Carolyne Castner

pollinator
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since May 31, 2020
Carolyne likes ...
cat dog home care personal care urban books cooking food preservation fiber arts medical herbs ungarbage
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Biography
I'm a professional dog trainer and animal-rescue advocate located in the heart of Central Texas. I live with my amazing husband and daughter, and our tribe of small furry animals.
We're trying to slowly transform our suburban backyard into a sustainable food garden and native pollinator habitat, and we're fighing the HOA every step of the way!
Our long-term goal is to build up skills so we can inherit/retire to the family land in the Texas Hill Country.
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Zone 8B Blackland Prairie, Tx
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Recent posts by Carolyne Castner

The Martins are back! We had a freak winter storm here in Texas and had below freezing temperatures for a week, and I was worried that any Martins that had already started their trip back to us had frozen and died. Luckily that was not the case and our first 4 adult Martins arrived last week on Thursday.
1 year ago
The hubby and I have gotten fed up with the HOA crap where we currently live and have started looking at property where we can relocate with some of our extended family. Lots of land out in Coupland area (about halfway between Elgin and Taylor, 45ish min drive from Austin on the toll roads). Lots of the farmland is being parceled up into 10acre plots; no electric, water or sewage on most of them but it's a good place to start!
1 year ago
Hi Kate!
I’d love to help test out some of your recipes! I’m definitely in a different climate zone though 😂

I’m the primary cook in my family, but I like to get my daughter involved whenever possible.

I particularly love recipes that use techniques that have become less common over time (I.e. making a roux for cheese sauces and gravies, using water baths for texture when baking, making pasta by hand, reductions and i’m just starting to dip my fingers into basic fermentation’s)
2 years ago
Hi Shelby!
Glad to see another Texas permie! I'll have to check out your videos to see what all ya'll are growing
Since you said you already have lots of forested land around this bit, I like the idea of leaving the "meadow" for biodiversity. Around where I live the prairie has lots of clusters of small tree/shrubs instead of taller trees. Are there some native shrubs that you could plant that might provide a food source for the local wildlife? Or something for pollinators perhaps? You could also try sowing some kind of cover-crop mix that would improve the soil and also create food for wildlife. My grandparents who live outside Kansas City use a mix of Hairy Vetch, Clover, some kind of field peas and rye on their meadow in the fall, which helps the wildlife forage and build up fat to last through the winter.
2 years ago
I think I have my BB5, but I can’t tell on my mobile device. I’ll double-check on my computer a little later. I like these badges! It’s a great way to show incremental progress and it’s very encouraging to get off my butt and do more!
2 years ago
pep

Mike Haasl wrote:I think for this badge they need to have naturally shown up in their spot and that spot needs to be in a polyculture type situation.  So I think a wild plant in a traditional grass lawn probably doesn't count.  I think two wild plants that show up in a flower bed (assuming a polyculture of many flower varieties) would count.  I think wild plants that show up in a diverse "weedy" lawn that isn't mostly grass might count as a polyculture but I'm not sure.



Ok that makes sense. I’m going to let the “weedy” plants that I’m currently protecting grow to seed as planned, collect some and let the others fall wherever they want! It might take a little longer but they’ll eventually travel around the yard and end up in places where they can grow nicely together
2 years ago

Mike Haasl wrote:Carolyne, for those little pods, one possible way (untried by me and likely to fail miserably) is to pulse them in a blender for a bit.  That's how I get brassica seeds out of their pods.



That’s a good idea! My husband has a little mini coffee grinder that might do the trick. I’ll have to give it a go and see how it works; the seeds are small enough that I think they’d fall under the blades once the pods were cut open
2 years ago
Can I take pictures of wild plants that I'm attempting to cultivate for seed collection? There are a couple "weeds" in my yard that I'm planning to replant/re-seed for future use in my garden. (Horseweed, medicinal value. Milkweed, pollinator plant. "Sensitive" plant Mimosa pudica, nitrogen fixer)
Do they still count if I relocate them to a spot where they can grow with other plants or do they need to be in their "as found" locations? Mine are spread all over my yard currently, with little flags and bits of wire cage around them to protect them from bunnies and over-zealous husbands with lawn mowers...
2 years ago