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Discussing all aspect of gardening.
Location: Planet Earth
Latest Activity: Feb 28
Crinum Bulbs. 3.16.18
We've lived here 14 years now, and this one rhodie blooms every December.
Interesting, Joan. Always a fount of knowledge.
The erosion of arable land presents a formidable problem. Thankfully, there are ways to renovate destroyed growing grounds. Creating swales on the contour of the land can fill in the gullies and prevent new ones from forming.
We are growing on a dune left over by the last Ice Age. The soil erodes quickly and as soon as cutting the trees and grasses. Our land was dense forest until strip logging occurred.
"The Newport lumber mills were involved in planing, shingle, cedar post and pole milling. A 1909 promotional brochure touted Newport as “the largest cedar pole shipping point in the entire Northwest and many thousands are annually yarded here awaiting shipment” (Bamonte, 34). Between 1910 and 1920, the Diamond Match Company gained ascendancy, and by 1923 was the largest employer in Pend Oreille County. The humble match was in great demand for lighting everything from pipes to kerosene lamps."
Four cedar trees grow on this property of which we are aware. The rest of the regrowth include red and white fir, a few varieties of pines and the ever beautiful in the autumn, Western Larch.
The geodesic dome performs much as we expected, even as we hoped for more varieties of vegetables. We moved the citrus trees in before the first frost; the lemon tree has about 20 lemons developing. Their blossoms filled the greenhouse with the most lovely aroma. We had good pollination, I don't know if they pollinated naturally or by my little brush work.
The chickens get a handful of greens every day, leaving nary a leaf uneaten. Their delicious eggs stand up in the frying pan looking like white daisies with yellow centers.
I have a bunch of experiments going looking for greens that can thrive in these conditions. Latitude makes a difference for solar heating and clear days for access to sun rays.
Length of day, Dec. 3, 2015
Newport, 8h 34m
Spokane, 8h 38m
Vancouver, WA, 8h 53m
Pagosa Springs, CO, 9h 44m
Daniel, A few nights ago the temperature got below freezing inside the greenhouse; the zucchini and tomatoes were nicked, yet I hoped our plans for starting the propane heater would work. A few days later, all plans were adjusted. We don't get any candlepower from the sun because the sun does not rise above the forest and the solar panels pick up very little energy from that source. We earlier upgraded the solar panels realizing the ones that came with the kit would not work for our area. A killing freeze that lasted for several days and nights took all the life out of the tender plants.
Lettuces, brassicas, kales did fine. The most recent seeding did not make it; the soil was too cold.
The dome's design is to heat the water tank with solar energy and warmed air flows under the soil and it, too, is powered by solar energy fan. We installed a propane heater. The other morning I found the water in the tank with a layer of ice that required a hammer to break. The ice was as thick as a pane of glass. All broken up, the ice floats on top and has not refrozen solid since. I turned on the pump to get the water flowing and it put the solar batteries working overtime and not getting replenished.
Our propane heater could keep the water tank and air at a 52-degree temperature needed for sprouting seeds, but one propane tank lasts only about 100 hours. Too expensive to make this option feasible.
Our next strategy is to compost the dead plants and maintain the greenhouse for the winter thriving plants, i.e. kale, spinach, beet greens. The radish greens were delicious at first but now taste bitter. The good news is we should be able to have greens all winter long. Many varieties of lettuce thrive, much to my surprise.
And we'll see more arable land become unusable. I wonder how the next generation will cope.
In the last 40 years, roughly one third of the world’s arable land has been lost to pollution or soil erosion,...
Global soil loss increases threat to food production
I'm thinking that the increased heavy downpours from climate change might increase the rate of soil loss.
Wow, Daniel. Here you are, ridding your property of blackberry thickets, and I'm trying to cultivate one in my pine trees! Around here, farmers spray fence rows (what few remain), and I have a difficult time finding patches. Admittedly, they are a thorny bramble, not exactly desirable for anything but the actual berries.
I spent nearly 4 hours "pulping" persimmons the other day. Got about 3 pints. It's very hard work which makes me wonder if it's worth the effort. However, my pecan/persimmon pie was delicious!
That's quite a struggle, Daniel, but you'll never be without blackberry conserve!
As a matter of fact, I'm making persimmon pudding today! However, nobody will eat it but me. I'm thinking about calling it something like "brown sugar delight", omitting the word "persimmon".
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