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echo minarosa

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since May 22, 2018
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Louisville, KY - Zone 6b (near border of 6a), Heat Zone 7, Urban habitat
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Recent posts by echo minarosa

I attempted to grow Tragopogon porrifolius (salsify) 'Mammoth Sandwich Island' (I think) last year. It didn't go well. I tried planing salsify and parsnips in the same bed and both failed. It may have been uneven moisture levels at the start.

So, I want to try again. I would like to try regular and Scorzonera hispanica (black or Spanish salsify) together. I'd also like to try parsnips again.

Anyway, are there any gastrointestinal issues with either salsify? I love Jerusalem artichokes but just can't bring myself to eat them any more as they tend to give me extreme GI upset to the point of pain. I also don't grow them as I need the space for other vegetables that may more easily fit into dietary needs.

Any tips to growing salsify? Comparison between the two plants mentioned above?

Burl Smith wrote:

Douglas Alpenstock wrote:

One thought: we had a really wet summer, with a horrible and destructive invasion of slugs (hundreds, thousands). They really loved all the nooks and crannies in the cinder blocks as places to hide from the sun.

I read that beer traps atract slugs from an acre away and that placing the traps outside the garden will keep them from coming into the garden. I tried that last year and it seemed effective.

I thought it worked too when I saw some laying in the dishes. Then, I saw the time-lapse YouTube videos where most simply crawl away after drinking beer...much like humans.

Phil Stevens wrote:William - I'm now using biochar at 25% (and sometimes even higher) in my potting mixes. It's been a game changer. I don't have to water as often, and seedlings get established more quickly. I don't have any wicking planters set up, so I can't give you any data points on that method, but I suspect that it would work.

I'm having trouble finding anything near the quantity of biochar I could use. Well, to be more specific, I can't make it in my county due to local fire ordinance and I can't pay the huge transport costs for purchased char. None of the local places catering to garden inputs have it. One does have bone char but I'm avoiding that.
6 days ago
I have some rather clumsy family members. Years ago we started to thrift/yard sale/etc those large stainless steel cups like they make milkshakes in. Over time, the machines break and get discarded and there are  surprising numbers of the steel cups floating around out there. I'd bet some are from the 40s-50s. They don't break like glass, no cleanup of broken glass, and especially no surprise pieces of glass found in unfortunate ways down the road. We've been using some for 25 years or more. We then branched out into small stainless mixing bowls for most meals, and bought a few stainless plates from an Indian grocery. Breakage and replacements have dropped to near zero. I'm a big fan of stainless and the lifespan of the items is LONG. We keep some non stainless bowls, plates, etc for the microwave.
6 days ago

Skandi Rogers wrote:
I can't comment on plastic vs stainless but I do remember that single use plastic bags are energy wise much better than the thicker multi use plastic bags. You have to use a thick woven plastic bag over 50 times before it equals out. even paper bags are worse than plastic energy wise. And of course those two points only count if the single use bag is used 1 time only, if it is used twice and then turned into a bin bag, well you better use your thick one 150 times to cancel that out. If you use a cotton bag instead then you need to use it nearly 400 times to even out with using 400 disposable bags.

I live in an urban area. I see single use plastics flying around in the wind, hanging high up in trees, in bird nests, etc. etc. ad nauseum. Many of them eventually find their way into storm sewers and out into freshwater streams, rivers, and eventually the sea. They are also deposited on shorelines all down those same pathways. In many cases around the world, they end up in combined storm and sewer lines and clog intake screens at treatment plants. They are cleaned to remove plastics (bottles included) regularly and this is at considerable person hours and energy cost. Thus, even energy wise it isn't so simple. Paper bags break down and many of those issues are removed from the equation. I do agree however that reusing everything possible is the way to go. I use the plastic bags my folks generate until they can't hold much. I also use them for bagging plants and seeds I'm giving away. Decades ago, I bought a fair number of cotton bags. There was a large initial cost and initial energy input to get them into my hands. Again, I purchased most of mine but have thrifted and been given several as well. The initial order I've had about 30+ years. I've used them for groceries, building materials, temp storage, books, etc. They're in use daily. While I can tell which ones are the earliest (they're thinner now), they have kept countless thousands of bags out of our house/landfill. They also have never fallen apart while carrying heavy items. In the end, if they ever fail to be mended and used as bags, they will certainly lend some usable fabric. I do not believe the less than robust stats used for how many times a bag has to be reused in order to break even with plastics as the metrics don't take a lot into account. It's far more difficult to calculate over time, use variability, lifespan, even weight of the materials being used to make the bags. Given that, and my own experience, it's hard for me to see how cloth bags aren't first, then paper a far distant 2nd.

Disclaimer - I'm no saint. I'm still a plastic user. I thrift topless bins for the garden for a buck (or less at garage sales), car, etc and use them until they shatter or become otherwise unusable for anything else. I have fleece clothing...most of which I've had for 10-20 early heavily used pullover is from 1981! I have a car. There are bits and bobs everywhere but I'm not cavalier about it. I avoid it when I can, reuse all I'm able to, and recycle when I can no longer find a use. I routinely salvage/scrounge plastic items from which I think I can squeeze some extra life.

6 days ago
Anyone want to nerd out on old compost magazines?

Compost Journal : August-September, 1961
1 week ago
Purchase supplies in bulk.
Grow whatever we feasibly can.
Manage leftovers and "waste" from meal prep.
Forage a bit.
Thrift/Flea/Craigslist a lot.
Don't have champagne tastes.
We were going to start canning last year but it got popular and you couldn't find supplies. If you did, they were expensive. I'll wait until people stop doing it and I can reduce my supply costs.
I'm hoping to build a solar food dryer this year.
Repurposing almost everything we can.

Basically, a lot of it is reducing how much garbage comes in, or planning for reuse & recycling. That said, we have a multitude of projects and irons in the fire that require a bit more outlay and acquisition than we previously had. As we progress, we need less.

1 week ago
I mostly like the idea but wonder about the effects of metal rims on bird feet in hot summer sun. Any issues?
1 week ago
BTW, I notioced on the Equinox site that they still have the bags they sold back then. This is what I started with ages ago and referenced above:

1 week ago
I envy those of you who know how to sew. I never learned. However, back in the mid to late 80s when there were few offerings of reusable bags, I landed on Equinox LTD ( I made a phone call (remember those?) to ask about the grocery bags. If I remember correctly, it was after normal working hours and I got the owner. I asked why the handles didn't go all the way down and across the bottom of the bag for strength. He said they tested them and didn't think they needed to given the strength of the cloth. Further, he said he just built a backyard grill and had carried them full of bricks. I remember stating I'd never be in that position. Anyway, I ordered some and loved them. That fall, I ordered more for Christmas gifts for everyone on our list. The bags I gave my folks have seen light duty in almost none. But some recipients did the same thing giving them as gifts for years.

I am still using most of the bags from the original fleet as well as others I bought along the way. And carrying bricks? Oh yeah...I did that as well. I've also carried cement blocks, rocks, and any number of non-grocery items. I've broken a single handle over the years and that was because I left a bag of tools in a damp location for three years and it slightly molded and weakened the handles. I washed it and tied the handle straps together and am still using it as well. I have friends who are still using theirs from the original gifting as well.

Who knew they would last this long?

Anyway, kudos to those of you sewing bags. We have avoided countless thousands of bags over the last 30+ years with reusable bags.
2 weeks ago