Larisa Walk

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since Jun 29, 2010
South of Winona, Minnesota
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Recent posts by Larisa Walk

I also love this plant. It's the most well-behaved pathway groundcover in our garden. Yes, it does creep a bit but its shallow root system means it's easy to rake back to keep it in bounds, unlike white Dutch clover. The bees love it in the spring, so we don't mow our paths until it's done flowering. I have moved some of it around to new areas. As much as I like this plant I don't let it into the strawberries, onions, or carrots - too much competition. It's welcome almost everywhere else.
1 day ago
There may have been some mold on top of the walnut hull slurry, but I kept water on it. Currently I have a metal garbage can full of hulls, put in fresh but they eventually desicate. It needs water added to start the process but is easy to store. Most of the solar "tea" batches get some scum if they sit long enough. It seems to work out OK though. This summer I plan on re-dyeing a crocheted, hand-spun blanket for our bed. The onion dye has faded over the years and I would like it to be a deeper shade. I have 2 feed sacks full of onion skins saved up. The plan is to wet them down, put the blanket on a plastic tarp, cover with the onion skins and roll it up, wrap it up in the tarp and put it in the sun in the greenhouse for a couple of weeks or so.  We'll see what happens.
6 days ago
India Flint has a book calle "Eco Colour". She also has a website. As for gallon glass jars, food used to be sold in them, particularly for restaurants (salad dressings, pickles, olives, etc.). I think most of them now come in plastic but you can get glass jars or "crocks" in stores like Target, etc. Half gallon canning jars are widely available and would work for small projects. I have a large cast iron pot that I use for dyeing when I want an iron mordant. It gets plenty hot in the sun on its own. I also do a lot of "cold" dyes that sit for longer to make up for the lack of temperature. And one year I kept a barrel of walnuts hulls soaking to use whenever I wanted.
1 week ago
Making solar "tea" gets the cooking out of the house to avoid the smell and cuts down on energy use. Using gallon glass jars you can heat the dyestuff and if you want to put the yarn or fabric in with it you can. I often let stuff sit for many days. After reading some of India Flint's work with eco dyeing, I've taken to not rinsing anything when it comes out of the dye pot. Let it sit and "age" and it will change the way the color works with the fiber. Talk about Slow Fabric. I think she mentioned that this was part of the Turkey Red process of antiquity.
1 week ago

Travis Halverson wrote:Oh wow! Good to know, Larissa. I may not apply to the trees anymore. Excess foliage does what? Minimize sun and airflow?

I was considering doing some corn, or three sisters.

The excess nitrogen pushes the trees into a more vegetative state rather than being fruitful, the same reason you don't apply manure to tomatoes for instance. Also, nitrogen-rich growth is more susceptible to aphids and diseases, and the tender new growth doesn't harden off as well for winter dormancy. We don't really add much carbon material to the bucket, other than TP, when it's in the house but add the wood shavings when the bucket is "binned". We have a separete bucket for urine so don't need to soak up excess liquid. We have also used sheep bedding, ground corncobs, leaves, and weedy clippings. But the shavings are a convenient used material that needs composting anyway.
2 weeks ago
We've been using a humanure bucket system since 1982, before the "Humanure" book came out. Pine shavings that were previously used as packing material in the root cellar bins are added to the compost bin when the poo bucket is emptied about every 4th day. We dump the urine bucket on the regular compost pile. The year-old poo compost only gets applied to the corn patches in the garden, which is in a 4 year rotation. This compost is too high in nitrogen for fruit trees, at least in our soil/climate, and will push the trees into excess foliage production at the expense of fruit.
2 weeks ago
Here's what we did: [url=]
2 months ago
I would germinate the seeds indoors and only move out to the greenhouse after they are sprouted, assuming that frost isn't in the forecast. If you do get a couple of days that are really too cold, you can move flats back indoors until conditions improve, even if this is a major PITA. Warm weather crops, like tomatoes, will grow slowly if the temps are too cool but I'm talking from a Zone 4 perspective. Here we start plants indoors beginning mid February until early May, depending on the crop.
We had paving bricks for a floor many years ago in a previous house we built. We eventually laid ceramic tile over it as the bricks were impossible to keep clean. The surface was too uneven to sweep easily. Maybe a vacuum cleaner would have done a better job.  Furniture was hard to place without wobbling. The paving bricks were free for the hauling from an old street in town that was being torn out to make way for resurfacing and worked well as thermal mass. I think regular building bricks would be too soft for flooring. In our "new" home (20 years old) we put down quarry tile, another fired clay product but much more suited to being a floor - easy to sweep and looks great too.
8 months ago
The Field Behind the Plow
Composed by Stan Rogers | © Fogarty’s Cove Music

Watch the field behind the plow turn to straight dark rows
Feel the trickle in your clothes, blow the dusk cake from your nose
And hear the tractor’s steady roar, O you can’t stop now
There’s a quarter section more or less to go

And it figures that the rain takes it’s own sweet time
You can watch it come for miles, but you guess you’ve got a while
Ease the throttle out a hair, every rod’s a gain
There’s victory in every quarter mile

Poor old Kuzyk down the road
The heartache, hail and hoppers got him down
He gave it up and went to town
And Emmett Pierce, the other day took a heart attack and died at 42
You could see it comin’ on, ‘cuz he worked as hard as you

Well in an hour, maybe more, you’ll be wet clear through
The air is cooler now, pull your hat brim further down
And watch the field behind the plow turn to straight dark rows
Put another season’s promise in the ground

And if the harvest’s any good, the money might just cover all the loans
You’ve mortgaged all you own
Buy the kids a winter coat, take the wife back east for Christmas if you can
All summer she hangs on when you’re so tied to the land

For the good times come and go, but at least there’s rain
So this won’t be barren ground when September comes around
And watch the field behind the plow turn to straight dark rows
Put another season’s promise in the ground
Watch the field behind the plow, turn to straight rows
Put another season’s promise in the ground
8 months ago