Win a copy of Homegrown Linen this week in the Plant Fibers forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Pearl Sutton
stewards:
  • Mike Haasl
  • paul wheaton
  • Devaka Cooray
master gardeners:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Carla Burke
  • jordan barton
  • Leigh Tate
gardeners:
  • Greg Martin
  • Jay Angler
  • thomas rubino

Stories of things that thrive on neglect

 
pioneer
Posts: 65
Location: Pretoria, South Africa
40
hugelkultur forest garden fungi foraging chicken wofati composting toilet bee building homestead
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My favorite kinds of things!
Isn’t it great to forget about something for longer than you should have, and find out that it’s doing perfectly fine without your input?

I’m starting this thread to share stories of heathy neglect that result in abundance.
As I see it, it would be great to get more out with less effort in.
 
master steward
Posts: 4584
Location: USDA Zone 8a
1405
dog hunting food preservation cooking bee greening the desert
  • Likes 10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My favorite is that little kitchen herb called rosemary.

I planted mine outside with instructions to be three feet away from other plants.

We live where there is usually a drought.  I never water the rosemary.  It just keeps getting bigger even though I prune it.

It must be 8 ft wide and over four feet tall.

I would say this is proof that it thrives on neglect.
 
pollinator
Posts: 856
Location: North Carolina zone 7
172
hugelkultur forest garden fungi foraging ungarbage
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Great idea Leigh! I’m sure there are many more than I grow but here’s my few.
1. I only look at my sun chokes when I’m ready to eat them.
2. Rosemary
3. Any and all sage.
4. Lavender
5. Oregano
6. St John’s wort
7. Agastache. My favorite herb!
8. Shiso. It self seeds at a rapid pace.
9. Thyme
10. Bee balm
11. Egyptian walking onions.
12. Strawberries 🍓
13. Goji berries

That’s all I can think of. Look forward to other responses. Great topic!
 
pollinator
Posts: 90
Location: East of England
40
trees tiny house books writing
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think if it's in the right place, pretty much anything with thrive on neglect. And if it's in the wrong place, even plenty of attention may not make it thrive.
My best neglect story is the year I planted out a few tomato seedlings at the far end of the garden in late spring, and then life got in the way and I didn't go near them till near the end of summer. Fallen over, unpruned, and tangled in knee high weeds, the plants still managed to give me several large buckets full of tasty fruit to preserve. That was in Australia. Here in the UK, the best we've managed to eke out of our tomatoes is a small bowl!
 
pollinator
Posts: 523
111
tiny house food preservation cooking rocket stoves homestead
  • Likes 10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Toss this on the ground 2 years later grab a shovel and bring in the harvest ->

White Yam,


True yam that I grew 23.6 pounds of awesome potato taste! 1lb peanut butter jar for size comparison.
kraken.jpg
[Thumbnail for kraken.jpg]
 
Jane Mulberry
pollinator
Posts: 90
Location: East of England
40
trees tiny house books writing
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Wowee, Mart! That really is one heck of a yam!
 
Mart Hale
pollinator
Posts: 523
111
tiny house food preservation cooking rocket stoves homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jane Mulberry wrote:Wowee, Mart! That really is one heck of a yam!




I have about 20 more now since I did that one,    And I am expanding.     I love this yam...


I have been thinking it would be awesome for chicken feed.
 
Leigh Martin
pioneer
Posts: 65
Location: Pretoria, South Africa
40
hugelkultur forest garden fungi foraging chicken wofati composting toilet bee building homestead
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have chickens that thrive on neglect. Best kind of chickens ever. Practically self reliant. I guess you could almost call them wild.

They are ovambo chickens.
Apparently the story goes that they arrived in the Ovambo (desert region) of Namibia by means of wreckage off the ships.

Ships (mostly European) would sail around the tip of Africa, and often get wrecked at Skeleton Coast.

On board of these ships were game fowl roosters, used in cock fights, for entertainment on the ships.
There were also layer hens kept in cages to provide eggs. Breeds like leghorns, Anconas and Andalusian.

Pieces of wreckage made it to shore with the birds on them, and the birds had to survive in the wild.

What resulted from natural selection over time, was a small bird that is quite alert to predators, can fly and will attack and kill rats and snakes.
It is also extremely quiet in the crowing department, as to not attract unnecessary attention from predators.

I’m guessing with some domestication over time, instincts and behavioral traits may get subdued. There is an interesting experiment pending on rewilding chickens.

Sounds like the perfect permaculture chicken!
 
pollinator
Posts: 470
181
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Korean Stone Pine.

Back in 2007, I finally found a piece of land that fit my budget. I had been saving up for my own farm since I was 9 years old, so I'm sure you can imagine how excited I was to finally find one!

2 weeks after closing, I planted 20 trees. One of them was a little stone pine seedling, just a few inches tall.

2 weeks after that, I found myself flat on the ground, unable to walk. An infection that had been completely asymptomatic, suddenly wasn't. By the time it was brought under control, it had done enough damage to the muscles in my back that I couldn't stand up anymore. It took a long time to recover from that. And during my recovery, there was no one to look after the trees I had planted, and I was so strung out on painkillers I couldn't even remember where they'd been planted. I assumed that most of them died out, particularly the little tiny ones. Weeds on my property routinely get over 5 feet tall and are very aggressive, so I didn't think the seedlings stood a chance.

About a year later, my parents drove me out to the farm for a day. I still couldn't walk more than a few steps, but I was going stir-crazy, and dad felt like doing outdoor stuff. I remember sitting in the grass, enjoying the fresh air, and thinking "why does the grass near my hand feel so weird?"

I peeled back the layers of grass and weeds, and there it was. My little Korean Stone Pine had survived!!!

I have to admit, I cried when I saw it. With everything else that had gone wrong that year (my health problems were just a tiny part of it), this tiny little tree was a ray of hope. A testament to the power of stubbornness!!!

We made sure to mark where it was this time, and I periodically pulled back the weeds around it. It's about 4 feet tall now, and this year, I'm planting a dozen of them. This tree is my totem.

 
Posts: 70
Location: South Georgia, 8b
10
cattle forest garden trees hunting chicken food preservation medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Where I homestead the ground is mostly hardpan surrounded by swamp.  We have planted many many fruiting trees that did fine until hurricanes flooded and killed off many varieties.
Rather than giving up, I planted more of the ones that kept on growing.  Pecan trees, primo-cane blackberries, fuyu persimmons, pear trees and elderberries. The only thing I ever do is winter prune and pick.
 
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
First thing that came to mind was Spider plants. I have seen those things survive total neglect no water, too much water, no sun, soda, beer, little kids,,, usually they are doing well and putting out shoots, I have never have seen one dead.
gift
 
Native Bee Guide by Crown Bees
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic