May Lotito

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since Jun 11, 2020
I am relatively new to permiaculture, only stumbling upon this website in 2019. It opened a new world to me and I have been learning and practicing ever since. I have tried composting, hugel beds, biochar, mulching, polyculture,growing vegetables and fruit trees,raising chicken and building wildlife habitats. I am seeing improvement in soil quality which then bought in healthier plants and a greater diversity of critters on my land.
I keep on learning and making my little contribution to the Permie community.
Thank you.
Missouri. USA. Zone 6b
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Recent posts by May Lotito

I am wondering would someone add making biochar to the bb list?
11 hours ago
Here is my submission of adding pocket bag to pre-existing besom pocket.

Many RTW pants have back besom pockets for ornamental purpose. They were usually sewn shut without functional pocket bags. I opened them up and add fabrics to make the bags.

Tools needed:
Seem reaper, scissor, sewing machine, overlocker (optional), zipper foot (optional).

Pocketing fabric
Width= welt/underlay width
Length= 2× pocket depth

Sewing sequences:
1. Remove stitches and serger threads to open pocket. Or trim the edges off if the besom pocket has enough seam allowance.

2. 3.Sew bag to remaining welt. I have to switch to zipper foot because of scant seam allowance and the bulk on one side.

4.5. Finish edges

6.7. Fold the pocket bag and align the sides. Sew them together.

8.9.fininsh edges
19 hours ago
I have 1/4 acre land neglected for years and it's covered with invasives. I want to turn it into a food forest/ wild life habitat. I looked up to see how many pep badges I am going to get out of this project.  At least 8 if I remember to take pictures: odd ball--making biochar; making twine; making basket; brush pile; seed balls; dropping tree with bow saw; dropping dead tree with chain saw; and fresh harvest.
1 day ago

Carla Burke wrote:
Traditional Asian and Middle Eastern sewing methods are always intriguing, to me, because they are so focused on the comfort, economic use of the fabric (& work time), as well as functionality and durability. One thing I think is what drives it for me, is the almost 'origami' approach they use. I've a few things rolling around in the back of my head, that I want to try, using some of those techniques, for this winter.

Hi Carla, are you talking about kimono, harem pants, churidar or something like that? I am looking forward to seeing your creations!

When I lived in Singapore, local Indian ladies typically wore punjabi suits. I loved how they looked so put together, matching scarf, tunic and pants and every one was unique. I saw a video of how to lay out and cut a pair of bias churidar. It was pretty economical indeed.
2 weeks ago
Thanks for sharing the video, that's interesting.

I'd like to add that sometime the ready-to-wear garments do have pockets, or more accurately, faux pockets.

They were basically sewn in the same fashion but the designer/manufacturer were just too skimpy to add a small piece of fabric for pocket bags! Or made them super shallow to be useful. I have a pair of Levi's Jean's with front pockets of merely 2 inches deep!

The the picture below is another rtw shorts with FOUR faux pockets! I took one apart and added pocket bag to make it functional.
2 weeks ago
Nice to bring up this thread.
I grow birdhouse gourds for birdhouses, bird feeders, planters etc.
Next year I am going to try something new:

Big apple gourd
Bushel basket gourd
Corsican gourd

And I have a gourd carving book ready too.
2 weeks ago
I wish my bamboo clumps will grow faster to provide lots of poles and young shoots.

Some invasives are useful: I enjoy the sweet aroma of Japanese honeysuckles blooms. The flowers are consider to be medicinal in TMC. Birds love the berries of bush honeysuckles and poison ivy, and rose hips. Lespedeza sericea is a legume and fix nitrogen. But they are taking the whole area over and choking the native plants.

So I need to take them under control but they are not suitable for composting. Right now for poison ivy, I just pull the vines and roots in late winter, when twigs are bare and the ground is loose. Then I cut them in segments to fit into the trash bag. Very time consuming but it works the best.

People say don't  burn poison ivy because the urushiol will release in the air and  cause breathers severe allergy reaction or even kill them. But looking at how a top lit brush pile is burning without smoke, I would suggest if urushiol, along with other VOCs, can be fully oxidized at the high temperature, then it is safe to burn. To do this, the poison ivy got to be dry and placed in the center of the pile.  Just my hypothesis, I don't know how to find out if urushiol can still be intact and be released in the air. I am hypersensitive to poison ivy so don't want to find out by sniffing around.  Any idea I can figure this out?
2 weeks ago
Sorry about the photos. Those took with my phone won't display right.
2 weeks ago
I saw people talking about making use out of invasive plants and I have something to share here.

I recently used the "top lit open brush" method as showed in Skillcult's video to turn a pile of invasives into biochar. Here is the link, he talked about the pros and cons.

The pile was 6 ft tall, about equally wide at the bottom,  mainly made of Japanese honeysuckles with some wild roses and thorny blackberries. I lit it up on the top and it only took less than 10 minutes to burn to the ground. Flaming shooting out of the center probably reached 15 ft tall with no visible smoke. I guess it was an indication that the volatile organic compounds were gassing off quickly and completly combusted.

When there was no more flame, I doused the pile with water to stop it from burning down to ash. I got 10 gallons of charred sticks this way with very little ash. now the chars are being soaked in compost tea before mixing into the compost pile.

I feel this method is  particularly suited for burning large pile of small sticks and vines. Make the pile more vertical than cone shaped and burn it top down. That make a big difference of how much is converted to char rather than ash.

Thanks for reading and welcome to share your experience.  Happy burning!
2 weeks ago
So my kids have been bricolaging too. I showed them your photos, now they have better reason to play with whatever not supposed to be toys.
3 weeks ago