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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

As mentioned we do not have a problem with frost heave in the maritime area at lower elevations. You can make a foundation by digging the soil out and leveling the subsoil and lay the first layer of cement blocks on their side. If you chose to make the wicking bed mentioned above [these work very well for me] dig the whole bed area to the same level then after placing the foundation blocks put down a liner that extends over the foundation blocks. This will give you depression to place 3 inch diameter perforated drain in. They come in 10 foot lengths so to make a 4 foot bed buy one length plus 2 elbows. Cut it in half and then a little more than a foot off of each one to make the riser to add water. place the wall on top of the liner so that excess water can drain out under the bottom of the wall. Fill around the drain tile with sandy gravely subsoil that will be filled with water them put the good soil to the top of the bed. Fill the tubes with water and put a water bottle in the riser with a stick in the lid as a flag when the water level drops too low. The whole soil column needs to be damp to maintain the wicking action so if the soil dries  out water from the top again to restart it.
9 minutes ago

the soil with added organic matter (nut skins)

Proof that you grew soil.  Notice the contrast when you watered the transplants that the soil clumps remained intact instead of dissolving like they did in the dirt in the next picture.
I would encourage you to cover those soil nodules with whatever you can as soon as you can after transplanting to prevent the sun and wind killing the soil organisms in them.
1 hour ago
Be patient, they have very hard seed coats, designed to pass through bird digestion.
Qberry Farm[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/user/HansLMP[/youtube]
1 week ago
78 years old, became a massage therapist 22 years ago because I could not do the work anymore.  So yes the permaculture principle of making the problem a solution works. being aware that you have potential back pain means you plan to avoid causing back pain. Being my first client and last client each day is important. Once I am functional the best activity is to take my scythe out and mow for a while. The rotational movement of the spine sucks fluid out of the bones into the disks making them thicker and more cushioning alleviating most causes of back pain.

Craniosacral therapy is marvelous for removing emotional and physical restrictions.  It is somewhat passive and related to somatic techniques and is a good healing modality.  However, learning more active body awareness techniques  mentioned throughout this forum will probably be more applicable to keeping your body from injury.  It doesn't have to be too academic.  Just listen to your body.

Craniosacral means that the skull and pelvis move reciprocally with each other [as well as the vertebra in between] therefore I teach interactive craniosacral. If you find the corner of bone just below the ears [not the jawbone] it moves with the point of bone at the top front corners of the pelvis. Laying on your back with the knees up swing the knees from side to side and feel the movement of the bone under your ears. If under one ear is pulled forward and down the pelvis on that side is pulled up and forward, part of a posture distortion that is holding your spine in a twisted position.
Putting your legs over an exercise ball and swinging them from side to side will have the same effect as my scything. Try stretching the ball by pushing with one leg and pulling with the other. Fallow the movement under the ears until they are balanced.
1 week ago
I am not sure what the micro clover is that you are referring to. Do you have pictures or links to your source? I am familiar with a small clover with red leaves when it is in full sun and small yellow blossoms. The only problem with it in pathways is that it forms small sharp seed pods that are uncomfortable on bare feet.
2 weeks ago
Observation from my greenhouse: The south sloping glazed roof is useless. It collects too much heat in the summer and looses to much heat in the winter. I would be better off with 8' above ground on the south side and an insulated roof sloping north to the top of the berm. The low winter sun shines all the way to the north wall and there is plenty of light in the planting bed in front of the south wall during the summer.
Ideally I think the roof angle should be in line with the sun angle at the spring equinox. That should provide the maximum sun penetration in the winter and shade in the summer.
The fiberglas resin roofing has deteriorated to the point it needs to be replaced so my plan is to reverse the roof. It is a pole building and the poles on the north have deteriorated on the bottom so I will jack it up enough to remove the north poles,shorten them and reset them with better ground protection. I will simply have to remove the windows and plywood on the east and west walls and replace it plumb when I lower the north side of the roof. This will also put my rain water collection on the north side where it is not blocking the sun and will provide more heat sink. My glazing is 12 sliding glass door panels in aluminum frames.  Withthe roof supported by the pole structure the panels have proved to be self supporting just screwed to a 2x6 on the top and bottom.
2 weeks ago
There are some lovely large productive fig trees here just south of you on Puget Sound. This is how they are situated. They are on a slope near a body of water that doesn't freeze and are sheltered by structures and trees immediately up slope from them. The freezing night air flows past them down to the water and the air warmed by the water flows up around them at night.
You mentioned an alpine location so you may be at too high an elevation to take advantage of the salt water but if you can create a micro-climate with a different heat source such as a hot compost pile you may be successful.
2 weeks ago
Consider: clearing land with animals requires you being there as an operator just as with machinery. Just leaving them there to do their thing is like starting a machine, putting it in gear and then walking away; the outcome is not what you desire it is what they desire.
Goats are like back hoes, they work over the fence. Sheep are like bulldozers they work under the fence and pigs not only work under the fence they dig under the fence. Chickens are helicopter cultivators with pest management and crop removal capabilities.   Geese are grass powered fertilizer spreaders and ducks are liquid fertilizer generators.
Just as with machinery There is a learning cure to get them to operate as desired.  Without a plan the first thing that gets eaten is is what you planted to be permanent and the first thing that gets fertilized is your doorstep.
After 70 years experience what would I recommend?  Once you are on the land build a chicken tractor and get some retired laying hens to put in it. Build a simple outbuilding and buy a retired dairy goat that may be giving enough milk to feed an orphaned lamb or 2. Then learn to operate them for ground disturbance and vegetation utilization. Keep refining your plan until you can move them progressively and plant after them so that the land produces food for them and yourself.
P. S. Does the cactus contain enough moisture so that it can be mixed with your dry material to make compost? Ashes can be nutrient busters but incorporating it back into the land as organic material is generally of greater of greater value.
2 weeks ago

I am simply not very familiar with a lot of the tractor tools and am trying to get my head around what I would need to approach a fresh field.

I have 2.5 acres that has had various farming methods used on it over 100 years. I have the luxury of mowing it with a scythe or riding lawn mower as time and interest indicate to see what happens.  It varies from fast draining sand to deep clay and vegetation as varied as quack grass through wild flax and strawberries to vetch and clover.
From June to September is a dry period so if left unmowed it will mature seed and can be mowed in September to reseed. If mowed with the scythe and left in a windrow into the winter it smothers much of what is growing under it but new seeds will sprout. If I move it in Jan/Feb. it favors  the vetch and alfalfa. I use much of what I mow to mulch my berry and tree crops. But to make a planting bed I leave it mulched until I am ready to prepare it Then move the mulch to the path and hoe the surface to stop the seedlings. I see that a flame weeder is used by many market gardeners. Mowing and mulching with new growth from the field keeps feeding the soil organisms during the summer.
Taiping is also a useful tool. I use old carpeting.
3 weeks ago