Trace- I used to agree with you, I am a dog lover, and usually blame the owners not the dogs, and think no dog should be let to run loose, and many dogs are inappropriate for dog parks. I had never met one, and figured it was just the "aggressive, breed, scary" stuff I see with German shepherds and many other breeds I like.
Pitbulls are rare here, and far from the most common breed I meet, but experience has led to me being wary of every pitbull and mix as the majority of bad experiences I have had is with pitbulls. At this point, I suspect it's a bad breeding problem as well as a bad owner problem.
I have met a dozen or so in less than 2 years, and every single one has been dog aggressive, and many have made me fear for myself as well as my dog when I am walking or at the park. Saddest for me was a 1 year old who I quite liked that overnight started to try and chase down my dog (and others) at the park and was subsequently banned. Scariest was either the off leash pitbull that ran up to us on a walk that the owner was afraid of, or when a group of tourists brought three purebred staffies to the park who ran at me and snarled at me until called off, (i was there first) ran and tried to pin my dog multiple times, and I had to demand the owners take their dogs and leave. They apparently came back later and got in a fight with another dog.
I think the owners are definitely to blame , but somehow I rarely have the same issues with the other "dangerous" and more common breeds and their crosses- shepherds, dobermans, rottweilers, malinois, akitas, cane corsos, huskies, etc. I like quite a few of those breeds. I meet bad dogs and some bad owners in these breeds, but nowhere near 100%. And most of the owners of "aggressive" members of those breeds I meet have them very well trained, kept on a close leash in public, not let loose to run down the street or brought to dog parks, and are well aware that their dog is a risk if not well managed.
I am sure there are decent pitbulls and owners- you probably are one. I just have yet to meet one on the streets or at the park here.
Can I suggest you get a game camera? It wouldn't save your goats in case of attack, but it would mean if anything happens you can prove who/what did it. Make sure you keep sale records for the cost of your goats and when you sell kids so you can prove value.
Nothing worse than a pack of dogs - we had two of our own who joined in with 3 guest dogs to try and kill our cat. They had never participated in chasing the cat before or since.
I know in some places in Canada right now there is an issue with the SPCA no longer dealing with animal complaints, and no one to turn to.
I loath pitbulls. Had no opinion before I got a dog and started going to dog parks. Illegal here in Ontario, and the ones I meet are dog aggressive and should NOT be allowed to run loose on the street/brought to a dog park. (Sadly, that's the two places I have met them, despite "no pitbull" signs). I guess it selects for idiots for owners when you have to break the law to own one, and when the only place I meet them is where they shouldn't be!
Daron -excellent point about existing flower beds being good places to tuck veggies. All of my existing beds are heavily mulched perennial flower beds which I stick annual vegetables into- last year it kept two people in about half the veggies we could eat.
J - I also let idealism get in the way of practicality. I normally would never till/remove sod, so it will be interesting to see how these traditionally constructed beds compare to my no till. I have made this one as a compromise with my mother.... my mulched beds, which I know will work, and she is skeptical of, and her traditional bare beds, which she knows will work, and I am a bit skeptical of.
Please, keep the ideas coming! There are a out as many ways to start a garden as there are gardeners, and all work better for different locations/available tools/crops/climates, etc
My cardboard is now fully mulched with either sod, leaves, or some of the contents of my neighbour's "garden waste" pile, and I've widened the bed by a few feet. I've only taken about half of my neighbour's pile and have sod left to turn, so now I'm looking for more cardboard.
I originally intended for this thread to be tips on how to start a first year garden - so today I documented what I did, in hopes it helps someone else.
For removing the sod - I've been using an edger and a digging fork. A digging fork is similar to a pitch fork, but instead of being used to toss things, it's used to lever things out of the ground. Also good for potatos, etc
The tools for removing sod:
Preparing the bed!!!
I first cut the outside of a block with the edger, levering the soil up a bit and loosening as I go - I usually cut large strips horizontally and vertically, as much as I plan to accomplish in one day, into narrow pieces a bit bigger than 1 fork width wide by 2 fork widths long. I made these smaller so i could pick them up one handed while holding my phone to photograph.
I then use a digging fork to lever up and loosen the sod block - usually I just need to pry at 1-2 sides, and it pops out.
I can then pick up the block with my fork by stabbing it, then lightly shake it to shake some of the good dirt back into the bed, and put it in a wheelbarrow or directly on my adjacent cardboard area to serve as mulch.
I've double dug in the past, and kept the sod in, but I find I get WAY too many weeds - and I hate weeding.
Didn't take pictures of this, but I raked out any leftover pieces of grass and picked some of the small stones with a garden rake. I'm lazy, so there's still a lot of stone in there. I then spread a feed bag full of manure on the prepared area, and raked it in with the rake to mix the soil. I don't fuss having leaves or bits of my mulch fall into the bed, it's just more organic matter.
Preparing for planting
Today i planted the first stuff in this bed - onion sets! My gardening's a bit... unique because i am hand digging this, so I want to plant as closely as possible, and I hate bending to weed.
I figured out how far I can comfortably reach with my rake, and put a board across the bed a bit further than that. This means, I can stand on the board, or on the garden edge and reach with a rake to weed the rows in between without having to tromp through the plants. The board also minimizes compression of the soil, and demarcates the boundaries of different planting areas. Think of it as traditional gardening meets square foot gardening...
I then set up a string line for my first row. I plant in rows, because bitter experience has taught me they are way easier to weed, and I use a string line, because I can't sow a straight row (or cut sod in a straight line, but that's beside the point) to save my soul. The instructions on the package said to plant 3" apart, with 15" between rows (this gives you plenty of room to stand) Nope. I'm hand digging, and am lazy!
I planted the first row, then laid my favourite hoe (a scuffle hoe) next to it, and set the next row about 1.5 hoe widths wide. this means it will be easy to weed without bending, but much closer spaced than "traditional" spacing. So long as the rows are wide enough I can get a hoe between them, and wider than the in-row spacing, I'm happy. I can stand on the boards on either end of my mini-bed and reach to weed.
I put a board down between the rows as I sow them so I can walk in the garden without compressing the soil.
Today I was planting on onion sets, so I held a handful of sets in my left hand, poked a small hole with my right hand and popped in an onion set. At the end of the row, I lightly scuff the soil to slightly cover the onion sets with my hand.
When I was a kid, my dad always insisted that those chocolate eggs were really bunny droppings.
Would you mind bringing some REAL bunny droppings this year? Maybe mixed with bedding? You see, I an starting a garden and really short on nitrogen sources. You dont even have to wrap them in foil (in fact, I would really prefer if you didnt). They dont even have to be new bunny droppings, last years would be fine.
We are social distancing, so you can just leave them on the porch, no need to bring them inside.
Does anyone have any good online order sources for bulk (~20 kg) gluten free flour? Preferably Canadian sources, as international shipping is very slow these days and the exchange rate is unpredictable.
I've tried ordering from the local bulk food store for the last week, but the owner has yet to get back to me with a quote.
Google found me Cannelle Boulangerie in Quebec, but their website contact form and info email address is down, which I find suspicious.
As an FYI, here in Canada it is/has been best practice, probably code, for decades to put flagging tape buried in the ground about a foot above buried electrical wires etc. That way, when you hit the tape you know to STOP. I didn't know that before I saw it, so sharing in case someone else is unaware.
Always fun when you hit that stuff on a job in a location where the site records dont show it and the utility marker didn't mark. Also great fun when stuff is 20-100 m over from where the plans say it is.
Call before you dig folks, and never trust site plans!
For the chicken: I am not a huge fan of chicken offal, but if you mince it fine enough, it goes in a casserole well enough. I find chicken heart too chewy, even when stewed. Liver pate is good.
For the pig: Liver pate (basically run pork fat and liver through a meat grinder 3 times to combine, then mix in spices and milk), liver sausage, blood sausage. All traditional foods I was raised to think of as special treats, yum. Head cheese too (less a fan). Lard as a healthy alternative to butter. Lard on bread with chopped onions or garlic is very yummy.
My mother relies on a monthly massage to help with pain management, which isn't possible right now. She has some carpal tunnel, inflammatory arthritis, and one leg shorter/significantly weaker than the other due to an old break and surgeries. Her shoulders are very tight/sore most of the time, a lot of the tension seems to come from her bad leg. She uses a lot of heat and rolling on the floor on tennis balls in a sock to manage it, and is rather obsessed with good posture and ergonomics and good shoes with orthodics.
Having missed her monthly massage, she is in more pain than usual.
Do you have any suggestions for additional things she can do to manage through this time?
I grew up on red rose tea. Not at all a fan lately, I think the tea isn't as good quality as it was, and I hate the plastic bags. They do eventually break down, but are much slower than anything else. I switched to Tetley, which is slightly more expensive but not as pricey as the fancy stuff, and I quite like their english breakfast.
Plus- tetley still uses paper bag without the string and staple on a lot of the bags.
Kc Simmons wrote:Catie, I completely agree! Even if we're able to get the virus under control and the quarantine is lifted, I can see it taking a while for the economy to level out.
Last week, I think, it became manditory in my county (maybe whole state) for non essential businesses to close to the public. This includes businesses like hair salons, electronic sales/repairs, antique stores, and various others where people depend on sales/services for income instead of a salary. I've seen on my Facebook page where some local beauticians & other business owners that work from theirs homes or a rented/leased shop space are worried about how they're going to pay their bills without the income, and many are worried about losing their shop space since they're required to be closed, but the rent/mortgage payment is still expected to be paid. I'm thinking, if this quarantine continues & those people are unable to recoup their source of income, it will hurt the whole community, especially since I live in a small, rural town.
Fortunately, I already work from home, in the education system, from a company in the Dallas metroplex, so my income hasn't been threatened (yet), but who knows what the future holds. For that reason, I'm doing the same as you are. I'm planting way more than I originally planned, and also trying several new things in new beds in hopes of getting experience with them, building soil and, hopefully, a small yield. I'm getting ready to make the semi monthly trip to town, today, and will grab some quinoa, and more dried beans/field peas if there are any in stock. When I go to the feed store for my rabbit feed, I will also probably get a bag of oats and wild birdseed to keep on hand. Do you have any other suggestions for things I should look for in the grocery section?
KC- I am shocked your state hasn't closed those things yet!!! I am complaining Ontarios essential service list is too broad, and it's been tightened once already. I wasnt particularly worried, as I am currently working from home, mostly working on infrastructure and mining projects, which are still essential services, but even some of those clients are starting to slow down, and as of yesterday my company is saying they may need to lay some of us off fully or partially in a week or two.
I am far from an expert, but we are planning on sunflowers and quinoa as visual barriers/less obvious food crops to hide our main vegetable garden from the road and provide some food. If I was in a warmer climate, I would plant chia and sorghum (celiac, which changes my food choices).
I was thinking a little further on this, about why I wouldn't suggest only those who know how to garden get seeds this year. Keep in mind I'm the child of a man who was born in WWII, grew up starving, stealing and scrounging for food and coal in Eastern Europe, and chose to retire to 100 acres of scrappy Canadian shield forest in the middle of nowhere with a river and a woodstove, because he fears widespread global economic collapse. It colours my perspective, a bit lot.
The best time to learn to garden is in the past. The next best time is now. I am trying new things this year - flour corn, quinoa, a few brassicas, hullless oats. I anticipate I won't get a good yield this year ( I almost always do better with saved seeds than fresh bought seeds), and they are going in a new garden bed, which are never as productive as established beds. But the seeds won't be wasted - next year, I will know what I am doing, will plant larger blocks of whatever was most successful, and the yield will improve.
I can see this crisis extending into next year, businesses failing, supply chain interruptions, job losses, etc. I don't know how fast the economy will bounce back - if we hit the virus globally hard, with total shutdowns for 1-2 months? Businesses and the economy would probably bounce back. But this slow, slow, slow drawn-out approach the US and Canada are doing? I expect it will be an equally slow, slow, slow, drawn-out recovery. With the amount of liquidity thrown into the economy, and the absurdly low interest rates? I'm anticipating massive inflation too.
I can't guarantee that next year won't be worse than this year - and harder to buy seeds. So I'm teaching myself to grow more things this year, and saving seeds, so next year, I can be more self sufficient.
I think if most people, or more people, learned to be a bit more self sufficient this year - next year, if the crisis continues, they will be better off.
Definitely a seed shortage - I have now ordered/bought seeds this year from 4 sources. I usually buy from 4 - but less quantities, and only one online order, and pick up things from 3-4 seed racks. It's definitely a year when people are planning on producing more heavily than usual. I am. I'm also focusing much more heavily on "calorie crops" than I usually do - planning flour corn, potatos, quinoa, dry beans, and many storage root crops.
Personally - if someone wants to start a first time garden this year, I will heartily support them. But probably suggest sticking to the basics - tomatos, carrots, peas, beans, zucchini - and a max 20 x 20' garden.
One of the places I bought seeds from this year (Canadian tire's rack of seeds imported from Italy) is probably now inaccessible, as they move to online only orders. Another place (OSC seeds) is now closed to new orders. Two others (Stokes and Annapolis Seeds) are still accepting orders, and seem to have inventory.
Share seeds if you have them - I just gave my elderly neighbour who's a bit behind on this, and is planning on getting seeds at the garden centre when they open in a month "because surely they won't be closed" , a few of my saved zucchini/pea seeds, and some of my beet, carrot, and lettuce seeds. She said "oh, I'll just order from OSC or Vesey's if the garden centre is closed". Well, OSC and Vesey's are both already closed to new orders. A month from now, I expect the rest of the major seed sellers to be sold out too! She's planning on buying tomato starts from the garden centre at the end of May, too... (I'm planning on sharing seedlings, because I have plenty). In return, I got her raked up leaves to mulch my garden. Score!
I keep seeing people posting on why there's no need to hoard seeds/start a garden, because "the farmers will keep on farming". Sure, they probably will. But will the distribution channels keep on operating? Will the temporary workers keep on picking? Will the distribution and packing centres keep on operating, will the border guards keep on working to bring produce up from the States? I don't know, but I do know everything I pull out of my garden is something I don't need to track down in a store.
A relative, who used to keep a big garden, is also not getting it, but woke up overnight and has also requested I give her tomato seedlings. Sure, OK. Happy to do so (I have 50 + started). I'll probably give some to my uncle, who has a big balcony at his apartment, too.
When you realize you have inadvertantly taught your dog to go out of her way to preferentially pee on mulch, because you praise her each time she does because yay, nitrogen for the new garden... ( I have watched her jump into a raised bed on walks near when there is grass right next to it).
Let's just say I am keeping this accomplishment to myself in non permies circles.
I am currently living with my grandmother, who was a child during the depression, came to adulthood in WW2, and was fairly poor until the 1970s.
She still waters her orange juice. Meat is cooked as a roast, sliced fine, often served cold and overcooked. Its definitely not the focus of the meal, vegetables and mashed potatoes are. Gravy is always made.
Today we had chicken soup. One chicken served 3 people 2 dinners, then the bones and scraps were boiled and made into soup for lunch. 9 meals from one chicken. Soup is a great way to stretch meat, we always cut the meat into tiny pieces so you get more "mouthfuls" with meat, and often add rice and/or potato and/or beans.
My non depression era, celiac frugality tip is always adding cooked pureed vegetables to baking. The taste and texture of the resulting thing is better, and carrots, squash, zucchini, apples, etc, especially homegrown are much cheaper than gluten free flour!
More work today. Raked up a bunch of leaves and garden debris and mulched a third of the cardboard covered area 15-40 cm thick or so, and cut off another bunch of sod. This sod we flipped upside down on the cardboard to try and kill the grass roots. Starting a (hopefully) successful from the first year garden is hard work.
The soil is surprisingly good- local rumour has it there was a garden were we are working 15 years ago or so.
Oh ! Better yet! Almost no ice in the ground today, even in the shady areas.
The plan for this year was to fence the yard for the dogs. Today the province announced they were halting all new construction. Ok, fair, but I really want a fence!
I am stubborn, but dont have much time or strength, so am now wondering how feasible it would be to keep a 50 lb and 10 lb dog back behind a 6 ft fence made of t posts and welded wire mesh? Would I need to anchor the corners(which sounds like the hardest part) How could you construct a gate on this kind of fence?
Any other low-effort fencing ideas? I am not a fan of invisible fence for a number of reasons (starting with it not keeping things out).
I have a bottle of unscented foaming hand santizer I am quite pleased with. I looked in to how to make more when I run out, and the recipe was quite simple - a small amount of liquid soap, the remainder rubbing alcohol. You just need a foaming hand soap dispenser, or a foaming dish soap dispenser + soap + 70% alcohol.
My father has been carrying around a cloth in a ziplock bag saturated in bleach-water solution and is using it to sterilize his hands and surfaces, but I personally wouldn't recommend it for hand cleaning!
My favourite community garden was a 3 x 3 m (~10 x 10') plot. No raised beds, just in the ground, with access to a hose for water. For the first year, 10 x 10 was enough, as it had been neglected the year(s) before i had it and was completely covered in mint and grass. I wished there were mulched or grassed paths between the beds so I didn't worry about stepping on other's beds. Some people had two beds (if there were multiple members of a household, they could each have a bed, and managed to switch to have them next to each other). For me, 2 plots would have been perfect, but I was happy to start with my single plot. A lot of plots(75%) were overgrown/got away from people by the end of the year, even with a single plot. I liked that they allowed you to have perennials, including small bushes.
Another garden (4x6' raised beds) was better in terms of community spirit (gardeners had a work schedule and were responsible for general chores for 2 weeks/growing season including watering the food bank plots and mulching paths and refilling the central water barrels)) but the plot sizes were way too small and i disliked having to water my garden by carrying buckets of water. I also liked that this garden had a communal tool shed. I also liked that some mulch was provided for gardeners (they put a pile in a corner, then you could carry it yourself). I also liked that they had a pollinator/wildflower garden along one fence (with raspberries!)
Both gardens were fenced, with a combination padlock to keep out "hungry snackers"
Personally, I wouldn't grow potatos in a raised bed, I'd grow them in the ground covered in mulch and save raised beds for things that really benefit from the extra effort.
That being said - I'd probably plant them without companions in a raised beds, or with companions filling in the gaps between plants which finish earlier. When you dig out the potatos you will disturb the roots on everything else - so maybe peas might work, trellised on the sides of the bed (and still fitting two rows of potatos in). Beans may mature too late, corn is a heavy feeder and may mature too late, onions you would need to reduce to one row of potatos...
My adventures in making a large (hopefully) first year successful garden bed began today.
Today I covered an approximately 25 x 15 ft area in a single layer of cardboard, weighed down by rocks/stones/boards/bricks. It's due to rain for 48 hrs or so, and the idea is to try to keep it wet for a month or two until planting time, to rot the grass below.
My mom and I (mostly my 60+ year old mom, who always makes me feel like a slow, lazy "lunchbucket layabout" in comparison when we work together) also raked up all the leaves in the yard and on last years gardens. The leaves will be piled on top of the cardboard once it's saturated enough to hold itself down and I can take off the rocks/boards/bricks. My mother has also volunteered my services for raking up and wheelbarrowing away the leaves in the back corner of a neighbours' yard. Yay, i think?
We may have another load of wood chip mulch delivered, as well. I think the apocalypse must truly be here - I was stating a 15x 15 foot bed, and my mother kept egging me to make it as big as possible (and providing more cardboard). She maintained a 60x 40' bed for a few years, and always swore she never wanted to do it again, and is usually after me not to make too large of a garden! I think watching how my mulched beds last year performed has changed her mind. We'd both rather spend a few days putting down mulch in the spring then hours weeding in the height of the summer.
I don't want to buy topsoil/soil, so for fine seeds (carrots, turnips, parsnips, etc), I started cutting sod with an edger, spearing it into the wheel barrow with a digging fork, and wheelbarrowing it away to compost and kill the grass/weeds before returning it to the garden. The goal is a 5 x 15' garden with fine, weed free soil to start carrots, parsnips, and turnips in the coming weeks. I've so far done about 5 x 3'. I shook what soil I could back into the bed with the fork. By cutting the sod off, then letting the soil sit for a week or two, it allows some weed seeds to germinate, then get raked out before I plant. So long as I avoid walking on it (will probably put down boards to stand on when I plant) it actually looks like reasonably loose, fertile soil. After the seedlings come up, I will mulch between the rows with leaves/woodchips. I will note that I would MUCH rather be prepared a year a head, and smother the grass with mulch rather than cut and remove it. Much less work, much better for the soil.
I am realizing the advantages I have over someone truly trying to "first time" garden. Including good somewhat non-standard tools (nice edgers, a digging fork, a variety of rakes, etc). Also including my mother's advice. I'd planned on turning in the grass and double digging, but using the edger and removing the sod will mean much less weeding down the road.
No greenhouse unfortunately, wish I did! Just a few decent windows and some grow lights.
Love the feed bag idea, wish I had space (and feed bags) to try it!
I am just learning to plant cooler season crops this year and last year, I grew up with gardens where everything was put in the ground on the same weekend in early June, and most of my recent gardening is in community gardens in warmer climates where you aren't given access until a few weeks after last frost.
I managed to hold off the seed starting bug until last week so hopefully this year's transplants wont be too leggy.
I generally only plant the shortest season varieties, and save seed from the fastest to mature plants, as I am scarred from most of my gardening being in zone 3a or 3b where "100 days to maturity" is a gamble on the first frost. I have never had an issue with anything maturing too soon lol, just a bunch of stuff all coming into production right as temps start to drop and there is the first frost, or not maturing in time.
Was so looking forward to gardening in zone 6, but will be in 4b again this year.
Where I am... planting season is 2 months away. I am planning on sharing any excess tomato starts and cucumber starts (or other starts) with our elderly neighbors, both of whom generally keep a small garden but won't be able to get out to buy nursery plants, and also my cousin, who is NOT a gardener. I may also offer them their choice of my excess seeds.
Excess produce we can't eat or preserve will definitely land on their doorsteps as well, like it did last summer (likely beans, zucchini, lettuce, tomatoes, sweet corn).
Plants shared with non gardeners should be: productive, easy to grow, nutritious, and things they like eating . So I wont give my cousin squash seeds though squash meets 3/4 requirements.
Good plants to me would be my "easy" crops.
-squash, winter and summer
If you are in a warmer zone, you may be able to root cuttings of your tomatos fo share with neighbors and give them a head start.
And in my opinion, anything saved from your local seed will give a few years head start over grocery store seed or plant starts!
None of these were quite what I was looking for (admit I didn't download the app). If I get laid off and have time, I may play around with making a webpage that does what I am looking for. I have gardened in several places but dont really have the "rhythm" of what to plant when in my head.
My concern is mostly getting stuff in the ground as early as possible/reasonable, as I am a short season gardener. I do succession plant some stuff like lettuce.
Looks like peas, onions, and garlic can go in now, some root veggies in a week or two. It snowed two days ago but has melted.
Using the farmers almanac and googling some more exotic stuff (bok choy, celeriac, flowers, herbs, etc), I went through and separated my seeds by planting date into file folders. March, early April, late April, early may, late may. Hopefully this will mean I won't suddenly find pea seeds in may. Huge improvement over my childhood garden where nothing went in the ground until the 10th of June!
It looks like I am going to have a very busy spring planting season. Found quite a few things I still need to start in the next week or two.
I am planning on growing a lot of things this year, including lots of new things- and very frustrated with seed packets that say "plant in x month" , when the seed packet is from Italy or wherever, and I am in a very different climate. Our last frost date is May 10-20th, and I am trying to plan seed starting dates.
Theoretically I could plan the old fashioned way and take a calendar and mark it all back.... but I am lazy, have 20+ things to plant, and am wondering if anyone has found something online that does this? Where you provide the last frost date, and a list of what you want to grow, and it spits out a calendar?
I like to put tension rods in my windows and hang clothes on hangars from the tension rods. If you have curtain rods already, that would work. I find they get musty smelling indoors unless you hang them in sunlight. I have also been known to use the backs of chairs. You can dry socks and other small items by clothespinning them to a hangar.
While wearing a mask is potentially helpful to keep the droplets out of your personal respiratory tract, they are much more effectively used to stop infectious people from coughing the droplets outwards. One can not where a mask all the time, and they become dirty and contaminated and need changing. In an ideal world, everybody should be given masks and be able to use them when out in public, but the current situation is far from ideal... The biggest problem with masks at this time, is that they are in very limited supply (this is especially an acute problem due to hoarding). Doctors, nurses, care-aids, and patients with infectious coughs are the ones who these limited resources should be concentrated on.
If you bought a box of masks, I'd suggest getting them to a hospital, a health clinic, or a doctor's office where they can be put to the best possible use.
Yes, definitely save "real" masks for healthcare workers, but other countries are ramping up their mask production, i think we should be as well. There is a lot of evidence that even a homemade mask can stop respiratory droplets. The key is to remove and replace and wash/dispose of the homemade masks frequently, and incorporate a nose bridge/fitting, and some non woven fibre. I have produced 3 disposable tissue paper + paper towel + steel wire nose bridge masks following Hong Kong doctor's advice that fit closely to the face to use in case I need to go anywhere in public in the next week or two. If I was sewing masks, rather than making them out of paper, which is what i have done, I would probably make 5-10 per person, with a pocket for a disposable double layer paper towel filter, and put them into a container with mild bleach solution every time they are removed, then wash my hands.
I've noticed for a while that the places in the world where mask wearing is normal (Singapore, Hong Kong) have far less transmission. Wearing a mask protects others if you are sick and don't know it, and is valuable as a population level control just for that.
If you're not in London, chickens are the answer to starting new gardens. I've penned hens into temp runs where I wanted gardens and they kill the grass and weeds, dig up all the grubs, and fertilise too. I found that hens could prep about a square foot a day. Best and easiest garden prep ever. Once the garden's established, I let them in for the last hour or so before sunset and they'd eat the bugs for me too.
I lived in KW for years and spent the rest of my time around London. Where abouts are you? Don't worry if you don't want to say. I moved to Murray Corner NB last year. Love it here though the 'yotes come right up to my door.
I'm in Niagara, but will be gardening again in Eastern Ontario. I'm immunocompromised, so have to give up house hunting for the time being. I can work from home, so given the choice between a few months of isolation in my apartment in "the bad part of town", or a few months of isolation at my mom's house, with a garden? Yeah. Easy choice.
I'd love chickens, they are like the permaculture "rototiller and garbage disposal all in one". I have been half trying to convince either of my parents to get some this year, with no success. I usually travel to much to have them even though my city would allow them.
I gardened in a flood plain one year, with the same logic. I found the soil too silty and too wet to grow a good garden. I think it also needs to be said that the Nile (prior to being dammed) was very muddy water (probably clay rich) while the small river I gardened next to was fast flowing and very clear.
- The Go trains, subways, and freeways in Toronto are apparently practically empty during rushhour, indicating people are following the recommendations to stay home if at all possible and slowing the spread.
- A BUNCH of distilleries around Canada and the world are manufacturing hand sanitizer for free for first responders and medical professionals, or for with proceeds going to a charity for the public. Here's a few:
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/dillons-distillers-1.5500843 ; https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/toronto-distillery-produces-free-hand-sanitizer-for-vulnerable-residents-1.4858620 ; https://eatnorth.com/dan-clapson/victoria-distillers-begins-producing-free-hand-sanitizer-during-covid-19-crisis - My work has finally cancelled all international travel.
- I am self isolating, as I am immunocompromised and plan to go home to stay with my mom and grandma, who are also immunocompromised and even more at risk than I am. My boss didn't argue when I told him what I was planning, and I have so far had three people offer to help with groceries or anything I need, including two colleagues and my downstairs neighbour. I am very grateful, and very, very lucky.
- My 95 year old grandmother has agreed to self isolate and not leave her apartment for 2 weeks (huge accomplishment for my social butterfly grandmother) while my mother and I self isolate to make sure we are safe, then bring her to stay with us
- My last minute prepping Amazon, seed, and shampoo orders look like they will arrive soon!
I have no idea if they will still be shipping - but if you haven't looked at it, Whiffletree has better prices on some of the things you list. I had planned to order from them this year, but didn't end up buying a house yet, as I realized the housing market is likely to crash if people lose jobs (already prices are down in my city). I would go with a mixture of short term and long term plants - berries, sour cherries will produce early, and then longer term propositions like apple trees, nut trees.
For obvious reasons, we want to ramp up production at my mom's house this year considerably. Last year it provided about half as much produce as 2 people could eat, plus extras to some neighbours and family when the production was high. Pickings were lean during the spring.
This year, we want to grow enough to feed me + my mom + grandma, and have storage crops. When grandma is around, Mom and I probably double the number of vegetables we eat :) Mom's started my saved seeds indoors, and I've ordered a bunch of seeds to be delivered (hopefully) to her house in the coming days.
Last years gardens were all first year gardens or older gardens in sad shape that were mulched twice with cedar wood chips, which have decomposed enough on the bottom to start to provide better soil texture and more nutrients. They should start to produce well this year.
Mom and grandma are both very experienced traditional gardeners, but both have historically made and maintained garden beds with a rototiller or a tractor - neither of which we have. I'm a double dig in the spring, then "throw on the mulch, I hate weeding" kind of gardener.
My plan right now is to kill grass in a large sunny area with multiple layers of large pieces of wet cardboard, and poke holes for seedlings, and throw on whatever organic matter we can scrounge in lasagna layers. I plant to dig, turn, and rake out weeds/grass to start a bed for onions, carrots, and other fine-seed plants. Mom still has snow, and I am self isolating for a few more days before I head home, so it's not going to be dug for a week or two yet!
How do you start new gardens? What are your plans for new gardens this year?
Lorinne Anderson wrote:And yet new cases in China have plummeted. Why? Because of proper hygiene and self isolation, most likely.
Yes, we should not be hanging out in bars/large groups; yes we should stay home as much as is realistic; yes, we should be cautious and endeavor to slow the spread; yes, we need to be careful with personal hygiene; yes, we should ensure our elderly and co-morbid folk are able to self isolate by helping supply them with food drops.
Yes, this will continue to spread, despite everything. At the end of the day, three, six, twelve months from now, we will look back, regret those that did suffer and die, but the vast majority of folks should be just fine.
Fear spreads far faster, and is potentially far more dangerous than any virus.
Fear saves lives. Dying after a month of struggling to breath is a really terrible way to die.
China managed this with lots of masks (which we don't have), and confining people to their apartments which we in the west don't have the political will to do, not by "staying home as much as realistic". I invite you to watch this video - which shows the scale of the quarantine efforts still underway in Wuhan.
This is what was required to turn the outbreak in Wuhan around.
We currently have about 80 000 cases worldwide, outside of China. It takes about 1 month to kill.
Number of cases has been consistently doubling every 4 days. If that keeps up the entire country of Canada will be infected in about 68 days. Health Canada is predicting 50-70% of the population will become infected. Aproximately 20% will require hospitalization. Canada's population is 37 million. If that happens within 2 months, and hits 50% of the population, 20% require hospitalization, 3.7 million people in Canada alone will need hospitalization (and likely die without it). That's 10% of the population.
Potential exponential growth of cases in Canada:
Day 1 - 304
Day 4- 608
8- 1 216
12- 2 432
16- 4 864
20- 9 728
28- 38 912
32- 77 824 - one month from now!
36- 155 648
40- 311 296
44- 622 592
48- 1 245 184
52- 2 490 368
56- 4 980 736
60- 9 961 472
64- 19 922 944
68- 39 845 888 - greater than the population in Canada!
I follow the advice that "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". I am fine to let others believe whatever they like, but if they are trying to convince me of something, there'd better be some well thought out logic and evidence behind it if I am to be convinced. I am unlikely to ASK for the evidence if it isn't presented to me, but if the claim is particularly interesting, I might research independently.
I equate it to - if I ask a coworker what the weather is like, and she says "It's sunny, with a few clouds", i'll nod and say that's nice. If she says "There's a tornado, and it's heading for us!" or "It's starting to snow!" (and it's July), then, I'm probably running to the window to check for myself, and potentially never trusting my coworker's opinions on the weather again if I can't find evidence to support her claims.
If my coworker had, instead, pulled up a few Environment Canada pages, and showed me the live tracking, or I knew of her Ph.D research in meteorology, and she mentioned the exact weather patterns that caused her to believe there was a tornado coming for us - then I might trust her judgement, even if the tornado never materialized.
I also like "the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence", and try to keep that in mind as well. Just because I've never SEEN credible evidence of the Sasquach, doesn't mean it doesn't exist - but it does reduce the likelihood. If new evidence is presented, I am willing to change my mind.
I second the recommendation for Stanfields - love their long underwear, it's smoother, denser, and feels more durable than a lot of other brands I've tried. I've heard great things about Egli's sheep skin hard hat liners. If I ever end up working up north in the winter again, with a month of lead time (hah!) I intend to buy one.
J. B. Field's Icelandic wool socks are awesome. Thick, cozy, and not restrictive at the top. I wear summer Blundstones all winter with those socks in them. My oldest are 3 years old, and just developed holes - but the holes are in the top, where a certain puppy chewed them, not from wear in the toes/heels.
Mountain Warehouse has inexpensive wool long johns that are decent quality for the price in their frequent 50% or more discount sales. They are I think 70% wool ? Good for the price if you need a bunch in a hurry, not as good quality as other options.
Smartwool is good, but very pricey. MEC's wool stuff is generally good, but watch the reviews. Not wool, but I am currently in love with their organic cotton tshirts. On clearance, they are the same price as normal tshirts ($12), but they seem to last well.