Also works on the stolons: "Stolons of bermudagrass were collected from the Agro-
nomic Research Area, University of Agriculture, Faisala-
bad, Pakistan.The stolons were cut into pieces to separate
the nodes. Each Petri dish of 9 cm diameter was ﬁlled
with 10 g of loam soil. Five fungicide-treated nodes of
bermudagrass were planted in each Petri dish.Then, the
25, 50, 75, and 100% mulberry leaf water extracts were
poured on the soil uniformly in the respective Petri
dishes. Distilled water was used as the control for com-
parison. All the Petri dishes (covered with lids) were
placed in a germinator (MIR-253; Sanyo,Tokyo, Japan)
at 25 ⫾2°C. The data on the sprouting, radicle and
plumule lengths, and fresh and dry weights were
recorded 12 days after sowing (DAS)."
If you take two or 3 kochia plants at maturity, either dry them or wait for them to be dried, tie them together from the root end going up about a foot or two, these make fantastic outdoor brooms. This is what they do in my village here. For outside on patio and drive areas, there is no broom that is better. I think you use about 3 of them in a year. I would imagine if you chop kochia down before it goes to seed, they would make a really nice chop and drop mulch as well.
I am going to try it this year. I am also thinking of planting some in little short rows as windbreaks for some of my other stuff and see if it works.
Me too, would love another film on integrating animals into the orchard! I was considering doing a chicken tractor, but i think my trees are still too small and will not provide enough shade for the chickens, and it does get very very hot here in July and August.
Stefan Sobkowiak wrote:
Margie I tried to scythe in the beginning. Buccolic, romantic, great exercise. After a few 500 foot rows I realized this is WORK and I had another 25 rows to go!!
Small is beautiful. Grow the grass that grows best in your area. Look at what grows along the sides of the ditches. That's usually a good indicator of what is best suited for your conditions. Use the grass to chop and drop. We now use mow and blow as a faster version of chop and drop. Maybe you should just grow herbs and vegetables in the rows if it is small enough to maximize your yield. That's how you can be profitable from year 1.
OMG! Well, my place is much smaller, i have about 1/2 acre and a part of it is my orchard. Sounds like a good plan on the chopping and dropping of the grass, and I am also trying to grow something called Herniaria Glabra in hopes that this could work as low growing herb but that can be walked on. perhaps what I'll do is do several rows with different plantings and see what works best. Thank you for all your input!!
Hi Stefan! I'm in Bulgaria, so different climate to yours, but I am wondering what grass you grow between the rows and how often you mow? It looks all green and lush!
I am trying to do everything small scale, no electric or gas run equipment, so I would have to scythe, and would like to keep it to a minimum. Do you have a slow growing grass? Do you think Buffalo grass would be ok?
I am not in the same zone as you, but i have a couple of suggestions that i think would work
A. Check out "winter sowing" online. i used to have lots of failures till i sowed my seeds in this way, and things come out really strong and PUNKY! Almost EVERYTHING comes up and is healthy.
B. start looking at taking tree cuttings - I also recommend signing up for Mike McGroarty's free newsletter. He does not do permaculture, but he really really knows how to propagate from cuttings for really cheap. Here is a link for that, he offers a course (pretty cheap) which i have not bought, i find his videos very helpful http://www.freeplants.com/ That way you can start providing lots of trees and shrubs for others. here's a short video with mike showing an easy way of doing it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WyXSNzywqvw
C. What I have found that grows really easy and should do well where you are as well is:
like i don't have to do anything for those. the oregano and thyme are easily divided so you can have more clumps, same with mints and lemon balm.
Elderberry is great, the leaves, flowers and berries can all be used. This spring I pruned one of mine back and just stuck the twigs in the soil. They all rooted. So in one square foot you could have 10 elderberry starts. this is the same for many other trees and shrubs as well.
I think for your veggies in the horseyard area, you can still do it. It is worth you seeing what Colette has done at Bealtaine Cottage. She is in Ireland and has a plot and near her house it's mainly rock, she quickly fashioned "potager" beds, just using rocks and filling with mulch and it is doing really well, every year gets better and she adds more, I suspect you could do the same in that area, and just put gravel inbetween for the walking areas. Here is a link, http://bealtainecottage.com/tag/potager-garden/. She has a shredder which she uses ALOT. It might be worth you picking up a second hand one, I have seen them very cheap second hand on ebay. It's an item most people buy and then don't use, but for us, and for you, it might be handy with all the wood trimmings, etc. Anyway, the link will tell you. You are going to have SUCH A NICE LIFE THERE!!
I too am finding that Irises work, they form a very dense mat. I've also found that oregano and thyme do the job really well, nothing seems to really poke through them. I've just started planting chives, so I am really looking forward to seeing how that works.
Are you doing this for yourself or also to make extra income?
Why not grow lots of herbs in between, for teas and tinctures? and possibly to sell either the seeds or small plants at farmers market or through Ebay? They are often good bee plants as well.
grow stuff that bees love and have stuff blooming from as early to as late as possible and have bees for honey and pollination? Early is Juneberry, there's a mexican sunflower that's really bushy and nice and seems to bloom for long time. You could have several hives.
Grow pumpkin kaki along the rows or upwards, they grow to about 5 or 6 feet and have hull less seeds and are delicious.
There are two watermelons that seem to be VERY easy to grow and absolutely the best in flavor. One is orangeglo and the other is AliBaba, check Bakers seeds - they have a good description and you get customer feedback on the actual end results. They will cover the bare dirt areas and you won't have to weed there.
Grow stuff that other people don't have? Yacon, or maybe winterhardy kiwi (can climb up the fruit trees), white currants, or any currants, Aronia berries, unusual raspberries and blackberries, elephant garlics,
ok, I have a question for you who are knowledgeable on biochar mychorrizzea.
I'm planting about 100 shrubs and trees in my backfield this spring, and I'm also beginning to wintersow lots and lots of seeds in the coming weeks. I really want to establish the mycorrhizal network in my field and saw the following 2 products on Ebay UK, (I'd have to have them sent to me in Bulgaria.)
for me, the amounts I would need would be probably above my budget, but I thought if I could make biochar in the next weeks, and then make a bucket similar to how John Elliott did with his chicken stuff, and made it into a drench, do you think I would get more out of the product? I wrote to the supplier and they said for a bare root tree would use a tablespoon full, and 200 grams is about 13 tablespoons full. So 13 trees.
Also I thought could maybe order a smaller amount of the stuff with the trichoderma, just for my peaches, because we do get peach leaf curl here a lot, and I thought it might help?
Also, I wondered if I could "Breed" these various fungi, by taking living root tissue, coating it, letting it do its thing, and then cutting the roots and putting those on top of/touching other roots? And just keep trying to breed more? Or could I just use the soil around areas which I've inoculated and make it into a "John Elliot Drench"?
I'm not science trained or educated, so I'm hoping I don't sound too off the wall.
I really like that this product seems to have a whole assortment of the beneficial fungi and bacteria. And I'm wanting to protect my shrubs in the backfield. From middle of July to Middle of August can get very hot and dry here.
I remembered reading an article several years ago, about someone who'd met a guy from Asia, where they burned the animal manure and THEN spread the ashes on the crop fields for fertilizer. They used the manure as fuel. So the USA guy took his horse manure and dried it, burned it in winter to keep his workshop warm, (it worked good and didn't smell bad at all) and then he did an experiment on several similar sized plots to see how this method of fertilizer compared, and the results were really really good. I'm figuring this could also be used on the hugel beds?
I just did a search and found the article, it is useful and entertaining. I am also wondering if this could be a use for our own poops. And what about dog poops? I get tons of those that I wish I could recycle!
I'm in Bulgaria too, since 2006 in the Sliven Region. Born in Holland and lived in the States and in the UK. This is home now, I will never live anywhere else.
Helena, I'm pleased too that you know some younger people that are interested in moving to the village.
My understanding from the people I know is that most of the younger generation want to move abroad where they will earn more money. They don't want to do "farming" the way their grandparents did. Which is basically quite hard work and very repetitive. Every year tomatoes, cukes, grapes, kill the pig at christmas, etc.
I think if there were some permaculture programs on TV here, maybe a series, it might generate more interest. I think young people here DO want to protect their environment, and when they go abroad, they HATE the food and miss the fresh produce from home.
My neighbors (in their 70's) feel that no young people will come to live in the village, but I think they may be wrong. As economies struggle people here will naturally fall into producing their own again. I've not seen much in a way of large agriculture here and I think it's because most of the land is broken up into small plots. It would be really difficult to get 100's of acres of land for a particular crop here.
I've started going towards permaculture last year, and did ok, this year will be even better. I mean my 1.7 dekare plot even with 1/7th production provides way more than I can eat!
More foreigners should come here to do this. They have no idea what they're missing. The last years have been the absolute best in my whole life and I'm in my 60's.
An English friend in Sliven has a little shop with crafts things that she makes. Recently a journalist came and took some pics and did an article for the "local paper" but it went national as well. She's had a lot of people come as a result.
I'm thinking that if we all took pictures of our progress, and maybe had a joint blog/site, it might get picked up. Particularly if we looked at it from the point of view of attracting younger people. Make it picture heavy with just short little blurbs underneath. Similar to the lady who has the Bealtaine Cottage site, just a bit more organized (http://bealtainecottage.com/). You just get sucked in by the pics! and what she did is brilliant.
I think some of the following might be really good candidates, I'm looking forward to trying a bunch of them myself this coming year.
In the back field I've got fruit trees and I want to kind of do meadow in between stuff. All the following can be cut down and will mostly come back or reseed, the main part I will be "mowing" or scything is the paths, and I'm considering just making a small chicken tractor to just move along the path to keep it more manageable. It will be an experiment.
I'm not totally sure about cutting down the lupines, but they are just so incredibly beautiful that I do want to include them.
Olivier Asselin wrote:I just got back after one day away from my computer and email to find out that we've surpassed our fundraising goal of 15,000$ with 21 days to spare! Thanks to all who contributed, and huge thanks to Paul, the Duke of Permaculture!
Margie, we plan to release the film in May/June 2014. There's still a lot of work to be done before it's ready.
YAAAYYY Stefan and Olivier!
OMG May/June 2014, I'll be old by then I am soooo looking forward to this!!! I know it is going to be one of my favorite things to watch over and over and over again! I love how you found just the right music to go with this.
Ok, I will just have to be patient. If you guys notice the trailer for the video is getting faded it's cause I've worn it out watching it.
I will be in need of something for the same purpose soon. We have a type of short leaved grass here. I was considering making that my walkway using a root barrier of some sort. It could even be boards placed on edge, dug in about 5-6 inches. The grass never gets over 6 inches tall and neither do the seed heads, so no mowing is required. It also pulls very easily.
4. putting flagstones or cement tiles with spaces of soil in between, in which I grow either the roman chamomile or the Herniaria.
5. planting the path with rye grass, clover, buckwheat, plantain, dandilion, etc. and making a lightweight chicken tractor to fit the width of the path, and just pulling that along every other day or so, that way the chickens can keep it under control while feeding themselves.
6. I am not sure if this would work, there is a lady in Ireland, she has a site called "Bealtaine Cottage" and she has a permaculture property. In her greenhouse, she actually dug a path down deep (got rid of the topsoil) and tamped the stuff down, and no weeds or plants have grown there since. I am wondering if this would work in the garden as well. Just dig down below the topsoil, and maybe what's below is not interesting to plants? Any thoughts on this by anyone??
7. cardboard with several inches of straw on top
One thing I learned..... MAKE YOUR GARDEN PATH WIDER THAN YOU THINK YOU NEED - its amazing that what looks like a really wide path in early spring, is hardly visible in June and July because everything alongside the path has grown so much! I have now pulled back lots of plants alongside the paths and replanted them in order to widen the paths.
I also tried boards on a path and I wasn't happy with the result, mint grew between the cracks and almost covered the boards and also when it rained, the wood was very slippery and I near killed meself one day.
I'm in Bulgaria in an agricultural area. There are lots of snakes here, most are ok, there are only 2 truly venomous snakes and one of those lives in the mountains, I am in the plains/pasture hills area. The snake that worries me is the adder. I don't particularly like snakes, but do understand they belong to the ecosystem and respect their place. Even the adder. But I'm worried about being bitten by one and would like to avoid this.
I'm planning out my half acre field and want to apply permaculture principles. However, in researching on the net the remedies are to get rid of wood piles, brush, low growing shrubs and high grasses or other plants, and to "mow frequently" and not have open water nor compost piles. Just so you know, I've got an open barn stacked with wood, of various sizes. I've got a nice big compost pile complete with fruit and vegetable scraps. And I don't want mowed lawn. And I want a lush forest orchard garden with lots of plants. And straw mulch.
There are numerous snake repellent products on the market, however I understand these do not work, nor does sulfur work, nor do marigolds or wormwood work and mothballs are, of course, definitely not to be used.
I do have 4 cats who largely handle the mice and rats, and occasionally even the odd small snake. And I have a large dog. No chickens and chicken food to attract creatures that snakes might enjoy.
How do some of you handle this in the USA? I understand you have rattle snakes and water moccassins which are very poisonous so many of you must be having to consider this as well? Or have you found a method to keep them away?
Wow, Brandis! I love the pictures an seeing what you're doing. And I personally think the grass looks so nice and lush and calm, and wish I could have some.
If you feel it's too much grass and want to create little areas, why not start with little mini gardens here and there on your lawn? You already have some borage, perhaps get some golden rod, and some yarrow, you can get those in the wild for free, or get some seeds from ebay. Just dig a hole, and add some compost and plant what you want. do little groups of 3 or 5 variations of plants. Combine some herbs with flowers. Parsley and mints are easy. Mint can be invasive, but on the other hand, I find it is easy to pull out when I need to, and can then plant something else there. Same with Lemon Balm.
A really pleasant way to get more plants for your garden is to look at other peoples garden's in your area, and if you see something you like, ring the bell and ask if you can have a cutting in exchange for something you have, and if you see a garden with LOTS of variety, become FRIENDS with that person . Don't feel shy about it. Gardeners (on the whole) LOVE sharing and make great friends.
I've gone in the mountains here and picked up loads of roots and cuttings of what locals think is weed but they are actually herbs and beautiful wild flowers. In my garden they look GREAT. Always carry a secateur and little spade with you in the car. You never know when you're going to run into something that needs a trim or thinning, and that you can put in your garden.
Day lillies are usually cheap or easy to get and even when they are not blooming, they looks good and you can have clumps of them all over very quickly, by dividing them. When they are spent, I cut them back and the leaves come back again and it looks all nice and lush and the flowers are edible. Same with wild geranium, which likes shade and you have some areas with shade (can't eat them, tho).
Parsnips are Brilliant!, you can grow from seed (cheap) In the second year, they become quite tall, stately looking plants with beautiful greeny gold umbels, and make a great backdrop for Borage or other blue or purple flowers. They seed like crazy, and you'll have loads of parsnips. (If you don't know what to do with them, make them like mashed potatoes, with lots of parsley. You will never want to eat mashed potatoes again, it is so delicious!)
Lovage is another good tall plant with nice umbels. Mullein is pretty too.
My Queen Ann's lace is now about 14 feet tall.
Anyway, I LOVE what YOU have!
Can I ask, what is in the very big tire with the green lid on it???
Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) might be good and is edible as well. It seems to do really well here in my zone 7 garden June July and August when it is very hot and dry here (Bulgaria). Also plantain ( Plantago major L. ) is quite drought resistant and grows/spreads quite easily. I find that the spires don't develop as easily when it gets walked on, which may be of benefit to you? Plaintain has some medicinal value too, I believe.
Fred, you speak such truth! It is the same here in Bulgaria. I love it here, and I encourage others to come, but it's really for those who are willing to adapt to a different pace of life and are willing to have it be "not like at home". And trying to go around "changing" or "improving" things only brings stress on yourself and makes the locals feel like you are patronizing them and makes them dislike being with you.
The two year adjustment sounds about right too. I've lived in several different countries, and even though they were "western" I still had to adapt to the culture. There's periods when you do nothing but be critical of the new place and then that eventually fades to the point of that you actually don't want to go back anymore.
ok, well on the barrel front, I just paid to have the barrel, so I guess I gonna have to figure out a way to get the paint off. I'll start a fire in the back field and put the barrel on it after I have the top cut off. The people that will cutt the frame for me will also cut my barrel.
Regarding the firebricks, ok, I gonna check on used chimneys and such like.
Dale, when you speak about the rock dust and the road base material, are you meaning I should use this instead of the gravel as mass? Or should I use this as material in the riser? Forgimme if I sound a bit stooopid. This building stuff is all new to me
Dale, I only saw your response just now. thank you.
I've had some delays but will go to the shop next week to get the supplies to make my stove.
I have a few questions.
I now have one 210 liter barrel (I will get the top cut off, it contained oil, and I will clean it) and a smaller barrel for putting the wood in. I've found rocks, and I'll be getting the gravel. I've measured and will get the framework pieces cut to size with holes drilled so I can screw it all together. I will use aluminum or metal sheeting as the "wall" to hold the pepples inside and will also have this cut to size.
My questions are:
1. I can't get any stainless steel stove pipe here. They have "regular stove pipe" that everyone uses for their 'Pechka's" (stoves) I can get enameled or un-enameled. I'm not sure if the pipes are galvanized or not. Can I use the enameled pipe inside the mass of the heater? I read that galvanized was bad.
2. The widest stove pipe I can get is 5 1/4" diameter , my barrel is 22 1/2" diameter, will this be ok? (I will have two courses of the pipe next to each other in the mass part)
3. The barrel is painted, what will happen if I leave the paint on? it looks like it is baked on and difficult to get off. It's quite hideous red with bulgarian writing on it, not exactly my "item" but I have a feeling that trying to get the paint off will take me a month of daily sanding.
4. I am trying to get perlite, but not sure if I can get it here. Would I be able to use wood ash as insulation material for the riser?
5. My floor has laminate, underneath is wood. I will have it supported underneath from the cellar. My plan is the put aluminum sheet on top of the laminate, then a layer of 1" sand as insulation, then the rocks and pipes, surrounded by pea gravel. Does that sound ok as far as insulation goes? Or should a put more sand or some other insulative material?
I'm trying to source some firebrick, wish me luck! When I have it finished, I will take picture and post. I can't wait
Gosh, that's a tough one. Unemployment is skyrocketing here at the moment. And starting a business here under current climate would be a challenge. Best bet would be something internet related.
I am currently doing admin for my sister in the USA, for as long as this will last - given the economy. Her business is still doing good so I'm hoping to hang in for a while, but am in the process of setting up that no matter what happens, even if no income, no pension, I can still survive.
I'm collecting barter items and learning some things that would be useful that they don't have here, that I could exchange.
Health insurance is about $12/month and like I said, annual property tax is really low, mine is about $25 per year, and I have a very cute little house on about 1/2 acre, which is a big chunk for me, I couldn't handle anything bigger.
I've been kind of "preparing" and storing things that might be hard to come by if things go really skewed, and other than that I live simply but feel like I'm living richly. If my electricity goes, I actually don't mind, I have come up with many many many alternatives, so it's ok. All I feel I need is my insurance, and the ability to pay for my pets care, which is actually also very much cheaper here.
Language is not easy, but English is now taught in schools. I get by with broken bulgarian and I'm old and it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks. People are friendly.
With regard to visa, that too depends on your circumstances, but there are numerous options. For europeans it's even easier.
There are some rules for foreigners buying land, but these are easy to abide by. It is no problem to own land.
I would say, if you are a family person, and all your family stays at home, you will be lonely.
If you are retired, it is a really good place to retire because everything is so cheap.
My sister came over from the states this summer. I was a bit worried about what she would think, because although it is very beautiful here (the nature), it is also very backwards. Like horse carts, geese in the road, donkey's braying in the distance, etc.
She LOVED it. One of her sons didn't like it, he likes luxury living, and I think her husband prefers more luxury hotels and such.
My sister was ready to buy a place out here (there was a little property, very small little house at the end of the village, 1/2 acre land, for about $3,600. The properties here need work tho. It's not like in the states. It was very tempting for her, but didn't quite make sense because of her situation with the kids. She was sorely tempted tho.
We bought a village house here about 5 years ago, cost about $6,000 and then total renovation (new roof, plumbing, gutted with walls broken out, new bathroom, new kitchen, flooring (laminate and tiles), cost approx $20,000. Prices went up for a while but have come down again.
There's a dairy in the village so I get fresh very creamy yoghurt every day, and my across the street neighbour gives/and sometimes sells me her fresh goat milk, people eat what's in season here and the quality of the produce is fantastic.
I think you could say it is very biodiverse here. That's one of the things that my sister and the boys noticed. The fields had many varied crops, not miles of one kind of crop. And peoples house gardens have a huge array of stuff and they look really nice (unlike mine )
Everybody cans, preserves, etc.
Next week the lorry will come to bring me my wood for the winter. 8 cu meter is more than enough for my stove and costs approx $315.00 That will see me through from November to some of the chilly nights in April.
I am getting the supplies to make a rocket mass heater, and hopefully that will be done in a few weeks, so I will only need about 2 or 3 cu meter a year, and much of that can be from the fruit trees in the back field.
Don't know if that answers your question, but there you have it.