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Joan Fassler

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since Feb 23, 2013
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Recent posts by Joan Fassler

Hi Andrew.
Just north of you in Hartford NY, near the Vermont border.
I have a lot of the same problems you do. Just bought five acres of what use to be farmland, 50 years ago. It was hillside pasture and I am not exaggerating, it is 45 degree slope. Some small lumbering harvesting were had been done over the years. I have piles of oak branches all over the place. These are old piles do not seems to be decomposing anytime soon. There are trees blown down from Hurricane Irene, some trees just standing dead, bug and/or fungus infested. A pile not far behind my house looked like someone was trying to construct a baracade. The previous owner said they used it for a deer blind. I decided to make it into one huge compost pile/ huegle culture/ mushroom /salamander habitat. My daughter calls it my bridge to nowhere. I have dumped piles of leaves on it, kitchen scrapes, goat manure, lime, and gypsum. I threw some mushroom spawn in it last year, going to do it again this year. The red newts and salamanders love it. If I can clear out some of the trees surrounding it, I am going to plant on it, squash, I think. I have nothing but stones on my property, so I am making several large fire ring to make burning pits. Help get rid of some of the tick infestation , the bugs attacking the trees, as well as the fungus I do not wantMy soil is very acidic by the the way the oaks grow on it, so scattered pits of ash leaching slowly will be good for the soil. I do not intend to burn massive amounts all at once. If I was able to get a wood chipper, I would throw the chips on the branch heaps, to help hold moisture to help the decompose, add more mushroom spawn.
3 years ago
it looks a little like a Locust tree. They are nitrogen fixing canopy tree that are drought tolerant.
4 years ago
Have you looked At Osage Orange. They trees were used as waddles to keep in cattle in the west. very drought resistant.
4 years ago
I have a large pile of hardwood limbs (sugar maple, black oak, cherry, ash) I inherited when I purchase my property. I think the limbs are left over fall down from Hurricane Katrina. The stack is in the wooded area close to the house. It is about 4x6x 30 feet long laid somewhat like cord wood, stacked on top of each other. The woman who sold me the place said her sons used it as a hunting barrier/blind. The limbs are dry, no bark and not rotting. I started piling some the tons of leaves I have, on top of the branches after adding lime. I am going to add goat semi-composted straw and manure on top off the leaves. The final thin layer will be bone meal, leaf mold and dirt on the top.
I intend to try to put mushroom spore in it (oyster, wine cap) to help with decomposition of the limbs, as well as produce yummy mushrooms.
Anyone have any suggestion to help get this project of the ground? I am not sure if it will work but I am excited to see what happens.
I have several other pile of limbs piled on the lot, just not as big as this one. The property is on the side of a hill facing east by east west. I live in New York very close to the Vermont border.
4 years ago
Blackberries tell you the soil is very acid, moist but, well drained. Not compacted. Moss usually accompanies the black berries in shadier areas.
4 years ago
If it bothers you, remove it. Find out for sure what it is to put your mind to rest. If it turns out to be dandelion, borrow someone goats to help remove them.

Joan Fassler wrote:I would suggest a little preventative measure for the future. Keep the flowers mowed down to prevent any further seeding. When it gets wetter seed with buckwheat, and any other green manure good for choking out weeds. You can salt the existing plants or pour boiling water on them to kill them. Eliminate what you can, when you can,

4 years ago
I would suggest a little preventative measure for the future. Keep the flowers mowed down to prevent any further seeding. When it gets wetter seed with buckwheat, and any other green manure good for chocking out weeds. You can salt the existing plants or pour boiling water on them to kill them. Eliminate what you ca when you can,
4 years ago
I read where some one took "clumping" clay kitty litter and mixed it with native soil and it worked great. There is a youtube video on it somewhere. It has to be the Clumping type because of its absorption, it becomes saturated, and a barrier to water.
4 years ago
Blueberries love sand as long as it is acidic. Honeyberries, hazelnuts also do well in sand. Ferns, like Ostrich fern and Cinnamon fern for fiddle heads. Jerusalem artichokes as long as the gets a half day of sun. Paw Paw trees should due very well on the creek banks. I would suggest adding some gypsum to the surrounding clay, to chemically breaking it down making lot less dense and sticky. There is a lot of nutrients in the clay alone as long as cations exchange is at appropriate levels. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cation-exchange_capacity ) Addiing organic matters also helps with CEC. Do not add more than 20-30% mulch to clay if you are planting a tree. You will end up will a "clay pot syndrome". The mulch water will absorb and hold the water and the clay will not let it leach out. The result is a drowned tree. Tell tale sign is upon removing the dead tree, is will smell like a septic tank and the soil will be saturated.
4 years ago
Awesome! Love the time line. I live in New York close to the Vermont border. Double helpful!

4 years ago