Yes, that is done in quite a few places but not often enough in my opinion. I suppose the principal danger is needing to look after sheep or goats or they might wander away or perhaps be coaxed into a friendly truck.
;D Some years ago, afriend of mine with a big lawn pondered the idea of a goat. I talked him into it assuring him that he'd be able to retired the lawnmower. The goat never ate a single blade of grass. It did eat every single one of the newly planted saplings.
Today am going to go downtown to The Green Project, a locally based non profit organization which provides a myriad of services and recycled goods from paint to construction materials. Today,they are having a plant exchange and I am going with a friend with a van load of plants we dug up from my garden last p.m.These are all plants that have regenerated or "volunteered" from the mother plant and I have no room for. Pleased that someone else can enjoy.Maybe score something I don't already have.
Forgot to report back on this,mainly because it was a non event,as we were only ones who showed. Someone had dropped off some plants that I rip out of sidewalk on a weekly basis,at least effort was made. Did come away with a few seeds,some heirloom cantaloupe and lemon basil.Was also a brilliant day to be out and about and scrounge around other sections of recycling center. Also hope some people enjoy all the plants we hauled down. Here's part of our haul/contribution:
Downtown last night I visited with some friends,a small compound of people who have taken all recycled materials and built their own little houses. I had been there many times before however,the changes are amazing since my last visit. There is the recent addition of bees,chickens,two goats,one about to give birth, and was laying low. An incredible extensive garden with all manner of vegetables ,fruit,flowers and herbs. Here's a glimpse of some of the marvels and incredibly creative, useful,functional reuse of materials. Here's one or two of the chickens,they roost in the trees at night,but,have their own hen house to hang out in as well.
One of four small houses built by the inhabitants,(this is my friend's house which he is adding onto,there's a front porch,small downstairs living area and kitchenette,and a loft upstairs for sleeping,with a tree growing up through it.
Part of the extensive garden; here my friend discovers that a opossum got to the melon before we could imbibe!!!
The bees, (more pics in the Beekeeping thread in Putting Down Roots section on the board).
There is a main house as well on the property,which was once a blighted property and renovated by these folks. In the main house there is a central kitchen,two bathrooms,a large living room area with an extensive library,music room,arts and crafts area. It was getting dark outside so,we went in and had a lovely dinner of fresh eggplant quiche,made with fresh eggs,eggplant from the garden,and fresh garlic,herbs and cheese. Fresh melon from the garden for dessert. I will return many times and report on the new improvements as they evolve.
(Dear Wizard,try as I may,I cannot figure out how to fix the big blank area at the bottom of this thread,I do preview,the arrows etc. I just seem to make it worse each time...sorry...
Make sure your cursor shows immediately after the last thing in your message before you post. That will keep the white space from happening.
Thanks BJD, I enjoyed that. I would have liked to have seen some pics as well. There are many finer details of the house and environs that I would love to illustrate,brilliant actually.I needed better light,a better battery for my camera and less people about.(one of the residents of the house,my dear friend in the pic, was being celebrated for his illustration being used for the new Dr. John CD,part of which includes a section of my garden!!! ).
Kerouac,to answer your question,I'm not really sure.I would imagine that each individual has some idea of where and what they would do with anything precious should they need to.I think that's the standard attitude most New Orleanians take on. As most of the contents of the buildings were free,built,found,gifts...I think that their attitude is kind of blase about. The animals ,on the other hand, I would need to inquire about.
Bixa,I think that sounds about right with reference to the dimensions of the property. As for building permits,only in the more largely populated areas of town is the City of NOLA enforcing any building codes,yes,five years after Hurricane Katrina ( next month),City hall is still so backed up that even if you wanted one,you would be hard pressed to obtain one. The neighborhood remains largely blighted still,and the residents who do live down there,are thrilled to see these houses inhabited,let alone maintained.
One the one hand, I'm shocked. On the other hand, that's not surprising at all. I simply hope that in the much hoped for future, when New Orleans is finally running on all cylinders again, those little homesteads are respected and grandfathered.
Annie, I should have noted what the sign said before I reduced the picture. What's clever about it in part is the same thing that makes the wonderful big art-map Casimira posted work -- it's big enough to draw the attention & make you look twice. That's when you realize that the thing is made of something usually discarded, so you automatically start thinking about where all that stuff goes.
I'm not sure if the bottle-bin is for trash or recyclables. Note the regular city garbage bin right next to it & how totally inadequate & fiddly it is. When they first installed those around town, they had liners. People were very good about using the dinky bins, which is impressive in an area where all too much is just tossed on the ground. The bins were never emptied often enough, so it would become impossible to cram anything into them. Then they stopped being lined so, since they're fixed to the posts, the pick-up people have to manually scoop the trash out of them.
Anyway, I'm not sure if Tierra Sana is a recycling company or a non-profit trying to spread the good word. I'll look next time I'm over there. One of the reasons making people aware of proper disposal of plastics is so important here is because of the number of people who burn their garbage, including plastics. And remember, some of that garbage is used toilet paper, which is not flushed here. So, it's not just an esthetic problem, but a real menace to health.
There are certainly groups attempting to educate the public & to provide solutions. In #8 here, you can see that in action. I think what will really work though, is what's worked in so many other places, that is, teaching little kids in school the right way.
i must admit i don't do much specifically. though since i don't drive (never got a license or learned to drive) i cycle everywhere or use public transport in bad weather. i used to also buy in bio-shops as much as i could (so things that were produced in an environment-friendly way), but these days it is a bit more difficult financially. as soon as i have a job i plan to go back to the bio-shops...
can you explain the tierra sana thing, bixa? not sure I understand it fully?
Here you go, Annie ~~ I went to the park today & got a close-up. Tierra Sana is a store selling ecological products -- stationery, biodegradable disposable items, both biodegradable and reusable bags, cleaning products, and ecological furniture made from corrugated cardboard. Here is their website.
I looked in the bin & sure enough, it was filled with recyclables. Someone even tossed in a bottle as I was leaning in taking pictures.
But look at this -- something we need to think about when discarding containers that once held anything sweet:
Poor little trapped bees! Yes, of course I released them.
This is so annoying. Big crowds come to the park on Friday for the market. You can see people make an effort to dispose of their trash, but the receptacles are inadequate to the task. I watched one man really work to put a used container in one of the city-supplied bins:
Thanks for posting that Bixa. Actually,there is no deadline for letting the Bayer Co. know one's opposition to this very serious matter. The Beekeeping forum that I belong to has been addressing this for sometime now.
I belong to an online neighborhood newsletter, (neighborhood news, garage sales, parties, benefits, crime reports etc.). Anyway, there was a notice posted this a.m. from a young woman I know who farms/gardens in small empty lots in the area. She is currently harvesting a slew of different greens; kale, arugula, cabbage etc. as well as jars of honey from her hives, and offering bicycle delivery. One only need call or text her and she takes your order etc. and she brings it right to your front door! So very cool.
Casi, we have neighbours up the hill who run a farm stand, and in exchange for mulch and cut-your-own firewood we get lots of free stuff. This time of year it's only eggs though, nothing is growing. The woman across the street has bee hives and sells her honey locally. I would love to have hives, but I'm insect-allergic and would end up in trouble. Doesn't stop me from planting lots of flowers to lure her little beauties over our way, though.
Very cool Lizzy. There's a thread on this board somewhere on BARTERING. I will search some more for it.
As for beekeeping, I gave it a go a couple of years ago, we got some "feral" wild bees and attempted to relocate them. They ended up swarming and headed out after only a few days, which initially really bummed me out, but, upon more researching found out that it is very common with feral bees. I still haven't given up on the endeavor but, have just too many things on my plate at the moment. I strongly suspect that the place where we put them was up near the back fence where an industrial sized mega leafblower comes around because it was that very day that they split. Can't say I blame them. We have another more friendly place to put the next hive,and, my hope is to do it sometime this summer.
Tonight there was a very interesting documentary on French television using more or less the "Michael Moore" method.
The filmmaker decided to live for 9 months using only French products. An auditor came at the beginning of the experiment to check the origin of everything in the apartment, and the verdict was just 4.5%. Everything non French was removed from the apartment. The first urgent task was to find clothing. It wasn't too difficult, but just about everything cost 10 times more than any prices paid before. (It should also be mentioned that an additional challenge was to live on a budget of just 1800€ a month -- average French income with a very small bonus to compensate for Parisian prices.) Furniture was pretty complicated to find, and even a toothbrush -- there is only one company that still makes toothbrushes in France, and their product is not widely distributed. Some items were never found -- there is no longer a single domestic manufacturer of televisions or refrigerators in France.
Anyway, after nine months the auditor returned and verified everything again, giving a 95% rating. Some of the missing points were due to the fact that the apartment had not been repainted with French-made paint, and also the filmmaker was not able to abandon his mobile phone.
I imagine that my own apartment must rate only about 4.5% when I look around at everything.