Jane Wilder-O'Connor

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since Oct 09, 2020
Things I’ve done or still do in no particular order:  Mom, Nurse, Student of Life, Costume Designer, Makeup Artist, College Professor, Student Herbalist, Sewest, Knitter, Weaver, Dyer, student of  Tai Chi, student of Yoga, student Gardener, Master Composter, Soaper, Spinner, and trying to find what’s next.
USDA Zone 9 A San Jacinto, California
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Recent posts by Jane Wilder-O'Connor

Hello One and All,

I'm about to build an outdoor shower/toilet and want to use river rock for the floor. I can't find directions on how to build the floor so that the shower and sink water will drain into the ground. I want to plant ferns and such around the exterior. I'm sure I saw something about how deep and what materials to use, but that was last month. I live in a desert city that is kind of rural and often use grey water in the garden. The toilet will connect to the sewer for now. Can anyone help me? I keep thinking that the water would need to filter through the rocks and then through decomposed granite or sand...or both? Am I just making this up? Any and all advise will be gratefully accepted.

1 month ago

r ranson wrote:finally


I'm finally at the buttonhole stage... and do you know what the one thing I cannot find after renovating my studio is?  That's right, the buttonholer.  

For crying out loud!  Can this project have any more struggles!?!  I just want it done so I can clean up and move to the next thing.  

Totally possible to make buttonholes with your sewing machine with the attachment. Mark your buttonhole. 1) Set zigzag on widest width, zero length— set 3-5 stitches. 2) Change to very narrow zigzag and very short length. Stitch up one side of buttonhole. Repeat 1. Then back to beginning with 2. Cut a long tail of thread pulling to wrong side. Tie ends and trim close. Set a pin at one end of your new buttonhole. Open buttonhole carefully using a seam ripper, or buttonhole scissors, or a buttonhole chisel. Now admire your work.

3 months ago
How did your shirt turn out?

I have a suggestion for button placement on shirts for people with ...elevated frontage: plan a button dead center of the ... bustline.  Set another button Mark at the top edge of the neckline or wherever you want the top button. Set remaining spacing evenly divided to within two inches or so of the hemline. This is where your handy dandy button spacer comes into play.

One of my pet peeves with RTW clothing is that button placement seems to always be above and below the fullest point of the bust leading to the dreaded gaposis of buttondowns.

PS I’ve tried really hard to avoid any references to mountain peaks. You are welcome.
3 months ago
Hello Tiffany,
I just found your post about citrus tree guilds. I have three trees I want to create guilds with and wondered how your tree is getting on?

Anyone else have feedback on citrus tree guilds?

Thank you,
3 months ago
No raccoons at all here! All the gophers, though! I hoped vines up high would be safe.

I looked at the Munson site but could not find a source for obtaining new vines. Is there a secret link I don’t know about?
3 months ago
Aha! So, no corn for me! I had no idea corn needed so much company! I had thought I could put maybe 10 somewhere else. But this is why I’m asking the experts!

So flipping beds would work, it seems.

Thank you so much!

Hello Mike,

 I'm in more than a bit of a quandary as I have nearly 1/2 acre of undeveloped dirt yard inside city limits of a small town. I am in the position of needing to plan to do less as I age (wisdom) so I am thinking to dedicate two 8' diameter sections in a keyhole pattern as described in Gaia's Garden (not the compost centered plan). I would like to raise fresh produce that is not available locally: lettuce, beans, tomatoes, three sisters with pumpkin or butternut squash instead of summer squash, peppers, carrots, radishes, calendula, nasturtium...that sort of thing. If I went back and forth every year, would that work for the tomatoes? I like sweet potatoes more than russet.
 I want to do the forest plan in the remainder of my yard with a tree/shrub/vine/ground cover focusing on perennial  medicinal herbs: borage, comfrey, rose, elderberry  and about a million other ideas as I study Rosemary Gladstar's Herbalism course.
 I've been trying and failing at container gardens (all the gophers) and a few other randoms: an apple tree that barely produces (because I need another I find out five years later), two lemon trees that are struggling and a blood orange tree that has produced one orange last year with four on the branch now. And one nearly dead peach tree (the local nursery forgot to tell me to wrap the trunk to prevent sunburn when I planted it).
 I feel more than a little overwhelmed with the work that needs to get done before I'm too broken to do and am stuck living in a sand trap. The land was once a riverbed in a former period of geographical history. Quite sandy but seems to want to become fertile. This valley used to be mostly farm land.
 I am thinking of signing up for the permaculture design course, but I'm not needing to go the homestead route.
Jumping into this vine thread with a question: I have this idea that I want grapes growing over a pergola shading my back deck. Someone told me it that is a terrible idea because the grapevines attract rats and other living things I don’t want dropping on my head. Feedback from those who know more?
3 months ago
I am extremely new to permaculture and most of my gardening experience has to do with...learning opportunities- if I only could figure out what went wrong. I’m pretty sure what went wrong was not doing permaculture.

My question is about having one small area of my property dedicated to annual veggies whilst everything else goes to a forest plan. But if I just have one area can I keep planting the same annual crops if I land a cover crop in winter? Because I read one is not supposed to plant the same thing in the same place every year.

I asked my local master gardener who thoughtfully sent me every gardening topic link in the state of California for my research pleasure.

I’m not even sure if my question makes sense, so I’m not sure how to find a thread in the forum.

Thank you,

I just found this thread and thought I would add my 2 cents:


I have extremely dry skin, live in the desert and have eczema. I've been making and using Rosemary Gladstar's Perfect Cream for over 10 years and just love it. She is such a generous soul, she makes this recipe available to everyone for no charge.

One can make this cream more therapeutic by infusing calendula and chamomile in the olive oil first. one of the simplest methods is solar infusion: Fill a clean jar 3/4 full with dried herb then pour in extra virgin olive oil to cover herbs. Use a chopstick or similar to swirl and remove air bubbles. Cover tightly and place in a sunny location for about six weeks. Shake thoroughly twice a day for the first week to keep the herbs covered, add a bit more oil if needed. The herbs may mold if they are not covered with the oil.
3 months ago