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L. Johnson

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since Nov 26, 2020
L. likes ...
hugelkultur kids forest garden trees cooking woodworking
I'm worried about the future of humanity on Earth and that has led me to views aligned with many of the permaculture principles.
I live and work in rural Japan and do my best to live a responsible life.
Japan, roughly zone 9b - wet and warm climate
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Recent posts by L. Johnson

Craig Dobbson, I know this post is 9 years old, but if your kiwi/ash set-up is still alive, could you post some pictures?

I'm looking around my garden considering which trees I could train kiwi vines to climb and could use a successful growing situation for inspiration!
1 day ago
Now you can say, "We got everything AND the kitchen sink!" Or something like that, if you know the saying.

I am amazed by the stonework... very "permanent" or at least extremely long-term.

Maybe SKIP should include some stone carving skills to encourage me to build my own. Though I'm guessing acquiring a hunk of marble that size would be half or more of the cost anyway... it's awesome you could find it used!
1 day ago
Just a little food for thought.

It looks like you have zero vegetation in some areas, and I'm assuming that is because of heavy traffic.

Do you need the full area as a gravel lot some of the time? Or would it be more efficient to let traffic dictate the boundaries of the parking lot?

Maybe convert the non-trafficked area into non-parking? Something that will manage the water and mud better than gravel.
1 week ago

Skandi Rogers wrote:I am very skeptical of the whole indicator thing, yes you can see extremes some plants will grow where no others will. But in general other than pH indicators weeds are not going to help you much.

A good dose of skepticism! 😊 Thanks.

I guess the kernel of truth might be hard to put to the use I was imagining.
I've been thinking a lot about weeds lately, and watching the grass grow, if you will. I got a lot of useful information from another thread about When to weed and when to let be.

It led me to try to find some resources on using weeds as indicators of soil nutrition. And I found a pretty nice article from I appreciate that it shows pictures and discusses a short list of probable indications.

I am having a hard time finding as simple a chart of particular vegetable needs... but what I really want is to be able to look at a plot of ground, watch it for a year. Note what weeds grow there and based on that make judgements about what crop plants are best suited without any particular soil amendments (where possible). I assume that crop rotation charts are designed with this principle in mind, but without weeds as inputs.

For example, and this is totally fictional because I have no idea, but: "Oh crabgrass huh, better plant some carrots here, they'll do great!."

Is this a pipe dream or just a gardener experience level 99 kind of thing?
I finally took the shade cloth off the top and sowed another round of seeds after letting the weeds grow and culling them. My okra and tomatoes are leggy, but so far surviving. The basil looks good.

This is pretty much my last chance at sowing for the season. It's about to get really hot.

I'm glad to see things growing in here.
Yeah, Kintsugi is not easy... There are workshops on it occasionally around here, but I haven't gone down that road yet.
2 weeks ago
Kids break things. Well, adults break things too... but kids break things frequently.

This is the second time I've fixed our shoji paper. My wife told me her mother used to use origami to patch holes when she was a kid. I found a sea creature coloring book with various sized sea creatures. Traced them, cut them out, and glued them over the holes. I could use scraps of shoji to make the repairs instead of replacing the entire paper, and it looks nice too.

I also told my son I won't make any more fish if he makes more holes... but maybe we can make more fish without making holes first!

Do you have any examples of creative fixes for broken things? especially those broken by kids?
2 weeks ago
Does operating heavy machinery require some sort of license? The earthworks badge might be difficult for younger children if so. Similarly the badge bits that require driving a car would be difficult to complete.
2 weeks ago
I'm not an expert on dandelions, foraging, or plant ID. Just an amateur permie who likes Dandelions. So take my post with a grain of salt.

There are a lot of plants that do dandelion things. A lot of thistles and sow thistles and such have flowers that turn into seedheads that turn white and you can blow them around the place.

Dandelion flowers are usually yellow or white. The tips of the petals are squarish or almost two pronged. Look at the various flowers in the wikipedia page:

The leaves typically stay close to the ground and in one "level".
3 weeks ago