Anna Carter

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since Feb 11, 2011
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Recent posts by Anna Carter

All the rain promises and more is my favourite pocket guide, and covers the big edibles, like morels, boletes, chanterelles, oysters, etc. If you're looking for a more indepth guide, than Mushrooms demystified is incredible. Yes, they are both by the same guy, but he's really good. What kind of mushrooms are you interested in hunting?
8 years ago
I've got some english ivy that keeps coming back and I keep whacking it back and ripping up what I can. I noticed that my Jerusalem artichokes rarely if ever have weeds around their bases, so I was wondering if they might be alleopathic, or perhaps just vigorous enough to out compete english ivy.

Does anybody know?
9 years ago
Why is pee good for the soil?
- natural source of nitrogen

What about germs? (like blood-born pathogens and poop diseases, is there urine pathogens/diseases)

- urine is sterile as it comes out of the body.

Do women have different pee than guys? our pee comes out differently, so does it pick up bacteria on the way?

- a very negligible amount, and not of the troublesome kind of bacteria anyway.

If you pee on the garden, doesn't that stay on your veggies? Ewww, I don't want to eat that!

- urine is water soluble. Does it rain where you live? I still don't put it on leafy things, just on the ground around them.

So you put it on the compost pile. Why?

- Nitrogen. Composting can heat up enough to kill human pathogens, if that's your aim.
9 years ago
Baking soda works, but you might have to adjust for the pH. I for quite some time used plain old baking soda. As long as you don't leave food sticking to them, there won't be anything to mold.
9 years ago
So, if you live in the Olympia area, you might have heard about Olympia Local Foods (if not, they serve as a kind of go between between farmers and customers; farmers tell them how much produce they have, and how much they want to sell it for, and then OLF relays that information to the customers and facilitates the transaction for both parties)-

Now, they're working to create a "Community Food Incubator"- basically, a certified facility, where small time farmers like my self can make things like pickles, jams, and dried foods and then sell them legally. I myself would really like to see them succeed, because I have a number of items that I'd like to make, but currently can't. They are currently asking for donations, so if you're in the area and would like to see this kind of food security and independence (i.e., food from local people, instead of food teleported from who knows where grown in who knows what kind of situations) develop more, please consider supporting them.

Here's their website:

And here's their Kickstarter page:
10 years ago
I think reducing is definitely key. And by reducing, I mean reducing one's buying of stuff. Housing, gas, prepared foods, tech, toys, etc. Buy choosing not to buy something, you are refusing to take all of those resources required to make the thing. If you buy used (re-using), those resources were still extracted and used, you're just using them again, instead of completely squandering them. I also think that reducing and reusing are often quite interconnected. For example: instead of buying a water bottle (or heaven and intelligence forbid, bottled water), reusing a old jar.

I also think this ties in with some of the principles of a simple life, where you are actually happier by having less stuff.
10 years ago
The thing with the city is that part of the area they tend has become over grown with tall grass and weeds. I go by the path multiple times per week, so I should be able to do some tending. It's just so sickening to bike down the trail and see the poor struggling plants that have barely grown at all in the two years they've been there. Thanks for the advice.
10 years ago
First question:

I've got a compost pile that all my animal manure goes into and decomposes before I apply it to my garden. It rains a lot here, and I'm concerned that a lot of the nutrients (nitrogen not the least) are getting leached out by the rain water. Since the compost pile is also in my chicken pen, I thought that planting some comfrey around the edges might be a good idea- the comfrey eats up the nutrients, feeds the chickens, and what ever gets past the chickens I can cut and use as mulch. But now I'm also wondering if there is some other plant that might do the same thing, and add more diversity to my system? Any ideas? I live in Zone 7.

Second question:

The city recently put in a bike trail, mulched down both sides with wood chips, and then planted various native plants. Now, this was two years ago, and the plants they planted are plants that do far better in at least partial shade and they are currently in full sun as the trees they planted haven't gotten very tall yet. Currently, it's miserable to walk or bike down the path in summer because it's just so dang hot, the plants look sad and miserable and are barely growing, and it just seems like the wood chips magnify the heat along with the asphalt trail. I've been thinking about doing a little guerrilla gardening, and planting something that would thrive in the bright light and then die away as the natives started growing, preferably something edible? And ideas for that?

Thank you!
10 years ago
I completely abstained from Black Friday, as I do every year. Not because I'm doing as a protest, but because I'd much rather stay home and hang out with friends and family that I don't get to see often enough. That, and there is close to nothing that I can buy in a store that appeals to me.
10 years ago
That is very inspiring. I think that is my goal; to have designed my life in such away that I can do a small amount of work that I find pleasant to support myself and have the rest of my time free. I wonder about how to do it in our seemingly more complicated society.

I think we do over complicate things- take building a house: they've made all these rules because apparently we're not smart enough to build a safe, comfortable house ourselves. You have to build it in such and such way, with such and such materials, and you have to have several inspections- at least to do it legally. So how do we deal with that? Do we just live far enough away that nobody notices? Housing is just so expensive buy here, so I don't think its viable option to simply buy a house for many of my generation.

I think you really do have to retrain how you think- we are trained from childhood that there is one way to live and succeed in this life (get a job and then a pile of debt). You have to be able to come up with your own unique solutions to your own unique problems if you want to live outside of that system.
10 years ago