The Weekly Watch

The Best Laid Plans...

When it comes to gardening (and farming), there are as many approaches as there are gardeners. Like designing a house or creating your lifestyle, gardens reflect the people that cultivate them. Imagining and dreaming are tools we use to produce personal unique crafts, arts, and projects...including gardens, homesteads, and communities. There is not a recipe. So it's time to invent it ourselves and put together a plan.

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We are all constrained by the resources we have. Let's look at plans big and small.

If you don't have access to a plot or allotment, you can always garden in containers. There are lots of different approaches to container production.

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Some people use a double bucket self watering system.

Others use straw bales and containers to grow a full garden on their driveway. Check out the extent of this fellows driveway garden.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhrj_IYh_4c (5.5 min)

straw bale.jpg

If you don't have a place to garden where you live you might locate a community garden with a small allotment. There are community gardens across the US. Check this site to see if there's one near you. https://communitygarden.org/find-a-garden/

Urban gardeners have challenges and advantages like heat retention. runoff, and a variety of microclimates. Geoff Lawton talks about permaculture and urban production
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8xUIncH9t0 (22 min)

I love this story...
When Brad Lancaster and his brother bought their home in downtown Tucson, the streetscape was a dusty place, devoid of trees or any vegetation. In 1996 Brad and his neighbors started an annual tree planting project, which up until now has resulted in over 1,400 native food-bearing trees being planted (usually with water-harvesting earthworks) in the neighborhood.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcAMXm9zITg (52 min)
This is a great dry land water capture tree growing project. It illustrates how communities can be greened.

Use what you have to grow what you want. In some states you can grow marijuana. In my state they can take away my place if I was a grower. I could murder someone, and they wouldn't take my place. Jimmy had a piece up to illustrate the pharma hit job on pot - from Reefer Madness to a New Yorker article.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W26o6v61JR0 (35 min)
Here's an interesting operation in CA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlTxZkenoik (35 min)

worm tower.jpg

Sustainable systems can be as simple or as complex as you want. Here's a simple worm tower that directly supplies nutrients to your plants
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pEq2QkBG4U (1 min)

The mix of fish and plants, aquaponics, is a more complex approach to a balanced production system. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAeJ5RwqPFQ (7.5 min)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DMylpQqVKI (5.5 min)

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Don't want to grow it yourself? Support your local CSA. (6 min)

Find one near you by scrolling to the bottom of this page:
https://www.localharvest.org/csa/

So how big a plan do you create? I like the idea of small and large scale design and projects. Consider a few large scale systems. The village homes community in Davis CA was designed for solar capture, plant production, water retention, comfort, and efficiency. The project began in 1975 and illustrates the advantages of sustainable communities.
http://www.villagehomesdavis.org/
https://gardenerofgoodandevil.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/villagehomes/

Or what about this large scale approach on thousands of acres in NZ?
Conservation Agriculture ted talk focused on restoration of a sheep farm in NZ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VlY-3V63yI (18 min)

Tropical systems offer many opportunities. Here's a young permaculture community in Costa Rica looking for members. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTYX4it7cRQ (19 min)

These next three pieces illustrate the arc of my development as a gardener...
(Ellie the cat is on vole watch until she's distracted by a butterfly or lizard.)

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We're mulch gardeners. I learned the technique from Ruth Stout. Here's a lovely interview with her https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNU8IJzRHZk (23 min)

I was also influenced by Masanobu Fukuoka and his book “One Straw Revolution”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rj7nrOjhMtk (25 min)

My interest is in Restoration Agriculture like this farm in WI, and I plan to grow in this direction.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xKb8rPb2ps (15 min)

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There are many approaches to planning and gardening...some folks are very systematic and others more random. Be true to your nature. Design the garden (and life) you want. That is within your control, but politics... not so much.

zen garden.png

Speaking of politics...what a week. The three stooges showdown...hairball, payola, and upchuckie. I found Bernie's response the most sensible. Jimmy did a great job analyzing the dim response...funny
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APn6BUrU5Es (8 min)
Jimmy also points out that all the congress members who serve in border districts do not want to fund a wall. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvPPSTHlvrE (19 min)
Then Jimmy takes a ride in border vehicles which are better than the border patrols cars. Another funny clip. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pB8f7sH6wjA (5.5 min)

'Trump Is the National Crisis': Primetime Address Denounced as 'Bigoted, Childish Con Job' on American People https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/01/08/trump-national-crisis-prime...

Here's what the light brigade projected in Chattanooga this weekend...

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The night before they put this on the building:

“poverty is a crisis.
Lack of healthcare is a crisis.
The life expectancy of trans women is a crisis.
Police killing POC with impunity is a crisis.
Our southern border is NOT a crisis.”

Amy interviewed Representative Rashida Tliab about her comments this week. (video and text)
https://www.democracynow.org/2019/1/8/rep_rashida_tlaib_i_wont_apologize
https://www.democracynow.org/2019/1/8/rashida_tlaib_responds_to_critics_...

..and she heard more than she expected from journalist Bill Arkin (video or text)
https://www.democracynow.org/2019/1/9/longtime_reporter_leaves_nbc_sayin...
https://www.democracynow.org/2019/1/9/william_arkin_on_homeland_security...

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It looks like Canada is having it's Standing Rock moment as oil mercenaries invade indigenous land in BC. https://therealnews.com/stories/outrage-in-canada-after-militarized-rcmp... (video or text)

In the US first nations peoples are joining the call for a green new deal. Tom Goldtooth of Indigenous Environmental Network says that a Green New Deal must reject corporate takeover and center indigenous and frontline communities. (video or text)
https://therealnews.com/stories/over-600-groups-call-for-a-green-new-deal

Is it cowboys and indians all over again?

Roy Rogers sings "DON'T FENCE ME IN" in "Hollywood Canteen" with TRIGGER (3.5 min)

Oddly enough a barrier, an enclosure is on my agenda. After 30 years, we're upgrading and improving our garden fence and adding some additional water storage. There's always something to do around the garden. So make those plans, and let's do something!

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mimi's picture

manipulative movie - can't stand them.
Thought Wilkerson's review was interesting.

Archived your gardening links. Thank You. One day I will be in the garden and do my thing.

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Trauma is not what happens to you, but what happens inside you as a result of what happens to you. - Dr. Gabor Mate

Lookout's picture

@mimi

at least he is speaking out about the Cheney con and corruption. Sure is odd how Cheney and Bush, both war criminals, are being honored. We have cultural and historical amnesia.

Have a great Sunday!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

I’m anxious to go back up and read/listen/watch the goodies above. We are getting moisture this winter (it’s actually snowing now!) so planning a garden is on our agenda. The information you’ve provided will give us a leg up.

Have a beautiful day, everyone! Pleasantry

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"When will our conscience's grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?" Eleanor Roosevelt

"The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." Socrates (469-399 BC)

Lookout's picture

@Raggedy Ann

I hope you'll share your garden experience as we go along. Best of luck with your plan and design! We'll talk seeds next week.

Have a great day. Hope going back to work after the holidays was a good transition for you. Be careful on snowy roads!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

method of vertical gardening. Would seem good for urban greenies.

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=grow+strawberries+in+pipe

It's looks good for more than just strawberries, and if you were to make a plastic greenhouse around it or paint some of the tube black you could extend the seasons a bit.

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Lookout's picture

@Snode

Towers are common in aquaponic systems. This gal is a little long winded but has some interesting vertical gardening techniques
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdI2YrNIf5g (22 min)

Great space saving concept! Thanks for adding it to the conversation.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Azazello's picture

Paul Jay has been re-airing his interviews with Sen. Bob Graham about the shit the Saudis did. Here's one about Bandar bin Sultan, from 2016:

Here's something more recent, from December of last year: Who Was Secretly Behind America’s Invading and Occupying Syria?
Give ya' two guesses.
Meanwhile, the US is openly calling for regime-change in Venezuela, Associated Press
Have a nice day.

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It didn't have to be this way.

Lookout's picture

@Azazello

Brazil's new president Jair Bolsonaro does not mince words. On the eve of his ascension, the right-wing politician and former paratrooper announced over Twitter that he would issue an immediate decree easing gun laws and will work to "fight the Marxist trash" be says is being taught in Brazil's classrooms, according to France24.
https://www.france24.com/en/20181231-brazils-bolsonaro-follows-through-g...

AMLO in Mexico is more hopeful, but Mexico’s leftist Zapatista movement is continuing its aggressive criticism of the country’s new president, accusing Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of dishonesty and vowing to confront him.
http://mynorthwest.com/1230767/zapatista-rebels-vow-opposition-to-mexico...

What a mess. As capitalism collapses, people seem to be going for RW populist.

Thanks for the links and info as always!

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Azazello's picture

@Lookout
I'm pretty sure this guy lives in the Dunbar/Spring neighborhood.

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It didn't have to be this way.

Lookout's picture

@Azazello

first capture water, then plant. Hope you enjoy the clip as much as I did...and we had 70+ inches of rain last year, so we use other approaches.

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Azazello's picture

@Lookout
from the washing machine and I plan to harvest rainwater from the roof but I don't think we could live like Brad does. My wife says it reminds her of Gilligan's Island.
Interesting though.

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It didn't have to be this way.

Lookout's picture

@Azazello

Our rain often plays out in the summer when we need it most. I have 2 - 1000 gallon tanks in the ground gravity feeding to the garden. However, I plan to add another tank down by the garden and use a pump to improve my irrigation system. Water is key to growing plants.

Bisbonian has a cistern and I think RA in NM collects water too.

What impressed me about Brad was his neighborhood collection and planting project. I also have a different lifestyle, but not quite like Brad nor Gilligan.

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ggersh's picture

@Azazello https://russia-insider.com/en/politics/clinton-memo-killed-half-million-...

A Hillary Clinton memo that Wikileaks made public in 2016 has not gotten the attention it deserves.

It takes us back to 2012 and the early phase of the Syrian war.

At that point, it was largely an internal affair, although Saudi arms shipments were playing a greater and greater role in bolstering rebel forces. But once the Obama administration decided in favor of intervention, the conflict was quickly internationalized as thousands of holy warriors flooded in from as far away as western China.

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Buy a Bible don't read it and you'll be a Catholic
Buy a Bible read only what suits you and you'll be an Evangelical
Buy a Bible read it fully, analyze it, reason it and you will be
an Atheist

Lookout's picture

@ggersh

of the leak, but to claim Russia hacked!!!! I've seen very little discussion of their content. The Russia distraction worked like a charm.

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GreatLakeSailor's picture

@ggersh

...Consortium News pulled that article? Did CN say why?

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Compensated Spokes Model for Big Poor & Big Peace.

Lookout's picture

@GreatLakeSailor

but don't know why...
https://consortiumnews.com/2019/01/11/a-clinton-memo-that-killed-half-a-...
404 Error
Sorry. We can't seem to find the page you're looking for.

A search for "Hillary Clinton memo" on their site pulls up some other interesting articles though.

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ggersh's picture

@GreatLakeSailor maybe correct the record lives on?

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Buy a Bible don't read it and you'll be a Catholic
Buy a Bible read only what suits you and you'll be an Evangelical
Buy a Bible read it fully, analyze it, reason it and you will be
an Atheist

OzoneTom's picture

@GreatLakeSailor
Apparently nothing nefarious, the updated article includes the following note:

CORRECTION: The first memo discussed in this article was written by U.S. diplomat James Rubin to Hillary Clinton and not by her, as an earlier version of this article said. It has also been revised with additional information.

Link to post: https://consortiumnews.com/2019/01/13/the-memo-that-helped-kill-a-half-m...

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GreatLakeSailor's picture

@OzoneTom

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Compensated Spokes Model for Big Poor & Big Peace.

smiley7's picture

so much. I've booked this one for later reference. Really appreciate this work.

Still storming a little, ice mostly turning to snow tonight and tomorrow.

Have a great week in hopes we see some sunshine. Smile

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Lookout's picture

@smiley7

Hope you score a few too. Kind of a misty foggy day here.

Have a good one!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

dystopian's picture

Many of the biologists I know consider there to have been two Americas, one before fencing, and another after. Fences really changed the landscape with the ability of people and wildlife to traverse it.

We try to garden, but a challenge when you live rural with wildlife. We now have a couple spots deer, rabbit, armadillo and pig proofed, all of which does nothing for leaf-cutter ants. Which I saw take out a couple dozen of a buddies 7' tomato plants over one night.

Thanks for the post!

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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

Lookout's picture

@dystopian

We try to grow enough for all, but it is frustrating to find your crop grazed down to the ground. Our fence has done pretty well for 30 years, but two years ago during the drought the rascals learned how to jump our 8' fence and have taught the trick to all their young.

Back to the drawing board...it's time anyway.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

dystopian's picture

@Lookout Standard game fence here is 8'. These deer can't make that, and 8' keeps the Blackbuck in. You have some real jumpers there in AL. Wink

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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

Lookout's picture

@dystopian

was single strand on 1 ft centers, but they finally mastered it during a dry year with lush sweet potatoes calling....

Very hungry deer have even been known to jump 8 foot fences. The reports are few and far between. Most hungry and scared deer will usually go around. The 8 foot tall fence has many less reported injuries than the 6 foot tall fence. This is a much safer height option for both your garden and the deer’s well-being. However, there is still a possibility a deer will make it into your garden.

At 10 feet high, I have never heard of a deer jumping over a fence. I would think this would be the safest bet to keep deer out and uninjured. It also comes with a hefty price tag.

https://www.gracegardenandhomestead.com/make-ideal-deer-fence/

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magiamma's picture

and everyone. Thanks for the news and garden info. I need help getting rid of gophers. Ideas? I have tried pouring stuff in their holes that does not hurt the birds if they get into it. Works to a point but they keep coming. I actually caught one in a trap once. ug. but that is so tricky. it's already spring here a month early the acacias are blooming which never happens until feb. time to go out and prune limbs. more rain coming and they still can't figure out if it's an el niño ir la niña. heh. okay, have a great one...

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Lookout's picture

@magiamma

https://www.tulipsinthewoods.com/flowering-plants/gophers-update/

Last week I thought your issue was moles or voles. I talked with a friend this week that dealt with her vole problem with castor oil. Based on the article above you might have success using it with gophers too. Worth a try.

They are predicting a rainy winter for us....but who knows? So far mild and wet....0.75" last night and almost 40 degrees this AM. As we both know the swings are the issue....expect them.

Thanks for stopping by.

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magiamma's picture

@Lookout
I have now three castor bean plants which are many generations later from my first one. and it just volunteered. took me a while to figure out what it was. thanks for the gopher info.

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dystopian's picture

@magiamma For Gophers (or Groundhogs) you call Bill Murray. Get a Red-tailed Hawk? Some turn hoses on the holes under the mounds to chase them out another where one waits with way to dispatch them. Not much for gophers here due to fire ants, but everyone here uses for vermin .22 shotshell. It is a .22 round with a bunch of 1mm pellets in it, so like a mini shotgun blast, very effective. Some call it rat load or snake shot (the latter of which I detest).

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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

smiley7's picture

@dystopian
maybe for gophers, for sure, voles and moles. Put a shiny object in their entrance hole; they will move on. Grandma used the lid of an aluminum tin can.

And snake shot ... grew up with a healthy respect for water moccasins and copperheads; barefoot, disturbed them all the time; but it was when living in Ashland, Oregon and fishing, i learned about rattlesnakes; while resting in lost canyons, sitting on rocks, rattlesnakes would slowly go over my waders and on one occasion, strike a field mouse in the taller grass surrounding the resting rock a yard away, catching the view of fangs wide open in the air; must have jumped 20 feet on that encounter; but it was almost 20 years later when i purchased my first pistol, a 22 long-rifle and a box of snake shot as i was going into the wilderness for weeks flyfishing off Grandfather and in Linville Gorge, hiking in from where i parked the Westphalia. Never used it, but it brought some comfort at the time, i recall. Sold it a couple of years later.

Good luck with the gophers, magi.

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mhagle's picture

@smiley7

We have a little pistol loaded with rat shot in a nearby safe. I used it once almost 20 years ago. Baby girl was six weeks old. Walking between buildings out here in the country, carrying the baby, noticed a copperhead curled up about a foot from the path. Went in the house, put baby in the bouncy chair, got the gun and unloaded it into the snake. Guns creep me out but I used it that one time. Rat shot - snake shot is great because you don't really need to know now to aim. Smile

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

magiamma's picture

@dystopian
thank you. probably not using a gun since I am in the city. there are red tailed hawks. but not right here if I can help it bc many song birds feeders. they like the morning doves the best. as do the peregrines and the owls.

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smiley7's picture

@magiamma
Over coffee on the deck in tree tops this morning, crows panicked , such goings on and screaming, unusual behavior for crows, to me.

Didn't see the menace in the air above, must have been there.

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magiamma's picture

@smiley7
peanuts on the road down the way. they follow my car until I stop and throw them out the window onto the sidewalk. had to get out and chase a cat away the other day though. they chase the hawks here. have a very specific call for them. sounds a lot like the word hawk, interestingly.

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smiley7's picture

@magiamma

Medicine Smile

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mhagle's picture

really enjoyed the guy from Tuscon. Wow.

I may have posted this before but this is the video of a local couple's aquaponics system. They have been doing it for 20 years but just moved to this area.

Got my onions planted yesterday. Much to do. Thanks for this OT full of fabulous inspiration!

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

Lookout's picture

@mhagle

We have a woman working on an aquaponic system in our area, but a project in process. I hope to cover some of our local farmers as we continue this series. Thanks for coming by and reading.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”