Retrofitting Community

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white belt
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Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 12:15 am

Re: Retrofitting Community

Post by white belt »

Papers of Indenture wrote:
Fri Apr 30, 2021 12:01 pm
Peach, nectarine, and apple are pretty difficult to get consistent crops on in our climate without a disciplined spray schedule. Persimmons and blight resistant pears are definitely a good bet. Have fun.
Do you find that the pest pressure is lower in an urban environment? That’s the assumption I’ve been operating under since I figure insect populations are probably lower in concrete jungle than massive farm plots surrounded by woodland.

Papers of Indenture
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Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Re: Retrofitting Community

Post by Papers of Indenture »

white belt wrote:
Fri Apr 30, 2021 12:03 pm
Do you find that the pest pressure is lower in an urban environment? That’s the assumption I’ve been operating under since I figure insect populations are probably lower in concrete jungle than massive farm plots surrounded by woodland.
I would think so....but you will also have lower predator populations. I'm no entomologist of course. Being far away from commercial monoculture crops should help with disease pressure. But I think you would still fight brown rot on stone fruits. I'm in an odd location...suburban really but in a pocket dominated by state parkland and old truck farms.

By the way carefully considered regular pruning can keep a tree miniature and healthy without it having to be on true dwarf rootstock. For pears you can look for varieties grown on OHxF87 rootstock which will max out at about 12'x12' but can be kept in a big container at 6'x6' with pruning....that will increase your options in terms of varieties. Not as many varieties are grown on miniature dwarfing rootstock by nurseries. This a nice book on the subject: https://www.amazon.com/Grow-Little-Frui ... 1612120547

Jujube is an interesting tree that requires basically 0 care and make a tasty fruit. I haven't tried it yet but I theorize that the "So" variety would do very well in a container.

white belt
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Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 12:15 am

Re: Retrofitting Community

Post by white belt »

Papers of Indenture wrote:
Fri Apr 30, 2021 12:09 pm
By the way carefully considered regular pruning can keep a tree miniature and healthy without it having to be on true dwarf rootstock. For pears you can look for varieties grown on OHxF87 rootstock which will max out at about 12'x12' but can be kept in a big container at 6'x6' with pruning....that will increase your options in terms of varieties. Not as many varieties are grown on miniature dwarfing rootstock by nurseries.
Right, I know there will be pruning involved a few times a year for any fruit trees in containers. I've been watching a lot of the Dave Wilson Nursery videos with Tom Spellman and he seems to have a wealth of knowledge. Here's one example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RzvpT5Ag7I

He says the same thing about dwarf rootstocks and advocates picking the most appropriate rootstock based on type of soil, region, etc and pruning a tree to keep it dwarf sized rather than selecting a dwarf stock. The tricky part is to figure out what rootstock does well in containers and in my region (I'm interested in zone 7 similar to where you are). Ditto with selecting varieties. I'll check out OHxF87.

Here's another video that I found inspirational which shows some of the possibilities with small fruit trees (not necessarily in containers): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFf2z8ikXLY

Papers of Indenture
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Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Re: Retrofitting Community

Post by Papers of Indenture »

Yup Dave Wilson Nurseries has a bunch of good content on backyard orcharding. Just keep in mind they're in California which is like the Garden of Eden for fruit tree growing whereas the humid mid-atlantic is somewhere near the 5th Circle of Hell :D

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Alphaville
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Re: Retrofitting Community

Post by Alphaville »

here is a powerful bioreactor for all of you composting aficionados

https://regenerationinternational.org/bioreactor/

https://www.csuchico.edu/regenerativeag ... ions.shtml

white belt
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Re: Retrofitting Community

Post by white belt »

One challenge I've found when trying to retrofit/reduce footprint when it comes to energy consumption related to heating/cooling is dealing with 4 seasons. In an ideal world, you want solutions that can function well in one season, but don't negatively effect things in the opposite season (e.g. you don't want your solution that warms your house in the winter to also make same house hotter in the already hot summer).

I recently stumbled upon the concept of solar chimneys and windcatchers:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windcatcher
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_chimney

I've found that the majority of houses in places with 4 seasons over say 50 years old typically have chimneys. They might also have fireplaces too, but those are often covered up by modern decor. Retrofitting a woodstove fireplace insert or building a masonry heater that vents out of the chimney are already quite commonly proposed solutions in the permaculture/retrofitting world (provided you're in a region with access to firewood).

Since these stoves vent through a metal tube that doesn't take up the entire chimney, I wonder if it would be possible to use the other part of the chimney as a windcatcher or solar chimney. That way you are getting the benefits of the wood heat in winter time, then in summer time you can get the benefits of increased air flow and cooling. I haven't found anyone doing this yet, but just googling some pictures of windcatchers and solar chimneys, it seems like it should be possible to retrofit something dual use.

Edit: I guess modern iterations of this would be something like the attic or whole house fan?

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