Julia Winter

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since Aug 31, 2012
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Julia Winter currently moderates these forums:
Pediatrician with a Master's Degree in Nutritional Sciences. Moved to Portland, Oregon in the summer of 2013. Took Geoff Lawton's first online PDC in 2014.
Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
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Recent posts by Julia Winter

This is excellent! Now Josiah can get the cool video tools he wanted, for more excellent videos.

I just backed it at a hundred, and I tweeted out a link to my (ooh, ooh) 2052 followers.  Of course, that means I didn't use the kickback link.  That's OK.

I emphasized that if someone is curious about permaculture they can get a library's worth of stuff by backing at the $1 level before Friday.

Oh!  Now I should let the Portland Permaculture email list know . . .
1 week ago
Still fighting hawkweed.

I’ve realized what I have taking over a lawn is not the mouse ear version, with netted roots.  I have a hawkweed with a sturdy tap root.  Yellow flower.

Last Sunday I filled a big lawn waste bin with hawkweed rosettes. I was using a curved serrated root knife to cut under the rosette diagonally and sever the taproot. I would then toss the rosettes- some with and some without flower stems, into the yard waste wheelie bin.  That’s a lot of hawkweed!  I still didn’t get it all. It wore me out.

What kind of hawkweed is this?
2 weeks ago
I got a perennial kale at Portland Nursery a few years ago, and it's both lovely and delicious.  I harvest by pruning off branches, then I pull all the large leaves and leave the littlest leaves on the very end.  Then I find a nice spot and just make a deep hole (like with a stick) and stick the almost leafless stem in there.  It makes a new plant almost every time.

My hugelkultur berm at Ten O'Clock Acres has over a dozen, because when I planted the sticks I figured only some of them would survive.  I was wrong - they all did!
2 months ago
Yes, weight gain in the winter is pretty normal and natural.  This winter I gained some weight and now in this spring of COVID-19 I'm thinking that a few (less than 10) extra pounds of fat might be worth having in case I get sick.  (I've heard that extreme fatigue and loss of appetite can be part of the illness, and of course if you are intubated you aren't eating!)
2 months ago
Wall-o-waters are worth having.  I've got mine set up in the raised beds, just warming the ground beneath.  I haven't put seedlings into them yet.  

The green ones I had in Wisconsin lasted for years, maybe 10 years.  They sold replacement single tubes you could use if a tube developed a hole.
2 months ago
Your foundation looks great! It's always good to use reclaimed material.

I am not a rocket anything designer, but I'm bothered by the U-turn you are asking the heat to make, after the J-tube.

In a rocket mass heater, the heat riser is strongly insulated and is inside the barrel. The heat goes straight up and hits the top (in my mind the bottom of an upside-down barrel) and then splits in all directions down and then out into the mass.  The top of the barrel gets very, very hot.

In my rocket oven, the heat riser empties up into the (sideways) barrels and goes around the inner barrel to heat it.

Your drawing has the heat getting directed sideways into a barrel and then going down?  It's odd for heat to go down.  I don't know if that's going to work.  I mean, I know that it goes down in a rocket mass heater, but it doesn't need to spread out evenly, it just needs to leave the barrel and heat the mass.  I don't see how the intense heat coming out of the heat riser is going to heat anything but the very top (and not just the top, but one side of the top) of the inner clay oven, and I can imagine flames making their way up around the clay oven at the top.
2 months ago
An interesting article on what the "citrologists" of Soviet Russia did to develop citrus production in northern climates:


The Russians managed to grow citrus outdoors, where temperatures drop as low as minus 30 degrees Celsius, and without the use of glass or fossil fuels. By 1950, the Soviet Union boasted 30,000 hectares of citrus plantations, producing 200,000 tonnes of fruits per year.

Interesting strategy involving growing fruit trees from seed:

To better prepare citrus fruits for cold, Soviet citrologists followed a method called “progressive cold-hardening”. It allowed them to create new varieties which were adapted to local ecological conditions, a cultivation strategy which had originally been developed for apricot trees and grapes.

The method consists of planting a seed of a highly valued tree a bit further north of its original location, and then waiting for it to give seeds. Those seeds are then planted a bit further north, and with the process repeated further, slowly but steadily pushing the citrus variety towards less hospitable climates. Using this method, apricot trees from Rostov could eventually be grown in Mitchurinsk, 650 km further up north, where they developed apricot seeds that were adapted to the local climate. On the other hand, directly planting the seed of the Rostov apricot tree in Mitchurinsk proved unsuccessful.

To get citrus going even further north, they used the earth:

None of the above mentioned cultivation methods were sufficient to grow citrus fruits in regions where the ground froze and where winter temperatures dropped below -15 degrees. Here, citrus plants were cultivated in trenches. Obviously, growing citrus fruits in trenches was only practical with dwarf and – most often – creeping plants. In this method, soil heat protects citrus fruits from frost.

The depth of the trenches varied from 0.8 to 2 metres depending on the winter temperature, the depth to which the ground froze, and the water table. The trees could be planted in single or double rows. Trenches were generally trapezoidal in section to improve light conditions. They were roughly 2.5 metres wide at the bottom and 3 metres wide at the top

And I learned something about citrus - they can tolerate low light at low temperatures:

When winter came, the trenches were covered with 2 cm thick wooden boards and single or double straw mats, depending on the climate. This kept the soil heat in the trench, while keeping precipitation out. If a layer of snow covered the boards, it was left in place for extra insulation. The boards were sloped at an angle of 30-35 degrees. When in winter the temperature rose above zero degrees Celsius, the cover was raised on the south side or completely removed during the day.

This method cannot be applied to any plant. Citrus plants tolerate very low light levels for 3-4 months per year, provided that the temperature of the air in contact with the crown is maintained between 1 and 4 degrees Celsius. At this temperature, the metabolism of the plants weakens, which improves their resistance to cold.

They used some glass on the trenches, but only over about 1/4 of the top, and it would be covered with straw mats.  Perhaps some of this will help the "lemon tree in Montana" project!  (Although, this article also said that lemons are the least frost resistant of all the citrus plants.)
2 months ago
We are using aluminum for the nose bridge - it's scraps from skirting a mobile home.  Thicker than aluminum foil, but I can cut it with tin snips.

I'm cutting a piece a bit less than 1/2 inch wide and 4-6" long, with rounded corners.  It gets sewn into the top edge - you can see the stitching in the finished mask.

We don't have elastic, so we're using 4 pieces of cord to tie in two places.  I like being able to adjust the tightness and location - wearing a mask for hours (like I do at work) can lead to sore ears!

The key thing to remember is that a mask like this is for the protection of others.  It also protects you MOSTLY in that it keeps you from touching your nose and mouth, but mainly "my mask protects you, and your mask protects me."  We don't know if we have COVID-19 or not, we need to assume that we do, to stop the spread.

I'm wearing the fabric mask all day, for baby well checks, med checks, etc. If my patient has significant COVID symptoms, we are setting up video visits.  If my patient has a cough, I have an N95 - one, that is kept in a ziplock bag on my desk.  I don't have a full bunny suit, but I'm in a pediatric office, not an emergency room or hospital.
3 months ago
This is what the pattern looks like (you just print on regular paper and cut it out).
3 months ago
My daughter and I are making masks using the patterns on this page: https://www.craftpassion.com/face-mask-sewing-pattern/

I like it because it's fitted and they have sizes for kids and adults.  Here is mine, in the teen/woman size:
3 months ago