Melanie Rios

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since Jan 27, 2010
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Recent posts by Melanie Rios

Hi Ken,

    Many months have passed since you wrote a note on permie singles, so perhaps you've found your homestead mate.  But even if so, I would enjoy meeting a fellow permaculture teacher, and seeing your home.  I am planning on visiting my sister in Santa Cruz for Thanksgiving.  After that, I have no concrete plans, though the place where I'm working (Lost Valley Education Center in Oregon) is experiencing a leadership vacuum that I met step into.  But Santa Cruz has been near the top of the list of places I'm thinking of going to search for a home. 

    You can read articles I've written that are fairly autobiographical on the web.  Here's my latest: http://communities.ic.org/articles/1381/How_to_Add_Zest_to_Your_Sustainability_Education_Program

    For a picture you can visit allthingshealing.com  - the Think Green section.  My hair has grown out some since the video was taken, so I look more normal again.

  Hope to hear from you,
                      Melanie
                              melanie@rios.org



8 years ago
The garden appears to have good drainage; there's a hill to the west where the water flows.  We're in somewhat of a rain shadow from the Olympic Mountains, and average precipitation is 25 per year.  So compared to Eugene, it's arid around here in the wintertime.
8 years ago
A friend gave me some bio-dynamic barrel compost that he produced with much love.  I've read up on what believers have to say about it, but am wondering if anyone has objectively explored verifying whether there is improvement in crops as a result of using this material in their compost piles.  I am planning to use it in my next compost pile, but the million dollar question is whether I'll have the discipline to use this compost on half of some crops, and keep track of which half is which.  Are there more scientifically-minded folk out there who have already done this work?
8 years ago
I'm new to this site, which has kept me highly entertained for the past day.  I'm also new to Whidbey Island, just northwest of Seattle, where the soil in the garden of my new house has me perplexed.  It appears to be about a foot (or two feet where the beds are raised) of potting soil on top of a hard-packed white cement-like substance  that can be broken up with nothing short of a pick-axe.  The potting soil doesn't seem very fertile - the weeds growing in the raised beds are sparse, though sections of the garden are dense with quack grass.  The locals call the white substance "clay", but it's nothing like the clay back home in Eugene. 

I planted fava beans in the potting soil back in November, just days after planting the same seed in Eugene.  The Eugene fava beans are growing fine, but the seeds here never came up.  Shall I try again?  I have quite a number left from last season's collection.

Yesterday we sheet-mulched on top of quack grass as the grass was too thick to easily penetrate with a spade.  I've heard from a Eugene friend that sheet-mulching can actually assist quack grass in growing stronger, but it seems like I need to learn some things the hard way.  Intuitively it seemed like a good way to create a garden bed along the sunniest fence line.

Any suggestions for working with this situation to improve fertility, depth and tilth?

Thanks!




8 years ago