Gabe Gordon

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since Oct 01, 2018
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forest garden foraging trees
Extreme Southern Central Georgia, U.S. Zone 8b
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Recent posts by Gabe Gordon

    I've recently started undergoing a process I am dubbing my "Farm Re-invigoration Project" and am planning a significant scaling-up of plantings this autumn, starting with the orchard. I have already planted 3 more persimmon trees, but in my excitement failed to realize I was geared towards just planting nothing but persimmons (Persimmon season seems to get me going, that and being able to amp-up planting) in the orchard, for trees anyway. I still planned on adding goumi berries and pigeon peas, as well as a selective proliferation of wildflowers already present such as goldenrod, deer's tongue/or vanilla leaf, and a low-growing creeping native crotalaria spp. known as "rabbit bells" in between the rows and around the base of the trees. Probably I was going to let the wild dewberries and blue huckleberries creep their way in, too. So I guess, not quite a monoculture. Still, much as I may love persimmons, it felt wrong that they were the only trees I was set to plant in this area, and that I am limiting them to only around 2-3 varieties, due to preference but also performance. Now, I have quite a few mulberry trees which I had planned to similarly segregate into their own rows so that I could space them farther apart and let them get bigger, as left to their own devices they would quickly overtake the persimmons (I should mention, I am planting only japanese persimmons, of smaller stature). However, now I am thinking I should mix up the party after all. Plant the persimmons with the mulberries and then just keep the mulberries a bit more judiciously pruned. I still want them to have that "tree" form rather than a "bush" though, to completely fill out their 15ft of spacing between persimmons, and because the deer have taken a liking to their leaves. That and I have other spaces to put bushy mulberries, in more of a hedgerow fashion. So now I'm thinking, "better, closer, warmer", still not there yet though. Watching some of "The Permaculture Orchard" videos with Stefan Sobkowiak has me considering, well maybe I should add nitrogen fixing trees. Since I'm already planting goumi in the understory and between rows, I dont want to add another eleagnus for the tree position. I was thinking mimosa, but in my past experience they have a tendency to, well, die. Abruptly and without warning, unless growing on the edges of the woods, not so much a full sun tree down here. I'm toying with the idea of honey locust or black locust but I know they could easily out-grow their 15ft constraints, and I have no experience with their ability to withstand coppicing or just heavy pruning, or any experience with them at all for that matter. I've never seen them in the wild here and I'm not certain I want to deal the thorns, especially not from honeylocust -I know I can get the thornless variety but according to some old posts on here, and some miscellaneous things found on the web it seems like the pods of the thornless variety are better suited to livestock forage than human forage due to some weird allergic reaction people have to it, something along the lines of severe tingling of the tongue and mouth. That search brought me to wax myrtle, which I had no idea until just recently that it fixed any nitrogen at all. Wax myrtle is a locally abundant wild plant in my area, and I already have it popping up all over the place by itself. I've actually dug up a couple plants from inconvenient areas of my yard and relocated them to their permanent homes in one of my hedgerows, and I could easily do the same thing to populate them in the orchard. There's actually a couple in some of the freshly cleared orchard rows that don't have anything planted in them yet that are 3-4ft tall and I just didn't have the heart to get rid of them yet. Well maybe now I wont have to, and worst case scenario I'll dig them up and move them a couple feet to a more ideal position in the row. I am a little concerned about the overall vigor of wax myrtle though, that it could be too vigorous for this style of planting. I was thinking the rows would be something like: Persimmon - wax myrtle-  mulberry - persimmon - wax myrtle - mulberry, and then the next row would be the opposite. These fruit trees are themselves probably some of the most vigorous, too, so I'm thinking there's no better trio for my particular area, but I'd love to hear everybody's thoughts, do you think this is a good configuration? Do you know of other plants or trees that might work in such a guild? Have you used wax myrtle this way before? Let me know! :)  
1 year ago
Does anybody know if it’s necessary to interplant persimmon varieties for the highest yield? I know that generally, kaki persimmons are considered self fruitful. But some of the research I’ve looked at suggests that this parthenocarpic trait is generally unreliable and that in commercial orchards they interplant a few pollinator trees such as “Gailey” or others known to produce an abundance of male flowers. So, if I theoretically planted 40 fuyu persimmons (which I read do produce a moderate amount of male flowers sometimes, and produce a couple or no seeds) do I need to add such a pollinator to the mix, or does fuyu adequately pollinate itself? Another concern is if I do add pollinators, are the fruits going to be full of seeds or do fuyu’s (or other varieties, feel free to name them!) just genetically produce few to no seeds despite being pollinated?
1 year ago

Mike Barkley wrote:These might be good places to find them.

https://www.victoryseeds.com/pea_pigeon.html

https://www.mrcseeds.com/pigeon-pea-seeds/

http://www.reimerseeds.com/pigeon-peas.aspx





      This is almost exactly what I was looking for, thank you! Especially that last link, seeds in 85 days, that's what I like to see! I could probably get two crops off of those in one year. In other news I have also managed to acquire the rather elusive variety known as "Georgia-2" that I had been originally searching for, by contacting the University of Georgia in Tifton, specifically the horticulture department, who put me in contact with the Dr. who developed the Georgia-2 cultivar, who finally put me in contact with a company licensed to grow and sell the seed, and anyone else can send me a pm if they are interested.

This year I planted pigeon peas in the garden, to see if the variety I got is one that can produce seed before it freezes in November. In the probabal event that it is not such a variety, I have begun researching what varieties are suitable for growing here. What I have found is there are MANY, with the absolute best candidate for Georgia being a variety so named “Georgia-2”, followed by a good but not-as-good variety “Georgia-1”. I have not however found anything about where I can go about actually finding such a variety, so again I call upon the folks of permies! Do any of you in the United States (excluding I suppose most of Florida, Hawaii, and tropical territories) grow pigeon peas such as these or have any clue where/how I might find some? They are a wonderful plant that I grew with wild success in south Florida and they would make a great addition to the new homestead in Georgia if I can find the right varieties.

Gabe Gordon wrote:Extreme southern Georgia, zone 8b. HOT, humid, and long summers, with tons of rainfall, and a bit swampy.
I have found blackberries growing prolifically in the wild, as well as winged sumac, wild grapes and maucadines, red Chokeberry, and a few blueberry patches even, seeming all to do well. Pecans grow all over the place too, and I’ve seen several lemon trees around here producing very well. On my property we have planted lots of mayhaws and elderberry, which love it here, including the western blue elderberry. I’ve also got a few American persimmon trees and some red mulberry trees doing really well



   To update my own list here, more than just a few blueberry patches are growing! They grow like weeds here, I cant walk 10 feet without finding a small bush. Although this year some late winter warm spells had most of them blooming too early and a poorly timed frost got most of them, and the birds got the rest. But the handful of berries I did harvest were the sweetest blueberries I have ever eaten. Also growing wild and prolifically I have found blue HUCKLEberries(see pictures), more tart than the blueberries, but still sweet and delicious, also apparently more resistant to early blooming and birds because they're all still loaded with berries, even after my daily harvests.
   Asian persimmons also grow well, white mulberries, even have a black mulberry doing well even though I heard they don't like the humidity- mine seems to be happy. I have some "cold hardy" edible bananas that I am excited about, grow and produce fruit in 9 months, frost kills them to the ground, spring warmth sprouts them again and they repeat the process. I'm also going to test grow some Date Palms, because ive seen them grow downtown here and even produce some good fruits despite the humidity, as well as Texas Persimmons to see if they'll do well in the humidity (if anyone has experience with these or knows anything else about them, I appreciate all info!) and then some date plums because I like all these cool persimmon relatives, so ill update on those eventually.
1 year ago
Thank you for that article, the one from Purdue university has been the only one I could find. After giving it a read it looks like you are correct. I suppose in my excitement at the prospect of finding a morus rubra I completely overlooked that it could be morus nigra, and  upon reinspection of my own tree, I agree, much as it pains me, the leaves are indeed too cordate to align with a rubra, and look exactly like the pictures of a morus nigra in the article you linked. Apologies everyone, for the false alarm.
Ah well, the search continues! At least I have 6 other mulberry trees (including nigra now I guess! 😉) to keep me company in the meantime
1 year ago

Johannes Schweinhardt wrote:  
If you don't mind me asking, what characteristic(s) did you use to identify what you purchased as a morus rubra?



The leaves were the first give away, very tight and sharp serrations on the edge, matte in appearance,  slightly fuzzy underneath and generally a very rough leaf alltogether. The leaf buds also look pretty spot on

https://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/fnr/fnr_237.pdf
1 year ago
UPDATE: It took some searching but I have in fact found a red mulberry at a great nursery about two hours from me (they also do online business and I highly recommend them) called Just Fruits and Exotics, here’s the link for anybody else interested: https://justfruitsandexotics.com/product/wacissa-mulberry-tree/
1 year ago
Extreme southern Georgia, zone 8b. HOT, humid, and long summers, with tons of rainfall, and a bit swampy.
I have found blackberries growing prolifically in the wild, as well as winged sumac, wild grapes and maucadines, red Chokeberry, and a few blueberry patches even, seeming all to do well. Pecans grow all over the place too, and I’ve seen several lemon trees around here producing very well. On my property we have planted lots of mayhaws and elderberry, which love it here, including the western blue elderberry. I’ve also got a few American persimmon trees and some red mulberry trees doing really well
1 year ago
  I am trying to find information about the toxin in elderberry seeds, and what effect, if any, tincturing in alcohol has on it. What I have found, seems conflicting. Article after article saying do not eat or use raw elderberries, seeds are toxic, etc. and even one source: https://franklininstituteofwellness.com/proper-elderberry-syrup/ , that suggests the only way to use elderberry is medicinally is by thoroughly cooking it and making a syrup so that “all” toxicity is destroyed, and basically says outright do not make tinctures as the berries (dried or raw) do not get cooked first.
 On the other hand, I see TONS of people advocating tinctures, sharing tincturing recipes, and sometimes even claiming that alcohol denatures the glycoside and makes them safe but I cannot find a single source proving that, only the opposite, actually, that the alcohol would extract and preserve the toxin too. However, I have also not seen a single claim of anyone getting violently sick from using an elderberry tincture, even if those same people can or have been made sick eating the raw berries. So, I’m at a bit of a loss here. If anyone has any experiences or more information to share it would be greatly appreciated!
1 year ago