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

My last remaing hazel cutting died.
In the same time i’ve grown some twenty from seed. Layering works i’ve heard.
Hope others have more luck
5 days ago
Leigh Tate, nice turnaround!
Guess we’re wired to label everything we don’t like/expect to be there immediately as a problem that needs eradicating by a quick fix so things become how we expect them to be.
A very superficial way of creating the world we like to see, obsessively busy with finding shortcuts without ever considering the larger ramifications.
Modern life in a nutshell, not permaculturish at all. But examples!

Just back in from the garden after a rainy cold spring summer is finally here. I’ve had trouble recognizing my garden at times because of growth of grass in some newly developing beds/ pathways. It started to go to seed here and there. That would have caused more grass next year. I don’t have mulch ready now to weaken it so had to scythe it down. It became it’s own mulch.
The white dutch clover went out of control in the beds and pathways creeping everywhere. I chop and drop it or mulch it around plants i want to keep free from it. Instead of pulling it out completely i left enough creeping roots so it can recover and function as a nitrogen fixing groundcover plants the bees love. It’s a fun experiment!
I’ve just ate a wild carrot soup of it’s leaves instead of ripping it out and composting it.
1 week ago
Hi Joseph. Amazon.co.uk still doesn’t have it available. My portal to europe for your book.
I am trying lulu, since you get more royalties, had to give all my details before knowing if they even ship out of USA. But they do and for a third of the shipping costs of amazon com.
Looking forward to learning your techniques and logic to landracing.
Thank you for all you do!
1 week ago
Hedera Helix, my neighbor grows it on our common wall. It cracks the joints and more of it enters. Rips wall apart. Then he blames my trees for the damage and seriously expects me to repair it.
Grapevine and passiflora are great growers indeed.
3 weeks ago
The good old broken bottle in cement trick to block unwanted nightly visitors. Hmm might be a shitty build wall that you have to rebuild if it breaks from roots. No figs then.
Wouldn’t it be possible to render the whole wall in a wet mud to make it more friendly to the eye. It will rain off in time but hopefully the trees will be big by then. Just make it in a bucket. Earth water mix it, smear it by hand..
Or sand lime with a big load of local color in it if you want to do a serious job on it. It will only be a day for a good renderer. It will solidify the wall i doubt the owner will object if asked.
The red color is kind of funky south american style i must say. That’s probably the nicest thing i can say about the building.
3 weeks ago
Kevin. Good for you! I wish i could just dig them out, it’s rocky and tiring time consuming business where i am!
If you need a few hundred it’s not an option. I am sure you can see the allure in cleaning a piece of land adding straw, dumping compost and hotwatered seeds, walk off and come back and harvest fifty trees frim the soft compost in an hour in autumn.
At least that’s what i’m hoping for. Haha!
I went for a peak yesterday but nothings popping so far. No ash either, no plums, no hazels, no sweet chestnuts, the cuttings are slow too. Last year the willow was booming around this point in time, this year they’re timidly showing some foliage half expecting to be hammered back by some late crazy frost. Oddly enough mimicking the folk getting out and about unsure after month of masking up and home detention.
Nature is such a teacher!
3 weeks ago
10-20% germinationrate isn’t terrible. I hope i can get that. I’ve put a ladder against an interesting looking acacia of my neighbor and cut some branches off with a battery jigsaw. Collected the seeds of the branches. If you get no luck with upping the rates get moaaar.
I am north of you and haven’t seen a single one sprout so far. But the weather is very very cold for this time of year. Hope it’s that and not a 0% germination rate.
Do snails fancy young acacia sprouts, anyone know?
3 weeks ago
Hi Nick. I’ve transplanted my sweet chestnuts thisautumn/december maybe. I only had something like 7. They must have still been small because they were half a year old about. I had planted them in quite a layer of loose compost so digging in there without damaging the taproot was not that difficult. As well i have invested in a socalled drainage spade. A spade with a long thin blade of 10cm by 40cm, 4 inch by 16 inch. It’s so convenient to dig in deep it has a rounded topblade to put a lot of pressure stepping on it without getting a sore foot.
I might have damaged some side roots but i believe i have only lost one taproot. Planted the tree anyway.
This kind of spade also is really nice digging a square deep hole to get the roots in nice and deep closer to the watertable, so watering becomes less of an issue.
I’ve seen this airpruning method get popular and started a topic about it on Permies, but didn’t get answers that took away my doubts. I could totally be wrong.
This year i have seeded many more chestnuts so i’ll be able to get a better analysis on weather my transplanting method is viable.
But this drainage spade makes a huge difference planting trees and shrubs in the denser methods us permaculturists seem to prefer. I can give trees shrubs perenials and even annuals a great deep hole full of compost or mix it with local soil so they do still care to dig deeper and explore for water without damaging too much rootsystems of plants closeby.
Hope this helps you a bit Nick!
3 weeks ago
Some people are better thinking and then doing perfectly. I just do and make mistakes and redo. I wouldn’t get to doing things if i think them through too much. Too boring for me.
But this nursery worked out great.
The details are not difficult. I got the seeds and cuttings in over winter. Cuttings need that time without foliage and roots to settle in. Figs and berries and rosemary went in in winter. All figs died because of heavy frost here. Big error! Might work where you are but not in France. The seeds i put them in after previous years trees go to their forever spots and leave empty beds.
I seed quite closely something like 10 cm 4 inch apart. Usually in an efficient pattern like a row of 3 seeds and then a row of 4 then 3 again, then 4. Spaced out in between so each plant gets max space. Easier to saylike 2-1-2-1 and the 1 is in the middle of the 2. Hope i make this clear enough. And seeds i just put them in about as deep as they are high.
The ash i’ve just spread on the raked compost. The acacia pseudo robinia i collected from nature. One tree was packed with seeds. I took a ladder and jigsaw and cut some branches from a good looking tree. According to Permies thread i hadto dump them in almost boiling water and soak them for 24 hrs. First year for ash and acacia so no guarantee to succes at all!  
There are some great threads on Permies about growing trees from seeds. Steve Thorn is on all of them!!
3 weeks ago
I don’t know those propagators you mentioned.
My tree nurserie is a passive shaded system by oak trees. Protecting the seedlings or cuttings from the worst of droughts. Between the nursery bed and the trees is a ditch which collects rainwater and some run off from the hill. I haven’t had to water a lot. Couple of times even in the driest of times. Couple of time chop and drop the weeding.
It’s twenty meter by one and a half.
Contains basketwillow hazelnuts sweet chestnut acacia pseudorobinia, ash, cassis berry, red currant, fig, plums, etc,
I don’t like airpruning because i do not have proof the big taproot will form at a later stage. I transplant my chestnuts after one year in autumn.
Pushed out 250 trees last year and hope to double that this year.
The first book i devoured in years was from Akiva Silver Trees of Power a very skilled down to earth tree grower in New York state i believe. He has ayou tube channel as well. Twisted tree farms. He is totally into airpruning by the way.
His book inspired me to grow more trees and to do a nursery in the sun with trees that are used as rootstock trees. You grow them at an angle close to the ground and then the branches go up. Covering them with woodchips or sawdust will make them root. I’m waiting for the saw dust to get devoured by mycelium so can’t comment if it really works that great.
Anyway that’s all i have to say from ecperience.
3 weeks ago