My almost favorite tool just broke, my hori-hori.
For years you’ve faithfully helped me maintain the right direction on my project. Always by my side, always ready to cut, dig or pry. Never not ready, no whing. Never a dull moment, always sharp.
I will miss you. Bey bey hori!
Hi. Sounds like a good situation. You could think of swales as well to keep most of the water on the land, slowly infiltrating.
Bring all the water into a pond high on the land and attract beneficial insects and creatures which will help stabalize your ecosystem and irrigate with the water.
Both options would lessen your need for high raised beds. The higher the raised beds get the more need for watering your shallow rooted anuals in dry times.
But it all depends on your situation.
This edible acres playlist might help you.
True what Jay Angler says, the other way around, i’ve heard the same goes for Sequoia brought to Europe. They grew marginally until someone burried soil from usa Sequoia tree at its base. Turned out it was a specific mycorrizal fungi that teamed up with the roots of the Sequoia.
Same for blueberries that come from chemical growingstations. They grow great until the chemical fertilizer is out of the soil, but adding soil to their base from wild flourishing blueberries is said to restore the plant to a natural grow rythm.
Climate is mild here with the influence of the oceancurrents. Last year saw some heavy frost which for American standards is laughable and many cuttings died because of it. They’re Mediterranean in origin.
If i read all the things the commenters are having to do to obtain rosemary cuttings that grow i wonder how i’ve been so lucky.
I just stick pencil width sized sticks in the soil in autumn and they will grow well mostly , when winters are soft and if spring has enough rain.
You’ve probably tried that already..
It’s not the first time people from US tell me they have difficulty growing rosemary from cuttings. Maybe some odd difficult to clone variety is dominant over there?
Like Anne Miller does i use paper envellopes. If i get a lot or don’t want to process the seeds i use a small carton box. The glass solution i’ve tried but i get mold. Since there are so many cats here, so far no critters to ruin my seed collection.
I’ve had them fall off by themselves. None popped up neither in spring nor in fall. I’ve seeded them in small pots, big pots. Nothing, nada.
I’ve got three kinds, one old heirloom. None worked.
I’ve been swapping seeds and got some super old rhubarb seed. Bingo! 7 plants grow nicely now. From those i might be able to attract viable seeds and make people happy on seed swaps.
But i don’t need more rhubarb because they divide quite easily in autumn. Get a piece of root and a shoot in the ground. Or just split whole plant in four large bits with a sharp shovel.
The shoot dies back in winter where i am. And i kept them in pots inside away from the frost, but planted into their forever place this spring, they all lived. Next year they’ll be big and i can start making people happy with the stalks.
Hope the seeds work for you!
Unwanted guests are crawling through my saved seeds! There are some small spiders, but also some white wriggling type of worm and small flues i suspect they morf into. The worms look like they would perfectly fit in a seed in a seedpod...
I don’t mind sharing the seeds with them. But if i want to germinate the seeds next year i’d hate to find that they’ve all been eaten...
I’ve heard that i can freeze the seeds. But i wonder when to do that. We on this side of the ocean have opposite weather to USA drought spell ghos year. Rain-rain-rain and low temperatures.
Which made me take the plants a bit earlier than normal. The rain could have molded the seeds/seedpods. But it’s only been shortly that they have been in. They feel dry, but they can’t be as dry as they can be.
Overall happy with the result! From a few seeds i managed to get loads in a season! And i love these hardy sweet tasting Kales. The dairy farmer wants to put some in the fields for his cows if they’ll have them in winter...
I’m thinking of putting them out in the windowsill exposed to light and the occasional sun period to dry, then freeze for a couple of days. Is that thinking correct?
What do you think or experienced?
All comments welcome.
Hello See Hes, If you’re going down that exciting path make sure to check out Joseph Lofthouse his ideas on landrace gardening.
He lives in a dessert on a plateau. He had to make his own breeds and has done that. He explains how he has done it. Not overcomplicated, very recommendable book.
You’re looking for someone who already has landraces in Thailand or similar climate. I wish you luck.
The thing is that it is quite rare to find someone who thinks along those lines. And even rarer to find someone who practices what thry preach.
Landraces is a community thing. Seed swaps, gardening neighbors who have a very well adapted veggie growing and are willing to share seeds are all important elements of building landraces.
After reading his book i realized i already do some landracing, but i am going to up my game.
We’re all part of this movement of localizing .
Hello. Maybe you could try online to find organic seed companies from areas hot like Thailand. Is Australia comparable? Do they ship to Thailand?
I’ve got a Moroccan lettuce which holds out pretty well.
For kale, did you try Russian Red Kale? Pretty hardy i found. Doesn’t mean it will do it where you are though. Worth a shot.
Maybe you can mix western kale with a Thai kale and save the seeds. Plant them out and save the seeds of the ones with western features but that can stand the heat. Make your own landrace.
I got a lot of sawdust too. Douglas pine mainly. Been to the Douglas grove and found some decaying Douglas branches full of mycelium. Chopped the rotten bits off. Brought them back to the pile in buckets and buried them at differing depth.
I hope the mycelium will be able to start running through the pile. It might take a yearbut it was a nice walk.
If it really starts running i hope the redwine cap mushroom can follow up after.
Apparently they’re not too fond of pine, but it costs nothing to try.
Tony Rinaudo is the inventor of Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration. The method by which in short treestumps get a chance to regrow and provide food shad shelter cool and attract rain. It’s been very succesful all over Africa and has changed the lives of many and saved millions of hectares from desertification.
Ha great Mare! I hope you win the book.
He speaks of those seed mixes. And i totally understand you want to keep local races seperate to respect them. But as well you can mix the pollen in, in the years you save the landrace seeds. That will speed things up if i understand correctly.
But then in the years you go for saving the localized race you can’t have the other pollen pollute it.
It’s so interesting this landrace business. I’m obsessed. Will stop polluting your blog now with my obsession haha. And look forward to new pictures and comments.
Looks lush and green to me! Do you grow sea kale and sea buckthorn? I love land race techniques, i can imagine you could be a great salty landrace ambassador if you keep at it. I dream big!
What do people grow at the Dead Sea?
Anyway great you started your own topic!
I have ordered the book from lulu and it came surprisingly fast.
I hardly ever finish books, but i devoured this one.
It reads like a love story to plant breeding, to life to nature and all plant breeders that came before. Joseph takes the reader by the hand on an adventure into the world of land races without unnecessary overcomplicating things. Much appreciated.
The book shows that everybody can start helping everybody growing healthy tasty food chemical free in their own way, in their own pace. It shows everyone matters and we have a beautiful tasty future ahead.
The pictures are great too.
Loved it and recommend it to every seed saver and grower.
Max acorns, ten acorns out of ten acorns.
Leigh Tate, nice turnaround!
Guess we’re wired to label everything we don’t like/expect to be there immediately as a problem that needs eradicating by a quick fix so things become how we expect them to be.
A very superficial way of creating the world we like to see, obsessively busy with finding shortcuts without ever considering the larger ramifications.
Modern life in a nutshell, not permaculturish at all. But examples!
Just back in from the garden after a rainy cold spring summer is finally here. I’ve had trouble recognizing my garden at times because of growth of grass in some newly developing beds/ pathways. It started to go to seed here and there. That would have caused more grass next year. I don’t have mulch ready now to weaken it so had to scythe it down. It became it’s own mulch.
The white dutch clover went out of control in the beds and pathways creeping everywhere. I chop and drop it or mulch it around plants i want to keep free from it. Instead of pulling it out completely i left enough creeping roots so it can recover and function as a nitrogen fixing groundcover plants the bees love. It’s a fun experiment!
I’ve just ate a wild carrot soup of it’s leaves instead of ripping it out and composting it.
Hi Joseph. Amazon.co.uk still doesn’t have it available. My portal to europe for your book.
I am trying lulu, since you get more royalties, had to give all my details before knowing if they even ship out of USA. But they do and for a third of the shipping costs of amazon com.
Looking forward to learning your techniques and logic to landracing.
Thank you for all you do!
Hedera Helix, my neighbor grows it on our common wall. It cracks the joints and more of it enters. Rips wall apart. Then he blames my trees for the damage and seriously expects me to repair it.
Grapevine and passiflora are great growers indeed.
The good old broken bottle in cement trick to block unwanted nightly visitors. Hmm might be a shitty build wall that you have to rebuild if it breaks from roots. No figs then.
Wouldn’t it be possible to render the whole wall in a wet mud to make it more friendly to the eye. It will rain off in time but hopefully the trees will be big by then. Just make it in a bucket. Earth water mix it, smear it by hand..
Or sand lime with a big load of local color in it if you want to do a serious job on it. It will only be a day for a good renderer. It will solidify the wall i doubt the owner will object if asked.
The red color is kind of funky south american style i must say. That’s probably the nicest thing i can say about the building.
Kevin. Good for you! I wish i could just dig them out, it’s rocky and tiring time consuming business where i am!
If you need a few hundred it’s not an option. I am sure you can see the allure in cleaning a piece of land adding straw, dumping compost and hotwatered seeds, walk off and come back and harvest fifty trees frim the soft compost in an hour in autumn.
At least that’s what i’m hoping for. Haha!
I went for a peak yesterday but nothings popping so far. No ash either, no plums, no hazels, no sweet chestnuts, the cuttings are slow too. Last year the willow was booming around this point in time, this year they’re timidly showing some foliage half expecting to be hammered back by some late crazy frost. Oddly enough mimicking the folk getting out and about unsure after month of masking up and home detention.
Nature is such a teacher!
10-20% germinationrate isn’t terrible. I hope i can get that. I’ve put a ladder against an interesting looking acacia of my neighbor and cut some branches off with a battery jigsaw. Collected the seeds of the branches. If you get no luck with upping the rates get moaaar.
I am north of you and haven’t seen a single one sprout so far. But the weather is very very cold for this time of year. Hope it’s that and not a 0% germination rate.
Do snails fancy young acacia sprouts, anyone know?
Hi Nick. I’ve transplanted my sweet chestnuts thisautumn/december maybe. I only had something like 7. They must have still been small because they were half a year old about. I had planted them in quite a layer of loose compost so digging in there without damaging the taproot was not that difficult. As well i have invested in a socalled drainage spade. A spade with a long thin blade of 10cm by 40cm, 4 inch by 16 inch. It’s so convenient to dig in deep it has a rounded topblade to put a lot of pressure stepping on it without getting a sore foot.
I might have damaged some side roots but i believe i have only lost one taproot. Planted the tree anyway.
This kind of spade also is really nice digging a square deep hole to get the roots in nice and deep closer to the watertable, so watering becomes less of an issue.
I’ve seen this airpruning method get popular and started a topic about it on Permies, but didn’t get answers that took away my doubts. I could totally be wrong.
This year i have seeded many more chestnuts so i’ll be able to get a better analysis on weather my transplanting method is viable.
But this drainage spade makes a huge difference planting trees and shrubs in the denser methods us permaculturists seem to prefer. I can give trees shrubs perenials and even annuals a great deep hole full of compost or mix it with local soil so they do still care to dig deeper and explore for water without damaging too much rootsystems of plants closeby.
Hope this helps you a bit Nick!
Some people are better thinking and then doing perfectly. I just do and make mistakes and redo. I wouldn’t get to doing things if i think them through too much. Too boring for me.
But this nursery worked out great.
The details are not difficult. I got the seeds and cuttings in over winter. Cuttings need that time without foliage and roots to settle in. Figs and berries and rosemary went in in winter. All figs died because of heavy frost here. Big error! Might work where you are but not in France. The seeds i put them in after previous years trees go to their forever spots and leave empty beds.
I seed quite closely something like 10 cm 4 inch apart. Usually in an efficient pattern like a row of 3 seeds and then a row of 4 then 3 again, then 4. Spaced out in between so each plant gets max space. Easier to saylike 2-1-2-1 and the 1 is in the middle of the 2. Hope i make this clear enough. And seeds i just put them in about as deep as they are high.
The ash i’ve just spread on the raked compost. The acacia pseudo robinia i collected from nature. One tree was packed with seeds. I took a ladder and jigsaw and cut some branches from a good looking tree. According to Permies thread i hadto dump them in almost boiling water and soak them for 24 hrs. First year for ash and acacia so no guarantee to succes at all!
There are some great threads on Permies about growing trees from seeds. Steve Thorn is on all of them!!
I don’t know those propagators you mentioned.
My tree nurserie is a passive shaded system by oak trees. Protecting the seedlings or cuttings from the worst of droughts. Between the nursery bed and the trees is a ditch which collects rainwater and some run off from the hill. I haven’t had to water a lot. Couple of times even in the driest of times. Couple of time chop and drop the weeding.
It’s twenty meter by one and a half.
Contains basketwillow hazelnuts sweet chestnut acacia pseudorobinia, ash, cassis berry, red currant, fig, plums, etc,
I don’t like airpruning because i do not have proof the big taproot will form at a later stage. I transplant my chestnuts after one year in autumn.
Pushed out 250 trees last year and hope to double that this year.
The first book i devoured in years was from Akiva Silver Trees of Power a very skilled down to earth tree grower in New York state i believe. He has ayou tube channel as well. Twisted tree farms. He is totally into airpruning by the way.
His book inspired me to grow more trees and to do a nursery in the sun with trees that are used as rootstock trees. You grow them at an angle close to the ground and then the branches go up. Covering them with woodchips or sawdust will make them root. I’m waiting for the saw dust to get devoured by mycelium so can’t comment if it really works that great.
Anyway that’s all i have to say from ecperience.
Hi S.Bard, how did it end up with the inoculated beach saw dust pile? Did you get mushrooms? If there wete no mushrooms did the sawdust compost nicely?
I got quite a bit of sawdust recently. From douglas mobile sawmill. I dumped it close to where i plan to use it as a medium for trees to root in.
Douglas is quite pokey stuff and i’d like it be broken down by mycelium a bit before i put it around my young trees. I have gone to the douglas grove and found a decaying tree. Added that.
Hoping to speed up the decaying proces.
I don’t know what grows in Portugal.
It could be easier to plant fast growing ordinary hedgerow plants that block the wind and design a garden for biodiversity behind it. Digging a pond usually greatly enhances biodiversity.
I’ve planted fruit trees a buddleia hazels and willow and some trees i found here and there in naturewhere they were abundant and too closely spaced together ti florish.
Look at neighbors, collect seeds, take cuttings, keep them in the shade and plant out in the rainy season. Look what’s there allready, birds droppings contain seeds! They might be there allready! Stop mowing where the small trees grow. Mark them or providesome mulch and compost. Water them in times of great heatwaves only if they show real distress. Otherwise spoiling them might stop them from growing deep roots. Check nature around you. Get to know all flowering plants trees shrubs and transplant them or bring the seeds and plant ghem where they would grow in your place. Most things will die but a third will work. And put in the right place grow nicely. Providing joy to keep going.
Tell people you look for plants. Say yes to everything, they’ll keep coming.
Most people are stuck in a loop. Food forests can’t work because otherwise everybody would be making them and the government would be promoting them my stephfather said.
Luckily real life examples on youtube have turned them around and my mom donated to Willie Smits awesome 11 on the Wheaton eco scale Uran Utan and people project.
But that’s my family. Friends would rather see you fail miserably than admit they’re wrong.
It’s a sad fad humans have. Walk in line or else!
Willie Smits has restored a whole rainforest providing whole tribes and sheltering the largest numbers of endangered Uran-Utans inthis world.
One might think this man would be hailed praised and adored. Nopes, 1100 deaththreats and survived attempts on his life. He has won a price recently and has some youtube films with him explaining. How must he feel?
We live in a culture were Kim Kardasian just got a billionaire sporting a plastic bum. We’re all infected by that sick culture, even if we don’t like to admit it.
And that is why they all think you are crazy.
I took photos of the lettuces.
First photo on the right is the Moroccan lettuce, looks just like it always has. Bottom right is a hardened local 4 season type which grows and self seeds and on the left in thee middle is a crossing between the two lettuces.
What should i do now? I would like this kind of lettuce to stay more like the original, green, but strong and winterproof and heat and drought resistant. I don’t want that they become too much like the hardy one red and curly.
Should i keep the crossed one and let it go to seed to make sure i get a maximum hardy lettuce in them and then kill off all the ones that show red leaves in the next genetation and cross all of the. leftovers back with normal looking descendents of the Morocan type. Or should i eradicate the mixed one(s) and not let them have a say in the future gene pool?? How about crossing more with the hardy one?
I could also split them of into two types. One Moroccan salad that survives winters and one that is really hardy in summer.
Also i am running an experiment with red deer tongue lettuce and australian yellow leaf lettuce and devil tongue lettuce. I hope to get as many seeds of the big plants, i just eat the smaller ones . They are planted in beds at least 20 feet from each other. I hope they don’t cross too much. Except again with the hardy type which grows all over.
Second photo original Moroccan type right, mixed Moroccan on the left.
How odd. Mine comes up in autumn somewhere automatically. It survived 14 f (-10c) nights with just some damaged leaves here and there and is flowering now. It would render it unmarketable those damaged leaves and was quite shitty to take out in the washing tub. But i discovered the chickens love it too, so just dumped the yellow leaved clumbs it in there. The green closed ranks after.
I suspect it’s slightly alleopathic. And the soil where it has covered my beds is so much wetter that i want to grow it everywhere as a cover crop.
Any way. So where you are winters are so harsh it choses to come up in spring! America is amazing!
Ok laugh all you like.
Break breeze would have been more appropriate. I got carried away.
To my defense I am planning to plant them densely. And every little bit of shade it will provide to the planted trees to the north of it will be welcome.
The structure itself i am going to double up. It will become like a dome and carry vines like grape and hops which are getting roots over the summer in.
The beans are more of an opportunity because the hedge i have tried to grow keeps dying.
Building, like it, plants love them. Building for plants wow i have no words. See the pictures added below the text!
So i made this fence along the garden plot and added some wood and metal chickenfence.
For quite some years i’ve been trying to break the wind there. Willows mostly died, even hornbeam died. I noticed peaches hold out so i’ve planted some thirty , one year olds strategically. But the soil is really thin there so progress will be slow. I the meantime at low level sage is starting to block some wind. Which creates a heat trap for the rosemary. There are some Jerusalem Artichokes in the soil as well but they haven’t done much either.
The last three summers when i started this plot have been scorching hot.
So this year the latest plan is to grow beans there. I dumped some straw on the grass and some cow compost on top of that. About 2 inches (5cm)of compost/soil mix and i plan to seed that with phacelia which will keep it covered until i bring in the locally adapted bean seeds i managed to acquire.
The beans will first climb the phacelia stalks and then enter the chicken fence.
At least that’s my plan, if it really works like how i plan is a second. So i thought to make it a topic on Permies and hope for people to chime in with scorching critique and gentle encouragements.
Here some pix to help envision.