Nacho Collado

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since Apr 12, 2011
I was born in a big city (Madrid, Spain) so i grew up totally urban guy... since i was a child i liked very much nature wich i only visited from weekend to weekend, and got some survival and primitive tech skills along the way.
Now  i got  a piece of land  here in the south of Spain and it's time to get hands on it and get long time dreams and projects come true.
Granada City (that's in the south of Spain)
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Recent posts by Nacho Collado

From spring on, we have to cut wild weeds so they don't cover our little trees, also to avoid wild fires in dry season (jun to september) we simply chop and drop with scythes.
Depending on the amount of rain, we have to chop and drop several times a year .
We don't have wood leftovers by now cause our trees are little ones, but all prunning from neighbours are welcome, vines and little branches, we cut them with prunning scissors and use as mulch. Bigger branches we use as as fence structure for the chicken yard (sort of Masai yard) or simply stock in piles for later use as firewood.
All organic stuff is welcome to improve soil. Just left it on top of the soil, never burry it.

chop and drop with scythe

In early spring ,weeds can take over the young trees, note that the tree zone is marked with a pole, to find young tree location

chop and drop weeds secuence around a young tree,

use scythe, cutting scissors or even a knife to chop and drop

work done by now, in spring have to repeat chop and drop several times to keep zone clear

cutting weeds outside our poperty to to clear the dirt road and avoid later wildfires.
Chopped weeds are carried inside the property for mulching, all organic material available is welcome

chop and drop next to dry season to avoid wild fires

more chop and drop to avoid wild fires near to the dry season
we have to clear the iside perimeter of the property and also chop and drop some
anti wild fire lanes around the chicken zone and other areas

more chop and drop in the young food forest next to dry season

The inside and outside of the Masai chicken yard is also chop and drop to avoid wildfires

Neighbors use to burn prunings and other organic materials, better use it to improve soil or save as firewood for later use

6 years ago
Introducing my silk greyhounds
mulberry leaves have a lot of proteins and esential aminoacids and even some amount of fat, they are used to feed livestock.

6 years ago
I have 3 greyhounds and i've seen them chew on wild oat (Avena fatua) some white mustard (Sinapis Alba and diplotaxis spp) mulberry (Morus alba) and rough cocklebur (Xantium strumarium) the later is toxic, but looks like they know wich plants and parts and amount to eat and wich not.
6 years ago

Konstantinos Karoubas wrote:Very interesting that you mentioned figs Doug - this month I have experimented with figs - on half of my farm, I tossed 25 or so dried figs, hoping that ants will collect the seeds and distribute them around the land, and hopefully fig trees will grow - ants are a very powerful force - I do not know how we can harness some of this force or work with this giant force of nature. On the other half of the farm, I planted 25 figs in the ground, to see if they can sprout and survive without care. I am not very optimistic on fig trees though - we will see.

fig trees are easy to root by cuttings get some cuttings in winter, plant them, and they will root in spring.
6 years ago

Kathy Burns-Millyard wrote:I spread probably 100 olives around the start of the year at my place. I initially tried planting to see if I could get a grove started but critters came along and dug up every single spot. After that I just tossed them around and hoped. We've had a floods since then so I don't know if they all washed away. I expect to keep watching for sprouts for years just in case I got lucky

Hi Kathy, olive trees reproduction is easy by little cuttings, about 6"length cuttings, leaving the top three leaves, they need good irrigation the firsts weeks but once they root they are tough, also they root easy by air layering and you can get fairly big rooted olive trees in 2 or 3 months.

6 years ago
i've seen my 3 greyhounds chewing mulberry leaves like goats... any dogs there?
6 years ago

Zach Muller wrote:
Nacho that is one impressive stand of thistles! The machete seems to be an ideal tool when your dealing with such a tall and dense mass.

Not so ideal, you have to duck to chop the base of the thistles, wich is an uncomfortable posture, and they fall on you like timber
thistles fight back...

on the other hand scythe gives you a more comfortable work posture and you are not right under the falling thistles

here's a video of the last spring (2013) we didn't let the thistles grow too high, and also there were a lot more variety of new pioneer plants, as you can see bush scythe can deal with them all in an efective way.

Scythe is the way to go for large areas (our piece of land is 2.4 acres) this is the same corner spot seen in the video this last weekend

we also did chop and drop of the fruit tree area
(south bound view and south-east bound view)

we also did chop and drop into the Massai chicken yard (west bound view)

7 years ago
last weekend we finished our chop and drop with scythes to prevent summer wildfires around the fruit tree area, and we noticed 2 things regarding aphids and ladybugs.

Fact#1 Ladibugs like to concentrate and mate in curled dock plants (Rumex crispus), so we let some of these plants stand up when chop and drop, so ladybugs can breed and their larvae eat other bugs

Fact#2 we donĀ“t use insecticides in our piece of land, just live and let live, Our fruit trees despite we dont use any insecticide or repelent are aphid free, however there's a lot of aphids feeding on the thistle we name "cardoncha" (Sylibum marianum) looks that aphids prefer this kind of thistle rather than feeding on the fruit trees, so again we've let some of this thistles standing while chop and drop
7 years ago
we are in our 3rd spring in our piece of land, we don't till and don't use fossil fuels, only hand tools. Along this time we have used diferent tools, at first, machete and sickle, but definately bush scythe is the way to go.
We have wide variety of so called weeds (actuallya lot of them are edible) of course weed cover has been changing with time, at first land was cover with big thistles ( mostly Silybum marianum)

Here you can see clearing the edge to build a perimetral fence, at the background is one of my sons who is over 6'tall

Sort of a room into the thistle mass

At this stage we used machetes for big extensions and sickles when we needed some detailed work

Later in summer we had to stop, cause there were a lot of wasp nests in the dry thistles, i have to say that wasps are good bugs and warned us when we were close to their nests so we could let the place for later, and continue our chop and drop a couple of yards away.

later in september when first thunders came and wasps completed their cicle, we finished the chop and drop simply stepping on the thistles with our nice boots

But the queen of the tools for our weed chop and drop is the scithe, is the most comfortable and efective tool for the task.

For little spaces we use edge grass scissors for green grass and prunning scissors for thicker and wooden plants
7 years ago
i live in the outskirts of my city and in the fields there were some mullein plants, i used to spread the mullein seeds while walking with my dogs and now there are mullein plants everywhere. still have not any mullein plant in my piece of land, so i will seed some seeds next autumn.
7 years ago