Liz Schmidt

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since Sep 13, 2010
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Recent posts by Liz Schmidt

Thanks to all for the info. I'm glad to know chickens can probably tolerate our lowest temps but we'll need to work on the wind...it gets pretty brisk here. But now I heard from a permaculture pro that chickens don't like to be confined in tractors...we would love to let them free range, but there's a family of halks nearby so now we'll be looking for something larger than a tractor to keep them safe from overhead predators!
8 years ago
We are going to get some laying hens in spring and are hoping to house them in a chicken tractor. But we're wondering if that's enough protection in the winter cold (in Southern Oregon...lows sometimes in the teens, usually 25-35). Do we also need a henhouse to keep them healthy in the winter?

Thanks for any advice!

Liz
8 years ago
On our new homestead we have 1/2 acre of grass and weeds plus a few trees that's been watered a bit during the summer, plus 3 acres of grass and weeds that has not been irrigated and not much done to it except mowing to reduce fire hazard.

We want to develop a food forest and some good pasture, but not sure where to start. We don't have irrigation during the summer yet, so are thinking it would be good to plant some green mulch during the rainy season. But how do you plant new species in an area that is already covered in (now dry) grass and weeds? Do we need to till the grass and weeds? Cut it short and broadcast seed? I imagine sheet mulch would be good for the areas where we want to plant our garden next year, but 3 acres of pasture would be too much area to sheet mulching.

Also we are wondering when is the best time in our dry-summer climate to plant fruit and nut trees and perenials in the future food forest?

We are in Southern Oregon. We would truly appreciate any advice since the rainy season will (hopefully) be here soon and we're running out of reading time. I learned soooo much in my PDC, but it was short on practical advice such as this.
9 years ago
Thanks for the replies. And thanks for the extra information...the more, the better, because if we pass on this home (which looks likely, although I am in love with it) we will need to keep looking and having a minimum acreage will be a good thing.

There's another property we are considering and it has 3.2 acres and a stream-fed pond. Does this sound more reasonable?

Thanks,
Liz
9 years ago
Hello fellow permies. We recently sold our home in Southern California and are moving to Southern Oregon in early June. But we haven't found a place to call home yet. This weekend I visited a home for sale that I really like...it has passive solar, a masonry heater, whole house fan for night flushing, and many other great features.

The problem is we're not sure if there's enough land, so I'm looking for opinions on how much land we would need to do these things: 1) large garden, 2) food forest (undefined size at this time), and 3) raise a few sheep (plus chickens and maybe a couple pigs, but those don't take up much space). We don't want to farm for profit, but would like to make our family of three more self sufficient. Do you think it's feasible to do those things on .75 acre? We may be able to buy the lot next door, which would bring the total to 1.5 acres, but maybe not.

Also, the residents in this area (mostly on .5 to .75 acre parcels) irrigate their property using water from a community well. Do you think it's a horrible idea to rely on well water for irrigating .75 or 1.5 acres (assuming we would be allowed a second share of the well water if we buy the extra lot), even if they have amazing ground water in the area? I'm thinking that we could use graywater, do water catchment and earth works, and we could even drill our own well to supplement the community supply, if eventually needed.

This is a really tough decision because the home is so amazing and energy efficient. Most homes we can afford were built in the 70s with horrible insulation as well as toxic building materials, but this was built just 5 years ago with an emphasis on energy efficiency.

I'd really appreciate any insights you might provide.

Thanks so much 
Liz
9 years ago
Thanks, Ardilla. That's so cool you are building an Econest home! I've talked to Paula LaPorte on the phone...their homes look and sound wonderful, and she is very knowledgeable. Unfortunately not in our price range at the moment

And thanks, Muzhik, for the book recommendation. Since I was very anxious to get my hands on books I've already ordered three, but this looks like a good fourth 

Liz
10 years ago
My husband and I are planning to move to Southern Oregon next year and we would like to build a super energy-efficient, earth-friendly, nurturing home, as naturally as we can afford without spending years building it ourselves (though that sounds fun, it's just not feasible at this time).

I
10 years ago
Thanks Jami. It seem so weird that the EPA has prevention as step #3, when they say it's "a first line of pest control".

So again I'm wondering if IPM is really congruent with permaculture...hmmmm...

Liz
10 years ago

Joel Hollingsworth wrote:
My go-to for that sort of task is Wikipedia. Maybe our forum-goers could help spruce up that article (perhaps with a special focus on the intro paragraph and issues of tone in the "History" section), but an encyclopedia seems to be the sort of tone you're going for.



Thanks, Joel. I hadn't thought of Wikipedia. The article is at a good level for our readers, but like you alluded to, I don't like seeing Wiki's notes about the tone or style being inappropriate. I am a permaculture-newbie so I don't feel qualified to work on the article, but I'd sure like to see someone do that so those notes go away!

Also, I feel the page doesn't have a permaculture spin because it focuses so little on the things we do to prevent rampant infestations in the first place. Plus I'm not thrilled about some of the links at the bottom...like "Top Ten Reasons Why IPM Doesn't Work". I was thinking that IPM was compatible with permaculture, but now I'm not sure because there's so much emphasis on killing the beasts instead of prevention.

Any comments would be much appreciated...now I'm confused
Liz
10 years ago

Jami McBride wrote:
I'm not sure I understand your question....Are you looking for a web page, website software or a location on someone else' site to post an article?



I am looking for a webpage that explains IPM because the article is just a list of short items and I don't have room to explain each in detail. The article will appear in my company's newsletter and subsequently on our website--I don't need someone else's site to post it on.

Liz
10 years ago