Kalin Brown

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since Jan 18, 2014
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Recent posts by Kalin Brown

Bears Head (Hericium abietis) grows primarily on fir, but is supposed to also be able to grow on other conifers like pine.
7 months ago

Nicolas Derome wrote:
Some of those feel like they might take a bit long to bear fruit (for my situation), which of them transplant ok? And I think blueberries wouldn't do well in neutral soils?

I haven't really thought of growing mushrooms before but I suppose it's worth a shot. I've been cutting and pruning trees and bushes, so I have quite a lot of logs, branches and twigs. I could probably get my hands on some straw, pine needles and leaves for finer material too. I'd probably grow them in the moist sandy soil under some dogwoods (which are themselves understory below some maple/willow/tree of heaven). So pretty heavy shade, and my climate has a fairly ordinary temperate climate (avg high of 80F/low of 68F in mid-summer, down to average high of 32f/low of 20F in mid-winter, 2-3 inches of precipitation per month year-round).

I will be trying a lot of the carrot family vegetables (dill, cilantro, bulbous chervil, skirret, carrot, parsley, root parsley, parsnip) although it seems more of those require protection from voles/rabbits. This year I didn't have any and the tops kept getting chewed down, so this year I'll try surrounding the beds in hardware cloth. I'll also be growing garlic, welsh onion, walking onion, maybe bunching onion and leeks, maybe crosnes (tuberous mint), and have already been growing mint family herbs (spearmint, basil, oregano, sage, rosemary, lavender, thyme).



You can also grow some mushrooms in straw/woodchip mulch and they are super easy to start. I just put in winecaps and blue oyster in straw mulch, and am putting shiitake and lion's mane in logs.
7 months ago
Can I grow  kiwi on a 4' chainlink fence? Will it be happy growing horrizontal instead of vertical? I have about 80' of fence, but it's only 4' high...
7 months ago
I haven't gotten to eat them yet (maybe next year for some, the following year for others), but I am very excited for my mushrooms. Winecaps, Blue Oyster, Shiitake and Lion's Mane!
Wow, I'm impressed that this can compete with the grass. I may have to try this.
7 months ago
Zone 8b/9a coastal BC, Canada. Typically mild, wet winters, sometimes a freeze or a bit of snow. Summers used to be mild too, but are getting hotter and dryer thanks to climate change.

I have a small property (1/4 acre including house and everything else.) I am primarily interested in producing food. I have limited space for trees, especially trees that get really big. However, some "big" trees produce food and are amendable to coppicing, so I have decided to include a coppice block. That way I can still grow them for food, while managing their size for my small lot (and so they don't shade my smaller fruit trees and garden beds out the way a 30'+ tree would) and for ease of harvesting.

I know I want Toona Sinensis (Chinese Toon), I am also considering Tilia Cordata (Little-Leaf Linden) and some type of Redbud (Cercis Canadensis or Siliquastrum maybe)... I would love to include say Aralia Elata (Japanese Angelica) but I haven't seen anywhere if it is okay to coppice it. It has a tendency to sucker, so maybe it could work? If not for the Aralias I might just stick to Aralia Cordata. If anyone has experience with Aralia Elata (or Chinensis or Spinosa...) please let me know!

Does anyone have any other suggestions for edible trees that might suit a coppice block for me to consider?
7 months ago
We have abundant blackberries, and when hiking in the mountain, blueberries, that I love. Thimbleberries are probably my favorite though.

We also have tons of salmon berries, huckleberries, oregon grape, and salal, and the occasional raspberry. I'm sure there's plenty I'm forgetting at the moment.

I know its not a fruit, but I also love foraging for various mushrooms.
7 months ago
I have very.... "manicured lawn" type neighbors, but thankfully not as restrictive city bylaws as some places. We have only had one bylaw complaint in the 13 years we have lived here. We were asked to mow our lawn as sections were over 18" and warned that we'd have to get rid of the rabbits we weren't technically allowed to have if anyone complained about them. Thankfully, as manicured as the neighbors lawns are, they still like to veggie garden in their neat, tidy little gardens. So we kept them happy by offering them rabbit manure! We also share fruit we pick from our trees and vines, and make sure that they know that if its growing, and they can reach it over the fence, its fair game. I'd rather keep happy neighbors (and thus bylaw off my back) through sharing, than camouflaging. Seems to be working so far!
7 months ago
I too would love to grow dates, but in coastal BC it's just not going to happen. So I've been on the search for something "date-like." I had heard good things about jujubes (chinese dates)... but sadly actually eating them they remind me far more of prunes than dates. I have hopes for dried or semi-dried american persimmon (diospyros virginiana) or date plum (diospyros lotus.) I have ordered an american persimmon that should be arriving any day now. I have yet to find a date plum tree, and may have to resort from starting from seed. If neither of those work, I'm really out of ideas to scratch that date-taste itch.
7 months ago
Nancy, thank you for all the useful information.

I have tried the leaves of toona sinensis, as I had started one and subsequently killed it when life happened and it got forgotten in its pot and died before planting. I have not tried a Linden, as I actually don't know of one growing in town. We're small and isolated so it's not always easy to find things to try out /test. I have heard good things and am willing to try it - worst case I don't like it and it is eventually replaced with something else. (I am considering this with my heartnuts, which have finally started producing and... I'd just rather have hazelnuts. Less work cleaning/curing and taste better. I'm going to give them one more season before I decide for sure. Or I might do some grafting from two of the trees on to the third, and then downsize to just one... but that is totally another topic and I'm getting side tracked.)

As said above, I really can't keep animals aside from some ducks, because of city bylaws. Either way - I could pollard or coppice - is fine however as it gets at the same goal for me to have easily harvestable / manageable sized perennial veggie trees. Knowing that Linden's are planted as a hedge in the UK is very helpful to know that they can be spaced rather more tightly than growing a single specimen tree.

I have morus rubra mulberry, which I absolutely love for the berries. It was another one of my "well, if I don't like it I can always take it out" experiments because I had never had a mulberry in my life and I'm the only person I know growing one. I'll have to check if rubra also has edible leaves. I already get so much fruit off my (still quite young) tree that for a couple of months I'm harvesting approx 4L bucket of berries every few days and freezing most of it. It's more than you would ever think should be able to come from a tree it's size. I can't imagine what I would do with berries from 2 trees. I think this one once mature will already be more than we can eat!
7 months ago