insipidtoast McCoy

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since Nov 02, 2010
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Recent posts by insipidtoast McCoy

Before going any further in your planning I highly recommend reading, from cover to cover, Lost Crops of the Inca
7 years ago
Would someone please clarify the following for me?

At about 34:30 in the food forest DVD Geoff Lawton says, regarding Casuarina sp., "Fixes phosphate with a fungal relationship."

Phosphate can't be "fixed" since there is no gas form of phosphorous present in the atmosphere. Does he mean that Casuarina cunninghamiana is a dynamic accumulator?

I have not found a single scholarly article or any information from a credible source suggesting that Casuarina sp. are especially adapted to accumulate phosphorous from soils.
7 years ago

bikemandan wrote:
My wager is that they would say no because of liability concerns (it sounds totally crazy but thats unfortunately how municipalities work)



In Grave Danger of Falling Food!


There's already mature pine trees that drop cones from 30-40 feet in the sky. What sort of liability would be more risky than that? This is going to need no maintanence, some of the plantings will be native, and some will be palms. Most plants will be evergreen, and will make an otherwise brown lot in the dry season into an emerald oasis. It's a drought tolerant forest, that just so happens to have many edibles. (We don't really want to advertise it as a food forest, because we believe that will create an unnecessary political connotation that might harm our ability to plant the space).
7 years ago
Can you post a link to some info about this species?
7 years ago
Michigan is perfect for all the traditional crops. Excellent blueberry country out there too. We used to go pick them when I was a kid. Grandma always grew rhubarb too. Reliably cold winters plus hot, humid and rainy summers equals growing many traditional crops without the need for much supplemental irrigation.

It's a bit different in Mediterranean California. I really have to search high and low to find adaptable crops.
7 years ago
I can tell you that they grow here in Santa Barbara USDA zone 10a. So, they would also probably grow where you live. We thought ours were dead here, but then read that they are deciduous. Most sources mention that fruit production does not start until the seedling plant is 2-3 years old.

I can't comment on how reliable the information is in the Perennial vegetables book. For one thing, they recommend growing air potato (Dioscorea bulbifera), which I believe is extremely invasive in your area, and probably only marginally edible after a very involved preparation process. That plant did not work out here on the west coast, that's for sure.

I got my goji seeds from tradewindsfruit. They say Lycium chinense on the packet, but in general there seems to be much confusion over proper taxonomy, and there really isn't much growing info out there on either L. chinense, or L. barbarum. One source mentioned they are highly adaptable and grow between areas of 300mm and 2000mm rainfall. Apparently they take the same shape as a big raspberrry bush.

Anyway, we'll be testing this species a lot more here. Hopefully we can confirm full drought tolerance for our climate along with decent fruit production.
7 years ago
It's owned by the county... I guess asking first is the best way to start.

I can't really see them saying no to a proposal to create an exotic-looking, drought-tolerant forest, especially when no funding is expected.
7 years ago
where are you located?
7 years ago
[innappropriate stuff deleted by paul]

this amazing plant.

I've called the USDA and confirmed the following:
It is NOT a federally listed invasive, and it is NOT listed on California's state list either. I can take it across state lines. It might just be the perfect plant. I found someone in the south who sent me three plants in a box. Also, the USDA gave me 50 seeds as part of their germplasm program.

The following is based on the three 5 gallon plants growing in my bedroom with an east-facing window:
Urine seems to effectively control its growth. Of the two plants that I peed on, both wilted and eventually lost all their foliage. Over one month later I am waiting for a sign of regrowth. The third plant received no urigation and grew from ground height to the ceiling in three weeks! Talk about lightning fast carbon pathways! Keep in mind this is a VERY low light-level condition. The plant receives no direct sunlight, and only filtered artificial light. The leaves look wonderful despite this, and maybe only slightly etiolated.
The texture of even small leaves is disagreeable to the throat, so I recommend juicing the foliage. Not a bad taste at all (Very similar to wheatgrass).

I look forward to eating the roots of these plants while you're waiting in a bread line.

P.S. For those concerned about killing the plant. 1. get goats to consume all the foliage as well as new seedlings the next few years. 2. Remove the root crown. The root crown is all that needs to be removed, NOT the entire root.
7 years ago