Archive for the ‘permaculture’ Category

Black walnuts tree can have companions too

Upon moving into my new house a year ago, I rejoiced when I discovered that several black walnut trees grow in my backyard.  However, once I started doing some horticultural planning, I began to worry that the alleopathic effect of the juglone that black walnuts secrete from their roots would limit my chances for planting around those trees.

A quick Google search, however, turned up a paper entitled “A review of suitable companion crops for black walnut” which lists various companions that seem to tolerate juglone.  The possibilities include currants, elderberries, black raspberries, pawpaws, persimmons, autumn olives, onions, and Jerusalem artichokes.

The moral of the story?  Just because you secrete juglone, doesn’t mean you have to live alone.

Legacy and land

As I pour over the census pages that track my family’s past, I find over and over that my ancestors scarred the soil.  The words “Farmer” and “farm laborer” indicate the occupation of most of the men who came before me.  I should not have felt surprise at this.  The reason for expansion, as Jason Godesky points out in A Short History of Western Civilization, rests in the fact that we kept using up the soil and so had to seek new soil to rip apart in order to grow our grains.

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