Ben Souther

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since May 08, 2008
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Recent posts by Ben Souther

Did the frog survive?

It's tough to watch a garter snake eat something cute.
Unlike constrictors or venomous snakes, garter snakes just wrestle their prey into their mouth, alive. Slugs, no problem.

9 years ago
I'm looking for ways to encourage them to make a home in my garden.

We had an exceptionally cold and rainy late spring/early summer this year.
Up until recently, my lettuce has been covered in slugs and was being eaten as fast as it was growing.    I thought I fixed the problem with beer and cornmeal traps ( http://www.permies.com/permaculture-forums/609_0/critter-care/slugs ).  It seemed too easy.   

The other day I saw a huge garter snake slither away. 
I'm thinking he/she had a lot more to do with the disappearance of the slugs than a few rounds of beer and cornmeal.  So now, I'm looking for ways to entice them to stick around and multiply.  I'm going to start by stacking up some rocks and/or cinder blocks for protection from my cat.  She's brought more than one of them home unfortunately.

I've heard that snakes hate geraniums.
Does anyone know of any plants that would help or hurt.
Any other suggestions for making a family of garter snakes feel welcome?
9 years ago

also has day and tiger lillys. and more that she said she will point out. day lillys are edible aren't they? don't no much about tiger lillys, jsut seen the name in catalogs before.




My next door neighbor has a pear tree that has been withering and not producing fruit
for the last 15 years.
The year before last, she planted Stella Dora Day Lillies around the base of the trunk.
She wasn't intentionally guilding, she just thought it would spruce up the yard a bit.

Within a year the tree exploded and is now producing lots of pears.
10 years ago
I think any tree would too.
From what I hear though, willows are particularly bad and should not be planted close to houses.

The aggressiveness of their rooting system that makes them bad for foundations and plumbing is probably the same attribute that makes them great for bogs.

I'm learning that Poplars should also not be planted near a house, for this reason, and because they have short lifespans and don't tend to die standing up. I have four right in front of my house.


10 years ago
Interesting subject.

Before building the tree bog in close proximity to your house, you might want to read up on willow roots.  When I was a kid a willow tree did a number on my grandparents foundation and all the plumbing going to and from their house. 

A google search for 'willow tree roots' should do the trick.
10 years ago

tranquil wrote:
Maybe I'm missing something but why is that surprising?



It surprised me because Israel's got a great reputation for both managing to grow crops in a desert (drip irrigation etc..) and for actually transforming deserts into farmable land with topsoil.

http://www.permies.com/permaculture-forums/682_0/permaculture/build-46-inches-of-topsoil-in-a-year-video
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drip_irrigation
10 years ago
There are some good articles on global soil loss in this month's National Geographic.
Surprisingly, no mention of Israel.
10 years ago
That's how I season mine.

I have a SS strainer that fits perfectly on top of the frying pan.
I put the flame on medium, add popcorn and olive oil.
I never need to adjust the flame.  I shut it off a little while before the popping is done.

I like a few burnt kernels so I leave it a little longer than I need to.

Anytime, someone leaves it in a sink with soapy water or doesn't clean it out, making scouring necessary, I cook popcorn in it and can then cook eggs without them sticking.
10 years ago
I have no data to back this up but, if I had to guess, I'd say that there would be more pollution  coming from a brand new roof than an older one.  I would also guess that unusual weather would affect the amount of pollution coming from your roof.  I picture a hotter than usual day melting the tar a little deeper than usual, or a real windy storm bending some of the shingles, causing small particles to break loose from them.  A long drought might mean more bird poop (we have a lot of seagulls where I am) so the next rain would have a higher concentration of that.

A lot of water pipes are made with similar materials to the shingles on your roof.
They're also made with copper, and PVC, and concrete so I wonder if the water coming off  some shingled roofs might actually be cleaner than the water from your tap.

I guess the only real way to know would be to have it tested.
10 years ago
Today is summer solstice.
Are they having that parade again this weekend?
Are you going?
10 years ago