Josh Katlof

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since Jan 07, 2014
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Recent posts by Josh Katlof

There is a video on Youtube about growing jujube:

According to the video, it's rather useless to try to grow them from seed. You are better off using their suckers as rootstock and then grafting your favorite variety over them if you want to expand your or

I have 10 jujubes growing in my orchard (2 each of 5 varieties). We grew 2 that we planted last year, and they produced fruit in the first year (Li and Lang). My family loved them so much, that I added 2 sugarcanes, 2 coco, and 2 GA866 to finish out my collection. The key to jujube is to let them ripen on the tree!!! Also, I suggest dangling old CDs on the tree branches to keep the birds away. As soon as they ripened, and start getting red, the birds seem attracted to them.

5 years ago
I have not attempted to grow edible mushrooms, but can tell you what I did with my hugel beds.

Last year, I bought and spread the following product from fungi perfecti on my hugel garden beds (tons of buried logs, compost and wood chips). It's all built over a Houston clay soil base (which I did not use in the beds).

MycoGrow™ For Vegetables--1 lb

This year, I'm getting crazy levels of mushrooms out of them. The buried logs (top layer), if not completely eaten away, crumble. The soil making properties of the spores is remarkable. I now cut out the mushrooms when they get large and spread them out into my orchard area to expand the inoculation zone (as these have been buried in logs and wood chips too). The soil that the mushrooms have made is simply outstanding. I know that it's meant for garden beds... but, figured it can't hurt for my fruit trees.

I do the same with any other mushroom variety that I find growing in the garden/orchard area.

The key for me is to expand the diversity of life in my garden/orchard soil.

5 years ago
Get a dog... My Australian Shepard just loves mice/rat hunting. Digs into the hugelbeds sometimes to catch the new, uninvited guests. She chews the catch a bit and leaves it by my porch. I reward her with a nice juicy bone for each mice/rat she brings me. Win-win...

5 years ago

Salt completely kills what little fertility you have in your soil. The main reason why industrial fertilizers are so harmful is that over time, their good stuff gets washed away, leaving only heavy metals and salts, making your soil infertile. Same can be said about using city water without filtering out the Chlorine (slower than fertilizer, but same effect). Using city water to "water the garden, trees, etc..." accumulates salt over time. Basically, using salt on soil is generally a no-no as it tends to kill their soil forever?

Of all the plants to "control", we are talking about an edible plant here. Best way to "control" a plant, is to find a use for it. Food is a good use. Alternatives include making liquor or many other products that use prickly pear cactus as a base. Myself, I have an issue trying to control "poison ivy". Since I don't have any goats handy - I have a "resource" which I cannot utilize, resulting in it being a nuisance.

Good luck!

6 years ago
If you haven't noticed yet... there is a full frontal attack by both industry and governments (trans-national, national, state and local) on those of us who are trying to live self-sufficiently/sustainably and/or in ecologically-sound manners (or just do the morally right thing). Basically, Permaculture is under attack! Time after time, I see cases where someone comes forward (local news, youtube, etc...) and shows how they have improved their lives/health/etc and maybe those of others... by doing things such as:

- "turning off" the power from the power company to live only off a small solar setup. Significantly reducing their utility bills and living a "simpler life".
- build a rocket stove heater.
- collect rain water to remove the need to irrigate their property using fluorinated/chlorinated city water.
- using compost, worm or soldier fly casting, or god forbid - real manure from fowl or grass fed animals, to fertilize their plants.
- grow fruit trees and god forbid - a vegetable garden on "their property", instead of this "manicured lawns" enslavement system we must all partake in.
- grow a medicinal herb garden.
- taken certain plants to get off pharmaceuticals.
- save your own heirloom seeds to re-grow your plants year after year.
- feed the homeless or give back to the community.
- buy or sell "living" food.
- etc...

Only to be visited by a number of different acronym government agencies ready to dish out fines for non-compliance of some stupid ordinance, law, or who-knows-what. Any attempt to get off the path of "hooking-up" to this insidious social "Matrix" of where you must watch your mandatory TV programming, eat your GMO infused processed chemical foodstuff, take your cholesterol reducing and mind altering pharmaceuticals, deviate from the force-fed left/right political paradigm conversation, etc... must be punished and must be punished publicly and harshly.

Sorry for the rant. But, the insanity has gotten so pervasive lately, that this behavior can no longer be seen as accidental. Some of us have woken up to the fact that this "Matrix" is unsustainable to the earth, to our healths, and to our childrens' future. Instead of just "talking about it" casually at parties (politically correct "greenies" - all talk and no action), and wondering when and if things will ever improve, some of us actually try to "walk the talk", and better our lives for ourselves by doing something about it. But, we do it at our own peril. I would love to do a youtube about some of the things I've done on my property. But, there is a fear that this will only invite undesired government intrusion onto my life. I am not doing this for profit. It's for my family's health and wellbeing.

How insane has our world gotten when do the right thing is being made illegal? Yet, committing crimes against nature is OK, as long as your are doing it with government approved poisons... Am I the only one feeling like this?

6 years ago

There are a few of us "crazies" (what my wife calls me) building a permaculture garden (food forest with embedded gardens) in the Dallas area. I've got about 150 fruit/nut trees over 1/2 acres dedicated to this "project" on a 1.7 acre homestead.
My planting started just about a year ago. So, the food forest garden is still young. I'm also putting this together alone, with my shovel and wheel barrel. I'm also following certain differences in my philosophy, such as:

1) Genetic diversity. Even though I have multiple types of certain trees, they are all genetically different cultivars.
2) I'm using "back to eden" wood chips *everywhere) as a tick mulch. This solves a number of huge problems growing in the DFW area, such as:
6 years ago
I've seen the following which started me thinking:

these looks a great deal like:

Building one of these was what I was thinking of doing... Never considered quail. Need to investigate more...

My HOA is against any "structures", including greenhouses (they did not allow me to move my 8x8 foot mini-greenhouse from my prior home - i.e. rejected AFTER I bought the property) that don't conform to neighborhood standards! Basically, if I try to build a shed/garage port, it must look like an extension to my house (meaning - brick and lots of $$$ - something I'm trying to avoid). I'm only allowed to use materials that are "common" within the neighborhood. You should see what I have managed to do with "wood chip mulch and logs (from a tree service place), & compost from city recycle program) - since they cannot reject those materials. I've turned part of an ugly bermuda grass lot into a living ecosystem (my most recent critter that has tried to move in is a road runner - my Australian Sheppard dog keeps chasing it away - funny to watch - if only my dog had access to ACME products

Anyway, given that there are significant kids in the neighborhood, they do allow children play sets and play houses... So, I was thinking of requesting "permission" to install one of the above... and use it for something else

The neighborhood does not allow wood fences, just black iron metal ones. So, they can see into my property. But, given the fence I've installed around my property line, they are not allowed to enter. Way in the back... hidden behind my 1 year old - 100 fruit tree polyculture/permaculture food forest/garden with hugleculture beds... it's starting to get difficult to see what is going on from outside the property. I've kept the design and implementation clean and nice to avoid complaints - as I seem to be the only one who thinks that a food producing landscapes are both beautiful and beneficial. In a few years, the fruit trees will get much bigger and their branches will close the canopy (I'm growing them 8 feet apart in formation patterns designed to ensure sufficient access to sun), making it impossible to look inside the back 1/2 acre of my property.

But, I've build a few standard galvanized fences as trellises inside the garden area for my grapes and hardy kiwis which are already out of "compliance"... I may have to paint the posts black to conform to HOA rules... But, found that if I keep things tidy... HOA does not complain too much.

That said... I'm pretty much set on the fruits and veggies in my system. But, would like some protein production. Thought about rabbits... as technically, that would not be against any rules I found (my kids are refusing the idea of eating rabbits). But, have no issue with birds!... Anyway, eggs are just needed for everything. And the manure they produce would also be helpful in the garden. Why a few chicken would be nice... Just trying to figure out how to make it happen...

Thanks! for the suggestions!

6 years ago
I've got a 2 acre lot with a poly-permaculture garden/orchard coming together on it. It was hard enough getting my HOA to permit me to build this thing in my backyard. But, now, my wife and I want to get a few girls to help us with food scraps/weeding/fertilizer production. Unfortunately, our HOA has a very strict - "no fowl" policy in place. So, free-range is definitely out of the question... But, I can put a small 8 foot by 7 foot structure (let's call it a "kids play house") and a bit of hard to see fencing surrounded by perennial plants to conceal the real residents of the "house".

Anyway, wondering if anyone has managed to successfully raise their girls in a concealed manner. What chicken varieties did you use? what issues did you run into? Any pictures of your creative design?

I would not be in violation of any city/state rules in growing chickens. But, HOAs are rather nasty and don't easily change their rules to accommodate those of us looking for more self-sufficiency.

6 years ago