Jim Nelson

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since Oct 21, 2017
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Magdalena, NM, USA
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Recent posts by Jim Nelson

In southern NM, deer are a pest to my young orchard and gardens and will go over a 5' (at least) fence if there's landing room inside. Keeping all my young trees surrounded by a 4' x 3" x 4"-mesh enclosure of light fencing around 3' across, held in place with two 4' or 5' T-posts, has worked well. I can make around 11 of these enclosures from a 100' roll of fencing. There are no other big wild or domestic grazers on the property and rabbits don't bother the trees. Once the trees are a few years old and the lower branches have been pruned off to above grazing height, the fencing can be removed.
9 months ago
Thanks for introducing the topic, though I didn't watch the video so hope this contribution doesn't duplicate anything you said. In one post you mention Vilhjalmur Stefansson, who indeed was able to thrive for long periods of time on meat and fish alone. See the Wikipedia article, in particular this final section:

In 1928, Stefansson and Anderson entered Bellevue Hospital, New York for a controlled experiment into the effects of an all-meat diet on the body. The committee which was assembled to supervise the experiment was one of the best qualified in medical history, consisting as it did of the leaders of all the branches of science related to the subject. Dr. Eugene F. DuBois, Medical Director of the Russell Sage Foundation (subsequently chief physician at the New York Hospital, and Professor of Physiology at Cornell University Medical College) directed the experiment. The study was designed to find the answers to five questions about which there was some debate. The results of the year-long trial were published in 1930 in the Journal of Biological Chemistry and showed that the answer to all of the questions was: no. There were no deficiency problems; the two men remained perfectly healthy; their bowels remained normal, except that their stools were smaller and did not smell. The absence of starchy and sugary carbohydrates from their diet appeared to have only good effects. Once again, Stefansson discovered that he felt better and was healthier on a diet that restricted carbohydrates. Only when fats were restricted did he suffer any problems. During this experiment his intake had varied between 2,000 and 3,100 calories per day and he derived, by choice, an average of eighty percent of his energy from animal fat and the other twenty percent from protein.[23]

Now, I eat no meat, so I'm not promoting this diet (let alone the cost to the planet of livestock rearing). But it's fascinating that their shit literally didn't stink.
1 year ago
Stark Bro's sells SweetHeart apricot trees, whose seed you can eat like those of the Central Asian cultivars mentioned in this thread. SweetHeart was carried by Miller Nurseries in the Finger Lakes region of NY state, bought out by Stark's when the Miller brothers retired.

I saved a lb of them from my SweetHeart tree in Kansas and just now, seven years later in the NM high desert where I rarely get fruit off my apricot trees owing to late frosts, was inspired by this thread to start cracking them (using hammer on anvil). The kernels are still fresh and tasty.
1 year ago
Hi Yolande,

Though I admire your enthusiasm for planting fruit trees from seed, I want to add to what a couple of other permies have suggested:

If you plant Ambrosia apple seeds, you won't get Ambrosia apples. You may get a tree, and it may have apples on it, but they won't be as big, sweet, and abundant as Ambrosia.

There's a good genetic reason for this (simply, most woody fruit species are outcrossing, and you don't know who the daddy is, and even if you did, it wouldn't guarantee that the hybrid would carry the best traits of the parents).

So go ahead and plant seeds, but do grow your seedlings in a nursery apart from your orchard, because few or none of the seedling trees will be worth keeping for fruit and you won't know it for six to twelve years.

For your orchard, plant cultivars from reputable nurseries, as grafted bare-root or root-bagged stock. They will cost more than $20 per plant, but will be worth much more than that to you, will bear in four or five years especially if semidwarf, and will be true to variety.

Could you propagate fruit trees vegetatively, the way that nurseries do? Yes, you could take cuttings from a friend's trees and could even root them, but be aware that few fruit trees are grown on their own roots. So you'd also have to buy or grow rootstocks and graft your buds or other scions on them. You'd wind up spending more money and time than if you just took advantage of the expertise of a nursery.

Similar cautions apply to bush, cane, and runner fruits. You won't get true-to-variety plants from seed, but you can easily root cuttings, canes, and runners collected from a friend's patch. The only drawback you might face there is viruses (of which commercial stock is free). But it might still be worth a try.

Keep up your homesteading enthusiasm!
1 year ago