Corey Schmidt

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since Jun 29, 2015
Kachemak Bay, Alaska (usda zone 6, ahs heat zone 1, lat 59 N, coastal, koppen Dfc)
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Recent posts by Corey Schmidt

I live on the west coast of North America also, about 11 degrees latitude north of Victoria. Looks like our climates are similar in many ways but about 9C colder here in winter and 3.5C colder here in summer.  My day to day transport is my feet and an 18 foot aluminum skiff.  Somehow i got some water in the control cables so when it gets much below freezing I can't work the shifter or throttle for the outboard.  I took to unhooking the cables for winter and putting a rope on the throttle control and jumping back and forth between the outboard and steering console to shift between forward and reverse.  I keep a 4x4truck in town and love the studded tires.   yesterday drove out of a friend's driveway uphill on totally smooth ice covered with nonsticking new snow and no problems.  Ice cleats are important to use as we get a lot of winter thaws followed by refreeze and then new snow resulting in very slippery conditions.  Thankfully we seldom have deep snow here!
3 days ago
Hi Paulo,  are you still at it in iceland?  After reading the thread I have a few ideas to add.  
-Perhaps Norway maple can be grown for seed
-korean nut pine is a likely winner, but over a very long term
-Akureyri has a botanical garden with good website
-Minaj Smiryou is my favorite tasting blackcurrant variety, much better than our native ones here
-Sea buckthorn and honeyberry should both do fine for you
-rowan and poplar can both be coppiced
-lupine is a possible crop
-poppy seeds are very nutritious (papaver somniferum) and may ripen there
-yellow transparent on antonovka rootstock along with Dolgo crab would be my first apple attempts
-if you have space and can dig in your soil,
- a pit greenhouse or 'walapini' would be a good bet
-with potato, kale, and blackcurrant, you already have some great nutrition.  if you can get some more protein and fat from poppy seed or maple or pine nuts you could have the foundation of a balanced diet.
2 weeks ago

Ken W Wilson wrote:They wouldn’t grow for me. 3-4 years and not much taller than when I bought them. I suspect that they couldn’t stand our wet spring weather and only fair drainage.  One died and I took the other out.

Nevada Mo is my hometown : )    I actually tried planting some seaberries for my parents there about 13 years ago and they also died, though I don't know if from the climate or the lawnmower.  I suspect southwest MO might be warmer than ideal for seaberries, since they originate in  temperate climates that are closer to subarctic than subtropical.   I remember eating some great autumn olives in northeast MO from naturalized stands.  My seaberries here in southcentral Alaska (also Zone 6, like sw MO, despite a much colder average annual temperature)  are growing well.  I had a few fruits this summer, I thought they tasted like a mix between lemon juice and orange juice.
2 months ago
I give this nursery 10 out of 10 acorns.
I have ordered from burnt ridge nursery at least 4 times and spent somewhere between 1-2k$ on their products and shipping.  Great service and well packed, good looking trees are what I have come to expect from them.  I have had a few 'dead on arrivals' from them and they were always faithful to their guarantee and gave me a credit on the next year's order.
I have apples, pears, cherries, honeyberries, currants, hazelnuts, seaberries, siberian peashrubs, kiwis, aronias and more from them growing on my land and a neighbor's land.  Nothing has been in the ground more than 3 years so only the currants are bearing, and the hardy kiwis are making a few fruits, but I'm excited to see what else starts to flower this coming spring.
I give this nursery 1 out of 10 acorns.
.  I had heard of another permie who ordered and actually received their hazelnuts.  I ordered about $400 worth of hazelnuts and chestnuts around December 2016.  Money was accepted, plants were never delivered; multiple emails and phone calls were never answered, then finally one email in spring 2018 was answered, a Badgersett representative stated that 'all backordered plants will be shipped this spring.'  No plants still.  I gave 1 rather than 0 because it seems in the past they used to actually ship plants when plants were ordered, but I strongly recommend spending your plant money elsewhere.

Nick Kitchener wrote:

Corey on your Korean pines... Did you inoculate the soil with a bolete mushroom species? The white pines really need that symbiotic relationship to thrive.

Hi Nick, no I did not.  We have a bolete species in the area... any suggestions on how to do that innoculation?   I got the KNP as little plugs last year.  Mostly they grew a few inches.  Same again this year, with a few exceptions that grew very little and a few that are about 10 inches tall now.

6 months ago

Michelle Wilber wrote:Excitingly, it looks like I may have finally gotten some nut set on my hazelberts in Anchorage, AK!  Now let's see if they ripen...

Great news!  Please keep us posted on how they ripen.
I have a 'mcdonald' hazelnut (corylus avellana) in my garden, planted I think 3 years ago that's growing like an alder (almost) but I just planted a pollenizer for it (yamhill seedling)  so I will have to wait a while for nut potential....  I think I have around 15 surviving european hazelnuts spread around, mostly seedlings of Jefferson, that survived at least 1 winter. and 4 american hazelnuts have survived a few years but are still tiny.  Also i had about 6 butternuts (juglans cinerea) survive a winter as well as 5 out of 5 planted quercus macrocarpa x robur (burrenglish oaks).  Also I planted I think around 40 korean nut pines last year and all but a few are growing well this summer (still very small, though.)
6 months ago
I definitely agree with spending as much time there as you can getting to know the area. There have already been lots of good suggestions for access.  Also its well worth getting to know all  the plants that currently grow there.  Where is this?  looks to me like a cold desert; Utah or eastern Oregon maybe? California?  Is that a cottonwood down by the parking lot?  If its warm enough for prickly pear cactus and you can find a source of spineless (or spiny if you are ok with it) pads, you can make a sort of swale by laying the pads out on a contour line. They will grow up and the area above will fill in with debris and you will have a real living swale with no digging.   Brad  Lancaster wrote about how his teacher in Africa did that, i think with agave.  In general his book 'water harvesting for drylands and beyond' will have lots of techniques that can be used to your advantage.  Also it depends on your approach, do you have plenty of money to hire people and buy supplies and make a quick job of the whole project like a highway landscaping job or is this a slow motion love affair between a human and their land; a project where you will spend your freetime in endless joyful hours watching plants grow, caring for them, and planting new ones?  One final suggestion I have is microcatchments-- chose a kind of tree that you want and that is fitting to your climate and create a small hand shaped water catchment for it that catches all the water that falls on an area about 3-5 times the area covered by the mature tree (depending on how dry tolerant it is). It may need supplemental water for establishment, but the microcatchment will multiply the annual precipitation available to it. This can allow you to break the project up into many small pieces.
8 months ago
Castanea dentata was a traditional coppice crop.  This might be another avenue to getting chestnuts while avoiding having a large tree.  (Grafting onto oaks seems like a great idea too, particularly if you already have the oaks!)
My current favorite substitution is rhubarb juice for lemon juice.   Here in Alaska, abundant rhubarb harvests are easy to come by.  Put the stems in a blender and then pour and squeeze through a cheesecloth, cooked or uncooked and you have rhubarb juice.  Its delicious as a drink and in my opinion a great and even better tasting replacement for lemon juice.  My wife and I made pad thai the other night and substituted rhubarb juice and prune puree for tamarind paste.  Rhubarb juice can be poured on salad or pasta, or pad thai, anywhere a bit of sour zing is desirable.  And I believe the nutrition is even better than for lemons.  The sour taste of rhubarb stem comes from malic acid; the oxalic acid content of rhubarb stems is less than that of spinach; its totally safe to consume a lot.

9 months ago