Logan Streondj

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since Nov 02, 2010
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Recent posts by Logan Streondj

unless the seeds become available for regular people, it's not of much use.
1 year ago
Yeah, I agree with Travis regarding planting of thorny "nurse plants". I would go a little further to recommend creating a property perimeter of various thorny species, including hawthorn, osage orange, honey locust, sea buckthorn, raspberries, roses, etc.  Especially if you end up pleating them, eventually it will become a natural barrier which deer simply can't get in, or would not bother unless starving. Osage orange grows 12-15m tall, and honey locust grows to be 20m tall. no deer is gonna jump that.  Those honey locust thorns can stop a mastodon.

One of the best "nurse plants" that I think will fit the bill is sea buckthorn, because it is also a nitrogen fixer, and has vicious thorns, especially if you harvest the berries by cutting the branches, which promotes extra thorn growth. It also spreads very easily so you can quickly have a lot of them. They need full sun so they will die off once the main plant outgrows them. Black raspberries are another good one that grows prolifically and have vicious thorns (yet delicious and bountiful berries), and I know rabbits don't bother it, and black raspberries can be trellised on a tree, they grow up to 3m tall, but you can also keep them closer to the ground. Similar to sea buckthorn it will die off once it gets shaded out.  

By contrast while hawthorns are thorny I think they grow too slowly for this purpose, and are better for wetlands, or borders where they can grow for a long time.
2 years ago

Lorinne Anderson wrote:Ah, I reside in Canada; it is illegal to be in possession of native wildlife here, let alone "breed them", hence my curiosity. I did not know Fishers lived outside of North America, my ignorance is showing!

Ah that's actually not quite accurate, there are permits and licenses for just about everything. For example hunting and trapping licenses lets people be in possesion of many game animals including fishers.

In terms of fishers. We have lots of mink farms which are very similar in every way. There are fisher breeding and reintroduction programs in Ontrario as well. So if someone wanted to help develop a less flighty more pettable form of fisher that can succeed in extripated areas that may be viable.

We also have deer farms, poultry farms. People raise northern bobwhite quail, grouse, turkeys, etc.

Yeah some endangered animals like northern bobwhite you can not catch in the wild and need a permit for relocation efforts.
But lots of people livetrap and relocate regular animals all the time, such as "pest relocation". And there are domesticated varieties of northern bobwhites for instance that you can breed without any permit.

Similarly for certain dangerous animals like deer you need a permit as well. But yeah where there is a will there is a way.

If in doubt you can contact your local conservation authority for how to move forward. Though the goals of permaculture and conservation authorities is pretty much the same, to help have habitat and a diversity of wild animals.
Fishers are native to all of ontario so getting help with returning them to areas where they have been extripated should be fairly straightforward.

Here I found some ontario legislation for you:

The easiest way to get some target wild animal like weasel or opossum is to call some wildlife removal services and tell them which animals you are interested in receiving, they are always looking for places they can put pest animals.

The next easiest possiblity is to get a trapping license or setup your own pest removal service. For breeding them in captivity you would need a license. But for breeding them outdoors by providing them with nesting boxes and food you do not.

Can make sure with your municipal bylaws, as some cities don't allow feeding mamals,  but in rural areas shouldn't be a problem.

2 years ago
In simple terms God provides us all that we need, instead of forcing middle-eastern european animals into an inappropriate context, I rather use what God has provided in the native context. Sure I may introduce some plants or animals which have a decent chance of contributing to the eco-system, but ultimately I want it to be a self managing system.
Instead of having to micro manage it, I want to simply be helping it along.

For semi-domestication of weasels, it is as I mentioned before somewhere that the main point is to get them to learn that if they are hungry or cold they can come in my home and get some food and warmth. Mustela weasels can in return eat the mice in the house or in the food caches -- much more effectively than cats BTW. Mustela weasels are actually pretty small, they are about the size of a squirrel (180-600 grams). Pekania pennanati fishers are closer to the size of small cat (4-6 lb).

Weasels like fishers are probably fairly smelly, so you don't really want the males in the home. The female mustela weasels will be able to get in the same way the mice do. So don't even need a cat door or anything.

I guess really the only possibly benefit of a cat over a weasel is they may be easier to pet. Though there are plenty of people who keep European pole cats (ferrets), which are about the size of a fisher. So within a few generations it should be viable to have a pettable version of a fisher. Similar to how in Russia they managed to breed pettable versions of grey foxes.

If you have a weasel family living near your home and-or greenhouse, then they will manage any rodents that attempt to get your nuts or stash, no problem. Squirrels may think of dogs and cats as somewhat of a nuisance, but the chances of a dog or cat actually catching a squirrel are fairly slim, wheras for a fisher they are fairly high.
2 years ago

Lorinne Anderson wrote:Curious...how do you get semi domesticated Fishers?  

As a part of the weasel family (close to the wolverine) are you not concerned with them being an issue with other stock on the homestead such as chickens, ducks, cats, dogs etc.?

Any animal that is raised from birth can be domesticated, even if it takes a few generations. So certainly it is possible to train them to not take chickens, cats, ducks, dogs, for example if during their juvenile stage you have electrified decoys of the animals you do not wish them to attack. Similarly feed them the species you do want them to eat, like mice, rats, squirrels or w/e. Then can test with live animals to see if the training transfers properly before releasing them into the food forest.

That said, I have a different methodology when it comes to food forest gardening, in that I am not really interested in being a prisoner to animal husbandry, I prefer my animals to take care of themselves.  So instead of chickens the plan is simply to create habitat for ruffed grouse, instead of cats have mustela weasels, instead of domestic ducks have migratory ducks, instead of dogs make friends with the coywolves.

I am not interested in an antagonistic relationship with nature, I much rather have a co-operative relationship with nature. Any animals I have should be able to take care of themselves if I wish to leave to go to another site.

Like cats and dogs are possible, but they would simply have to be varieties that can fend for themselves, like norway/siberian/van cat or husky.
Personally I'm not a dog fan though, and I consider cats to be rather needy.

I'm okay with breeding some wild animals for release, or doing live trap and relocation as that is a time limited proposition.

I have a neighbour who is a cow farmer, and he has to get up like every day of the week including weekends before the sunrise to go shovel shit and feed the cows. No thanks. I rather have a food forest that provides habitat for deer which I can hunt in the open season.  Never gonna have to shovel deer feces or worry about not having fed or watered them.

2 years ago
Well there is still almost a month of open season on deer.
Can setup a wildlife cam to be sure and find out what times they show up.
Animals are a good protein source in the food forest.
2 years ago
Hey what hardiness zone you looking at for your land?

The basic formula I've come up with based on indigenous food foresting people is 12*0.5)/monthsOver10C  to get how many hectares (2.5 acres) you need per person. So 6 month growing need 1 hectare each, 5 months growing need 1.25 hectares.

I hear you grew a bunch of annuals. And indeed as you say some of it could have been 'beginners luck' cause soil depletion and pests usually only appear after the first year.

So yeah I do recommend the permaculture approach, i have a brief intro to how to do it in my area here:

Well for managing deer in a food forest, fisher (Pekannia pennati) will eat small deer to help keep the population from exploding. Coywolves, wolves and hunting are only way to take down adult deer, so yeah dogs can act as a deternent but can interfere with befriending the local coywolves.

In terms of fencing if you're growing a food forest not really gonna be able to make that much fencing. But could use Osage Orange, hawthorn, honey locust, and such to make a barrier the deer wont cross.

But where you could use fencing is for individual seedlings to help them get above browse height.

That said the indigenous managed deer through hunting, bow hunting is quiet. If you run out of tags or don't need the extra meat can get some extra income hosting hunting parties.

I know you mostly talked about deer. But for a food forest I find rodent, squirrels and rabbits are a major consideration. They are best managed with mustela frenata or mustela ermine for anything near ground level, including mice, rats, chipmunks, rabbits and ground squirrels.  They will also help with excess birds at least in your shrubs.

For the large trees, you want pekania pennati cause they are excellent squirrelers, and will also help with birds and deer.

If you somehow manage to befriend a local pack of coywolves then your deer problem should be well managed. Dogs can't take down a deer but a pack of coyworves can.

Also don't worry they wont drive anything to extinction, wild predators pick off the weak and sick improving overall species health.  The predators will help keep it manageable.

2 years ago
For growing from seed then the only way i know is do it in a greenhouse.

Squirrels and chipmunks generally wont bother your greenhouse unless they are starving. I setup squirrel boxes and feed squirrels with cheap bird food on the opposite side of the house from the greenhouse. And hunt them in open season.

For food forest with lots of nuts and acorns my plan is to keep a family of weasels mustela freneta or mustela ermine for dealing with ground squirrels, chipmunks, mice and rats. And for dealing with tree squirrels planning to keep a family of Fishers (pekannia pennati). Which primarily feed on tree squirrels.

Plan is to keep them semi domesticated, i.e. feeding the weasels if they are hungry to avoid them getting extripated.  The Mustela weasels are a good replacement for a house cat. Unlike a house cat the female Mustela can follow mice into their burrows to eat them. So if you keep mustela female in your home as a pet then they can genuinely eat all your mice, cause they can go in all the same places.

The male Mustela are big enough to eat rats, rabbits and squirrels as well. The Mustela generally take up residence in old chipmonk burrows.
2 years ago