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Morfydd St. Clair

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since Feb 09, 2015
Hamburg, Germany
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Recent posts by Morfydd St. Clair

Chris Kott wrote:Yeah, I agree, James. The described usage sounds more like a living mulch than a cover crop, especially if instead of a chop-and-drop, they are left for intended crops to grow through, perhaps with a little space made.

In this context, I think they'd be great. I mean, what's better than a self-seeding annual or a perennial living mulch or groundcover that also might provide a tasty treat?



Exactly.  I don't know what kind of strawberry I inherited in my garden, but I love it.  The berries are about a centimeter in diameter and not particularly frequent - they're a tiny reward for weeding.  But the plants spread madly, even outcompeting the thuggish buttercups!  And unlike buttercups, when I pull the strawberries to put something more interesting in, they're easy to pull. And I have a few edible leaves for salad.

My understanding is that berry production improves as runner production is stopped.  As my other perennials take over, I'll probably try taming the strawberries, cutting off their runners and treating them like a cultivar.  But until then they've got a completely different purpose in my garden.
1 month ago
I'm going to be contrary here and say:  Go to the doctor!

I had easy, regular periods into my 20s.  Cramps started getting worse but I thought nothing of it until I was in surgery for something else.  Post-surgery, the doctors said they'd found some endometrial cysts and burned them off.  (Endometriosis is uterine lining cells growing - and bleeding - where they shouldn't.)  My cramps disappeared completely for the next 10 years and came back slowly.

Cramps started getting really bad, and my flow became ridiculously high, a few years ago when I hit 40.  The doctors found fibroids and I take Esmya (Ella in the US) and I don't have a period at all, which is more than fine by me.  (Fibroids are non-cancerous lumps growing in/around the uterus.  In the wrong location they irritate the uterine lining, causing pain and bleeding.)

If the pain and/or flow have changed, go get it checked out by a doctor.  Sure, when there was no underlying disorder, I found that avoiding tampons and living healthy made cramps better, but when there is, medicine is the only thing that can help.

1 month ago
N Taylor, I assume you mean Permaculture Zone 1 and not USDA growing Zone 1?  You'll get very different advice depending on which you mean.
5 months ago
You can get weed whackers with plastic blades like these (https://smile.amazon.com/Grass-Gator-3600-Replacement-Trimmer/dp/B00004R9XQ/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1496234613&sr=8-4&keywords=weed+wacker+blade)

They're stronger than string, I assume less strong than metal (yikes!), anything weed-wacky seems dangerous around kids.

I sort of alternate what I use between rows.  When I have a ton of fallen leaves in the fall, I deep mulch.  When that fades I throw huge quantities of white clover seeds in.  And then I hand-weed whatever unwanted comes up.  It keeps things to a dull roar.

It helps that these raised beds are in what was a nice annual garden for the previous owner, so I suspect the weed load was lower.  It is a pain that bindweed continuously comes over from the neighbor.  It evens out.

Also, I used to garden in the PNW, and never remember grass invading via runners, nor buttercups being invasive.  I have both here in Germany, plus the bindweeds and blackberries, plus OMG so many more weeds I've never seen before.

The one thing that can compete with the weeds are some local strawberries.  They don't fruit much, and when they do the fruits are only about a half-inch wide/long.  But they cover everything, are moderately pretty, and are super easy to pull out of where I don't want them.
7 months ago

Laura Sweany wrote:

Would pollarding at about hip-height work to rejuvenate the shrubs, or is the suckering key there?



I asked Michael about this too, and he says the way commercial growers in Oregon do it, they grow the entire bush on top of a 4-5' trunk (essentially pollarding it at that level), so they can run sprayers and harvesters underneath the branches. He suggests you could simply cage around the main trunk, and let rabbits have the suckers - then harvest the branches when they are the girth you desire, and let them grow out again. Growers will do this when they find blight on a branch or two in an otherwise healthy tree. Their trees are at least 100 years old in some cases, and still producing vigorously.

I understand Dave Jacke is working on a book about woodland management - coppicing and pollarding are large topics he will be covering thoroughly. I can hardly wait!



Thank you, Laura.  That's very clear, and promising! 

The Jacke book sounds great - I'll keep an eye out.
9 months ago

Philipp Mueller wrote:

Morfydd St. Clair wrote:
To be clear there, I was not responding to you, but to Philipp who had kind of catastrophized your dilemma.



Please forgive me, I did not mean to catastrophize. I was asking for a better solution which I dont have but hoped someone had. Writing in english is really an effort for me, so I tend to keep it short and simple and hope the reader figures out the intended meaning. I know, this is not a good approach in an internet forum



I'm sorry - I wasn't sure that was the right word even as I typed it.  I did kind of want to bring you back from the brink, if you were there!

Your English is very good!  (As you can tell, I write in long meandering sentences in English.  My German sentences are very short and I worry how they come across too.)
9 months ago

Laura Sweany wrote:Interesting note: coppicing the bushes (see author Ben Law about this British woodland and forester practice) will greatly increase the life of the plant. Most hazelnuts lose vigor after about 100 years, but stools from coppiced plants have been dated at over 450 years old!



Hi Laura,

Thank you for sharing this information (and the much more that I snipped) !

I would like to coppice my hazelnuts, but I have rabbits on the property.  So, so many rabbits.  Every shrub I plant lives in a wire cage for several years, but someday I'd like to be able to remove the cages from my hazelnuts.  Would pollarding at about hip-height work to rejuvenate the shrubs, or is the suckering key there?

Thanks!
9 months ago

Devin Lavign wrote:

Morfydd St. Clair wrote:

Philipp Mueller wrote:

Devin Lavign wrote:
My advice would be to be clear about what you want. Don't give up on your life just to be with someone. If it is the right person they will want to join you in your adventure rather than side track you from it.



Does that mean that I can never be the right person for somebody else? Only if the other person is willing to give up their life, they are the right one for me? This is a question I have often asked myself. Who should be the one to compromise? Always the other Person? Or are there criteria to determine when I should be the one?



Well, you chose one phrasing, "give up on your life".  The other one was "join you in your adventure".  If your dream is "do X, have no room for anything else, for the rest of my life" (and if it is, I admire that! I've always wished I had a Mission!) then yes, you would need to find someone either whose dream is identical to yours or who is willing to give up on his/her own life for yours.  If your dream is "do X as long as it is worthwhile, then be open to someone else's Y for a while" then your field would be wider.

Back when I was married, our plan was that we would both work for a while, then when we were financially stable I would work for a while so he could go back to school, then he would work for a while so I could do something I found valuable.  I'm no longer married, but I think it was a good plan.

And you know, most people don't have Missions.  They have plans and goals that they're pretty flexible on, as long as they are getting joy and respect from the relationship.  So going along with someone else's Mission could be worth it to them.



You might have also noticed I mentioned the woman who I had encountered that she is doing a similar journey and I specifically said "I could not ask her to do so, and would not blame her for not wanting to do so." I don't want to take her away from her journey. I do not want her to give up her life to join me.

My intent was not to say never make compromises. My intent was to say if you have a journey your working on, don't give it up to get involved with someone else. This goes for either side of the relationship. I would not ask someone who wants to become a Hollywood star to give that up and join me in building my homestead where there is little to no chance for her to achieve her dream. For me this means someone I end up getting involved with would need to be looking to move out to rural land and help build a homestead. Since I am already on my dream land, I am not looking to move to someone else's land. I absolutely adore my property and it is the culmination of decades of working towards that goal. The property I got I feel very connected to even though I have not even had it for a year yet. A few years ago before I got land, I would have been quite open to the possibility of a romantic relationship with someone who already had land. At that point it could have been a way to further my journey toward living on property and building a homestead. But now, I am not open to that avenue, instead I am at the point of being open to someone else joining me.

It is not about the other person having to give up their life for you, it is about finding the right person to join you which is a progression for their life direction. A relationship I feel should not be about asking someone to give up their life, but instead helping them progress further toward their goals in life.



To be clear there, I was not responding to you, but to Philipp who had kind of catastrophized your dilemma.

To you directly, you say "I could not ask her to do so, and would not blame her for not wanting to do so."  Um, why can't you ask her to do so?  Maybe your land is better, or she'd find it worth the sacrifice.  Of course, the second part of your sentence, that you would not blame her for saying no, is key there.  And if you've already had this conversation then never mind.

I'm all about asking for things directly, and being clear with all involved that a No response is fine.
9 months ago

Philipp Mueller wrote:

Devin Lavign wrote:
My advice would be to be clear about what you want. Don't give up on your life just to be with someone. If it is the right person they will want to join you in your adventure rather than side track you from it.



Does that mean that I can never be the right person for somebody else? Only if the other person is willing to give up their life, they are the right one for me? This is a question I have often asked myself. Who should be the one to compromise? Always the other Person? Or are there criteria to determine when I should be the one?



Well, you chose one phrasing, "give up on your life".  The other one was "join you in your adventure".  If your dream is "do X, have no room for anything else, for the rest of my life" (and if it is, I admire that! I've always wished I had a Mission!) then yes, you would need to find someone either whose dream is identical to yours or who is willing to give up on his/her own life for yours.  If your dream is "do X as long as it is worthwhile, then be open to someone else's Y for a while" then your field would be wider.

Back when I was married, our plan was that we would both work for a while, then when we were financially stable I would work for a while so he could go back to school, then he would work for a while so I could do something I found valuable.  I'm no longer married, but I think it was a good plan.

And you know, most people don't have Missions.  They have plans and goals that they're pretty flexible on, as long as they are getting joy and respect from the relationship.  So going along with someone else's Mission could be worth it to them.
9 months ago
Also, the signup was quick and easy and I'm off to explore the digital market.  I am only sad that I couldn't do it via the old forum view, which I liked more than the new one.  (I'm sorry.  I know that the new view is much more 2016 and not 1999, but I found the old one easier to navigate.)