S Bengi

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since Nov 29, 2012
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forest garden solar
Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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Recent posts by S Bengi

This is very interesting. I have always heard about the 80/20 rule.

20%(73) of the days of the year gives us 80% of the rain that we receive.
20% of that 73 will give us 15days and 80% of 80% gives us 64%
So 15days give us 64% of the rain that we receive.

I wish there was an app/website where I could pull the 15 wettest day and tally it then compare it to the total amount of rain per year.

Looking at my own airport weather station data.
I see that only 1/3 of the days actually have precipitation.

For small rain events alot of water is wasted by 1st flush/evaporation/infiltration/etc.
So with bigger rain event less water is wasted.
On a different note plants only get 50% of there water from rain/snow. The rest is from condensation/dew/fog/etc

1 hour ago
My male seaberry root suckers popped up at distances 5x the height of plant. And I don't even think I pruned the plant. At 1st I thought they were seedlings, until I tried to transplant one and saw that the 'cluster of seedlings' were all attached and as I followed it root growing at the woodchip-soil interface I found even more. And the other end of the root terminated at the male seaberry plant. And that left me a bit sad.
5 hours ago
Winter Zone 9
Summer AHS Zone 8
Rain: 31inch/year (Sept-Jan =20, Feb-May=10, Jun-Aug=1.5)

Apple Trees(Anna, Dorsett Golden, Fuji, Pettingill, Winter Banana, Beverly Hills)
Apricot Trees (Royal, Blenheim)
Avocado Trees (Hass, Fuerte)
Berries (Blackberries, Raspberries)
Blueberries: O'Neal and Sunshine
Mulberries (Black Persian, Oscar, Pakistan, White Pakistan and Weeping Teas)
Atemoya (African Pride)
Cherimoya (Dr. White)
Citrus Trees
Fig Trees
Guava Tree (Arrian, Bangkok, Giant Vietnamese, Hawaiian)
Java Plum
Jujube Tree
Kaffir Plum Tree
Coffee (Red Oxacan)
Louquot Tree
Mango (Manila, Adaulfo & Elefant, Corriente)
Macademia Trees
Nectarines (Golden, EZ Pick Snow)
Mexican Papaya Tree
Palm Trees (Dates, JellyPalm)
Passion Fruit
Peach Trees ( Babcock, Saturn, Donut, Desert Gold, Santa Barbara, Earligrande)
Asian Pear Trees (Shinko, 20th Century, Shinseiki)
Asian Persimmon Trees
Plum Trees (Beauty, Inco, Green Gage,Santa Rosa)
Pomegranate Trees
Sapote Trees

Check on the link and let me know what you think
18 hours ago
Logs, woodchip, straw, sawdust, cardboard will increase the fertility of your land too.  I sometimes prefer straw over hay because straw have no seed that will sprout and compete with my spring planting. Logs/woodchip and other TREE sources of carbon take longer to breakdown than dry grass (hay/straw). So hay will improve your soil faster.

There is quite a few way to increase the fertility of your land.
1) Add new mineral: artificial fertilizer, rockdust, sea90, rockdust, compost
2) Increase the air pockets in your soil, roots need air too
3) Increase how much water your soil hold and how long it holds it
4) Increase the carbon in your soil, holds water and like activated charcoal holds mineral
5) Increase the bio-availability of the minerals in your soil, with peeing-pooping worms and other critters and bacteria, fungi that will "dissolve" rocks to trade with plant roots, fix nitrogen from the air, change the localized PH

Personally I cover my fruit tree/shrub area with woodchip
And the garden area i just let the plant reamains stay right there in the garden with it looking super messy. Leaf litter works too, and straw if some presents itself at the frontdoor.
19 hours ago
I would say transplant your pawpaw in the fall. As long as the soil isn't frozen get them in.
Make the holes as big and deep as possible but don' amend the soil, you can top dress.
They love water, and compost, I just place a wormbin there and added compost daily.
I shaded mines, with white trash bags that I ripped.
Get the 12inch skiny pot when you buy them vs a regular (short pot).

I have another set (9plants) that I planted and they didn't get much babying.
Nice mulching, top dress with biochar, and they have natural afternoon shade.

There is another batch that is struggling/dead due to the wildlife (deer, critters)
They were not planted in the shade or in the fall either.

Pawpaw are only hardy to zone 5 so, look for a cultivar that was developed in a zone 5 area, and also provide it with some winter wind protection at least for the 1st year. It is also okay to prune them even while they are super short

Another idea is to plant a couple hundred seeds and then STUN
21 hours ago
These are my favorite Nitrogen fixers

Here is a list of Frankia based Nitrogen Fixers
(200 species in 8 different families)

Alder Family (Frankia Cluster 1)

Casuarina Family

Coriaria Family

Datisca Family

Elaeagnus Family (Frankia Cluster 3)

Bayberry/Myrica Family

Ceanothu/Rhamnaceae Family (Frankia Cluster 3)

Rose Family (Frankia Cluster 2)
21 hours ago
You could also filter this water in a way similar to alot of sewer system.

Aeration Tank, Settling, Sand Filter, Green Filter, Mushroom Filter.
21 hours ago
Which part of "my pasture system" would you like more info on.

Having the cows spread the manure by themselves by walking to a new sub-pasture every day? So less work for you, also daily sub-pasture is similar if not the same as mob-grazing.

Having 30+ sub-pasture so that they are only visited once every 30days so that we can have enough new grass growth, that is easy to digest without grazing too low and killing the "grasses". Thus keeping a more blanced pasture mix and with 30+day between pasture visits most of the cow parasites die due to the interrupted life cycle.

Is it the pasture mix of needing at least 40% legume (and 40% grasses) so that you don't have to add nitrogen fertilizer.

10% medicinal so that the animals can self-medicate when they need to, we can have a host of different worms and such that outcompete the ones that hurt cows and also have homes for the predators of the bad worms and other bad bugs/microbes.

10% weeds, that help bring up minerals with their 6ft to 18ft roots, and they are usually pretty nutrient dense and semi-medicinal. They also help to de-compact and aerate the soil. also a habitat for the "good bug".

It isn't really my system and you probably know all of these bit of info already, and maybe already use it. Just never thought of it in a holistic way. Here are a few website:

As for the soil improvement suggestions of mineral fertilizer/lime/etc

Innoculants so that legumes can fix more nitrogen, and pro-biotic innoculants that kill/out-compete the "bad microbes" in the soil. They also help make what little minerals that is in your soil more bio-available.

And yes you can improve your soil some more by add more carbon (woodchip, dry-manure, hay, straw, biochar, compost, etc)

Swales and other earthworks can also cut down soil erosion and water loss, so that your pasture is greener for longer, with less need to irrigate, if any.

I don't necessarily think that the forest above you is making your pasture worse off. Without any forest above you you will have a flood in the rainy season, and then a drought in the other season. But with a forest it becomes moderated. The spongy forest soil store the "spring rain/meltwater' and then slowly release the rest of the year. The sheeting also cause soil erosion that is taking away the good soil leaving you with horrible soil and the eroded soil end up in the creek, destroying it. The flood water can even form gullies too. The trees can also serve as a windbreak allowing your pasture to do well in the summer and they also raise the humidity too so that your pasture need less water due to increase night time dew condensation and also decreased daytime transpiration of the pasture. The forest might even he a habitat for all the good microbes/critters that inprove the pasture.
22 hours ago
I second what trace is saying.

Moving the family from one coast to the other side of the country will be very stressful and could cause stuff to implode. The same goes for "homesteading" it will be a big change and it might be more that you were in and esp more than the misses signed up for. You are going to have to put in extra work on that side too. You might have to put in all the money to make this work, all of the labor to produce and then all of the labor to preserve it and then all of the labor to cook it and maybe at that point nobody will not eat any because by then they have developed a medical condition or they just say life is too short, I am going to live it and enjoy it. And even if you say that you don't mind doing all of those things, she might get upset that you spend more time with heifer that you do with her or even the grandkids, and even in the rain you go outside and talk to the stupid tree and you spent thousands on apples  but you can't even spend a few dollars to go do xyz. It wasn't so bad when money just disappeared and nobody went anywhere. But now that you have hundreds of fruits trees as reminders that money is getting spent for your "hobby", which she totally don't mind you having a hobby, where is the equality when does she get to have her $10,000 hobby. And even if none of this happens, and you have lots of help and support. Maybe burnout will set-in, and someone will just say enough is enough, that could even be you maybe you will give up on growing radish because it is just too much.

But hopefully you will not have any of those problems that "BOB" had because you guys are on the same page, and all of this was talked about, expectations were set and regular checkin happened, and celebration, buy-in and lots of space activation happened. But enough of the nay-saying.

This is one of the reasons why I prefer dwarf fruit trees even though I will have to replace them every 30yrs vs every 80years. And I might have to mulch more. I like the fact that I or anyone else can harvest it easier. And that with more plants I can have more cultivars with a longer harvest season and so less food that I have to preserve. I like being able to harvest 900lbs of apples from July to November vs only 2 weeks in September. They are also usually don't need pruning and such work, and you start harvesting earlier. And if you encourage root growth (deep watering, not amending the hole, mulching top dressing, inoculation, etc) then they normally don't need babying (staking/pesticides/etc).

But if I was going to go with full size, I would plant seeds, 5 in each hole. Then cull the weaker ones to just 1 per hole. Then graft it after a while. But in reality I prefer to spend $4,000 and just get 3yrs old dwarf bare root, that gives a few fruits the very 1st summer.

the hog can pasture with the sheep and cow, without destroying the pasture. You just have to move them daily aka have 30 sub-pasture. And you should get the sheep 1st and then only get 1 pig so that it adopts a sheep way of life then you can get the other hogs and that one will teach the other hogs.

And yes if you get the Dexter and American BlackBelly Sheep your acreage will be more than good enough.

If you want to start doing cow+pigs+sheep the month you move onsite vs 2+ years later. Then yes they will have to be feedlot/barn raised. And worse case you can just kill and eat them if it gets to be too much. You could even hire someone to do all the work too. And there are lots of cool inventions, self-feeding gadget and such too, so you can always throw money at the problem too. There is no one answer.
1 day ago
Green Leaf Amaranth or any color

You cook it up just like kale or collard greens.
Mince/Chop it up
Add oil to a pot, heat, then onions, pepper, herbs, etc
Then add the amaranth to the pot
Stir Occasionally add salt and black pepper.

The trick is to get only the tender tips of the amaranth, before it all stringy and stiff.
It is really easy to create your own landrace, only save the seed from the ones that take the longest to go to seed and is not stiff/stringy.
1 day ago