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John Saltveit

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since May 09, 2010
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Food forest in a suburban location. Teaches grafting and helps people learn how to grow food. Involved with a local food exchange group.  Shares cuttings and knowledge with schoolchildren.
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Recent posts by John Saltveit

State nurseries are a good way to go for very cheap.  Burnt Ridge, Raintree, and One Green World are great for unusual edibles, but normally not the cheapest. Fall is a great time to buy left over plants for cheap-many sales.  Spring has the best selection. TyTy has had a terrible reputation for an extremely long time. 
JohN S
PDX OR
1 week ago
Another option is to plant alder-nitrogen fixing, or willow and run evergreen vines up it.  Blue passion vine is one to think about.  Some of the honeysuckles would probably also be evergreen in your area.  You could alternate vines-some edible, like grape and kiwi, others evergreen. Others like a type of akebia are evergreen and semi-edible
John S
PDX OR
1 week ago
Yes, I agree with the other posters. There are many other options.  Drapes in the meantime, as Judith said.  Silverberry, Pineapple guava, portugese laurel, eucaplyptus, conifer trees etc.  there are many evergreens that should work for you. . Most states have super cheap state or county nurseries where they sell plants for like $3 each.  Alabama is one of the top timber states so it should n't be too hard.  Some have made lawsuits over bamboo. It will go completely under a house to the other side.  It's that invasive. 
john S
PDX OR
1 week ago
Check it out:
What do you do when you start with shockingly terrible soil?
She rehabilitates a Mars-like farm with killed soil"
https://vimeo.com/241956158

John S
PDX OR
1 week ago
I think we're mostly talking along the same lines.  When I bought my house, it was all grass with compressed clay, "fertilized" with toxic sprays every year.   We want to go from there to a permaculture paradise.  How?
We've got to get the whole team playing. If it was baseball, and you just didn't have a right fielder, everyone on the other team (pests and diseases) would hit a lazy fly ball to right and they'd get a home run every time. By adding organic material and cover crop/chop and drop/toss as well as teas, we have the food, and the nutrition for the complete microbiology team.  Elaine Ingham mentions that every soil has the right elements, we just have to have the balanced biology to let each part do its job.  If we don't put in too much phosphorus, the mycorrhizal and other fungi if we get them started with foods like wood chips and organic material.  Then the trees and other perennials can access water, minerals and other nutrients that were previously unavailable.  Diversity of plant life will lead to diversity of microbiology in the soil, so, as Rachel Carson says, "the balance of nature" will create nutrition for plants and for us.  Weeds come because they are trying to heal the soil.  Many are edible and medicinal. If we can gently manage this process through a balanced way, the ecosystem will be healed in a way that heals the soil that heals the plants that heal us.
John S
PDX OR
2 weeks ago
This is an interesting video and thread.  There are people seeking old varieties of apples in every state. Many belong to the Home Orchard Society.   A guy (Calhoun? ) wrote a book called Good Ol Southern Apples, that was about this topic.  The oldest orchard in the West was the Luelling Orchard in what is now Portland, ORegon.  Grafted apples were brought on the Oregon Trail.  Many people are rediscovering high quality varieties at scion exchanges across the country and world, so they can graft these old varieties.
JohN S
PDX OR
2 weeks ago
I am going to agree with Cecile.

I don't see an either/or.

I started to make compost tea because I had $400 worth of plants that were dying and I didn't want to spray with toxic synthetic chemicals.

Learning how to make better compost tea was part of the process.  Once you know how to make it, it's not very hard. 

I have a suburban garden, not a farm, so that may make a difference.

Every year, I've been adding leaves from trees that aren't related to mine in the fall and wood chips to my soil.

I've also cultivated an intentionally diverse yard and I chop and toss- so the cuttings go under other, non-related trees/plants.

If you don't have any mulch in your yard, the compost tea is not nearly as effective. In my opinion, it is most efficient as a seed to put on other organic matter, which is what you're doing with cover crops or adding organic material.

I didn't used to make horsetail tea.  Then I started to get horsetails and I've been grooving on them. My wife hates them, but I can make that tea now.  I could make comfrey tea, but I just chop and toss with it.

The longer I've been doing all of these, the less I need to make compost, etc teas.  Mostly it's now for plants that wouldn't naturally grow in my climate, but that I like to eat, like peaches, quince and serviceberry.

The idea with permaculture is that it gets easier over time, and you're mostly just harvesting, performing experiments,  and grooving out. That's what I got.

John S
PDX OR

2 weeks ago
THanks for the clarification.  I agree, it would be a big mistake.  Unmanageable, really.  Of course I can't imagine that really happening, as I said.
John S
PDX OR
2 weeks ago
Excellent description of value for meat hunting.  Which states don't allow hunting? I can't imagine that ever happening, nor do I want it to.   It's hard to imagine the NRA letting that one go. After all, remember all the guns they said that Obama would take away?  Typically, here in the West, one does have to go a bit of a distance to find optimal hunting grounds, but there are free grounds that are available and you can camp on them for free.
JohN S
PDX OR
2 weeks ago
Bamboo is often free on Craigs list.
John S
PDX OR
2 weeks ago