Mac Kugler

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since Apr 26, 2018
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purity forest garden books
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I've moved from the city to the suburbs and I am so excited about planting and growing my own food. I am reading everything I can get my hands on. I particularly love fruit and want to grow as many types as possible. I'm very happy living out my passion and I have found my plant family here at Permies.
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Recent posts by Mac Kugler

I really enjoy(ed) these films. They have great replay value, as Sepp unloads so much information and food for thought in his designs and explanations, I have to watch certain scenes several times. I do not get bored at all watching them or re-watching them. I find the content inspiring -- he makes it look easy!

I also like that the film director(s) took the time to show nice, stable shots of the Krameterhof, and the things living therein, plants and animals. I feel immersed in the vibrant life energy of the place. I think what blew me away the most (of all the eye-opening synergies and symbioses that are made aware to us, the viewers) was that we get to see how Sepp uses water for energy, and takes great advantage of the mountainside for moving water around, making sun traps, terraces.

Great value.
2 years ago

paul wheaton wrote:

A) With their consent, listing who are the active boots, with hyperlinks to their journal/blog; use fun codenames otherwise

Good call!   Kinda like what Nicole has above?

Yes! It's a great combo of eye candy, summary, and visibility.

And thank you Nicole!
A few thoughts:

- I couldn't tell what BRK was from its name. It seemed a bit long. I had to read your explanation and dig into the thread. Once I took the time to read, and check out the page some more, I figured it out. Still, I think re-branding it would be helpful. Something more immediate and direct like "Boots' Research and Rewards fund", or "Boots Do Cool Stuff Fund"; or give it that tagline under the long technical name.
- I would like to see more information on the BRK for Boots page, and have it organized such that I can see
A) With their consent, listing who are the active boots, with hyperlinks to their journal/blog; use fun codenames otherwise
B) how much have each made from this BRK, over some time scale,
C) who from the forums have donated for what projects, and how much; or anonymize the data to show number of donors and total amt donated per project,
D) what rewards have not been completed, and if they're in progress, hyperlinked to the thread,
E) What things have been completed, hyperlinked to the relevant thread

For visibility into all that, maybe a table, or a spreadsheet that folks can download, or a light web application that renders all these results from said spreadsheet.

I'm not saying "do all of the above or else I/someone else won't participate". I think doing some of the above items would help lower the mental barrier to entry and increase engagement. The staff look to be engaged in the replies and suggestions, which is great.
Hi Mike

You can direct seed wheat, corn, but after the garden bed soil is a bit more mature (1 yr later). In year 1 I would start with shallow-rooted things like herbs, salad greens.. part of learning is experimenting, too.

For onions, carrots, I would recommend seed trays so the sprouts don't get obliterated by slugs, squirrels, or birds.

I have successfully grown clover (a green composter) alongside my vegetables. Clover grows insanely fast so it takes maintenance, be prepared with clippers regularly and for your loved ones to get anxious that there are "too many weeds" in the garden (one of the main reasons I don't do that anymore.) Remember beans add nitrogen to the soil, and there are a variety of perennial shrubs and such that will add nitrogen to the soil, reducing the need for green compost. Dandelions make excellent green compost, but even better salads :)

Burying logs in the garden bed releases nutrients over time, too, and builds soil. Now the green composting strategy can be diversified. Sowing a cover crop at the end of fall is a great way to get some thing to chop n drop in the spring. If that cover crop doesn't fix nitrogen or put nutrients back in the soil, it'll be consuming them instead, so think about that.

I do not dig in my beds and have not since I started my garden 3 yrs ago. Anything that dies in the winter, I clip above the roots and drop the remainder right on the bed there. I started my garden beds by creating layers of "bio mass".  I got a lot of stuff at the beginning from my neighbors, who don't spray their lawns or landscapes. They were just taking bags of "yard waste" to the curb, and I asked them for the bags. Those made excellent fill for garden beds. Autumn is perfect for getting leaf bags for soil building.

All the above plus your own compost pile should build a nice healthy soil. There are even more ways to make great soil.
2 years ago
I've concluded that using name-brand conventional dish soaps encourage sponges to become stinky.

One day I noticed that my kitchen sponge didn't have that usual funky "sponge" smell. Something clicked and I thought it might be the soaps.

I have been using diluted castille soap for some months now in the kitchen when washing dishes. I also like to use it on the stove. My spouse prefers conventional soap for the suds and fragrance.

For my test, I used only conventional soap over the span of a week, and the sponge got smelly in just a few days. The sponge I used had a cloth side and a steel wool side. The following week, I used diluted castille soap. The sponge then had no smell.

Thought I'd pass this on, in case anyone's still using conventional dish soap. I know some folks put their sponges in the dishwasher, or boil theirs, to deal with this issue.

(Apologies if this is not the right subforum for this.).
2 years ago
Did you make the mushroom slurry with tap water or filtered/ purified water? I'm wondering if chlorine from the tap water, and water molds, out-competed the fungi you were trying to establish.

I would think leaf mulch already has a lot of molds and spores in there, compared to a fresh-cut log that could be inoculated.

I feel like getting certain mushrooms to start can be problematic if their environment isn't controlled. Maybe Mother Nature is pretty determined that the stinky mushroom needs to be the one that's there first.
2 years ago

Brianna Williams wrote:I'm sorry this is a very belated response but thank you all so much for your thoughtful responses.  We ended up having to move so I didn't get to implement any of your suggestions but I am so appreciative of the thoughtfulness and time in your responses.  It all seemed right on.

Best of luck in your new digs!

For what it's worth, if you run into this problem again, wood chips are a great way to slow down water. That photo where the water was eroding a little channel of rocks and such would be a great spot to dig a bit deeper and fill it in with wood chips. This also has the effect of creating a nice climate for mushrooms, which can help clean up the water on its way.
2 years ago
I am a huge fan of no till. I've also been building up my garden beds' soil with grass clippings and leaves. And I have also seen tons of worms just loving this kind of environment.

I'm doing layers of grass clippings, and leaves, both as bed toppers / mulch, and I can get away with maybe watering my plants a few days out of the year (when it's been super hot for 2-3 weeks with no rain). But I am not using wood chips or wood mulch on my garden beds -- my plants don't grow as well, and I've read/heard the wood breakdown process uses nitrogen, which plants need.
2 years ago
Another thing to do with scraps is boil them down to make vegetable broth. Then you can feel a little better sending the scraps to the dump as you would have gotten a lot more "miles" out of your scraps.

I do advise frequently draining out your bokashi bucket. Otherwise the contents can rot and will stink up the house when open. I learned that the hard way.

My understanding of the bokashi process is that food scraps get pickled. I don't know what that means for its drain cleaning power, though. Maybe the runoff is acidic?
2 years ago
I had great experiences gathering up leaves from the fall and using them on beds.

I let the leaves overwinter on my raised beds. In the spring, I poked around casually, and found worms galore partying just beneath the surface.

A bit later in spring, in about April, I noticed lots and lots of spiders making families.

I planted directly in the leaves. I dug little nooks for my plants and dropped them right in, then put leaf cover back around them. The herbs and vegetables that I placed in that environment have grown great. I have not watered any of the leaf-mulched plants at all.

It's starting to become summer and I have noticed mosquitoes and gnats in the leaves, and some ant colonies sprung up near my house in the leaves (the ants started coming into the house, which I didn't like.)

All in all I heartily recommend this method. I do advise a mix of different leaf types, and not to use a big majority of oak leaves (I think my neighbor has a giant oak), as I noticed oak leaves take a long time to break down.
3 years ago