• Tag Archives permaculture
  • I Have Not Mentioned Adam

    5  rises 29.92  NWN0  windchill 5  Winter

    Waning Wolf Moon

    A full day Permaculture workshop.  This guy, who takes a nap every day around 1pm, suffers in mid-day at day long events.  In addition, I find that my mind gets overloaded, takes in too much.  It’s not that I can’t absorb and eventually integrate the material, but the pace of absorption has changed over time.  I need space between intake and digestion.  A day’s worth of basically new material wears me out.

    When I came back, Kate asked me what I’d learned and I had troubling with a clear answer.  The exhaustion played a factor, yes, but the tumbling pieces, the changing paragdigms and the altogether novel still raced around inside, had not come down to a place of rest. Tomorrow, next week.  Better.

    Rest tonight.  Then I’ll work on Adam tomorrow.  I haven’t mentioned Adam yet, have I?  He’s taken over my thinking lately. What was it like, I wondered?  What was it like to wake up, come to consciousness, breathe that first breath? What happened in the mind and heart of Adam when God blew into his nostrils?

  • Two Little Peppers and How They Grew

    34  bar steep rise 30.05  2mph W  Windchill 31  Samhain

    Last Quarter of the Dark Moon

    The big news!  I have two peppers emerging in my  hydroponic garden.  That means the fertilizing I’ve done has succeeded.  This is the first fruits I’ve been able to coax out of the hydroponics.  But, not the last.

    More time on the forest’s edge.  Whacking down tall weeds, cutting down acacia new growth, a little pruning and general clearing.  One more major project before laying down the plastic and mulch:  cut up, move and burn a tangle of vines, small trees and branches cast off during a clearing operation in this area last fall.

    Working outside when it’s cool appeals to me.  The work heats me up and I can strip down to whatever level of clothing fits.

  • Sombre et Sol

    59  bar steady 29.98 2mh NE dew-point 53  sunrise 6:48  set 7:29  Lughnasa

    Waxing Gibbous Harvest Moon  rise 6:15  set 3:35


    9AM Sun/Shade

    OK.  All the sun/shade photographs have been printed and I will take them over to Ecological Gardens today.  Just looking at them myself, it is obvious that we have vegetable growing possibilities in the front yard, to the east.  That will affect the plan.

    I will do candidate research on the targeted campaigns for the Sierra Club Northstar post-endorsement political activity today.  This consists of compiling information about the candidates and their stands on enviornmental issues.  Should be fun.

    This weekend I have to design my Made in America tour.  I have a list of objects, but I have to do some research.

    Also, the hemerocallis have begun to call to me.  Move us! Move us!  That has to happen soon.  An order for fall bulbs goes in today, too.  This will replace the daffodils I dug up to plant under the lily and iris plus add some new tulips,

    Fall planting has a ritual feeling to me by now since this will be my 17th straight year.


    9 AM Sun/Shade

  • Change and Changes

    68  bar falls 30.06  0mph NNE  dew-point 38  sunrise 6:45  set 7:34  Lughnasa

    First Quarter of the Harvest Moon   rise 4:49  set 12:17


    Corn, Bleeding Heart, Impatiens, Beets and Beans at 3pm

    This morning I got up, ate breakfast and went straight outside.  Posting in the morning has begun to interfere with other projects.  Even so, I like to do it.  The posting gives a start to the day.  Just too long a start sometimes.

    Till noon I cleaned up old wire fencing so we can recycle it on Saturday.  At noon I began the sun/shade survey for our ecological gardens project.  Instead of shading in a map I decided to use the digital camera and print contact sheets of prints shot at 9AM, noon, 3pm, 6pm.  I stand in the same location for each shot.  It takes about 20 images to cover the whole yard.

    After the nap I went out into the wide world to collect meds and some ink for my Canon color printer.  This is the first time I have purchased ink for this printer, in fact it’s the first time I’ve purchased ink for any printer other than my HP L4 since 1991.  The cost of color ink impressed me.  High.  Ouch.

    About a year ago right now Kate and I attended a conference in Iowa City, Iowa.  Focused on climate change and the issues involved, I came away convinced I needed to get involved in some direct way.  I made a list of things to do at the conference, but as the year has gone by I realize I have gotten a much better handle on personal action. Continue reading  Post ID 1664

  • Ecological Gardens

    64  bar falls 30.11  4mph  N  dew-point 45  sunrise  6:38  set 7:46

    Waxing Crescent of the Harvest Moon  rise 11:00  set 9:02

    The morning.  More gazpacho.  Another triple batch.  This time Kate will can it.  We had a blind taste test and found we liked the canned gazpacho even more than the fresh.  Go figure.  Making a large batch is not difficult, but it does consume time.  A lot of steps. Cut. Mash. Pulse. (cuisinart)  Dice.  Blend.

    This afternoon.  Kate wanted to see what we won on a scratch game card that came in the newspaper.  So I called.  The result was a canned patter by a nice young woman who wanted to sell us a $4,600 vacuum cleaner and air freshener!  Geez.  We stopped the pitch in mid-stride, she gathered up the Defender and the Majestic and walked out of house.  Whooo.

    At 3 Paula Westmoreland and Lindsay Reban of Ecological Gardens came.  They will develop a phased plan for us that will stretch out over 4-5 years.  Their work has Permaculture as its basis, so they will help move our property further in the direction of sustainability.  I plan to document the process on a companion website to AncienTrails.  I have no name for it, but when I’m ready to get going, I’ll let you know.

    I liked Paula and Lindsay.  They seemed like the kind of folks I understand.  The first product from them will be an orchard plan, then a more comprehensive plan for projects spaced over time.  It will be fun and will take our property into another zone.

  • Football and Iris, an Excellent Saturday

    57  bar rises 30.06  0mph N  dew-point 50  sunrise 6:26  sunset 8:05 Lughnasa

    Last Quarter of the Corn Moon

    The weather has gotten cooler and dryer.  A taste of autumn today.  Most Minnesotans enjoy fall the most with winter second.

    Read my lily culture book this evening and got the information I needed to dig up the lily bulbs.  They will go in amongst the iris. Later this fall I will plant daffodils in amongst them, too.

    Paula Westmoreland from Ecological Gardens got back in touch with me today.  We’ll connect on Monday.  Kate and I want her to come out and help us with a site plan and assessment of our potential for permaculture.  She can give us concrete next steps to take:  plant lists, landscaping advice, energy conservation and capture ideas, perhaps even some modest income producing possibilities.  This will give us a set of goals and objectives against which we can work.

    I can do much of the work myself. What I can’t do we’ll hire.  Exciting.

    The Vikes looked pretty good.  The defense did a great job.  The offense sputtered, chugged, then hit on all cylinders for a few beautiful plays, then sputtered again.  The announcers made a good point.  At this time in the season the defense has its act together better than the offense.  Offense relies on split second timing.  Frerotte is our second string quarterback so in spite of a good game from him, the offense played with out its key player, Tavaris Jackson.  His year will probably end up being our year, so here’s hoping he comes on strong after the knee injury.

  • Garden Chess

    81  bar falls 29.88 1mph NNE dew-point 65  sunrise 6:22  sunset 8:09  Lughnasa

    Waning Gibbous Corn Moon

    Moving daylilies today.  At last.  Moved several large clumps of daylilies to new beds where they will provide a barrier between wild vegetation on the hill below seven oaks and the more domesticated garden to the southwest.  This frees up space for the true lily and iris move that will make another raised bed available for vegetables next year.

    Each fall the chess game of where to move plants, how to make the best use of the beds comes into play.  This year, unlike last year, will have several moves.  In addition to the ones I mentioned here we will create at least one, perhaps more, new raised beds and put in some fruit trees for a modest orchard.

    After reading the article in the startribune this week about permaculture, I decided to call on their garden consultant before we do much more in the way of changes.  It will be good to have another set of eyes.

  • And the Soothsayers Predicted Snow

    55  bar falls 29.79 0mph SE dewpoint 54  Spring   light rain

                    Waning Gibbous Moon of Growing

    And the soothsayers predicted Snow.  Oh, no.  Really, not a big deal.  Slush is more likely.  The precipitation now is all good.  As the weather continues (generally) to warm, the combination of rising soil temperatures and moisture puts plant life on the quick track up.

    Randy, from Randy’s plumbing, called.  He will come out Friday am to install the gas piping to the generator.  Center Point will come out on Tuesday afternoon to give us the bigger meter necessary to provide adequate gas to the generator when it works.  Soon we will have protection against power outages.  One more block for the retirement security perimeter.

    Membership in Permaculture in a Cold Climate is another one.  As we make the transition here to more and more home grown produce and hopefully some home captured energy, we will reduce our need to leave the property for grocery trips.  All this moves us toward a smaller and smaller carbon footprint. Although, I have to admit, the steam room probably eats up more than we’ll balance for awhile.  Gotta figure that out one of these days.  When we get that Prius two years from now, our balance sheet will look better.

    Allison has asked me to consider a short article on astronomy for the summer Muse.  She wants me to focus on the moon since there’s enough written about sun cults. (her language)  Made a quick survey of objects in the MIA collection.  If you thrown in those with stars, there are over 100 objects that have either a moon or star connection.  Finding a good 8 or 10 for a Moon and Stars tour would be easy.  This plays to an interest I developed in archaeoastronomy while I belonged to the Minnesota Astronomical Society.  We’ll see what she wants.  More later.

  • What Do the Shang Kuei and the Zhou Kuei Have In Common?

    39  bar falls 30.21 7mph NNE dewpoint 14

               Full Moon of Winds

    Warren Wolfe handed out a sheet at the Woolly retreat, a project development sheet that involves identifying a project or activity that compels us in some way.  I missed his presentation since I left early for Hawai’i, so I have to fill it out now.  The answer that keeps coming up for me is the permaculture work Kate and I plan here. 

    The whole notion of working with our land so that it grows healthier and we gain more foodstuffs from it attracts me, as I’ve said earlier.  With Warren’s notion I can keep this work both before a group who can help me with my accountability and have a built in audience, too.  I’m writing about it here to let those of who read this know.  You can enter my circle of accountability, too, if you wish.

    As the notion becomes clearer, I write here, on the Permaculture page, what exactly we intend to do for this year.  I don’t know enough quite yet to put down objectives, but I imagine they will mostly be preparatory.  There are projects from last year that will get finished anyhow like the firepit and converting most of the raised beds to vegetables.  There are two that will get some work done on them this year, but will probably not finish:  the grandkids playhouse in the woods and the root cellar.  The Permaculture work is in addition to these already planned projects.  

    Still deep in the Shang and Zhou dynasties, trying to decide how to present a large collection of bronze vessels that can be daunting for first-time viewers.  I’ve made a couple of decisions.  We’ll start in the Neolithic ceramics, the 1st case in the ceramics gallery and move to the Bronze Age ceramic case before we head over to the Bronze gallery.  This will place the development of bronze squarely in the material culture roots from which it sprang.  It will also show the mutual interaction between bronze vessel design and ceramics.  Bronze imitates ceramics at first, then, later ceramics imitate bronze. 

    The Shang and the Zhou get equal treatment in my mind so far, but I haven’t selected actual objects.  The Shang kuei and hu, the Pillsbury owl (tsun), the ritual bell, the ting all seem likely to make the cut.  But, we’ll see.  Many more pages to read and objects to see.

  • I May Fire-up the Chainsaw

    46  bar steady 1mph SSW windchill 46

        Waxing Crescent Moon of Winds

    Kate and I developed a plan to repay the extra money we spent in Hawai’i.  It was the first joint trip we’d taken in a long time and we reverted to some old, looser behaviors.

    We had our business meeting and planned when to fix the red car, posted for the last three weeks (a pain) and decided how to move money around for the new exercise area TV.

    My two tours for tomorrow are put together and I’ve only got a bit more to do on the Weber tour.  Then I should be able to move to the hydroponic set-up and to more careful reading of the Permaculture book. 

    The gardener in me wants to get outside and do something so I may fire up the chain saw over the weekend.  There are plenty of buckthorns to trim.  The weed wrench can pluck them out of the ground once the soil thaws.