really wild gardening info needed : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I've read the one straw revolution, and am familiar with the ideas of no till agriculture, but I'm curious about what sort of success people have had with spacific vegetables with this method? I harvest a lot of wild plants, and I'm curious about other people's adventures in propogating wild food plants. I have had success with wild strawberries, cultivated turnips, jeruselem artichokes, wild camas, wild onions, nettles, rhubarb, poppies, spinach, tiger lilies, radishes. I am just getting into new land in 2002, and want to drop conventional, and traditional and go as wild as possible, with my garden, and still produce abundance. I've read about permaculture, and my thoughts are that most of that will come instinctively as one stands in the elements with the plants. My thoughts is that there needs to be some gardening specifics categories to choose from; like QUESTIONS ABOUT SPECIFIC VEGETABLES. NEW GARDENING STYLES. ORGANIC VS NON ORG. to break up the 100 's of questions asked for people to browse in the archives. Juat a few thoughts, I'm fairly new to this site. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks.

-- roberto pokachinni on B.C. N.Coast (, December 28, 2001


I am currently raising dandelion in greenhouse conditions as a controlled environment BISF study.

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (, December 28, 2001.

Jerusalem atrichokes, we grow them in a seperated raised bed way away from the other gardens. We also put a metal barrier around the bed buried 12 inches deep to keep them from getting loose and spreading all over the place. They don't really need any mulch or special care. The wife has rhubarb in her herb garden. One bed four feet by 12 feet. We are really too far south to grow good rhubarb was what everyone told her. She mulches it with wheat straw and keeps it there all year round. The bed provides us with more than we need. Day Lilies. We just plant them anywhere we don't want to trim weeds, along the lane to the house, along the front side of the shop, down by the pond where almost all the soil had washed out. They really don't like to be babied. As for the other plants have never tried to raise them. But would think that since they are wild plants and are able to survive with out human help they will do well. Unless some are like lots of the wifes herbs, and since they are really just wild weeds they will not tolerate much fertilizer. They do much better in poor soil. Parts of her herb garden gets no mulch or soil imporvments and the plants she plants there do well. We use a combination of bio-french intensive raised beds with Ruth Stouts heavy muclh. Have been doing it this way for almost 20 years and produce almost all our food and several others. Try it you will like it. We don't try to grow the other plants you list but just get some of them from the wild. David

-- David (, December 28, 2001.

Be sure when you harvest wild crops that you give as much attention to reseeding. Wild edible crops have been pushed close to extinction because no one wants to leave the best for seed.

-- Just Duckie (, December 28, 2001.

Sautee up some chanterells for me ,eh?

how i miss foraging for all the culinary delights of the north coast. Here in the south oyster mushrooms are my only reliable wild 'crop'.

My sugestion to you for finding plants that work in near wild conditions of production gardening is to go walkabout or on a 'get lost trip'to meet the new neighbors.

take divisions or bulbs of yours & go find your older neighbors ask if you can tour their prop. & take note of what you see growing.

these will be the tried & true and minimal work plants since most gardeners get tired of 'babying' the latest fad plant that comes along as the years go by.

these plants are also adapted to local conditions & micro-climates, so this is where your plant divisions come in, ask to trade!

out of my 50 odd feet beds of perinnials i have bought less than 20 plants, the rest came from trades & passalongs.

-- bj pepper in C. MS. (, December 29, 2001.

Interesting thread! I'm a rookie hands-on gardener but have studied this stuff for years and am familiar with the basic concepts behind Intensive, permaculture, organic, SFG, etc.

When we decided to build on our land here we saw that we had a nice space for a good sized garden. The bad news was I had NO real soil. A rart of the land had been used as a rotten granite quary and the other half had been an automotive junkyard. It was either sand or decomposed granite(rotten granite) with glass pebbles, misc nuts, bolts, washers, screws etc. For many years this property was the home of an automotive junkyard, last used for that purpose about twenty years go. I'm not real concerned about chemical contamination because its had twenty years to flush itself out.

All that was growing there were thinly scattered blackberry bushes. To actually use the "dirt" that was there would require sifting thru it and throwing the debris out--- a very long, laborious and tedious task. For the 3/4 acre area it would have taken me the rest of my life to complete the job!

To solve this problem I decided to build dirt on top of the sand/hardware mix. In the fall I asked the city, about 2 1/2 miles away, to haul some leaves out to my place. They were happy do it because it gives them someplace nearby to get rid of them. The first time they hauled 5 10 yard dump truck loads. With the end loader I piled the leaves up in one pile. While doing that I was also spreading lime to help neutralize the ph, a bag of bonemeal and two bags of blood meal. It sat like that for the winter and the following spring I "opened it up". Most of it was "finished" compost. Some of the outside skin hadn't decomposed yet but I think if it were covered or if I'd turned it once or twice the entire batch would have finished.

I made four 10 x 60' beds the first year and roughly the same in the two years since so the entire area has beds 6" to 12" of finished compost. The beds are very productive.

I'm hoping to make beds around my property, especially the ponds, but my soil is so poor that I have to so something for some moisture retention and nutrient enhancement.

I would think that a variation of this method would enable you to plant wherever you want to.

-- john (, December 29, 2001.

Wow I like this site! Thanks for all the quick responses. To ease your concern Ducky, I try to be as sensitive as possible to the environments that I inhabit. I try to keep seed or fruit gathering to under 10%, and only on abundantly producing plants. Sometimes I'll come across a beautiful shrub, glistening with berries, but I will get the feeling that I should leave it be, so I do. When gathering bulbs, rhizomes, or roots, I try as best I can to divide, or to seperate gently, and leave the earth as intact as I can to ensure that that species will likely re-inhabit the space. I am not a Native to America, but I am an Native to Earth, and I believe that we all have an rights, and responsibilities that go with our food needs. Jay, what sort of study are you doing? Are you trying to enhance a spacific aspect of the dandelion in these conditions? David, thanks for the info. Sounds like you have a beautiful place with all those lilies. I love lilies. I will likely go with some deep intensive lasagne beds with heavy mulch, and companion hex spacing. for other areas, I will just scatter mulch, and seeds, and let Nature take her course. I appreciate yours and Johns style of gardening with the heavy compost mulch scene, and I'm already there in my dream. Sounds like John did pretty well for himself, considering the pit of woe that he had to deal with. Congratulations John!! There is a good book on Market Gardening writen by a guy who had a similar situation to your's and turned it into a money making garden. If you like I could find the title for you, It's in the local public library. Hey Pepper, I'm not familiar with your states abbreviation, are you in New England. There must be other mushrooms besides oysters their for you. I admit that I'm in a mushroom paradise here. I sautee up quite a few chantrels every year; I'll be thinking of you. Once I get resettled, I hope to be able to set up a serious food dryer, and if you would like, I might be able to send you some dried mushrooms. I'm not sure about sending mushrooms over border though, since the psilocybens are a felony, and border customs don't seem to be mycologists to often. thanks for your ideas on perenials. I gotta go

-- roberto pokachinni (, December 30, 2001.

Well yes there are other mushrooms here but they are few & far inbetween. The oyster types,[ bet you've never seen the pink ones!], are the best for dealing with the souths' heat & humidtity. ms. is short for mississippi, you can see why we use the abrivt. form!

I am spoiled after attending lectures by the demi god of mushrooms david arora and having the 'after the rain' & 'mushrooms demistified 'books as western field guides. That foraging in the southeast is quite a bit more difficult & uncharted by comparison! tons of LBM & numerous stink horn types to be found.

-- bj pepper in C. MS. (, December 31, 2001.

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