Gail Gardner

+ Follow
since Jul 08, 2014
Gail likes ...
duck forest garden hugelkultur
SE Oklahoma
Apples and Likes
Total received
In last 30 days
Total given
Total received
Received in last 30 days
Total given
Given in last 30 days
Forums and Threads
Scavenger Hunt
expand Pioneer Scavenger Hunt

Recent posts by Gail Gardner

Mike Musialowski wrote:Thanks all! My instinct based on your replies is to not risk it. Someday I may try a part of the land that's isolated from the rest. Purlsane is just too risky.

Grow it somewhere where the seeds can't fall or blow onto soil. That would contain it. Grow it in a container or inside a walled area or next to a retainer wall or fence where you can put cement blocks or pallets or whatever to keep it contained. You could grow it in a deep bucket with the soil down quite a ways from the top.

It likes to crawl on the ground and drop seed downward. You could easily contain it while still getting it sufficient sun. It grew in the shade right next to the front door of a house where I lived. It also seems to like a LOT of water, usually found where water stands first. So if it is dry where you are, it might not want to take off. Also, if the pH doesn't suit it then it won't spread.
2 weeks ago

David Singer wrote:I have poorly controlled seizure disorder. I have generalized partial complex epilepsy which not only includes tonic colonic (grand-mal/fits/convulsions) I also have absence (petit mal) seizures and moments of either an altered sense of reality or an uncommonly enhanced perceptions of the truths of reality (joke).

While the tonic colonic are controlled via medications, I still get my 'moments' which can last 1 second to a minute. Most often its only a second or two, but the states appear to have no wiggle room for a driver who might lapse for a second or two.

So I am left with either getting married to someone who can drive (seriously not a good reason for marriage) or I have to come up with a novel way to get to and from town from  my 'remote base of operations' or homestead.

Our current society has developed the means for a person to be remote and still connect to the internet and order things online - I just got a few items from Wal-Mart last month, and was surprised to have the UPS guy at my door with a rake, shovel and 50' long garden hose. I have yet to try it with groceries.

While its now possible to actually live a distance away from a town, the idea of being stranded there isn't a happy one.  So I'm thinking I might get myself a horse or two and live within riding distance of a town/small city.

First, have you tried temporarily going off-grid where there is no EMF and you take no digital devices? Some people who had seizures because of cell phones or smartmeters or cell phone towers got rid of them by relocating where those did not affect them. I bought a meter thinking I had an RF problem and found out I had successfully mitigated the RF issue, but have a huge magnetic field problem.

Re: driving, I only leave the property 2-3 times a year, if that. Anything I need I order online and have delivered via FedEx, UPS, USPS. I can share a list of sources that provide 100% of what I need whenever I can't grow it here locally myself. All my organic grass-fed butter, cheese, bison, beef, poultry, most fruit, some produce are all delivered.
2 weeks ago

Liz Hoxie wrote:Would anybody on here like a breeding pair of geese? I was told they were an Italian breed, but I don't know. I DO know that they are gray, and gentle. I have their parents, and these just hatched last year. They haven't been vent sexed, but I have seen them breed.

I need to find homes for them soon, as the girls will destroy each others nests if they're too close together. We don't have the space. They live with the goats year round, and eat hay in the winter, graze in the summer. PM me for more information.

I wish I weren't so far away. I'd love to have some guard geese.   Hopefully, someone closer to you will see this soon.
2 weeks ago

Jay Berryman wrote:I am moving to land with 4 cows feeding on Bermuda grass(and supplemental hay and feed). I am going to switch to rotational grazing and hope to come close to the increase in fertility and pasture that Salatin has. I want to get more pasture growing and get rid of the Bermuda. How hard will this be? The cows really over grazed and hurt the grass. The whole land is irrigated and sprinklers going. Can true pasture out compete Bermuda eventually or will it need to be removed? I don't mind the Bermuda I just think there is better grasses for cows. How should I attack this?

I've lived near massive cattle ranches in both Texas and Oklahoma. Summer grazing is always some improved variety of coastal bermuda, usually Tipton 44 or similar. In Texas, they hayed the summer grass and left it dormant over the winter. Half their land was permanent coastal pasture and half they plowed and planted rye grass and wheat or if the winter was mild, rye grass and oats. (Oats freeze easier than wheat.)

In Oklahoma, one neighbor poisons his coastal to burn it to the ground and then overseeds it, probably with rye grass but at least once with some kind of flower mix.That could be some conservation program they run in Oklahoma. (They have a lot of grant programs for plasticulture, hoop houses, pasture, wildlife, ponds, etc.)

Our pasture here is a mix of coastal bermuda, common bermuda, bunch grass, native grasses, and maybe an unknown number of other grasses, clover, some weeds. It grows all year long. Coastal only thrives during warm and hot weather. The rest of the year it is dormant (although if you don't graze if off or mow it or hay it there will be roughage that can be grazed over the winter).

The other grasses take turns growing during their favored seasons and where they do better. Coastal grows thick and crowds them out in some areas of the pasture, but not in others. You almost can't get rid of it because it has roots very deep.

Improved bermuda grasses are planted by sprigging which is basically taking the grass, chopping it up in pieces and semi-burying it in the ground by disking or plowing over it, using a sprigger (like a manure spreader) or sticking it into plowed ground. So plowing it makes it spread.

Better varieties of common bermuda are now available and it can be planted using seed or used in pasture mixes. Common is more drought resistant, can be overgrazed and survive, but produces less grass that is shorter and not as suitable for haying.

Note that some varieties of grass including an improved giant bermuda require heavy fertilization or they will die out. Useful resources:

SunGrazer Plus Coastal SEED $195 for 25 lbs plants 2-3 acres.

Useful chart: types of pasture seed

Fertilizer I've decided to use on my pastures (no relationship - just doing my research). Put GroPal on soil (home page) and use GroPal C for foliar  10-40 oz per acre $399.40 for 5 gallons to treat 10-40 acres of grass 16-64 oz per acre $104.95 for 1 gallon - can apply with hose sprayer. Treats 2-4 acres.

How to plant year round pasture NOT ORGANIC, but is non-GMO $4.99/lb ORGANIC $12.99/lb 25-30 lbs/acre - may want to AVOID for horses - contains Fescue

Note that whatever mix you plant you should research each type of grass because some are not suitable for other types of grazing animals. For example, pregnant mares are typically removed from any pasture containing fescue as it can cause miscarriages and difficulty foaling. See

Many grasses that are used for cattle are bad for horses such as haygrazer, Klein grass, and other grasses of that type.  They cause kidney failure if enough is consumed and irreversible damage. One gelding that was fed this type of hay over one winter could no longer retract his penis after that winter.

The way it was discovered Klein grass is eventually toxic was when horses that had grazed it for years and been fed the hay off of it for years started having neurological issues and then dying. With those types of grasses, horses may tolerate them in small quantities, but the toxins are cumulative and eventually cause damage.

Remember that even if you never plan to run any other kind of animal, plans can change. You might decide to sell, and what grasses you have will limit who can buy it. Or you might find the love of your life and she might have horses.  
2 weeks ago

Cori Warner wrote:Howdy, y'all. Brand new here, and happy to find an Oklahoma forum. I currently live in Norman, but we just bought 2 acres of unplatted land near Tuttle. There is another 2 acres sitting right next to it that  I hope to be able to purchase or at least lease in the next few years. This is raw land, with a hill towards the west, and a dry creek on the northern boundary. No serious erosion problems, but there is some. The main problem is the absolute invasion of Eastern Red Cedar. It's going to take a bit of work to clear it, and I fully intend to use heavy equipment to do it.  Some good  black jack oaks, a few post oaks and a bunch of scrub along the creek. I'd like to replant that with trees and plants that actually belong in the Crosstimbers. The rest of it will be for farming and chickens. I'd love to have a cow, but the acreage won't support it. We are a ways from anything yet, we have to start by building the house! I am enrollled in the PDC course and hope to have a detailed plan by the time we move out there, hopefully before the end of the year.

Welcome to Permies. I don't know about your area, but further SE over south of Henryetta pecans and persimmons grow wild. Pears do very well here. There were black walnut trees on a place over by Tecumseh (east of OKC). So those trees are some to ask about for your area.

You could get a pair of goats to clear brush and for milk since you don't have enough grass for a cow. Goats will eat just about everything including poison oak and poison ivy. But remember that they love to eat fruit trees, so keep them away from those, especially young ones.

Don't skimp on making your chicken coop predator-proof. They are everywhere. Chicken wire is not strong enough - use hardware cloth instead. There are many threads on Permies about keeping predators out. Consider ducks, too. They create a lot of fertilizer and their water is great for pouring under fruit trees (because they also swim in it and put dirt into it.) But they are messy so put them away somewhat from the house.
3 weeks ago

Ron Metz wrote:Hi Gail. Thanks for the input. There are several stunted mesquite trees in the pasture. I have left them hoping after I install swales, they will have more moisture to grow on. I also thought about planting some honey locust. I also keep bees and the flowers should help them get started in the spring. Bees are quite the challenge in a windy dry area. Eventually the seed pods of the honey locust will be good feed for the pigs and the trees will provide some shade. I do plan on keeping the native grass and overseeding other forage plants i.e. Winter wheat, peas, sunchoke, yellow clover and mangel to name a few.

Be aware that grazing animals LOVE mesquite beans and will gain weight and get quite shiny on them. But that also means they will be passing the seeds and planting them wherever they range. They are a greatly hated tree because they are difficult to get rid of without a bulldozer with a root plow. At least that is how cattle ranches clear them.

Even then, you have to keep the pastures mowed or they will try to come back.
3 weeks ago

Ron Metz wrote:I've read a few things on the internet about folks using donkeys to guard pigs. I get the idea for best results the donkeys should be raised with pigs. Apparently the donkeys response to predators is more of a territorial thing and a common hatred for all members of the canine family. It also appears one donkey can't handle a pack of coyotes but several donkeys can. I've seen pictures where they stomp or kick the coyotes to death or actually bite and shake them like a rag doll until dead. I guess the only real way to find out is get a couple when I get the pigs and see how it works. Having a grazing animal with the pigs seems like it would be less work than livestock guard dogs.

Cattle ranches I've seen ran two full-size donkeys. I'm not sure whether sex matters or not other than not letting jacks ever mate because they'll start attacking your cattle.

Here we have 4 miniature donkeys and over a dozen llamas. They claim llamas are good guardian animals although I have trouble theorizing how. The male will challenge anything that gets anywhere near his herd or between him and them. But what can they really do besides chase them or spit at them? I wouldn't think that would stop a wolf or coyote. 

Most horses will stomp or kick coyotes or strange dogs if they get too close. So I'm not sure which of them keeps the coyotes at bay, but we haven't had any issues with coyotes and livestock - only coyotes and ducks.
3 weeks ago

Anne Miller wrote:You might consider growing it in a container.  Mine were the kind with the larger bloom, so maybe a hybrid??  I kept them indoors over the winter one year which worked for me.  I didn't have a problem with their seed spreading.  Rabbits love them so I lost mine.  I had hanging baskets, unfortunately  I set them on the ground so the seeds could get sun and rabbits got the babies.

If you keep them indoors they need to be in a well-heated space. Mine died even indoors at the first really cold night.
3 weeks ago

Ron Metz wrote:The native pasture has been overgrazed and poorly managed for 70 years and is grown up in catclaw mimosa and yucca. Grasses present are prairie grasses like blue grama, buffalo grass, bluestem and western wheatgrass.

The one big limiting factor in this area of Texas is rainfall. We average only about 19 inches per year. Most of the time it is not evenly spread out. This year, we went from January until end of June with practically no rain, then got nearly 6 inches over ten days. Growing crops in this area is a huge challenge which is why farmers rely heavily on irrigation pivots.

We run irrigation out of stock ponds using diesel water pumps, so you might consider building multiple large ponds to use for irrigation. The land I owned in Texas and the land I am on in Oklahoma uses a combination of multiple stock ponds and terraces to hold the rain water.

We get 43+" a year, but the same concept could work there. You would probably want deep ponds so they lose less to evaporation during dry seasons. Use those concepts from cattle ranching and add permaculture concepts of using a food forest to turn a desert into an oasis.

Never get rid of the native grass, especially buffalo grass as it is more drought tolerant. If you have areas away from it that you want to establish in grass, you might see if common bermuda will do well there. It is grown from seed and is also drought tolerant. What would kill improved coastal bermudas won't touch it.

It can be overgrazed and still thrive through droughts. But remember that is spreads and is really hard to get rid of so only put it where you won't mind it staying.

Another little-known strategy for raising cattle is grazing them during droughts under mesquite trees. While the thorns can be problematic and you don't want to spread mesquite to other pastures, the beans can really put weight on animals.

And during droughts, grass will grow under mesquite trees when it isn't growing anywhere else. Maybe the trunks keep the ground open and allow the water to seep in better when the soil is baked hard. I'm not sure of the mechanism, but I have seen that to be true on 3 different places that had mesquite on them.

It is popular for bar-b-que wood and you can make flour from the beans. But many detest it because the thorns will flatten any tires that drive across one. I've had horses in pastures where mesquite had grown up without any problems, but they were horses raised in rough pastures - not in pens or paddocks.

Cattle ranchers also do not eliminate prickly pear cactus. During bad droughts they burn the needles off so the cattle can eat them. Their fruit is delicious, especially if it is growing under trees where the soil contains more minerals. The small pads known as nopal or nopales are also edible and a staple of some diets.

I've noticed in Oklahoma that wild persimmon trees will grow where water stands after heavy rains. Once they get established, pecan trees grow among them. If a former cattle ranch or orchard is cleared of trees, the persimmons will be the first to start spreading to new areas.

That tells me they would be a good way to get trees and then a permaculture food forest started in an area where they thrive on their own. That is true of Oklahoma, and may also be true of where you are. I'm not sure how much rain they need to survive, but planting them from seed where the water stands for a while after rains might work.
3 weeks ago