Aly Sanchez

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since Mar 19, 2010
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Recent posts by Aly Sanchez

We added a mini split to an area of our house that was quite hot in summer and quite cold in winter. House is in a city and zone 7a (typically 90s-100s in summer and 10-40 in winter). That thing is magic. Our electricity usage dropped, both the heat and cooling are great, no seasonal maintenance needs. We will likely upgrade the rest of the house from evap cooling and gas furnace to a heat pump.
1 year ago
We have had one like this: (Using amazon to ID, as I am not sure of exact brand. One can see similar and search to get a non-Amazon purchase option.) We have used it for 7 or so years and it works well and the filters make for a much larger margin for error on how frequently one empties and cleans. I rinse it out with a hose in the yard about every 3rd time I empty it. We replace the filters once in a blue moon (I've done it 2 or 3 times, but rinse them several times a year). The only pest issue we get is that the conditions inside are apparently hospitable for fruit fly eggs and larvae. So if there is some past-good fruit nearby and the lid is not in or the filters have migrated, we occasionally need to do an extra good clean. While I repurpose containers for all sorts of other stuff, having a purpose made compost bucket, right next to the sink, that I can de-lid with one hand, that is durable, and doesn't stink is the right choice for us.
3 years ago
I have a small stand of black locust in zone 4/5 and appreciate the n-fixing and yummy blossoms but wouldn't intentionally grow more for firewood. There are things that grow/regrow much faster here (like elm) and don't have thorns on their branches to hassle with.  But really, I deal with thorns and spines enough here.
6 years ago
Damn, damn, damn. Terrible news and far too early in life to navigate passing. I donated to the cause and posted to social network. I never met Toby but Gaia's garden has been invaluable over the years. I have two well-loved copies and have probably bought and gifted another half-dozen to people who seem receptive. His work and their lives have done so much to extend the accessibility of permaculture, firmly establish a US presence, and to inspire urban and suburban households to embrace the practices and principles. I'm slowly working through Permaculture City as I work on some urban neighborhood project ideas.  
7 years ago
If you end up looking at adobe, I recommend this book: It includes considerations, energy info, and a series of plans in various styles and configurations.
8 years ago
I like it! One issue I have though is that I follow the link, see something cool, want to reply, need to log in, log in, then get shuttled to the main page, and can't find the thread again. Weekly is about right for frequency for my preferences.
Another pair here in the southwest US. We live in a medium sized city in a home circled by small yards areas- it's not a lot of overall land area, but a great find for affordable property in the core urban area. I'm the permie and my wife's the artist. I'm just getting started on the real work here as we enter our third year at this property. We're in 7b zone. Much of the task at hand is soil and water. Our house, while lovely and updated, was foreclosed on then stood vacant for 2-3 years. In our neck of the woods that makes soil into dust. So the surviving trees and plants are hearty but the soil is pretty much hydrophobic. We keep 2-3 hens, bees, and cats. I've been observing (of course!), getting structures like chicken pen and coop built, and the first plant projects were a dwarf/semi-dwarf fruit orchardlette and a plot next to the chook coop where I've put in grapes and berry bushes (with vines twined to eventually shade the coop). Next is pulling up gravel mulch and repurposing it for wicking bed media for annual beds and getting the newly exposed, rock free area amended for perennials (placed to take advantage of roof edge rain flow).

Oh, and in our city, which is really queer-friendly, I know a few other lesbian and bi permies.
8 years ago

Shaz Jameson wrote:Good point Charli.

Aly -- using them above ground? I thought it was always in the ground? Did you just got for pinhole size then?

I didn't mean using plastic as ollas, just my experience using them for "drip irrigation." I wanted a bit more flexibility/mobility than with buried jugs/bottles. I was surprised at how fast a pinhole drained (it was years ago - but I think I used a corkboard pushpin) - so run some tests and likely better to use different size sewing needles
9 years ago

Shaz Jameson wrote:What about re-using plastic bottles for ollas in places where it freezes?

I know plastic is the demon but it's free and it's re-using... or is the problem with leachate?

I'm just thinking I've got really sandy soil and along with a 'junk pit' some ollas could be quite helpful... I will have a scout around for unglazed clay pots, that's an awesome link

I'm not averse to using plastic even with leaching concerns (e.g wicking beds are pretty magical here). I've used two-litre soda bottles above ground, but getting the hole size just right was something for which I didn't have the patience (little pinhole will drain in a couple hours). Milk jugs degrade and shatter here.
9 years ago

Ruben Jaime wrote: My raised bed garden gets full sun at the moment and I've tried to place things where they wouldn't interrupt each others sun too much. At least by a newbies judgement.

Congratulations on beginning the journey! I live in the high desert with hot summers and low rainfall. From my experience, the type of raised bed you built can be challenging in terms of water needs and plant vigor if you are doing hose/bucket watering. If you don't already have a set-up, consider drip-irrigation, soaked hose, junk pit/olla, or wicking bed. It's often simpler to dig down instead of build up for arid climate gardening as the plants get a bit more shade, some wind protection, and better soil moisture regulating. As for full-sun... in my area "full sun" plants often do best with a bit of shade (shade-cloth, loosely spaced tall plants like sunflower).