Author Topic: Northern Permaculture  (Read 6606 times)

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #45 on: June 09, 2017, 08:03:47 AM »
Hi Socrates,

You might be thinking of grapes, which can survive drought due to roots that dive deeply in search of water, much like a tree.  In 20 years of growing blueberries here, one of the challenges has been to keep piles of rotting leaves on top of the soil; otherwise, if the soil is disturbed even a little, roots are exposed to the air and the plants suffer.  On a rare occasion if one should die, it takes very little effort to pull it out of the ground, because not much is holding it in.  I can only speak for blueberries in my own latitude though. :)

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture: tart cherries
« Reply #46 on: June 09, 2017, 02:47:38 PM »
Several years back, Canada produced a remarkable dwarf tart cherry tree that has a lot of plusses and no minuses that I've ever been able to find.  It is the Carmine Jewel.  Unlike the bush-type cherries that were developed prior to its debut, the Carmine Jewel maintains a tidy little near-perfect tree shape, rather than sprawling.  It stops growing around 6' in height, making the harvest an easy chore. 

It bears heavily by about age three, and does not suffer from the unsightly leaf spot that plagues sweet cherries in a rainy season.  In the unusual heat and drought of last summer, the only response from the tree was not to fruit that year.  This year it has bounced back with a bumper crop. 

A clean pair of tweezers will quickly pit them, and they can then be frozen, dehydrated, or eaten fresh, with a sweet-tartness of around 14 on the Brix scale.  They make nice additions to pies, muffins and quick breads.  I did make the mistake, however, the very first year of putting them straight from the freezer into my Thanksgiving pies along with a batch of blueberries, and had to soak up a lot of liquid from the finished crust.  Best to cook them down a bit apart from the crust ahead of time.

Health benefits listed here: http://foodfacts.mercola.com/sour-cherries.html

Photo below:
« Last Edit: June 10, 2017, 04:57:09 AM by R.R. Book »

Yowbarb

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #47 on: June 09, 2017, 09:48:56 PM »
Hi Ilinda,

I'm thinking of making a separate little garden patch for some of it to remain permanently, and will try it in a chef salad this week and report back.

What are IIRC bumblebees?
Oops.  Sorry to use that.  IIRC = If I Recall Correctly....

I think I'll start a new topic about these abbreviations.  In visiting one forum in particular, a Linux users group, there are so many abbreviations thrown around that it's not easy for a newbie to even figure out what they are talking about sometimes.  In other forum settings, they are rarely used.  I'm guilty of using IOW for in other words and a few more.  That will be a project for this week.

ilinda I like your "newfangled" abbreviations, haha. I mean LOL. :)
Being a long-time collector of slang and colloquialisms, I may as well add internet slang to it.
I know some but would enjoy learning more.  8) 
You could put a Topic, Post It All and Let Blog Sort It Out would be a good place.
(I made that Board name up many years ago.)
- Yowbarb

Yowbarb

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #48 on: June 11, 2017, 03:25:31 PM »
To R.R. RE the Carmine Jewel Dwarf Cherry trees:

This is the first thing that popped up in google a place to purchase... there is a live chat on the page, lower right... http://www.henryfields.com/product/Carmine_Jewel_Dwarf_Cherry_Tree

Free shipping, order over $40. Some restricted states but your state is not restricted. Ship Season: Spring
There are other sources, of course...
Barb T.

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #49 on: June 12, 2017, 09:26:53 AM »
Thanks Barb, I checked and they were out of stock, but seem to be in stock here:  http://ediblelandscaping.com/buyPlants.php?func=view&id=1040 .

There are some new cultivars, Romeo and Juliet, that I have no experience with, but are said to have the same dwarfing tree growth habit.  Romeo is said to be very juicy, which reminds me that there is a cherry meat-to-juice ratio that the buyer needs to select for.  If you want pies, then select for a high meat ratio, and if you want to juice them... you get the idea. :)

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #50 on: June 12, 2017, 09:49:11 AM »
Posting an update regarding the persimmon tree that never leafed out:

Turned out not be a dormancy problem.  After weeks of trying to "sweat" it to bring it out of dormancy, I called the nursery and was told to cut off the top and bring it in.  When I did, the owner showed me a series of tiny pinholes in the trunk and said it was killed by a Shothole Borer (Scolytus rugulosus), which is the larvae of a fruit tree bark beetle that can wipe out an orchard if not stopped by painting trunks with laytex whitewash (50% interior paint and 50% water mixed).

Fortunately, the owner assumed the liability on his end since he buys from wholesale nurseries that could have passed the infestation on.  He instructed me to watch for any sign of infestation on other fruit trees, which would show up as the pinholes, declining vigor, or exuding sap.  He said the problem usually only affects saplings under 2 years of age.  Another persimmon tree that we purchased from the same nursery at the same time is showing vigorous growth and seems not to be affected.

Uploading a photo from the web:
« Last Edit: June 12, 2017, 10:29:12 AM by R.R. Book »

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #51 on: June 25, 2017, 07:02:50 AM »
The dwarf raspberry bushes mentioned earlier are in full production, and we've had so much rain that it's difficult to get into the berry patch often enough to harvest before the fruit rots.  I was eating handfuls of slightly over-ripe ones this morning while picking the berries, and came away with around a quart for making crepes, etc.  I can't recommend this particular rootstock enough to others who may be contemplating starting a berry patch of their own.  No thorns, take up little space, produce berries by one year of age, heavy production within a couple of years at most, produce free daughter plants, no diseases, no pruning, and no pests except ground scavengers on fruit that touches the ground.  The trick with these is to constantly be turning low branches up to look beneath them - that's where the most fruit is borne, and if you didn't look underneath the branches, you might think that they weren't producing much.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2017, 01:45:34 PM by R.R. Book »

ilinda

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #52 on: June 25, 2017, 03:53:39 PM »
Oh, I envy you.  I tried raspberry plants and they died by the second year, although they thrive for Shirley, my farmer friend.  What is the variety of those beautiful and tasty looking raspberries?

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #53 on: June 25, 2017, 06:21:31 PM »
Ilinda, These are the Brazelberries that I mentioned earlier, named for the breeder, and they're supposed to grow in zones 4-9, so you should be able to grow these in MO without trouble.  They're sold under different names, but if you Google the breeder's original name for it, you'll get all the other names that they're sold under.  They like a loamy, well drained soil, and they're petite enough to be planted in pots if necessary.  If you're in the warm southern part of MO, might want to allow some afternoon shade, as berries naturally grow at the edge of a woodland.   
« Last Edit: June 26, 2017, 11:22:41 AM by R.R. Book »

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture: Tart cherries
« Reply #54 on: June 26, 2017, 05:50:39 AM »
Most of the harvest is in now from the dwarf tart cherry tree that we discussed earlier.  Ten pints were canned this past week, with another pint or two left to finish ripening on the tree. The pint jars were pressure canned at 5 pounds pressure for 8 minutes.

I hand pitted all of these, and must admit that my hands were tired from the work.  Am looking into mechanical cherry pitters, which range in price from $2 to $200, using a variety of ingenious methods.  I can only think of one reason not to use one, and that is the very real possibility that a pit could be missed, resulting in a cracked tooth if an unsuspecting person should happen to bite into it, which in the Aftertime would constitute more than just a minor emergency.  A good compromise might be to use the mechanical pitter, but then carefully check the cherries to make sure no pit was missed, before canning or serving them.

These jars will need to be wrapped in bubble wrap and carefully put away in a 5 gallon pail down in the root cellar.

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #55 on: June 26, 2017, 12:53:21 PM »
Bee balm, Monarda didyma, provides food for humans as well as bees.  Leaves and young stems can be eaten raw or cooked.  The flower heads are eaten raw.  Fresh or dried leaves and flower heads can be made into a tea, and in fact are added to Earl Grey tea. 

Medicinal properties listed by PFAF: Bergamot is often used as a domestic medicine, being particularly useful in the treatment of digestive disorders. The leaves and flowering stems are anthelmintic, carminative, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, rubefacient and stimulant[4, 222]. An infusion is used in the treatment of flatulent colic and sickness, it is also used as a diuretic to treat urinary disorders[4, 238]. The leaves can be harvested before the plant flowers, or they can be harvested with the flowering stems. They can be used fresh or dried[238]. An essential oil from the herb is mainly used externally as a rubefacient in the treatment of rheumatism etc.

Can you guess which weed we've recently discussed that is in the same family?
« Last Edit: June 26, 2017, 05:12:10 PM by R.R. Book »

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture: Disease resistant apple trees
« Reply #56 on: June 26, 2017, 01:40:52 PM »
There are several varieties of disease-resistant apple trees that can be obtained either full-size or on dwarfing rootstock.  One of the best sources for these is Cummins Nursery located in the Finger Lakes region of New York state, which works closely with Cornell University to breed and improve apple cultivars (the owner was a long-time professor at the University's Geneva Experimental Station) . 

Besides the Liberty cultivar that's been around for a long time now, I can personally vouch for William's Pride, Enterprise, and Redfree.  We have never needed to spray these with any chemicals.  They do need to be watched carefully for gypsy moth larvae nests in spring (they resemble bagworm nests), which should be removed by hand as soon as they are spotted.  All three produce sweet-tart apples that are a mixture of red and green coloring, with good keeping qualities.  Am just beginning to experiment with Arkansas Black, a full deep red apple that is said to be one of the longest keepers of all, storing until the following spring in a cool location.  They all produce good cider.

We situated a few of them as foundation plantings to wick rainwater away from the house, and encouraged them to lean over a fence rail for ease of harvesting.  Actually, if memory serves correctly, Mother Nature gets the credit for giving us the idea following an ice storm that left them bent over the rail.  :)

Here is a list of disease-resistant apple cultivars, much longer than existed even just several years ago:
http://shop.cumminsnursery.com/shop/apple-trees/disease-resistant

Here is a table of rootstock sizes for comparison: http://shop.cumminsnursery.com/shop/rootstocks

Attaching a visual comparison aid:



« Last Edit: June 26, 2017, 05:09:04 PM by R.R. Book »

ilinda

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Re: Northern Permaculture: Disease resistant apple trees
« Reply #57 on: June 26, 2017, 03:04:45 PM »
Besides the Liberty cultivar that's been around for a long time now, I can personally vouch for William's Pride, Enterprise, and Redfree.  We have never needed to spray these with any chemicals.  They do need to be watched carefully for gypsy moth larvae nests in spring (they resemble bagworm nests), which should be removed by hand as soon as they are spotted.  All three produce sweet-tart apples that are a mixture of red and green coloring, with good keeping qualities.  Am just beginning to experiment with Arkansas Black, a full deep red apple that is said to be one of the longest keepers of all, storing until the following spring in a cool location.  They all produce good cider.


Here is a list of disease-resistant apple cultivars, much longer than existed even just several years ago:
http://shop.cumminsnursery.com/shop/apple-trees/disease-resistant

The Arkansas Black is indeed a favorite here.  We've tried three times to grow them and some of our third planting are surviving.  Around here they must be truly protected from deer as they will shred the trees and absolutely kill them.  They must be somewhat addictive to deer.  When the deer are finished with a tree for a while, it literally looks as if some giant shredder/chipper came along and just stopped a while. 

Their keeping qualities are the best, as they keep for months and months just in a fridge.  We pack them into ziplok bags (9 each) and zip them almost all the way, after sprinkling two blasts of water/mist on them before closing the bag.  They can use Liberty or Enterprise (plus some others) as pollinizer trees, and this Ark. Black is fairly well resistant to Cedar Apple Rust.

Thanks for posting this apple reminder.

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #58 on: June 27, 2017, 06:32:56 AM »
Quote
We pack them into ziplok bags (9 each) and zip them almost all the way, after sprinkling two blasts of water/mist on them before closing the bag.

That's really good information to have Ilinda!  I got an Ark Black from Clemson University Extension recently, and have been really pleased with the growth and form. 

Glad that you managed to preserve something from the deer.  They do come around here too, mostly in late winter, with the closest visitation being from a fawn grazing in an English ivy patch near the house.

« Last Edit: June 27, 2017, 10:42:07 AM by R.R. Book »

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture: Lovage
« Reply #59 on: June 27, 2017, 10:03:19 AM »
Lovage, Levisticum officinale, is little-known in the U.S. but a common feature in English kitchen gardens, being a kind of perennial celery and parsley combined.  It is hardy in U.S. zones 5-9, and enjoys being situated in a damp spot in full to part sun.  Because this plant is extremely pungent, its stalks wouldn't be used in the same manner that fresh celery is used, but are better used as more of a pot-herb that blends well with other flavors, starting out seeming overly-accentuated in a dish until it has had time to stew and mingle.  It needs lots of room to grow, as it will become several feet high and a few feet wide.  I've tried growing this plant in rows, but found it best to tuck them in individually here and there in the garden wherever a spot can be found that allows the plant to take over. 

PFAF warns about the myristicine content, an aromatic phenylpropene oil also common to other herbs such as celery, fennel, nutmeg and so forth.  However, in lovage the oil is largely confined to seeds that form on top of the plant after flowering, while it's the stalk and leaves that are used in cooking.  Wiki says about the aromatic seed compounds: the metabolism of these molecules quickly progresses from flavor to toxin to safe excretion.

The leaves are at their best for harvesting before the plant flowers, and may be frozen or dried.  To keep the plant size in check, they can be pruned back a couple of times in summer, and stalks may also be chopped and added to the harvest.  However, the flower heads attract dozens of those tiny beneficial wasps, and I have been stung trying to cut back the plants when they are in flower.  A gallon zip-lock bag of chopped stalks and leaves should provide enough to add to a large stew pot as often as once a week throughout autumn and winter, if maybe a handful is thrown into the pot each time. 

Some health food and other stores sell an MSG-free lovage bouillon cube manufactured by the Organic Gourmet, which runs around $3 per pack of 8 individually wrapped cubes that would make a nutritious storage food with 16 servings per 8-cube box.  They make a nice little quick cup of soup to take the chill off, with these ingredients listed:  Sea Salt, Maize (Corn) Starch*, sustainably harvested NON-hydrogenated Palm Fruit Oil*, Nutritional Yeast Extract, Leeks*, Carrots*, Tomatoes*, Spices* (Nutmeg*, Garlic*, Turmeric*), Herbs* (Lovage Leaves*, Parsley*, Celery Leaves*) Onions*

*From certified organic production, certified organic by IMO, CH-BIO-004.


PFAF adds this information about medicinal uses:
Lovage is a warming and tonic herb for the digestive and respiratory systems. It is used primarily in the treatment of indigestion, poor appetite, wind, colic and bronchitis[254]. The roots, leaves and fruits are antispasmodic, aromatic, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, mildly expectorant and stimulant[4, 7, 21, 46, 165, 238]. They are used internally in the treatment of disordered stomachs, especially cases of colic and flatulence in children, kidney stones, cystitis, painful menstruation and slow labour[4, 238]. Externally, the root is used in the treatment of sore throats and aphthous ulcers[238].

A lovage butter recipe is posted here: http://www.gardenersnet.com/recipes/lovage-butter.htm

Attaching a pic of the bouillon box, as well as a photo of the plant sprawling in my garden:
« Last Edit: June 27, 2017, 01:20:09 PM by R.R. Book »