Alicia Winkler

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since Nov 30, 2016
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chicken food preservation bee
I am a full-time mom; homeschooling, cooking from scratch, learning to live more sustainable, with a new farm that I am itching to work on.
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Recent posts by Alicia Winkler

Karen Donnachaidh wrote:I was just flipping through my copy of Ruth Stout's No-Work Garden Book and saw something interesting.

Quote: "I sprinkle salt on all young plants of the cabbage family and the result: no worms."

She does not specify what kind of salt.

Interesting...Thanks Karen. I will look into it.
3 years ago

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
I grow in seasons of the year when the worms are not active, for example during spring, winter, and fall.

I grow varieties that are not susceptible to the worms. At least the edible parts are not bothered.

I grow purple brassicas, so that the green worms are more visible to predators.

I let the worms eat what they want and wash them off before serving them to family.

Thanks for the tips Joseph! I do notice the worms don't like the red cabbage as much, I figured it was a camouflage issue. Normally, I would share, too, but they are DECIMATING them. So I had to try something. BT seems to work. I just don't like putting anything on them. Organic, or no.
3 years ago
What is your solution to pesky Cabbage Worms on Brassicas? Is investing in covers worth it?

I am using BT this year and it seems to be working, but they are already holey. I feel like covers are a hassle, but if it actually keeps them out, it would be worth it!

3 years ago
Welcome Julia! Sounds exciting!!
3 years ago
I actually meant the pros and cons of schooling, all methods, to see where you fit. Here is where my opinion lies-
Homeschooling (HS) gives me the the freedom and opportunity to teach my children subjects that are lacking in public schools (PS). My children participate in nature study, learn art, life skills, memorize scripture and poetry, for example. It allows me to gauge their interests, to see where extra attention may be required, and to evolve if something isn't working. We have the liberty to hone talents and discover interests we may not have otherwise.

PS restricted my daughter (she was in PS through half of 4th grade). Her creativity was squashed , she fell behind, because one person cannot teach 32 children and expect them to all learn the same. Bringing her home allowed her the time she needed to find a pace that worked better.

Having my kids at home means that my 6 yo spends 1-2 hrs a day in "class", instead of 7. It means my 4 yo can learn alongside my 6 yo. And it means that my 14 yo can spend a day reading Joan of Arc by Twain, do some Algebra, Write in her journal, then work on her rabbit business (which still counts as part of her school, though please don't think that is her schedule everyday. These are a few of her ratings and subjects right now; Herbal medicine (along with Human Anatomy), Algebra with an emphasis on Physics, Joan of Arc, Ivan Hoe, Merchant of Venice, Chaucer, Tennyson, US History, Bible, History of Art, etc....)

As far as online schools....If it is a PS online, it is nice that they are free, but you still have to follow rules for PS. For example, here in Indiana, HS students do not have to take standardized tests, but if you are enrolled in a PS online, you do. With any online school, your freedoms to choose what is best are gone. Teachers know best. Not the parent. This is something I wholeheartedly disagree with.

I hope this helps.

Oh! As for what my kids think, they love it! Isabelle has attended PS, so she knows she is much better off. We have homeschool groups we get together to have play time and field trips, so their education is as well- rounded as their socialization!
3 years ago

Marisol Dunham wrote:I'm currently looking to read up more on the pro's and cons of homeschooling versus going to a school. I would love to hear everyone's thoughts on this. Also, if you have any suggestions on where to get more information, I would love it.

Not sure I'll be able to actually 'home school' myself, as it's looking like I will have to be the primary breadwinner outside of the home. So I'm currently thinking about online school, and just wanting to hear people's experiences on the whole spectrum.

Hello Marisol. Are you in the US?? I don't think I could help much out of the country. Here in the US, online schools are plentiful. They can be private schools or public school online. Either way, I feel like they are both still not really homeschool. Also, neither appeal to me. The whole purpose of homeschooling my children is that I have control over their education. You would have to weigh the pros and cons carefully and decide.
3 years ago
My daughter decided farmschool sounds cooler than homeschool! lol! A bit of our FARMschool shenanigans! A post about rabbits, our newest pair, Heritage Breeds, and more, wrote by my 14 year old daughter!
3 years ago

Bryant RedHawk wrote:hau Alicia, welcome.

May I suggest that you first address any water control issues, that way you can save a lot of that rain and prevent any washing out or flooding.
It also makes it a lot easier to define spaces and decisions of what should go where become a lot easier to make too.

Unless you plan to use fruit trees for commercial harvesting the usual Orchard style planting might not be your best method.
Determining this takes some observation time in the space you are going to develop, along with the planning you mentioned.

What we have done on our farm is to use "random set, standard spacing" which is a fancy way of saying we planted multiple species of fruit trees, mixed together but spaced so they all can grow true to their nature.

In our zone 1 & 2 (right around the house and "yard") we currently have; 2 species of apple, 2 species of pear, 2 of 1 species of plum, 2 species of fig (2 trees of one species and one of another currently), 2 mulberry along with grape vines and muscadine vines.
The spaces between these trees is being turned into raised vegetable gardens, these beds are placed in the center of the spaces between trees and kept to a 2 foot width, some are true raised beds (at ground level) and some are raised to waist height as double stacked table beds.
We have plans to fill this 2/3 acre "yard" area with more of the currently planted species and to add more stone fruits as well to bring the total area into a fruit forest type setup.
Some of the fruit trees are near the other variety of their species and some are spread apart with other species between. This is to encourage the bees to find all the flowers as well as ensure cross pollination for larger crops of fruits.

We have not even started the true commercial orchard yet which will be fairly distant from the "yard".
I still have to do the earth works on that 5 acres and it will most likely be another two or three years before I get to that project.

Good luck with your adventure, we love our new farm and building it to provide our food and enough for sale to chefs and other markets.


Redhawk, yes, water first!! I, likely, won't be actually planting any of the trees until next fall, anyway, per Stefan's suggestion. And, right now, the plan I am working on isn't typical orchard layout. It is more like yours, sounds like.

I'd love to see pictures, btw!

I hope to learn grafting, too, to help establish the larger orchard in a few years.

John Saltveit wrote:You are probably going to learn an amazing amount in the next 5 years.  Growing some trees in that time will help you learn more.  If you have a tree, you can practice pruning. Without a tree, pruning is theoretical.  Some trees will need to grow up to produce. You will probably need to learn to graft. Some varieties will not do as well as you thought, and you will probably want to graft them out, and you will read about new fruits you want to grow. Don't worry about making it just right from the start. You will almost surely evolve your thinking about how you want your orchard to be. You will also learn tons of techniques from this site that will continue to improve your success. Don't worry about perfecting all of them from the start, but look for a steady growth when you're ready to take on another challenge.
John S

Thanks for the sage advice, John. It's hard to try to take this more relaxed approach. Maybe once I can get out and start planting ANYTHING, I will calm down a bit! Ha!!

Bart Wallace wrote:I started my permaculture plot in my mid 20's. I am now 32 or will be in 3 weeks. I screwed up with apples and will have to replant. My Figs, Pomegranates, blueberries, Bell of Georgia Peach, and Pears are doing really well. I got 6 or 7 blackberries going and hope to have my first crop of mulberries this year. I am really looking forward this year. If something does not work don't worry about it but if you don't want to waste time and money plant easy stuff first. I am also adding some grapes this year in my expansion and am looking at adding some nut trees also.

Thanks Bart. That all sounds Tasty!!