Kim Goodwin

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since Jan 27, 2014
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Native of Oregon, misses the forests, but now staying warm and dry in the desert.
In view of the Chiricahua Mountains, AZ
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Recent posts by Kim Goodwin

What sort of hammock do you like, Artie?
4 days ago
This thread is fantastic!  I just bookmarked it so I can go back and watch all of the videos.

I agree about the definition of handwoven as including using human powered tools.  That makes sense to me.  Like the comparison above of a treadle sewing machine.  Seems fair.  I guess if someone invents a bicycle powered loom - like if the human interaction with the weaving was somehow so removed that all you needed to do was pedal  a bike - then I'd reassess the definition.

It's so nice having handwoven/sewn/knitted/knotted/felted things in one's life.  I feel immensely grateful to my grandmother for introducing me to crocheting at an early age.  Though I was the only one who took to it, I'm really glad she bothered to try and teach us.  It kindled my love of fiber arts.  She sewed, as well, but only knew how to use a treadle machine.

I love seeing what different cultures used traditionally for their fibercraft, and also what they incorporated as new materials were brought in.  Something that astonished me was that cotton was independently domesticated in both the Old and New World!  Wow.  I'm living in the SW now, and looking forward to growing some cotton and trying it out.

Here in the SW there are quite a few birds that make woven nests, too.  If I only had my mouth to weave with... I don't think I would have kept it up!  So I guess their creations are "beakwoven"?

4 days ago
I assume you are using salt water brine, right?  What did the clove taste like?

When I do it whole like that, it takes at least a month.  Even in summer.  The cloves should soften slightly and develop a texture sort of like it's been slightly cooked.

Some people crush or chop the garlic instead.  This process uses much less liquid.  This makes a fermented paste.

I like to eat them whole, though.  Keeps vampires and viruses away.   Good luck with your batch!
4 days ago

John F Dean wrote:For 2020 I am on my third attempt ...

Your persistence is admirable.  As is trying something slightly different each time (like new packets).  The keys to success!

What are you starting them in? Pots, and what medium - or are you starting them outdoors?  What are the temperatures like where you are starting the seeds?  Is it possible you are over- or under-watering?

I'm very curious as to what is happening.  Cabbage is usually very easy to start, at least for me it has been.  But I grew cabbage in Oregon which is practically cabbage heaven.  It would start readily indoors or out.  At this time of year, though, I would only start it indoors.

Travis Schulert wrote:For the market garden- I used 20 year landscape geotextile fabric, and a fully automated drip irrigation system. We applied this to a no-till garden. Yes I know there are other ways to do it, and other ways to make money without using any plastics of any kind, and I encourage you to go out and be the example needed to show you dont need any plastic to be productive. But let me tell you we battled weeds and native rhizomes for 5 years, spinning our wheels. The first year on our new property, we tried doing the 20 year fabric and drip irrigation, this literally quadrupled the profits, for about half the work load as previous years. It literally saved our garden because I dont know how long I'd be able to farm and not make a good enough profit. But, that was my decision to use plastics on a half acre of my 10 acre poly culture food forest. But that half acre literally pays for the other 9.5 acres, and paid to have almost 500 trees planted in the last 2 years, another 500 this fall...

I can completely relate to this.  Where I'm from in Western Oregon, all of the sunny section of our property was habitat for the extremely aggressive perennial buttercup.  We ended up using a bit of landscape fabric around some of our raised beds, and in the annual/biennial section of the garden we tried cardboard and a foot+ of woodchips surrounding no till beds.  We had a spectacular garden for two people, though nothing like your production.  

Buttercup is a plant with a very dense root system, where any bit of root about 1 cm long will sprout into a new plant.  It's sort of like a starfish.  We also had bindweed and blackberry, but those were nothing in comparison.  Initially, I didn't even realize people considered bindweed a "weed" because the rhizomes pull so easy, plus you can feed them to animals.  Most animals can't eat buttercup, and if it grows to more than about 2 inches tall you can't pull it without many little rootlets breaking off and what's left in the soil turning into about 10 more little plants.  If you put it in a compost pile, unless it's smack dab in the middle, you end up with a beautiful pile of buttercup.  We had to have a special buttercup-bits pile in an area far from the annual/biennial garden.

The cardboard and woodchips only made it just barely manageable in three years of pulling and pulling and pulling.  After we moved, in two years it was a field of buttercup again.  An organic farm about 3 miles from us as the crow flies used landscape fabric in order to be successful. Where buttercup thrives, farming is very challenging.

I'm going into this amount of detail to try to point out that permaculture is hyperlocal, and every location will require it's own special solutions - many of which take years to figure out the best way.  Kudos to you for making a commercial enterprise work, for continuing to strive for a greater goal, and for sharing your experience with others.  We need these examples in the world!

Travis Schulert wrote:
New outlooks: I hate to say it, but permaculture folks have left a very bad taste in my mouth in the last couple years. I considered myself a permaculturist since about 2008, I took Lawtons PDC. But then I started using landscape fabric on a half acre, which has upset dozens and dozens of people online, and many permaculture instructors have made it a point to attack us and our farm. It's kind of sad really, that we went through all this work, all this sacrifice, only to be booted out of the community because 5% of our paradise isnt perfection... I was told by multiple permaculture educators that my methods and systems are a complete failure, and terrible advice.  

This is so painful to hear!  Permaculture does attract a sort of black and white, right and wrong, mentality at times.  Almost all future-thinking, revolutionary concepts do.  Please don't let the haters and criticizers diminish your enthusiasm, make you doubt yourself, or create hostility within you.  Their hostility is their problem.

I'm going to make some statements here that I have found to be true in my own life when I've been faced by intense criticism. These personal truths have helped me a lot over the years:

You do not need to defend your actions. Your successes speak for themselves. And you will never know how many people you've inspired, but I'm willing to bet that they are much, much greater in number than the people who've criticized you.

Thank you for sharing your inspiring update.  If you can continue to manage it, please keep giving us who dare to call ourselves permaculturists a chance to hear your stories and experiences.  :-)
2 weeks ago
It looks like people have covered a lot of ideas.  Here are a couple more.  First is one that I don't know if it would work in an area with high humidity - it's basically a huge, walk-in version of the "pot-in-a-pot" method described by Jay Angler just above.  It is not refrigeration, just a cooling chamber.  The directions and video are here: Access Agriculture Making a Cooling Chamber for Tomatoes

The way Access Agriculture is recommending it be used is to cool down a crop that was just picked in the hot sun, so that the crop will last to market.

Another possible can make a cold-as-you-want-it refrigerator quite easily out of a chest freezer and it uses roughly half of the electricity of the freezer.  We have one set up and we just use a simple kegerator thermostat  - no wiring or drilling or modification necessary.  You can do it cheaper, I believe, if you are willing to play with wiring.  But we didn't want to permanently change that chest freezer.  

Here are directions and how it works at the New Life on a Homestead website How to convert a chest freezer into a refrigerator

I've found it incredibly convenient.  We have a very small regular upright refrigerator, and the 7 cu ft chest fridge is where we store our vegetables.  This allows us to store about two weeks worth for two people who eat mostly vegetables.  I was surprised that I find it easier to pull out and search for veggies in the chest fridge rather than a regular fridge.

Even though I'm not a fan of plastic at all, it ended up solving a storage issue.  We found that plastic organizers keep mushrooms fresh way, way, way longer than anything else we tried.  Paper bags mold in a chest fridge...  I think the chest fridge holds moisture more than an upright one.  Oh, we also have a container of zeolite in there, to help absorb the gases that make plants mature/ripen/rot.  

Two things I learned about chest freezers... only a few brands will warranty their freezers in high temps, like up to 110F.  Be sure to read the warranty before buying!  And second, many Danby chest freezers have a 5 year warranty.  That seems to be the longest we found for a regular chest freezer.  Chest freezers I've had in the past tended to last a really long time anyways, but most have a 1 year warranty.

1 month ago
A clarification on the Cochise County info...

Cochise County, AZ, does indeed have property zoning. Cochise County Zoning districts

There is an owner-opt out permit currently, which means you can opt-out of most (but not all, in all cases) building inspections. It only applies to certain zonings and property size of a minimum of 4 acres: Cochise County owner-builder amendment details  

That's a great option that doesn't exist many places with zoning, not in as liberal a form at least.  One is still supposed to build to code and you have to tell what you are planning to build, and where on the property you are going to put it.   Earth buildings do have code in AZ and NM, so they can be built here with less push-back than some areas.  Residential greywater is allowed in AZ, too, without inspection.

There are some complications.  You have to sign a notarized document that is recorded to document that you built without inspections, and that you aren't supposed to sell or rent the property (for at least one year).  This is to demonstrate that your intent is to build the residence for personal use, not for profit.  It also notifies a future buyer and lender that the home was built without inspections.  This may make it harder to get property insurance, but there seem to be a number of companies that would still cover your building.  Where I am, many people have homes built with the owner-opt out permit, and still have insurance.  I just got insurance on a house, and the company didn't ask me anything about permits.  Some people think this may make it harder to get a loan on the property in the future... I haven't heard any confirming stories of this, so I suspect it's conjecture.

The really interesting thing about Cochise County's rural residential zoning is that on some it allows more than one home on a single property without dividing the property.  You can put a house for every 4 acres, essentially.  The downside - rather high property taxes in Cochise County and having a few houses on a property could raise taxes to shockingly high amounts.

1 month ago
Thank you for this awesome promotion, and welcome!

This book has been recommended to me many times, and I still haven't read it yet.  It's great to see it come back up on the radar.  Thanks for your excellent work.
2 months ago

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
A technique that I have found very useful, is to leave the existing ground as is, and build swales, etc with materials that are dragged in from elsewhere. When I'm digging swales, elsewhere might only be 3 to 5 feet. I find it much easier to move small/loose material that to try to remove the big stuff.

I do agree, we just don't have any materials to bring in at this point.  This is in a very rural area, with little vegetation to spare and no utility companies to get more from.  The original owner of this property, when he built the home had "those pesky mesquites yanked out".  So he told us, proudly!  I guess we can be happy there isn't anything that brings a fire danger up to the house.  The next owner was a permaculturist and did some improvements that restored some of the remaining mesquites.  But we're not working with any extra vegetative matter, so I think earthworks will be the way to go initially...
2 months ago
Those are great!  I will show him.  I've been corrected, by the way.  My husband says the iron spike/digging bar is his second favorite tool.  And it turns out we have a pickaxe sort of like a basic mattock.  It turns out his favorite tool is called a claw mattock.

I found a site with pictures and explanations of the uses of different types of mattocks which is pretty cool, where this picture came from: What are different mattock heads for

He called that claw mattock "The Devastator" and says it was his favorite in Oregon for getting blackberry or salmonberry out by the roots, as well as rocks.  
2 months ago