Katrina Jones

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since Jun 11, 2014
Boise, ID
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Recent posts by Katrina Jones

Here is a trick I read about enlisting help from the squirrels for harvesting. Place a few 5-gallon buckets filled with sawdust around the hazelnut shrubs/trees. The squirrels know which ones are good and harvest them. They will (hopefully) be inclined to bury them in the buckets of sawdust. You can then collect them for yourself, but be nice and leave some ears of non-GMO corn for them in the sawdust. I will be planting my hazelnuts next spring and will try this method. Let me know if it works for any of you.
4 years ago
Thanks for replying, Bryant. We have an extensive plant list of both fibrous and taprooted plants that we will use for soil stabilization. At the midpoint of the property a well was sunk and the gravelly sand continues for 75 feet down at that point. We will be making MASSIVE amounts of compost this year that we will have ready for use by spring. An agricultural structure consisting of a kitchen and root cellar with a Friendly Aquaponics greenhouse on top will be constructed this fall and winter into a section of the hillside. As the structure is being finished and covered with soil is when I feel the terracing or tree wells should be done (the orchard is directly upslope and adjacent to the structure), so I want to have the earthworks plan in place ASAP so that can be figured into the construction budget. Initially (if we do terraces), I'm thinking of having the terraces about 15 feet deep to allow for ease of movement around the trees. However, I see distinct advantages to maintaining the slope and excavating tree wells (about 15 feet in diameter) into the hillside which, of course, would be supported with retention walls. We would be able to set up sprinklers at the tops of the wells (essentially on top of the retaining walls) that would be set to water in a 270 degree arc along the slope and a tree well upslope from it. However, when frosts are an issue during bloom time, we could set the sprinklers to spray the tree tops of the trees downslope from them to prevent frost damage. We would also be able to dig a little deeper to fill the bottom of the tree wells with lots of incorporated compost, azomite, etc. and would be able to mulch heavily and have a suitable underplanting for the trees that we could fence off from the poultry. The slope would be planted with a poultry forage blend for the chickens and geese and we could control if or when the birds have access to the tree wells for pest control. Also, another reason to maintain as much of the slope as possible, the slope is south-facing and the angle is perfect to maximize the absorption of warmth from the winter sun. What do you think? By the way, Boise gets about 11 inches of rain a year.

What are these switch-backed paths you mentioned?
4 years ago
I am working on a piece of property that has some unique challenges as well as advantages. The advantages include south-facing slope at just the right angle to take full advantage of the winter sun, well water, it's situated on the lower half of a hill, cold air moves off the property easily, and it has good drainage (too good, actually). The disadvantages include no cation exchange capacity (we'll be making massive amounts of compost), sandy/gravelly soil that goes down at least 75 feet, little rain (~11"/year), no water retention, and a steep slope (the property is 2/3 of an acre and has an elevation change of 32 feet from the top of the property to the bottom with the top half being the steepest). The top 1/3 is intended for orchard and poultry and it seems that terracing would be the best option to make the land workable, to retain water, to add organic matter, to prevent frost pockets, etc. But how stable would it be, particularly if we had a sizeable water event (I'm from Seattle, so this is relative in relation to the Boise area) or an earthquake, which is very infrequent but inevitable (the last one was in 1983). Also, how could we help minimize the damage from the hilltop above the property sliding down to this property (trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants with taproots and fibrous roots planted along the top border come to mind). Would I need to terrace the entire area or just create terraced wells where the fruit trees are planted? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
4 years ago
Hi Heidi,

I am planning on taking Geoff Lawton's online PDC next spring. I purchased most of his videos a couple of years ago, before he started his online PDC. Just go to www.ecofilms.au to order the videos. FYI...most of the videos are in PAL format which our DVD players can't read, but they can be played on an Xbox. Hope this helps.
I don't have any recommendations regarding Amazon, but you could try selling them through organic nurseries, such as our North End Organic Nursery in Boise, Idaho and even prepper stores (preppers tend to be very aware of permaculture). The cards are more of an impulse item rather than something people would go looking for, so I think you should consider other avenues of marketing. You would be selling then wholesale, but you would be moving a higher quantity, I think. Hope this helps. By the way, I love the cards!
Hi Arthur! Thank you for the detailed information regarding Common Comfrey. I have found other information from an excellent website that summarizes the issue this way...Comfrey Rule: fresh leaves externally, boiled root decoction internally. The following link leads to the entire article.

http://www.doctoryourself.com/comfrey_herb.html
5 years ago