elle sagenev

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since Jun 13, 2014
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kids duck forest garden chicken pig bee greening the desert homestead
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Recent posts by elle sagenev

We are there with you. In fact it started in the winter. Usually we get most of our water in snow. It snows, then melts. We had one hard snow this winter, it was in November and it was so cold it stuck around for months. No real new snow after. So I suffered massive winter kill this year and then it's dry. Depressing year.
1 day ago

Jay Angler wrote:elle sagenev wrote:

It's been working well all summer. Yesterday there was a pretty good storm. Our oldest dog is terrified of storms. We weren't home. He freaked out, broke the gate down, went in and just dug. He dug some things up entirely and some things are ok. Very random panic digging.

I'm totally not in your growing ecosystem but I feel your frustration with struggling to get anything to grow. Hopefully some permies with similar climates will pitch in.

However, helping your dog might be a worthwhile mini-project. Clearly you need some sort of outdoor "dog safe house" - solid, secure and storm-proof. Used packing skids could form at least part of the structure, but if the dog's "panic digging," leaving it with a dirt floor might be best. You're pretty much south of Saskatchewan and I know its storms can be sudden, violent and epic! I'd be frightened and seeking shelter. Maybe you already have something and the dog was just too frightened to use it, if so, please don't take this post the wrong way, but maybe look at what you have provided already from a scared dog's point of view in case you can think of ways to improve it.

One question about the greenhouse - how consistent is the soil inside it? Could that explain part of your inconsistent results? Is there *any* chance you're at least partly dealing with an herbicide residue issue? I got one bad batch of something and *nothing* useful grew in that spot for several years and I haven't had the heart to test it again. What I'd like to do is get some really good mushrooms to grow there in the hopes they'll heal the soil, but too many other priorities!

We do have a safe space for the dogs. I'm not sure why he chose to break into the greenhouse except to maybe devastate me. :"(

I think my soil is pretty consistent. It's clay and not great. I've mulched it with leaves. It's not great soil. Certainly needs improvement over the years but I think it's pretty consistent there. This area has been our yard for 11 years and we haven't put anything on it. Before that it was horse pasture and before that wheat field which was organic.
1 day ago

Skandi Rogers wrote:Right lets start with the easy bits, tomatoes don't need bees or insects, just go in once a day and give the supports a sharp tap with a stick, enough to shake the plants. If they are getting wind from the open door and still not setting then how hot is it getting in there? If they get to hot they won't set fruit.
Peppers.. Peppers take forever to get going but they do eventually, mine are still only 6 inches high and right on target.

Just put everything back he dug up and water it well, if tomatoes have snapped off, take the top remove most of the leaves and bury as much stalk as you can, water well, they will set new roots and carry on. The ants are unlikely to have killed the gourd but they may have been farming whatever did, or they could have made their nest right under it and removed half the soil, I lose at least one cucumber each year to that.

If you are struggling with growing things, maybe you should try growing some nice things that can grow unprotected in your area. just start small, and build a better gate for your greenhouse!

I actually just watched a video from Roots and Refuge where she talked about that. It does get windy in there, things blow off the shelves. I'm in a very windy area. I don't know how much wind the tomatoes are experiencing but I'll start shaking them daily!!

It might be a bit late for replanting now. I had thought I should replant things but after a long day to come home at night to the greenhouse like that I just cried and went to bed.

There isn't anything I haven't tried growing. I live in the saddest area ever. Even if I manage to get it to grow one year it'll die during our winter. Experiencing gardening depression.
1 day ago
My new greenhouse is giving me a few growing conundrums. The first is that some things are doing great in it and some aren't. The melons aren't doing anything. What's up with that. The peppers as well. They're the same size as when I planted them. The tomatoes are doing really great though and so are the basil and noodle beans. I had a basket gourd that was ok but then I noticed ants on it. I think they're sucking stuff out of it. So it's dead now.

The next issue is that the tomatoes aren't getting pollinated. A local friend of mine said she just opens the door to her greenhouse and bees come in and pollinate all of her stuff. She doesn't even own bees. I do and they aren't doing anything for me. So I was out hand pollinating. It's a bummer.

Then the last, most devastating issue. I had installed a gate on one door so that when it was open for air flow the dogs could not get in. It's been working well all summer. Yesterday there was a pretty good storm. Our oldest dog is terrified of storms. We weren't home. He freaked out, broke the gate down, went in and just dug. He dug some things up entirely and some things are ok. Very random panic digging.

So I cried and cried. It's the one space I actually had things growing and now it's nearly dead.

I want to go live somewhere things can grow. Living here is just breaking my heart.
1 day ago

Skandi Rogers wrote:the pipe you see going down is probably casing, which means they are nearly done. hang in there!

They left yesterday. I'm not sure if it's because the drill thing was broken beyond repair and they'll be back, like they did with the rig, or if it's over. Hoping for over.
1 week ago

James Whitelaw wrote:If on a well I would be concerned about the aquifer that provides my water. Perhaps getting a sample tested now as a benchmark would be a good idea?

You have to do that before they ever start drilling and then put a lock on your well so they can't claim it was poisoned by something else. We got that.
1 week ago

Tj Jefferson wrote:I'm shocked they are drilling with oil prices where they are... But that sucks Elle. If it helps this does seem highly unusual for noise levels- I lived in Colorado as a kid and there were lots of wells at the time being drilled (early 80s) and I can't remember it being significant, so this seems like either a new technique or rig not working right. Noise is energy that is lost (from a physics perspective) so a quieter rig is generally more efficient.

The rig initially came  in the fall. This is like drill #1,000 on this pad.

I guess I should be thankful. They're piping everything from this pad to a section over where it will be refined. At least we don't have the big burn stack there.
1 week ago

Eric Hanson wrote:Elle, you really have my sympathies for whatever that is worth.

It really bugs me that mineral rights owners can basically ignore the rights of surface owners!  They should at the very least have to do some sort of noise abatement and surface reclamation when they are done.

I hope thing quiet down for you soon,


worse than that we actually own our mineral rights. We didn't sign the lease but it didn't even matter. Force pooling in action.
1 week ago
Here's a pic of the drill from half my 40 acres away. It's pretty massive.

Looks like it's shoving pipe down the hole to me. It's had problems. The entire bottom of it turned black yesterday and it's been shut down. They took a piece away.

It would figure this whole thing would go terribly wrong. That's our luck in life.
1 week ago
So, the zipline is up. It needs tightened more. It seemed really tight initially but as the kids use it more it gets looser. I'm not sure what's up with that. It's high enough that the tractor can go under it to maintain the path but low and slow enough that the kids can be out there unsupervised playing on it, which is good, because they do, a lot. They love it.

Husband moved a nice log out there for me to sit on while I watch them and it's been enjoyable, having this path.
1 week ago