Annie Daellenbach

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since Aug 23, 2015
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food preservation fungi homestead medical herbs trees foraging
Santa Cruz, Ca
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Recent posts by Annie Daellenbach


I recently had the incredible luck to be able to see John Liu speak.  I got to meet him and his wife and am a big fan of them, and the outstanding work being done by the ecosystem restoration camps.
It was a very positive experience.  
Thanks for sharing this!
2 weeks ago
Hi Denise,

This looks like Alyssum to me, at least the flowers do, from here...  Can I see a picture of just the leaves?  <3
2 weeks ago

It didn't smell bad and the dog ate it...



Oh, my dog would have also done that in a heartbeat.  

:)  good luck with those tomatoes.
Hi Kai,

How old is your hugel?  How tall was it when you first built it?  

I am interested in taking the temp, I never thought to do that with a hugel, although I usually record temperatures of compost piles.  I would wager that 130 isn't a bad thing for microorganisms, they move about freely, as do mycelium.  

Are you mulching that soil?  grass clipping and twigs and regular old weeds are great to keep some moisture in the topsoil.  Go thick on the mulch, like a foot or more!

For me personally, I have stopped using bagged manure, as well as manure from any farm that de-worms the animals.  The medication persists in the poo and then kills all the earthworms!  
Those little guys are my buddies, and they help so enormously by aerating and inoculating the soil.  I wouldn't want to try to garden without them.  

That being said, if you've already added the manure it will be okay- soil is so complex, and downright magical, it's beyond comprehension.  You already have all of the components your garden needs, on site!

I'm going to suggest to you three words that will save you from having to purchase almost anything for your garden: Korean Natural Farming.  

I have only recently stumbled upon this and it's completely rocking my world.  If you haven't already read about it, the idea is that you capture and grow what good microbes are already present on your site, and tend everything using stuff you already have around, like eggshells, banana peels, grass clippings.  you make these things bio available / ferment them and create fertilizers, better than the best you could buy.  Serious money saving and you get to feel like a wizard, concocting potions.  Sorry if I sound like a weirdo about this, but it's been such a fun adventure.  The books are online, as PDF's, a great one is called JADAM

I used to buy so much stuff for my garden, Mykos and all of that.  It's great when/if I had a ton of $$$, but I felt like... without it my garden wasn't as fancy.  Now I make what my yard needs, like a home-cooked meal, but for dirt.  It's been really special.  

Good luck, I know your tomatoes will be champs, send pictures!
3 weeks ago
That sounds like a fun experiment, how big are the crates?

I used to bury a whole, unbroken chicken egg under each tomato plant.  I read somewhere that as it slowly goes toward being a 'bad' egg, it releases sulfury gases into the soil, below the roots (i'm paraphrasing.) and the tomato plant gets a boost!  
I never had a smelly garden, and my tomatoes always seemed happy.
Good luck with the crates, let us know how it turns out?

These were found in the Snake River canyon about twenty miles from Twin Falls



That is really neat, Dennis!  I lived down there, above Shoshone falls, in the snake river Canyon, when I was about 2.  When we hunted asparagus though, it was up on the way to Gerome, or Filer... along the fences.  

I remember a bridge going out of Twin Falls that used to 'sing', it made an undulating, melodic noise when you drove over it.  I've been back a few times as an adult, actually driving myself, but could not find the singing Bridge.

I love the snake river - about 10 years ago I sat on the bank of it in Ririe, thinking of how I used to watch it from my grandmas backyard in Twin, I miss that river!  I'm sad to know they are spraying the banks.  

Something incredible about asparagus:  once established, the same plant can produce spears for 25 years!  That is a really long life for a vegetable.  Probably my favorite perennial.  

Has anyone ever tried them raw?  I was surprised to discover they are crisp and sweet that way (always been a saute-with-butter-and-salt type person!)

Dennis, I think digging up a few plants and transplanting them to a spot - out of round-up's way, possibly your own backyard, may be in order!  The root crowns look like big sleepy spiders to me.  I wish you happy foraging, and thanks for sharing the photo!
3 weeks ago
Wow, those look delicious.

My first experience gathering wild plants: Asparagus in Idaho.  I was around 5, and I remember walking along the fence of big rectangular fields.  I remember my grandma telling me that the asparagus liked to grow where the birds leave their droppings, and looking up at the power lines along the road, where all the birds were hanging out.  I have no idea what the regular crop was in the field.  Must have been gathering somewhere near Twin Falls.  

Thanks for sparking the memory!
3 weeks ago
Hi Jara,

You are right, the seeds do not look like Adenium. They could be for a different variety, or a completely different plant, it's difficult to know at this stage.  Can you contact the seed seller and get a refund?  If not, the plant you started might be a fun surprise.  

Keep us posted?  :)
3 weeks ago
Here's a cool site that discusses how mulberries are a 'taxonomic mess' https://www.growingmulberry.org/identification
I enjoy the fact that the author offers to help you identify your species of mulberry, free of charge.  I am endlessly, pleasantly surprised at the kindness of plant folk.  

I was gifted two Mulberry trees, Morus nigra (semi-confident on that id... I think I'll send a sample to the aforementioned person)

My trees will root from hardwood cuttings.  If anyone is interested and lives near the bay area of CA, or wants to arrange postage I will send you some (I don't think there is a quarantine on mulberry, like we have on mailing citrus)
The berries are smallish (not a long-form, like the Pakistan Mulberry), and taste exactly like blackberries.  They are so good, my kids wait impatiently while I reach up and grab a top branch to bend down and we pluck all the berries they can grab.  The branches are long and flexible, but the tree is young, maybe 5 years old.  We get berries in three main crops, when they start to come on we will be daily visiting the trees for about 2 weeks, although we have had them dry and drop off during a dry spell.  The chickens hop to get the low hanging fruit.  These trees are some of my favorite, they are aggressively healthy and planted on the mound below our swale.  

The wood is (reportedly) good for carving.

Did you know - 'Mulberry is usually associated with sericulture, the domestication of mulberry started several thousands of years ago as a requirement for silkworm rearing.'
Mulberry and its potential for animal feeding: http://www.fao.org/3/x9895E/x9895e00.htm#Contents

Mulberry and your health: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5981255/

I'll take some photos when the berries are ripe!
3 weeks ago
I give this book 10 out of 10 acorns.

Wherever you find yourself (on your permaculture learning path) this book has something for you.  The way that Shawn and Paul present each topic - direct, with humor laced throughout, made it a joy to read.  Even if you have already implemented all of these strategies in your own life, connecting and reconnecting the dots will bring forth perspective and congruency, and will strengthen your creativity.

It was liberating to have some of the larger, more complex topics stripped down into an overview, with the option to expand through the links in the footnotes.

It's so fun to read, would be even more fun as an audiobook.  

Thank you for this contribution, for supplying me with something I can get for everyone I know.  Sharing these unrelentingly practical solutions with them will, at the very least, get everybody talking.  It will also help validate some of the seemingly weird things I do, to people more involved with conventional ways of living and thinking.

Beautiful, clarifying illustrations throughout.
4 weeks ago