Mona Casselman

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since May 29, 2012
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Wife, mother, grandmother, friend and rabble rouser.
Over 50, over 30 years in Alaska, still working on what I want to be when I grow up.
Nontraditional Christian, bibliophile and fiber junkie.
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Recent posts by Mona Casselman

I would not till it, I would build raised beds with a layer of cardboard, newspaper, etc to kill the grass inside the beds. Leave the grass in between beds for paths.
Or go with a gradual takeover of the area with various trees, etc in true permie fashion, sculpt the area, again with grass-killing layer of paper, cardboard, etc (I have used old carpeting flipped over fuzzy side down) and just build beds on top with scrap wood , chips, compost, grass clippings (quit using chemicals!!), manure,spoiled straw, etc and plant away.
Basically that is what I have been doing to my gravel pit of a yard for the past 12 years. I have "framed" my plantings with the abundant big rocks, sifted the remainder to pebble and sand size (the sifting done with a milk crate and shaking), filling driveway potholes with the bullrock and gravel, then layering anything that will rot and make soil inside the beds. We have used cottonwood logs and branches for "framing" as well (makes lousy firewood).
10 years ago
Hidey ho there, neighbors!

First off- is our very own permie site! Sorry about the no hyperlink but I am a bit tech-challenged.There is an events posting on the left with info about a Permaculture Design course
in Palmer commencing in October and running a weekend a month thru winter. Check it out!!

I live in Moose Pass on the Kenai Peninsula. Been here 12 years, 2 acres so far. 13 yrs in Fairbanks/North Pole before that, 33 years in Alaska so far. Been digging in the dirt my whole life, learned at my mother's knee in Oregon. Newbie at the permaculture thing, been reading and researching for around a year and a half.
10 years ago
Leaping into the conversation-
I also live in Alaska, further south on the Kenai Peninsula, and in the mountains. Moose Pass. Windy, rocky, sandy soil, lots of rain in summer, unpredictable winters varying from ice-rain-snow to craploads of snow (15 ft last year). I have been wrestling with my growing conditions for 10 yrs. Before that, 13 years in North Pole/Fairbanks. Anyway, I would suggest adding comfrey to your garden. Does very well here, not edible but grows like crazy and makes great compost. Deep-rooted, pulls up nutrients, loosens soil. Woven windbreaks (wattle fences) can help temporarily while you are growing something more permanent.
Raised beds and rocks help me, too. Perennials are what I keep working toward. Shade cloth can be helpful to keep the annuals from bolting and going to seed. Give them some artificial night.
I am totally interested in what you are learning in Iceland AND Fairbanks!
12 years ago
So, on further reflection, I find that my memories of huckleberry pie cause me to ponder the abundant availability of fruits of various kinds
that were available for pie/cobbler/crisp making when I was a kid. Rural Willamette Valley in the Great State of Oregon was full to overflowing with
old orchards and wild blackberries, strawberry patches and grapevines. Summer and fall were regularly punctuated with fruit picking and canning, jams and jellies
and learning how to build a tasty dessert.
Thank you for the reminder!
12 years ago
Alrighty then, challenge received!
Huckleberries do not grow wild hereabouts though we do have wonderful blueberries.
When I was a kid in Oregon/Washington we sometimes spent the summer camped out on my father's jobsite, he was a catskinner for a logging operation.
There would be a whole crew, several families as well as some single guys, and the Moms ran the cook tent. One of the things we kids were responsible to do each day before we could run wild in the woods,
which, believe me, we did!! was to "pick our piece of pie" for dessert after supper. Mom made berry buckets for each kid based on their size/age-
Campbell soup cans for the little guys under 6, up to real gallon buckets for the moms. Our usual choice was huckleberries although blackberries and raspberries were not turned down.
I love living in Alaska now, nearly 50 yrs later, but I do miss huckleberry pie!
12 years ago
Why not composting toilets? Not all that complicated, lots of research and examples...
Poop is poop, gang- human, cow, goat or whatever. All of it must be properly composted
to keep things healthy. Why waste all that lovely fertilizer?
12 years ago