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G Freden

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since Jul 27, 2012
West Yorkshire, UK
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Recent posts by G Freden

When I first went no poo in 2008 I would occasionally use corn starch as a dry shampoo: it really soaked up the extra grease and made my hair look and feel cleaner.  I just sprinkled it onto the top of my scalp then very thoroughly brushed it out.  It meant I didn't have to get my hair wet for another several days, and though I only used it during the initial adjustment period over the course of a few months, I actually liked it better than the no poo baking soda/vinegar combo (I'm now water only).  
2 weeks ago
Looks good to me.  The wheat may sprout but will be very easy to pull out if it does.  Keep piling the mulch on thickly, as the grass will be very determined to grow this time of year and you may find it sneaking through any shallow spots (ask how I know).
2 weeks ago
Hi Sanna, I have both chickens and ducks in my small garden here, they get along fine together, although there is an issue about cross species mating which should not happen between drakes and hens (it's fine between roosters and ducks, but drakes can seriously injure hens);  not a problem if you don't keep any drakes.

For the most part I prefer the ducks in a small setting like ours, as they are not destructive like chickens:  they don't scratch and are more interested in bugs and slugs than grass and vegetables--chickens prefer the vegetables.  While it's true that ducks can survive without a pond, it's really not fair to deny them something so central to their nature.  A small kid's paddling pool is a good substitute.  But they are very messy and their water will need to be changed daily.  They also seem to lay their eggs anywhere, unlike chickens who will stick to the nest box.

Chickens on the other hand are excellent for tidying up where it's overgrown with weeds, or at the end of the growing season;  and will take all your garden trimmings, weeds, and other organic matter and turn it into wonderful compost.  I prefer the taste of chicken eggs over duck eggs, but can eat them scrambled together, and duck eggs are very good in baking.  Chickens I think make better pets, at least in my experience, as they are more inquisitive and interested in people;  ducks are more independent, but both can be very friendly and trained to come when called.
3 weeks ago

Kate Downham wrote:Congratulations!

Be patient.

Listen to your instincts.

There's probably people around who want to tell you that you're doing things wrong, or want to give you uncalled-for advice. They have their own experiences, but that doesn't make them experts on your baby.

totally!  do what feels right to you.

also, plan for growth spurts in the first month or so, starting with 3 days old;  luckily we knew what to expect this time around (i.e. all night feeding).
3 weeks ago
can you iron it instead, as a disinfecting method?  
3 weeks ago
I didn't have a soil test--I never even thought to pour vinegar on it like you did, but I'm pretty sure it was the pH change from the concrete, yes.  Six years on, it's the least best part of my garden, but still ok.  The rosemary and hyssop above ended up dying after all (but I have bad luck with rosemary so it might not have been related).  The cherry tree is still alive and producing;  it didn't seem affected at all.  I think I just planted it up as normal the following year and every year since;  this year I have some runner beans, kale and tomatoes in this bed, plus some self seeded chard.  Right next to the fence there is still a patch of bare soil where not much wants to grow, though it looks like some grass trying to colonize it this year;  this is only within about 15 cm of the fence.  Things are growing beyond this.
I do this with mint and tarragon and use them as a salad dressing base, and with thyme to add to sauces and stews.  I don't water bath it though--I usually blend them up in the blender and pour them back in the original bottle.  The internet thinks I might get botulism if I keep it on the shelf this way, but if you strain the leaves out after a couple weeks of infusing, it's safe.  I'm not sure how long the flavor will last in this case, the longest I've kept them for is a year (with the mint).

I definitely try it with dill when I get enough :)
1 month ago
I suspect leaf miners.  I have a hard time with brassicas too--some years they thrive, others it's a massacre.  
1 month ago
I had a garden bed in this situation when the neighbor replaced our dividing fence and went overboard on the concrete for the posts.  Almost everything died there as a consequence (I actually had a thread about it here at the time, maybe I can find it).  Even the weeds wilted and died and nothing grew there for about a year.  The rest of the garden was unaffected.  I initally made one small raised bed on top of it later in that first year and grew a few kale and broccoli in that;  I put down some paper and cardboard and loaded some grass clippings on top (the only available organic matter I had at the time).  The kale and broccoli grew ok, and by the next year weeds were starting to grow there again.  

I really haven't done anything to amend it, though it's had some chicken bedding spread over it maybe once since then--I think this all started maybe 2014?  Things do grow there now, though it's still not as productive as it once was.  I should mention it's not a very big area;  I would say around 2 m x 4 m at most.
1 month ago