sam mintgreen

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since Feb 14, 2017
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hugelkultur foraging books
PA farmer
Appalachia, Hardiness Zone 6b
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Recent posts by sam mintgreen

I had to check if this had been posted here yet. Joe Hollis and his project Mountain Gardens has been one of the greatest sources of inspiration for me in the last few years. Some one who has lead the way in being in harmony with plants and nature without much need for material possessions. The loss of the library and seed collection has crushed my heart and I hope all who are passionate about seed keeping, herbal medicine and even just the practice of homesteading or simple living consider donating to this. Much love.
2 months ago
if any one is growing this in PA let me know, i'm very interested!
4 months ago
how good is the fine tuning on this thing? I have yet to get to this point of my life of milling at home, but I often hear about how something simple like the corona can be be used for such things as cracking/dehulling beans and other grains besides wheat.
5 months ago
I haven't done a hugelkultur with any extra large pieces of wood, but my first garden bed I started with a good 6" of ramial wood (green and brown branches and twigs nothing larger than an inch or two in diameter), covered with leaves and leaf mulch + compost. Everything except for 1 exceptionally large piece of wood that snuck in has been completely turned into soil in the last 2 years. It looks mostly like pure worm castings and leaf mulch.
6 months ago

So this is 3rd time this time I've dove into the sunchoke patch. The first time was several weeks ago and it was alright, but now that the plants are starting to brown I think it's prime.
Each plant produced several  roots nearly the size of my head! plus many more smaller nuggets.

Here's my haul from around 5 plants.

and here they are pinted up to go to the farmers market. >30 minutes of work for quite a bit of food. I'm into it!!
Most of today was planted from tubers I got from Lofthouse, though 2 of our 3 rows are from some one in Connecticut found on facebook market place. The 2 rows from CT were topped of with compost, where as the Joseph row was not. These were planted ~6" deep in  unprepared hardpan clay. Most of the beds were nearly never weeded. Quite impressive stuff!

I've also saved some seed head and hope to experiment with starting with seed just for the experience, and well you know.. continue the genetic diversity!

fall greetings,
6 months ago
you can upload to a website like IMGUR, then use the IMG option to embed into a post.
8 months ago

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:The conventional wisdom regarding beans, is that they only need to be planted far enough apart to avoid mechanical mixing. Say around ten feet. I recommend more than that.

Depending on ecosystem, beans cross pollinate at a rate of 0.5% to 5%. More humid climates with lots of carpenter bees may have cross pollination rates as high as 20%.

If green beans cross with dry beans, the pods become fibrous, so they are not nice for fresh eating, and the pods become hard to thresh. They are still good for eating as dry beans, just more work to clean the seeds.

One of my selection criteria for dry beans is easy threshing, so if green beans ever got mixed in with then, the trait would be self-eliminating because I only save seeds from easy threshing varieties.

Likewise, if I were maintaining a green-bean landrace next to a dry bean landrace, I would pick them by snapping the seed pod. If a pod didn't snap easily, I'd cull the plant right then.

If green beans cross with green beans, no worries, they will retain the non-fibrous pod.

My dry bush beans have around 70 phenotypes that I can identify with my eyes. I intend to plant all phenotypes every year.

If the dry beans and the bush beans are grown on opposite edges of the garden, they will mostly stay isolated.

After having read so many conflicting opinions on a search for Phaseolus cross pollination distance, I'm quite glad to find this Lofthouse opinion. Hoping to grow a landrace and at least one heirloom variety of dry bean, if not multiple and maintain the heirloom(s), in land I may have an opportunity to begin stewarding/market gardening in. I am in a very humid region that will likely have LOTS of bees, so a good distance will be made between any cultivars I want to keep isolated. I am curious if large numbers of other flowers between the plants would reduce the distance needed or not? (lets say a good number of coriander and dill flowers for example? or even other genus of legume in between.)
9 months ago
I agree with Jan here, no better way to find out than to just go ahead and plant what you have. See what works and what doesn't. Save your own seed and you'll slowly get more and more towards the carrot that you want most.
10 months ago
I had to look up what blumat is. Seems like a passive irrigation system that uses ceramic "carrots" to dispense water individually to plants, I do like the concept. It does seem quite pricey though in relation to cost per plant to irrigate them in a market gardening context, compared to the pricing of a standard drip irrigation with a heavy mulching to reduce the amount of water needed. On a home scale though this blumat style of irrigation hooked into a rainwater system seems like a cozy idea.
10 months ago
bumping this old thread to say I love this design and would love to know if any one is really making this in US yet?
10 months ago