Meg Mitchell

pollinator
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since Jun 04, 2018
Meg likes ...
books cat homestead hugelkultur medical herbs ungarbage
Highly enthusiastic newbie gardener.
Gulf Islands, Canada
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Recent posts by Meg Mitchell

Also FTR, my friend who said she thought it was a dating site, moved across the country with her current SO and was never a big dating-site person.

paul wheaton wrote:

The login creates a barrier that (technologically-speaking) does not need to be there.



I think you need to handle support for a few weeks and see if you still feel that way.  

As is, I think we have made it crazy super simple.  

And there are a lot of other factors involved.  We need to be respectful to the kickstarter supporters.   And we need to be thinking about the people that will lose their ebook and need to download it again.  There are probably a dozen more factors to juggle.  

And on top of all that, changes like the one you propose will probably take a year of development and test.  And that's if we determine it is a high priority.  

And then the bottom line:  I think setting up an account here is super fast.   And setting up an account for this sort of thing is generally accepted as how this sort of thing is done.  



If the software behind the site is open-sourced, point me in the direction of the repo and I'll be more than happy to help. I'm not trying to say this is an emergency thing that needs to be dealt with right now; I think it's a general barrier to participation that should be dealt with in the long term. If we can fix this in a year, that's perfect; it means next time a big kickstarter is done, we'll get much better participation. I haven't done support for permies but I have done support for most other software products that I've developed. The process required to get through "the funnel" is important if you care about how many people end up making it through to the other side. Most of my employers care about the funnel because it affects their bottom line; I think permies should care about the funnel because it affects how many people end up accessing and absorbing the information that you're trying to pass on.

IOW if you make people sign up to the site in order to access books/video, a lot will decide not to bother, even if they would otherwise read the books or watch the videos and put that knowledge into practice. If we want to maximize the number of people who read the books and watch the videos, and put that knowledge into practice, we should be working as hard as possible to make it easy. From what I've seen, the people most likely to put the info here into practice are the least likely to be willing to sign up to random websites. The friend I mentioned above owns a 10 acre farm and has a huge network of friends and family where she lives; I'm an isolated nobody on a half-acre plot who checks this site multiple times a week. It would be a lot more effective for permaculture in general if you were reaching her instead of me, but your site is scaring her off simply because of how it's set up.

Deb Stephens wrote:I also don't consider using melt-and-pour products to be true soapmaking since they are already made into bars of soap that can be used as-is if desired. None of the processes of soapmaking are involved when doing melt-and-pour soaps--they are merely melted on the stove or in the microwave and poured into molds to re-set.



You start with 1lb soap and end with 1lb soap. Or start with 10 and end with 10. Seems pretty logical to me that you're not making soap here, just modifying it. If you're not working with lye, you probably haven't made soap.

Deb Stephens wrote:By the way, what have you got against Castille soap? A well-made bar is really the best for making a quick version of homemade laundry soap. I grind my bars and remelt them as the base for my laundry soap (with borax and washing soda added). It works great and is a real timesaver when I don't feel like doing the whole hot-process liquid laundry soap. Personally, I find them too drying for regular use on skin, but they do make for a good cleansing bar.



I haven't tried it for laundry soap. For hand or body soap I find it really slimy and gross, and it doesn't bubble well, and a lot of home soapmakers feel the same way. Might be really great for laundry! I feel like Castile soap has a really weird reputation. The original recipe was invented for use in factory production but a lot of hobbyists go for Castile as their first soap recipe. The recipes recommended to at-home hobbyists aren't quite the same as the ones used in the factories and the soap doesn't turn out quite the same. Factory-made Castile soap is a luxury good, but most homemade Castile soap is kinda icky. To me it just seems like we're trying to duplicate a commercial process using at-home methods and failing badly at it, when we could be turning out something so much better with so much less effort. Maybe I'm just a hopeless lard-soap fangirl but I've never had any olive oil soap that was halfway as good as a lard soap.
3 months ago
No worries about the trying, Paul. :) I went for all physical copies because they're easy to leave laying around and people will eventually get bored and open them. My birthday present this year will be one of those little community libraries, and I'll definitely leave a copy in there. Also plan to leave a copy with my coworkers, one for the town library, etc. I like to talk about this stuff but I try to strike a balance between sharing as much knowledge as possible and becoming that one-note nag nobody wants to listen to.

There is something to be said about making the process as easy as possible, though. The login creates a barrier that (technologically-speaking) does not need to be there. If we want people to look at the stuff, we should make it as easy as possible for them to look at the stuff, no?
I signed up for the $100 level of the better world book and put together a spreadsheet with all of the codes I got. I shared that spreadsheet with some permie friends, my lefty workplace, and my local folk school. Not a single one of the codes has been used. I think people are turned off by having to sign up for the site to receive the materials. One of my friends told me she didn't want to sign up for permies because she's partnered and thought it was a dating site; when she looked up permies on Google a lot of the results were from the Permaculture Singles forum. If the point of the gift codes is to share permaculture knowledge as widely as possible, I think it might be worth rethinking how the gift code system works.
As most of you probably know, Ecuador has been locked in a general strike for many days now, triggered by their fuel subsidy being cut. Normally I'd be against fuel subsidies, but I think in this case, there are a lot of working class people, particularly indigenous people, who were relying on that subsidy for their survival. Cutting the fuel subsidies isn't going to push these people towards more sustainable technologies, because they can't afford them and they aren't available locally; it just means they can no longer afford to live period. The government is now bringing in tear gas, curfews, and other measures against the protesters, and many protesters are dead or seriously injured.

Usually in cases like this it's better to donate money instead of goods, but I've been looking around for places to donate money and haven't found any. As a regular person living far away, I hate feeling like there's nothing I can do to help. Does anyone have any insight into what the heck is going on down there and what a regular person can do to help?
3 months ago
The key phrase for this is "Fridays for future" and you can find a map here: https://www.fridaysforfuture.org/events/map

Oddly it looks like there are weekly sit-ins in Nanaimo, Port Alberni, and Campbell River, but not Victoria. But if you're in Victoria there's no reason not to do it yourself, just go sit on the lawn of the parliament building with a sign. Submit it to the website or do it long enough and people may join you.
3 months ago
For reference: https://garden.org/thread/view/15995/Cats-and-Daylilies---survey-results/

This has been bugging me for a little while. A lot of the people I know IRL who are growies with cats are sure that daylilies are very poisonous to cats. One of mine likes to nibble at my daylilies and has never had a problem, and it seems very plausible to me that people have mixed up daylilies with other kinds of lilies. Does anyone have any further experiences or info about this? Obviously I'm not going to force-feed daylilies to my cat or let him gnaw on them endlessly, but I also hate to let a good plant have a bad reputation.
3 months ago
IMO the absolute best resource for a beginning soapmaker is Smart Soapmaking by Anne Watson. A lot of soapmaking resources are cargo-culting based on things other soapmakers have said in the past, but Anne bases her work on experience and dispels a lot of common myths in the book. To use a totally random analogy, I'd say she's the Sam Thayer of soap. She even has another book about how to make Castile soap that isn't gross (which I haven't tried yet, but she does explain why Castile soap tends to be so gross and yet such a classic of at-home soapmaking).

I'm not a huge fan of Soap Queen because they use a lot of unnecessary tools and artificial ingredients (they make their $ selling materials and tools, so their recipes tend to use way more than is needed to turn out a good result), and there's been more than one video from them where they insult the viewer's intelligence. I'm a STEM nerd and it annoys me beyond belief to have some woman assure me that it's okay that I'm too dumb to do basic math and chemistry.
3 months ago