Justin Deri

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since Aug 22, 2012
North Yarmouth, ME
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Recent posts by Justin Deri

SkillCult's YouTube channel is excellent. He has a whole playlist of beautiful videos on making hide glue:

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL60FnyEY-eJCPd_eQyiP4JE6RLtCgmNxE

1 year ago
Toxic in what way? For pets? Kids? Adults? Do you want to kill someone in some obscure way? Or are you worried about grazing sheep getting in? Or maybe are you worried about what to avoid?

For instance, there's a wild parsnip plant around here (Maine) that you could probably eat all you want an touch without any troubles. But if you get a little of the sap on you and then expose that area to the sun, you get terrible blisters! In theory cultivated parsnip plants have a similar trait at certain periods. I've recently met some people who claim an allergy to any nightshade family, but I've never experienced any issues. Rhubarb leaf is considered toxic, but how much do you need to consume?
2 years ago
My experience with goat manure, bedding, and hay is that is also very dry. Composting does take a certain amount of moisture to really go.
3 years ago
87.32% of all statistics are made up on the spot. I know that for a fact.

Which reminds me, I once had someone I care about very much say during an argument, "don't use your facts and reasoning on me." Made me rethink how maybe I was using them as a weapon.
Back to Hugo's original question (which IS about plastic as Stefan uses in the permaculture orchard video), Stefan was using an exceptionally thick plastic mulch because it had a much longer lifetime than the usually used plasticulture. Stefan also pointed out that organic mulches didn't work for him and my experience is in line with his. If you need to mulch any sizable area (i.e. larger than a small garden), you will spend large amounts of money and time on the organic material mulches. The weeds will almost certainly penetrate the mulch in relatively short order and you will spend your time dealing with that problem. If you have a small orchard like Paul Gautschi (sp?) in the Back to Eden movie, then mulching with wood chips or other organic material will work well. I totally agree with others posts about the benefits of organics and the drawbacks to plastic.

The black plastic will definitely heat up the soil. If you can only find the thicker plastic in black, I'd suggest some sort of whitewashing (maybe a lime mixture?) to reflect the light up to the plants. I have had decent luck using landscape fabric on top of the soil for annual vegetable production. I burn holes in it for the plants and pull it up at the end of each season. I am on my fourth year of reusing the fabric and it has drastically reduced weeds and help plants grow in my relatively cooler climate. The weave of the fabric allows rain water and air to penetrate and the cover helps keep moisture from evaporating from the soil. Any time I have pulled back the fabric, the soil beneath is teaming with life. I do not recommend using the fabric underneath another mulch, but have it on top of the soil. As the plant canopy grows out, it shades the fabric and I think eventually the extra heat isn't an issue.

Best of luck!

Justin
3 years ago
Would white plastic mulch help? I know that some plastic used in vegetable production is white on one side and black on the other. If the white side is up, it reflects the light and keeps the soil and roots cool. I don't know if it comes in the thickness as recommended by Stefan.
3 years ago
184.jpg - potato
174.jpg - spinach
175.jpg - brassica of some sort. Maybe radishes, kale, mustards, broccoli...hard to tell just from cotyledons. Send a pick when true leaves form
Maybe a cranberry? I have no knowledge or experience with those though.
3 years ago
I'd think willows would do well. You can use willows for:
- fuel
- baskets
- floral arrangements
- natural form of aspirin
- willow water for rooting
- and a deer hedge

3 years ago
Will you be the pollinator? I grow several varieties of parthenocarpic cucumbers in my greenhouse, but they are not OP and the seed isn't cheap. If you end up doing a non-parthenocarpic variety indoors you will need to be the bee.
3 years ago