Rama Malinak

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since Sep 29, 2019
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Recent posts by Rama Malinak

I’ve got a relatively steep slope with various trees (poplar, prunus and black locust mostly..), a fair amount of joe pye and blackberry, and TONS of Japanese vining honeysuckle. The latter is doing a number on many of the smaller trees. Here I am in autumn (blue ridge mountains) and I am ripping it out, roots and all. It’s a tedious and lengthy endeavor, but some of this space I’d like to plant some fruit trees. I don’t need accesss to cultivate it all pet se, but if I were to leave it be, I’m a afraid the vines would destroy half the trees, or at least render their future products a much reduced quality..

So here’s where I’m confused. There is no doubt that the vine network must be reducing runoff to a fair degree. So while it may be good for the trees, it’s not going to be good for erosion. There are various downed trees and branches all over the slope. I will definitely be laying these on various contours to help the runoff to a degree. But since the vines have been shading out the ground between the trees, I will be left with a lot of now bare ground.

Should I just let nature do it’s thing and add more blackberry and other “weeds,” or would it be wise to introduce several shrub species? If so, any suggestions on what may be good? I can definitely propagate some comfrey here and there, but I’m still pretty new in terms of my familiarity with different permaculture species..

Thanks for any advice!!
I have these two rather large Bradfords that I’ve learned split in winters fairly easily. Both could potentially land in my car. I have a neighbor with good pears and was thinking of cutting the trees WAY back, essentially topping them and grafting them. Is that a feasible thing to do? I hear there’s a rule of leaving like 25% of the branches in tact, but I’ve also seen videos of people successfully top working entire trees. I’m gonna give it a go unless anyone can offer a strict warning. I must admit this will be my first grafting project, and a rather big one to be new at this. But, I have certainly put in a lot of research time on various methods. Any advice?
1 year ago
My first apples, thanks! I was sifting the chips in my hand yesterday and realized that a solid 25% of the material, if not more is ultimately made up of very fine shavings. I love finding solutions!
1 year ago
I think I may have figured it out. I can run the chips through a 1/2” screen, then an 1/8” screen and use whatever I get left over. I suppose I could go down to 1/16” if that’s advisable?
1 year ago
My wife and I have been considering doing a bucket setup. Currently we're on a septic. We have access to seemingly infinite quantities of ramial wood chips from the power company nearby. I've read that wood chips don't work great as a cover material in the bucket because the large size allows smells to easily rise through. The chips I bring onsite have quite a lot of leaves in the mix. I'm not sure what effect that has. Honestly I wouldn't mind dumping the bucket every couple of days. The compost bins would not be terrible far away from the house. Do you think if we used enough of the material we could keep the smell down?

I've heard that partially decomposed wood chips would be preferable. We could put a big pile in the yard and let them sit for a year first before starting with a compost toilet. I'm hoping there is some way the wood chips could work for us, because ultimately that's what's easily available, and infinitely replenish-able.  
1 year ago
I am planning a ground cover polyculture over my septic leach field. Clemson University has a great list of appropriate plants with shallow roots and provides many species, most of which are pretty "useful." I'm designing this with the main goal in mind to provide lots of food and shelter for beneficial insects. A couple of my potential species attract hummingbirds. I thought to research a bit what they like to eat besides nectar. Turns out they eat mostly insects, and definitely parasitoid wasps. So it makes me wonder, if I had hummingbirds coming to this site, how much damage would they do to the insect population that I'm trying to attract?? If there is no relatively clear answer, I will probably shy away from planting anything for hummingbirds just to be sure I'm not working against my particular goal. Any ideas?
1 year ago
If I continue to cut all but one of the suckers, can I encourage a single thick trunk, or would I get more efficient biomass growth by just letting it do its own thing?
1 year ago
Hey y’all! First time poster, long time voyeur

I have on my new property a fair amount of locust. Pretty much all of them were harvested at some point. So I have varying sized trees that are mostly from suckers off the main harvested stumps. Should I cut all the but the largest suckers to encourage thicker growth of a single main branch? Or perhaps I should leave a number of them?

Thank you for any help!
1 year ago