Kathleen Sanderson

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since Feb 28, 2009
Green County, Kentucky
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Recent posts by Kathleen Sanderson

C├ęcile Stelzer Johnson wrote:

Matthew Nistico wrote:

D Tucholske wrote:

Derek Carter wrote:
Its not fruit but we also harvest black locust flowers in the spring and it makes up about 25% of our salad for a couple weeks.

Is there anything special you have to do with the flowers? I have an old book that brings up that my ancestors used to make a beer &/ or tea from Black Locust, but it turns out that the tree is poisonous. The book doesn't go into detail about what part to use or preparation & most people seem to be averse to touching it food-wise.

Unless, you meant honey locust & got auto-corrected, or something?

Thank you, I would also like to know the answer to your question.  I have planted many black locusts, and while I know that they are beloved by bees, it would also be great to harvest the flowers for more direct use.  But it would be nice to know first if they are or are not poisonous!  I know that the pods are indeed poisonous, but the flowers...?

Yes, it is the flower of the black locust you can harvest to make a cold tea: https://www.instructables.com/Black-Locust-Flower-Cold-Brew-Tea/ While I was researching for what to do with locust blossoms, I came across this page: https://www.pinterest.com/foragedfoodie/forage-black-locust/  and I'm really intrigued about making liqueur or jelly. It sounds yummy. It seems that you can also eat the seeds, but the pods need to be cooked.
If it becomes invasive, you can always get goats: they will browse it to extinction in a couple of years, even the larger trees as they will strip the bark.

I'm not so sure about that -- unless the goats are way overstocked.  I've got black locusts and goats, and so far they haven't done any more than eat what leaves they could reach.  They haven't eaten bark at all, not even off the young trees.  (But if they can keep the sprouts under control, that will be great!)
1 week ago
I consider myself blessed to have several mature black locusts in the back yard, and a patch of young trees growing up which I plan to coppice.  But I can see that someone with a small yard would do better to choose something else for a shade tree!  For one thing, the black locust seems to have brittle branches; some come down any time we have a big storm.  And it would certainly overwhelm a small yard quickly if you didn't stay on top of it.  But my bedroom is in our attic, and one of my windows opens onto the back yard where the trees are; I love to look out and see and smell the flowers when the locust trees are blooming.  Last year we had a hard frost at just the wrong time and they didn't bloom, and I was very disappointed.  Hopefully we'll get some flowers this year.

1 week ago

Ryan M Miller wrote:I got some true seed for wild american plum (Prunus americana) in a seed exchange earlier this month. I plan on stratifying the pits in my refrigerator in some damp sand for about one month before planting them. Hopefully wild plums don't sucker too much. Perhaps I should grow them in a hedgerow.

I believe that most of them do sucker heavily.  If you plant them in a hedgerow, be sure to plant them very close together.  They need to be close for good pollination.
1 week ago

Margo Michaels wrote:The food forest that I help to steward has two very productive plum trees, not sure of the variety but most likely Japanese or European . Problem is that plum curculio, black knot, and brown rot ruin all of the fruit! Out of desperation we're considering copper spray this year but worry about drift; there is a herd of goats within 25' and many people passing by daily. Has anyone on this forum managed to overcome similar problems?

I don't know how the copper spray might affect the goats because I don't know what else is in it besides copper.  But goats require a great deal of copper; in fact, many of the health problems domestic goats have can be cured by giving them extra copper.  So it might not be the problem for them that you think.  Now, sheep would be a different story.  

If you have access to an agricultural extension agent, they might be able to help you find out if the copper spray was likely to cause any problems for humans or livestock.  Copper has been used for a long time, so there should have been research done.
1 week ago
Plums are one of my favorite fruits, too!  I don't care much for the Japanese-type plums that are what is usually sold in the grocery stores; I like Damsons and the prune plums much better (they actually have some flavor).  My grandmother had a small Damson tree in her yard on the Oregon Coast, and there were prune-plums in the old family orchard.  Mom and Grandma would can quarts and quarts of those, making sure to leave at least one pit in the jar for extra flavor, and we ate them as a treat during the winter, usually in a bowl with a little cream added.  Sometimes they would go into a cobbler or some other dessert, but usually it was enough to just have the plums in a bowl with cream.
1 week ago
You may have high rainfall, but your summers will be pretty dry.  

If you look around at old farmsteads in the area, see what they did and how their trees have survived.  My grandmother, on the central Oregon Coast, had apple trees (and plums, and chestnuts) that got completely swamped in mounds of Himalayan blackberries after she got too old to keep them cut back.  The deer and bears made paths and tunnels to reach the fruit, but I don't remember there being any extra disease or mildew issues.  Her place was up a valley; it could get windy, but wasn't constant breeze like at the beach.  Grandma's parents old orchard was still producing when I was young, and we picked a lot of fruit out of it.  It was on the riverbank, got almost no sun in the winter, and sometimes flooded in the winter.  But again, the trees were just planted in the ground and seemed to be doing well.  We sure ate a lot of good apples, pears, and plums out of that orchard.  There were the chestnuts I've already mentioned, basically growing as part of the forest, and while they didn't produce every year, they did produce good crops quite often and were very healthy (we think they were a European variety; nobody knew who had planted them.  They were already old when my grandmother was a little girl).  There were also English and black walnuts growing the same way.  So all of these except the old orchard, which was in a cow pasture and got grazed regularly, had a lot of undergrowth, just like a permaculture forest would have, and they were doing well.  I don't think you should have too much to worry about.

A recommendation -- get some of the old-fashioned Gravenstein apples for your summer apples.  They don't keep very long -- have to be used up right away -- but at their peak they have no equal and the Pacific Northwest climate seems to suit them very well.  They also make the absolute best applesauce and apple butter.  You can use them for pies, but they mush up rather than staying firm.  There is a modern Gravenstein which is not at all the same apple; it may be a good apple in it's own right, but the one I'm talking about has stripes and is light colored, yellow and red, when it's ripe.  

2 weeks ago
Funny that this popped up just now -- I had just looked Permaculture: A Design Manual up on Amazon and it's well over $600 now!  Was wishing I had kept our copy when my ex and I broke up, LOL!  

I am not going to order a copy of it from Australia just now, however, because I've broken my book budget for the month with Polyface Designs by Joel Salatin and Chris Slattery.  I think that one will quickly pay for itself, and I do have Gaia's Garden, among others.
2 weeks ago
I think for me it started with foraging for wild foods as a child -- not just cranberries and blueberries and wild currants and wild raspberries in the Interior of Alaska, but also the hunting and fishing, and having a garden; we raised or foraged/hunted/fished for most of our food.  Then we moved back to Oregon and my brothers and sisters and I and a whole bunch of cousins who were neighbors all ran wild all over the place, and we helped our mothers pick fruits from the old orchards planted by our great-grandparents, and we made applesauce, and canned apple pie filling, and froze some of it; we canned plums, and pears, and drove over to the Willamette Valley from the Coast where we lived, and bought boxes and boxes of peaches to can, and green beans.  We picked the little wild blackberries, enough to can fifty quarts of blackberry jam every summer.  We didn't have a cow anymore (we did have one in Alaska), but Mom bought raw milk from a neighbor who had a dairy, and what we didn't drink fresh was made into cottage cheese and butter.  We picked some salmonberries, too, and the wild huckleberries (which are not really huckleberries, but are in the vaccinium family along with blueberries).  My grandfather sometimes had venison for us, or steelhead from the river, and once in a while in the summer us kids would take some rotting meat and catch crawdads out of the river and we'd boil them up and have a crawdad feed. About once a year, too, we would go to the mud flats at the mouth of our river, where it emptied out into the main Siuslaw River, and dig clams, and make clam chowder and fried clams, and clam fritters.  Then we'd freeze the rest for the winter.

When I went to college (in Sitka, Alaska), my majors were forestry and fisheries; I met my husband there (he was majoring in forestry).  We picked up a copy of J. Russell Smith's Tree Crops early in our marriage, and agreed that we wanted a place where we could plant crop trees.  Along the way, whenever we found something useful, we used it.  The first house we bought was in downtown Tacoma (he had joined the Air Force and was stationed at McChord AFB) but it had a big old pear tree and an old plum tree in the back yard, and a quince at the corner of the front porch, and we used the fruit from those.  We planted a garden in the back yard, kept a few ducks, and raised meat rabbits in the garage.  Later we were back in the Willamette Valley (husband was stationed at a little radar site west of Dallas, OR), and again, we gardened, and foraged.  We picked up a bunch of acorns from some Oregon white oaks and made flour out of them, and baked with it (it was good, too).  

It wasn't too long after that that we found Bill Mollison's Permaculture: A Designer's Manual (and I just had to look that up to make sure I had the title right, and am wishing I'd kept our copy when my marriage broke up, LOL!  Wow!  That book has gotten expensive!).  We loved all the ideas in that book, and learned so much more than we already knew.  I've moved too many times since then, but just about every place we've lived, we've planted fruit trees and berries and other things, and tried to apply as much as we could from the permaculture principles.  It's getting harder as I get older and my back is a hard stop some days, but I still want to plant and grow as much as I can.  One reason I chose Kentucky to move to was because here we have soils and precipitation that help us rather than hindering.  

I have a theory that permaculture is an attempt to recreate the Garden of Eden.  Or at least that childhood of roaming and rambling, building forts, climbing trees, and feasting on both wild and domestic plants and their fruits as we found them.

2 weeks ago
Possible zipper sources might include suppliers of repair materials for camping equipment.  Good quality tents, sleeping bags, and parkas have good, sturdy zippers, and a lot of them open from both ends.  Might be harder to find the right length, but it should be possible to shorten zippers (I know it can be done, but shortening at an end that opens may require some spare parts and a tool to apply them with).  (I'm sitting here looking at the zipper on my Carhartt jacket -- it's a fleece one, but still has a good, solid zipper.)
3 weeks ago
If it's what I'm thinking of, it's what we used to use before plastic baling twine, and it is made from jute, I think.  Definitely plant based, anyway.  I haven't seen that kind of baling twine in a long time, though.  I was thinking that maybe the plastic twine wouldn't be a problem because it's not a solid sheet of plastic?  Anyway, you mentioned rough cord, and that's what popped into my mind, because we've got lots of it in the barn!
1 month ago