Sheala Heala

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since Jul 04, 2015
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Recent posts by Sheala Heala

The recent Oklahoma suburb thread inspired this one. When people drive up or down the hill in front of my mid century modern ranchito on a half acre under native loblolly pines, they are often so lost in thought that they are capable of doing a lot of potential harm to walkers and cyclists and wheel chairs that often also pass by my place. My front yard high profile permaculture practices have already motivated lots of foot traffic here compared to before I started, so I have that part of neighborhood mindfulness covered. Now I need to focus on the drivers, especially the small contractor vehicle drivers who do not live in this forested old subdivision.

Between my street and my front yard is a storm ditch.

My apologies for my saturation levels but I am visually impaired so cannot see the details otherwise.



The pile of green on the right-of-way in the above image is my neighbor's yard waste waiting for the city to haul away. Incidently, I processed more than half the original pile into composting walls along the weedy chainlink fence on our border. The picture below shows that wall, and some plants and decor donated by friendly neighbors a block away. One other curious detail below is what appears to be a political yard sign. It appeared the day after I planted my ID sign for the compost wall, Emerald Toast, a play on the region Emerald Coast of our Section of northern Florida. My neighbors put up a campaign looking sign that is actually an ad for a locovore ice cream shop in town. Hmmm.



What to do with the ditch and banks to encourage mindfulness in passersby?

Neighbors are already accustomed to my scattered stick art and use of bold colors.



I am really tempted to do something like this in a series for a stick fence along the uphill bank of the ditch.



I have saved lots of sticks.

But the ditch and the banks? The city owns that.

2 years ago

William Bronson wrote:

Lisa Powers wrote:I would worry more about neighbors being close minded against permaculture best practices than against mixing races.



My wife has family that are homesteaders. I would have plenty to talk to them about,but the fact is they greeted the death of our cousins child with a remark to the effect of "just as well,like we need another half breed..." .
I had left my children in their care before. Never again.
Being on guard against racism is a matter of safety. I can change or hide my agricultural practices. My skin or my children's skin,not so much.



We have both had some very bad experiences. What a shame that progress can attract such hateful resistence. Being the only "progressive" one around, no matter the sort, can be so dangerous, I have learned the hard way. Not being from a super racist area I must be naive, being from a very progressive area, I can't stop being naive...about all kinds of hate. They poured raw gas over my fence and it was not intended for weeds. I had to move.
2 years ago
I would worry more about neighbors being close minded against permaculture best practices than against mixing races.
2 years ago

Casie Becker wrote:Actually, I just realized I forgot to mention, from the same yard in Austin, very deeply shaded corner was a pineapple guava covered in fruit. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it.

Now I'm feeling a little dumb. I looked in your post for the word native checked your list of existing plants to see if it was comprised only of natives. Somehow I missed the word native in the thread title. Sorry. I'm gonna
say instead that you probably would find the Lady Bird Johnson database (which the pigeon berry link takes you to) very helpful. They have a somewhat searchable database of native plants. You can at least limit it by state and growing conditions. Just scanning through the results for Florida, less than two hours of sunlight, I see a lot of plants that I recognize as wildlife food, and a few that are good for humans also.



Casie, everything you wrote applies to me...I stress native, but maybe this thread will lead me to many edible non native plants that work with native pollinators, etc. Like, I wonder about dragon fruit. Pineapple  guava? OK!

I list my "junk plants" in my inventory without initial condemnation, but then I link to sites about eradication and alternatives. I don't want to get in people's faces too quickly about what I think of strictly ornamental exotics! Many of my links go to the LBJ site, so you validated them.
2 years ago
Planting a Refuge for Wildlife by the Wildlife Foundation of Florida is a great start, but permie.com member EXPERIENCES might get me further. My web page http://www.makehere.us will be for neighborhood bartering of permaculture plants, but so far it is a running detailed inventory of all my property's identified plants. I need to create a big wish list.

Please respond and on my completed site I will link directly to this thread. I will also be linking and posting to sites like eattheweeds.com

Many wood chips, pine needles, and coffee bar used grounds later, my newish urban permaculture half acre currently features edibles like opuntia, malanga (Xanthosoma sagittifolium), mayhaw, pawpaw, banana, high bush blueberry, elderberry, saw palmetto, bamboo shoots, creeping cucumber. I am trying to replace all the worst wildlife unfriendly plants with habitat ones, at a snail's pace to give wildlife time to adjust. I have 2 city sanctioned rain gardens, a roof garden for succulents, and some problematic sloped deep shade.

But Hurricane Hermine just gifted me so much future mulch!

Thanks for your attention.
2 years ago

Joy Oasis wrote:

Lisa Powers wrote:What are some other differences between my swarthy husband and I? He has a rapid resting pulse rate and higher blood pressure than I do. I tend to be a very slow breather, not shallow, just really slow. I notice this about myself compared to most people. I became an even slower breather when I took up wind instruments as a hobby.

I shower much more frequently than does my husband, but my body odor is always TERRIBLE. I recently googled "body odor that smells like copper". Maybe TMI, but my pits will smell like they were filled with old pennies all night long unless I spritz some magnesium oil or dust with baking soda, both very effective neutralizers. My husband just gets cheesy feet and he never goes without socks. I am barefoot all mosquito season long.

He is going to try a daily dose of nutritional/brewers yeast to see if that helps him. He's also a tick magnet, and guess what, I am not.



Hmm, do you think copper smell might e not something they like? Does that mean you have lots of copper in your sweat? Because B vitamins seem to work because of the smell as do all the repellants.



I strongly suspect it is either my low CO2 from being a slow breather, or how much copper I may be sweating out, or both. I read somewhere that the copper smell on our fingers after handling pennies is actually our skin chemistry interacting with the copper.

metal odors and the body

I do believe I have copper issues, am always needing zinc supplements, for sure!

About the B vitamins, I have to take a complex daily with the methylated version of folate because I have a genetic defect for my methyltetrahydrofolate reductase metabolic "pathway". And interestingly enough, so does my husband. However, all bugs bite him even on days when he is peeing so yellow it is orange from the B pills.
3 years ago

Thomas warren wrote:An individual in our local permaculture fb group has come upon some several hundred barrels and we will be acquiring them for rain barrels. Hopefully, we can put some spigots on a large number of them and sell them very cheaply and install them for free to encourage rainwater harvesting. We get 7" of rain a year, and the snow pack in the E Cascades is something like 40% of average, and that's where all our water comes from. And in our town and oil tank spilled into the river, from which we get all our water.
Of course we'll have to rainbarrelify then ourselves, and the question of a simple and relatively easy method to make a filter that can be easily installed. I've seen some in videos that were said to be like $75 and that is impractical.
Has anyone made one of these before? Or know of where good instructions can be found?



Just in case anyone is still interested because rain barrels can present all kinds of troubles to their new owners:

People who buy ready made rain barrels probably often need to do their own modifications. For example, we've had to daisy chain rain barrels in a down staircase series because only one often can't handle a real downpour without overflowing and even breaking free from its down spout. Our solution to keeping big gunk out of the tank and little gunk from clogging egress hoses is to 1) cover the downspout opening with a leg of pantyhose or men's dress sock, which needs to be cleaned out a few times a year, and 2) inside the tank against the opening for the hose valve, one of those green scrubber pads from the kitchen. Those pads will get gunky too over time. I won't use rain barrels that I can't get my arm down to the bottom because cleaning those is a nightmare.
3 years ago
As I type this I am standing in the shade of my car port in Tallahassee Florida, a couple days after a rain. One mosquito every fifteen or twenty minutes will land on me and give me plenty of time to swat before being bitten. I have a rain garden and rain barrels nearby that still attract more mosquitoes than dragonflies and other predators (we feed hummingbirds and have bat houses), but the mosquitoes have a hard time finding me standing only a dozen feet away.

My husband can NOT be in any part of our yard any time of day or night unless clothed head to toe against mosquitoes. Within seconds after being bitten, he gets a large red welt at every bite site and begins frantically scratching. I, on the other hand, spend most of my day outside scantily clothed.

Over decades all over the US, I've been vegan, paleo, fruitarian, flexitarian, and my diet does not seem to affect how little I get bitten. If I enter the most infested parts of our yard, the shade, tall weeds, wet mulch, mosquitoes will land on me but not bite sometimes for many minutes at a time. If I do get bitten, sometimes I get a tiny bump that doesn't even itch.

Yet, I am one shade of tan above being albino, my skin almost translucent and rather delicate, my hair the lightest shade of blond all over.

What are some other differences between my swarthy husband and I? He has a rapid resting pulse rate and higher blood pressure than I do. I tend to be a very slow breather, not shallow, just really slow. I notice this about myself compared to most people. I became an even slower breather when I took up wind instruments as a hobby.

I shower much more frequently than does my husband, but my body odor is always TERRIBLE. I recently googled "body odor that smells like copper". Maybe TMI, but my pits will smell like they were filled with old pennies all night long unless I spritz some magnesium oil or dust with baking soda, both very effective neutralizers. My husband just gets cheesy feet and he never goes without socks. I am barefoot all mosquito season long.

I don't use any synthetic or natural fragrances, including repellents. Neither does my husband. I react to fragrances the way my husband reacts to mosquitoes, but he has had no luck with all kinds of mosquito repelling fragrances.

We are both highly chronically anxious people, with similar faulty metabolic genetics (identified via genetic profile tests). However, I am at my calmest when doing yard work, while he always has one foot pointed back to the safety of the house. I've always lived mostly outside, and he is a city boy office worker. I trust my immune system. He gets nightmares from watching Monsters Inside Me. I often wonder if he is trapped in a psychological vicious cycle of some kind. Easy for me to say when I am the one NOT getting bitten all the time!

He is going to try a daily dose of nutritional/brewers yeast to see if that helps him. He's also a tick magnet, and guess what, I am not.


3 years ago


I know this image is coming from far left field, but maybe it will inspire that there is an alternative home design unique to your situation. Why does the water have to run exterior to the house and be pumped back up again? Maybe our houses have become the boxes we have trouble thinking outside of?
3 years ago