Diane Emerson

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since Jan 27, 2012
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Born in Superior, Wisconsin, lived for many years in St Paul, Minnesota. Moved to New Zealand in 1997. Became a nomadic global volunteer in 2006. In 2012 I helped Paul Wheaton with the Rocket Stove DVDs. Currently I am working on a huge project to reduce toxic pesticide use in Puget Sound and Western Washington.
Vashon Island, Washington, USA
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Recent posts by Diane Emerson

Bryant RedHawk wrote:First off, that tree is really not in need of pruning yet, that doesn't mean you can't prune some but it will do much better if you just leave it for a couple of more years before starting to shape it up.

The one cut I would make now is that main leader, I would cut it back to the lone branch which will hopefully stimulate the trunk to put out some more upper branches. Or you can just leave it and see what develops.
The lower end is growing nicely but, I'd wait at least another two years before thinking about pruning those, right now you could take a strong branch by accident.



I agree completely with Bryant. The new growth is providing much needed energy to the tree, and are in no danger of causing form problems. Eventually, depending on their height from the ground, all of those lower branches may need to go, but there is absolutely no rush on that. I also agree on pruning the top down to the first branch to see if it will throw a new shoot to straighten up the trunk. With the energy provided by the lower leaves, it may well do that. Or, it may put out a nice new branch just where you need it anyway, to fill that gap.

And, it makes me wonder why it is leaning that way to begin with. Is there another tree nearby?
10 months ago
Thanks, Dooley Turner!  Michael and I are quite connected to Bellingham this year. We both are working with the City to provide training to retailers about toxic pesticides and their alternatives, and hubby Michael will be working on water conservation for the city.  The retailers who have signed up for our training include Garden Spot, WFC Fairhaven, Hohl's, Home Depot, and My Garden.   It would be great to have you come to Vashon and learn about medicinal herbs.

I just want to say that I knew next to nothing about medicinal herbs when I first met Michael Laurie in 2013. Now that we are married, I have greatly benefited from his extensive knowledge, his teas and tinctures. Some days I drink coffee after noon, and find it hard to sleep at night as a result. A few drops of his valerian tincture, and I can sleep, with no problems waking up the next morning bright and alert as usual.

And, when the nasty flu virus was making its way around the island, I felt it coming on one morning. Michael had me drink several cups of his antiviral tea blend with anti viral tincture, and it kept it at bay. I could feel it trying to come back on some mornings, but as soon as I started drinking my antiviral tea, I felt perfectly fine. After a week, I didn't even feel anything trying to take over. Wow.

2 years ago
WORKSHOP: Growing and Using Medicinal Plants in Western Washington
Date: Saturday, April 1, 2017
AND now a second workshop (same topics) is going to be given on Sunday, April 2, due to great demand for the class


Location: Dragonfly Medicinals, Vashon Island


Time: 1:00pm to 5:00 pm for both workshops


WORKSHOP DETAILS: This workshop will introduce a wide variety of medicinal plants, trees, and shrubs you can grow in Western Washington


We will cover making products and wildcrafting, weed management, harvesting, tools and timing. During the workshop we will harvest some plants to dry and also to make tinctures from.


There will be handouts, and the following items you can purchase:
Books, plants, propagation material, seeds, and herbal products.


TEACHERS: Michael Pilarski and Michael Laurie
Michael Pilarski has been commercially farming and wildcrafting medicinal plants for 22 years in the Maritime and interior Pacific Northwest. He farms a diversity of medicinal and food plants in complex, agroforestry systems. He is the author of “Ethnobotany and Ethnoecology Resource Guide” and “Growing and Wildcrafting Medicinal Plants in the Pacific Northwest”.


Michael Laurie has been growing medicinal herbs and making tincture, teas, and medicinal oils for over 18 years on Vashon Island, and 13 years on his current property. He has been growing all organic. The property is certified as a medicinal herb botanical sanctuary by United Plant Savers. There are currently over 70 species of medicinal plants on the property. There are also many permaculture/sustainability features on the property.


REGISTRATION:
Price: $50. Pay in advance to reserve your spot in the class. We are limiting registration to 30 attendees for each class. We expect to sell out for both classes, and have a waiting list. Doing it this way will help minimize the traffic congestion in our small neighborhood, so we will able to offer more classes in the future.


For further information and to register, contact Michael Laurie: mlaurie@mindspring.com
Please note: The April 1 class is fully reserved, though not everyone has sent in their money to hold their place.
2 years ago
Explore. Live. Learn.


Join Ian Woofenden, Senior Editor of Home Power magazine, for a Hands-On solar energy workshop in Villas Mastatal, Costa Rica.
March 11-19, 2017

This workshop provides an introduction to stand-alone solar-electric (PV) system design and installation, with a focus on small, rural systems. It combines classroom sessions with real-world projects in the community. You will design and install lighting and cell-phone-charging systems to dramatically improve the living conditions of the local people.

"A great mix of hands-on learning, adventure, a bit of unknown, excitement, and relaxation too." Dale Webb, 2015 attendee  

Learn more: http://www.renewablereality.net/pvdw2017.htmlSolar Energy for the Developing World
2 years ago
Explore. Live. Learn.


Join Ian Woofenden, Senior Editor of Home Power magazine, for a Hands-On solar energy workshop in Villas Mastatal, Costa Rica.
March 11-19, 2017

This workshop provides an introduction to stand-alone solar-electric (PV) system design and installation, with a focus on small, rural systems. It combines classroom sessions with real-world projects in the community. You will design and install lighting and cell-phone-charging systems to dramatically improve the living conditions of the local people.

"A great mix of hands-on learning, adventure, a bit of unknown, excitement, and relaxation too." Dale Webb, 2015 attendee  

Learn more: http://www.renewablereality.net/pvdw2017.htmlSolar Energy for the Developing World
2 years ago
I hope you can make it, Julia. It will be my first Pacific NW Permaculture Convergence, and my husband and I have been accepted as speakers. Very pleased!
2 years ago
October 7-9, Pacific Northwest Permaculture Convergence: http://northwestpermaculture.org/  
Friday tours include a visit to Paul Gautschi's farm, of Back to Eden film fame: http://www.backtoedenfilm.com/paul-gautschi.html
See you there!

2 years ago
We live in a clearing in the forest in Western Washington, Zone 8a. Nothing gets full sun here. We are gradually planting more and more perennial food plants, and perennial versions of annual vegetables. We never need to buy salad greens now, between the wild plants and the perennial or self-seeding kale, spinach, onions, French sorrel, nasturtium, fireweed, chives, mint, hawthorne tree leaves, and more.

For perennial or self-seeding vegetables, we have ozette potatoes, nettles, asparagus, perennial spinach and self-seeding and overwintering kale, angelica, and a few more. We just bought some plants of Yacon, Smallanthus sobchifolius, aka Bolivian sunroot or Peruvian ground apple. Looking forward to seeing how it grows in the garden.

Fruits we have many. The ones we regularly harvest and eat include rhubarb, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, currants, apples, plums. We expect to start harvesting goji berry this year, grapes and feijoa next.

I love the idea of a completely perennial food garden, but will always save a sunny spot for cherry tomatoes....
3 years ago
http://renewablereality.net/index.html

Ian Woofenden has lived off-grid with wind electricity, solar electricity, solar hot water, and wood heat on an island in the Pacific Northwest for the last 30+ years, where he raised his large family, ran multiple businesses, and now focuses on educational work in the renewable energy industry. His roles in the industry are:

• Senior editor for Home Power magazine http://www.homepower.com since 1998, where he writes about wind electricity and other renewable energy topics, and works with authors and readers.

• Renewable energy program developer and coordinator since 1996, pioneering educational programs in renewable energy for the Northwest U.S. and Costa Rica.

• Wind electricity instructor for various private organizations.

• Occasional tower jockey and crew member on wind installation teams.

• Co-author of Power from the Wind by Dan Chiras, and author of Wind Power for Dummies.

• Founding member of the Small Wind Conference http://www.smallwindconference.com coordinating committee

• Co-moderator of the small-wind-home discussion listserv

• Member of the NABCEP wind resource guide committee.

• Independent consultant and salesperson for residential and small commercial renewable energy systems.


Ian Woofenden, PO Box 1001, Anacortes, WA 98221 • ian@renewablereality.net
3 years ago
A great place to start is Ian Woofenden's articles and book "Wind Power for Dummies" http://renewablereality.net/wind--hydro.html
3 years ago