Tristan Vitali

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since Sep 02, 2012
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south-central ME, USA - zone 5a/4b
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Recent posts by Tristan Vitali

I know that the book sold out at my farmstand at $2 - sold all 24 of them. This was a financial loss of 25 cents per book / $6.

I suspect that they would not have sold at all for $5. It's likely I would still have 12 of the 24 if I was asking $3.

Edit: Note this was last year / 2022 - $2 was also the price of a dozen eggs. Inflation / deflation, by definition, changes the appropriate price point over time.

The book was 100% an impulse buy. People reliably buy our chicken eggs, garlic, green beans and our summer squash. They reliably do not buy "weird" things like duck eggs, live meat birds, kholrabi or medicinal herbs. The book was not weird. People bought it reliably. Pricing just needed to be right.

My thinking is that people are "into" solutions, curious about thoughts of others that may have more knowledge than them and value this sort of thing at a particular price point / wallet hit. They are, however, tired of being preached to, weary of the AGW song and sickened by being blamed for all the wrongs done in their name. The book title itself helps dispel some of the angst a customer / potential reader would feel about the subject matter which in turn piques their curiosity about the content, but they would not go seeking the book out nor would they spend "real money" on it. That would be taking a chance they'd waste money on "the same old".

It's also likely I would still have 12 of the 24 if I gave them away free. Free implies junk. It implies preaching.

Infecting 100 million brains with the book would require convincing 100 million brains that reading the book is not going to be a significant loss of time OR money.

That's my 25 cents on the matter
2 weeks ago

Meme grant wrote:this is a better way

Wouldn't say "better" - maybe "different" fits there. More modern technology reliant (meaning more expensive money-wise) and doesn't take advantage of many of the things happening there with the russian trenches like open-air growth and selective breeding.

I, for one, prefer food grown in natural rain with naturally occurring pollinators and predatory insects taking care of my pests. Not going to get that as easy in a modern greenhouse method like the nebraska citrus. You still get local citrus grown in (ostensibly) real soil from it, so can't complain

I've read that some people train figs to the ground so they can better protect them in the winter in cold climates and the bit about bringing the stem up roughly 10 inches before "sprawling" the branches got me thinking. Super neat stuff
1 month ago
I think this is the most important take-away from the article (at least for us northerners with little sun in the winter months!)

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.

Coolest thing I've seen in a while
1 month ago

K Kat wrote:We are forgetting the value of trees. A short walk from where I'm living in South Korea, the whole south side of a small mountain has been cleared of trees and covered instead with solar panels to power the factory at the base. The greatest irony being that trees are the original solar power and do so much more. It's an incredible eyesore and a sign of very poor policy decisions by previous government.

"Plant more trees" sounds overly simple but the importance of trees is being forgotten´╝îmaybe it should be "protect the trees"?

On a side note, South Korea is ravaged by forest fires every spring, yet I see no signs of forest management. Trees were planted en mass after the war to reforest the hills, but without upkeep the dead trees, branches, and kudzu vines are dry kindling every spring. There's fire bans every year with dollars spent enforcing the bans, and seemingly none going to forest management. But workers will drive around cutting trees back from power lines and leave the branches in permanent dry brush piles at the edge of the road.  I don't get it.

This is the story everywhere - complain complain complain about the issues that they themselves are causing while blaming (and fining) us, the little guy who seemingly has no say in how they manage things, even when what they're doing is clearly wrong. It's like a virus in the mindset of the "ruling class" out there. Hence the "being angry at bad guys" part of the story - there are so many reasons to be angry and so many bad guys to be angry at.

Paul's thread title says it all - "the solutions are simple". The solutions are definitely not as easy to implement in today's world as they should be, but they are still simple. There's no corporate mega-money in simple.

And I do shudder at the thought of adding any new law, prohibition or what have you to the books, even if it might seem like a nice idea at first. If we're not super careful about how these things are implemented, "protect the trees" quickly becomes prison sentences for things like chop and drop practices. It's already getting people fines in various places for planting so-called "invasive species" or digging ponds and swales in "protected habitat". Things have a habit of backfiring on us little people

Perhaps a better mantra should be "think critically before you act"?

paul wheaton wrote:I am willing to be on shows - I have done a lot of that.  I am just no longer going to try to get on shows - it turns out I have no abilities for that.

The purpose of this thread is to respond to stuff where people say "Paul, you need to contact _______  to get the word out" and I have now taken a hard position of "It turns out I am not able to do that.  If you set it up, I will show up."

Any guidance as to what sorts of audiences you'd be ok with? I can think of 4 or 5 podcast and livestream type shows I could try to work some magic on, each with their own special brand of "alternative media" and subsection of audience that would be interested in what you have to bring them, but the *association* with certain groups makes some people freak out over reputations (specifically things like "conspiracy theories", alternative history, what's now considered right-of-center, etc ... joe rogan dabbles in all this, but doesn't carry the same "stink" for some reason)

Also, any concern about "numbers"? As in "if this wont be seen by more than X people, it's not worth doing" - that might be an issue in some cases where we're talking a smaller but very eager for knowledge audience that would welcome what you have to bring them.

...I do say this with past experience connecting a couple people with podcasters that resulted in multiple appearances, so I'm really not blowing smoke up your behind :)  I have two people right off that I would love to see you (Paul) connect with

K Eilander wrote:Permie Girl leans in and whispers softly in your ear, "I want you in my bed".

Next thing you know you're out back weeding six rows of perennial no-till.

... so very many bad jokes come to mind now


2 months ago

Jay Angler wrote:... you find a garden snake under a tarp and apologize for disturbing its nap and ask it to eat some slugs for you.

I often put tarps and plastic sheets out in the driveway knowing they act as a temporary shelter for the little guys (and ladies!)
guess that's a bit "permie" in and of itself

Best slug control money can't buy!

... you know you're a permie when you find yourself telling people that you're "just replacing those weeds with these ones" (referring to the edible and medicinal herbs you're interplanting with your peppers, melons and eggplants)
3 months ago

Loretta Liefveld wrote:

Tristan Vitali wrote:
- surface application only with the sulfur "buttons", and not too thickly.

Dandelions have just started blooming!  Yesterday it got up to 85, so I'm guessing it's time to put sulfur down.  

Two questions, though:
1.  We're supposed to start having a week of rain starting mid-week next week.   Should I still put the sulfur down now?  Or should I wait until the rain is over?

2.  I'm a little worried about whether my chicken will think those little yellow buttons are something good to eat.   When I put some granular fertilizer down in my daffodil bed, they started eating it all up!    I have to assume it would be poisonous for them.    Thoughts?   Do I need to be sure to fence them out of the area for a month?

A little rain is no big deal, but you don't want it washing into gulleys and low spots either, so if it's a heavy rain I'd wait. And yes, chickens will probably try to eat it. They're not too bright sometimes about things like that. Not sure if it would be poisonous, but pure sulfur can't be good for them to be eating. Fencing is probably smart
5 months ago

Pearl Sutton wrote:When you get a text from your respectable neighbor lady that says "A huge branch came down out of my tree. Do you want it for your burning stuff in the dirt thing?" "Yes please!"  Yay biochar fodder!
Is a huge branch too. Took me creative work to move it by myself.
Stubbornness can be an art form.  

You know you're a permie when you know immediately what Pearl meant when quoting her neighbor: "burning stuff in the dirt"


You also just might be a permie if you've been out pruning and shaping sugar maple coppice as trellis for grapes and hardy kiwi
5 months ago
Depending on soil type and actual expected number of growing days above 70*, sweet potatoes can and are grown all the way up into zone 3. We in the northeast tend toward a growing days = USDA growing zone in months setup, so a zone 3 is pretty much just 3 months of "warm enough to grow things". On the other hand, summers have been chaotic with above and below normal temps, along with droughty and floody conditions alternating, pretty much each year. Of course, looking at the climatological history for the area, this is "normal" (don't like the weather? just wait a few minutes!)  ....if you really want to scare yourself, read the stories from the 1930s followed by the stories from the year without a summer !!!

Here in a 4b/5a, we've been seeing temps in winter drop to record and near record cold on a very regular basis for the last decade, so I'm expecting the zones to start heading back down in numbers (we've already had 3b temps a few times!). This might skew things to break the current growing days = growing zone in months, but as it is now, I've been using microclimates to get away with extra growing days for years. The upper half of huglekulture beds, southward facing side, have been thawed and warmed to 60* about 3 weeks before the dandelions bloom, then resist frost and freeze by an additional 3 to 4 weeks in the fall.

Likewise, the kratergarten inspired pond-side "shelves" are warming up weeks early and resisting frost up to a month later in the fall. These sorts of techniques of creating microclimates would be necessary for sweet potato production here in new england. I might be doing some experimentation with this in the coming season, but that's not sure yet (longer season growing sites are in high demand!)

As far as white potatoes, the additional heat gained with these sorts of created microclimates is actually NOT good - they definitely prefer the cooler temperatures and will not require the extra growing days. Definitely a good staple crop for larger sites where creating microclimates is just not economical (money- or energy-wise). Down in the south, however, or in areas that naturally have longer and warmer growing seasons, sweet potatoes are definitely another good option.
7 months ago