Lori Ziemba

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since Jan 19, 2015
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Recent posts by Lori Ziemba

Kate Muller wrote:

Jeremy Baker wrote:?
That’s a tough situation to be in . Good luck and best wishes. I just take miniature sized bites at a time these days. And get a surprising amount done.

This is exactly what I have spent the last 2 years learning to do.  In my case I have a connective tissue disorder called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.

I have it, too.  It's a bitch, isn't it?
8 months ago

Jain Anderson wrote:
Our area is blessed with a 'bark' plant that takes the outer bark from logged trees and sifts it into different sizes for garden use. One would think that pine bark would be acidic, but its actually alkaline so do check how those wood chips are effecting your soil besides providing moisture barrier and potential soil conditioning.

Hmmm, you mean get the soil tested?  I've been thinking of doing that, because the stuff I planted in the "new" plot did so much better than the stuff I planted in my "old" plot.  I have no idea what kind of woodchips they are.  They're always different.  We just get a truckload dumped for free whenever we ask.  
10 months ago

Jo Hunter wrote:

In the meantime, I do the same as Jay and put down pieces of old cardboard/landscape plastic to attract them, then in the morning feed them to the chickens and ducks. I've done this for about 2 weeks, and I'm finding fewer and fewer and seeing a lot less damage.

I have done this in the past, but the problem is it's a community garden, and it's not that close to my house.  So I only get up there twice a week.  I can't check on it every day.  So I don't know if making a home for them is a good idea in that situation.  My thoughts were more along the lines of making it a PITA for them to get to my plot.  I could maybe put a board down in the empty plot next to it, but it would probably get moved.
10 months ago

Priscilla Stilwell wrote: But yeah, I'm convinced natural predators are the ultimate solution. I wonder if you could talk to whoever runs the garden and ask if some habitat spaces could be created?

We do have lots of "mess" laying around.  There are bazillions of birds there.  And some larger tree/shrubs they like to hang out in.  But we are in the middle of the city, so there are  no snakes or ducks or things like that.  Plenty of gophers, tho
10 months ago

Tim Kivi wrote:My philosophy is now “do what works”, though I haven’t resorted to chemicals and probably never will. I tried no-dig gardening for two years but it didn’t work for me.

It doesn't work for me, either.  It seems to be fine for perennials, but then, who would dig around them anyway?  For me, I've noticed the soil gets very compacted, even with lots of worms, and the annuals just don't like it.

My problem is opposite to yours though- slugs can’t survive my garden because it’s so dry that nothing survives. I’m using pine needles as a mulch now, as they keep down weeds and keep the soil moist underneath. In a very dry Mediterranean climate like mine a good mulch is vital for anything to survive as we don’t have any rainfall in summer.

I'm in a Med. climate, too!  Where are you?  I'm in San Francisco.  No rain 6-8 months out of the year.  But since it's a community garden, I have access to water.  Where I am, it's very damp and foggy.
10 months ago

Jay Angler wrote:

I'm not sure that they will solve your slug problem though, as it sounds as if the slugs are thoroughly out of control.

Yes, they are.  It's awful.  And it's very hard to do anything about it, because it's a community garden.  This year, I tried sheeps wool, I bought a roll of copper netting, I put down sluggo, I tried beer traps.  Still got eaten.  I even found slugs inside my plastic, storage bin "greenhouses" that I start seeds in.  Lots of people there are not tidy, and there are a lot of weeds in the spring.  I saw rats going into one woman's garden plot.  It's a disgusting, overgrown mess.  That's why I was hoping having the surface be dry would discourage them from anting to cross it to get to the plants.  The only thing they never bother is onions.

10 months ago
Hi all,
I've always heard that one of the key "rules" of permaculture is observing before acting.  What do you do when your observations lead you to conclude that a generally accepted practice doesn't work as well as everyone says it should?

I have been trying out a fairly deep mulch in my vegetable plot.  I started with straw, but it has become impossible to get here in the city.  I do have an unlimited supply of free wood chips, tho.  So I switched to that.  Yes, it does keep the soil moist and somewhat loose, and encourage worms, etc.  However, I've also noticed that it provides an almost tailor-made home for slugs.  It's very damp and foggy where I live, and the community garden is overrun with slugs.  Seedlings get eaten as soon as they pop up.  Even fairly big transplants get eaten to the ground in a day or 2.  I've found them in my beans 7 feet off the ground.

I'm moving to a new plot this fall, so I get a clean slate.  I'm thinking of trying out ollas.  I hear the surface drys out and gets dusty, because the moisture is below.  I'm thinking that would discourage slugs.  

Anyone have experience with ollas?
10 months ago

My boyfriend went to the garden meeting yesterday, and he said everyone came over (except M. and the Couple from Hell, of course) and shook his hand and asked about me.  He said they all seemed very contrite, and that the president wanted to talk to me.  So I went in and kissed and made up with him, but I let him know that I was very hurt that he didn't back me up like he said he would.  He tried to slime and squirm out of it, saying he didn't get a chance to because I left, but I told him that was BS and he knew it.  I told him I wasn't mad about not being able to do my idea, but I was mad because I was ganged up on, and not allowed to speak, and that he didn't stop it.  I think he understood, but who knows.  Anyway, I told him I wasn't mad at him anymore.  He said I was his favorite person in the garden.  I withdrew my request for widening the corn plot.  I don't want to do it anymore; don't want to put in the effort and expense at that place.  I'm only doing the minimum from now on.  I said I'd take over the corn plot when I can move my tree, and give up my old plot, unless something bigger comes available.  He said that was OK.  So, we have a sort of a truce.  Not great, but what can I do?  I felt OK last time I went, but not truly happy like I used to.  But at least I have a place to keep my tree.  Soon, the CfH will be going off to Australia, so that will help if I don't have to see their sour, shriveled old rat-faces.

Thank you, everyone, for all your kind words and advice.  It really helped, and it meant a lot to me.  You guys are the best.  I will post pix of the corn when it's ripe.  I gave in to temptation, and peeled back some husk on one ear, and it looks great!

Here's a pic of 2 of my Cinderella pumpkins:
10 months ago

Ann Soco wrote:

There are a series of books on the Art of Verbal Self Defense. They have been around for years and they do a great job of teaching methods to deal with toxic personalities. This might be helpful.

Yes, that would be helpful!  I am not good at it.  I tend to go mute when attacked.

It might help to figure out exactly what you want from the people who are attacking you. Do you want them to just shut up? There are techniques that can help accomplish that but it depends on the circumstances.

Yes, I just want to be left in peace to grow things.

Do the organizational rules have any rules that deal with this type of situation? That could be another method of dealing with with things.

Not that I could see.  It's not very well run.

The most important thing is to stay calm. I have found that the most aggressive person cannot deal with someone facing them with confidence, calmness and kindness. They expect either complete obedience to their demands or aggressiveness in return. They are prepared to cope with both of those but not a calm strong stance.

I have been doing that with "M" since she started in on me, explaining to her, telling her it was within the rules, trying to be reassuring.  Didn't work.  I've tried (in the past) to be nice to the couple.  It seems that after 23 years have passed, they still don't know who I am.  I don't think he believed me when I said I have been there that long.  I look a lot younger than I am.

I also wonder if the members that have been there a long time might have early dementia.

I have thought exactly the same thing, because the husband never joined in or backed up the wife before.  He was always quiet.  It's only recently that he's been like this, just this year. She, OTOH, has always been a b!+(#.
10 months ago