marie-helene kutek

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since Aug 05, 2015
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Recent posts by marie-helene kutek

I introduced hops for various reasons.
They do proliferate along a stream not far from here so it is not an ‘exotic’.
They are very keen climbers and will cover all sorts of unsightly elements like the big  plastic water
They are, however, invasive as some would say. I find their long growths climbing up trees and bushes a long way away from the mother plant. They have very long, shallow roots; long white thin with extra filaments.
I do wonder at how they manage to spread so far. There is not always a root connection. I find it quite unruly.
In winter, it is an unruly tangle that springs to life after the winter, if this still exists.
It’s part of the landscape now.

Anyway, the good thing is, the young shoots are edible. Locally, they are harvested and added to egg dishes.
Beer obviously for those who make it.
Ihave made hop socks, that solitary sock that has lost its partner somewhere. Or you can use an alternative attractive pouch, fill it with dried hop flowers, can add lavender and chamomile if you like.
This is a very useful ornament on your sleeping arrangement, hung near your head, on the bedstead, to aid peaceful sleep.
It really does work and can make a lovely gift.
One can also drink the mixture of herbs or hop on its own, as a bitter calming tea.

I have heard that hops have been used to graft cannabis? Can’t quite get my head around this.
The hop stems are very thin. It will not festure as one of my projects.

Twiny hop Blessings to us all
3 days ago
Thank you for tea info.
When I lived in Bristol UK, I used stinky tea to discourage kids from marauding in the very steep garden.
They found it funny rather than threatening which was great. We used to discuss the usefulness of this approach.
It also meant fabulous roses, veg and stuff I’ve forgotten.

Tea requires mixing, I hear.
I don’t have an outdoor power source to instal a mixer arrangement so I’ve invested in a portable
shower unit. It’s got a pump with filter at one end of a not very long shower hose, and a shower head at the other end.
It’s not solar but I charge it on a mobile phone charger.
The idea is to have a modest flow of water circulating in a bucket, the filter end sitting in the water with a fountain effect from the other end.
Regular cleaning of the filter is required and I might add gauze or net curtain to improve filtering.
It might decrease water flow?
Tea ingredients, whatever I have to hand, unless I eat it first.

Here, it’s festival time for slugs.
Downpours reminding me of monsoon and tropics, greyness, grass as tall as, fabulous wild strawberries, loads of not very sweet raspberries and not a lot else. And yes, beer, ash, hair, eggshells, polite requests …… I avoid flagrant violence.
Haven’t seen a hedgehog in years in spite of good accommodation.
Germination in these conditions is tricky, heyho.

Blessings to us all and happy brewing

5 days ago

Charles Beckmann
Posts: 1
posted 1 week ago Likes 1  Mark post as helpful  send pies  Quote  [...]
Having trouble with my Jonathon apple tree this year and I curious if anybody can help me diagnose the problem. Thank you


Don’t know how to do a quote yet, so it was cut and paste and a big Welcome to permies, Charles
Had a quick look at your photographs without my specs.
The leaves reminded me of peach leaf curl -I know it’s not a peach -
didn’t see any sign of ants or aphids
Thought of wind burn
And probably off mark with still a lot to learn so looking forward to some diagnoses.

Around here, rodents absolutely love young apple tree roots.
One ends up with a slim trunk bevelled at the root end.
By the by, they also demolish borage root.
Copying British orchards, I plant lots of bulbs around the trees which seem to offer a little protection and a delight in spring.

Somebody asked me how I kept myself occupied in view of having trees.
Sounds like a disease, I have a touch of trees.
Trees, they like to be admired, appreciated, a little bit of cleaning around the root perimeter, an occasional beauty treatment with a clay wash on the trunk and a whey spray on leaves and fruit, checking for unwanted guests; the list lengthens as we get to know each other.
It takes the time it takes and fruit doesn’t magically appear in the dish on the sideboard.

I love the comments about cultivating pips.
Grafting, is it that difficult? Ther have been grafts that have taken and others not, there you go.
Haven’t tried August grafting, that would be late summer here, using the method that I use with roses.
Don’t know all the names, sorry.

It still raining and raining and not warm though perhaps not enough of the chill factor when it was needed.

Thank you all

1 month ago

It’s Monay, it’s still raining again, grass and company are up to my ears.
From my first floor terrace, I have been admiring hordes of marauding birds feasting safely on all sorts of insects.
Aphids and ants are getting a good seeing to.

What can be done in this soggy weather, don’t want to flatten the green growth some of which will need some trimming to make walking easier.
I have acquired
a very big bag from somewhere
A disgusting huge old pillow full of down
Bags of Very old mushroom samples from my mushroom club
Tail end of a bit of woodchip
A bottle of milk from a previous era
Some sprigs of nettle, ground ivy, evening primrose, ivy, comfrey.
Non-treated bits of cardboard and paper
A handful of magnesium sulphite and seaweed from the kitchen

The pillow was a challenga at first in dry weather as the down flew all over the place
when emptying the pillow.i looked like a snow woman.

So today, the whole lot is going into the big bag with a few molehills and a drop of
Home made nitrogen(contents of my pee can).
It will all be nicely mixed and left to marinade until I remember the existence of the mixture.
I’ll use buckets to carry it and spread it on a field not too far from potatoes and sweet potatoes,
maybe an odd bean.

Has anyone else made interesting mixes? Results?
It certainly helps get rid of some of the stuff lying around.

May we joyfully collect water and have a splendid week, mayybe pick some lilies of
the valley on 1st May, a tradition here.
Good health and blessings

1 month ago

First sun in about a week. It was short sleeves and shorts followed by a violent drop in temperature verging on but not quite morning frosts.
Slugs managed to find a window during the moderate temperature to snack on seedlings. Those were in a ‘safe’ place.
Those sort of friends I can do without even if they help create humus not the chickpea kind.

I resonated with all the comments.
It’s great to chat if that is really what you all want to do, outside, the activities being an excuse to get together.
Working ,if one wants to call it so, noticing new arrivals in the soil, being followed by a robin picking up the odd worm, putting some effort into scarifying, muttering thoughts out loud, all the better to hear them, stopping to notice whatever.
Sometimes being outside is great, without human company, and sometimes it’s wonderful to share a thought or a view.

There are very few people that I trust to participate in the garden without having some regrets later.
Ahh, no, those are not weeds.

For me, it’s about sharing and all parties acknowledging the time to do, the time to be quiet, the time to stop and, very important, recognising when one needs a spot of advice before forging ahead, me included, and another pair of hands.

Thank you for the topic.
Someone mentioned woofers. I signed up, gave details about seasonal activities around the house and in the local mountains.
One respondent contacted me to ask about activities at the seaside??? several hundred kms away.

Forward and onward, with/without

1 month ago
What a wonderful name you haveand you share it with the land which feels like amassive challenge,
Lovely posts - trust your hands as they know what might be good.
Soleil is the sun you have brought us, thank you and bless you and your tribe.
Helloooo, salut,

Flowering quince in front of me and an orchestra of blackbirds serenading the cooling air as the day draws to an end.

Ground cover - it all happened intuitively or perhaps it just happened.
Will I shred the wood lying around or leave it to rot down? Bear with me, please.
I followed various permie threads about to chip or not to chip, so I did both.
The branches are ground cover and provide shelter not just for rodents and birds.

The woodchip has introduced favourable conditions for loads of wild strawberries, fantastic ground cover, already flowering.
The strawberries are under trees, in shade, in grassy areas where I mow paths for easier mobility in full sun.
The plants just arrived, nothing to do with me.
The initial effort of chipping has paid off handsomely.

Comfrey and borage are also very happy here, as is ground ivy, violette etc etc. some I’ll harvest and some chop and drop,
Is it Mr Sobkowiak? Yes it is, just checked the name. In a dvd of his about orchard maintenance, he suggested mowing one side at a time, so short one side with the cut left in situ and the other side providing some shade. Alternate mowing.

Best wishes and blessings for a fabulous healthy week

2 months ago
Raspberries are indeed like the Borg, they will not stay in place.
The once neat hedges here have shifted beyond reasonable control.
There is or are raspberry threads which might be useful.
Bless you and the chickens M-H
2 months ago
How about clay with cow dung and horse manure, I kid you not.

Hello from a sunny terrace, a break from spreading more mulch and stuff.

The topic reminded me of a BBC UK  TV series that ran in 1987 - the victorian kitchen garden, with a book by Jennifer Davies, which is in my library, well, on a shelf
I had on very quick look on the net. There is reference to the series, not sure if it streams. That’s beyond my connection.

Loads of really clever gardening techniques. I could literally rewrite the whole book here for us. E.g: how to have fresh grapes on a vine on the table at Xmas, northern hemisphere. They were really clever chaps.

Back to grafting materials; the book mentions tallow and wax, using hot bricks to keep the wax malleable on site, resin, turpentine, alcohol, with occasional fires!! and clay seems to have been favoured, retaining moisture without going mouldy.
There is reference to a Mrs Loudon, gardening for ladies(1840). That must be suitable for me then, haha.

One dead useful tip is the double grafting - if a variety is tricky to graft on usually appropriate stock, first graft say an easy pear on quince, then in time you can follow with the fussy pear on the grafted ‘easy’ pear.
Hawthorn grows all over, a pain to move, so I graft in situ. It seems to be very willing rootstock.
I now have red and white flowered hawthorn to which medlar has been added,

Recently, I have become curious about what will be produced by the wild indiscriminate plantings that occur for which I thank rodents, birds and visitors who chuck or spit their their pips and stones under their feet.
I believe that the Bramley apple was an accident? as is the red skinned walnut of which a chap in Switzerland has 12 varieties.
Not the shell but the thin skin on the nut itself is a brilliant red and yes I do graft these. It is not the most productive of varieties, an early so prey to late frosts and violent rainstorms.s
And yes, I have used not too ghastly commercial paste for grafting with raffia.

Happy Sunday afternoon
Abundant blessings to all,

The grafting tool is a real temptation.
2 months ago
Gosh, I’m posting frequently.

Must be displacement activity with what needs doing outside, haha.

Honor or honour stands: I have started my Fridgebook at the bottom of my lane with books and pirated dvds, sorry, they are scarecrows, honestly and notice boards for small adds. The pens are still there.

I had a basket with medlars available on my terrace one year.
I caught a Welsh cob self serving, yes a horse. I have proof, a photo. Uploading is difficult before you ask.

So I have a query, it’s all very well asking people to contribute, but what about eggs and ferrets and rats, etc.
Do they know it’s an honour system?

And of course there is scrumping, technical term for harvesting your neighbours’ produce forgetting to ask their opinion.
As a writer said, above somewhere, if people take, their need might be great.
Others might even take your produce to market. It happens. Around here, fields of potato have gone astray and woodpiles.
So there you go, it’s all learning, n’est ce pas?

Let us continue with honour and help yourself and a bit of love and peace,
Blessings too
3 months ago