Laura Emil

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since Jun 04, 2014
Laura likes ...
newest update (2019) the long dreamed of "community place" is moving beyond a "dream" - still need to work on legalities to move the land out of my name TO the organization, but it IS now a real organization, complete with 501c3 status!
(2017) no spare bedroom as noted in old greenhorns blog - but a full camper is now onsite (not connected yet - so first one here to do that gets annual vacation privileges...)
in spite of a dismal experience with an irresponsible dweller in 2014, hope springs eternal, so opportunity is listed on PAFarmLink:
in 2010:
northeastern USA
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Recent posts by Laura Emil

buying in bulk and sharing is a great solution!!! (when you can afford it, and when folks are in sharing distance one way or another.) that reminds me of the food containers an elderly friend 'shared' with me (for eventual community use?).  I set aside a basket full of the containers, which I bring to a local vo-tech food class's buffet lunch that they set up several days a week, open to the public.  I purchase a takeout meal at a great price, but don't use the takeout containers.  Instead, I fill my friend's containers, then visit her.  We enjoy lunch and conversation and try to solve the world's problems.

plastic will be burned during the firing process

worries me.  Isn't "fairly clean" still toxic?  Or is it the 'least' of all possible bad choices?  
That's the frustration - if we find ways to "deal" with it, we don't STOP using it.  And even if we DO stop using it, there is so much ALREADY here.  (and there was NONE when I was born, so how can I leave the world 'better'?)
2 weeks ago
HOW are everyone's 'less plastic' attempts going?  This was supposed to be the start of positive changes, but seems to have fizzled out.  
I'd love to hear some success stories.  I feel so frustrated that even after buying less & repurposing more, it's nearly impossible to not drown in single use plastic from some of my food purchases.   I'm starting to make  ecobricks but don't know what I'll build with them (seems it would need to be something permanent that won't get unbuilt in the future, so my plastic doesn't become someone else's garbage.)  Over on the Financial Realities Waste thread, William Bronson wrote "Here is what one guy that has no access to recycling does:TRASH-ROCKS-Eliminate-Unrecyclable-Trash", which looks promising - but in reality, it's not a one person job.  (thus, another idea added to the files for consideration of future stewards of this land... sigh...)
My only REAL success in less plastic is at the monthly 'dish to pass' meal I attend.  Instead of a food item (there's always TOO much food, anyway) I carry a large picnic basket full of REAL plates, bowls, cups, silverware, and a large vinyl lined totebag with a dishpan and 'food bucket'.   Seems like a win-win - I don't need to find time to prep food on a busy workday, the dishes get washed at my convenience the next day, then packed and ready for the next gathering, the food scraps go to my compost pile.  And of course, it raised some awareness.  So, so far it's working (but we're reaching my limit of a eighteen plates - guess I better check the thrift store...)
2 weeks ago
GRAND idea!  I'm next in line, looking forward to 'meeting' Cris, and wondering WHO will sign on next...  (what a fun way to brighten up a cold winter morning! thanks for starting this thread!!!)
2 weeks ago
Wish I'd seen this thread the year my garlic shot up early before the winter snows, and then I panicked and tried to cover as many young plants as possible with bedsheets stretched across haybales on either sides of the rows, to protect them from frost and bitter winds.  I didn't have enough frost cover, but ALL the plants did just fine, covered or not. (needless to say, I'm NOT going to post the pics I took then - though when I see those pics pop up on my computer screen saver, I have a good laugh at myself!)  It was one of my earlier years growing, and now I'm more relaxed...
BUT, regarding a comment made several pages back on this thread,

many of the big garlic farms in new york state, where a lot of seed garlic is grown, had some really bad disease issues this year.  

 ...  I've attended a few field days, and when I learned about nematodes the first time, I also learned they can live several years in the soil, so "practicing at least a four year rotation is recommended."  That's ONE tip I wish I'd learned earlier.  Since I'm not selling seed garlic, it's not worth the cost of testing, but also since I have enough ground, I've been rotating ever since.   I don't THINK my garlic is infected, but I can't help but wonder at some of the slightly yellowed clove papers (and so have been culling those before I replant.)
Reaffirming some of the other helpful 'tips' I read here, Growing Great Garlic IS book to have, SCAPE pesto is absolutely the BEST (though I've made it with walnuts in the past; next summer, I WILL try sunflower seeds - thanks for THAT suggestion!); and I also enthusiastically agree with the prior poster who pointed to as the best guide to braiding.  

2 weeks ago
thanks, Perric and Tyler!
I like that photo suggestion - (I sure DO take a LOT!)  and will need to add that as soon as i can (but already have one friend who wants to come up and do a mason bee workshop - in february?!?  so need to scramble to see what's needed for that!)  
3 weeks ago
snow here, too - about a foot fell on the weekend, but rain today is washing lots away.
3 weeks ago
Well, Anne

(and whoever else happens upon this post), it's taken longer than I'd hoped (doesn't everything?), but finally, here (GULP!) it is,

a FIRST PUBLIC VIEW: / Hewitt Farms

I don't think we can reach out to anyone for help until we have 'something to show' and help tell what we're about.  So that's what this is attempting to do, but it feels more like like showing 'warts and all' instead of a grand reveal.  That being said, this community seems a safe place to do so.  

If you care to comment, please be honest (but gentle) in your critiques.  I want to make this work, and will appreciate your helpful suggestions to move it in the best direction.  (After all, you've ALL be encouraging me along this path for a long time...  THANK YOU!!!)

3 weeks ago
It's been too long since I've had time to "write" seriously, and even longer since I worked as an editor.   But on my bookshelf, I have both of my most used guides from those jobs:  Strunk and White's Elements of Style, and the New York Times Manual of Style and Usage.  Just because online searching is handier than leafing through contents, indexes, or dogeared pages of my previously trusted 'friends', I now rely on the Purdue Online Writing Lab at if I want to quickly check my own short missives.  That said, I agree with Dave: go with "whatever feels like you" and your writing will sound genuine and will connect with your audience.  I'm not a fan of my boyfriend's "style" of writing, but his stories are interesting so I enjoy them in spite of my preference, and he gets a LOT of positive feedback from readers who look forward to his next article in our local papers and magazines.  Write to share, don't worry about perfection...
1 month ago
30 plus years ago, I was lucky enough to find an OLD set of Uncle Wiggly books to read to my little boys (am combing through the attic now to see if I can find them as I await the birth of my granddaughter due next week)  While Uncle Wiggly wasn't exactly teaching nature stuff, what preschooler wouldn't like hearing stories about a funny bespectacled rabbit building and traveling in his own balloon air basket?  I also have at the ready my personal favorite, Skunny Wundy, Seneca Indian Tales.  And last but not least, Old Mother West Wind.  ALL of these older books bring back fond memories, built a great foundation/love of nature  (and who needs to BUY NEW when there are so many OLD books that need new homes or libraries to borrow from?)
This was a fun thread to read, especially since I had just started cleaning the attic; how timely!
2 months ago