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Beth Johnson

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since Mar 22, 2018
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cat dog duck forest garden trees urban fiber arts bee
I'm new to growing things. I'm from a large city, and I moved to the PNW with the desire and hope to change my life. So far, so good.
My maternal great-great-grandparents were freed slaves from West Virginia. They were coal miners, domestics, and subsistence farmers who slowly moved to the East coast until they hit the Atlantic Ocean.
My mother's generation was the first that had no farming experience. She was raised by her grandparents, and she always asks about the ducks. I remind her of her grandparents. She tells me that this is my place to be.
My father's paternal family came from Wilmington, NC after their homes and businesses were razed after Reconstruction. Most of the family moved to the Mid-Atlantic. Some stayed behind. His maternal family were farmers in Maryland. His mother moved north, and her cousins stayed on the farm as long as possible.
If any of us looks back far enough, and many don't have to look very far, we might start to see our lives as a reflection of our progenitors.
I never planned to live as they lived, and I certainly have more creature comforts and less overt discrimination.
Nonetheless, I feel connected to them in new ways. I remind my parents of their parents.
My family now extends to the people who walk down the street and stop to look at the ducks. If I'm outside, we'll talk about them. It's good.
Lewis County, WA
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Recent posts by Beth Johnson

Thank you for this thread, Anna! I have the same questions, too. I'll post pictures later. I have a ton of bare dirt under some cedars, firs, and whatever type of redwood grows in the PNW. (I'm still learning the names of the trees.)

I'll piggyback on your post and add picture later. I've been putting the ducks' kiddie pools under the trees figuring that the water is good fertilizer. I'd love to plant something that the ducks and I could eat as well.

Great topic! Carry on!
2 weeks ago

William Schlegel wrote:For instance it is hard for me currently to grow seed from biennials I can't overwinter in the ground like cabbage. Unless I figure out how to overwinter it I can't save my own cabbage seed with current facilities.

Huzzah! I'm going to experiment with cabbage seedlings and Wall O Waters. After work I'll plant 24 seeds in a covered seed tray with 12 cells and a cover, and tomorrow I'll put it outside in a Wall O Water and see how quickly (if?) they germinate. When they get their true leaves, I'll transplant each seedling into its own Wall O Water and see how they do compared to the ones that are outside hardening.
3 weeks ago
Cool beans. In case it isn't obvious, , I'm brand new to permaculture. I live in a small city and have ~0.75 acre, so my needs and plans are more limited than most of yours. I have lived here for two years, and this is my first year planting.

Apologies for making this sound like an exclusive project. Anyone and everyone is welcome. I focused on the PNW for my own selfish purposes.

I don't have many seeds on hand, and they're pretty pedestrian. I'm looking at what I'll have by the winter and what I might need for next year.

When I was planning for this year, I went all Italian and planted 24 tomato plants, cilantro, basil, and zucchini. I also planted peas, catnip, Brussels sprouts, cabbage - your basic vegetable garden.

I don't have a wish list right now - I need to see how this season goes.

BUT some of you might have needs and surplus right now you can share with each other.

Maybe this process should be organic where people post and share and make arrangements between themselves rather than create a centralized hub for seeds. Maybe this post can be the centralized hub.

What do y'all think?
3 weeks ago
I started my seeds in February before the COVID-19 pandemic was considered a pandemic. I bought them from Adaptive Seeds. I had planned on saving seeds this fall and joining a local seed exchange anyway, so how about we work out a mail seed exchange geared towards what grows best in the PNW?
3 weeks ago
I bought the most recent edition of So Easy to Preserve from The University of Georgia. I've never preserved anything before, and I was told that this book is a great place to start learning. :)
3 weeks ago
These Wall O' Waters are quite nifty!

I had frost this morning - not a hard frost but enough to raise my heart rate.

Last Saturday I turned over a ~3 foot wide row of sod. Not. Fun. At least my dog helped dig (I think she smelled a gopher tunnel). On Monday I threw the sod back into the row grass side down and covered it with cardboard and set up 12 Wall O' Waters on the cardboard.

Today I planted a ~6" tomato plant: I cut an X into the cardboard, planted the plant under the cardboard up to its first true leaves and pinched those off. I threw topsoil on the cardboard and mulched with old straw from the duck house. About four top leaves are above the straw. We'll see how this works out. It looks like we're going to have a bit of a windstorm, so I placed most of the other tomato plants that are still in the pots in the Wall O' Water teepees because they were getting blown about the yard.

Pics to come!

ETA: Do you think these will work for zucchini? Let's find out!
4 weeks ago