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Kai Duby
Posts: 65
Location: Colorado~ Front Range~ Zone 4/Wheaton Labs
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This coming year I plan on planting masses of seed and I hope to see food growing all over wheaton labs. I would also like to see people eating a bunch of this food and have plant material (seed, tubers etc.) ready for 2017 when the ant village challenge kicks into high growing gear. I think that achieving the goal of not only 300,000 calories by the fall of 2017 but a million calories stored and ready for the winter would be just about the best.

I'd welcome any advice, warnings, anecdotes or personal accounts that would aid in this venture!

I'll be teaming up with Evan (Evan's Ant Log) to get this ideal food bonanza growing on the 1.5 acres of fine conifer slopes known as Ava.

Growing Conditions


Native Vegetation
- Conifer canopy of Douglas Fir, Western Larch and Ponderosa Pine. The site is wet enough to support a dense growth of douglas fir saplings underneath the larger trees.
- Shrub layer mainly of Saskatoons, ninebark, and snowberry. These are growing densely on North and North West facing slopes.
- Perennial ground cover of kinnickinik and small grasses
- Mustard's and chenopods growing in disturbed areas. (I came late in the game so I'm not familiar with many of the herbaceous plants)

Q's: How will spacing fruit trees with all of these conifers work? So far I have planted tree seed densely (approx. 6in. apart) since many of them won't survive and I can prune out the weaker ones but I suspect that the conifers won't move over easily when the apples start invading their root zone. We're certainly keeping some conifers, especially larches, so a balance has to be found between fruit and cone.

Soil
- The organic layer is a thick mat of shallow roots and pine needle duff that can be yanked up in large sheaths like sod. This is about 1-3 inches deep in most areas.
- Immediately below the sod is clay extending, for as far as I've seen, to the center of the Earth. Of course there's gradations: hard red clay, fine white powder likely approaching 90-100% clay, khaki course clay-sand layers. All in all I've just started thinking of the subsoil as clayey.

Q's: What grows well under Doug Fir? I think the only plant I've ever seen thrive directly under one of these mean trees is garlic mustard but there has to be more. Would it be advantages to rip up that sod for certain crops and replace it somewhere else?

Climate and Topography
- Between Zone 5 and 4 the temperature may reach -20 F in the winter.
- About 17inches of precipitation.
- Large swings in temperature between night and day. It can be 70 degrees and drop to 40 degrees over night.
- Diverse orientation multiplied by large hugelkultur allows for a lot of micro-climates.
- Last Frost: 50% chance after May 19; 10% chance after June 1.
- First Frost: 10% chance after Sep 9; 50% after Sep 20; 90% after Oct 1
- Growing period for frost tender plants is about 90- 100 days.





 
Nicole Alderman
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Kai Duby wrote:
Q's: What grows well under Doug Fir? I think the only plant I've ever seen thrive directly under one of these mean trees is garlic mustard but there has to be more. Would it be advantages to rip up that sod for certain crops and replace it somewhere else?


We have a lot of douglas fir around here, though our climate is far wetter than yours. As for edibles that grow under it, there's quite a few! I can find all of these on my five acres, growing in the understory.

In the shade:
* Oregon grape (edible berries and very medicinal, strong antibacterial/antimicrobial root) zone 5
* Salal (edible berries) zone 5/6
* Western Sword Fern (Polystichum munitum, supposedly has edible risoms that taste like potatoes. Never eaten them, and don't know their nutrional profile). Zone 3
* Red Huckleberry (edible berries, more sour than your hucklberry. But, your huckleberry may grow under them, too) zone 6

Part Shade/sun:
* Salmonberry (raspberry looking berries that are wattery and tangy. First fruit to ripen around here) zone 5
* Blackberries
* Black cap raspberries zone 4
* Thimbleberries zone 3

Another edible that supposedly grows here are bunchberries (shade-tolerant, spreading ground cover in the dogwood family. Never eaten them, but I plan on planting them this year). zone 2

These are all perennials, though some of them will be producing berries in two years. I don't have any experience in growing vegetables/annuls under them, though I'd think most shade-tolerant acid-loving plants would do okay.

Almost all of these plants are for sale for pretty cheap through a local county conservation district plant sale (http://www.theplantsale.org), as they are natives, but I don't know if they'd be through yours.

Edited to add plant hardiness zones in bold.
 
Kai Duby
Posts: 65
Location: Colorado~ Front Range~ Zone 4/Wheaton Labs
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Given the above conditions I have made little lists of plants that I think would be best for the project. I've limited it to little lists because growing huge assortments of plants in complex arrangements seems impractical at the beginning even though it's the ideal. So the plant lists I'll be posting are only a base for building up the site and figuring out what works. Someday I would love to have a garden with thousands of edible species in it but right now less than a hundred is about all my skill level can take and I think it's the best option for starting out an autonomous homestead-scale plant population.

The time scale of the ant village challenge is limiting in that planting apple trees now is not as advantageous as planting potatoes or sunchokes so the plants I chose to be main crops are high yielding, less finnicky, herbaceous crops that store well. These are tentative lists that I'm still thinking on so bring on the suggestions!

The Main 10 Annuals/Biennials
These are the majority of what I will be planting alongside cover crops. In terms of biomass produced, I'd like these to make up about 40-50%.

1) Beets: Doubles as a salad green. Delicious storage roots. Drought resistant. What more could you ask for?

2) Rutabaga and Turnip: Tangy mustard leaves. Big storage roots. Flowers of second year plant attract pollinators.
- Rutabaga vs. Turnip: Which stores longer given the best growing conditions, harvest etc.?

3)Cabbage: It's used as a staple crop in many temperate climates around the world. Another insect attractant come blooming time. Sauerkraut!

4)Potato: The quintessential staple crop. I'd like a lot of diverse potatoes so I can get some viable true seed. These grew very well on the sandy berms of Arrakis down at base-camp so they're a likely candidate.

5) Shelling Peas: Although I'll be planting snap peas I think that shelling peas will be better for storing and so they will be the bulk of what I'll plant. Very cold tolerant. It can be used as a cover crop as well. N!

6) Dry Beans: Mostly pole varieties for climbing up sunflowers, saskatoons and the like. A warm season crop that also fixes nitrogen!

7) Winter Squash: (Cucurbita maxima) Focusing on a single species from the start I hope to bring in an assortment of varieties to create a localized, interbreeding population that's better adapted to the lab. Cucurbits grew well on the berms all around the lab this year so they've been tried and tested!

Sunflowers: The sunflowers Evan planted this year grew into monsters with tons of seed. The goal now is to get 1,000 more sunflowers next year!

9) Hulless Oats: I thought that a good mix of grains and roots would be the best combination for storing away calories. Hulless oats (Avena nuda) is nice because you don't have to use special equipment to remove the hulls. It's relatively drought tolerant and can act as a cover crop. I think that oat straw is well worth the effort of sowing oats but the space to grow a substantial amount may not be worth it.
- Does anyone have experience growing oats at a small scale? What kind of yield can be expected?

10) Amaranth: I've grown amaranth in conditions like the lab and I think it could do well. It can produce up to a pound of grain per plant, the leaves are edible, and it's drought tolerant once it gets going.
.



 
Kai Duby
Posts: 65
Location: Colorado~ Front Range~ Zone 4/Wheaton Labs
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Thanks for all of the plant suggestions Nicole!

Oregon grape does grow everywhere at the lab and I've eaten many a blue little berry but I haven't been able to find enough that it would be worth drying for storage.

The Sword Fern is very interesting! There's plenty of ferns at the lab that I hadn't considered as good eats. It's definitely something to look in to!
 
Tyler Ludens
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What are your plans to keep deer from eating your food plants? Or isn't the deer pressure very bad there?

Also, I don't see Corn on your list there; have you considered trying some of the old native varieties of corn? Corn has the benefit of being easy to harvest compared to some other grains. For maximum nutrition it should be nixtamalized with wood ash. http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/seasonal-recipes/how-to-make-hominy-corn-zebz1305znsp.aspx

Good source of old corns: http://shop.nativeseeds.org/pages/seeds

For your location I would experiment with varieties for the High Desert.

 
Nicole Alderman
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Kai Duby wrote:Thanks for all of the plant suggestions Nicole!

Oregon grape does grow everywhere at the lab and I've eaten many a blue little berry but I haven't been able to find enough that it would be worth drying for storage.

The Sword Fern is very interesting! There's plenty of ferns at the lab that I hadn't considered as good eats. It's definitely something to look in to!


Yes, Oregon Grape does seem to be a plant that takes a long time to get productive, though it is a useful plant, especially for the deep shade areas. There were Oregon Grape plants that were here when we moved in three years ago, and they still haven't made any berries that we've seen. Bramble berries might be better for the less shady sides of the fir trees, as they'll produce in two years.

As for the ferns, some people eat the young fronds, calling them fiddleheads. Make sure of your variety, as some are not edible (like Western Sword Fern) and other's edibility is contested. For instance, some think bracken fern is perfectly edible, while others think you'll get cancer if you take a single bite...

Another perennial plant that might work for the shadier areas under the trees where little else edible will grow, is hosta. It's supposedly hardy to zone 2/3, and edible (supposedly tasting like asparagus). It probably won't be productive in your time-frame, but if you run across some, planting them under the firs might be a good idea.
 
Kai Duby
Posts: 65
Location: Colorado~ Front Range~ Zone 4/Wheaton Labs
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What are your plans to keep deer from eating your food plants? Or isn't the deer pressure very bad there?


We're working on getting an 8ft. junk pole fence around the entire perimeter so that should take care of the deer. Hopefully it will deter the turkeys some as well.

Also, I don't see Corn on your list there; have you considered trying some of the old native varieties of corn?


I had considered it but I have gathered up the impression that corn is a relatively demanding crop that will not yield well on borderline soil. Given the space and effort needed to grow needy crops I thought it would be best to limit it to a single crop that I really enjoy growing and eating= winter squash! That being said I certainly plan on growing corn in the future once the soil is a little better, which brings me to my next list...

Cover Crops
Although many of these are edible and/or medicinal, I put them here because they're great for the soil and that will be their primary purpose in the seed mixes. These will make up about 30-40% of what I plan on planting.
- There are also ducks that need some forage. What kind of plants do ducks dig?

1)Alfalfa
2)Birdsfoot Trefoil
3)Red Clover
4)White Clover
5)Crimson Clover
6)Daikon Radish
7)White Mustard
8)Yellow Sweet Clover
9)Buckwheat
10)Rye
11)Barley
12)Phacelia
13)Black Medic
14)Comfrey
15)Field Pea


junk pole fence.jpg
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Picture by Evan
 
Su Ba
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Kai, if I were there the first thing I would check is to see what grew successfully up by the lab and find out what techniques they used. From there I'd take that information and adapt it to the site at Ant Village.

With the idea in mind of food storage, I'd agree that you're on the right track. Short season drought adapted staples. Perhaps asking Joseph Lofthouse for a few seeds may be helpful. And I'd check to see what Native Seed Search is offering this year. They have a good selection of short season dry conditions varieties.

I'd be tempted to experiment with just about everything you listed. But I'd also include....
...oxheart carrots
...parsnips
...soup peas
...assorted cool season greens (for dehydrating for storing) including kales, broccoli, cauliflower, chard, orach, lettuces, Asian greens)
...short season tomatoes (for drying for storage)
...pumpkins (pretty much the same as winter squashes)
...short season drought oriented corn

I would also spend time gathering any organic material to use in the growing areas. Leaves. Leaf mold. Weeds. Manures. Dry rotted twigs and branches. Old tree bark. Forestry waste. I would plan on using this stuff as mulch and to make compost for later use. I would also begin collect urine now for use in the gardens this spring. It would be a good additive to the compost. As for Evan's ducks, if they were penned with ground litter, as opposed to free ranging, that litter & manure could be collected and used. Since they manure frequently at night, one could adopt a hybrid system where they free ranged during the day and were penned at night. At least then you'd get more than half the manure they produce.

Since your soil is not improved, broadcasting your seed may not be a good option since optimum food production is desired. I would opt to plant the seed traditional style, for example, beans and peas one inch down and watered in. Or I would start seeds in a protected bed with the idea of transplanting them out to the garden beds once they attained transplant size.

This coming season will be the opportunity to experiment and learn about growing food. When I was at that stage in my homestead development I planted lots of little growing beds rather than any big plantings of any one thing. I was able to try the variables, for example, one 3'x3' bed of beans with light mulch, another with thick mulch, another with none.

By the way, I know that you're focusing on storage foods, but I would also plant small beds of fresh eating foods for eating now. I'd add to my list Green beans, fresh peas, cherry tomatoes, and any other fresh eating things that interested me.
 
Kai Duby
Posts: 65
Location: Colorado~ Front Range~ Zone 4/Wheaton Labs
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Another perennial plant that might work for the shadier areas under the trees where little else edible will grow, is hosta. It's supposedly hardy to zone 2/3, and edible (supposedly tasting like asparagus). It probably won't be productive in your time-frame, but if you run across some, planting them under the firs might be a good idea.


Edible hostas are definitely on my list of plants to grow in the future and I think they would do pretty well under a fir tree!

Since your soil is not improved, broadcasting your seed may not be a good option since optimum food production is desired. I would opt to plant the seed traditional style, for example, beans and peas one inch down and watered in. Or I would start seeds in a protected bed with the idea of transplanting them out to the garden beds once they attained transplant size.


This is something I've wondered a lot about, especially with the thick mat of pine needle duff on top. I did broadcast some perennial wheat that I found all over the lab and it came up well directly in the duff but for most plants I think I will heed your advice.

Thanks for all of the great suggestions Su Ba! (And thanks for the abundant ant love packages too!)


By the way, I know that you're focusing on storage foods, but I would also plant small beds of fresh eating foods for eating now. I'd add to my list Green beans, fresh peas, cherry tomatoes, and any other fresh eating things that interested me.


I've got a list for that too!

Secondary Crops
This is a working list of plants that are not necessarily staples but that I think are important additions to a garden and to a diet. They will make up about 10-20% of what I plant.

Salad n' Roots n' Others
Tomatoes- Mainly cherry tomatoes since they seem to fruit earlier but probably many larger Russian varieties as well. I've also built 'tomato trenches' where all excess vegetable waste gets thrown in a pit that will be seeded with tomato seed come spring.
Kale*
Salsify*
Dandelion*
Chicory*

Welsh Onions- Perennial bunching onion. Very cold tolerant.
Orache*
Rhubarb*- Only from seed unless I can get my hands on some free corms.
Horseradish
Arugula*
Carrot

Herbs
Parsley; Oregano*; Thyme; Caraway; Chives; Garlic Chives*; Dill*; Mint; Cilantro; Sage


Flowers
Just some of my favorite easily grown flowers many of which are also edible.
Nasturtium*; Poppy; Marigold; Hollyhock*; Zinnia; Bachelor's Buttons; Pansy

Kai, if I were there the first thing I would check is to see what grew successfully up by the lab and find out what techniques they used. From there I'd take that information and adapt it to the site at Ant Village.


These lists are actually lists of plants that I saw growing well at the lab this past year that I expanded to include plants I suspect will grow well. So I suppose we'll see!
* Indicates a plant that grew well at the lab.



CAM00201.jpg
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Perennial Wheat in the Snow
 
William Bronson
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About collecting biomass from off site, I had the impression Paul was opposed to this,due to contamination issues.
If this us the case, that's a shame,because pine needles apparently decompose slowly, and no animal eats very much of them.

Btw, did I see sunchokes as part of your list?
Even if you don't eat them yourself, they make a lot of biomass and animal food that can be stored in place overwinter.
 
Peter Ellis
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Might want to try bundleflower, north American perennial nitrogen fixer, and maybe wheatgrass, again perennial, grain producer. Both are prairie natives and the wheatgrass develops pretty impressive root systems over time, which might help with your clay soils.

Saskatoons are already there, right? I would think more of them would make sense.
 
Kai Duby
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Location: Colorado~ Front Range~ Zone 4/Wheaton Labs
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William Bronson wrote: About collecting biomass from off site, I had the impression Paul was opposed to this,due to contamination issues.
If this us the case, that's a shame,because pine needles apparently decompose slowly, and no animal eats very much of them.

Btw, did I see sunchokes as part of your list?
Even if you don't eat them yourself, they make a lot of biomass and animal food that can be stored in place overwinter.


I agree that pine needles are a bit lack luster when it comes to gardening but if there are plants that will grow well in them then I think that a slow decomposition rate is kind of nice. That way there is a permanent mulch! So I'll be looking out for hardy species for that niche.
Of course, I suspect that many plants will have a hard time under the conifers which is why I'd like to get some alternative, quickly decomposing cover crops pulsing their way through the plot. That way the biomass is right there and no one has to move a finger if they don't want to. So onsite biomass is ideal.
That being said, we have imported some fall leaves for covering the berms and the ducks get organic straw bedding that is utilized as well so not everything is derived from the plot. It is also possible that if I really need mulch I'll take a sickle and go out into one of the nearby fields on the property and start making wild bales from the grasses and forbs there.

Sunchokes are definitely a priority crop! I haven't added them because they're part of another list I've been compiling...

Main Perennial Crops

This is one I need some help with. Although there are tons of awesome perennial herbaceous plants I'm just not sure of many that would qualify as a relatively quick (two years) high yielding staple. (This doesn't include trees and shrubs, which I've made yet another list for).

Sunchokes*
Perennial Wheat*- This is one that is already growing all over the lab thanks to Matt Walker (at least I believe that's who planted it. Correct me if I'm wrong). It seems to be doing quite well too!

Maybe: Walking Onions*, Lovage, Groundnut. Any first hand accounts of the bounty or failures of these and other perennial crops would be very helpful! Sunchokes are the benchmark since they are so easily grown and produce so much.

*Growing at the lab already.
 
Tyler Ludens
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What about Hardy Yam? http://www.pfaf.org/user/cmspage.aspx?pageid=60 I have one plant, and it has gone dormant for months at a time when there isn't enough water for it to grow.
 
Kate Muller
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Kai Duby wrote:

Sunflowers: The sunflowers Evan planted this year grew into monsters with tons of seed. The goal now is to get 1,000 more sunflowers next year!





I am so glad the seeds I sent did so well. If you plant them in really pour quality soil they will be much smaller. I put them in a compacted sandy spot and the flowers were 4" in diameter and the tallest plant was 3 feet tall. This year I am planting a row of them where the chicken coup was last year.
 
Kai Duby
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Tyler Ludens wrote:What about Hardy Yam? http://www.pfaf.org/user/cmspage.aspx?pageid=60 I have one plant, and it has gone dormant for months at a time when there isn't enough water for it to grow.


I hadn't thought of that one! They would be perfect for growing on a fence line. I also wonder if they would do well growing up sunchokes.

It'll be added into my perennial list

Chinese Yam -Dioscorea batatas


I am so glad the seeds I sent did so well. If you plant them in really pour quality soil they will be much smaller.


I'm not sure what Evan did to get them going but if the seed heads weren't so heavy and drooping I think some of them may have been over 10ft!
 
Tyler Ludens
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Kai Duby wrote:a single crop that I really enjoy growing and eating= winter squash!



They are so fun to grow! :) This past year I grew the best squash I have tried so far - Tatume - which is equally good as a zucchini substitute or left to mature as little one or two serving sized "pumpkins." I had one plant and it grew enough squash for both summer eating and a good number which matured (almost all eaten now). It's not a very sweet winter squash, so works well as a pasta substitute. Not sure if it will fit into your squash breeding program (if any), but thought you might be interested in this super squash.

http://survivalblog.com/tatume_squash_for_your_survival_garden_by_john_d/
 
William Bronson
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Tyler Ludens wrote:What about Hardy Yam? http://www.pfaf.org/user/cmspage.aspx?pageid=60 I have one plant, and it has gone dormant for months at a time when there isn't enough water for it to grow.


You got me curious, so I looked into it, the Missouri DoC thinks it is the second coming of Kudzu:Chinese Yam
 
Nicole Alderman
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Grows like Kudzu?! Likes moist, nitrogen rich areas?! Grows in full shade?! Oooooooh!

This looks like a plant I can't kill! it also seems perfect for growing in the shady, moist duck area. I wonder if ducks can eat it? If they can/do, they'd probably help keep it from taking over, because I really don't want to have a non-native plant taking over...

I also wonder if it would out-compete bindweed...
 
Kai Duby
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William Bronson wrote:
Tyler Ludens wrote:What about Hardy Yam? http://www.pfaf.org/user/cmspage.aspx?pageid=60 I have one plant, and it has gone dormant for months at a time when there isn't enough water for it to grow.


You got me curious, so I looked into it, the Missouri DoC thinks it is the second coming of Kudzu:Chinese Yam


The fact that this is really invasive solidified my decision to grow it! It might not be the best choice for the eastern states but up in Montana where it's a fair bit drier I think it will get set back. Hopefully I'm wrong because, unlike garlic mustard, I could eat yams all day!

This past year I grew the best squash I have tried so far - Tatume


It seems like a very southern adapted squash but if I see it in a catalog I'll be sure to get some seed!
 
Tyler Ludens
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Kai Duby wrote:

It seems like a very southern adapted squash but if I see it in a catalog I'll be sure to get some seed!


I can mail you some if you message me an address.

 
Kai Duby
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By planting fast growing, short lived plants the first few years I hope to build up the the soil and prepare it for more perennial growth. So hopefully as the trees begin to bear fruit I can phase out some annual crops in lieu of perennials like in natural succession.

Food Trees and Shrubs
Getting into trees it becomes more apparent that each plant is very multi-functional, which makes categorizing and listing less effective. I still think it's helpful to organize and limit, at least at the start. In these I have tried to work in the most diversity in the least amount of hardy, fruit bearing species. In later years I think this list would grow pretty lengthy.


5 Fruit Trees

1) Apples- I've already planted tons of these all over since the seeds are readily available.
- What other fruits can be stored without canning or drying?
2) Plums and Apricots- Different species but I've planted them all together so I started thinking of them as one.
3) Mulberry- Mainly for forage
4) American Persimmon
5) Ginkgo- I suppose this is more a nut crop but really I'd say it's in its own category being a monophyletic gymnosperm!

3 Nut Trees/Shrubs
1) Pine Nuts- I'll probably try both Korean and Colorado Pinon pine
2) American Hazelnut
3) Shagbark Hickory-- Apparently the fastest growing hickory in the U.S. Valuable wood.

5 Fruiting Shrubs
1) Golden Currant
2) Goji
3) Blue Honeysuckle
4) Staghorn Sumac



 
Tyler Ludens
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Do you plan to include any support trees or shrubs? The "geoff lawton" method of food forestry uses 90% support species initially.
 
Kai Duby
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Tyler Ludens wrote:Do you plan to include any support trees or shrubs? The "Geoff Lawton" method of food forestry uses 90% support species initially.


That's exactly what I plan on doing! Hence this list....

Support Trees and Shrubs
Some of the trees on here might not be considered "support species" since they don't necessarily grow very fast, don't fix nitrogen and may or may not be good for coppicing. I grouped them hear because they are reportedly hardy and have diverse uses from lumber to simply being aesthetically pleasing. Like in the "Geoff Lawton" method many of these trees will be thinned out as the system progresses, which is why
I included valuable timber species that can be left alone or cut down when young for tool handles, furniture etc. I think that the majority of woody perennials, if used right, will support a system regardless of their ability to fix nitrogen, be pollarded etc.

1) Siberian Pea Shrub
2) Honey Locust
3) black locust
4) Russian Olive
5) Autumn Olive
6) Silver Buffaloberry
7) Seabuckthorn
8) Linden, Basswood, Tilia
9) Lilac
10) Service Tree, Ash
11) Wisteria


- Any other easily grown support species I could include?
 
Tyler Ludens
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One I've been wanting to try is Leadplant: http://www.prairiemoon.com/seeds/trees-shrubs-vines/amorpha-canescens-lead-plant.html
 
Nicole Alderman
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Kai Duby wrote:
9) Lilac


I was wondering what role the lilac has. We have lilacs that came with our property, and I always have to stop my husband from killing them, because he thinks they're useless. I know they have edible flowers and attract pollinators. Are there other good reasons to have lilacs?
 
Su Ba
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Lilacs-- my cousin use to make a great lilac wine from the flowers.

I always loved lilacs. Every spring I'd fill the house with the fragrant flowers. It's one of the flowers that I truly miss since moving the Hawaii.
 
Kai Duby
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Nicole Alderman wrote:
Kai Duby wrote:
9) Lilac


I was wondering what role the lilac has. We have lilacs that came with our property, and I always have to stop my husband from killing them, because he thinks they're useless. I know they have edible flowers and attract pollinators. Are there other good reasons to have lilacs?


Lilacs apparently can be coppiced or pollarded for "chop and drop." I'll be using them as a hedge near fences. I also suspect that lilacs will make good daytime cover for ducks or chickens since they tend toward an open vase/ umbrella shape. Mostly I put them on the list because they smell good and look beautiful!
 
Kai Duby
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Tyler Ludens wrote:One I've been wanting to try is Leadplant: http://www.prairiemoon.com/seeds/trees-shrubs-vines/amorpha-canescens-lead-plant.html


Along those same lines: I have a small amount of Amorpha fruticosa (False Indigo) seed that I'll be planting. The rumored insecticidal properties are especially interesting to me but I think it may not be the best for mass planting because of that aspect. Maybe plantings under susceptible fruit trees could be beneficial.
 
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