Steve Thorn

steward
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since Nov 12, 2018
Steve likes ...
forest garden fish trees foraging earthworks food preservation cooking bee woodworking homestead ungarbage

Steve started his first "permaculture" garden when he was about 7 years old and has been addicted to growing things ever since! It was only about 20 square feet back then, and he didn't know much about gardening except what was on the back of the seed packet, but he knew he didn't want to use any fertilizer or pesticides, and wanted to grow everything as naturally as possible.
Years later, when he got some land of his own, he started planting a larger garden, berry bushes, and fruit trees, and also discovered permaculture and Permies! Permaculture has made growing things so much easier and enjoyable! He is passionate about growing things naturally using natural farming and permaculture methods to minimize work and maximize enjoyment!
He is also passionate about saving seed and creating new and locally adapted vegetable and own root fruit varieties to increase the natural growing vigor, flavor, and pest and disease resistance of the plants, to make them easier and more enjoyable to grow.
Creating a plant nursery selling these types of plants occupies most of his free time right now, and he is hoping to start selling these types of plants and seeds soon! He has learned so much from the Permies community and is excited to learn and share our experiences together!
Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
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Recent posts by Steve Thorn

Wow, yeah I'd say that's extremely fast! It must have a really good spot and be well adapted to your area!
3 weeks ago
That's a great looking seedling peach tree and peaches Rebecca!
4 weeks ago

Davis Tyler wrote:These are the varieties I'm planning to try, if I can find them:
Elderberry
Grapes
Gooseberry
Currants
Figs
Hardy kiwi
Blueberry
Honeyberry/haskap
Seaberry/buckthorn



I've successfully rooted these below outdoors from hardwood cuttings and had good success rates. I have pretty mild winters though, usually a low of 15 degrees F. If it gets really cold where you are, it could damage or kill the cuttings.

Elderberry
Grapes
Gooseberry
Currants
Figs

Most of the ones below are either hard or very hard to root from hardwood cuttings from what I've read. I think these are mostly rooting from softwood cuttings, layering, or other methods that give them more success. I say go for it though, it never hurts to experiment!

Hardy kiwi
Blueberry
Honeyberry/haskap
Seaberry/buckthorn

If it's your first time I recommend either practicing on some cuttings taken free from the wild or purchasing on just a few to start out, and then if you have some success, scale up from there.

Best of luck!

Steve
1 month ago
I lay a few really twiggy branches around the trunk, and nothing bothers trying to get through it. It's free, quick, and easy, and it breaks down naturally after a while, and won't girdle your tree if accidently left there too long.

John Suavecito wrote: I'm also trying to adjust my enormous harvest to mostly storage apples, because when you get this many, you aren't going to eat all of them in September.  



Yes, me too, storage apples are where it's at! It's so nice when they store for at least 3 months or longer. It seems like these apples are also the ones that are generally more bug resistant as well.
1 month ago

Gregory Campbell wrote:I didn't do a lot of new things this year but we liked the Squash zucchino rampicante. Excellent used as both summer and winter squash.



Really good to hear that this one turned out good for you Gregory. I had ordered seeds for this one to plant next year, and had high hopes for it. Looking forward to hopefully getting some tasty squash from it next year!

Jenny Wright wrote:My 4yo was hilariously meticulous with his garden. He planted lots of cucumbers and beans and he was ruthless with removing any plant that looked weak or diseased. But it worked. His garden lush and productive.



That's too funny. Future landrace seedsaver!
A few more apple, food forest, and beneficial critter pictures.
1 month ago
My first apple tree fruited for the first time this year and made a few fruit, so not much to go on yet, but by having a really diverse food forest with lots of wild plants, it has provided habitat for tons of beneficial wasps and insects, and it seems like they are controlling the codling moths, apple maggots, and other bugs to a minimal level. I had a little damage this year, but it was very minimal.

If I see bugs in my food forest now, it's mainly beneficial bugs. I still see a few "pests", but the majority of them I see tend to be trapped in a spider web or in the clutches of a beneficial wasp or robber fly.

I put "pests" in quotations, because I'm starting to see them in a very different light. Up until very recently, I saw them as something that needed to be eliminated, or something I was fighting against. My view on them has completely changed though, and I look at them as a valuable partner, that has very valuable things to show me, and as a very beneficial part of the ecosystem. I'm starting to think that they are actually doing me a favor and are just doing their part to remove the problem varieties from the genetic pool.

Apples seem to be one of the most genetically manipulated crops that we humans have tinkered with. I think some of the apple breeding efforts have been awesome and delicious, but I also think that the bugs are just trying to tell us we are headed in the wrong direction with some aspects of our breeding. And of course they can't physically tell us what the problems are, they can just help to eliminate the varieties that may be a problem.

The good news is that there still seems to be a good amount of apple genetic diversity available today, and that some varieties are a lot more resistant to them, whether it be thicker and tougher skin, or harder or denser flesh, or the time that they ripen, when there are not many insects around. I've started to focus heavily on variety selection and future breeding goals to produce fruit that is naturally pest and disease resistant, and that are tough and thrive in my hot, humid, and bug and disease prevalent area.

Here's one of the apples I picked this year. It has a few cosmetic blemishes, but after rubbing it with a damp cloth, it comes right off, revealing a beautiful fruit. I actually like eating them better personally now without scrubbing them off. I tend to think that the microscopic organisms living on the skin could be extremely healthy and see the imperfections as beautiful in their own way, every apple becomes beautifully unique, and it's a constant reminder of the natural, no spray, and nutrient rich way in how they were grown.

Hope you get some tasty apples John!

Steve
1 month ago
Awesome looking trees and story Jenny! So cool!!
1 month ago