Miguel Laroche

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since Jul 30, 2014
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Recent posts by Miguel Laroche

Yes I find fall leaves are hard to get in large amount. I know about the work of Paul Gautshi and I have already started putting down the woodchips heavily in some sections. Most experimental rows I did with woodchips did very well.

I was very lucky this summer there was a local woodchipping company parking their trucks at the farm when working in my area so I have all the woodchips I can possibly have time to spread in the winter.

I'm not worried about pine or cedar for now. So much free organic matter I can't be picky, most of it is really diverse, lots of fir.

I plan tu use lots of plastic for a couple more years. Ideally, you want to cover the soil with plastic before putting down the woodchips...for like 8 summer weeks, then peel the plastic, finally put down thick layer of woodchips
Nice way to start a garden, only did this over 1 row of perennials I planted in the Spring and it was very low maintenance throughout the summer.
5 years ago
I just went back in time, really cool to see pics of what I did last year. Makes me feel like I should have taken more pics this year. It also makes me realize how well I did on my first full year farming.

Well, well... after 2 years, I am not going to lie, still not making a living !! I feel like I am setup alright for next year though, don't we all say this? For now, I am having to work in the bush in September-October, hopefully raise enough money to farm next year haha

The strawberry season went well, the patch could have yielded more but we did sell out, all in u-pick, we did not have to pick a single berry, except for our own freezer!! I did over spend on the nematodes early in the season, but the patch is looking great right now, appears to be pest free.

Next was the garlic, what a disappointment, but I should have known, do not plant small cloves!! don't even bother, so many heads were too small to process and sell. On the other hand, I did have some really nice garlic as well, I saved most of it for seed stock though. We are up to 7000 in the ground for next year 5000 of which should grow very very big. I am hoping to get another 2000-3000 medium size cloves in the ground.

Finally, thank god for the pickling cukes! by far the best money crop for us this year, as far as money per row anyway. The cukes season could not have gone any better, nice flow of orders, a little bit of luck, and no cukes went to waste!

We also dipped our toes in a farmer market for the first time, we did around 4-5 weeks of it, where my partner JoAnne sold all of our carrots, a lot of our garlic and some other stuff too.

All in all, we spent around 20 000 and sold around 20 000 haha

Goal for next year is to sell over 40 000 and spend no more than 10 000
5 years ago
Hey everybody, it's really nice to look at some of the pictures from last year, helps me realize that I am late at direct seeding my watermelon!! and that my pepper plants were already outside at this time last year!?

Anyway, we are not doing the CSA so I am not as stressed as I was last year at this time. I am still putting in fairly long days, I just finished prepping the new strawberry patch (all 13 rows were planted April 30th and May 1st) which will be an extra 1/4 of an acre, so next year I will have 3/4 of an acre in full production and I might bring back to life an older patch so that id have a full acre. The berries are going to be early this year, the patch is a bit patchy and i had some weevils larvae and weevils damage all throughout the patch, I have applied Hb nematodes, 2 applications and I so hope that is has worked, I will be so discouraged if all the plants get droopy just before harvest but I have faith that the nematodes have done their thing, I think the timing was right...

I uploaded a few pics of the patch, upick should start in 2-3 weeks I am guessing, wish me luck.

5 years ago
I just started some crimps pink AKA pink lady ? I think they are descendant of lady williams and granny smith. The crimps pink I have been eating and saved the seeds from taste in a way similar to granny smith in that they are sweet and sour. Since it has been a couple generation of sweet and sour I think the seeds might be more likely to inherit that sweet and sour taste. I direct seeded them 2 weeks ago and they are all up! 5 of them for now.

Interesting fact about crimps pink and granny smith is that the seeds are often showing tap root or even growing in the apple if you buy them at this time of the year in a grocery store (might have heard that from skillcult)

I think your best bet is to go with the newest cultivars, since they have been selected over many generations for edibility, you are more likely to endup with edible apples, this is my theory for now because I think the only reason why apple tree do not grow true to seeds is that they have not been domesticated for long enough, the breeding of apple is such a long process, hasnt been done yet. \

Anyway, I prefer they dont grow exactly true to seed, I like diversity!!
5 years ago
You want the red wigglers mainly, but look up this thread, some info on what Sepp Holzer does: https://permies.com/t/32930/sepp-holzer/Revitalizing-Landscape-Dealing-Invasive-Species

They will not die, in my opinion, the best way to do it on a large scale is like this guy

also great info here: http://www.hrt.msu.edu/assets/PagePDFs/john-biernbaum/Worm-Composting-Biernbaum-23pgs-Jan2013.pdf
5 years ago

S Bengi wrote:I also love the idea of keeping the carbon as long as possible. So instead of letting you carbon plant trunk get eaten every year you keep it locked up in big perennial tree trunk.
Also prefer if the carbon get eaten by slow moving, long lived, deep dwelling fungi vs quick cycling surface dwelling microbes. And if we could store some of the carbon as biochar, locked up onsite even if it doesn't help the food forest produce any better, actually even if it hurts it a bit it is still better to store it on site.

what makes you think biochar wouldnt help a food forest?
5 years ago
Am I correct to think that the best carbon farming practice would be essentially a farm that is the most efficient at harvesting sunlight (and water...) The larger the canopy, the more carbon is being sequestered. 1 acre of annual crops would have a 1 acre flat canopy, but 1 acre filled with trees and shrubs and annuals (with a very 3 dimensional canopy) would have a canopy that, if flattened out, would be much larger than the 1 acre it is in, hence capturing more sunlight per acre, sequestering more carbon?

5 years ago
Thanks Matu Collins, I appreciate the feedback! Feel free to post pics and give us more info about your setup on here, if you start a thread let me know!

here is the link to the video update: https://www.facebook.com/664325794/videos/10153819715225795/

if you can't see it because you don't have facebook (not sure how it works), let me know I ll see if I can upload it to youtube.

Cheers everyone!
5 years ago
Thanks Jeremy, last year was.... challenging!! We survived, I had to go work in the bush in the Fall to survive but we survived. No CSA program this year, last year was way overwhelming. I ll take the go pro out in the field and do a quick video update, as far as making a living this year, we are going to bank on our half acre of u-pick strawberry, 10000 garlics (2500-3000 biggest heads will be kept for replanting) and a small patch of pickling cukes! I will likely grow other stuff like carrots, tomatoes and peppers but the strawberry, garlic and cukes are the priority.

I started planting some trees too, mulberries, apples, plums, some berry bushes too like honeyberry, gooseberry, elderberry, jostaberry... all in small amounts, initial investment for propagation a year or 2 from now. Still lots going on, still not making a living ! haha, hopefully this year will be the year.

In the meantime ... tree planting for a living
5 years ago
I have recently randomly found skillcult videos on youtube, I guess google really knows what I like. I was planning on planting apple trees from seed for a long time but never got around to do it until I watched his videos a couple few weeks back.

Unlike plant breeding, apple breeding is a lifelong journey, start now if you are young like me !

What we have here with popular and not so popular varieties are poly-hybrids created from poly-hybrids parents, that is why apple seeds do not grow true to parents. However, if you start with some of the new cultivars, you are ahead of the game. (In my opinion, don't be afraid of new cultivars, I am not sure why people get so hung up on heirlooms, after all, we are hybrids too....) You are still starting with poly-hybrids but you are starting with poly-hybrids that have been selected over the course of a couple hundreds of years for taste, look, storage ... I believe we are closer than never before to create more stable edible apple varieties. As time goes on, maybe another couple hundred years from now, I bet that it will be hard to grow a spitter from any store bought apples.

My project starts with some Crimps lady seeds that were actually starting to germinate in the apple, I also bought a pink lady tree and a couple granny smith, all related, I think skillcult mentioned granny smith being the mother or grand mother of pink lady and pink lady the mother of Crimps, don't quote me on this though. So my first project is to grow out those Crimps lady seeds until they bare fruit (about 10 years?) and back cross them to either granny smith or pink lady and hoping to have a new variety of apples, hopefully more homogeneous, sweet and tart, hmmm
5 years ago