Penny Dumelie wrote:
On the other side of it, I've read bees and wasps are capable of facial recognition, and I personally believe they are very aware of body language.
I'd go for that. This time of year and a bit earlier, I regularly find queen wasps in the house or the workshop. I tell them politely to leave, with suitable gesture, and they do. I would never kill a queen wasp. she is the guardian of her generation and has an important mission to fulfill.
Other end of the year, evil little sods get a swift death if they venture close to a flat surface within arm's reach!
Ben Zumeta wrote: the statistics on guns, their relationship to the owner's safety, and who actually falls victim to their use (the owner, and those closest to them are far more likely to be harmed by them than any criminal), might give caution to those who consider their usefulness for protection.
I would feel the same way about the other suggestion of "a pocket knife". Unless you are experienced in the wielding of one, carrying a knife is probably the best way to get even more hurt yourself than the person you are trying to defend yourself from. With any knife, you have to get real close to the other person to have any effect with it, and then they'll have it straight off you as they probably come into contact with knives far more than you do. Just waving it from a distance is only likely to rile them, make them laugh or encourage them to come in and get it off you. This is what I have told my son who I found sleeping with a knife under his pillow because it "made him feel safer".
Myself, I favour a 30" blackthorn stick which I am very experienced at waving around at close quarters and NOT hitting people with, so I reckon if I ever wanted to actually make contact my spatial awareness of it would be acute enough I could make it felt. At the very least I could poke the antagonist and keep them away from me.
Musk mallow Malva moschata. It arrived by itself on my allotment and I find it a very useful mild-tasting filler in salads with a long growing season. Flowers are also edible and attractive to pollinators. It seeds itself willingly but is also easy to remove should it spring up somewhere you don't want it.
My question would be, why not set up events which are specifically designed for singles? How would you do that without it degenerating into some kind of swingers event? Singles cruises are a thing, for example. If word got out that PDCs are a hunting ground for singles, it might become rather off-putting for those who are attending for the course content!
One year I made old-fashioned mince pies with meat in. They were fab. I used roast wild boar because that was what we'd had for Christmas. Finely chopped meat, currants, suet in roughly equal proportions, not much sugar but still some, spice, salt, moistened with apple juice I think I used because I didn't have rose water or sherry. Might have used cider.
I sometimes make bunting from wrapping paper and garden twine. I was thinking this year it would make a small gift to post to friends. Like others on here I also make gift tags from the greetings cards. I seem to be building up a stash - it would be nice to bundle them up and sell them for charity.
The book that first woke me up to the whole idea of self sufficiency was The Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency by John Seymour. He also wrote a more focused volume on the Self Sufficient Gardener, which I gave away (or rather lent without any real expectation of getting it back, to a homeless project). It maybe that when I leaf through this book the thrill of inspiration I get is largely nostalgic though!
Another book I would like to recommend is A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander et al. It's not about permaculture as such, being primarily about architcture and town planning, but it does have some beautiful insights into designing living spaces at many scales that allow human beings to thrive.
Linda Secker wrote:We can still easily get it here in the UK.... we call it soft brown sugar which comes in light and dark.
Yes but look on the ingredients list for Tesco soft light brown for example - sugar, molasses, glycerol.
I'm trying to work out whether it really matters. I can buy unrefined cane sugar from a health food store but it's come from Argentina (environmental questions) and costs twice as much. Whatever it is that's "good" about less refined sugar is presumably "best" in molasses, so does it really make a difference if you get to brown sugar by partially refining the raw product, or making very refined white and then mixing it back in with molasses?
I would say you need to tackle that erosion, your instinct is right, it will be taking away nutrients and soil resources from your land. Where is the water coming from that is feeding the ditches? Is it good quality clean water or is is loaded with nasties from someone else's actvities? This might influence what you want to do with it. If it's loaded with pesticides and you have plenty of water yourself, you may wish to pipe the ditches and get rid of it, but in a way this is just shifting the problem further on down the catchment. If you want to turn it into a positive thing, you need to slow that flow. Building swales on the contours will allow anything the water is carrying to settle out and the water itself to infiltrate the land.
Maybe the ditches developed from when the bulldozing and building work was going on and the water is now captured in other ways before it reaches this hilly spot. I would still look into creating swales or sediment traps in case it is a seasonal event. Maybe a series of dams to delay occasional floods and allow the water to travel sideways into irrigation channels.
Housing developers here are starting to be required to build SUDS into their plans - Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems. Basically these take the appearance of ponds which are dry most of the time but catch water from flood events and release it slowly. Seasonal ponds are good for a lot of wildlife as fishy predators do not get a chance to colonise.
It sounds like you have maybe only recently started to manage this land? If you want animals to clear the weeds, you may soon find that the nature of the vegetation changes and another species becomes more ideal. It depends what sort of weeds these are, as to what animals would be best. But anyway, maybe it would be better to get someone else to bring their animals for a short time, and then you do not have the problem of being left with animals that are no longer happy/thriving on the land (and that you may have fallen in love with) and that decide their best interests lie on the other side of the fence!
If you are going into owning livestock, there are more considerations than just "what animal would be best/easiest". How much time do you have to devote to their care, for example? You need to really like the animals you choose to keep, or like the taste of them or their products!
Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:
Thank you for giving the names in English. My cactus is not christmassy, it flowers in November (every year). And that 'jade plant' ... I did nothing to make it flower, it just happened.
See, the reason I often use latin names for plants is that many plants are known by different names in different parts of the world, or even in the same part of the world. Common plant names do not always translate from one language to another. And sometimes, you can have the same common name for two very different plants. I just had an example of this in another thread where I was talking about lime trees, but not the green citrus sort, the Tilia sort which are called lime trees in English as a corruption of "line" because they used to be used for making string!
But with botanic names, anyone in any country (apart from a few pronunciation differences) would know exactly what plant I was talking about, especially now we have google and you can look up what other common names they might have. And it also gives you an idea what other plants they are related to that might be of interest to you or give you clues about looking after them. Until the botanists decide to re-classify them with new names of course, but that's another story!
In the town where I lived, there were many lime (linden) trees grown as street trees. The local council managed them as what you might call multi-stemmed pollards. They do look pretty ridiculous when first done, and there would regularly be complaints by people who didn't notice that the trees had obviously been managed like that for many years, because you could see the "knuckle" where they had been cut back to successively, and you only had to walk a few streets away to see how quickly the tree started to look like a tree again. I see a lot of "tree surgery" done round here by companies I wouldn't let within yards of any tree of mine, pandering to customers who wish to see a certain shape with no forethought as to how the tree will respond and look in a few years.
I think there could be mileage in producing some simple diagrams of how pollarding works and what the customer can expect. One advantage for coppicing shrubs could be the larger more attractive leaves on the young coppice stems. On some species like willow and dogwood, the bark is more brightly coloured too. Coppicing or pollarding lets in a LOT of light, which will benefit the understorey plants for a few years. If your customer has enough suitable trees/shrubs, it's maybe a matter of educating them into the idea of developing a rotation around their garden and enjoying that natural succession.
Maybe even showing the tree owner what you are going to do with the material, and starting a new market for garden fencing?
It looks to me like you have made these cuttings think it is springtime. The flowers came because you used a piece of wood that had had flower buds on. That "decision" to produce flowers was made long before you took the cutting, not because the cutting thought it was going to die. Flower buds are generally fatter than leaf buds, for reference next time you are choosing cutting material (sorry, just noticed you bought this material in so maybe had no choice). But flowers aside, if you are taking cuttings in winter, they need to be kept as cold as the parent plant is, short of the ground being actually frozen, or they will break into leaf before the roots have developed enough to keep the leaves supplied with water. I wouldn't exclude light as I don't think that is the primary trigger for a plant breaking bud dormancy, but rather warmth. That is why in a warm spring things come into leaf earlier. I take hardwood cuttings (i.e. dormant twigs) every winter and simply shove them straight in the ground. In fact there is an article here: https://www.canr.msu.edu/uploads/resources/pdfs/lighting-of-cuttings.pdf which states that inadequate lighting delays root development.
Wynn Ho wrote:I am lazy and want this singles forum to be ORGANIZED !!!
Start by male and then female. I do NOT need to read what the females are looking for.
Call me crazy, but divided by region would be nice as well. I personally will not move to a cold area and I'd bet there are many who wouldn't want to leave the geographical area they are now in - maybe because of their kids or aging parents.
nononono... divide and stultify... It's not like there are so many entries there would be more than one for each category! You'd have to allow for men seeking men, men seeking women, polyamorous, housemates, those of an open mind, men seeking men North, men seeking men UK, men seeking men rest of world... Does it really hurt you to open a thread and find it's someone in a cold area or worse still a WOMAN?? You might pick up some tips checking out the competition!
What is the opposite of deja vu? Ever re-read a post you made and feel deeply suspicious it was actually you?? Did I really use the word stultify???
PS I am still looking... I am 50, female and in the UK. And I never, or almost never, use the word stultify.
Mary Antico wrote:
Someone above mentioned that their first move wouldn't be to truck in soil. I'm wondering why not? The soil would be coming from a local source that I have already found. It's not recycled soil. It's likely sourced in the boreal forest close to the coast.
I wouldn't be dead set against it. It just wouldn't be the FIRST thing I'd be thinking of. Feels like I'd want to get to know the site first and see what the art of the possible is. To me, permaculture is about working with what the land naturally wants to be. Maybe it naturally wants to be boreal forest and you'd just be speeding things up a little.
Edible/useful garden plants that started out or are happy by the seaside: kale, beets, asparagus, samphire, sea buckthorn, fuchsia, Eryngium, Rosa rugosa, scurvy grass, mallow...
I am hugely excited by this plot. It reminds me of Celtic monks on seagirt islands. I had a friend who had a house on an island in south west Ireland, OK so that would be somewhat warmer but the winds were something to experience. She planted the hardiest little hedge she could find, and nurtured every little start she could persuade to grow, and then planted something slightly less hardy behind it until she had such a thicket that every vagrant bird that blew ashore made straight for it... which was why they'd bought the plot in the first place... I'm also thinking of the wine makers in Orkney who use local fruit at 58.8 degrees north - I think rhubarb, raspberries, currants. And crofters in the Hebrides, and St Kilda, and North Rona, growing barley and potatoes in lazy beds using seaweed for fertiliser. I think they rinsed the salt out of it but even the air must have been salty.
Trucking in soil would not be my first move. I agree about the greenhouse though!
I have a Tradescantia in the shower room. The great thing about it is it grows long trailing stems that root very easily from cuttings so when it gets too big I just start off a new plant. The same with scented leaved geraniums and Kalanchoes. There are a lot of houseplants that look and do best when they are small. On the other hand I love ones that are big enough to stand on the floor as they have more in reserve if they get a bit neglected. The best one I have is a vairegated Schefflera. We repotted the office houseplants and this one had got so big I cut the top out of it and thought hmm you never know it might root, so I took it home and shoved it in a pot and lo and behold it did... It gets hardly any light, drinks very little, and every now and then just pops out a new plasticy looking leaf.
Oh, and ferns. I have a Nephrolepis but it's a nightmare, it keeps dropping little leaflets, but then I got Phlebodium. Again, it looks like plastic and doesn't need much light. I bought it reduced price from a DIY store because it was too big for its pot - shops do that, they sell a plant that looks good right that minute but is doomed for the long haul. I hacked the old plant apart into smaller ones, thought it would kill it, but it keeps popping up a new leaf every so often. I love watching the new leaves develop - where's that new leaf today - until the point where you can't remember which one is the new one!
This afternoon I was paid a huge compliment by my very traditional plot neighbour. We get on fine, we just do things differently e.g digging vs. mulching, rows vs. organised chaos etc. Anyway this new lady has just taken a plot and was talking to him so I said "You've told her I'm completely mad, haven't you, Bill?" He looked thoughtful then said to the other woman "She plants things where they make sense. I mean, you look at it now and it looks like she's dug a bit here and there and forgotten about it, but when it comes up in the spring it all makes sense." I was so touched and taken aback that he's been quietly watching what I do and noticing that we have different success criteria. I count this as a great victory for permie-principles!
I reckon if people can add fungi to this thread, I can add nuts... it's a good year for sweet chestnuts! My teenager has been bringing them home from the school field, which has intrigued his friends, and we've been peeling and grilling or boiling them.
Updating to say I am still here... now turned 50... currently being bemused by the inexplicable behaviour of people on dating sites! Lincolnshire is looking like the most likely option for my relocation plans, but I have not committed to anything.
Joseph Lofthouse wrote:Species like house sparrows, pigeons, doves, starlings, pheasants, quail, etc have followed the human civilization wherever it leads. It is those birds that I think of as belonging to the human guild. Many of them are primarily urban and suburban birds. Probably could add robins and crows to that list. And monk parakeets.
House martins are a great example. Surely before there were houses there would have been huge areas of the country where there were simply no nest sites for them.
Superb photo! I find goldfinches are difficult to get a nice shot of as their little black eyes disappear into the black eyestripe.
I feed the birds but not a huge amount and rather erratically. I feed a variety of stuffs and see lots of birds foraging in the garden nearby while they are queuing up. I tend on the side of - the birds are under pressure from habitat loss, pesticides and cats and anything we can do to help them is a good thing. I hear people say you should never stop once you've started as the birds will become dependant, but I think birds are used to natural food sources drying up and having to search for new ones. Someone near here is feeding the ducks on the canal and they have made a terrible mess of the towpath as there is always a huge gang gathered waiting for the next handout. I would draw the line at that level of feeding. I'm sure it also contributes to the yearly problem with too many drakes.
Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:You have wonderful butterflies there!
One of the largest butterflies here in the Netherlands is the Atalanta. As you see it is dark brown-black with red and white. Th is also called 'number butterfly', because sometimes the white spots look like numbers (9 or 6) .
That, to me, is a Red Admiral. I've never heard them called Number Butterfly in this country. Maybe we are less mathematically minded than in the Netherlands!
A little late, but I give you the Scarlet Tiger moth.
Question - is it altogether necessary for him to get a Boer buck? Why not use your Nigora? You'd get a bit of a trade off in terms of carcass quality, weighed up against not carrying another mouth to feed and keep separate from your buck so they don't fight and try and outdo each other in terms of smell...
I have read that figs fruit best when their roots are restricted, for example by being grown in a pot or a small pocket of soil in rocky ground. A friend of mine has a large fig tree in her garden which does not fruit, but produces suckers which she pots up and has now had fruit from.
On holiday in Beaumaris, North Wales this year, I found a shop selling sea buckthorn flavour ice cream. I don't know how much of it they sold because I should imagine 99% of their customers have no idea what it even is, let alone that it's edible!
Musk mallow arrived on my allotment all by itself. I like nettles, but I wouldn't allow one to grow anywhere it pleased. The musk mallow is so easy going and has pretty flowers, and goes nicely in salads, it gets away with popping up all over the place and I think yeah, you're not in the way there, you can stay!
I have turmeric in a pot as a houseplant just for fun, and every year it dies down in early spring and then I think it's had it. It's only just in the last week or so come back up. I sometimes think it's almost "summer deciduous", but I can't decide if it is cumulative heat that brings it back to life or day length.
If freezing buns/baps/rolls/cobs/local term of your choice I always slice them first as they thaw quicker and it prevents any nasty accidents when tempted to slice them before they are quite soft... When freezing sliced bagged loaves as others have noted it's important to give them space while freezing so they don't deform - the slices will come apart much easier even whilst frozen if they are as flat as possible. But once they are frozen they are pretty robust and I put them vertically in the bottom of the freezer to make it easier to see and extract them.
I would suspect if the traditional recipe is for a clear jelly, there's a reason for that. Maybe the spruce tips add a bitter flavour... but I don't think that's related to why the jam didn't set. But I know there are some fruits that stop gelatin jelly from setting, so then again...
But was going to add that sloes may grow in your region so that could be another source of high-pectin fruit to amend this jam with. Also I have found that hawthorn sets really well.
I don't bother with either! I do tend to freeze the fruit because I have huge quantities and don't always have time to make jam as soon as I harvest. Some of the flower ends do rub off once the berries are frozen. But they seem to disappear once they are cooked, whether that's in jam or a crumble.