Yvonne Jackson

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since Sep 15, 2014
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Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama.  Have taught english and history.   Also walked the 2200 mile Appalachian Trail.  Since Dec 2014 Have been on my own rough little patch of land in North Alabama I jokingly call my New Eden.  It is however what I am shooting for.  I dream of feasting on figs, cherries, peaches, pecans, hickory nuts, collard greens, turnip greens, mustard green, sweet potatoes, turkey, and deer.
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Nauvoo, AL; Zone 7B
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Recent posts by Yvonne Jackson


Thank you. I stumbled across the quote a few years ago.  It made me think.  So I try very hard to keep it in mind, particularly when I'm dealing with people with whom I have no history.
7 years ago

Don't know what your current plans are and, Heavens knows, mine are still forming, but from your description, I think we might be resources for one another. I'm in Northern Alabama and I have a sister in Maryland near Baltimore and DC. I visit her a couple of times a year.

I'm a writer just beginning permaculture work on a place I acquired 2 1/2 years ago.  Though I am grandmother age, I am currently working on becoming a foster mom.  The need to mother leads me to fostering, but I have to admit I am also conscious of opportunity to teach and spread permaculture principles as I share myself.

So I have an interest in connecting with permaculture families.  I'm interested in techniques for inculcating permaculture principles with young people who often have had full, very different, lives before meeting me and will most likely return to those lives.  Other than naturally sharing my interests,  don't know how to go about that, but permaculture families seem a good starting place.
7 years ago
The squash in the chili sounds awesome.  I'll have to try that sometime.  I make vegan chili quite often. Though I've have other's chili with veggies other than onions and tomatoes, the only thing I've added so far is bell peppers and carrots.  I could totally see butternut or another of the sweeter squashes in chili.  Thanks.
7 years ago

Nicole Alderman wrote:Both my husband and I grew up never eating (or knowing about) any winter squash that wasn't pumpkin...and pumpkin was only consumed in seed or pie form! But, my husband just got diagnosed with Crohn's disease, and he's started on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (also known as SCD or GAPS) so suddenly our diet has come to include a lot more squash... and I honestly know very little about winter squashes!

BUT, I know many of you know a lot about winter squashes! I've seen some really cool posts about how awesome they are. So, what's your favorite types of squash? What do you use them for? Are there more energy-efficient ways of cooking them other than baking a ton in the oven at once?

Here's a place to talk about your favorite winter squashes and recipes for them! (And for me to soak up all your knowledge )

Hi Nicole,

I'm unfamiliar with SCD, but I've yet to meet a squash I didn't like. My 3 favorite ways to eat winter squash are in a pasta sauce, as part of a roast veggies dish or as squash soup. The first two ways I got from a cookbook put out by my favorite restaurant when I was in college, Claire's Cornercopia. Unlike a lot of vegetarian cooking, they were not heavy on on dairy.  I remember a lot of pea and bean based soups with these miniature loaves of whole grain bread.  The cookbook has a recipe for a three squash pasta sauce that uses acorn squash, butternut squash and one other (pumpkin). I usually wind up going with just the acorn and butternut.  The primary seasoning is olive oil, garlic, and flat leaf parsley.  I've used the sauce on brown rice as well as pasta and served it alone as as a side with veggie patties.  As for the roasted veggies, I modified a Claire's recipe.  I was hankering for the dish, but it was fall, and many of the suggested veggies, like bell peppers, zucchini, and yellow squash weren't in season, so I decided to substitute veggies that were in season. Enter winter squash.  Decidedly less variation in color--lots more orange, but still a lovely, tasteless dish....And the aroma while it bake....Somebody, get me a grandma to slap.

As for squash soup, it's a classic.  Have tried several recipes.  Still amazed that you can get such a creamy texture and flavor, without dairy.
7 years ago

Would love to be updated on how your living fence project goes. I have been contemplate living fence for several areas.  If grown from seed, it's by far the most economical option. And, depending upon the species selected for the fencing, the fencing can serve additional functions for the landscape.  

Like you, I have been strongly considering Osage Orange.  It was one of the many choices suggested in the Mother Earth article I read on the subject.  Siberian pea shrub, honey locust and black locust were also on the list.

Where I am, USDA zone is not so much a concern in my choices.  My soil may not be right for black locust. Gonna try anyway. It's a nitrogen fixer. Its nectar arguably produces the best honey, I hear.  Its wood is incredibly resistant to rot.  It coppices well.  The bark of green branches makes good fiber for weaving.

What the Mother Earth article suggests is using at least 2-3 species to make up the living fence.  And after going over the qualities of several particulars species, some of which, I've mentioned above, there's this almost throwaway paragraph at the end.  To wit:

For an inosculated fence, elm, a number of the oaks, olive, dogwood, beech, hornbeam, peach, almond, hazel (filbert), a number of the willows, sycamore, grape and wisteria. Trees with pliable branches are especially suitable, with apple, hawthorn, linden, and pear among the best.

Now, I keep having to look up "inosculate." I think it means "to fit close together by intertwining."

Anyway.  My thinking.  While Osage orange may not be hardy where you are, surely some cultivars of some of the other species on that list are.

But, apart from that, I just,think the idea of living fences is just wickedly cool.  My internet searches have turned up precious little in the way of examples.  Just a lot of instructions in how to do it.  Would love to share notes with someone constructing one now.  Particularly pics in progress.

When I get started I'll post my progress here

7 years ago
I am in similar situation. Quite a bit older at 51. Preparing to become adoptive mama of sib group in next 9 months or so. Ready to homestead. Not interested in a romantic partner, but starting to realize importance of other kind(s) of partner(s) for homesteading. And, I've already leaped. Bought a bit of land with an old house on it in North Alabama, my home.

Have you bougght anything yet? Where are you?
8 years ago
Have you found a new community/situation?

If not, maybe we should talk. I'm in North Alabama on 19 hilly, wooded acres. Been here a year, so have yet to do any planting. Small wood frame house in clearing near road.

To me the growing zone 7b is near ideal. Enough chill hours for many of those plants requiring them. Perfect for heat loving plants. And, with some manipulation of micro-climates, it's possible to grow delicate plants that normally require zones 8–10. I'm looking forward to the challenge.

Expect to incorporate smaller livestock as well.

I am a young 51, a full-time homesteader, preparing to become an adoptive mother of a sibling group. Not only would I welcome company now, but also in the foreseeable future.
8 years ago
May I hear more about what you're looking for in community?

Sounds like I'm guilty of trying to go out into the wilderness and do things by myself. i've been on my property a year and the enthusiasm with which I though I would approach observation, planning, etc, has just not materialized.

I've been scouting permies looking for community of mostly the barn-raising kind, but I think it's time to think more broadly.

I'm in north alabama on 19 hilly, wooded acres, in a growing zone that to me is wonderfully ideal—7b. Most plants that need chill hours do well here. Heat-loving plants love it. And with a little manipulation of micro-climates, this area can support tender plants that normally require zones 8–10. I am looking forward to those challenges.

My plans for the place include a variety of fowl, dual purpose goats, pigs, and, perhaps, eventually, some sort of Acquaculture.
8 years ago