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Author Topic: Robert's Crystal Range Project - Year 3, 2021  (Read 8599 times)

Robert

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Re: Robert's Crystal Range Project - Year 3, 2021
« Reply #45 on: June 09, 2021, 06:23:22 PM »
Cohan,

Thank you for the weather/climatic report from your region. I enjoy the reports from Europe as well as your reports from Canada. It is all very interesting.

Our forecast for rain was very short lived. The forecasters gave up on the prospects of rain almost as quickly as they came up with the idea. Now the consensus is that the Four Corners High will build westward and we will have a return to 100 F (37.8 C) plus temperatures in our area. From my perspective, this seems to be a much more realistic forecast.

Currently, temperatures are a bit chilly. Yesterday, the higher elevations of the Sierra Nevada Mountains were running 11.5 F (6.4 C) below average, with frost during the morning hours in the high elevation valleys. Here in the Sacramento Valley and Sierra Nevada Foothills temperatures are less extreme, 6.5 F (3.6 C) below average. Factoring in the current below average temperatures, temperatures are still well above average for the month of June and it appears that this trend will continue.

My data strongly suggests that climate change is accelerating in our region and the impacts are become much more pronounced both in managed and unmanaged ecosystems. As a gardener/farmer (actually these days a bio-intensive mini-farmer) there is an urgent need to adjust to the changing climatic conditions. Plant breeding and soil management are just two important factors that are being focused on to adjust and hopefully thrive under the changing climatic conditions. As far as I am concerned, the media reports of business and government enacting policies to remedy the adverse consequences of climate change and moving toward a carbon neutral economy are pure nonsense. Business as usual--as most understand it--would have to end and be replaced by something completely different for meaningful change to take place.  Such radical change would be so extremely devastating, it would create human suffering on a scale no one is prepared to undertake.  I prefer action on a personal level to the best of my abilities rather than putting faith in baseless propaganda and the media’s dog and pony show.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
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cohan

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Re: Robert's Crystal Range Project - Year 3, 2021
« Reply #46 on: June 09, 2021, 07:29:57 PM »
Yes, hard to imagine public change on a meaninful level :( We can only hope the many useful approaches already out there on a personal and (mostly smaller) business scale can spread enough to be helpful.
Climate change in my immediate area has been less dramatic, but there are impacts-  springs have been tending to be earlier, which means drier- effects on native ecosystems, not so relevant for agriculture which is not very active at that point yet. However, the summer rains seem to be at times arriving earlier, we'll see if that is a trend or not-- good for me at the garden level, but too soon rain means some farmers may have difficulty getting seeding done before fields become too wet.
Fall as well is at times warmer longer, but also wetter, which has serious consequences on harvest, which was always a game of chance here.

Robert

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Re: Robert's Crystal Range Project - Year 3, 2021
« Reply #47 on: June 12, 2021, 07:22:26 PM »


My wife and I continue to make progress improving and expanding our Sacramento, California garden. A few days ago, a bench with potted ornamental plants occupied this bare spot of exposed earth. The plants were planted (or will be), others composted. Next, this new open space will be double dug, compost added and planted to vegetable crops. Our little mini-farm is starting to become productive – greens, summer squash, green beans, cucumbers, and potatoes are currently being harvested on a daily basis.



A few of the borders are filled with blooming flowers. We enjoy a garden filled with flowers, fruits and vegetables.



We also have plans to expand out dryland garden. The bagged seed capsules are those of Calochortus luteus. Many species of Calochortus thrive in our garden. We will be planting more in the future.

In the foreground, right, is a nice form of Arctostaphylos viscida ssp. viscida.



Our California native, Eriogonum grande var. rubescens, thrives in our garden. Despite our summers with no rainfall and regular 38 C plus high temperatures, this species thrives with light irrigation only three or four times during the summer-autumn months.



I like breeding simple single flowered Dahlias. The single flowers are magnets for beneficial insects and butterflies. The plants bloom all summer and well into the autumn.

We have enjoyed 4 to 5 days of cool, below average temperatures. During the summer we call this “Resort Weather”. This is about to end. The Four Corners High is forecasted to move westward. For us, this translates into 100 F plus (37.8 C) daytime high temperatures. To date, June is still running ~ 3 F (1.7 C) above the 30 year average. For the calendar year, 2021, temperatures are running 1.39 F (0.774 C) above the 30-year average and 0.83 F (0.46 C) above the 15-year average in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Currently SSTs in the Equatorial Tropical Pacific are ENSO neutral. Presently, there is a 50-50 chance that La Niña conditions may develop again this winter. La Niña generally translates into dry winter conditions in our part of California. Another dry winter would bring harsh consequences to our region. We will be monitoring these developments closely.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Robert

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Re: Robert's Crystal Range Project - Year 3, 2021
« Reply #48 on: June 16, 2021, 08:00:39 PM »


Last year I planted a bulb of Lilium sargentiae near the dirt path leading to our back garden. Now it is in full bloom and greets us with its delightful fragrance as we head out to the garden each morning. I like dirt paths and the feel of the earth on my feet.



I gathered seed of our California native, Oenothera elata ssp. hirsutissima, near the Carson River (east side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains) a number of years ago. The flowers open in the evening and stay open all night, into the early morning hours. The flowers are very large and showy, but have no fragrance, at least that I can detect.

We also grow Oenothera biennis, Common Evening Primrose. This species is somewhat weedy in our garden, however I always let some plants grow and seed out in our garden. I prefer this species, as the flowers are fragrant. In addition, all parts of this species are edible, roots, leaves, and seeds. This species also has medicinal properties.



The garden is quickly developing into a multi-dimensional permaculture, a symbiosis of edible and ornamental plants from ground level upward through the tree canopy. Our Pink Lady Apple is loaded with fruit and shares space with Oenothera elata and a host of edible herbs, vegetables, and ornamental plant species.



Our Flavor King Pluots are just starting to turn color. They will not be ripe for another month or so. The pluot shares space with Lebanese Light Green Squash. These are being selected for seed saving. We grow our vegetables seed to seed, i.e. we do not buy vegetable seed each season but produce our own, completing the cycle. Not seen near the pluot is a nice crop of watermelons and Golden Beauty Casaba Melons (a long time favorite and stores well off the vine when ripe).



Miniature White Cucumbers are the first to ripen.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Robert

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Re: Robert's Crystal Range Project - Year 3, 2021
« Reply #49 on: June 16, 2021, 08:02:08 PM »


Potatoes are an important calorie crop. They are ready to harvest now and keep us well fed. This reduces our need to purchase food at the grocery. When we add the garden area from Placerville where the farm was, there will be little need to grocery shop except for vegetable oil, fish, and things that are impractical to produce ourselves.

I am not sure when I will be back out in the field again. The garden at the former farm requires a lot of work to get it going again. Hopefully I will have some photographs from there soon (I have been too tired after working all day!). The orchard is coming back into health and I have a few vegetables growing.  There is also our local low elevation flora to visit when I have a bit of spare time.  However, there is not much of that these days, but I love gardening and my life so much right now, so it all feels good to me.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Maggi Young

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Re: Robert's Crystal Range Project - Year 3, 2021
« Reply #50 on: June 16, 2021, 09:05:29 PM »
It is a joy to hear how things are  coming along in your garden, Robert - and even more  so to learn that you are  so content!  Be well!
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

Editor: International Rock Gardener e-magazine

Robert

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Re: Robert's Crystal Range Project - Year 3, 2021
« Reply #51 on: June 19, 2021, 02:59:06 AM »
Thank You Maggi  :)

Yes, Jasmin and I are doing well. Our garden is an oasis paradise, a balm to the heart and soul. We are so fortunate to have this plot of earth to tend and create our version of paradise. I wish the same blessings for all and hope our garden can be an inspiration for others. Simplicity and working with what is close at hand help make gardening a pleasure for us.

In the meantime, we are enduring a heat wave. Yesterday and today (18 June) daily high temperature records were broken. Today, it was 105 F (40.6 C) at our Sacramento home today and 108 F (42.2 C) at the El Dorado County farm. The day before was similar.



So far, our garden is holding up well with the hot weather. Myoga, Japanese Ginger, Zingiber mioga, (container right) is content in the heat. Surprisingly, Adiantum aleuticum (container left) has always done well despite our hot summers.

The pool of water was for our native tree frogs. They have not taken hold in our garden, yet, but we are still hopeful.



Virus in Cucurbita maximum. It has been 10 years since I have been able to grow out many of my vegetable varieties. The other Cucurbita maximum plants are highly resistant to virus. This is good to know! Today, in the cool of the morning, I planted Cranberry Beans and Flint Corn.



Gladiolus dalenii is starting to bloom now. We will find the perfect site for this species in our garden.

Jasmin and I have plans to make a small expansion of our rock garden. There is plenty for us to do. It will all come about in the right time.



I grow potatoes from seed (also from tubers, of course). These will be unique new varieties and well adapted to our garden growing conditions. Fresh plants grown from true breeding seed lines will be virus free.



Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Izu No Hana’ thrives in our garden.

Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Robert

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Re: Robert's Crystal Range Project - Year 3, 2021
« Reply #52 on: June 19, 2021, 03:01:03 AM »


Rhodophiala montana also does well in our garden. I would like to grow more from seed, however one plant is a genetic bottleneck. More genetic variability would be desirable. I have plenty to keep be busy, so this is not a big deal.



Lilium henryi x ‘Louise’ is tough as nails! It blooms well for us each season, is un-phased by the heat, and is highly resistant to virus.

Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

fermi de Sousa

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Re: Robert's Crystal Range Project - Year 3, 2021
« Reply #53 on: June 20, 2021, 01:11:08 PM »

Hi Robert.
in the dim dark past I remember reading an article on the dangers of solanine, the poison in all solanaceous plants. It said that the problem with growing potatoes from seed is the risk of excessive solanine levels. It said that the USDA once bred a potato that was excellent in all ways but when they tested it they found that it "had enough solanine to kill a horse"! Admittedly I can no longer remember who wrote the article (it was probably in Rodale's Organic Gardening and Farming) and it's hard to say if any "fact checking" existed back then (1970s?). Perhaps it was someone who had a vested interest in the production of "seed potatoes"!
cheers
fermi
I grow potatoes from seed (also from tubers, of course). These will be unique new varieties and well adapted to our garden growing conditions. Fresh plants grown from true breeding seed lines will be virus free.

Mr Fermi de Sousa, Redesdale,
Victoria, Australia

Robert

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Re: Robert's Crystal Range Project - Year 3, 2021
« Reply #54 on: June 23, 2021, 02:31:49 AM »
Hi Fermi

I did a bit of research on the topic of potato toxicity. Glycoalkaloids are the source of toxicity in potatoes and other Solanaceae species that are commonly eaten. Most of the concern seems to be with potato cultivars. Yes, it turns out that the synthesis of glycoalkaloids is genetically controlled, some cultivars having higher concentrations of glycoalkaloids than other cultivars. In addition, environmental conditions play a role in the synthesis and concentration of glycoalkaloids in potato tubers, skins, and peels. Heat, light, cutting, injury, slicing, sprouting, and phytopathogens can all influence glycoalkaloid concentrations. α-solanine and α-chaconine are the most commonly found glycoalkaloids, however there are other compounds and isomers.

Fortunately, toxic concentrations of glycoalkaloids are bitter in taste. Higher concentrations produce a burning sensation on the sides of the tongue. I have been growing potatoes from true seed, off and on, for 50 years. I guess I have been lucky, I have never bred a bitter potato, but then I have always tried to create or grow seed lines that bred true to type, rather than something completely new.

We never eat “green’ potatoes no matter where they come from!

Thank you so much for the tip.  8)  I enjoy learning new things. This was new to me.  :)



Nectarines ripening on the El Dorado County property.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2021, 02:33:28 AM by Robert »
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Robert

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Re: Robert's Crystal Range Project - Year 3, 2021
« Reply #55 on: June 23, 2021, 02:37:56 AM »
Since a number of Forumists have been curious about what we are doing, this is a joint submission with my wife.

Jasmin:  Greetings!/Grüße!/Saludos!

     After many years of caregiving, there was neglect everywhere in our garden, and on what Robert calls the farm, the property that was owned by Robert’s parents.  Although at one time Robert and I did farm there, it has been fallow and neglected during the many years of caregiving.  We do not plan to farm at the location; however, Robert still calls the property “the farm”.  Please do not be misled by Robert’s terminology.  The garden there will never be so grandiose as the word ‘farm’ might suggest.



A scene of the orchard at the “farm”.

Estate issues are largely resolved; yet, the extensive neglect and requisite clean-up is quite time-consuming. At our Sacramento home, clean up and restructuring the garden is further along. Robert has already posted photos of various ornamentals, natives, rock garden arrangements, and vegetable plantings.

I painted our growing benches, and, after Robert sands the garden shed, I will prime and paint that too.



Bench for liners



Another bench for liners



The nursery shed still needs painting.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Robert

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Re: Robert's Crystal Range Project - Year 3, 2021
« Reply #56 on: June 23, 2021, 02:42:06 AM »
     Needless to say, there has been very little time.  My days begin at 4 am, although I can begin earlier.  My work day begins at what we call “wife o’clock”:  My schedule is decided by the weather, our birds, and my regular, mundane--yet essential--tasks of laundry and meal preparation.
     A number of Forumists noted changes in Robert’s diary, and our garden. I hope to clarify this change in direction. Initially, Robert debated continuing his Forum diary, given the nature of the changes; however, I encouraged him to proceed, because no one else discusses the issues we face here in our climate, which simultaneously impact our garden in Sacramento, the property in Placerville, and our wilderness areas in the Sierra Nevada that many of you know through Robert’s submissions.
     I believe the Forum diary is critical. Globally, we gardeners face unprecedented times. Here we are in midst of major ecological disaster:
     Immediately, many think of global climate change, and certainly this is a major component.  Yet, it must also be said that human destruction of the environment races headlong as I write.  No matter the politics or political party, wilderness is being decimated by the extreme drought, extreme heat, and the continuance of development. Whole swaths of native oak savannah were obliterated to create developments of so-called houses, places big enough to be hotels in areas where there is no water, and never was, even in the distant past, when water conditions were more ample. There is no justification we see for any of this. The claim it is due to a lack of affordable housing is politics. No one will ever afford these monstrosities, never mind the total lack of water! 
     At the same time, we witness the devastation of the wilderness in the Sierra Nevada. Areas you have seen in photos from Robert’s outings are hard-hit by chronic drought and heat, by encroaching development, by progressive deforestation, and wildfire.
     To give you an idea of the extent of the drought, many of our reservoirs--ones that take years to fill to capacity (e.g. Colorado River drainage) --are nothing more than glorified mud wallows. Tragically, few realize the severity, even when they clearly see the impact. Recently, people complained that they could not be on their houseboat because the reservoir was so low! Robert and I were astounded they cared more about being on their houseboat than the fact there has not been the rain to provide the water!
     Then, there is the heat issue:

These are excerpts from a recent email sent to Robert’s brother.

The temperatures for Greenstone:

June 17 - 105 F 57F
June 18 - 108 F 65 F
June 19 - 105 F 64 F

All three highs are new daily records! 109 F is the record high for June. We came close.

There is more heat news. Currently average temperatures are running 0.863 C above average for the season to date. ….we are dangerously near the 1.5 C threshold many scientists consider the point of no return (at least year after year of sustained temperatures 1.5 C above the starting point). I can do the math to give you the exact average increase in the average temperatures.

     Because this Forum pertains to plants, gardens, gardening, and the wild places, we shall continue to present gardening, and the wilderness under these extreme conditions.
     Since there were questions regarding the inclusion of vegetable gardening in this Forum, I digress to other topics, ones that do not pertain to the Forum; yet influenced our decisions:
     Although thankfully we are healthy and well, essential workers are not. It is estimated that 70% of migrant laborers died from COVID in the past year. Due to their immigration status, this estimate may be inaccurate and low. At various times in the past year there were market shelves bare of everything from sensible staples to nonessential items. The bare shelves stayed bare for months, due to problems at the worker end of things combined with panic buying and hoarding.  No matter the hour, there were queues, bare shelves, and cashiers told us people camped out waiting for the store to open, and then fought over products.
     As the drought deepens and continues, farmers are told again to cut back and to leave land fallow.



Strawberries ripening in our Sacramento garden.



One of Robert’s single Dahlia hybrids.

     We always enjoyed our own produce anyhow, but now we feel food security is imperative. Despite a nation that celebrates vaccines and insists on a return to some past, the reality is otherwise: There were always those who distained masks and social distancing, and it was not limited to political party. These people will never vaccinate. Further, there are ample circles where masks, social distancing, and vaccines are luxuries: numerous essential workers are the working poor, including illegal migrant laborers, and a very much-expanded homeless population. Currently the COVID numbers for the US are low, but that is not zero. The effectiveness of the vaccines is not 100%, and with each mutation, the efficacy drops. Scientifically, viruses mutate much more quickly than bacteria. We went from a world that celebrated sulfa and antibiotics to having super bacteria with incredible resistance. Robert and I are opting to continue wearing masks and social distancing, because our experience as caregivers taught us to be cautious and not risk being either carriers of disease or a potential breakthrough case. This is about more than our own health and wishes: What if we became symptomless carriers, giving a version to someone at risk with autoimmune disease, and it further mutates into something yet more deadly and infectious?
     As we planted this year’s garden, we used seed we saved from the farm.  Shockingly, some of this seed was 10 years old!  We discovered this seed was better adapted to the climate we HAD 10 years AGO!  In some cases, we are able to proceed, but there are astounding results from the climate shift that has occurred in this time. Our goal must include creating genetically sound resilient varieties (ornamental as well as food crops) that can endure the environmental conditions. This is also the goal for saving seed of our native plants. Our wilderness is so crippled and devastated that we do not want to negatively impact our stressed and endangered native flora, which we consider plunder at this point given the decimation we see; we are committed to developing what we gathered years ago into varieties that are viable for our garden here.
     As a result, our garden evolved into an integration: we expand the bio-intensive mini-farm areas for both food and seed; and we have islands of ornamentals: rock garden areas, native plants to provide nectar, food, and habitat for our beloved butterflies, bees, birds, lizards, snakes, and other wildlife; and combinations of annuals and perennials that we both love and that provide nectar, food and habitat as well, but are not native to our area. Some islands of ornamentals were built around pre-existing perennials that have been in the garden for years. The rock garden areas are in tubs and a border of cinder blocks around several newly created vegetable beds. Many of you recall this area once had a shoddy construction that we removed in 2017.



Habitat scene.



Vegetable and Rock Garden

     It is our hope Forumists continue to enjoy Robert’s discussion, the direction of the different aspects of the garden and the wilderness, and gardening with such extremes over time. This diary is now more accurately about “our local patch” than a diary focused exclusively on our wilderness and native flora. We thank all our fellow gardeners who share their trials and joys in their gardens and local environments.

Blessings to all!




Robert in his native habitat.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2021, 02:44:51 AM by Robert »
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

hamparstum

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Re: Robert's Crystal Range Project - Year 3, 2021
« Reply #57 on: June 23, 2021, 12:40:13 PM »
Greetings/Saludos to you both from the South...
Winter started formally speaking 2 days ago...snow was forecasted for three/perhaps 4 days in a row as of yesterday...instead rain (most welcome here as well). We've been having an end of season drought similar of what you describe there. Our fall copious rains should have started by April 1. They actually started June 1...2 full months late!This year, hard frost came first on dry ground (???).
Not that it seems irrelevant at the end of the growing season, but because everything is adapted as said just above to a different pattern. So climate change is more than obvious, in spite of little local awareness of it. Like so many major issues, it is a conceptual problem that is for public discussion not a practical one that should make each one of us re-consider how we live and act personally, day by day. Climate change up there in California will inevitably bring major population shifts and in consequence a lot of conflict and internal strife. As I see it, it will occur faster than what most are willing to admit and thus I expect last minute running away for safety...except that  this present state of affluent environmentally pampered society is not exclusive to California. Just like Covid, it is global... The earth with its laws is saying enough/basta/genug and will let it massively be known about it everywhere at the same time, just like the pandemic. Grim future...YES...Am I pessimistic?  Actually no...Restrictions and suffering, that continue in time, year after year, are great teachers for the stubborn. On the opposite end there are those that have anticipated, and prepared themselves to these changes and made arrangements, just like Robert and Jasmine. My congratulations.

Arturo
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Robert

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Re: Robert's Crystal Range Project - Year 3, 2021
« Reply #58 on: June 23, 2021, 03:04:33 PM »
Greetings Arturo,

Like you I see trouble ahead, however also like you I am very optimistic. The door opened for me to once again be involved in agriculture. Bio-intensive gardening/mini farming, permaculture, and plant breeding are as natural for me as a duckling taking to the water.



Rebuilding compost piles at the farm.

Rebuilding the soil with carbon will help transform the desert into a lush productive oasis.



Practicing multi-dimensional permaculture is nothing new to me. I was practicing this stuff 50 years ago, well before the term, permaculture came into use. Already, our Sacramento garden is a functioning permaculture of fruits, vegetables, and ornamental plants, as well as many other life forms.



I started working the earth at the farm over 40 years ago. Despite the land being fallow for over 10 years, it is still rich. Crops are being planted and are thriving. The wasteland is being transformed back into a paradise. With the farm and our Sacramento permaculture/bio-intensive mini-farm, we will easily be able to restart a sustainable agricultural system that provides us with 99% of our food. Ornamental plants are part of this equation. Selling food and/or plant products is, absolutely, not part of this equation. I want to live life, not engage in commerce.

In addition, having two sites to conduct plant breeding will be very helpful. The farm is isolated, so maintaining genetic purity will be much easier. Grow outs of reasonably large populations are also feasible.

It is all very promising and something that feeds my heart and soul each day.

This June might turn out to be the warmest on record. Stay tuned.

Now out to do the morning cross pollination(s) and the morning Wx analysis.

Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

hamparstum

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Re: Robert's Crystal Range Project - Year 3, 2021
« Reply #59 on: June 23, 2021, 04:25:00 PM »
Robert, just like you I voluntarily decided to pull out of mainstream western contemporary life-style. We moved to our present farm in 1990 and ever since never imagined returning to anything like a human conglomerate. These are becoming visibly in-viable in every sense, if one hopes to lead a meaningful life. The imperative to return to the land is still heard as a whisper. Contemporary arrogance of an in-viable world system will inevitably crash down accelerated by every day reality, Covid being just the first one...The collapse of the modern industrial system, will make individuals face their every day matters on a strictly  personal basis. The other (to me obvious) dimensions that lead me to other realms of existence are way beyond the spirit and context of this thread ,forum and site so I keep myself silent :-X. Whoever may be interested as how I see these can pm privately.

Returning to your property in Placerville, I honestly think that a viable system can only be stable if you include domestic animals as part of the web of life. Some grazer or browser animals kept domesticated and tended so. We keep a small flock of milch sheep. The barn sweepings that include manure, and shredded barn bedding ( which are shredded by the feet of the ewes) generates a treasure. I also discovered the amazing uses and properties of shorn raw wool. ( raw as it comes off the sheep, dirty, full of dust and urine). We understand very little about underground vital soil sub-systems. In my student years as a Ag student in university we became familiar about symbionts: Rhyzobium nodules in fabaceae. That was about it. Not many more symbionts were discovered. What about the rest of families? How do they find the nutrients they need? There's a new approach: the commensals.( from Latin Co: together Mensa: table) These are microbial systems that interchange like guests at a table in a civilized conversation, guests information, microbes molecules and...nutrients so finally the higher plants get what they need. The existence of commensals was well known, but the exact pathways not. We are talking about 1000 different bacteria and fungi acting as commensals at the life's banquet all hidden from our bodily eyes, yet as critical as anything materially visible with a naked eye. Disrupting these mechanisms is like upturning a laid out table in front of our guests...This is like an analogy ( or parable if you prefer) of what I consider of the arrogance of the modern world as it rushes to its demise. Just like Covid, these un-desired consequences will occur hastily. If one is to accept that man is one of thousands of species, and look at the evolution of history, an invisible organism disrupted the entire globe in less than 2 years. For the optimists that think that vaccination will manage to eradicate it, they are being  just too simplistic just as Jasmine pointed out. The changes that have to come forth are of much deeper nature. Current population agglomerates where 9 of 10 inhabitants live in cities is untenable. The changes that HAVE to happen will require deliberate emptying of cities and facing the inhabitants to live off the land as have done for centuries their predecessors. The natural viable relation is exactly opposite : 9 rural inhabitants for each urban. Many will consider this utterly impossible... many are still wondering about Covid...but its there whether you like it or not. Needless to say that empty water reservoirs are a fact. So are massive devastating wildfires... The planet is a system. It has built-in regulatory mechanisms. When the limit has been reached, it automatically triggers off the regulatory mechanisms to restore back the system. If one is wise enough to humble himself, then personal priorities can shift and present challenges can be viewed as opportunities. I'm writing this like a last call at an airport, for any reader to whom these last posts rings a bell inside.


Arturo
Arturo Tarak

 


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