The Art of Capture
The art of capture of spent grain. Am I a little late? Is it spent yet?
Not yet! I am going to add some, thanks to Midnight Sun Brewery, who actually helped me land a husband, I will be using their excess as a layer in the lasagne garden.
Growing food is always a challenge in Alaska where 3 inches of snow is predicted in lower elevations with 6 inches in upper MID MAY!
Spent 6 hours after a meaningless 2 meetings at work, planning/planting in the garden. These first days of growing season I am hit with a wide range of emotions. Mostly happy, but confused and feel as if I have undertaken some major ADD with a whopper of H on the side. What should I do first, I ask my other self, the thoughtful one, probably water and get the next proposed garden bed ready. Wait! Those seeds should really be put in the ground now. Nice neighbor said I could steal his leaves for my compost. That really should be watered so that it I don’t just have a pile of leaves sitting there doing nothing, right? “Mama, will you swing me? Mama! Mama, pleaaaaaaaase will you swing me!!!?!!!” Yes, I say, of course, this is most important. “Get me down!” Oy, all of that other stuff must wait. What was I doing again?
Eat Your Landscape
Market garden centers, high schoolers designing and do agriculture in Northern England? Corn at a police station? Watch this incredible edible pusher.
I have a large worm bin at my house, but I wanted to make a bin that I can keep safely at school, under my desk. This would also work underneath a kitchen sink or another small space.
My worms are mostly eating coffee grounds and shredded paper, but they also get some leftover vegetables from lunch and from home.
I used two smaller bins that fit under my desk.
After drilling holes for aeration, I covered the boxes with paper (to keep the worms in the dark), added food, soil and dampened paper for the worms to dig in, and put the boxes together.
clear boxes need to be covered
adding in organic matter after it is chopped up
I use a Keurig at work. This kind is easier to add the grounds and filters to the worm bin.
But with scissors and a little effort it is possible to use the regular K cups.
Poke a hole, dump the grounds, and peel the filter out.
I drilled aeration holes and then covered the bin with paper. I poked holes through the paper too.
Here’s my worm bin, expertly covered in leftover scrapbooking paper.
And here’s the bin, tucked away under my desk.
As my final, I’ve created a permaculture utopia for South Anchorage High School.
The plan includes: communication changes, outdoor classrooms, and a continual feedback loop from students, staff, and the community.
What would your ideal high school look like? Thanks for taking a moment to check out mine. Feedback is always welcome!
Following the instructions in the video below I made an emergency water filter in front of my AP Language class this morning. Students in AP Lang have been working on a year-long project called CRAVE, during which they investigate an issue they are passionate about and work to answer a research question. My research question has been “How can my family live more lightly on the earth?” and in order to answer it I am taking permaculture classes through the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.
I purchased most of my components from the garden section of Lowe’s but one eluded me: large to medium size gravel. I resorted to taking some from around the foundation of my house and though I rinsed it a few times, I did not wash it. Upon completing my water filter the dirty water did not come out clean. So, what happened? My theory is that the gravel from the house wasn’t clean enough. We ran clean water through the filter and it still came out dirty, though sediment sank to the bottom of the lower half of the filter.
Foraged Salad: Traditional Foods, Contemporary Chef Southeast Alaska – YouTube.
I’m looking forward to the wild edibles poking up in the mud after the snow melts. I will dig out my gardening gloves to harvest nettles.
Here’s last year’s post: Wild Edibles
And Laurie Constantino’s wild edibles website.
Last year I posted about wanting to get rid of half of my house and though I’ve made progress I’m nowhere near that goal. Laura/art2snow came over a few weeks ago and helped me clean out “my” room. I got rid of boxes of scrapbooking supplies (I brought them and organized them in my classroom for kids to use), about two boxes of demo babycarriers went to the new Anchorage babywearing group, and lots of old business supplies were given to charity or pitched into the recycling bin.
But momentum is difficult to maintain. Somehow my FlyLady emails restarted and I kept randomly reading decluttering testimonials. Neighbors have been moving and I’ve been marveling at what it would take to move 12+ years of accumulation out of this house if we ever needed to. And then I ran across a post and free PDF on a new-to-me blog, Sugar Tot Designs, that finally got me motivated to get back to work on my initial goal.
A quick Google search tells me that 40 Bags in 40 Days is a “thing” that people do as a decluttering challenge. It looks like a lot of people have done it for Lent and others are like me, just trying to have less stuff. So I set last Monday as my official start date and then promptly did… nothing. It’s Spring Break! We had tons of fun this last week, going out with friends, snow tubing, jumpy places, the library, skating, rock climbing, etc. But I did get back to work today and more than caught up. I’ve got seven bags ready and already filled out the online form from The Arc of Anchorage so they can come pick things up this week. I’m a bag ahead of where I want to be but want to pack up a few more tomorrow. It’s very cathartic to be able to just let go of the clutter and the emotional attachment to clothes, toys, purses, etc. that just aren’t needed here anymore. Someone else can use them and we can free up space and peace of mind.
I put some goals in a Google spreadsheet. Since “42″ is the meaning of life and the age I’ll be this summer, I set my sights a little higher than the challenge.
Paste a Video URL
Created by my fantastic brother’s film production crew, Optic Nerve Productions, is the other side of wrap-around farming endeavors that make you want to turn the table and care for all aspects of food making, and growing,witnessing layers and layers of locally grown food movement involvement by forward-thinking genuine souls. Please watch by ordering it from optic nerve productions or http://www.ingredientsfilm.com.
A few weeks ago I was completely fascinated by scientists putting UV threads in window panes in order to prevent birds from crashing into window panes and dying. They’d noticed that birds don’t “see” glass but are able to avoid spiderwebs when flying quickly through a forest. Spiderwebs have, you guessed it, ultraviolet light that birds can see, and know to avoid. So I’ve been talking about these ideas and biomimicry with Cormac, because it’s cool.
This afternoon on NPR we heard a story about hagfish; the slime they create to fight off sharks and other sea creatures has threads in it that are strong, like silk. The hope is that the thread can be used to replaces fibers like spandex, which are created from oil, a non-renewable resource. Hagfish threads are made from proteins which can be created in a lab rather than directly from the hagfish, creatures that are difficult to raise in captivity. “
“Proteins are a renewable resource because we can get organisms to make them,” says Douglas Fudge the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.
Here’s a link to the NPR story: http://soundcloud.com/theworld/hagfish-slime-could-provide
And a cool video of hagfish being attacked by sharks! Biomimicry is cool for kids.