Dawna Janda

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since Apr 18, 2015
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New to permaculture and soaking in all the goodness!  Looking forward to learning more and applying it to my small plot of land and my life.
Tampa area, Florida - zone 9a
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Recent posts by Dawna Janda

Hello - Welcome - Thank you for hanging out with us for a while!
I have a variation to add to this.  I strung jute in between some of my papayas to form a trellis.  So far, so good!
6 months ago
We let the small plants grow in our lawn like wood sorrel and other small wild flowers that pop up here.  The resident gopher tortoises like to munch on them.  

What we've planted on purpose in our yard are rain lilies (fairy lilies).  We mostly have pink, but yellow and white ones come up too every once in a while.  My mother-in-law had the pink ones all over her back yard and they were lovely intermixed with the grass.  When we moved in our current house, I started planting them and I still spread the seeds all over the place.  

They do well being mowed with everything else and do well when we have dry times.  St. Augustine grass is what we have in our yard.  The lily leaves and the grass blades are very similar in shape and size, so you don't notice the lilies until they bloom, which is pretty cool.  One day, green grass.  Next day BOOM!....green grass and pink flowers everywhere.

6 months ago
Welcome Owen!  I'm excited to learn more!  8 )
6 months ago
I have PCOS and one of the delightful (please note oozing sarcasm) symptoms is VERY sensitive skin with most toiletries.  Among other things, I've made my own soap for over 20 years and have experimented with different oils and butters.  However, I have not considered their sustainability until reading this thread.  My focus was always on my skin comfort....which is a HUGE.  However, sustainability will be in my mind going forward.

One of my favorite oils is olive oil.  Usually I can get it fairly inexpensively at membership stores or grocery stores believe it or not (not the extra virgin, but from subsequent pressings).  I've used pomace olive oil as well.  Both work nicely...I go with what I can get cheaper.  I also like coconut and almond oils.  Their combo along with olive makes great soap and will give different properties depending on the ratios you use.  

One thing to consider is the properties of the oils used.  Not all are created equal.  For example, my mom liked using Crisco for the fat for a few years.  She loved the soap, but it melted too easily with water.  My skin was not happy with it.  

If someone is just starting out with soap making, my suggestion would be to experiment with different oils/fats (and combinations) to see what you like best.  You may like the leftover fryer fat if it's mixed with something else.  Also, keep in mind superfatting soap to give it more moisturizing properties.  I usually superfat with cocoa butter, or shea butter.  

I make an olive oil soap with freshly ground rosemary and oregano for times we need a bit more antimicrobial power.  It bubbles up nicely and washes away clean.  It works great and you don't smell like spaghetti as much as you would think...hehehe

For my cinnamon, oatmeal, goat milk soap, I use less coconut and more olive and almond.  The soap doesn't bubble up much which bothers some people, but to me is wonderful.  Less drying and the properties of the ingredients seem to work better on my skin because they aren't washed away as much.  (To give an example of how powerful ingredients can be, this was also a favorite of a nurse who was helping me take care of a dying loved one as it helped my loved one's skin greatly.  I loaded her up with as much as I could to use on other patients.)

Happy soaping everyone!
7 months ago
Thank you for sharing!  I enjoy listening to him speak.  Lots of wisdom there....
7 months ago
The only bit of info I have to offer is that cypress takes a LOOOONG time to decompose.  The wood is excellent for outdoor building due to that (I read that the most sought after cypress are logs that have stayed in the water for 25 - 100 years).  

Because it's commonly used as mulch in our neck of the woods, I've seen far too many gardens ruined because the cypress chips have been applied year after year after year, and since they don't decompose, the chips sink and displace the soil that would otherwise feed the plants.   It may be something to keep in mind while you are making your decision.
7 months ago
I don't have much experience with plums, but that happens with my citrus every once in a while if there are sudden changes.....a lot of growth with cloudy conditions followed by a lot of sun, not much water followed by rains every day in the spring, a lot of growth with not enough nutrients in the soil to be taken up by the plant...

All that probably is not helpful, but I figured I would share just in case it sparks something.  

7 months ago
Wow!  I really enjoyed this post.  We have a lot of slugs here (naked snails...love that) and usually the local birds will come and have a feast, but I noticed lately they haven't come around as much.  I will keep your ideas in mind.
7 months ago

Scott Stiller wrote:That’s crazy Dawna! How has this beauty avoided me all these years? Most things grow in zone 7b so I’m looking into it tomorrow. I’ve even got a spot in mind. You’re the best!

It is crazy.  It's fabulous  to go out every day to see how much they've grown.  Happy to be of service my friend!   Have fun!
7 months ago