Genevieve Higgs

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since Aug 10, 2011
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Recent posts by Genevieve Higgs

I think Jennifer might have hit the nail on the head when she wrote "laws were designed for cars".  I would add that the expectations placed on cyclists by drivers may not be consistent nor attainable. As in Canada more of my tax dollars will go to health care than roads, and preventable chronic illnesses will suck up an unfair proportion of that spending it seems important to me to defend bicycles.

Part of the problem comes from perspective -unnavegable hazards may not be apparent from a vehicle.  They may not even be apparent to the cyclist until the last moment necessitating emergency maneuvers.  Also, what is reasonable for one person on a particular bike is not for another, so comparing one rider's actions to another may not be fair.  Like Vera you won't get much of a turn signal from me when I'm on a road bike descending and turning.   The conditions of bike lanes can also vary wildly from one block to another so how can you make generalized laws?

Another factor that motorists often don't take into account is the toll exertion and weather can take.  Sitting in a climate controlled vehicle with your foot on a gas pedal it can be tough to empathise with someone who has climbed a big hill, baked in the sun, frozen in wind chill or totally depleted their blood sugar - but it can have a huge effect on the reaction times and clarity of a person on a bike.  Some empathy and neighborliness would be nice, but might be a tall order.

Personally I will continue to wear reflective fluorescent clothes, use blinky lights and even scream at the top of my lungs to let drivers know I am present.   I will also sprint past smoke spewing tailpipes.  
3 months ago
Does anyone have experience with urine over top of wood chips for getting a fast/cheap/easy/no big pitfalls start to a garden?

On the topic of easy/cheap/maybe better than nothing, has anyone tried collecting the left over charred remains of beach bon-fires to throw in the compost as "lazy person's biochar"?
3 months ago
Re-purposed containers from the grocery store.  Cereal bags, cardboard boxes, coffee cannisters etc.
5 months ago
Does anybody have tips for starting them from seed?  I have some sitting in my fridge waiting for me to get cracking
5 months ago
Around here (Im in the pnw too)you find big mounds of blackberry vines growing over head high in impenetrable tangles that choke shrubs and trees and rip your skin up fairly badly.
I have found that the easiest thing is to use a hedge trimmer to reach in and cut the vines into 2' lengths and let them die.  Then I come back a few months and cut the living ones off at ground level.   The third time I come back wearing heavy gloves and pull the re-sprouted vines out by the roots - no digging required.  You can tame a half acre in a year, although I've been doing it for three years and still have to patrol my yard every few months to keep it in check.  That might be because I haven't replaced the vines with anything much (rental house) and the vacuum gets filled.

Occasionally the tip of a chopped vine gets in good contact with the ground and roots in.  But it is still soft and vulnerable months later.  I don't bother hauling live scratchy vines to the compost but the dead chopped canes and roots don't seem to recolonize once they're in the mix.
5 months ago
Galadriel could you upload a picture to let us see how much space each tree occupies and how they are positioned relative to each other and the sun?
6 months ago
Hi Kostas,

I feel very heartened when I hear about your forestation experiments - thank you.  

Where I am (west coast of Canada) we have much more rain, but summers get very dry and forest fires are more destructive every year.  Lately it has become public knowledge that the government has encouraged glyphosphate spraying of deciduous trees like aspen in order to favour the growth of commercial evergreens like douglas fir.  This has gone on for decades and now the wild fires can rip through the forest burning very hot and very fast where before glades of aspen and other leafy trees would slow the flames down.  Hopefully this practice will change soon.

Gen
6 months ago
So here's a bit of an experiment: garlic on the left (orange arrow) was planted by pushing in to a finger poker's depth.  So maybe 2 inches.  I think it has all come up, and is maybe a hand high.  The garlic on the right (purple arrow) is planted one trowel deep, so maybe 9 inches.  Some has come up, it's about 1 inch high.  I am still seeing new nubs poking up each day.  But experienced gardeners in the region say that the fall nubins don't matter so much, what we want is for the seed-clove to push out a big healthy root system right now.  That way it will form a few large flavorful cloves in the spring.

Hopefully I will post follow up pics in the spring and harvest time

Gen
Lucrecia,  could that be due to some imbalance in your big 3 minerals (NPK)  I find if I'm heavy on the N with not much PandK plants go bananas with green leaves, but doesn't do much fruit and root stuff.  
7 months ago
I just moved and have had no time to prepare my soil, no finished compost to spread.  There is a bare stretch of dirt where there was a tarp spread followed by a bonfire.  I'm thinking of broadforking in a titch of organic (4-4-4 ish) fertilizer and putting a much of seaweed coffee grounds and ramial wood chips over top.  three questions though:  should I hold off on mulch until spring to avoid decomposition, should I hold of on the fertilizer until spring to make the most of my small supply, and should I use grocery store garlic or fancy stuff?  ( I can get way more seed  cloves if I do grocery store )