Erica Colmenares

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since Feb 11, 2018
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We've moved to a wooded Tennessee property (2021). We have a son (born in 1997, now out in the world), three dogs (one inside, two outside), and eight chickens (at last count). We're interested in food forests, chickens, goats, and, well, everything (we're total newbies to permaculture).
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Recent posts by Erica Colmenares

Hi there, we're proud caretakers of two compost toilets at our off-grid cabin. We've had a few guests and thought it'd be helpful to post instructions, for reference. I saw the Wheaton Lab sign (below). Wondering if anyone else has anything posted by their semi-public toilets.

6 months ago

Thekla McDaniels wrote:Barbara kingsolver is one of my favorites.  Though Demon Copperhead I didn’t enjoy, and quit rather than finish.  It goes on the list with poisonwood bible of Kingsolver books i did not enjoy.

Those are my least favorite Kingsolver books as well, although I considered trying Demon Copperhead again after hearing her discuss the book in an interview.

I'm listening to You Could Make This Place Beautiful, a memoir by Maggie Smith (the poet, not the actress). She reads it, and it's a beautiful, sad, real tale. Also listened to Sinead O'Connor's memoir Rememberings, which she also reads. Heartbreaking. And hilarious.
7 months ago
Just finished the Beartown trilogy. The author is Fredrik Backman, who is most famous for A Man Called Ove (just made into a Tom Hanks movie, A Man Called Otto). I'm mourning the wild, unique characters in this story, which is set in a small forest town in Sweden. It's a modern day fairytale about hockey. Definitely hits on some tough subjects though, including child neglect and rape.

11 months ago

Andrew Mayflower wrote:  The one acre that's fenced right now won't be enough for either breed, so you'll have to fence additional areas regardless.  

The Kikos are definitely trained to polywire, the Nigerians free range, according to their owner. We were hoping, though, that if we only had 2-3, and rotated them between the two pastures, plus had hay available,  that would be enough space at least thru next spring. Maybe more feasible with the smaller Nigerians?

1 year ago
That's helpful and reassuring,  thank you.  I was leaning toward Nigerians, but love the weightiness of the Kikos. Almost like ponies! However, at 59 years old, maybe nows not the time to add 200+lb animals.
1 year ago
LOL, very different, rights? But I have the opportunity to adopt 2-3 Nigerian Dwarf does that are being retired (8 year old). AND another neighbor who breeds Kikos has 2-3 older does that will be sold for dog food or to me for cheap. Any advice or info you could share would really be appreciated.

Things that could help make a decision:

- We're goat newbies mostly interested in pet-like goats who clear brush.
- We have an acre of 5-foot cattle panel with top hot wire that is divided into two "pastures" of woody scrub, trees, mixed grasses plus a sacrifice area around the future goat housing.
- We have 200 acres with numerous areas that could be daytime forage for goats, though realistically they'll primarily be in one of two pastures, rotated.
- The "goat shed" is 12x12 with dirt floors, and they'll have to be in at night, as our LGDs are in at night (too much barky bark for the neighbors).
- Our LGDs (1.5 and 2.5 yo) who have never been with goats, just chickens, and the younger dog is still not chicken safe. All of the goats we're considering have been with LGDs.

For fun, I'm including a photo of the dogs pretending they have something besides seven chickens to guard.

1 year ago

May Lotito wrote: If you let them be you will get one like your current AV. I like to separate them when they are bigger and grow a single rosette per pot.

That sounds almost magical. Thanks. And you're right, therenare just two growing tips.
1 year ago
We're road tripping this summer, and I'd like to take along personal gifts for the folks who are hosting us. I have a beautiful African Violet which has lots of sentimental value to me and to the people I'll be visiting (given to me by a dear friend of us all who has passed away). It's ready to be divided, and I can easily see how to split this plant into two, but I'd like to split it into three (keeping one part here, and taking two on the road). But I'd be pretty torn apart if it died, so ... Tips? Don't do it? Do it with no fear? Any advice welcome.

1 year ago
I forgot to come back with a plant-filled update! Very happy with our "hedge." We had the rubber plant, and the pothos. I got a coffee plant and the philodendron at a local nursery. I cut the bench legs down about three inches, and all of the plants got a haircut, as I like having the window as unobstructed as possible.

1 year ago

Jan White wrote:
All of these do well in the type lighting you describe and can handle infrequent and/or irregular watering, and wide ranges in temperature.

Excellent list, thanks for all the specifics!
1 year ago