[permaculture] Re: Basketry and Nurse Plants

Scott Pittman pci at permaculture-inst.org
Sun Apr 20 13:37:26 EDT 2003

Ute, you might think about Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) as a nurse 
plant, it has great fruit (highest in anti oxidants and high in vit. C), 
birds don't like the fruit so it doesn't have the rampancy of Elaeagnus, 
and it's nitrogen fixing.  The fruit makes a very nutricious drink and good 
jams and jellies (high in pectin).  It may be that Elaeagnus is not as 
rampant in Europe, I saw miles of hedgerows on a train trip across central 
Russia with no sign that it was taking over the surrounding landscape.

I am a wantabe basket maker, I collect them from around the world, and 
admire the multiple uses that different cultures have found for them and 
the different designs to accomplish different tasks.  In the not too 
distant past there was a very strong basket making culture in the U.S.  I 
still find apple picking baskets at flea markets.  I also am interested in 
growing the different colored and textured willows for sale to the art 
basket and sculpture market.  One of these days I will slow down enough to 
do basketry - I look at it as a form of meditation or a community building 
enterprise.  While travelling with Bill Mollison in Thailand I visited a 
Thai village that had a platform built above the rice patties where 12 or 
15 villagers gathered and prepared and wove the most exquisite bamboo 
baskets.  There was a place for all ages from infants too the infirm on 
that platform.  It was like an opium dream sitting on that platform 
listening to the quiet conversations and laughter and overlook the beauty 
of the patties greenly reflecting the clouds overhead.


At 11:29 AM 4/20/03 -0400, you wrote:
>Thanks, Scott, and also Johanna, for your comments.
>It's interesting to read that Elaeagnus may have become something of a
>noxious weed in New Mexico.
>Thankfully, there is no evidence of that happening here in Ireland.
>I planted some Elaeagnus umbellata as nitrogen fixers/nurse plants in a
>mixed hedge, and possibly for some fruit for me and/or the birds.
>I am delighted to hear that it can be coppiced. It'll be a few years yet
>before I will attempt that as the plants are quite young but I might
>give the goats a wee taste in the autumn.
>Scott, do you do basketry or are you planning on selling basket willow?
>Happy Easter.

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