Karin Schott

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since Apr 19, 2012
We homestead of 7 acres in Maine. We are experimenting with no till gardening, lacto-fermentation, sheet mulching, and creating an edible forest garden on our land. I am very interested in creating a cookbook that uses may of the foods we grow on our land.
Western foothills of Maine
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Recent posts by Karin Schott

We are only on this planet for a short while, in the grand scheme of things. I want to acknowledge that you have so much invested in this piece of land. I have been where you are. I invested a lot of energy in a piece of land. I took many plants with me to start my new place and I left a lot behind. But as I work in my new garden I have learned that no matter how hard you try to pull out the old stuff there will always be volunteers. Calendula, Borage and cilantro are just a few of the many plants that have shown up in the most unusual places. In the process of connecting with my new land. I I have found forgotten rhubarb, peony and a mint variety I am still trying to identify. Unless someone takes napalm to your old garden the new stewards will always find remnants of what you left behind. It may not be maintained and cherished the way that you cared for the land but your postive impact on the land will be felt by the new folks and probably the folks after them...
7 years ago
Burdock root is good for gout too. You can include it as a food. I also use the stems as a celery substitute. Just peel them and chop. I use the roots in stir fry.
7 years ago
I steep mullien root and garlic cloves in olive oil. It makes a great remedy for ear infections. I give it to my little guy at the first sign of any ear pain. So much better than antibiotics.
7 years ago
I homeschooled my oldest son, 19. He is completing his GED and has been blacksmithing for the last two years. He would like to go to Art School.

I have started homeschooling my younger son, 6, this past year. When all is done I will have homeschooled for 24 years?!!
7 years ago
I was going to try another method I heard of this year and plant them later than I usually do. We have black flies here in Maine and I usually put them in in early May. It seems a scurry to get as much in before the flies appear and make working outside a little crazy making. But I heard that if you plant the spuds later then the the beetles can't find them when they expect them. I use row covers too and have had good luck with them.
7 years ago
I make my own hankies. I use two pieces of flannel cloth. I used to be a tissue user, the kind with the aloe. Not a big fan of the big red nose. So anyway, the flannels are in two contrasting colors. They are thick and soft. I use one side for blowing into and the other for my hands. My thought with hankies is it is not so much my personal health but the health of those around me. I don't want to spread my germs to others. So frequent handwashing when I am sick is par for the course. My husband is a public school teacher and brings home plenty of colds and stuff. I have yet to soak one of these hankies, they are softer than just a bandana. I made a dozen and carry a couple with me in my handbag when I have a cold so I can trade out an overly abused one. They always go into the laundry at the end of the day.
7 years ago

Fred Morgan wrote:One thing that is standard is to prune as soon as you can, the earlier the better. It is much nicer if you can just rub off the bud. I guess you could say that isn't pruning, but I don't know of any forester who would think it isn't. Most of our pruning is done on very young wood, you don't want to be lopping off limbs normally. If you are cutting more than 2 inches, you have waited too long is the conventional wisdom.

One issue with over pruning is waterspouts. It is what you want to avoid. A method of just rubbing off buds would definitely help in that issue.

I am not trying to disagree by the way, but really, if you are training the tree, aren't you pruning? You all have managed to confuse me I think. 



We bought our house a year and half ago. It has a small orchard of semi-dwarf apple and pear trees that are about 20 years old. They were probably pruned once. So I took a pruning class through the cooperative extension. It was held at a commercial orchard. The most memorable part of the class was where we approached the last trees of the class, a couple of gnarled Wolf Rivers. The instructor starts up his chainsaw and says." if you are reviving an old tree you should remove 30% the first year." He takes his chainsaw and hacks away 30%. Then he says, " the second year you remove another 30%" AND then he removed another 30%!

So the first year here I took my hand pruners and loppers to 4 of the twelve trees and just removed any crossed branches that were rubbing. I removed any obvious dead branches. I wanted a little more airflow in the tree because we have more likelyhood for fungal diseases in the wet northeast. But I made a point not to hack too much off. I wanted more light on the interior but I did not get aggressive. Harvest was great. We have the full compliment of diseases and pests at this point but I was able to dry and sauce plenty and our sheep enjoyed them as well. We scythed the grass between the trees for our sheep and pastured the sheep with our portable fence in between the trees.

This year, I took the same approach with the rest of the trees. I found a lot of fireblight on the trees lower in the orchard and concentrated my efforts on these parts of the trees. With the four trees I pruned last year I did cut one or two larger limbs but not much else. My long term plan is to plant guilds under all the trees and fence our sheep between the trees. I just started my first guild this spring.
7 years ago
The native folks in Maine use rocks in their three sisters. When they create a mound for planting the squash, they place stones in the bottom of the rounds. The extra heat from the thermal mass is supposed to quicken germination. I tried it last year. But did not have a control plot to contrast the results.
7 years ago
Corn is a big eater of nitrogen. Chicken poop is really high in nitrogen. So I use deep litter through the winter ( cold Maine winters). In the spring I muck out the coop and place the gleaning onto the spot I plan to plant the corn. Midsummer, I sidedress the knee high corn. In the fall I put whatever leftovers I have into the compost bin for the last pile or two of the season.
7 years ago
Leaves can be used as mulch. Those trees pull so many nutrients from deep in the soil. If you combine mulching with no tilling you can avoid a lot of weeding. In the autumn I mow the leaves and mulch perennials and my garden beds after amending with compost and animal gleanings. I just pull a little mulch away from the soil to plant in the spring. Usually in the rows in my veggie patch so the rows are mulched. Then I collect leaves from the woods and missed spots and crinkle them up to sprinkle them over new spring growth that is a couple of inches off the soil.
7 years ago