Eric Thompson

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since Apr 23, 2011
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cattle forest garden trees earthworks food preservation solar
Bothell, WA - USA
Bothell, WA - USA
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Recent posts by Eric Thompson

Remember that a tree root mass is roughly equal to the mass above ground, so even though it looks big, it is really a pretty minor wound.  The tree will overcome it and not even be weakened to fall over..
2 weeks ago
"Lithium ion polymer" batteries are usually the thin ones for custom fit spaces and they can bulge quite a lot, but fortunately they don't explode much.

"Lithium ion" batteries are more likely to overheat, burn, or explode when charging goes bad on them - that's probably not what you have.
3 weeks ago
I like seeing the tree and the kids through the years -- keep up those updates!!

Antonovka fruit are usually pretty big and medium soft.  Some that are yellow with red spots look pretty interesting.  Looks like there will be a nice harvest this year!!
4 weeks ago
Haha!  The Pacific Northwest had a very wet June and here we are in July with no forecast to go over 70 degrees for at least a week!
1 month ago
I would avoid doing things like this, but since it's done I wouldn't worry much about it either.  Things that are waterproof generally don't leach in to the soils much.  Just like plastic having toxins that are bad when they break down, but it takes a LONG time for them to break down in soil.

But if you are still worried about it, just replace it and get it off your mind..
As long as the tree isn't ringed all the way around it should recover fine.  I have had young trees stripped of all but a 1/4" strip of bark connecting top and bottom and they did pretty good.

For protection, I am a big fan of the plastic tree tubes = those are easiest to install and guard against gotas, sheep, and deer horns...
1 month ago
It's a good question that I have thought about too!  I'm usually thinking about cattle happiness before peak grass utilization.  I have 8 paddocks and try to rotate in 1-2 weeks.  I don't densley stock or use electrical wire -- the cows just don't like that.  At different times of year they may appreciate more shade, more shelter, more brush and trees...
I don't wean off calves and separate at 6-9 months - the cows just don't like that.
i don't take the bull out and have him hang out elsewhere most of the year - the cows just don't like that.
I do dehorn small horns before they become big hard weapons - the other cows sharing a feeder appreciate that very much.

So if this makes cows with better mental health I can't say.  I think all of these things help, along with the obvious one of being well fed.  I think cow herds are like family Thanksgiving -- it's nice to have enough space where everybody can hang out where they like in the subgroups they prefer -- like stuffing 25 people into a room to eat and watch football is only ideal for a few people..
2 months ago
For more reliable semi-dwarfing, you can try double grafting with a dwarf interstem.  Basically graft the dwarf onto any full size rootstock you like, even a random seedling or crabapple.  Graft a dwarf like M27 or Bud 9 (if your grow a few of these common rootstocks, you can just take cuttings for the interstem that are 6" or so long)
Then graft your tree on top of that interstem.  It's a lot more work, but should be reliable to semi-dwarf it..
2 months ago
Since the root and leaves amounts are balanced, you need very little root to push out one scion upon grafting.  They can be trimmed a lot.

3 months ago
I bought a retired rental sod cutter for $800 and love it!

What has worked well for me is to cut 4 strips about 3" thick and have in order: pile of the 4 strips flipped over, cut planting area, cut walking area, cut planting area

The 4 strip pile can still grow potatoes the first year.
The planting area should be pretty grass free.
The walking path can be weeded with the same sod cutter on 1.5" depth, especially if there are some wood chips on it.