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Terry Paul Calhoun

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since Jan 30, 2015
Ann Arbor, Michigan
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Recent posts by Terry Paul Calhoun

Yes, I don’t know of people who tap Hickory for syrup. I have seen it for sale, and I have found recipes online, they are very simple. You pick up some of the bark, clean it up good, boil it down in water to a thick tea, filter it and then add sugar until you reach a syrup state. That’s all there is to it. I’ve made it a couple of times.
11 months ago
In a couple of weeks I will be planting 150 bare root trees on a piece of property that used to be a golf course. It’s so well drained that the surface is dry within minutes of rain ending. I’ve toyed with a few ideas to help each tree get more water and hold it longer.

One is to dig deeper than usual and put in a layer of wood chips at the bottom to sort of create a hugelculture, buried-wood effect.

Another is to poke several holes through the turf around newly-planted trees to encourage more water to drain in the vicinity of the tree’s roots.

2 years ago
I am passionate about growing trees. I also also passionate about disc golf. In disc golf you stand on a tee, throw a frisbee-like disc counting throws until, you toss into into a target basket, usually metal but it can be a painted post. Holes on my three courses range from 190' to 770' in length. In fifteen years courses in the uS have grown from 800 to 6,0000 and the industry for private courses is taking off.

The first time I saw an aerial view of a permaculture farm I thought out loud, "That looks like a disc golf course."

As spring approaches, let me share my experience that disc golf and tree growing work well together. You might consider trying this. I started taking donations on my farm/disc golf course last July, low key, not required, and collected nearly $2,000 by the end of the fall. If I had different zoning I could charge a fee and make a lot more.

For four years I have been planting mostly fruit and nut trees (more than 8,000 total so far) to reforest the 14 acres of my 19 acres that had been tilled until about 15 years ago. But instead of rows for most I am planting them in a design that creates a challenging and lovely disc golf course.

I now have three nine-hole courses installed and playable. It's alley cropping but the alleys are disc golf fairways and the alley crop is entertainment. Golfers have already been able to pick a few cherries and some blackberries. Pretty soon they will have apples, peaches, nectarines, apricots, persimmons, paw paw, raspberries, and every kind of nut you can think of, plus across from twenty different kinds of oaks.

If it turns out that we end up producing lots of edible stuff, when my wife retires in three years we will look at using the raw materials in cottage foods like energy bars to sell to the disc golfers and also develop a farm stand. Lots of options.

But the point is that the trees will take a while to support us. The disc golf has already started to. Plus, how much more permaculture can you get than building in physical activity and community?

2 years ago
Hi, Black Walnut most assuredly does not breed true if you are defining that by measurable qualities of the nut. I have hundreds of these lovely trees and the variations are incredible. Although one tree usually has all nuts the same size, between trees on nut size alone the variation is from marble-sized to two inches across. The trees themselves do look very much alike.
3 years ago

Ken W Wilson wrote:I use a small variety for much.  It seems somewhat rot resistant compared to straw.

How thick are the stalks on the giant kind?

About a quarter inch. Very strong.
3 years ago
I have quite a bit of it but only a see it for aesthetics and disc golf challenges. But it seems a likely permaculture crop to me, being non-invasive and a source of very dry, harvestable materials in late winter. Mine grow 15' tall and the stalks seem to have potential for crafts and constructing n as well.
3 years ago

Every county around here has a spring and fall tree sale. Fruits are in the spring. I just completed this year's order from the Washtenaw County Conservation District. Each year the quality received is better than described. Fruit tree-wise I ordered 4 Black Cherry at 3/4" caliper and 25 each of sets of Chester Blackberry and Prelude Raspberries, for a bit over $200. The berry sets I got last spring fruited the first year!

I am still working on my order for this year to St. Lawrence Nurseries, which specializes in cold-adapted fruits, nuts, and berries. Their shipments have previously been very professional. I am for certain ordering 10 Buartnut and 10 Heartnut, which are new and scarce offerings. In those numbers the Buartnut is $10.50 for a 3-5' tree and the Heartnut are $15 each. These are two new trees for them, and me. This company has many varieties of apples and is the only place that offers Sweet Sap Silver Maples, with 3-5% sap sugar content that are tappable at 8-10 years. These are tempting, but I am 70 🙀

They have quite a few plums and pears, as well.

I also often order from Cold Stream Farms, in Michigan. They have the best prices I have seen for what they carry, but none of it is named variety and that sort of thing. Good selection of native fruit and nuts, but seed grown from wild, so you can't be sure what's going to become of the pretty flowers. If you are looking for fast height, I have some four year old Black Locust from here that are already thirty feet tall, from original 3-4' sticks with roofs. I've put several thousand of their fruit and nut babies in the ground in the last three years: native Apricots, Plums, Persimmon, Hazelnut, and more.

Low prices and steep price breaks at 25 and 100 trees. Any problems I have had with their trees have solely been due to my ordering too many at once and taking too long to get them in place. Example: American Persimmon, 1-2' length, from $5.20 for one to $1.33 each for 100.

The Missouri Department of Conservation is not fruit or nut oriented, except for acorns, but they have some and, wow, the prices! They are currently out of wild Plum and Paw Paw for this spring, but they have Northern Pecan and other things - at a shocking price of $10 for 25 trees or $3 for 100. Seriously!

3 years ago

Sadly, DED is sweeping across my 19 acres and I will soon have dozens, if not hundreds, of 8" to 18" DBH dead elms standing around. I am paying a huge amount of money to get injections for my two massive elms. That happens tomorrow morning. It will cost much less, though, than what it would take to pay someone to take them down dead.

After I stop crying, I want to start planning what best to do with all those logs. Right now I am thinking fences, and mushrooms, of course. My property encompasses a 28-hole disc golf course, so I might build obstacles and benches, and the like. Not sure how well Elm stands up outside as a rough piece of tree trunk to make a bench or a table?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts?
3 years ago
Interesting concept that could be applied more broadly than this New Yorker article covers, even.

One way to restore degraded soil is to plant trees—lots of them. The catch is that seeds and saplings won’t grow in such soil, but if a young tree becomes large enough that its roots can reach groundwater it stands an excellent chance of thriving. Previous efforts often followed two paths: cumbersome and impractical irrigation techniques, or tossing a few million seeds out of an airplane and hoping for the best. Ruys’s innovation was to develop a doughnut-shaped waxed-paper cocoon, the base of which is buried underground. It contains the sapling, enough water to sustain the tree while it establishes a root system, and a small lozenge of beneficial fungi. The cocoon is cheap, easy to plant, scalable—a community can plant hundreds of acres of them in a short time—and biodegradable. Rubio told me that in the desert regions of Spain where his organization is working, other efforts have resulted in a success rate of ten to twenty per cent; “the cocoon,” he said, “is providing around ninety-five per cent survival rate of trees.”

3 years ago
Sounds like that tree is a popular one among the buck crowd. We have hundreds of black walnut of around that age but the bucks leave them alone. Here, their preference is for the young hybrid poplar and black locust saplings. Luckily, both of those coppice well and always spring back with vigor.

Anything that gets in the way of their antlers will discourage them. I've used black plastic drainage tile, split lengthwise as a protector. Leaving lower branches on or letting weeds grow tall around the tree also discourages them. I've had this idea about hanging a piece of rope on the trees that size to see if that would discourage it. That is on my to do list for this fall, selectively, to see if it makes a difference.
3 years ago