Permaculture Plant Guilds Plants helping Plants

Permaculture Plant Guilds Plants helping Plants

Permaculture Plant Guilds Plants helping Plants

Permaculture Plant Guilds Plants helping Plants are A Permaculture Technique of grouping plants that work together to support one another to the fullest.

A plant guild is a grouping of plants that work together to support one another to the fullest and provide better production than they would otherwise by themselves.  We try to mimic the stacking and relationships found in nature while also providing useful resources to humans.  In a guild we may use a nitrogen fixer to provide nitrogen in the soil, a dynamic accumulator to bring nutrients to the surface for other plants, a plant that attracts beneficial insects to protect other plants and a plant that wards off larger prey like deer.

A guild is much better explained simply by giving an example of a guild and explaining what each member of that guild is doing.  With that in mind, I will show a sample of a plant guild I will be using in the spring of 2016.  It is an excerpt from my PermaEthos PDC (Permaculture Design Course) project.

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The plant guild will consist of several varieties of plants, each with a specific purpose.  A sample plant guild is shown below (reference Gaia’s Garden and foodproduction101) and an explanation of the purpose for each of the plants is shown below the pictures.  There is a plant guild for the mature trees, which have a lot more canopy and therefore have a lot more plants.  The newer trees will have a similar plant guild, but the support plants will not be as close and there will not be as many of them.

Permaculture Plant Guilds Plants helping Plants - Fruit Tree Guild for 8 to 20 Year Trees

Permaculture Plant Guilds Plants helping Plants – Fruit Tree Guild for 8 to 20 Year Trees

Daffodils

Daffodils are planted around the outside edge of the tree right at the drip line as well as right at the trunk.  They are planted at the drip line to act as the first line of defense in the spring to stop the growth of grass into the guild.  The outer ring of daffodils also helps deter deer browsing and has flowers to attract bees.  The inner ring of daffodils helps deter rodents from chewing on the lower bark and has flowers to attract bees.

Comfrey

Comfrey is used as a dynamic accumulator to bring nutrients up to useable levels for the fruit tree.  The comfrey will also grow larger as the summer goes on and shade out any grass that may be trying to move into the guild after the daffodils go dormant.  Summer flowers on the comfrey will attract bees and other pollinating insects.

Goumi

Goumi is a bush added as a nitrogen fixer.  It flowers in the mid-spring, so it will attract pollinators, and it will fruit in early summer.  The bush will be trimmed from time to time and the trimmings will be dropped to the ground to add additional nutrient and mulch to the soil.

Garlic chives

Garlic chives are planted as a pest deterrent as well as an edible.

Permaculture Plant Guilds Plants helping Plants - Fruit Tree Guild for 1 to 7 Year Trees

Permaculture Plant Guilds Plants helping Plants – Fruit Tree Guild for 1 to 7 Year Trees

Chicory

Chicory is planted as a perennial flowering plant to attract pollinators and beneficial insects.  It also acts as a dynamic accumulator.

Yarrow

Yarrow is another dynamic accumulator.  It is also a plant that flowers for a long period of time and attracts beneficial insects.

Autumn Olive

Autumn olive is a nitrogen fixer and is planted just outside of the drip line of the mature trees and a little further out for the younger trees.  The bush will be trimmed from time to time and the trimmings will be placed on the ground under the drip line of the fruit tree to provide additional nutrient and add mulch to the soil.

White Clover

White clover seed will be added in between guild plants as well as outside of the guild to help with fixing nitrogen.  The clover seeds will be inoculated prior to dispersal to increase nitrogen.

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There are many different plant combinations that can be put into a guild.  The best thing to do is not to copy what someone else is doing, but to gather ideas and substitute plants out for plants that provide similar functions, but do well in your area.

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Weekly Schedule 11_30_15 and 1st Podcast

Weekly Schedule 11_30_15 and 1st Podcast

Weekly Schedule 11_30_15 and 1st Podcast

Here is what we are going to be covering this week on the Great Escape Farms blog post:

Monday – Plant Guild – A Permaculture Practice

Tuesday – Mimosa – Tree

Wednesday – Other Nurseries – Rare Seeds

Thursday – Paw Paw – Tree

Friday – Wild Berries & Herbs – Nature Mobile – Phone App

Today I recorded episode 001 of the Great Escape Podcast.  This episode is an introduction to the new podcast.  The podcasts will cover the topics that were posted on the blog from the prior week.  Starting with episode 002, I’ll be going back to September 23rd and doing an episode for each week until I catch up to the current week.  Hopefully by the end of the year I’ll be caught up and posting a podcast at the end of the week of the topics covered that week.

The podcasts likely won’t be published for a week or two while I work through all of the technical details on how to post them on feedburner and iTunes.  I’ll shoot out a post and email to everyone when they are posted to the public.

Spicebush Plant Information – A Wild Edible

Spicebush Plant Information – A Wild Edible

Spicebush Plant Information – A Wild Edible

This post, titled Spicebush Plant Information – A Wild Edible, provides information including edibility and propagation of this medicinal plant.

Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) is a wild edible that is native to eastern North America.  It is a small deciduous tree growing to 15 foot in USDA zones 4 to 9. This hardy perennial tolerates deer, drought, heavy shade, and clay soil. You’ll find spicebush in damp, partially shaded, rich woodlands, on mountains’ lower slopes, in thickets, and along stream banks. Spicebush is primarily an understory species found in the wild in open forests and along forest edges

Spicebush Plant Information - Spicebush

Spicebush Plant Information – Spicebush

Spicebush leaves are alternate, simple, oval or obovate and broadest beyond the middle of the leaf. It has yellow flowers that grow in showy clusters which appear in early spring, before the leaves begin to grow.  The fruit grow in clusters, from the leaf axils of the female bushes, in autumn. Ripe fruit is a red, berrylike drupe. Plants are either male or female – both sexes are needed in a garden if one wants drupes with viable seeds.

Edible

Crush or scratch the thin, brittle twigs, or any part of spicebush to release its lemony-spicy fragrance. The leaves, buds, and new growth twigs can be made into a tea.  The fruit drupes taste a little like allspice.

Rinse them, pat them dry, and chop them in a blender or spice grinder. Berries have too much oil to be dried, so flash freeze them for future use.

Propagation

Spicebush can be propagated by seed, clonal via rhizome sprouting, and cuttings.  .  Seeds should be stratified for 90-120 days at 41 degrees. Seed should be sown 0.25 to 0.5 in. deep.  Softwood cuttings should be taken in June or July.

Medicianal

Spicebush Plant Information - Spicebush Berry

Spicebush Plant Information – Spicebush Berry

Spice bush has a wide range of uses as a household remedy, especially in the treatment of colds, dysentery and intestinal parasites. It warrants scientific investigation. The bark is aromatic, astringent, diaphoretic, febrifuge, stimulant and tonic. It is pleasant to chew. It is used in the treatment of coughs and colds. The bark can be harvested at any time of the year and is used fresh or dried. The fruits are carminative. The oil from the fruits has been used in the treatment of bruises and rheumatism. A tea made from the twigs was a household remedy for colds, fevers, worms and colic. A steam bath of the twigs is used to cause perspiration in order to ease aches and pains in the body. The young shoots are harvested during the spring and can be used fresh or dried. The bark is diaphoretic and vermifuge. It was once widely used as a treatment for typhoid fevers and other forms of fevers. *

(Source:www.naturalmedicinalherbs.net/herbs/l/lindera-benzoin=spice-bush.php)

I found some seeds at Amazon.  The link is below:

 

Check out the Amazon link.

Recipe

Creamy Cashew Salad Dressing

This is the perfect dressing for a wild green salad. The creaminess of the blended cashews balances the robust greens.

6 tbs. olive oil
6 tbs. canola or sunflower oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup mellow (light-colored) miso
2 cloves of garlic
2 common berries, or 1 tsp. allspice, ground

Purée all ingredients in a blender.

Makes 1-1/2 cups

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

(source:www.wildmanstevebrill.com/Web%20Recipes/CreamyCashewSaladDressing.html)

Spicebush Tea

Ingredients:
Enough spicebush twigs, striped of leaves and broken into lengths of approximately 5 inches, to fill a 3-quart pan
2½ quarts water
2 tablespoons honey

Fill pan with twigs and water, and bring to a boil, uncovered. After about 25-30 minutes, water should be slightly yellow. Strain tea through colander into gallon container. Stir in honey. Tea will keep in refrigerator for a week. It should be served hot – microwaving is fine. Enjoy!

(Source:www.grit.com/farm-and-garden/american-spicebush.aspx?PageId=2#ArticleContent)

 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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Thanksgiving and Native American Farmers

Thanksgiving and Native American Farmers

This post, Thanksgiving and Native American Farmers, gives a glimpse into the lives of the settlers in the 17th century and some of their farming practices.

In the fall of 1620 the Mayflower arrived off the coast of Plymouth Massachusetts.  By the spring of 1621 only about half of the original passengers survived the brutal first winter.  In the spring the settlers were met by a Native American named Squanto.  Squanto taught the settlers how to farm, hunt, and avoid poisonous plants in the new land.

Hugelkultur

The Native American farmers showed the early settlers a new way to plant in this rich fertile soil.  They showed the settlers how to grow native crops like maize, beans and squash.  They mounded soil up around the stumps of felled trees, making a hugelkultur type bed and put a fish in each mound for fertility.  Other Native American crops included pumpkin, tobacco, and sunflowers.

Three Sisters Garden

The Native Americans taught the new settlers the concept of what we now know as a three sisters garden.  The concept here is to plant corn, followed by beans a few weeks later, followed by squash a few weeks after that.  The way it works is the corn will sprout and get some height to it.  The beans will sprout several weeks later and by they time they are climbing up the corn, the corn is strong enough to support them.  Once the beans are climbing and off the ground, the squash spread on the ground and shades the ground from direct sunlight, thereby keeping the ground moist.

Other Teachings

The Native Americans also taught the settlers how to make maple syrup, dyes from plants and clam shell hoes.  Native Americans did not use plows and tools to disturb the land in mass.  That was a European way of doing things.  They used advanced farming techniques like terracing, crop rotation, irrigation and the use of wind breaks to improve farm yields.

The Animals

The Native Americans had domesticated animals that consisted of dogs and turkeys.  The turkeys were among the first products of the new world agriculture introduced to European markets. The settlers in turn introduced European animals such as chicken, cows, sheep and swine.  The settlers also introduced grains like wheat, rye and oats.

The settlers were able to grow everything they needed on one acre of land with the exception of salt, gun powder, and iron for tools.

More History

The first Thanksgiving is said to have happened in 1621 with the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag Indians during a three-day celebration of a successful harvest.  They shared a feast of their autumn harvest.  There is some controversy over exactly who had the first thanksgiving day feast as it may have been a Spanish explorer in 1565 or British settlers in 1619.

Thanksgiving Becomes an Annual Holiday

Many celebrations occurred in the following two plus centuries.  In 1827 Sarah Josepha Hale, the author of “Mary Had A Little Lamb”, began a letter writing campaign to make Thanksgiving an annual national holiday to help unify a country heading towards civil war.  Her campaign lasted for 36 years and Thanksgiving officially came to be a national holiday in the midst of the Civil War in 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed it as an annual national holiday.

The annual Thanksgiving holiday has been moved around from the forth Thursday of each November, to the third Thursday of each November, and back to the fourth Thursday of each November.  The famous Macy’s day parade started in 1924.  In 1989 George H.W. Bush granted the first Presidential pardon to a turkey and this has become tradition each year since.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanks to the Native American Farmers for their lessons!

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Siberian Pea Shrub Plant Information | A Permaculture Plant

Siberian Pea Shrub Plant Information | A Permaculture Plant

Siberian Pea Shrub Plant Information | A Permaculture Plant

This post, titled Siberian Pea Shrub Plant Information | A Permaculture Plant, provides information on permaculture uses and propagation of this medicinal tree.

The Siberian Pea Shrub (Caragana arborescen) is a permaculture plant that provides a lot of function stacking. They have edible parts, fix-nitrogen, attract beneficial insects, can be used as a pioneer plant, a windbreak, and a hedge, are used to stabilize erosion-prone soil, can feed livestock, can possibly be used as a medicinal plant and are pretty with fragrant flowers.

Siberian Pea Shrub Plant Information

Siberian Pea Shrub Plant Information – Siberian Pea Shrub

Siberian pea shrub is native to Siberia and Manchuria and occurs from southern Russia to China
The shrub’s nutritional content is composed around 36% protein and 12.4% of fatty oil. There are over 80 species of this plant that is part of the legume family.

It is a large to very large shrub with a size of 8-20 feet tall, and 12-18 feet wide. It prefers full sun and is hardy in USDA zones 2 through 7.

Leaves are alternate and compound with small leaflets and can be light to dark green. Small, yellow fragrant flowers bloom in early summer with pod fruits, containing many seeds, ripening in mid summer. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by bees.

There are 4 to 6 red-dish-brown, oblong to spherical seeds per pod. The pods, peas and flowers are edible. Young pods and the flowers are good in salads. Older pods should be cooked. The peas taste rather bland and it is recommended from many sources online to use them in spicy dishes.

Siberian Pea Shrub Plant Information - Siberian Pea Shrub

Siberian Pea Shrub Plant Information – Siberian Pea Shrub

I bought my tree for nitrogen fixation and put it in my orchard. It did not grow too much last year. We did have a bit of a summer drought and I didn’t water it at all, so that is the likely reason. This is one of my STUN (Sheer Total Utter Neglect) plants. STUN is basically where you put something in the ground and then ignore it and see if it takes. I use the STUN method on many of my support species as I have enough to take care of and don’t want something else that requires a lot of care. Hopefully it will grow a little better this year and I’ll get some seed pods.

I found some of the seeds on Amazon.  If you want to purchase some, you can check out the link is below:

Propagation

Propagation is typically done by seed. To propagate by seed, soak the seeds for 24 hours in warm water first. If the seed has not swollen after 24 hours, then scarify and soak again for 12 hrs. Plant ¼ to ½ inch deep. They typically germinate in 2-3 weeks. The seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible. The shrub can be propagated from cuttings and layering as well.

Medicinal

The whole plant, known as ning tiao, is used in the treatment of cancer of the breast, and the orifice to the womb, and for dysmenorrhoea and other gynaecological problems. *

(Source: www.naturalmedicinalherbs.net/herbs/c/caragana-arborescens=siberian-pea-tree.php)

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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Companion Planting is Plants helping Plants

Companion Planting is Plants helping Plants

Companion Planting is Plants helping Plants

This blog post on companion planting is more of a guide for future planting than a “good read”.  It is intended as a tool for you to used when planting next spring.  Below we cover companion plants, plants that do well together, and incompatibles, plants that do not like each other and do not do well together.

Companion planting is the placing of plants in close proximity to one another so that one plant can offer a benefit to the other.  This could be as basic as attracting beneficial insects that predate on pests to the other plant or as complex as a plant that releases exudates from the roots and attract beneficial bacteria for the other plant.  There are also plants that we call dynamic accumulators because they mine deep down in the soil with a long tap root and bring nutrients and minerals up to the surface for plants that can’t get those nutrients themselves.

There are also plants that do not grow well together.  Those are listed below as incompatible.  Some of them produce substances that stunt the growth of the other plant or they may attract insects that will destroy the other plants.  It is recommended that you do not plant incompatible plants near one another.

The list below is colored with companion planting as green and incompatible as red to make it easier to read through the list.

The List:

Asparagus (companions): Tomato, Parsley, Basil, aster family, dill, coriander, carrots, comfrey, and marigolds

Asparagus (incompatible): Onions, garlic, potatoes

Basil (companions): tomatoes, peppers, oregano, asparagus, petunias

Basil (incompatible): Rue, sage

Beans (companions): Most vegetables and herbs

Beans (incompatible): Onion, garlic, gladiolus

Beans, Bush (companions): Irish potato, cucumber, corn, strawberry, celery, summer savory)

Beans, Bush (incompatible): Onion

Beans, Pole (companions): Corn, summer savory, radish

Beans, Pole (incompatible): Onion, beets, kohlrabi, sunflower

Beets (companions): Cabbage and onion families, lettuce

Beets (incompatible): pole beans

Borage (companions): tomatoes, squash, strawberries, cabbage, strawberries

Broccoli (companions): Basil, bush beans, cucumber, dill, garlic, hyssop, lettuce, marigold, mint, nasturtium, onion, potato, radish, rosemary, sage, thyme, tomato, celery, beets

Broccoli (incompatible): Grapes, strawberries, mustard, rue

Cabbage Family (companions): Aromatic herbs, celery, beets, onion family, chamomile, spinach, chard

Cabbage Family (incompatible): Dill, strawberries, pole beans, tomato, peppers, eggplants, rue, grapes, lettuce

Caraway (companions): Strawberries

Caraway (incompatible): Dill, fennel

Carrots (companions): English pea, lettuce, rosemary, onion family, sage, tomato

Carrots (incompatible): Dill, parsnips

Celery (companions): Onion and cabbage families, tomato, bush beans, nasturtium, leek, spinach, cosmos, daisies, snapdragons

Celery (incompatible): Corn, Irish potato, aster.

Corn (companions): Irish potato, beans, English pea, pumpkin, cucumber, squash, amaranth, melons, parsley, peanuts, soybean, sunflower

Corn (incompatible): Tomato, celery

Cucumber (companions): Beans, corn, English pea, sunflowers, radish, beets, carrots, dill, nasturtium.

Cucumber (incompatible): Irish potato, Aromatic herbs, sage, rue

Dill (companions): cabbage, lettuce, onions, corn, cucumber

Dill (incompatible): carrots, caraway, lavender, tomatoes

Eggplant (companions): Beans, Marigold, amaranth, peas, spinach, tarragon, thyme, peppers

Fennel (companions): Dill

Fennel (Incompatible): most other garden plants

Garlic (companions): Roses, apple trees, Pear trees, cucumber, peas, lettuce, celery

Grapes (companions): Grapes, basil, beans, geraniums, oregano, cover, peas, blackberries, clover, chives

Grapes (incompatible): radishes, cabbage

Horseradish (companions): potato

Lettuce (companions): Carrot, radish, strawberry, cucumber, beet, broccoli, pole bean, onion, sunflower, dill

Lettuce (incompatible): cabbage

Melons (companion): Corn, pumpkin, radish, squash, marigolds, nasturtium, oregano

Mint (companion): Cabbage, tomatoes

Nasturtiums (companions): Radishes, cabbage, squash, pumpkin, tomatoes, cucumbers, under fruit trees,

Okra (companions): Lettuce, peppers, eggplant, basil, cucumber, melon, black eyed pea

Onion Family (companions): Beets, carrot, lettuce, cabbage family, summer savory, leek, kohlrabi, strawberry, dill, tomato

Onion Family (Incompatible): Beans, English peas, asparagus

Oregano (companions): Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, grapes

Parsley (companions): Tomato, Asparagus, carrot, chives, onions, roses

Parsley (incompatible): mint

Parsnips (companions): bush bean, garlic, marigolds, onion, pea, pepper, potato, radish.

Peach Tree (companions): Grape, garlic, onion, asparagus

Peach Tree (incompatible): Potato, tomato, raspberry

Pea, English (companions): Carrots, radish, turnip, cucumber, corn, beans, celery, chicory, eggplant, parsley, spinach, strawberry, sweet pepper, tomatoes

Pea, English (incompatible): Onion family, gladiolus, Irish potato, chives, grapes

Pepper, Sweet (companions): Tomatoes, parsley, basil, geraniums, marjoram, lovage, petunia, carrots

Pepper, Hot (companions): tomato, okra, cucumbers, eggplant, escarole, Swiss chard, squash, basil oregano, parsley, rosemary

Peppers (incompatible): beans, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, fennel

Potato, Irish (companions): Beans, corn cabbage family, marigolds, horseradish, carrot, celery, flax, petunia, onion

Potato, Irish (incompatible): Pumpkin, squash, tomato, cucumber, sunflower, asparagus, sun flower, turnip, fennel

Pumpkins (companion): Corn, Marigold, melon, squash, nasturtium, oregano, dill

Pumpkins (incompatible): Irish Potato

Radish (companion): English Pea, Nasturtium, Lettuce, cucumber, beet, beans, carrot, chervil, melons, parsnips, spinach

Radish (incompatible): Hyssop, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, turnips

Rosemary: (companions): cabbage, beans, carrots, sage

Sage (companions): broccoli, cauliflower, rosemary, cabbage, carrots

Sage (incompatible): cucumber, onion, rue

Spinach (companion): Strawberry, faba bean, pea, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, eggplant, onions

Squash (companions): Nasturtium, corn, marigold, beans cucumbers, melon, mint, onions, pumpkins, borage, marigolds, oregano, dill

Squash (incompatible): Irish Potato

Strawberry (companions): beans, borage, lettuce, onions, spinach, thyme

Strawberry (incompatible): Cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kohlrabi

Sunflower (companions): Corn

Sweet Potatoes (companions): Dill, thyme, oregano, summer savory, beets, parsnips, salsify, bush beans, potatoes, alyssum

Thyme (companions): Eggplants, cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes

Tomato (companions): Onion family, Nasturtium, Marigold, Asparagus, carrot, parsley, cucumber, basil, bean, celery, chive, garlic, mint, parsley, pea, pepper, bee balm, borage

Tomato (incompatible): Irish potato, fennel, cabbage family, corn, apricot, fennel, cauliflower, dill, walnut trees

Turnip (companions): English pea, cabbage

Turnip (incompatible): Irish potato, radish, turnips, delphinium, larkspur, mustard

Watermelon (companions): corn, nasturtiums, peas, sunflowers, squash, cucumber, pumpkin, radish, oregano

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Viburnum Blackhaw Tree Information is Another Unique Edible Plant

Viburnum Blackhaw Tree Information is Another Unique Edible Plant

Viburnum Blackhaw Tree Information is Another Unique Edible Plant

Viburnum Blackhaw Tree Information is Another Unique Edible Plant. Viburnum Blackhaw (Viburnum prunifolium), another unique edible plant, is a native as an understory shrub in the Eastern and Midwestern United States.  It is a deciduous shrub in USDA zones 3 to 9.  In the north it is a shrub, but in the south it can be grown into a small tree.  It blooms with white flowers in the spring and has pinkish to black fruit in the fall.

Viburnum Blackhaw Tree Information is Another Unique Edible Plant - Viburnum

Viburnum Blackhaw Tree Information is Another Unique Edible Plant – Viburnum

Viburnum can grow up to 12 – 15-foot-high and can spread 6 -12 foot.  It tolerates drought, clay soil, black walnut, and air pollution.  It likes moist, well drained soils of average fertility in full sun.  The leaves are obovate, finely toothed, and glossy dark green (to 4″ long).

It blooms in late spring with creamy-white, flat-topped flowers.  In the fall it forms pinkish to blue-black, berry-like drupes, which often persist into winter and are quite attractive to birds and wildlife. The flavor of the fruit improves in flavor and sweetness after a frost.

The plants branches grow very dense an unruly, and it benefits from an occasional pruning.  Prune immediately after flowering since flower buds form in summer for the following year.

The Fruit is edible raw, made into wine, in jams, can be made into preserves.  Some recipes are at the end of this article.

Propagation

Viburnum Blackhaw Tree Information is Another Unique Edible Plant - Blackhaw

Viburnum Blackhaw Tree Information is Another Unique Edible Plant – Blackhaw

Viburnum can be propagated by rooted stem cuttings, seeds, or transplanting of the occasional suckers from the nearby roots at its base.  I have not had the opportunity to try propagating this plant yet.  I have two at the farm and will try propagating in 2016.

Medicianal

The astringent bark was used medicinally. *

Black haw is a shrub that is native to the woodlands of central and southern North America. People use the root bark and its extracts to make medicine. *

Black haw is used for increasing urine (as a diuretic) to relieve fluid retention; and for treating diarrhea, spasms, and asthma. It is also used as a tonic. *

Women use black haw for treating menstrual cramps and spasms of the uterus after childbirth; and for preventing miscarriage. *

It is POSSIBLY UNSAFE to use black haw if you are pregnant. It might affect the uterus. *

Viburnum Blackhaw Tree Information is Another Unique Edible Plant - Blackhaw

Viburnum Blackhaw Tree Information is Another Unique Edible Plant – Blackhaw Fruit

It’s also best to avoid using black haw if you are breast-feeding. Not enough is known about its safety. *
Aspirinallerty: Black haw contains chemicals called salicylates. There is some concern that these salicylates could trigger an allergic reaction in people with asthma or aspirinallergies. *
Kidney stones: Because black haw contains oxalic acid, it might increase stone formation in people with a history of kidney stones. *

(Source: www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-892-black%20haw.aspx?activeingredientid=892&activeingredientname=black%20haw)

BLACK HAW WINE

  • 3 lbs ripe black haw berries
  • ¾ lb black raisins or zante currants, chopped
  • 2½ lbs granulated sugar
  • 7 pts water
  • 1 tsp acid blend
  • ¾ tsp pectic enzyme
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • wine yeast

Bring water to boil and add sugar. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Meanwhile, wash fruit and chop raisins or currants. Combine in nylon straining bag, tie closed and put in primary. Mash berries with piece of hardwood. Pour boiling water over bag, cover, and set aside to cool. When primary reaches room temperature, stir in remaining ingredients except yeast. Cover and set aside 12 hours. Add activated yeast. Ferment 10 days, stirring and squeezing bag daily. Remove nylon straining bag and squeeze gently to extract flavor. Discard pulp, transfer liquid to secondary and fit airlock. If required, top up when fermentation subsides. After 30 days, rack, top up and refit airlock. Repeat racking every 30 days until wine clears and no new sediments form over 30-day period. Stabilize, sweeten as desired, wait 10-14 days, and rack into bottles. This wine should be aged 6 months before drinking.

(Source: winemaking.jackkeller.net/request105.asp)

Black Haw Jam

Ingredients

1 quart of black haw berries

1 cup sugar per cup of juice

½ cup water

3 oz. pectin

Wash and stem berries and place into a deep saucpan. Add water and cook till fruit pops. Crush fruit completely with a masher. Run through a food mill or strainer to remove skins and seeds. Measure juicy pulp and place in deep saucepan with sugar. Bring to a boil stirring constantly, then add 3 oz liquid pectin. Boil and stir for 1 full minute then remove from heat and skim of foam. Pour into hot, sterile jelly jars and seal.

(Source: earthnotes.tripod.com/blkhaw.htm)

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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Schedule for the week of November 23, 2015

Schedule for the week of November 23, 2015

Here is the tentative schedule for this week.  I may change up Thursday and go with something Thanksgiving themed if I have time.  If I don’t have time to do that, the schedule below will stand.

Monday – Plant – Viburnum Blackhaw

Tuesday – Companion Planting

Wednesday – Plant – Siberian Pea Shrub

Thursday – Thanksgiving – Native American Farmer

Friday – Wild Edible – Spice Bush

Establishing a Food Forest DVD Review

Establishing a Food Forest DVD Review

Establishing a Food Forest DVD Review

This post is titled Establishing a Food Forest DVD Review. Wednesday night I watched the DVD “Establishing a Food Forest” which was presented by Geoff Lawton.  This is at least the third time I have watched this 80-minute DVD and every time I watch it I still pick up something new.

Food Forest Definition

Establishing a Food Forest DVD Review

Establishing a Food Forest DVD Review

Before I get into the review of the DVD, lets define Food Forest.  On Wikipedia, the term Food Forest re-directs to Forest Gardening.  Here is Wikipedia’s definition of Forest Gardening:

“Forest gardening is a low-maintenance sustainable plant-based food production and agroforestry system based on woodland ecosystems, incorporating fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines and perennial vegetables which have yields directly useful to humans. Making use of companion planting, these can be intermixed to grow in a succession of layers, to build a woodland habitat.”

DVD Overview

The DVD starts out with classroom lecture going over what a food forest is and how to design one.  They go into looking at patterns of existing forests and the layers of a forest.  The layers as described by Geoff are; canopy, understory, shrub, herbaceous, ground cover, vine/climbers, and root yield.  He does go into a few additional layers that are specific to the tropics.

Many of these layers are support species planted for the future end results.  He talks about support species as follows:

  • Ground cover – hundreds of thousands of nitrogen fixers per acre that will only survive for 6 months. This could be clover or other nitrogen fixing ground cover.
  • Herbaceous / bush layer – tens of thousands of nitrogen fixers per acre that will only survive for 4 to 5 years. Examples are certain legumes and peas.
  • Understory layer – thousands of small trees that fix nitrogen that will survive 10 to 15 years.
  • Canopy – hundreds of trees that will go full term.
  • The above are all support species used just to fix the soil with nitrogen and other nutrients and provide mulch through chop and drop. Mixed in with all of the above will be our fruit and nut trees.
  • In the beginning the mix will be 90/10. 90% of mass is support species and 10% is our fruit trees.  As time goes on we end up with 10% of mass is support species and 90% is our fruit trees.  This happens as the fruit trees get larger and the support species die out.
  • The support species is coppiced, pollarded, and chop & dropped. This happens during the wet season, which is when there is more rainfall than evaporation.
Establishing a Food Forest DVD Review

Establishing a Food Forest DVD Review

After the classroom portion of the DVD, Geoff goes to the field and plants a food forest into a swale at the Permaculture Research Institute (PRI).  He demonstrates mixing a nitrogen fixing inoculant with some legumes (cowpea and lupin).  He shows a large variety of plants that they are putting in, how to put them in and why.

He then goes back to that same swale after 3 months and gives you a tour, shows the progress and explains what is going on.  He talks about too many grass hoppers not being a grass hopper problem but a deficiency in Turkeys.  He talks about too many slugs/snails not being a slug/snail issue but a deficiency in ducks.  He also demonstrates “feed the forest” by doing some chop and drop.

He shows fungus being the “teeth” of the forest and explains how the fungus is breaking down the dead plant life to feed the living.  He shows how chickens help establish a food forest and also explains how a food forest is low maintenance once established.

He shows a kitchen garden that has over 400 species of plants in it.  He goes on to explain how all of the diversity confuses the pest and how they make climates attractive to predator insects to predate on those confused pests.

My thoughts on this DVD are that it is a wonderful learning resource and I wouldn’t understand why anyone that likes gardening doesn’t want to put in a food forest after watching this DVD.  It is also one of the reasons I put a food forest in last year and will put more in going forward.  It is a wonderful concept and I enjoy the thought of high yield and low maintenance in the future.

Extras

In addition to the 80-minute main feature, there are five clips in the bonus section of the DVD:

  • 30-Year-Old Food Forest – 10-minute video walk through of a 30-year-old food forest in Thailand. Most of the plants in this clip are tropical and likely wouldn’t grow in temperate climate North America.
  • 300-Year-Old Food Forest – a 6-minute video walk through of a 300-year-old food forest in Hanoi.
  • 2000-Year-Old Food Forest – a 4+ minute video walk through of a 2000-year-old food forest in Morocco. This video has many fruits that do grow in North America.
  • Permaculture World Wide – a 4+ minute video about how to grow permaculture plants world wide and how to raise funds to do so.
  • Harvesting Water DVD – This is the trailer for another of Geoff’s videos “Harvesting Water DVD”

About Geoff:

According to Wikipedia: “Geoff Lawton is a permaculture consultant, designer and teacher. Since 1995 he has specialized in permaculture education, design, implementation, system establishment, administration and community development.”

He is Managing Director of The Permaculture Research Institute – www.permaculturenews.org. and is the go-to practicing expert on anything permaculture.

 

To Buy the DVD:

A downloadable copy of the DVD can be bought at:

permaculturenews.org/product-category/digital-downloads/

 

The physical DVD can be bought at:

www.ecofilms.com.au/store/

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Jujube Tree Information – A Unique Edible Tree

Jujube Tree Information – A Unique Edible Tree

Jujube Tree Information – A Unique Edible Tree

This post, titled Jujube Tree Information – A Unique Edible Tree, covers the edibility, propagation and medicinal uses of neat plant.  Jujube (Ziziphus jujuba) is also sometimes called red date, Chinese date, Korean date, or Indian date.  It is a small deciduous tree reaching up to 40’ in height. Jujube is a native to many parts of Asia and has over 400 cultivars. It has thorns on the branches of most cultivars.  The wood is very hard and strong.

Jujube Tree Information - A Unique Edible Tree

Jujube Tree Information – A Unique Edible Tree – Jujube Tree

Jujube has small, ovate or oval leaves that are 1-2 inches long and a shiny bright green.  In the autumn, the leaves turn bright yellow before falling.  In the mid spring small flowers with five inconspicuous yellowish-green petals emerge, giving way to strawberry sized fruit in the late summer into the fall. Most jujube cultivars produce fruit without cross-pollination

The fruit has a thin edible skin surrounding whitish flesh in an oval shape up to an inch and a quarter deep.  It starts out green and tasting like an apple maturing brown to purplish-black and eventually wrinkled, looking like a small date.  There is a single stone similar to an olive pit that contains two seeds. A mature jujube tree can have 40 to 100 lb or more of fruit depending on tree size and culture management. It requires hot summers and sufficient water for good fruiting.

The fruits are eaten fresh, dried, candied, and smoked.  Juice, marmalades, jujube vinegar, pickles, and wine are also made from the fruit of Jujube.  Fresh fruit harvested when first ripe can be stored at 40° F for two weeks or more without losing quality.  The best time to harvest drying cultivars is when they are fully red.

Cultivars

There are over 400 cultivars of jujube in total.  I have the three listed below and will be writing articles on them in the future.  I just put my trees in last year, so I have not harvested any fruit yet.

Li

Popular commercial cultivar. Large, round fruit up to 3 ounces, mid-season (ripens in mid-August), fresh eating cultivar. Good quality. USDA Zones 5-10. Self fertile. May be picked at the yellow-green stage. Tree is many-branched, yet narrow and upright. Best first tree to have.

Lang

Another popular commercial cultivar. Fruit is big and pear-shaped and good for drying. This fruit is best to let dry on the tree. The tree is upright and virtually spineless and is a late season ripening variety. Some fruit may split if it rains at mature season. USDA Zones 5-10. Pollenized by Li or other jujubes.

Coco

Prolific producer of golden-brown fruit with a unique coconut-like flavor. Can be self fruitful, but a second variety recommended for best fruit set. Origin- Nikita Botanic Garden in Yalta, Ukraine.

Propagation

Most commercial jujube trees are grafted on sour jujube for their hardiness.  Softwood cuttings are also possible.

Medicinal

Jujube Tree Information - A Unique Edible Tree - Fruit

Jujube Tree Information – A Unique Edible Tree – Jujube Fruit

While they may not have a large amount of any one nutrient, jujubes contain a wide array of different ones, including magnesium, potassium, copper, niacin, calcium, manganese, phosphorus, and iron. They contain 20 times more vitamin C than any citrus fruit, strengthening the immune system and fighting infections, which may be why they’ve been used medicinally for millennia in many cultures, as a tea for sore throat, for example. [1] *

Medical studies have found that jujube fruits and extracts have the capacity help lower blood pressure, reverse liver disease, treat anemia, and inhibit the growth of tumor cells that can lead to leukemia. Jujube extracts are also used in skin care products used to diminish wrinkles, relieve dry skin, and treat sunburn pain. [1] *

The seeds, fruit, and bark of jujube have been used in traditional medicine for anxiety and insomnia, and as an appetite stimulant or digestive aid. Experiments in animals support the presence of anxiolytic and sedative properties. However, clinical trials are lacking. [2] *

Recipe

Jujube Cake

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups dried, minced jujube
  • 1 cup water

Bring these to a boil then set aside to cool

  • 2 cups wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoonful soda
  • 1/2 teaspoonful salt

Sift these together then add to the above mixture. Bake at 325° F

(Source: www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/jujube.html)

 

[1] foodfacts.mercola.com/jujubes.html

[2] www.drugs.com/npp/jujube.html

 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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