Thekla McDaniels

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since Aug 23, 2011
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goat dog food preservation medical herbs solar greening the desert
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I ‘ve been studying soil life and the process of soil development since 1965, also, the then new idea that fossil fuels were a limited resource.  I farmed 2 1/2 acres in western Colorado, starting with fine grained ancient blowing desert sand but in 4 years was 6+ inches deep rich black soil! Using nothing but seeds and water, and strategic mowing and grazing.  Magic!
What a lot of fun that was.
Currently renting a small apartment with NO yard or ground.  YIKES!  No south facing windows, just one big beautiful north facing window.

Seeking my next piece of earth to tend.
Can’t wait to see what happens next.
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Western Slope Colorado.
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Recent posts by Thekla McDaniels

I dunno really, but a few things come to mind… Is it Dios de los Muertos?  Skulls skull skulls.  Including sugar skulls to eat.  Anyone who celebrates this holiday, PLEASE educate this poor ignorant “gringa”.

Skulls and skeletons at Halloween,

Skulls painted by Georgia O’Keefe

And then there’s this:  it’s a study in anatomy, a painter who painted a few skulls would develop a much more detailed comprehension of anatomy.  I have heard it said that artists are told to conceptually paint the bones and muscles of any creature they paint.

At 40something I had an xray of my lower leg bones.  It appeared incredibly beautiful to me.  A sculpture, perfect in its contours and function.  It was very moving to see, and to know that my gait, my work, my muscular habits had shaped it.

I’m so thankful for my bones.

Further bone magic:  human babies have bow legs.  When they begin to walk, the load bearing stressed straighten those little bowed legs.  We can gain a lot of knowledge about care of our bones by observing the process of babies’ bones straightening as the babies learn to walk.
14 hours ago
Good to know, Anita.  Thanks

I am curious about levels of alkaloids and how toxic they are.  Of course caution is good, but one liver function is hepatotoxins detoxification.  Common substances often contain hepatotoxins, in fact countless pharmaceuticals are hepatotoxic, as are multitudes of over the counter compounds like Tylenol and compounds “generally regarded as safe” and allowed in the industrialized food supply .  And alcohol is pretty toxic to the liver.

The liver does regenerate itself, but the balance is crucial, between rates of regeneration and inputs of compounds requiring detoxification.

As my life depends on a healthy liver homeostasis, I will definitely be doing my research!  As should we all 😊

Thanks again for bringing it up
5 days ago
Thanks for those recipes, Annette.  I have been told that before the fays of lettuce, people ate borage as salad.  I have put it in my salads but am not fond of the texture… and am impressed by the tenacity of our forebears.  Dunno why I never thought of cooking it.  At this point I would say use it the same way as nettles.

I often freeze extra greens, kale spinach nettles etc.  I get them clean enough to eat, then stuff them into a plastic bag.  When frozen I crunch them up with my hands… they are ready to go into soups, stir fries, smoothies, eggs….  I usually cut the midribs and coarse stems like celery.  I guess I can add borage to that list.

I don’t know if borage leaves contain compounds beneficial to the skin, if so, an oil infusion made into a salve or lotion would be simple.

Borage leaf tea would be healthy.

Borage seed oil is great and very expensive.  I wonder if one could extract any of the benefits by soaking the seed in oil for a month in a warm place.  Maybe crushing the seeds would help the desired compounds escape into the carrier oil.

That’s my brain dump on borage today.😊
6 days ago

Anne Miller wrote:

Ashley Redding wrote: says I need to move it to a "photovoltaic" forum

I am sorry, to my best knowledge we do not have a forum called `photovoltaic` so I moved it to the Solar Forum.

Maybe the person who suggested that knows something I don't know.

I hope the information that S Bengi has given you answers your question.  

If not please ask more question.

Sorry for causing confusion.  I am probably the one who introduced the idea of a photovoltaic thread or forum.  What I was trying to suggest was that the question might get more attention somewhere other than the passive solar thread…. Just a generic idea more closely related to solar panels.

Ashley, I’m glad you’re receiving the guidance you need.
6 days ago
Something to consider as you plan how to water your garden:

If you’re in a humid climate, overhead watering wets the leaves, which can promote fungi and mold.

If you’re in an arid climate, you lose a lot of the water as the droplets fly through the air.

A lot of people do just fine with this system I am sure.  I prefer watering the ground directly.  I make infiltration basins strategically shaped to deliver water to root zones.  I move the hose from one to the next to fill them.  Filling the basins with coarse wood chips-bark-debris slows down evaporation from the soil surface, moderates the temperature fluctuations, and as the chips decompose they provide nutrients to the root zones.  Some people also add compostables, or small amounts of chicken litter.

Another alternative is soaker hoses which have never worked for me.  The one time I tried them, the minerals in the very hard water clogged up all the pores in the soaker hose.

Happy gardening!
Free or cheap mulch options:

I used to get bags of sawdust from a cabinet shop.  

When collecting free manure, you probably don’t want it if there’s a chance the animal’s owner believes in conventional pharmaceutical wormers.

When considering using straw or hay, or lawn clippings, be wary of herbicide residues.

Some cities and towns have chip piles where townspeople can just come get as much as they want.  This is my favorite option currently.  The piles are not uniform material.  I look for parts of the pile that are older, more aged.  Look or ask around for the city “yard”, inquire with the local parks and recreation department.
Just a few thoughts, Nancy.

Are you planning to harvest the hops?  If so you might not want them in the trees.  

It might be a good idea to figure out your structure, and harvest methods before you plant into the ground.  In this region, they put out 20 foot poles, run horizontal wires, suspend string for the hops to climb up.  I didn’t want to do that, so I made a tripod out of the longest poles I had, i planted the hops in a circle at the base of the poles.

I was trying to create a shade structure …

Then I converted to goat pasture…

I didn’t stay with it long enough to have experience harvesting.

I think the traditional methods in England involved people walking around on stilts…

With hops, they will die to the ground each winter, so you won’t lose any of the plants’ vigor by trying one method after another.

One thing I thought of was putting up a sturdy trellis or pergola type structure that I could lower with a pulley system.

It will be an interesting process, and I will be curious what you end up with…

I do think trying to pick them out of the trees might not be a good idea.  I would locate them with the idea that you will be providing a structure of some kind.  

And even if they end up in the trees this year, next year you add  a different support system.
1 week ago
Hi Ashley, this was a thread for discussion of passive solar.

The panels are called “photovoltaic “. If someone hasn’t helped you yet, or placed this post in another thread, you might want to try posting in a photovoltaic thread
1 week ago
Welcome to permies Cm
3 weeks ago
I tried rust dying about 10 years ago, when I first heard of it.  It can be lots of fun, and I love the suggestion of adding tannins to the mix.

I dyed both cotton and silk.  Both took the color without mordant… though iron is used as a mordant, so perhaps my statement is not accurate.  I should say without additional mordant, which leads me to possibilities I did not investigate, such as adding various mordants to the process, alum, chrome, tin etc.  If tannins get you into the bluish realm, what else might be awaiting us?

One thing I discovered that might be good to know, it changes the hand of the dyed fabric.  The light weight silk was stiffened, and so was everything else, but being so light and soft, it was most noticeable on the silk.

Of course I made up a story for myself, about what could explain the phenomenon!  I think the iron itself, a large and heavy atom? ion? molecule? attaches itself to the fiber, the amount depending on how dark you dye it.  And how can that not make the formerly light and “fluffy” fibers of the textile stiffer, heavier, scratchier?

All the same, it’s a wonderful process to experiment with!
3 weeks ago