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living fence project

 
leila hamaya
pollinator
Posts: 1104
Location: northern northern california
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i have a living fence that i have been working on for a few years.
i'm pretty fascinated with this idea, especially incorporating this into buildings and shelters....
so i have been experimenting and learning about this as i work on it. it is SLOW.
i would like to do some bigger projects like this, and use it to make living walls of food for houses, patios or sunrooms... and furniture! but...i have more ideas than i have time for, you know.

the plants in the living fence (the list gets longer every day as i keeping adding):

WILLOW
is the the most abundant, and forms the basic framework.
i keep replanting LOTS and LOTS of willow branches....and have gotten better at getting them to take. you have to water a LOT at first, thats the key.
you might not think so cause its so hardy, and if you do at the right time of year when the rains come it works way better.

some of the willow fence areas i put in didnt do that well, when i was first figuring it out. i was using too large pieces, and making a fence looking fence with scrap wood and free pallet pieces. but the pieces were too large, only the little branches, and especially fresh growth re roots well, and still you have to water all the time at first. sometimes a bit bigger taller piece will re root, a few of them did sprout new branches.

some of the sides of the fence are where some older willow trees fell down. so basically, the fence goes along the edges of where the willows fell down and made lines,and then grew back up from where they fell in rows. i keep adding to those already existing lines, and some spots have a fence looking fence, made of posts of willow that we cut down and pallet wood/salvage wood nailed onto them.

theres so many advantages to growing under and around the willows, that make up for the lack of sun light in some spots where they get thick.
they mulch my gardens with willow leaves without me having to do anything.
but its a lot of trimming, you have to trim it all the time, to keep it bushier and shorter and get back a bit of sunlight for the plants underneath. then it grows ten times thicker =) and its good to keep adding to it with the small stuff. its kinda constant, actually, it takes a LONG time.

blackberries, native and hymalayan

on a couple of sides and areas it has blackberries, which were already going strong when i started. i've pushed those back a LOT, ripped up roots, even put down some plastic and "garbage"...well scrap materials and random stuff to make blocks for the roots. they are a blessing, for sure, and work well, even if they can be a major pain in the butt! black berry wrestling is hard work.

but now they are growing in thicker and better and at the very outer edges and filling in the willows..and against the fence- and even just this week started getting ripe =)

then i built some raised beds, or sheet mulched and created beds on both sides along the fence....

planted lots of
fucshia
thimbleberries
elderberry
kiwis
flax
viola
nasturtiums
peas
different kinds
clovers
artichokes
loquat
(didnt take, putting more in)
mushrooms (havent seen any yet?), as well some natives popped up =)
love in a mist
mallows/ hollyhock (which also comes up randomly volunteering- the wild mallow)
arugula 2 kinds- common and wild
chard
sage
tomatillo, ground cherry
chammomile


naked ladies
- they grow around here all over wild =) so put a few of these bulbs in
gooseberries
walking onions/garlic/onions/leeks in some spots here and there
three corned leek, cause they are abundant right here, so i spread them.
fig - just started, hope they make it =)
passionflower which has been very slow to establish unfortunately, cause this is a good one for this.
mugwort has gotten ENORMOUS !

and a small bed of calendula and beans, a large bed of brassicas, onions, garlic and potatoes +++

=================================
bamboo
-in one corner. this is one...i am liking it but it maybe isnt as good as some of the others. well i will happy when it finally grows in thick, but this is the only one i would rethink. where it is, i think it works, it will be great once it fills in. but i...hestitated to put it in, and had to come up with a plan to try to contain it.
its in a container in the ground, made out of scrappy stuff and plastic, some bag dirt, some random fill in soil, the soil i dug out to make the container, and +sh!t ! yes, sh!t of all kinds lines the bamboo box, that is lined with plastic and then layered with all kind s of building scraps (that were here in huge ugly piles)
to prevent the spread of the roots. then more plastic, then more sh!t of all kinds, some recycled bag dirt that i got free.

added some extra plants, three cornered leeks, and arugula, and lots of good volunteers started growing there too..
then theres another box that was a shipping container, that is filled in like a big pot, and ten big pots of extra bamboo roots and some starts.
originally i was going to keep it in pots, as a movable bamboo fence- but then i decided to build this "garbage" bed, to get rid of a bunch of sh!t as well ...and then plant the roots inside a large piece of plastic on top.

another thing is, theres a HUGE HUGE patch of bamboo (two kinds) that my neighbors are cultivating. so its basically like...those roots and plant would eventually get to that area...its a distance away now...but anywho...that stuff is already heading towards that corner anyway.
============================

ah theres some more, stuff that grows further inward from the fence where theres more light, lots of brassicas.... but thats enough.
alot of these plants arent really the supporting plants making the basic framework..... but its all gelled together pretty nicely by now and is getting better and better as i go.....and all the weaving climbing plants are pulling it all together more and more, while i keep planting more of the lower plants to stay close to the ground.
sometimes though its just really cluttered and the volunteers-weeds take over certain areas too making it pretty thick and cluttered up. but i like it that way anyway so thats ok.

volunteers:
clovers, white and red~ plantain~ sweet pea~ blackberries~ three corned leek~ yellow dock
thistles (though i weed these alot, sometimes i let some go)
and unfortunately the buttercups.
-this is my most dreaded plant "enemy" always trying to mulch these down and push them back as much as possible, with some other grasses and weeds that i mulch down.

stuff i would like to experiment with and add, just got some of these to add in

hazelnut starting some
any nut
honeysuckle

honeyberry really want to get some going
daylillies, or canna ? looking for some
cherries starting some
hibiscus sprouted! soon to be in fence different kinds
figs, any ficus
plum
all kinds of berries
fruit trees
guava (
if your climate likes it)
wild and alpine strawberries sprouted, got some in there(wild ones) but more going in soon
roses starting some


and of course a variety of herbs, and foods, edibles or not...for the bottom parts, and places with more light
not for the support of the wall-
but i am mostly trying to do only edibles.

for growing a wall that was part of structure like i have been visioning for someday, the trees and such might not all be edibles, but a lot of edibles growing around the central trees. figs and hazelnut, other nuts, i think these would work ok as a wall for a cabin or as a wall for surrounding a patio/entrance area. the other really good ones for the main frame would be not edibles mostly (? well still looking for good ones, and researching), but which you could use to grow your edibles on like on a trellis.

i could post some pics here in a bit...find the links....figure out how to post a photo
 
leila hamaya
pollinator
Posts: 1104
Location: northern northern california
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ok a bunch of pics. try this out and see which links i can post here.

theres a lot of different sections of fence, and some before and after pics.
theres a ton of pics really, i will try to pick out some of the better ones.
i have been doing some photo documenting as i go,
it helps to look back and see how far its come.

the whole album: http://photobucket.com/ilovegrowingthings
the fence album: http://photobucket.com/willowfence

current pics, i just harvested a lot of the flax, arugula and other plants in there, did some mulching, and about to add a lot of stuff.
its looking bare rather than cluttered atm..maybe you can see all the flax i just mulched with, dropping a lot of arugula an flax seed as i harvested.
plus i scored a free trellis, its so white! but working on adding stuff to a corner thats been bare, and it will come in handy there.
also finishing the very last section, for the bberries.




the bamboo section, in front of the natural fallen willow fence:


love in a mist, fucshia, peas, and nasturtiums



kiwis and thimbleberries:








the very outside of the willow bberry fence from the street:




the other side of that fence section:






before pics:

when i first put the fence in:



just built the fence - 2010



this section was not all that attractive, but its for the bberries to climb, so hopefully it will become more and more invisible!
they have come close to totally taking it over, finally! at least the outside, looks better, from the street it looks ok.
some of these bigger willows, used as posts for this fence, came back and started growing branches.




sheet mulch



the artichoke garden with the willow and bberry fence just starting, 2011

 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Leila, I keep meaning to say I love your fences, they look fantastic!
It's great you have photos of the process; I have a really bad habit of forgetting to record what I've done until it's way too late
 
leila hamaya
pollinator
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Location: northern northern california
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hey thanks =)
i like them too, i want to keep experimenting with this, make some more living walls.

yeah i do the same.....theres been times when it was in full swing when i wanted to get pics and just forgot.
but been trying to remember to photo document it all.

been still working on it, especially in the last couple of weeks.
theres a couple of sides i didnt photograph that are just the willows, "weeds" and blackberries, that are getting really thick and nice. you cant see through them at all, but this is summer time. in the winter, they get a bit see through, but it still blocks enough. the blackberries keep some of their leaves and the other plants help to block views.

the privacy screen factor was mostly what i was going for, plus to have a trellis for climbers and the kiwis. the willows had already fallen into rows, but they were very tall when i started, now its coming in bushy in the bottom and more hedge like....then all the plants add to the obscuring factor, while i get to eat them too =) and well i wanted to learn how to do this, i kept thinking about living walls and having brainstorms about it, and i've basically gotten the hang of it now.

if those larger pieces had taken (which you probably have to grow them in place rather than get those big ones to re root) then the fence would have actually gotten MORE stable as time went on, instead of less stable. the roots wouldve kept those main posts firmly anchored. i like it anyway, and its working out well....but that was the plan originally, the brainstorm. in some spots there some living willows that are thick and tall that i just nailed right onto. that worked really well, even though its a bit harsh to stick a nail or screw into a living tree- its a LOT less harsh that cutting it down and then pressure treated it or whatever.
and with the willows, well they just come up from the bottom more, which is good, they are immortal anyway! so they dont seem to even notice the nails and are growing fine, with the trellis nailed on there.

i keep trimming the tall willows (and especially theres a bunch that are getting ready to fall down) and replanting them in the rows so they get thicker and shorter. they grow really slowly at first even when they take, but finally its starting to fill in and gel. just recently the kiwis shot up! and are now climbing over the willow and are on the top of it. doing a big trim in there, before its gets too messy in there with kiwis everywhere....thinking it wont get trimmed after the kiwis grow over it to get really high.

and then i am putting in the last section....but with some dried tan oaks i got from my friends place in the mountains. thats one of the only areas that doesnt already have willows, and my neighbor friend doesnt want them there. that area is solid blackberries anyway, but they only get so tall, and i've made them much thicker by pushing them from both sides, and dropping a lot of dirt on them and making a hill for them....its working better, they are much thicker and closer together....now when i put that fence in they should get really tall and not sprawling out everywhere, supported by the fence.
 
leila hamaya
pollinator
Posts: 1104
Location: northern northern california
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recently i figured something else out that would also help with the living fence making.
or well learned more about hedge laying.

generally when i take cuttings i often do it the lazy way, just sticking it in water and later replanting it- but you dont always get that many to re root.

so with the fig cuttings, and a bunch of other cuttings i got recently i have been experimenting and doing them several different ways.
the best idea i read about involved laying out the cutting horizontally and then burying them in moist soil (not wet) where you want them to root.
this seem to be working WAY better than anything else i have tried.
if you did this with extremely long cuttings, i think it would come up in rows once it re rooted and shot its branches upwards -but perpendicular to your original cutting buried horizontally.

this would work really well with willow ( and any other tree like that which re roots easily), and thats basically what they do when they fall down naturally.
hopefully they get a little buried and with mulch on top of them so they can re root once they fall to the point of having contact with the ground.

also plum, i would like to try that with plum. bury (shallow in moist soil) a bunch of fresh long plum tree cuttings, i think that a short fence would come up from this within a few months..... then once it got going you could keep making it thicker, weaving it like a basket.
i have seen a live plum wall close by here that my friend made which was excellent =) they had rows and a lot of loops where they buried both end in the ground. it made really excellent patterns that way, the branches grew up from half circles in the ground.

so you could purposefully make those kinds of trees to fall down in lines where you were putting in the fence,
or make rows of other wall making kinds of plants by taking fresh very long cuttings (or especially good rooted cuttings =))and completely burying them horizontally.
 
leila hamaya
pollinator
Posts: 1104
Location: northern northern california
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took some new photos, "finished" the fence. at least the main structure of the fence, with the poles and pallet wood.

and been putting in sections like this, weaving some new willow branches into tiny trellises. this section has some small grape seedlings, the kiwis and a lot of arugula self seeded.


bamboo cut pieces, with some willow branches for trellis




most of the plants here are still young and small. theres nasturtiums, viola, flax, fuschia, thimbleberries with the new small willow branch trellis.

newest section of fence:



this section isnt actually willow, to not spread them there. these are tan oak posts.


with planter boxes on bottom growing passionflower, peas, +threw a lot of random seeds around .
eventually this will be taken over by bberries (eventually= next month =)) not be so choppy, but wanted to plant some other things in the bottom too. possibly if the passionflowers acclimate and take off good, they might actually survive there in the middle in the bberries very happily- and intertwine providing more cover.

atm- its so choppy and bare! i cant wait till it grows back.
a large part of this section of fence, is actually earth. i dug deep trenches and threw the dirt on top of the blackberries, put the fence on the top of the mound.. this pushed them back, but they should spring up much thicker.

the other side:


some more sections of the fence, without any built up "fence"- just thick willows and bberries:

one of the areas with more light, where i put my seasonal/annual gardens, strawberries + onions/potatoes/garlic/beets and of course brassicas.
with the blackberry and willows in the back quite thick.

the other side of that same "fence" section:

chammomile, thyme, arugula, sage, some kale and broccoli that are just small seedlings
and flax, a euycalyptus, and coastal redwood

a few more. many of the plants are just seedlings atm, and not so visible here, especially with the nice new layer of mulch....except for the already established pineapple sage, the nasturtiums, the thimbleberries, some very slow growing passionflowers, and a couple of kiwis.


the artichokes are flowering. couldnt eat them all fast enough =)
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1271
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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Great, I like it! Your vegetation seems luxuriant in your place, I guess it is wet enough! I understand what you mean by northern northern California!

I am also heading to a living fence, for privacy reasons, and privacy without fencing, so this will be only with bushes. Thus I will put mainly thorn plants... I have found a few that are edible, like the Natal plum or the Kei apple, or the easy going (here) prickly pear. Actually I do not have my list in mind, and it is not so easy to find a lot of varieties that suits the project. Oh yes, I remember about the jujube and the bougainvillea.

For the privacy of the house, I will need climbing plants, because the path is much up-ward and tourists are taking pics from above...
 
leila hamaya
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hey thanks =)
yeah this area is all very green and lush, and very wet rainforest. its defintely my favorite place so far of anywhere i have been which is why i transplanted myself here =)

as for some plant possibility any kind of plum would be absolutely awesome for this. i have seen some really lovely plum fences built by trimming existing plum trees, then putting the plum cuttings either rounded shapes in the ground or horizontally, or even in criss cross pattern and pleaching them somewhat. the one fence i have seen here like this was done with long plum cuttings put in half circles with both sides in the ground, and then when it re rooted it grew in a really lovely way.....like little sun patterns or something...with the half circles and new growth coming up tall from parts of the half circles.


some other thoughts is any kind of fig, hazel nuts or other nut trees, and passionflower. passionflower would probably be fast in taking over any kind of trellis you put up, in that climate. some roses might be good too, especially if you harvest them for the hips and enjoy them. also some other thoughts, though i dont know your climate, grapes, or kiwis both grow quickly and prolifically.

well these are just some suggestions and ideas, obviously you can throw them out the window if they arent appealing. =)

in zone 11 you have more possibilities for those tropicals i wish i could grow. guava is pretty bushy and hardy too in the right climate.
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1271
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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My climate must be more or less like south California I guess.
Kiwi is not for MY place, because kiwi can grow a few miles north, and do not grow "here"!
Hazelnuts either... There is a walnut tree, but he does not give nuts. Even the chesnut is not at ease and grow naturally a few distance away at highest altitudes.
The Canary are said to have 5000 micro-climates and this is true.
California is larger, but with a lot of different climates as well.

Plums yes!
I have a good one, though no fruit this year.
I love the idea of the sun, as I make sun rays for windows.
I have the wild rose here... And I did not think to transplant some at the place where I need, but I will, thanks for the idea!
Guava is too soft for this, passion not bushy enough and I do not want to put a fence, just plants.

My climate allows me a lot, but forbid me other things, so...
Haha, it is amazing how much we all want to push the limits...
Well, we want variety.

Sure I have mild temps in winter, but unless the desert wind blows, summer is quite fresh for a lot of tropical plants. It is almost desertic, very arid, 6 months dry, sometimes "real rain" only twice periods a year, but with some atlantic air, so we get between 68 and 82°F in summer, with exceptions up to 115!
 
leila hamaya
pollinator
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Location: northern northern california
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well that sounds like a pretty challenging climate, i've never lived anywhere dry or hot myself, so im probably not the person to think of the right suggestions. though rose is an excellent hedgerow plant, especially the wild rose, which is a plant i feel is one of my allies.

sister rose is a strong and gentle healer and valuable food, though i suppose many dont use it as such you can make some beautiful food with roses and the hips, and keep yourself healthy with the vitamin c. good thorny prolific hedge for privacy too.

even though i do push my climate a lot it's become clearer and clearer the more experience i have why people insist on harping on the- growing the right plants for your climate. i still do try to push the climate just a little, more of a stretch than a push. i have been trying to establish a lot of passionfruit/passionflower and maybe they will take off eventually but it may be too much of a stretch, especially passionfruit. i would rather grow self perpetuating gardens, which grow healthy because they love the climate, rather than try to push the climate and then have to over compensate and work at trying to make them grow where they arent inclined.

i've had many failures when i havent followed that, and theres a lot of plants i cant grow in this funny microclimate. even though i am in zone 9 technically, i cant really grow zone nine plants, it just doesnt get hot or cold here...its always perpetually juneary. we get all the season in one day, every day! and each season is much like the next, except for the dry season and the wet season, but theres hardly any variation in temps. i get tired of eating brassicas!!!

though if you approach it experimentally, i suppose you cant go wrong, you just learn when you fail.

and yes! the plum fence is really excellent, i've seen other hedgerows done with various plums, but that rounded plum fence my friends made around their garden is truly gorgeous with the half circles and how it then grew. plum is one of the very best plants for this kind of hedgerow making....that and fig is good too, and of course the willows, though they get tall and sparse as they get older, and i just used them because they were already established and getting to the point of falling over in rows. you could not get those going there at all, they are hogs for water...all those trees though are easy to reroot...so you can keep trimming it up and replanting it bushier and bushier.

theres certainly some others that have that quick re rooting ability...for at least the main frame of the hedgerow...
 
leila hamaya
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Location: northern northern california
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anyway it must be quite lovely on the canary islands, not that i have been or even heard about it, but i have heard much about the azores, which is where some of my ancestors are from- neighboring islands somewhat my mother's grandmother was from there and she used to tell me about when i was young.

the members of my family who have been to the azores say it is like the garden of eden =) with a lot of horticulture and everyone has amazing gardens, good community.
 
leila hamaya
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o another random thought (and then i will stop guessing, cause i really dont know anything about gardening in dry climate !)

but i did a lot of reading about osage orange trees, that they can survive drought, conditions and being a very valuable wood. not exactly edible...but considered medicinal, quick growing hedge tree.

i dont think i would plant any, i am most excited about planting really yummy edibles, fruits etc...but it was intruiging enough to read a lot about it. actually here at permies is where i read some threads and info about how excellent it is for hedgerows.

*edit* apparently they prefer wet climates! oops. i do remember reading about them being extremely drought tolerant somewhere....but i just did a little more research just for studying up, and it seems they like moist places, but will tolerate drought. ah well....worth some thinking on anyway...if you do irrigate you might be able to give it a go if you were drawn to plant them for a hedgerow. the wood is highly prized very dense and good for crafts, plus its medicinal, and wildlife food.

 
leila hamaya
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ah my brain is still puzzling your unmade yet living fence, for this came to me out of the blue- and figured i would post.

if i lived in a dry climate i think i would plant at least a few of these, they would survive even the driest climate, and could be a good hedgerow tree:

Acacia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acacia

aka the "shittim" and the "tree of life" (at least certain closely related middle eastern species are called such)

and this isnt exactly up my alley, but some interesting factoids anyway:

http://godasagardener.com/2011/01/06/acacia-wood-in-the-tabernacle/

 
Patrick Mann
Posts: 302
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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Any tips on rooting kiwi cuttings? I wasn't very successful in my first attempts.
 
leila hamaya
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well my cuttings methods are extremely easy straightforward ways, just cut it put it in a water and then a couple days to a week later plant it. its good to change the water every day or two as well.

one probably doesnt have as much success with these methods as other more particular ways...but its a quick lazy way so that works for me enough. have tried to get kiwis to reroot only after i accidentally break a branch when trying to arrange them, and a few have taken off. these were very long cuttings, or rather long pieces that accidentally broke off, maybe thats a good way with kiwis.

sometimes i do get a little fussier and cut into the stem, cut it diagonal at the right place....and theres a big help in those rooting compounds but i dont tend to use them at all. i also strip most of the leaves from a cutting, leaving only the top part alone, and this helps cause those leaves usually die off anyway so its better to get them out of the way.

i think they might work pretty well with the method of putting them buried shallow in soil HORIZONTALLY, the whole thing buried...except for maybe just the tip sticking out of the ground.....as long as you are frequent and precise about watering a lot. this method does seem like a really good way, easy, especially in the rainy season....

another factoid to mention- willow can be used as a natural rooting compound. just by soaking branches and leaves in water for a while....that water will help other plants root.

another advantage to the willow in the middle of the garden in hedgerows, they mulch the ground each year and then when the rains come soak the leaves and braches naturally...giving its re rooting ability to all the surrounding plants.
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1271
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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I hesitated with the osage orange...

Rose hips: here I have it, to my surprise, but it fruits little.

Strange about usda zones, I feel the same, and i think this is because it only tells what is your minimum temp of winter!!
Ok, I never go down more than 10°C = 50°F, or rarely 8 in some place, but it tells nothing about my average summer temp which is not warm, usually less than what is experienced in summer in Europe. All climates are challenging when you begin to enter the specificity... and when you want to plant a little off your climate!

Yes this is a little like the Asore... Eternal spring.

I think we are tempted by what is just a little out... so still "may be possible"...
I love coconut oil and chocolate, but I can think of only one of the 2, so the chocolate only is tempting...

My challenge is also to harvest raspberries! So I am now tempted by "exotics" at the other end of the scale!!

You love yummy fruits, but see there, I have given it some thought, just because my love for fruits comes from being off sugar and grains...
http://www.permies.com/t/25934/forest-garden/Food-forest-dream-fruit-sugar

I think we like the idea of fruits also because of the cultural nostalgia from the garden of Eden...
So if we can make it on earth...
When I discovered my place, it was a real green oasis there, with an apple tree in the middle of the orchard.
I thought it was even better than the garden of Eden because there are no snakes in the Canary!!!
 
leila hamaya
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Location: northern northern california
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ah yes, you're onto something there for sure.

i admit i have an issue with excessive fruit/sugar consumption. actually fresh fruit helps me to avoid worse junk food sugar, but i have realized that its a big problem for me. after some difficult health issues for several years i adjusted slowly and determinedly to change my diet for good...away from way too much sugar/fruit (i would eat it all the time without making myself not do so) and more greens, raw, etc...actually many big diet changes...and over all i have gotten it a lot better but i still slip up and go on chocholate binges etc !

i was sugar free for a while, though admitteddly i have fallen off the wagon lately.....and even then and still i use a lot of alternative sugars, honey, agave, and others...and of course fruit and a lot of it
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Ho Leila, that would be great to post this in the other threat so that we can talk more about it. Can you do this?
As you can see, we are not really in your topic...

Yes I did the same: find some "healthy" sugars.
And then I found out that too much fruit was also a problem....

I also found some tips that I have shared in the food forum. I can eat cocoa powder that I sweeten without sugar... Banana and avocado and/or coconut oil.
By the way, the 1st sugar you should avoid in your list is agave, much too much fructose that goes without the fiber. It is worse even than fruit juice (that I do not use but lemon or pomelo).
So I eat whole fruits, fresh or dry, so with all the fiber and pectin, and always eat them with oil/nuts. It slows down sugar rise in your blood.
 
leila hamaya
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ok i will post there. i am not so attached, but youre right we are a bit off to the side of the discussion.

 
Eva Taylor
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books chicken forest garden fungi hugelkultur trees
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I have read your post about lying the fig cuttings horizontally, do you keep any leaves on them? I have a huge fig that I want to take cuttings from but I have a hard time getting them from pots to the ground, this way sounds sooo much easier!
 
leila hamaya
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yeah i take all the leaves off but leave the very top stuff.

i think this method would work well with any kind of cutting, and with making a fence would give it a good place to start, cause the branches it sends up are then anchored horizontally under the ground...when it shoots up branches they seem like individual trees, but they will all have the same piece in the ground that they shoot up from.


this has worked way better with figs than any other method i tried. the only ones that made it actually were the ones i laid horizontally in the ground and then buried them shallow and kept it all moist.

its basically like layering, which is also a good method and could work out well for you if you already have a large established fig. with layering you take the branches close to the ground and bury them, while they are still connected to the tree. put some dirt on them, and make sure to keep it moist, maybe some rocks or something heavy to keep it down.

eventually it forms new roots, the part that is burried, and when you actually cut it it already has established roots.

there is also air layering, where you do this with a higher branch, and then cover it all up with something wrapped around. you cut into it, and then put some dirt around the cut spots, cover it up with something to make it both dark, and hold the moisture in...and then a few months later when you open it up there should be new roots.

but with the horizontal method, its just with cuttings.....not connected anymore, but about the same idea....
 
Xisca Nicolas
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I will try, as it failed with vertical cuttings!
WHEN do you do it?
 
Eva Taylor
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books chicken forest garden fungi hugelkultur trees
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Thanks Leila, will try it!
 
leila hamaya
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first some pics, then some bad and good news, at least for me

most recent pics:

back fence with blackberries finally grew in good. passionflowers and other plants have also taken off good in there. now the blackberries will come back excellent, tall and thick and are pushed back by throwing so much earth on top of them.









willow fence












new bed for purple potatoes and garlic.
cut this large willow from where it was falling into the road and immediately laid it down to edge the new bed, and extend it out there. the willow has quickly re rooted, and now is sprouting multiple branches.



this is early spring, when my friend was visiting











 
leila hamaya
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the bad news is very sad. i have had to immediately leave this place for good, and not look back.

i have lived in this place for five years and done this extensive gardening project, and been building on this cabin for a long time. of course this makes it difficult to leave, but its been all screwy for quite a while so i have to hope i am moving towards something better. its actually been totally crazy weird for the last few months, so heres to a new better place manifesting soon.

in some good news i am now living in happy camp, back in siskiyou county.
i havent been here a lot in the last few years, but i once lived here for a couple of years. it feels good to be here, but i am certainly still adjusting to it, its so hot!

and am enjoying it. i am not sure i will stay here long term, but theres some possibilities of a new small community project forming and we went and looked at different lands. i would like to continue to explore making hedgerows, and ideally would like to start a long term project doing some biotecture, making walls and using trees and plants as living structural elements for buildings and walls for patios.

in other small good news this climate is great for fruit trees, and actually much easier to grow food in generally. so i am hunting down some ume plums, peaches, stone fruits, grapes =) and new seeds.
 
Logan Streondj
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When I think living fences, I think about the functionality of a fence, where it keeps some stuff in, and others out.

For people and animals.
So I figure the best kind of plants for that is the prickly ones, like raspberries, blackberries, roses, buckthorns, hawthorns, thistles and cactus's like prickly-pear cactus.

Then there is fences for things like wind, and onlookers for which the best are evergreens, like cedar, juniper, spruce and yew. Most of Yew is also toxic/poisonous, other than the flesh of the berries.

I guess it would be possible to have the prickly ones on the sunny south side, and the evergreens on the starry north side.

Sorry to hear you had to move out. Though I don't know the circumstances, it's kinda like Paul said about having a business is a good idea.
For instance I don't know what economical benefit of willow might be, however raspberries, blackberries, roses, sea buckthorn, blessed thistle all have at least niche markets, so could help with some income, perhaps in seed or dried form. Eastern Cedar and juniper, produce edible berries, and are chewable mouth fresheners. Spruce has edible healing sap, seed, leaves, and Yew has some of the sweetest berry flesh.
 
Logan Simmering
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Cool Project, shame you have to abandon it

I just found this page on hedge laying in the UK that might have some useful tidbits for you, and future living fence endeavors

http://www.hedgelayer.freeserve.co.uk/hedlan.htm
 
leila hamaya
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Logan Streondj wrote:When I think living fences, I think about the functionality of a fence, where it keeps some stuff in, and others out.

For people and animals.
So I figure the best kind of plants for that is the prickly ones, like raspberries, blackberries, roses, buckthorns, hawthorns, thistles and cactus's like prickly-pear cactus.

Then there is fences for things like wind, and onlookers for which the best are evergreens, like cedar, juniper, spruce and yew. Most of Yew is also toxic/poisonous, other than the flesh of the berries.

I guess it would be possible to have the prickly ones on the sunny south side, and the evergreens on the starry north side.

Sorry to hear you had to move out. Though I don't know the circumstances, it's kinda like Paul said about having a business is a good idea.
For instance I don't know what economical benefit of willow might be, however raspberries, blackberries, roses, sea buckthorn, blessed thistle all have at least niche markets, so could help with some income, perhaps in seed or dried form. Eastern Cedar and juniper, produce edible berries, and are chewable mouth fresheners. Spruce has edible healing sap, seed, leaves, and Yew has some of the sweetest berry flesh.


interesting, i didnt know cedar berries were edible.

fuchsia, which theres a lot of along the back of this fence in a couple of spots, also produces an edible berry, and is a native plant here. its actually quite an interesting taste, i think its pleasant, but its very distinct, pungent. and willow is a medicinal, though i dont often use it as such, and can be used to make living furniture, basketry. i know this dog, who is normally not a stick kind of dog at all, whenever she would see a branch of the willow she would chew into the bark and tear it off, seeming to intuitively know about the medicinal properties of the inner bark. also birds particularly LOVE willow, maybe because they are so bushy and good for nesting/being concealed, and this spot was definitely a place of many birds, i would see 40+ different kinds on any day, and migrating ones too. so its good for habitat on wetlands, erosion control too.

yeah that fence had a huge amount of thorny blackberries. two kinds of blackberries, native blackberries and the invasive himalayan.

actually putting it all in pushed them back a lot and they were still just returning, so they are kinda hidden underneath all the soil....but they will be back, and thick....

in the places i didnt dig up roots and push them back before starting, so more into tall walls and less sprawling. within a year or three it will be back to totally thick with the prickly blackberries, and everything else will have grown in thicker too. because of the way that project was i was always aiming for a self perpetuating garden there, so it should just fill in now more and more each year, without human tending.

and with the blackberries and willows to be thick but more compact, and tall forming the main fence. they were not that way to begin with, but had overgrown everywhere. so i moved them, cut them halfway down, pulled up some old roots, and put a lot of them on the ground that were half falling over..... to be growing into walls, and a trellis for the weaving, climbing plants.

and totally, its weird to leave, but it has to be apparently. i had some really bizarro unpleasant neighbors, a very difficult landmate situation, and some really weird stuff was going on. it was very tiny and a lot of people were all in small spaces in a close neighborhood. actually i really loved living there until most recently, and there was some excellent people there too who i was very close with. but...it was time to leave.

and it really needed a privacy fence, which is now coming in thick.
 
leila hamaya
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here, just looked this up from my bookmarks, its a little video about a guy who is growing a house =)

perhaps you will all enjoy it too, i like this guys way-
definitely a cheerful sort =)
so some inspiration.

http://dotsub.com/view/85aafc58-4019-4406-93a0-d87d756c8bd3
 
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