J J DuBay

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since Dec 27, 2016
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Recent posts by J J DuBay

Deborah Ori wrote:It's OK to buy some grains - I just want them to be affordable.
Right now we are less interested in eggs. I'm sensitive to them so I can't eat any, my husband only eats them a few times a week, so we need very few of them. Probably it will change when we will have kids though.
The big issue is meat, I'm sensitive to any kind of animal protein besides meat, no milk or eggs for me.

How about Quail? They require much less space, are ridiculously easy to raise, can be raise QUICKLY, and taste divine. A previous poster suggested miscovy ducks. They're great as well, they taste like roast beef! And he was right, they require much less feed. If you have your heart set on meat chickens, I would suggest going over to backyard chickens and asking duluthralphie for some of his Toad eggs. He's successfully bred and crossed cornish crosses to be sustainable. That way you can keep the adults for breeding and you won't need to re-buy birds every year.
2 years ago

paul wheaton wrote:A lovely woman asked if I might be interested in hiring her as a part time beekeeper here at wheaton labs.

I attempted to answer her question by fishing for what kind of job she has in mind.  With the wheaton eco scale in mind I replied:

I think a level 2 bee person will be paid to care for our current bees
and will set up lots of stuff to capture swarms and prepare to expand
our bee stuff in 20 different ways. Including thinking of cool stuff
so all of our bee stuff will be first class. This would include
figuring out what we should gather for materials. Everything done
should be with a thought toward creating systems that will do fine if three
years pass and nobody does anything.

I think a level 7 bee person will do everything that a level 2 bee
person will do, but will not need to be paid. Rather, they will have
a collection of business plans. Maybe they create bee DVDs. Maybe they host a gathering of
select bee people (so, like the rocket mass heater innovators event, but
for bee people). A series of bee classes - beginner to advanced.
Developing a collection of PEP1 stuff for bees, solitary bees and
native pollinators. Innovations like a window in a lang hive. A
level 7 bee person will tell me how their presence on my land is gonna
make both us a fair bit of coin - maybe propose some collaborative business plans. I think a level 7 bee person will
come up with "super honey: miles from any sprays plus less than one
colony per 10 acres and oceans of polyculture nectar." A full list of
reasons why this honey is better than all other honey. SETTING the
bar for the best honey in the world.

I feel like a level 2 person will need a lot of guidance from me - and I will be teaching them.

A level 7 person will need no guidance from me and they will be teaching me!

Odd question, but why would that level 7 person work for you, then? They could do all of that, on their own, without a layer of oversight. Would it be an exchange, then? She come to do your bees for you, and you go and consult, plant, etc for her? Offer her land so that she reaps the reward of honey, and food for her bees?

David Good wrote:Very good - Mart is a great guy.

Peach trees will start from seed and can bear in 2-3 years in Florida, so that's one option. There are some good permaculture Meetup.com groups in the state with people trading scion wood, cuttings, seeds, etc. And since you know Mart, ask him about cuttings. He knows almost everyone.

Mosswood Farm Store in Micanopy has a lot of my old plant varieties, too.

I haven't seen any decent Meetup.com groups here, what ones do you recommend? Additionally, do you have a list of idiot proof fruit trees and guilds that could work on my property (9a)? I've been saving starfruit and lemon seeds. I know the starfruit is slightly out of my area, but it seemed to do decent at the old house. We also have a crudton of tangerine saplings that we've brought over.

Would this be a decent list to work off of if I just disregard all the no cold tolerant list?

2 years ago

Maureen Atsali wrote:David, we do have lots of bananas. I never mentioned them because they aren't really a tee and have no seeds.

Tea is grown as close as kakamega, but I am not really interested in starting a tea plantation. A couple bushes for fun and personal consumption might be nice!

Some things mentioned - Like cashews and macademias are only grown on the coast.  Does that mean they can't be adapted to grow in western Kenya, or that nobody has tried?  Hmm.

Jackfruit - my husband says it can be found in nurseries, so I do plan to add it... For fun and diversity.  I find the fruit kind of repulsive.  Like biting into a perfume bottle.

Thank you for posting the Kenyan links. That newspaper publication "seeds of gold" usually has a classified section, which I try to scan weekly (when I remember to buy a paper). Sometimes there are listings for unusual fruits, but mostly its the 'usual' mangoes and avos.

Point well taken that shipping seeds might not work.  Bummer.  

Thanks everyone for the feedback about tropical trees, so much appreciated.

I feel about mangos the way you feel about Jackfruit, lol. Have you tried it prepared as a meat alternative? I feel like that's the only way to truly have it. You BBQ it, and put it in a taco or something. The seeds can also be boiled and roasted, so that might be a good nut alternative if you can't grow them.

Additionally, apparently your Agri research center is working on Lychee, so that should be an option soon: http://blog.worldagroforestry.org/index.php/2013/04/24/litchi-a-new-yet-old-fruit-tree-for-kenya/
2 years ago

Maureen Atsali wrote:JJ, while I think most of the fruits you listed could grow here - for whatever reason they just aren't.  (Except the loquat, I believe that is what they call lisibibi here, and I bought a couple seedlings for that.). Biodiversity just isn't here. Maybe near Nairobi, but not way out here.  I'll have to look into importing seeds if I want more diversity.

And now I have to google miracle berry bush.  I learn something new every day.

I looked up dragon fruit.  Definitely never seen that here.

I'm from florida, nearly all of that can be grown here, too. It just isn't. It's been hard trying to find fruits to try. Do you guys have something akin to craigslist there? There aren't any big businesses selling these types of trees, but a google search has turned up a few names that are in your country. I'm not sure of your location and what the geography is like, but you could try to contact these people, perhaps.



And apparently there's an Agricultural show in Mombasa every year. Perhaps you could have luck with that.

The only thing that's a real challenge is that you often can't get shipped and dried tropical fruit seeds to grow because there's no need for dormancy in tropical trees. Most need to be planted within a day or two of being outside the fruit.
2 years ago

Maureen Atsali wrote:I need more trees.
We have an abundance of avocados and mangoes. The parent trees were planted by the "grands".  My observations are that the mangoes are smaller, uglier, but much sweeter than the parent. I prefer the taste of the second generation mangoes, although size and appearance probably make them less marketable.  Avocadoes seem to be a mixed bag. Some are great, some produce a watery, flavorless fruit.  Fifty-fifty.  

Are there any recommendations for tropical fruits from seed?  There are so few choices here, apart from mangoes and avos.  I wanted to try starting seeds from fruits at the market, or from some imported pits.  Red plums are on the market, and a pear of unknown variety. They grow macadamia nuts on the coast, but I haven't been able to get raw nuts or seedlings.  There are apples, but I think they might be imported.  Oranges are sour here, but edible.  And there are extremely seedy lemons.  I would love to experiment with some other stuff, that doesn't need cold dormancy... Any ideas?  Would almonds grow here? Peaches? Olives?

What about black or white sapote, goji berry, carambola (star fruit), pawpaw, custard apple, loquats, lychee, logan, monsteria deliciosa, pomegranate, sapodilla, jujubee, peanut butter tree, etc.

Plant a miracle berry bush and it won't matter your oranges are sour, just eat a miracle berry first.
2 years ago

Robert Sniadach wrote:Here in a semi-arid sub-tropical area of Ecuador, citrus of all kinds (but esp madarins) and avocados grow everywhere. Most of the locals have been planting and re-planting their huertas (small orchards around the house) for probably centuries. Literally everyone grows a lot of their own food, including abundant citrus and avos. As you might imagine, genetic drift, spontaneous mutations, newly introduced varieties and whatnot have all played their part to offer a crazy diversity of citrus and avos. As far as I can tell, all the old-timers just plant avo seeds as they want, and inevitably the result is good, or at least decent. You can find all sorts of variations at the market. There are lots of subtle variations of mandarins/tangerines, all grown from seed, up until about 20 years ago, when new grafted varieties began showing up. We've got several small orchards on our property, and there must be 20 different types of mandarins growing on very old trees, all from seed, and all of them ripening at slightly different times.

Ecuador is approved to send citrus seeds into the US, all ports. As long as you keep the number 12 or less, and declare it, it requires no further inspection. Just throwing that out there for y'all.
2 years ago

David The Good wrote:JJ - drop me a message. I'll send you a copy of my Create Your Own Florida Food Forest booklet. There are species lists in there that will help.

Basically, the biggest thing in Florida is to get a lot of plant mass growing fast. The soil isn't fertile and a lot of the good stuff is in the plants and trees themselves. I built a great food forest over time. Plant lots of nitrogen fixers and Tithonia diversifolia for chop and drop - it will help immensely. Trying to get fruit trees established in the sand is a pain without that support.

I'll help you - it's a great place to grow a food forest.

I actually have it! A previous poster had suggested you, I bought the book, found permaculture facebook page, and I have a whole room of cuttings from Mart Hale growing right now. He gave me mulberries, bolivian sunflowers, air potatoes, chaya, tree collards, everglades tomatoes, etc. They're just about ready to go out. I'm considering putting in some swales before they go. And I need trees. I've not found anyone with fruit trees to take cuttings from.
2 years ago

Regan Dixon wrote:And, please forgive my ignorance about different Florida biomes, but David Goodman (David the Good) did permaculture at his place in Florida.  He's made instructional videos which you could google, or maybe find here.  His techniques may be applicable to your place.  You will be able to judge that, better than I can.

You are correct. I ended up getting in touch with mark hale, one of David's friends and he gave me some cuttings. It was an informative tour and I learned a lot.
2 years ago