Wednesday, May 7, 2014

No More Toxic Lawns!

Before you do anything to your lawn this year, please read the great Paul Wheaton's article on Organic Lawn Care for the Cheap and Lazy

Replacing grass with a perennial such as chamomile, thyme, moss, or clover is another way to keep a lovely, organic lawn. Replacing grass with a perennial and annual food growing system would be even more incredible. Whatever you do, please DO NOT use synthetic fertilizers, or especially herbicides and pesticides on your lawn. These nasty chemicals are deadly to the already threatened bees and beneficial insects, and they leach into our waterways.

From Paul's article: 

Lawn care in a nutshell:

    Must do:
    • Set your mower as high as it will go (3 to 4 inches).
    • Water only when your grass shows signs of drought stress and then water deeply (put a cup in your sprinkler zone and make sure it gets at least an inch of water).
    • Fertilize with an organic fertilizer in the fall and spring. I recommend the Ringer brand.
    • Have the pH of your soil professionally tested. Add lime if it is below 6.0 and gardener's sulfur if it is above 7.0.
    • How much top soil do you have? See how deep a shovel will go into the soil. How deep can you dig a hole in one minute? Four inches of topsoil will make for an okay lawn. Eight or more inches of topsoil will make for a great lawn.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Nameko Mushroom Companion Plant Discovery

On Radical Mycology, there is an interesting post regarding a discovery Pat Rasmussen with Edible Forest Gardens in Olympia, WA made using Nameko mushrooms. The Viking Aronias that were next to Nameko mushrooms grew over twice as much with just a 2 week head start. She found similar results with grapes. Aronia Berry is similar to Blueberry so I assume they would love Namekos as well. (And my fungi wish list grows yet again.) Granted this is not a controlled study, I think it's definitely worth investigating further. There is interesting information in the article about Oyster mushrooms and Brassicas too. The short video features Pat comparing the results in two properties she converted from energy and labor intensive lawns to beautiful edible landscapes. 

What other combinations of fungi and plants help each other grow best?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

2014 Planting List

2014 is the year of the food forest at Green Goddess Farm! 

Below is a list of the plants we are putting in at the farm this season (so far!):

Black Oxford Apple on Antonovka standard stock
Canadian Strawberry Apple on Antonovka standard stock
2 Coxs Orange Pippin Apple on Antonovka standard stock
Yellow Delicious Apple on semi-dwarfing stock (for espalier)
Red Delicious Apple on semi-dwarfing stock (for espalier)
Early Golden Apricot
Methley Plum
Comptesse Clara Frijs Pear   
Oriental Pear on dwarf stock (for espalier)
Kaspars Winter Pear
Bartlett Pear on dwarf stock(for espalier)
BlackGold Sweet Cherry
WhiteGold Sweet Cherry
Black Tartarian Cherry on dwarf stock (for espalier)
Nanking Cherry
Red Maple 
10 Flowering Trees (Dogwoods, Crabapple, Hawthorn)

Siberian Pea Tree (Caragana arborescens)
Osage Orange (Maclura pomifera) for living fences
Bluecrop Highbush Blueberry
Reka Highbush Blueberry
Heritage Everbearing Raspberry
2 Blackhaw Viburnum
2 Forsythia 

Catawba Grape Vine 
Concord Grape Vine 
Morning Glories 

Carrot Danvers 126
Carrot Nantes
Carrot Imperator
Carrot Red Cored Chantenay
Cabbage All Seasons
Cauliflower Snowball Y
Broccoli Waltham 29
Broccoli Green Sprouting Calabrese
Broccoli De Cicco 
Brussels Sprouts Churchill
Brussels Sprouts Long Island
Celery Utah Tall
Corn Fishers Earliest (Zea mays) 
Corn Sweet Luscious Hybrid
Corn Early Choice
Cucumber Boston Pickling
Cucumber Wisconsin Pickling
Cucumber Tendergreen
Beans Taylor Dwarf
Beans Windsor Fava
Beans Provider Bush
Beans Burpee's Stringless Green Pod
Peas Sugar Ann Snap
Peas Oregon Sugar Pod II Snow
Peas Progress
Onion Walla Walla Sweet (Allium cepa)
Onion Parade Bunching
Onion Red Burgundy
Summer Squash (Early Summer Crookneck)
Tomato Roma
Tomato Beefsteak
Tomato Sweet Large Red Cherry
Pepper Carnival Mix (Orange Sun, California Wonder, Golden California Wonder, Purple Beauty & Diamond)
Pepper Big Dipper
Pepper Sweet Banana
Pepper Cayenne
Watermelon Sugar Baby

Lettuce Romaine
Lettuce Forellenschluss
Lettuce Rouge d'Hiver
Lettuce Matchless
Lettuce Nevada
Kale Dinosaur Lacinato
Kale White Russian
Kale Red Russian
Kale True Siberian
Spinach Bloomsdale Long Standing
Spinach Baby's Leaf
Spinach ?? 
Mustard Tendergreens
Mustard Red Giant
Mesclun Mix (Arugula, Cress, Endive, Radicchio, Lettuce Salad Bowl, Lettuce Oakleaf & Lettuce Red Salad Bowl)

Herbs/Flowers (perennial & annual)
Comfrey Russian
Comfrey True (Symphytum officinale var patens)
Clover Crimson (Trifolium incarnatum)
Dill Mammoth
Skullcap Official (Scutellaria lateriflora)
Holy Basil (Kapoor Tulsi)
Basil Greek Yevani
Basil Sweet 
Gobo Burdock
Mixed Calendula
Catnip Wild
German Chamomile
Chives Common
Echinacea purpurea
Evening Primrose
Brown Flax
Hollyhock The Watchman
Lavender Munstead
Lemon Balm
Lupine Tutti Frutti Mix
Oregano Common
Official Motherwort
Poppy Hungarian Blue
Stinging Nettles
Garden Sage
Sunflower Evening Sun
Sunflower Mammoth Russian Greystripe
Sunflower Lemon Queen 
Official Valerian
Wood Betony

We already have a couple sour cherry trees, 6 different blueberry bushes, lots of oaks, maples (including 2 Japanese), crabapple, lilacs, a tiny forsythia, blackberries, and many herbs and perennials (lavender, thyme, oregano, mullien, wormwood, lupines, columbines, queen anne's lace, blackeyed susans, echinacea, tansy, hostas, beebalm, day lilies, etc) planted from the 9 years we have lived here. 

Next year we will be adding Pawpaw, Sea Buckthorn, Hardy Kiwi, Saskatoon Serviceberry, American and European Elderberry, Peaches, and Beach Plums, amongst others. 

So, anyone want to come lend a hand getting hugelkultur and contour beds built to plant all this?!?