Alexander Duncan

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since Nov 24, 2012
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Recent posts by Alexander Duncan

For almost 4 years now I have been on a search, not for just a farm and enough land to raise cattle but for an opportunity.
The opportunity that I am looking for is to either find a farm and build it up into an eco-village or find an eco-village and raise livestock for money and for meat to give to the village.

I would love to help others start and establish their eco-village/farm or to partner with an existing Eco-village
I do have experience with cattle and I know how important grass fed/finished beef as well as grass fed dairy is important to our diet and healing our teeth (Weston Price or Paleo diet)

I am an excavator and a heavy equipment operator working for a local company in Saskatchewan, and I have knowledge and experience for establishing
infrastructure (roads, sidewalks, water, sewer)
Now my wife and I also celebrate the bible feasts, we're not Jewish. We actually grew up christian but both of us found that we believed in the whole bible and not just the New testament... like we keep the sabbath, and we are learning about the hebrew days like the day starts when the sun goes down.

We're also learning about healing our teeth and getting full jaw development in our son so he doesn't need braces. (Weston A Price)

So if you want to share a farm with my family, or if you know of many families that are trying to start a farm share please let me know.
I would love to join with them.

Thanks
Alex
4 years ago
I forgot to add this before but DO NOT USE MOB GRAZING!!! it is a grazing method for a Humid environment... It doesn't work on dry landscapes. Even where I live, east of the Rocky Mountains... Holistic Management is your friends best bet.
5 years ago
I found a video that I think explains what is now happening on my land, Allan talks about how he had to remove dams

He begins to talk about it at the 1:05.00 mark encase you would not like to watch the whole thing. I wrote about my dam troubles on another site and was shown this video... In my case I do have to agree, permies need to manage holistically

Enjoy the video, you can watch the whole thing it quite nice.
5 years ago

Michael Cox wrote:Lenny - have you seen Allan Savoury's TED talk on Planned Holistic Grazing? I think this could have really good application in Australia. Where in the country is this farm? What kind of climate are you talking about? My impressions are that lowering absolute production and reducing costs seems to be really important in most large scale agriculture these days - fuels and fertilisers keep going up in price - so your plan sounds fairly sensible. Holistic grazing also has the potential to improve land and stocking rates given a few years of application so is worth investigation.

If permanent fences are not already in place you will probably need to invest a bit in some portable electric fencing and think about how you will supply water to a series of mobile paddocks - some kind of water storage on a trailer with a trough?

Water is particularly important - sounds like you should have plenty of scope for putting in some water catchments on an area that large. This will help your animals, but also open up options for alternative landuses if you have sufficient water storage for even occasional irrigation.

On contour swales/ditches will help infiltrate what rainfall you have to replenish the local groundwater - keyline ploughing could be an aspect of this, but if you go for larger swales and ditches you could consider planting some shade/fodder/fruit trees.




I have to agree with Michael Cox, on such a large farm holistic planned grazing may be the best solution. From start to finish planned grazing uses livestock for regenerative landscape, with proper planning you could regenerate your land with just yourself which would be way less input than a large permaculture project.

Dams are designed to catch and store water run-off in a situation where little water is absorbed. Now what happens when you repair the soil, build carbon in the soil, and have maximum absorption. Now what water 'Run-off' do you have when the water doesn't just 'run-off' but gets absorbed? Well then the dams that you may have paid 10-50k to put in place would be of no use or little use. I'm not saying that dams are wrong, there are a "Time" when dams and swales are needed as long as it fits into your plan socially, economically, as well as catering to the needs of your environment.

If you think moving your cattle everyday or once a week or whatever your plan dictates, imagine in a cold climate like Saskatchewan Canada, Zone 2, its far less work to move your cattle than bringing bales out to the cattle everyday, it will also cost you far less in fuel, (side note: cows do dig into the snow to get the grass, and you get a far greater quality of beef that hay fed cattle)

A bonus to planning is you may already be able to tell if you will be short of feed that year, That will give you the opportunity to purchase extra feed early. Buying extra feed in the growing season (June in Canada) is the cheapest time of the year to buy feed because no one will think they are in need of it while their cattle are grazing on the fresh spring growth. Also any farmers that have left over bales from the Non-growing season (winter here) will nearly give them away to make room for the coming bales.

Just curious but has anyone installed a dam or swale on their land and had to remove it?

It may be hard to admit seeing that it may have been a financial hit to put it in and a hit to remove it.
Side note: when we started we had dry soil on the tops of our hills nothing even at 6 feet (180 cm) after implementing holistic planned grazing we had 3 feet (90cm) depth of moist soil 'ABOVE' our swale and dam in year 2 and in year 3 we have just over 4 feet.... now we are contemplating a dam removal to make more room for grazing lol.


So first think about your options, permaculture is good... but when using it with keyline and Holistic Planned grazing it becomes GREAT!
Luck
5 years ago

A group of amazing people on Canada's west coast are currently working really hard to save Canada's wild salmon population from diseases coming from fish farms, some of these amazing people are personal friends of mine that I met in West Kelowna last year. So please share this video to raise awareness of the situation in Canada's beautiful British Columbia. Thank you



5 years ago
Thanks Lance, what type of growing medium did you use? Just a simple peat moss or compost
5 years ago
Has anyone ever grown 'Tower Poplars' from cuttings before? I used a kit last year to grow hybrid poplars but I was wondering if I can propagate populus canescens the same way, with 2 bud cuttings using a rooting compound.

Do I have to soak them in water for a few hours, and what time of the year can I begin to take cuttings from the tree?
As well as what type of potting mix should I use?



5 years ago
ok I can narrow the location down, and my question down as well so its not too difficult. I would like to grow trees in South-east Saskatchewan, land location 3-3-7-10w2. Last summer I successfully rooted many laurel-leaf willows I used a rooting compound, although I was told later that it was not needed.

the list of trees posted was given to me by a local grower but he does not use rooting compounds, all of his trees are grown from seed or layering. I would just like to add a few more trees to my land and I wanted to try my hand at propagating.

All I really need is a good book or chart that tells me how to propagate the trees on my list, and which ones need a rooting compound, and things along that line.

5 years ago
Can anyone help me with some rooting (propagation) knowledge or recommend a good book for me on rooting trees in Zones 2 and 3
I have a list of trees that are pioneers that grow in the Saskatchewan prairies but needed to know if I can do hardwood cuttings on any of these with a rooting compound. Also I have a few ash trees both black and green ash and was wondering if I can propagate them using hardwood cuttings using a rooting compound in March/April and have them ready by spring to plant?

Alders (Alnus species): Zone 2-8, Nitrogen-Fixers, Biomass, Short-Lived, Shade Intolerant
Birch (Betula species): Zone 3-7, Short-Lived, Shade Intolerant, Biomass
Siberian Crabapple (Malus baccata): Zone 3, Wildlife Food, Can be Coppiced, Edible Fruit
Prairie Crabapple (Malus ioensis): Zone 2, Wildlife Food, Can be Coppiced, Edible Fruit
Mulberry, esp. White Mulberry (Morus alba): Zone 5-9, Biomass, Can be Coppiced, Wildlife Food, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Edible Fruit
Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana): Zone 2, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Wildlife Food, Edible Fruit
Sumac (Rhus species): Zone 3-8, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Wildlife Food, Edible Fruit, Tea Plant
Locust (Robinia species): Zone 3-8, Nitrogen Fixer, Dynamic Accumulator, Biomass, Can be Coppiced, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Beneficial Insect Shelter, Wildlife Food, Black Locust has Edible Flowers
Willows (Salix species): Zone 4-9, Short-Lived, Shade Intolerant, Wood has many uses, Need high moisture
Jujube (Ziziphus jujube): Zone 6-9, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Edible Fruit



SHRUBS

Alders (Alnus species): Zone 2-9, Nitrogen-Fixers, Biomass, Short-Lived, Shade Intolerant
Birch (Betula species): Zone 3-7, Short-Lived, Shade Intolerant, Biomass
Bladder Senna (Colutea arborescens): Zone 5-7, Nitrogen Fixer, Beneficial Insect Shelter
Sweetfern (Comptonia peregrina): Zone 2-6, Nitrogen Fixer, Small Animal Shelter
Red Osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea): Zone 4, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Wildlife Food and Shelter
Hazel (Corylus species): Zone 3-7, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Wildlife Food and Shelter, Can be Coppiced, Edible Nuts
Sea-Buckthorns (Hippophae species): Zone 3-7, Nitrogen Fixers, Edible Fruit
Chicksaw Plum (Prunus angustifolia): Zone 5, Nitrogen Beneficial Insect Attractor, Wildlife Shelter, Wildlife Food, Edible Fruit
Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana): Zone 2, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Wildlife Food, Edible Fruit
Blackberries, Raspberries, and other related brambles (Rubus species): Zone 2-9, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Beneficial Insect Shelter, Wildlife Food, Wildlife Shelter, Ground Cover, Edible Fruit, Tea Plant
Rose (Rosa species): Zone 3-9, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Wildlife Food, Edible Fruit, Tea Plant
Willows (Salix species): Zone 4-9, Short-Lived, Shade Intolerant, Wood has many uses, Need high moisture
Elderberry (Sambucus nigra): Zone 3-10, Edible Berries, Edible Flowers


HERBACEOUS PERENNIALS

Yarrow (Achillea species): Zone 3-10, Ground Cover, Dynamic Accumulator, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Beneficial Insect Shelter, Aromatic Pest Confuser
Hollyhock (Alcea rosea): Zone 4, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Edible Flowers (bland)
Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana): Zone 4-8, Aromatic Pest Confuser
Pale Indian Plantain (Arnoglossum atriplicifolia): Zone 4, Beneficial Insect Attractor
Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis): Zone 2-9, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Edible Shoots
Milk Vetch (Astraglus glycyphyllos): Zone 4-8, Nitrogen Fixer, Beneficial Insect Shelter, Ground Cover
Downy Wood Mint (Blephilia ciliate): Zone 4-7, Shade Tolerant, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Edible Leaves, Aromatic Pest Confuser
Turkish Rocket (Bunias orientalis): Zone 4, Edible Leaves
Clustered Bellflower (Campanula glomerata): Zone 3, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Edible Leaves, Edible Flowers
Chicory (Cichorium intybus): Zone 3, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Beneficial Insect Shelter, Dynamic Accumulator, Edible Leaves, Tea Plant
Smooth-Leaved Satureja (Clinopodium glabellum): Zone 6, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Ground Cover, Aromatic Pest Confuser
Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium): Zone 1-8, Wildlife Food, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Edible Leaves
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare): Zone 6, Beneficial Insect Shelter, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Edible Leaves, Flowers, Seeds, Culinary Herb, Tea Plant
Woodland Strawberry (Fragaria vesca): Zone 5-10, Dynamic Accumulator, Groundcover, Wildlife Food, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Edible Fruit, Tea Plant
Garden Strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa): Zone 3-10, Dynamic Accumulator, Groundcover, Wildlife Food, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Edible Fruit, Tea Plant
American Licorice (Glycyrrhiza lepidota): Zone 3-8, Nitrogen Fixer, Dynamic Accumulator, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Beneficial Insect Shelter, Edible Roots, Culinary Herb, Tea Plant
Sunflower (Helianthus species): Zone 2-9, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Beneficial Insect Shelter, Edible Roots, Edible Seeds
Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus): Zone 2-10, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Beneficial Insect Shelter, Edible Roots
Daylilies (Hermerocallis species): Zone 2-9, Wildlife Food, Groundcover, Edible Roots, Edible Greens, Edible Flowers
Cow Parsnip (Heracleum sphondylium): Zone 2-9, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Beneficial Insect Shelter, Edible Greens, Edible Roots, Culinary Herb
Perennial Lettuce (Lactuca perennis): Zone 5, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Beneficial Insect Shelter, Edible Greens
Lovage (Levisticum officinale): Zone 4, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Beneficial Insect Shelter, Edible Greens, Culinary Herb
Prostrate Bird’s-Foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus): Zone 5, Nitrogen Fixer, Beneficial Insect Shelter, Ground Cover
Lupine (Lupinus perennis): Zone 3-9, Nitrogen Fixer, Short-lived, Shade Intolerant, Dynamic Accumulator, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Beneficial Insect Shelter, Ground Cover, Edible Seeds (in some species)
Mallow (Malva alcea): Zone 5, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Beneficial Insect Shelter, Edible Greens, Edible Pods
Musk Mallow (Malva moschata): Zone 4, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Beneficial Insect Shelter, Edible Greens, Edible Pods
Alfalfa (Medicago satvia): Zone 3, Nitrogen Fixer, Dynamic Accumulator, Beneficial Insect Shelter, Edible Sprouted Seeds Tea Plant
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis): Zone 5, Dynamic Accumulator, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Ground Cover, Culinary Herb, Tea Plant
Mint (Mentha species): Zone 3-10, Dynamic Accumulator, Shade Tolerant, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Ground Cover, Aromatic Pest Confuser, Culinary Herb, Tea Plant
Wild Bergamont (Monarda fistulosa): Zone 3-9, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Aromatic Pest Confuser, Culinary Herb, Tea Plant
Miner’s Lettuce (Montia perfoliata): Zone 4, Ground Cover, Edible Greens
Oregano (Origanum vulgare): Zone 4-9, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Aromatic Pest Confuser, Ground Cover, Culinary Herb, Tea Plant
Ground Cherry (Physalis heterophylla): Zone 3, Wildlife Food, Edible Fruit
Pokeweed (Phyolacca americana): Zone 3-9, Wildlife Food, Edible Greens
Burnet Saxifrage (Pimpinella saxifrage): Zone 5, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Beneficial Insect Shelter, Edible Greens
Plantain (Plantago species): Zone 5, Dynamic Accumulator, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Edible Greens, Edible Seeds, Tea Plant
Silverweed (Potentilla anserine): Zone 3-7, Dynamic Accumulator, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Ground Cover, Edible Roots, Tea Plant
Rhubarb (Rheum species): Zones 1-9, Dynamic Accumulator, Ground Cover, Edible Stalks, Edible Flower Buds,
Sorrel (Rumex species): Zone 3, Dynamic Accumulator, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Ground Cover, Edible Greens
Sassafras (Sassafras albidum): Zone 5, Can be Coppiced, Wildlife Food, Culinary Herb, Tea Plant
Goldenrod (Solidago species): Zone 3-9, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Beneficial Insect Shelter, Aromatic Pest Confuser, Edible Greens, Culinary Herb, Tea Plant
Chickweed (Stellaria species): Zone 4-8, Dynamic Accumulator, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Beneficial Insect Shelter, Ground Cover, Edible Greens
Comfrey (Symphytum species): Zone 4-8, Dynamic Accumulator, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Beneficial Insect Shelter, Ground Cover
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale): Zone 3, Dynamic Accumulator, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Beneficial Insect Shelter, Edible Greens, Edible Roots, Edible Flowers, Tea Plant
Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioca): Zone 4-8, Dynamic Accumulator, Beneficial Insect Shelter, Edible Greens, Tea Plant
Vetch (Vicia species): Zone 3-9, Nitrogen Fixer, Dynamic Accumulator, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Beneficial Insect Shelter, Edible Greens
Violet (Viola species): Zone 3-8, Dynamic Accumulator, Ground Cover, Edible Greens, Edible Flowers


VINES

Chinese Yam (Dioscorea batats): Zone 5-10, Edible Roots
Hops (Humulus lupulus): Zone 4, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Edible Greens, Flowers for Brewing, Tea Plant
Everlasting Pea (Lathyrus latifolius): Zone 4-9, Nitrogen Fixer, Ground Cover
Maypop (Passiflora incarnata): Zone 6-10, Beneficial Insect Attractor, Wildlife Food, Edible Fruit, Tea Plant
5 years ago
Hi Pam, I hope you still read this post,

I am very interested in your offer, what kind of financial commitment would you need for a family of 3?
I may have to work full/part time to finance this shared venture.

Alex
6 years ago