Daikon and grass seed. Disregard first post. Nothing new was added.

Elfpermacl at aol.com Elfpermacl at aol.com
Thu Oct 22 12:51:58 EDT 1998

In a message dated 10/22/98 12:17:49 AM, newman at bcinternet.net wrote:

<<Well, Dan.

The good news is that i do think my wall is the right side up. i.e. the first
row of
lateral logs is the base and they are held in place by into-the-ban,k shorter
logs at
four foot intervals (7 in all). Then I begin my next row of lateral logs (with
another series of into-the-wall logs to go on top of them. The way I am
proposing to
place this second lateral row is so that each log overlaps its neighbour by a
foot or
so, which requires the logs to rest on the into-the-wall supports at a slight
The repeating of this angle makes an appealing pattern. Given my set-up
(length of
wood especially), it will work out that each  lateral piece in the second row
rest on two into-the-wall supports. It in turn will have the next row of
resulting in at least one support pressing down on each lateral. I did angle
supports (into-the-wall pieces) slightly down into the bank. More like 10 than

So, how are my descriptive powers? Am I giving you a coherent picture?

Regarding climate, we're at about 3,000 feet here which will also tend the
climate to
greater extremes. However, El Nino blessed us with a warm winter (relatively,
course) and a wonderful summer, with the added remarkable bonus of virtually

I'll put in the grass seed in the spring and try your suggestion on using an
Aspen or
two to hold the embankment.

We have a small wild berry area with raspberries, strawberries,
saskatoonberries and
rose hips (yes, wild roses are prolific here). I have been encouraging them
water when we had a very dry spell. I'm now thinking of adding a few berry
bushes to
fill the spaces left as I eliminate the thistle and dandelion. (This is a
area). Should I plant cultivated bushes or find wild ones? Any suggestions?

I'd be glad to communicate privately with you if you think this belongs off


Well Jeffrey:

Taking the last first, biblically, I guess, if you want to communicate
privately, I'd be glad to quote my consulting fees.  That is my main sourse of
income, such as it is.  My pay othewise is to reach a lot of interested people
with what we learn from each other.  And maybe to attract a student or two to
my online course.

I am relieved that you  have matters well in hand.  I was concerned that
somehow I had caused you to do a lot of unnecessary work.

The roses sound like a good bet.  There is a Rosa arctica or something real
close that will thrive in your situation and be about the best vitamin C hit
you can get.  (Reminds me, I have to pick some tangerines on the way from the
permaculture center to the house where C has the afternoon off and is fixing
lunch.  Think I'll grab a lemon to go on the papayas I picked yesterday.)  Oh,
yes, we were at 3,000 feet in Alberta.  : -)  I don't recall if you gave
rainfall in a previous post--is 25 inches a good guess?  In any case, even
though you don't have the evaporation potential that we do here where it gets
hot, you may have a pretty good acquaintance with prevailing winds.  I'm
guessing that blueberries are marginal--highbush definitely out but maybe with
some help in establishment lowbush.  These are extremely mat-rooted.  You want
the roses because they will send deep roots as well, though not as mat-rooted
as the blueberries (if they make it there), and are a good general anchor.
They are a great bird habitat, too and your bird population has been declining
severely over the past 35 or so years, particularly the neotropicals.  (You
may have increases in seed eaters, particularly exotics.)  It would be nice if
in your design you can have a little shallow water, protected from wind, for
birds and their chicks.  Do you get meadowlarks that far north?  I loved those
when I lived in kansas.

The amelanchier is a good deal, too.  You called it Juneberry, I think, being
too lazy to scroll back to see.   You have a stolonaceous species there, I'm
sure, one that spreads like the poplar through underground stems.  Just the
number, better than blueberries, IMHO, as fruit (and I love blueberries)--I've
picked more in one season than the average North American will see in a
lifetime--  They are an interesting wood, too.  Most elastic of anything you
can grow, I think.  The ultimate wood for fly rods.  And cutting them makes
them thicket up instead of going treelike as they sometimes do and being hard
to reach.  We are going through great poultry forage species, too, but I'd
keep the chickens off because they will losen the soil that we are trying to

Get that mat-forming clover--are you too cold for T repns to overwinter?
Probably not if you have good snow cover.  Your shrubs will help hold snow
against the wind and improve legumes and forbs.  There are sunflower relatives
that should go as annual and perennial forbs, though I'd keep away from
Jerusalem artichoke because you don't want tubers to be dug, by either hmans
or criters, on that fragine slope.  Dont neglect the swarm of thicket-forming
prunus--mostly plums but some bush cherries fromt he high plains should work
too.  And don't neglect the ribes, currants and gooseberries.  I think you are
out of 5-needled pine (P strobus mainly) country, but if not check for a list
of white pine blisher rust resistant varieties.  (We have one for sale in our
special order catalog.)

Well, thats probably enough of a starter.  You know alder is commonly
associated with wetlands but particularly the bush type will grow in dry
areas.  Mainly they grow where other plants have trouble, like blueberries.
Oh, I forgot, your pH may be too high for blueberries.  Well, you've got the
amelanchier.  They are good on edges, by the way.  There are native nitrogen
fixers like buffalo berry and non natives like the whole aelagnus clan, that
should have a place.

Good luck

For Mother Earth, Dan Hemenway, Yankee Permaculture Publications (since 1982),
Elfin Permaculture workshops, lectures, Permaculture Design Courses,
consulting and permaculture designs (since 1981), and annual correspondence
courses via email.  Copyright, 1998, Dan & Cynthia Hemenway, P.O. Box 52,
Sparr FL 32192 USA  Internships. YankeePerm at aol.com  

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