas if you weren't doing that, you might be doing something tedious for someone else, away from your family and nature to earn the money to buy those same nuts.
I grow clover under a lot of my trees, which I cut with a rice hook to feed to my annual vegetables. Not exactly the picture of comfrey and onions and berries but I still consider it permaculture, and I still consider my place as a whole to be a food forest.
I have good results by just setting the potatoes on the ground and kind of pressing them into the top of the soil in a thick patch of weeds. Then I throw a couple handfuls of compost over them. Then I chop the weeds down over them and smother everything with leaves and pine needles/cones. They grow out along the surface of the ground under the leaves. I grow predominantly red skins of an unknown variety. Very easy to harvest and they get nice size to them and no scab. I've had good results with hay, sawdust, and wood chips in the past. Here is my current patch. They seem to do best for me with an eastern exposure for some reason.
Those second ones are definitely wild strawberries. That would be interesting to see what you get with a cross to the wild strawberry. The cinquefoil is potentilla norvegica, brought to the u.s. by Norwegian pioneers for medicine. What is the white flower? I like to collect and propagate wild plants as well.
Dan Allen wrote:Awesome project. We have a food forest in the treasure coast region as well. Where our food forest is might see 0-3 light frosts a winter. Like 28-32 for an hour just before sunrise. Average lows in January is something like 54. Yearly average low is 62. Just a couple degrees short of an am/af climate.
Would love to see photos of your food forest for inspration! Id like to eventually create walking paths throughout the yard.
Would you likr some Everglade Tomatoe Seeds? Weve had a overload this year!
If you look at my profile you can view my permaculture snowbird thread. Lots of pics on there, but I just started last winter, so not as far along as you. I would love some Everglades seeds. I would be happy to contact you when I'm back in Florida in the fall.
Yeah there is a real beauty to a warm temperate climate. I've seen videos of snow falling on pomelos and people harvesting snow blanketed veggies in Sichuan. I think the hills of Georgia would be my second choice after Florida.
But my dream homestead would be somewhere in the central American highlands, like Selva negra, or Antigua.
Chris Kott wrote:There are many plants that aren't photoperiod-specific. Such are sometimes referred to as auto-flowering.
Very true, however most of the plants we conventionally grow as food are daylength sensitive. And not just in flowering schedule but growth as well. I know mum's like to grow and flower in short days. I've witnessed growth spurts and flowers outdoors in the snow.
Personally, if we were voting I would vote for the tropics/subtropics/warm temperate in that order, and I lived my whole life in a cold temperate place. Mainly because I love sunshine 😁.... And fresh food. I like picking fresh veggies in the winter and catching fresh fish without chopping through ice. I'm a pescatarian so I think for me the tropics would be ideal.
Dan Allen wrote:One advantage of the tropics over the temperate regions is daylength. In the tropics the daylength is always nearly the same, at least it never falls below 10 hours which is the point at which plants stop growing. Even in a greenhouse in the north once the days are shorter than 10 hours the plants stop growing.
That's somewhat, um, inaccurate.
Plants have evolved into all sorts of niches on this planet, even those benighted places where the sun shines fewer than 10 hours in the day.
It's more accurate to say that there are a greater number of growing degree/days the closer you are to the equator, generally speaking.
I'm referring to photoperiodism, not gdd. That is not to say that plants die, they just stop growing. Kale for instance will not grow in a greenhouse in the short days of winter without supplemental lighting in the north, regardless of temperature. They won't die, they just won't grow. Yes there are plants that have evolved to live in places with fewer than ten hours of day, but those places are generally under snow at that time of year and don't do any growing either way. Where I live the days are shorter than ten hours from December to February and nothing grows in my greenhouse during that time. Plenty of things alive in there, but not actively growing. But at that time in Florida I can grow anything. The shortest day there is 10.5 hours.
One advantage of the tropics over the temperate regions is daylength. In the tropics the daylength is always nearly the same, at least it never falls below 10 hours which is the point at which plants stop growing. Even in a greenhouse in the north once the days are shorter than 10 hours the plants stop growing.
Awesome project. We have a food forest in the treasure coast region as well. Where our food forest is might see 0-3 light frosts a winter. Like 28-32 for an hour just before sunrise. Average lows in January is something like 54. Yearly average low is 62. Just a couple degrees short of an am/af climate.
Here is another seedling tree, it is around 16' tall. This one is in a sheltered spot next to the woods. It has flowered good this year and is making peaches in spite of the cold spring and hard winter. You can see at the bottom of the pic where a large limb broke off, two years ago it was so overloaded with peaches that it broke off. This is another one that I cut down a while back and trained back up from a sucker.
Dan Allen wrote:Here is the kentucky rest stop mulberry grafted onto a white mulberry seedling, probably the smallest graft I've done.[/quote
Sad to report that the graft portion froze off on the 3rd when we had a 4 hour late freeze. I do have rooted cuttings as a backup in my nursery. However, the Kentucky mulberry turned out to be a male. I think I will grow it out anyway if the cuttings survive.
Rebecca, that is how I stratify peaches as well. Actually dig them out of the compost. But I crack the pits open before I plant them and I get almost 100 percent germination, at least with peaches. I also find lots of seedlings in old pig pens, apples, pears, bramble fruits, etc, which I dig up and transplant.
Just want to update, I've decided to cut the large yellow peach down again. This last winter did it in. We are now in June and had a 4 hour freak freeze on the 3rd and she's just really struggling. I believe it's because I scraped the trunk with a tractor by accident last year. Luckily I had the foresight to train up a replacement sucker which is already taller than me, and very vigorous despite the freezes and hard winter, so I should see peaches again next year. All other seedling trees are doing good and bearing fruit.
Steve, your buckeheat looks good. It will probably self seed from now on. It does here in zone 5. And the plants seem to get bigger every year. I planted it as a cover crop once and it has never left. It comes up especially around bird baths. I recently learned that it is a dynamic accumulator especially of calcium and gain neutralize acid soil. It is a good tea for high blood pressure.
Yeah, I do get hot summers here, for about two months we're in the high 80s to mid 90s. July averages 82/56, August 80/55. But they seem to grow fairly vigorously in the early spring in spite of frost. They probably need the heat to produce peanuts.
Just thought I would share the results of my peanut experiment for anyone in the cold north interested in growing peanuts. Last spring I planted Tennessee red Valencia from SESE, as well as some unnamed store peanuts. They grew really well and produced lots of peanuts, but most remarkably many of the plant crowns survived the winter. When I dug up the peanuts in the fall I shoved the crowns directly back into the soil and forgot about them. Well this spring when I returned they were alive and well. The actual crowns not new plant seedlings. They have survived several frosts, a hard freeze of 29, and a full night at 32 with no protection. Plants show no sign of damage. This is zone five, but this year our lowest low was -26 in January. Only the red Valencia overwintered.
I'm kinda bummed that the cold knocked back so many blossoms, but I'm fairly confident I'll get a little fruit off them this year, but nothing like last year's harvest. I potted up another fifty seeds from my best two trees. On a related note I have a peach tree that is a grafted cultivar, from a nursery and is about 8 years in the ground. It has only produced 1 peach, and not much growth, and this year not a single blossom, so I dont think I'll ever mess with grafted cultivar again. Seeds are the way to go! At least for peaches.
Morfydd St. Clair wrote:While you guys are talking mulberries: I picked up a weeping mulberry last year and put it in a corner. It's about 5 feet tall at the peak of the arches. Will it grow as huge as a normal one? This would be bad as in its current location it would cause impolite shade to my neighbors. If I need to move it, is that even feasible at this point? Thanks!
Not if it's a true weeping. They have a mutation for negative gravitropy and will always send branches down toward the roots, rather than up like a normal mulberry. It could still grow quite large but could be easily managed. If you move it I would do it while it's dormant, I moved one right after bud break and it died.