Amy Escobar

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since Mar 21, 2015
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cat urban woodworking
My husband and I moved to Oregon to start a "filmmaking commune". The idea is inspired by what happened to New Zealand during the filming of The Lord of the Rings - the whole country came to together to create! Even if you're not an actor, filmmaking needs chefs, woodworkers, propmakers, stone masons, welders, childcare workers, self defense choreographers and so much more. Fun fact: Besides acting wages, most of a film's budget when it comes to actually shooting the footage goes to FOOD!
We decided long ago that the California route was not for us. Our long term goal is to create a "Hobbiton" of people who can live independently of one another, and yet still easily come together to create feature films. This is similar to how Hollywood used to function originally. We want to build a hotel/mansion with homesteads surrounding it, equipped with a film studio, outfitted kitchen and of course, permaculture gardens. Maybe our idea isn't really a commune, but it sure is communal.
Currently, we are just trying to survive in a place that likes to spit people out. It's not cheap to live here, but there are definitely benefits of doing so. People here are independent and the scenery is diverse.
Check us out on YouTube at "House of Escobar" You can also email houseofescobar-at-gmail-dot-com or find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Just look for the big yellow broom or "Escoba" flower.

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."
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Recent posts by Amy Escobar

I have perhaps 25 sq yards in my urban lot that I was hoping to allocate to some sort of field crop, and corn comes to mind. However, I'm not sure the yields of 2 ears a stalk are good enough for it to be worth my time, especially since corn is a heavy feeder and I have no idea if my soil will be able to support them year after year. The soil has been primed by cover crops of clover and pea, so I'd assume it's fairly ready to go for something more intensive now. My original plan was a 3 sisters type setup with adequate spacing to have each corn plant yield its fullest, and enough sun for the squash and beans. Now, I'm not so sure.

Also, I intended to plant sweet corn only.

I am very low budget, with no more funds for compost or chips. I was hoping to mow the clover right now and place cardboard over-top cutting holes for planting my trios. I was not going to till at all. I simply don't have much time or resources available. I'm afraid corn will cost too much in manure/compost, water and space to yield a good return. Thinking about just broadcasting beans or tomatillos, as both seem like easier, more efficient fruiters. Thoughts?
9 months ago
Elsewhere on their site they say to respray:
"For best results, spray the entire affected area in 2 – 4 hour intervals the first day (depending on the extent, source and age of the contamination) and 3 – 5 hour intervals the second day."
1 year ago
I'm not using it to treat gout, I'm using it to literally clean urine.

Anti-Icky-Poo is designed for this, and definitely claims to contain bacteria. They stress keeping a surface wet for long periods to allow bacteria to multiply and eat the stain.
1 year ago
Hello there, hopefully this is in the right forum.
So if you need to clean bodily fluids, it gets real expensive real fast (spare me any baking soda and vinegar remarks).
Since enzymes are the way to go, and there are many products that ship with live, enzyme creating bacteria, why not try to use such products as a culture for creating more of said cleaner? All you would really need to do is continually feed it urine right?

My suspicion is that many cleaners only contain enzymes, not bacteria.

One other thing to consider are byproducts. I know kombucha gets very alcoholic if the liquid itself is not refreshed. Anyways, I have a lot of mess to clean, and not alotta dough. Thoughts?
1 year ago
Location: Oregon, in the Columbia Gorge, just as the wet Cascade mountains fade into high desert. 7b I believe.
So this is my first try at a hugelbed, and I tried to go big.

I'm currently renting this property and have the good fortune of a landlord who don't mind no diggin. I'll continue to update this thread as the season progresses with before and after photos! I feel like it's hard to actually find many before and after pics, but I WILL POST THEM. Meanwhile, here's a video tour, as well as photos. I really don't have any experience doing this, so any tips are appreciated. We also plan on covering this bed over the winter. I am in Oregon, and I think it will fare well. Also, if anyone knows of any really really fast ways to grow shade, let me know cuz I got a south facing window that's going to need it this year.

I will also be posting pics and extra videos on Instagram @ "HouseofEscobar". Again, any tips or tricks appreciated as well as questions or requests.

We dug 18in down, in a serpentine pattern. Had to use coniferous, pine that had been sitting out for over a year, and some rotted 3 to 5 year old stumps. Just couldn't find hardwood in our area very easily. Also, some fresh cut poplar. I tried to put the newer stuff way down low. I can't find all the photos, but there are much more rotted material added than all of these photos show, so keep that in mind.

We put spent coffee chaff from a local roaster in between the cracks before topping with dirt.

Various layers, each one saturated with water, and covered with dirt. Stomping as we went. We put in tons of water.

Tried our best to layer sod on the fill dirt. We did a really bad job of keeping turf separated, and we also got dirt everywhere, so we actually forgot where we put some of the wood!


Next goes fine wood shavings from local woodworker. Probably pine, idk. Need to get more mulch.

Some final pictures of the grade. I forgot to take a picture, but we flattened the top and dug a long trench down the spine of the bed, and we later filled it in with compost. The bed has 4 arms and is oriented North to South. We are planting with everything, peas, beans, squash tomatoes, herbs, greens, roots. We'll probably be starting to harvest urine to compensate for all the stuff we have going on under the soil. We decided to do more of a plateau than a steep bed. The bed is about 9 ft wide (at the base) by 20 ft. About 2 1/2 ft high.

We started tomatoes/peppers late, and only grey them to about 2 in high in flats before transplanting them under milk jug cloches. We transplanted them in large clumps and will thin later. So far doing well.

Also, I had some leftover rotting train ties, and I threw together a secondary bed filled with beans. We're using as many yard clippings and pulled weeds as we can for mulching.

That's all for now folks. I've never gardened much, but I decided to go big and we'll see if what happens.

1 year ago
Our Oregon summer seems to already be upon us and I'm ill prepared.We have a small south facing front lawn with big windows facing south. This is the area I am primarily concerned about, as all the heat just pours in and the front gets very dry from the heat of the pavement. I thought about sunflowers, but I'm really hoping for something fast fast fast. Could be plants, or something else. Any tips? I just hate it when there are no clouds, it makes me feel like I can't go outside.
1 year ago
I'd prefer to just keep using the north sides of my hugelbeet to grow brassicas/greens to avoid summer sun. My bed runs north to south with several curves. On these curves I want to plant broccoli, lettuce, brussels sprouts, mizuna etc, but I've always heard you MUST rotate to stuff that isn't in the same family. I've heard some folk on here say rotation is overrated for tomatoes, but does that apply to brassica/greens?
The bed is brand spanking new, good soil and compost, but the disease-combating microbiology probably isn't quite established I'm guessing?
Do you have open flaps on the bottom walls? That should help greatly with cooling via air pressure circulation.
1 year ago
Does anyone have resources for those of us wanting to manually pollinate and bag brassica and cucurbit seeds? I have a small urban space, and I want to grow everything all at once. It's been difficult to Google for detailed info on this.
I do think that if you are starting multiple tomato seeds in a pot, and one of the starts is spindly because the seed was further away from the light, you would probably be better off removing it because it'll never recover from that early stunted growth. Or so I've heard.