new videos
hot off the press!  
    more about rocket
mass heaters here.

more videos from
the PDC here.
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Stoney Edge: 32 acres in northwestern Vermont  RSS feed

 
Ghislaine de Lessines
Posts: 203
Location: Vermont, annual average precipitation is 39.87 Inches
9
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We've owned this 32 acre property for about 4 years now. It is composed mostly of deciduous forest with a bit carved out for the house and pond. The pond immediately inspired a small flock of ducks.



Predator pressure varies from year to year. Weasel family members, raptors, bobcat, and bear have all been observed near the house. Fox and coyotes have been observed nearby. Other wildlife includes moose (nearby), deer, turkey, squirrel, chipmunk, and mice.



Near the house is the duck house, a coop for guineas, raised beds, and an "orchard" area of 5 apple and 3 pears that are being espaliered (I like pruning) along with 6 blueberry bushes. I also planted a quince tree to replace a serviceberry plant that died and a red currant in a promising spot.

By the pond are 3 surviving elderberry bushes I planted a couple of years back. They'll be getting surrounded by a bit of fencing to keep the deer off to see if they can't get some growth on them.

The land is very rocky. Those glaciers left us lots of presents:




January 15, 2014 - Observation Walk

My intention when I left for the walk was to mark some of the many seasonal rivulets that come down our hill. Last Memorial Day there was such a storm that some of the water off our property washed out the culvert under our driveway at the town road and then took out the next three driveways as well. It'd be awfully neighborly to capture some of the water to prevent a reoccurrence, don't you think?



I wish I had brought my camera as I found numerous things I'd have liked to have photographed:

- Line\wolf trees - I'm wondering if they mark the current boundary or only the edge of the sheep field this land likely was years ago.

Neighbor has sugaring lines nearby.

- Hugelkulter berm possibility? Two trees already down would form a crescent shaped hugelkulter that might slow down water. Would need to do something to prevent rushing spring water from washing through it as there is a seasonal stream aimed right at the center of it. Something as simple as rocks in that area?

- Fallen hickory nuts, I saw them in two places, on my way back from the area where the line trees and cauldron is located and just after crossing the bridge over the ditch behind the septic mound.

- Lots of water in the seasonal stream and amongst the undulations of the land (vernal pools?).
 
Jessica Gorton
Posts: 274
Location: Central Maine - Zone 4b/5a
26
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Beautiful place! I'm looking forward to putting in a small pond on our property - I have a spot in mind already...

Nice to have another New Englander posting their projects! Best of luck, and keep us posted!
 
Miles Flansburg
steward
Posts: 3979
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
164
bee books forest garden fungi greening the desert hugelkultur
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Very nice Ghislaine !
 
Devon Olsen
Posts: 1066
Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Beautiful piece of land!
love the pond and the boulders and anxiously await more pics of the place
 
Ghislaine de Lessines
Posts: 203
Location: Vermont, annual average precipitation is 39.87 Inches
9
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks Jessica, Miles, and Devon. I'm looking forward to tracking my plans and ideas here. Progress will happen too, just slower!



This pic was taken shortly after the electric company's tree service guys came through. It was shoking to see how much they'd cut down because we were used to having all the trees along the stone pile wall along the road. I did get one truckload of chips from them but I now wish I'd gotten more! Someone later came by and stole all the hardwood for firewood. *sigh* I'll hugelkulture what's left and I plan on planting a hedge along the road as a visual barrier. It'll be mostly stuff that I can get free from my mother who lives nearby. The power company isn't supposed to cut down stuff that's recognizeably wildlife food so I can grow all kinds of great things, but for free I can get black currants, rosa rugosa, elderberry, and mock orange. I'm supposed to stick to stuff that won't grow higher then 15 feet under the power line so I may try some hazleberts too. I'm debating if there's enough sun here for some plum trees behind the hedge. As I had a baby last year all I may accomplish this spring is seeing if I can grow lots of pumpkin and squash along the rock pile wall to try to shade out weeds. Feel free to comment or make suggestions on my plans.

As part of observing our land I'm trying to find maps of it. Vermont has an interesting interactive map that's fun to look at. Contours are included at 20 ft. at least for our land. http://maps.vermont.gov/vcgi/SilverlightViewer_1_9/Viewer.html?ViewerConfig=http://maps.vermont.gov/Geocortex/Essentials/VCGI/REST/sites/VCGI_IMV_v1/viewers/VCGI_Viewer/virtualdirectory/Config/Viewer.xml I've been particularly fascinated at it's mapping of water. According to this map our land only has an "intermittent" stream running through it. We only recently found it as we haven't often gone back far enough in the woods to run across it. I suspect it's less intermittent then the stuff closer to the house that supplies the pond. I think the pond was built partly to prevent the water overflowing from our well to add more problems down the hill! There's a pipe that goes directly from the well to the pond. Even so the well leaks enough at the top to make one of the garden beds a bit muddy pretty much all the time. Good place for celery growing though!
 
Michael Cox
Posts: 1659
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
54
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You mention needing to slow water flow in a seasonal stream. Take a look into gabions. These are simple "leaky dams" that slow flow and trap sediment. You can end up making natural terraces behind them. They are used extensively in arid countries where rainfall events can lead to flash floods and major surface erosion.

In your case you may slow the flow sufficiently to prevent erosion.
 
Ghislaine de Lessines
Posts: 203
Location: Vermont, annual average precipitation is 39.87 Inches
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes, I love the concept of gambions! My Jan. 15th woods walk I was actually marking sites I might try to make them. We have plenty of rocks and branches to make them with!
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3729
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
86
bee books chicken dog duck fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think gambions are a terrible idea for Vermont!!!

I read about a guy who did something like this, trying to slow flow in a seasonal stream. I think he put a bunch of cement pilings in and maybe it worked great for 30 years and then hurricane Irene came... The pilings and boulders floated like nothing and took out a bridge!!! He probably didn't realize the implications of what he said. I never heard any follow up story but he could certainly be held responsible for the cost of that bridge.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3729
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
86
bee books chicken dog duck fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ghislaine de Lessines wrote:
Predator pressure varies from year to year. Weasel family members, raptors, bobcat, and bear have all been observed near the house. Fox and coyotes have been observed nearby. Other wildlife includes moose (nearby), deer, turkey, squirrel, chipmunk, and mice.


All of these are true for me too! We've had great success with livestock guard dogs. They convince predators that there are easier meals elsewhere. You do need two for livestock protection though. There are specific breeds for this. Any of the big white dogs work (Pyrs, Maremmas), and are appropriate for this climate. LGDs do a lot of barking, especially at night. I'm far enough away from neighbors that they don't complain but they have mentioned it.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3729
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
86
bee books chicken dog duck fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ghislaine de Lessines wrote:According to this map our land only has an "intermittent" stream running through it.


That map shows my pond but not my stream so it's not that accurate.

If you haven't taken a PDC, I recommend taking one. I did geoff lawton's online PDC this summer and it was awesome. Also, check out Ben Falks place, he's north of Montpelier and has done interesting things on typical rocky Vermont land. his place is in the video on this thread

and this video.
 
Ghislaine de Lessines
Posts: 203
Location: Vermont, annual average precipitation is 39.87 Inches
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Cj Verde wrote:I think gambions are a terrible idea for Vermont!!!

I read about a guy who did something like this, trying to slow flow in a seasonal stream. I think he put a bunch of cement pilings in and maybe it worked great for 30 years and then hurricane Irene came... The pilings and boulders floated like nothing and took out a bridge!!! He probably didn't realize the implications of what he said. I never heard any follow up story but he could certainly be held responsible for the cost of that bridge.


Wow, I didn't hear about that. I know a lot of bridges were lost during that storm. The image shown on the news of the RV stuck against a bridge is still fresh in my mind. The recent water damage including our driveway happened during a pretty localized storm. Pretty much only a few towns were affected but our road in particular made the news because both sides of it were washed out.

As it's my driveway that's at risk first you may be sure I'll be making very small gambions only using material on site that I can move by hand while trailing small children with me. *grins* I'm pretty strong for only being 5'2" but I don't think I'll be able to move anything that'll take out our culverts nevermind a bridge!

I'm interested in eventually getting some Livestock Guardian Dogs eventually but my husband isn't interested in getting anything that big. He just wants a family dog like a collie or something. That'll at least get us some dog scent around here but it won't keep a hungry bear away! So far it's been cheaper to replace ducks then it would be to maintain a dog so until the kids are a bit older we'll be dogless I think.

The map only shows what I suspect is only the biggest of the intermittent waterflows. There are two that run towards the driveway plus at least one that gets shunted into the town ditch above the driveway.

I'd love to take a PDC but I think I'd be challenged to even take the online one right now with a baby under a year old. Heck, even typing up these posts is a challenge (One handed with a baby trying to get at the keyboard held in the other arm!)
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3729
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
86
bee books chicken dog duck fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ghislaine de Lessines wrote: Last Memorial Day there was such a storm that some of the water off our property washed out the culvert under our driveway at the town road and then took out the next three driveways as well. It'd be awfully neighborly to capture some of the water to prevent a reoccurrence, don't you think?


The goal is generally to keep that water on your property for as long as possible. Making it take the longest path possible. At least three strategies would give you the most resilience. One of the strategies Geoff mentions is using a reed bed as the last stop gap before the water leaves the property. A couple of swales higher up would go a long way towards capturing that water.

The tricky thing in Vermont is to do that and still survive mud season.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3729
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
86
bee books chicken dog duck fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ghislaine de Lessines wrote:
I'm interested in eventually getting some Livestock Guardian Dogs eventually but my husband isn't interested in getting anything that big. He just wants a family dog like a collie or something.


Just FYI, a collie will eat as much as an LGD. LGDs pretty much lay around all day, not using much energy unless needed. I have an Australian Shepherd who eats as much or more than the 137 lb LGD because that kind of dog uses tons of energy and never stops moving.

There are some dogs that you can't get if you keep poultry. And kind of bird dog or samoyed would be a bad fit.

Most any dog will keep a bear away. We had a Golden for 14 years and saw bears only before and after that time. A Golden wont fight a bear of course...
 
Ghislaine de Lessines
Posts: 203
Location: Vermont, annual average precipitation is 39.87 Inches
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
January 18, 2014 - Observation Walk with pics!

We have a lot of trees down from a couple of wind storms a year or two ago. Many of them pulled up their roots when they went over. I think the soil is a bit this here with clay underneath so when the ground is saturated with spring melt and rain, then there's a wind storm, the trees just topple! Here's one that's been down long enough to attract some friends. Anyone know what these mushrooms are? Too bad my husband and I aren't fond of mushrooms!



We startled this little guy near his home. There was just enough snow to be able to observe that he spent a lot of time in this area. Prints all over the place. The hickory trees nearby must be feeding him quite well!



I left a bit of the squirrel's stump in this picture to take a picture of the growths in the branches of the trees nearby. I need to figure out if this is a diseased tree or wasps nests or something. There's another tree like this near the bridge over the ditch pictured in the next two pictures.




Ditch Looking East


Ditch Lookin West

I think this ditch is there so that the septic mound could be built. This hill is just covered with water. We actually own three building lots but the lower lot didn't pass a perk test for a septic system so the previous owners weren't able to sell it. I suspect the upper lot is the same way. Bonus for us! We actually own the two lots without the house on it outright.



This picture shows the stone pile wall that runs through the property just below the driveway and house. To the left you can kinda make out a bit of the plateau and ledge. This picture is actually taken from the viewpoint of the top of the septic mound looking to the south west. We are considering pasturing some animals in this area.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3729
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
86
bee books chicken dog duck fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ghislaine de Lessines wrote:Anyone know what these mushrooms are? Too bad my husband and I aren't fond of mushrooms!



I think they are Turkey Tails. Trametes_versicolor

 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3729
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
86
bee books chicken dog duck fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ghislaine de Lessines wrote:There's another tree like this near the bridge over the ditch pictured in the next two pictures.

Looks to me like what we call Eastern Hophornbeam also called ironwood or Ostrya_virginiana which doesn't ever get much bigger than that one so I don't think it's the same one the squirrel was on. Really big dead ones around here tend to be ash trees.

Those purple boxes you see on the road side in spring? There emerald ash borer traps.


Your woods look just like mine!
 
Ghislaine de Lessines
Posts: 203
Location: Vermont, annual average precipitation is 39.87 Inches
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Heh, I'm behind on my own thread! There some stuff I just don't want to type up on my phone which is usually how I access the forum.

Cj Verde wrote:

The goal is generally to keep that water on your property for as long as possible. Making it take the longest path possible. At least three strategies would give you the most resilience. One of the strategies Geoff mentions is using a reed bed as the last stop gap before the water leaves the property. A couple of swales higher up would go a long way towards capturing that water.

The tricky thing in Vermont is to do that and still survive mud season.


The previous owners of our land were somehow able to dig a ditch in the middle of the woods, so it must be possible to manage some swales! The land is so rocky and hillocky that finding the contour, nevermind doing the digging, perplexes me. Obviously I haven't done enough reading! The hillocks end up forming lots of depressions that create puddles, or perhaps they are better termed vernal pools (or mosquito nurseries?), all over our property so there's already a lot of water being captured. It's mostly the water that's flowing directly onto our property then off again in the streams that I'd like to at least slow down. There are a couple of places with cattails but I'm not sure about reeds. I suspect reeds need more sun then cattails.

Thanks for the help with the mushrooms and tree! I should probably zoom in on the growths on the branches that I was wondering about!
 
Ghislaine de Lessines
Posts: 203
Location: Vermont, annual average precipitation is 39.87 Inches
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks to the identification of the mushrooms I read this thread: http://www.permies.com/t/25164/toxin-ectomy/Turkey-tail-toxin-treatment
We have a spot where I have seen that rainbow of floating oil that's made me a bit nervous. This seems like a good solution! I wonder if it specifically needs to be turkey tails or if whatever mycelium has already colonized a pile of mulch would do. The pile just so happens to be right above that spot!
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3729
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
86
bee books chicken dog duck fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ghislaine de Lessines wrote:
We have a spot where I have seen that rainbow of floating oil that's made me a bit nervous.


You know, I've seen the same thing on my land. I wonder if it's something natural causing that?
 
Ghislaine de Lessines
Posts: 203
Location: Vermont, annual average precipitation is 39.87 Inches
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Oil from decomposing tree nuts? I'll have to keep an eye out on the rest of the property, but the location below a couple of parking spaces along the driveway make me suspicious. The previous owners had kids who might have driven older cars that might have been parked there.
 
Ghislaine de Lessines
Posts: 203
Location: Vermont, annual average precipitation is 39.87 Inches
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I just had a funny conversation with my husband. He's going to end up skiing all weekend (again) so recognizes that he owes me as it means that I'm less able to do what I'd like/need to do. I proposed digging holes, planting trees and moving earth in the spring as recompense. He's willing so now I need to place some tree nursery orders to fill the space in the photo in this post farther up this thread! The picture is looking straight south so I'm not getting all day light but I'm hoping there's enough for some plums or other non apple/pear trees. Anyone have any advice?

I think I've decided to plant the hazels along the lower property line to take advantage of the neighbor's work at clearing their property. Something ought to be planted there to take advantage of the edge that's been created there. Added privacy is a bonus too! I think some of the free stuff from my mom could end up along there too. I'm half tempted to ask on the neighborhood e-mail list for cuttings for anything that could be useful. The property line goes for a 1/4 mile though I'm not sure the neighbor has cleared that far back!
 
Ghislaine de Lessines
Posts: 203
Location: Vermont, annual average precipitation is 39.87 Inches
9
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've placed my plant order!
Strawberries - Seascape, 50 plants
American Hazelnut and a hybrid
Bayberry, got 5
Beach plum, got 2
Northern Wild Raisin
Nanking Cherry - got 1 but I just realized I wanted 2, oops!
Honeyberry - 1 of each 3 varieties

Several feet of snow now needs to melt before we can get those holes dug!
 
Ghislaine de Lessines
Posts: 203
Location: Vermont, annual average precipitation is 39.87 Inches
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Since I just posted this in another thread I thought I'd post it here too. Here's our duck set up. The taller part on the right is the duck house with an opening into the porch part on the left. The ramp you see goes to the door we open for the ducks each day. Other doors are for food, water, and cleaning. The green posts with bird netting form a bit of a pen around the duck porch which is meant only to keep the ducks in, and does not keep predators out. It's useful to herd the ducks into a smaller space and when they were new, helped them to learn where home was.
 
Ghislaine de Lessines
Posts: 203
Location: Vermont, annual average precipitation is 39.87 Inches
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Except for the piles of snow at the end of the driveway, it's melted though more is expected tonight. I got out before it started raining to seed the area by the road, under the power lines. Some of the seed came in the mail just yesterday. Lupine, yarrow, kale, turnip, Swiss chard, daikon, hollyhock, and some small sunflowers should hopefully pop up out there. Does it count as rain seeding or frost seeding if you get both in the same day?
 
Ghislaine de Lessines
Posts: 203
Location: Vermont, annual average precipitation is 39.87 Inches
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Early Spring Pictures!


Well overflow area - You can see the well in the top right of the picture. There's a garden bed edged by rocks to the left of it where I've grown some celery though I don't think it gets quite enough sun. I may need to move the rhubarb I planted there. This area is also my source of the mint that must have escaped the previous owner's garden. I'm tempted to dig a bit of a pond in this area because it also catches quite a bit of the runoff from uphill.


Our driveway acts as a berm that catches water runoff from uphill. I think there's a total of 4 culverts under the driveway but some still pools. My husband calls this area the "continental divide" because the water caught here will either flow towards the house and through the culvert to the duck pond, or towards the town road and one of the other culverts.


Taken towards the town road. The ducks do enjoy this area. Can you spot them?


My 5-year old's favorite walking destination: the "waterfall"! I believe this streambed was dug here at some point to shunt the water coming from up the road, preventing it from getting down to the driveway. At my feet it goes through a culvert under the town road over to the neighbor's property.


This is taken from one of the two seasonal streams that comes together in the previous picture to go under the road. The streamlet I'm standing near comes from the ditch up the road. It's shunted onto our property where nature has done it's thing as there's a bed of reeds and cattails up there. Then the water is caught here and shunted back off again! LOL My husband and baby are standing by the other streamlet that comes from our woods.



 
Ghislaine de Lessines
Posts: 203
Location: Vermont, annual average precipitation is 39.87 Inches
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Crosspost from the overalls thread. The pic shows the raised beds/compost pile a few years ago.
 
Ghislaine de Lessines
Posts: 203
Location: Vermont, annual average precipitation is 39.87 Inches
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
One raised bed has been planted with the following sections:

1. Leeks
2. Daikon
3. Policulture of radish, lettuce, carrots and beets.
4. Scallions and Garlic starts with spinach seeds for polyculture/living mulch.
5. Peas on the trellis. Peas and garlic supposedly don't get along so we'll see how that goes with them being right next to each other.

The child in the previous picture now has her own 4x4 bed that she's planted with sunflowers, morning glory for a trellis, bush beans, garlic, and a couple of packets of wildflower mixes.

I've also gotten the strawberry plants into a sunny bed in front of the house and in a couple of pots at the front door.

I also went for a woods walk today so I'm posting some pictures:

Red Trillium


Ramps - not enough to harvest any but I'm happy to see them!


Trout Lily


The Ledge


Unknown if anyone wants to ID


Seasonal stream at logging road. I believe this is coming from the pond.


Another unknown



 
Tristan Vitali
Posts: 313
Location: south-central ME, USA - zone 5a/4b
38
cat dog duck food preservation forest garden fungi solar trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ghislaine de Lessines wrote:One raised bed has been planted with the following sections:

Another unknown





I was racking my brain trying to remember the name of the white flower you weren't sure about - I know it but it just wont come to me right now and google searches didn't help

This one, though, is horsetail. We've got TONS of these guys here on my wet little property. For a neat experiment with the kids (and to verify the ID), break off a stem and try to "clean a penny". An old, tarnished penny will come clean and bright by scouring a little with one of these guys. They're loaded with silica and are an excellent dynamic accumulator in general (Mg, Ca, Fe, Co) so excellent for chop and drop or compost heaps. People often use these in medicinal hair treatments from what I understand (gives the hair a nice shine!), but here's the real meat and potatoes on them medicinally: https://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/h/hortai39.html

I came across a beautiful purple/white trillium today that almost caused me to trip but didn't have the camera with me - might take it out there tomorrow to get a few pics to share

 
Ghislaine de Lessines
Posts: 203
Location: Vermont, annual average precipitation is 39.87 Inches
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks Tristan!

I've since identified the flower as Spring Beauty: http://www.eattheweeds.com/spring-beauty/ I love that they are edible!

Ghislaine de Lessines wrote:
Unknown if anyone wants to ID

 
Ghislaine de Lessines
Posts: 203
Location: Vermont, annual average precipitation is 39.87 Inches
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Strawberries are in a new bed I made for them near the front door to the house. That's one of my sunniest areas so it'll probably all get converted to food eventually.

I had to change my plans for the hazelnuts, honeyberries, beach plums, nannyberry, and nanking cherry as when we dug the first planting hole under the power line by the road I discovered that the clay subsoil really holds water.

So the problem is the solution right? I'm going to try the bayberries here and consider rice patties. I may be just a bit far north for rice though I seem to share Ben Falk's zone so I'll be reading his book to see what I'll need to do to aim for success. Hopefully there's enough sunlight there!

In the meanwhile the honeyberries are near the blueberries and espalier. The beach plums, nannyberry, and nanking cherry have gone in on a bit of bank that transitions from the old septic mound to a runoff area where the water from the roof and backyard drain out.

I've also walked through the woods and planted a bunch of pawpaw seeds in the hope that some will sprout in a favorable microclimate in the woods. I tried to place them near the red trillium since they like the same kinds of pollinators though I need to check and see if they bloom at the same time. Having found the clay subsoil like that at the road edge of the property, I'm a little concerned that the pawpaws will find the soil not to it's liking.
 
Ghislaine de Lessines
Posts: 203
Location: Vermont, annual average precipitation is 39.87 Inches
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
While weeding and thinning to make my http://www.permies.com/t/36581/cooking/Weed-Thinnings-Quiche#285362] quiche today, I discovered what I believe are tomato seedlings. I think I might let a couple of them keep growing amongst the peas so that they can use the trellis for support after the peas are through. I have no idea how well the idea will work, but I figure it's worth a try.
 
Ghislaine de Lessines
Posts: 203
Location: Vermont, annual average precipitation is 39.87 Inches
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Went with my mom to a nursery today that has pond plants. Came home with a water lily and some free duckweed. I've since figured out that it is really water lotus that I want to try in my pond as an edible though. I suspect the duckweed will disappear thanks to the ducks, but I've fenced off the water lily to protect it. I had to help my mom spend her gift certificate so I also got a Japanese primrose for the marshy area next to the driveway. They had an interesting variegated willow that I would have liked to have come home with but it'll get to tall for under the powerline. I know I can cut it back but I'm concerned about how much it will spread, adding to the work of coppicing. :/ I think we may clear our some trees south of the pond, in which case I'd like a bit of a privacy hedge since the neighbor's house is in that direction. There's a ditch next to the logging road that might be a perfect place for willow. I'd love to have some on hand for trellis building, etc.

All the bushes that we planted earlier this spring are showing growth so I think they'll do okay despite their extended stay in my root cellar. Seeing what makes it through the winter next spring may be the true test!

I finished reading sepp holzer's Permaculture a few days ago. It was more of an overview than I expected but there were tidbits here and there that'll be fun to experiment with. While I am feeling limited by how much I can accomplish with little humans around, I guess I would enjoy reading about specific projects that others are doing. I am in the middle of reading Restoration Agriculture which I actually started first so I'll post about that book another time.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3729
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
86
bee books chicken dog duck fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ghislaine de Lessines wrote:Went with my mom to a nursery today that has pond plants. Came home with a water lily and some free duckweed.


Give the nursery a plug so other Vermonters can visit. I went to some place (Horford's?) a few weeks a go because I recognized the name from an ad at the bottom of Permies! I told them that too.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3729
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
86
bee books chicken dog duck fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ghislaine de Lessines wrote:I think we may clear our some trees south of the pond, in which case I'd like a bit of a privacy hedge since the neighbor's house is in that direction. There's a ditch next to the logging road that might be a perfect place for willow. I'd love to have some on hand for trellis building, etc.


This spring I ordered a bunch of cuttings from http://willowsvermont.com and they are doing great. They are closer to you so you could save on shipping. They have a page with instructions and varieties for making a fedge.
 
Ghislaine de Lessines
Posts: 203
Location: Vermont, annual average precipitation is 39.87 Inches
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Cj Verde wrote:
Ghislaine de Lessines wrote:Went with my mom to a nursery today that has pond plants. Came home with a water lily and some free duckweed.


Give the nursery a plug so other Vermonters can visit. I went to some place (Horford's?) a few weeks a go because I recognized the name from an ad at the bottom of Permies! I told them that too.


I hesitated to do so because they are cutting back after this year. But it sounds like they'll still have their harder to find plants. http://www.cadysfallsnursery.com/ I think most of the plants in my mother's perennial beds come from this nursery! Another favorite is Perennial Pleasures where I will probably pick up a heather for my front bed this weekend. They do British style tea service that will be our family's Father's Day destination.

Thanks for the willow source. I'll definitely be checking them out!
 
Ghislaine de Lessines
Posts: 203
Location: Vermont, annual average precipitation is 39.87 Inches
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So to update:
- The ducks ate up all the duckweed despite my hope that enough of it would be protected from them to allow for a regenerating feed source. I would probably have to create a protected pond or even a fish tank inside to have a constant source of it.
- I have placed an order for over 250 bulbs, mostly daffodils from Brent and Becky. I'd like to plant the daffodils as edges in the orchard area. They also had a neat idea of lifing up sod and planting crocuses in the form of a smiley face or a name. I love crocuses so I ordered the ones the catalog indicated were rodent resistant and plant them as a spring surprise for my eldest in the form of her name.
- The one vegetable bed I planted got away from me. We had such a mosquito problem that keeping up with that (and two kids). Is it bats I need to encourage to take care of the mosquitos?
- Had a great walk through the woods with a forester and the owner of Vermont Edible Landscapes to get an idea of what needed to be done to meet the Land use requirements and what we could do to encourage permaculture within those limitations. I should be getting a map soon with the results of that discussion.
- The tomato seedling have fruit though I think a raccoon or something took off with the one that was turning red. I'll have to keep an eye out for frosts so that I can harvest even if all I get are green ones. I'm not actually sure what to do with green ones.

I attended a talk today at the UVM Horticultural Farm by Marijke Niles, the owner of Marijke's Perennial Gardens Plus on her favorite Perennial native plants that grow well in Vermont.
- She has definite opinions on chemicals (bad!) and inviting insects and birds to the garden (good!).
- She's very influenced by the book "Bringing Nature Home" by Doug Tellamy.
- Her belief that chemical fertilizers are the equivalent of fast food was amusing to me. If you are what you eat, then you are also what your food eats right?
- She advocates not cleaning up in the fall because you want to leave the "mess" behind as shelter for the birds and insects over the winter. She also pointed out that it's easier to clean up in the spring because you can just gather it up rather than needing to clip it.
- Fall is a great time to weed to get rid of perennial weeds.
- She isn't generally a fan of cultivars of native plants because they often have been bred to be so different from the original that they are no longer well adapted to the climate.
- She stated that fall transplanting works because the soil is still warm for quite a while, allowing the roots to grow. Adding mulch is even better and chances of heat stress is much less.
- I also came home with a list of her favorite natives plus I've added my own notes about what is likely to work well at my own mostly shady and damp site.
- Her business website is www.perennialgardensplus.com



 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3729
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
86
bee books chicken dog duck fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ghislaine de Lessines wrote: Is it bats I need to encourage to take care of the mosquitos?

& fish
- Had a great walk through the woods with a forester and the owner of Vermont Edible Landscapes to get an idea of what needed to be done to meet the Land use requirements and what we could do to encourage permaculture within those limitations. I should be getting a map soon with the results of that discussion.

Are you in Current Use now? If so, you have to renew the plan every 10 years anyway. I did mine in '09 - before I was all gung ho permaculture. I'm trying out some things on the land not in the plan and I think the plan will change quite a bit when I renew it.

I attended a talk today at the UVM Horticultural Farm by Marijke Niles, the owner of Marijke's Perennial Gardens Plus on her favorite Perennial Native Plants that grow well in Vermont...
- I also came home with a list of her favorite natives ...


Do tell!
 
Ghislaine de Lessines
Posts: 203
Location: Vermont, annual average precipitation is 39.87 Inches
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Cj Verde wrote:
Ghislaine de Lessines wrote: Is it bats I need to encourage to take care of the mosquitos?

& fish

I'm told our pond had been stocked with fish at one time but then the predators came! I'm afraid the ducks have caused some damage to the biodiversity of the pond as well. That's probably the only body of water on our property that would actually support fish.

Cj Verde wrote:
Ghislaine de Lessines wrote: - Had a great walk through the woods with a forester and the owner of Vermont Edible Landscapes to get an idea of what needed to be done to meet the Land use requirements and what we could do to encourage permaculture within those limitations. I should be getting a map soon with the results of that discussion.

Are you in Current Use now? If so, you have to renew the plan every 10 years anyway. I did mine in '09 - before I was all gung ho permaculture. I'm trying out some things on the land not in the plan and I think the plan will change quite a bit when I renew it.

Yes, the previous owners' plan isn't due for renewal for another 4-5 years but some thinning/harvesting is required by the plan within the next year.

Cj Verde wrote:
Ghislaine de Lessines wrote: I attended a talk today at the UVM Horticultural Farm by Marijke Niles, the owner of Marijke's Perennial Gardens Plus on her favorite Perennial Native Plants that grow well in Vermont...
- I also came home with a list of her favorite natives ...


Do tell!


lol It's three pages long! Anise Hyssop was one of the first she mentioned because you can make tea from it and it is loved by the bees while in flower and the finches after it goes to seed! Others for full sun included Milkweed, new England Aster, False Indigo, Echinacea, Joe Pye Weed, Blue Flag Iris, Big Blue Lobelia, Blue Lupine, Evening Primrose, Black Eyed Susans, and Goldenrod. Part shade she included Black Snakeroot, Wild Columbine, Wild Ginger, Joe Pye Weed, Coral Bells, False Salomon's Seal, and Labrador violet. For shade she included Wild Ginger, Turtle Head, Coral Bells, and Trillium. Then she also had a list of hardy native shrubs with included many of the fruiting species we talk about in permaculture all the time like Aronia, Service Berry, Hazlenut, Clove Current, Elderberry, Blueberry, and a number of Viburnum. I believe that she attended at least one of the presentations by Darren Doherty while he was here which she seemed pretty excited about. There that was a typing workout!
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3729
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
86
bee books chicken dog duck fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I just transplanted Anise Hyssop for my bees this year! For sure I have Milkweed, Black Eyed Susans, Goldenrod, & Trillium, Hazelnuts & Blueberries. Probably more but those I know for sure.

If you have a logger come in to do the thinning, you've got to watch them like a hawk. There are several threads here on permies that go deeper into logging details.

I'm being gifted ducks, this week I think, so I'll be curious about any biodiversity changes. The pond is large though. We do have migratory species that fly in without incident. Wood ducks, Mallards, and Merganzers.
 
Ghislaine de Lessines
Posts: 203
Location: Vermont, annual average precipitation is 39.87 Inches
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'll be getting Anise Hyssop and a bunch of the others on the list from my Mom along with some black currants, elderberries, and maybe mock orange.

I just finished reading Restoration Agriculture by Mark Shepard. I'd started it a while ago so I know I've lost some of the impressions I had about the book from earlier but I did love what he had to say about bees. The call to arms to DO not BE at the end was good too. I don't think I'll be planting my book under a hickory tree though! For one thing, I have plenty of hickory trees already! That and I'm doing as best I can. Just today I picked up 5 Bocking 14 Comfrey plants to plant among the fruit trees.

Our place is so sheltered by trees that we haven't been hit by the frosts that I've seen two miles away. It's warming up again for the next week or so so I may be able to harvest more than the single tomato from the self seeded tomato plants I let grow!

 
Your mind is under my control .... your will is now mine .... read this tiny ad
Thread Boost feature
https://permies.com/wiki/61482/Thread-Boost-feature
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!