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Steve Thorn

master gardener
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since Nov 12, 2018
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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

How big is the grafted tree?

Do you have a picture by any chance?
3 days ago

Hester Winterbourne wrote:My question would be - for what purpose do you want fish in this pond?  Is it as a crop for your own or some other animal's consumption?  Or is it because you think a pond "needs" fish to make it a functioning ecosystem?  I would argue not.  Lots of small ponds in nature dry up annually so cannot support (most) fish but are ideal for amphibians which contribute to the surrounding ecosystem.

In these small ponds, I would just like to have a super diverse ecosystem with as many varieties of fish as possible.

I have more temporary pools for amphibians and other species who may thrive there. I also plan to have more permanent pools with no fish in them. However I would also like some of the permanent smaller pools to have fish in them.

I think there is a lot of value in having all different types of pools with all kinds of different organisms living in them.
3 days ago
Awesome list Tom! Thank you!

These appear to be found in the wild in my area. (Note to future self, so I can post more info about them below.)

blackbanded sunfish
bluespotted sunfish
banded pygmy sunfish
lined topminnow
pirate perch
eastern mudminnow

Such a great list of really neat fish, thanks again Tom!
3 days ago
That song was my inspiration for the title.

Love that song.
6 days ago
The swamp darter is possibly another very good candidate.

From Wikipedia

This species can reach a length of 5.9 cm (2.3 in), though most are only about 4 cm (1.6 in).

The swamp darter ranges from Southern Maine along the Atlantic Coast and Gulf Coast to about the Texas-Louisiana border and north in the former Mississippi Embayment to Kentucky.

The swamp darter is found in stagnant swamps, bogs, and man-made ponds or slow-flowing, sluggish streams, especially where detritus or aquatic vegetation occurs over mud. Fish color is related to water color; the darkest individuals are in dark-water coastal streams and ponds.[7] It lives in water in which the lower pH values are not typically tolerated by all but a few freshwater species of fish. It also tends to thrive in alkaline waters of northern Florida. The range of water temperature tolerated between Maine and Florida is also impressive.

Swamp darters feed on fly larvae, amphipods, and other small crustaceans and insects.[8][9][10] Swamp darters tend to be an important element in the diets of young chain pickerel and young largemouth bass, where the species coexist.[11] Human-induced problems for this hardy, widespread, and locally abundant darter do not seem to exist. It thrives under a variety of conditions, including warm water, extreme murkiness or brown coloration, low or high pH, and low oxygen content.

6 days ago
Here is one I found the other day actually.

6 days ago

I'm thinking the tadpole madtom may could thrive there.

From Wikipedia

An adult tadpole madtom is typically 2–3 inches (50–80 mm), however they have recorded at a length of 5 inches (130 mm).

The tadpole madtom is found in parts of the U.S. and Canada. In Canada it is native to Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan, and can be found the Assiniboine, Saskatchewan, Souris, Red, English, Winnipeg, and Nelson rivers.[7] The tadpole madtom's range in the United States is extensive, ranging from Texas to Florida and north along the Atlantic coast to New York. It can be found in the Mississippi River valley as well as the Great Lakes basin. In Minnesota it is present in all adjacent drainage systems to the Red River basin. In North Dakota it can be found in the Missouri river drainage. In South Dakota it is present in the eastern tributaries to the Missouri River, including the James River, as well as the Minnesota and Big Sioux river drainages.

The tadpole madtom lives in areas with little to no current. They typically inhabit swamps and marshes, as well as lakes and slow moving streams and rivers 0.1–1.5 meters deep and 12–24 meters wide. They also prefer habitats with turbid water; a soft mud, sand or gravel bottom; and thick vegetation to use for crypsis.

The tadpole madtom is an invertivore, planktivore, but also feeds on particulate. A Common food source for the tadpole madtom are immature insects such as cladocera, ostracods, hyalella, and chironomids. Another popular food source is small crustaceans such as amphipods and isopods. Smaller fish feed more on small crustaceans while large fish tend to consume large prey such as worms and grass shrimp. Researchers in Wisconsin recorded the stomach contents of numerous tadpole madtoms and found an average diet consisting of 44% insects, 28.3% small crustaceans, 18.3% oligochaetes, 5.9% plants, 3% silt and debris, 0.1% snails, and 0.1% algae.

6 days ago
Right now it's not very aerated, but I'm hoping some water plants volunteer and oxygenate the water.
6 days ago
Anyone know of native fish that can survive in very small ponds just a few feet wide and long and 2 or 3 feet (1 meter) deep?
1 week ago