Barbara Kochan

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since Dec 19, 2016
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Restoring 10 acres of pasture into open space. gardening mostly for food. Slowly building tiny (8x12') house.
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Southwest Washington 98612
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Recent posts by Barbara Kochan

For me a raised bed is only more accessible if it is 20-30" high and no  more than 4 feet wide (and I have  only a 29" inseam). Shorter and/or wider makes  it harder for me to plant, tend, and harvest.  I can't fully explain why 12" is harder, but I found my back  was more sore (still bending, and  more likely with a twist??) than when working ground level  gardens.

Ditto on all the above  re soil/dirt type and  weather considerations.
I also want us to question what art is.  To me creative acts (and/or thoughts) are art.  Some folks are creative in the ways they  make clothing, or food, or gardens, in the way they scythe a field, etc.  At some point this was defined as 'craft' and therefore not as worthwhile as 'art. How crazy is that?? Something that hangs on a wall with no value but eye candy is not as valuable as clothing or food!  (when one pays VERY  much money for food it is sometimes recognized as art, now)

I think everyone is artistic in their own spheres. Some people are tied to jobs that truly do not allow any creativity and then are so pooped at home they don't have time to be creative with meals or home-making: this is very hard on those folks, as creativity nourishes the soul.

I hope we can all learn to appreciate art everywhere we make it, and everywhere we see, smell,  hear or feel it, no matter what form it takes.
3 weeks ago
I prefer pole beans for ease of harvest and because when I use cattle panel secured to t posts for the trellis I can take up the whole batch when it starts to get rainy and let them finish drying in the barns. I simply cut them off at the bottom.

I did not know, however, that pole beans take longer to mature so I might try bush beans also this year and compare  my results.
3 weeks ago
I'm curious whether this neutralizes or just masks a strong odor?? If just masks, does that work for someone who is very smell sensitive?

I prefer bathroom stink to that of dryer sheets, odor sprays and even many "perfumes". Maybe it is having read from many sources that such chemical smells usually include neurotoxins?

Lighting a match works for me re poo stink, but I also have read it does not actually neutralize the smell, just my receptors for a time. Still, for the very occasional super stink bomb I am happy for that odor relief, and at very little cost.
4 weeks ago
Both phone and video lines, if properly installed, are grounded through a home's electrical grounding wire so I would see no benefit of using those over the ground plug in an outlet. The downside of either of those lines is that they do not have a dedicated grounding wire you can attach your mat to so it seems the grounding would be less effective if not even working backwards. My most startling shock ever came from a phone line some decades back.

While I have seen positive and negative wires switched in some outlets I've never seen that of the grounding wire (I think an outlet would not even work if hooked up that way, the breaker would keep tripping). Sometimes people put in a 3 prong outlet where there is no ground wire attached (in old homes without ground wire system, and it is a code violation), but I don't know otherwise of any down side of using that for a grounding mat.
4 weeks ago
I have read enough so believe that homes and, well, virtually everywhere are full of EMF. I wish there were not 12 or more of the neighbors' wifi signals in my mothers condo home, not to mention other EMF sources. If I sleep on a grounding mat am I not making myself the conduit for all these electrical sources? I think about standing on wet soil when there is lightning: very bad idea.  Is there a way to ground EMF in a home and even out on my farm without making me the conduit?  While I want to discharge any amount of electricity that is excess in my body, I don't want to invite more to pass through.

Does this make sense to anyone else?
1 month ago

Ian Young wrote: because he's a weirdly fastidious little dude, he wants to put the seeds back in the correct envelopes, though?

You may find that his exceptional fastidiousness is due to a very keen observation and that, but for lesser fine motor skills even this 2.5 years old person could put each seed back with it's kindred, given a few attention breaks.

I know a person who at a similar age could identify variations within an order such that at a museum a college teacher deferred his students (also visiting the museum) to the toddler as he was telling his nanny what each different thing was.
2 months ago
Winter (now) is probably the best time to divide. My experience is that at this point your plant is VERY hearty so you can probably slice some chunks off  just about any time. If you have a turf knife or something similar (hori hori?) you can get a few cuttings from the outer edges  (careful so as not to cut through your landscape fabric).  then as earlier suggested, remove a lot of the  foliage from the cut off parts when you put the starts where you want them.

My issue is figuring out what to do with so much sorrel: it is delicious, but only in small amounts, for my tastes.
2 months ago
Have any of my Pacific Northwet comrades tried this notion in the 12 years since this was posted?  I want to try it but am a bit concerned if I just trade one problem for another in these 20 acres of former pasture I am working to restore to health.

Thank you.
2 months ago
Another thing to consider is whether your addition could become an invasive species. It'd be soooo sooo sad to damage the native populations if something extreme/completely unexpected were to happen and your pond fish got into the local stream, river, or lake.  And/or if your pond fish brought along an invasive plant species in their gut, gills, or in the water you get them in.
2 months ago