More of that Loofah



Hiding in the shade of the Loofah gourd vine!


I’ve read that these are edible as well but have never tried to eat one myself. I harvested about three sponges from this plant, which seemed like a bit of a raw deal considering how long they take to grow and how much space in the garden they tend to take! (At least vertically speaking.)


It’s funny how long these things look in comparison to once they’ve been dried and peeled! Mine were so small compared to the loofahs you can find in a bath store.

I couldn’t get these to grow here in Denmark: not enough heat and it’s difficult to get things pollinated properly indoors. They’re a very multi-functional plant if you can get them to grow in your biome, though!

I have the same thoughts on this as I do guerrillla grafting.


  • Sidewalks are sites of a lot of toxic runoff (including heavy metals), as well as airbourne particulate emissions from vehicles.
  • People walk their dogs, along them, who urinate and defecate in these spaces. This is not neccessarily bad, as long as it doesn’t touch food. It can be safely taken care of with a worm tower and a poop scoop.
  • People often feel embarrassed, distrusting, or ashamed getting their food from roadside sources, and so the food is left to rot: attracting wasps.
  • Tree roots can disrupt public infrastructure (pipes, roads, sidewalks), which is a significant cost and can damage a community’s public works: this is decidedly not good if said community is already under-served. Call before you dig!
  • Planting flowers and local flora for native bees and pollinators is probably the best.
  • Planting food is best done in places with a lower pollution burden: ie. abandoned lots, rooftops, balconies, and parks.
  • This is not saying “foodwalks” are a bad idea in every scenario, just be careful and think twice, and maybe consult someone before going for it.

#guerrilla gardening #guerrilla grafting #forest gardening #edible landscaping #health

(via theoreticalpermaculture)


Ein Biomeiler ist ein „Wärme-Kraftwerk“, dessen aufgeschichtete Biomasse ihre Wärme auf darin verlegte Leitungen überträgt. Ein Biomeiler kann je nach Bauart 18 - 24 Monate lang Warmwasser erzeugen. Er funktioniert genauso wie ein Komposthaufen und kann als Durchlauferhitzer einen Haushalt mit warmem Wasser versorgen oder in einem Heizkreislauf mit Pufferspeicher an eine Heizung angeschlossen werden.




I’m a little rusty on the German, but I’ll try to translate the gist of the idea:

"A Biomeiler" (like "organic kiln" or "organic reactor") is a biomass-powered heater, that can be used for a duration of 18-24 months. It produces heat through decomposition of organic matter (biomass), such as straw or wood chips, and is not unlike a thermal compost heap. Water is heated through hoses or pipes that are installed throughout the structure, and can be connected to a household heating system, or simply used for heating household water.

Any real Germans can tell me if that is approximately right.

The awesome thing about this is that after the biomass has decomposed, and you’ve had two years of water heating, you have a whole bunch of rich humus for the garden.

#Germany #compost #permaculture #DIY #mulch

(via nippleputty)

While walking out in the woods hunting for mushrooms, we that found someone had rigged up super low-tech taps with hoses and water bottles in some of the Birch trees! It looks like it’s going well so far.

Apparently it makes a nice savoury syrup.



So my boyfriend just bought a house and it came with this dinky little glasshouse. Over the past couple of days I have been scavenging all the organic matter I could from around the property to make some nice hugelkultur-themed raised beds that will hopefully be functional and productive.

1. Harvested old bricks to build the walls.

2. Raided the kindling box for pinecones and small sticks.

3. Layered all the cardboard we had in the house for unpacking.

4. More kindling.

5. Added compost from the pile that was in varying stages of decomposition. Did a bit of weeding and chucked those in.

6. Began dismantling an ugly old camellia that was blocking the drive and added those bits plus some soil I stole from an outside bed.

7. Pruned a kowhai (native leguminous tree) and piled on the trimmings. Added another layer of bricks with gaps.

8. Discovered a bin full of two years’ worth of fallen leaves. On they went. Planted strawberries in the gaps in the walls.

9. Found a deep litter of needles under the one massive pine tree. Covered this with a generous sprinkling of lime to balance the p.H. and add calcium.

10. Finished it off with a thick layer of more soil borrowed from the tired old outdoors raised beds. Planted it with a first crop of salad greens and broad beans to help improve and stabilise the soil in preparation for summer when I will be planting tomatoes, basil, capsicums, chillis and aubergines.
Dobby the kitten approves.

A very nice example of sheet mulching, a.k.a. “lasagna gardening." As the OP noted, these methods are very easily combined with hugelkultur.

(via misadventured-piteous-overthrows)

Seeds of the European Beech (Fagus sylvatica)

Beech trees were intentionally introduced to Denmark before the Viking age, and the country is now covered in dark, imposing Beech forests.

They are also a common plant used for creating tall hedges: our yard is surrounded by one that is roughly 2.5 metres tall.

Beech trees grow as tall as 50 metres, and their dense canopies allow few other trees to compete for light and resources. Thus, their seedlings tolerate shady conditions, as they are accustomed to germinating as understory trees.

These seeds need to be cold-stratified, so sow them outdoors in the Fall, or give them a few months in a plastic-wrapped damp paper towel in the fridge.

If you want seeds from this tree, send me an email at biodiverseed@gmail.com. A minimum donation of $3.50 covers my postage costs from Denmark, to anywhere in the world. I don’t ship invasive species, and these are treated for fungus with cinnamon and or garlic/clove oil.

My supply of these is virtually unlimited right now, so don’t be shy to ask for as many as you need.

#free seeds


Blogged on Sweet Domesticity: Saving Lettuce Seed

When gardeners see their favorite lettuce start to bolt, it usually means it’s time to pull it and start over with another planting, but if your favorite lettuce happens to be an open pollinated variety, it can also mean it’s time to replenish your lettuce seed supply! (click to read full post)

#seed saving #diy #lettuce

My “Combination” Method for Tree Cuttings

  • All of my tree cuttings are left for at least one night in a vase filled with willow tea and willow bark. Willow is where asprin comes from, and also contains a natural rooting hormone. This both inoculates the cuttings against fungal and bacterial disease, and softens the barks while permeating it with a natural rooting hormone.

1-2. Magnolia tree cuttings in potatoes:

  • All but the top two leaves are stripped. The end is cut at a 45˚ angle, and put into a sterile potato. The the bark is scored, and rooting hormone is applied to 1/3 of the stalk. Instead of the traditional perlite, I find that a mix of aged compost and sand works well  at providing a light and fluffy mix. I’ll track down a plastic bottle, cut off the bottom, and make a mini greenhouse over the plant tomorrow. If successful, it should root in 6 weeks (Magnolias are notoriously hard to root, but this “potato method” has been successful for me with rose cuttings). The potato is a “surrogate root” in the meantime, that serves the dual purpose of providing starches and sugars, and protecting the wounded area from pathogens.

3. Butterfly bush (Buddeja davidii) cuttings:

  • I just dip these in rooting hormone, strip most of the leaves and stick them in the potting mix and wait. Most shrubs will take this way. Within four weeks, there should be new growth, indicating roots have started to set.

4. Ribes cuttings (gooseberry, red currant, black currant, jostaberry, etc.)

  • These are the easiest to root: I leave them in the willow tea for a week and they start to form white water roots, and then I stick the canes in the ground and let them over-winter. Next spring I’ll have hundreds of new productive canes to either plant or sell!

Basically I like to experiment and see what works best with which plants. There is a lot of failure, and a lot of googling involved before I settle on a technique: some plants like to set water roots, others need soil; some need sun, and others need shade; some need all the leaves stripped off, others need two or three leaves to produce energy. All cuttings, however, need constantly moist soil and to remain relatively undisturbed while they take root.

mandakruk: if you want to start learning to take cuttings, the best way is by reading a little bit about the plant in question, and then experimenting. There are a tonne of ways to accomplish it, and the worst thing that can happen is you’ll have to try again!

Related: Plant Cloning: For the Rest of Us, Micropropagation in Test Tubes, Leaf Cuttings for Houseplants, Video: Softwood Herb Cuttings

#cuttings #propagation #DIY #garden science #potatoes


Best lids ever. I ferment things as they come rip, and to be honest eat them too fast. These lids make small batches easy. I know you can make your own, but I like encouraging good inventions so I got a handful of them a year or so ago. I use them all the time.


(via hqcreations)


i grew popcorn!

#corn #harvest

(via hqcreations)