Steve, I'm not very "local" anymore although I used to live in Todd. I'm about 90 minutes away now, but try to get to Boone about once a month to grocery shop, and then on up 194 towards W. Jefferson to visit an old friend. Getting there in the winter months is always weather-dependent, but I'd be glad to come by and talk with you. Send me a private message with a phone number, or email address?
For all those who posted on this thread about the lack of any effect of "Cosmic energy", I challenge you to work in an Emergency Room, or an Emergency Response Team (or something similar) and tell us is there's NO difference in calls during the "Cosmic energy" effects of a Full Moon.
LOL, last year I picked my first hazel "crop"... a whopping 15 nuts! The shrub was 3 years old. This year it looks like the crop may double. It's in poor soil, not in a good spot, and it probably has too large a root system now to move. I'll be planting more, for sure.
I have about 2 dozen native elderberries that I started from cuttings 6 months ago. I was hoping to sell some but that hasn't happened. I'm wondering if I can transplant a few of them now into my garden along the fence line. I already transplanted them from starter pots into tall tree pots about 4 months ago, and they had lots of roots. When I moved them a month later to a different location, they were already starting to grow roots out of the pots.
Many sources say to transplant in spring. Any first-hand experience?
I'm in Zone 5b, or maybe 6a, in the Virginia Appalachian Mountains.
Much of what we have been told (theories based on incomplete research) about cholesterol and the many kinds of heart disease are proving to be false. The body manufactures cholesterol, much as it manufactures white blood cells, to fight something amiss in our bodies.
I read somewhere that NIH is re-evaluating/studying the daily amount of Vitamin D needed in most of the US, saying it could be 5,000 IU (or more) daily rather than the current RDA of 400 IU.
My body responds well to really local honey. The bees bring in the local pollens, and using a bit of the honey daily in something like hot tea has helped my body build up some immunity. I don't buy any honey collected from hives more than 2-4 miles from my house. I don't use a lot of sweeteners so I have to make a dedicated effort prior to spring and fall pollen times to consume tea with honey.
www.Davesgarden.com has great plant and seed swap threads, but not so much for fruits and trees. However, it's well worth the membership fee, as I think you have to be a paying member to see the swap threads. Old timers there won't usually swap with someone who isn't a paying member anyway. Some of the swaps are trading something we have for something we want, but a whole lot (esp. seeds) are sent just for postage. Over the last 10+ years I probably have had trades of close to 500 plants and seeds. (Seeds are everything from veggies and herbs to flowers, and occasionally some tree seeds.)
My apple trees are not large enough to fruit yet, but I do get local apples to ferment apple cider vinegar. I'm waiting for my Hewe's Crab to grow enough crabapples to mix into an old-fashioned cider with a few other varieties added. Most hard ciders today are not what they made 200 years ago.
Almost fruits other than grapes need added sugar to ferment into wines, and that's a drawback for me.
Plant swaps are complex in many ways. Many folks are reluctant to attend an event where they don't know any of the people, and I don't think it is just shyness. (When did suspicion become so paramount?) Perhaps one of the reason's I like the DavesGarden swaps is that we have a chance to get to know each other a bit online before ever attending a plant swap.
As to plants, I have traded a zillion flowering plants at swaps over the years but now that I'm into more of a 'food forest' no one around here seems to want things like elderberries, thornless blackberries, haskaps, blueberries and the like. I had 25 elderberries about 2' tall that I could not even give away at our last swap. They still want pretty flowers (that often aren't edible, not that they care).
There's a local organization that holds an edible plant sale spring and fall, and the prices are outrageous; they advertise basically to the farmer's market growers and shoppers so there's more interest than in a general plant swap. Nonetheless, I intend to learn more and hone my skills for starting cuttings and grafting. Sooner or later people will catch up to us, but for now we are a small minority.
I've been a member of DavesGarden.com for many years, and we have small, organized plant swaps with a pot-luck lunch all over this country. Most are somewhat local, and a very few are more regional. I cannot count the friends I've made, nor the plants I've gained.
A lot of my garden has gone by the wayside this year. No hope for tomatoes or peppers, maybe I'll get a few beans. The onions, garlic, and shallots planted before the lack of rain have done well. To be sure, I could not live through the winter with what I've grown this year.
This is my first year with a hugelkultur berm, just started in May. It's above ground, and not very tall, but runs along the line where rain comes off the barn roof before heading downslope to the creek. I ran out of energy and didn't get all the sod turned under properly, nor enough dirt/mulch put on top, and like a dunce, I planted water-loving winter squash on it. I do have to water more than I'd like, because the logs are far from rotting and holding water, and rainfall has been scant.
Nonetheless, I shall harvest a few winter squash from the berm, and come fall and the demise of the squash vines, I'll add more mulch and soil so it will have better water retention next year no matter what I plant on it. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to cover the grass on it that didn't get turned upside down, either with cardboard or newspapers, before adding mulch and dirt. Fortunately, it's not the entire berm!
Here's the base of the berm. The logs were covered with about a foot of small stuff, then sod, then what dirt I could scavenge. I'll have to hunt for a photo of the squash growing on it, or take another photo to post later.
I'm a single female living alone on 19 steep mountain acres, will be 72 this year, and have really noticed increased limitations in the last 3-4 years. I'm slowly getting rid of everything high maintenance in the yard and moving into permaculture/food forest areas. I may not ever see some of the trees produce fruit/nuts but I plant anyway.
I envy those who have younger family members or neighbors available to help. As poor as my county is, no one will work for money... not that I have much anyway with just my social security income. Some of the work is hard, but if I stop doing it at all, I'll go downhill fast. I watched my mother do that (assisted living then nursing home) and I don't intend to follow in her footsteps.
Judith, I think the best information on lacto-fermentation comes from Sandor Katz. I have his book, Wild Fermentation, but not his newest one. I make many lacto-ferments every year, usually in the fall so I can store them in my cool/cold root cellar rather than take up refrigerator space.
I've tried all the ideas from above, including stacked tires. The best results I have ever had came from just putting the tubers on top of the decomposing straw bales from the previous year's straw-bale gardening. Then I covered the tubers with some of the excess decomposing straw and let them grow, I think I added a bit more old straw as they grew to "hill" them, but probably not much. Best, and cleanest, potatoes I have ever grown.
I decided I like sweet potatoes better (plus they have a lower glycemic index) so last year I planted a big SP bed in-ground, in some loose and well-amended soil. They grew like gangbusters, but I got nary a one to eat since some underground critters got there first and chomped a big bit of every single one. The harvest was awesome in quantity, just not worth eating.
I'm very interested in following this thread, and seeing what others are doing, even if some are just in the early/planning stages. The ones that are "popping" fascinate me!
Although I have nothing worth showing yet, I did start planting a few fruit and nut bushes ~5 years ago; unfortunately it was long before I stumbled on the 'food forest' concept, or even knew what 'permaculture' encompassed. Most of those plantings are now too large to move so they will remain where they are, but I did manage to start one guild last year around a small apple tree. It incorporates many of the food forest concepts, and some of the berry bushes I planted earlier will end up in the understory of the apple tree as it grows. This year it is unbelievably lush, although not very large.
Just last month I had some earth moving done in prep for a much larger food forest area that previously has been "lawn"; it won't have anything much planted in it this year except maybe some deep-rooted things like daikons and blown-in dandelion seeds to help break up the soil the bulldozer compacted. So far I have hauled in and spread 12-15 cu. yards of wood chips to cover the bare compacted area about 5-6" deep, and I've only done about half so far. I'll be 72 this year, and have no help, so this old woman is progressing slowly! However, my fruit tree seedlings won't be ready to go in the ground for another year, so that works out okay. I'm propagating more insectaries in my flower beds, and working on dividing things like comfrey, french sorrel, herbs, chives, daffodils, yada, yada to have plenty of transplants when the soil is agreeable.
I built a 50' long hugel berm at the high end of the new area, and it too is a work in process. Despite upturned sod, grasses are still sprouting along it; perhaps some are from the airborne orchard grass seed I sowed over the drain field. I have a few winter squash plants now in the hugel berm, but it needs a good ground cover, even if just wood chips. My intentions are that the hugel berm will be a soaker/buffer between the rain runoff from the old barn roof above it and the slope down to the creek, with some of my future food forest located in between the two.
Awaiting the new garden prep are perhaps 3+ dozen fruiting plants which include: native elderberries I propagated, several apple grafts from a class I took in spring, haskaps, Cornelian cherries, grapes, plums... and I have a promise of mulberries and chinquapins from friends. There are more I want, along with more perennial veggies, but that;s what I have on hand. I also started a stand of Jerusalem artichokes last year and they have multiplied quite nicely. This fall they will be dug and replanted along the property fence line to act as both a slight windbreak, and a visual barrier to the neighbor.
Making the change from a flower gardener to a sorta vegetable gardener wasn't too difficult. Making the change from traditional gardening, whether flower beds or 'soldier rows' of vegetables into a food forest garden is a whole other ballgame. It promises to be an interesting journey!
Where are you in Virginia? I have bought a few things from Edible Landscaping, but they are quite pricey... and their zone is warmer than mine in the mountains so what does well there often fails here. I'm learning to grow trees and think it might be a tiny sideline business.
**Note: Question marks indicate that these products do not list all of their ingredients on their labels. This is a common practice with most of the major conventional brands. It may be safe to assume that many of them contain artificial colors and scents, among other things. Avoid products that do not list ingredients!
Other Laundry Products:
* Clorox (chlorine bleach)
* Biokleen Bac Out (sodium percarbonate, enzymes)
* Biokleen Oxygen Bleach Plus (sodium sulfate)
Most of the vendors at my local Farmer's Market are not certified organic (due to the cost of certification), but simply state their foods are raised organically. That satisfies 99% of us who trust our known suppliers, all local farmers. In my own garden everything is organic and I wouldn't hesitate to give some away saying it was organic.
Here's a great little online app to show the sun's position over your land... you can put in any date, or time, and it will give you the map of the sun for that day. It's based on Google Earth, so you can choose to use the satellite image so you can see anything that might block the sun.
Here's what the page says:
SunCalc is a little app that shows sun movement and sunlight phases during the given day at the given location.
You can see sun positions at sunrise, specified time and sunset. The thin orange curve is the current sun trajectory, and the yellow area around is the variation of sun trajectories during the year. The closer a point is to the center, the higher is the sun above the horizon. The colors on the time slider above show sunlight coverage during the day.