Monthly Archives: October 2011

The Great Rhubarb Divide

I’m especially fond of plants that are easily propagated, either by seed or division or cuttings.  Rhubarb (Rheum x hybridum) is just such a plant, and one of my fall chores – not every fall, mind you, but every 3 … Continue reading

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Adventures in Biochar – Part II

It worked! I ran into significant challenges specifically related to the design of my retort (as detailed here), but when I opened the barrel last night (in the dark, with a flashlight), I was greeted by a barrel full of … Continue reading

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Adventures in Biochar – Part I

Saturday last I drove into town to try to procure two 30 gallon metal barrels for my biochar retort kiln project.  I had in mind a two-barrel system similar to this one only larger, with a 30-gallon drum nestled inside … Continue reading

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Plum Gone Wild

This fruit is from either from a wild plum tree (Prunus americana), or else from an ordinary plum tree gone feral. More likely the latter, since California doesn’t appear to be in the natural range for wild plum. In any … Continue reading

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“How about not doing that?” A Lesson from Fukuoka

To the north of the garden proper and the food forest is a nearly pure stand of Pacific Madrone (Arbutus menzeisii)  Very little sunlight reaches the ground here, and the forest floor is piled high with generations of madrone leaves, … Continue reading

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Jerusalem Artichokes – Neither from Jerusalem, nor Artichokes

Jerusalem artichokes (Helianthus tuberosus), also called sunchokes, grow really well in my garden, and I’ve planted some in the food forest as well. I’ve grown them for a number of years – they don’t require much care, just a sunny … Continue reading

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Hügelkultur Fruit Tree Mound

In a previous post, I described preparing a future planting site by burying horse food.  This weekend, I created an actual, official hügelkultur mound, using a big old rotten log, as well as two other mounds, one filled with forest … Continue reading

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Hügelkultur for the Older Horse

I’ve been reading up on hügelkultur, which is the process of creating raised beds over decaying wood.  As the wood breaks down, it provides warmth, and increases the water holding capacity of the soil.  There’s no shortage of decaying wood … Continue reading

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DIY Multi-dibble

I’m fascinated by the range of tools created by humans to make certain jobs easier.  This beautiful gallery of Antique Farm Tools from England, Scotland and Wales includes such specialty implements as turnip hooks, beet knives, and various dibbers (also … Continue reading

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Gardening With Safety Goggles

I’ve been gardening for a number of years, but I can’t recall another time when I had to wear nitrile gloves to sow seeds. As mentioned in the prior post, I am interested in germinating a whole bunch of elderberry … Continue reading

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