Ulla Bisgaard

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since Jul 11, 2022
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People call me a jack of all trades, but master of non. I know a little and dabble a little in many things, but there are very few things I am an expert in,
I believe in a holistic approach to life and what surrounds us. I believe in finding happiness in small things, or those that looks small but still have a big impact of your life, I live with my husband on a 1/2 acre homestead, where we practice permaculture. We have a small orchard, grow a lot of vegetables too and we keep chickens, ducks and rabbits for livestock. The rabbits is an endangered livestock, that we together with others are trying to save.
I love and engage in reading, gardening, herbalism, food preservation, sewing and alchemy.
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Grow zone 10b. Southern California,close to the Mexican boarder
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Recent posts by Ulla Bisgaard

Carmelo Panucci wrote:Good stuff Ulla. Maybe even more water features, for more life. Do you eat those flowers? I have eaten a lot of beer battered dandelion flowers this year and have wondered about freeze drying them and if that was possible. Hope your garden produces even more this season.

Thank you. We do eat some of the flowers, like borage, nasturtium and radish flowers. The rose petals will be used to make natural makeup, like blush and colored lip balm.
The calendula we sometimes use in tea, but mostly to infuse into oil and then make it a salve for my hands and for my son’s psoriasis. The mullein flowers will be used for an oil, to loosen up ear wax. My kids and I have small ear canals so they clog up easily.  
Here we don’t really have a growing season. We grow food all year round. The food forest garden gives us collard greens, walking onions, fruit and or berries all year, since things ripen at different times. It’s different with my raised beds. Right now it’s very hot, and it’s going to get even hotter (118F) once we hit August. This means that a lot of things won’t grow right now. The things I grow in my beds right now are all plants that like it very hot. It’s plants like pumpkins, squash, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, cassava, gluten free grains and tomatoes.
2 weeks ago
Both the backyard raised bed garden and the food forest garden we now as finished as a garden can ever be. Because of that I have decided to make a new thread, where I share stories from our homestead. It will be both the good and the bad, success and failures. Both since it’s not just about growing but also about learning, and make things better. This thread I have called Southern California Homestead Stories. Here is the link.
2 weeks ago
The food forest garden are now as done as a garden can be. Because of this I have made a new thread where I share stories from our Southern California Homestead. That’s where the story will continue. Here is the link webpage
Hope to see you there.
2 weeks ago
Now that the food forest garden and the backyard raised bed garden are finished, I decided to move my stories to a different thread. This will be where I share homesteading stories both good and bad, but probably mostly good 😉.
When you farm, garden or manage a homestead, there are always things that don’t work out and things that do overwhelmingly well. I good example would be that the trellis under our passion fruit vines, collapsed under the weight. It means that we will have to figure out how to remove the old trellis, and put a new one in. We have two growing, and in the month, since this happened, it has started to use my prickly pear to climb on. I have to admit that the job is little overwhelming, but we will get there eventually.
As for good stories, the squirrels, rabbits and birds, are now to used to me in the forest garden, that they come up to me and sniff my toes when I work or medicate there. We are also seeing a lot of new insects. Monarch butterflies, crickets and prayer mantis to nam a few. The lizards are also benefiting. We used to only see very small ones, but I am now seeing foot long lizards.
I’m the fountain our mosquito fish has had babies and I spotted a few tadpoles as well. The lotus leaves are now big enough that we see our bees land on the pads and take a drink of water.
A few days ago in the morning, I witnessed two gold finches doing the mating dance, and a hawk crossing the sky above like a jet plane. I have installed several lights in and around the garden, and it looks beautiful in the dark.
My summer project is gluten free grains. I have 8 test beds growing with Amaranth, sorghum, millet, flax, teff and sesame. Right now, it looks like Amaranth and Sorghum will be the winners, but we will see.
I am harvesting raspberries every few days, and harvested 44 pounds of storage onions. Our garlic is done too, and we got 15 pounds of that. My soft necks was a bit of a failure, since they never made heads, but stayed in a leek shape. They haven’t been wasted though. We cleaned them up, chopped and ground them, and then froze 1/3 in ice cube trays and freeze dried the rest. The garlic powder we got are so strong it makes my eyes water.
Very soon I will have to harvest my mullein trees. 🌲 I call them that before their size and shape reminds me of Christmas trees. They are well over 6 feet high and almost done flowering.
At the end of the year, I will post a list of what and how much we have harvested, from the two gardens.
I hope you will love these stories as much as we love experimenting them.
2 weeks ago

Harmony Dybala wrote:I have an acquaintance with cystic acne, large lumps with no heads, who is looking for treatments that can be tried at home instead of going to a dermatologist to have the cysts drained every time they appear. I am thinking astringent, antibacterials, and drawing poultices, but I would love anecdotal success stories and any particulars. Honey, witch hazel, or perhaps tea tree essential oil diluted in olive oil?

When I get questions about this, I always ask what they eat. Any kind of healing starts with eating the foods your body needs. You need a strong immune system, so your body can start producing the antibodies it needs to get rid of the infection. Lots of foods has antibiotic properties. i don't tolerate regular antibiotics so when i get an infection my naturapath sends a sample to a lab and finds the right herbal recipe to clear the infection.
There can be many different reasons for getting acne, that a Naturapathic doctor can help figure out. It can be diet, as I mentioned before, but hormones, skin care, malnutrition and lifestyle also plays a factor.
Its hard to treat anything if you don't find the root cause first. Once you know why this is happening, its much easier to treat.
My suggestion is that you have a talk with your doctor about figuring it out. if you want to go the natural way, find a doctor of integrated medicine or a Naturapath.
I know its hard, but its important to advocate for your self. Don't just let them send you away with a proscription. It takes determination and strong will to get diagnosed. If one doctor won't do it, fire him and find a different one. Some doctors forget that they are working for us, not the other way around.
3 weeks ago
I grow in grow zone 10b. During the hot season we will get up to 118F. This is how we juggle it water wise. Drip irrigation is covered with a thick layer of compost and mulch. That way the water get to the roots fast, and we don’t get powdermold so often.
We also have several canopies we use with a 50% shading cloth, for heat sensitive plants.
I have also had success with growing tall sun loving plants like tall sunflowers, to add shade for other plants and cool down the area.
This way I am able to continue to grow plants that doesn’t tolerate heat very well, and the lower temperature under the canopy helps prevent evaporation.
Since we started doing this, our water bill stays pretty much the same year round.
I just love giving a gift of knowledge to other people and sharing what I have learnt during the 50 years I have been growing food. It’s a great feeling coming here, answering questions. I also like spreading the new about this site being awesome. This weekend I have 8 people coming over to talk about permaculture and organic gardening. I have already send them links to permies. Several have also requested that I do demonstration of how to preserve food.
Every time I do things like this, I bring more friends and neighbors here, and they love it, especially when they find out, that it’s true there are no trolls and no one will tell you a question is stupid. Spreading the word about permies is also a good way to volunteer, and you might end up making more friends.
Just for fun, I will show you one of my elderberries.
In Denmark ours never went over 6 feet and never needed pruning.
Here I SoCal zone 10b, they are between 10 and 12 feet tall because we haven’t pruned them since we planted them 4 years ago. This year we will have to prune them, so they don’t touch the electrical wires on the road.
3 weeks ago

S. Marshall wrote:

Anne Miller wrote:I feel that Ulla is on the right track about what is happening.

I appreciate your thoughts as well.  Am I correct that I must leave this wrapped throughout winter, seems obviously yes.  And that anything sticking out the top would certainly die until it's large enough to hopefully be protected?

Also, for Elderberry, I'm sure I could leave it a shrub, but at this point there are a bunch of stems.  Should I select one or two for best success otherwise risk overcrowding?

First of all, there is no such thing as an over crowded elderberry tree. It’s just how they grow. All of mine has several branches growing up from the roots. You only remove some if you want to propagate them.

As for the opening. You cover the top too on the side, but don’t enclose it on the top. Think a tunnel vs a barrel. The sun will get to the plant even if the cover goes all the way to the top.
Also, yes, you will probably still get minor damage, but this way the top is protected from wind and even with the opening, they will still get some protection from ice and snow. Keep an eye out, if you have snow coming, and put a lid on. Once the storm are over remove the lid. That’s how we did it when we lived in Denmark.
3 weeks ago

S. Marshall wrote:

Ulla Bisgaard wrote:Can you take a picture of it, so I can take a look....

Hi!  Thanks for the help.  Here are two photos I just took.  I'm impressed to say it has already reached just shy of how tall it got last summer.  So I expect it to get even taller.  Each year this is starting from the ground, so the roots must be happy at least.  But I would like the structure of the tree/shrub to continue where it left off.

No, I did not protect it during the winter, and yes it gets very windy and cold here (dry cold though).  You suspect that is the issue?

Yeah, that  looks like frost and wind damage,  but the good news is that it’s an easy fix. Once you know that frost will come, wrap it up in something to keep it warm. It can be a blanket, straw mat or something else, that will protect it from hard frost and especially ice. The thin branches can’t handle getting covered in ice. Make sure you leave enough space on the top that it still get some sunlight. Once it’s a few years older, it might be able to handle more.
3 weeks ago