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Dianne Justeen

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since Mar 21, 2019
Total newbie
Allentown, PA but we bought off-grid property in Newark Valley, NY
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Recent posts by Dianne Justeen

Owen Wormser wrote:An area the size of Washington State is mowed turf in the US and the adverse impact of all that lawn is enormous.

I'm most amazed when owners of a larger suburban property will have what looks like 2 acres of lawn.  My thought has always been "if I'm spending that much time and money on land, it better feed me or at least provide some beautiful flowers for my house!"
1 month ago

Douglas Campbell wrote:
Also concerned about water table issues.

We're in the wet northeast and have water table issues too.  If we build this we'll be building at ground level and using fill to cover.  Fortunately we're planning to build several ponds.  So there's our source of dirt to cover.  If my understanding is correct, none of Paul's earth-sheltered buildings are "underground" in the sense of below grade level.  I believe they're all built into the slope using dirt from the excavation to cover.  So none of this should become a giant swimming pool.
1 month ago
So I had my non-permie husband watch the video and critique it.  I thought it would be better to get input from someone who wasn't already "in the loop".  My thought is that you'll need to walk the line between appealing to the choir, and converting non-believers.

His comments are that he's not really sure of the problem you're trying to solve.  Is it greywater?  What's the problem with greywater in Montana?  Then you go on to talk about the greenhouse but don't explain how the greenhouse is going to fix the greywater problem.  He thinks you need to tie it all together at the end.

I showed him the point in the video where you go into that (0.34) but it was still meaningless to him because you didn't explain how greywater systems work so the bulletpoints weren't helpful.
1 month ago

Jennifer Richardson wrote:Paul and I spent a long time yesterday working on the rewards list to try to make it really awesome. Here is what we've come up with so far:

What do you think?

Sounds very generous and I think the rewards will tempt a lot of people.  I had figured I'd be able to do $100 level, but the extra $50 would get me the rocket stuff so I'll probably do that.  See .... it's working already!
1 month ago

Jennifer Richardson wrote:
Devious experiments for a truly passive greenhouse! (Movie)

Above is my favorite.   I also like the suggestion to add the Montana location - WAY more impressive then something in the Carolinas.

BTW, we're planning to build a root cellar this year or early next year and will probably use the 2 umbrella idea you use in the WOFATI.  Due to a seasonal ground level water table, we have to build up and berm, not dig into the ground.  Got lots of local examples but none use the second umbrella as far as I know.  Foresee a future passive greenhouse build that can use greywater when the ground is frozen in winter, and would definitely be interested in your experiment.
2 months ago

Mary Wildfire wrote:
Incidentally, what our grandparents did--what we all did when I was a kid and I'm only 64--was refill bottles.We had milk delivered to our porch weekly, by the milkman, at dawn, and returned the bottles. Coke came in glass bottles on which people paid a deposit...some littered it, but that's how I made my first money as a kid, collecting them from roadsides (along with aluminum cans for recycling). We need to get back to this model--selling things in plastic to be thrown out after a quick use is illegitimate.

I'm 63 and I remember the milkman delivering our milk, butter and eggs.  Our local supermarket now sells milk in reusable half gallons.  There's a $2 deposit on the bottles so a real incentive to return them when empty.
4 months ago
I started making cat food for our 2 young cats.  Found batch cooking and freezing in pint mason jars best.  The wide straight sided type has a fill line indication for freezing and I've found those don't break.  Would way rather use something recycled but haven't come up with anything else in glass that consistently doesn't break with freezing.  It came out to almost a dollar a jar but I consider it an investment.  And my cost breakdown shows that I'm saving enough money on the food to make up the cost of jars.  Not to mention I know what's going into the food.  BTW, since it's cooked, I do supplement with Taurine.

So after all the rambling, does anyone have other suggestions for something recycled that would work?  I'd use the jars I bought for actual canning.
4 months ago
I imagine all that yarn was no longer worth anything because it was on spindles that worked with the old machinery but couldn't be sold off to work in the newer machines.  Pretty emblematic of the kind of thinking that turns a resource into a waste.
5 months ago
Great list!  I'm planning on growing Black Cumin this year.  I thought it was only Nigella seeds but now found it's also Bunium bulbocastanum.  Thus the problem with common names.  Anyone know which one is the medicinal one?  Any tips about growing either?
5 months ago