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James Landreth

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since Jan 26, 2015
Western Washington
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Recent posts by James Landreth

I'm worried about the political climate emboldening people and making them more extreme. I'm not sure what to do about it yet. I'm not very open and out with strangers, but I'm sure people know. With a conservative supreme court and federal government, I'm more nervous now than I was a few years ago
2 weeks ago
Look into St. Lawrence nurseries in upstate NY. A lot of their trees are hardy to zone 3. If you're unsure shoot them an email and ask.
2 weeks ago
I did a brief search to see if this topic existed yet, and I didn't find any. So, I wanted to start one.

Specifically I'd love to hear what your lived experiences are with bee forage in the pacific northwest (for honey bees, bumblebees, and other bees). What works and what doesn't? I've found some neat infographics online but I'm always interested in expanding my knowledge.

I've found that lavendar, buckwheat, and sunflowers are all pretty easy to grow for forage. The latter two are also pretty flexible for me in terms of targeting their bloom to times when I feel it will be most beneficial.

For trees, I've heard that linden, golden chain, honey locust, black locust, empress trees, and silk mimosa are all good. What are your experiences with these? I'm really interested in learning about bee forage trees for my orchard. It's like planting a whole garden bed or more of flowers, but a lot less maintenance and weeding. I've heard some lindens are bad for bumblebees.

Thanks ahead of time for sharing!
2 weeks ago
Hi G Mofatt,
Can you give some specific examples? I'm interested to hear what you have to say. I think that maybe you're right in that it's wise to be strategic about what changes you implement in particular, but natural building has a pretty wide range of practices. Some of the posters above put in some examples of renovations they've done using natural or semi-natural methods
3 weeks ago
Dr. Ingham's speech was really insightful. She's not only a really excellent scientist, she also did a great job of teaching and explaining the subject.

I asked One Green World about pistachios for you. They said that that particular source of seeds in hold for a few years, but they may find others. BUT, when they do, they said they can ship to Canada with only a few extra steps.

From what it sounded like, the pistachio trees will survive where you are but may not get enough heat to ripen. But, with a good microclimate setup, they might work. I also think they'd be worth planting anyway, because they might ripen down the line due to climate change, and I imagine they're very drought tolerant to boot.
3 weeks ago
Lol, I'm sorry to hear that. Maybe try Etsy? I know of people who have gotten seeds internationally that way. Not sure if it's technically legal though. I just did a quick search and found some, but I'm not sure if they're good for the pacific northwest :/ I'll try to ask the people at one green world if they'll sell seed. I should be seeing them tomorrow at the Northwest Permaculture Convergence
3 weeks ago
I think it's safe to say I survived the summer heat. Me and my (non-monogamous) partner are out in the countryside of western Washington. I'm about halfway done with planting a really great permaculture orchard, and my gardens are all up and running. It's been a great year.
3 weeks ago
I just want to start by saying that I have a lot of experience with no till gardening and farming. I do hugelkultur, lasagna gardening, and I've seen a lot of Back to Eden gardening. I've seen the good, the bad, and the great.

But, I've also been in a position where the need for producing food was great, and I had to grow a lot of food without much time to prepare, and I didn't have the resources (large amounts of cardboard and good mulch) to prepare enough area such that I could grow enough with no till. And I certainly didn't have the labor to dig all those hugelbeds on my own (I also lacked the wood and organic matter for them anyway). In that situation I made do with what I had available, but it was an experience which got me thinking.

If I had to grow a lot of food for myself and other people, I think I would have to till. Tilling worries me, mostly because I'm very afraid of eroding my soil. But I can see how tilling can save an enormous amount of materials and labor in its own way.

So I wanted to ask someone who does till, and whose farming methods are largely respected and considered sustainable, what they think about tilling. Joseph Lofthouse does tilling at his farm.

So, Joseph, I guess my first question is: What do you think about erosion and tilling? How do you prevent it? Do you think you've had erosion loss since tilling at your farm?

My second question is: What about water retention? I've always been told that tilling can dry out the soil. I know water is a limiting factor for you, so how do you address this?

As an aside, I've been to places in Italy and China where tilled agriculture has been practiced for thousands of years continuously. I'm not sure if the nutrition in the food has gone down, but these examples exist.
3 weeks ago
Some citrus, like Yuzu, can take frost and snow just fine. Trifolate orange is supposed to be another good option. I grow both here, in zone 8. I think citrus would be just fine on this bed, depending. Also the hugel bed will generally be warmer for a number of reasons. Mine are so active biologically even in winter that the snow on them melts ages before everywhere else.

Some feel that planting trees on a hugel is risky, because they worry that the tree can't properly anchor itself with wood in the way. I leave gaps between the logs large enough so that some larger roots can grow between them and anchor. Yes, it might reduce the "core effect" of having a large bloc of wood at the center, but that's ok. I planted at least one tree in a hugel this year (a dwarf cherry) and it did fantastically well. It was noticeably more drought tolerant because of it.
3 weeks ago
Hi Yasha,
I know that One Green World in Portland, Oregon is selling a variety of hardy pistachio seedlings
3 weeks ago