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jay william

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since Aug 27, 2012
Stokes County, NC
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Recent posts by jay william

Black alder wood is supposedly one of the best when it comes to water contact or being submerged. So if your building a dock, or maybe a base for a chinampa, then alder is the way to go.
5 years ago
I have lavender growing near a blueberry bush and it's doing awesome. I didn't plant it there for any specific reason, just kind of on a whim, but out of the 4 lavender bushes, this one is definetly doing the best. Maybe not that important, but one of the observations from our farm this year.
5 years ago

John Macgregor wrote:The site I prefer has virtually no direct or unfiltered sunlight. The sunlight that arrives comes through the gumtrees that surround the site.

This will be great for summers, which have numerous days over 40 degrees celsius (100F+).

Will it be too shaded for winter/autumn/spring?



It depends on the trees your planning to grow. If your growing and propagating plants that thrive in the understory, than that could be fine. But for a lot of pioneer species, they prefer a harsher sunnier environment, so you may have difficulty there. Certain trees can germinate and grow well in completely filtered closed canopy settings, but many cannot. Even some understory trees that you find in mature forests don't grow well as young trees in shade, but rather are engulfed by the overstory after they have grown a good bit. It all comes down to the species of trees your trying to plant and propagate.

An alternative to the heavily shaded forest is to use some sort of shadecloth to protect your nursery stock. You could also strategically plant some fast growing species like Paulownia to provide shade exactly where you want. Regardless, try it and let us know how it works out!
5 years ago
We have both bantams and standard hens. The bantams are, in my opinion, more fun to watch and more survival fit.

They are fast as all get out, almost impossible to catch. They can go anywhere; through small gaps, under the coop to lay hidden eggs. They are excellent foragers, way better than the standards. And they often go broody and successfully hatch and raise chicks.

I think they are awesome, and a great bird if you were going to free range your birds. Also, we are able to keep two roosters, 1 Banty and 1 barred rock. For some reason they are fine with each other, and they each stick to their own group of girls during the day, and roost in the same coop at night.
5 years ago
Willow. We've had them root in floral arrangements. They seem to root just laying out in the air.

If your having trouble with any other cuttings, try watering them or soaking them in "willow water" (water that has had willow in it for a day or so). It gives off a natural rooting hormone.
5 years ago
Run some animals over the land. They will cycle the nutrients that the weeds and other vegetation have gathered (often the nutrients the soil is deficient in) efficiently back to the land.

Follow them with your pioneer species. Plant densely, so you can sacrifice them over the years and coppice them for mulch. At the same time, plant your long term fruit and nut species. This is time stacking. These trees will grow up amongst your pioneers, eventually taking over as you disadvantage the mulch making and nitrogen fixing bushes and trees.

You can always take a plant out, but it's hard to plant a 10 year old apple tree.
We have 28 chickens, 12 of which are bantams and about half the size of normal chickens. They have a moveable coop that we enclose with cattle panels and bird netting.

It's about 500 sq ft. And they will take it down in 2 weeks. Not completely bare, but mostly cleared. They do this with supplemental feed, and we throw mulch/straw/leaves in for them to scratch around and protect the soil.

We try to follow the chickens with either clovers, chicory and other good forage crops. Or with grains winter peas and cover crops.
5 years ago
In the understory of your hardwoods herbs like ginseng and ginger will do well, also some ferns have edible portions but keep the ferns away from your ginseng because it may disadvantage it.

I'd focus on edges. Your forest edge is great for things like elderberry, currant and gooseberry. Vining plants also love these edges. Things like kiwi, schisandra, and passionflower depending on your zone. These vines can also be trellised up your house.

Sometimes it helps to start closer to home, more zone 1 or 2, before tackling some of the bigger projects. That's what we're doing. Focusing on the area closest to the house, our veggie garden with contour paths, vines to shade the house from the NC sun, and improving our lawn/pasture with perennial bushes and herbs for us and the chickens.

5 years ago
We also have first year layers that don't seem at all bothered by the cold this winter in Northern NC.

Now our bantams, who are older, pretty muched stopped laying up until a week ago. So that seems to fit with the young hens not minding the cold trend.

All of these birds are in a mobile coop which is basically three sided. The door is hardware cloth over a frame, definetly not airtight. I think chickens in general are tougher than most people give them credit for being.
5 years ago

Abe Connally wrote:oh, sorry, I misunderstood. Yeah, carp would probably have a hard time in a lot of places, but if you lived close to certain ethnic groups (Chinese, Eastern European, Hispanic, etc) that are used to eating carp, then it would probably do fine. I've actually had very tasty carp, but it was prepared by people that grew up eating it. I'm not sure my mom could have made it as well as they did.



I don't much care for tilapia, but that could be because I spent a summer in the FL Keys working in a baitshop and ate almost every type of fish imaginable, and most of it 3 hours after it was swimming

I haven't had carp yet, but I do know that if you pick up an authentic chinese cookbook, the fish section will probably be about 50% carp. So it is popular there, and I'd assume somewhat good, and you could probably find a market for it in the US depending on the demographics of your area.
5 years ago