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Author Topic: Northern Permaculture  (Read 20203 times)

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #105 on: May 15, 2018, 06:25:48 PM »
Thanks Ilinda!  :)

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture: Wood ash for the garden
« Reply #106 on: May 16, 2018, 11:31:21 AM »
One of the most frugal chores on the homestead is transferring wood stove ashes to the garden, essentially utilizing firewood twice.  Bio-char from bonfires can also be used.

Hardwoods are more nutrient-dense than softwoods (conifers).  We limit softwood or fatwood to kindling, as it does contain flammable resin that can lead to a creosote fire in the chimney if burned disproportionately.  For that purpose, we have a compost pile just for Christmas trees, and the tree that was added to the pile last January becomes kindling for the following autumn and winter, having dropped its needles and seasoned several months outdoors.  By October, the branches are ready to be cut into pieces suitable for the kindling basket.

Here is a table of nutrients in wood ash, with micro-nutrients varying according to species:


Ash can be used to top-dress most vegetables or worked into the soil, but shouldn't be used on acid-loving crops such as most fruits, especially berries.  It is also not used on potatoes, as the higher pH may cause scab.

Wood ash for agricultural purpose has a calcium carbonate equivalent (CCE) component, which varies from 25-59 percent (https://extension.umaine.edu/publications/2279e/). Calcium carbonate has a pH value of 9.4.  This puts ash in a similar soil amendment category as horticultural lime.  It's recommended to rotate every year where the ashes are added in the garden, so that soil is kept below a neutral pH of 7, with 6.5 being considered ideal for most vegetable crops.

Wood ash obviously needs to be thoroughly cooled down before being used, and a good place to conserve batches of it safely is in an old cast iron dutch oven, which is periodically emptied onto the garden when weather permits. 
« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 06:36:08 PM by R.R. Book »

Jimfarmer

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #107 on: May 16, 2018, 08:13:34 PM »
Quote
One of the most frugal chores on the homestead is transferring wood stove ashes to the garden, essentially utilizing firewood twice.  Bio-char from bonfires can also be used.

I once read that a mixture of wood ash and urine makes a perfect fertilizer.  No ratios were stated.  Anyone have technical details?

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #108 on: May 17, 2018, 04:02:24 AM »
I'm glad you brought it up, because I forgot to include the NPK ratio: 0-1-3.

So I can see how urine would add the N and balance the formula. 

Jim, if you're a professional farmer, we need to learn more from you!  :)

ilinda

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #109 on: May 17, 2018, 10:18:00 AM »
Quote
One of the most frugal chores on the homestead is transferring wood stove ashes to the garden, essentially utilizing firewood twice.  Bio-char from bonfires can also be used.

I once read that a mixture of wood ash and urine makes a perfect fertilizer.  No ratios were stated.  Anyone have technical details?
It sounds reasonable and just think--those are two things we all can access.  Even if we find no technical details, we can experiment on small parts of a bed, so as to compare it with the "control bed".

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #110 on: May 18, 2018, 05:34:58 AM »
Quote
Quote from: R.R. Book on May 14, 2018, 05:03:57 AM

    What is the Longevity series Ilinda?

https://humanlongevityfilm.com/

It started May 8 and should finish tomorrow.  They usually run these series a couple of times, but you almost have to binge-watch just to get it all.  But it's FREE.  They always offer the opportunity to buy the series, and I did with the Vaccines Revealed, as well as The Truth About Cancer series.

Ilinda, I'll start a separate thread about this, as it seems too important to let lapse here.  :)

R.R. Book

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« Last Edit: May 26, 2018, 03:08:21 PM by R.R. Book »

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #112 on: June 04, 2018, 10:14:40 AM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNJLY-yXOYE

around 2:00

Estimating food garden water needs.  Narrator says a minimum of 200'2 of garden space is needed to feed a family, or about 6x the size of the garden in the diagram below (so 6x the water usage).


R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #113 on: June 04, 2018, 06:14:35 PM »
http://urbanhomestead.org/

Am guessing some are already familiar with the wonderful Dervaes family that have been homesteading on a 1/5 acre lot in the middle of Pasadena for decades?



The actual garden only takes up 1/10 of an acre, as the house is on the remainder.  That's 3900'2, or roughly the equivalent of 66' x 66'.



Statistics:

*The 1/10 acre plot organically grows 400 species of edible plants

*They have increased their annual harvest from 6,000 pounds to 7,000 pounds

*They raise 90% of their produce at an annual savings of $75,000 for a family of 4

*60% is consumed, 30% is sold, and 10% is fed to livestock

*They raise $20,000 gross in annual sales to local restaurants, as well as a CSA box program and a front porch farm stand.

*They are lacto-ovo vegetarians

*They eat on $2 per day per person

Quote
Growing food is one of the most dangerous occupations on the face of this earth, because you are in danger of becoming free.
~Julian Dervaes, head of the family


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCmTJkZy0rM&sns=tw

« Last Edit: June 07, 2018, 10:31:23 AM by R.R. Book »

ilinda

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #114 on: June 04, 2018, 08:01:44 PM »
Thanks for reminding us.  They were written up in Mother Earth News a few years ago and were as impressive then, as now!  Amazing family and incredible commitment to sustainability and self-sufficiency.

ilinda

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #115 on: June 04, 2018, 08:21:06 PM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNJLY-yXOYE

around 2:00

Estimating food garden water needs.  Narrator says a minimum of 200'2 of garden space is needed to feed a family, or about 6x the size of the garden in the diagram below (so 6x the water usage).
We've covered the issue before, probably elsewhere on PXTH, of watering the garden, but it's definitely worth another mention.  For some years now I've adopted a new method of watering, where I water the seeds and seedlings generously while small, but not till soggy.  In other words, keep the newly emerging seeds and seedlings moist but now drowning.

Once established, no longer water them.  Unless you are in a horrific drought, they will find the water they need.  This does work.  For example with squash, notice how on those especially hot days, that the leaves droop down so low, they appear to be dying.  But the next morning they are perked back up.

The way to know about squash, and presumably other crops, is that if they are still drooped down low the following morning, then they DO need water.  What happens when you withhold regular watering, is that the plant will send roots down deeper and deeper to find the needed moisture.  Not watering regularly will actually make the plants more resiliant.

And if a drought or mini-drought comes your way, make a slight trench parallel to rows of crop, but about 1-2' away.  Water in that trench will be available to the roots of the adjacent, thirsty plants.

This may not work for all, especially those who live basically on sand, such as St. Pete, FL, or those who are so neurotic they cannot mentally accept the possibility of withholding water from a plant!

This year I'm growing three varieties of corn.  The first, Tohono O'odham, a 60-day flour corn I watered when it was planted, and that is the first and last time it will receive any water from me.   The second and third varieties, I did not water, even when planting, as I plan to allow rainwater to provide what is needed, assuming rains will be normal this year.  Update to follow.

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #116 on: June 05, 2018, 04:33:13 AM »
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those who are so neurotic they cannot mentally accept the possibility of withholding water from a plant

 ;)

I planted some of the Yamiken seeds that you sent me Ilinda, and will try practicing your insight of not watering unless they are wilted in the morning, especially as curcubits generally struggle with mildew in our moist climate.  Of course we've had torrential rains so far this season, and water may not be an issue here as much as elsewhere.

Good luck with your corn!

ilinda

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #117 on: June 06, 2018, 05:41:20 PM »
Quote
those who are so neurotic they cannot mentally accept the possibility of withholding water from a plant

 ;)

I planted some of the Yamiken seeds that you sent me Ilinda, and will try practicing your insight of not watering unless they are wilted in the morning, especially as curcubits generally struggle with mildew in our moist climate.  Of course we've had torrential rains so far this season, and water may not be an issue here as much as elsewhere.

Good luck with your corn!
Today we cut into our last Yamiken and it was definitely still good.  The one before this was still sweet, but had begun to get a bit of toughness.  By this time of year, they are nearly one year old! 

Another point, which I may have mentioned before is that even if you like to mulch your garden plants, Yamiken is one that does better without mulch for the simple reason that if you begin to reach for the squash bugs, they will immediately drop downward and move under the mulch and you'll never find them.  For that reason I resist the urge to thickly mulch, as I do with tomatoes and peppers (when time permits).

Last but not least, probably repeating myself again, the best cooking method is sliced into wedges, and in an olive oiled cast iron skillet, uncovered, at 250 deg. F.   We use a little toaster oven.  After about two hours at 250 deg. F., uncovered, then carefully turn each wedge over and bake another 15-30 min at 200-250.  The goal is to get them to caramelize a bit for that last 15-30 min.  (The beauty of the long cooking time is you start them and just walk away for several hours--I've even left them on for three hours on occasion.)

Pics attached show our very last one.  It's like being an empty-nester when the last one leaves.....  LOL

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #118 on: June 06, 2018, 07:17:00 PM »
How luscious the slices look! 

Empty nest - ha ha!  ;)

Will follow your advice and not mulch. 

BTW, I was amazed to see that a couple of "wild" curcubits have come up on their own in the woods, apparently after overwintering, and I'm very eager to see exactly what kind they turn out to be.  Any curcubit seeds surviving the winter that we just pulled through must be pretty tough indeed!  Will keep you informed...
« Last Edit: June 07, 2018, 09:40:12 AM by R.R. Book »

ilinda

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #119 on: June 07, 2018, 08:02:20 PM »
And one last piece of info. which I probably have also repeated ad nauseum (!), is that the Yamiken are ready when the stems have turned from green to dried-brown.  This is the longest season squash I've ever grown because it seems to take forever for the female flowers to arrive.  It seems for weeks and weeks all I see are male flowers, then all of a sudden, the females appear, and I always worry that they won't have time to make fruit. 

If you do get an early frost and the fruits do not have brown stems, or are still green, just bring them indoors and wait till they properly turn.  It might take several months, as this is the slowest squash ever!  But they are worth it.  I proved to myself last year that bringing green fruit indoors and letting them ripen on their own can still give sweet squash.  Before we had to experience it, I always thought they'd be only slightly sweet and compromised.  But the wait is worth it.  It's even better though if they can totally ripen on the vine.

Whew.  Will stop lecturing now!  LOL

 

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