Angela Wilcox

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since Mar 20, 2019
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Recent posts by Angela Wilcox

Nancy, I’m so happy to hear your blueberries have set fruit!  Yay!!

The beds are 4’x8’. I planted a tall blueberry variety on the north end of the beds and a different, shorter variety on the south end. I did not write down the names, silly me, but they are suited for this climate. The beds are south facing. The pond is south of the beds.

I put 4 comfrey nubs, and I mean tiny nubs in the middle of the beds between the blueberries. This acts as my comfrey nursery. I snip off leaves for mulch and activator for my compost.

Bumblebees love the comfrey!

If I left the comfrey alone, it would indeed shade out the blueberries and even encroach on their branches, however, I whack on the comfrey multiple times during the year, both leaves and roots.

When I plant a new fruit tree, I expose some of the comfrey roots in my ‘comfrey nursery’, cut some off, and plant 3 to 4 nubs around my tree. The comfrey leaves always fall over in a sad way upon transplanting, but they have never failed to come back. I now have over 30 comfrey plants on site.

In the newly attached photo, notice the cattle panels? I have grown pole beans on these, which offer a little shade in the hot summer.

So far, the birds have not discovered the blueberries, though they do perch on the cattle panels and leave a nice little phosphorus offering.

If the birds start to compete for the berries, I can put shade cloth over the cattle panels if needed.
1 week ago
Krista, the new zone is now classified as 7a, though I have several microclimates here and a variety of pH readings. I’m in central Kentucky. Where are you?

When I put downed tree wood in the lower 2/3’s on the bed, I used pine logs, branches, twigs, and needles as an experiment.

I chose to put my blueberry raised beds at the pond’s edge, because water edges tend to be more acidic.

When I had the pond dug, I designed several little channels dug perpendicular to the pond to create little peninsulas. On the peninsulas I placed the raised beds.

Im attaching a photo so you can see how I designed the pond to extend its edges. The channels fill and ebb with wet weather rains and hot, dry late summer heat and evaporation.

The frogs LOVE hanging out in the shallow channels and when I walk near the beds the frogs leap into the pond.

Dragonflies hang out on the tall reeds beside the channels in the spring and summer.

If you zoom in you might see where the water channels are cut in between the raised beds.

Ignore the mowed cardboard mess. I had placed cardboard as walking paths and was going to put wood chips on the cardboard, but the guy who bushhogged for me mowed over my cardboard and shredded it!
1 week ago
After a 3-year wait……..for breakfast I harvested handfuls of large, juicy blueberries from my polyculture, hugle-minded raised bed. It sits near the pond. I mulch with downed pine branches after storms and do not hand water.  

Three years ago, I planted 6, one-year old blueberry bushes in zone 6b (but this year they changed my zone) with comfrey and garlic as companions. I pinched the sweet blossoms off of the blueberries for two years so the energy could go into setting deep roots.

We have a lot of deer pressure here, but the garlic and fuzzy comfrey has kept the deer away from the precious blueberries.

It’s so exciting to pick the blueberries!

Yes, Permies, this is why we do what we do.

Be encouraged! It’s worth the wait and work.
1 week ago
What a great resource you have!

Logs are a great layer in filling a raised bed. In the photo I attached, I first placed my raised bed, then carpeted the area around the bed to suppress weeds and provide a walking path. I tucked cardboard under the edges of the bed, because the weeds are most tenacious there.

Next, I put a 3-inch layer of cardboard in the bottom of the bed covering the weeds. Worms like cardboard.

On top of the cardboard I put logs. Then little sticks, then the soil and compost went on top.

In this bed I planted a blueberry bush at each end, comfrey in the middle, and onions in between everything. Then mulched with pine branches, because that’s what I had after a strong wind event took down a huge pine tree.

It is a thriving bed that I did not have to water after the first year.
2 weeks ago
In the compendium in the apartment we rented at Poderaccio, I found listings for regional festivals organized by month. Here are pictures of the selections. You can zoom in to see details.
2 weeks ago
We took a train from Rome to Florence, changed trains and disembarked at the Incisa train stop.

Francesca picked the 3 of us up in her truck and we stayed with her 2 nights. She drove us to a nearby town and we rented bicycles for a day, then she picked us up again after the bike trek.

At the end of the visit, Francesca drove us back to the train station. She was so kind and provided excellent customer service.

We spent a week in Italy in 3 different regions, and all agreed the experience at her farm was the highlight of our trip.
2 weeks ago
For a bioagriturismo experience, we recently stayed at an olive farm called Poderaccio in Incisa, in Valderno, in the Tuscany region of Italy. They have 1,000 olive trees, a large garden, offer pasta making classes, and belong to a co-op of regenerative farmers in the area.

We experienced their solar power, well water, recycling and regeneratively grown produce while we stayed in a remodeled 18th century farmhouse. Francesca is the contact on site.

Here is the contact info from the closing lines of her email:

Azienda Agricola Biologica Poderaccio
bioagriturismo di Francesca Bellacci
località San Michele 15
50063 Figline Incisa Valdarno
FIRENZE - Italia
P.IVA (VAT): 04939230480
Tel: +39 3487804197
follow our activities on organic farmhouse

2 weeks ago
When my kids were little we often went to potlucks with other families with children and took dessert nachos.

1 bag tortilla chips
1 bag mini marshmallows
1 bag mini chocolate chips

You can use vegan ingredients also.

Layer chips, marshmallows, chocolate chips twice until your pan is full with marshmallows on top.

Heat in 350 F oven 10 minutes, then turn on the
low broiler watching carefully until marshmallows look toasty brown.

Sometimes we’d use a glass baking dish, sometimes a deep, aluminum roasting pan if the crowd was expected to be large and doubled the ingredients.

The pan always came home empty.
1 month ago