[permaculture] Where are you from?

Claude Genest genest at together.net
Wed Oct 30 14:43:11 EST 2002

> hollyhock & other mallows - big showy, various colors; edible
What part of hollyhocks are edible ? The flower I presume ?  I thought 
they were toxic ?
> Subject: Re: [permaculture] Where are you from?
>> I am from Oklahoma City, and live on a city lot in an older Oklahoma
>> City central neighborhood built in the 1920s.  All of my available
>> space for gardening is in my two front yards (I am on a corner), and
>> the buildings are right up against the other property lines.  I am
>> finishing the third year of my project of creating a "forest edge
>> garden".  This past year's garden diary is online at
>> http://www.bettertimesinfo.org/2002gardendiary.htm .
>> I am in the master gardener's training program with OKlahoma County
>> Extension, and today we got the results back for our soil test.  On a
>> per acre basis, mine came out:
>> Nitrogen:  232 lbs/acre
>> Phosphorus:  575 lbs/acre
>> Potassium:  1462 lbs/care
>> which are all waaaaay above what Extension described as being ideal
>> for vegetable gardens.  My soil pH was 6.7.
>> My gardens are untilled raised beds on top of a former lawn, planted
>> intermixed about 2/3rds perennials and 1/3 annuals.  I presume it had
>> been lawn since the house was constructed in 1929.  For the three
>> years I've been working on this, I have fertilized with nothing but
>> compost.  My compost is primarily shredded trees, grass clippings,
>> flowers, dried leaves, and kitchen leftovers.  The walls of the beds
>> are logs (mostly elm) from two mature trees on this property that in
>> my first two years here were taken down by wind and ice storms.
>> I had very lush growth and good production all summer, except for the
>> tomatoes, which grew very nice plants but were a bit stingy on the
>> tomatoes (it was also an abnormally cool year for Oklahoma City, not
>> one single day over 100 degrees and I only watered maybe 6 times since
>> spring.)  And except also for most of the perennials like fruit trees
>> and berry canes/vines which haven't been in place long enough to begin
>> producing.
>> Another question:  how do y'all feel about pruning grape vines?
>> Everyone I know says "prune them".  I was wondering how some of the
>> more experienced permaculturists felt about that.  I haven't pruned
>> mine since planting them two years ago, but was thinking about doing
>> that for the next season.
>> I'm thinking that Extension standards are probably based on
>> conventional agriculture and gardening and I was wondering how these
>> soil test results compare with others of you out there who have had
>> soil tests done on your permacultured gardens.
>> Third question:  I mentioned the master gardener class I am in, I was
>> thinking about producing a handout to give to everybody in the class
>> with a short list of food producing plants in each of the seven layers
>> of a permacultured forest garden.  I have quite a bit of material, but
>> I would like some more suggestions for "color".
>> Thus far under that I have Maximilien sunflowers (mine put on two
>> separate and very showy displays of flowers this year), purple
>> echinacea, rosa rugosa, purple hyacinth beans, Mexican mint marigold,
>> daylilies, perennial kale, dandelions, and amaranth (which in my
>> garden is self seeding).  Any other suggestions?
>> And finally, about those Maximilien sunflowers, I was expecting a bit
>> bigger seed, as supposedly they are an oil sunflower (so I read
>> somewhere on the net).  Any thoughts about extracting oil from the
>> seeds?  Also, should I cut them back closer to the ground (I bought
>> two pots, and they each grew into 10' tall stalks, covered with
>> flowers.  Even if they aren't edible and I was mistaken about that,
>> their beauty is food for the soul.
>> Robert Waldrop, Oklahoma City
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