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Alicia Smith

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since Nov 21, 2018
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hugelkultur forest garden cooking
Western Oregon, Zone 8
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Recent posts by Alicia Smith

The next time we get some dry weather (hopefully before June ;) ) I want to go harvest some nettles from a patch on the property. I tried processing nettle once before, using info from http://jonsbushcraft.com/Nettle%20cordage.htm but my results were frustratingly different from his perfectly even, long strips. But now I see that if you're going to comb and spin the fiber, it doesn't matter as much. It also seems from my reading here, that waiting until this season to harvest may mean that nature has pre-retted the fiber a bit for me, and has certainly removed most of the stinging leaves. Will update with pics when the weather obliges.
2 years ago

Dale Hodgins wrote:Hi Nina, I understand your concerns but always assume that people know it's my opinion being expressed. So it will be redundant to say it since sometimes my entire post is an opinion piece.

I have never bought into the disease theory of alcoholism. I see it as a personal failing. If a person doesn't look after the children, land or their own health, I look at the result and judge accordingly.



Here is a link to a meta-study, referencing 45 other imaging (MRI) studies, showing that alcoholism changes the brain in various ways, including shrinking the brain. If that's not a disease process, I'm not sure what it is.
https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa47.htm

Dale Hodgins wrote:
The three sisters had some long chats as they worried about what people in the village think. So I told them that I was pretty sure that if we added up all of the thoughts coming from the Esposito family in the last few generations , it might amount to one pinch of dog shit. It took a few tries to get them to completely understand just how little stock I put in the opinions of those I met. My girlfriend enjoyed interpreting those messages. They all get it now.

Based on what I've seen i wouldn't go into any sort of partnership. It would be colonialism for their own good. There's nothing of their culture worth saving. In fact i don't know if you can call it a culture. They eat imported junk food and then listen to foreign songs on the radio. It seems that everybody has forgotten how to cook and how to be subsistence farmers.

The few families who are living well, were all quite receptive to ideas that I presented. They would like to see employment and they would like to have people begging at someone else's door.



Wow, it amazes me that you felt comfortable posting all that. Thanks for sharing.
2 years ago
It sounds like your problem is with the grass, not the trees. And I think it would take longer to grow new trees or retrain the ones you have, than to eliminate the grass. Have you considered putting something else under the trees? A deep wood chip mulch might help. Another possibility would be to break up the sod and sow white clover or a mix of low-growing herbs that don't need to be mowed (and may help feed the trees).
2 years ago
Any updates? Been looking forward to hearing more about this trip...
2 years ago
Some plants with hairy leaves have developed the hairs to reduce moisture loss from transpiration/evaporation. I wonder if perhaps the nettle's defenses are actually fiercer in arid climates, which would go some way toward explaining the different levels of sting reported by people in different regions.
2 years ago

John C Daley wrote:I plan many things to save time and effort.
= always carry something on a trip anywhere



I learned that one when waiting tables, an occupation where saving time and steps can reach a high art form. If you are going to the kitchen to get something, grab something (dirty dishes) that needs to go there anyway, and save a trip.

In conjunction with the above tip, use both hands as often as possible. If you just observe your own behavior you may be surprised how often you only carry one thing in your main hand when you could find something else to carry. For awkward-to-carry things, use your main hand to load up your off-hand first; it's easier to grab things one-handed with your main hand. If you have stairs, place a small table next to each landing to place things that need to be carried up/down the next time you are going that way.

Perform tasks 'in bulk' whenever possible, i.e. if you're cleaning a mirror, might as well do the windows as well while you're at it and have those tools out. Getting started is often the hard part and you've already managed that!

An apron can easily hold as much as an extra pair of hands.

Prepare in slow times for busy times.

Don't be afraid to ask for help; pitch in when you see others in need of help. Two can often complete a task in less than half the time. A seemingly overwhelming task often becomes much less so, simply for knowing you don't have to do it all alone.
2 years ago

Josh Kirksey wrote:This season I added a salal (Gaultheria shallon), sorrel, grape, smooth sumac, mulberry, and claytonia. Again, the lack of water is stressing them, in fact all of the claytonia has died.



Claytonia is one of my favorite wild greens - the Siberian variant is native to this region. It's one of the earliest greens in springtime, is packed with Vitamin C and has a wonderful citrus flavor. It is a tender springtime annual and so it's perfectly normal for it to have died back by mid-August when you wrote this post. I would look for it again next spring. :)
2 years ago
Have you considered a temporary compost/vermiculture pile in the wet corner to loosen the soil for drainage?
2 years ago