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Anne Pratt

master pollinator
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since Apr 10, 2020
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hugelkultur dog forest garden fungi foraging books chicken cooking medical herbs homestead
Retired last year, living in Vermont with partner, 3 chickens, 1 aged Chihuahua, and lots of gardens. A baby food forest underway. Perennial vegetables. Berries planted. Plenty of flowers!
Vermont, USA
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Recent posts by Anne Pratt

I spy quite the antique truck collection in the distance!  I know nothing at all about old trucks, but my partner has a ‘48 Power Wagon and a Ford 8N tractor of a similar vintage.

He does all the work on them himself, and declares that his antiques are better in every way than the expensive modern versions.

I actually have nothing to add to your post, except blathering on. And your firewood is lovely!
3 hours ago
We heat with wood but use the central oil heating system rarely. Specifically, we use it for 10 minutes on cool days in the spring and fall, when lighting a fire would be a very bad idea but we feel cold. Sometimes we use it first thing in the morning when it has been particularly cold and the banked fire didn’t keep us warm enough overnight. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and put on more wood, so it’s still warm even in below-zero (F.) weather.

The best use, though, is what Thomas said - preventing the house from freezing when we go away for a weekend or longer!

Our house is super-insulated so it doesn’t take much to take off the chill. A stove that still has hot coals in the morning is ideal, especially for restarting the fire in the morning.
6 hours ago

What does it take to get fruit?  Maturity, or pollination?
1 day ago
Okay, after multiple false starts I have sprouts. Their first tour in the fridge was apparently not wet enough. I planted them in seed starter, set them in a mushroom container and made everything quite wet. Covered with plastic wrap and put in the fridge. In a couple of weeks, I’ve produced the sprouts pictured. Sorry it’s sideways!

Now what?  I took off the plastic and took it out of the fridge. I kept it in the cool basement for a couple of days and now it’s on the porch. It needs to dry out some so I can tease these babies apart, a task I dread. The soil is still soggy, but it did get the job done!

My instructions say to keep the plants in gallon pots the first year, which is fine!  But I’m all concerned about the planting medium. I can’t get my head around planting in pure clay, as was recommended (see my precious post). Is there some way to create a mineral-rich medium that will drain?

Thanks everyone!
1 day ago
Hi Carmen!  I don't have much in the way of useful advice, except start at the town or county clerk's office to find the building code, and have a chat with the building inspector, first.  Saves you a lot of headaches later.

But I am here to offer moral support!  You go, woman!  From the ripe old age of 67, 61 seems quite young, so go for it.  Start the weight training right away, and make sure you know how to lift properly.  This is awesome!
2 days ago
Hi Shannon!  Welcome from over in Windsor County!  I live just south of Woodstock, and west of Ascutney.

Have you lived in the north country before?  What kind of vehicle do you drive?

The winter is hell on driveways and cars, but not as bad as mud season.  On gravel roads, it's not uncommon to see ruts in the mud that are over a foot deep.  It's very hard to get through.  (The surface of the road thaws, and spring runoff saturates it.  But below the surface the road is frozen, so the water can't drain.  It's a nightmare.)  In the winter your grass driveway should be frozen, but when it thaws (as it does periodically during the winter) that's bad.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news!  I think you should definitely have some gravel dropped in that culvert area, by someone who knows what they are doing.  Ask around; there are guys with dump trucks and gravel, and then there are guys who really know what they are doing.

I drove a Chevy Volt (plug-in hybrid) when I moved to Vermont.  The first winter sent me off to the dealership to buy a 4-wheel drive.  I hate having a vehicle that uses only gas, but I couldn't manage the roads with the Volt, which is extremely low to the ground.  

I think the fire department question is important, but less so in Vermont than in some other places.  Keep in mind as you look at your land that we have had precious little rain this year, so things are much drier now than usual.

And hello!  Welcome!
3 days ago
I love this idea!  Brilliant!  I need a place for my runners (heading out to the lawn as we speak), and I need more strawberries.  What a great idea.

Now, where to put it. . .
3 days ago
Mouthwatering.  Truly.
3 days ago
I’m with you, Matt. Teva Mush.

They sound absurdly soft with that name, but they conform to your foot after wearing awhile, and provide support. I wear them around the house. I have foot issues, so I wear mostly Keen products outside - support + room for my toes!
6 days ago
I harvest the cilantro continually to make fish tacos. And there’s plenty!  The bees love the tiny flowers.