Lisa Brunette

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since Apr 29, 2020
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trees medical herbs writing
Garden Blogger | Permaculture Enthusiast
Midwestern USA
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Recent posts by Lisa Brunette

Jane Mulberry wrote:Nice site, Lisa! I get these offers too. Some of them may be okay, but I've had to unsubscribe from formerly good blogs when they clearly started using these "let us post to your site" services to monetise their blog. The blog posts were well-written, and on topics related to the blog, but became too obviously advertorial.

I can see you're using some affiliate links there already. Looking for more services and products you actually use and can legitimately recommend and checking if they have an affiliate program is a far safer way to go that won't risk losing your existing readers. Another option could be to take blog posts on particular topics, especially ones that answer questions and give solutions to problem areas newbies to urban farming/ wildlife gardening/whatever other areas of expertise you have, and bundling them into ebooks. Sites like Amazon's KDP program or Draft-to-Digital make it easy to produce attractive ebooks. Non-fiction ebook formatting is trickier than fiction (my area of expertise), but KDP does have a Create app to help with that. For non-fiction ebooks on sites like Amazon or iBooks, absolutely the worst thing to do is upload a pdf, though that would work fine for direct sales.

Ha - and I just noticed you're already doing really nice fiction ebooks, so I will shut up! Sky Harbor publishing is your own press, I hope? You're not losing money by letting someone else publish your books? All I'll say is - don't underestimate your non-fiction expertise. You've clearly done a load of interesting stuff and have a lot of valuable information to share. Just think how best to package it.


- Thanks for your compliments on the site. It's a labor of love, so I appreciate that.

- I have Adsense ads, but they are not true "affiliate" links, as I understand those to be a more direct relationship of a percentage paid for mentioning/featuring a product. I have made zero dollars on the Adsense ads.

- I am an old hand at self-publishing... which is a long story for another day. Yes, Sky Harbor is my imprint. I made money on the first book but not on the 2nd and 3rd, as by then the self-publishing bubble burst, and I needed to make a real living and could not devote the time to essentially churn out a book every three months on spec, or my books just weren't resonating at that point, or a million other reasons they haven't monetized.

- Thanks for the props on the non-fiction. I've been thinking the same but see that as more of a long-range plan still taking shape. Glad to hear you think it's not crazy talk! Cheers!

paul wheaton wrote:Lisa,

I have done this before with two routes:

 yucky route: somebody contacted me and it seemed okay.  They made the first payment (I think it was $35) and did not make the latter payments.  I did this about four times.  It always turned into a big frustration, so I just marked future emails like that as spam.

 nice route:  somebody I knew.  The payments were big and sound.  And all communication was respectful.  Worth it.  

So my answer to your question is "it depends." :)

Paul: Thanks for weighing in. The one time I did this before, they did pay, and it was fine. The media buyer approaching me this time seems a bit bigger, and legit, though you never know. I guess I could try it and see!
Hello there, Paul and all. On the subject of passive income... we've been getting requests to wade into sponsored post territory from media buyers looking at

The way they're proposing this works is to run a post on a topic that fits the blog, but it includes follow links that they create. I'm assured:
a) the content is real and relevant to my blog topics
b) there are no spammy links or advertising bits
c) I reserve the right to reject the content
d) if I want, I can create the content, and they give me the follow links

However, I cannot delete the follow links.

What's your take on this? Is it safe/legit territory in terms of residual income streams? As a former journalist, I feel nervous about it, but I also understand you have to evolve or die. I've been putting out a lot of content w/out a return as of yet for a few years now. I ran one of these content pieces last year, and it seemed OK. The blog content wasn't flippin' fantastic or anything, but it was relevant and a fine post. I made money on the deal, but they didn't come back and ask for a repeat. My blog traffic was low then; now it's higher.

The other question I have is what should I consider in crafting my "publishing terms," which they're asking for, and my "base price"?
We're at the 3-year mark with our native plant/permaculture project. Here's a summary of all we've accomplished, with acknowledgment of the miles we still have to go. All of this is done outside of the more-than-full-time work of running our livelihood business.

Any other permies out there at <5 years on their projects? Especially if you're working on your project as a side gig outside of FT work, I'd love to hear about your experiences.
2 weeks ago

paul wheaton wrote:

And speaking of links, it would be nice if you made a link on your site back to us.  If the link says "permaculture forums" and links to that would be great!

I just did this at Cat in the Flock: Lifestyle with Teeth.

Eric Hanson wrote:Lisa, there is a different approach to spray paint that gives the same look.

The device is an electrostatic paint sprayer.  Short version:  an electrical charge is imparted to the paint in the sprayer and the opposite charge is imparted to the object.  Paint droplets literally leap from the sprayer to the object.  My father once had a metal file cabinet painted in this manner while he was working (strange company policy).  He was afraid that his office would stink of paint, but the job was quick, effortless and had no odor.

I don’t know if this is in the cards for you but it can be done.


Eric - Thank you! I have actually come across this method in my research but just don't have the resources to obtain the sprayer. The other issue I saw is that while it eliminates particle spread during the painting process, you're still using the paint itself, and it will still off-gas, right? Your dad's example is great, though. I've considered taking the item to an autobody shop and having them paint it, too, but I figured the expense wouldn't justify it.
1 month ago

Anne Miller wrote:That chair looks really pretty.

Thank you! I'm pretty happy with it.

Anne Miller wrote:An alternative to spray paint would be whitewash or milk paint.

But Anne, have you actually used those on metal surfaces? All the sources I found said those only work on wood, drywall, etc., other porous surfaces.
1 month ago
We just finished a DIY rehab project on a set of 3 vintage gliders I picked up for 100% free. We used pure tung oil for the wood (amazing stuff, tung oil) but couldn't come up with any alternatives to spray paint for the metal frames. Any ideas?

Here's a before and after shot:

And here's the full post:

Cat in the Flock

By the way, more about tung oil here, in case anyone's new to tung oil:

Tung oil
1 month ago

paul wheaton wrote:

I lived with my grandad for a few years starting when I was eleven.  I tend to romanticize everything about that time.   He didn't have a dishwasher.  Everything was washed by hand.  He cooked three meals a day for us, and I did the dishes.  There were so few dishes that everything went pretty quickly.  When I set the table, I pulled the dishes out of the dishrack.  It was a simple and quick system.  I cannot justify it, but it felt good and right. Our work is done.  The idea of a dishwasher is a violation of this romantic notion:  put your dirty dishes into a box and it will be dealt with later.   The food will both rot and petrify in there.  Then you keep pulling more and more dishes out of the cupboards and use those, and keep feeding dirty dishes into the box.  Your work is not done - you have put it off.  It just feels wrong.  There is a festering mess of shame poorly concealed behind a plastic door.  The way that we manage cleaning dishes is not dictated by the meal, but by the machine.

YES. THIS. Brilliant and beautiful. Thank you.

Fed up with dishwashers that never got dishes clean - and constantly broke - once right after we moved in (the thing was brand new) and then again not in 9 yrs but a mere 3 yrs later - we decided to try an experiment. We bought a small tub that fit into our sink, and we began washing our dishes in that. Our 1/4-acre permaculture garden is right out the back door, so we just take the leftover greywater out there to the garden after two rounds of dishes (light cooking) or one, if there's grease or a lot of cleanup. We use Dr. Bronner's soap. The garden plants love this and have responded with better yields. I think the peppermint soap actually helps deter pests that would otherwise eat the green tops of carrots and turnips - for the first time, they looked pristine, untouched by chewing insect. Having to empty the tub 3X a day means we're taking outdoor breaks that many times, which feels good for us. We might linger in the garden when we do, noticing things. We also feel so good doing the dishes, that we actually fight over who 'gets' to do them. Even if we're tired after a long day. I think washing dishes is simply rewarding in a way that our day jobs aren't; it's honest and uncomplicated; it leaves you feeling you've completed something good.

We use our dishwasher to store extra-large rice chex boxes, awkwardly-shaped reusable silicone food storage bags, and liquor bottles. Much better use for it than washing dishes, as it turns out.
1 month ago
Over at Cat in the Flock we're offering a nice discount on a fantastic video series covering food medicine the Traditional Chinese way, from eating in tune with the seasons to learning to diagnose your own health according to the quality of your poop. It's an incredibly insightful series by a practicing acupuncturist and includes cooking demos and recipes. I just tried the congee, and it was delicious and just right for transitioning from late summer to fall.  

Check it out here:

Curious to know if any other permies out there have tried this approach to food medicine. What are your experiences?
1 month ago