Anne Pratt

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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 have no experience growing onions.  But I planted potatoes and some flowers using Eric's fertile hole suggestions (essentially a hole filled with compost and the onion set).  You don't need as much bagged stuff to do that, so you can spring for a more expensive compost.  Add some shredded leaves, maybe, or leaf mold if you have some of that.

I had moderate success with the potatoes.  Some of them rotted, so I conclude that (due to the drought) I was watering too much!
1 week ago
I, too, know someone (who burned brush without knowing there was poison ivy in it) who landed in the hospital, struggling to breathe, and had a long, slow recovery.  Do not burn it!

If I have to be anywhere near it, I cover my hands and anything else exposed with Technu.  I put plastic backs over my shoes.  I immediately throw all my outside clothes into the washer, before taking off my gloves.  Then I throw my gloves in, and then I wash off the Technu and begin scrubbing.  I have had bad cases that required courses of steroids to bring down the swelling.  

I did get rid of some by covering it with a heavy tarp and mulch for two years.  It did creep around out from the edges, and I covered those creepers up too.  Spraying never helped.  I like the borax idea!

People allergic to PI should also avoid raw cashews.  The itch comes as it leaves the body . . . I will spare you any other details!
1 week ago
I'm so glad that the options are becoming clear and you're able to get both the antibiotics and the herbal medicine.

Rest.  And don't fret too much about the cognitive difficulties.  That's easy for me to say; I am retired and was able to extricate myself from the work I had committed to.  But although it took several months to get completely better, it did steadily improve.  It was nice to have my brain back.  Too bad the forced isolation of the pandemic has caused this brain to wander again!
2 weeks ago

Jennie Little wrote:

The idea is that I can decide to do a savory, Italian, or Mexican dish, with "fresh" herbs, on a whim. I make use of all the organic, fresh herbs I have and use them at their best. I used a savory disk to flavor a small meatloaf last night, for example. If I want to do marinara, it's one package of generic tomatoes, onion, celery or bell pepper + 1 Italian disk. Chili? Same thing, except use Mexican herbs.

2 weeks ago
I had a recipe for beef stew slow-cooked in the oven.  I used a Dutch oven, and it cooked at 200 degrees F. for hours - I can't recall how many.  Long time.  It was so tender!
2 weeks ago
OR -

I thought of this while driving by a house that has one.  Maybe you'll want to use an outdoor wood furnace or boiler in the house when it's built.  Buy now, temporary hookup for the trailer?  I'm not sure it's possible, but it probably is.  A boiler would require some sort of water-based heating system inside the trailer.
2 weeks ago
And you probably know, but -

I live with an overpowered wood stove in a small house, and our biggest concern (aside from roasting ourselves) is creosote buildup, since we tend toward smaller and less hot fires than the stove was designed for.  And we paid special attention to the fireproofing over, under, and around the stove, because it really produces more heat than we can use except on the coldest days.  While it costs more, the insulated stovepipe has been really good for helping us sleep at night.
2 weeks ago

That picture with tons of it all over the landscape is very creepy, indeed.
2 weeks ago
Is there a road in to it? You need to price that in.  You can find out from the electric company how much it will cost to run electricity out there.  Ditto a septic tank - find the company that will install it and get an estimate.  If there's a well or other water available, have it tested.  You would be amazed - we installed $5,000 worth of water filtration to remove all sorts of unlikely things, including radiation!  (Granite in Vermont often has little bits of radium in it - who knew?)

Is it close enough to where you work for you to continue your day job?  You described it as "the middle of nowhere;" you'll need income to pay for it all (shelter, seeds, equipment, tree seedlings, and all the rest).  Will you build your own shelter?  Off-grid?  Solar?  Talk to the zoning administrator in the town to find out what sort of shelter will be required.  Check zoning laws for whether livestock is allowed.

Is there any forest on the land?  Harvesting wood can be helpful for building and heating.  You mention avocados and lemons, so perhaps it's warm year-round.  Find out the history of the land - make sure it wasn't someone's hazardous waste dump or something.

Start reading about farming!  Try Joel Salatin - his books are well respected and give you an idea about what needs to be done, and what is possible.

Best of luck!  When you need more specific advice, include your geographic area (USDA zone in the US, or state, no need to be super-specific).
2 weeks ago
Oh, damn, I'm so sorry!

I've never had Lyme.  But last year I got another tick-borne disease, anaplasmosis.  It wrecked my judgment very badly (I couldn't figure out how to work my digital thermometer that I'd had for years).  Thus, I waited too long for medical treatment and ended up hospitalized with sepsis.  

While I was physically quite sick, and had the worst headache of my life (think:  railroad spikes into the skull), the worst symptoms were the loss of cognitive functioning.  I was doing occasional work as a forensic psychologist, and a month after I got sick, I found myself completely unable to finish a report that was due, and very aware that I was utterly unable to get on the witness stand and testify.  (Not because I couldn't do that normally - it was my career.  Because I couldn't concentrate and my judgment was impaired.)

It DID get better!  It took months.

But that was my disease, and I'm hoping it's not yours.

My advice? Take the antibiotics, all of them, and get more if the symptoms haven't disappeared.  The treatment for leftover Lyme disease (many people seem to have an extended set of symptoms, kind of like Covid, after they've "recovered.") is long-term antibiotics, and you don't want that if it's at all possible to help it.  So take the meds and eat yogurt or other probiotic food, especially right after you finish the meds.   The accepted wisdom in the medical community is that this doesn't exist (the long-term symptoms).  So be sure it's knocked out now, so you don't have to fight with doctors later.

I wasn't aware of or thinking about any alternative treatments when I was sick, but it seems like a good thing to investigate.  Be sure to check for drug interactions with the herbal remedies. has a great tool for interactions, and includes many supplements; it might help.  You sure don't want to be taking anything that messes with the actions of the doxycycline, or whatever you're taking.

My heart goes out to you!  Wishes and prayers for rapid healing!  (Most people do.)  
2 weeks ago