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Nancy Callan

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since Mar 09, 2014
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Recent posts by Nancy Callan

I had saved your recipe when i first ran across it to try when I had an abundance of greens and was thinking about trying it. Is there any benefit to actually boiling the greens in a pot of water vs just steaming them in a pan with a little water in the bottom till they get bright green and wilted? (That's how I always cook my greens--heap them in a big cast iron skillet or pot with a spoonful of water and put a lid over it. The cook really fast and it seems like more nutrients would be retained by not having them leech out into the cooking water.  
8 months ago
I thought I'd report back in on my results since it's been a year. Unfortunately I wasn't too scientific about tracking it. I moved a variety of plants to various woodland border areas and pretty much ignored them. Some just died. One lacinato kale was near a rain barrel so I watered it sporadically and it turned out to be a spot that did get a little bit of sun, so it survived and the seed pods developed pretty well. I harvested some of them, but due to some roofing work that impacted my garden area, I didn't get them planted this spring (yet). I scattered, or left to drop many of the smaller seed pods around the area on the off chance that it might result in a bonus area of kale, but nothing germinated last fall or this spring. I didn't have high hopes since the area is wood chips and the salmonberry are pretty aggressive in moving into that area if I don't keep them trimmed back. This year I found a free pile with some old-fashioned round tomato cages and put those around/near a few plants in the main garden area and tied them up to get them out of the way and the new seeds are taking off just fine around them. I also decided I didn't need so many plants to go to seed, so many of the overwintered ones I have cut back from the top to keep them producing leaves to fill in my harvest till the new seedlings are big enough. (We had a cold, wet spring here in the Seattle area, so the biggest of the self-seeded chard plants are only about 1-3" tall as of June 8!) But I'm getting a reasonable harvest from the overwintered plants.
3 years ago

lisa goodspeed wrote:also having a hard time finding any local information such as native plants and where to find most of the plants and or seeds that everyone talks about.  i had sent a message to the kaw permaculture facebook page about 3 weeks ago and have heard nothing back from them.  the local county extension may be a big help to big agro monoculture growing people but as much as they tried to help they just didn't have the information i was looking for.  and all the nurserys i have checkout so far are more into chemically controlled ornate garden stuff.
any help would surely be appreciated.

My family has property is in central MO, and my parents have found a lot of native things at the Missouri Wildflowers Nursery. It's in Jefferson City, but I'm pretty sure they ship. Very likely not a low-cost option for getting a lot of things established, but it might give you some ideas.
3 years ago
I finally got around to digging up what level I did the kickstarter for so I would know what I was waiting for since I keep seeing all the update emails. It looks like I did $50 and should have received the vimeo links, but I never did. Based on some of the other posts in this thread, I logged into Vimeo to see if they were there, but I didn't see anything.  What should I check next?
I'm glad to hear that it can take longer for the shitakes to fruit. We innoculated alder logs early last spring (smallish--about 4 inches in diameter and a few of the branches that were about 1.5-2 inches) and I though for sure we'd be harvesting by now. One the the little branches popped out a mushroom in early spring this year so I soaked all the little ones for 24 hours in my rain barrel since they fit. But nothing has happened since then.

I'm also wondering if watering them with city water makes a difference. We have to water our logs with the hose because they are too far/uphill from the rain barrels.

I will look into your book--I haven't really done enough reading on the topic.
4 years ago
I have limited space in my part sun garden in my tree surrounded suburban lot in the pacific northwest and am most successful growing leafy greens like chard and some kale. Because I have limited space, but I want to save seeds, I was considering trying to transplant some of my chard and kale that is flowering or has set seed so I can free up the space for some other items and new starts that need to be planted. I was thinking about moving a few of them to some more shady, out of the way areas to let the seed finish developing and free up the prime, sunniest spots to get the new plants going. Has anyone ever tried moving flowering, second year greens like chard and kale? Will the disruption stop the seeds from developing? Or the lack of sun that they had previously? I'm going to try it regardless, but am curious about what to expect.
4 years ago
I chop the stems and leaves then sautee them in a bit of oil (stems first to soften up). Then I freeze them. They are great for adding to soups/stews or putting on pizza. I find sautee is easier and quicker than blanching.
5 years ago
Does anyone have experience coppicing big leaf maples in the pacific northwest?

We have a group of them, about 8 or 9 trunks growing together, ranging from 12-18" diameter where they separate, and between 75-100 feet tall, growing on the southeast corner of our site. (Most of the site is woodland.) Over the years we have had an aborist maintain them to take out deadwood and weak branches as they are quite near our house. In those years when the crown was thinned out, our ability to grow vegetables on the south side of our house has been much increased. In the interest of keeping the trees, but reducing their shade on the garden beds, I was imagining that we could cut them down to about 20 feet, then as the shoots grew up thickly from that, the shade would be concentrated closer to the trees and not reach all the way to the garden. In my reading/research on coppicing, it is always done low to the ground, but we like the presence that the large mass of trunks creates and we don't want the outward growth the shoots would create low to the ground. Would it work to coppice the trunks at the higher height?

I have also been planning on experimenting with tapping them in the next month or so, and also wonder if this is a bad idea this year if we do attempt the coppice project?
6 years ago

paul wheaton wrote:

OK, so who are these people? For the card deck, they're not permaculturists already, necessarily, but they're people on the continuum. Just about any human being has an affinity for the planet. There are gazilions of nonprofits set up to help the planet. Most of them could be better leveraged and more skillful than they are, but the desire is there. So, how did they stumble on this deck of playing cards that suddenly gives them a big leg up in terms of understanding what they can do, individually, to further the world domination thingy in their own back yard or apartment?

So, how did I reach them?

I remember a nice exposure to the cards that really made them come to my attention when you gave some for a giveaway at the Northwest Edible Life blog. Here was the post about it:

You might target some other bloggers in the homesteading/permaculture/gardening realm to do something similar to get the word out or keep them on people's radar. The giveaways is nice and then maybe others will go buy some at Amazon. And if the blogger has any Amazon affiliation they'd probably get a kickback as well--I think that's how it works?