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Courtney Rae

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since Feb 05, 2015
Seattle, WA
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Recent posts by Courtney Rae

Hi Maggie, we would definitely consider that! Shoot us an email at and we can chat more. Thanks!
4 years ago
Hi Chad, we would love to have you! The owner replied to your email as well. Drop him a line back when you get a chance to hash out all the details.
4 years ago
Check out Yang Sheng Gardens on! Feel free to message me or email for more info.

A one to four week opportunity to live and work on a budding Permaculture project, at a Taoist Sanctuary, outside the town of Snohomish, Washington. The property is 30 acres in total, with forest trails, ponds, streams, and mountain views. We will be focusing our efforts on developing about an acre of land for growing Chinese herbs and vegetables, planting a fruit and nut orchard, as well as naturalizing Chinese herbal plants and trees as appropriate, throughout the various diverse micro-climates. Activities will include Plant propagation, developing terraces, building hugelkultur beds, pond improvement, light carpentry, mushroom cultivation, forest farming, simple fence building utilizing bamboo & saplings, and forest trail maintenance. We have bees arriving in the month of April!
There will also be opportunities to learn from a master nurseryman (40 years experience) as well as learn about Chinese herbs and their cultivation.

April 1st through 30th, Possibly other times throughout
the spring and summer.

There are several options including; Dorm, Tent, Separate building, and trailer.

Local services and attractions:
The historic town of Snohomish is about 20 minutes away with restaurants and antique shops.
There are many hikes and places of natural beauty in the area.

There is no public transportation available. Most days there will be people coming and going and rides in and out of Seattle can be arranged.
We are about 20 minutes from commercial services- gas, food, etc. The cities of Snohomish, Monroe, and Everett are each about 20 minutes away. Seattle is about 45 minutes away.
4 years ago
Hello all,

I've been given around 150 or so seeds of the Nanmu tree and have no clue where to start. Apparently they're quite rare and threatened due to deforestation, so I don't want to mess up and waste them all. There is not much information on the propagation of them that I've been able to find online.

They're a tropical species native to Southern China, Hainan Island and Vietnam: Wikipedia
So, I'm thinking maybe looking at propagation techniques for other tropical deciduous trees (teak maybe?..) and going from there.

Since there are so many seeds I've got some room for experimentation, so I'm looking for ideas to try. I'm a newbie at starting trees from seed anyhow so any tips would be greatly appreciated!
4 years ago
Hi Sandrine,

I'm at the very beginning of a couple of lofty projects myself and I'm sure it's going to be a highly experimental road, which is half the fun

I think there's a few things that certainly couldn't hurt even if you have already started planting are:
-Soil analysis: send some samples into a lab to learn your deficiencies and help determine what's going to live happily there; simple soil shake test is good too
-Water infiltration test: easy to do yourself, good to know exactly what you're dealing with so you can plan exactly how much remediation to do for your flooding issue (I believe a soil analysis lab can do this test too)
-Add organic matter: mulch, green manure,'s (mostly) all good. Build up the humus and health level of the soil and it will do better no matter what you end up putting there.

Looks like some beautiful land you have to start with, good luck!

4 years ago
It looks like both of those are about the same price, around $15 a sample. Thanks!!
4 years ago
Does anyone know of a soil analysis lab in the PNW? I know king county residents get 5 free tests, but I'm looking for something for property in Snohomish County, preferably that doesn't break the bank. I found: but it looks like a basic test is $40, and I probably need to get at least 5 different samples analyzed. Maybe I'll just have to suck it up??
4 years ago
These are great ideas! Thanks everyone.
Maybe I will try liming some of it as well, and doing some heavy mulching...and I do have some old carpet laying around!

We shooting for a little bit of a food forest in this area, with a Chinese medicinal herb theme (so trees like Ginko, persimmon, hazelnut, with chinese licorice, mugwort, chysanthemum, etc... tons of plants). It's to have a traditional chinese garden type feel with meandering paths, rock features, moon gates and the like, so Cristo I love your idea about terracing the hilly part. Lots of terracing is probably needed in this area. The whole property is a hill with the house at the top and water just rolls away into the stream on one side and the neighbor's property in the back.

4 years ago
Hi trinda!
There is a ton of great stuff happening in and around Seattle. If you havent already checked out meetup, there a few different Permaculture meetup groups based in seattle, tacoma, and other places nearby.
Hope to see you around!
4 years ago
I'm dealing with a large plot of land in western WA that has lots of big earth mounds on it, which are completely covered in buttercup and reed canary grass, and we would like to clear it of these things to make room for herbs, trees and food in the spring/summer.
I'd like to start doing something to dramatically reduce the population of them ASAP but want to make sure I'm not totally ignoring something..

I'm thinking of doing a combination of a few things, just to see what actually works, since there does not seem to be any one way to do it best that I can gather:
1. mowing/weed-whacking it very short and thickly sowing in some cover crops that might be able to out compete it in the spring, which can then be used as chop and drop
2. letting loose some chickens on the affected areas over the next few months, and hoping they can make way for a cover crop OR
3. trying to manually dig some out by the roots, as much as possible
Unfortunately I think it's getting pretty late for me to be seeding cover crops though, especially if I have to wait until I get the roots all out of there, or wait for the chickens to do their thing, but it sounds like the alternative of smothering with sheet mulch or fabric won't do me much good with these plants (which is probably good for me considering the large area and steep slopes).

The only other thing I want to be sure of is that whatever I put there to try and out compete my troublemakers is addressing the problem that the plants are trying to tell me I have: compaction, wet clay, poor drainage. Also, given that the little hilly areas being affected are so sloped, I'll probably need to be thinking about erosion control...who knows what influence the rhizomatic grass roots have had in ensuring the integrity of the hillsides.. so I guess that is my main question. If I sow in some cover crops or other plants to try to out compete these weeds, are there any in particular that might address the compaction, poor drainage, and erosion issues? Maybe a mix of some vigorous growers and daikon? I have tons of comfrey near the area, which has a good taproot also, but I am not trying to encourage its spreading too much more since we have other plants we want here. Does anyone have recommendations for other erosion control plants/techniques and/or plants that improve drainage & reduce compaction? Anyone had success with eradicating buttercup, or better ideas than those I'm thinking of trying? (Also, I'm assuming that whatever can conquer creeping buttercup can handle reed canary grass too, as tenacious as it is. Correct me if I'm wrong.)
4 years ago