Kai Duby

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since Mar 16, 2015
Kai likes ...
food preservation forest garden woodworking
Colorado~ Front Range~ Zone 4/Wheaton Labs
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Recent posts by Kai Duby

Just posting here to confirm that this is a mutual agreement and Evan is not selling out from under me.
Thanks for the offer Todd! I'm most interested in walnuts, ash and autumn olive since they are harder to come by. I'll be sure to update this thread every month or so until planting time.

Here's a couple of the hundreds of little trees we have coming up on The Lab:

1 year ago
More! I'll try and post in more depth when I get a chance between cob oven, drip edge, log peeling, garden gazing.
The progress from bare land...
Gardening to the moon and back!
Belated Photo Dump

I've been stopping to smell the saskatoons and May flew on by.
Rhubarb Micro Village Challenge Forest Sprite and a design drawing my friend Ben Drew.Shout out to Pubbins Stay Thuggin.
1 year ago


Over the past few years I have collected and planted the majority of the seeds from fruits I've eaten. I also raid parking lots, parks, and ornamental plantings for harder to find tree seeds and every year I plant more and more.

So far the most limiting factor has been the amount of seed I am able to obtain, which is why I'm soliciting here for more tree and shrubs seeds!

If you have seeds from trees in your backyard or fruits you've eaten over the year then I'd be happy to plant them for you! I usually plant woody perennials in bulk in late fall but I always stick nuts directly in the ground once I receive them.

Some fruits I've had success with so far: Apricots, Apples, Plums, Pears

I'd plant just about any hardy woody perennials with decent, edible fruit. Some plants that I'm interested in: Seabuckthorn(seaberry), Quince, Mulberry, Aronia, Elderberry all kinds of brambles, currants, gooseberries.

Fresh off the tree nuts are probably the most difficult seeds to find in this area but I'd love to grow chestnuts, hazelnuts, pecans and any other big meaty nut.

Timber and general supporting species are also nice to have. I regularly collect: Black Locust, Siberian Peashrub, Linden, Alder, Ash but anything that may grow in a cold northern climate would be appreciated!

If you're feeling generous with a handful of seeds or even a whole box then send them on out to: Kai Duby c/o Paul Wheaton  2120 S Reserve St 351 MISSOULA MT 59801

Thanks for helping me plant forests!




1 year ago
Junkpole Saga #2

Ducks can fit through surprisingly small spaces and so can deer. I chased a deer strait into a supposedly impenetrable fortress after spending many hours on a certain length of fence and, to my chagrin, it hopped right through a 3ftX2ft space four feet off the ground. Impressed and enraged, I added more poles to the gap. Strange how I project my own inability to squeeze through a passage on animals with completely different sizes and abilities. In the end the fence is there to strongly dissuade the deer from entering and the ducks from exiting but I am humbled at their leisurely pace sauntering through my massive undertakings.

Apart from excluding and containing, which to my tastes are not necessarily the best motivation for building fence. There's a lot of other uses for a border!

I'm appreciating the edge created by fencing more and more as I plant out vines and hedges that will grow to encompass most of the border. Junkpoles, especially with twigs attached, make excellent trellises and birds seem to enjoy perching on the very tips of the the vertical poles. Horizontal poles are thoroughfares for chipmunks and squirrels as well. I've panted cottonwoods, willow and aspen cuttings along some of the fence so that later on I can weave it together, pollard it, and use the withes. The fence has also helped define the space of the whole plot and I often use it as a big tape measure and point of reference when I'm planting since the berms are a bit on the irregular side. They also create little micro climates where the wind is buffered, the dark poles heat up and shade is cast during different parts of the day. So there's a lot of function stacking with a fence.

Saga #2 fence iterations

I used two in ground posts fastened at the top with a screw and then filled the bottom 3-4ft with horizontal poles to keep the ducks in. Stacking the poles like a log cabin is probably the most inefficient way to make a tall animal proof fence using junkpole yet contrived. Looking back, this fence seemed like the most work to build because of the stacked poles. I did get to experiment with Swedish fence tie techniques though! I was originally inspired by this video posted in the junkpole thread: Youtube.
I used thin, freshly cut douglas fir saplings about 3-4ft tall. Evan diligently heated them over a camp fire while I tied them since they firm up after they cool down. The key to tying them seems to be in twisting while you make a figure eight between the two posts. I found that saplings cut in late winter before the sap started to flow were better than spring cut because after the spring cut are heated the bark just falls right off after you twist.   The ties have held up better than screws by far. None of them have fallen down over the past year despite my only going off a whim and a video in a different language. Evan even stood on top of a debris shelter covered in debris all resting on my first attempts at this awesome craft. So I'd say they were a success. (50-60 poles/20ft) (2-3 screws) I now think that the screws in this design and past fences could be replaced by wooden dowels.

The next fence design was fastener-less, woven and debris bottomed to replace a portion of the first design that didn't cut it. This is one of my favorites thus far and I've been thinking of other fences along these lines. It's just two short posts banged into the ground and debris stuffed in between up to about waist height (or above the jumping distance of a lazy duck) with a woven lattice of thinner poles stuck on top. I was somehow able to weave aged poles but I think I could get the spaces even smaller with green poles. (15-20 poles/20ft + 2wheelbarrow loads of fresh limbs) (0 Screws or other fasteners)


Slowly Mastering the Art of Seed Balls

The secret seems to be in the fine clay powder dusted on top of wet seeds, rolled around, dusted, sprinkled with water, rolled around etc. I aim for one seed per ball although I usually put small seeds in with large seeds so they just get agglomerated.  This method is a lot more enjoyable than smooshing clay/seed mix through a screeen. 

Ducks will gladly tear through wet seed balls so I suspect chipmunks and other varmints will too.

I've planted lentils, wheat, and barley in seed balls so we'll see how well they do.