WET WINDY WEST.IRELAND.sometimes warm and mild

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself Here' started by antonius, Jul 31, 2017.

  1. antonius

    antonius Member

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    hello to all , i have read through several topics on here over the years now and gained a little insight into the system of permaculture , fairly recently i got up off my butt and started to put some of my ideas and projects into reality, being one of the planets biggest and most accomplished procrastinators this meant i had to put down my book of how to get away with it -- "excuses and easy distraction"--. I have the good fortune of having enough space on 2 acres and sheds , started a organic horticulture course and have really enjoyed my first year , plus the meeting of like minded people and broadening the positive outlook on life . As i hope to post up some more in the future a bit more of my grand plan may emerge from behind the half opened shed door , cheers for now.
     
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  2. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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  3. antonius

    antonius Member

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    hello, yes i have read her posts on her site , i am a couple of hours drive away from her , but i am very seldom near that part of the country --usually driving past on the way home at odd times or days to just drop in , i think she has closed to drop in visits now as well.But still posts up a lot of good reading , inspiration i get from all over and around me ---its the bloody motivation i need more of , cheers
     
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  4. antonius

    antonius Member

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    My oversized manshed /den is progressing , its being insulated with my miscrete experimental mix as its going to be my winter hideaway for beer making potting shed study lab and so on , well it was to be a manshed but i will now have to share it , my sons have plans to book into the upper floor as a study room they say--study of tv , movies and games that is , and then i slipped up by buying a 600 gallon milk bulk tank. Could nt leave it go for the handy money it cost , double wall insulated , its going to be the hot tub my wife says---i had grand ideas of huge beer vat plunge pool --but hot tub wins out , so a downstairs room is being made to house it and a way of heating it . Getting water into it is no problem as i have a very deep borehole--fresh no chems water-- with a 1 inch outlet just need to bump up the pressure a bit and it will fill fairly quick. Wood fired is planned , so its rooting around the scrap pile time to build a heater/stove, got some battered old beer kegs so its looking like " beer" will save the day,cheers
     
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  5. antonius

    antonius Member

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    heres my giant redwood --i planted out 4 of them some years ago but not living fulltime down on the property then i failed to look after the place and the brambles took over ---this one survived and pushed its way up , been looked after a bit better now, gets some seaweed powder and i keep the under growth cut down, growth is really taking off now --its about 15 years old. Hopefully it will soak up all my carbon sins from the past and put my "output counter" back to zero over the coming decades of growth, trying to source some more bareroot ones to plant up a line of them on my back ditch, cheers garden2 002.jpg
     
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  6. antonius

    antonius Member

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    This is another carbon sink choice of mine, its a Parana pine growing away for the past 2 years --some tire removed for a better pic--i stack tires around my trees and plants when i put them out into permanent spots--- for a couple of years , until they are big enough to stand up to clumsy humans , and dogs ,and kids running around--I must get at least 4 or 5 more--trees that is --not kids-- as they are male and female -dioecious--(there i do know some big sciencey words) and i would like to dream of them becoming big cone dropping giants spreading out as they self seed --its close relative the Monkey Puzzle does very well here in ireland and i have seen many big specimens bearing cones-- with viable seed i would nt know as these were solitary planted trees garden2 009.jpg
     
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  7. antonius

    antonius Member

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    I have two large monterey cypress at the back of our cottage they are a common sight here in the area , many have grown to very big trees but only if they have been trimmed of their side branches, mine are getting to a hight were they could reach the cottage roof if they come down, the high winds we have every season are now tearing off large top branches .One of our high wind storms snapped the 2nd tree almost in half which tore a silver maple near it in half - and were the only trees i have ever had damaged .They seem to be a brittle type of tree and although said to be rot resistant mine have rot in the centers--some sites state the timber is hard heavy stuff --well i have taken some others down before and found them to be average really --the timber did smell nice. So mine will be destined to become hottub fuel in the long term, a local guy with a mobile timber mill is reluctant to saw up boards from odd trees ---lots of our hedgerow trees and farmyard trees have barbwire and nails sunk into them . The stump of the last one i cleared now lives in my small forest patch i am trying to create--its my daughters fairy house tree stump--so its been spared the fire wood pile garden2 011.jpg
     
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  8. antonius

    antonius Member

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    Its hard to find info on reasons why the monterey cypress was chosen as the top tree to be planted widely around ireland , but it has been going on for decades , in its wild original habitat its stunted and is just getting by ,here in ireland its self seeding large tree commonly found .It has been de throned by one of its off spring , the leylandi cypress, which is a sterile hybrid with monterey being one of its parents--faster growing and tolerates just about anything --the curse of many suburban hedges --and the cause of many disputes. I had one on the property and the top of it became our indoors tree substitute one year when i had left it to late to find anything else--it did alright --but i wouldnt advise its use ---after the whole season of festive was over , the tree was taken out and i had just finnished up our winter barbeque--to get that taste of turkey and ham out my mouth---i then threw the xmass tree up on the flames --to make some terra preta charcoal out of it--and it exploded into flames--green as it still was the thing is full of resins.
     
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  9. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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  10. antonius

    antonius Member

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    thanks - had read that as well ,but it only vaguely states when these came to the uk really --and so by default some would have been planted out in ireland at some stage -not that i need to really pin down an exact time frame , just out of an interest really , trees around my way are 60 maybe 70 years old, and seem to have been part of an organised drive to plant them out .As they are all usually in rows behind old cottages and many more are growing on top of old ditch /dike boundry lines between fields on farms , as to how or why the authorities or who ever -- selected this tree for the job is what makes me doubt if much thought was put into it .
     
  11. antonius

    antonius Member

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    Still having my own personal internal struggle of trying to mesh organic veg growing --which requires or seems to require a lot of weed free beds and the permaculture way of a food forest and more of a blending of plants and trees into zones , into a pattern or layout that is not all clear lines and rigid . I do feel that plants and trees dont all grow equally well together , there have to be layers and boundries or zones and i am slowly becoming more aware of this and seeing how it can be puzzled together . I was previously worried about keeping the weeds out and the good plants in , strict borders and never really managing to get there, i still have some plant types that i routinely remove as soon as i can id them. But most i leave be to grow ,set a decent root and trim down before seeding then leaving it to stay were its chopped --chop and drop., i don t see plants now as weeds but rather as soil improvers and mulching layers ,some i favour over other s . Recently i let a large patch of dead nettle grow and spread over what was a mixed patch and some bare exposed top soil from machine track damage, any other "weeds" i chopped and dropped till only the dead nettle was predominant and had smothered all others ---this was then stalk crimped down and the various pasture grasses have now taken over---and no money spent on cover crop seed or time on tilling. Ragwort though is on my hit list --i tolerate a few up on the ditchline as they do support some butterfly species i think, but any stray into my fields is pulled up roots and all--i have placed a few 70 liter plastic barrels with the clamp on lids around my place on my routine walk ways --all offenders are thrown in with anything else thats been over crowding or not wanted --to be sealed off and left to rot /brew up into a sludge-i dont see much point to having to trudge back and forth to the same compost pile everyday --it just wears out the fun level becoming a chore and a muddy path---besides the local badgers and fox just keep dismantling anything i heap up . These little guys in my shed among some wood off cut s last season --i could tolerate --they were perfect neighbours--known here as willy wagtails
     

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  12. antonius

    antonius Member

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    Ireland has an obligation to plant trees under the eu directive ,we have the 2nd lowest level of tree cover in europe at 10% its reported and we are not on target yet by a long margin, its a well supported industry and theres big money going into it ,but it s commercialized driven --not really for enviromental change or to save /restore biodiversity driven--oh yes that reason or excuse is trotted out when called on--but mostly we are just content to see trees being planted it seems --there is a big difference here in the thinking between rural and town/city people on this as well. City people want forests to walk through and camp in, to see differant trees and animals ,insects and nature,but are disconnected from the real life process --- rural mostly see them as a means of making money off that bad patch of land you can do nothing else with--with out grants to plant there would be nothing --no of course thats not everyone --thats just my opinion based on what i see and hear around my small patch of the world--so we have sitka spruce everywhere there is a boggy patch or heavy land as its called . Hard to say its wrong as most farms are small ,non diversified and tied into dairy or beef and so need every bit of usable /good land to keep going .The planting rule is 80% sitka and 20 % alder scattered in or around the edge, some blue nordman fir might crop up as well , our sitka is new improved sitka - selected from a few better preforming varieties and cell grown clones into saplings --some of it from govt nurseries , most i think from eu ones. We are planting out desserts , and adding to our carbon output, any nay sayers are laughed at and its better to be doing something than nothing. But damage has happended and has had to be patched over , sitka plantation is no longer allowed closer than 500 meters to streams and rivers that feed into water reservoirs or those considered to be enviromentally at risk- rain-water runoff from the needles --green ones and the dead on the ground ones-- leaches a chem out of them that wiped out most insect and plant life in the streams---very few if any no fish can breed and grow in the streams --no fish to return into the reservoir and keep it balanced---so algae blooms and more so ---confused angry local fishermen. The trees themselves dont support much insect life and theres not much in the floor either , but talk to the average man around and they wont agree --ahh sure i see birds in there all the time--well most dont feed off sitka --some kinds hide up in it or nest in it--its the firebreaks that allow any others to survive --in vastly reduced numbers per square km. I live behind a big block of it and work from home so i get to see its daily ebb and flow , of life , and its not much --the most important bird to some would be the woodcock--they are nocturnal feeders --out in the fields --so they hide up in the day amongst the sitka and the overgrown firebreaks---woodcock is highly regarded by the shooters--so yes they would support the fact that theres plenty of birds in the trees ---cheers semi rant over --therapy session done , for now thanks tony
     
  13. antonius

    antonius Member

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    While --yes -- some wildlife has made use of the sitka dessert such as the introduced grey squirrel , seems to love it , nibbles on bark and bud ends----forestry mangement are delighted ---NOT--- and they tear apart the cone type seed pods -- this is good news for our red "tree rats" --leaves more of the little available mixed forest for them and has distracted their mortal enemies --apparently greys are much tastier to pine martins , also some birds of prey and the odd human ---not that i would consider anyone odd if you ate grey squirrel--all good for these predators as the first 2 are very scarce and thanks to greys and sitka ---are expanding in numbers and range. Also seen some of the scarce bullfinch eating the green bud ends--out of desparation or discovery of new untapped source of food --i dont know, the 4 types of deer in ireland ( 3 are introduced) also follow forestry --but this is for cover in the day --they eat in the firebreaks --and fields mostly--well they also strip down all the palatable co planted stuff like birch too---and have become experts now at raiding silage clamps. Another newcomer to ireland to benifit from sitka as cover ---is the wild boar and hybrid feral --they are also growing in range and numbers ---they do root around the roots a lot --and of course the farmers fields , they too like a bit of silage, spuds and cabbage and just about anything we like-- just as much. My homebrewing friends had a barrel of fermenting beer mash tipped out in the shed--- Start hunting some would advise --right now ---well our exotics are not dumb ,they hangout in the younger stuff --its denser and dark ---and just the right hight for them ---sitka is needles in your face at this stage---more rant later ,cheers tony-- well see its not all bad though.
     
  14. antonius

    antonius Member

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    Another newcomer to our forest of sitka , a former well loved pet -the siberian chipmunk --its been spotted in a few localities so its range is growing and must be wider than we think, they fit right into sitka so can only explode in numbers --mostly ground dwelling so the introduced mink will love them and maybe ease the native bank voles demise---so not all bad .Well it is if you are a native species of plant or animal and in decline ,how much more would we have if the forests were mixed and diverse--better timber --maybe less mass diebacks--more genetic diversity spread around , more habitat for native -- and exotics---they are never going to leave --so put them on an equal footing and see how they cope then . I have planted out native and foreign trees on my place , mostly stuff that has a dual purpose or more , first it has to attract and support insects in particular bees---i have planted out various flower types and berry fruits to tempt them and i have let native flowers /weeds take over as well, but its worrying me that over the last 5 years i have never seen a wild bee -only spotted a single honey bee on some dogrose this past summer. Have lots of bumbles and solitary species of bees --no honey ones . But my trees are still not old enough to flower or on any large scale yet --so more short term plans needed to encourage this
     
  15. antonius

    antonius Member

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    Heres an another exotic , one of mine , ordered by mistake from a nursery ---a pistachio terebinth--its growing away these past 3 years and does lose some leaves but copes with our weather - i had ordered a strawberry tree the arbutas unedo--didnt check the label--stuck it in the ground and a year later i finally identified it--only because it still had the label on it--since then i have noticed that the edible vera variety is now being sold in a few nurseries--not sure if they ever will get to produce . But we could be surprised ,i have read about 2 black walnut trees planted on our wet and windy west coast nearly 20 years ago , producing edible and tasty nuts-not every season --but according to most sources they shouldn t even be growing where they are--and yes i have planted out some of my own . Grown them up from seed via turkey --and they are now 5 feet tall--long way to go still.
     

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  16. antonius

    antonius Member

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    sorry --thats two chinese toon growing in my front yard --neglected spot --they are going to be set up on a ditch line --a hugel mound i suppose you could call them ,for more protection and better drainage--- farms around here have been dividing up small fields for generations with these ditches --practising hugel kulture without possibly knowing about it---here the terebinth
     

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  17. antonius

    antonius Member

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    Found a possible commercial value for monterey cypress--from our large irish grown trees----supposed to be a good tone wood for string / musical instruments , it is seemingly hard to source in the usa in any decent size stock and due to its windswept location most native trees have grown distorted --slanting to the leeward side of the wind--so the sawn planks have compression stress in them---this is not from my own highly un-scientifc observation and study ,but sourced from a timber website dealing in tone woods---no i wont be investing my retirement money or the kids college funds just yet in another get rich quick cash crop --but any budding guitar builders out there --we have the timber for you --be quick though --limited stock available. Far better news for me though is that a county cork nursery has sourced some giant redwood saplings for me--managed to get 37 of them --these are to be planted out on a back ditch of mine which was the house and the farm yard slurry pit run off --when my property was part of a small dairy farm-- the practice of using this stopped 20 years ago --but the soil in and around it now is deep and darkly rich . My optimistic plan or myopic vision is that these will grow fairly quickly or quicker than they actually do in ideal conditions--for trees that is --and blot out the view behind my property --and overtime become a wind turbulence hinderence for the windfarm situated behind me--ifs its still in operation by the next 20 years or so.---and of course a small correction to the carbon crimes of my modern lifestyle and that of my family s
     
  18. antonius

    antonius Member

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    Having tried to grow some wasabi from seed ,my 3 attempts ,first seed sourced from the chinese ali ...sites---they consider yellow mustard seeds to be wasabi - then some seed sourced from japan --seemed to be the right ones but nothing come up ---then again seeds from china --which appeared to be wasabi --but again nothing . Found these as plugs --on the e bay --and they are doing well---who would have thought that there is a herb that loves damp cold overcast weather and thrives in the shade and lots of running water---seems to be tailor made for ireland s west coast
     

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  19. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    Mmm, I love wasabi!
     
  20. antonius

    antonius Member

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    Noticed i had presumed the leylandii tree hybrid to be a sterile mule --but its not ---it sets viable seed and ,as do the several hybrid backcrosses of the 3 or 4 species that have been used in creating them, but i wont be planting out any of them---just not a tree i can warm too---even if i get to chainsaw it up---about the only method of use ---but some cogs are turning in my head ---what if a planted them out as fence poles---when they get to the hight and girth needed --lop off the unwanted top and side branches--then you have one no concrete base no hole dug enviromentally safe fence pole--that can be sited on a difficult spot to reach or position with a commercial stake type----or does the thing regenerate?
     

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