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questions for skeeter (michael pilarski)

 
master steward
Posts: 29104
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Gonna be doing a podcast later today with skeeter.  Anybody have questions?

 
master pollinator
Posts: 11535
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
802
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How often does he irrigate in his climate or does he grow everything with natural rainfall (which seems quite low in his area)?  If by natural rainfall, does he have any special soil preparation or other "secrets" to growing with a low rainfall?

Thanks! 

 
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I would like to know if there is anything that he has planted before that he would not deal with again (for what ever reason).
I would also like to know if he has any advice for using some plants to rein in the spreading nature of other plants (blackberries to buffer bamboo or any other such plays on ecology)
And maybe his top ten list of most usefull plants?
I am always amazed when watching him in a video; the tours of his gardens, the lightning fast botanical information, cool and collected...always inspiring.
 
pollinator
Posts: 806
Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
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I think Skeeter has .8 acre (?) - does he have any other areas that have been in permaculture longer than 2 years?  Can he do a ballpark quantification on the overall productivity in food crops?  And the financial return on herbal cash crops?  Also, any tips on how to find a potential customer for bulk herbs?

And why doesn't Skeeter save himself the work and just leave the annual 'weeds' to just 'drop' without the 'chop'?  I can see that it's easier to move and pile the  cut biomass if it is wanted elsewhere, but is there a benefit other than that? 

Is he considering or doing hugelkultur - isn't Tonasket pretty dry?  Or does the deep weed mulch preserve enough water for the dry spells?  Any extra irrigation? And do the weed seeds germinate up through the biomass pile? 

I see the small fruit/berry perennial (shrub/tree) plants, but does he have the 'major' fruit trees (apples, pears, peach etc.) also growing in a food forest somewhere, in the same polyculture environment/process?

Does he have any 'containment' practices for the too-eager weeds?  I.e., will the mint (and it's kindred spirits) need to be corralled at some point?  Or could it serve as a free-run ground cover, with, say beets, squash and the like growing through, without negative consequences? 

Does he plant 'major' food crop - beets, squash, beans, etc. - by seeding  here and there (or everywhere) ?  Are they self-seeded volunteers? 

Any chickens ?






 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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We got through several of these, and that podcast should be up in less than a week.  In the meantime, we're gonna make yet another podcast on wednesday morning if there are any more questions for skeeter.

 
Tyler Ludens
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Thanks Paul and Skeeter! 
 
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