Sheet mulching assessment

The most common question that Jessie and I got about our house during the winter was, "What exactly are you doing in the front yard?"  They'd never seen anyone intentionally bury the yard in 6-12 inches of leaves before.  Here's what we were doing, and why, and what worked and what didn't.

Static Eliminator - reusable dryer sheets

Static EliminatorI like to dry laundry outside whenever possible, but Jessie's not into scratchy towels, nor ragweed, and the weather doesn't always cooperate, so we wind up using the dryer about half the time.  Our high-efficiency dryer is fantastic, but it can whip up a lot of static.  My anti-static gun was not helpful -- you'd need at least one extra arm (or a very atte

A Walk to Remember

On Saturday Jessie and I went out for a walk, something we don't do very often... we walk to the store, we walk to church, but walking without a destination is rare.  Actually we had a destination, but it turned out to be closed, so in effect we didn't.  Anyway, what's notable is that we saw a lot of unusual things, bordering on surreal:

Electromagnetic Field Survey

image of a cell phone tower from gmu.eduMany of my friends in Fairfield, Iowa, are in an uproar right now about a new cell-phone tower that, unlike the existing two towers on the outskirts of town, is near homes and a few blocks from an elementary school.  Here's some of the existing press about the controversy:

High Tunnel notes

Last night the Emporia Area Local Foods Network (EALFN) held a class on "high tunnels" -- unheated, plastic greenhouses large enough to walk through.  Attendance was unbelievable -- some 70 people for a 3 1/2 hour class at dinnertime!  After an introductory video, we had two speakers from K-State's high tunnel project, http://hightunnels.org .  Here's what I learned:

On losing an organ...

So as many of you have already read or heard, I had my gallbladder out last Thursday. It was the first surgery I have ever had, first time under general anesthesia, first overnight stay in the hospital since I was born and first organ removal. Yes I still have my tonsils and my appendix. Until now the most major things I have had removed are my wisdom teeth. So here is how I remember it:

Successful surgery!

Jessie had her gallbladder removed yesterday, and we're pleased to say that everything went as smoothly as it possibly could!  She would have been discharged yesterday afternoon, but her surgeon likes to keep patients under observation for as long as their insurance allows (23 hours), so she came home this morning.
Jessie's mom, Debbie, came to town to help out, and stayed overnight in the hospital room while I came home and slept with the cats.  Debbie will be here until Sunday.  Thanks, Debbie!

Soil test results

My friend Dean Gooddale has made me a believer in the importance of soil testing to organic gardening, and particularly to greenhouse gardening.  You can't have healthy plants without healthy soil, and you can't necessarily tell what your soil needs without testing it.

In Sickness and in Health

Jessie and I are both sick with a cold right now.  The last time this happened was over six months ago, just at the time we moved to Emporia.  In the intervening six months I didn't get sick even once, even though Jessie brought home a variety of ailments from the University, especially in January... but back to last August.  It was a cold of truly marvelous speed and severity and contagiousness, and it hit us at a pivotal time in our lives, and the story has not yet been properly told.  So here it is, based on the notes I took at the time.

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