Kamaar Taliaferro

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since Jun 22, 2015
Berkshire County, Ma. 6b/4a. Approx. 50" rain
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Recent posts by Kamaar Taliaferro

As for the inner workings of our mosquito spray program. I'm gonna start of by saying WNV simply has never been a threat here (last 15 years 1 confirmed case the woman recovered without complication). And yes, a dedicated group of citizens has since the beginning of the spraying program attempted to educate us on proper mosquito hygiene.

How it works in practice. Traps are set to test for mosquito borne diseases. The traps are laid mostly in prime mosquito breeding habitats in our area, which also happen to be sparsely populated. Mosquito counting-i.e. stick out your arm for 15 minutes--is also done to estimate the adult breeding population of known mosquitoes that transmit disease.

The traps and counts are collected by the director of the Mosquito Control program--who also happens to be a salesman for the company that sells the mosquito spray to our city. As things tend to happens the budget for the control program has mysteriously increased the past few years, despite a reduced amount of spraying.

The CDC sets certain thresholds for mosquito borne illness risk and has recommendations on when to spray. The director of our spraying program has recommended spraying at a lower threshold. Mostly the sprayings are done in neighborhoods near where the traps were set. And through perseverance the city was pressured into informing us of planned spraying.

Unfortunately those of us who do oppose the sprayings are still too few, even after a decade of informational campaigning and protesting. Too many folks just cant stand the threat of being bitten by a mosquito to recognize the many and myriad adverse consequences. This in a city with a terrible history of wanton industrial pollution, Superfund site level. So bad former factory grounds are basically quarantined, 40 years later. And it has me at a loss.
2 months ago
Thanks for all the support yall.

This issue kind of died for me as another sprang. Kinda tangential--my city demanded that I cut down sunflowers i planted alongside the road due to a complaint, and withheld my right to appeal said complaint. The sunflowers were the lowest hanging fruit (compared to enforcing speed limits and parking requirements) in this case.

I dont see myself as in the position where using energy to change the paradigm is worthwhile. This isnt my "forever property".

I'll continue to be present at city meetings on the issue.

And Christopher, if you want to resist holler and I'll send you research and reports done by a local journalist against mosquito spraying. He was pretty comprehensive. Your place may use different chemicals, but it may be a decent start?
2 months ago
Some more;

and because I promised Hugelculture

3 months ago
In this series of videos Sean (of Edible Acres, Trumansburg, NY) is documenting a transition from woodland to future orchard on one of the Edible Acre properties.

Sean does a great job in all his videos of illuminating his thought process and exploring work flows that he's found valuable. There's a kernel of inspiration in all Edible Acres videos (for me at least). So don't forget to subscribe and visit his website; Edible Acres

3 months ago
Nothing really new to add here, just thought this process might be useful. It might not apply to your climate, where I am we have super wet springs.

Last growing season I covered grass with inoculated burlap sacks (requires a little foresight, I set up the inoculation for the bags about 5 weeks before I used them). Covered the burlap sacks with "weeds" when I had them.

Covered those sacks with anywhere from 3 to 12 inches of wood chips.

In those wood chips I made soil plugs, to the depth of the grass, and maybe 6 inches in diameter. The soil was a mix of big-box-store bagged soil and purchased compost.

Planted in soil plugs.

Wood chips-free
Burlap sacks--free from a local roaster (check whole foods stores, coops, etc, bulk grains often come in giant brown paper bags).
Bagged soil: 1.79 per 40 lb bag. Bought 10
Delivered compost: $50 per cubic yard bought 1
Mushroom spawn: 20 per #5 bag from Fedco (I wanted known spawn of edible mushrooms, maybe try store bought mushroom slurries?)

Total cost: 90 bucks for about 1000 square feet of bed space, but again I only planted into those "soil plugs". Took about a week to go from grass to planted beds, working 2-3 hours a day.

Squash, sunflowers, various herbs, bare root strawberries, lilies, scarlett runner beans, all flourished for me. All brassica lagged, they were planted too deep into summer and not watered enough maybe. Cucumbers looked promising until they wilted to cucumber beetle pressure.
3 months ago
I'd also love to add, that ordering plants from Edible Acres was simple.

The plants thrived. I bought 3 raspberry plants and they produced fruit the same growing season that I ordered them.

And the packaging they arrived in was merrily customized, (and probably recycled?)

His nursery work, in my experience, is as phenomenal as his videos.
4 months ago
Hey Audrey here's a cool site with a nice plant list,

John Kitsteiner farms somewhere in Kentucky I think. He's the site author.

One other consideration is wildlife pressure. And Edible Acres has some YouTube videos that show how he defends his high value seedlings against predation.

Is your orchard for home use only?
5 months ago
Check out this website.


Lotsa plant profiles too, including non nitrogen fixing but potentially nutrient accumulating support plants.
7 months ago
Kinda surprised no one has mentioned Weston Price and his work early in the 20th century cataloging dental health in relatively un-industrialized communities.

His focus ended up being on diet differences in those communities, with the conclusion being industrialized diets were causing all kinds of dental ailments. The pictures were fascinating to me.

Health is wealth.
7 months ago
Tricia, that is phenomenal insight on inter-stem grafting and its affects on hardiness.

Thank you!
8 months ago