Jennifer Jennings

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since Mar 06, 2013
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Milmay, NJ (latitude 39.453160, longitude -74.867990)
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Recent posts by Jennifer Jennings

In my experience with myself, my family, and my clients, not being able to let go of things is almost always tied to emotions; like the emotions of feeling bad if we don't do something with the thing we saved, or that we should be doing better by the environment, or because it's the only thing left that we have from our great grandmother, etc.  No matter what the reason we think it is that we hold on to something, the underlying reason is always some kind of emotion driving the action.  I think that's why the ascetic religious practice of owning nothing or being intentionally materially impoverished helps accomplish that clarity of thought and introspection - it's never what we do, but why we do it, right?

So, perhaps by examine the reason why we have saved or hoarded stuff, try and figure out why it was important - and then feel okay with yourself by letting it go. That's the only way you move forward.
2 months ago
While that NIH article lists interesting phytochemical components in the avocado pit, I've only seen one source that states it's actually good to eat - Jeff Primack's website (  Primack is a martial arts teacher who has moved into the new age/nutritional arena with his book, "Conquering Any Disease".  One other website advocates doing this (, but only offers empirical evidence from their personal experience.  The NIH article does make it clear that there's a lot of potential goodies avocado pits might be, specifically some cancer fighting compounds that could be extracted from them.

I've seen Jeff Primack in person where he made smoothies with avocado pits, and I don't disagree that they can be eaten...but should they?  Seeds usually have protective chemicals that discourage digestion (phytates and tannins) and some can be removed with soaking, but without a better understanding of those chemicals (or at least some in-depth scientific analysis), I might skip on eating them regularly.  And at the very least, you're gonna need a kickass blender like a Vitamix or a Blendtec.
3 months ago
I think I might have posted this once before in another forum, but here it goes:

All my bones go into pressure cooked bone broth makings.  After 8-16 hours in the Instant Pot, they literally crumble if you exert the slightest pressure on them.  I use a meat tenderizer mallet to break them into mush, then give them to the chickens.  There's never anything left to attract vermin.  In the case of beef/pork ribs, I'll fish them out, dry them in the toaster oven, and break them into small pieces as dog treats.  They must be "bone dry" (pardon the pun) if you're going to store them - they will mold if not - and as long as you don't give too many of them as treats, your dog won't develop any intestinal impactions.
3 months ago
My problem is not that I have predatory cats (mine are inside only) or dogs (mine is also useless); my issue is that I have too many snakes - to the point where there were five eggs in my nesting boxes, and now there are none!

I am all in favor of Mother Nature taking her share...but if the snakes keep my hens from laying where they should (in their enclosed pen), it's a problem.  We have mostly eastern rat snakes and black racers, the smallest of which was 3.5 feet long.  My chickens (Rhodies & Australorps) are not going to tangle with anything that big, although I'm sure they'll eat all the babies.  I have avoided killing them because I figured the reason they showed up was because there was a food source (mice/rats) that having chickens usually brings; now I think they've eaten all the vermin, and eggs are an easy meal.  

My birds are free range during the warm months, and we leave their pen open for them to access nesting, etc. - but I have done the lower portion of the fence with 1 in. chicken wire, but that just keep them in after they've eaten an egg and are too fat to fit back through, and there's a good chance that they've taken up residence under my henhouse.  I'll be closing that off with hardware cloth soon, but they also hang out in the walls between the joists.

So I guess what I'm asking for, assuming that fencing off under the henhouse and closing off the wall space doesn't work...what are my options without killing them on site?
7 months ago
Thank you, Mike & Randall! Know I know where to plant it.
1 year ago
I'm not sure if this should be its own separate post or not, since it's already about evergreen trees and I have a similar problem.

I was given this pine sapling as a gift, and the giftor simply said that it was a Japanese pine. I haven't been able to find anything online that looks like it, and in all likelihood it's not a pine but a spruce as the needles come directly out of the branch and not in clusters. Do any of you smart people know what this is?
1 year ago
Hi James!

I am a 50 something who lives right next door to you in Milmay, New Jersey. I would be more than happy to be a sounding board for your ideas and maybe share some of my own if you're interested. 4 years ago my man and I bought a 5 acre parcel that is 3/5 woods and 2/5 trash (the previous owners neglected this property horribly, and actually spent a lot of time abusing it with diesel mechanics.). I'm no stranger to remediation strategies and doing what you can with what little you might have.

Feel free to contact me here, or you can email me at
1 year ago

Kelly Craig wrote:SIDE NOTE (rabbit trail):

Black locust, if allowed to grow, can produce some of the most durable wood you'd find in the Pacific Northwet. This makes it ideal for some woodworking projects. Too, many like it because black locust fence posts pale cedar for longevity and strength. Used above ground, it will outlast all of us, even if we sign in here as babies.

So, given that black locust is so durable, and we have it in the Northeast where I live.. has anyone thought about planting them as living fence posts if you know your paddock system is going to be permanent? Assuming that your fencing panels were going to be a fixed in a manner that would not involve the tree growing around the hardware, doesn't it sound like a good idea? Can anyone comment on this?
2 years ago
We're fortunate in that we don't "spoil" the pup with a lot of non fiber, intestinally unhealthy treats - and when we do, they are in smaller chunks, specifically to avoid the concrete-like impaction issues that you mentioned. Thanks for bringing that up!
2 years ago
I think my point was that Mother Nature had already begun breaking them down; I just wanted to sequester the crumbling shingles and get some usefulness out of them while she continued her work.  Since my initial post, the largest chunks have gone out in the trash (no doubt to a landfill, which I despise), and the smaller bits have been used as bottom fill in flower beds and non-food areas.  I use cardboard all the time everywhere I can, and we prefer wood chips above all else.  I want to cleanse my land of this crap...but I also don't want to contribute to expanding a landfill site.

I think if mushroom mycelia can remediate hydrocarbons, then nature will probably do the same with the asphalt shingles, even if they contain fiberglass, asbestos, etc.  I'd love to see any documented research on asphalt remediation if it's out there.  Every freeze and thaw cycle breaks these things into smaller pieces, and asphalt is natural, unlike the plastics (and microplastics they will eventually become) out there.