We have alkaline soil with corresponding low sulfur values. Our berries just sat there looking yellow and glum. After a few years of trying various things I added pelletized ag sulfur to the soil as well as boatloads of various mulches such as shredded leaves and shredded pine needles. Afterwards the berries are now growing with gusto.
It is important to note that Blueberries are quite moisture sensitive with most of the roots in the very top of the soil. Add in a sandy soil and you have a problem! So I'd add in as much mulch and humus as possible to remedy that situation.
I have heard that coffee grounds are naturally acid plus they are a good amendment. But adding enough for my 24 bush patch was just too much. Lot's of contradicting info on using shredded pine needles so your milage may vary.
In our neck of the woods Native Hawthorne's are the only tree capable of becoming a good barrier that deer can't get through or won't eat their way through. The native saskatoons are too shade sensitive to produce much of a forage. Other tree's are just too tall for a living fence that won't become a shade problem later. I have mixed in black locust and siberian pea shrubs (bee's LOVE both of those) with good success for deer survival.
Note the Hawthorne's we have are extremely thorny. I mean serious hurt your self thorny. Deer love to eat the new growth so they have a poodle look to them trimmed up to about 4'. But deer won't go through them at all.
I want to thank all the posters on this topic. I had decided to NOT use cottonseed meal nor soybean meal in my fertilizing regime. I really wanted some point blank thoughts and ideas and I GOT it thanks to all of you.
One additional point. I was in my local ag feed store and found the carry flax and linseed meal as animal feed. They do NOT carry cotton or soybean meal. Interesting. I'll do some research on this, I can't imagine big Ag nor big Pharma wanting to corner the market on GMO of flax and linseed meal. I'll also research the plant nutritional aspect of those 2 meals compared to the GMO'd soy and cotton seed meals.
Good day to everyone! I am reading Steve Solomon's Gardening When It Counts book. His recommended formula for Complete Organic Fertilizer has cottonseed or soybean meal as a key ingredient. I am wondering about the effect of using this product in today's world. These two meals are now pretty much completely GMO'ed for bt. Since the meal will go into the ground accessible by any living creature and bug, does anyone have any ideas, thoughts, research or links to share about the risks to your garden?
I will send him a direct email to see where he stands. I am hoping someone here has experience or is knowledgeable about the chemical process used to create the seedmeal and if that has the effect of eliminating the bt element in the plant.
This depends on your location. I have grown sweet cherries in Willamette vallley OR USA. They do well there but required spraying with Sulfur for fungus diseases. The area was known for that. I now live near Spokane WA USA, I have no fungal spray issues but our late frosts and ocassional deep freezes in April will either zap the fruiting buds or just outright kill the tree. I have given up on Sweet cherries and just grow the sour ones, resigning my self to strawberries and the stuff brought in from outlying areas.
Decomposed granite is going to be tough with out a liner. Liners are not quite permaculture but hey you do what you have to do. You might check out how to dig and compact a pond using heavy equipment (ie Holtzer).
Benjamin Burchall wrote:So am I understanding correctly that Holzer's pond sealing method is basically to compact the soil that will serve as the bottom of the pond. If that's correct, I imagine a low tech no-pig way to do this would be to take a sledgehammer to the soil. Perhaps lay a small metal plate on the soil and hammer away on top of it? I could see this working on clay soils well.
I've seen work crews working with soil compactors to prepare the ground for building a road or sidewalk before. They look like jackhammers with a metal plate instead of a spike. I suppose you could rent one, right?
I don't think that Holzer's technique as he described it could be summarized as a simple COMPACTION. If you re-watch his description you'll notice that he illustrates the compaction as a shaking instead, using the bucket of the excavator to pound the soil "lightly" so as to allow the clay to sort itself to a single stratified hydrophobic layer.
Yes MillerDavidPatrick McMoy is correct. Holzer's method involves compaction and straitification of soils. Heavy large granules filter downward, fine silty clayey particles rise to the top. Each combo of compaction with stratification results in stabilized layers of soil types. A compactor won't quite have the same effect. If you visit his site you see very very large equipment akin to what in North America is called a track-hoe. Large and heavy. His ponds are also MONDO in size, not some 20x20 foot pond.
It is a simple process to get a permit allowing for production of alcohol for energy purposes. The barrier for producing alcohol used as liquor is quite high.
Leah Sattler wrote: darn. I found out distilling your own alcohol is illegal. I was really seriously considering brewing my own fuel. pre child days I would be doing it anyway!
as a teenager i worked in a donut shop. it was hard to predict how much to make and we would sometimes have trays upon trays that we had to dump in the TRASH! think about all that SUGAR just waiting to be turned into FUEL for my car. I would just need to work out a deal with a donut shop owner. after lobbying for the legalization of home distillerys of course.
We charge 2 for banty eggs and 4-5 for large, depending on the season. We grow as much of our food as possible and free range. Field corn harvested and then just tossed in the barn during january....potatoes and winter squash are a home run with our girls (just have to steam or boil them)..vermiculture for the mondo snacks. Organic whole oats are a treat also. Then alfalfa bales in the winter for seeds and 'greens' and protein.
Always have more customers than eggs. Currently we hav 50 some odd hens.
P.S., IN PNW organic chicken food can be bought from Scratch and Peck in Seattle and Spokane.
I am a firm believer in plans. I map out actual measurements and graph them to scale. Plants have a habit of exceeding the size of what the little stickers say (IMHO). It is sooo easy to plant to close, then you end up managing the plant all the time via cutting back or pruning or walking around it as it blocks a path.
With respect to 5-10 year cycles....I used to be anal regarding not 're-purposing' mistakes. By this I mean when a plant has 2-3 years on it I just hated to take it out or move it. Now not so much. If a plant is not the right variety or in the right spot then I dig it out and either move or give it away.
With respect to cycles of planting I am "all in". I love the idea of planting in a way that respects and takes advantage of succession. As an example I start with the final tree in the perfect spot (walnut) but for the first 3-5 years plant quick growing hardy pioneer stuff like clover or oats or strawberries and maybe a birch or 3. Then after the nurse tree is getting a decent size harvest then I the birch for firewood. I have yet to try biochar or hugelyadda.
Note the need for professionally managed composting. Also note that once composted the remaining by-products can be managed by micro-organisms.
H Ludi Tyler is in a tough situation. S/he needs a good solution to retain water during a mega drought and needs it immediately. If and when a good rain comes it would be best to be prepared for it. For now I would be looking at liners as effective short term solutions while we permies develop or create better long term solutions.
I know next year I will be building 2 ponds. One I will be trying the Seth compaction method he describes in a video. On the other I will be using a recycled pond liner I got from a roofing contractor that strips them off commercial re-roofing jobs. The second pond will be temporary and the liner is already here so why not take advantage of it? The only other usage would be a underground house or veggie cellar or the dump.
This has been a great thread. A good point being made is that the type of pond may depend not only on soils and topography but more importantly the usage. I never thought about the drought conditions and how it would just crack up a nicely compacted and sealed pond. You'd be rebuilding it every year!
For myself I intend on a slow draining pond for water retention (swale) and duck habitat. I have access to large amounts of roof run off as well as a creek. The creek is problematic as I'd have to buy a solar panel and small pump to lift it 100' or so during the dry spells.
I do not think the issue is plastic itself. If the earth had 100 million people on it and we all acted super responsible with what we extract, produce and use, then plastic usage would be a minor point.
I use plastics in limited but essential means. Biodegradables for bags, etc. I recently found 2 pallets of roofing liner (same as EDPM pond liner) for free as they ripped it from a building. You can bet I will use that in my pond next year.
As far as pond development goes...having the right soil is important and prepping the soil is critical. Once you have excavated you will need to compact the soil mercilessly. Add a touch of water, compact; scarify, add a touch of water and compact mercilessly, repeat repeat repeat. At this point over a few years the pond will begin to solidify at the base. Your point of failure will be the 2000 pound moose puncturing your compacted soil or a tree/shrub whose roots penetrate the base. Now if you started 12" deeper, lay the pond liner down, then add back the 12" of soil and at each step compact, you have the makings of an extremely good pond.