Herb propagation & the zen of post-pounding

When planning the fence for our 1200 tree nursery, we received a few odd looks from Penderites when explaining our plan to hand post-pound 10.5' poles while standing 8' high on a ladder; however, aside from it being an exhausting workout we managed pretty well. It made me realize that the low-fossil-fuel organic farm where I did my training is perhaps not a great measure of "normal"--but I hope it will be one day! I learned much from my first mentor there--a longtime farmer with a PhD in soil science--and one thing she really drove home was thinking hard before taking heavy equipment onto the land you're cultivating. Especially during a wet spring, the soil compaction and disturbance caused by machinery is terrible for soil structure and health.      

On a less-strenuous note, I've also been attempting some herb propagation for the old orchard--the established trees could really use some beneficial companion plants to hold the soil, harbor beneficial insects and ward-off weeds. I picked up some Stim-Root rooting powder, collected cuttings from the newest growth of the herb plants I wanted to clone, and stripped off almost all the leaves on each cutting. Following the Stim-Root directions, I dipped each clipping in water and then dipped them 1 cm in the powder (shaking off excess) and planted them in potting soil. They're looking happy so far and we should see results in 3 weeks. It looks a little hokey to me, having only propagated plants from seed or root, but apparently it works. We'll see!