Sandy Hale

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since Jan 20, 2017
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bee food preservation tiny house
Just off the Delaware Bay in NJ. Zone 7b
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Recent posts by Sandy Hale

Dc Brown wrote:Killing two birds with one stone: allow your vegetables to flower. You get seeds and you get beneficial benefits. Parsnip in flower is parasitoid heaven, as are most of the Apiaceae. The name kind of gives it away

Apiaceae are fantastic companions for trees as well. The roots drill into heavy soils allowing drainage and root penetration for other species.

Might be getting a hive here in the next week or so. I've said yes, but people change their mind so hoping the apiarist doesn't.

I use fish for mosquito control, and duckweed/positioning for temperature control. My 'insect water' is an approximately 14 ft stainless steel sink with strategically placed rocks. It uses sunlight to make duckweed which fixes its own nitrogen via bacteria. It gets minerals from litter from the hedge it is beneath. The duckweed is chook food. The bacteria covered litter is compost food. The mossies are fish food. The fish are chook food. The insects drink...

Caterpillars (Black Swallowtail, I believe) eat my dill, carrots and parsley to the ground in late summer.  The beautiful thing is, they never kill the plants.  I get a great crop of herbs and veggies through the early frosts.
3 weeks ago
YES!  My county library system hosts free workshops on a variety of topics, offers free exercise classes and will buy (so far Permaculture and Wildcrafting) books that I request.  By browsing the new release shelves I am exposed to a variety of topics and authors I would never think to explore on the internet.  Speaking of the internet, it is free to all.  Very important in an economically depressed area.  They exhibit art and provide free meeting space for any community group that requests.  In my opinion, libraries are examples of democracy at it’s finest.
2 months ago

K Sweet wrote:Another way to hold down the edges of any row cover is to get rebar and roll it into the excess cover.  It is very adjustable and heavy enough that the wind does not bother it.  I use several pieces in long beds so it is easier to manage.

One thought I had about the curtains, have you tried to see how permeable they are to water?  I am guessing that it might not pass through as easily as it does through row cover.

Thanks for the idea.  The curtains are sheers, so, so far so good.
3 months ago
Have discovered a new, almost free source of row covers for my gardens.  I bend metal coat hangers into hoops and drape them with sheer curtains from the thrift store.  The sheers are sturdier and don’t pick up all of the debris of traditional row covers. The hangers are lower than purchased hoops, but that has not yet been an issue. So far so good.  Am I missing any drawbacks?
3 months ago
My front garden is scoured by west wind and salt air.  So far, the only plants to survive are Groundsel, Bearberry and Beach Goldenrod.  Sea Buckthorn seems like a good choice that would also produce fruit.  I am having no luck in discovering the difference between that plant and Sea Berry.  I thought someone on this forum might have some information?
5 months ago

Angelika Maier wrote:I am searching for perennial kale seeds, I think the plants are not available in Australia. Does it ever go to seeds? And how does it react to the cabbage butterfly?

I have some Homesteader’s Kaleidoscopic Perennial Kale Grex seeds from The Experimental Farm Network that I’ll be planting soon.
Check out their website.
Good stuff.
6 months ago
Slowly transitioning our corner lot into “garden beds” with paths between. No one seems to realize that sow thistle is not a cultivated flower, same with dock and ground ivy.  They blend in just fine with the herbs and veggies. Tee hee.
8 months ago
I have what I believe to be a perennial Hibiscus (white flowers with pink centers) in zone 7B.  It is the second year, so I think I can begin to harvest.  What parts of the plant are beneficial for high blood pressure?  
8 months ago
I give this book 9 out of 10 acorns.
After reading it from the library, I’m going too have to buy it.  It is just too full of options for making beer, wine and sodas from found and purchased local ingredients to take pictures of relevant pages or check it out every time I want to brew.  For Baudar, brewing seems to be an ongoing process.  I like the fact that he suggests ingredient ratios small enough to be brewed in quart jars (and larger batches as well.). He develops quite a relationship with his concoctions, assessing fermentation several times a day, tasting frequently and adding ingredients as needed.  These are not fix it and forget it projects.
There is an emphasis on safety, both in gathering and preparing.  I found his explanations of the science of fermentation clear and encouraging. His enthusiasm for really connecting with the local “terroir” , basically what grows where you are, got me thinking Beach Plums and Sumac.  I appreciated his examples from his home turf near Los Angeles, but really tired of how often he referenced ingredients I will never see.  He did add some references to the brews he made for a workshop in Vermont, but I would have vastly preferred more examples from other climates.  My reaction is no doubt influenced by my relative newness (not quite three years) to this ecosystem.
I found The Wildcrafting Brewer to be an inspiration, a jumping off point, useful after I have more thoroughly explored my own terroir.  Which is, of course, a very worthy goal.
9 months ago