Angela Dansie

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since Aug 03, 2020
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Recent posts by Angela Dansie

Valerian. I can be on a hike & smell its funk from the next draw. Yarrow is another I can smell as I approach. Osha root, though I can't smell it before I dig it. I always use my nose to make sure it isn't one of its identical & poisonous cousins. Same with wild onions to distinguish from other lilies.
1 month ago
Elle, your place sounds just like mine. Read my previous post. The window screen lids really help with the grasshoppers & hail. I do raised beds, but you could build them underground & do a hugelkulture hybrid system for the ground squirrels. When they found my sunchokes, they went insane & even ripped through chicken wire I laid down under my beds. The only fix I've found is the heavy woodsided beds & screen or chicken wire lids. The window screens you could probably get from a local window installer or builder. I have a bunch saved from some window replacements my sister did working as a contractor. And, definitely keep adding lots of organic matter.
2 months ago
You sure the hell don't look 70. I'm in Montana, completely rooted here. I live on the land with several members of my immediate family (separate houses). If you think you could handle Montana winters off grid (subzero temps, chopping firewood for heat, still using an outhouse until next year hopefully), we should chat. I'm 50 & have always preferred older men. I have 5 grandkids, 3 live here on the land. It's a good life, though not easy.
2 months ago
Awwww, you're adorable & your place looks amazing. If I wasn't deeply rooted to my land in Montana, surrounded by loving family & way too many critters, I'd be on my way to meet you, LOL. Good luck. A great guy like you will find that special gal
2 months ago
I use raised beds because the ground here just steals all the water. I build them out of thick sawmill slabs & usually put slabs in the bottom for moisture retention. That also keeps the ground squirrels, voles, gophers, etc. out. Once the prairie dries up, they will do anything to get in your garden. Then I put raised sides up (poles or boards) staple wire to those, then clear/opaque heavy plastic over that. The wire supports the plastic so it doesn't rip off & blow away. Then you can put a wire lid over that to keep birds & such out (the ground squirrels will climb, too). That's for my tomatoes & peppers that the grasshoppers don't like. For radishes, spinach, lettuce, carrots, etc. I put a lid made of old window screens over it to keep them from being devoured by grasshoppers. Plus, those plants like to bolt (go to seed) when it gets hot, so this gives them that little bit of shade. This is the first year I thought of the window screen lids because the grasshoppers have been so bad, but was delighted that I got through the July heat without anything bolting. And I was able to start more seedlings mid summer because of the window screens helping keep the soil moist throughout the day when I'm gone. That is usually not possible here.
2 months ago
Elle, I hear you. I'm in SW Montana. Dry, windy, poor desert/prairie soil. My first suggestion is raised beds. Old pallets, or sawmill wood slabs are free or very cheap materials for that. Build your base bed that you will fill with soil you make. Then put upright posts or boards going a couple of feet high. Staple chicken wire or other wire to that. Then staple clear or opaque heavy mil plastic over the wire. That will break the wind yet still let light through the sides. The wire supports the plastic so it won't just rip off & blow away. On one long side, I made the wire a drop down door & stapled the plastic inside so I can get in there to weed & prune. The windbreak also helps keep moisture in & the frame gives you something to throw sheets or tarps over in the spring & fall cold nights. Plus the raised bed gets your roots up out of the cold ground & extends your grow season marginally. Then build soil. I use 1/3 native soil, 1/3 sand I get from a seasonal flood wash nearby & 1/3 horse manure (2 yrs old, well composted). Plus I add some of my household compost & litter from the chicken coop. The horse manure works kind of like peat moss to hold moisture & fluff the soil, and it's free. It's a lot of work, but only has to be built once & beats fighting the elements & watching your work go to waste. Good luck. Imagine being one of those poor pioneer women who had no choice but to make that soil produce food!
2 months ago