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Hans Quistorff

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since Feb 25, 2012
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I have home movie proof that I started in agriculture at age 3 1943.
Longbranch, WA
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Recent posts by Hans Quistorff

stories about strange happenings associated with the trees. Like strange light coming from it

That can happen. Some fungus's  spores appear on rotting wood and absorb sunlight then release it after dark. Possibly the creator designed it that way to attract moths to move the spores to other exposed wood. You could illustrate it with glow in the dark plastic. I find it good to replace superstitious fear with scientific based confidence in a creators wise design.  
1 week ago
I grew up on a waterfront farm. The sail boat moored in front. It was an ideal homestead; between the land and the sea we produced 80% of our food. It was a wood boat and my father was a carpenter so maintenance was a hobby rather than an expense. Several times a year we would bring the boat in parallel to the shore at high tide until the keel rested on the bottom, tied a line from the top of the mast to the shore, put a jack under the bottom and let the tide go out. Very easy bottom maintenance.  
There are small estuaries here where you could have a dock so that the boat cold stand on its keel and only be in the water about 8 hours a day. You would have a small recreation lot to grow your food and empty your composting toilet.
1 week ago

Pecans generally need to much heat to do well in PNW.  Down south, it's hot all day and all night for half the year at least. Not so here.  

In Tacoma, WA opposite the St. Joseph Hospital the street is lined with pecan trees. The produce abundantly and the nuts mostly just spout in the gutter.  I brought some home to transplant but never got them to where they were supposed to be.
So with climate change toward hotter dry er summers and if you are above the fog I think the Pecans are viable. I hope to try again.
2 weeks ago
I don't have have experience with Symphytum grandiflorum/Dwarf Comfrey.  From what I read don't plant it if you don't want it to spread into the raised bed.
I do have this experience with the Boking varieties. In deep sandy soils it grows large deep roots and large leaves and flower stalks. In shallow clay soil it will persist but remain small and flower infrequently.
I do not understand the purpose of the proposed raised beds and paths between.  Comfrey is not an ideal plant to walk on though walking on it will perhaps suppress it  It is is an effective plant to maintain the border of a raised bed if it is the non reproducing hybrid.
2 weeks ago
We have a winter annual ground cover here called deadnettle; That is it looks like miniture nettles but has no stingers.
Self sows in disturbed soil this time of year and only grows during the winter.
Chick weed can form a denser mat but tends to grow mor in the spring so not as good at frost protection.
I have had runner beans come up from the overwintered roots when mulched with maple leaves.
3 weeks ago
I will share my observations though my cycle is not as extreme in the Seattle Washington area where we have 8 months of rain and 4 months of dry. I have a farm that no longer has livestock on it so I manage what used to be done by rotational paddocks and corral collection of the manure is done with my scythes.
During the rapid growing seasons [spring and fall] I cut and accumulate in my production area. I concentrate on harvesting undesirable vegetation like field daises before thy produce seed. I cover my collected material, which is about 12 to 16 inches spread over the garden, with discarded carpet to protect it  from the sun and wind and provide for my miniature livestock. [worms, insects. slugs. snakes to eat the slugs] You don't have the carpet but you do have the swales filled with the material and many helping hands to cover the collected material with dirt from the top of the mound. Pumpkins do exceptionally well during the dry season when their roots have access to this organic sponge. In my case they cover an 8 foot circle of carpet. I use the ones without hulls on the seeds which I have selected for the most orange flesh. I dry and store the seeds and dry the flesh and make it into flour when I am grinding my seeds.
At the end of the dry season some areas have mounds of desirable plants such as vetch, alfalfa and wiled flax which I cut and cover the poor areas of my field until the seed drops than I move it to my planting area and cover it with the carpet for 2 months of winter.
4 weeks ago
I have 100 year old apple trees but I also have a 40 foot long extension pole from my janitorial days. so I can reach some fruit for fresh sale. The picker has a wite hop and a cloth bag. where the wire comes together at the handle that screws on the extension pole is a small pruner that I can pull a cord to snip off the stem.
The original poster it seems is asking for theoretical ideas for a permaculture plan that avoids the problem without machinery like is used in modern spindle pruned orchard that uses a wagon with a lift with 2 men on each side and storage for the picked apples in between.  It is also used for pruning in the winter time.
The point is plant and train the trees according to your harvest plan. Can you terrace a hillside so the top of the tree can be harvested from the terrace above?   Young fruit tree growth is easy to bend so train it for easy harvest as Red Hawk suggested. one of the old trees had a branch a foot in diameter and 20 feet long and 10 feet up which shaded windows in the summer. You could open the windows to harvest the fruit. It failed in a snow storm because of poor management in the past. Some one cut large branches off at the top so the center rotted and was eaten away by wood borers. The tree still lives on as a hollow trunk with a small tree at the top.
I think the ideal tree is a huge fan shape at the bottom and then a single center leader that is allowed to reach the trees natural height but not width of branches. when a tree has its natural height pruning it back produces less  sending up vertical growth to try to restore the lost height when pruned. This results in having many easterly reachable fruit and only a few high ones
For more Ideas go to Fruit Growers News to see the orchard designs and machines that have been developed to answer this question.
Harvester described above
4 weeks ago

Casey Pfeifer wrote:I’ve had good success with California Woodland Strawberry (Fragaria vesca var. Californica) in heavy shade outdoors and dappled light underneath overhangs in hanging planters. While you probably won’t get tons of fruit if they don’t have at least some light, mine started fruiting underneath the black walnut canopy where they were the predominant groundcover in their second year with zero direct sunlight. Due to their prolific runners these plants create awesome cascades of strawberry foliage and red internode stems, up to 8’ long when I last measured!

Not sure of the veriety I have of 'Alpine' strawberries but I use them as edible groundcover in my planters and the planters I bring into the greenhouse for freeze protection they continue to flower and produce a few fruit in December/January.
1 month ago
Just the blue barrels siting in the sun in my greenhouse get up to 85.  I have one black barrel but it doesn't seem to make that much difference.  I also have my larger plants in 35 gallon barrels full of soil with a water reservoir in the bottom to wick up into the soil. These also warm up from the direct sun exposure.  
My suggestion for a passive system with your house is to cap black ewer pipe, fill them with water and stand it along the north wall for a minimal loss of space and maximum absorbed area.  You can start with a few and observe the effect before committing to the whole wall.
1 month ago