Piero Soligo wrote:I'm considering Washington (for buying land) because it doesn't collect state taxes. I just want to be near Portland so there are more employment opportunities for my family if I bring them with me at a later time. I'm looking for flat/ somewhat sloped land, forested is ok but with enough access to the sun for a solar system. Mainly, something that has an affordable rent that would allow for the use of the land.
An ideal site would be one in which I could develop a mini demonstration site where I could offer PDC once I get my Permaculture design diploma. Of course, for that it would be better to own the site.
OK, so the proximity to Portland is for family members to have employment opportunities - it's not that you plan to earn money in Portland? Because, if you earn more than a couple thousand dollars in Oregon, you need to pay Oregon income tax, even if you don't live in Oregon. You can read about that here.
If you plan to travel to Portland with any frequency, your quality of life goes up if you don't have to endure the traffic on the 205 or the 5 trying to get across the Columbia River.
We have a farm, 40 acres, in Beavercreek Oregon, about half an hour south of Portland. It's possible you could rent some land from us - we had a young man in a tiny house stay in our fourth pasture through the summer and fall. He did carpentry work on the farm in exchange for the space for his house and car. His work ethic, or more precisely his "clean up after himself" ethic left something to be desired, but anyway, opportunities exist in Oregon as well as Washington. We're having solar panels installed on the goat barn - the panels are up, we still need to build a secure room inside for all the rest of the equipment - so a person with solar expertise is intriguing. Our long term plan for the property is agro-tourism, we are refurbishing the main house on the property to be a vacation rental and possibly a meeting place and educational center. Eventually we'd like to have multiple places to rent in various beautiful locations, kind of like your place in Puerto Rico.
Piero Soligo wrote:Hi, I'm deciding on moving to WA and wanted to know if anyone have any feedback about my 2 options:
Buying land - It is super expensive, but I would recreate an eco-lodge I developed in Puerto Rico ( ficustemple.com )
Renting land- I would build a movable shipping container tiny-home and I would make an agreement with the land owner to lease a small portion of a land (.25 acre max). I planned on offering monthly rent, permaculture services or both and all I would need would be access to water. The only thing I need is to be, at least, 50minutes max from Portland.
So I'm curious - why are you considering Washington and not Oregon, if you wish to be within a less than one hour journey from Portland? What sort of land are you hoping for? Forested, sunny, flat, sloped. . . ?
Devon Olsen wrote:I've noticed that there seems to be a common claim of reduced cramps when eliminating artificial materials in the chosen blood collection device(think rayon, non organic cotton etc) does this ring true for all of you ladies on permies or does it only occur for a few of you?
I'm not familiar with that, but there could be some who feel that. I'm happy with the Diva Cup, because it is re-usable and thus doesn't generate waste. It's always there and always ready. I suppose it is also pretty inert and thus not generating anything to be absorbed by mucous membranes.
The best solution I know for difficult periods is "period control pills," as I'd like to rename birth control pills. They're not 100% perfect for birth control, but they work very well for moderating difficult periods. And, given that most women are not interested in bearing a child every 12-15 months, putting ovulation on hold via OCPs instead of actual pregnancy seems wise.
Here's a story from the Washington Post that features a 32 yr old who bought a farm from a retiring farmer. Although, reading the text, it appears she bought the business and still doesn't own the land. Both the original farmer and Liz Whitehurst lease the land from a couple in their 70's.
I'm with you on the coolness of seeing the fire. This double shoebox design is a lot closer to the masonry heaters I've seen. Are the buff and the pink bricks (in the drawings) both firebricks? [Edit: after following your link above - yes, I think they are both different kinds of firebricks. Maybe the pink ones are more insulative but not as strongly fired as the lighter colored ones? You need the hard-fired bricks for where you load the wood, but can use a different sort of fire brick for the upper fire box.]
It looks like the outside can be built with ordinary building bricks. I am familiar with buff colored fire bricks, these are required for high heat locations like the core of a rocket mass heater. The lighter colored bricks are protecting the outer plain bricks from heat, along with a piece of thinner white material. I just don't know much about different grades of firebrick yet.
I'm not clear on if there is an insulated spot for secondary burn/reburn of wood gases, etc. I tend to think about vertical risers, not horizontal ones, so I'm confused by that turn of phrase. Is it insulated under the glass cooktop? (Also curious how you cut a glass cooktop.)
Judith Browning wrote:We've read the books, well not the third one yet since it's still not finished, but the first two and also 'The Slow Regard of Silent Things' which is really my favorite !
You've given me the perfect gift idea for Steve....thank you!
Yeah, we're all waiting for that third book! Luckily the first two stand up to multiple rereads - there is so much there that you miss the first time. Another gift idea is the new 10th Anniversary Edition of The Name of the Wind, which is very beautiful. It has red ink on the edges of the pages (like a bible) and it's full of illustrations and has extra stuff at the back about currency and the maps and such.
I am ashamed to say that I've only played Tak a couple of times. It is a fun game, I need to get my husband playing it (but I know he'll beat me, maybe that's why I'm hesitating).
Just piling up mulch can make such a difference. At our old place in Wisconsin, there were places that I just buried in a foot of arborist's chips, just as a placeholder while I worked on other things.
After a few years, those places had the most amazing dark rich soil, and then I could plant what I wanted there.
Well, if browning my food leads to a shorter life, I'm just going to have a shorter, sweeter life.
I can not imagine avoiding browning foods. It's the basis of so many recipes! I don't want steamed cauliflower, I want roasted cauliflower. It's so good!
Now, I've heard that compounds formed in (blackened) meats on the grill are toxic, but I've never heard that the browning process produces toxins. I'm not saying it doesn't, it could, but I don't think the risk is worth limiting myself to bland foods. I think it's more important to avoid plastics and sugar and poisons. Everybody has their own level of acceptable risk.
Polyculture is a tricky thing which works best for gardeners with experience, because you need to recognize the plants to keep and the plants to cut. I'm managing a hugelbed vegetable garden with just one morning a week of work (long story - I don't live in that house anymore so I go by on Sunday mornings) and the polyculture thing is starting to work well there.
I think one of the hardest things to grok is that just about any weed is a positive - if you can cut it at the soil line and lay it down before it makes seeds. In the PNW, I have perennial morning glory that I need to pull out of the ground as it grows so vigorously from its thick semi-tuberous roots, and Himalayan blackberry which also needs to be rooted out, but as I've made progress on rooting those out, I'm developing a pretty nice polyculture. My chard is self seeding, as are radishes. Buckwheat is self seeding as well, wild impatiens and calendula (flowers). I will buy starts of kale and tomatoes. I have yet to be very successful with cauliflower, but I've tried it. I'm not growing carrots there. My main crop is the kale - those plants are huge and thriving and keep making new "heads" when I cut off what's there. Tomatoes are bearing well, although they need harvesting more than once a week so I've lost a fair amount. I have perennial rhubarb and asparagus, although those are still pretty small.
If you know what you're looking at, you just keep cutting the unwanted plants (which could also be excess chard) at the soil line, you don't pull them out of the ground. If you aren't going to eat the leaves, you lay them right down, preferably next to the stem of something you like. It's a different mindset - yes, that weed might spring up again from the roots but that's OK, you just say "thanks for converting CO2 into solid matter" and chop'n'drop again.
I'm planning to scatter some lambsquarters seed on the hugel garden tomorrow, because that's a weed I love to eat. When I was in Wisconsin I gave up on planting early spinach, because the lambsquarters came up all over quite reliably and all I had to do was harvest. I bought select large leaved lambsquarters seed from Oikos tree crops when I first moved to Portland, but it didn't grow for me. We had some lambsquarters show up in our back yard and I let it grow over six feet tall and set seed, which I'm now harvesting. Hopefully this is acclimated to our area and will thrive without care.
So I guess I'm saying that polyculture requires skilled attention, but not necessarily hours and hours of it. Recognizing seedlings is a bear, no doubt about it. I'd love to hear from other people who are managing polycultures, how they get past the "what have I got here" dilemma.
Regan Dixon wrote:I'm fine to shower without soap unless I've been manhandling the bucks, for example, but am I the only person who would leave greasy, grimy fingerprints all over everything if I didn't use soap?
No, you're not! I'm a pediatrician, so at work I wash my hands, with soap, 15-20 times a day at least. (I hate the hand sanitizer gel.) This totally strips the oils from my hands, so I will wash my hands and then apply Bag Balm (a mix of petroleum jelly and lanolin) or a more natural mix of oils and beeswax at home. At work, I slather on the Bag Balm, rub it in and then use paper towels to wipe my finger pads, so I don't get goo all over the keyboard of my computer, and everything else I touch. The lanolin will last through several washings, I don't have to apply Bag Balm more than once a day, usually. I tend to put it on as a demonstration to someone whose kid has eczema. After I've applied it, I run my hand through the water and show them how the water drops are beaded up on the back of my hand. I say "I look like a waxed car!"
When I'm cooking and I have lard or coconut oil all over my hands, I need some soap (probably dish soap, because that's what's in the kitchen) to get that off, else everything in my kitchen would end up coated in grime.
I've cut way down on my use of soap and shampoo, and I think my face is much better for just being scrubbed with water, but I use soap on my hands all the time. I also shave my armpits once a week or so, and use soap as a shaving cream. Generally, though it's amazing what water will dissolve and remove. They called it the universal solvent in chemistry class.
Speaking of lots of apples, we just bought 900lbs of "seconds" for $150, which seemed like a pretty good deal. They're softer than I like for eating out of hand, but the cider we pressed yesterday was really good (better than from the tiny hard apples from our neglected orchard)(hey, we just bought the place).
I've got three 5 gallon buckets with better looking apples in my downstairs garage, for making apple sauce this coming weekend.
We are feeding apples to pigs, goats and chickens.
We have American Guinea Hog (some with Kunekune mixed in, although some have snouts way too long to be either of those) in our apple orchard, and they don't bother the mature trees.
The longer snouted pigs dig more and more deeply. I haven't seen any bark chewing, but I don't think I want to give them access to trunks in the winter, when other things to chew on become more scarce. We try to keep them moving, and mostly set their pens up in between the trees, honestly.
Many people I trust say that a massive wave of unemployment is coming, as more and more jobs now performed by humans are taken over by machines - self driving trucks being one obvious job killer.
I would like to move towards a future where we return people - in huge numbers - to the business of producing food. One thing a robot can not do, and won't be able to do for quite some time, is manage a polyculture. Harvesting food from a polyculture takes a combination of knowledge and manual dexterity that's just going to be hard to program.
Most of our "progress" in agriculture centers on removing humans - bigger fields, bigger machines to plant and harvest those fields, and then the pesticides that become necessary whenever you grow thousands of the same plant in close proximity. To get away from pesticides, you need more complexity. This is how we get humans back into the picture.
Of course, for this to work, either food gets a lot more expensive or we institute a basic income program, or . . . . something.
Ruminants are the best tool for bringing back brittle grasslands, and there's a tremendous potential to sequester carbon this way. I love when he says it's the best way, even if you don't eat the cattle.
For my own relatively mild irritable bowel syndrome (I very much like the British term for it, which is "spastic colon.") I have found that massive quantities of fiber are very helpful. Like, old fashioned oats with ground flaxseed added to it. Or just massive amounts of vegetables. Probiotics are also very helpful. Yogurt is easy but home fermented vegetables are even better. (Carrot sticks with disks of ginger root makes a really nice fermented pickle.)
Looks good - I really like the diamond pattern developing on the wall there. Seems like a good way to utilize "off cuts" (smaller pieces of lumber) without looking shabby - make the shorter boards part of the design.
Was it done like that to use up lumber, or just because it looks cool?
So if I try coppicing the many wild hazelnuts on my farm (which was effectively abandoned for over a decade), I'll get fodder for goats and maybe cows, but not particularly nuts.
But it sounds like if we take down the chestnut tree that has lost its bark at lawn level (more than half the circumference, lots of dead wood in the tree further up as a result) it may grow back from the stump, and we'd get chestnuts faster than if we planted a new tree?
Rachel, I pulled your question from the discussion of Erica's pizza oven plans because I know there's good stuff here at permies.com about rocket stoves. One of the projects for the event at Wheaton Labs (soon!) is to make a rocket stove powered canning kitchen on a skiddable sled. I think that's in the second weekend, which can be attended as a stand alone event.
I bought some chickpea flour from Azure Standard, after a friend served me delicious gluten free pancakes with this plus some other flours.
I've had fun using it as a coating for eggplant chunks cooked in sesame oil - I cook the eggplant until it starts releasing the sesame oil again, and then sprinkle with chickpea flour and sesame seeds. Then I serve it with soy sauce. So good.
Justin Rhodes is a father of four who started to learn about permaculture and growing food after falling ill with Lyme Disease and finding no help from modern medicine. He is travelling the United States with his family and right now they are in Sequim Washington at the "Back to Eden" garden of Paul Gautschi.
Paul is suffering a neuropathy from exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam. Nevertheless, he grows most or all of his own food on his land, using lots and lots of wood chips as mulch.
This is the second video Justin made, the first one is here:
OK, I scrolled to the bottom, clicked on "buy this as a gift," was transferred to paypal and now I believe I've sent a link to Eliot for the RMH care and feeding video. I'll have to ask him later today if he got the email and if the link works for him.