Cécile Stelzer Johnson

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since Mar 09, 2015
I no longer have to work, so I'm developing a lot of different interests, beekeeping being the most expensive. Bees/ pollinators are in trouble and I decided to help. Getting chemicals out of our lives seems like a good idea. I'd like to be self sufficient so that I can have fun doing gardening, raising chickens and selling honey. Red oaks are all dying of the wilt and I may have a CAFO just west of me in a very near future. They will start by cutting all the trees, so I'll be the first one to smell their cows. (A confined Animal Feeding Operation is not my dream neighbor). All our red oaks are dying of the wilt and I'm trying to find suitable trees to replace them. Burying all that brush may be the best option to enrich the soil, which is *very* sandy and *very* poor.
Wisconsin Rapids, WI
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Recent posts by Cécile Stelzer Johnson

David Livingston wrote:What's the difference between these beans ? I notice that real seed co differentiate and say that  Fava beans cannot be grown where I live http://www.realseeds.co.uk/runnerbeans.html
whilst I notice on the  salts spring catalogue they do not differentiate between them https://www.saltspringseeds.com/collections/fava-or-broad-bean-seeds-vicia-faba


Bonjour, David. You may want to look up their Latin names, because over the world there are more names for beans than Eskimos have names for snow.
Fava bean is a "fève" in French, and that is what is placed in a galette des Rois. the latin name is Vicia Faba, and there is a variety that grows wider than most. They call it broad bean of horse bean
The lima and the butter bean are phaseolus lunatus, while the one you pointed out in the first link is called a runner bean. Runner bean grows well in cooler weather and is a phaseolus coccineus.
Common names are a pain. Remember that your corn is our wheat in the US. I'm pretty sure you can grow fava beans. This site refers to them as Broad Beans, though: https://www.gardenfocused.co.uk/vegetable/broad-beans.php
I hope this helps?

Anonymous wrote:I would prefer using washable clothes because aside from its recyclable, we were used to use it since then.

Depending on how much water/ soap is needed to wash these, It certainly might work. I must confess that having good, absorbent TP is one of these small comforts I will just not give up. When I was a little girl, we had "Turkish toilets". Imagine a ceramic square [48" X 48"] with 2 raised platforms to put your feet a hole in the middle. Face the hole for number one, and turn around for number two. Up above your head, a container and a string to open the bottom of the container so that you could flush. Depending on the position of the water container, you could easily get a foot bath [yuck] but if it was done correctly, it is one of the most sanitary things you could use: No contact with the body, so no transference of germs from a toilet seat, no need to ever clean a yucky toilet seat, no argumen about leaving the seat down. Right there, you can save yourself a lot of energy! In those days, Mom and dad would just use newspaper that they would cut in smaller pieces each week so we could all wipe our bottoms. Not terribly absorbent, but if you have to, you just do it! At school, we had the super thin "Bible" paper. I don't know who had the idiotic idea of waxing the thing, but that is not a good experience. I would try to hold it so I could do my duty at home, with newspapers.
Having a [I assume damp] cloth that you can rewash does not sound all that comfortable either. A cold wet cloth on my behind and over my [very] private parts in the cold of winter? Hmmm. Nope. To make it comfortable enough, it would have to be lukewarm, and then, think of the expense to warm that water.
There are 2 expenses we are trying to save on 1/ the flushing system, expensive to build and maintain, plus a water hog. Outdoor toilets are better for that. If you install them on skids, you can move them the following year, then plant a tree there. 2/ What to do with the paper? For the paper, I could revert to newspapers, but even if I use my preferred absorbent TP, it can be put in a separate pail and ignited once a week: It is only the center of the paper that gets soiled, and most of it is dry. The rest can burn and the ashes put on my asparagus bed. Problem solved. water saved.
1 month ago

Steve Nicolini wrote:How long did it usually take you to gather the slugs and drown them?  Do slugs benefit a farm in any way other than feed for ducks?

Who here has eaten comfrey?

I've taken comfrey tea, occasionally. It is very comforting with a good dab of honey, and a finger or two of whiskey on cold nights. Eating comfrey raw, I can't see that happening: It has hairs on the leaves that might irritate your mouth. Cooked, then? I have not tried, but a meal of it as a vegetable once in a while should not be a problem. As usual, when we think about potential damage to the kidneys etc, DOSAGE is what should be considered. Alcohol is even good for you in small doses, like an occasional glass. A bottle of booze a night is probably not that great for your health either!
I use it as mulch [it decomposes amazingly quickly and kills weeds if thick enough] and on the side, as fodder to my chicken:[It disappears very quickly too]
Here too, remember that variety is the spice of life, and I would not raise my chickens on comfrey only. Every day, I give them scraps of a lot of things, including the occasional road kills, grain, hay... They should have variety every day.
1 month ago

Loren Hunt wrote:this is a great thread! my wife found this pdf out on midwest permaculture. perhaps it will add value to this thread.


Thank you from Wisconsin: I was looking for something great to plant all around my apple trees.
1 month ago

paul wheaton wrote:Comfrey!

Probably the most popular apple tree guild plant.

Indeed! comfrey! Just make sure that deer, chicken, rabbit, sheep cannot access it: They really like that stuff!
1 month ago

Mike Jay wrote:Thanks everyone for all the responses! 
To erect it I think I'll unroll the 150' roll, flop it over so it wants to hump up, then drag it back over itself to kind of back bend it and hopefully flatten out its bend. 
I'm also thinking I could take some pallet boards and stick them through a bunch of the mesh gaps (horizontally).  That would turn a section into a wood wall with a curve.  I'm thinking...  Suntrap
For those who believe the deer will still jump it, do you think increasing the depth of the waves to 6' would take care of the issue?

--- 150' roll is likely to be very unwieldy: It is heavy and wants to flop as soon as you try to move it. I had more success with the help of a third party. First planted all my posts, tied one end to the first one and walked back, lifting the roll just above the ground. I did not want to use a tensor, but I stopped by each post and fastened it, then went on to the next. It was for the chicken yard. It is working well. I stood the fence over a 24" chicken wire, laid flat and nailed to the ground, stretched with tent poles to prevent chickens from scratching their way out or some dog to scratch his way in. Now, I can't mow around it, [it still curls up] so I'll plant stuff all along.
--- I'm not sure I understand the pallet idea. Do you mean taking apart a pallet and weaving the boards through the mesh? That might look good and make an opaque fence immediately, but is going to be a heck of a chore, even if you skip a few holes!
--- for the depth of the wave,  a 4 ft wave is imposing enough and should create enough of a distortion. I think a 6 ft wave is overkill. My other orchard, I fenced with 7 ft posts every 8 ft, a 24" chicken wire at the bottom to keep rabbits out. I used a solar fence with the thin yellow, black and bare wire, but I electrified every other strand so they would still get a good jolt if they tried. The strands were 6-7"apart, just enough so they could not stick their heads in. Even though they could see what was on the other side, they never jumped it. The posts were 7' but only 5 ft were sticking out. I did forget a few times to turn it on, but they must have learned to respect it because I never had a problem. I do like your idea better, though. Now that I doubled the size, I'm looking to redo the fence, and I just might take a page from your book.
1 month ago

Mike Jay wrote:I have an old field that I'd like to contain for a food forest.  The perimeter is about 500' and it is fairly flat.  My primary goals are:

  • Keep deer out
  • Look pretty enough
  • Be affordable
  • Last long enough for a living fence to grow through and replace it some day
  • Not look like Alcatraz

  • My "creative" idea is to take Concrete remesh and lay it out on edge in a wavy (or sine wave) pattern.  I could put a t-post at each bend in the wave to support it.  But I'd rather run a piece of wire down each side of the fence, connecting it to the wave at each peak.  I'd run a wire at the top of the fence (5') and maybe a couple more lower down.  /quote]
    I cannot find fault with your plan: It will do what you are setting out to do, for an affordable price, plus you will gain a band 4-5 t. wide and 500 ft long for additional crops you might  like. Those crops will also get *some* protection, and you may want to put those you consider more valuable on the inside of the wave. The set up will eat a fair chunk of real estate and may be a little messy to keep relatively weed free at first, but once established, it will look great and function very well.
    The big benefit is that the fence will eventually be opaque. It may indeed create the illusion of a double fence, which they would hesitate to jump, but opacity is what will keep deer out: They have no problem jumping a 5' fence but they really hesitate if they have doubts on sticking THE LANDING. I've seen a picture of a vegetable garden with a number of raised beds, and the gardener said there were no intrusions in spite of [only] a 5' fence. The beds looked to be almost 1' high which is tall for such a structure, but especially, the alleys were narrow, and close enough to the fence that a deer, jumping, would have to plan his jump accurately. Their eyes are on the sides of their face, so their depth perception is fouled up.
    You might have deer trouble in the first couple of years, but you should be fine afterwards, methinks. Do you have a large garden gate figured out? [I'm wondering how you might want to plant a cover crop, like clover, or how will you tend to planting a cover crop once you have the trees planted?] Depending on the size of a tiller/ tractor the gate might have to be sizable too, and tall and you cannot grow anything there that would be opaque. I have added to my original orchard, so now that the fence is down, I was looking for a good idea. and yours is a good one for the all-around fencing.
    Ready for the gardening show?

    1 month ago