Chris Ferguson

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since Jul 25, 2015
San Francisco Bay Area
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Recent posts by Chris Ferguson

I live in a warmer climate.  I have an area dedicated to our dwarf Lionshead pet rabbit, mostly herbs.  He keeps all the plants chewed down to their stems and when they re-leaf he mows them again.  It's interesting how he has learned not to kill them outright.  It looks like a stick garden and reminds me of The Addams Family movie where Morticia lops off the roses and keeps the thorny stems for the vase.  I digress.  Anyway, I noticed that there are tiny red mites (?) running around the moist soil.  They make my skin crawl and I'm trying to decide if it's a pest or a Permaculture symbiotic relationship.  Guys, Gals, DO I NEED TO AERATE THE SOIL BETTER FOR A DRYER AREA ?  OR MAKE PEACE WITH THEM?  I don't want to expose Button to an overload of them.  (And for those of you who are not vegetarian:  NO.  The solution isn't to have rabbit stew for dinner.   LOL!  )

Thanks,
Chris Ferguson
Fellow Permaculture Enthusiast
Just a P.S.:
Los Angeles is proposing a wildlife overpass to the Highway 101 so that the pumas (mountain lions/cougars) can go from one forest preserve to the other without getting hit.  It's up for debate because some say it's a bottleneck choke point which the wild cats would not likely go through.   I like the idea since the highway does cut the Los Angeles National forest in half.  Why didn't they allow bridge overpasses.underpasses along the highway when originally built.  $$$ of course.  The other debate is about increasing their population.  Last weekend, a 2-year-old toddler was grabbed by the neck and dragged away while the family was hiking.  The Dad threw his backpack at him and successfully chased him off.  They euthanized that animal.  Geez.  Is our overpopulation causing problems for them.  Ya think?

I wonder, how does your large electrified fencing work on the big permaculture homesteads?  I enjoy Geoff Lawton's videos about moving their grazing animals around the acreage.  And the chicken tractor seems to be successful with an electrified wire on the field fence, then well-closed trailer coop for moving later on.

No easy answers,
Chris
Your Fellow Permaculture Enthusiast
5 months ago
Sorry to hear about your loss.  It's always sad when preyed upon.  I vote for raccoon.  One morning the nailed-down nest box on my coop was completely ripped off and no sign of all chicks.  I saw a raccoon the next night come out of the storm drain.  They are persistent and can manipulate most anything.  I don't know how big your coop is but for mine, I was able to put a second round of fencing using chain link, with digging down a barrier underneath.  They are probably already looking for the weak link to work on.

Regarding a relocation of a predator, is that successful?  I saw a beautiful coyote running across the expressway on several nights to go between two open fields.  I called Wildlife Game control.  They said it was probably a healthy male that has grown up and now looking for a mate and to establish his own territory.   That they will not trap and relocate because the coyote at the new territory will fight him to the death.  Consequently, they would  euthanize him.

Yikes!  I worry about my livestock but I could never send a beautiful wild predator to a kill facility.  I'm all about fencing or strong quarters to keep them out.  Get their food elsewhere.

Chris
Fellow Permaculture Enthusiast
5 months ago
Great thread, James.  Thank you for posting it.  So I have my judgmental clothing stories, too.   Like the time I was sent home from work on their announced "Casual Dress Friday" because my blouse didn't quite match my slacks.  But what I wanted to relay is my experience in San Francisco one May.  My 7-year-old daughter and I were standing at the street light when a group of about 100 men and some women marched by all naked.  A man asked me, "Aren't you going to cover your daughter's eyes?"  I said, "No, we run around nude inside our house, too."  I asked what was up?  He said that they have a march every year to maintain the right to be nude.  San Francisco allows it but there is pressure to change the ordinance.   I'm all for being free.
9 months ago
Springs Preserve had tons of success with trees and plants from Australia but I'm kind of leery of imports and prefer to go native.
C
11 months ago
Hawaiian Tropic tomato = thick skin to hold in water, prevent skin split, allowed to vine along the ground and cover all fruit with leaves to avoid direct sun exposure, then sheet mulch with shiny silver-colored mulch to reflect heat that they love and keep out pests.

C
11 months ago
Camas reference:  https://www.nps.gov/lecl/learn/nature/common-camas.htm
Hey = not to be confused with the highly toxic white=flowered camas = Meadow Death Camas

Nitrogen-fixing, edible groundnuts - tubers are mail-ordered. (may not grow until Swales well established)
There is a native Bamboo of the Sonoran desert and Mexico. (found info in Springs Preserve library)
There is a native orchid in the Red Rock Canyon. (may grow in established swale)

DOn't forget Bill Mollison's video, Intro to Permaculture, where he shows the rancher that drug the "desert imprinter" over his land.  Remember the triangular-shaped dents collected seeds in the wind, water in the rain and changed the barren land to prairie.  Also, the civil engineering 60-year-old swale model.  Wonder if you can get more info on that effort to speed up the cycle for your land.

Trying to remember what other success we had.  With our serious heat, we used to let the plums dry on the tree to get dried, sweet plums.  We were too lazy to pick them and just went up and bit them off the dwarf tree.  LOL.

CHris
Fellow Permaculture Enthusiast
11 months ago
Chad:
I had website references and everything.  Okay - here is the synopsis. Lived in Henderson for 6 years.  We did a demonstration garden in Boulder City.  My discussion was on the high desert of Northern Nevada, the Great Basin Desert which is Southern Nevada (are you part of it?) and the Sonoran Desert of Arizona:

Mesquite trees - Native Americans ground seeds for flour
melons
pumpkins
The famous Tomato Lady, Species: Hawaiian Tropic http://sweettomatotestgarden.com. (harvested volumes of tomatoes using her method)
edible camas - of Lewis & Clark days.
Major Resource:  Springs Preserve. springspreserve.org.  Acreage located on the original water source, the historic springs, otherwise known in Spanish as.  "Las Vegas".

I'm going to post this, then continue so I don't lose it.
11 months ago
Chad, I wrote a really long reply about my data from Southern Nevada.  Then the site timed me out. I'll see if I can find it in Drafts.  If not, I'll try to recreate it
Chris
Fellow Permaculture Enthusiast
11 months ago
We have both subterranean and wood-eating termites.  I'm assuming they wouldn't travel the 20 feet under the patio to the house structure.(?)  We did have to replace eaten wall frames and such to clear them out before.  They do a great job for nature's decomposition.  Perhaps I can dig in my hugelkultur every once in a while to see if there are any nests forming.   I remember Bill Mollison's video where he was lying down in a potato patch he had installed and said, "Once there were thousands of ants here.  Now only potatoes". LOL. The permaculture microbes displaced them, I assume..

Are you in Nevada?  I had a permaculture garden near Henderson - Las Vegas for six years.  I was amazed what could grow in the Great Basin Desert.  Permaculture works there, for sure.  We grew the Hawaiian tropic tomato.  We planted a Native American demonstration garden in Boulder City.  They made flour out of the mesquite tree bean pods and the camas root (Lewis and Clark) (not the toxic ones).

Chris
Permaculture Enthusiast
1 year ago