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Posts: 6
Location: Inland southern CA
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Yolanda, congratulations on starting such a wonderful adventure.
You might want to check out Kuffel Creek's YouTube channel--I especially like their videos, Growing Apple Rootstocks from Seed and Propagating Clonal Rootstocks. You can then graft whatever varieties you'd like onto your own rootstock.
 
Posts: 51
Location: North-Central Minnesota
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Welcome, Yolande!  How exciting to read about your adventures.  I love your scientific approach and really recommend staying with the video blog as we have used it and it's nice to go back and see what you really did vs. what you remember doing...

Your land sounds kind of like ours.  We have 20 acres in Northern Minnesota, half wetlands.  When people ask what lake we live on, we tell them we live on a swamp.  We have taken 10 years to build our project, as we could afford it, and six months ago, my husband finally left the rat race and we're building our Permaculture homestead full-force now.  It's taken a lot of planning, earning the money to get to this place, research on how to do things, and just doing it and seeing how it comes out in the end.  We make mistakes and we have successes.  We're learning and teaching others.  We are happier than we've ever been.

We also were city folk - well, suburbs anyway.  I worried how I would transition to the rural way of life but it's been so wonderful.  I'm loving digging in the dirt to build huglebeds, using our composting toilet (bucket system), learning to can food, using our rocket mass heater, and even peeing outside.  The rural folks in our area have been so lovely and welcoming (many of them are transplants to the area too) and we've hooked up with some local farm folks which makes for good eating while we get our own food systems in place - a struggle for me!  Oh, I also kept bees this year and the recommendations people have on learning and researching a lot before your start is good.  I recommend finding some local beekeepers and having them show you their operations.  I had a good/bad year with the bees, lost both colonies (for different reasons), but had a good honey harvest really at 60#.  It's a bittersweet adventure for me but I hope to try again next year.

I wish you all the best as you work on your dreams and plans.  It's an exciting thing.  And I recommend putting on paper what you dream to come true.  I believe part of our success was having pictures in front of us of what we hoped for our future.  Now it's come true... so we need to develop more picture pages to keep dreaming.  My husband says, "If you plan, you can.  If you don't, you won't."  We had a lot of people call us "crazy" but they see now how we've made it all happen and many now say, "You two are on the right track."  It's not everyone's dream, but it's definitely working out for us.

Best to you as you make your way!

Jami
 
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Yolanda, love your post. I too lived in Toronto for years and now have my own alpaca farm with a little orchard of 24 trees. The fruit trees were the first things I planted when I got my paradise 19 years ago. I got my samplings from Golden Bough Tree farm. They are on line and have lots of local and heirloom varieties. Check them out!

dee
 
pollinator
Posts: 43
Location: Ontario, Canada
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bee books forest garden
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Thanks so much Jim
You made me laugh this morning as I thought of the Jerry Springer show and me not knowing who the father for my baby apples ware. I had a good laugh. But point received. Thank you for explaining the details and giving me a sobering time-frame. I started to look at my little babies a bit differently and felt kind of sorry for them that they may not fit into my long term plan as i gain more knowledge and try new things. It blew my mind today to know that if I bought a tree from a nursery I could get fruit from it in 2 to 3 years and will still be waiting on my current babies to give me fruit so I can see what they finally taste like.  *sigh*  I will play with them an enjoy them as long as I can. They are teaching me a lot about plants, building my confidence and I appreciate that.  My Mut Apples......my Apple Test Dummies lol

Today I took your, and Donna and a few others who mentioned it ....advice today and took some more time to look for nurseries in Ontario. I had found one in Quebec a few weeks ago and was going to order some seeds from them as it was cheaper than buying the plants but now I am thinking that i would probably be in the same boat I am now ......I looked into three more Nurseries that I found on the Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs website. I learned a little bit today about Root stock (i need to read more on this sooo confused)  and Bare root planting care when the plant arrives. All nurseries deliver in May so I have a good amount of time to do some company research and save up some money. One company really stood out to me it was Whiffle Tree Farm and Nursery. Their catalog had a lot of information I would like to really read and some book suggestions that I will check my local library for. I will take this winter to do my due diligence :)

Thanks again Jim for all the alternatives. I will consider all of them carefully.


Hi Donna,  Thanks for reaching out, I will be sure to send you a message when i need some help digesting all this knowledge and maybe bounce around some ideas.
I will read up Canadian Geography about the Canadian shield. I mentioned it to mom and she got excited saying they taught her about that in school. The land i have is in Central Frontenac North of Kingston. so i may be on the shield too. a quick Wiki search says Northern Frontenac is sitting on the shield (not sure id Central is....but its really rocky so maybe) . The area is very pretty and next summer i plan to check out the thousand islands activities. I`m still learning about everything ... its quite exciting :)     

Hi Cat,
Thanks for the YouTube channel recommendation. I will check out these videos now before bed.....i will also see if I can get my hands on those apples you have and try them maybe I'll have some new favourites.

Jami wow such an encouraging story thanks for sharing. Yes.....All is attainable with patience and focus and action. Congrats on your journey too you made it so far already and more adventures to come. I am a city girl no doubt but I also grew up kinda wild too with mom having friends in the country and going to visit. The country has this way of getting in your veins and the people are warmer and more welcoming and friendly.  Bees bees bees... loving them more and more I lean about them. Beekeeping is challenging so don't get discouraged. I just joined a Beekeeping association to learn more and some of the mature beekeepers lost colonies this year. They are having a tough go at it with the mites and pesticides and other diseases and predators. The wasps were really bad here this year. Get another colony and try again :)

Dee ... Thanks for the suggestion I will look them up tomorrow for sure :)  fun fact.... I touched an alpaca for the first time at the EX last year ....or was it the year before.......it was so soft...i wanted to just hug it..... but there was a fence in the way and maybe the alpaca wouldnt have appreciated it as much as I would..... so soft. Good times :)

Thanks All ...Great to meet you :)
 
Yolande Brown-Conran
pollinator
Posts: 43
Location: Ontario, Canada
6
bee books forest garden
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Cat Melvin wrote:.........check out Kuffel Creek's YouTube channel--I especially like their videos, Growing Apple Rootstocks from Seed and Propagating Clonal Rootstocks. You can then graft whatever varieties you'd like onto your own rootstock.



Watched all the grafting ones and loved the instructions. I will see if I can find anything to practice on.

On seed works this week..... it was quite exciting.
I got the small sample of  6 Abrosia seeds I got from the farmers market to sprout. YES! 100% all 6 sprouted. So now I put out the rest of them to sprout.

Also got the milkweed seeds to sprout. My next year or 2 years from now butterflies will be happy about that. I just got an idea to check out the High Park Nature center seed library to see if they have any swamp milkweed seeds for my swamp bits
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Abrosia muts
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Milkweed sprouts
 
Jami Gaither
Posts: 51
Location: North-Central Minnesota
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Yolande Brown-Conran wrote:Jami wow such an encouraging story thanks for sharing.  ... I just joined a Beekeeping association to learn more and some of the mature beekeepers lost colonies this year. They are having a tough go at it with the mites and pesticides and other diseases and predators. The wasps were really bad here this year. Get another colony and try again :)



Thanks for your encouragement.  I didn't mention it but wasps are what really got my hive in the end.  They'd lost their queen and were took weak to fight them off but wow, the wasps were numerous!  Hope we have a better year in 2018.

 
Yolande Brown-Conran
pollinator
Posts: 43
Location: Ontario, Canada
6
bee books forest garden
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Hi Jami
I read somewhere that wasps are territorial and if you put up a fake wasp nest (or was it an empty wasp nest) they would not come around or nest near. It's worth a try. Has anyone out there tried it and saw results?

This week I have family in town but squeezed in a green house visit or two. They plants are doing fine without me. And I have you d that I don't need to water them as much so I could go only twice a week.

I went yesterday and met my neigbour on the bench behind mine. Most exciting conversation ever. He is overwibtering lemon trees. (Its nice to know you are not the only one invthe world that thinks the way you do) .... i showed him my  baby clemintine and avocado and we had a good laugh. I also showed him my baby apples.  Turns out he has 60 acres "fairly" close by mine and he has also planted his apple trees from seed 4 years ago. Growthwise he said they are doing ok but he has not gotten any fruit yet but they flowered for the first time this year. I told him please tell me when he gets fruit how they taste. We spoke about grafting known yummy varieties on the bad ones.

Good thing I watched the grafting videos so I knew what he was talking about. He has a 4 year head start on Mr so it would be neat to hear his results next year. *excited*
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Ambrosia Muts growing
 
Yolande Brown-Conran
pollinator
Posts: 43
Location: Ontario, Canada
6
bee books forest garden
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This weekend's greenhouse visit went well :)

Highlights were
Sweet potatoes. I did some research on sweet potatoes last week and I feel I am all caught up. These were randomly given to me from someone at the greenhouse ...like "here you want some sweet potatoes"  so i dont know if the are the runnning all over dropping sweet potatoes everywhere kind or is the all sweet potatoes grow in one place but the vines can go anywhere kind. Bush vs running. Not sure. But first let's see if i will be successful in growing the slips and observe what that's like.

Blueberries: Extracted the seeds (I used a blender)... popped  them in the fridge for about 6 weeks then put some in a paper towel and see what germinates. They take a while to sprout but I am slowly but surely adding to my blueberry collection. I made some improvements to the egg tray sprouting station. Used a clear plastic egg tray this time. I put the tiny blueberry sprouts in the eggshells about 3 in each shell and I have 5 shells. Let's see how many make it by the end of the week.

Also in the egg tray sprouting station is golden rods (picked up these seeds from a walk) and one single blackberry seedling. .... omg finally. I have been trying so hard to get one of these blackberries to sprout. Good news...I think I may be getting a cane from someone in the greenhouse. Fingers crossed :)

Ambrosia muts :)  they are doing well. I potted them out in tiny cups and put the. In the terrarium.

Milkweed and purple flowers for the pollinators doing well too.

The growth rate has slowed a bit....i think the plants know is cold outside.....lol.  Its probably too that they are not getting as much sun it's been overcast all week I think.

I did a short update on periscope I will figure out how to link it better when I get home but here is the link from Twitter
Check out @yolybearz’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/yolybearz/status/924730501817966592?s=01
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Egg tray sprouting station
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Milkweed sprouts
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Lots of Ambrosia Muts
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The big picture
 
Yolande Brown-Conran
pollinator
Posts: 43
Location: Ontario, Canada
6
bee books forest garden
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On Seed works today

My pear seeds sprouted.  Pears where from the local farmers market. They were sweet too. Here is hoping these muts will give me something good :)
Cation! Pear seeds look just like apple seeds (with the slight exception that these seeds were flat on one side... not sure if that goes for all pear seeds). I have to make sure to label these well.

Mr Blackberry is doing well. I am going to be  watching him for a couple of days in my apartment to see what he does. I will also try and sand down my other blackberry seeds very carefully. I had some that i had sanded and were trying to sprout but still could not get out the seed shell and when i tried to pry them out I broke them :(

I read an inspiring post by Travis Johnson ....something to keep in mind on how to avoid burn out with your homestead projects and appriciate the journey more. I will read this again when I get tired.
https://permies.com/t/68731/Enjoy-Permaculture-Farming

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Pear seeds look like apple seeds
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My little Black Berry
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Missing my cattails
 
Yolande Brown-Conran
pollinator
Posts: 43
Location: Ontario, Canada
6
bee books forest garden
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Hi all ....it was a slow week.

In the mornings I would do seedworks. So I have found that If I strip the apple and pear seeds of the brown covering they all seem to germinate and faster.
I have been working on stripping all the apple and pear seeds I got from the farmers market that were in the fridge. Just a little each morning till they are all done. Still have a bunch left to go.
The ones that germinated I packed them up to take them to the green house.

Also from the fridge. Remember that squirrel planting the acorns...and how i took a few acorn home and put them in the fridge to see if I could get them to grow. I had wrapped them up in toilet paper individually wet them and put them in a ziplock bag and put them in the fridge. I looked at them this week and to my joy the acorn have split. Yay. I cant wait to see what happen after that. That is the first picture below.

So nothing else new the whole week till I got to the greenhouse on Sunday.
One of the plants i was most interested in this week was the Sweet Potato. The second pic on the bottom half: that is the before ...and the top half is how much that little leaf has grown.

Ok so exciting stuff!!! Remeber my greenhouse bench neighbour who I was talking to about the apples he planted from seeds. He is keeping his lemon trees at the greenhouse. I watered his lemon trees for him cause I don't think he can make the trip in that often. I look at my bench at see a package of seeds and a note in a ziplock bag. The note says thanks for watering the plants and the seeds are in the pic below. Wow! proper root stock. Kindness rewarded is a huge way!. I popped them in the fridge as soon as I got home.

In other news...I expanded the little egg tray seedlings.....all 24 spots with plants now trying to grow.... getting their first starts.

The willows! OMG roots! and already...it has only been one week. I will pot them up next week. The ones at home are rooting too but slower.
I have to remeber the ones at the greenhouse are from the greenhouse willow tree by the river. And the ones i have at home are from the willow tree in the park by museum station.
I will mark them when I pot them (but putting this here just in-case my brain pulls a yoly)

I have 2 update videos for you....sorry about the one above disappearing I didn't set it to not delete the video. These two should be there a while
A video is worth a billion words:---here is what went on on Sunday
https://www.periscope.tv/yolybearz/1ypKdNyOypqJW
https://www.periscope.tv/yolybearz/1dRKZbvLEEDKB


Today is the BeeKeeping association meeting. So excited! I learn so much last time. I;ll let you know what they teach us tonight.
See ya soon ...Thanks for reading
Or you can catch them on twitter: @yolybearz


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Oak
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sweet potato progress
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A nice surprise
 
pollinator
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Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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Hi Yolande, I just read something that changed how I think about apple seeds.  Bryant Redhawk said that since he only has one type of tree on his property, they don't cross pollinate with other trees and thus have seeds that are true to type.  I'm reporting this second hand so hopefully I didn't misunderstand.  But the result would be that IF you can find someone with a desirable apple tree AND there aren't any other types of apple trees around, you can plant that seed to give you that apple.  Now it would be growing on its own roots, not grafted root stock, but you could always graft that seedling onto known root stock if you want later. 
 
Yolande Brown-Conran
pollinator
Posts: 43
Location: Ontario, Canada
6
bee books forest garden
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Thanks Mike .... yea you are so right :) ....I have thought about this several different ways. And came up with I would have to be very very lucky if I get the apple tasted at the farmers market from the seeds.

From what i learned so far nature and genetics  is all about variability. All would have to work in my favour I made a little drawing.

If all the trees were the same genetic make up. They may be since most farm trees are from genetic stock which are exactly the same in all rows. They don't want variability in their apples either....all of them have to be exactly the same to sell to Wal-Mart....lol
But the farmer these came from has maybe 6 varieties of apple trees. But if my apple came from a tree surrounded by its come trees then I win ....sorta

Then a really lazy bee with the beehive really close to my trees just going to the tree next door to get pollen for my tree. Then i win again! But like i learned recently about need is they will travel 3km to forage.

Then the genetic make up of the seed .... Can the seed made up from clone parents produce the same tree. Then i win! ....Or would it produce some mutant tree that doesn't even produce apples.... my mutant tree may be sterile. Will they even grow passed seedling stage?..... scientist can be mean an engineer the seeds like that so that you have to buy seeds and not propagate your own apples :( .... or am i paranoid.

SOooooo clearly I have been thinking about this too long......lol but it could work out ...they are alive and hopefully next year my greenhouse bench neighbor who started doing the same thing I did 3 years ago has some results he can share on his first mut trees he grew as a novice.

But I got real root stock seeds and pear seeds  from my greenhouse bench neighbour that the supplier said is 98% true. So i will play with those till spring. I guess they have a very controlled tree laboratory. ...lol

Then I'll find myself a few ligit trees. By then I should know lots more about caring for trees.

I'll keep you guys posted if you can stay the course with me for a few years ....lol

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My apple .. Yea right ...lol
 
Yolande Brown-Conran
pollinator
Posts: 43
Location: Ontario, Canada
6
bee books forest garden
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Yolande Brown-Conran wrote:On Seed works today


Mr Blackberry is doing well. I am going to be  watching him for a couple of days in my apartment to see what he does. I will also try and sand down my other blackberry seeds very carefully. I had some that i had sanded and were trying to sprout but still could not get out the seed shell and when i tried to pry them out I broke them :(




Update....got 2 now

Is it just me or does anyone else wanna just skip winter and go right to spring? ...lol
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Black Berry update
 
Yolande Brown-Conran
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Posts: 43
Location: Ontario, Canada
6
bee books forest garden
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Hi all :)

Not much going on this past 2 weeks. We had our first snowfall. The days have been dark and gloomy. Growth rates of the plants have slowed to a crawl.
So visibly not much has changed at the greenhouse.

There are a few note worthy changes. The willows roots looked amazing so i pkanted them in small individual pots. I have new leaves bursting from the buds and one looks like it's trying to flower.... I think it's a bit confused. Poor thing.

I was thinking about my sweet potatoes.  I have 2 slips growing on separate parts now. I have also been craving my Jamaican yellow yam. It's soup season now and it's great in soup. I went to the supermarket and found some.... and bought 2 small  pieces. Cost me $10 :( ... wow mixed feelings. I made my soup had some more for breakfast and saved a piece to see if I could get it to grow and get some enjoyment of watching the process. Get my full $10 worth of entertainment....lol

So now that my plants don't need me as much as they are mostly all asleep. I figured I would keep my mind occupied with my first love. Pottery. .... Yup more playing in the dirt. Gonna make some tiny pots for some cactus I propagated. Gotta work on the size .... that pot is way too big for that little tiny cactus ... lol
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First snow
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Planted the willows
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Jamaican Yellow yam
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First love
 
He's my best friend. Not yours. Mine. You can have this tiny ad:
Video of all the permaculture design course and appropriate technology course (about 177 hours)
https://permies.com/wiki/65386/paul-wheaton/digital-market/Video-PDC-ATC-hours-HD
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