elisa rathje

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since Aug 02, 2020
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Recent posts by elisa rathje

timothy, what an extraordinary review! i so appreciate this. i shall come here and read it over when i’m feeling daunted. i’m so pleased that the film struck all those notes.

douglas, that sounds like a great set-up, nice to have a way to transform the brush when you need to. i’m so glad the piece resonated!

many thanks
6 months ago
kiln fire biochar to transform branches into enriched carbon soil amendments for a healthy biosphere


this is my latest film, this time about our new community biochar kiln-share. would you like a kilnshare in your neighbourhood?
6 months ago
thanks anne! thanks toko!

it was the new hazels that i’d propagated that died. so i should have waited a few years before cutting them down? my experience with willow was that i needed to cut the following winter after the one i’d planted in.

i’ve been cutting a few lengths from the old coppices so that’s great to hear i’ve been conditioning them…i prefer that anyway, as i love to see them. i did find another hazel that is stuck in a wire fence that i’d like to remove, it’s about 8’ tall, maybe that’s a good candidate to try out coppicing?

i inadvertently coppiced a maple…it was not healthy but when i cut it down it came up beautifully. the ducks love to have their water tub beneathe its shade.
1 year ago
i made a little film about the ways that ducks make our farm more resilient, in relationship to the trees and the herd animals, the gardens and the people.

this tiny farm has a pair of old hazel coppices and i’ve been trying to add more just in front of the duckhouse near the pond to increase shade and cover for the birds and firewood and fencing for me (the geese live in it most of the year til they are broody and aggressive, then swap to the duckhouse nearer the farmhouse).

however when i cut the hazels, they died. i’ve also got a start on a willow coppice near the pond but i think the competition from rose and blackberry defeated them…maybe i need several layers cardboard! and my goats got in…sigh.

i’d love any thoughts on getting coppices going! if you check out the film i would love to hear your thoughts. it’s here: https://youtu.be/6BOs62hMSeE

elisa
1 year ago
thanks for writing the book i wanted, mark! i lived in the uk for a while and learned a lot of traditional skills and have been wishing this was one of them!

elisa
1 year ago
has anyone tried converting a chiminea to a smoker? i have a small angular one that might work…
1 year ago
what an beautiful thread! these sorts of shifts really propel us around here. we toured our place for a couple of festivals and people responded so intensely, it developed into little films. this latest one has had a lot of folks saying they feel empowered to make a coldframe now they’ve seen it (and my victory is actually making the film amid a great deal of chaos! this midlife with teenagers, ageing parents, and climate change extreme storms is not for the faint of heart!).

the film is part of a series about exactly what we’re all doing here…small steady changes.

 
1 year ago

Ela La Salle wrote:

elisa rathje wrote:
good point! i have been a huge fan of chalk paint but recently made the galling discovery that like most paints (and i want to know exceptions and recipes…milk paint?) it contains polymer, as in, plastic, so the microplastic shedding is disappointingly real.

i do occasionally buy a canned tomato which is in a white can…

thanks jeanne!



I've found this information....

You could  use lime milk for whitewashing fruit trees .
Such lime should be dissolved in water in the amount of 2 kg per 10 l of water. So that lime is not washed away too quickly from tree trunks during rain, it is worth adding substances that improve its adhesion (a little clay or cowberry to it)



thanks ela!
2 years ago
great approaches here. you can see what we do in this video, and we added a trio of geese to the mix which keeps a lot of predators at bay. there’s a great deal of cover for our chickens here, someone went a little mad with the bamboo (actually the geese curb that too) so they can hide. half-inch hardware cloth all over the run and buried, too, means they are safe from dusk til we let them out — about 8.30, which is following the rise in human activity. the roosters really help too, as does learning the language of the birds so we can come running if needed.

https://youtu.be/z_u78eXEJjA

and for good measure, the geese…(who are just coming off broody season which has its own challenges! this was made when they were younger and the gander was in his gentlemanly phase. gander-wrestling is a spring sport! better than chasing hawks…)

https://youtu.be/HUvbeb0B4RM

lastly, the broody hens raise the chicks and they are fierce and skilled! but we do keep tight supervision on free ranging until they are a few weeks old and have learned from mama to watch the skies and heed papa’s warnings.

https://youtu.be/M3vYT4BYJ88

hope it helps to visualise. we have neighbours with dogs, on the other side of the fence, which also matters. and we do live a homebased life, plotted around evening chores happening well before dusk. best luck!
2 years ago

Jeanne Wallace wrote:

Paint the cans white with a non-toxic paint like chalk paint. Its very sturdy outdoors and adheres well to metal with no prep (can even be used on outdoor furniture).
The white would reflect light and keep the tree trunk from overheating.



good point! i have been a huge fan of chalk paint but recently made the galling discovery that like most paints (and i want to know exceptions and recipes…milk paint?) it contains polymer, as in, plastic, so the microplastic shedding is disappointingly real.

i do occasionally buy a canned tomato which is in a white can…

thanks jeanne!
2 years ago