meadow scott

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since Oct 16, 2012
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Recent posts by meadow scott

Hello all, I would like to plant a Tilia cordata with the intention of harvesting the flowers for tea (my top favorite herbal tea!). I've read that Linden is well suited to coppice, but cannot find much practical information about the process. Has anyone actually DONE this? Or do we all just talk about what we have read?
My primary question is-- If coppiced regularly, will it still flower???
Secondary question is about the process and schedule of coppicing. How big will it get on what cutting schedule? Can I treat it like a large shrub, cutting back just the oldest trunks once every few years?
Thanks for sharing your experiences!
1 year ago
Hey there,
If you are new to chicken raising, I'm really not sure I'd recommend planning to not feed at all. Perhaps start with a 50% pellet ration, and work down from there... Apart from the difficulty of setting up a system that offers complete feed, you won't have the familiarity with chickens that gives that esssential "instinct" about what they need and whether they've got it.
Then again, if you are motivated to shoot the moon, I'd hate to be the one to hold you back!
As for guidance, my top favorite chicken guru is Harvey Ussery. He keeps a wonderfully informative website with a whole bunch of chicken articles at
He also wrote my top favorite chicken book, The Small Scale Poultry Flock. He doesn't bill himself as "permaculture" and because of that I think he doesn't make it onto many folks radar, but he is awesomely integrative. He discusses mixing your own feed, sprouting grains, raising worms and black soldier flies, outdoor forage and protection, as well as winter forage under greenhouses, not to mention all other aspects of chicken raising.
I assume you've seen Geoff Lawton's video about the farm in Vermont that raises chickens on 100% compost? Very inspiring.
I myself thoroughly researched and explored the redworm chicken feed connection a few years ago, and came to the sad conclusion that I simply cannot raise enough worms to make even a significant contribution to my flock's diet. As someone else mentioned, they can eat a lot of worms! And the worms just do not multiply fast enough. I don't have the numbers, but my rough figure was something like a 10x20 foot worm bed to supply my home flock with just their protein requirement. It does sound like you have lots of land to work with though, and a mild climate (I just have a yard, and live in Alaska, so I would have to keep them in a heated shed). Check out the article I wrote for PRI on turning a portion of my coop bedding into a worm farm-- there are some good links at the bottom--
But, like the other responders have said, you don't want to feed them just worms anyway. You will want to plant a Chicken Guild-- with lots of comfrey, dandelions, nettles, dock, lambsquarter, quinoa, grain grasses, fodder radish and turnips, probably all centered around a mulberry tree, and with deep mulch and a few compost piles around to breed invertebrates of all kinds.
Good luck, and enjoy the puzzle!
5 years ago
Hello all,

A few years back, I organized a DIY permaculture study group, for serious students who couldn't afford an official course. It was great fun, we all learned a lot, and I enjoyed the way that leading the group challenged me in my own studies. Now I am interested in doing the same thing for botany!

I am an avid learner, and a total plant geek. I didn't go to college, so all of my education has been at home-- with good books, web resources, and self-made homework, not to mention lots of time "in the field." I started out with wild edible plants many years ago, then gardening, and eventually permaculture and herbalism. I love everything about plants! I have recently decided to take my self-education a step backwards, and deeper into the academics I didn't get in college. Botany, here I come!

I am wondering whether anyone is interested in joining me for an online "course" with no professor, but some good books, and a lively reading and discussion group...? I have decided on these three books as my "course materials"

Botany: An Introduction to Plant Biology by James D. Mauseth (I chose the 3rd edition pub. 2003 because it was WAY cheaper than the current edition)

Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification by Thomas J. Elpel

Plant Identification Terminology: An Illustrated Glossary by James G. Harris and Melinda Woolf Harris

If you are interested in joining me, you will need to fit these qualifications:

1. You have an extreme thirst for learning, you would rather read a botany textbook than watch tv.
2. You are willing to pay at least $50 for the books
3. You are excited about the idea of devoting 4-8 hours every single week to reading and other study
4. You are realistic enough to understand that that is a very significant time commitment, and have reviewed your life and schedule to ensure you can make that time available without personal stress

If you feel that you fit the description, please leave a comment below! The actual study group will happen over at, where I'll set up a group page for us to discuss and share resources.

Here's to photosynthesis!
5 years ago
Hey all, I'm not sure which category to put this post in, so I'll start here. I am a born and raised Alaskan, I have been gardening here for nearly 20 years. Although I had dabbled in it before, I have only recently started serious exploration into permaculture. I would LOVE to take a course, but 1. I'm poor, and 2. I live in the middle of nowhere. I started thinking about it, and realized this must be an incredibly commonplace permie problem!
Reading books is all well and good. I read a lot. Drawing up my own plans at home over and over is great fun. A teacher would be fabulous. But I think what I would value most out of an actual course is the commraderie and idea sharing of a group setting.
So, here's my idea. We make our own online class! I would happily orchestrate the structuring, with input from participants. We generate a booklist, centered around The Manual. We read together and discuss like a bookgroup. Compile a list of videos, I've found some good ones online for free. And then as we go along, we apply everything to our own project, building towards an end design for a real piece of land, preferrably our own land which we really live and work on. We share these as we go along, bouncing ideas around and brainstorming together. The danger would be in becoming too casual, unravelling into just a bunch of bullshitting. But, I think if we set out with a concrete structure, we can hold it together.
We will likely have different skill levels, which will be good. If any certified (or otherwise) teacher wants to join in for occassional guidance, that would be fabulous. But even just as a skill share, I think this could be a beautiful thing.
I propose that any interested participants start out by generating a schematic of your property/project. Start with the 'observation step,' noting everything that currently exists and where and what relationships, etc, etc. Include observations about your wider ecosystem as well-- weather, climate, seasons, etc-- to introduce your place to us, as well as further familiarize yourself with it. Using whatever you currently know about permaculture, make a preliminary 'visioning' design.
Well, first actually, right now, introduce yourself here. Anyone interested? Tell us a brief bit about yourself, your experience, and your potential design project.
I'll start. I'm 35 and have been on a path of homesteading/sustainable living since I was in high school. I spent two months working on WWOOF farms with my dad in the UK and Ireland when I was 15, which certainly set me on my way ;) Since then I have gardened as much as I could, as well as learned how to live Alaska style-- hunting, fishing, wild foods. I'm a mama of two littles right now, so I don't get as much done as I used to, but I'm trying to look forward anyway. My design project is a double city lot, in a very tiny little coastal Alaskan town. We have lived in this spot for five years and I have already put a ton of work into the yard, which was mostly just a gravel pad to start. I think I'm at a good point to stop and assess, to make a more coherent design. But I'm also interested in a broader sort of 'sustainable lifestyle' design for this incredibly harsh climate.
Your turn!
8 years ago