Tasha Claus

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since Apr 18, 2017
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bee bike forest garden
I live on a suburban lot of about 0.29 acres, which is a large lot for our area. The previous owners of this property were the original owners, who maintained a very formal garden with huge lawns. The lawns have been nice for the kids, and we do nothing but mow and leave the clippings in the grass, but they consume massive amounts of water. We'd like to do things a bit differently. I've dreamed of wheat fields and garden beds with drip lines. I long for pistachios and almonds (which are very well suited to this climate), figs, lychees, and avocados. I want to employ no-till methods for vegetable gardening and build excellent soils fertility. I toy with the idea of a fish pond big enough to swim in, with ducks gliding through. I contemplate the notion of a victory garden. I love the idea of a garden where I spend more time playing than working. More time munching my way through meandering garden paths than yanking weeds up by the roots (although I will say that weeding is an addiction for me because it turns into a sort of zen-like experience with momentum - once I start, I can't stop irrespective of weather or poor air quality). I've been employing organic gardening techniques since I started gardening with very mixed results because I don't like putting stuff in my soil that doesn't look like dirt. If I add fertilizer or sluggo to my soil, it just feels like I'm no different than the person who uses miracle grow. I'd like to learn how to grow a permaculture garden that allows me to follow my gut instinct of not adding expensive bottles of stuff to my soil while still getting good yields and tasty food from healthy plants. I want everyone, from the tiniest microbe in my soil to the tallest artichoke that grows in it, from the most beautiful butterfly that lands softly on my lilac to the cawing crow who snatches him from his sweet perch, from the biggest fish that swims in my pond to the human that makes a nice dinner of him, to be happy, healthy, and vibrant. I want my boring yard to be a lush, food producing paradise for my family, friends, and neighbors, no matter what species they are. And I want to do it all on at least half the water we're using now. Gov. Brown may have rescinded the state of drought here, but we still live in a desert. I just think it doesn't have to be quite so deserty.
Bakersfield, CA
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Recent posts by Tasha Claus

We live on a 0.29 acre lot in the southern part of the Central Valley in California. Citrus trees grow very well here, and the original owners of this land planted an orange tree (Valencia, I think), and a grapefruit tree (a sweet ruby red variety). Although the trees are not placed where I would want them to be all the way at the back of a lot that is much longer than it is wide, I want to keep them. The main problem is that I can't even give away as much grapefruit as this tree produces. While I like the grapefruit from this tree, I really prefer pomelos to grapefruit. I know that grapefruit is a hybrid between pomelo and orange, so I'm wondering if a pomelo graft would take on a grapefruit tree. Does anyone know if I can graft pomelo onto grapefruit, and if I can, what would be the best way to go about it? When it comes to trees, I know very basic stuff, like fruit trees need excessive pruning, and it looks more natural if you avoid topping trees. I have never grafted a tree before, so I have no idea how to make it work. I also have not the slightest clue if grafting a pomelo onto a grapefruit would work in terms of actually producing both fruit types. I've been told there's no such thing as a lemon/lime tree because the tree will revert to one type of fruit, either lemon or lime, so I'm wondering if the same would be true of a pomelo grafted onto a grapefruit. Thoughts anyone?
1 year ago