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echo minarosa

pollinator
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since May 22, 2018
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monies home care fungi foraging plumbing urban food preservation bee building homestead ungarbage
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KY - Zone 6b (near border of 6a), Heat Zone 7, Urban habitat
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Recent posts by echo minarosa

Ashley Cottonwood wrote:Instead of having one pair of pruning shears I take good care of, I have several in different states of disarray.
... but maybe this is a "me" problem.



Also a 'me' issue
2 months ago
The Piedmont side of the family isn't rural...well...a handful are/were. The rest lived in towns both small and large. In town, many people kept chickens. My grandfather moved frequently (same rental situations you mentioned). I can't remember all the low wage jobs he had but when I was little I remember helping him sort and count change left or having been stuck in washers and dryers at the laundromat he worked at. Windfall!  ;)

The urban/suburban lifestyle still allows for foraging. Most of my family has done it. Sometimes it's even preferable because there are fewer people doing it. Back then, no one in my family had bicycles. You hauled home your finds in wagons, on your back, whatever. Most people approached about the removal of black walnuts jumped at the chance to have them removed. I'm solidly urban and see vacant lots used for crops, also disturbed stream edges, and rights of way. I see fruit and nut trees not used by ANYONE though.All one needs do is show up and gather--easiest foraging there is. But now there are free meal options all over and most foraging is no more.

All that said, pride seems to be hit or miss. If I use garbage as an example, there are places in the poorest parts of town that are spotless, and places in the richest part of town that are dumps. Even within neighborhoods it's hit or miss. Some poor neighborhoods...entire blocks are trash heaps. Others are where I see people take control of the situation and clean up far beyond their own homes. It's a choice to live in crap. I clean up my block several times a week. It does chap my tail to have people in the worst parts, and they're the frequent dumpers, just watch as they sit on stoops and complain about their surroundings (true story and regular occurrence). If 10% of them stepped up, it would always be spotless. One woman in a motorized wheelchair the next block over carries a reach extender for picking up garbage as she travels down the sidewalk. I don't want to sound like this is victim-blaming but I also don't want to obscure personal choices either. And I'm definitely not ascribing my observations to your husband's situation. Everyone's paths are different as are the walking hazards. I just feel like there is too much overgeneralizing and too much resentment of "others".

On a similar note, I overheard someone say they would like to start a garden but they didn't have any money and didn't think it was anything they could ever afford. I waited until the guy was alone and plugged him in to resources as well as let him know what could be scrounged for free. I met him later to give him a mess of seeds and plants. He seemed thrilled. Pretty sure I was more thrilled than he was.
2 months ago

Nicole Alderman wrote:
I feel the financial/privilage struggle, too. My husband, having always been poor (the kind of poor where he went hungry and his family got power shut off and learned to never answer the phone because it was probably a creditor) gets really ANGRY at "rich people" and is often talking about how "only rich people can afford to be healthy" and "that's only for rich people" "only rich people have time to have nice gardens because they can sit outside and weed instead of having to slave away at a job." There's a LOT of anger there. Having grown up working poor to upper middle class (my Dad worked at Boeing the whole time, so his wage increased), and I always had what I needed and learned that wants were wants, not needs.  In many ways, I was privilaged: I got to learn money managment skills, I had stability, I had support to go to college almost entirely debt free, I never had the emotional/physical stress of being hungry, I was surrounded by people who knew how to get a career (vs a community who believed there was no point in trying).



Funny. I have exactly the opposite belief. Neither side of my family had money. On one side were poor, hardy & fiercely independent Appalachians and on the other, dirt poor folks from the Piedmont. But if the poor didn't hunt, garden and forage, they didn't eat! I don't see how working all the more to put food on the table is privileged or only for rich people. The blackberries we picked in the summer was the jam we had with biscuits in the winter. Fall was hog killing season. I never had a store bought turkey until I was 13 and I didn't understand that taste. Grandpa always hunted the turkeys we ate. Gardening and putting up food helped everyone get through the winter. We collected a year's worth of black walnuts in 4-6 weeks. We fished year-round. Pretty much everyone had to endure hard, low wage jobs. The stories they would tell about coal mines were eyebrow-raising. So I would throw out there that it is the height of resourcefulness when the poor actively garden, forage, & hunt. I grew up breaking down the year by knowing when we were going to forage what, harvests, and hunting/fishing. None of it was by those who instead of doing whatever it took to try to make a little money, sat around and enjoyed watching flowers grow. It was all part of the struggle. I do agree with another poster who said the term privilege was batted around far too casually these days.
2 months ago

Kelly Craig wrote:Ha. I've thought about it, but I am destined to be limited to just bragging about making it to one side of my shop and back in under and hour, for the amazing accomplishment it is.  



Is there a covet emoji???

Kelly Craig wrote:Problem is, I get way distracted from the shiny thing of doing, rather than promoting (you should see the drawers of inventions and designs).



Can we please???
3 months ago
The yellow-orange aphids are Aphis nerii (oleander aphids), a cosmopolitan species.

I grow a lot of milkweeds specifically for monarchs and can tell you they will kill plants, make them unsuitable for larvae, and drastically affect flowering and seed production.

We have lots of ladybird beetles, syrphid larvae, and lacewings but they can't keep up.

You can gently squish them. You can also lightly spray a fine mist of 70% alcohol. You can blast them off with the shower setting on a hose nozzle. If ants find living ones they will carry them back up. But I actually use all of the methods above. Also, if you look at areas under these aphids, they excrete so much honeydew you get thick sticky leaf deposits that usually get colonized by a group of molds commonly referred to as black sooty mold. They are rendered unsuitable for larval feeding and are severely affected by a reduction in photosynthesis.

I save A LOT of seeds each year to further milkweed growing efforts. If I let them progress, pollinators would be affected by lack of flowering and plants dying as would monarch larvae, and seed production.

Even the small Lysiphlebus testaceipes, a parasitoid wasp, can't keep up the their rapid generation rate. However, if you look closely at the aphid colonies, the parasitized ones are the ones that look slightly swollen, dull brown and smooth.

I don't use soap spray on the flowers or plants for the same reasons of protecting monarch larval leaf palatability as well as not putting off the pollinators. The milkweeds are very important food sources for a wide array of pollinators and are always being foraged.

When I use the water blasting, I hold each leaf or inflorescence from behind and hit them with the water shower spray in the front. You need to sort of get used to how much pressure you can blast without negatively affecting plant tissue. You'll also have some fall and regroup on a lower leaf. They can be hit the following day. Ants may bring survivors up as well. The key is to treat it like a game of Whack-A-Mole. It gets easier.

3 months ago

Grant Holle wrote:I just noticed "root beer float" in the first list. I can't speak for Brits, but my French in-laws (and my wife) hate root beer. Apparently it reminds them of a nasty medicine they took as kids.



The Colombian side of the family hates root beer. They said it tastes like toothpaste. I understand there have been root beer flavored toothpastes. I've never seen them. But they have mint in toothpastes yet mint is pretty much a food staple all over the place. Some have come around when given floats on extremely hot days.
3 months ago
persimmon pudding
cobb salad
macaroni and cheese
cubano
dagwood
West Virginia dogs (hot dogs with mustard, onions, chili and cole slaw)
cheese grits
chicken and waffles
crawfish
crab cakes
king cake
jambalaya
cornbread
fried green tomatoes
hot brown
beignets
lobster roll
rolled oysters
clam chowder
fried okra
gumbo
Philly cheesesteak
Smithfield ham (even though Smithfield is now Chinese-owned)
green bean caserole
tuna caserole
burgoo
sugar cream pie
derby pie
country-fried steak
fritters
fried pies
root beer
sarsaparilla
corn smut
green chile stew
frybread
scrapple
po boy sandwich
muffaletta
pemmican
biscuits
biscuits and gravy
frito pie
black walnuts
hickory nuts
pecans
pecan pie
sweet potato pie
pawpaw ice cream
key lime pie
sourdough
buffalo wings
buckeyes
modjeskas
bourbon balls
bourbon barrel beer
bourbon fudge
pimiento spread
mint julep
various BBQs
Tex Mex
New Mexican cuisine
Green or Red? <grin>





3 months ago
From the first link:

"To complete this BB, the minimum requirements are:
 - it must be designed to satisfy the cavity nesting characteristics of a solitary bee species in your area
 - it must be designed/located to protect the tubes from rain
 - natural/found materials and steel/wood fasteners (no glue, plastic, cardboard, plywood, stain, paint) "
3 months ago
All of my bee houses to date are for native bees though I'm not ruling out honeybees at some point. I use paint that will withstand the extremes of weather we get while still keeping an eye on toxics. I have to paint far less often which impact ecological, monetary and maintenance considerations. I have not used milk paint.
3 months ago