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Photos of Joseph Lofthouse's Garden  RSS feed

 
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Hi Joseph,
maybe you can look into straw or reed hives, as they are well insulated and the condensation cannot form as in painted wood?

I do not speak about the ancient round hives, but the ones you can shape as Warré, Langstroth etc.

They seem(ed) to be quite used in climates similar to yours. A few links with pictures, videos...


https://chelifer.de/magazinbeuten-aus-stroh/


If you use an online translator for "straw hive" into german, polish, or russian you get a lot of videos and pictures.
 
Posts: 103
Location: Northern Colorado
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Nice idea, interesting to see your bee hive experiments.  Have you thought about trying the hollow log bee hives? I guess harvesting honey would be tougher,  but it would be closer to how honey bees would build a hive in the wild.

I seem remember that honey bees prefer one specific type of tree to build nests in, because those types of trees grow certain types of mushrooms,  of which the bees need to develop healthy immune systems. It was probably a Paul Staments video.  paul stamets website sells "Myco-Honey", honey infused with mushrooms that help fight viruses. I think it's meant for feeding bees, but i kinda want some myco honey for myself lol.
 
pollinator
Posts: 244
Location: Montana
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forest garden trees
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Andrew Barney wrote:Nice idea, interesting to see your bee hive experiments.  Have you thought about trying the hollow log bee hives? I guess harvesting honey would be tougher,  but it would be closer to how honey bees would build a hive in the wild.

I seem remember that honey bees prefer one specific type of tree to build nests in, because those types of trees grow certain types of mushrooms,  of which the bees need to develop healthy immune systems. It was probably a Paul Staments video.  Paul Stamets website sells "Myco-Honey", honey infused with mushrooms that help fight viruses. I think it's meant for feeding bees, but i kinda want some myco honey for myself lol.



In Southern California feral honeybees often nest in cavities in oaks. Coast Live Oak and perhaps valley oak. In the California deserts Africanized (not really that aggressive) feral honeybees often just nest in cavities in the banks of dry washes.
 
Posts: 56
Location: Zone 7a, Paulden, AZ
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chicken food preservation forest garden
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
Center pivot irrigation is the pinnacle of ease of use for large farms... I used to hand move my 40 foot long 4" diameter irrigation pipes every 12 hours. I sure buffed up when I was doing that. Watering by ditch/furrow in most cases requires collaboration with the neighbors, and a lot of labor to build the ditches and furrows, and to tend the field while irrigation is in progress. The farm doing the irrigation gets a significant portion of the canal flow during that time. Pressurized irrigation is typically done on an ad-hoc schedule. With the center pivot set-ups the whole process is automated. 





Could you be enticed to give more detail on the irrigation system?  What is 'center pivot irrigation?'  Could it be used on a small farm (2-3 acres)? 

Bonnie
 
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Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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Bonnie Kuhlman wrote:Could you be enticed to give more detail on the irrigation system?  What is 'center pivot irrigation?'  Could it be used on a small farm (2-3 acres)? 



Center pivot irrigation is generally used for large acreages: A typical system covers 125 acres.

For small fields around here, aluminum pipe is most commonly used for sprinkle irrigation. Small fields (1 to 5 acres) acres are typically moved by hand. The pipes are either 3" in diameter and 30 feet long, or 4" in diameter and 40 feet long. The smaller pipe are much easier to move. Larger fields (5 to 40 acres) may have fancier systems on wheels. So the farmer goes out every 12 hours and starts the motor to move the line another 60 feet across the field.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Some photos from my week.

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Nice to see vegetables from my garden served at local restaurants. Zucchini and tomatoes on this plate.
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Some of today's harvest.
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Harvesting teosinte: primitive corn
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Harvesting flour corn
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Squash season at the farmer's market
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Finished harvesting the tepary beans
 
Joseph Lofthouse
gardener
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Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:I'm speculating that this is a maxima/moschata/pepo hybrid. If the hybridization is confirmed, I'll be looking for a name...



Every fruit produced by this plant aborted soon after flowering. Probably confirming it's identity as a 3 species hybrid. Alas, no seeds were produced this growing season, so the line was a dead end.... I'm still delighted about having grown it, because it seems to confirm that 3 species hybrids may be possible. At this point, it's just a matter of playing with enough genetically diverse mothers and pollen donors in hopes that some combination is fertile.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Here are the same plums, shown 4 weeks ago in this thread.

purple-plums.jpg
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Purple heritage plums
 
Posts: 73
Location: NRW/Germany
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food preservation forest garden cooking
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I just had to look at this picture for some minutes. Absolutely stunning! Almost hypnotic.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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The plums are very photogenic...
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More plums
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An abundance of plums this year.
 
Philipp Mueller
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
The plums are very photogenic...



Well that is an understatement!
 
Bonnie Kuhlman
Posts: 56
Location: Zone 7a, Paulden, AZ
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:

Center pivot irrigation is generally used for large acreages: A typical system covers 125 acres.

For small fields around here, aluminum pipe is most commonly used for sprinkle irrigation. Small fields (1 to 5 acres) acres are typically moved by hand. The pipes are either 3" in diameter and 30 feet long, or 4" in diameter and 40 feet long. The smaller pipe are much easier to move. Larger fields (5 to 40 acres) may have fancier systems on wheels. So the farmer goes out every 12 hours and starts the motor to move the line another 60 feet across the field.



Thanks Joseph.  I'm still trying to figure out the best way to use our small acreage and really, we can't do anything until we figure out how to water it.

Bonnie
 
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I have just read through this entire thread and I am in LOVE. Joseph I think you are one in a billion kind of guy. So much info here I'm going to have to go back and reread it to make sure I didn't miss anything!

I have been experimenting with taking cuttings from fruit trees. I think the apple cuttings got too hot and dry last year and didn't make it but one plum did. So in Jan 2017 it was a foot long stick in a one gallon pot. I put it in the ground last fall and it is now a 5' sapling. I'm going to do some more this year along with apples and maybe try pomegranates.

I have 5 seedling apricots in pots to plant out this fall.

2 years ago I planted a bunch of avocado seeds in a protected space. The seedlings froze back but regrew from the roots. It was a real mild winter tho. But I figure nothing ventured nothing gained.

I would totally love to have some cuttings or seeds from your heritage plums! Those pics make my mouth water just looking at them,  plums are one of my favorite tree fruits.

 
Joseph Lofthouse
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I'm working on picking a truckload of apples to make cider.

I'm working on picking squash. Cucurbita ficifolia closest to the camera, then Maximoss (moschata/maxima inter-species hybrid), then Mospermia (Argyrosperma/moschata inter-species hybrid). The photo shows how close the patches are to each other. I'm hoping that by planting them near to each other that some Maximoss X Mospermia.  3 species hybrids, might manifest. And I'll be watching the ficifolia to see if any naturally occurring hybrids show up

I love the giant sunflowers.


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Truckload of apples
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Squash interspecies crossing patch
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Giant sunflower
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Mospermia: Cushaw X Butternut
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Maximoss: Maxima X Butternut
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Cucurbita ficifolia: Fig-leaved gourd
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Nectarines are ready for harvest
 
pollinator
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Location: Western Kenya
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Fantastic and inspiring photos, as always Joseph.  I was thinking about trying to paint one of your plum photos, but I dont think I will ever be able to recreate that amazing purple hue.  Its one of those God-colors that no paint can replicate.  This is one of my favorite all time threads!
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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I picked another truckload of apples today. That's the third this summer. I'm getting good at it. I sewed an apron that frees up both hands so picking goes twice as fast.

I picked the dry bush beans, and the sunflowers. They are drying on trays in front of a fan. I'm getting desperate for space, what with all the squash and drying seeds, so the most recent seeds are in the last open space on the floor. I shelled the sunflower seeds directly in the field. I've been doing that with a lot of crops: Harvesting seeds in the field. It sure makes my life easier than dragging things home, and then processing.

And here's the obligatory photo demonstrating that I till some portions of my farm (about 1/3rd of it).


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Truckload of apples, the zucchini of permaculture
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Lofthouse landrace dry bush beans
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Collecting sunflower seeds directly in the field.
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Annual tilling
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7 week old chicks with mother
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Drying sunflower and bean seeds
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truckload of butternuts
 
pollinator
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Holy cow! You sure do keep busy. Do you have help during harvest? Thanks for sharing. You are an inspiration.
Brian  
 
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Those beans are gorgeous!
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Brian: Mostly I work alone, I have occasional help.
 
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Everything is just beautiful, but the plums in particular are one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.  Are you selling pits?
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Trace Oswald wrote:Everything is just beautiful, but the plums in particular are one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.  Are you selling pits?



Thanks. They are on my list of things to harvest....
 
master steward
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Ooooooh, I've been wanting to grow plums! As I've been harvesting this year from my garden, I keep thinking of more and more things I want to order from you.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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The Open Source Seed Initiative has started a new forum dedicated to Plant Breeding. I have volunteered to be the system administrator. Come join me in building the forum.

Open Source Plant Breeding Forum

 
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:



Joseph, I notice that you plant corn, beans, and squash in your fields, but do not seem to mix them up, three sisters style. Can I ask if you've ever tried to do so and what you found the results to be? Pros/cons?

 
Andrew Michaels
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
I found a fat photo from about 20 years ago. Took one today for comparison. Ha!!! I like being fit and trim. Too bad I don't know how much I weighed back then. I've been saying that I lost 70 pounds, but it looks like a lot more than that!



What lead to your impressive weight loss? Farming and eating the food you farm vs junk food?
 
Andrew Michaels
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
This weekend was a great time to be a farmer.



Looking at this pic, I see that you're selling those huge squash for $2! At the grocery store, they'd sell something like that for no less than 99 cents a pound, and often more. Do your low-cost farming methods allow you to sell so cheaply and still remain profitable?
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Andrew Michaels wrote:Looking at this pic, I see that you're selling those huge squash for $2! At the grocery store, they'd sell something like that for no less than 99 cents a pound, and often more. Do your low-cost farming methods allow you to sell so cheaply and still remain profitable?



It's complicated...

I don't buy seeds, fertilizers, mulches, -cides, etc, which greatly lowers the cost of producing vegetables.

The dominant religion here strongly recommends, as a matter of faith, that people grow gardens. So they do. They might be growing small gardens to comply with the letter of the commandment, but gardens produce abundantly, more than a family can use. Therefore, people gift vegetables to each other, and to the community. We are a mostly rural community, so there are also a lot of people growing larger gardens. The end result is that anyone selling vegetables is competing with all the free food that the community is producing and sharing. I can't change the dominant paradigm, so prices are low. I gift more produce into the community than I sell. I've lived under a vow of poverty for decades, so my goal with farming is to make just enough to maintain the tools and equipment that I need to be a subsistence farmer. I don't own land, therefore, I don't have to earn enough to pay for property taxes or water.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Andrew Michaels wrote:What lead to your impressive weight loss?



I stopped eating wheat. And minimized other sources of carbohydrates.

Also ate more turmeric and fish. Eschewed commercial oils high in Omega 6 fats.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Andrew Michaels wrote:Joseph, I notice that you plant corn, beans, and squash in your fields, but do not seem to mix them up, three sisters style. Can I ask if you've ever tried to do so and what you found the results to be? Pros/cons?



My harvesting strategy with beans, is to pull the plant, and hit it against the inside of a bucket. That works well with bush beans, but not with pole beans, therefore I only grow bush beans. I tend to do minimal weeding on the corn, therefore, beans would get lost in a corn patch.

I often plant squash next to the corn patch, and the squash might run into the corn patch and produce fruits there. That is fine with me. I wonder if I planted more squash around the corn patch if it would help to deter skunks and coons from eating the corn?

A few of the runner beans ran into the corn this year and climbed the stalks. That seemed fine. When I planted runner beans with sunflowers, the sunflowers hyper-out-competed the runner beans. 

I interplanted corn and pole beans one year. I didn't much care for how hard it made things to weed and harvest. I ended up harvesting some of the corn, but tilled the rest of the corn and the beans under, because it was so difficult to deal with. (I'm used to harvesting entire bean plants at once, not single pods.)  It's easy to harvest squash from a corn patch, as long as it is dry corn (not sweet corn), and winter squash (not summer).
 
Andrew Michaels
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:Here are the same plums, shown 4 weeks ago in this thread.



Wow! Those are some beautiful plums! I've never seen any with that vivid coloring.
 
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