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Kristian Rasmussen

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since Jan 13, 2012
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Recent posts by Kristian Rasmussen

Wau Eric, thanks a lot! There is so much great information in there, you should publish that as a general guide to starting large scale forest projects somewhere on this site.

I am from Denmark myself and often go traveling in Swartzwald, Germany. Gorgeous forests, and beautifully managed! We are also working together with Holz100 to build our house, they harvest their wood in Austria (so-called moon wood) http://www.thoma.at Erwin Thoma is the forest geek and wood nerd behind it all, you might find that interesting.

The project is a co-op and I will send your post on to the others so we can start planing, thanks again Eric, great stuff!

Thank you for the advice Taylor, once we have digested Erics words and done a more thorough definition of our project, we might reach out to your wife for further assistance.

3 years ago
Hi all

I am looking for a forest garden professional, to help (paid work) with the planing and establishing a 125 acre, low maintenance forest garden in the Hudson Valley NY, using mostly native, regional species. If anyone knows of any one or a company that could handle a job like that, please get in touch.
3 years ago
Looks great, thanks Kate
4 years ago
Greetings Urbanites!

I am going to New York City on business later this month and was wondering if any of you know of a good place to buy seeds (beans are of particular interest) anywhere in NYC. I dont have a whole lot of time, so I would only really be able to go to one or two places. Non-GMO is a must, organic is less important, but preferable.

4 years ago
Alright I think an update to the whole pool project is in order. Due to a lot of other project having priority, the pool thing became a quick experiment that I was running on the side. Although I would have loved to build a gazebo on top and all that, I simply did not have the time. SO, instead I started growing duckweed for the chickens, and they loved it! The pool had been left alone for a year prior to me adding the duckweed, so for the first season production was great, I pulled 2 to 3 kilos (4,5 to 6,5 pounds) of duckweed out every day during the summer for the chickens to feed on. the year after that production went down, not a lot, but enough for me to notice, so that year I regularly peed in the pool to keep the nitrogen levels up. I also considered putting carp in the pool, but the duckweed had formed a dense green mat so no light was penetrating and I think the oxygen levels would be pretty low... So last season (2014) I came up with a plan after doing research on the aquatic plant, Azolla. This has turned out to be a spectacular success that I can only recommend.
In the spring I threw in a small bag of Azolla, about half a kilo, just as the duckweed was coming out of dormancy. The duckweed seemed to take over at first, but then the Azolla got going and quickly started to dominate the pool, the chickens are happy to feed on both, although the duckweed is better for them nutrition-wise, a little sorting while harvesting is required to keep the duckweed from going extinct. The awesome thing about this system is that I now get several things from the pool. The Azolla fixes nitrogen in the pool, feeding the duckweed, but it does this to such an extend that the water becomes very nitrogen rich, making the water perfect for watering other plants, even the house pots. Every day during the summer (about 3 months here in Denmark) I can pull out 5(!) kilos of Azolla-duckweed mix for the chickens, OR for a boost for the compost. I have even been using it for mulch in my raised beds as the chickens free range during the summer and dont need much extra feed.
So this year I am combining this system with a small solar hydroponics setup, with 3 rain gutters, each 3 meters long with watercress in them, and then have the water from the pool run through before going back in the pool. It might be too big a nutrient drain on the system without adding fish, but I will know more come autumn.
Please note, if you want to try this, Azolla is hyper-invasive and it spreads via spores like other ferns, if it reaches a waterway, it will spread like crazy and potentially poison lakes, rivers or creeks with nitrogen, which then results in algae blooms, oxygen deprivation and so on. Frost does kill it, but all it takes is one little piece surviving somewhere and come spring, it will explode again. In fact, this plant may have changed the climate at one point in the past as described in the Azolla Event http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azolla_event

here are some pictures of the pool at the end of this years season, the duckweed has gone dormant and the azolla is struggling with the cold.

4 years ago
Denmark checking in
5 years ago
Well I think that if the graft takes, it is the rootstock that determines whether the tree will survive the winter. I know that people here in Denmark, where we get fairly harsh winters, have grafted lemon and oranges on to Japanese Bitter Orange ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trifoliate_orange ) and have had it live through winter.
5 years ago
@ Josh Brill, thanks for the ideas. I do have, and occasionally use, a weed whacker, but I find the scythe to do the job just as well on the young trees (as long as I keep it sharp and honed) The trouble is that much of the growth is new growth every year, so it would be a never ending task, needing repetition every year indefinitely. The black cherry is hyper invasive in this area and grows wild all over the place, and without a collaborated effort, we will never be rid of it as the birds spread the seeds far and wide.
Goats! Brilliant idea, I think they might be able to actually eat them, in spite of the leaves being fairly toxic (cyanide) to other animals like horses and cows. We do want to plant other trees among the cherries though, what is your experience with keeping the goats off certain trees? Would we be able to just make small enclosures for each tree say 3 by 3 feet? Or would a more drastic tactic be needed?

@ Bob Day, I will see if I can find more for you, I know I read a fairly advanced paper on the subject at one point. For now, this is all I could find: http://www.ehow.com/info_8769130_kind-needed-graft-almond-tree.html

5 years ago
@John Elliot, thanks for the reply. There are several reasons we cant dig out the roots, 1) The soil is old forest floor and has an intact fungal network we do not want to disturb. 2) The shrubs are so abundant that it would take months and months to dig them out, just cutting them back takes 2 people weeks. 3) Pigs are an option for some areas, but again, they would destroy the mycorrhizal fungi living in the soil. We do plan on having a few pigs at some point, and rotating them through an area we want to keep more open.

@ Tom OHern, thank you for your reply. The shrubs are very very woody and would take a very long time to brake down. I guess we could run it through a chipper first and then use it as mulch ourselves. We have very sandy soil and could certainly use the structure. This is kinda what we have been doing until now, but the workload associated with cutting all the brush back every year is intense, and even after two years, it does not seem to hamper the growth, only provide air for new fresh growth. Bear in mind that there are a lot of trees outside of our property and seeds will keep dropping from birds, so a more long term solution is required. Competing plants spring to mind, but we have not found anything that can compete with the growth of the black cherry.

@ Bob day, thanks for your reply. This is a great idea, and one that we have thought a lot about, after a little research into the prunus family, it turns out that not only cherries, but also almonds, apricots and even some forms of pears might be compatible with black cherry grafting. We will definitely try this on some of the older, more established trees. Our problem is with the young shoots that keep appearing every spring, either from old cuts or new saplings.
5 years ago
Hi fellow Permies!

We have started our forest garden on our 10 acre land which primarily is covered by young trees (between 3 and 10 years), we have begone in patches here and there planting small support trees like black locust, siberian pea shrub among others. We have a problem clearing land of the very invasive black cherry (Prunus Serotina), we live in Denmark Europe, and this tree completely takes over here, not as the moderately useful tree it grows to in the US, but as a short shruby growth, growing to at least 4-5 feet in any single season. My question is this; is there a way to replace the cherries without digging out all the roots (not an option) or putting out 5 hectares of black plastic? We have access to almost endless bales of hay, so 2 feet of mulch after cutting the trees to the ground, would that work maybe?
All ideas welcome!
5 years ago