Roxanne Sterling-Falkenstein

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since Dec 17, 2011
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hugelkultur forest garden cooking
Cave Junction, Oregon
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Recent posts by Roxanne Sterling-Falkenstein

Story time,
My only successful broccoli was planted in late August, it got to about 6 inches when winter hit. We did nothing at all to protect it, That was a year it snowed like crazy, it was all under snow on and off all winter. Come spring, mid march glorious broccoli, too early for any bugs..not a single issue just gloriously good eats.   My theory was we planted after all the bug cycles were done, when it was warm and dry in the landscape, then cold and wet NOT warm and wet. I also find it gets too hot too soon every spring for my broccoli seedlings also Brussel sprouts, they like cool nights/weather better.
Now I do live in a temperate part of s Oregon, much colder in Vermont so I'd prob plant under cover if I lived there but still do the fall planting.  They do seem to stop growing during winter, don't be fooled. They are still growing just it's all roots, making them really ready to jump when the sun comes back.  
For easy coverage.  A single clear corrugated roof panel bent into a horseshoe shape makes a great durable winter row cover. I tie a cord around each end weigh down with a rock on that cord. Best part is cut the cords and store under a deck for the summer , really reusable.  I ask for damaged or cracked ones at the building supply, they sell me those up to half off.
I'll try to remember to post a picture soon of that contraption. Nice and light so easy to lift up and replace, but only 12 inches high and only works for straight rows. I never grow like that anymore, for me seeding is more like.. throw it in the air like you just don't care.
Cheers my funky farmers..

11 months ago
Consider a dense hedge of fig or densely planted plum cuttings (a growing green wall), a barrier planting like berries roses fig plum .. I'm sure many have other plant suggestions. Also dogs. Deer are hard to get rid of.. plant what they hate outside barrier plantings. I've found no sign of disturbance on fig hedge for many years now. Rosemary, oregano, lemon balm, sage, feverfew, foxglove, flowering tobacco all are deer proof.  I'd push those to the outside of your plantings. Also observed ..Drought will make them eat stuff they normally leave alone.  Water source outside your food forest might also help, sometimes they just need water and wet greens provide that. Just a few tid bits.
11 months ago
Hugelkultur for hedges in arid climates can work to create some new tilth and compost for hedges to naturalize. I plant on the north side of berm (Oregon is dry also in summer) to shade root area, helping drought proof. I'd do that in November-December so winter rains help root stock develop before summer dry out..
1 year ago

Lindsey Silva wrote:Hey Roxanne, thanks for sharing! Sounds interesting, and I'm always curious to learn about different passive streams of income. I see it's been a little over a month since you posted--how's this going for you?

Also, you mentioned that it's recommended to get up to 500 designs. By that point, how much income is it estimated that you'll be earning in passive income each month? (A range is fine .)

Hey Lindsay.. it's going slowly, but my body of work is increasing.  As far as income per month I actually have no idea what to expect. The fabric company does not pay much, red bubble has been better and the pay is better. I've made all of 70 some odd dollars total. But I have not been working much at it.
One way you can fill your planter all the way up, is to do a sort of hugelkultur bottom layer and fill between logs with sand, sawdust, wood chips. Then use the soil you planned to use to top it up.
You are quite resourceful, happy gardening .. oh yeah .. have you seen the "cattle panel" greenhouses, could be a good fit for that bed YouTube has a bunch of examples to peruse, one of them may strike a chord. Here's a starter;
1 year ago
I would think not, you could always stretch holes in the burlap over the spot where the holes in bucket are. The camouflage effect should still be pretty nice. I'm a fan of burlap for such uses.  
Cheers ,
I have used white sheets instead of plastic for this sort of protection in winter. Compostable and it is really quite bright inside there. Tho not full spectrum it is easy to take off and on during nice days. Washable also folds up during summer or can be used for shade cloth over seedlings. If you go to replace that plastic try the white cotton sheet.  
1 year ago
Recently I have discovered a new way to make money from home. Fabric and surface design. The site I began at is called They allow you to open a shop for free on their site to sell your designs on fabrics and household textiles. There is a small investment to PROVE* your designs, once that is done the design goes onto the marketplace and onto their sister company  
I have very limited experience with graphic design programs but found an amazing app called Mirror Lab that helped me to make repeating patterns, kaleidoscopic .. mirroring and more. So I played with other photo filter apps and got good at it.I watched you tube videos put out by other Spoonflower artists and surface designers, developed a bunch of designs, on their advice to have a big body of work (numbers game) I then found more print on demand sites that will pay me a commission on sales with my patterns.  I am able to use all the same patterns I developed for Spoonflower on and on another site called
I started this in December, and have had some sales on Redbubble. I have about 125 patterns to date it is suggested to build up to at least 500. This is fairly passive once the initial work is done, excepting self promotion.
My site is so you can see the stuff I've come up with. I use some public domain images .. crop remix, I also rework my own drawings with the photo filters.
I'm having the time of my life playing with color and form. I like the idea that these are made to order so no stocking inventory, less waste.  They also handle all the orders and shipping!!! The cleanest company is Spoonflower you can read up on them on their site if interested.
If you sketch, paint, doodle, assemble.. have a computer, basic photo editing skills and good wifi, this really could be for you. If you are crafty, imagine producing goods from your own patterns..AWESOME!!
email me if you want to pick my brain. a
Check out youtube for "surface design" and "spoonflower" I learned a lot very quickly.

*if you get so far as to want to prove your patterns ..> look up Fill-A-Yard option. It is a blank quilt template that works to "prove"42 patterns for $17.50 each 1 yard quilt. Instead of $5 each design!! Big difference.
When I was covering hugelkultur beds in an area with no soil to spare, I began piling all the leaves I could find on to them and pinning down the leaves with burlap and wood pins.. threw on a clover cover crop (all the seed i had on hand) That grew and helped pin the burlap down further. It breaks down after about 6 - 8 months but is easy to work around also. I loved the result that year.
off point.. This is what I have recommended  to folks I teach about hugelkultur who mention they are unable or unwilling to cover a wood pile with soil. I tell them to just keep covering their pile with leaves and to cover with the leaves w/ burlap.  The pile will compost a lot slower but at least we are discouraging burning of wood "waste"  
1 year ago
We have come up with a sit down solution for our farm, your basic biochar bucket placed in a semi private place. We have included a clean bucket for holding toilet paper and a burn box for used paper. Plans for a rain cover to make winter use easier. Turns out a toilet seat fits nicely on top of a 5 gallon bucket. We keep the seat hanging and ask folks to cover bucket with the lid to keep rain out.  
We hold a lot of learning events and in attendance are often MANY women from camp A (many quite elderly) , we felt we needed a elegant solution that works for everyone.. plus it's an opportunity to also teach about the works for next summers visitors, will be a sign teaching how biochar works so folks can read as they sit to pee.
Another finer point, we did a double stack of the buckets, one has biochar and very large holes, pee passes through and gives us a chance to empty the bucket (our events can attract large numbers) we can leave the biochar in use a bit longer. It also raises the sitting area up just a tad. We may upgrade to a toilet chair over bucket. Always a work in progress
1 year ago