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story in perm mag reminded me of our place  RSS feed

 
Brenda Groth
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Location: North Central Michigan
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funny how things in other countries can be so much the same..

as i was reading the Harland story in the new permaculture magazine that came yesterday, it reminded me so much of the adventure that my husband and I have had here at our place..I kept thinking over and over...yeah, that is what we did.

It appears that their Hampshire England place is a tad warmer than we are, as they are growing a few things that will obviously not make it in Michigan, but some of the things they have problems with we have had a few struggles to grow here as well.. They  had peach trees die on them, and we had them die here..trying agian with new stock in a new setting, closer tot he pond here. Haven't tried to grow figs here..as I think we are too cold..but they grow them there successfully so maybe i'll give it a try..encouraged anyway.

the critters killed off all of their fowl..and i figure they would do the same here..they call theirs a wildlife garden, and ours definately is here..as we have a lot of wildlife..they also called theirs a forest garden cause of their fruit trees,  we also have a forest garden situation here..butnot just with fruit trees, but with actual forest and a lot of evergreen and hardwood/softwood trees here

they mentioned making hedgerows along their property linies..we too have been doing the same here..some succeessful, some died, but we are always working on adding more trees to our hedgerows..they called theirs "fedgerows" cause they put fruiting trees in theirs..which we also are doing in ours..

they used a lot of berries on their property and berries are a huge part of our gardens, as we have blue berries, black berries, elderberries, red, black and gold raspberries, strawberries etc etc etc.. The fruit trees they planted were very similar to the ones we planted,  apple, plum, cherry, peaches, pears, etc here but yet to try the figs and not sure what some of the others are that they put in in their place.

we also have a similar type of vegetable selection here..although there area  few things that we haven't tried here..don't think we can grow artichokes and haven't tried sweet potatoes.

anyway it was like reading about our own place but in another country and another world away from us..enjoyed it very much..their little greenhyouse even looked just like ours and they grow the same things in theirs as we do in ours, so i gather the climate must be very similiar.
 
              
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Location: West Iowa
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figs I think are hardy zone 7 and up.  Though people can get them to live in colder zones if they go at great lengths or find ideal microclimate.  I just grow mine in a pot and it fruits. 
 
rose macaskie
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        When i was young and things were colder they had fig trees in england but no one expected them to produce fruit. some trees will grow in a colder climmate but will not fruit others will not even grow there like citrus fruit for example and olives and palms and many more.
    peach trees are definately for a warmer climate than the english one but they did used to build walls that they could grow apricots on, i think apricots are just a bit hardier than peaches.    If your wall faces south or east or somthing, trees grown against it, warmed by the sun heated wall, might fruit though the climates to cold for them to fruit otherwise.
  A vidoe of paul wheatons shows a semicircular meander in the wall of a villlage of cobe houses  and indside this cove the temperature was twenty degrees or somthing i will check that out and correct it later hotter than outside so if you built a wall of that shape maybe you could maybe have a fruiting peach tree where you live though they wont normally grow in other circumstances.
 
  England has a special climate that you can't really compare to other places except other islands  because it is an island, i know i came from there. You may have colder winters than they do in england but then that, in many parts of america,  will be because you have what in England is called an extreme climate, so you summers will be hotter and so you can grow things the English can't or the same things as them though the winters are colder..
  As england is a thinnish island in the atlantic ocean and in a bit of the atlanic ocean that is in the way of a stream, currant, of water coming from the caribean, the sea round england  stops it from being too cold in winter and too hot in summer.
    That great body of water, the atlantic that holds summer heat and winter cold and has high ways in it like the one that crosses it from the carribean and then turns north past the english coast, stops England getting very cold or hot .so people living a long way from the sea that have very cold winters like the russians for example, may have hotter summers than the english do..
  Also, while on the subject of the english climate, the winds that have crossed the atlantic get very wet from crossing such a mass of water and this turns england in to a wet place. When the winds that cross the ocean  get to the land mass of england they are forced upward over the hills of wales for example into the higher and so  colder air and this condenses the moisture in them, so it rains. agri rose macaskie.
 
Brenda Groth
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Location: North Central Michigan
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there are a few figs that are advertised as hardy to zone 5..so i might be able to try some in protected areas here.

as for the peaches..we did have one that grew and bore gobs of the most wonderful peaches a few years..one year we had bushels of peaches from one tree..but then it just up and died..not sure why..whether we had a super hard winter or what..then the peach trees i planted after that bore but not well..and then died.

the plan is to put the peach trees on a rise that is up about 10' higher than our pond to the north, and is protected from wind by trees and gets bounced sun from the pond from the south..if anything will work here i think that will

the one peach tree that did grow well here was in a raised bed..and had wind protection from a fence..so i do think i need to plan diffrently for the peach trees than before..also we have some sour cherry trees coming that will have to be protected too, cherries have to be up on a rise in michigan to do well...and for those figs..i'm going to do a little more research before i spend money on one.

not knowing how farmiliar you are with Michigan ..it isn't an island but it is nearly..it is surrounded on all but the south side with water..and we live closer to the water parts than the land parts..but the water is freshwater lakes..huge ones..but lakes never the less..and they do freeze some winters..most winters they have some ice on them..some they freeze all the way across.

 
rose macaskie
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ah you live by the great lakes. i am not familiar at all with michigan i havenever been to americA though my great grandmother was American from CHicago. I suppose your summers are hotter than in England and winters colder. Here in Spain we are up above forty degrees in summer but he temperature does not go down much below zero except on the highest mountains 
  Have you come across rain gardens, they are practiced around the great lakes to clean the water before it goes into the lakes you run run off water through the rain garden to clean up the water.  I saw a bit about them on CNN in a progam on chicago alley clean up or i read about them when i checked up on che chicago city clean up of back alleys in internet.
      You talk about planting your peaches on a rise to help them survive the cold, I read about somethign called cold--- i can¡t remember, anyway it was about how cold air sits  in valley like water sits in low places, on calm days and nights i suppose and stays there so you should not put more delicate things in hollows. My two peach trees are on the top of my garden.  if you take the road round to the head of the ravine that does go down into it and up out you do notice how much cooler it is at the bottom than on top at night as you go down into it. I don't notice in the garden but maybe i don't go down the slope at night scared of falling over. The path down used to be very narrow but i have been broadening it, first a bit and then a bit more and it begins to be a good broad path.
  It could be good putting things in the cold part it might make them flower later and so not loose their flowers to late frosts.
 
         I once  planted a palm that lived all through the winter and died in the spring ihhtink it protected itsel fin some way in winter from the cold and in spring it thought it could withdraw its protection method an anti freeze like sugar in the sap or some such and grow a bit and a late frost came along and did for it when it was less protected.
     I have pears in the bottom  and i have never had a pear off them, i did not plant them the plums however that were always there do give plums ..
      The leaves of figs are pretty and i like the smell of the leaf so even if you don't get fruit they are nice.
          Trees can do very badly because of lack of nutrients in the soil if this gets to be exreme.  The trees i have posted in another forum and again here are true examples of what poor soils can do. The the photograph of trees with a healthy head of leaves is just over the brow of the hill from the foto of trees with hardely any head at all, there is no soil where the thin trees are and over pasturising is to blame for this and on a slope the ill is agravated, the detritus that accumulates can be carried down hill by winds and the soil is certanely more easily eroded if overgrazing bares it on a slope. agri rose macaskie.
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rose macaskie
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  The photo of trees with a good screen of leaves is i a wheet feild where the ploughing of centuries has eroded a area of sand or clay leaving the feild below the level of th erocks wheat fields are fertilised i don't know how with chemical fertilisers or by taking sheep to erest or spend the night on this land an old fashioned technique.
  i have a foto of the wood at the other side of the road from this feild the trees are on a calcium rock.trees in this spot on chalk are also on a much poorer soil thatn the ones in the wheat field there is hardley any soil and no reason to think hta tthe place is fertilised except for the animals that pasturise it hat could not stay for long as there is not much undergrowth here. The trees on a slope are on slate.  the rain fall is hte same in the three places the trees are across the road or over the brow of the hill from each other.
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Brenda Groth
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Location: North Central Michigan
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well ideas and things always end up changing here..talking with our son yesterday he wants to take down more of that bank north of the pond..so i won't be able to plant it this year..as he is so busy..he will help me move around my large compost pile today with the tractor ..i have doing most of my garden preparation by hand with a shovel and a fork..so it will be nice to have a little tractor help (i don't drive it). Hope to get a lot more of it done so i can plant soon..generally we like to have our cold crops in the ground before Good Friday which is this Friday..and all i have put out this spring is a little lettuce mix.

so much work to do to rebuild these beds..that i may be in over my head for getting it done in time to plant..

also still in the process of making the moving of the greenhouse job workable..so that is stalling my spring bigtime.

hopefully i'll get it all done this year and then next year i won't go through all this late planting business cause i'm not prepared ahead of time..winters here do do a numnber on what can be done.

yes Rose, I do live surrounded by the great lakes..but i'm also in a river valley bottem..but not at the very very bottom..some of the cold air sinks away from our property still farther.

we put the pond on our  lowest spot..so the cold air pools in the pond..not on the soil.

there are a few tiny low spots..but mostly the woods and pond are the loweswwt and coldest areas on our property. we have a super high water table here..as well.

Our trees have no problem growing leaves and needles..they get plenty of food and water..the biggest killer here is super cold and wind..we can drop to 30 below zero F in a winter quite easily and stay there for a while..that will kill even the hardiest trees if there is any wind...in the summer it would be rare for us to go above 100 but we have..so yeah we can have a hot summer..but generally they aren't that hot..we had a super cold summerlast year which inhibited a whole lot of our annual garden plants last year..the perennials did fine..esp the berries..
 
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