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10 Tips For A Zero-Waste Life — existential ergonomics

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Are you pursuing a zero-waste life? Is this the first you’ve heard of it? The low waste and zero waste movement is having a huge moment right now. Consider learning more. Start with this list of beginner-friendly tips. Take or leave the pieces that work for you. Maybe just give some thought to the time and effort getting rid of junk mail and packaging you have to get rid of every day and week.

My zero-waste journey began as a broke college kids with an allergy to the one-time-use plastic in grocery store bags and very few possessions, over a decade before the idea of sustainability even became popular. The developed world is filled with stuff, often more stuff than we really need. In my mind, zero-waste comes down […]

10 Tips For A Zero-Waste Life — existential ergonomics
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Ripening Blackberries

I am eagerly awaiting fresh ripe blackberries from the first plant from three years ago. Last year, there were a couple of handfuls of berries and they were delicious. This year, we will add bird netting and see if we can keep more of the blackberries for ourselves.

Berry-producing shrubs amaze me because in the proper environment, they get bigger and better every year with minimal input. It’s a good thing, too. Birds and squirrels enjoy them almost as much as humans. Hopefully with enough berries there will be a chance to make crumble and compote and syrup. Fingers crossed.

The two big takeaways from last year?

First, the blackberry grows the cane the first year, and produces fruit on it the second year. After the cane has produced fruit, it is important to remove the spent canes. This helps to prevent the plant viruses that raspberries and blackberries tend to suffer from.

Second, I have read that if you prune the tips of the primary cane, the plant will put much more energy into growing the lateral canes. These are the ones that bear fruit.

Given the deer population, it is no surprise that they did the pruning for me! They ate the tips of the canes wherever they could reach. As a result, the plant is all lateral canes, and covered with unripe berries which have now started to change color.

(I later learned that this is an actual technique for better yield, from this youtube video… The more you know.)

Today I went out and added bird netting to the fortifications. Fingers crossed!

Ripening blackberries, equally enticing to humans and every other creature.