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

Tyler Ludens wrote:

Corey Schmidt wrote: The animals in the forest and waters don't have the benefit of compound interest (ok maybe you can count soil building as a kind of compounding!) and are forced by the necessities of survival to work like hell every day of their lives.  I watch the squirrels around me and they inspire me because no matter how bad it gets for them, they just keep working like hell.

I'm inspired by the vultures who just cruise around for hours without using any effort until they find a nice roadkill.  Long period of relaxed observation followed by decisive action.

Good point.   lots of animals seem to live like this and its a great lesson for me about how to act... sometimes we actually get more done by doing less....  I'm not aware of any other species that 'retire', however.
1 month ago
I'm loving this thread.  One of the most financially inspiring things for me has been playing with a compound interest calculator, such as

I think most people could somehow come up with at least $100/ month to save.   I won't touch the topic of who can or cannot do this! The trick is to start young!  One popular financial guru repeats over and over that $100 per month invested in a 'good growth stock mutual fund growing at 12% /year' will add up to $1 million over 40 years.  If you make it only 10% growth rate,which is a fair enough number for an S&P 500 index fund, that comes out to $584,000.  If you only do that for 30 years, you still end up with $217,000, which could provide a sustainable and ever growing income of around $8k/year.  Try out all kinds of different scenarios with the compound interest calculator, and it's guaranteed to educate and inspire you! Its extremely simple for anyone with internet access and a bank account to take advantage of the power of compound interest.

In one sense, life on planet Earth is about survival on planet Earth.  The animals in the forest and waters don't have the benefit of compound interest (ok maybe you can count soil building as a kind of compounding!) and are forced by the necessities of survival to work like hell every day of their lives.  I watch the squirrels around me and they inspire me because no matter how bad it gets for them, they just keep working like hell.  If you remove their nest from your workshop, 5 minutes later they are chewing up fiberglass insulation and dragging it back to where their nest should be, then heroically lopping spruce cones from the treetops...  By comparison, most humans have it pretty good, even if we do have to 'work until we die.'
1 month ago

Jason Learned wrote:There are some really fast growing Asinima Triloba (paw paw trees) and they generally wait to sprout until way later than most trees. My trees don't start to leaf and flower out until May. And some of these are bred to produce early. Maybe you could get a small orchard of paw paws to grow out there. Would be great to see.

Maybe one of these will work for you?

And you might be able to grow butter nut, black walnut and some types of hickory nut and maybe American chestnut if you source from Canada, probably from New Brunswick or the islands that will have a similar maritime climate as you.

I have some butternut trees going through their second winter here.  They all survived one winter and grew a second summer but not very fast yet, max about 8-10" new stem growth in a year, and as little as 3-5".  I've been considering pawpaws for a while and wondering if i should try them outdoors or wait til i get my greenhouse built.  My main concern is lack of growing degree days.  We have July daily mean temperature of about 55 f (12.6C)  and only 3 months total with daily mean temp over 50 f (10C). I'm sure with our Dfc climate our summers are warmer than the ET climate in inland Iceland, but not by a whole lot.
1 month ago
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!
2 months 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 months 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.
4 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.

8 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.)
8 months ago