Casie Becker

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since Nov 13, 2015
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forest garden urban
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Zone 8B/9A

Temp avg range 15 F to 100 F (cold temps are sporadically scattered through winter)

Avg rain 36 inches (plus or minus 25 inches)
Flood and drought both are common here.

Alkaline limestone/caliche based soil
Just northwest of Austin, TX
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Recent posts by Casie Becker

There's a band.. Gaelic Storm, that I listen to a lot when I'm working.  Their song, Darcy's Ass (its about a donkey) gives you a good idea of what most of their music sounds like.

Generally both Irish jigs and sea shanties are designed for people to move to. I have a lot of both on my Pandora line up.
9 months ago
Both broken bones are well on the way to healing.  My mother just got back from a vacation last week where she went on many hikes. She says that she thinks the herbs were what allowed such fast recovery.

My niece gets her final doctor's visit to officially stop wearing a brace on her wrist in a few days.  At two weeks he xrayed the break and she was moved from a cast to a brace that she could remove for bathing.  Last break she had a cast for several weeks, and the break was less severe.

Nothing that would stand up in court, but it's enough to earn permanent places in my medicine chest.  My mother has figured out that putting a scoop of dried nettles in the coffee maker is the easiest way for her to brew it. The only problem I have is that nettle tea is the best antihistamine I've tried recently, but it gives me headaches.  I am still going to use it on very bad days.  This area is in the running for world's worst allergies, every year.
9 months ago
Congratulations Deb, it's been obvious how hard you've been working.

The rest of you slackers are obviously skating by on your good looks.
The video you're linking to right now is four years old. Maybe you meant to link a different video? I accidentally linked to the wrong video myself a few days ago and had to edit my post to correct it. Do you have some new information about this farmer?
9 months ago
That photo reminds me of a childhood story from when my brother was three years old and we had a super rare snowy winter (record setting). My mother had to chase him down when he ran outside to play in the snow wearing a pair of shorts and nothing else.

I can just about imagine wearing shorts and no shoes outside in the cold, but I couldn't do that tank top. As long as I keep my upper half well insulated, I don't feel the cold much. Of course, that's relative to my climate. We don't really have much cold to feel most years.
9 months ago
Could I suggest that if you do take a risk with composted manures, you apply them to your grass growing area? That could reduce your worry about stealing fertility and there would be more separation between your food and any chemical contaminants.  I agree with some of the other posters that you probably aren't harming your grasslands even as it stands
10 months ago
I have fairly good results with nematodes for controlling (not eradicating, but greatly reducing) fire ant populations. They also help with fleas and lawn grubs.  As I was reading your post I planned to recommend them. As you have already discovered them yourself, I can only congratulate you.

I've heard good things about tangle foot products. It's basically a glue that circles the base of a plant so that the ants can't cross to do things like eat your fruit on the trees. Since you specifically mentioned holes in the leaves of your fruit trees, I thought you might find it useful.
10 months ago

Karen Donnachaidh wrote:I'm not saying that I agree with her, as I have never tried it or heard from anyone else who has. Just "interesting". She also says in the same paragraph that she puts cigarette ashes in her squash hills and claims that's why she's never had squash vine borers. I don't think I will be trying that one, but again interesting.

Sounds plausible. Tobacco has a long history of being used as a natural insecticide. It's only fairly recently that the organic crowd has backed away from that as they came to realize how very toxic these solutions were, even though they were natural. The salt sounds plausible, too. I wouldn't want to use it unless I was sure my climate had enough rainfall to dilute it before it accumulated to 'salt the earth' quantities in the soil. I don't know how much salt that would be, though.
10 months ago

Amit Enventres wrote:This has been driving me crazy. You all are saying the wool has no market value, but I see wool pillows online for $80! Can we get an estimate of how much time it would take to shear, clean, and sew this $80 pillow? Is it 8 hours/ pillow? I feel like I must be missing SOMETHING!

This is not my area, but just for starters that list is missing out the initial cost of the sheep, ongoing medical care, fencing, in most climates some kind of housing, time and money to manage foliage for feed and to avoid hazards, ect), mortgage, rent, and/or taxes on the land used, costs for marketing your product, cost for transporting your product. These are just off the top of my head, though. There are probably more things I don't know about that someone with livestock will add.
I just watched the video where it was linked to on a blog I follow.

Rather than sitting around feeling cheated, this is how he got his revenge. I thought it seemed in the same vein as this thread.

It's also great to see the transformation on that knife and a couple of cool cooking techniques. I'm now another step closer to investing in a complete set of knife sharpening tools.

edit: linked to wrong video, corrected now
10 months ago