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Thom Foote

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since Dec 17, 2011
Colbert, WA
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Recent posts by Thom Foote

Judith, if the paint tests postive for lead you should have the soil around the house tested as well since you will walking there, playing and possible planting.
2 years ago
Judith, as a former owner of a remodeling company in Alaska for many years and a smallholder using permaculture here in Spokane I have to say one thing if it has not already been said, STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING NOW AND DO NOT TOUCH YOUR OLD PAINT UNTIL YOU HAVE TESTED IT FOR LEAD! Pre-1974 house paint used lead extensively. If yours contains lead you can contaminate the ground around your house, track it into your house and contaminate your family, friends and animals. If it does not contain lead after testing, fine but if it does, you should not attempt to remove it AT ALL! You can only seal it with a surface sealer like Kilz or something similar. The posted replies about sanding or scraping are nothing short of irresponsible. If it does contain lead and you decide to roll the dice with your health and that of others, you will need to lay down tarps or plastic, remove it on a completely calm day so the dust does not blow, seal your windows and doors, wear a respirator, full body suit including shoe covers and be prepared to throw away everything after each days work. But please have it tested first.
2 years ago
A sector analysis is a most useful  tool when planning your tree layout vis a vis the rest of your plantings.
2 years ago
Mulch is all around us. Newspapers, compost, cardboard from furniture sellers, wood chips from landscape businesses, grass clippings (of course safe ones), wool, carpet, leaves, the list goes on but I hope you get the message. Make friends, build community and then put requests for their stuff to mulch with.
2 years ago
Generating income and the core permaculture ethics,IMO, are absolutely compatible. The question we each have to answer for ourselves is how we generate that income. Look at the 3 ethics- care of earth, care of people and sharing the surplus. I grow herbs and produce to  sell to members of our local co-op's CSA. I care for the earth by growing sustainably and organically. I care for people by not charging too much and supplying a healthy product that enriches their lives. Finally I share my surplus with my local 2nd Harvest, my friends and my neighbors FREE. Again, IMO, we should not be nervous or ashamed about making money from what we do. After all, PDC teachers make damned good money from their classes and quite a few users of permaculture write and sell books that are not cheap.
2 years ago
Okay folks I need some advice. The 12'x20' greenhouse I am finishing will be planted with shallots soon for sale by the end of May. I want to succession plant a quick growing, hot weather crop for sale in late-July(?) or mid-August. Not squash or tomatoes or beans. Any suggestions?
3 years ago
I would suggest that you know what your purpose is or is going to be. Have a tentative 5 year plan with some milestones. While go slow take small steps is a good principle, sometimes you have to "get the stuff in the ground". Don't rush. Do it right to minimize having to correct things later. Observe.
3 years ago
David, thanks very much for your input. It is EXACTLY the concise feedback I was looking for. Good to know about having to replace the T-tape. Fortunately the 1/2" drip tubing is inexpensive and I can use any WWOOFers who are with me at the time to help replace it when I need to. You have saved me a lot of time and further expense. This is a perfect example of the benefits of community. Thanks again. If you are ever near Spokane, drop by our farm for good beer, good food, good conversation. Enjoy.
3 years ago
I am using my 15 gpm well for my drip irrigation (1/2" emitter tubing-not tape). My water has a lot of iron in it so I inject air to oxidize it and cause it to precipitate out. I am currently sending this water through a 1" Pentex Big Blue cartridge filter using 50 micron cartridges so as to not clog my emitters. I cannot find the average size of these iron precipitates. The filter cartridges are about $16 each and last for about 1 1/2 weeks. Expensive over the course of my 8 watering period. Does anyone drip irrigate using well water? What do you filter with? One alternative is an irrigation filter using, cleanable, reuseable stainless steel screens. Will at 200 mesh (75 micron) stainless steel filter screen filter these particles out? Please do not respond with suggestions about gravity and solar and pigs. If have info that can help, please share it. Thanks.
Thom Foote
Footehills Farm
Colbert, WA
3 years ago
Thanks very much for your input. As it turns out, the thin-walled emitter tubing I use needs a minimum of 10 psi negative pressure to suck back in. Your reply was what I was hoping for, from someone who actually uses it.
3 years ago