George Tyler

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since Jan 12, 2016
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forest garden fungi foraging food preservation bee wood heat
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Kalapuya Land, West of Cascades (600' elevation; 44°N. Lat.) Sandy/Silty Soil
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Recent posts by George Tyler

I'm someone who is usually barefoot anytime conditions are not especially bad.
I have fairly tough callouses on my feet, but woodchips have a way of turning and jabbing like a little wooden sword.
This is my experience with the (mostly Fir) chips when they are newly laid.
After awhile they settle down, and don't jab as often.  No sliver issues that I have encountered with Fir chips.
However my little nieces and nephews whose feet are more tender DO NOT like walking barefoot on the woodchips, and have told me so.

Despite that, it is a very easy way to cover a lot of ground.
5 months ago
Are we talking strictly about practical in-the-field water conserving/preserving/distribution methods, techniques and devices?  
How about advocates for water-use justice around the world?
If we are expanding to that level of Heroes of Water, I think Vandana Shiva is such a one.
I would recommend any of her books, but specifically in this category, see Water Wars: Privatization, Pollution, and Profit.
6 months ago
Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) found Its way into my main garden a few years ago.
It is a prolific mother...
I find the stalks of the plants (before flowering)  to be succulent and agreeable as a raw snack, just like the mountain gorillas do.
It is a bit tricky peeling them as the spines on these are big and mean, but me and the gorillas don't mind.
I also have collected many seeds.  I cut off the flower heads after they ripen, but before the seeds scatter.
They are supposedly a Liver-regenerating medicine.

They make a great Bee-plant, and Ground cover..... with intense management requirements if you don't want a field of giant stabby thistles.

P.S.  I often find oodles of slugs hiding around the base of these plants during the heat of the day, if you are looking for them.

6 months ago
I was putting together a new Eye Hoe I got, and trying to figure out where the bevel ought to be.  I know I ought to know, but I don't.
Specifically I have a couple Seymour heads (Grubbing, and American Pattern), also a Red Rooster Tools Planters Hoe.

There is no clear indication to me of a bevel from the factory.

If I do it the wrong way, work will be less efficient and soil will accumulate more on the blade, right?
The bevel side is where the blade will pull toward, yeah?  So I probably ought to have the bevel on the INSIDE of the hoe?
Perhaps someone knows what will work best?

Also, if anyone wants to wax poetically or pragmatically about Hoes they have loved, this might be a good place to start?
6 months ago
I love kites!
Except we always got them stuck in the trees; I think there was the remnants of one way up in a big Butternut tree on the farm for like 20 years it seems.

Not to veer too far from what is technically a kite, but have you folks seen the Strandbeests of Theo Jansen from Holland.
He uses electrical conduit-type pipe to make incredible, articulating "creatures" propelled by the wind to walk or otherwise amble down the beach.

Let's see if I can link a video... I never tried...


It seems to me that those creatures walking around would frighten rabbits, and many other bewildered creatures.

But I am interested in your "sky kite" projects!
9 months ago
Hey, kind of a dumb question:
I don't do credit cards and stuff, but do you know if I can donate to using a prepaid gift card?
I would like to contribute as I gain so much from this wonderful site.  
Our place is river-adjacent.   Since the time my Great-Grandpa moved onto the place in the 1930s, according to family, the flood waters have only ever gotten to the low fields.
The low fields is precisely where I have done most of my planting-as it is zones 1,2,3 for me at my cabin shack.
I expect that there will be more ordinary flooding in the future.  Many of my trees in the lowest spots will likely drown when said flood comes.
Also, I would not be surprised if we get some crazy flooding that goes way high (like from a failed dam or something).

I have been aiming to make a kind of "Ark" for to preserve the many varieties of trees and shrubs I have planted - not the in-ground trees, but scionwood/clones, etc.
I have an idea of using a lot of 55-gallon Poly Drums fashioned into a raft with a deck atop.
Here I could keep hundreds of plants in small pots.  And/or a person could adapt such a thing to be floating animal-pens, or a survival hut for humans.  
I figure if the water rises greatly I might could maybe tether them to big trees or use anchors?

Anyway, I'm no Noah, nor am I a great builder. . .

Has anyone tried making something like this?  See any pitfalls?

As to what I'm planting in the low lands going forward:  Trees on their own roots propagated cheaply, so I will have little risk (financially).
9 months ago
Immensely important!
When I look back on my own education, I see so much wasted time.
I feel like the television did a lot of my educating (or at least filling up my brain).
Sometimes I lament that I have hundreds of sitcom theme-songs and episodes memorized, but so few useful plants.
When I see kids camped on phones and tablets it makes me sad.

I don't have children of my own, but I'm an Uncle.   I try to teach some of the plants and their uses, but mostly encourage outdoor time in general.

Plantain (plantago spp)  has been a good introductory plant that seems to inspire some awe in the kids.  This common little weed that gets chewed up and put on a bee-sting or cut, and makes it feel better.  
On the other hand, Stinging Nettles is another good one that gets their attention in the opposite way.... but then helpful Dock leaves come to the rescue and take the sting away.
And WHAT!?  You can pick Nettles and EAT THEM!? Not getting stung?  They are impressed, and/or think I'm a weirdo.

And of course the delicious offerings of various plants: the fruits and berries, and sour leaves... those are able to catch attention!

I'm not sure what solutions there are to getting people to understand and appreciate the gifts of the plantworld- probably many and varied.

That's what I try to get across to them, without getting preachy (hopefully): the total dependence of everyone on the world of plants... and what a beautiful gift the world gives us... and the medicines we need are growing nearby... and that the bounty of the stores is really the bounty of the living world.
Ok, I'm blathering. Bye.

10 months ago
I used to go over to my friends and Sauna quite a bit.  His sauna was adjacent to a river, where we would plunge after the heat treatments.  So invigorating!

Later, my interest in natural healing led me to experiment on myself with Hot/Cold Hydrotherapy: wherein one alternates hot hot shower with cold cold shower repeatedly -ending on cold.  I personally find it helps speed recovery from Colds and such.  It feels as though my lymph system is being stretched and squeezed.

When I'm not acutely sick, I still finish my showers with cold water.  Definitely warms me up inside, and invigorates.

Also, when it is very hot weather in the summer- and I want to be resting in the shade, but there is work to do- I will work at something in the sun until I'm sweaty then jump in the river and cool off,  readying me for another round of hot work.

The ice-bath thing seems to have a lot of benefit, but I have not tried it much at all.
Being a Vata (Ayurvedically-speaking) I have plenty of Cold, and don't need to seek it out that much.  I expect it would be especially beneficial for Pitta types.

BTW: love that human-cooler you made!  Nice work.

10 months ago