The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Opening up the food jungle

Laundry under the peach tree

When I laid out my plantings on the north side of the trailer, I figured I'd fill in as much space as possible, then take things out as necessary when the trees got bigger.  So I included vegetable garden, brambles, and even a clothesline in areas that will be Food junglebeneath the eventual canopy spread of my trees.

The great thing about the fill-it-in-from-the-beginning method is that there's less mowing and high yields right away.  The bad part is that I actually have to rip out those plants that are now making it impossible to walk around our peach tree.

I plan to soften the blow by replacing some of the shadowed blackberries with a home-propagated gooseberry.  And maybe I can move one of the blackberries over a few feet and get in another year or two of production?

Our chicken waterer is the POOP-free solution to creating a clean and low-work chicken environment.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I read you might get another year or two from your blackberries after you transplant them. I wanted to let you know I watched a youtube video of a guy who has many blackberry plants. He said on average a person can get five years or so from them. But his plants were on their 14th year. What he does is let them grow until one of them reaches the top wire which is about 4ft. tall. He cuts off the top of that one to promote lateral growth along the wire, then cuts all the others down to the base of the plant except for one. The one he saves he cuts off at the bottom wire which is about 2ft. tall. Every 3 or weeks he cuts back the new growth from the base until June, then lets them grow until next year. He says he gets plenty of fruit from the lateral branches and so far he has been on the same plants for 14years. I thought that was COOL! So I wanted to share. Thank you for your nonstop posting of your garden life, I love it. Have a great year. JOHN

Comment by john Sat Sep 7 21:13:06 2013
John --- I didn't mean that the blackberry plants were going to die of old age; just that they had lost their sunny spot and were going to be ripped out by me. All of our brambles are seven years old and going strong --- I don't see why the ones that weren't planted under an eventual tree canopy wouldn't last for decades.
Comment by anna Sun Sep 8 07:30:35 2013

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