Tracy Wandling

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since May 30, 2016
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Tracy is an artist, graphic designer, musician, gardener and permaculture addict. She has recently moved to the Sunshine Coast, British Columbia, and is enjoying getting to know a new area.
Sunshine Coast, BC
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Recent posts by Tracy Wandling

Well, I think spring is officially here. The snow has melted off the garden and the soil has thawed out. We've been having some really beautiful days; and had our first cookout in the yard last night. Food always tastes so good when it's cooked outside over a fire.

I've got lots of seeds started, and have put some transplants in the greenhouse. And yesterday I just couldn't resist planting some seeds out in the garden. Just a few small patches of cool season greens - mustard, radish, cilantro, spinach, and maché. And I planted a snowpea patch. If winter decides it's not done with us yet, I've still got lots of seeds, and can replant later. But I'm thinking we're safe now.

I've also been helping my friend build a rock retaining wall. We started out just working on a short wall, then thought we'd extend it a little further and build a little potting/sitting area, and then maybe just around the corner, and then . . . well, it's quite a complex we're building. Not quite finished yet, but the end is in sight. He had all of these rocks that he had gathered many moons ago and piled up along the bank, thinking that one day he'd get around to building the wall. I think that was over 20 years ago. Apparently I'm a good influence. Who knew?! The main thing is - I'm getting a potting area, and an outdoor sink! And it's a really cool old cast iron sink, too.

We used some of the rocks in the garden area, to build up some low spots, and make the herb corner a bit taller. It's going to be nice there - thyme, oregano, rosemary and sage. Yum.

He also cut me some metal plant markers from some old steel something or other he had laying around, so I can reuse them each year. Much better than the ones we cut from milk cartons to mark the transplants. They get floppy pretty fast. These ones will last forever!

So, I'm all set for seeds, mostly. Just a few more to get. And now I'm on the hunt for raspberry canes. We're going to plant some wild berries on the bank above the rock wall - blackberry, salmon berry, and probably huckleberry - then have the raspberries in the garden where the deer can't get them.

Now, if I could just convince him to get rid of the ornamental trees by the garden and let me plant fruit trees . . . : )

Happy gardening, everyone. I hope spring has sprung, and you're out there getting your hands dirty.

3 days ago

My name is Tracy, and I'm one of Paul Wheaton's elves. My job is to frolic around Permies, and spread pixie dust . . . no, wait, that's my day job. For this job, I help Paul out with stuff that he is just too dang busy to do.

Right now I am looking for people who have a blog or website, or are active on social media, who would like to help Paul and Shawn promote their upcoming Kickstarter for the Better World Book.

I have put together a Media Package, which contains different images for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, which you can use to share the information, and hopefully help these hard working guys get the word out about their Kickstarter for the book.

If you are one of those crazy people who are bonkers about permaculture and homesteading (of course you are - you're here!), and would like to help out by sharing the Kickstarter information far and wide, please let me know your email address, and the name of your blog or website (if you have one) - you can PM me, or post the info in this thread - and once the Kickstarter is about to start, I'll send you the media package with images, links, and other info.

Or if you know of someone who would like to help out by posting our images and info, please send them my way.

Thanks so much!


3 days ago
I would like to see a project that builds something artsy, or for the garden - trellis for peas and beans; garden art; weather vane.
4 days ago
Some good ideas here already.

What do we need to complete the Sand Badge list, and get the BBs happening?
4 days ago
Bird feeders - include seeds for birds specific to your area
Perches and water for birds in the garden

Identify a certain number of birds in your area - take photos.

Identify a certain number of mammals in your area - take photos.

What else?

4 days ago
We need to nail down the Sand Badge for this. We'll worry about the next levels when we get these done.

As with other categories, I like the idea of learning basic skills, and then building on them in the higher levels.

So the Sand Badge could be identifying, harvesting, preparing, and perhaps preserving, wild edibles in your area. Select from a list, maybe; but the list must be large to include wild edibles that are available in many places.

Or just say, harvest and prepare  X amount of berries (3 different kinds), X amount of greens (3 different kinds), X amount of roots (3 different kinds).

It could also focus on learning to build things like fish traps, homemade fishing pole and hook, and simple mammal traps.

Also meat prep and safe preserving techniques. Drying or salting fish, for example.

Then move on to the actual stalking, killing, and butchering of wild animals in the next levels. But I think fish could be included in the Sand Badge level.

What else?
4 days ago
I know so little about metal working that I'm reluctant to chip in with my two cent's worth. But as it's my job to do so . . . I will.

Paul wants to get the Sand Badge nailed down first. So let's concentrate on that.

In my uninitiated mind, I envision the Sand Badge tasks to not involve welders or forges or other big honkin' equipment that the average person doesn't have. I'd like it to be something accessible to most people. But I don't know what that would entail!

Any ideas for something that can be made with some pieces of metal, and maybe a hammer? :)

We need a list of tasks for the Sand Badge, so Paul and Shawn can move forward with the Kickstarter. Help!
4 days ago
Hmmm, this is a tough one. I'm not much of a nester, as I've been a bit of a gypsy most of my life.

As we're trying to get all of the Sand Badge BBs done for Paul and Shawn's Kickstarter, let's focus on that.

I like the idea of learning basic cleaning skills, using non-toxic, homemade cleaning supplies.

So would gathering and making those cleaning supplies be a BB?

And then other BBs could build on that?
• deep clean of kitchen
• deep clean of bathroom
• etc.

Organizational and de-cluttering aspects are also a good base to build off of, I think:
• get rid of 5 things in the kitchen that you never use. (Recycle, repurpose, give away, etc. Not the landfill.)
• get rid of 5 things in your bedroom
• get rid of 5 things in your shop/garage/craft room
• etc.

What else would be good for the Sand Badge level?
4 days ago
What about planning and planting a 'chicken feed garden', to feed X number of chickens? Use 20 different varieties of seed. Is that too much for a Sand Badge?

Storing chicken feed from the garden for winter feeding? Squash, seeds, dried stuff?

Instead of baling straw or hay, how about learning to pile it so it stays dry?

I love all of the habitat ideas for beneficial critters.

4 days ago