This is the perfect early morning breakfast podcast as there's mouthwatering discussion about huckleberry pie (a member of the blueberry family) with Paul, Jessie & Ryan. The discussion quickly moves to "Hob Sauce" enjoyed at a local diner and "THE Man Sauce" sampled earlier by Paul in Bellevue, Washington.
BC - Base Camp. Jessie and Ryan experienced Montana storms in the comfort, or discomfort of a nylon tent. Discussion then moves to better weather events like exploring track hoe usage and time management. Bottom line, they all agree that every task, regardless of how simple it initially appears takes far longer than planned. Their focus was the pooper. They drew, discussed design, thermal mass, ventilation and roofs that would protect unpainted wood. They then spent time finding reasonably priced lumber, then a frustrating amount of time actually getting the lumber to the site.
Mud pumping well drilling was the next topic which also includes using dowsing rods to locate undergroundwater. There is scientific question as to the accuracy & ligament usage of the rods, but they did experience the hangers moving on their own and after digging at the noted site, through dry top soil/clay, they did find wet clay.
An important plug for Missoula free-cycles was made after they noted the electric bicycle they acquired.
The discussion then moved to security and gates. So far a big metal gate was installed on one side and Paul's brother built and installed a wooden gate on the other. So far, people have driven around the metal gate which led Paul to down a few trees on either side. The wooden gate has been driven into, chained and pulled loose. Again trees were downed on either side and they were heading up to check the game cameras for evidence.
I heard of a guy who took a pine tree off a guys property for a Christmas tree so the guy seen them drive off and followed him back to his house and took out his chain saw and cut one his trees down and than drove off.
"Ignorance is never bliss"
Right off the bat in this podcast, there is a discussion about Huckleberry pie. So, assuming (perhaps wrongly) that the huckleberries in question might have been gathered somewhere in Montana, my interest was piqued... because I would love to grow Huckleberries, but was under the impression that Huckleberries much prefer acidic soils...
And then Googling... I saw Montana has mostly alkaline soils.
So... what I'd love to know is... (if anyone can share)
1. Do Huckleberries grow in Montana?
2. If so, any idea what the soil pH and type is where they grow?
3. What was the general environment?
Permaculture: The Edge is the New Center
Taos, New Mexico / Carson, New Mexico / 7000ft / zones 5,6 / Soil: Servilleta-Hernandez / Avg. 13" precip per annum
Huckleberries are acid-loving plants. The optimum soil pH appears to be about 4.0 to 5.5 (7.0 is neutral). In a few cases, V. membranaceum has been found on sites with pH values near 7.0. If your soil pH lies between 5.5 and 7.0, consider acidifying the soil before planting by applying agricultural sulfur and regularly fertilizing with an acidifying fertilizer, such as ammonium sulfate. For sites where the pH is 7.0 or above, commercial huckleberry production will be difficult or impossible.
Huckleberry species do not appear to tolerate extremely cold winter temperatures without snow cover. They should be grown where there is consistently one to two feet of snow, where winter temperatures are moderate, or where the plants can be protected when the temperatures drop to 0o F or below.
Avoid planting in a frost pocket. Huckleberries bloom in early spring and the blossoms are susceptible to frost damage. The wood and mature leaves are quite frost tolerant in the spring, although the tips of new shoots can easily be killed by frost. On potentially frosty sites, be prepared to provide frost protection during bloom when temperatures fall below 28o F.
Paul! Or whoever is qualified / empowered to answer the question:
Are visits to your land possible? Say on a work-exchange basis, similar to wwoofing? I'll be passing through Montana later this summer and would love to stop by and say hi (and help out too).
I don't need accommodations or anyone feeding me, just a spot to park and pitch a tent.
Again, I'm just talking about a short visit, few days to a week or so.