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zinneken ikke

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since Aug 15, 2014
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Recent posts by zinneken ikke

I'm looking for a book to learn more about growing and transforming your own wood for garden structures. Like how to bend (willow?) branches into loops for polytunnels, or which trees to grow for sturdy poles and how to use them for longevity, or which branches are longer lived as sides for raised beds, or how to use twigs to make a supporting fence for plants to grow on, etc.

Whic good reads can you all recommend for this?
We have this 5 meter wide and about 20 meter long corridor along the house. Its sides are the house and the 2 meter tall neighbor hedge. At one end of the corridor is the road, at the other end is the garden. The North-Northwestern wind "drafts" through the corridor, it is the place where we get the latest last frost and earliest first frost in the garden, there are several °C difference between the corridor and the garden due to the air flow.

We thought of closing the corridor with a straw bale wall to block the wind and have a useful vertical growing surface, but can't (local building regulations prohibit a wall of any kind to be so close to the neighboring property), so we need to revert to a hedge as wind break.

The hedge would need to be evergreen and thick enough to keep the cold air and wind out of the corridor and relatively fast growing (as in 2-3 years it is a hedge).

We first thought of Taxus as it is close enough to not provide shelter for the (by us very much disliked problem of) blackbirds. And while Taxus is not edible, the cuttings go to cancer research which has a high feel-doing-something-good thing going for it.

We then though of Laurel (Bay Leaf) since its leaves are a fantastic cooking ingredient. But we planted one in our garden 6 years ago, and it is now only about 1.6 meter at its highest point and about 50 cm at its widest. Super slow growing it seems.

What relatively quick growing edible evergreen hedges would you suggest to keep cold out of our garden corridor?
2 years ago

Rebecca Norman wrote:Previous Permies discussion on this topic.


Thanks Rebecca! Specifically loved the contribution of Tristan Vitali (don't know how to link directly to it).

Peter Ingot wrote:

Heather Holm wrote:There has been discussion of legume leaves as human food before, this link is helpful: https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/proceedings1990/V1-391.html


Thanks Peter!

2 years ago
Lentils and buckwheat are both lovely companion plants as well as N fixers and soil improvers. But, are they edible? I'm not talking sprouts; I am talking stems, flowers, leaves of the "adult" plant used to enchant salad mixes or in cooked dishes.
2 years ago
Area is maritime coastal North Sea. No snakes I can see Ticks in long grass/greens could be more problematic then bees in our area.
2 years ago
Been reading through various threads on compost tea, but other then a bunch of emails I could not find references about books or research works.

It appears to me when making compost tea from weeds and/or scraps, depending on what plant and or plant material is in the mix, one may be making a herbicide/pesticide/fungicide which may put off your permaculture balance? Think about the organic/biodynamic plant concoctions used to kill pests, suppress certain plants, etc.

Are there good books or research works on compost tea's, how to make them, what to use them for, how to use them?
2 years ago
Does anyone know if there are edible pond plants which float on pond water (no need for having roots in sludge/dirt/soil)?
2 years ago
Can clover be used for a cut-and-come-again (like grass) lawn? I'm thinking, use the clover for enriching the compost?
2 years ago
We would like for a portion of > lawn < to be baby and small kids proof, meaning it can't be grazed-mown by goats, sheep, rabbits, etc. Droppings would be a feast for them putting everything to their mouths, touching everything and then hands in mouths, mothers would love the idea of their kids rolling in manure, etc.

So, how can one include a lawn, or lawn-like area, in a permaculture design, without the need for mowing and safe from dropping/manure?
2 years ago
From someone on the searching for land end, mid thirties with a family to feed, in Europe, caught in the ratrace mill of earn and spend by force of society ...

Everyone looks for the same features: water, land, closeness to infrastructure (schools, hospitals, shops, library, culture, closeness to people/market for produce to be sold). It is not that people do not like to live in small distant towns or out in the fields, it is that the infrastructure there is lacking. The only people who can "afford" to live there are people without kids, or whose kids have left the house. Why do young people, families, not go live in small towns and only old people end up there/stay?

By time the kids have left the house, people have set in their ways, their jobs, their neighbourhoods, their mortgages ... Their societal responsibilities, chosen years before. And while they always dreamt of living the good way, it would draw them away from closeness to friends, family, grandkids, etc. From emotions and feelings, from belonging with as many as possible other humans, which we've been trained at. So much so technology understands that market better then sustainable living does.

You have a kid that's brilliant at music, at dance, at math, at anything and as a "good" parent you are obliged to the potential and future of your kid (that is different from you) to be close to society. Every kid has something special, are you the parent that will not see to the best possibility of your child's development?

The families with kids we know who have chosen the self sustaining lifestyle, and to be able to afford it have moved further then bike-distance, have kids who long for being independently able to go out into the world with friends, go to a concert, a museum, a sports event, travel, etc. Not something you can do on a motorbike when you live 40 minutes by car away from "society" and go there maximum once a week for the "necessities" shopping. I remember being driven 40 minutes in the morning, and in the evening, just to go to a "better" school. So much boring, lost time.

We've never met anyone who drove more then 20 minutes to go to a u-pick, or a farmer market. We ourselves, living close tot he sea, drive once a week to the port to buy fresh fish, a 20 minute one-way drive. No one we know does that. When we tell people we do this so that we get the fish fresher and pay the fisherman direct, they consider us mad. After all, the supermarket has all-you-can-wish-for "fresh" fish that's been from the fishing boat to the auction, from the auction to the distributor, from the distributor shipped to a low salary place for processing, from the processing to the distribution centre, to the supermarket. Surely, everyone understands "you can't get fresher fish" ... We drive 20 minutes one-way, but we're the mad people.

CSA type ventures that are out of people's way need to organise picking, sorting and delivering of the goodies the land produce. If you live out of people's ways, try to compete with the organic labels mass produced and marketed. No one will pay your production cost. You'll be lucky if you earn more then the cost for you to drive your small-scale distant from society produce to society.

So, grow things close to society. Growing things close to "society" makes land "very expensive". As in, society is making the land expensive beyond any possibility of financial viability. After all, society makes people want to have a house and a garden, and so any land that is close enough is speculatively useful for building/living/industry.

It pains me, my grandparents have this piece of agricultural land, they keep it, do not want anyone to farm it, do not sell it. They wait, because it is close enough to society that within the next 10 years it will be built upon. So no one dare touch it, so it is immediately available as soon as city hall decides it can be built.

I've looked at so many financials of self sustainable, CSA, permaculture projects all around Europe. Unless you are famous (like the Holzer's, who I have great respect for the example they set for everyone) and get cash for consulting, and have some of the land from your ancestors or sufficiently cheap, it is impossible to send your kids to state paid university, or provide for braces, or ... whatever life needs or throws at you during that time in your life you're nurturing kids to adulthood.

And very often, when given/renting land, it only takes the owner a few letters to get you off the land for their well exploiting. You've put all the hard work in to plant trees, bushes, improve the soil, the fertility, the nature of the site, and then 3-4 years later when your first return could start trickling in from greens, you're thanked and can start again elsewhere. The bushes and fruit trees the land owner will benefit from ...

Lastly, the risk. When you're part of "society", you have "friends, family, society" that if anything happens to you can alleviate. When you're 40 minutes out, society invites people to the beach, the woods, concerts, ... but not to a u-pick or a self sustainable farm. Society will also not come to you if you're in unexpected need of help, and that 40 minutes will break you because in society you're never more then 15 minutes away from a structure that will provide assistance, but 40 minutes will not cater to you.

Ultimately, it is growing good, healthy, things we're going to put in people's mouths that is made unprofitable, risky, unnecessarily difficult while buying the last technological useless advance is made a dead easy must.

We'd love to find land in europe which we can live on, live from, earn from so we can send our kids to school not too far away, send them to uni, have comfort of medical and other support for the just in case... Alas, nowhere to be found. So we try to hold ourselves to industrially approved "organic" labels in our daily rat-race to earn cash and hopefully one day have enough to buy a piece of overly expensive land not too far away from society.

End of rant ...
3 years ago