steve bossie

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since Sep 10, 2015
Northern Maine, USA (zone 3b-4a)
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Recent posts by steve bossie

grow ground cherry . not a true cherry but a sweet relative of tomatoes. they taste alot like pineapple and make great pies and jams. kids love picking/ eating them. also very good for you. have been found to help fight cancer also. 5 of these plants produce enough for a family of 5 . if your in a cold climate like mine ,start them indoors now and by july you will be eating them till' frost kills them. where ever they fall they will reseed so you wont have to plant them again. theres tons of them in my food forest.  bugs dont bother them either. get seeds at rareseeds.com. good luck!
3 months ago
slugs get them here.
3 months ago
ive planted right under my trees on the south face with no issues. i wouldnt do that with shallow rooted bushes like blueberries cane fruit or elder as they might compete. all my alliums are under my fruit trees hopefully deterring pests
3 months ago

Francis Mallet wrote:I built the small size Woods house which is 6x10 and according to the author can accommodate 12-15 birds. I currently have 14 birds in there but during summer I had 24 at one point. I feel that 14 is too much during winter because the chickens don't go outside, 10 would be better.

January/Febuary are our coldest months with lots of nights in the -20F. One rooster got frostbite on its large comb and wattles, the others are ok. His problems don't come from the coop design, he's just not suited for the climate here.

The coop has no floor, is not insulated and not powered (no heat and no light).  I spent some time in there with the chickens during a bad winter storm, the air inside was perfectly calm. I keep the windows covered with plastic but the front is always open. I've never seen any signs of condensation or frost.

If it smells when the ground thaws I add more shavings. In spring I empty the coop and put new shavings for a fresh start. I dump everything in the run to start the compost pile.  I can hear the doubt when I mention my coop in unheated. I've visited a couple of heated coops and I understand the concern. Without electricity I don't think those coops would work, and the stink!

I never had chickens that liked snow. This fall I bough a hay bale and when it's nice outside I'll spread some in the run and they like it a lot.




i too put down some hay. on nicer days i open the door and let them wander where i snowblow.
3 months ago
my birds survived with light frostbite on their combs - 40f 3xs and -43f 1x this winter. no heat with open eaves in a 10' x10' coop and they still layed eggs but much less due to the extreme cold. i also keep the water outside so humidity doesnt build up from the steam in there. they drink quickly then eat snow until i water them again. im in N. Maine on the New Brunswick border across from Edmonston, N.B. and by the way, anyone that says leghorns aren't cold hardy, they weren't in any worse shape than my bigger breeds and continued to lay when the others stopped. i dont do light in the winter.
3 months ago
keep in mind that comfrey is a cold weather plant. like rhubarb it rarely does well above zone 7. its like a weed here in z3b and like rhubarb grows up though the last 6 in. of snow in april here. anytime it gets above 80f it wilts badly as does the rhubarb.
3 months ago
like was said, soil health affects nutritional quality. i grow black chokeberry, black currants, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, mulberries, goumi, autumn olive and sour cherry. all are in their own right are super foods. some more than others but incorporated in your diet they improve health and reduce chances of disease. i also grow the more colorful veggies for their benefits as well.
3 months ago
im in z4 northern Maine, USA. very cold here. we saw some -40c here this winter. i grow 60+ different kinds of fruit here on 1 acre. don't know if they are available in Europe but the university of Saskatchewan Romance series of sour cherry are quick growing and very hardy. i also grow mulberries, aronia, many types of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, black raspberries, salmonberries, arctic raspberries, blueberries, lingonberries, goumi, autumn olive, red, black, and white currants. gooseberries, honeyberries, serviceberries, rhubarb, hybrid hazelnuts, Marquette grape, Montmorency sour cherry, lutowaka rose polish sour cherry, hardy arctic kiwi, elderberry, several apples and 6 pear cultivars grafted on my 6ft. mountain ash. there's quite a few more i don't remember off the top of my head. if you have access to Russian cultivars i guess they are superior to most of what we can get here. good luck in you quest.
3 months ago
i dont know if  Americans and beaked can cross. i know the euos can . ill have to look that one up.
10 months ago