Leslie Zingarelli

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since Sep 08, 2014
In my youth, I traveled a bit, then migrated from Pennsylvania during the previous industrial decline of the 70-80s, westward, to pursue a dream.
Northern CA Coastal zone 10/a/b
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Recent posts by Leslie Zingarelli

Hey Cass, yahoo user, no issues whatsoever. Thanks for all you do!
There are many, many good local resources for grey water information, education, regulations and requirements, for urbanites. I began my search in Berkeley...of course! Check out http://greywateraction.org/ This org is very longstanding, and has an eco-center for educational and training/certification activities, among other good stuff. As Gloria Steinem reminded us just last week: "...it took about 100 years for women to get the vote. We are only 50 years into the pursuit of equal wages. We've got a WAYS TO GO PEOPLE!" (...on many fronts) So don't lose heart, keep dialogs open, pursue new concepts, be open to taboo stuff, TALK TO EVERYONE about new ideas, such as humanure and options like the Loveable Loo. We are smart enough, if we pool together.
3 years ago
"The drought, now officially in its fourth year, prompted Gov. Jerry Brown (D) last week to order a 25 percent reduction in water consumption. The order does not apply to the agriculture industry, which consumes nearly 80 percent of the state's water." I live in the Bay Area, even so, it feels like "everyone's drought". In accordance with Paul's approach, I've ignored the rants, and moved on to some (albeit small-scale) concrete solutions. Researching the lifestyles of those living under permanent water restriction, I have been for the last few years, observing my own water habits to inventory consumption. India uses a bucket-bath technique, and I have implemented a variation thereof: an old yoga mat is folded under a galvanized tub, placed inside my shower, to catch my bathing water. I'm plenty clean, and keep the rinse water, using a hand-operated pump-siphon to move the excess to a nearby bucket. I use some to flush my toilet, once or twice a day, some to pre-soak my laundry, the rest to water the plants on my balcony. I'm just an apartment dweller, but have learned how incredibly wasteful my over-consumption was, now that I don't even HAVE enough secondary uses for all the excess. Consumption overall is down significantly (at home) to 5 gallons, or less, daily. However, it does not count what I use at work. Or when I use the common laundry facility, once every 2 weeks. (Of coarse, some may still consider the topic meaningless drivel.)
3 years ago
I have stand up desks, both at work and at home (where I do more work - it's enough to make me bonkers) However, I learned that in order to counteract the problem of "just standing there", it is also imperative to place a low, stable footstool (play with the height to see what feels best) and alternate right/left foot thereon. This keeps the hips and low back from "freezing up" and simulates a VERY slow walking motion. I sustained a back injury, from a rear-end car accident. Physical therapy and acupuncture were part of early treatment. Yoga was added over time. I am fully active, cycling etc. with no problems, whatsoever, now. But I still LOVE to stand while working. I recommend it to anyone, injured or not! The gizmo at work sits on top of my desk, holds my computer, takes about a 15 inch? square footprint has two angled paper holders, right and left, and is electrically operated with a scissor-like mechanism. The one at home is a large corner desk, where the entire desk surface raises with a hydraulic mechanism. We are ALL sitting too much! - best luck!
3 years ago
Hey! I'm from Pittsburgh..Mr. Rodgers WAS my neighbor! I'm definitely interested in a part of the new neighborhood tho! More later!!! - Leslie
4 years ago
Once upon a time, I had the run of 365 acres, but at that time, I knew very little about land and its potential. Now I work in a small company, wear lots of hats as a network engineer, book keeper, tech support, HR admin, payroll specialist, inventory analyst, generally "keeping the wheels on." I'm no scientist, but I suggest all permaculture laboratories record data, to help make the case for change, and to move public opinion and perceptions forward about production in the landscape.

How many ways can we use data?
Can we trace the flow, from the the harvest areas of each property, as products funnel into pre-prep, for either immediate use or storage, where dedicated space and the tools necessary are found for recording preliminary data related to the harvest? Such notes might include: area on the property from which the harvest was taken, and species/weight/volume/season, other pertinent observations about the season, weather, etc. that formed the harvest, results obtained from new techniques. Include here a seed saving/processing area, collections of containers, markers, journals. Notes from all areas can be gathered later, processed and consolidated (during winter reviews?) to help inform future planting/development decisions.

Into and out of the pantries, cold cellars, or larders, similarly record: the consumption, up or down, by the group of particular foodstuffs, and positive or negative reviews, for later analysis in the same manner: what are we eating that we like, don't like, are curious about, is worth further effort, should be discontinued, improved from last season, can be improved upon further, etc. The better the feedback loop, the more efficient the expansion and development.

Extend throughout the landscape and homestead. Record voice, sketch and draw, include short video clips, transcribe.
Periodically gather the data in, and either casually or formally analyze it, to grow an organic, ever evolving relational database to paint the big picture. What better place, than around the kitchen tables and prep areas, to hash it all out? Present a few quick notes at the start of meals, "These scarlet runner beans are from x location, they seemed to produce better this year because we did xy instead of z." "We only got a few artichokes because we think the location is not quite suitable, note to try and establish some on the south end, near the rocky wall." "The bacon is finished smoking, and is from x batch where the pigs were permitted this year to forage over by the stream." Or just have a dining room journal, for a more casual response from thoughtful diners.

I have been following permies for a few years now; such inspiring stuff! Thanks very much for all you do.
4 years ago
And please find a food bank to donate all that excess thereby becoming part of the solution, while transition is made.
4 years ago
Warning, I live in the bay area, and lived not far from Watsonville, in the 80's and 90's. Strike one: vast fields of annuals as a mono crop. This farm may be non-chemical, but the interpretation of organic seems quite loose. Please grow things that want to grow in this environment, that have low water demands. Many brassicas do well in the Mediterranean climate, but need heavy support, and are very prone to pests. (Vast mono-brussel sprouts grow all along our coast) Strike two: GUANO FROM PERU?? Are you shi**ng me? There must be a closer source from shore birds or animals in California? North America at least? I think Peru can make good use of it; I find that obscene, frankly. A small border of alyssum is lovely around the edges, but serves no purpose for the rest of the acreage. Strike Three get out from under the fossil fuel: those fields are dirt, not soil. I counted 1 disc harrow pass, one fertilizer pass, one pass with the mechanized plug-setter thingy (cool thingy tho!), absurd mid-day water drenchings, in a drought prone area that has zero water of its own, going high up into the hot sun of broad day. More mechanical fossil fuels burned, to harvest, package, cool store and ship to kingdom come. Tree collards are perennial, drought tough, and tall enough to provide shade that would create a cooler environment underneath for other support species such as cauliflower, spinach and chard, even beets. Inter-plant or "overwinter" (I bet those fields are always in production) with nitrogen fixing legumes. High growing date palms interspersed for additional yield are also drought tolerant once established, and produce for many years. Olives, even to get some trees in the picture. Then I would add allium root crops, borage, clover, chamomile ground covers. Spray it with worm tea, NOT soap. Mulch with compost. Where are the swales? What water management is in place? The Santa Cruz mountain range is right there, to the east, so slow, soak and recharge the water coming down from the mountains and develope good water management tools. Repeat throughout all of California.
4 years ago
I'm very new to the formalized concepts of: permaculture, (with a new PDC), regenerative ag, holistic grazing management, food-soil web, etc., and I see the great value, urgent necessity even, to move beyond mere sustainability in land use. The ideals of permaculture have always informed many decisions, as a young single mom of 2 children. Simply voting with my dollar, pro organic, non-gmo, has never been enough to effect broader change. From my urban perch, I WANT locally grown and raised food! I even WANT to produce it, myself. The ideal is farther and farther from the (financial and energetic) reach of common folk. Now my children are grown, and I am "free to study and pursue"...etc., (currently within the confines of a 8-5, at times 6-7 days a week, HA!) But I know next to nothing about intentional communities. Raising my eyes to search beyond the near horizon: I see the aging population of family-owned small farms and other smaller scale land holdings, with no-one to pass these endeavors on to, leaving a ripe old hole for abusive development and industrial-biz-as-usual to gobble the planet, behind our collective backs. The "kids" with energy and drive, even the "lucky ones" just out of college, shoulder enormous debt pressure with no ability to obtain capital for investing. Are there examples of established, intentional communities engineered around the construct of for-profit businesses? Can communal effort be economically productive and self-supportive? If so what are some examples Diana has seen? How would Diana suggest a middle aged single woman find (or form) such a group? Is it possible to procure required financing, as a small collaborating group of united individuals, of varied limited means in order to obtain land? Is it then possible for the group to become collectively self supportive and regenerative on a small holding with careful use of the land? Is adding in the question of economics antithetical? Sorry, that's WAY more than one question...