Amanda Wheaton

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since Dec 27, 2013
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Michigan, I am indeed a Wheaton, though not related to Paul Wheaton, at least that I know of! Wheatons were once Whedons as we helped to inhabit New Haven CT back in the mid-1600s  I am a middle age woman with a passion for permaculture!
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Recent posts by Amanda Wheaton

Mk Neal wrote:Hi, Amanda! Sounds like a great project you are starting.  Whereabouts are you located?

I am in Michigan... the land of the big mitten state
1 year ago
what I do with mine is mix in some of the wood mulch that I get from other parts of my property that is a lot of chewed up oak and/or pine. I need to test/retest my soil a bit, but so far I have done it at this home and my previous home and both had the blueberries doing well with it that way.   I can make wood chips for a lot cheaper than bags of peat moss for sure.
1 year ago
That sorta depends.  Are you buying something from a green house that may not be acclimated to the weather? Whenever I try to buy something that comes from a store I find that they are "ahead" of plants that are already in my yard.  Because they are a little bit ahead, they are not always ready for the cold weather so depending on what it is, I might not plant it right away.  That said, If it's nice hardened-off plant, a frost doesn't hurt it as much.   My raspberries go through frosts all the time even with green leaves.  I am in Michigan.  I have leaves budding right now.  can have frost upwards of another 7 weeks.  I hope this answer helps.    And a nice part about raspberries is, say you mess up a little bit. It is always possible that you only kill what is above the ground.  Under the ground it is still spreading roots which will throw up shoots depending on the variety.

1 year ago
This is actually one of the reasons I turned the forum on this evening.  I don't know that I want to do "U Pick" as much as I want to grow fruit to sell.  I currently own 21 acres and have been in the process of modifying it a little a time over the last 5 years.  When I purchased my property it was full of invasive autumn olive.   I was a new widow at the time so I just had my boys help me a little here and there while I worked.  Zoom ahead 5 years and I am a bit better off financially than I was then, plus a bit more intelligent, so I rented a skidsteer to clean up the autumn olive.   I left it in some places simply because it blocked view from neighbors and I felt it still served some benefit for honeybees in the Spring as it is one of the first things to blossom. Anyways, I had to clear about 8 acres of my 21 acres for this autumn olive.  Upon clearing i then studied it to see where water would collect and such at different types of the year.  I did add in some fruit trees here and there, in addition to wild raspberries already on the property.   Last fall I adopted some blueberry bushes.  I have had some experience with blueberries over the years as I have worked for various farms for blueberry plcking, plus its something my children have done every year as a family.    This winter I kept trying to decide what I wanted to focus on in terms of using the land as well as having future income.   I am only in my 40s,  but I want things to be mature, ready for full harvests in the next 5+ years.  I want to start handling farmers markets. I want to also have food security.  But as long as my children and their families have all of their food stored up for the winter, i'd like to have extras to sell.  and I have decided I really want to focus on fruits.   I currently have about 125 of 3 different types of Blueberries.  I have 3 types of wild raspberries with the hopes of adding in 2-3 new varieties.  The property did have a lot of wild grapes that tasted wonderful (dont know the type, but its for wine, not fresh eating)  I bought strawberries to plant this year too.    I have about 50 or so fruit trees. (all planted in the last 5 years)    I am currently working on laying out some trenches and such for watering my berries and orchard trees in a unique kind of way (with gravity, trenches instead of irrigation)
1 year ago
I have several varieties that came with my property. I assume they are wild or rather maybe left overs from the old farm 40+ years ago.  Either way, I will find at least 3 different types close together, even mixed in with each other. I haven't ran into any kind of fungal issues or disease.  However, clearly if they can live together for 40+ years they must be decent varieties that very well may be resistant to things that might bother a new variety introduced into the area.
1 year ago
Welcome Blake! The cover of your book makes my heart pitter patter..
1 year ago
I had joined this forum several years ago, which was in so many ways, a whole different world than I live in now.  I went from a really sandy piece of property, where I used to whine that it was all sand. I made it into a beautiful place, but sold/moved in 2018 to a place that is a narrow 10 1/2 acre parcel full of various changes in soils and elevation.  The front 3 acres is a high water table full of heavy black soil (RICH!) that goes down about 18 inches and then hits solid clay (michigan clay) Its great land, except for years like 2019 where my yard was literally saturated all Spring/summer/fall and even til today.  Standing water everywhere.   This land continues back a bit til the back of a pasture I attempted to have which has a change of elevation. There is a swale there as well.  This section moves from the heavy clay/soil to sandy higher area.  It could be a great place for a pond.  The higher land is a nice loam which would be great for some fruit trees I think.  Then farther back a little more it begins mixed forest, mostly a lighter sand with oak trees and some autumn olive.  Then we run into the very tall overhead power lines that cross my property there and just past that the elevation drops a good 20 feet or so and we get into a very heavy muck/mixed forest that leads to a year around flowing creek.  This creek is super cool as it even contains some fish.  Seasonally we have even gotten Salmon and some trout.  Likewise, in the fall when the Salmon run, in comes some cool Black Bears.   My elevation through property is up and down. Its beautiful, but some more simple ideas for drainage of my front property is complicated because I am not sure where else to have the water drain-yet theres my house! and it is a mess with the sump pump/crawl space.  Water water everywhere when it rains even in a normal year and it takes 2-3 days to dry.  2019 was never a dry day and it was such a mess.

So that is why I have returned to Permies   I need help to try and best handle my new to me property to get it up and going in the best way that is economical and eco-friendly.  I want to work with nature and not against it.  I have honeybees and I do garden.  But i want to work on a bit of a food forest as I do desire to grow most of my own in the long scheme of things.  I started planting some orchard trees the first year I was here, though we will see if they survived after this years flooding.  I need to do more of a food forest out back where the sandy loam that is higher in elevation could work with them, though I might become angry with the local white tailed deer population

Though I could move a lot of that sand out back and move it up forward, but then I would have to replant my trees..  Not against the idea, but I may need to do a lot of scraping of soil and adding soil.. blah blah a lot of work just to pull the water away from the house.    Anyways in time, as we get into the year more, I will add pictures so that I am better understood and I can get the best help.  

I am a widow/single woman in my late 30s so I will be utilizing some equipment and teenagers to help me with my projects, but not a man to do do my work.. in between working, college and homeschooling my kids lol but yes, I have the time to work on my land- so much depends on it.  

So here i am!! Now to go get working and reading up on what others have done with similar situations the best that I can.

4 years ago
by the way, i think you could add some more materials to your bin for them to eat.. like shredded paper or leaves.
9 years ago
my bins are doing the same thing! lol! both in maggots andin heating up. I have some hay and rabbit manure though instead of sawdust. I keep knocking it around trying to break it fromheating. I migh take out half of the hay/manure andreplace with some half shredded leaves. I have about 1500 worms plus cocoons in three different bins. One bin is absolutely perfect! the other two a mess :/
9 years ago
Oooh that is wonderful! I had been thinking about her and hoping you would update. I had a goat once that had gotten cocci when little and she stayed stunted. I mean seriously stunted.. Its possible your girl will still be okay later on but she might stay small too and in that case you might just have a cuddle pet If I had a seriously stunted Jersey girl I would love her just for her manure and hay burps! Sure beats having a pony or something! Sometimes I get tired of milking the cow but at 800-900 lbs I sure cannot just have her be a hay burner for awhile :/ but if she was only 300-400 i sure could lol
10 years ago