Jan White

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since Dec 17, 2015
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BC Interior, Zone 6-7
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Recent posts by Jan White

When I was a kid my cousins had one that was just an old bathtub up on blocks with a fire under it.

We'd get four kids in there and have contests on who could hold their breath longer. One of my cousin's friends was holding their breath way longer than anyone else. We finally figured out he was breathing the air from a bubbler they had coming in the overflow drain.
1 day ago

Nancy Reading wrote:the damp and cold may still cause them to rot.

Pretty sure this is what happened to mine. I planted them in a spot that a hoped would keep them alive over a hot dry summer, and it ended up killing them over a warm (ie not frozen all the time) wet winter.
2 days ago
US seed companies ship to people in Canada all the time with no problems, me included.

Check out https://seeds.ca/diversity/seed-catalogue-index/. It's a good place to find what Canadian seed companies are selling.  I often find stuff I thought I couldn't get here.

There's also some fun seeds on Etsy. Small island seed co. on Etsy had some interesting things last time I looked.
2 days ago
Another vote for rehoming. The shelters here can't keep up with the demand for dogs, so you might just have to look a little farther afield if your area's shelters are all full.
3 days ago

Nancy Reading wrote:I started to harvest my crosnes (Stachys affinis) this week - it was a bit of a let down to be honest!.

Yeah, I'm a little glad the ones I planted died. I was ordering a bunch of stuff from a place that sold them and threw them in last minute. Then they died over the winter. They seemed like the kind of thing that would be enough of a hassle to harvest and clean that I'd never do it. Your palustris looks great, though!

Do you notice any difference in taste, texture, etc between the affinis and palustris? I've read that people claim affinis has a slightly better flavour than floridana and a nicer... glossiness maybe? Something aesthetic. Seemed pretty subtle, though.
3 days ago
I have 6-8 months of potential freezes. I've always had lots of volunteer tomatoes of all different varieties. I don't pick all my green tomatoes at the end of the season and leave the plants and fruit as mulch. If I have a tomato I don't particularly like, I'll chop the plant down and leave it in place as well. So lots of rotting tomatoes all over the place.

The problem I have is that my season isn't long enough to get much fruit off the volunteers. They don't start producing until right at the end of the season.

This year I planted some of the shortest season varieties I could find. Jagodka and Brad are used in the breeding work of one of the members here, so I got those. Then I got seven or eight others with names like Manitoba and Sub Arctic Plenty. I planted them in pots outside so they would come up on their own schedule.  I got my first ripe tomato on September 2nd, which may have been a bit later than it otherwise would be because our summer was very challenging for unwatered plants this year. I'm hoping with some seed selection to improve on that date.

So I'd say just plant lots of short season tomatoes and leave lots of fruit from the ones you like.
6 days ago
I was going to suggest a layer of sawdust for underfloor, as well. Like Douglas says, pretty much any dry stuff will work, though. Cattails came to mind for me since I live next to a swamp :D

When we lived in our tent while building our house, we put pallets down to keep the tent off the ground and avoid water problems. On top of the pallets, we put a few layers of cardboard so we wouldn't fall in between the slats of the pallets. It worked well. Maybe you could do something similar, although I think cardboard is a no go for Paul.

I think if you don't do something to insulate yourself from the ground you'll be very uncomfortable.
6 days ago
The property we bought used to be part of an old homestead. The part we own wasn't developed in any way, but I've found the old house foundation and some fruit trees a ways away. The fruit trees are way too tall to pick now, unfortunately.

There are old fruit trees all over the place in my area from old orchards, but most of the homesteads are gone and built over.

There's one homestead that's got a popular walking trail through it, and lots of people collect fruit from the orchard there. There are three kinds of plums, two kinds of grapes, blackberries, raspberries, apricots, lots of apples and pears, walnuts, butternuts, asparagus, garlic, comfrey.

The garlic has spread through a whole field. Some of my garlic comes from bulbils from there. It's delicious, but I can't eat it because I can't stand the smell on my skin afterwards :(

Anne makes a good point about wiping out plants. Since comfrey isn't endangered, I don't feel bad about having dug some up, though. 😁
6 days ago
One of my main garden areas is in a spot that often floods in early spring. The area is a low spot that accumulates snow melt from the surrounding hills. Because it's in a low spot, no soil gets washed away - in fact it's one of the only spots on the property that is silt, rather than sand and rock, because soil settles there.

Most years it doesn't flood much. You can walk around in rubber boots just fine. A couple years the water has been up to two or three feet deep, though. We've only been here six years, so we're still observing.

I have in ground beds for annual crops. By the time it's warmed up enough to plant, the water has receded. I think the water table stays high enough to be of use to at least some of the plants for part of the growing season. Because I have hot, dry summers and don't water anything, the high water table is a benefit to me.

I also have my main hugelculture in this area. I built it in the lowest lying spot with the idea that the mound could soak up flood water from the bottom and snowmelt from the top and be good and charged up for summer.

Most of my perennials are on the hugelculture. I have some fast growing ones like perennial kale, walking onions, etc. in some of the annual beds now as well. The last few years it hasn't flooded enough to hurt any of them.

If you consider bracken an edible, it grows fine in seasonally flooded areas. Elderberry seems happy. There's a grove of alder and birch that we coppice for firewood and for woodchips for the garden.
6 days ago