Jen Van

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since May 28, 2013
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Recent posts by Jen Van

Minnesota 3b I think. I got a Nishiko (sp.) willow...
Finally got my hands on a rooted pot of willow for cheap at the local garden store. I really want to make a livig structure out of it for our son. The branches are currently only around 3-4 feet long. Should I plant it in the general location where I'd like to make the structure and wait until next year? I don't have too much time right now since I am also planting lots of evergreens...
Just finished reading the Braiding Sweetgrass book. Thank you all so much for the recommendation. She is an amazing storyteller, and now I cannot wait to read more of her books!
I also have a south- facing slope. Last year, I had a very productive raised bed--although I used mulch below to create a level surface for the planks. I did this because I was afraid that heavy rains would wash my dirt out and over the container and down the slope (I tried open raised beds this year and they washed down the slope pretty quickly despite being surrounded by heavy mulch. Anyhow, last year's garden was lovely. I grew chard, pumpkins, tomatoes, basil, and squash...but most all was eaten by deer and rabbits! However, I did use a very nice mix of dirt from an old compost pile left on the land we bought AND Buffaloam compost (pricey lovely black stuff)! We also feed it bat guano and seaweed. Best of luck to you with your slope. Keep me posted. I love to read about people's struggles with slopes...I've got a fine one myself and not the energy nor equipment to terrace it...but I have some new ideas about what to do next year...
I really do thank all of you for your thoughts and stories and advice! It helps me process my own ideas and integrate new ones! My biggest problem is that I am the only one who works this land and have little income. Terracing sounds lovely...I did try my own version and as someone logs and timbers literally rolled right down the hill after a serious rain. That dirt and mulch at the bottom of hill is partially from one rain slide... I then used stakes behind the logs and over this spring and summer and the rains, even those hardly hold them--especially with a four year who loves to "walk the beams"! I will keep thinking on this and taking small steps where I can...

Zone 4b
Deer and rabbits that eat small trees and all vegetables--YES!
Snowmelt from all directions--YES!
Newbie here... What are the benefits of the keyhole design? Does it work on a slope?
5 years ago
Thanks for the help! I will observe that broad leaf one for a bit and see what it does!
5 years ago
Japanese beetles are eating my crabapple saplings. I am afraid these trees won't make it. We are in Minnesota. Have the saplings at top
of slope. Snowdrift crabapples.
5 years ago
Say you were a person passionate about permaculture but feeling very discouraged about current attempts with her yard and wants to grow her own food and reestablish the woodlands. What would you do with this yard?
Sorry for all the plant ID questions...I'm a newbie.

This plant is growing in many places in or lawn (which I am slowly eradicating). The leaves are almost leathery. And it's quite difficult to pull by hand. Trying to keep woody stuff out of the "freedom lawn" unless it's very useful...

Anyone know what it is?
5 years ago