Cameron Whyte

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since Mar 10, 2017
Vancouver Canada zone 8b
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Recent posts by Cameron Whyte

Another great post Daron
Bought 15 oca seeds from cultivariables and almost gave up on them the germination was so reluctant but glad I didn’t give up on them and about half are now teeny tiny seedlings looking viable and healthy. What a relief! Such a worthwhile project as I can’t seem to source oca tubers here in Canada. Got some beauties from the uk a few years back but they didn’t survive the winter months and the ones languishing in the fridge became mouldy and died. So sad and now I am playing the long game. Sunchokes, especially the red skinned ones were so delicious that I expanded my plantings and have high hopes. All this talk of flatuence and no one in my family succumbed after devouring them. A really beautiful crop to make space for.
3 months ago
Just read Gabe Brown’s book ‘Dirt to soil’ which is a great read. He recommends cover crops first before trying for vegetables when breaking in new ground from old pasture. Apparently you need to get the soil in better shape for at least a season before you get too ambitious. Multiple cover crop species rather than monoculture and you will build a foundation for success. I know how tempting it would be to get some tangible yield your first year but vegetables on the whole are demanding of fertile soils and you are not there yet. Good luck. Use inoculated legumes and a mix of oats and vetch and buckwheat and the like to get a mix of carbon and nitrogen fixers and maybe end the season with tillage radish to scavenge the nitrogen you would otherwise lose over the subsequent winter. Cover crop seed in bulk is a good deal.
3 months ago
I like having the odd stray biennial or perennial left growing over winter so that mycelium and bacteria have living roots to live with. If all the annuals winter kill then you end up with nothing growing in a big garden bed regardless if you have mulched the heck out of it. Also earthworms love to hang around dandelion roots over winter like it’s an oasis for them, if nothing else is growing nearby. I do not always have cover crops like fall rye overwintering.
Thanks Dale, As long as you continue to grow and evolve into a better person, I won’t hold it against you the learning curve that went into you becoming the man you are today. Mistakes are opportunities to reflect, learn and modify your behaviours. Sometimes this takes time. I like how you recognize your brother’s possible motives and that sounds completely plausible to me too. It’s called the tall poppy syndrome down in NZ and it’s rampant. People like to cut down those they perceive to have made a better life for themselves and don’t conform to the mean. I can see the appeal of a strong, cohesive loving extended family and what a blessing it is to have that level of trust and support. I am sorry that you were not blessed with that particular family dynamic. Having two successful daughters that love you and are involved in your life is a credit to you after what sounds like poor modelling that you yourself experienced growing up. It is nice to have the courage of your convictions and know the path you follow feels right for you and really that is all that matters ultimately.

It is strange how some people behave when it has no bearing on their own lives. Why lash out and get bent out of shape trying to change others when you can be so much happier concentrating on something you can change, yourself? The older I get the more comfortable I am with myself and the less I need others to validate me. Maybe a sign of maturity I hope?
8 months ago
In terms of the topic. I really struggled with the opposite sex. Sent to an all boys high school didn’t help matters and having two brothers and no sisters didn’t help either. My mother was very controlling and didn’t want us to have girlfriends as she was very much a prude and a killjoy. No sex before marriage was the mantra and something I was definitely going to rebel against. Forget that for a joke! I desperately wanted a girlfriend, a female confidante, someone I could open up to about my many fears and insecurities to but primarily I desired a physical relationship because there seemed to be this desperate, primordial urge to get my end away. Testosterone is frightening and I didn’t cope well with adolescence. I have never felt as lonely and unlovable as I did in my late teens and early twenties. I understand why suicide is such a strong option for young men. My eldest son is seventeen today and fortunately seems far better adjusted than I did at his age. I spent three months in a locked psychiatric unit during my final year of high school while they tried to dose me up with antidepressants. I survived depression but it took years and a lot of therapy. So what helped me find success with girls was probably alcohol. The late, great comedian Bill Hicks talked the truth when he said that there were far better drugs that should have been legalized ahead of alcohol. So true! I gave up alcohol but it really is a useful tool for dealing with social anxiety especially in large group settings like parties where I do struggle. I was way more relaxed and confident when I was inebriated but it is a dodgy tightrope to walk maintaining that equilibrium. You can quickly become an obnoxious, selfish and insensitive idiot that can be devastating when you sober up and realize how callous and harmful you were under the influence of alcohol. Honesty probably goes a long way but it is hard to be vulnerable and risk rejection when your very psyche is fragile. Sex is awesome and a very powerful motivational tool and it probably saved my life and kept me persevering through some hellish times. Having a sense of humour helps too!
8 months ago
Thank you Dale for all your wisdom and sharing such an important and auspicious time in your life. I have really enjoyed hearing all your anecdotes and the process of choosing a life partner. I find it very refreshing to hear a no holds barred account of what is involved in finding a potential partner in another country. I have a great relationship with my wife of 19 years, two sons and have been fortunate never to have been divorced but things could change and I will tuck this knowledge away as a potential what if.... I just wanted to say that I really admire your ability to be comfortable in who you are and your self worth, your strong ethical morals and decency. I wish there were more men like you because there are so many men that drag our gender through the mud and give us all a bad name. I am kind of glad I don’t have any daughters sometimes. So the best of luck and fortune to the pair of you and I hope you find each other worthy and enjoy a long happy life together. Thank you for all the time and energy that you have put into writing this exciting adventure and enjoy the process!
Just a thought if she does ever winter over in Canada tell her about seasonal affective disorder if she starts getting depressed. Coming to Vancouver from somewhere much sunnier it was a real shock and I found light therapy a life saver. It’s easy enough to sit with my blue light for fifteen minutes while I eat my breakfast and this made a huge difference. However, spending three months of the year in the Philippines sounds like a winning strategy to me but I do like skiing at that time of year so it’s not all bad!
8 months ago
I bought some Czar white runner beans from Real Seeds Uk shortly before they stopped shipping internationally. They are a great seed company and I miss them. I live in zone 8 Canada near Vancouver and I overwintered one by chance in a large plastic pot. The bean grew the following year quickly and was the first to set beans and is a monster. We had a lot of snow last winter and apart from some mulch I didn’t set out to pamper it. Will definitely save seed this year just in case though.
9 months ago
Ok, back from some weeks wwoofing on a nearby island. Fantastic experience with a host that lives permaculture and restorative agriculture with a great vision. I can’t really say any more because it’s not my place to talk about it but I had a great experience. My first woofing experience and I wish I had done it sooner! Oh well, you live and learn.
It’s been almost three weeks of dry heat and very little rain and I was pleasantly surprised that my beans I planted have survived and hopefully will produce viable seed for next year.
https://aeronvale-allotments.org.uk/purplerunnerbeans/
Here is a link to these amazing beans. I picked some from my backyard garden and can’t wait to taste them. There are some viable seeds for sure as I let them dry off so I will have a supply to replant regardless. I just wanted to challenge the ones in the forest to really produce a hardy strain that takes no prisoners. Here are a few photos in case anyone is curious.
9 months ago
A lot of good arguments here and it makes for a fascinating read. It would be interesting to get your wife’s perspective and because so many replies have been thoughtful and helpful, to me at least. It’s hard not to paint yourself as the hero in this relationship. I am rooting for you because you are making good points. I would feel the same way in your situation. But other people have also noted that you appear to resent this woman, scorn her decisions, needs and desires as inferior to your own. I thought for sure that you were merely seeking a permission slip to leave this sad, unhappy, needy woman that wronged you. But how quickly you leapt to her defence when it was suggested you simply leave. When was the last time you spent a few weeks apart from this wife of yours to gain some perspective? A few weeks away and things will become much clearer. Go to Arkansas, patch things up with your old friend and come clean with him. Ask him if you can spend some time away from her so that you can identify whether you want in or out of this marriage. I am sure he will understand. Request that he keep his low opinion of her to himself and just act as a sounding board if need be. I am trying not to be judgemental and be helpful because you both deserve happiness. Maybe find a men only relationship counselling retreat where you might spend a week or three days focusing on what you can do to make a positive out of what appears a challenging time in your life. Good luck to you and thank you for your bravery in opening up what is an intimate and personal examination of your life.
10 months ago
Hi Helen. Yes you are right about enough land to do some experimenting. I have no excuses. Another 31 degree day and the hugel beds are holding up although the topsoil layer is almost dust it’s so dry. Probably should have added more mulch. It’s still looking good as far as most things clinging on. The hairy vetch looks good without showing tremendous growth. I want to see how planting rye in the fall will do as the leaves will fall and there will more light and rainfall. However there is a development as I saw either two little mice or baby rats foraging around in the leaf litter near the large  hugel bed. My concern is they could decimate a bed planted in germinating rye seed if they set up home. Otherwise it’s holding up with no rain at all. Maybe some rain forecast in a week. I hope so! Met a dog walker as I was carrying a bucket of water and he asked after it so I told him and he said ‘neat’. So that was a posiitive interaction. I felt encouraged anyway by the state of the  transplant bocking 14 comfrey. It looks like it will make it and the sunchokes are five foot tall and holding in there. And the first of the runner beans looking a little wizened from not enough water. I should have started them further down toward the base as it is drier up top. My other thought is to dig a pond beside the hugel in winter and have it store water for summer. I can try the bentonite method then.
10 months ago