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Rebecca Norman

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since Aug 28, 2012
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food preservation greening the desert solar trees
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Rebecca has lived in Ladakh in the Himalayas since 1992. She's a bit of a crabby, grumpy character but is trying to Be Nice on Permies.
Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
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Recent posts by Rebecca Norman

What they all said ^^^!!!

I am very happy to see any mushrooms growing in my mulch or wherever, but I won't eat them unless I had learned the ID from a local mushroom person. I do taste random plants, but as somebody wise said, toxic plants tend to tell you they are toxic by tasting bad, but some mushrooms do not have that courtesy, and may taste nice while killing you.
6 days ago
Why is there an "eight foot arbitrary limit"? Is that your own decision or comes from outside?

Seed-grown trees are very likely to grow to be full-sized.

Pulling down branches is said to not promote the growth of vigorous vertical watersprouts the way that pruning does, but even so your trees might insist on growing to a lot more than 8 feet.
1 week ago

Dale Hodgins wrote:In a salad that contained vegetables and little pieces of fruit, the fruit seem to pop more, when mixed with the slightly bitter taste. The gourd was chopped up quite small when used in this way.

Wow, that sounds delicious! Is it a common salad in the Philippines? I've gotta try that!

Chris Kott wrote:Yeah, I agree that the wood itself is pretty much just hugelbeet fodder.

But watch out, don't bury freshly cut healthy logs. They are likely to sprout vigorous new trees.
1 week ago
I had bitter gourd for dinner last night. Yum!

They are a somewhat popular vegetable in India and the rest of the subcontinent, and I understand also in China and Chinese communities around the world. Pretty much everyone hates them at first, but many people suddenly switch to loving them after several tries.
25 feet is not at all too deep for a handpump. I lived with a handpump that was 80 feet deep for a few years. They are common in India -- I read once that one of the Indian designs of handpumps is popular in many countries. I know people who use handpumps more than 100 feet deep.
3 weeks ago
I live in a place where growing plants can only happen with the help of irrigation, and we've used a storage pond for the past 20+ years. We also swim in it. We're not tropical, though, so some factors are very different from your situation.

The schedules of filling it for swimming/bathing, using it for necessary irrigation, draining it fully to break the mosquito life cycle, and keeping it full for storage for a later need, may clash. It can be a little hard to juggle all of those. But certainly better than not having it at all!

Vertical walls like the samples you showed above could be dangerous for non-swimmers who decide to go in for a bath. And are there dogs there? If they jump in could they get out? Vertical walls are also structurally harder to build strong enough to hold the weight of the water. If you could build it partway buried, and partly bermed up, with sloping walls, it might be safer. But it would take more space, which might become an issue depending on the land you end up getting. And it would allow more evaporation which might be less of an issue in the humid Philippines than in my location in the high desert, but we still find that sloped wall shape more desirable.

I'm sure you're more expert on this kind of detail than I am, but for breaking the mosquito life cycle, make sure to have the floor sloping with the drain at the lowest point.

Last year we had cement plastered our irrigation pond so it became more pleasant to swim in than the previously clay-bottomed version. So all our students were swimming in it daily, maybe 20 - 40 people using it over the course of a warm day, and I think ringworm (a skin fungus) went around. We were draining it every two days for irrigation, but maybe not fully because we don't have a mosquito problem most of the time. This might not be an issue for you with very few people bathing in it. Ours is much bigger than yours, but it still happened.

4 weeks ago
Eric, that's great information about autumn olive, but they are not very similar to olives, so may or may not be similar in their effects.
4 weeks ago
Black locust thorns are nothing like honey locust thorns, so maybe you'd like that one.
Straw is the stems of cereal grains after they are harvested, and is usually stiff hollow golden cylinders. Hay is grasses and other plants harvested green as feed for animals.
1 month ago