Hope Willis

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since Jul 20, 2015
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books forest garden tiny house
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Recent posts by Hope Willis

This thread is hilarious!  Thank you Paul for not being squeamish.
Firmly in camp B! Although most of my friends think I'm crazy...
Some things we've done here on the homestead to make things easier
Willow coppices in mulch basins make a great place to go with no splashing...good for folk who are visiting and you don't know if they are healthy or medicated...we made woven wood screens for privacy...from willow no less!
Multiple small compost piles...great for dumping the chamber pot from overnight and a quick place to drop your tp...cover over the winter to mellow and plant squash or melons in the spring.
Outdoor bucket sink...the "dirty" water gets thrown in the above mentioned willow coppices and it's operated by foot pump so clean hands before or after is a breeze.
We have a BSF composting setup for humanure.
Tried a "go girl" thing, more trouble than it's worth! I keep a large mouthed mason jar in the vehicle for real emergencies.
I have to say I am quite jealous of you other ladies who can pee standing up without making a mess! I've never gotten the hang of it...

5 months ago
Deep healing prayers to you and yours RedHawk.
I have been working on farms since I was 10...I'm now in my 40's. I have never worn heavy shoes or gloves unless I am dealing with manure either critter or human, even if my hands or feet have small injuries. Frequently I wear as few clothes as possible.  Deep south and all. This said, everyone in my family on both sides has some sort of chronic illness...except me (they are all "too clean."). I truly believe my constant contact with "dirt" has kept me healthy, even if my genetics are against me. The soil is where we come from and where we return, regardless of religious affiliations. How could contact with our source be bad for us?
7 months ago
I have a few bad permaculture habits...
I LOVE my truck. I don't like her, I love her.
But as I bought a Toyota knowing from experience that they can last 30 years maybe that one isn't so bad.
Imported Single Malt Scotch. There is a local beekeeper who makes an excellent honey whiskey nearby...but I still buy expensive peaty deliciousness that has to be flown over the ocean.
My pets get regular food from the petstore. They are all rescues. It's what they are used to and what I can afford...unless I knock off with the scotch which isn't going to happen😜
My last vice is that I get so darned enthusiastic about gardening and good food and the joys...and the hardships...of living off grid finally that one, people may think you have to be slightly crazy to be a "permie"  and two, when I do have to compromise for whatever reason... from finances to exhaustion... I feel like I'm not living up to what I so enthusiastically talk up to others. i.e. I am being a hypocrite.
But if you guys all have such issues too then I can just blithely say "Bless my little heart." And go back to making bread and sipping whiskey!
8 months ago
I would be thrilled to have a homestead penpal!
Though I have sent scores of letters to friends and family, if I get one back a year I count myself lucky. Our homestead is still new, so a lot of letters might include some version of "Well, that didn't work..." If you are interested just pm me for the address. This may be the perfect excuse to get new ink for my fountain pen 😁
9 months ago
I can't write music either but I take songs I love the tunes of and rewrite the words. I have a song to calm the bees courtesy of Simon and Garfunkle, garden songs that come from a wide range of artists and genres and songs for the ducks that come from Come on Get Happy and Girls Girls Girls. I even rewrote Feeling' Groovy, S & G again, for the mushrooms. Your lyrics are great, maybe just alter them a bit for a song you love.

Although if you are looking for a great garden song band you could try Ma Muse. Some of their stuff is more bouncy than others.
1 year ago
I am normally a live and let grow kind of gal...but. The electric company came through and butchered the easement on our property and the Japanese climbing fern that was not really an issue is now trying to take over! We had it almost gone by hand pulling, but there is way too much of it now for that to be practical. If it were kudzu or bindweed I'd know how to use it and that would keep it under control. It's too flimsy for cordage or basketry and critters don't seem to want to eat it and it doesn't seem to be an accumulator or soil stabilizer or good for anything really. If I could find any info on what niche this weed was inhabiting I would plant a more desirable competitor or alter the soil to make it unfriendly.  But we have several climbers already and they aren't helping. We eventually want to reintroduce fire to our long leaf stands, but as the property hasn't been tended for over 100 years we will have to remove a lot of undergrowth and vines by hand first or we will cause more harm than good. Google is silent on the matter except to say poison it.  And of course I don't do poison.
Does anyone know of a way to use this vine? Does anyone know what this vine might be trying to tell me about my soil? Any help or ideas would be deeply appreciated!
1 year ago
I am so excited to see a book about this! My better half is looking forward to using a scythe to harvest our grain and flax (once we finally get the field cleared!) Here's hoping you are so successful that you have to reprint more than once
1 year ago
Once we move out to our property where we will be using rainwater collection I intend to use a "dry brush" method to keep clean with only a little water. It worked great for me when I used to have to camp without facilities when I was doing blacksmithing shows (and blacksmiths get really dirty.) Obviously I use soap for really dirty hands and feet (I go barefoot a lot) but otherwise I take a dry brush all over for about two minutes and rinse with cool water. I have long hair, so I get it wet, scrub my scalp vigorously and rinse with cool water and once a week I use baking soda to scrub my scalp. Eventually we will have a solar water heating set up with a shower that only runs when you are pulling on the handle, but as of now we'll just use a dipper and a barrel. Uses less than a gallon.
2 years ago
This is what I do for fun. I'd like to say and for profit, but when I do manage to sell something it usually only breaks even I also sculpt, weave, sew, and read, read, read Would love to spend a little time with CJ as I have a notion to try rug making...the pic you have up is gorgeous!!!
2 years ago
I know it isn't as serious as radiation, but we are looking at using mushrooms as a "filter" for runoff from the road that will be coming through our property and around the utility poles to keep the "treatment" from leeching into the surrounding soil. We are also looking at a mycofilter for our greywater system. Any ideas for the best types? How reliable are the reports that filter mushrooms are still edible?
2 years ago