Amber Cairns

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since Jan 09, 2013
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Recent posts by Amber Cairns

Yeah I'm with you guys, I'm a fan of cast iron and I have to wonder at the chemical processes that get the "stone" to stick to the aluminum. Definitely not going to be jumping on the stone cookware band wagon just yet.
4 years ago
I'm super skeptical about these. My dad just got one and is raving about it. But what process and chemicals do they use to get the stone to stay there? I'm having trouble finding any real information on these pans. Anyone out there know anything about them?
4 years ago
This is awesome! thank you for sharing and helping to demystify mushroom growing.
4 years ago
I live in an area of Texas with vary sandy soil. not near the coast but sandy ll the same. Any attempts we have made at improving soil quality simply melt away into the sand with the first big rain. It's vary discouraging. I'm wondering if a hugel bed could be the answer. Since I have "soil" to speak of I would bring in soil/compost and put that over my wood/log base. I'm concerned I will have the same result though and be left with wood sitting on sand after the soil has washed into the sand with the rain. Dose anyone out there have any thoughts or have you tried a hugel bed on sandy soil? What were your results? Any advice or comments would be appreciated.
PS: yes, I know this is not ideal homesteading land but we are stuck here for now.
5 years ago
There isn't any "soil" it's just dirt. If it's been wet I can dig a hole without a pick ax. There isn't bed rock just the dirt is vary rocky, the dirt tends to shed water more than it absorbs it so it doesn't hold moisture well. When it's dry it is impossible to sink a shovel into the dirt. "mixing in" presents a problem because of the gradient in my lawn there isn't room for me to add, everything would just go cascading out into the sidewalk. The front lawn is mostly for show and keeping up the value of the house so we can sell it in a few years. The back lawn is being used mostly my the dog although I'm back there gardening during the growing season as well.
6 years ago
S Bengi,

While a garden is much more appealing than a lawn my HOA doesn't allow it and I don't have enough room for multiple trees. I live on 1/10th of an acre plot with a single story house taking up most of that. I plan to put a pecan tree in the front yard but don't want to do that until I know if I will need to be digging out several inches of soil. I'm thinking that the pocket hole soil improvement method he recommended might be a good idea and trying some compost over the top twice a year. My gradient is just so steep, necessary for drainage on my plot, that I'm worried about loosing anything I put on top before the plants can secure it.
6 years ago
I'm wanting to follow the adding soil suggestions in the article http://www.richsoil.com/lawn-care.jsp for my lawn but adding even 6 inches let alone a foot of soil would send my new dirt cascading into the sidewalk and riding a foot up my fences, encouraging termites (which are already a problem here) and perhaps encouraging my new soil to wash away with the deluges that South central Texas is known for. I feel like the only solution would be to remove large amounts of my existing dirt/rock first but this prospect is daunting for me for many reasons. Anyone have other solutions or advice?
6 years ago
Dave,

Thanks, you bring up some good points, I've herd horror stories about foundation issues here. Our house is a 2000 build, no automatic foundation watering system but we do keep driper hoses along the foundation and try to monitor the soil throughout the dry times. I haven't herd or seen of any settling issues in the neighborhood but that doesn't mean that they aren't there. A risk of messing with the foundation of our home isn't worth one hugel bed so we will adjust our plans, thanks again.
6 years ago
I have a question I'm hoping someone smarter can help me with.
I live in the suburbs of San Antonio Texas and I want to put in a mostly burred hugelkultur along the back of my house but I'm concerned about placing it so near the foundation. San Antonio tends to be pretty arid, which is why the hugelkultur would be ideal, but I'm concerned that changing the moisture content of the soil, on just the back side of the house could cause uneven settling. It is not piratical for us to do additional beds along the other sides of the house. Is there anyone out there who can advise me on this? Anyone who has buried a hugelkultur along their foundation and can share what happened?
6 years ago