John Morelli

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since Jan 28, 2011
Southern California
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Recent posts by John Morelli

One of my internet friends who has been poo-less for a year has very long hair and she reports no knots. She says that her hair is now at a point where it really doesn't even need a conditioner. It's just naturally balanced itself out and though she does in fact use apple cider vinegar, she does so only because it helps prevent dandruff for her. As far as I can tell though she has very straight hair so that probably makes some difference as well.

I only recently heard of this from Paul's 2.5hr long video of the presentation he gave at the Southern California Permaculture Convergence but I'm very intrigued by it and plan to give it a shot. I came across that simplemom article as well and it looks to be a pretty good guide to start with.
7 years ago
Thanks for posting. I've been meaning to look into the dangers of microwave ovens. Thank you for giving me a good starting point.

Frankly I don't know if I'll ever be able to convince my mother to stop using hers. I think people just look at the time and gas it takes to heat an entire oven as being much more than what it takes to run the microwave for a minute or two. I certainly intend to do the research though so I have some solid stuff to present to my loved ones to urge them to either stop or at least drastically cut down on microwave use.
7 years ago
Great thread! I'm very interested in building a double-chamber oven like this as well.
I'm curious though, does anybody know how the wood consumption and heat retention compares to a traditional cob oven?

Does the heat escaping from the chimney mean that this uses more wood to to reach sufficient temps for baking and then looses heat more quickly?
Or does the heat retained by the cob and higher initial temperatures from the more efficient burn negate whatever heat is lost through the chimney?

9 years ago

Kathleen Sanderson wrote:
If the 'waste' food is going to grow maggots and such, you might let it do so and THEN let the chickens scratch around in it -- they'll get more protein and fat from the bugs than from the fruit. 


Aha! Awesome Kathleen, I'm still slowly wrapping my brain around the permaculture thought process of thinking of problems as solutions to other problems wherever possible, so thank you for reminding me.
9 years ago
LOL! I don't know what just happened there but it gave me a good chuckle

Anyway, I don't see anything wrong with using that stuff for compost. Decaying organic matter is decaying organic matter I guess, right? Only thing is if we're talking decaying fruit here, then you might have problems with fruit fly's seeing it as a wonderful place to raise their larva so if you've already got some compost started, just make sure you put any rotting fruit toward the center of the pile or bin, that way the flies don't get to it and the heat helps it break down faster.

Also, whenever I put any kind of decaying edibles in my compost it get's overrun with ants. I don't know if that's necessarily a bad thing, and it may just be indicative that my compost isn't getting hot enough if ants are comfortable in it.

As for cheap seeds, the only thing I've heard is that seeds that are "old" are often the ones found at discounted prices and old seed can mean low germination percentage (aka a lot of them may not grow), but you might get lucky so I don't see anything wrong with giving it a shot.

Admittedly I'm somewhat of a newbie too though, just repeating what I've heard from more knowledgeable folks so I dunno, I'm sure others around here will have more to say on the matters.

Good luck.
9 years ago

Tom NJ wrote:
I do, but I also have a wife that doesn't want a garden there...

That's unfortunate, you'll be missing out on things that like sunlight hours more in the range of 6+ hours, but if that's what you're stuck with right now then yeah, look for the shade tolerant ones.

Maybe after she get's to enjoy the "fruits" of the first stuff you plant she'll come around to the idea.
Best of luck to ya! 
9 years ago
For really thick and persistent grass I'd suggest covering it with a couple overlapping layers of nice large solid pieces of corrugated cardboard. Two or three layers would be nice but it's up to you how hard you want to tackle it.
Make sure it's closely arranged and overlapped and held down with maybe cinder blocks or something else heavy to keep it in place.

The goal is not necessarily to have it break down, just to be something nice and thick to deprive the grass of fresh air and sunlight, as well as thick enough that the grass doesn't just grow right through it.

I suppose you could use a few tarps as well but I don't know if they'd block light as well as cardboard. Some folks use old carpet too but if it's not thick enough the grass can easily just grow right through the carpet so if you try that, make sure you have some nice thick layering.
9 years ago
"Fair share" to me is just a cutesy but not fully accurate way of describing the third ethic.

I prefer "redistribution of surplus" or "setting limits to population and consumption" but any way you describe it, you must always be thinking in the context of doing so to further the first two ethics, and never, ever at the expense of somebody else's rights.

It does not mean that I HAVE to share my strawberries with you just because I'm not going to eat them all right now, or that Paul HAS to allow his material to be used without his permission.
If you showed up to somebody's house and "borrowed" their scythe without their permission, trying to argue that it was in the name of fairly sharing a tool to further the advances of permaculture, would not be a very good excuse.
9 years ago
While taking a PDC may certainly be the fast track to learning about it, here are some alternative suggestions:

FIRST: If you do nothing else, see the thread below here in the forums. It's a link to 38 recorded class lectures and field trips from a permaculture design course offered at North Carolina State University. It's like sitting in on a college course for free and without having to do the quizzes or homework. It's packed with very great information and I hope you will find it a fantastic resource to get you started.

Second: (looks like one person suggested this already but) Check to see if there are permaculture courses offered at a local community college in your area. I was lucky enough to find that the community college in the next city over from me offers a permaculture design course so I signed up and am currently taking it. The great thing about it is that the cost of enrollment and registration at my community college was FAR below what a usual PDC would cost.

Third: I'm not sure what books you've been reading already but check out "Gaia's Garden" by Toby Hemenway, and/or "Introduction To Permaculture" by Bill Mollison, both of which are pretty affordable and great introductory resources which I'm currently reading. And there are plenty more out there.

If you want to take a PDC because you want that certificate to be able to legitimately call what you do "permaculture" then yes, you'll have to take a course, but if what's really important to you is learning, there are plenty of other ways to learn permaculture without taking a course so don't be discouraged. It will be work, but you can do it!

Oh one more thing: Prepare for Failure. You will have some, but that doesn't have to discourage you. Plants will die, diseases and pests will cause problems, and there are plenty of mistakes to be made on your journey. Don't let it get you down, just accept it as a natural part of your journey and learn from it when it happens. One of the quotes my permaculture professor put up on the board one day was "If you're not making mistakes, you're not pushing the edge of your learning." And edges are an important part of permaculture so push the heck out of those babies 

I hope that helps!
9 years ago
Bittersweet!! haha.
I've got a small mound of books to read and it's getting bigger a lot faster than I can make a dent in it
9 years ago