ellen kardl

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since May 11, 2011
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Recent posts by ellen kardl

Very good question. I really don't know. My main goal is to get rid of massive amounts of vegetable matter first, and to have useable compost second. I'm in a rental house, and the yard is mostly paved or "landscaped" with bark mulch over weed barrier, so I don't have a huge use for finished compost in terms of real soil amendment. I know, what a waste My garden consisted of about 3 dozen 10 gallon "smart" (fiber) pots (tomatoes, potatoes, cukes, beans, peas) and 2 dozen 5 gallon pots (eggplant, herbs, squash).
5 years ago
Hi Julia. I still see a lot of em. They aren't moving, so alive, dormant, or dead, I do not know (they look alive to me though). The microclimate the bin is in probably would take a lot to freeze up; it's by the house and is sheltered on 2 sides. Everything is pretty much composted, so I'm going to leave this one alone for the winter, and fill the other bins.
5 years ago
I am definitely a dope! In my defense, it "looked scary" when the soil was heaving about they way it was--there is quite a colony of them in the bin! I had thrown in half of a watermelon a few days ago and it's nearly gone now. I've heard about these legendary insects for several years, just never seen them. They don't look like flies at all, which is what I was expecting; I just thought they were strange looking wasps. But having now spent the afternoon reading up on em, what a treasure! I'm very excited to be hosting them. I will give them lots and lots of food and larvae love

Anyway, I KNEW I'd find out about them here, which is the first place I checked!
5 years ago
I was alarmed, ALARMED I tell ya, to open up my bin today and see the soil just ROILING with these things when I began to turn the pile. THOUSANDS—not that I am counting. Yeah, I know they are beneficial digesters, but YUCK. I also have a VERY healthy earthworm population in the bin (somehow they don't seem so gross). The compost has come along very nicely this year; lots of turning, and I've been adding to it all summer, and now I think I'm going to stop because its a) full and b) getting cold.

So my question is: are these critters going to multiply? Its a closed bin. Is the bin going to be solid larvae in the spring? Can they just die off and add their nice little innards to the mix? Should I do anything? Guaranteed I'm not putting this on my plants as is

HELP!!!

Edited to add: okay, calmer now after reading the recommended website ( blacksoldierflyblog.com ). It was the massive quantity of them that freaked me out. Maybe these little dudes are WHY my compost has digested so quickly lately. But still, if anyone can answer the above questions, I would appreciate it very much. Should I keep feeding them over the winter? I'm in the PNW, Portland, OR to be exact. It's probably not going to freeze.
5 years ago
I would reccomend considering just how much of it you will need for your permaculture farm.

Yes, this is a great recommendation! Unless you absolutely MUST have "buffer", five acres is a whole lot of land to maintain.
5 years ago
Oooooh now I get it. It was sounding to me like some kind of misplaced family pressure. Yes, I struggle with that ALL the time. There are huge issues in the world that need attention, and it seems selfish to not give 100 % attention to issues like, for instance, Bangladesh garment factory workers dying in scores from horrendous conditions, just to name one. That's how I feel, anyway. And there are thousands of problems, many that can be solved or at least ameliorated by "boots on the ground", many here in this country. I want to be part of the solution to things like that. And I DO feel selfish to not have done more in my time on earth.

You can do both, but just not at 100% simultaneously. Your goals are good, a positive thing for the world. They are personally focused, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. That's one way to go. It also won't hurt if you put them off for a year or so to devote time to other causes at 100%, if you feel called that strongly. I'm assuming you are young—this is the time to do stuff like join the Peace Corp, etc., before you get tied down with property, kids, jobs, etc. It's unlikely that you'll be in a position to devote yourself to stuff like that when you are older. In theory, they (Peace Corp and other similar organizations) will take older people such as myself (nearing 60), but you have to be in better health than I am (I looked into it after I lost my farm and was footloose and fancy free--sort of).
5 years ago
I have to say, almost $900 is a pretty shocking price for this 4 day conference. $1500 "at the gate". No refunds either. And then all the travel and accommodation expenses??? You'd be much better served, if you had that kind of money (I sure don't!), buying a flock of fruit trees or putting it into the garden in other ways, or in your case, putting it aside for the eventual purchase of your property. I just think that's crazy-money.

There are so many free ways to obtain information these days, just don't worry about it that you might miss out on something.

On your other question about being selfish...where are you getting that feeling? I don't see how there is anything selfish in any of what you've outlined.
5 years ago
Well the number one question is "Can you legally put more permanent structures (homes) on the parcel". I wouln't worry too much about the location. THere really aren't super bad neighborhoods in Portland. At least I have yet to find them. And community is something you build from the ground up. And isn't an isolated island; you work with what works, ya know?? Look at what the Urban Farming Guys are doing in one of the "worst" neighborhoods in the country, in Kansas City.
5 years ago
I love the idea. I'm in Oregon City right now, in a rental I can't farm. Asking right now about it with someone who lives very near there.

Here is the response: "its not the best neighborhood but its for sure not the worst either".

How were you thinking of using 1.5 acres, in terms of other people joining? Would they also be able to build on the property, or place a yurt/tiny house?
5 years ago
Wow, I DO like this sort of thing! I have a new appreciation for these plants now, though I never really got into the taste of just the leaves. Great video!
5 years ago