steve bossie

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

i have 3 mulberry but theyre young still. the closest whole grain mill is 200 mi. from here.
4 weeks ago
hands down R.I. Reds. we had them when i was a kid and i have them now but for sheer egg production the white leghorn is a egg laying machine that takes little space and eats even less. mine have survived-40 in a unheated coop with nary a frostbit comb. keep your coop dry and any breed can take the cold. i also supplement with cracked corn in winter.
1 month ago
ive replaced chicken feed with my own concoctions and they are laying more with it. i mixed beans , brown rice, pasta , cat food, oatmeal with some herbs and some honey for taste. filled a 3gal  pot with water added ingredients and simmered for 1 hr. once cooled i added some sourdough starter. i feed 25 hens a qt. of that a day. i still have layer pellets available but they havent touched them. i get my food from expired stuff at a local salvage store for free or little money. takes me 10min. to put a batch together and they eat off that pot all week.
birds look great and are really laying well for this time of year. even the goats like it. if you hit up the grocery store managers they can get you expired stuff with little effort.
1 month ago
welcome Ian. im in the western edge of the micmac, as we call it here, range in n. Maine. im 1/16 micmac. Maine and N.S share similar shore lines and ecology. my stepson lives in Dartmouth so ive had the chance to see some of s. N.S. beautiful province. Peggys cove reminds me of many downeast costal Maine fishing towns.  i turned my 1 acre lawn into a food forest with 60+ types of fruit as well as perennial veggies and herbs. im always finding ways to improve and add more.
1 month ago

Anne Miller wrote:To me, it would be wise to look at another area to have your garden.

From your description, the soil may have been depleted of minerals needed, standing water, and then there is the risk of "the septic field gently slops down into the old garden area."

I live where it is very rocky so we made raised beds by combining "leaf mold" found on our property under trees, bought soil, well-aged manure, and some clay from our property.

The problem with trying to plant fruit trees into a raised bed is that the roots will still have problems hitting rocks below the raised beds.

We dug large holes, then added lots of organic matter, and the fruit trees we planted just never did well.

Maybe others will offer some better solution than I have been able to.

i havent had that issue on my rocky, clay soil. i just put down cardboard, drive a 5ft stake through the center of cardboard, place my raised bed, place the tree roots on cardboard, tie tree to stake, mound with good draining soil, tamp, then mulch with 3in. woodchips. i have about 70 trees/ bushes planted this way and all are growing well with no care. ive even done it without the raised bed with good luck.
4 months ago
my land is very similar. i grow in raised beds and they do well. all my trees are in 4'x4' raised beds as well. what do you want to plant there? currants , elderberry, aronia and serviceberry grow great in clay soil. these i grow in ground here. you can lay old planks or lay branches in between the beds when there's standing water or put some crushed rook down every 3-4 years instead. even in the beds make sure you have a good draining soil mix in there with lots of perlite. they should be at least 16in high with 24'' the best. also if you can dig shallow trenches from that area going downhill to drain some of that water off, do it. good luck.
4 months ago

Aurora House wrote:

Mike Phillipps wrote:
Steve, I agree the salts and ammonia is getting leached out by water-runoff.  As you said, just left in the bucket the salt will just accumulate.  To clarify though, salt itself doesn't stink.  What stinks is 1) urea decomposing to ammonia, and 2) anaerobic decompostion/composting.  

I totally agree with your 'relevant conditions' for compost to be warm and aerated, but I'm skeptical that new material has to be added to the middle of the heap.  Yes warmth "kick-starts" it, but digging into the center might just remove heat from other material in the pile, so while I could be wrong, I'm skeptical that there's any overall improvement on the pile, or at least enough to justify the extra effort.  

I agree small buckets aren't big enough to get hot on their own without additional help.  

We humans tend to have too much salt in our diet, that is why when hiking your supposed to pee on a stump or rock or other durable surface so the wildlife trying to use it as a salt lick don't destroy some innocent plants. So if your bucket is under a roof I can see salt building up to preservation levels.
Putting it in the middle of your heap I see as having the benefits of surrounding the new material and aerating the stuff replied on top.

like i said at the beginning of this thread, as long as youre dumping it on a carbon source outside nature will do the rest. ive stopped using the bucket/ chips inside. instead i pee in old milk jugs and store under the sink. when full i dump them on a arborist pile of woodchips in the back yard. in winter i store the full jugs in the garage until spring then dump them out on the pile. just make sure you have a good amount of chips. a yard is good 2 yards , better.
4 months ago
in northern Maine. potatoes are the most grown crop. the high schools close for 2 weeks for potato harvest. we have heavy clay, rocky soil with poor drainage and they grow just fine. they grow here when little else will.
4 months ago

Corey Schmidt wrote:Thanks, Steve.  No worries if you can't find it.   It looks like all of my aronia grafts this year dried out, some of them after appearing to take, but 3 of this year's pear grafts on mt. ash are growing, and the aronia from last year growing fast (for here).

hey Corey. so how's the pears doing? mine are doing great but some of the grafted horizonal branches started breaking from the weight of new growth. all the vertical ones are growing gangbusters! if the horizontal ones breakoff completely,  no biggie. i got plenty more vertical ones. hopefully they fruit soon. the trees now 12ft. tall.
4 months ago
i have 4yr old viking and galicjanka  aronias. they are planted on the edge of my leachfield and top out at 10' tall. they were so laden with berries the branches were laying nearly to the ground. a few broke in a windstorm. i got 62lbs off both bushes and still have 1 heavily laden branch to go back and pick. when they turn a liitle soft once hit with frost thats when i pick them. i mix them 50/50 with black currant in a jam and dehydrate many to make granola bars. great with yogurt and oatmeal as well. last years berries were used to make aronia/ apple wine which was fabulous. going to make a syrup concentrate to help fight colds over winter.
5 months ago