Erica Colmenares

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since Feb 11, 2018
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goat forest garden chicken
We're transitioning to a wooded Tennessee property (currently living in a Nashville apartment). We have a son (born in 1997, now out in the world) and a dog (standard poodle, SO not a rural animal). We're interested in food forests, chickens, goats, and, well, everything (we're total newbies to permaculture).
Charlotte, Tennessee
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Recent posts by Erica Colmenares

Jane Mulberry wrote:Congratulations on your brand-new human, Greg!

From our family too! That's very exciting.

Also, those oils and the art sound fab.
7 hours ago
Thanks for this thread. I think about this a lot.

Our middle-aged dog has dilated cardiomyopathy (so can't efficiently pump oxygenated blood, has an elevated breathing rate). I follow a DCM group on Facebook to see how the disease progresses. We will probably go further in her treatment than some would (because we can afford to) but not as far as others (our dog's quality of life will seem too decreased, as described by others going through this with their pets).

This is the only life our dog gets, so we'll try to make it as long as it can be without suffering, as much as we can judge that. But we also have the means to do that. Is that the best use of our money? I don't know. Probably not. And yet, she's our responsibility. It's a tough one.

We don't raise animals for meat now, but might at some time. I think I could only do it if we were able to figure out butchering on our own property, to make that "one bad day" into just a moment.
1 month ago

John C Daley wrote:Hopefully the contractor or plumber will cooperate, after all you are paying the money.

The drawings they quoted had plumbing for the greywater system, so I think if I can get them to do it, it shouldn't cost more? They may argue, though, that it's clear I'm planning to break the code down the line ... We'll see.
1 month ago

R Scott wrote:Make sure you can access the shower and washing machine drains in the crawlspace.  And KNOW which ones they are! That probably means the plumber will have to run separate pipes for the toilet and shower from the second floor down to the crawlspace.

We will have an unfinished basement, so that sounds like it's easier than a crawlspace to do this. So I just need to convince the contractor/plumber to run those separate pipes. Sounds easy enough. Thanks!
1 month ago

Dustin Rhodes wrote:
If you put in a conventional system AND a grey water diversion system, and they might be happy.

I wish that were an option. From what I gather, any grey water diversion system will have to be added after this guy inspects the plumbing. So, a retrofit. Seems like such a waste of time/effort ... bitch, moan, complain ... oh well.

But maybe there are things I can try to get the plumber to include that will make the retrofit easier. I'm off to find my Ludwig book.

1 month ago
I'm so bummed. We just heard back from the county about whether we could have a greywater system in our new house build plumbing. The answer wasn't no. It was "Hell, no!"

Given that, and that we're already underway with our build, what should I be thinking about for future adaptation for greywater. I'm a little overwhelmed - I was hoping to not have to learn about this stuff, but just have it be part of what we had built. I'm trying to put on my big girl pants, though. I do have Art Ludwig's book, and have read enough about greywater to be 1) excited about it and 2) again, a little overwhelmed.

Or maybe we just focus on water conservation?

1 month ago

Heidi Schmidt wrote:There are lots of great thoughts in this thread!

I really love almost everything about our house, but mostly because it's ours and we've made it a cozy, peaceful place of happiness, and we see it as our forever place to do what we want, instead of thinking of painting things beige in case we sell. (ick)

This is such a good point, that one big element is making the house your own, to fit your needs and family, not the norms of how homes are usually used, decorated or built.

Another thing I learned from this thread is that even when you're starting from scratch, you probably have to compromise. We broke ground last week on our house. It has many things that we love, and is missing some things (the root cellar, the extra-awesome windows, the accessory dwelling unit) but we're hoping to leave it feet first and our son will have to worry about repainting the teal walls.
Thanks, simple sounds good.  I wonder if I'm cooking it too long (or too low heat?). Mine comes out slimy. Maybe it's just one of those mushrooms that tend that way.
3 months ago
Not sure this is the right place to post about cooking, but ...

We live in an apartment, and don't yet cultivate or forage mushrooms But I get mushrooms each week as part of our CSA. I have no trouble cooking with oyster mushrooms or shiitake, but the two times I've tried with the Lion's Mane, I get a slimy mess. Any favorite recipes?
3 months ago

Kc Simmons wrote:What will be naturally growing during Jan-March in the designated spots? I would think that would be the most relevant time period to deal with clearing prior to sowing.
If you have the budget to rent a tiller or disc-er, i would, in that situation, probably do a one-time soil disturbance and mix the organic matter into the soil (and probably spread a layer of manure or compost prior to tilling/disc-ing/plowing. Then sow the seeds in hopes of them getting a head start before the seed bank in the soil has a chance to get going.

I don't really know what would grow there naturally. The whole area is wooded. Disturbed edges typically get poison ivy, blackberry brambles and lots of mullein. The tilling sounds do-able. We could definitely rent a tiller. The soil is primarily clay, but it will have two cover crops worth of mulch prior to sowing the pollinator mix.
3 months ago