Jill Emerson

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since Nov 24, 2014
New York City/Woodstock NY
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Recent posts by Jill Emerson

Congratulations on deciding to go in this direction!

The Global Ecovillage Network is a good source for information on intentional communities and their structures, and here's a link to a free copy of Eco Village at Ithaca, which describes the genesis and reality of ecovillage living:  http://library.uniteddiversity.coop/Ecovillages_and_Low_Impact_Development/EcoVillage_at_Ithaca-Pioneering_a_Sustainable_Culture.pdf

I read the above some time ago, but remember that the process of making the village work was addressed on all levels, physical/emotional/mental/spiritual, each with their own processes.

Good luck!
7 months ago
Anise hyssop, Agastache foeniculum, is very beloved by pollinators, and the leaves taste sweet to me, in a licorice kind of way.  Great with fruit.  It's a member of the mint family, without the conquer-the-world tendencies.
7 months ago

I loved reading your post and find your vision utterly compelling.  I, too, want and need the land, plants and all life around me as balanced and supportive as possible.  This is my vision for any land, and for the Earth herself.

I'm currently based in the NE, and have settled on Woodstock, NY, and environs as the focus of my efforts.  I don't have land yet either, but work in the gardens of friends and clients.  I work consciously with the nature spirits, which enable me to design, amend, plant and nurture growing things in a way that is in keeping with the universal Spirit, and in alignment with what the land, elementals and plants themselves need. I am wanting to do this as my livelihood,  although progress in this area has been slow.  

It is possible to lay out, install and select materials for gardens and landscaping that are in total harmony with the natural energies of the site.  It's also possible to choose between potential sites to find the lot with the highest natural vibration, and to increase that vibration through conscious planning and planting.  I have the ability to do all of these things, and to help others achieve them.  I can quiz the nature spirits about all of the above and receive replies through intuition or dowsing via muscle testing.  I work in the tradition of Findhorn.

I would love to work with you, Adam, or anyone else who seeks to live and grow in the highest harmony with Nature, and to be an asset to any land we touch.  

2 years ago
Bees do really love comfrey, so I would by all means include it. Bees love, love, love anise hyssop as well, and it's easy to grow, so add that to the mix too - the leaves are edible.

The only other comment I have on your list of possibles is the mint. It spreads very aggressively via rhizomes. Think about substituting something bees can feast on in the fall, as you have mostly summertime blossoms listed. Bees need blossoming plants to start early in spring and bloom as late as possible in fall. I would suggest goldenrod, but it can be aggressive and spread via root. I've read elsewhere that borage can seed itself and young plants will bloom into the fall, or perhaps Caryopteris x clandonensis cultivars, such as ‘Dark Knight', a spirea that has been known to blossom in late summer, with dark blue blooms. Asters are native fall bloomers. I've not known them to develop powdery mildew, but perhaps that is true of some hybrids. Look for heritage seeds.
I've watched this thread with interest, and will probably move to a tp-free lifestyle some time soon, probably the water method, as I have two roommates who might not get all warm and fuzzy at the thought of a bucket of used rags in the bathroom.

Although it's tangential somewhat to the focus of this post, I wanted to make folks aware of this product, available at sinkpositive.com, which replaces the lid of the toilet tank with a small sink that uses the water filling the tank as the water source. There are no moving parts and no faucet handles to touch. It has the distinct advantage of making the clean, fresh, potable water we inexplicably use to flush away our waste into grey water, as the used sink water is what fills the bowl. This also reduces the water load of one flush plus one wash into just the water used for one flush. My thought vis a vis this thread is that the water for tushie cleaning is now right at the bowl, instead of across the room at the sink, or in a bucket. It might take some practice to use for this method, as the water is not available until the toilet is flushed, but I'm sure it could work with a little practice. I've even figured out how to brush my teeth using this product (brush first, spit into the bowl, used bowl, rinse mouth into the bowl after flushing and washing).

It's an easy retrofit, I installed it myself within a half hour, and a method for turning a typical Western toilet into something more efficient.

I'm not affiliated in any way with this company, but picked up from their website that it's owned by a young woman who was smart enough to buy up all the patents for similar devices. Featured in the NY Times.


5 years ago
Silicon is a trace mineral that has recently been recognized as playing a role in the growth of new bone, and in this article from the NIH: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2658806/ there has been found "strong positive associations between dietary Si intake and bone mineral density in US and UK cohorts". It's fairly easy to order oat straw on the internet, and to make an extract. Extract of oat straw is high in silicon. Here's how: One part oat straw, two parts white wine, 1/8 part salt, mixed in blender for 4 minutes. Strain. Preserve resulting liquid in 100 proof vodka, and take two eyedroppers full of extract daily. Tastes yucky and vverrrryyy salty, but is easily absorbed and utilized. Some salt seems to enhance the absorption of silicon. Food sources of silicon are whole grains, nuts, dried fruit, red wine and beer. Always eat something salty when having beer to enhance silicon absorption - not too hard, as salty snacks are often served with beer - wonder why!

I theorize that a lack of whole grains in our diet has lead to silicon deficiency. Too much calcium makes bones strong but brittle, silicon seems to enhance flexibility of bones, along with assisting density as quoted above.
5 years ago
I don't mind tinkering with Nature to produce a benefit for all (including Nature!), and this thread reminds me of heated hollow stone walls that were used in medieval gardens and orchards. Fireplaces or flues were built in (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunmore_Pineapple). I'd read about this years ago, and the idea has stayed in my head all this time, albeit in a not-so-happy place - sounds like a lot of work to set up, how effective would it be, who tends the fire?

The whole thing kind of sounds like a RMF, though, so how about extending your RMH flue into some raised beds outside? Or an optional extension on the flue for very cold weather. I think I read somewhere that the flue length could be up to 96 feet? Just a stove pipe set in sand under or in a bed, or up against a wall or mound? Along the south wall of the house? Just a thought...
6 years ago