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Podcast 331 - Hugelkultur, Water Systems, and Land Texture with Erica Houck Part 2

 
Cassie Langstraat
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Summary

Credit: D. Logan

Part of a set of podcasts where Paul and Jocelyn are in Oregon. They've been discussing a number of things with Erica Houck and are now addressing a number of questions. Part two begins with a discussion of a huckleberry pie that went missing in Paul's presence. After a confession, the conversation shifts to nettles and the eating of the same. Under cooking is noted as a problem. Wilting them is not enough to remove the sting. Paul notes that 30 seconds is the minimum for removing the sting.

Paul notes frustration at morel hunting. Erica admits to other problems with the hunting of morels. Conversation moves towards the matter of fishing and the mercury issue. Paul talks about the fish in a very isolated location being highly contaminated. He also tells a story of problems suffered while young and visiting the location. At one point in the story two unexpected visitors arrive.

The conversation meanders into a discussion of the high level of water locally in Oregon. There was a problem with over-harvesting of the water due to a Walmart bottling facility. There is a short shift over to touch on quack-grass and how it serves only as chop and drop. Taking away the sunlight from the quack grass is the only real option. Rhubarb was used in one location several feet wide in one location to shade it out. Certain styles of hugel beds work to remove a large amount of the quack-grass.

The property has a limited slope. There is also a visible line where the natural trees will and won't grow. A case of having a bit of land converted back into natural swamp is discussed. This leads to some talk of how to design hugel beds to avoid problems with odd water situations. Suggestions are tossed around about how to resolve the issue with wet areas.

More talk moves along the lines of swamps and the modes some people have used to convert the land into more traditional field flats. Erica talks about what they did with the property to help restore it to a more natural state. The discussion remains on the topic for some time. Among this is discussion of cattle and tree systems. How changing the texture of the landscape and how trees affect the local weather patterns is discussed. More is discussed about how to create hugel mounds that make the most use of the high water table. There is a mention of peat bogs before moving to the next topic.

Brush piles are important to permaculture and are discussed. Quail are discussed several times within this conversation. Erica believes that they are helpful in preventing certain insect problems. They then move on to talking about the feral cats on the property. When the cats were gone, voles became a major problem thereafter.

The last part of the list of things to address involves fresh corn. Using plastic, they managed to get corn to grow very well, but it froze right before the time to pick it. Climate shift locally is mentioned and short season corns are focused on. Difficulties with corn polyculture are mentioned. Methods of extending the season are also discussed. The discussion ends with a visit from one of the local cats.

Relevant Threads

Raising Quail
eating nettles (video on harvesting)
swamp permaculture



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