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William Bronson

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since Nov 27, 2012
William likes ...
forest garden trees urban
Montessori kid born and raised in Cincinnati.

Father of two, 14 years apart in age,married to an Appalachian Queen 7 years my junior,trained by an Australian cattle dog/pit rescue.

I am Unitarian who declines official membership, a pro lifer who believes in choice, a socialist, an LGBTQ ally, a Black man, and perhaps most of all an old school paper and pencil gamer.

I make, grow, and serve, not because I am gifted in these areas, rather it is because doing these things is a gift to myself.
Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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Recent posts by William Bronson

I planted under my peach bush, but nothing has survived there ,due to lack of light.
Else where I have recently noticed a 8' walnut sapling growing 6" from my 20' pear tree.
I'm not sure how I missed it before!
13 hours ago
Yeah, I feel the same way,up to a point.
Pokeweed and bindweed are are not worth the troubles they bring with them.
Ground Ivy is welcome,on the otherhand,along with many others.
The thing I spend most time killing? Grass.
Hate the stuff.
3 days ago
I've read an account of this being done in a hoop house.
They set up the woodstove ,couch, etc.
Summer time, I think they covered it up with shade cloth.
I think they even kept  a few ducks in one corner over the winter.

With a woodstove, it should be dry during the winter, and if you open the sides in the summer, no humidity will build up.

Are you going to isolate your slab from the ground with insulation?
If so,consider using your slab or your back wall as a mass for a rocket,or even just blow solar/woodstove air them.
You have well water, so an evaporative cooling mister might be an option, or an air to water heat exchanger (heater coil in front of a fan) or first one, then the other, then the runoff irrigates the dedicious shade plants... 

If you ever decide you want a more solid roof, the existing greenhouse structure could be a good framework for ferrocement walls/roof.

If you have a reliable roof above the RV roofs, you could use those roofs to dry food or firewood or laundry,or grow food up there.

A trellis for vines could be good year round,a living solar system.

Maybe it's to much to wish for, but a slab with a functional greenhouse/shadehouse onto makes me want to add a rootcellar underneath.

Maybe berm the back, one side and a few feet up the front,leaving one side for adding and removing vehicals.

Coukd you use vapor permeable housewrap to isolate the soil in those berms?
By driving the water vapor out during the heating seasons, the soil would become more and more insulative .
A 3-6" layer of topsoil and ground cover could protect the vapor barrier.
A second impermeable barrier would start level with the bottom of the foundation and slope slightly  down and away.
In between ,a sandwich filling of slowly drying earth.

OK, so enough with the crazy ideas,but I think your base idea is sound as can be.
3 days ago
I like it! Like big flat stones, shading soil, suppressing weeds and gathering rain.
3 days ago
Thank you so much!
I forgot/missed that thread, its just what I needed.
3 days ago
Just planted out some pepper starts, and they are already showing signs of  nitrogen deficiency.
The leaves are all turning light green.
These are in large 25 gallon sub irrigated planters, a long with  some tomatoes,so the perfect setup for nutritional deficiency.

I have plenty of rabbit dung to top dress, or dig in, but will that be available fast enough to save these peppers?

I'm considering  watering with pee water, or moving the peppers, or both.

Any idea if pee water would make more nitrogen available more quickly ,than the rabbit poop?
3 days ago

Nicole Alderman wrote:
I think for many urban poor, especially those who come from generations of urban poor, (which includes my husband and a lot of African Americans) the first step is not gardening, but teaching them what real food is.

Too true.
I've been to  local food banks where the produce goes unclaimed .
There was no limit-I took everything I could carry.
The other patrons asked me what I was going to do with carrots, turnips, greens and rubarbs.
I explained as best I could, but...

My sister teaches classes called " Cooking For the Family" .
Here clients are intercity poor of all races.
A charity sponsors classes on how  to cook from scratch.
The idea is to teach them to save money  and improve health through better eating.
I've taken her class, it's excellent.
But when she us dealing with folks who add cups of sugar to their pasta water, it's an uphill climb.
I garden in a city lot, tires are not as bad as what's already there.

That being said, I only think of them as structure.
Stack them and fill them for colums, cut the treads out for fencing,etc.

I am in need of a "driveway" if sorts.
Tires with one sidewalk removed can be used as a "geomesh" to stabilize soil.
I am considering parallel paths two tires wide,filled with rubble, soil, etc.
Fixed to one another and the soil beneath.
There is a tradition of basement homes,that is homes that start as a basement, with a traditional roof on top.
Later, the roof is raised and a first and second floor are added.

A walk out basement with the walkout side facing south would be a conventional description of an earthbermed home.
I'm not a fan of the added engineering needed to cover a roof in earth.
I would rather spend those resources on a metal roof,insulation,etc.
A roof fed rainwater tank could give water independence  and thermal mass.

For hand built homes, berming can be a structural and earth moving challenge.

4 days ago
I would have to say that most of my family is two generations away from being sharecroppers,and still struggling to establish themselves within the system,not looking to escape it.

I'm still trying to relearn what my grandparents knew in terms of self sufficiency.
They came North as refugees, political and economic,and their children became doctors, dentists,teachers,profesor, but most importantly educated and middle class.

In addition to that cultural orientation,there are the practical obstacles of resources.

I garden in my own front yard. Many Black people don't have any yard.
I cook from scratch. Many of us had two working parents who turned to packaged foods to get by.

I failed at college. I worked dead end retail until I got my act together and became a craftsman.
Even as a trained electrician I did not have the network to ensure work.
Lazy drunks kept their jobs as I was laid off.
All capitalism is crony capitalism.
But I do have my family,who had made it into the middle-class, and they support me.
Not everyone has this.

I gave finally landed a middle-class job with extreme stability and great benifits.
I'm 47.
I no longer believe  in the system.

As I write this I am reminded that there are parallel journeys in the Latin and white Appalachian communities,among others.
We are still struggling mightily to get into the system.

Success is more stuff,better stuff, and the path forward to more stuff to our children.
We have the same affliction as the white majority, but fewer of us have made it into the system proper to realize how much of a trap it is.

My failure to become successful in the system is why I turned to gardening.
Laid off again, and desprit to feel I was providing for my family, I remembered "helping" my grandfather in the garden.
I had land,  so that plus seed and labor meant I could at least try. I was hooked. I saw a way to be free from the system.

So,rambling over.
Black people need to see permaculture as gardening,and gardening as a way to be independently wealthy.
Along the way they will rediscover why wealth is important.
Wealth is freedom from want.
Permaculture is a way to that.

My daughter spent way too much if her own money on a raspberry start,because she saw it as a golden goose that would feed her deliciousness forever.

That is why I'm in this. Freedom from want for family.
A universal message.