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Author Topic: Northern Permaculture  (Read 17452 times)

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #120 on: June 08, 2018, 08:28:18 AM »
Thanks for the detailed information Ilinda.  Am hoping that our growing season will be long enough even to produce the unripe squash.  If our first frost, which normally comes in the 2nd week of October, comes any earlier, the Yamiken may not have time to switch from making male blossoms to female ones.  Will report back!  :)

ilinda

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #121 on: June 08, 2018, 11:18:26 AM »
We may be jockeying for pole position to see who even gets female flowers!  I'm having the strangest time getting them in the ground.  The first ones got too cold and all rotted or just died.  Second planting took forever, and am now on 3rd and 4th plantings, some in pots, some in the ground.

Some in pots were actually dug up because the bed didn't seem like good enough soil, etc.  Growing one's own food is really challenging!

We can update each other as time permits.  My best guess is that when you see first blossoms, they'll be male, and that will continue for 2-4 weeks before you see females.  At any rate, even the green fruits, if taken indoors, will eventually ripen.

I read somewhere that the reason for the huge preponderance of first-male fruits is to attract the pollinators to the patch.  If the "aroma parcel of air" extends out enough, it will surely be noticed by the appropriate pollinators and they will then visit the squash patch, by which time the female flowers are beginning to appear.

I never gave a lot of thought to any of this until we started growing Yamiken.  Everything was taken for granted, whether it was butternut, zucchini, yellow crookneck, etc., but now with this fruit, I feel it is too important to "let it go".

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #122 on: June 08, 2018, 06:25:52 PM »
Quote
Growing one's own food is really challenging!

That's a good sub-topic starter: Which crops are easiest for novice gardeners, and which require more experience (meaning some risk of crop failure)?

Ideas for the Northern gardener:

No Experience Needed:
Potatoes: Sunchokes
Greens: Dandelion
Berries: Shrub - dwarf raspberries, tree - mulberry, ground cover - strawberries
Legumes: Siberian peas; pole beans to climb sunchokes (plant-and-replant)
Stone fruits: Tart cherries
Alliums: Chives, walking onions, Welsh onions, garlic
Tomatoes: Cherry tomatoes can be container-grown and overwintered as perennials indoors
Peppers: Dwarf ones could be container-grown and overwintered as perennials indoors
Grain: Good King Henry (an amaranth)
Radishes: Rapidly grown both as food and for soil aeration and tillage as prep for other crops
Apiaceae (parsley, celery): Lovage
Vine: Hardy Kiwi
Other: Asparagus


Experience Helpful, and Why:
*Curcubits (pumpkins, squash, gourds):
All are potentially subject to fungus in the north; vining types require lots of space; many are subject to squash vine borer; beds must be rotated every year unless special soil amendments are made.

Other stone fruit trees and nut trees:
Need to research carefully to learn:
Which are disease resistant; which need two different cultivars; which come on dwarfing rootstock suitable for smaller homesteads; best methods of annual pruning; which are winter hardy; which have longevity, which  need a lot of water; which don't like much rain.  Can be a long wait for production.  Trunks need early protection from rodents, and constant protection from deer.  May need annual removal by hand of moth larvae nests to prevent mass defoliation.  Some cultivars may bear only every other year.

Grapes: Need to research carefully to learn:
Which are suitable geographically; which are seedless; which are disease-resistant; which are winter-hardy.  Some need to be pruned frequently; may need a hormone supplement to help clusters fill in well.  Can be a long wait for production.  Physical supports needed, such as a fence.

Brassicas: Subject to club root infection unless kept in very well-drained soil. Need lots of room.  Cabbages must be shielded from cabbage fly and cabbage moth larvae.  A few cultivars are perennial, but require special ordering from limited suppliers, some of which may not be in your country.  These sell out quickly, and rootstock may need to be ordered months ahead of time and pre-paid.

Non-bitter greens: Spinach and lettuce bolt as soon as it gets warm, meaning they'll send up a flower stalk and die.

Blueberries: Require very acidic soil with at least annual amendments.  Should not be planted near a butterfly garden, as their larvae will feast on the leaves.  Need to be faster than the birds to get any of the harvest.  Water hogs. 

Currants:  Need to carefully research new disease-resistant cultivars. 

Artichokes: Best grown in a limited coastal climate; need lots of room

Potatoes: Subject to diseases; hill culture needs to be built up; require lots of space to feed a family; rootstock needs to be overwintered in special indoor conditions.

Corn: Requires careful sourcing of non-GMO seed for all but popcorn; cultivars need distance apart or succession planting; large space requirement; bed rotation requirement.

Watermelons: Nearly all types are subject to diseases and come with this warning on seed packets now.

Vining tomatoes: Subject to diseases, and seem to alternate between good and bad years in the North.  In a good year they can be prolific.

Suggestion: Dedicate the most space in the garden to failure-proof crops, and then perform limited experiments every year to see what else you can add.

Other ideas?

« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 06:56:33 AM by R.R. Book »

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #123 on: June 15, 2018, 07:13:41 AM »
While waiting for most of the berries to finish ripening in the North, there are mulberry trees all over the place - at the edge of woodlands and in public parks - that are heavily laden with fruit that is dropping all over the ground.  One need not own a mulberry tree to take home a bag or container-full. 



Phytochemicals:

https://borneoscobhd.en.ec21.com/Freeze_Dried_Mulberry_Antioxidant_Berry--8956654_10013726.html

Smoothie Recipe from Pinterest:




Nutritional Completeness Profile from NutritionData:
Quote
Each spoke in the wheel represents a different nutrient. The spoke for dietary fiber is colored green, protein is blue, vitamins are purple, minerals are white, and yellow represents a group of commonly overconsumed nutrients—saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2018, 01:07:11 PM by R.R. Book »

ilinda

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #124 on: June 15, 2018, 08:22:38 PM »
While waiting for most of the berries to finish ripening in the North, there are mulberry trees all over the place - at the edge of woodlands and in public parks - that are heavily laden with fruit that is dropping all over the ground.  One need not own a mulberry tree to take home a bag or container-full. 



Phytochemicals:

https://borneoscobhd.en.ec21.com/Freeze_Dried_Mulberry_Antioxidant_Berry--8956654_10013726.html

Smoothie Recipe from Pinterest:




Nutritional Completeness Profile from NutritionData:
Quote
Each spoke in the wheel represents a different nutrient. The spoke for dietary fiber is colored green, protein is blue, vitamins are purple, minerals are white, and yellow represents a group of commonly overconsumed nutrients—saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium.
Are your wild mulberries the ones commonly found throughout the U.S. in the wild?  A friend has an unusual mulberry tree with a growth habit totally different from that of the wild ones, which are tall, lanky, and not overly laden with fruit.  But friend's tree is shorter, with very dense canopy, and loaded with berries that are longer and sweeter than those wild ones.

We've tried about everything to get starts from her tree, with little success, and wish we knew more about it.

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #125 on: June 16, 2018, 06:30:35 AM »
Hi Ilinda,

The only deliberately cultivated mulberry that we have is a dwarf variety.  The wild mulberries that I've seen around here all grow on the edge of the woods and mostly on the edge of a stream located in a flood plain, in part-sun & part-shade.  They have fruited heavily this year, probably because we've had more rain than sun this spring.  Their production is very much tied to water availability.  And yes, the wild berries are shorter and black when ripe, unlike the red or white cultivars.  :)

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #126 on: June 19, 2018, 04:43:12 PM »
I've mentioned the German non-bitter dandelions previously, which are really mostly less-bitter when not at their largest, from my own experience. 

The Canadian non-bolting perpetual sorrel (called "Profusion Sorrel" developed by Richter's), which had thrived in my garden for several years, finally failed to come back when I placed it in the hen-yard "salad bar:" a raised bed with wide-holed wire fencing across the top which permits grazing without clawing. 


https://www.richters.com/Web_store/web_store.cgi?product=X5683&show=all&prodclass=&cart_id=5759694.20190

I followed-up instead by filling the bed with the German dandelions (from Oikos Tree Crops in Michigan). 


https://oikostreecrops.com/products/perennial-vegetable-plants/perennial-edible-nutrient-dense-greens/dandelion-nouvelle-volherzigen/

After allowing poultry to freely graze it for 2 days, the plants were reduced down to their spines, with a little green fringe remaining.  I fertilized the bed with pond water and draped it with the heavy fiberglass window screencloth, and it bounced completely back a week or so later.  The screencloth can be folded back to allow grazing again any time, and then the bed covered afterward for a quick regrowth.

Will post a photo of the "salad bar" soon.  :)
« Last Edit: June 20, 2018, 05:26:46 PM by R.R. Book »

ilinda

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #127 on: June 21, 2018, 02:22:37 PM »
Very cool way to allow chickens to graze on new growth, plus presumably have some greens for yourselves as well.

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #128 on: June 21, 2018, 03:22:12 PM »
 :)

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #129 on: June 27, 2018, 01:10:41 PM »
I had promised to upload a photo of the German non-bitter dandelion "salad bar" in the henyard, and here it is.  This bed was an old raised-leg cedar planter that was flipped upside-down to provide the posts for the fiberglass screencloth covering.  There are inverted screw hooks (facing down) surrounding the top on all sides to pull the wire mesh taut when grazing is permitted (photo does not show it taut), which prevents poultry from damaging plants down at the crown and root level.  The wire had been snipped inside the 4 corners to accommodate the posts, providing more strength when pulled down over them.  The front section of screencloth folds back easily to allow hens on top of the grazing grid. 

I lined the bottom with flat paving stones, spaced a bit for drainage, to prevent burrowing critters from tunneling their way up from below ground, as we once lost a bed of skirret (perennial carrots) in that location for that reason.  :(
« Last Edit: August 14, 2018, 05:42:19 PM by R.R. Book »

ilinda

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #130 on: June 28, 2018, 03:45:28 PM »
I had promised to upload a photo of the German non-bitter dandelion "salad bar" in the henyard, and here it is.  This bed was an old raised-leg cedar planter that was flipped upside-down to provide the posts for the fiberglass screencloth covering.  There are inverted screw hooks (facing down) surrounding the top on all sides to pull the wire mesh taut when grazing is permitted (photo does not show it taut), which prevents poultry from damaging plants down at the crown and root level.  The wire had been snipped inside the 4 corners to accommodate the posts, providing more strength when pulled down over them.  The front section of screencloth folds back easily to allow hens on top of the grazing grid. 

I lined the bottom with flat paving stones, spaced a bit for drainage, to prevent burrowing critters from tunneling their way up from below ground, as we once lost a bed of skirret (perennial carrots) in that location for that reason.  :(
How often do you allow chickens to access their salad bar?  It appears the bottom wire has approx. 1" X 2" openings?  Is that a type of welded wire?  Is that part of the rodent protection?  Or is that there because it was on top when the unit was a planter?
Thanks for showing this clever and useful farm tool!

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #131 on: June 28, 2018, 04:31:11 PM »
Yes, you're correct about the 1x2 welded fence wire, which is very easy to cut and shape.  Besides keeping poultry away from roots and crowns, it also discourages wildlife, while the under-bed paving stones discourage burrowing rodents.  It would not be impossible for critters still to get into the top part, but they tend to be more attracted to other produce than dandelion greens!

How often to graze depends upon how heavily to graze.  When I turned the bed over to  the poultry for 2 whole days, the "salad bar" became depleted and needed to be allowed to recover for maybe 2 weeks, so one single such bed should be regarded as an occasional diversion in the pen, rather than as being a regular dietary staple. 

If you want more regular use, it would be better to harvest a handful of the leaves daily or a few times a week, as a green supplement in their morning or evening mash, and even better as part of a whole range of gleanings from the garden.

Alternatively, one could build more beds or larger beds, space permitting.  We let our hens out of the henyard fence to forage so often, that it hasn't been a priority to build more covered beds inside the pen, just yet.  :)
« Last Edit: June 28, 2018, 05:13:18 PM by R.R. Book »

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #132 on: July 10, 2018, 06:13:32 AM »
Took a photo of the skirret (perpetual carrot) bed this morning to show how tall the tops can get. 

In this heat wave, I've had to keep it well-watered.  Skirret might almost prefer to be grown aquaponically, with its feet standing in water, but needs the mycorrhizae only available in soil.  So it's kept happy in pretty wet soil.  :)
« Last Edit: August 14, 2018, 05:17:05 PM by R.R. Book »

ilinda

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #133 on: July 10, 2018, 10:26:31 AM »
Is the skirret mainly for humans or chickens?  It slightly resembles parsnips.  IIRC, you did talk of it in earlier posts.

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #134 on: July 10, 2018, 10:32:51 AM »
It's good in stews and desserts.  It does have a tough core that makes it less desirable to eat raw. :)
« Last Edit: July 10, 2018, 11:09:33 AM by R.R. Book »

 

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