Dan Boone

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since Jan 24, 2014
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Dan Boone gardens, plants fruit trees, and tends wild fruit and nut trees and vines in Central Oklahoma.
Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
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Recent posts by Dan Boone

Gumroad is small by internet ecommerce standards but very reputable. I wouldn’t think twice about doing business there using any card (credit or PayPal, not bank debit, bank debit cards and ecommerce mix badly) that has basic chargeback protections or other ecommerce buyer protection features.

Link with Gumroad info:

10 hours ago
Just the flower heads and perhaps a bit of associated stem. Whether there was a reason for that or it was just my mother’s preference, I cannot now tell you.
1 day ago
I honestly thought I was going to click through and find out that you had scored one of those old round cast iron cauldrons that we always used to see in those mid-20th-century racist cartoons and comic books where third world peoples with bones in their noses were in the process of boiling up some missionaries or an intrepid colonialist explorer in a safari hat.
1 day ago
In general I am transitioning these days away from using accessioning new plastic containers for my garden; I do make exceptions, but they tend to be exceptionally thick or made of plastics I recognize as types that are UV stable and unlikely to break down into shards.  (Select insulated coolers, blue food-grade barrels, or those indestructible green frog-shaped kids' sandboxes, which make exceptionally good and durable small ponds.)  

Over the years I have spent too much time picking up triangular shards of plastic, because, predictably, my "quick fix" plastic containers have deteriorated in the sunshine and shattered.  I have no regrets; when I was desperate for containers, I took what I could find and afford.  But over time I've accumulated plenty enough metal, wood, pottery, and UV-stable plastic containers, and that's where I focus my ongoing acquisitiveness.

All of this is by way of introducing my update to this old thread.  These plastic hospital water cups were a terrible mistake!  Of all the cheap/thin plastic containers I've used over the years, these were the absolute worse for coming apart rapidly in tiny shards when exposed to the elements.  They were even worse than the Solo-cup type single-use plastic cups, which shatter into larger pieces when they break.

Do not use these.  These are anti-useful.  They are just waiting to sit in the sunshine for a few months so they can explode into tiny triangles of translucent garbage. -2/10, very bad doggos, do not pet.
2 days ago
A tiny example: for my own reasons, I prefer not to include animal products or added oils in my cooking -- it's not a 100% rule but it's pretty important to me.  However last year I had a pretty large crop of garden tomatoes.  I purely love garden tomatoes and was eating pounds of them every day. (Possible exaggeration, but not by so much.)  But then I finally realized that my enjoyment of them was impaired (and I was starting to begrudge eating the ones that were a little bit tough or less sweet or extra acidic) because so many ways to eat tomatoes are 1000% better with a bit of genuine mayonnaise. I decided that (for example) if a tablespoon of mayo would let me start making main meals of tomato sandwiches on good whole grain bread, I should probably relax a little.  So I did, and my overall diet improved enormously in consequence.

I did, however, decide (but have not yet acted on the decision) that as little mayo as I eat, I'd be better off sourcing a few really high quality local eggs and a really good light olive oil and making my own mayo, rather than just buying the three dollar grocery store soy/canola-based industrial-egg "stuff".
3 days ago

paul wheaton wrote:One way to lower pH is to increase organic matter.   And extremely high quality home-made compost is one way to that end (never buy compost - that is almost universally industrial waste).   There are lots of other ways to add organic matter - I would probably go for experimenting with what grows fast and huge on this property.


And then there is this huge area of crazy that would involve growing conifers.   They tend to lower the pH quite a bit, but introduce other problems too.  It could be wise to grow the conifers and then cut them out when they have done their job.  (do we have a thread somewhere on how conifers lower pH?  For a while the official word was allelopathy, and later there was suggestion that conifers were calcium pigs)

I have discussed this with my sister, here in alkali Oklahoma, where berry growing is a challenge.  We miss our Yukon River boreal forest blueberries.  But we aren't interested in buying and floofing out sulfur by the sack.  She's more of a soil tester than me and was horrified to discover that most of her soil Phs were at 7.6 or 7.8.  She immediately set to making mass amounts of compost from all the oak leaves on her property, but they aren't as acidic as we both thought they ought to be.  

We have both wondered whether this is one place where growing conifers over there {gestures vaguely} and collecting their detritus (lower branches, dropped cones and needles) and hauling it over here to put in the composting operation isn't an important part of the solution.  We were always taught to avoid using the rich layer of "duff" under the spruces at home for garden mulch because it would further acidify our already-acidic boreal-forest soils.  The trick here is getting conifers to grow at all, but there are a few, like loblolly pine, that will thrive if treated properly.  By separating the conifer "orchard" from the garden spaces, one trades a bit of haulage for a simplification of the planning problem; you don't have to make the conifers "work" with your other growies.  I'm sure that with enough knowledge about questions like allelopathy and nutrient needs, one could slot them right into the rest of one's permaculture design, but in a landscape like this where they are deeply out of place, it might make more sense to avoid expensive decades-long mistakes by giving them their own space.
4 days ago

paul wheaton wrote:Do we have a thread somewhere on how conifers lower pH?  For a while the official word was allelopathy, and later there was suggestion that conifers were calcium pigs.

The best I could find was this one, but it doesn't get into those issues much:

4 days ago

Erica Wisner wrote:I don't think I've seen beaver-felled trees much over 1 foot diameter.  Usually, they're more in the 1" to 5" diameter range.  To make use of them for dams, the beaver generally has to be able to drag them.  Most of the trees they chew are small branches for food.  They can clear out brush quite a lot, tho.

I know this is an ancient comment in an ancient thread, but what the hey, beavers are amazing animals.  Sometimes they do crazy things for no obvious reason.  In the floodplain of the middle Yukon river and the lower reaches of its tributaries, where there are a lot of towering cottonwoods (very soft wood, quick growing) I have indeed seen beaver-cut trees in the 18-20" size.  Sometimes just felled and left (maybe to get at the upper branches?) but on a few occasions I have seen multiple cuts along the felled tree, creating heavy rounds and short logs, which are still laying more or less in the line where the tree fell.  This has always been in places where the beaver activity is prodigious -- large dam complexes, long dug canals, huge amounts of browse cut and stored underwater -- but not to the extent where, at least to the human eye, beaver browse was depleted.  There always seemed to be lots more willow, alder, aspen, and smaller cottonwoods in the vicinity of these huge-cut trees.  It's not behavior I can explain, but I've seen it.  My best guess is that beavers are bad at guessing/knowing what size log they can move into their canals to float to the dam.  Perhaps they operate on simple instinct; cut the tree, try to nudge it to the canal, if it don't move, cut some off the base and try again, iterate until you get something that moves.  When you have enough beavers and everybody has food and everybody is happy, who cares if that fool Joe spent half the summer getting to the small-enough top of that monster cottonwood before he put the first stick on the dam?  Evolution will eventually put pressure on developing smarter beavers when the situation is more marginal and the need for more efficient dam construction is pressing, but the Yukon river valley is not that situation...
4 days ago