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leila hamaya

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since Jun 30, 2012
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forest garden foraging trees fiber arts building medical herbs
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Recent posts by leila hamaya

yes LSC is light straw clay, which is a very useful building method with like ten different names, but then again also at least  ten distinct ways of using it to build.

slip straw, light clay straw, light straw clay, slip form with straw, these are also common names for this.
it is also related to slip form masonry, wattle and daub, or some people have experimented with using wood chips, wood, or smaller gravel and stone, using the basic slip form method of building.

in light straw clay building, you use plywood boards as a movable form, generally on either side of framed in wall, interior walls, or between posts...and then stuff in straw covered with some slip clay, tamped down real good. after some time to dry, you remove the form and continue upwards and along...

more info --->
or ->

1 month ago
one of the best you tube rabbit holes i have ever been down =)

this is definitely the trains of thoughts i have been on lately, and its nice to hear someone vocalizing my thoughts back at me, but more eloquently (and with a nice elegant accent even =)
i've ranted this rant, anyway, many of these rants here, i've stumbled around to try to vocalize.

thought i would share.

1 month ago
i agree OP, society has become extremely toxic, and this is the unfortunate reality of many / most / at least in terms of so called "first world" type people, living in these extremely toxic cultures and subcultures.
we are taught badly and the default programming is extremely unhealthy, you have to steal your mind back and unlearn a lot of this -- and this will make you maladjusted to the current whirl.

the saddest part of it is -- people are so used to these sociopathic/toxic/disempowering/downright abusive type dynamics - this passes for normal. so the normalization of this type of stuff, thats what really scary. people are so immeshed in these unhealthy paradigms of abuse/exploitation/ commodification of everyone each other -- they can't imagine what it would be like to live in a healthy society, to not be treated abusively, to be respected and to work things out reasonably and without drama.

people are so normalized to the dysfunction and mental illness and toxic paradigms of our culture, they cant even see something else. it is either get over on someone or they get over on you, dog eat dog, extreme types of thinking. obviously theres so much more in the plurality of experiences -- but people get stuck on those abusive power dynamics and toxic behavior.
1 month ago
my additions are already mentioned -- i have used borax to clean laundry...or baking soda and borax. they both work quite well, are cheap and usually on hand for when i run out of laundry detergent.

i've definitely used some hand soap, castile soap, soft soap or even a small amount of body wash or shampoo in a pinch, just a tiny bit....but that was more in a pinch and not a long term plan.
dr bronners make a nice laundry soap, a little goes a long way, and bonus best bottle ever for reading as you shower =)

i really would consider making the switch to just small amount of borax, or borax and baking soda and/ or castile soap... my motivations with laundry soap is usually cheap and easily available but borax and baking soda are things i like to stock up on big amounts, definitely cheap and available. there have been some times when i did just use these primarily for months, having a nice stash of both.

using dr bronners all the time would get a bit pricey. i have been a bit curious to see what it takes to make Castile Soap from oils... and also dipping my toe into making natural body products and such, soap making is a new craft i am dabbling in. i recently purchased a bulk order with some unscented plain simple castile soap, it was much cheaper to buy that way. unsure though if this will be as good for clothes as it is for body washing.
3 months ago
well, still at it. =)

have recently been taking a bit of a break from over working! and traveling a lot in the nice weather, but have made a few dozen baskets in the last couple of months.
started my own independent website, that was a lot of stuffs ! --->

also i started doing some messy fluid art stuff, working with epoxy and trying my hand at that for something new. but now back to baskets =) and my break from the making work has given me time to process my recent work and photograph it all.

i have been trying out new handle styles, got some fun variegated thread to play with, and doing a lot with dyed rope rather than the wrap styles...maybe getting somewhere with good simple handles that work good. =)
actually just came up with a few different styles i am trying out that i like for simple handles.
3 months ago
i'm hearing you on the extreme minimalism, although i do like some comforts.
my suggestions --
~ electric blanket. these run on very minimal power, pennies for hours, very low wattage - to generate quite a bit of warmth. turn it on a few hours before you get into bed, mostly they auto shut off after a few hours. then you can turn the heater way down at night. i always feel like that night time heating is wasted, since i dont get to enjoy it. i enjoy sleeping in cooler environment anyway.

~ consider getting timers for your appliances. you cant just use any old timers since these tend to be high wattage, but for any of your high energy appliances you can get good timers for them. look for specific appliance timers, or any one that can handle higher watts.
in this way you can shut off your fridge all night when you wont be opening it, shut off a hot water heater except for the times you generally use it, etc.

~ the cost of gas has gone up a lot recently and this may be a bit pricey in the initial costs, but i do like the small "fake fire" type propane and gas heaters. these work really well for a small area so that you can retreat to one room and just heat up that room instead of whole house. that used to be a fairly economical thing for me, but unsure in the current whirl of things these days, how the pricing would work out.

definitely solar. even just one or two small cheap panels and a simple inverter. maybe dedicate a few things to use this, like you could run just your screens, laptop and stereo stuff on very small scale solar for free ish, once the initial price was paid off.
i wouldnt have laptop and screens and all that entertainment stuff be things to minimize, especially with current technology, it doesnt take very much power to use these things and just a couple of panels could power most of that for your minimal use.
3 months ago

Aurora House wrote:

Xisca Nicolas wrote:Super Leila!
We would feel at home in each other cuisine....

Yes I forgot, but I also use brasica flowers like radish or rucula.
When you miss the root or the leave, then you get the flower!

And some wild peas, and wild allium.

About fruit tress flowers, I should eat alongs' at the moment!
I don't dare eat apple flowers that would not give their fruit....

I was told that feijoa flower is great (at least it is beautiful)

You can eat apple blossoms and still get a crop. Commercial orchards try to bring in bees to pollinate the "King" flower of the cluster of 5 and then wisk the bees off to somewhere else before the rest open. You can create the same effect by gently knocking off the spares to leave the king as the largest, strongest, or most in line with the branch. The King then gets all the trees nutrient rich attention and you avoid the cycle of bumper crop/ pathetic common to most modern cultivars.

agreed it is a good way. additionally if you let apples grow naturally in clumps, the places where they touch can foster a rot, cause molds and water to gather where they touch and smoosh together..., if the clump of 2-4 apples all grow together.

knocking off several of the baby apples in clumps when they are forming is a yearly chore for apple trees. only leave one in each bunch ideally. and good point, by eating the apple blossoms and harvesting those so that only one flower remains of each clump, you would greatly improve the quality of that apple, as well as the size most likely.
4 months ago
these are interesting observations. yes - salt, broth, totally. and yes its like that, your body does some housecleaning when you do longer fasts. i can almost feel it happen myself. when i hit the point- maybe not the same exact as ketosis, but where my body is running on empty after a while i can sort of feel when it switches into burning off stuff, it really does feel that my stomach starts digesting all the bits and pieces from all the niches and consuming itself.
when i used to do longer fasts, i used to dream of all the things i wasnt eating and extreme, like dreaming of a huge stack of pancakes with all the fixings and a half a stick of butter!

juice fasting is way easier, it feels like not even fasting- same with coffee. of course my coffee is like the hugey cup with tons of cream and sweet, so thats something i try not to do if i fast, or alter it, agave or alternate sweetner - but drinking coffee is like a mini meal.
you all are making me feel bad that i have really let my dieting go -- i suppose i could say my current diet is something like whats called "dirty keto" some junk and sweets not too bad, though, some sugar, high fats, i love avocados and cheese every day these days, lots of meat too which is weird for me.  i've definitely been eating too much bread and i know i shouldnt be but i really enjoy breads and baked goods. IF is sort of my normal eating pattern anyway, but again i wake up and have a meal of huge cup of coffee and that makes me not hungry till evening.
6 months ago
i've never been as far south as santa cruz, and only certain northern california counties uses this...but you may want to look into class K building permit --->

and quite probably it is somewhat grandfathered in, but as far as i know, you will probably want to get permits for extensive remodeling. if you are not doing major changes then i would go for it just for cosmetic stuff, doing redesign of the interior spaces or walls, thats probably ok without anything official.. but if you change the exterior dimensions, add on, you know - big things- you would want to at least talk to the officials and look up the local codes
i've always wanted to grow some really pretty willows for potential basket making/other crafts, like the black willow or other darker colored willows to get different effects.
i have grown some curly willow, actually i have a few small rooted cuttings going on for planting somewhere...but it is a bit trickier to weave, i suppose. its also more visually weaving with passionflower, its a bit tricky to weave it but gives interesting results.
and actually curly willow isnt all curly, its actually straight in many areas, and gentle curvys in some spots, then others on the tips like corkscrew.

i sort of played around a bit with the common west coasts willows that grew around me. i think they are - shining willow  - Salix lucida or that was my best guess at ID for the ones most common everywhere around me on the west coast.
9 months ago