Mark William

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since Dec 14, 2021
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Recent posts by Mark William

The seeds you sent me last year are still growing. Thanks again!
5 months ago
Here is an updated link to the EFN seed offering. I note that EFN is distributing seed from Bob Lawrason's organization, the same who is participating in this thread.
7 months ago
I appreciate your thoughtful response! I have a large native population of hog peanuts here, and I do have a few soybeans in my 'bean mix' but it would be a miracle if I had a cross that I also managed to plant out.

I should try direct seeding soybeans into an area with wild hog peanuts each year, if I would plan it out it would be low effort.
9 months ago
I am enjoying the posts about your breeding projects.

I have been reading some research that hypothesizes that Amphicarpaea is closely related to Glycine. American Hog Peanut Amphicarpaea bracteata seems to have the same number of chromosomes as Soybean Glycine max, which has been rolling around in my mind since I read about it.

Not Phaseolus, but I wondered if Amphicarpaea is among the candidates you have looked at for your work.
9 months ago
I require supplementary electrolytes in order to keep hydrated, and having tried a few products I can vouch for Liquid IV. It's a particularly good blend of several different chemical variations of each of the key salts.

That being said, Liquid IV and the other commercial products are expensive to buy on a regular basis. It is possible to make your own equivalent electrolyte blends out of much more affordable ingredients.

A while back I started creating a website with the idea of offering several recipes for people with needs like myself, including my effort to reverse engineer Liquid IV itself. My mini-site that I'm linking here falls short of that (still haven't finished my Liquid IV recreation), but I do have the World Health Organization recipe and enough information to serve as a starting point if you want to look into making your own: Mark William's DIY Electrolyte Recipes:

10 months ago

I'm interested in trying it. I have identified a suitable spot on my land and want to confirm with someone more knowledgeable, as well as gain a greater understanding of its ecological niche / growing guild.

I'm in the Ohio river watershed and I'm looking for plants to replace the ones I'm aggressively removing such as garlic mustard and honeysuckle.

This is the spot as seen from upstream. A culvert under our suburban yard drains half the neighborhood into the forest next door. This tiny creeklet runs under our backyard fence, takes a 90 degree turn to run along the side yard, with gouging on one side of the turn and silting on the other, and bends its way down into the forest next door. We basically live on a dead-end street with suburbs on the left and forest on the right.

We've installed extensions of the Kentucky board fence to prevent human intrusion into the creeklet, and the slopes along the creeklet banks are lined with riprap at about a 30-45 degree angle.

I would be very excited if other folks would offer their perspectives on your situation, and I will share what I know from my experience with river cane in terms of environments and conditions where I have known it to succeed.

My go-to image when thinking about incorporating river cane into a landscaped environment is this image from Cane Ridge in Kentucky, probably not that far from your location:

I am not involved with that landscaping on Cane Ridge, but I can attest for the fact that seasonal use of loppers and periodic string trimming or mowing can keep river cane within a landscaped boundary as has been done in that photograph. Once river cane is well established, it seems to hold its own against honeysuckle vine, although I would not expect that even an established population would overtake honeysuckle unless it were under a forest canopy. I have never noticed garlic mustard growing within a mature canebrake, but on the other hand I can't rule out that those two species would coexist peacefully.

Regarding honeysuckle vine, I do think that over time if the cane is protected from honeysuckle, it might slowly creep into the shade of the forest. Mature forest understory of the Ohio River Valley is one of its native habitats, but that would take years or decades to expand very far.

I personally have river cane growing near several culverts. It was not until your post that I thought about whether they would be a threat to culverts, but my instinct is that the river cane rhizomes aren't strong enough to damage culverts. Often river cane is found in the wild here along remote highways and railroad right of ways, and I can't say I've ever noticed it damaging that kind of infrastructure with its roots.

Please let me know if there is more that I can say to help you with the scenario.
11 months ago
Sales have ended for the season and will resume when the river cane has become dormant in December 2023.

We sell "rhizome sets" of Arundinaria gigantea, North America's largest native bamboo which are wild cultivated at our farm in Eastern Kentucky. Each rhizome set is enough to establish a single planting of giant river cane and orders typically include two or more rhizome sections. Orders will completely fill a USPS "side loading" medium priority mail box sized approximately 14 x 12 x 3.5 inches. Usually this equates to several sections of rhizome that are 12-24 inches long each. The bamboo "culms" are trimmed a few inches above the rhizome.

Price and shipping
The photo at left portrays a typical order of one rhizome set after the culms have been trimmed to prepare for shipping.
Each rhizome set order costs a flat rate of $57 per rhizome set, which includes the $17 USPS shipping fee. If you order multiple rhizome sets, each set will be shipped in it's own box with its own tracking number.

We only accept orders that will be shipped to the continental United States.

Affiliate commission rate
You receive 9%, or in other words, $5.13 per order
If you think you know other folks who might want to place an order, you can create a permies affiliate link to this thread using your permies affiliate code. If anyone clicks on that affiliate link and then purchases rhizomes from us here, you will receive your percentage of the sale. There is more information at this link:

About giant river cane
Arundinaria gigantea, giant river cane, is the largest of the three native North American bamboo species. Its native range includes the southeastern United States, west to Missouri, up the Mississippi Valley to southern Illinois and up the Ohio River to southern Ohio and Maryland. Vast canebrake ecosystems once filled river valleys here in the Central Appalachian mountains as recently as two hundred years ago composed of thousands of acres of giant river cane in low woods, areas with moist ground, and along riverbanks. Today, most of those canebrakes are gone, but river cane still grows in wild places that are hard for humans or grazing animals to reach.

The cane from Arundinaria gigantea has traditionally been used for craft and agricultural purposes. The variety of uses for river cane exceed the space available to list, but the Wikipedia articles for Arundinaria and Arundinaria gigantea are one starting point.

How big does it grow? How fast does it grow?

In our experience, this species tops out at about 20 feet. In diameter, the thicker culms are up to about three quarters of an inch; stout enough individually to serve as a fishing pole or a beanpole, but not strong enough to serve structural purposes.

Arundinaria bamboos primarily reproduce vegetatively through leptomorphic (running) rhizome growth. Arundinaria expand slowly compared to the most famously invasive running bamboo, but under good circumstances, this cane could become invasive as well, so select your site thoughtfully.

Order fulfillment
We dig and ship about once per week from the beginning of sales until the last frost in our area, usually around May 1. The rhizomes will be shipped within 24 hours of being dug to ensure their viability. You will receive an email the day your rhizomes are shipped so that you can prepare to receive your order.

Planting the rhizome set
Please plant your rhizome set as soon as possible, and until then, keep the rhizomes from drying out completely. If you need to wait more than a day or two to plant the rhizomes, "heel them in" to a temporary site outdoors, or in a cool indoor location like a garage, as you might a bare root tree.

Arundinaria gigantea is part of the grass family, and it may help to think of site selection and care in that way as a starting point. It can tolerate some shade, but does need a regular supply of sun and moisture. Don't plant your cane directly in a wetland, but find a site that is regularly moist without being saturated by water.

To plant your rhizome set:
  • Remove an area of soil approximately the same size as the package, then loosen the soil in the bottom of the planting area.
  • Place the rhizomes in this area, orienting the culms upward.
  • Cover the rhizomes with soil. Ensure at least an inch of packed soil above all sections of the rhizome. You may need to mound soil over the site to cover all sections.
  • You may find it convenient to place small stones along the rhizomes to help them conform to the new site if you find them bending upward and out of the soil. We suggest limiting the weight of each stone to a pound or two.

  • About wild cultivation
    Please be aware that these rhizomes are intentionally not grown in sterile conditions or soil. They are grown outdoors in USDA climate zone 6b in their natural habitat. During packaging, we remove loose soil along with any other visible plants that were growing along the rhizomes.

    How fast will they grow?
    For at least a year, your bamboo planting will be mostly underground and we suggest using flags or another marker to ensure the small cane culms aren't lost or accidentally mowed down. In their native environment, transplanted rhizomes will grow new culms that are approximately six to eight inches tall by the end of their first year, so choose a marker that will last until at least the second year when you can expect them to reach two or three feet in height. While the rhizomes are becoming established, you should plan to weed around the site periodically to ensure it isn't overrun by established or more invasive species.

    Return Policy
    We will not accept returns nor offer refunds. However if your river cane arrives safely from USPS but is not viable, we will ship one replacement rhizome package for the cost of shipping rounded up to the nearest whole dollar amount. We will only ship one replacement per customer or order.

    About Us
    Your purchase supports a homestead farm and family cemetery in Appalachia. Mark is a theater artist and nonprofit administrator from the Eastern Kentucky. Much of his professional work involves community-led food and agriculture programs. Annie Jane is a certified community herbalist, a citizen ecologist, and home gardener with experience and knowledge in ecology, sustainability, and responsible wild harvesting practices.
    11 months ago
    I'm posting to clarify that sales have ended for this season. Thanks so much to our customers and folks who have posted in this thread. I expect to resume taking orders in December 2023, but I'll be keeping an eye on this thread in the meantime and sharing any photos or new information I'm particularly excited about.
    11 months ago
    I'm so excited to see these beauties settling in to their new environment. Thank you for posting photos!

    Here at the farm, I'm planning a trip to the river cane patch this weekend to fulfill remaining orders for this season. I'll leave orders available until then, but afterward orders will be on hold until the weather turns cold again. It has been very gratifying and a positive to offer our bamboo on these forums. I really enjoy being able to share this plant while getting paid for the work of digging and packing it.
    1 year ago
    I wish the original post had a bit more information. What is the spirit of the task?

    For example: would it suffice to buy dog food, eat it, and post the documentation?

    If the spirit is to ensure that animals are being fed at a quality that would not make humans ill, then I might conclude that eating dog food would accomplish this challenge.
    1 year ago