Win a copy of A Food Forest in Your Garden this week in the Forest Garden forum!

Freyda Black

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since May 27, 2018
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Chemung, NY
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Recent posts by Freyda Black

I'm confused by the message I got when I clicked the gift code link. It told me that it was a preorder and the link to view would appear when it was ready, that I understood.
But below that was the word "Upgrade" with a box below saying something about purchasing for $10 and receiving a gift.  It's confusing.  Do I need to do anything else?
1 month ago
I would greatly appreciate the gift of the tour movie. Thank you for your generosity and your belief in changing the way people do things to save our Mother Earth.

Received, THANK YOU!
1 month ago
Only being able to stream can make it unavailable for those of us who live on homesteads with limited internet options and unreliable slow speeds/data limits.
1 month ago
To me, permaculture isn't just about growing food. It's also about acting in all ways to create a sustainable society in which all beings are able to live sustainably and fairly. Every economic decision you make with your purchases, what you buy, where and how it's manufactured, who is paid fairly and where the profits go, affect how not just our local economy but the world economy functions.  Your inconvenience in waiting for a cashier is nothing compared to the real suffering of underpaid laborers and workers. I buy  everything I can from locally owned businesses: the hardware store, lumber yard, farmer, nursery.  If they don't have it, I'll search online for the manufacturer or other independent dealer. . Under NO circumstances will I go into a Walmart or order from Amazon. I might pay a little more but I have the peace of mind that I'm resisting the increasing concentration of wealth in the hands of the few. It's necessary to Earth's survival, really. Those billionaire's and their corporations are the ones fueling climate disaster.  

Now, if you're thinking, "oh, but I can't afford to do that", I say you're not being honest. I'll be 70 within the month and survive on less than $500 a month social security. There's plenty I do without in order to buy North American made and local.  Maybe it's time to stop fixating on what inconveniences you and think more about how your choices affect others.
1 month ago
The beavers have been here for over two decades. Upstream is in the opposite direction and the trees are protected by rings of welded wire fence 6' high against deer, the worst tree predator here.
You did not read carefully, as you are recommending a way to water the trees when the problem is too high a water table and poor drainage.
3 months ago
We started a new orchard on higher ground with a nice slope facing mostly E to ESE on our homestead in the Southern Tier of New York. The old house and previous little orchard is down in the "hollow", the lowest part of the land next to the creek with a steep slope to the East and is the worst frost pocket, so we lose a lot of harvests due to early warming followed by hard freezes, as well as excessive rain and poor air circulation. This is just going to worsen with climate change. The soil is much deeper in the new site, (Lounsden type) with a good loam from 6' to a foot deep with a heavy clay beneath. The clay forms a somewhat impermeable layer so that, when we dug the holes for the new apple trees this Spring, there was standing water in the holes where the roots would naturally lie. Our solution for these first four apple trees was to remove the clay subsoil and rock to a depth of two to three feet, roughen the sides of the large hole, and use topsoil from nearby to backfill and raise the base of the young trees to about 8" above the surrounding soil. A nearby nursery with the same land/soil type uses this "raised mound" technique with success but does it a bit differently. He digs a trench on the downhill side of the row, creating a long planting mound much higher. The trench actually holds the water rather than draining it.  Our situation is different in that there is a small culvert to the South of where we are planting now which brings water from the neighbor's hayfield across the road which creates a big slough that has filled in with water loving shrubs, mostly Grey Dogwood (Cornus racemosa).  That might be adding to the problem and I plan to have a plunge pool dug at its outlet and 6" drainage pipe laid at a 5% slope underground to carry that water off (down to the creek and beaver ponds) so that we can continue the planting across the entire field.  This is the best place for our Food Forest of all fruits and nut trees that will do well here.

Now that you know the situation, here is the question.  What suggestions do you have for planting fruit and nut trees here?  I have considered Hugelcultur but my previous experience of the planting area settling as the wood rots  creates too much uncertainty about what the ultimate height above the water line the trees would be.  Also,  at 69 years old with advanced arthritis in my hands (and elsewhere), my ability to move the amount of woody debris to build it is really too much for me.  I do have a good tractor with a manure bucket, and could use that to create bigger mounds for the trees. I think a ridge would create mowing problems ( I use a brush hog). We get a LOT of rain here and growth of grass, forbs, and shrubs (many invasive like honeysuckle and Cardinal Autumn Olive) as well as trees, grow like Topsy all summer, high enough to choke young fruit trees!  

Any suggestions, solutions, similar experiences to share, would be welcome.  I'll try to add pics to this post when I get up there on the tractor for a good shooting angle (I'm only 5' tall and much of the surrounding vegetation is taller than me!).   Thanks!
3 months ago
I have grown Amaranth successfully in upstate New York, USA, getting a very high yield per plant. However, I have not found it easy to dehull.  I cut the stalks and hung in a shed to dry, as the fall is rainy here, and the heads are quite full. After drying I rubbed them against a strainer to separate the seeds from the head but most of the seed still covered with spiky hulls that are painful to rub. In other words, they are still not ready for winnowing.  Any suggestions as to how to remove these hulls?  Would Quinoa be easier to hull?
3 years ago
I have grown Amaranth successfully in upstate New York, USA, but have not found it easy to dehull.  I cut the stalks and hung in a shed to dry, as the fall is rainy here, and the heads are quite full, but find rubbing them through a strainer leaves most of the seed still covered with spiky hulls that are painful to rub.  Any suggestions as to how to remove these hulls?