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Casie Becker

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since Nov 13, 2015
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forest garden urban
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Zone 8B/9A
Temp avg range 15 F to 100 F (cold temps are sporadically scattered through winter)
Avg rain 36 inches (plus or minus 25 inches)
Flood and drought both are common here.
Alkaline limestone/caliche based soil
Just northwest of Austin, TX
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Recent posts by Casie Becker

And here I was thinking you were talking about a sweater for a chicken.  That's a real thing people make.
3 months ago
I am very interested in this as well.  We're the family that did catch and cook a pound of Texas garden snails.  Tasted like mild clam.  If my niece ever wants to repeat her experiment,  I would like to know it remains safe.
4 months ago
I have some lace weight linen thread that might be appropriate.  Raven (one of our moderators) has a lot of posts about growing linen.  You missed the kickstarter for her book that covers every step from growing the flax to weaving the cloth, but I believe it will soon be available through other means.
4 months ago
When I was a child my mother grew a productive vegetable garden in Jonestown, TX.  The geological survey says you need several acres for a cow to free range.  It's one quarter inch of soil topping pure kaliche there.  As I remember it, the key to her success was digging a pit and then amending the soil there.

I can't say if it's the best choice in your situation,  but it is definitely possible for permaculture practice to make even such poor soil into something better. If I were starting a food forest there, I would focus on establishing small areas and then expand them as the trees began to feed back into the system.
4 months ago
From this page http://www.sunshinecommunitygardens.org/index.php?p=home

A Note From Austin Resource Recovery
Greetings

My name is Scott Johnson. I work for Austin Resource Recovery at the city Recycling and ReUse Drop-Off Center. I have been tasked with organizing a program that collects and distributes lawn and gardening materials to local citizens.

I am sending out this email to let everyone know that I have been working very hard on the Gardening ReUse program. This program collects lawn and garden supplies and makes them available to community / home gardeners, schools, churches, and basically anyone who is involved in gardening in their community.

Please send out this email and/or my contact information to anyone that you might know that could benefit from this program. I am trying and get as many people involved in the program as I can.

Here is a list of some of the items that I am setting aside for people who want to take advantage of the program. It is by no means complete. Please note that not all materials will be available on all days. I am dependent on what comes into my  

There's a chart of 20 different items, mostly organicsoil amendments and then spray attachments.  It isn't copying when I try to carry it here.

Additionally, the city has Wood Mulch available every day that we are open. It is completely self-serve, so make sure to bring a truck, bags, containers, pitchforks, shovels, etc.

Contact me to make an appointment to come shop at 512-974-4308 and at scott.johnson2@austintexas.gov

I am available Tuesday-Friday 9:30-4:30 and Saturdays 7:30-9:30.
2514 Business Center Drive, Austin TX

Thank you

Scott Johnson

Chances are there will be some good bargains sometimes.   Gardening season is just beginning so there is probably a little less competition at the moment.
4 months ago
http://www.sunshinecommunitygardens.org/index.php?p=home

Anyone looking for gardening space, this is an organic community garden and they're saying the waiting list is short enough that getting on it now might get you a plot this spring.

Note also that they've started counting down to their plant sale, seven weeks to go.  Sounds like seedlings might get started as early late January.   If you're growing your own transplants it might be a good starting point for you also.
4 months ago
I'm pretty sure the sixth photo is a bumblebee.   Too fuzzy for a honey bee.
4 months ago
It is commonly recommended for the storage of dehydrated foods.  That's where you get the foods that keep for decades.

Looking at the temperature mylar can handle, it wouldn't melt at the temperature used in water bath canning.  If I were experimenting,  I would deal my food in mylar and then boil the whole package for the times recommended in water bath canning.  I would want to examine this under a microscope before eating,  though.

I still think you might exceed mylar's melting point in pressure canning.  Something else to consider is that mylar is susceptible to puncture and easily rips. I'm not tempted to actually run an experiment because I visualize huge, sticky messes.  
4 months ago
Years ago I was invited to a week long SCA event. With very little sewing experience I stumbled across this article http://forest.gen.nz/Medieval/articles/Tunics/TUNICS.HTML and was able to construct multiple outfits I comfortably wore during that week of camping.  I think adding a solid band across the waist with buttons on the sides might make a good skirt.  You could probably even add deep pockets at the side seams to further increase functionality.

Mind you,  I never seem to follow instructions on any handicraft that doubles as art.  It's why I am not a baker.
4 months ago
It sounds like this is exactly the kind of behavior that deserves to hurt the business.   How many other people are receiving unusable products for full price from these people?  I even think handicrafts like sewing tend to attract a disproportionate quantity of very gentle souls who are most likely to take the abuse quietly. It's the kind of hobby that keeps someone busy and gives satisfaction with minimal human interaction. It sounds like you are in exactly the same boat. When even positive interactions can be overwhelming,  bullies impact can feel magnified.
4 months ago