koonaone
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Location: Lillooet - HighBar - Cariboo, BC - Bioregions of Corrdilera

How can we do wetlands modification, nicely.

May your solstice be enlightening

I garden, at 52 deg. N Lat., with the help of my chickens, in douglas fir created soil (2-4") on feet of glacial silt over a basalt plate of parent material. Lots of water available, it has magnesium in it but not too much; alongside a biggish lake so there is a climate moderation effect. Too many big trees in the yard to rely on tomatoes or peppers unless I bring them in in the fall.

I would like to learn about worm farming, using black organic muck soil as feed.

Also, all of the possibilities of thick black organic muck soils in every site type from open water, through permanent still Mud flats, shallow ephemeral flooding flats, deeper moving Ditch channels, Shallow moving water, Wetland banks, created hummocks.

Has anyone had some experiences with, wild rice, potatoes, wapatoo, carrots, onions, garlic, cabbage, chinese greens, broccoli, blue or huckle berries, strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, mint ** (Mentha aquatica, M.spicata), crayfish, other fast growing fresh, cool water fishes, yellow and or blue or specialty irises, Violets, herbs, annise hyssop, Millet, amaranth, Galingale, (Cyperus longus), or Duckweed, in these sorts of wetland environments?

There are some tens of thousands of acres of this site type unused around here at present and I'd like to learn more about enhancing their productivity for humans and wildlife.

yours

douglas

I subscribe to an agressive form of nonviolence sanctioned by the Dali Lama ... (Paul Watson)

TheLorax
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Hello and a very warm welcome to you douglas!

Where exactly are you in Canada?

To the best of my knowledge, there are no species of worms native to where you are gardening. You're in the same boat as me as any worms present on my property are all non-native invasive species from Europe and Asia. Much more research is necessary in this area but for the time being, it is best not to introduce any worms to areas where they do not exist-
https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/terrestrialanimals/earthworms/index.html
All of the terrestrial earthworms in Minnesota are non-native, invasive species from Europe and Asia (There is a native aquatic species that woodcock eat). At least fifteen non-native terrestrial species have been introduced so far. Studies conducted by the University of Minnesota and forest managers show that at least seven species are invading our hardwood forests and causing the loss of tree seedlings, wildflowers, and ferns. See "What are the harmful effects of non-native earthworms" below for more information.
Minnesota's hardwood forests developed in the absence of earthworms. Without worms, fallen leaves decompose slowly, creating a spongy layer of organic "duff." This duff layer is the natural growing environment for native woodland wildflowers. It also provides habitat for ground-dwelling animals and helps prevent soil erosion.

Invading earthworms eat the leaves that create the duff layer and are capable of eliminating it completely. Big trees survive, but many young seedlings perish, along with many ferns and wildflowers. Some species return after the initial invasion, but others disappear. In areas heavily infested by earthworms, soil erosion and leaching of nutrients may reduce the productivity of forests and ultimately degrade fish habitat.
The above would hold true for both you and me. I have decent experience with terrestrial earthworms. The above is probably not what you wanted to know however earthworms can be extremely destructive and it is best to not introduce them to areas where they do not currently exist.

I have some experience with wetlands. They're my favorite type of ecosystem in part because they are so fragile.

I am in the process of restoring mine. It will be a very long time before my wetlands are some semblance of restored.

I am in the United States and we have some pretty intense laws on the books regarding wetlands. In other words, modifying any wetland down here requires the owner to jump through many important but necessary hoops. Wetlands are protected and regulated down by me. I rely upon a host of professionals when working in my wetlands.

Regarding hummocks, they can drastically alter the hydrology of a wetlands system. Tinkering with the hydrology of a wetlands system can have disastrous results. Best to work closely with environmental engineers or any other qualified professional when contemplating any such "enhancement" as in the long run... these "enhancements" frequently have the opposite effect on a wetlands.
with, wild rice, potatoes, wapatoo, carrots, onions, garlic, cabbage, chinese greens, broccoli, blue or huckle berries, strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, mint ** (Mentha aquatica, M.spicata), crayfish, other fast growing fresh, cool water fishes, yellow and or blue or specialty irises, Violets, herbs, annise hyssop, Millet, amaranth, Galingale, (Cyperus longus), or Duckweed, in these sorts of wetland environments?
I have some experience with Zizania palustris which is our native wild rice.
https://plants.usda.gov/java/nameSearch?keywordquery=ZIPA3&mode=symbol

I have no experience with potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, cabbage, chinese greens, broccoli, blue or huckle berries, strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, because these are plants that did not occur naturally in my wetland system therefore they will never be introduced to my wetlands. Doesn't mean I can't grow carrots or onions or any other vegetables in the upland areas of my property but they won't be grown anywhere near the wetlands.

Regarding the Wapatoo, several species are native to my region and several species occur on my property. I like these plants very much. The variety of Sagittaria one would use in a wetlands system would depend on many variables but most notably, which one is indigenous to the specific wetlands.
https://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SAGIT

Regarding the "mint ** (Mentha aquatica, M.spicata)", I have good and solid experience with both of those plants. They are not indigenous to the continent of North America and are formally classified as invasive species and/or noxious weeds. They frequently escape from gardens. When these plants are introduced to a wetlands system, they do damage that is often times difficult if not impossible to reverse. I spend endless hours eradicating these plants from my property. I am not alone. There are many people out there removing these plants from their properties. Based on the experiences I have with these two plants, I am on my knees praying for you that you don't introduce either of those to your property.
https://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=MEAQ
https://www.hear.org/gcw/species/mentha_aquatica/

Regarding Orconectes rusticus (Crayfish), I have decent experience with them. They're classified as an exotic invader. They were introduced to my area, most probably accidentally. If you have them in your area (I don't believe you do as of yet), they are most assuredly introduced. I added a small pre-form pond to my property. This particular pond has shelves for plants. I fill the bottom of the pond with a few inches of water. I tossed in some rocks and branches and such. Whenever we run across crayfish on our property, we place them in that preform pond where they can not escape. At night, the raccoons come and eat them. If you have a few minutes to spare, I would encourage you to read the information at the links below to better enable you to get a feel for why there is growing concern over repeated introductions of crayfish to areas
https://www.seagrant.umn.edu/ais/rustycrayfish_invader
https://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/caer/ce/eek/critter/invert/Rustycrayfish.htm
https://www.protectyourwaters.net/hitchhikers/crustaceans_rusty_crayfish.php

Regarding cool water fishes, I have very little experience with native fishes . My wetlands became so degraded that the water in which they once survived and thrived could no longer sustain their life so they died off. A crying shame. I will work on re-introducing the species that were documented as having been present on this property in about 5 years after I plug along cleaning it up and have professionals come in to deal with the hydrology issues that occurred as a result of the non-native species invasions. It takes time and most unfortunately for me... reversing the damage is going to take a lot of money. Best guess right about now is that I'll be in the league of 30k plus if we do most of the work on our own. I add this because we had no idea how degraded our wetlands were when we purchased this property 20 years ago. We inherited this mess and are going to give it our all. It would be my suggestion that you join this group of people if you want to learn more about cool water fishes and how best to provide habitat for them-
https://www.nanfa.org/
I am a member of NANFA. They provide forums. You do not need to be a NANFA member to participate in their forums.
https://forum.nanfa.org/index.php?s=f5b19aea8591c2ce0a8077d699f4dc6a&act=idx
Laced throughout their forums you will find some of the top wildlife biologists on this continent. Other disciplines are also represented in their forums. There is also a wetlands scientists initiative however I don't believe that would be an appropriate match for you.

Now onto your yellow and blue iris. I have good solid experience with both. Your Yellow Iris is probably Iris pseudacorus. That plant is Eurasian in origin and is classified as an invasive species and/or noxious weed on the continent of North America-
https://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=IRPS
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iris_pseudacorus
https://tncweeds.ucdavis.edu/esadocs/documnts/irispse.pdf
It took me years to get rid of this plant. I am happy to say I believe it is finally eradicated from this property.

I suspect the Blue Iris you mentioned is Iris versicolor. I have good and solid experience with both Iris versicolor and I. virginica. Once I removed the Iris pseudacorus, a seedbank of the North American native I. versicolor bounced back from death. I was most pleasantly surprised. To date, I have now encouraged the regeneration of approximately 500 of this species. They are breathtakingly beautiful.

I have experience with other specialty type Iris. I grow most of mine in raised beds that have barriers beneath the ground to contain their rhizomes. Some are grown alongside a sidewalk where they are contained.
https://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=IRIS
There are some tens of thousands of acres of this site type unused around here at present and I'd like to learn more about enhancing their productivity for humans and wildlife.
Those tens of thousands of acres are not unused. They are providing invaluable habitat to thousands of species of unique wildlife and vegetation. In addition to the habitat they provide, they perform unique and and vital ecological functions from which humans derive substantial and irreplaceable benefits. Your tens of thousands of acres of wetlands are far more productive than many could ever imagine in their wildest dreams.

If the information I have provided above is the type of information you were looking for, I would be happy to comment further on "Violets, herbs, annise hyssop, Millet, amaranth, Galingale, (Cyperus longus), or Duckweed".

It is refreshing to run across someone who wants to learn before leaping. I do believe it to be in your best interests to begin contacting appropriate governmental agencies as well as other appropriate professionals. A good place to start would be here-
https://www.ducks.ca/
https://cwf-fcf.org/
Most landowners I have run into have already leaped and are finding themselves in big pickles.

Best wishes to you.

koonaone
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Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 3:32 am
Location: Lillooet - HighBar - Cariboo, BC - Bioregions of Corrdilera

How delightful, a cogent reply to a very gnarly set of questions. From The Lorax no less. Would you be the drummer for the grunge band "The Melvins"?
I live up the river a ways from Kamloops in south central BC -Bioregions of Cordillera.

Your post is so wonderfully extensive it leaves me wondering just where to begin my reply, and it's going to be difficult because this is a forum for exchanging visions and info about gardening and subsets thereof, permaculture, vegetables, bonsai, roses, etc. What it is not for unfortunately, I would guess, is political or meta-sociological debate, etc. So I will reply briefly and generally by noting that I have been observing the "state" input into my local natural history for well over 50 years now, I am not impressed. The long list I have contains extensive documentation of recomendations and permissions extended to industry, standardisation of clearcut logging in non fire-dominated ecosystems for example, and an equally ignoble history of interfering in the rightfull affairs of the peasantry. 50 years ago if the indians wouldn't quit burning their favorite berry patches, marshland and hunting grounds they put them right in jail. In the enlightened 21st century with it's bug kill and catastrophic wildfires, they are realising the natives had a certain time proven logic in their traditions. Finally, my own personal first contact with official ecology had to do with an initiative to poison "my lake", to get rid of the "trash" fish and replace them with "a better class of fish". The pair of otters, 2 pair of bald eagles, and innumerable loons were not consulted. A direct quote from U.B.C's Dept. of zoology, J.D.McPhail
"The greatest threat to the conservation of our native fish fauna is the adipose fixation of both governmental and private conservation agencies"

Having got that off my chest I can now begin again with a frank admission that my ignorance of earthworm minutia is huge, and you Lorax, have begun to remedy this. I've been a warrior for bio-diversity from before Hal Salwasser (I think) coined the term, and I did not know our local worms were all imports like my forebearers. (except grandma!) I suppose I assumed some were, some weren't. How do you eliminate them once they are firmly established? (which they sure are by now) I just did a quick re-read of "The formation of vegetable mould, through the action of worms, with observations on their habits" and I don't believe Darwin could ever have envisioned trying to erradicate them. I will certainly get hold of the BC conservation data center about this and find out in particular, any known deleterious functionalities that apply to local ecosystems. And relay this back to you (in all my spare time). In this perhaps 'end holocene' era of catastrophic assault on all lifeforms, I, as usual, don't always follow along on some commonly held viewpoints on things like ecosystem stability or restoration (to a no longer existant precursor environment?) But functional discord is exactly what I wish to identify (predict) and avoid like the plague

Hummocks I can see causing scale dependant problems I suppose but what I was thinking of was more along the lines of 10-20 inches above the expected waterlevels (which won't be manipulated by me) and in a marsh of 900 acres maybe a half acre of root crop hummocks. Actually scale is the most pertinant factor here I think. The marsh is on a landscape scale and my proposals are on a site scale. The standard procedure around here is to blow the beaver dam and get the tractor out there and disk up a good chunk. I'm looking for alternatives to that.

I would like to hear what you think on the topic of Zizania palustris in a system that is slowly losing waterlevel due to clearcutting the catchbasin. The spring runoff is fast and furious and the forest has lost its retention capability for the next 1 to 2 decades. Could I get good enough at site analysis to spread seed effectively or should i save my money? I don't have fears about introduction of wildrice as I know it won't spread aggressively because so many other people have tried it and failed.
Hmmm. I hear you loud and clear on the mint situation Zorax, that will stay on dry land (maybe in transfered soil).

The crayfish are here to stay I'm afraid, I just thought to contain and maximise their productivity on my place.

I'm interested in the hydrology problems you have down there "due to the non-native species invasions" the area I'm in is like a big sponge with very very little flowing water. The few creeks are dry by july 1st due to the regional deforestation (this could be said to be a non-native cultural invasion) and consistently low snowpacks for decades now. Do you have oxygenation problems or erosion problems?

Well Lorax I really must go now I'm running into my sleep time and at this time of the year my garden can't be put on hold in the morning. I will definitely be interested in further communications, and I have started on some of the URL's you provided.

Thanks very much

douglas

The preferred solution is to not have a problem

TheLorax
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Just a bunch of off the cuff comments as I don't have time or the skillset to reply to you as I would like but... I believe both you and me are in need of considerably more help than what any online forum or list serve can offer.
Your post is so wonderfully extensive
My post is not extensive in the least. It's about 1/1,000,000 of what could be posted. Posts such as yours are extremely humbling as they remind me of how little I truly know in the bigger scheme of things.
political or meta-sociological debate
Not into this at all and I can assure you I have a history of exiting stage left if discussions are reduced to emotion as opposed to logic. Best for me personally to rely upon best science available. When making decisions I find that choosing emotion over logic has gotten me into deep do do. I also try my best to factor in that none of us really owns our land... we're just borrowing it from our children.
observing the "state" input into my local natural history for well over 50 years now, I am not impressed.
I'm certainly not impressed either however I have hope we can all begin learning from our collective mistakes so that they can be put behind us in favor of moving forward. We know so much more now than what we did just seven years ago and I am seeing some very encouraging signs of progress out and about these days.
an initiative to poison "my lake", to get rid of the "trash" fish and replace them with "a better class of fish". The pair of otters, 2 pair of bald eagles, and innumerable loons were not consulted.
Evidently you weren't consulted either. Good God, no words other than that I am so sorry.
my ignorance of earthworm minutia is huge
You and me both. I'm out there experimenting with low voltage charges to bring them to the surface right now. It's working. Don't see this as being feasible for larger parcels but for me it has enabled me to keep their numbers down which in turn enabled me to begin re-establishing native species that I couldn't for the life of me get going over here in subsequent years. There are other tricks to reduce their numbers to that which would be more manageable.
In this perhaps 'end holocene' era of catastrophic assault on all lifeforms, I, as usual, don't always follow along on some commonly held viewpoints on things like ecosystem stability or restoration
Agreed to one degree or another, conventional wisdom has also failed me miserably but then again extinction is forever. Point in context, the crayfish may very well be here to stay but that doesn't mean I don't waste them every opportunity I am afforded and I won't intentionally introduce any new species of flora or fauna that might further compromise my already failing ecosystems.

Need considerably more information on the hummocks and the site to even be able to make half a$$ed generalized comments and even then I would be way out of my league but one thing is for sure, I don't think you've got an isolated wetland system there based on the coordinates you provided and satellite views of that property with reference being to these comments you made- "the area I'm in is like a big sponge with very very little flowing water. The few creeks are dry by july 1st due to the regional deforestation..."
I would like to hear what you think on the topic of Zizania palustris
If it isn't documented as having occurred naturally, don't introduce it. Sorry, you asked and I am prepared to take a cyber flogging from you for my comment.
Could I get good enough at site analysis to spread seed effectively or should I save my money?
Yes, I believe that someone with your attitude very well could get "good enough". ***disclaimer*** I don't believe any of us ever gets "good enough" at anything, I do believe if we educate ourselves on issues capable of affecting us and keep up with these issues that over time we become more comfortable with being uncomfortable about having to make tough decisions. Does this make sense? You and me, we're just two little people out there trying to do the best we can. We're going to make mistakes and at times it's going to feel as if we're taking not two... but three or four steps backwards to take one step forward. Doesn't mean progress in the right direction isn't being made, just means progress isn't happening as fast as what people like you and me would like. Patience has never been one of my strong points. Once identified as an issue, I generally want that issue addressed as in yesterday... shame it never plays out for me that way.
I'm interested in the hydrology problems you have down there "due to the non-native species invasions"
The issues aren't all that interesting. I'm dealing with a wetlands that is degraded to the extent there is only an estimated 1% of indigenous species left. The European Phragmites, Narrow-Leaf cattail, Purple Loosestrife, and Reed Canary Grass got a foothold years before we even built a home here and a monoculture of Phragmites australis now exists. The biomass created by the presence and expansion of these types of non-native invasive plants was so great it filled in several naturally occurring ponds on the property. Simply stated, displace the water with non-native invasive species and the fish die. It was pretty much a downward spiral from there. The process took around 25 years but in that 25 years this particular wetland was reduced to a wave of European phragmites blanketing acres. Now mind you, many other issues going on here and then there were/are the non-native species invasions associated with my uplands. I was overwhelmed and knew enough to know I was in a big heap-o-trouble and since there's only one of me... didn't quite know whether to start addressing the upland or the lowland issues. Hired a team of environmental engineers who basically stated the quality of any lowland was dependent upon the quality of the upland and vice versa so it was a crap shot. I started with the uplands and since I have made considerable progress upland, I feel as if the timing is right to begin tackling the lowlands. I'm going for it!
Do you have oxygenation problems or erosion problems?
I have both of those problems plus about 100 more. douglas, I'm in trouble here and am struggling to bail myself out. I wish you lived closer to me because I'd welcome the opportunity for someone such as yourself to provide me with fresh perspectives. We won't always agree, however these types of interactions provide invaluable opportunities for me to view this mess from someone else's eyes and mind.

koonaone
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Location: Lillooet - HighBar - Cariboo, BC - Bioregions of Corrdilera

Hi again, I will be brief.

Everything you said intriqued me, but if you could elaborate on one item i would appreciate it.


my ignorance of earthworm minutia is huge
[Lorax said]
You and me both. I'm out there experimenting with low voltage charges to bring them to the surface right now. It's working.

How exactly do you do that? Do you coordinate with the worms phenology.
Do you have recipes?
Thanks

douglas

Earthworms are also very good food source, with crude protein in dry
weight reaching about 70%. Southeasterners have many famous recipe. Wui Lu 2001

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applestar
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This is FASCINATING stuff! I thought that earthworms are ubiquitous... and that earthworms=GOOD Not so, huh?

So how DO you eradicate them? You would almost HAVE to create some kind of a barrier and maintain an earthworm-free ZONE, right? They can't cross water I imagine. How deep do they delve? Is hummock what I think it is? Like an island? Can you make an earthworm-free hummock, then expand it from year to year? I'm guessing that they could still be accidentally introduced in mud on feet/paws kind of thing....

Sorry I've almost nothing to contribute to this discussion, but I'll be following along with keen interest in this and other (wow) diverse issues mentioned here. Please keep it up or at least keep us updated from time to time.

TheLorax
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My husband purchased a small gas powered generator around 15 years ago. At that time we lived in an area where there was a considerable amount of construction so we had been experiencing repeated power outages. Had no choice but to incur the expense of that generator as one of our kids required specialized medical equipment. When we moved to our current home, we were forced to purchase a much larger back up generator as power outages in this area were lasting a day or two and it was extremely disruptive packing up kids to set up camp at my parents' home. The little generator went unused until one day I thought if others had tried this, why not see if we can get our money's worth out of it. Nothing fancy, simple electrodes out of thick wires then strap it to a small dolly and take off with it. Think my eyeballs about fell out of my head when I realized how effective even a slight electrical current was. We're talking extremely low amperage here.

That's it douglas. Nothing more to it. It really works. My experiments are more so on extraction. What types of habitats can I extract the most worms from.

Prior to that I was experimenting with vinegar. You can get them to surface with vinegar. After the vinegar came experiments with dry mustard. Bulk dry powdered mustard works better than organically grown mustard. Have no idea why. Any yellow mustard is fine though. 1/3 C to a gallon, pour half wait 5 minutes, then pour the other half because it takes time for some worms to respond. The mustard water works almost as well as low voltage charges. Almost... however there is the cost of the bulk mustard to factor into the process and we already had the little Honda generator.

Lately we've been getting a lot of rain. When the soil is saturated, many worms will surface. If it's not too cold, I will walk around and simply hand pick them. I bring a 5 gallon bucket with me and "harvest". There is also a reason why "nightcrawlers" are called "nightcrawlers".

You mentioned, "Southeasterners have many famous recipe". Makes sense as the glaciers didn't extend into the southern states so there are some native species of worms down south. I feel bad for the people down south who are trying to eradicate exotic worms. Some are real easy to identify but some aren't. Up here, there's no thought process involved in determining which worms to waste because all are exotic earthworms.

ALSATIAN SMOTHERED WORM
Dredge the worm with seasoned flour.
Sauté in three tablespoons butter until browned.
Cover with sliced onions, pour over one cup thick sour cream, cover pot closely, and bake in a slow oven until tender.

For those interested in really "digging in"-
'Forest Dynamics and Disturbance Regimes' by Lee Frelich
'Biological Invasions Belowground: Earthworms as Invasive Species' by
Paul F. Hendrix
Lately, you can find a proliferation of information online. All you have to do is google earthworms + invasive.

For those who want the condensed version of why so many people are concerned about earthworm invasions-
https://www.bootstrap-analysis.com/2006/08/more_on_nonnati.html
Another very interesting paper [1] has come out on the impacts of non-native earthworms on forests, which I wrote about a year ago. As you recall, much of northern North America has no native earthworms, and microbes are primarily responsible for recycling leaf litter and thus controlling nutrient availability in northern forests. The rate of decomposition of leaf litter and nutrient cycling is crucial, because the forest floor is the physical foundation for all the native plants and trees of the forest community.

These communities evolved without earthworms. European earthworms have been introduced into northern North America in large part through their use as fishing bait. Earthworms are detritivores, which means they eat and process this leaf litter, and have the ability to completely alter the physical, chemical, and biotic characteristics of the forest floor and upper soil horizons, notes the paper.

This study took place in Minnesota over four years, comparing vegetation in plots that had no earthworms to that in plots which had a suite of non-native earthworms. Findings include:

* As total earthworm biomass increased, density and abundance of herbaceous plants in half the study sites decreased, and the density and abundance of tree seedlings decreased in 75% of the study sites.
* Regardless of biomass, sites with the most species of earthworms had the lowest plant diversity.
* This could be due to a synergistic relationship between certain worms. Worms of the genus Aporrectodea did not appear to consume leaf litter until it was partly processed by other species. Then they could quickly go about removing forest floor.
* The species with the most impact was Lumbricus rubellus (often called redworms or red wigglers, and used not only as bait, but in vermicomposting). Where the biomass of L. rubellus was high, the herbaceous plant community was either absent or dominated by a common sedge and jack-in-the-pulpit.

The forest floor gets literally eaten out from under native plant communities. Those with small seeds that can germinate on thin forest substrate (like Garlic Mustard) will have an advantage over native species with complex seed dormancy needs, and the root zones of plants that have chemical compounds that deter herbivory (such as jack-in-the-pulpit) are also sometimes avoided by worms.

In the conclusion, the authors stated:

"Although local control of invasions may be possible in some situations, the magnitude and regional scale of earthworm invasions seem to suggest that in the next few decades a majority of hardwood forest will be impacted to some degree by earthworms."

It was mentioned that because of their disproportionate impact, introductions of L. rubellus should be prevented even in areas already infested by other species. This is a species sold to people who use them to compost food and yard waste. These worms would eventually end up in the garden, so maybe it's a good idea, if you live in a northern state or province, to be careful about what type of worms you have.
applestar, I don't know that exotic earthworms will be able to be eradicated in our lifetime.

Thanks to repeated introductions both accidental and intentional of exotic earthworms by fisherman and vermicomposters, earthworms are now ubiquitous in the lower 48. They may be "good" in a garden but they are "bad" in natural areas.

I'm sure I'm not scoring any points with worm huggers right about now.

koonaone
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Location: Lillooet - HighBar - Cariboo, BC - Bioregions of Corrdilera

Thanks for your promptitude Lorax

So if I get it right, a 120V alternating current (over how wide a space) gets them up? I wonder if portable 12V direct current will work. I wonder if some simple subset of an electric fencing system could act as a barrier in selected situations?

My immediate reason for responding on the topic is the possibility of using the method to drive them up where my chickens can benefit from enmass localisation of prey species on demand. Also in your context as a means of exerting selective pressures on the worms. Do other organisms respond in the same way though?

This worm topic is begining to sound very ecosystematic and desired end results specific to me. As I have mentioned before, the earthworms place in meso-site dynamics haven't impinged on my consciousness much in the past. I believe though that there are some general trends involved in that natural grassland soils tend towards basic, bacterial, decomposition action, with heavier faunal fossorial input (worm friendly); whereas forests tend toward acidic, fungal, mycorhyzal, and lesser repetitive burrowing activity by animals. There also is a vast difference between conifer forest (which is ubiquitous here) and broadleaf deciduous forest. [that's all off the top of my head, don't accept as gospel, will get second opinion ] So I guess given that there are NO non-managed ecosystems on earth anymore it is encumbent upon us to have concise, well informed ecological goals defined for the particular site we are concerned with. And use our best informed thought (including current science) as to the workings of the systems we are considering. Caveat: A large part of defining any scale of ecosystem, is its context in the next larger and smaller scales of ecosystem it is within and without. [you may quote that] While I'm pontificating, the importance of the permeability of the boundaries (and they are legion, perceptual as well as physical) is impossible to overemphasize. [phew! you can quote me on that too]

Cool member AppleStar,(how DO you get Cool?) you have hit the boundedness and scale issues square on, when you write:.

""So how DO you eradicate them? You would almost HAVE to create some kind of a barrier and maintain an earthworm-free ZONE, right? They can't cross water I imagine. How deep do they delve? Is hummock what I think it is? Like an island? Can you make an earthworm-free hummock, then expand it from year to year? I'm guessing that they could still be accidentally introduced in mud on feet/paws kind of thing.... ""

Unfortunately I havn't read Mollison on Permaculture since an avid gardener "borrowed" my copy in 93. If I remember right he counsels intensive maximised humanization of small plots, and leaving the rest to nature. That means Govt.com, monsantos corporate ethics, and global climate oscillation get their way. Hmmm .....

When I wrote "Southeasterners have many famous recipe" (for worms) I was quoting Lui Wu who was referring to his culinary betters in south east China. He says they should be fed on cornmeal and squash first.

I have never been called a "worm hugger" in my life but the Ucluelet timberbeasts and the interior truck loggers assoc. call me a "Shrub" sometimes (I also make the dist. MOF managers' facial tic act up). Scoring points should be left in the hands of God and Her Karmic acolytes but you are scoring them with me, thanks again

douglas

Also another study recently found that water is wet, and a third study found that most studies waste money. ( /. .org)

TheLorax
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This is real complicated here (just kidding) but I stick the probes in the ground and zaparoonie! That's about it. Not so surprisingly, the moisture content of the soil appears to make a difference as pertains to area the charge can cover. Expect coverage for a whopping 1.5' x 1.5'.
I wonder if portable 12V direct current will work. I wonder if some simple subset of an electric fencing system could act as a barrier in selected situations?
Haven't a clue. Try it. I can't help but wonder if worms might not become desensitized to this type of a barrier over time though.

The cost of purchasing even a small gas powered generator when dry mustard works well enough might not be justifiable although I believe borrowing one from a friend or neighbor to enable one to see for one's self the effects would be an awesome experience. You can stand there calling out "Here wormie wormie, here wormie wormie". To the amazement of those standing around you, some wormies will surface. I do think the "worms on demand" for chickens is a great idea! You have got to borrow a generator and try this!

I upped the amperage in an attempt to get rusty crayfish to surface. Rusty crayfish are not high on my list however I am particularly fond of southern prawn dishes. Wouldn't mind eating them myself if I could find a way to gather enough at one time to create a family meal. Didn't work on the crayfish. I did get more worms to surface though.

Yes, I too believe a vast difference exists between a coniferous and a deciduous forest. We are in our infancy researching the deleterious effects of exotic earthworms on hardwood forests.

I truly don't believe it is incumbent upon us to do anything but our best. Again-
I do believe if we educate ourselves on issues capable of affecting us and keep up with these issues that over time we become more comfortable with being uncomfortable about having to make tough decisions.
All that should be expected of any one little human is to do their best while factoring in best science available. That's it. Your best may be better than mine but it won't really matter 100 years from now whose best was the best. Incidentally, a vast difference in my mind exists between current and best science available. Let's face it, there's a lot of junk science out there and far too many Chicken Littles with pedigrees running around.

Have you read 'The One Straw Revolution'? There's a link to download it for free in one of these threads somewhere. You'll have to do a search for the link if you are interested. I enjoyed the article. I believe you will too.

Facial tics! That poor impoverished dist. MOF manager. Why you brute you ;)

Sorry for overlooking your personal question, "Would you be the drummer for the grunge band "The Melvins"? No, I am not Lori Black. We do have a cat named Melvin. He came with his name. Does that count for anything ;)

Here's to Lui Wu!
Here's to Alsatian Smothered Worms!
May our cupboards be lined with jars of red wigglers!

koonaone
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Yup

Foku oka sits right beside my bed and has for years. Try "Farmers of 40 centuries" by King I think. Ausome account of traditional wily oriental ingenuity in the "green" realm. (history I'm afraid)

Must get back to building a glasshouse to warm my spaghetti squashes feet up.

douglas

Eagles soar all right but weasels don't get sucked up into jet engines do they?

doccat5
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Welcome to the site, koonaone. May I ask what you have in mind with your worm farming? Do you want them for composting, their castings, fish bait, chicken feed?

I do vermicomposting in 2 20 gal rubbermaid containers, we harvest the casting for the garden. I also I am quite sure have plenty in the compost bins and in my garden and lawn areas, since unlike Lorax. I have few trees, but I want great quality soil. DH and I have been practicing organic gardening methods for over 20 years, but we just got into the vermicomposting earlier this year. It's a very interesting process and worms are fascinating creatures. Far more complex than I originally realized.

Unfortunately, you would have to provide something besides black organic muck to feed them. But they will make that for you. We use shredded wet newspapers as our base and feed about once every 2 weeks, normally I feed my (I should say the DH's, but that's another story) worms kitchen scraps or if I have some working that's available some of the Bokashi workings. We've been doing that in the last month and have noticed they eat that faster and seem to be getting fatter and reproducing more quickly.

Depending on what you want them to do for you, will help you make good decisions on what type to get and also what type of set up you'll need.

I do have experience with many of the veggies you mentioned as well as some of the fruit trees and shrubs. Not up on fish, but I can certainly recommend you google rain gardens as a way to add to a wet land situation.

I'll be happy to try and answer any questions you might have on the veggies. Although we are in very different zones, most of it is not rocket science, just common sense.

Lorax, you are a evil worm killer and should be ashamed of yourself..... :shock: :wink: :wink: LOL Not to worry I have a feeling you are fighting a losing battle, but it's worth a shot!
doccat5

I'd rather be gardening!

TheLorax
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Eeeek, it's yet another worm hugger! Oh my oh my oh my! What will I do what will I do!

Say, I'm reading his 'Farmers of 40 centuries' right now. I think you better get your buns in gear and read this.

Start here, you won't be displeased-

[url=https://www.earthlypursuits.com/FarmFC/FFC/F_%20H_%20King%20Farmers%20of%20Forty%20Centuries--Introduction.htm]The Farmers of 40 centuries[/url]

doccat5
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Fascinating site, Lorax. Thanks for the information and I am a worm "handler". They are really tough to hug! That's why they call them wigglers......... :lol: :lol:
doccat5

I'd rather be gardening!

TheLorax
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Handler Hugger... semantics my friend!

Yes, I went online with the intent of ordering the book suggested by
koonaone. Much to my surprise, I found the publication in its entirety there for the taking. Extremely impressed and I'm only on chapter 3. This is a must read for someone like me.

koonaone
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Well, I have refuse from 2 adults, 12 chickens, about 1/4 acre garden, and an unlimited amount of black muck soil formed by miles and miles of uniform species composition cattail marshes. This is anaerobicly and poorly decomposed stuff with lots of raw organic matter still visible and a wif of SO4 to it. When dried out, fluffed up, and re-watered it turns out to be better potting soil than can be bought, as is. So the people and chickens, and garden waste wouldn't feed a lot of worms, thus the query Re:Muck soil as worm feed. I just realised I could whack an unlimited amount of cattail leaves if they really need greens.

What I want them for? Well the chickens recycle all the human and garden waste just fine, and pay for themselfs through egg sales. I guess i figured I could enhance the circularity of the system by running the chicken tihs [interestingly a bloomin machine threatened to ban this member for proper spelling of the english language, Huff] through a worm before it made it to the garden. The stuff, raw, is dangerously powerful though I've gotten away with it so far just fine using tea and being finiky, though my ex accused me obliquly of using "something else" and things Are awfully Green. Besides worm castings are sooo nice to feel running through the fingers, and they are the ultimate plant food.

I have a perennially slow and kludged up cashflow around here and have ascertained 3, at least, outlets within bicycling distance that will sell a pound a week each for me. 2 of them throughout the kokanee ice fishing season even. So a hundred pounds of worm roughly rounding things off per annum..... and then a pound a week for the chickens to assure the quality of their input to the circle.
The fisherfolk hereabouts are prejudiced against Red Wriggly ones which might be just fine as I understand they are reliant on "top feeding" of slop bucket type stuff whereas some other types are actual "soil eaters". Do you know about this distinction doccat5?

I did a quick wiki-oogle for Bokashi and it sounds interesting for the urbanly impaired but I get a kick out of watching the deer fight the chickens for the cabbage leafs. Your 20 gal containers sound good for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is their portability. I don't quite know how to winter my proposed herd, but portability would help.

Regarding the vegetables etc., I think my need is for type specific info on who abhors wet feet, or who absolutely requires a high degree of mineralization in their soil, that sort of thing. It is easy enough to research the NPK paradigm or find out what just has to have copper, but a subjective opinion on the suitability of Muck for carrots for instance requires an opinion from a person that actually tried it. This is the year for site data collection, analysis, and planning over the winter. Implementation may begin "next" year.

The worm killer's input on escapements, and the horrors of alien invasion are essential for planning as well. You know, what started the idea of co-existing with my wetlands (in this iteration) was a masters thesis from U Victoria, nowhere in it did she address the issue of crop compatibility with the surrounding ecosystem. i thought of it right away, but man, Lorax opened a whole can a worms on it.

Nice to see you found "Farmers of 40" quickly Lorax. I had to order it from the local library last summer and it came to me from clear out of the province. Aint the nets wonderful.

Any typos are the direct fault of two over energetic kittens on my lap, well, between my lap and my keyboard.

douglas

A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.

koonaone
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+
Just an addendum.

You might also try "The road to Alto" I can find out author etc but you might luck out again. Set in alpine Portugal, it chronicals what happens to an integrated agrarian community and surrounding ecosystem when "The Road Comes In" It's pretty sickening but if you read it little light bulbs will keep appearing over your head.

douglas

Dogs have owners. Cats have staff

TheLorax
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Ah ha ha ha ha! I don't know what you typed but I've run into that "machine" too. Did it tell the moderators to ban you too?
The worm killer's input on ...
Hey, I resemble that remark!

Personal goal for me is to have three chickens by next year. Just beginning to learn how to care for them. What kind of chickens do you have?

Can't find your book available online. Interlibrary exchange doesn't list it as being available either. Author is John Robin Jenkins. Found an excerpt online-
The precipitant of this destruction was the building of a road, of only twelve kilometers, connecting Alto to the town of Monchique and thence by existing roads to the larger towns and cities of Portugal and the wide world beyond. Before this road was built in 1951, there was little movement of people or goods into or out of Alto and the surrounding country because the only link with the outside world was by rough donkey tracks – a thousand years old – to Monchique, a journey of three hours on a donkey or two hours on foot. Cork, medronho (the local firewater), and sweet chestnuts were the only things exported from Alto and, aside from a little iron for tools and donkey shoes from the mines of Aljustrel, seven days away to the north, and salt, rice, almonds, and cigarettes and a few other manufacturedgoods, all of which required donkey journeys of several days,the people of Alto were self-sufficient.

In a climate that is cool and wet in winter and hot and dry in summer, and on mountainsides whose natural vegetation would be only evergreen trees and scrub bushes, they had constructed and maintained over the centuries a series of terraces irrigated with water that they have tapped from springs by tunneling into the rocky hillsides and stored in stone tanks. By these means they fashioned a “luxuriant environment,â€

doccat5
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Golly you guys, first Lorax is murdering poor defenseless little worms and now your laying a guilt trip on your kitties. What's up with that? For shame you guys! LOL

I am familiar with the differences in the worms. If you want ones to use for fish bait/chicken food I suggest the Tiger worms. I would suggest you google and do a bit of research on which type would suit you best.

Let me give you a couple of sites with instruction on how to make your own homemade worm bins on the cheap (my kinda deal) You can always adapt this to the outdoors if you're so inclined. Worms are not picky eaters, you can feed them black and white newspapers and cardboard and throw in a few kitchen scraps for a change of pace.

[url]https://sunnyjohn.com/photos/devices_tools/dt_worm_barrel/index.htm[/url]

[url]https://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/compost/Easywormbin.htm[/url]

Also my article on worm er, "romance" from another site, I know longer write for. Just basic info on how worms reproduce.

[url]https://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/562/[/url]

You are right, worm castings are a wonderful thing. I would imagine growing veggies in your zone is a real challenge given the length of your growing season. Are you using a greenhouse or how do you deal with that? Very interesting. :)

Lorax, I'm ignoring you.........LOL
doccat5

I'd rather be gardening!

TheLorax
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Oh interesting! A worm hugger who only uses the worm castings and keeps their wormies confined! I'd hug wormies in a bin. Thatagirl doccat!

I have heard of others who only use the castings.

Back outside for me.

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JennyC
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There's a worm farm near here which sells casings. I'd thought that was only a good thing, and I guess some worms are native down here?

Obviously, I need worm info.

Following this thread with much interest!
Jenny C

TheLorax
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I'd buy castings devoid of worms to use in my garden and have. I spread the castings out thinly on a tarp that I spread out on my driveway and let the sun dry them out completely. That way the birds can pluck off any worms that might have ended up in the castings and the sun dries out any they miss. I buy the Worm's Way product and so far have only found a few worms in all of their bags.

Worm castings are a good thing. The actual non-native worms producing the castings being released into the environment... not so good for any native worms if present and not so good for deciduous savannas, woodlands, or forests. I personally don't believe non-native wormies to be all that great for a tallgrass prairie ecosystem. At this point in time there is such a serious lack of funding for research that it is difficult to intelligently discuss the introduction of non-native worms to other types of ecosystems. Unfortunately, worms released in gardens do their wormie thing and reproduce and these wormies aren't exactly staying "close to home" so to speak.

koonaone
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I think I know the folks that published "The road to Alto" (New Society Pub) Lorax but I'm not sure, I'll check it out.

I have been in the habit of "dipping in to" my ecosystem most of my adult life, doccat5, through alaska to Guatamala and in my experience this here is a pretty benign spot in its own way. I have pictures somewhere of 2 foot cabbages from Dawson city, so north isn't neccesarily deadly for gardening

There is a bio geo climatic ecosystem classification system developed by Krajina at U.B.C. focusing on Edatopic grids of soil moisture and nutrient regimes within microclimatic and soil chemistry bounds that I have mastered (kinda) and it allows very precise site requirements comparisons between say, Heracleum lanata and your regular carrot. (If and only If you can get equaly precise data for the carrot). I'm still learning the basics here but being able to extrapolate from other scenes is advantageous I guess. You can download ecosystems of british columbia at

https://www.llbc.leg.bc.ca/public/PubDocs/bcdocs/79215/

but it is BC specific (wash, idaho, have some of the same ecosystem types as well) the concepts are singularly excelent in NA so far as I have seen.
This is my second summer here, my last stop was corn, peppers, cantalope, and tomatoe country, mostly due to lower elevation. (but poorer soil parent materials)

This year the lake outside my door stayed frozen until april 22nd. There have been all of 9 full sun days since. It looks grim wouldn't you say?
I start herb, squash, (spaghetti) tomatoes, peppers, (jalapenos) beans, (favas, scarlet runners, soy) and a few other things like basil, under the flourescents in the kitchen. Then I put them in a heated glass house on the porch until the weather warms up enough (VerY crowded). Soil temp = 60F ~ may 10th most years.(not this one though) I winter spinach, chard, sorrel, (and I'm trying some of the chinese cabbage types this year) under a foot of hay and it works if the snow comes before the deepfreeze. An old trick is to leave beet and turnip roots etc., protected, they leaf out early. In 06/07 it hit 40 below before there was any snow for insulation. In 07/08 there was 2 ft by dec 1st and it never got below minus 15.

3 crops of spinach, chard, komatsumo etc. is normal, but broccoli goes silly at a week of 95F (which is inevitable) and only works well if it is juggled. I'm doing some in pots this year so I can move them into the shade. I get a few ripe tomatoes outside, but most I hang in the shed and pick till after witches newyears anyway. Peppers too.

Rather than get my tail in a knot about the slow germination and growth of the non-indigenous plants, I get after the wild cattails, salsify, pigweed, and Wild potatoes, as soon as they are out. And I'm busy fishing the early spring Ling runs as well.

Jenny, at night all cats are gray (as the french say in french) I don't think worms per se are Good or Bad but rather OK in some situations and not so OK in others. figuring out the shade of OK they are in a specific spot is the challenge we are addressing.

Hey Lorax, do you have a micro stereoscope? One might help to pick out those dormant Black worm eggs.

Have to get my Kol rhabbi in the ground, bye for now

douglas

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one, as is time. (A Einstein)

TheLorax
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Thank you very much for trying to track down the other publication. I'm most interested in it for obvious reasons. If you are able to do so, please let me know otherwise I'm going to check around at eBay and a few used online book dealers.

I'm a proponent of humans dipping into their ecosystems responsibly. In fact, I think it's the direction we should all be headed.

You're very right about worms not being good or bad. Shouldn't have anthropomorphized.
This year the lake outside my door stayed frozen until april 22nd. There have been all of 9 full sun days since. It looks grim wouldn't you say?
No, it looks challenging.
Hey Lorax, do you have a micro stereoscope? One might help to pick out those dormant Black worm eggs.
Hey you! They haven't come to pick me up yet. Be careful with me, I'm fragile, very fragile. Low self esteem and all.

Question for anyone out there- I've been reading koonaone's 'The Farmers of 40 centuries'. I'm sorry to have to put it down to leave actually because it's so good. Got to thinking about my asparagus patch. Any thoughts on what other vegetables or fruits could be succession planted in and amongst those? I'm really liking the concepts I'm learning about in 'The Farmers of 40 centuries'. I'm also really liking this new permaculture forum.

doccat5
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Lorax, I don't know that it would be a good idea to try and succession plant in an asparagus bed, even an established bed. They are touch about being "handled". Better to pick another area to work with. You can certainly succession plant in those raised beds we talked about earlier. You do need to do some planning in order to make that work, but it's not difficult.

That's part of what is advocated in Square Foot Gardening. He has some excellent ideas and suggestions, but it's a bit to finicky for me. I normally do a version of succession planting, in the sense I plant certain things in 2 to 3 week succession, so I have a continuous harvest. That's things like beans, salad greens, spinach, chard, chinese cabbage. They come in at intervals I can handle so we always have fresh, plus I have enough to can or put up and give away.
doccat5

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koonaone
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I read the review by Ann Skea at eclectica.org of 'Cod' by Mark Kurlansky and it looks like a good winters read and I will try to get it through my library.

I have a book here on my desk "A Critique For Ecology" by R H Peters 1991, Cambridge press. He is one of the guys that formed the strategies that killed off all the cod.
Peters is an elder in the world of professional ecologists, which has a very short history. He was and is right in the forefront of the rational management of resources school(s) of the 20th century and right up to the present. The book is about how much of a dismal failure it has all been, along with a very concise and Dense account of how perhaps to do better. He is extremely contrite about it all and the main thing I got out of reading it, besides an enourmous amount of intriguing detail, was a strong sense of the fadish nature of some of the scientific milieu.

As to The road to Alto I sent of an eMail to a friend of a friend and should hear back soon. Found a 5 page exerpt at:

https://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1132/is_v37/ai_4077077

If you have a subscription to Acta Sociologica you can download a .PDF or buy one for 15 bucks for 1 day. ? ? ?

Jenny, you're lucky you got that permaculture course as part of your job, some of my friends have had to put out big bucks for them, though they do seem too be very solid. Was Starhawk involved in teaching it? What is your overall feeling about Mollisons basic ideas? As I mentioned, my Permaculture book got lost and so haven't done much reading on the topic for a while but I seem to recall dichotomising things into wildside and ourside in an integrated way . I wouldn't mind finding a good primer if you know one. The permaculture canada site reminds me that it is a very proprietary sort of thing with a hierarchy of teachers and blackbelts etc. Hmmm.

doccat5 your article on WormSex went immediatly into my KeepDataBase.
The mechanics of the whole process are mind boggleingly... well, romantic. I like that barrel works pass through worm barrel idea, it might even be a decent cottage industry if the barrels could be obtained reasonably. The whatcom county extension service worm bin sounds like what you have, it might be a little small for what I had in mind.

Well I'm still looking for advice about growing in black muck soil. I may just have to do a few small experiments this very summer, there should still be time enough.

Carrots, I know, can quickly become something of a weed in dry sunny sandy locations, forming a sizeable globe that looks nice to me but raises ire in some. Anybody have an opinion how it would do in a fluffy black organic soil, well sub irrigated? I'm almost certain Parsnips would love those conditions as well. How about Onions or garlic? Do they demand a drier well drained soil?

bye for now

douglas

Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite.

doccat5
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What a lovely compliment, I thank you kindly, sir. :)

I see no reason you could grow great carrots or any other root veggie in that type of soil. Carrots usually prefer a somewhat sandy soil, but with the richness of the soil you're describing that shouldn't be an issue. Carrots actually do better and taste sweeter for a nip of frost, I plant my main and biggest crop in the fall and mark the bed. Need to to find it in the snow. LOL However, you have a much deep frost line to deal with, I would think you could make it work if you used deep mulch of some kind to protect them and keep as much warmth in the area as possible. THAT has got to be a real challenge. Very interesting and I'm thrilled to talk to you about this. It's making me realize I am very lucky to be where I am, but I am always interested in methods use in other climates and habitat. Thanks for sharing the information. :)

Are you using cold frames to help protect your veggies then. When I read your comments, I thought WHEW!!! And I thought Minnesota was cold! LOL I went to college there for 5 years and don't care if I never see snow again. I'm no sissy, but I bout froze off tender parts of my person. LOL Good thing I like winter sports and the ice fishing was WONDERFUL and a total hoot to watch them set it up to go fishing. Amazingly clever.
doccat5

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TheLorax
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A dedicated asparagus bed... bummer. Was sort of all hyped about the prospect of being able to succession plant in the area where I grow them. I still may try something in with them. What I don't know but I suppose it can't do much other than decrease the productivity of the asparagus patch.

Nice article doccat.

Yes, 'Cod' would be a good winter's read. I've got a few backed up for this coming winter so pile on suggestions for me. That's the time when I catch up. R H Peters's book sounds interesting. I'd probably enjoy it but would prefer to get my hands on Jenkins' book.
Lorax, I'm ignoring you.........LOL
Say doccat, I killed a few worms in your honor. My party got washed out this weekend and I had to come back early because of all the rains... boo hoo. Took advantage of the rains and went out worm harvesting. Boy oh boy do the robins love me.

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applestar
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Elliot Coleman in Four Season Harvest mentions growing lettuce and spinach in the shade of the asparagus fronds. I wonder what other low growing/shallow rooted/low nutrient demand crops you could put in there...? Green onions? (have to check companion status) You could always green mulch with annual clover or something....

TheLorax
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Hmm, I'm just trying lettuces for the first time this year. I've got more seed left from the mesclun mix. I'll try that. All I'd basically have to do would be to fling seed in with the asparagus. That's a good suggestion applestar. Worse case scenario, the lettuces don't get enough sun to grow properly.

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applestar
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LOL -- that's right in line with my style of gardening :lol:

Also, In Carrots Love Tomatoes - Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening Louise Riotte says
Asparagus(Asparagus officinalis). Parsley planted with asparagus gives added vigor to both. Asparagus also does well with basil which itself is a good companion for tomatoes. Tomatoes will protect asparagus against asparagus beetles because they contain a substance called solanine. But if asparagus beetles are present in great numbers, they will attract and be controlled by their natural predators, making spraying unnecessary. A chemical derived from asparagus juice also has been found effective on tomato plants as a killer of nematodes, including root-knot sting, stubby root and meadow nematodes.
In my garden I grow asparagus in a long row at one side. After the spears are harvested in early spring I plant tomatoes on either side, and find that both plants prosper from the association. Cultivating the tomatoes also keeps down the weeds from the asparagus. The asparagus fronds should never be cut, if at all, until very late in the fall as the roots need this top growth to enable them to make spears the follwing spring.
Have fun experimenting! :D

TheLorax
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Location: US

Tossing seed in won't disturb the roots of the asparagus and it's a heck of a lot easier than kneeling down and transplanting individual lettuce seedlings. I'm a lazy gardener when ever convenient to be so. I do believe I'm more into succession planting than companion planting as far as the asparagus goes but that excerpt from 'Carrots Love Tomatoes' is something to keep in mind. Reason being is the asparagus is about done now for the year. That leaves wasted space for the main portion of the growing season and asparagus isn't exactly a crop one can rotate.

applestar, did you go to that link for 'The Farmers of 40 centuries'? I think if you have any spare time you might want to take the opportunity to read some of what's shared. I've been to both China and Japan and I saw but didn't see when I was there. This probably doesn't make sense to you but I wish I would have read the book before we started traveling. I truly believe we would have gotten a lot more out of our vacations if I had. I am admittedly captivated by this publication. Really glad it was suggested. I think you'll probably get more out of it than me because you've been growing vegetables considerably longer than me and should be able to make more connections. This is one I will probably re-read again in a few years after I have more experience growing vegetables and fruits under my belt.

Think it's too late for me to try experimenting this year with left over mesclun seed? Think it would be worth it to me to try and buy a pack of spinach seed right now?

doccat5
Green Thumb
Posts: 399
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 2:48 pm
Location: VA

The lettuce and spinach will bolt in the heat of summer, you will have better luck if you wait and replant those in the fall.
doccat5

I'd rather be gardening!

TheLorax
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1416
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 2:40 am
Location: US

So it's too late. Thought that might be the case but was thinking that I might be able to try now. I'm too busy in the fall to mess with trying something new around here. Maybe next spring.

koonaone
Full Member
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 3:32 am
Location: Lillooet - HighBar - Cariboo, BC - Bioregions of Corrdilera

Hi there Lorax

I finally got around to trying out your recipe.

> ALSATIAN SMOTHERED WORM
> Dredge the worm with seasoned flour.
> Sauté in three tablespoons butter until browned.
> Cover with sliced onions, pour over one cup thick sour cream, cover pot
> closely, and bake in a slow oven until tender.

Wonderful, I recomend a small worm, many sliced onions, 2 cups of thick sour cream, and a quarter pound of phily cream cheese. Over homemade egg noodles of course.

Yip, them worms goes a long ways.

I have just been reading some of our old interchanges, and I'm staggered at our eruditity. {neword!}

I've had personal difficulties with my wifes health and so on, and so have not been online much this past year.

Going back over these posts has done me a lot of good, thanks

Say, I'll write up a precise of my wetland experiences for you all. It's worked out fairly well with brocolli and garlic but we get to eat muskrat regularly, and beaver for special.

yours

Have you noticed, there are not enough lifeboats ?

douglas

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