Nancy Reading

master steward
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since Nov 12, 2020
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transportation dog forest garden foraging trees books food preservation woodworking wood heat rocket stoves ungarbage
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Nancy Reading currently moderates these forums:
A graduate scientist turned automotive engineer, currently running a small shop and growing plants on Skye: turning a sheep field into a food forest.
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Isle of Skye, Scotland. Nearly 70 inches rain a year
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Recent posts by Nancy Reading

thomas rubino wrote:
In this case, you want that heat to travel upstairs and not create a super warm basement.

I'll just clarify this one Thomas - In the UK the fist floor is the first upstairs floor, so what you might call the second floor for us is the first floor. It sounds like M may have a three story house, with the RMH on the ground floor and two stores above which he is removing the chimney from. (Side note M. do make sure that you check that out structurally as well!)

Pictures or a diagram always help! I'm also interested to see what you come up with M. I don't see why it shouldn't work if the bricks are of suitable quality.
6 hours ago
Oh, I thought this was going to be about us, rather than what we did....

About me - I'm a hoarder. I'll never have that uncluttered natural look with no techno-plastic-rubbish in my house. I have books dating back to my childhood - they are old friends.

Remember books are great insulation...

What I do - I run a grocery /convenience store. It is not (all) organic/wholefood. If stuff doesn't sell I eat it. I know this is to the detriment of my own health, but I hate waste.

11 hours ago
Here's one for you Mike:

Jeremy was in Glendale a few years ago - great musician!
1 day ago
I managed to catch my variegated Hosta at the tightly coiled stage this year, so got to try eating Hosta for the first time. I cut off about 4 biggish shoots.
perennial vegetables sansai hosta shoots
tightly furled hosta (and wid cabbage shoots)

I like to cook new things as plainly as possible the first time to try and get a good feel for the flavour. So I boiled the cleaned shoots in a little water (along with the sea cabbage sprouts)
how to cook hosta shoots
hosta greens for dinner

I have to say I didn't find them pleasant at all. The texture was fine, slightly slimy, but tender. There was a sourness to the taste that I didn't like though. I don't have anything to compare it with, so don't know as yet if this is a characteristic of all Hostas that we won't like, or whether this particular Hosta is not a nice tasting one.
So far my other Hosta are still not big enough to harvest. I may be able to try the blue Hosta, but the other plants are still too small. I've transplanted some, and the deer ate them! I may see if I can get hold of the 'sum and substance' variety mentioned above as a large variety.
Andrea Locke,
I have merged your topic into this topic. I hope that helps.
I do a lot of planning over the winter period. It's fun to plan out a new area, or new technique (playing fantasy gardens). I make lists of seeds and plants I want, then cross about 9 out of 10 back off again, otherwise I'd spend far too much! When it comes to actually doing though, I don't tend to refer back to the plan, I just wing it and stick seeds and plants where I fancy! I follow a 4 year rotation in my main annual growing area, but no more detail than that.
2 days ago
I see this (at least) two ways - the goals and the constraints. I'm not sure in what context the book intends it to be meant.
I don't have a single goal for what I'm trying to achieve, I have a sort of 5 year plan for one aspect and I have several different garden themes or areas i which I try and achieve different things (my different ongoing projects).
In terms of constraints, my climate and soil give me particular challenges. Water is not a problem for me (generally speaking), but soil lacking nutrients and life through past abuse and lowish temperatures means plants are starved. Acidic soil also tends to limit uptake of particular elements. So my main goal has to be soil building. Optimising temperature helps with this as well, as it gets the soil organisms working to break organic material down. Improving drainage also works towards this as drier soil tends to be warmer. Growing plants for biomass, and adding seaweed for nutrients is also part of the same goal.
The soil matters most to me, but that's rather a big thing to have as a goal and is it not universal, does anyone have perfect soil?
Nancy Reading,
I have merged your topic into this topic. I hope that helps.
2 days ago