Nick Dee

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since Nov 03, 2015
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Recent posts by Nick Dee

Please help me figure out whats wrong with my apple tree and one of my gray dogwoods.  The apple tree has 2 branches that are full of dead leaves.  The dogwood has been taken over by these spots, and now the leaves are falling off.  Any advice or insight is appreciated.  
1 year ago
I came across 75 bare root saplings at a yard sale today. 25 Redbud, 25 Dogwood and 25 Gray Dogwood. A guy had bought them from the state nursery and for some reason didnt want them so I gave him $10 for them. I really dont know what to do with them, I just couldnt pass them up and let them die! I have a big yard so I have room for a few of these to go in permanent homes.

I would like to try my hand at being a nurseryman and grow these up for a year or 2 (or more). Maybe use them for gifts or sell them at a later date. Question is-how can I plant them now so that they are easy to move in the future? I was thinking of building a berm out of compost and mulch them-would that work? Any ideas or direction is appreciated!
2 years ago
Attached is a pic of a family farm that we have.

It is 5 hours from my home so my goal is to turn parts of it into a food forest type setup. I have a 1/4 acre permie style garden in my backyard, that is the extent of my experience so I am seeking input and ideas, please!

My uncle owns the property but I am heir to it to he give me mostly free reign.

Farm is 100 acres in central Illinois(5B). The center of the map is roughly the peak of elevation, it gently slopes down from there. The property eventually slopes sharply to a creek bottom bordered by lots more of the neighbors corn The inside 10 acres is GMO corn sprayed with god know what. My uncle is old school and still believes that is all ok, I am working on him though. The other 20 cleared acres, is in CRP, we can plant 2 acres in food plots for wildlife(food plots in green). Within in those 2 acres I want to begin a low maintenance kind of food forest. A place where I can get some food off of when I go, a place where I could go if SHTF and have a good base of food production. Since it is 5 hours away, I can only get there about 6 times a year. I could do once a month is absolutely necessary. I am not immediately interested in massive harvests of whatever I plant, but I would like to consider the possibility of it in the future.

The woods contain plenty of oaks, blackberries and lots of other things that I am not familiar with yet. The food plots are planted in clover, winter wheat, daikon radishes and some brassicas. I am thinking of planting hazelnuts, apples, pears, grapes and some greens like lettuce and kale.While these are not perennial, in my experience if they are left to go to seed they thew will readily re seed themselves and almost appear perennial. Also some ground covers such as clover, comfrey and so on. This will be an evolving project and I am interested in hearing what others would do.

3 years ago
What do you use for a seed starting medium? Why? Im just curious.
3 years ago
Thanks for all of the suggestions so far! I am fortunate that we dont have any animal problems such as squirrels here!

When I build the bed for these do I need to do anything special? Or is standard bed preparation the norm?

3 years ago
I am planning on planting a hedge of hazelnuts for a sort of privacy screen. I have been searching for some companion or guild plants but havent found anything specific. I was thinking of some other shrubs that would bloom at opposite times from the hazelnuts possibly.

Any ideas? Thanks!
3 years ago
I should have mentioned that the local concrete company will donate the concrete materials.

We have found that engineering an older (2001) greenhouse is a real challenge. It wont meet 2012 International Building Code for load capacity or wind load. That means we need to beef it up, which wont be cheap.

We have talked with a few retired construction managers, I believe we can get one of them to lead the erection of the greenhouse.

Most companies we have talked to have never built a greenhouse and they seem afraid to try it. So far only one company has been willing to even bid it.
3 years ago
Good point Tom. I will start with 2 specific questions.

1. What kind of floor to put it?
The greenhouse will serve 2 main functions. To grow as much edible food as possible and as a learning center. We want to use this as a tool to teach the local community members more about growing. The project leader wants to treat it like a true commercial greenhouse and pour a concrete slab throughout. I would rather see a hybrid of sorts with concrete walkways, some in soil beds, some containers and an area for seedlings.

2. Is it possible for "skilled volunteers" to erect?
We do have some money for construction but not a ton. One company gave us a bid that said it would take their crew 3 weeks and cost over $20,000. That is in addition to engineering. We are considering hiring a construction manager and then recruiting the most skilled volunteers that we have. Is this possible or are would we be in over our heads?
3 years ago
Hello all. Recently joined the forum and have already gained a tremendous amount of knowledge. I appreciate every ones opinion, especially when they differ.

I work with a local non profit that helps build community gardens. The group was gifted a 24x72 greenhouse with ventilation, temperature control, overhead door-the whole deal. We do have some money for construction but are trying to do as much ourselves as possible. I am doing my "google due diligence".

If you have any exceptional resources, tips or tricks, it would be appreciated!

3 years ago
I have been thinking about taking the Oregon State Online PDC or the Cornell Online PDC. Does anybody have any experience with either of these?