Vern Life

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since Feb 03, 2017
Cascadia
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Recent posts by Vern Life

Hard to say what we have that survived as its under the snow at the moment. Might have some to trade come spring near Maple Valley/Renton.

King and Pierce are having their native plant sales around this time. They didnt have anything I was looking for this year but almost everything on your list was there.
11 months ago
I've been adding some olive trees to our orchard for the same reason. The Arbequina variety appears to be evergreen and it survived this winter with two separate weeks of snow in 7b PNW.
1 year ago
Hi Folks!

I just received an email from Google that Youtube is at it again trying to shutout small creators. With all the crap out there (video game videos (if thats not redundant, vlogs, etc...) its tough to try to keep up. I'm calling out for help as I need to get past 1000 subscribers to keep my channel going. If you happen to be here (and I've heard from some Permies already! ) please check out the channel and of you would please subscribe. Also, please be kind and look through your other favourite channels and subscribe to them as well, keep small content creators alive!!!

Youtube https://www.youtube.com/user/jkotar20

Cheers and keep up the fight!
1 year ago
Only when I plan on doing something where I have a chance at agitating them (typically accidentally, like when I fumbled a frame).

It's more for them than for me, most of the time they let me do my work with them with just a bit of smoke and calm careful motions. They're Italians so they are very docile.
1 year ago
Hi Jared,

how much space are you allocating for the solar water heater ( I guess the water storage/ transfer portion)? I'm moving towards the GH phase of our build and have been thinking of this as well. I've thinking of using the black barrel wall idea as a winter heat storage mass and summer drought water supply that will serve as a work bench of planter shelf (hoping the warmth will add additional seed germination awesomeness). For the water heat however I've been playing with two ideas, the solar gain ( basically the high pressure black hose on the roof, I already blew up the black garden hose) and the compost pile water coil. The compost pile heater coil has been on my mind for the past two years for emergency hot water and it's thermal properties while providing ample compost for the spring planting. I've seen compost piles in corners of greenhouses or in one section that keep the GH mild even in snow.  
1 year ago
We've been doing "seed balls" as well. It's been passed down from the first nations for planting food and meadows after fires and for general seeding. As mentioned before, it didn't go well at first due to weather patterns, the first year it was too hot and nothing survived (that we noticed) the second year it was too wet and everything washed away down slope. We went with it again this year as it makes the most sense for us given our terrain, we can't really till the hill and it's easier to broadcast. We add alot more seed to the equation as well, typically a pound for a relatively small area. I've been contemplating adding some seed into the chipper as we do our bi-annual cleanup, spreading the mulch and seed together.

Good luck!
1 year ago
Ah, we're in Seattle, I have a site for something very similiar to what you have planned but it's been backburnered so I thought it might work out! Good Luck
1 year ago
Hi Claire,

Where are you trying to do this project?

Jason- Assoc. AIA
1 year ago
This may be a little late to the discussion but I have been looking into my own plant list for this years (YEAR 3) round of additions. Looking into Native PNW, Nitrogen Fixers, Bioaccumulators, fruit bearing, and or pollinator attractors I found some where that Lupine is a nitrogen fixer.  I forgot to note the reference so I can't say if it is for sure or not but if it is it could be good for your bees and building up the soil. I guess I was just thinking if maybe you could do a wildflower type cover crop?
1 year ago
I want to reply because I kinda see both sides of it and a couple folks made some points about what works in each situation. I understand Chris' take because PDX was absolutely slammed this year, we did as well up in SEA, but not like that. We had some trees come down as well and we're working through it. Looks like they have like minded neighbors who won't fuss too much about brush thatches attracting rodents and complaining about why they don't have a green 1/2" lawn that you aren't allowed to walk on. We inherited a mess here, well we bought it really so I guess we knew what we were getting into. 30 years of no maintenance meant ivy to the sky, downed trees, three or four past ice storms, etc. The first tool I got was a machete and axe followed by a line trimmer followed by a chainsaw. We hugeled EVERYTHING, palisades, rick berms, around every plant (like Chris has in the picture, love it!) and still the pile was as tall as a car and longer than a freight truck. I separated, cedar and locust for building/ landscaping, maple for hugle and firewood, etc.... after a couple of months the burn ban kicked in and that was that for burning, stacked a cord and ran out of room to keep it. ahhh.......then a neighbor, frustrated with the labor of the chipper, sold us their 8 hp. OMG, that was the break through!

Now I have a system, the wood gets separated for cooking, campfire, building, crafts, barter and wood chips. The fruitwood is cut into smoking wood and set aside, same with some cedar, alder and maple for salmon season. The hazelnut is a mix between hurdles, cooking and chipping. I run the branches into the chipper until it can't handle it and then stack it. That stack then becomes, fencing, hugle, or fire wood. The woodchips mulch, cover and smother the ivy or are steamed, bagged and inoculated for mushrooms, some are separated by wood type and bagged for bbq gifts. Like was mentioned I can get chip drop to dump 16 yards of mulch for free and I can take off the chipper bag and use the chipper and broadcast mulch in no time. We've had 30 years of depleted soil and the wood chips have helped immensely with erosion, fungal activity, and moisture rentention during the summer.

Like all things, it's a balance.
1 year ago