Cindi Martineau

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since Sep 20, 2013
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Recent posts by Cindi Martineau

You make a good point John. I'm going to be planting Paw Paws since we are at the top of their range. There aren't many of them in my zone, but in the years to come, they will be moving this way.

I really think it depends upon the type of invasive plants there are. Honeysuckle has to go. It makes almost an impenetrable thicket in some areas. The birds love it, but there are natives that can be put in that are probably more nutritious (studies at Michigan State University are looking at this). We also have garlic mustard which puts out a chemical from the root that does not allow other plants to grow (spotted knapweed in sunny areas too). I learned that some people purposely plant garlic mustard. I've eaten pesto made with garlic mustard and it's delicious, but seeing the way it has overtaken our disturbed forests here, I'd never plant it. I'm on the lookout too because I won't plant things like that in my yard that could spread to the disturbed forest. We have a pristine climax maple beech forest less than a half mile from us. I don't want to be the one responsible for changing that. It contains hundreds of species that have been here in our area for hundreds of years. The main thing is that people need to take the time to learn about these systems and make wise decisions. We see "exotic" plants all of the time in the forest. Most of them aren't worth removing as they don't actually invade. But, there are a few who do and I think it's worth it to try to remove them or change the soil so that they can maybe die down on their own.
7 years ago
I'd love 3-4 horseradish plants. What is heeling in and how do you do it? We are snow covered here in Lansing, MI (zone 5a), but if there is a way I could keep it, it's one less thing to remember to buy in the spring!
Hi Craig, I don't know where you are located, but there are great ways to learn more about the biodiversity of your area. One thing we have done is to join a local Wild Ones group which focuses on which native plants belong in your area. In some cases, what you have there now, is not what was historically there. I've also looked at historical state maps from back in the 1800's when they did surveys of the land (mostly looking for ways to exploit it!).

We also have woods behind our house that have been disturbed quite a bit. There is a large oak and some hackberry trees that are legit, but there is a ton of honeysuckle that we want to get rid of since it doesn't belong. There is a Norway Maple and Box Elder. We'd like to take down both of those. We have a lot of black raspberry brambles and then a lot of invasive junk. I believe there must be earthworms present in the soil since there is no duff and the leaf cover is gone by early to mid summer drying out the soil badly. I may work to try to change the soil if I can. Maybe I can chase the earthworms into my yard and out of the forest to make a healthier forest.

For me, I plan to only put native plants, shrubs and trees behind our fence in the woods. This will include food for the birds and maybe some food for us too. In my yard I will have native plants, but also a huge variety of food plants. I'm planning on growing mushrooms, but I'll probably do it in the yard, unless it's something like chicken of the woods or others that I've seen in the area. In the beginning I wanted only native plants, but then I read something very convincing about how we can do more good by growing our own food than going with exclusively native plants. Now, I"m trying to strike a balance between the two. I believe many of the native plants will be good companion plants for my food. They will support local, native pollinators and they will be beautiful.

Another thing to consider before changing your woods is to try to find out if you have any sensitive areas nearby. Sometimes there are endangered or threatened plants in those areas. Purists will say that the genetic stock of those plants should not be mixed with genetics from other areas. Plants that may exist across a large span of land (across many states), may still have particular genetics for specific sites and will do better there than if you move them to a slightly different climate.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do!
7 years ago
Full-length documentary. Is that 60 minutes, 90 minutes? There is so much to cover just in listening to his video. Can he really cover it all? I WANT all of that knowledge!!

I LOVE his attitude about insects and birds. Love it. I want the abundance that he's talking about!
Good idea Isabelle. I will seed just a little bit and and see what happens. It has a nice layer of straw on top right now.
7 years ago
It is November 14th, zone 5a. I just finished a hugel over the weekend but I'm unsure about spreading seed in this cold snap we are having and being that winter is here. Should I spread the seed for cover crop now?
7 years ago
I think you are probably right. I'm recovering from my initial shock and logical thinking is settling back in.
7 years ago

R Scott wrote:Not exactly that problem, but yeah. Code is written to completely deny any use but as long as neighbors don't complain they don't do anything about it.

That code is humorous in it's detail...



Yes, very detailed. They forgot to add that you can't make piles of meteorites, which might become a problem!
7 years ago
P.S. I'm using cardboard, straw, and plan to add leaves as they fall. I may end up covering all of the sheet mulched areas with a layer of compost that I'll have to have delivered.
7 years ago
I just found this in my cities ordinance codes:

Except as otherwise provided in Chapter 1060 of the Streets, Utilities and Public Services Code, no person shall cast, place, sweep or deposit in any manner whatsoever, or allow to accumulate, in or upon any street, sidewalk, alley, park, public place, drain, sewer, gutter or receiving basin in the City, or upon any private premises, any paper, pasteboard, straw, excelsior, shavings, chips, sawdust, wood, rope, twine, wool, cotton, flax, hemp, jute, rubber, leather, ashes, cinders, soot, charcoal, coal, sand, clay, mud, gravel, lime, shells, mortar, leather, ashes, cinders, soot, charcoal, coal, slag, dust, earth, sand, clay, mud, gravel, lime, shells, mortar, plaster, tar, hay, grass, leaves, weeds, grain, salt, hair, feathers, moss, shucks, bark, brick, stone, wire, nails, tacks, iron, tin, brass, copper, glass or pottery; or.any kind of garbage, refuse or offal, whether animal or vegetable; or any slops, suds, swill, brine, rinsing, dishwater, urine; or any dirty, foul, bloody or ill-smelling liquid; or any excrement, manure, carrion or dead fish, fowl or animal; or any fruit or vegetable or any portion thereof; or any kind of dirt, rubbish, waste article, household furniture, utensils or appliances or any of the parts thereof; or a motor vehicle which is currently unlicensed, lacks any of the tires or wheels for which the vehicle was designed or is incapable of being moved under its own power; or any part of a motor vehicle; or any thing or substance whatsoever, whether or not of the same nature as the articles, things or substances herein specifically mentioned.

This section shall not apply to organic matter that can be properly composted, nor to the deposit of material under a permit authorized by the ordinances of the City; nor to goods, wares or merchandise temporarily deposited upon any street, sidewalk, alley or other public place in the necessary course of trade, and removed therefrom within two hours after being so deposited; nor to articles or things deposited in or conducted into the City sewerage system through lawful drains in accordance with the ordinances of the City relating thereto; nor to any parcel of land where junk yards or storage yards are permitted by these Codified Ordinances.

I am astounded and disbelieving. I have just begun to sheet mulch a lot of my property and it seems that I'm going against the law!! Is this common? I believe that this particular code was written in 1994 and it may be unlikely that I'll get turned in for it. Anyone else had to deal with this? or looked up and found code like this?
7 years ago