stephanie gelfan

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since Nov 02, 2014
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Recent posts by stephanie gelfan

I have both a comment and a question.  Comment: As we all think about not wanting to get hurt from falling, let's also not stop having our bodies work. My mother, in her late 80's, moved to a house that was one storey, but with an unfinished attic. Pretty soon, she had the attic finished, so she would have an upstairs, and she moved her bedroom and office up there. the stairs wre very steep and shallow, but she happily managed them, including after breaking first one hip, then the other, then the first one again (never because of the stairs,) then, finally, after shattering her kneecap,(again, not from the stairs,) my siblings talked her into moving her office and bedroom back downstairs. That was the beginning of her decline.  If you get rid of stairs, then have some steep hill you enjoy walking up every day.

Now for my question: I have fashioned a few raised beds out of broken black Rubbermaid cattle troughs/stock tanks that I found at the dump. They had cracked bottoms, so they couldn't hold water....perfect for raised beds. I put small logs and various plant debris in the bottom and topped it off with lots of leaves and compost. Everything I have put in them has grown quite happily, even the cold weather crops . What I really like about them is their height, close to 30"  too high for the groundhogs and nice and easy on our backs.  The question is, how to get more of them or something else that is that high and that I won't have to spend a lot of money on. When I  price getting enough rough cut 2-by lumber, the raised beds get expensive fast, and I don't want to buy intact cattle troughs (way too expensive) simply to drill holes in the bottom. Any suggestions?
3 months ago
Excellent! Thank you! great sharpening video...and that answers my question! So it would be a very good not-too-big tool to carry with me for all sorts of gardening and even in-the-woods activities. thanks again
4 months ago
"Perfect for intimate chop and drop, the best tool I have for digging holes in my sod and clay loam soil to plant trees in the lawn, "  I don't understand how it can be small enough for "intimate chop and drop" and at the same time be big enough for digging holes in sod and clay for trees....unless they are microscopic trees. Could you explain? and how does it stay sharp if you re digging into the soil?  I would love one tool, especially one that is small and fairly light, for all sorts of garden/food forest chores, big and small, if such a thing is possible. Thanks
4 months ago
    Over the years, I have both saved some squash and melon seeds, and this year saved a couple of squash and cukes that remained just fine all winter. One patty pan squash just dried up and turned into a rattle, and one zucchini stayed green and is just now, May1, starting to yellow.
    I am in zone 5, and I have a south-facing fairly steep bank that is cleared (kinda barren, really,) and which I plan to use to function like zone 6.
Along with the various trees and shrubs that I am putting in now,  I plan to open the rattling squash and disperse those seeds, plus the zucchini , plus various melon seeds, plus various echinacea and chicory seeds, and see what happens. My plan is to be both landracing - letting what is happy thrive, -  and having a good pollinators' feast ground-cover, which can then nourish the soil when it dies back in the fall. Wish me and the pollinators luck!
6 months ago
They used to have them here in the USA many many years ago. I have several that are probably close to 100 years old, given the family house they are from.  They are all thick glass, many with a slightly green tint, with glass lids and rubber washers, which one can replace if needed. Yeah , I agree: money money money, PLUS (and this goes with money) we live in a "disposable economy." I rememeber back around 1970, a book came out saying that our country was moving towards a more "consumer", ie, consume-and-have-to-buy-more, economy.

11 months ago
Thank you for this thread!! You have given me sanity and validation for NOT buying or taking when offered various power saws involvng circular blades. I have always said I should pay someone else to do those kinds of cuts because I like having fingers. Your thread has confirmed that i am correct to continue to refrain from buying any kind of power saw, - including any chain saw - that is too heavy to handle.

My fingers and all of my limbs, as well as my head and heart thank you!  
11 months ago
I use almost the same gear for spreading lime: I wheel the lime around in a no-longer-working-well lime spreader and every 15-20 feet I dig into the spreader with a 1-gallon plastic plant pot with drainage holes, and then shake it as I walk along, thus sprinkling out the lime, and then, when the pot is empty, I dig in for more. If I want lots of lime, I walk slower, if I want less lime, I walk faster.  IT is easy enough that I don;t think I will bother repairing of replacing the spreader. (I live in New England, where the soiols is quite acid.)
11 months ago
As a 65-year-old female with very little upper body strength, I have found that the easiest way to split wood is simply put the log/s in a tire or smaller containing thing to keep them from falling over, and then choke up on the ax handle, so you get the benefit of the weight of the blade/head without struggling to lift it high enough.  I have even used a metal lift-the-dog's-bowl-off-the-floor to hold the wood, putting a log inside where the dog's bowl would go.

11 months ago
Another way to go is Craigslist.

I am another one of those people with lots of stuff I could and should sell, but have been reluctant to deal with the hassle. At my local car mechanic's suggestion, I recently posted a set of used studded snow tires on Craigslist, and they sold within a few days. The guy just came to my house and got them.

Craigslist doesn't take a cut, and it may limit your sales to people geographically nearby, but it means no trips to the P.O.