Liz Gattry

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since May 11, 2016
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West Coast, USA Zone 10A
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Recent posts by Liz Gattry

And many plants that are fine for humans are toxic to animals: For example enough onions and garlic can cause red blood cells to break down in dogs and cats, grapes can cause kidney failure in dogs.

The ASPCA has a list of plants toxic to dogs/cats/horses:

It's pretty close to comprehensive. Off hand I'm not sure of one available for livestock or birds.
4 years ago
So my grandfather passed when I was about 10 years old. I didn't really know him well except that he grew giant delicious fruit and vegetables (especially tomatoes) in the small garden of my grandparent's suburban house.

I recently was speaking to my mother about gardening and permaculture and she mentioned how I sounded like my grandfather. He had grown up on a farm in eastern Europe and moved to the US to work in factories as a boy. Yet he was always growing and picking food. Here is a selection of things that my mom shared with me from my grandfather:

Always grow enough for everyone to share. Not just you and your human neighbors, but all the birds and animals as well.

Plant multiple varieties of multiple types of foods- that way if something goes wrong with one you still have something else to eat

Pick what fruits and vegetables you find and eat it (in the wild) there's no point wasting food (Apparently he used to take my mom fruit picking in the forrest).

My mom told me about how he would get deliveries of horse manure to their suburban house from the local stables and they would have giant piles in the front yard (which she admitted mortified her as a teenager).

He also knew how to identify and pick edible mushrooms. (That's a skill I wish had been passed down- the message I got was not to eat any wild mushrooms because they're all poisonous).

Anyone else have stories of great permaculture wisdom passed down their families?
4 years ago
Welcome! I've thought that too. I've also been talking to my mother about gardening a lot recently and it seems my grandfather essentially farmed in a permaculture fashion before he was taught "better" by science. So it seems the dreamers of the future and many from our past are/were thinking in a permaculture fashion and the current generation is the one that somehow changed everything.

I think I'm going to start a new thread about that conversation though.
4 years ago
I'm not saying that attention shouldn't be given- but there are many dogs that have so much energy especially with puppies- that there's no feasible way to expend it all by playing with them. This is where tools like a treadmill are useful. Also using backpacks on dogs when they're on walks and giving them little jobs to do.

There are just many dogs (often in working breeds) that have more energy than most people can handle. When you take these dogs away from the jobs they were bred for and try to make them house pets- some get bored quickly and start acting out. A great example is a pet husky in Las Vegas. A dog bred to pulls sleds for miles and miles in snowy cold weather- kept indoors (because they have to be) as a house pet. It takes creativity and ingenuity to come up for solutions for that. Now should a husky be owned in that situation? That's a question that I have an opinion on which I'm sure doesn't agree with everyone else's in the world.

Basically- high energy working dogs need a few things above the basics of food, water, shelter and love. They need to expend their energy, they need to be mentally challenged, and often they need a job. (Which can be taking a toy to the door when someone rings the doorbell, carrying something in their backpack (like bottles of water), pulling around a kid's wagon, catching rodents, or anything else you can think of). It depends on each individual situation what will work best. Since the OP mentioned having mobility issues I suggested something that would require less major movements for them. Training a dog to walk on a treadmill is pretty easy, and mine enjoy it. I often play with toys and treats with them on the treadmill. The key is making it fun! Another great thing is swimming, but a pool is often a much larger investment and I find more dogs hate swimming than walking.

I suspect this "gifted child" of a dog needs a major combination of the above but it may end up looking very different than any of us are picturing it. It's hard to give a concrete solution without seeing the exact situation the pup is in and seeing the exact actions/reactions of the pup /owner.
4 years ago
So this thread made me research lentils a bit. I eat them a lot, and had some dried lentils in my pantry- so I thought, hey I have a couple inches of cleared dirt between some cement and a fence that isn't doing too much, lentils seem like a pretty hardy plant lets try putting some there.

So I did and now I have a bunch of little lentil plants in that area. I'm not expecting much production out of them, but it's a productive ground cover for the area and much better than the foxtails that keep trying to grow there.

4 years ago
Depending on your electrical you could find an old treadmill on craigslist and train her to walk on it. Exercise her inside- I trained one of my terriers to do this and it helped her insanity a bit.
4 years ago
Do you have to walk without rhythm in Arakis?
4 years ago

R Ranson wrote:
Yes, what is the question we want answered?
Any thoughts on what question will give me the most useful results?

Well this is your test- so what is it that you wanted to know about the microbial teas? What question in your mind brought you to try them in the first place?
4 years ago

anne weiland wrote:I would argue that in this case you don't need a 'control' as in a plot with only water applied. There's so little area to begin with, I think Neil's design is pretty good. It has replication, isolation, and will test the effect of the microbes on his/her soil. Also, there are no failures! You may not get the result you wanted but you will always get information.

If there's no water control you're not answering the question of whether the microbial tea makes a difference compared with water. It all comes down to what question you want answered.
4 years ago