Nick Watkins

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since Aug 12, 2015
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hugelkultur cat food preservation
Akron, Ohio
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Recent posts by Nick Watkins

I had to make the same decision last year and with living on a suburban lot, I don't have the space to simply dig a hole "somewhere" and bury unwanted organics. Buying a shredder/chipper made a lot of sense. I also thought I'd only use it a couple times a year chipping the odd large branch that fell from one of my maples but as it turns out, I fire it up at least half a dozen times a year to mulch garden/yard waste.
4 years ago
I tried kombucha (Health Ade organic/raw ginger lemon) for the first time last week and liked it so much I used the "mother" from the bottle to start my own SCOBY. I'll definitely be watching this space for updates on others' starters!
4 years ago

Steve Taylor wrote:We really like this method of mushroom cultivation vs the drilled logs and plugs.  It seems to have the most long term upside.

What do you think Permies?  

We found their video tutorials very helpful.  I'm excited to incorporate agro forestry into our farm.

We also decided on a name for our farm.  Check us out at

I like name for the farm and the little site you have going there. Were the structures there when you moved in?

Very cool series on starting mushrooms. I've seen others use this technique for mushroom cultivation but have never seen the process. Were you looking to do this on your property? It makes me wish I had my place out in the woods already!
4 years ago
There's great advice in this thread already; but if you're looking to buy a pre-made mix to broadcast, take a look at Shooting Star's list of mixes for different soils and situations:
4 years ago
There's a great app I use for iOS devices called Sun Seeker. It's an "augmented reality" app which, if you haven't heard the term before, superimposes data on whatever the camera is pointing at. In this case the sun's path, like so:

Though I often have to calibrate the "compass" for the actual sun's location, it's an amazing visualization tool-- you can even change the date and time to see where the sun is at that particular instant. It may not be dead-on precise, but it has been more than good enough for me to use on a cramped suburban lot to understand what may occlude the sun at various times of the year in different part of my yard. I'm not in any way affiliated with the author; I'm just sharing a tool I find very useful!
4 years ago

Dan Boone wrote:Just my two cents!

Thankfully one can send a multi-part email that contains both rich- and plain-text bodies!
Methane gas is a product of anaerobic decomposition, which is the process in a landfill. Often when we talk about composting, we're talking about an aerobic process.
4 years ago
Glad I wasn't the only one working on the garden during that amazing reprieve! I procrastinated on planting garlic this fall so all last week, I had a storm door placed over one of my raised beds with straw and leaves shoved under the door edges for insulation. I'd never experimented with season extending techniques, but the idea here was simply to harness the sunny barely-above-freezing days to hopefully thaw the soil out enough to plant on the next warmish day. "It's crazy enough to work!" I said.

Monday came and I was delighted to find that the soil was a balmy 40 degrees 8" down! Good enough for garlic, good enough for me! The soil under the insulated portions of soil were still frozen for about the top 4" but thawed underneath, which indicates to me that the door and litter insulating the top of the bed caused any heat gained during the day to escape laterally through the wood structure of the bed in the evening. I planted 5 cloves of elephant garlic, 29 cloves of Spanish Roja, 32 cloves or early Italian purple, and 31 cloves from the Duganski garlic I grew last year, naturally all organic. Hopefully this year is as productive as last year, my first year growing garlic.
4 years ago

Destiny Hagest wrote:We actually cut ours in the forest, I've never been to a tree lot! It is a really fun tradition. Our son is almost two, and we've been going since he was born, bundling him up in the baby carrier and hoofing it through the woods with him.

When we go next year, I hope that I'll be able to do the same. You have to drive quite a ways out of the suburbs to find a place to cut one without trespassing. Hopefully we'll be able to do this on our property someday!
4 years ago
Just popping in to say hello and thanks for sharing your story; you've been through quite a lot on your way back to NE Ohio!
4 years ago