Nicole Alderman

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since Feb 24, 2014
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Nicole Alderman currently moderates these forums:
Five acres, two little ones, one awesome husband, 12 ducks (give or take), and a bunch of fruit trees and garden beds. In her spare time, Nicole likes to knit, paint, draw, teach kids, philosophize, and read fantasy. She doesn't HAVE spare time, but does like to fantasize about it!
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Recent posts by Nicole Alderman

One thing I would mention, when it comes to cat poop, is that it often comes with a pretty nasty parasite called toxoplasmosis. It's the reason pregnant woman aren't supposed to change kitty litter.

Here's some of the side-effects of toxoplasmosis

Some people who have toxoplasmosis may feel as if they have the “flu” with swollen lymph glands or muscle aches and pains that last for a month or more.

Severe toxoplasmosis, causing damage to the brain, eyes, or other organs, can develop from an acute Toxoplasma infection or one that had occurred earlier in life and is now reactivated. Severe cases are more likely in individuals who have weak immune systems, though occasionally, even persons with healthy immune systems may experience eye damage from toxoplasmosis.

Signs and symptoms of ocular toxoplasmosis can include reduced vision, blurred vision, pain (often with bright light), redness of the eye, and sometimes tearing. Ophthalmologists sometimes prescribe medicine to treat active disease. Whether or not medication is recommended depends on the size of the eye lesion, the location, and the characteristics of the lesion (acute active, versus chronic not progressing). An ophthalmologist will provide the best care for ocular toxoplasmosis.

Most infants who are infected while still in the womb have no symptoms at birth, but they may develop symptoms later in life. A small percentage of infected newborns have serious eye or brain damage at birth.

I'm pretty sure that cooking kills the parasite, so if you cook those sweet potatoes, they should be find. According to the CDC, a good scrubbing and peeling can also help prevent contracting toxoplasmosis.

I try to prevent my cats from pooping in my mulch by doing a few different things:
  • Put sticks/bamboo stick straight up in the soil every few inches, so the cats can find an easy place to poop.
  • Surround my mulched perenials (like strawberries and hostas and chives) with 3+inch rocks, so there's no soft ground near the plants
  • Put chickenwire/old fencing over the garden bed, so the cats can't dig/poop.
  • Give them other nice places to poop, surrounded by catnip and other plants they like.
  • 12 hours ago

    Maybe you should post a comment on the youtube review of 6 backyard pizza ovens.  Saying you can a make quality pizza oven with a lower ecological impact and less cost than the rockbox or whatever it was called.  It might look spammy to have a bunch of people commenting with a link to a kickstarter.

    Whenever I see a link like that, I INSTANTLY think it's a spam link and will take me to a place that will give my computer lots of viruses and maleware. I do not click those links, ever. And, if I remember what the link was, and see it somewhere else (even if it's in context and doesn't look spammy) I still assume it's spam. That kind of post is like a blackmark upon a website for me, and is very much negative publicity. Maybe I'm the only one, though...
    Exactly! They were out there playing on the logs again today--it's still one of their favorite things to play on!

    Oh! And here's the pictures of the pallet climber than Jenna asked for.
    1 day ago

    wayne fajkus wrote:I tried to clear the extra votes on asparagus. Each time i tried it said an error occured.

    Weird, it worked  for me. I wonder if there's a glitch? Does anyone else have trouble clearing their votes?
    4 days ago

    Bryant RedHawk wrote:Hau Nicole,  So you don't think that higher than normal January temperatures followed by cold (snow) isn't a weather factor?

    It could be, but snow in February is pretty normal here (about every other year it happens) as well as warmer stretches in January. And, since I'm north-facing and only get about 2 hours of sunlight in January, I'm pretty sure the tree wasn't budding yet. But, I could be wrong! I've only been gardening for five years, so I don't have much of a baseline of personal experience to go off of.

    If the tree did better after adding that duck, I would agree that there is a sign that your soil needs some amendments to increase what it is lacking at the moment.
    You might also try some mycorrhizae and perhaps some bacteria additions along the way, those will really help the soil provide the tree what it needs.

    I have another bucket of meat scraps to dispose of, so I think I'll be burying it there! I'll also blend up some more mushroom slurry to apply, and get some more duck bedding there. I put new bedding down around the tree every year, but, I think it needs more.

    Michael Cox wrote:All that grass growing right up close to them won't help either. Grass is strongly competitive towards fruit trees, and has a big impact in the first few years while they are getting established. I would be mulching a much larger area around the trees.

    I agree--the grass very much needs to go! I've been trying to rid the area of it since I planted the tree, to not much avail. The tree is also kind of in my "zone 3," so I don't get around to tending to it very often . Little kids take up most of my time! After the pictures, I scythed and sickled the grass short. I've also planted mint under the tree, in hopes it would take over. The mint has yet to do what mint is supposed to, and hasn't taken over yet .
    4 days ago

    molly murphy wrote:She thinks we are a bit funny. ;)

    The bit about pants! I nearly died! I had to have my husband read it (not out-loud! I didn't need my four year old getting ideas and dropping his drawers in defiance in public!)
    4 days ago
    I just realized I never said what my favorite vegetable is. I think my favorite flavor-wise is either nettle or artichoke. Artichokes bring forth many happy memories of eating them with my mom, so I listed that as my "favorite." I have two artichoke plants--They're perenials and I'm hoping they'll produce and I'll have a nice supply of artichokes for many years to come!

    Potatoes are the most vitamin-dense, versitile, and calorie dense of the veggies listed. I also can successfully grow them--which really makes me love them!

    My kids' favorite vegetable to eat is chives/green onions. They especially love munching on the flowers--they eat them all and they never get a chance to go to seed!
    5 days ago
    Was this the post you were referring to:

    Hi everybody...water's looking awful hot down there.

    Daniel Quinn addresses the subject of  population expansion in several books--which is where my two cents come from on this subject.

    The obvious answer that everyone always points to is population control, except that there has never been a working model of population control anywhere in all our history. These plans go off the rails in one manner or another.

    The part of our brains having this intellectual swordfight is not the part responding to sexual impulse. These decisions are not made in forums but in hotel rooms and apartments and tents and mud huts and teepees and igloos and broom closets the world over.

    Since this is a basic human inclination (and this being a Permaculture group after all), and humans with this basic inclination are being born by the second, we are grinding down our teeth giving momentary and intensely intellectual pushback to a problem that flows unbroken out of the pipe of human nature.

    More practical, then, we can observe the organism and its associations in its natural environment, in the same way that we might study squirrels or pawpaws or fruit bats.

    Quinn ties the subject of population to the larger topic of the distribution of food and what he calls "the food race": our attempt to agriculturally outpace the population growth.

    It is no longer an accurate description to talk about a countries' biological behavior, as it certainly would have been in 1800 before the advent of mainstream worldwide distribution. Today Africans are consuming American corn and Japanese are consuming American soybeans, America is consuming Mexican produce and Canadian grain (all on equipment manufactured in China from steel mined and processed in Africa, Indonesia, and Taiwan)... we are tied together with a network of millions of veins stretching hither and yon in an unintelligible tangle.

    Taken as whole then, we are producing an astounding quantity of food, and ever increasing in an attempt to "win the food race". Ecology will teach you that nature abhors a vacuum (and so does commerce, as it turns out), and a species will expand to consume a given quantity of food (etc.).

    Reflexively, an organism is limited by its food source.

    If you put enough food for one hundred mice into a cage with two mice, you will in short order have around 100 mice. If you continue to put enough food for 100 mice, the population will hover around 100 mice. It's just math.

    So the population question is inherently a food question. "Population control" in a resource-rich environment is kind of like trying to stuff water back into a pipe.

    Population control is easy--nature does it all day long with no help and no questions.

    Direct link to post:
    Hi Michael! I moved your post from so as not to clog up the thread with us trying to solve this problem.

    Can you tell me what your deleted post was about? Maybe you just missed it? I don't think any of your posts were deleted by staff here, but perhaps there was a glitch in our system? We certainly don't want posts self-destructing all by themselves!