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Yarostan Nachalo

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since Oct 10, 2013
All life is interconnected.

How we choose to spend the few years we're allotted on Earth—from the interactions we have with each other to the ways we choose to heal or steal from the planet—is a serious decision with measurable consequences. Out actions as individuals determine not just how our day will unfold but how future generations will be able to live. We determine what quality of life out children will be able to play in, what quality of air they will have to breathe, what flora and fauna they will gaze at in wonder.

If an individual takes the time to reflect upon this fact and proceeds to actually do something about it, their perspectives on life and living from then on will be different. Unable to continue ignoring the impact of one's own action, cognizant individuals can choose to apply a socio-political evaluation to everything they participate in. How one chooses to feed themself, to fulfill themself, to survive and guide their own life, is a choice that, from a critical standpoint, should not be taken lightly.

When we choose to affect the world around us directly, we begin to live our lives as if they actually mattered. We begin to realize the potential every person has for making this world a better place to live and thrive in. We begin to grow.

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Recent posts by Yarostan Nachalo

Adam Buchler wrote:I am in zone 7 and I was told to plant potatoes in early May around the time dandelions bloom. My potatoes will be harvested summer/fall as I planted an early, mid, and late variety. I am curious about how you are harvesting in March? what zone are you?

I didn't harvest them in March, that is when I planted them, towards the end of the month. They are a pretty quick growing variety and were flowering by the end of May. The tops haven't all died back yet, I just dug some up early to munch on and do this dormancy/chitting experiment. I'm in Zone 7, too, near Asheville, NC.
I'm a big fan of chopping and dropping. It just makes sense to keep biomass directly where it comes from (providing it isn't diseased or full of unwanted seeds). But of course as soon as it's down, it begins to dry out. Now in my mind, I mostly associate GREEN biomass with NITROGEN, and BROWN biomass with CARBON. I may not completely or clearly understand how this works--and please correct me if I'm wrong--but I get the impression that by letting the fresh material dry out on the surface, I am loosing both nitrogen and moisture. So what I have begun to do in my garden is simply lift the existing mat of dry mulch material and just tuck the new green stuff underneath it. This allows it to stay moist and green, more like a green manure than a dry mulch.

To test the efficacy of my little experiment, I have left some spots with their existing mulch layer (no additional material) and some spots normally chop and dropped on top. Whether or not I am correct about saving nitrogen, I have to say it is working well for me. The control areas do their expected part in conserving moisture and suppressing weeds of course, but not much else can be said. However where I have chopped and tucked, the soil is more moist, there is a good deal of insect activitiy, and a few worms have ventured out above the surface of the soil on a 90 degree day to have a munch.

For what it is worth, this is a new garden as of this year, so there is a clear division between the soil surface and the straw & leaf mulch. Also this is also not a forest garden, but some beds turned out of a yard in full sunlight all day. I don't know if tucking would make much difference in a place with more established soils or more perennial cover.

Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.
6 years ago
I just harvested some Purple Majesty potatoes I planted back in March, and I want to throw some of them back in the ground and get another crop in this summer. Reading Sustainable Market Gardening (Pam Dawling), I discovered they typically need a 6 to 8 week dormancy period before they will sprout. To speed this up, she recommends refrigerating them for 16 days, then pre-sprouting them in light for 2 weeks with apples or onions for ethylene gas.

I'm excited to try this, but I'm curious if anyone has tried this method and has thoughts on their results? Has anyone been able to regrow potatoes in one season by just tossing them back in the ground?
I apologize if my response was irksome. What I meant to communicate was that it's admirable you are taking action at all. I've found many people who talk about how interesting and cool these ideas are, but don't really take the plunge... which, yeah, is something that makes you look crazy. I can empathize with that in a whole lot of ways. What you say calls to mind a quote:

"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." --Krishnamurti

Sometimes remembering that is about all that gets me through the day.
6 years ago
I'm inclined to agree with John. I think the beauty in these systems is that they evolve. Permaculture (to me) is a rejection of our cultural programming towards structure and control over nature. The important thing is that you are conscious of the change you would like to see, and that you are doing and observing.

That being said, not everybody is a big-picture sort of person. I'm curious what your situation is. How do you currently use your space? What sorts of projects would you like to see happen? Are you interested in developing a food forest, raising ducks, harvesting rainwater, building a rocket mass stove, etc? What do you feel is making organization difficult for you?
6 years ago
The George Washington Carver Edible Park in Asheville, North Carolina. It's been around for over a decade. It could use a little TLC, but it's cool spot tucked just a few minutes away from the bustling downtown area.

I know there had been a kickstarter campaign to fund an edible park in Lincoln, NE as well, but I don't think that ever got off the ground, which is a shame. I'm guessing that's because of the surprisingly high pricetag they were shooting for.
6 years ago
I'm going to be doing some work on a friend's property, and one issue that I need to tackle is erosion control.

This is in the mountains of Western North Carolina, so the soil is pretty much just acidic red clay. This portion in particular sits at about a 60 degree angle and was disturbed in a previous building project, leaving it unstable. At the moment I'm considering putting in rhododendron and mountain mint, but I'd like to find a few other native perennials that could help stabilize this part. Any thoughts?
6 years ago
I'm reading up on fruit trees in preparation to put my first ones in the ground this coming spring. There is so much to learn! Ploidy, chilling hours, rootstock characteristics. I think I'm catching on, but one thing I'm not sure of is what exactly flowering groups refer to.

Are flowering groups distinguished by a distinct (calendar specific) period when they come into flower, or are the trees sensitive to changes in the temperature, daylight hours, etc? Or something else entirely?

Any other knowledge nuggets for a newbie would be appreciated!
6 years ago