Lewis Weil

testing to see if my blog linked to twitter

edit: it works!

All fall and into spring I have been working to add more wild space to my yard. This space on my sideyard is the last spot I had the materials for before shelter in place started. I smother the lawn and weeds with cardboard, and then add layer of mulch. All free materials. I don't use Amazon but people give me their cardboard and the mulch is free from the city. Its made from yard waste. It seems poetic to build native meadows out of the refuse of modern life.

This is very much an experiment. I'll share updates as the plants grow.

With everyone stuck at home there seems to be an increasig interest in sourdough baking. I have updated my sourdough cheat sheet with pictures! Let me know if you have questions of comments.

I am a big believer in being focused on the longterm. Like years, decades, or centuries from now longterm. Longterm thinking is so important to me that i don't hyphenate it, it is a word to me.

Right now the world is losing its societal mind over coronavirus. It is an awful thing but I am almost oddly unconcerned about it. I am so unconcerned that that lack of concern is concerning to me. It is a disaster without precent in decades. And I am concerned about my mom potentially getting it. Many friends are directly impacted by it.

To me I can already imagine a time when this is just a thing that happened. I've seen enough natural disasters and other outbreaks of diseases that are all now just things that have happened but at the time were all consuming. My mind is already in the place where this will just have been a thing that happened.

And obligatory bird counting volunteer badge?

I watched Dr. Katz when I was a kid and I still think about this sea cow bit

My brother and I will still say to each other, “I have a layer of blubber to keep me warm in the water.”

Whatever sea cow.

I got more flour from Barton Springs Mill, I had run out and missed using it. At first I thought using it would be a fun experiment and then I would go back to using King Arthur bread flour. Once I did switch back I really missed all the character of the Barton Springs Flour. My mix is 90% their premium all purpose flour and 10% their Rouge de Bourdeaux whole wheat. King Arthur makes a nice loaf, but this local flour just has so much more character. And the dough just feels luxurious. It isn't that much more expensive than King Arthur, this is my everyday flour now. Plus, the folks at Barton Springs Mill are super nice!

I am experimenting with the restoration technique. I am laying down cardboard and then a layer of mulch. Then seeding the mulch with a mix of Blackland Prairie seeds. If it works well this will smother the grass under the cardboard, giving the native seeds a chance to get established. Eventually the cardboard and mulch should breakdown, leaving only dirt and native plants.

This is a variation on my usual technique of laying down muslin fabric and topsoil. I have hopes that this will work as well or better. It is cheaper and uses discarded materials. It is my hope that the mulch is harder for the squirrels to disturb compared to soft soil.

I went to my first prescribed burn today with my friends John and Hazel. Burning the prairie replicates the natural fires that used to burn in the wild. Fire is an essential and natural part of the prairie ecosystem. Plus it damn cool.

Don't try this on your own. We were on a prepared site, with trained wildlife professionals and firefighters on site. As the firefighters said, there is no such thing as a controlled burn.

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