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Kota Dubois

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since Oct 13, 2011
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Recent posts by Kota Dubois

Brenda, why not use the inaccessible space at the top of the bed for those important plants that a polyculture needs, but that we don't eat. Nitrogen fixers, dynamic accumulators, insectaries and biomass producers.
Taller clump grasses, yarrow and alfalfa will fall over in the winter and mulch the sides of the bed.
10 years ago
Since being a permie is all about being far sighted, I'd add that the end result of a beaver pond is a silted-up meadow which will one day be a very fertile garden. In the meantime, making sure that they have their favourite foods available -- willow, poplar and birches -- all of which grow rapidly, will add a level of protection to your food trees. Metal protectors around the trunks of the trees will also give some protection, even for the willow etc. that you want to grow big enough before handing them over to the big toothed crowd.
10 years ago
Ya, it's nice to have a little muscle power around, and there's nothing like striking out hard to burn off all matter of frustration. My new tool this spring is a mattlock which is head and shoulders above working with just a pick and a shovel, especially in my rocky soil.

Last week at the Anomaly was great, yet the heat and sunshine after a long winter weren't very conducive to the will to work. We need rain too since we've had none since the snow melted. On the other hand, the normally hard spring rains beat my poofy daffodils and magnolia to the ground. They've never looked better than this year.

This week I'm working on the roof and am just getting the house plants out there now. I hope I don't fry them. Today the car's getting its winter boots changed for running shoes.
10 years ago
WOW! Your motto should be "If you want to get something done, Hire Heidi!"

If only I could concentrate my efforts in such an organized way, but my personality demands otherwise.

I hope you are documenting your efforts with photographs. It would be great if you posted pics of your beds before you plant them and then when things are at their height.

As for your problems with grass roots amongst the roots of your perennials, at this time of year you can wash all the soil off the roots and then wheedle the grass roots out. Don't let the plants stay unplanted for too long, but keeping them in a bucket of water with a flavouring of aspirin is also a good idea.

And yes it's GREAT to get dirt under ones fingernails again. I don't know if it's due to the dry summer we had last year but the black flies aren't annoying us as we dig this year --- yet. Fingers crossed.
10 years ago

Just by chance I found a quart of milk kefir 2 days ago at the store. Is it possible for me to use this as a base for growing my own kefir grains?

By the way, Wild Fermentation was one of my winter reading projects this year. Thank-you, I made my own sauerkraut for the first time (although I was raised on the stuff).
10 years ago
10 years ago
The question would be how big a pond. If it's big enough for fish (even just a few) they will eat all the mosquito larvae. Mosquitos also need stagnant water so if there is a way to keep it moving (waterfall or fountain) you will have no problems. Italians love their fountains but this will also cause a good deal of evaporation. Just a few things to think about. Personally I love ponds, but we've never had malaria where I am either.
10 years ago
Aaron, that looks and acts (1st thing up) like a bulb. Is it possible that a daffodil bulb, even a small one, got mixed up in your soil?
10 years ago
Cohan, I meant the rocks are growing, or at least it seems like they are. Mostly I use them for building terraces since I'm on a mountain side.

I never thought of using Pinguicula, but we do have a native Drosera that gets to be about the size of a quarter. The primula do love it though. I've got P. denticulata and P. veras. 2 years ago we had to go to the niece's wedding an Vancouver, and whilst visiting the Van Deusen botanical gardens I picked up a package of their "candelabra" primula seeds. They were already a couple of years old and I didn't get a very good germination rate, about 6 in total. They should bloom for the first time this year; I'm looking forward to it.

In this area the other plants that do very well are lobilia cardinalis, meconopsis betonicifolia, iris ensata and all the wild volunteers. I'm sure the small stature of most alpines would get them overrun in my wet areas, but we do have crumbling shale outcroppings that we plant with sedums, saxifragas' and the like.
10 years ago
The first thing I thought of were the reports of all the heavy metals that are found in coal smoke (and therefore spread over the land and sea).

This is from the wikipedia article on Smoke. There are several elements there that I would be concerned about, but how they would be bound up in the non oxidized coal, I have no idea.

Smoke emissions may contain characteristic trace elements. Vanadium is present in emissions from oil fired power plants and refineries; oil plants also emit some nickel. Coal combustion produces emissions containing aluminium, arsenic, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, mercury, selenium, and uranium.

I personally would err on the side of caution.
10 years ago