mike mclellan

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since Nov 13, 2011
Helena, MT zone 4
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Recent posts by mike mclellan

John,
Your efforts on behalf of this amazing planet and so many good people have allowed thousands of us learn how to be kinder and gentler to our earth home.  Thank you for making it possible to learn so much from this website. Peace and blessings to you and your family.

Mike McLellan
Scott,, My berries sucker in all directions, both uphill and downhill. My Annes stand very upright between a meter to meter and a half or so tall. They are strong enough canes they don't need trellising. Transplanting suckers is pretty easy. I cut whatever root I can get about four to five inches from the center of the crown. They almost always come up . Don't transplant too deeply. The "new shoots must be exposed to sunlight early after emerging from the crown of the plant. Yes, I grow two other varieties of red raspberry. One I have no idea the variety, just called Rocky Mountain raspberry by the person who gave it to me. The other is called Mammoth from Gurneys. They are delicious,upright,sucker aggressively, and have a harvest period of five weeks or so in midsummer. These only produce on second year wood. I hope this helps.
1 year ago
Scott,
Well this is try # 2. I grow Anne raspberries in west-central Montana in the dry Helena valley. The berries have survived -25F with mostly dry, cold winters with little snow cover. I usually cut the canes back in late winter so that I only get a fall crop. Last year I let the canes stand and they did resprout and flowered some but I got a very poor spring crop. I don't think it was worth the effort ( or lack of it as I didn't go to the trouble to cut them back.) I have mulched them to the depth of an inch or so with leaves and wood chips and they've done well except for my attempt at a spring crop. I don't plan to try that again any time soon. The berries themselves are delicious, sweeter than any I've ever had from any store. They, to my eye at least, are a pale salmon pink when ripe. They are only in the sweet spot for four days or so. The canes sucker freely so my original 25 plants are now in the hundreds. I've transplanted a lot of them and they take pretty easily. I do irrigate them probably once every ten days. I hope this answers at least some of your questions.
1 year ago
Douglas, you may want to look into forestag.com. They sell Korean pine in bundles of 25 for $150/bundle. They advertise it as Pinus koraiensis. I ordered from them them last year and was pleased with the condition of their stock when it arrived and had good survival of hazelnuts and sea berry. Good luck.
2 years ago
I tried to follow Sepp's recipe as closely as possible and found the results matching what he claimed. The sauce was a very thick black gummy tar. It is solid at cooler temperatures and I leave it in the sun if I'm going to use it so it will liquefy. the only thing I did differently was to let the whole system of covered pots sit for two days instead of one. I applied to shrubs and trees. I had a couple of cherries nibbled last year after being treated the Year previously (2013) but the damage was superficial. I noticed a bit of rodent gnawing on some Aronia after this winter but again not anything close fatal. I have hundreds of trees unprotected by fencing of any kind. Not one was nibbled by rodents or browsed this past winter. My sauce is unpleasant smelling, kind of like uncleaned barbecue grill. the pyrolized bones look like charred wood and were crumbly. I scattered the chunks and powder on my garden bed. They were originally fresh beef soup bones I bought at the grocery store. I sure agree with using bones with lots of marrow. I wonder how many negative Nancies still haven't tried making this stuff. It works if you follow Sepp's advice/recipe.
2 years ago
Matthew, I seem to recall Sepp Holzer mentioning placing them at least roughly perpendicular to the prevailing wind. You might want to factor that in as well. I am located far enough north that orienting the hugelbeds north-south solved the wind problem and maximized sunlight for the beds.
2 years ago
Ben,
I would advise not clearing all of the sagebrush. I absolutely agree about the fire danger removal, especially considering the big fires you've had in the region in the last few years. Follow firesafe recommendations to the letter and then some. Those folks who haven't experienced a runaway sagebrush wildfire have really missed out!

That being said, develop a plan as per all permaculture design, remembering that this native plant is a keystone for many native birds and insects and there are virtually no native shrub species adapted to the Great Basin climate I can think of which could replace its function in the ecosystem. I lived in that area on the Nevada side once upon a time and remember many areas of sage were intermixed with bitter brush (Purshia tridentata) and some mountain mahogany ( Cercocarpus). As time passes and you settle there, you might consider including these as you thin the sage out.

You know well that if you clear the sagebrush and don't aggressively plant the species you want and ensure their establishment, you will most assuredly have a stand of cheatgrass. Talk about fire danger! I saw way too much of Nevada beat out and left to cheatgrass disclimax.

Good luck with your upcoming marriage and the development of a permaculture design for the property. It is a beautiful area to those who appreciate dry country and it is capable of supporting far more life than most folks would consider possible.
2 years ago
After reading the lengthy article about Kaiser's farm, I found the concern for excessive pollution from nitrogen and/or phosphorous leaching into runoff "interesting". The ponds on site did not exhibit any increased or excessive loads of N or P. The article stated no one seemed to know why. I wonder if they checked his areas where he had planted some 2000 trees/shrubs. Growing strips of trees along streams has been demonstrated to filter out excessive pollutants/ or capture nutrients. Once captured by the woody vegetation, those elements aren't going anywhere soon. I'm not saying this is for certain, but it struck me that this could well explain where, if anywhere, the high levels of N and P are dealt with by nature, in the trees!
2 years ago
Miles,
I collected the seeds at exactly this time of year. Seems like those were Pinus monophylla, the one needled pinyon. Seeds were pretty good size, cones small with maybe three or four whorls of scales. Check underneath the trees as those seeds are heavy and won't blow too far away, even in those Cheyenne land hurricanes. People think I exaggerate but little do they know!!

Leroy, Good info there. Those would be the seeds to collect to try to establish them farther north and east. Like so many things, this is one species that would benefit many if we found adapted varieties for farther north. If you come across seeds from this population, I'd love to trade you for a few! Bet I've got something here you might be able to use.
3 years ago
Ah, true. Intense sun time is brief this far north but it can get bloody hot here and our summer days are longer. Trust me, we do cut the grass to keep it short to discourage the voles. They love to hide in deep piles of cuttings thus I use a lot of woodchips mixed with them. Hope to get geese to help manage that portion of the operation. No matter how we try and what materials we use, may we all be successful in helping this planet regenerate.

You didn't want the voles I assume? Cheers.
3 years ago