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Karla Jaeger

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since Apr 02, 2018
Coastal BC
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Recent posts by Karla Jaeger

I've built up a set of vintage enamel cast iron pots with wooden handles by keeping an eye out in the thrift stores for a couple of years. They don't seem to be commonly used around here, though dutch ovens and fry pans are. I've also had great luck on ebay (bought an enamel dutch oven for a great price) and I know that etsy also often has great vintage cookware like that. I love my cast iron pots.
4 hours ago
You’ve really been busy! It’s all so nice :) Those stone walls are really lovely too, well done!

Mice are eating almost everything I try to plant. I’m thinking of getting a cat.
2 days ago
That's funny, I was thinking about doing this same thing just today and wondering how well it would work. Well now I'm going to try it for sure, thank you :)

I've been having a lot of fun with wattle garden bed edging lately. It's fast and cute. My partner is very impressed at how quickly I'm making garden beds (just made three little round ones for the kids today, they are pretty adorable). I'm using cedar stakes, and weaving in first year coppiced maple shoots, which are numerous on the property thanks to my guy taking down several maples last year.
I always end up making beds lasagna style, first with cardboard weed barrier, then chunks of rotten alder, then whatever coarse organic material I can find including unrotted compost, seaweed, partly aged manure and small bits of plants like leaves (though I don't like all the settling I get with leaves, prefer them as mulch) and then top with a relatively thin layer of topsoil or fine compost. For me, because I'm building on top of poor soil, that's as quick and easy as it gets. For two recent beds, I did also dig down so that I could bury quite a lot of wood without having a big mound. Way more work/less fun.
I've considered so many other ways of making garden beds, but keep coming back to sheet-mulch style with a low border. It's just chill.
It's at the Roberts Creek Hall http://www.onestraw.ca/events/annual-events/ so it's a ways, but at least it's on the bus route :)
1 month ago
Wow!! I'm so happy to read this and see your pics. The garden looks WONDERFUL. Your friend clearly has woodworking skills, that fence and gate are lovely! I'm jealous of all the great inputs you're finding. I should really try harder.
I'm building a new garden this year (I have two small beds from last year), and it will be a similar size to yours. I have a few flats of seeds started (got my west coast seeds order last week :D ) so I hope my guy and I can get the new beds built in time. We will be bringing in soil mix from Quality farms, although my preference is to minimize the amount of bought soil, and use rotted alder and other organic matter under the beds.
Do you know about Seedy Saturday next week?
We are out past Langdale, on the side of mount Elphinstone. Lovely view, but our soil is basically rocks. We still have some snow here :/ so today I scraped it off the two small beds I have, hoping the soil will thaw and I can plant peas.
Brace yourself for slugs. Ugh. I'd be interested to hear how the copper works.

I have so much to learn, and I really love how you share your process! It's so helpful and interesting :)

Nicole, how do ducks do with predators? Would they be able to free range and be locked in at night?
1 month ago
Hi Tracy,

You don't know me, but I've creeped this whole post in the past, and really enjoyed it! Sorry to hear you had to move. I know how that can be when you separate from someone :/ I love your writings, because I love Cortes Island and because I'm in a similar climate to you, on the Sunshine Coast, and I see you are here now too! Maybe we will run into each other :)
1 month ago
Love this thread, and all the other fibre oriented ones I've been reading on permies this week! I just wanted to say, Valya, that your knitting skills are Awesome! That sweater fits him so perfectly, the shaping is as good as can be and it's very satisfying to look at.

I love knitting and natural fibre, but I'm not sure if I have any finished projects around. I could dig up some baby clothes for sure, but the only adult projects I have are not finished lol.

I have been dreaming about producing clothing with raw materials grown at my home. The property is perfect for goats, and I want to get cashmere producing goats for fibre and meat.

Raven, your info on flax that you've posted has been so exciting for me. I have a love of linen, but didn't realize I could grow and spin it myself.

I was recently gifted a spinning wheel, which I have no idea how to use, but I'm going to learn.
We do have a large excavator which would make short work of the digging. The rock moving and wood gathering would the the labour intensive part for me.

I'm totally fine with the idea of improving the soil from the top, I think that seems like a natural way to go about it and I understand it will improve the soil below. I wont be tilling anyway, and my soil is not compacted. Maybe I'll just sheet mulch the whole area and top it with a bunch of topsoil. I kind of don't want to be confined to my man's cedar boxes anyway ;) That would be the least amount of labour...

The reason I want buried wood is for water retention in summer (though I also have to worry about over saturation evey other month, but this area is quite free draining) and to add a lot of organic material to this soil. Is it worth the work? I don't know...


I looked up my soil type on BC's soil mapping web site (super interesting!) and I have sandy loam and loamy sand :)
7 months ago
Thanks Marco, that sounds like a good idea to make sure nothing nasty remains.

Buying new soil for each run of plants is common practice here with indoor growers. I'm not sure exactly why, but I haven't heard of anyone growing on a larger scale reusing their soil. I believe this particular mix is called Promix Mycorrhizae which I assume is inoculated to some extent. This grower claimed to be organic, but I doubt that's the same as your organic or mine. They still feed the plants tons of products, and I don't know what they do for pest control. I guess the nutrient products they fed were organic.
7 months ago

stephen lowe wrote:I think you got it then, I would also recommend using it in compost. If it has lots of rootballs then those roots are very mineral rich. One reason I love getting used grow soil when I can get clean stuff is that marijuana is a high value crop and as such the growers tend to spend lots of money mineralizing their soil (assuming they know what they are doing). So you can basically get a whole lot of expensive inputs for free when they give away their 'used' soil.



Good point, I didn't think of it that way!
7 months ago