Hugo Morvan

gardener
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since Nov 04, 2017
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I am a carpenter/mason/gardener etc, living in France, Morvan. Have small garden with about 200 different plantspecies a small natural pond, wild fish. Share a veggie plot/tree nurserie/mushroom grow operation with a local bio cattle ranger, it is being turned into a permaculture style bio diversity reserve. Seed saving and plant propagation are important factors.
Every year i learn to use more of my own produce, cooking it, potting it up. As well as medicinal herbs/balms. Try to be as self sufficient as financially possible without getting into debt. Spreading the perma culture life style and mind set, which is the only sustainable path forward on this potentially heaven of a planet we are currently ravaging with our short sighted and detached material world views which lead to depression, loneliness, illness, poverty and madness.
France, Burgundy, parc naturel Morvan
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Recent posts by Hugo Morvan

Here in France they want everybody has a septic system. Expensive jobs they want local entrepeneurs to do to boost the economy. Especially for foreigners they like to push this. Locals postpone endlessly. Rumors of fines float about but i never heard them applied.
The rules change constantly. It’s a total scam and a mess. They dig up half your garden and put it full of plastic rubbish. The installed systems reek and need ugly air exhausts to above the roof level. Some people need to shred the paper and waste and pump it all up towards a higher situated septic tank. Then a guest drops a condom in and the pump breaks. Hopeless. Dry systems worked for centuries. It’s modern hygiene fetishists enforcing this madness.

Lately the environment is a hype here and some inspectors are open to changes regarding grey water.
I work as a builder for quite some people and advice people to postpone. Just say you want to and you’re going to do it but you don’t have the money handy. Come with ideas for ecological solutions.
Tire them out and hope they forget about you and your money or that they just give up.

Speak very loud in bad English, pretend to be drunk all the time if you see the mayor coming ( that was a joke to make light of the situation)

3 days ago
Hi Mare Silba. I believe your nice ramblings make perfect sense. I’d like to add that it all depends on your location and circumstances.
If you happen to have lots of old wood in a hot arid climate and you want to make it rot and act like a sponge for soil life maybe location is the most important aspect.
I could imagine doing that on a small scale as an experiment out of the wind close to a hedge which blocks a lot of sun already. But that would be feeding your hedge basicly. Which could totally be appropriate at times.
But a lot could happen with wood. Chipping appropriateit up for woodchips and mixing that with animal manure makes a very nice compost apparently. Woodchips on path, woodchips on beds to kill oxalis..
Or make biochar to add to the soil. Or make bed edges with it. Or just leave it in a pile as a niche for wildlife while creating another windbreak.
But in this case it was about Antonio’s question on how many to make on his land to feed his family.
I see some great advice on here, but i missed taking herbal medicine which i take when i feel blue. St John’s worth or Hypericum Perforatum it’s called and it works great for me.
There are a lot of volunteers at the minute. Young people stuck in the cities looking for a cheap holiday. It might be an option for some people who are not too down.
Summer always comes anyway and being late has avoided worrying about late freezes. I’ve got to get a lot of start ups in today. Freeze is gonna come!
1 week ago
Hi Antonio. Great to hear so many of your seeds came up. Everything in leaf already!
Here it’s just starting to bud out.
It must be surprising when you come back from Madrid and find surprises. This grew much more than you thought , that died.
I see my garden every day almost.

Any way, hugelcultures didn’t do it for me i’ve tried burying wood, then covering with a lot of compost. It’s always bone dry in summer. Then i added more wood on top more classical design. Still a dry and bit of my garden. In other places i tried again. No succes.
No doubt i’ve been dumb and done it all wrong. Still i’d like to advice you to take it easy with putting too much effort into making a lot of them. Before you get this one to flourish. I’d love to see your very succesful pictures before and after!
I’ve read other people struggled as well and it had to do with hot climates. The wood just doen’t supercharge full of water so soaks everything up in summer. If it’s hot where i am..Geoff Lawton from greening the desert doesn’t do them either as far as i know.
Saving seeds i love it so much. You have the chance to select for superdrought resistant varieties. Everything that survives the time you’re not there must have a dry resistant genome. The year afyer you can use these seeds and you get a whole garden full of drought resistant seeds.
In theory at least. If it all dies you’re back at square 1.
I don’t have a lot of water in my garden and water only if they look really shitty, so i have selected a little bit for that.
I have a Maroccan lettuce that i save seed from. First year i harvested it too early. The seeds where blanks. Still some must have fallen off in the field because a few randomly popped up. I have taken care of those and have harvested many seeds. This year they came up magnificently and plenty. This year i’ll eat the smaller ones and let all the big ones be. They are the ones best adapted to my soils. I’ll have more seeds to play with end year. Hopefully enough to just throw them around and walk off next year.
They cross as well with the other lettuces so new genetic material comes in making more selection possible.
I’ve got 4 artichoke varieties this year from different sources and i am going to put them together. Next generation will be all mixed. Landracing. Every generation will be better adapted to the shitty soils we have here.
I do the same with red beets, chard, calendula. Every variety seed people give me is valuable.Keep mixing in new varieties.
This year old people gave me well adapted beans
they took with them from Spain when they migrated thirty odd years ago. That’s so fortunate because i always had bad luck with seeds frim the industry.
I am looking forward to spreading these landrace varieties/succesful varieties to other plant enthousiasts.
The mobile sawmill has come to my village and left loads of sawdust and log slabs nobody seems to care for.
I immediately offered to help.
So now i am looking for things to do with them.
One of them i did, was creating a hard pathway between the new mint beds. The mint was creeping into the woodchips path i had previously made and i am afraid i will step on the mint all the time, damaging it. So now with the hard slab on there i got room to walk while maintenaning and harvesting.
It will be a while before they push through the slabs.
Has anybody who has done this any comment about this system? Do they make for great snale shelter for instance. Stuff like that i am curious about.
Or is this just a waste of perfect fencing material?
Tell me, tell me, tell me all.
2 weeks ago
Hi Dan. I got my horseradish from a friend it flowers every year in spring but never has set seed. Which i don’t mind because it spreads pretty easily and i’ve not been able to get rid of it in places where i didn’t want it anymore.
2 weeks ago
Update.
The Brassica seed saving worked well. Few plants look like they have crossed over.
The borekale has sprouted superb. I’ve got a lot of plants to put in the beds. More than i started with.
The mystery kale turned out to be early purple brocolli and seeded quite well. More of those too.
The mustardleaf/ mizuna didn’t do well because of a colder than average winter and jumpy flea beetle. But i got a new batch from someone so new genes, new chances.
The sprouts did grow ok-ish but no sprouts yet. Don’t know if i’ll continue this type, have to add in fresh genes.
I’ve had palm kale growing strong all winter about to flower quite far from my superb red russian kale which is also about to flower so no big risk of crossing over.

Looking forward to continue this seed saving journey. Hope to get more through exchange. I am looking more and more towards landraces and thanks to the encouragement and wisdom of the Permie community i kept going and i feel i am winning!! Yay!! Thanks team World!!!
2 weeks ago
Hi Mark. Looks like one big stone to me. Could it  be the bedrock? Very neatly chisseled off?
If it isn’t then joints have to walk through the highlighted bit on your pic.
Could be some old cement mixed in with bits of the same stone your wall consists off. Then just try to get in there from the upper joints down. Using a chissle and hammer. Place the chissle right there where you expecr the joint. Place it standing up and hit down. If a crack appears hit it from another angle into the empty space so to say.
If there is no joints and it’s bedrock you have three options. Leave it be in it’s glory and be done with it. Or render over the whole thing. Then you come more into the room. Or three break it with the hammerdrill and then render over it. Respecting the level of your wall.
Depends on time and money, and if you have more to do than just this.
Hope this helps.
Ps i’ll be off rendering in a minute.
2 weeks ago
And i discovered pimpernel has a nice hedge function too!
2 weeks ago
I have added less thyme hedges but more hyssop hedges. They get a bit higher.
Like this one year old one.
2 weeks ago