R Laurance

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since Jul 22, 2012
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chicken forest garden hugelkultur
A Cascadian (USA) transplant flourishing in the southern fields and forests of south Sweden.
Southern Sweden (zone 7a)
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Recent posts by R Laurance

My present work highlights some of the 'big time' ills of present day civilisation impacting the entire planet.

These two pics are good examples....                          The URL of my website is  http://www.laurance.se

1 year ago

Victor Johanson wrote:

Fiona Martin wrote:Excuse my ignorance, but what is a hugelbeet?

I've been told that hugel means hill, so hugelkulture is literally hill culture. Beet is bed, so hill-bed for hugelbeet.

Beet is the German for a bed in the sense of a garden bed or flower bed.... but a bed to sleep in is bett.

That word is a new one on me as well.... So I guess I've actually built several hugelbeet or whatever the plural conjugation would be in German.

Live and learn.... :D
6 years ago
I ordered some Robinia seeds from England the first part of January and when they arrived (mid February) I scarified 15 seeds (lightly rubbing them on 120 grit sandpaper), and then proceeded with what Cj Verde stated... poured hot water (less than boiling) over them and let them soak for 48 hours... then planted the swollen seeds.

They were planted into pots of damp seeding soil and placed into plastic bags which were tied with wire wraps. From there I placed them into the dark pantry on the floor, which stays around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. I almost forgot about them... and when I checked first part of March, I had 14 little trees coming up. They were about 2" tall at the time I checked them. I immediately pulled them from the pantry and they've been sitting in the kitchen's south facing window since. They are now about 7" tall and have about five 4" branches, each having five to seven leaves and looking absolutely beautiful.

I'll probably continue growing them in deeper and bigger pots for the first year with partial wintering in the greenhouse before planting them in their final places the following early Spring. In addition to the wonderful permaculture aspects of these trees, they personally harken back to my childhood in Eastern Oregon when we had five very old black locusts towering over the front lawn. Gives me kind of a connection to that time and place.

Good luck with your future trees, Natty.
6 years ago
I generally eat the leaves of our Large-Leafed Linden (Tilia platyphyllos) during the early part of the growing season when the leaves are smaller and more tender. I personally like their flavor as others do, as well. Ours is a wonderful tree in size offering up lots of leaves for food and tea, our rabbits loved them as well, and lots of wood pruned off every two or three years. The wood, as osker mentioned, is a favored wood (easy carving) among wood carvers. Most wood workers that I know, tend to call this Basswood, though I still prefer to call it the Linden, mostly because here in Sweden the Swedish name for it is Lind. I believe it is called lime, in Great Britain. It is a tree that seems to coppice easily also.

My tree (approx. 30+ meters tall) is also the location of the owl house (middle of the tree in picture) I built that is the nesting box for our little Tawny Owl. Mating season should begin this month for her as she will begin hooting within a week or so.

6 years ago
Thank you, Xisca! Truly, you speak words of wisdom!

On a personal note......What island are you on? I've had a desire to visit your island group for the past few years. Hope you didn't suffer from any of the large fires there this past year.
6 years ago
Yes, I do agree with you on that... the last sentence was a tad bit brash! There are certainly many leaders that don't fall in line with that statement. My bad! My inference was intended more towards those leaders that seem to so often 'beat their drums' in bolstering support for their agendas more than ALL leaders, as if it was part of their protocol.

That was no doubt something that bubbled up from my seething consciousness of living with too many (fortunately, not all) of the (U.S.) political heads through the years harping about the greatness of the country, blah, blah, blah, on one side of their face and then with their own actions moving in a contrary direction that deters from any kind of 'greatness.' Just my personal views!

Your words of generalizations are certainly spot on! I have also maintained that thinking as well... just a slip here... like I said, my bad!

6 years ago
Don't get me wrong. I'm in agreement with you, Xisca. However, I guess my point is that technology in and of itself does not constitute what I would call a 'high' culture or 'THE' mark of civilization. Humankind is no more, no less than just another organism living on this rock, in what should be a mutual cooperation or of symbiotic relationships. Given, that we have all these great technological 'advancements', at the same time we have also placed our species and most other higher lifeforms on the planet in a precarious position of survival all for the things that we feel we 'need'.

I am not of the belief that we (mankind) have 'dominion over all the living creatures' and they are at our mercy to exploit and to use until we have exterminated every last one of them or genetically mutated them (pets included) for our own purposes. My perception is ... that kind of thinking is part of the present world problem!

Yes, we've grown beyond the 'stone grinding' techniques at the basic levels of finding a stone and spending all day to grind the meal for a loaf of bread, but destroying large ecologically sound habitats to pump oil or extract uranium or coal to power the electricity to power the electric 'stone' meal grinder in one own's kitchen really isn't the answer. Neither is the continued gung-ho support of the ever-growing monoculture agribusiness that grows, grinds and transports the meal to you from anywhere in the world.

Each one of us, needs to become part of the solution, and begin making decisions about everything.... EVERYTHING... that we do that has any impact on the earth and our fellow inhabitants. I seriously believe that those of us living in the developed nations, just because of our indoctrination into this system since birth, have to struggle with everything we do in this regards. And studies have shown that of all the cultures on the earth we remain among the those that are more unhappy. Those happiest cultures seem to be closer to the earth ... 'primitive' and 'poor' is how our developed modern culture tend to view them. Yet these cultures also enjoy more interpersonal time with their families and other individuals, don't have to work from dawn till dusk to provide sustenance, etc. In my mind it makes me question the meaning of 'civilization'! Being civilized is not... 'all about the money!'

............edited to add............
As an artist/sculptor... I think I would have enjoyed living amongst the Pacific NW coastal Indian groups (Tlingit, Haida, Salish, et al) that celebrated with the potlatch ceremony. I think half of the creative works that I've produced over the decades were given away (with heart) and accepted (with heart). A much greater feeling of value can be placed on items with this kind of exchange, IMHO. And to have lived in that time and allowed to create and feel that kind of value placed on 'things' makes me feel that if something broke or became boring to have, it wouldn't be directly thrown into the nearest trash heap.... if there was one available. I probably would have relished the grinding stone a bit as well, as presently I DO make sourdough bread twice weekly and even hand grind part of the rye for addition. Actually sprouted rye that is dried after making rejuvelac. :
6 years ago

Steve Flanagan wrote:It seems to me that the western mindset grossly underestimates the creativity, ingenuity, and skills of any non Eurasian, especially Native Americans. Permaculture makes sense on all levels, it's a great approach to agriculture for any people. Does that make sense?

I agree with that statement and would carry it even further to add that (for the most part it seems), the modern society of man continually underestimates the creativity, ingenuity, skills and technologies of all earlier cultures. One case in point, all the megalithic constructions around the world which with all of our 'vastly superior' technology and wisdom we would be hard pressed to emulate. It is quite possibly to say that each high culture of any specific time may consider itself the apogee of human development. Leaders know not humility!
6 years ago
I personally prefer apple, as I find it fairly easy to carve when dry, generally has a nice straight grain as well. The not so hidden secret is maintaining sharp knives. Though my carving of spoons is infrequent, more just something to do for a special gift, I have carved numerous spoons over the years. Birch is also a fairly easy wood to carve, though it does yield to the 'fuzzies' after extended use, as mentioned in earlier posts. Pear wood is also a good choice. I particularly enjoy some of the color changes with the use of fruitwoods and often employ that it my designs as this one reflects...

6 years ago
Paul, I like that first PTO splitter....

except as with most of these type splitters, you end up losing nearly half of the BTU's....

if following the old maxim... "As a heat source, wood heats you twice."
6 years ago