Emilia Andersson

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since Feb 25, 2020
My permaculture credentials are modest. I hang out with and work with agroeclogists with desk jobs, and work on things like urban compost, poo-post and seed bombs. My husband and I have four square meters of kitchen garden here on the cool mountain, 9 ha of forest in a hotter valley, and a summer cottage in Finland where we hope the fruit trees thrive while we're on another continent.  
San Cristóbal, Chiapas, Mexico
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Recent posts by Emilia Andersson

Hello permies! I've recently acquired a dog and decided to boil up some rice, meat and vegetables (in this case pumpkin) for her food. I went to the butcher's and asked for "any leftover meat for dogs?" and got given a bag full of scraps... which turned out to be 90% fat, probably from beef and pork. We pulled out the meatiest bits for the dog but there's still a head-sized bag of fat in the fridge. This has acquired the characteristics of radioactive waste in my mind. I don't want to give it to my or the neighbourhood dogs (diarrhoea). We can't bury it, the dogs will dig it up. I'd consider chucking it onto the roof for birds to eat, but I haven't seen the lard-eating type birds around here... and the rain would probably wash it down, or the cats would get it first. We only have a tiny freezer and it's already full. We hardly ever cook deep-fried food like those famous Northern (UK) chips fried in beef dripping. We eat mostly vegetarian food, but I'm happy to throw in the occasional animal bits for extra flavour...maybe not a fistful of unidentified fat though. What do you folks suggest!
Thanks in advance!
2 months ago

Steve Thorn wrote:
My preference is to let them grow up along other things growing beside it. If there isn't anything growing next to it, you can let some "weeds" grow up alongside it, which is what I've done for the most part this year, and it's worked really well. The diversity of plants, and having a living mulch should decrease pests and help improve the soil as well. You can trim back the weeds some if necessary, but mine have been outcompeting the majority of the weeds growing nearby.

I've poked some sticks for them to climb up and will plant the last ones next to a tallish "carisa" mini-tree. And some of them are already shaded by a dock plant. I've planted some root vegetable seedlings - possibly parsnip or swede - next to the ones in the terraced bed, and hopefully the cempasuchil (marigold) will come up next to them too.
7 months ago
Hello folks! Because of the salmonella risk here we decided to direct the (potentially black- and) grey water from the biodigestor into a soakaway pit, 4 m deep and loosely filled with layers of gravel, sand and charcoal. The architects also made the case for letting this water replenish the aquifer... Next year I can let you know how well it works!
7 months ago
Hello fellow pea-growers! I'm glad I found this thread. I'm also a first-time pea grower. I planted "black badger peas", a North English old variety that tastes delicious (the dried peas are similar to chicpeas, but nuttier and just tastier). Since I only had a handful of seeds I'm trying to maximise their survival to seed so I'm giving them the helicopter parent treatment. I started off germinating them indoors (with the moist paper towel treatment) and all of them sprouted. Then I planted most of them in pots on the sunny balcony where they seem to be really thriving. I planted others in the soil on a shadier terraced bed that only gets sun for a few hours in the morning. Those have also grown but are clearly striving towards the light. I've just transplanted a third batch to our little neighbourhood vegetable patch, in order to spread the risk, but that's basically in the forest and we'll see if they get enough sun there.
Mine are now about 30-35 cm tall and seem to be struggling to stay upright so I wanted to see what you're doing for pea support. Glad to see that you can just shore them up with a line of string.
Where I live the question isn't winter/spring, but dry season/rainy season. It's dry (and cold) from about November to March, and the rainy season starts in May, so May was the time to plant... in case anyone thinks I'm running really late with this.
Do let me know if there are any future risks (slugs?) that I can guard against!
7 months ago
Hello! I used to volunteer at the East Oxford Farmers' Market. At the start there were about five stalls (and then we grew), so don't feel discouraged! We used to advertise on the day of the market, by putting up durable posters on the lamp-posts on the main road (the market was held in the car park of the community centre on a side street) to remind people that it was happening. "Today! Farmers' Market 100 m from here!" It was a pain to put the posters up and take them back down afterwards, but we'd take turns. They were printed on stiff plastic (reusable) with holes for tying them to street furniture.
I agree with the suggestion putting up posters in the supermarket, pharmacy, wherever people spend a moment and look at the noticeboard... and using the "vegetables the way they used to be" angle. And if your prices are cheap, emhasise that too!
We found that the main draw was the vegetable stall, and the other stuff (cakes, breads, preserves, chocolate, candles etc) was secondary. If the vegetable farmers couldn't come for some reason, people wouldn't even begin shopping. So you've already got the basics right!
Here in Mexico we shop at a farmers' market that was set up by consumers who wanted pesticide-free produce. It grew out of a weekly CSA veggie basket, when people started adding other pructs to the baskets... and finally it became easier to just have all the products in one place on Saturdays and Wednesdays. They organise themselves by assemblies and participatory certification where they draw up their own criteria and hold annual inspections... but they've already got 15 stalls. Perhaps you could also offer veggie baskets, to augment the market? Take orders at the market for delivery later in the week so people get fresh vegetables twice a week?
Best of luck!! You've got a good thing going.
8 months ago
Hello folks and happy May! I'm an illustrator and can make a range of presents, Christmas or otherwise... Here's a taste: https://developmentcartoons.com/portfolio/gifts/
  • Customised colouring-in pages, such as these made for my god-daughter. For adults or kids, according to their favourite pastimes and favourite things...
  • For anyone who's travelled to Mexico and has a soft spot for its picturesque towns, I've published a colouring book with street scenes from San Cristóbal de las Casas in Chiapas (incidentally, a food autonomy and agroecology hotspot), available in either book form or print-at-home PDF. Here's the order page: https://developmentcartoons.com/pre-order-colouring-in-books-and-pages/ and here's more detail on where the images came from https://developmentcartoons.com/category/sancris-en-colores/  
  • My siblings and I just made a Mother's Day present for mum: a Mum paper doll featuring outfits she's worn in real life, ranging from velvet Christmas party dress to slouch-at-home hoodie and woolly socks. I can make customised paper dolls of others too! As an option some of the outfits can be in black and white, for the recipient to colour accordig to their own taste.
  • I've also designed an Ex Libris stamp for my husband, featuring resilient plants of his choice (he wanted a nopal/prickly pear, a maguey/agave and a biznaga/barrel cactus).

  • And if you'd like to hire me to illustrate training manuals, info leaflets or books, that's my main gig... My website is https://developmentcartoons.com/
    8 months ago
    Hello! Nice tool and welcome to the forum. Can you get them in Mexico?
    8 months ago
    Nice thread! We have two scythes at the cottage and have been using them to clear the "monte" as the Mexicans say (a mix of grasses, lupin, nettles, what have you). (The Mexicans use this delightful word "monte" for weeds, which is the same as "wilderness" or "forest". Basically they're saying it's a piece of forest there in your field, you might not want it there, but it's not inherently wrong, just mis-filed as it were.) Using the scythe is satisfying although we're beginners, but we've already worked out the "swing from the hips" and "slice don't hack" basics. If it was good enough for grandma, it's good enough for us... Then visiting neighbours show off their machismo by sharpening it and dissing the sharpening technique of whoever had a go at it last time.
    8 months ago
    ...oh hang on, CiviCRM is only for nonprofits. So don't use that for selling vegetables :)
    8 months ago
    Hello there! I use Wordpress both for an oldschool blog (observations from everyday life) and for my illustration business' website. Like you I'm also wrestling with the dilemma of how to sell online - I've published a colouring book but the printers won't release physical copies until the situation normalises, so I'm going to aim for selling the printable PDF book instead.
    I have subscribe to Wordpress Premium. I find that it's pretty straightforward to put together the website part of Wordpress - the blog for ongoing stuff and street (now garden) sketches, the portfolio page to showcase commissioned projects, an "about" page, a "buy the book" page, and menus at the top for all of those things. But since most people look at it on their phones and don't click on anything, you can only really show one or two things.
    Wordpress has a very simple "buy" button (one of their blog building blocks, like "paragraph" or "heading" or "image gallery") that lets you take PayPal payments. However, as far as I can tell it doesn't let you calculate shipping costs or different currencies. It doesn't do what I need it to do (for me the problem is unlocking a PDF on payment) but it might work for you. If you're selling a range of products and want people to be able to cutomise their basket and buy five lettuces, two kilos of beetroot, a salad mix, three kg of rhubarb - you might have to have one "buy" button for each product, which might get fiddly. But if it's just "large basket of the week" and "medium basket of the week" it would totally work for you. You could use the blog feature to list the week's items with photos, then a link to the "shop" page. This feature works with standard, free of charge Wordpress.
    If you want to invest more, Wordpress Business (one category up from Premium that I have) allows you to add WooCommerce, which turns your wordpress site into an online shop with more features. It looks like many of its useful features cost money ranging from $20 to $200 a year.
    A web developer in our CSA group keeps talking up https://civicrm.org/ . According to him, CiviCRM lets you organise mailing lists and take online payments, and it's open source, cruelty-free and high-fibre. Maybe it's the tool for you! (I'd prefer not to ue it for our CSA because we're only 30 people and to be honest meeting in person is what keeps the group together.)
    Best of luck folks!
    8 months ago