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Sunny Baba

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since Mar 08, 2014
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goat hugelkultur forest garden chicken greening the desert homestead
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SW New Mexico, 5300'elevation, 18" precip
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Recent posts by Sunny Baba

We planted a 2 yr old grafted Meader persimmon and it flowered and fruited 2 years later! It's only about 5 feet tall. The flowers are unusual but very pretty. Fruit are smaller than a walnut but delicious!
3 months ago
This is an old thread but since it's been bumped up I thought I'd offer some thoughts and experience.
There's a great book by Ramiel Nagel called "Cure Tooth Decay". He makes many good suggestions including cod liver oil.
Doug Simons' DVD also has good info on caring for cavities well so that they can remineralize.

Years ago I was getting the occasional cavity and I read about how glycerine,  a slippery substance which is in almost all toothpastes, actually coats the teeth and prevents them from remineralizing! Wouldn't it be the greatest irony if the very tool that 4 out of 5 dentists recommend to prevent cavities , was preventing the body from healing them on its own???
So, I experimented by quitting toothpaste. It's been 15 years and I've not had a single cavity since! For awhile I used homemade toothpowders but now I just snip a willow twig from my backyard , chew the tip into a "brush" and brush my teeth only with that. It gets my teeth incredibly clean and no more plastic brushes into the landfill for me. You can also buy neem tooth twigs or use other shrubs like hazel, etc.

The other thing I did for my gums was quit dental floss. Do you know that a lot of floss is coated with teflon which can be very irritating to people with sensitivities? After decades of flossing religiously, I stopped cold turkey and my gum "pockets" started closing up and became a non-issue during subsequent dental check-ups.

Having the right minerals in our bodies is essential. Most food is devoid of minerals because of the lack in soils these days. The body knows how to remineralize cavities but we need to have those minerals flowing through our blood, tissues, saliva for the body to do what it knows how to do. We need to grow our own food in soil that is rich in essential and trace minerals. Eating nutrient-dense, high-brix foods will heal our bodies and our teeth and will provide the nutrients for our children to inherit good teeth as well.
Smile everyone!
4 months ago
I was hoping to learn more from this thread about pollination.
I bought about 20 seaberry seedlings 5 years ago and assumed several of them would be males.
We planted them here and there, mostly on the fencelines. I had no idea how tall and wide and invasive and thorny they would get to be! I was only thinking ahead to all of that wonderful food source of Vitamin C we'd be harvesting.
They have quickly, without much care, grown into 10 foot+ trees, spreading all over. They bloomed profusedly for the first time last spring and I thought for sure we'd have some fruit. But alas, I read afterwards that the male and female plants need to be within a few feet of one another to pollinate with wind. And I didn't know enough last year to check and see which flowers were male and which were female so that maybe I could have grafted where needed this spring.

But, wow, when I hear about so many people having a hard time getting them's hard to believe because we're not exactly in a lush environment. It's high desert, 16 inches of rainfall...maybe. Last summer the monsoons missed us and the temps got up to 107 degrees but the stress did not bother them at all and they just kept on growing and growing.
We've got sandy loam, drains really fast, not especially high in nutrients. Maybe they don't like to be pampered?
4 months ago
We've worked for years to raise the brix of our plants. Yes, absolutely, we can change the brix of the entire plant including the leaves.

One thing I read recently though is that the 12 Brix works best on sucking insect pests and maybe not so good on chewing or boring insects.
1 year ago
hey Matt,
We tried the Cucuzzi gourds last summer and they were beautiful and grew well. But we found them almost unpalatable. So we let them keep growing and are making digeridoos out of the longest ones. probably will not grow them again for food.

Our favourite for mildew and squash bug resistance is a moschata called tromboncino. They can be eaten like a summer squash when young and mature like a butternut when full grown. Flavour is mild and kind of nutty when young. Firmer texture than a zucchini. Stores really well. And they grow BIG! we got 8 4 foot squashes from one plant. We let it grow up and over a tree as a kind of trellis.

1 year ago

I have learned that Cobalt deficiency can cause bitter or off-tasting milk. I get it in a mineral block because they don't need a lot so can usually get what they need from a block for maintenance. You can also get cobalt sulphate or cobalt carbonate powder and make a 1% solution much as you would with copper sulphate for a deficiency ( 20 ml twice per day) until she's back on track and then go to maintenance.
Cobalt seems to not be available in hay or pasture plants in drought years when you'll see more deficiencies.
Cobalt is the precurser to B12 , but it works better that giving B 12 itself.
Giving supplemental Selenium can block Cobalt uptake as well as copper and Iodine
Cobalt also helps prevent parasites.

2 years ago
Thanks, Erik for warning folks about the difference in mistletoe species. When someone from the Uk talks about mistletoe, it IS NOT the same species as American mistletoe.  
From what I have learned, American mistletoe ( common species Phoradendron) is far less toxic than the European (common species viscum album). They have both been used for medicinal purposes, but one needs to be very careful!

On the other hand, my goats go absolutely crazy over it when we are walking in the woods! If they can reach it they will fight over a patch and even climb into the tree to get to it. If it's too high for them to reach they will stand there waiting for me to pull it down for them ( and jump all over me if I take too long to get to it!) At first I was leery about letting them eat it, knowing that it can be toxic in humans. But eventually, I had to trust their instincts and because they are well fed and have a lot of variety, I know they are not eating it because they are starving! Mistletoe is right up there with their most favourite wild foods.
So, in my world, yes, mistletoe does have a place in permaculture!
2 years ago
Sharing a pic of a few 8 pounders we harvested yesterday. I can't imagine what a 20 pounder would be like to harvest and chop up!
We plant them for the goats to feed in winter. The greens are like chard for human eating and the beets themselves are sweeter than regular beets but not as sweet as a sugar beet. The skin has a lot of oxalic acid and can leave an acrid taste in the mouth when eaten raw.  These are Red Mammoths.
Last year I planted in March and our monsoons were late and sparse and it got quite hot and the greens got what looked like powdery mildew on them mid summer when they were stressed. But we cut back the unhealthy greens and later in the summer they grew back and continued to grow healthy greens until hard freeze.
We left the beets in the ground, with heavy mulch over winter and harvested as needed. Because they grow so high out of the ground the top of the roots did freeze and had to be cut off when cutting for the goats. But, come spring, the ones that were left started growing nice greens again and eventually made seed. Have you ever smelled a beet plant in flower? Heavenly perfume!!

This year , we planted in March and monsoons came in end of June and were very abundant. The mangels grew superbly even though we did get a 100degree+ hot spell for a few weeks in June. The growth of the beets themselves seems to slow down during the hottest periods but late summer they put on a lot of mass and weight after a side dressing of compost.
I'd say that we got about 240 pounds of roots from a 4x15 foot bed. This year we are digging a trench and burying the roots under some soil and then mulching heavily to prevent them freezing.

Oh, yeah, and in the spring when we panted the mangels, we inter-sowed the beet seeds with lettuce and fennel and a few other early greens that were done by the time the beets started getting big! So we got a lot of yield from that one bed.
2 years ago