Dawna Janda

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since Apr 18, 2015
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New to permaculture and soaking in all the goodness!  Looking forward to learning more and applying it to my small plot of land and my life.
Tampa area, Florida - zone 9a
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Recent posts by Dawna Janda

J.B. Iler wrote:Thank you to everyone.

I think a huge benefit of the challenge of going plastic free is seeing the ubiquity of plastic so we can start dealing with it. I agree that using plastic that's here is necessary and ideal.

If problem solving is our focus, identifying the problems first will help. These are my thoughts:

1. Making more new plastic is a problem.
2. Plastic disposal is a problem.
3. Plastic recycling and reuse is not done well yet.

If we further break the problems down into more manageable issues, then we can identify how we can improve. Many approaches with varying impacts! Personal changes are great but big problems call for bigger solutions.

What would you say are the problems?



I think you have outlined the problems well!  I also think that like everything else out there, solving the problems starts with individual consumers.  If we stop using/purchasing products with plastic, the manufacturers will get the hint and we'll see less virgin plastics and/or more comprehensive recycle programs.  Unfortunately, there's not the ground swell of people demanding less plastic as of yet.  We all know the problem....but on top of the non-availability for alternatives, it's inconvenient to do anything about it for most people.

I'm a BIG believer in leading by example.  Whether they say it or not, people notice things.  I get comments/compliments all the time on my grocery bags (I sewed them myself out of scrap fabrics I had) and I tell folks how awesome they are.  My neighbors have wondered why we don't set out our trash cans or recycle bins but once every couple of weeks.   This isn't part of the discussion, but the way we maintain our yard/gardens (which are pretty darn lush) gets a lot of inquiries from our neighbors and I tell them that we don't use chemicals...hmmm...i guess that COULD  be part of this discussion as a lot of the chemicals come in plastic...okay, cool...back on track.  8 )

We are planting seeds all the time.....but sometimes the germination isn't as high as we want it to be.  However, I believe the seeds that do flourish will grow and spread.

For all of us trying to make a difference, we will keep at it.  When someone notices how wonderful something we've done is, we quietly explain.  I always add in my cost savings and how much better things are (i.e. nice to know I'm helping the environment, I have more energy to get through my day, my skin feels better, we get more flowers/birds/butterflies, etc).  People want to know what's in it for them here, right now....just like the manufacturers and recycling programs.

LOVE this conversation!  Thank you for starting it!  8 )
11 months ago
I'm of the same mindset of Brody Ekberg.  I don't know how folks can be plastic free...even with normal every day groceries/house supplies/etc unless they live in an area with very specific stores and/or resources.  Even if I go to a butcher to buy meat as opposed to a grocery store, they are still going to wrap plastic over something....I've tried it several times.

I've been on the path of reducing what goes in our trash cans and recycle bins for years.  Doing decently, but I'm still filling up our recycle bins every couple of weeks with plastics and metals.   Oh......not plastic related, but our area doesn't recycle glass.  If our communities can't figure out how to recycle glass, our chances of recycling the other stuff is low.

Now.....we re-use as much as we can for as long as we can.  Even that has it's limits....storage space, number of uses for different containers, things just wearing out, etc.  I have stashes of jars and buckets with covers and spray bottles and....you get the picture.  There are times I have to cull the collections.  I put items online for free, but no one wants them.  I even make a point in giving suggestions for the items.  ....sigh...

Sorry for this downer post, but I'm glad that others have the same issues.  Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only one that is having these challenges.

11 months ago

Marijke Katsburg wrote:Thanks for your answer. So you're saying we are just lucky with some females who are growing and producing over 7 years... The shitty thing is, that the new papayas we put over the years, don't seem to be as enthusiastic as the first ones. But maybe that's because of the draughts we have been suffering here, the last 4 years?



From my experience.....yup...lucky.  Your shorter lifespans may be due to less water (papayas LOOOOOOVE them some water) or if you are growing out seeds from your older plants, then there may be some cross pollination that is giving shorter lifespans....or a combination of those things.

We're in our dry season here and walking in my food forest today, I found that I lost 2 papaya plants that were doing well a couple of weeks ago.  I also don't have the fruit production I did this time last year.  However, this time last year we had more rain.  Papayas are like bananas....the want water and food and warmth with a side of water and food and warmth.  ...speaking of bananas, those aren't growing and producing like they should either with the dry weather.
1 year ago
Hello there!  I am in central Florida and know what you are referring to. The good news is you are not dealing with disease.  Papayas are semi-herbaceous plants, not trees, and their life span is not that long.  My female and hermaphrodite trees last about 3 years.  I have males that are working on their 6th year.  When the plants' lives are nearing the end, they will begin to get smaller at the top and the leaves smaller.  Usually within a few months of noticing the top of the plant getting smaller, the plant will die.  .....which is another nice thing about papayas producing so many seeds....plenty to plant.....8 )
1 year ago
Hello - Welcome - Thank you for hanging out with us for a while!
I have a variation to add to this.  I strung jute in between some of my papayas to form a trellis.  So far, so good!
2 years ago
We let the small plants grow in our lawn like wood sorrel and other small wild flowers that pop up here.  The resident gopher tortoises like to munch on them.  

What we've planted on purpose in our yard are rain lilies (fairy lilies).  We mostly have pink, but yellow and white ones come up too every once in a while.  My mother-in-law had the pink ones all over her back yard and they were lovely intermixed with the grass.  When we moved in our current house, I started planting them and I still spread the seeds all over the place.  

They do well being mowed with everything else and do well when we have dry times.  St. Augustine grass is what we have in our yard.  The lily leaves and the grass blades are very similar in shape and size, so you don't notice the lilies until they bloom, which is pretty cool.  One day, green grass.  Next day BOOM!....green grass and pink flowers everywhere.


2 years ago
Welcome Owen!  I'm excited to learn more!  8 )
2 years ago
I have PCOS and one of the delightful (please note oozing sarcasm) symptoms is VERY sensitive skin with most toiletries.  Among other things, I've made my own soap for over 20 years and have experimented with different oils and butters.  However, I have not considered their sustainability until reading this thread.  My focus was always on my skin comfort....which is a HUGE.  However, sustainability will be in my mind going forward.

One of my favorite oils is olive oil.  Usually I can get it fairly inexpensively at membership stores or grocery stores believe it or not (not the extra virgin, but from subsequent pressings).  I've used pomace olive oil as well.  Both work nicely...I go with what I can get cheaper.  I also like coconut and almond oils.  Their combo along with olive makes great soap and will give different properties depending on the ratios you use.  

One thing to consider is the properties of the oils used.  Not all are created equal.  For example, my mom liked using Crisco for the fat for a few years.  She loved the soap, but it melted too easily with water.  My skin was not happy with it.  

If someone is just starting out with soap making, my suggestion would be to experiment with different oils/fats (and combinations) to see what you like best.  You may like the leftover fryer fat if it's mixed with something else.  Also, keep in mind superfatting soap to give it more moisturizing properties.  I usually superfat with cocoa butter, or shea butter.  

I make an olive oil soap with freshly ground rosemary and oregano for times we need a bit more antimicrobial power.  It bubbles up nicely and washes away clean.  It works great and you don't smell like spaghetti as much as you would think...hehehe

For my cinnamon, oatmeal, goat milk soap, I use less coconut and more olive and almond.  The soap doesn't bubble up much which bothers some people, but to me is wonderful.  Less drying and the properties of the ingredients seem to work better on my skin because they aren't washed away as much.  (To give an example of how powerful ingredients can be, this was also a favorite of a nurse who was helping me take care of a dying loved one as it helped my loved one's skin greatly.  I loaded her up with as much as I could to use on other patients.)

Happy soaping everyone!
2 years ago
Thank you for sharing!  I enjoy listening to him speak.  Lots of wisdom there....
2 years ago