Sean Dembrosky

pollinator
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since Oct 29, 2011
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chicken food preservation forest garden fungi hugelkultur trees
Trumansburg, NY
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Recent posts by Sean Dembrosky

I believe it would have been 'Anise Hyssop'... THis is a potent aromatic plant which helps to deflect (at least a bit) browsing pressure from wildlife...  Plants in the mint family, the onion family, etc, all very strongly scented, can help.
6 months ago
Mike Jay - great questions!  Lets see here...
1) Minutes spent - it can vary, but I'd say perhaps 10-15 minutes a day is a good average.  If there is enough food/seed/piles around they could keep occupied on their own for a full 2 days without much fuss, but in the extreme winter cold and if the inputs are lean we need to pile it up super high every day.
2) I don't have good metrics to say it's done.  Generally it needs to leave before I'd call it aged/cured/finished compost since there is just so much coming through the pipeline.  I mainly export it to our main nursery and use it as an insanely boosting deep mulch around perennials.  OR, I make new permanent raised beds with heavy amounts of it and grow super heavy feeders year one (corn, squash, etc)
3) This is loose and hasn't caused problems.  We NEVER would use it to direct seed or transplant in for example parsley, cilantro, salad, or other greens we may wish to eat raw.  But as a deep mulch around tomatoes or to boost nursery stock, etc., its never caused us any problems.

If we had much more space I could see having bays or windrows that let it mellow on its own, but then that is just one more set of material turning, where it could be mellowing in small doses in many points in the landscape.  So far we've only had positive feedback from the system, but take it as just our 2c!
6 months ago
If there are any questions folks have or details/feedback/etc that people want to share I'm available to share ideas and such!
6 months ago
If I can be helpful clarifying or answering questions please let me know!
7 months ago
I'm glad you are aiming towards a second structure instead of a longer single one.  I think at 4 panels they are quite strong, but much longer and there is a decent chance of collapse in the middle...
7 months ago
Thanks kindly for doing this...  If I can be helpful in providing feedback/answers/details, please let me know... These structures have served us really nicely and I'd love to see more out in the world.
7 months ago
Thank you so much for all the kind words!
8 months ago
Definitely not a human food plant that I can tell.  Grows with great vigor so long as there is good sun available.  But if you are looking for a seed to eat this ain't it!
9 months ago
Giant Perennial Sunflower is
Helianthus Giganteus
http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/wetland/plants/gnt_sunflower.html
Tiny seeds, good for wildlife.  Very powerful grower for us.
9 months ago
We don't add any water to the compost.  We are in a cooler and moist climate overall so it more or less gets all the water it needs to work.  
1 year ago