Thanks for the replies so far. Raccoons would not be outside the realm of possibility, but I have to say I haven't actually seen any raccoons (even road-kill ones) in the 7 years since I moved to VT. It's possible I am living too sheltered a life.
Travis, I would def. blame birds for the disappearance of—say—berries, but I find it hard to believe they can wipe out two pear trees without a trace of pecked fruit. I don't think they could carry away a 200g pear, could they? We are talking 100% evaporation.
Will look for poop signs, though, and plan for next year (too late to do anything now). A game cam would be in order, if we are still here in the fall, just to assuage my curiosity.
I would like to try making bone sauce and see if that could work. Will report back next year if I go that route.
This is a property "in town" so I hadn't thought about heavy-duty protection measures against wildlife when thinking about larger fruits.
Apples have been untouched, and also peaches were not molested in the least, so the pear rapture took me by surprise.
For citrus peels, you can make candied peel. Requires some boiling, then simmer in a concentrated sugar syrup and dehydrate. Add to baked goods. If you have a lot, you might know bakers who would appreciate this as a gift.
Some people remove more of the pith and process long strips which they then dip in chocolate to make candies.
I just got my package of books+towel today, and it also had been opened and the seeds removed/stolen/destroyed!
Towel is lovely, but I am sad about the seeds..
A form was left describing an "Emergency Action Notification"
It listed the offending item ("Linum usitatissimum, PM"). Further down, #16., "Action Required" states, "7 CFR 319.37 Plants for Planting: Propagative material requires a phytosanitary certificate for entry. This shipment lacks such certification. Seeds will be destroyed."
As Nicole says, they are led to open the package because seeds are listed right there on the customs declaration.
However, the statute they cited says **Plants** for planting. Seeds are not plants. I'm not sure whether seeds fall under other regs. They are, in a sense, "propagative material".. Boh?
Raven, if you find that seeds are supposed to be ok, and if you haven't sent out all the seed packages yet, maybe it would help to print out a page with the regs and include w/shipment.
There is a great series on making clothing in an open-source library I recently found.
A Complete Course in Dressmaking by Isabel De Nyse Conover.
Here's the lesson on making skirts.
https://www.antiquepatternlibrary.org/pub/PDF/B-YS104.pdf It does make reference to skills taught in previous lessons (all lessons are available in the library). While it doesn't give you a pattern, it has a lot of information about structural aspects (eg., grosgrain ribbon waistband) that I think are helpful to making a long-lasting garment (as opposed to today's fast-fashion emphasis).
Though the title says "Dressmaking", it's a basic sewing course and there is a lesson on conventional men's clothes of the era, as well.
For Folkwear patterns, I have found good used deals on Ebay and Etsy; often they are uncut.
Travis, I don't have anything to add on the health front.. a lot of interesting suggestions offered here already.
I've also been through major surgery as well as chemo for cancer, so I know what kind of job that does on one's life and on one's hope for a normal energy level. I still have bouts of fatigue and wonder what might be due to previous issues, to old age, or to a possible recurrence. I know what it's like to feel as though someone just took the batteries out of the back of the Energizer Bunny. It's the difference between simply "tired" and "utterly incapable".
What struck me was when you said, "I do not know who I am." And I think that could be an interesting point of exploration. This may not jibe with your christian ethos, but practically speaking we are not so much fixed individuals as Processes.. Processes which (majorly) involve organisms more numerous than ourselves. We are ecosystems. Buckminster Fuller put it this way: "I Seem to Be a Verb."
So I think it's ok to not know exactly Who You Are at a given point, since it's an ongoing and fluctuating proposition—a work in progress, of composition and decomposition both, depending on context. To some people that idea is a relief, to others it's ok.. whatever, maybe, and to others still, it is a terrifying concept which they would reject. I actually find peace in it.
I don't know what else to say except to condemn that thieving logger to one of the lower pits of hell (except he is just one of the ongoing processes, too).
I hope you can find some respite. I really appreciate the frankness with which you've shared your issues. You've always been one of the people I've had in the back of my mind to ask sheep questions of (once we got sheep). That will be a ways away, still, but I will remember your great generosity in this forum in any case.
Could you use cut-off versions of the plastic pots themselves as measures? Trim them down to the soil height you want, fill up with soil (compacted), then dump into the final sales pots. You might be able to rig them up to do six or nine at a a time, depending on size and how unwieldy that might be.
I want to repeat Nicole's advice, above, about property with existing infrastructure. I bought raw land but it is taking significant amounts of money to develop (driveway, well, required septic, development taxes..). In hindsight we should have looked for the crappiest trailer going that already had those things wrapped in. Instead of paying 2017 prices for a driveway (for example), you end up effectively paying the 1937/1950 /1978 price...
After paying $1500/acre for the raw land, in order to build on my property I had to take a minimum of 2 acres out of the "Current Use" ag/forestry prop. tax reduction program. The town came by and valued the two acres at $50k!! I gritted my teeth and paid because I have just not been in the right headspace to fight the valuation. Meanwhile, if I had gone the crappy-trailer route it would have been a while before improvements would have drawn a great deal of notice...
@Karen, I disagree. I hope to have sheep on my property next year, and I am eating up all this information with a spoon. I think it is important to know what doesn' t work as well as what does. This being a thread already given a "life or death" title, I think readers should be able to handle wherever the content may naturally lead. The images drive home what is at stake.
@Travis, could you share more about what led to the terrible bloating incident, or post a link if you have done so elsewhere? I'm having a hard time processing the seemingly-contradictory facts that: a.) small ruminants have accompanied humans successfully for many thousands of years, and b.) they seem to be eager to die at the drop of a hat. The idea that I might be raising animals who routinely have to keep their insides held in by twine, nylon straps and/or plastic paddles is disconcerting to me as a newbie approaching this realm, and is even more disconcerting when presented under the umbrella of "permaculture".
Joseph, thank you for your thoughtful reply. When you say "quadratic", though, that makes me think of wind-pollination mostly. Would insect-pollination follow that same drop-off?
Your information about plums seems to reinforce advice to plant them in close contact, but isn't this true of apples as well (not usually self-fertile)? The grafting is an excellent idea.
Tyler, I don't think I adequately described the "Permaculture Orchard" concept, and used a word ("near") without defining it in that context.
My understanding is that a primary goal in not allowing the same species to be near neighbors (near=the next tree over) is to reduce pest problems. If a pest finds a tree, it won't be so likely that it can easily expand itself to the next tree over. This makes sense especially when one thinks of how intensely-planted orchards are with a monocrop, usually. N-A-P is Nitrogen-fixer of some kind, then Apple, then Pear or Plum. I don't know why Sobkowiack didn't include cherries.. I'm going to include them as a P.
I'm planning an orchard area on a new property, and when it came to picking out plum trees, over a few sources I came across various and sundry things I hadn't read about other fruit trees, like:
-I should be planting in a "grove" where the branches of different varieties could physically overlap
-I should be planting American Plum seedlings as pollinators (again very close) to a group of "regular" plum trees
-I should be planting a pollinator mate for every plum and they should be no more than 10' from each other
How does this square (or does it?) with the Permaculture Orchard Trio system, which recommends that no trees of like species be planted near one another, but always separated by other species (in which case we are talking distances of 30-40' from one plum to the next)?
Since this advice appeared pretty much only for Plums, it made me wonder whether I should plant 2-3 plums (rather than one) in the place of the "P" in the N-A-P array...
Or should I just disregard the above advice in an orchard of about an acre.. planning on 80-90 trees, of which 10-12 plums?
Thanks in advance for any advice or experiences you can relate.
I've come to've lost track of the number of times I've read something like the following:
posted 2 years ago It is a little late in the year now for planting
When? WHEN in the year?
So often, so so often, people in their posts write things like "I just put my potatoes in the ground", or "we had frost here yesterday".. but the post date inscrutably offers up "5 years ago".
So here we have a person... putting potatoes in the ground... apparently some time between 4 years ago and 6 years ago, but not better precised than that.
A lot of important information is needlessly removed by this quirky choice of date-stamping posts. Argh.
Could the powers (power) that be please reconsider this style option and go back to a non-relative, firm, and unique date-and-time stamp? [Perhaps it is even possible to list it both ways, but still, the unique dating is quite valuable.]
I would really, really, really appreciate this revision.
Love and kisses,
Sorry if I went a little nutty with the emoticons.
It's just one of those emoticon days.
The hori-hori is the main tool I use in garden beds, since I got one.
I'm also in love with my Falci sickle! Works like a scythe, but you can get into tighter spaces with it, and be more selective. I wandered around this spring chopping off the heads of invasive chervil in the scrubby parts of our new property, while leaving the interspersed milkweed standing. It's super-sharp, so it just takes a flick of the wrist. It's a very light tool.
For vine-y or tangly stuff, a roncolo, which is a billhook in English:
I also have a folding pocket version of the latter tool, which is great for harvesting broccoli, cabbage, peppers...
Michael, I would be interested and would contribute to something like that in my area. A limiting factor might be people's sense that there is a need to do this.
I see what Mike Haych is saying, but sometimes folks (like me) need some collective guidance and encouragement. Not everyone can bootstrap, and I think that's what Michael is addressing in part. As for driving "a long distance", I would put a functional limit at a radius of an hour or two. That's me personally in the NE USA; I understand other regions may have a different sense as to what is "far" away.
I had an experience similar to that of Joshua Christian, except I gave them a lot more money. I asked only for a DVD of the film, and got nothing. Well, I did get a link to a limited-time stream, but I didn't use it because I figured, "hey, I'll be getting the DVD"...
I've written to them and gotten no response. This has soured me a bit towards funding stuff in this fashion.
I'm not going to comment on the look at the moment, but I do want to emphasize that the choice of dating posts "3 years ago" instead of with an actual date removes an important layer of information.
Many people will write something like, "I just started planting potatoes this week". Ok, *when* did that occur? Was it March, June, or October? Was it early or late in the month? To me, this is vital data now made opaque.
On a similar note, I think people should not be able to register without putting in a climate zone, USDA or otherwise. Just make it a requirement to put something in that field, even if it's a note saying that the person is nomadic. There are many posts that have left me wondering about hardiness, because the person didn't indicate where they are growing.
Scott Mann, who does the Permaculture Podcast, is in PA, but further east.
He always closes his show with an appeal for folks to contact him if there is anything they think he might help with...
I bet he knows of at least someone in your area. He also seems very big on education, projects with kids, etc.
I don't have an electric dehydrator, but I see that they come with sheets to make fruit leather. It may be that the sugars you mentioned will never let things dry completely. I think industrial processers might use something like freeze-drying to get extra moisture out, they probably have super pulverizers, and then they use anti-caking ingredients. I don't think you can expect to get the same results they do, but you might be able to come closer...
I have been by D Acres a couple of times. Josh is an energetic and generous man with a plan, or rather many plans. I have already ordered the book from Chelsea Green and am curious to see what is in it. Josh seems tireless in his organizational capacity, so much so that I worry he will burn out! Some of my questions about the place have had to do with the legal structure and logistics, by which (currently) all the residents are fuill-time employees. As with Paul's gig, the question remains (among other things), if the organizer is taken out of the scene for whatever reason (knock on wood), what will be the chances for the rest of the community to "make it"? What is the process for people to become higher-level partners and stakeholders? This generally seems to be more of a challenge than whether someone can pasture pigs successfully or make a guild with comfrey (not that those aren't heroic achievements!!)—much bigger picture. Maybe the book will address that.. I am eager to see. This is not a knock on Josh: it is a nut I have yet to see anyone truly crack.
D Acres is amazingly active in the (super-tiny) local community, trying to revitalize it. Super-human efforts. More power to them. A very special place that is worth the visit if you are in the area. Guest accommodations are available but call ahead for those.
Wishing Josh and crew all the best, and hoping to check in next summer if D Acres is hosting another NH permaculture convergence weekend. Last year was great, with many, many valuable workshops plus Dave Jacke!
Those are felled (cut down, dead) trees and limbs which have been peeled but otherwise left in their natural shape. If they were living, they would have to have retained their bark and the external cambium layer which is a living tree's circulatory system.
I believe you can see the cracks in the photo where the trunk has dried out.
ETA: I know a teacher from Yestermorrow and he explained to me his process of touring a property with a client in order to select for harvesting trees that "spoke" to the client in evocative aesthetic ways, but that would also work structurally within the edifice. The edifice is not constructed where the tree is rooted when alive, in most cases.
"Growing rice in Vermont is possible and you can do it, too. Come hear Sjon Welters, of Rhapsody Natural Foods, speak on how he has grown rice over the past 6 years and find out the details on rice cultivation - from a simple bucket to paddy-style. Sjon Welters started off growing rice with 30 seeds he'd gotten during a rice growing workshop at a NOFA conference 7 years ago. Now his family is eating their own Cabot-grown rice planted in paddies in the back of Rhapsody's tempeh shop. A Transition Town program."
I have not heard of him before, but he might be able to help you out.