MJ Solaro

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since Feb 21, 2008
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Recent posts by MJ Solaro

You guys probably already know this, but you can buy Ivy Extract at most nutritional supplements stores. Apparently a bunch of studies have been done that show that it's a fantastic cough expectorant, better at relieving bronchitis symptoms than many prescription medications. I imagine you'd want to dilute this solution to use it on your scab, but might be easier for the purposes of experimenting than making it yourself:

16 years ago
So nobody has these? In researching them on the web, the ones I found were enormously expensive. Sun-Mar's non-electric unit goes for $1500. The Biolet ones are north of $2100. The Blooloo are so expensive I can't find a price. There's got to be a better way to do this!
16 years ago
Check out this excellent story about a family that decided to build their own solar hot water heater. The entire project cost about $160 in materials.

Now, it should be noted that the project was completed in Florida, and as such, the system has no way to make sure the pipes don't freeze, but I can't imagine that would be too difficult to design into this straight-forward system.


16 years ago
For used stuff, I always find success with Freecycle. You can wait to see what pops up, or you can post a "wanted" ad.


Craigslist Farm + Gardening Section may also work for you:


Some tips from a great MotherEarth.com article on the subject:

Older shovels and hoes are often stronger than modern versions because they were forged from one piece of solid metal. Where can you buy used tools? Flea markets, garage sales, auctions, estate sales, barn sales and second-hand stores are good places to start. The prices can vary, but you can usually buy common tools for less than $15.

The trick to buying secondhand garden tools is to look for solid construction on any welded points and pay special attention to where the metal attaches to the handle. If a tool has parts that are supposed to move, make sure they do. Another thing to look for on metal is heavy pitting and flaking, which weakens the metal so the tool might be better suited for decoration than garden work.

When shopping for edge tools like hoes or shovels, take along a file to test the quality of the steel. If the file cuts rapidly with minimal pressure, the blade is made of soft metal that won't stand much use.

Check that the handle is securely attached and be sure that it is not badly cracked or splintered. Inspect for cracks, past repairs and rotting. Watch out of handles and metal parts that have been repainted - the paint may be covering up cheap construction or damage.

16 years ago
You're absolutely right about saving trees.

Have you read much about Seattle's Urban Forestry plan?

It's a 30 year plan for restoring Seattle's canopy. There is a lot of detail in there about how they want to get there.

One of the interesting stats: 18% of the current trees are hosted on single family residential properties. They have a plan to double this. Also an interesting breakdown of what kinds of trees are most frequently found in the city.

Single family residential property is where the most deforestation has occurred. Apparently to help turn this around they are going to do things like more public services around leaf sweeping, incentives for private tree preservation, and give coupons to nurseries to make it cheap to plant new trees. They'll also have an "exceptional tree" program you can register for.

It will be interesting to see if it can make a difference...
16 years ago
Environmental Manager
J.R. Simplot Company Moses Lake, WA
US Full Time Mid Level Mar 27, 2008
Under the direction the Plant Manager and the Corporate Regulatory Affairs, this position is responsible for the Simplot Sustainable Environmental Management System, Risk Management Program, wastewater treatment operations, air permitting and reporting, EPCRA reporting, storm water pollution prevention, spill prevention controls and countermeasures, and hazardous waste.  This position is responsible for contributing to a safe work place and ensuring environmental compliance.
Core and Adjunct Faculty members
The Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI)
Bainbridge Island, WA United States

Skill Level: Senior Level
Job Status: Full Time
Category: Education

Job Description:
The Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI), www.bgiedu.org, is a six-year-old institution committed to "preparing students from diverse backgrounds to build enterprises that are financially successful, socially responsible and environmentally sustainable" through both MBA and Certificate programs in Sustainable Business.
Alchemy Goods is a Seattle based company which produces messenger bags, hand bags, and wallets from recycled materials. We manufacture all our products locally with a focus on sustainability and quality service. We are seeking motivated help to assist with production of our one-of-a-kind bags. This job is a gateway to unleashing your creative potential, gaining new responsibility, and growing with our burgeoning company. Contact us to set up an interview.

Work Description
- Process recycled materials
- Manufacture bag components
- Work with local businesses to procure materials
- Work 40 hrs/week
- Advance to gain new responsibility and increased pay
Employer: Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
Location: Northwest Region Director - Burlington, Washington
Southwest Region Director - Olympia, Washington

    * Reporting to the Deputy Director, the Region Director manages and directs the daily operation of a Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission’s regional area. The Region Directors are innovative thinkers and proactive leaders in the supervision, administration, maintenance, resource stewardship, public relations and law enforcement activities.

        * Northwest Region is comprised of 25 state parks organized into 16 park areas serving approximately 11 million visitor days and collecting approximately $3.2 million in state revenue per fiscal year. The region consists of more than 27,000 acres of public lands in seven counties including former military forts, historic lighthouses, environmental learning centers, and marine state parks.
        * Southwest Region is comprised of 28 state parks organized into 11 park areas serving approximately 14.9 million visitor days and collecting approximately $4.5 million in state revenue per fiscal year. More than 60 miles of Pacific Ocean Beach are overseen by this region, and the parks feature former military forts, historic lighthouses and environmental learning centers.

    * As a member of the agency’s Senior Management Team, the Region Director is expected to contribute significantly to the overall development of agency business and management policies, rules, and regulations effecting the long term management and operation of Washington’s statewide system of public parks and recreation programs.
$26.973 - $32.799 (1/2 time) PER HOUR PLUS BENEFITS

Snohomish County's Surface Water Management Division seeks a qualified, experienced professional with a solid background in watershed resource management to be part of our stewardship program. This program fosters community supported stewardship actions and landowner best management practices related to water quality, aquatic habitat and flood hazard management. This person will be a focal point for two grant-funded projects in the Stillaguamish River watershed. Responsibilities include identification of water resource problems and restoration opportunities, working with landowners, providing technical assistance, project management, watershed plan implementation, and community outreach.
16 years ago
Here's an interesting report on soil quality and water use for till vs. no till farms in the WA area.

It had definitive findings on no-till methods generating better soil quality over time.

16 years ago
If you're into making a statement about climate change and the need to conserve energy, why not join many people across the world for Earth Hour tonight? From 8-9pm this evening, many of us will be shutting off our lights, our electrical devices, and everything else drawing power in our homes and making a statement about how we can do more with less...

To learn more, go to the Earth Hour site.
16 years ago
Have any of you ever seen that Mythbusters where they play music and speech to a number of plants that they are growing? The control group had no music or speech played to them. Every batch of plants that had some sort of music or speech grew more than the control, but death metal did the best!

Some scientists in South Korea did a similar experiment with similar results, and also noticed that certain plant genes become more productive at different frequency of vibration:


What do you guys think about this? Rationally, why would music or speech aid plant growth? Something do to with the vibrations?
16 years ago
This poor forum doesn't really see much action, does it?

As I look enviously at pictures of different gardens online, I am thinking quite a lot lately about garden aesthetics. It seems the most elegant gardens have a blend of utility and beauty. For example, I love the permaculture recommendation that herbs be grown close to the kitchen so it's efficient to use them. But I also love the concept of the French Potager where flowers and vegetables have grown side-by-side. Gorgeous!

How do you find ways to balance function with form in your garden or farm?

In this pic: swiss chard side by side with Dahlias.
16 years ago