Janell Traicoff

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since Oct 04, 2018
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Recent posts by Janell Traicoff

We’re currently living with my parents’ while saving for land, and I’ve been joking with them about turning the front yard into a food forest. Well, I just got the go!! It’s a small space, and we live in a pretty urban area. So, I can’t go too crazy… but I can go kinda crazy ha!

I’d sure love suggestions!

Zone 6b, clay soil, eastern facing.

We don’t plan on staying here very long, so I want to keep it mostly perennial. That way, it’ll be minimal maintenance once we leave. I already put in 3 red currant bushes because I got excited, hah. I plan on putting rhubarb, echinacea, strawberries (trying to find a variety that won’t spread too much) somewhere in there and possibly arctic kiwi along an old trellis on the north side of the house.

This is my first attempt at edible landscaping and know it needs to be much cleaner than the jungle in the backyard. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

-I included a terrible drawing of the layout. The curved line is a brick retention wall which we plan on keeping. There used to be an Eastern Red Bud in the largest curve, but it reached it's potential for our area and died. We removed the stump but left the roots. We were so sad to see it go since it was our only well established edible, but hey, here's to the future!-
3 months ago
What about Arctic Kiwi? I have a spot in my yard that I'm thinking about. It's a north east trellis that used to be covered in Clematis. https://onegreenworld.com/product/september-sun-2/
3 months ago
Hey, there!

My hubby and I are in the market to purchase some property in northern Michigan (Northern L.P. & U.P.) Does anyone have a Broker/Agent that they would recommend? Areas that peak our interest are Oceana county, Kalkaska county, Schoolcraft county, and Marquette county. It would be a huge plus if they were familiar with off-grid/alternative living.

Any suggestions would be fantastic! Thanks a bunch!
4 months ago
For marketing, I'd make a business page on Instagram and Facebook if you haven't already. Post at least once a week on Facebook and try to end each post with a question to encourage engagement. Try to post every day or at least every other on Instagram. It doesn't have to be product related. It could be an inspirational quote, shot of farm life, what you're currently reading. Just keep your content consistent with your brand feel. Search and follow people and other businesses that you think are A) potential customers or B) something your potential customer would also follow.

For better pics, try to trade services with a local photographer. I'm a photog and would jump on the opportunity to do a creative project and take pretty pictures of such things! Too bad I'm in Michigan and not near you! Even if you can't find someone who is willing to take product pictures, maybe you can find someone who's willing to do a workshop with you and show you tips on taking better quality pictures yourself.
4 months ago
We're starting our search for land and have been hitting a bit of a road block when it comes to zoning, coding, local ordinances, and such. We're looking to purchase raw land in the upper Lower Peninsula or mid Upper Peninsula of Michigan. In a perfect world, we would like to build a little cordwood house with a rocket mass heater, composting toilet, and a rain water catchment/gray water system of sorts. Trying to search online has brought us no where really, other than finding out that the state of Michigan allows composting toilets, gray water, and rain catchment systems but of course, it depends on each individual county. So, where do we go from here? Contact each county we're interested in individually? If so, would anyone like to type up a draft email, so I don't sound like a hippie dip crazy who they're afraid of moving to their town, hah.
4 months ago
Hey, Lindsay! I hope you've found your little homestead. My hubby and I are from the Metro Detroit area and are considering relocating to the U.P. Mostly because the price per acre is so much cheaper than down here but also because of all those beautiful forests! We're planning to buy raw land and hopefully transform it into a little permaculture oasis of our own. Do you have a real estate agent or broker you recommend? We're planning to start our hunt this spring or so. Thanks a bunch!
We're finally ready (well, at least we think we are) to make the leap and find a homestead of our own! This will be our first big purchase as we've been house sitting/renting all of our adult life. We're looking to make 20-50 acres in Northern Michigan our little permaculture oasis! In our price range, it'll most likely be raw land. So, have any suggestions or life lessons for us newbies? We've read Mortgage Free by Rob Roy and Finding and Buying Your Place in the Country by Les Scher, and we're always up for adding to the library!
5 months ago
This is the research I've done this far:
Botrytis Gray Mold

Botrytis, a necrotrophic pathogenic fungus, causes disease in over two hundred plant species including raspberries. Favoring rainy, humid weather makes autumn an ideal condition for Gray Mold to flourish.

Identification Guide
·       White advancing into brown discoloration
·       Fuzzy/velvety coating
·       Gray-dusty spores when shaken i.e. wind blowing, being harvest, pruned
·       Rotted fruit becomes hard and mummified

How Botrytis infects the plant
·       Conidia (spores) land on the plant surface – overripe/insect-damaged berries or injured foliage/stems are more susceptible
·       Conidia germinates into Hyphae (fungal tubes) and Fungal Branches
·       Nutrients absorbed from the fruit supports Botrytis growth, strength, and spore production
·       Botrytis produces degrading enzymes and toxins that destroy the cell membrane causing the plant material to whither then die
·       The fungus produces a harden mass of Sclerotia which serves as a food reserve for the Botrytis allowing it to stay dormant for an extended period of time
·       In raspberries, specifically, Botrytis most severely affects the inside canopy and the fruit closer to the ground

How Botrytis spreads
·       Spores are dispersed by air currents, rainfall, insects, and picker’s hands
·       Overwinters on decaying plant material and infected canes as Sclerotia or intact Mycelia germinating in spring as Conidiophores then releasing back into the air continuing the cycle

·       Air Circulation
       o   Space between plants
       o   Wide rows
       o   Proper trellising
       o   Weed control
·       Sanitation
       o   Keep area clean from fallen leaves, dropped fruit, and sickly plant matter
·       Avoid Harming Plants
       o   “Botrytis does not invade healthy green tissue such as leaves and stems unless (a) an injured or dead area is present, or (b) it grows directly from a food base such as a fallen petal or leaf. The fungus will first colonize the food base and then attack healthy tissues.”
       o   Cuttings are particularly susceptible to infection

·       All diseased fruit and plant matter should be cleaned off the canes
      o   Avoid handling healthy berries while cleaning the field
      o   Destroy infected matter – do not dispose nearby or put in compost
      o   By dropping the infected matter into a wide mouth bottle or bucket full of soapy water, you can minimize the spores from further dispersing into the air
      o   Sanitize gloves and harvesting materials regularly
·       Harvest fruit frequently
      o   Ripe fruit is more susceptible
      o   Spotted Wing Drosophila is attracted to ripe fruit creating damage which furthers the fruits chance of being infected by Botrytis
·       Monitor soil levels
      o   “Excess nitrogen has been shown to increase fruit rot when weather conditions are favorable. To avoid over-fertilization, schedule fertilizer programs according to leaf tissue nutrient analysis reports. Research has demonstrated increasing nitrogen levels beyond an optimum level does not increase yield but does increase fruit rot problems”
      o  Botrytis prefers low pH. The fungus secretes organic acids. As it acidifies its surroundings, cell wall degrading enzymes are enhanced while plant-protection enzymes are inhibited allowing the plant to deteriorate more quickly