Judielaine Bush

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since Jul 28, 2018
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forest garden homestead
Four acres near Pittsboro, NC. My goals are more restoration than production, fighting the honeysuckle, autumn olive, tree of heaven, and stiltgrass and establishing native species in their place. But hey, if i can enjoy the fruits of that labor, i'm for it!
Piedmont, NC
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Recent posts by Judielaine Bush

I lazily started a worm bin in a California apartment years ago. One rainy morning i found two red wriggling worms on my way to the car. I called my spouse and asked her to drop them into a five gallon tree pot that i had been dumping leaf litter into. From then on, for over ten years, veggie scraps went into that bucket and the worms thrived and reproduced. Every now and then i would dump the bucket out and manually separate worms and undigested stuff from the castings and use the casting in my potted plants. My conclusion is that worms are not fragile critters that need careful management of environment but they can cope with really hot and dry situations as well as freezing temperatures, plus random feeding without much fuss. I'm sure OPTIMAL casting production occurs with a managed environment, but i wouldn't let optimization get in the way of doing. I've bought a commercial worm farm now because i am dealing with a larger volume of scraps and the farm promises easier separation of castings from worms and undigested matter, and because it's in a more obtrusive location.
2 weeks ago
I guess i need a better look at the threading -- or absence -- on that one inch ridge. If there's deep threading, a wire might be strong enough. I'd fear disintegration in a bungee.

Had my first buckwheat greens a month ago -- they were pretty easy micro greens, pretty too, but the seed husks held on pretty tightly in some cases.
1 month ago
For Christmas, we were given a 500 gal Norwesco vertical tank (40148). I'm wondering if anyone has rigged a screen for rain water catchment in one of these tanks. My spouse would like a moderately attractive solution since she'll be looking at it from her desk.

I'm OK buying something because i have other places i can better spend my time than rigging this, but the for-purpose  https://www.tank-depot.com/productdetails.aspx?part=RAINWTNW is a little more than i am excited to spend. (It's still less before shipping than i can find a single clean IBC tote going for in our area .)

I see there are prefab 16" rain baskets out there, but the manway is  a 16 3/8" INNER diameter, and the usual 16" filter baskets seem to be just barely 16.3" diameter to the outside of their lips. Does that work?

The rim sticks up one inch with an 18 1/5" outer diameter.  Buying screen and a big hose clamp seem like it could work, but that one inch is just barely enough room for the hose clamp itself.

Thanks for relevant advice!

1 month ago
Star of Bethlehem - poisonous - has the white vein.  My Star of Bethlehem in 7b mid latitude North Carolina doesn't start sprouting until after the new year. It wasn't nightmarish the first year, but now we have an area into which we let the cats go, and i do worry about the cats eating the noxious stuff. Also, i hadn't seen the meadow of it behind the last wave of autumn olive.

20180423 first blooms in east lawn
20180212 Continued eradication effort during lunch while watching Luigi roam. Still some  coming up under cutdown trees and in the moss garden.
20180211 Dug up sprouting Ornithogalum umbellatum from orchard-to-be area
20170414 Liliaceae: Ornithogalum umbellatum blooming
20170222 Lots of clumps behind the house, pushed through cardboard acting as weed barrier for walk. Several clumps in backyard. With this identification, will eradicate along the walk before mulching (instead of transplanting). Seems less nightmarish than the bittercress and chickweed.

No onion-like odor
leaves curl into tube, but not tubular like an onion. Pale line on the inside of the curve (plausibly the upper surface)

Leaves have a white stripe on upper surface & wither soon after flowering, per Wildflowers of Tennessee.
http://cses.auburn.edu/turfgrass-management/weed-identification/star-of-bethlehem/ (image of bulb structures looks VERY like the ones i pulled up)

A long green stripe on the underside of each petal helps to identify this plant as Star-of-Bethlehem, Ornithogalum umbellatum.

Narrow leaves, each having a white midrib, might get a foot long, but they softly arch over forming a mound. All leaves are basal, and leaf margins are entire or toothless.

Alabama: Class C noxious weed
Connecticut: Potentially invasive
TN, KY: listed as weed
Lesser Threat
2 months ago
Thanks Angela. Do you know if the Everbearing can cross-pollinate with the native reds and then set viable seed (obviously would not necessarily have the traits of the Everbearing). Or is the Everbearing a hybrid?
2 months ago
Oh, to get someone to come harvest all the Allium canadense in our yard and garden plot. I hurl it into the neighboring woods when i successfully pull it up, fearing any composting attempt is just going to spread the plant more. I've tried cooking with it, but it seems overpowering.
2 months ago
I've just planted two native red mulberry seedlings grown by someone else in the county. I am pondering my odds of a mating pair and whether i should get a plant like the everbearing to ensure fruit. My hope was for birds to start seeding the woods so native fruits could grow as i eradicate my understory of Autumn Olive. (Almost all the leaves are off trees except for the oaks -- and the autumn olive is just beginning to turn yellow. What an advantage over the native plants!)
2 months ago
Hi Borislav,

i have dreamed about growing trees since i was in my 20s, doing research and so on, and i have finally moved to where i could have a bit of land just as i turned 50. I;m in a much milder climate than you This summer i was planning my plantings, i know i got quite anxious about getting it just right. I've finally relaxed and recognized if i make mistakes, i will adapt.

I don't think trees generally tap into "underground lakes" -- i think the word you are looking for is aquifer? That tends to be too deep for plants and is tapped by wells. The other term in English is "water table" and refers to how deep you dig and tap the flow of water through the soil and rock.  A place with a very shallow water table is not going to be that good for trees like chestnuts.  You would be able to tell by digging a hole and seeing water flow in and fill the bottom.

From my reading, in a suitable climate, one should be able to provide water during droughts for the first few years but once the trees are established in a suitable location they will be able to survive on rain and water in the soil.

Congratulations on your trees from seed! I collected six seeds from an orchard last October and have planted one of the surviving two seedlings in my orchard area.  I've bought a small Dunstan chestnut (blight tolerant American-Chinese hybrid suitable for the very mild winters and humid summers of the US southeast) as well to add a little diversity to the genetics. The orchard trees descended from Dunstan trees as well, so the genetics are still the Chinese-American hybrid.

Good luck!
3 months ago
From a close reading at cultivariable and other documents it seemed that more species than D ccccinea are edible, so hybrids may be worth giving a nibble.

There are some European selections that sound interesting, but aren't available in the US.


My plan for next year is to grow miscellaneous Dahlia from seed and see if any are of interest in preserving as edibles.

I've notes and links to sources at https://www.evernote.com/shard/s6/sh/33420f98-b6ab-4a2a-a0ce-6a150b088e7a/8a4394b51720934e857a2adf1c9f8577
5 months ago
I've seen some rather sculptural insect habitats that might get past code and encourage neighbors to also create habitat. Here's an example: https://insteading.com/blog/insect-hotel/ . Searching on bug hotel and insect hotel turns up lots of ideas.
5 months ago