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Kylie Harper

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since May 04, 2012
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Recent posts by Kylie Harper

Ivon Carter wrote:I have a strong desire to do that only because of animals. I feel that my body is healthier and stronger when I don't eat meat. But I can't stop eat fish and cheese so easily, I like them very much:(

There are a couple of ways to approach veganism - you can be a "junk food" vegan or you can focus on eating whole foods.

If you don't mind being a junk food vegan, you should check out cheese substitutes such as Daiya (I think I've spelled that right). Really good stuff. Not appropriate all the time if you're looking to avoid processed foods. Also, you can use nutritional yeast to give a cheesy flavor.

For fish, try making Happy Herbivore's Mock Tuna Salad. You could eat that whenever you get a craving for fish.

It takes about a month for your taste buds to transition and for you to stop craving certain things. You'll not only get used to it, you'll love it!

You can do it!
7 years ago
Hey there! I am 100% vegan in my diet, and I cook almost everything from scratch. No "junk food" and I keep everything low fat. The effect this has had on my life is something I can't even begin to put into words.

"Vegan" is a bit of a loaded word. I wish that it weren't. I tend to call myself plant-based because "real vegans" are offended that I really only pay attention to it diet-wise. But, I'm all about keeping animals on your property and using them for dual purposes - "earning their keep" if you will. Give them a good life, use their poop or their wool or their amazing digestive capabilities, whatever. That's cool. But nope, I'm not interested in eating animals or their products. Not even organic or free range. I know people will be up in arms over this, but really - animal protein has been damaging to my health and there's no way I'm going back, thanksverymuch.

I'm personally surprised that more permaculture folks aren't plant-based in their diets, because life becomes so simple when you don't need to raise animals to eat. You immediately lower the number of animals you'd need overall, for one, and that means fewer resources, time, and energy devoted to their care. I think if I had to choose animals to keep, it'd be pigs, chickens, and sheep. Possibly a horse or two if the property was quite large. Pigs for their ability to chew up icky land and turn it into awesome land (and because I LOVE PIGS!!), chickens for their ability to keep fruit flies from decimating fruit populations and for their great manure, and sheep because I'd love to try to spin wool and knit with it as part of my interest in sustainability. It'd be a relatively small gathering of animals. Cats and dogs are a given because that's just how I am. And, I understand that cats & dogs are carnivores and need to eat meat, but I'd probably just source this locally.

As for recipes, I love love love love Lindsay Nixon's books. You can check her out at
8 years ago
Hi Nick, I just got a ditch blade (actually, it was the shortest grass blade, works both ways) from Scythe Supply to clear some crazy overgrown weeds (waist high) that were inaccessible with my mower due to really soggy ground. This is my first scythe! Is this your first scythe, too? If so, part of the problem may be technique. It took me awhile to understand the most efficient motion to make with the blade. It really is an arcing motion - hacking or "golf clubbing" won't work well except on the thick-stemmed monsters.

This is what I do (I am using a right-handed snath)... keep in mind I'm still a beginner, so someone may come on and say "what horrible technique!" but it has worked for me in conditions similar to what you describe - overgrown field.

*Keep right arm mostly straight
*"Steer" with left arm
*I have to push down slightly with left hand and pull up slightly with right hand to stop the tip of my blade from going into the dirt.
*Rock side to side (and moving forward in small increments) with feet. It seems that a rhythm is helpful in consistent cutting.
* It's really all about the abs, too!
*Don't look too closely at the stuff you are cutting! If you think "Oooh I want to get the stubborn patch of grass" and you reach to take a swipe at it, it's not as efficient unless you're making an arcing motion with the blade.
*If it's really thick, go ahead and hack at it in short motions.
*Let the area rest for a couple of days for some of the weeds that you missed to rise back up, and then go again if you want.
*Cut in the early morning when the grass is still a bit wet.
*My weeds were too thick (and my arms too weak) to go all the way around to my left side, creating a windrow. So, it does look messy.

I hope that helps...
8 years ago
I have the Scott's Classic. It doesn't really cut weeds well, but it works great on grass.
8 years ago

Steve Furlong wrote:What's an ENTJ?

I believe that's a personality designated by the Meyer-Briggs test. It stands for Extroverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging. There are descriptions online of what that actually means in more depth. Funny, I'm nearly the opposite as an INFP - Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving

As for what got me into Permaculture, I basically wanted to simplify my life, distill it down to the most necessary parts. I came across Permaculture while watching Paul's videos online and found it to be an ingenious way to solve many problems.
8 years ago
Ooh! I want to see this, too. I don't go to the movies very often, either, but this has been on my list for awhile.

By the way, have you seen the Japanese trailer? There are English subtitles - this trailer makes me way more excited to see the movie. Here it is:
8 years ago
Hi Andrew, I just planted my first lettuce this year so I'm no expert, but look for summer varieties - they are apparently more heat tolerant. It's a good idea to plant lettuce where another crop will shade it part of the time, so consider planting it next to a trellised plant.

8 years ago
Oh dear!! I am so sorry to hear that, I would certainly be devastated.
8 years ago
I think it's wonderful!! It shows a wide variety, too. It's like an interactive encyclopedia because of the information on the back. And you can quickly replace cards as fast as you can think of a new idea.

You're good, Elia!
8 years ago
I moved in fall of 2010 and now live in a flood zone / high water table area. The yard is mostly flat except for a very slight hill in the middle of the yard. With a very heavy rain, it has the potential to flood and then stay saturated for weeks at a time. I attached a picture of a flood in Feb 2011. The water stood about 8 inches high and it took 3-4 weeks for it to drain away. We had ducks move in during that time!

Our first reaction to this flood was that all that standing water was a bad thing and we needed to make it go away. We hand dug a small trench (nothing fancy) to allow the water to drain away faster. Now we get puddles that dry up in 3-4 days in the outskirts of the lawn (all 4 sides, with the center of the yard still being the highest and now hosting a raised vegetable garden). Even a small amount of rain causes the yard to be quite soggy and muddy, even if you can't see obvious standing water.

This was all pre-permaculture discovery. Now, I've been watching some permaculture videos on youtube, especially Geoff Lawton's work, and I'm wondering if there's a more reasonable compromise for an area at risk of this flooding. The water soaks into the ground eventually, just very slowly. Am I messing with the water system too much by draining it away with a trench?

The flooding also renders half the yard unusable / unplantable (as far as I know) because I can't find any plants that can stand being flooded for one month out of the year, and then experience dry conditions later in the summer. I do not yet have rain barrels in place but I wonder how much they would decrease the flood risk? Swales seem to be for slopes, not for flat land, but can swales be used in this kind of situation?

It now seems ludicrous that I'm sending the water back to the city when, if I could hang onto it somehow, I'd be able to use it to water my veggies. Any suggestions? Thanks.

8 years ago