Participating in Local Data Sharing

Liane will be collecting precipitation data at the Damascus Church Rd property, to contribute to this valiant national, yet local, effort.

CoCoRaHS (pronounced KO-ko-rozz) is a grassroots volunteer network of backyard weather observers of all ages and backgrounds working together to measure and map precipitation (rain, hail and snow) in their local communities. By using low-cost measurement tools, stressing training and education, and utilizing an interactive Web-site, our aim is to provide the highest quality data for natural resource, education and research applications. The only requirements to join are an enthusiasm for watching and reporting weather conditions and a desire to learn more about how weather can affect and impact our lives.

Our Web page provides the ability for our observers to see their observations mapped out in “real time”, as well as providing a wealth of information for our data users.

For more information, please click here: Information about CoCoRaHS

If you would like to sign-up as a volunteer observer and become part of our expanding network, please click here: Join the CoCoRaHS Network.

A business should solve a problem


The trouble is, I don’t believe that many people think it’s a problem. But here it is, you tell me:  riding my bike through the countryside, or driving, I am saddened by how many large parcels I see that are just grass. Long grass, mowed grass, no livestock or fences, just grass, sometimes with a few tired old Crepe Myrtles or Bradford Pears, because this is what most folks think of as landscaping.

The land used to be a forest, with layers of life and productivity. Now, it produces almost nothing. No wildlife habitat, no forest garden, nothing. The owner, I imagine, earns money to buy all of his food, energy, entertainment, instead of producing any of it in a vibrant ecology.

With a little love and planning, there could be orchards, wildlife habitat, livestock, garden beds, pollinator and rain gardens, outdoor learning areas. These are areas that produce what people and the planet need.


Using Waste Creatively

Few things make me happier than finding some “waste” or “junk” that I can then use to create functions in a landscape.


My friend Rob Jones has a thriving mushroom business. He grows oyster mushrooms in plastic bags. When the substrate is spent, he needs to get rid of these 40 lb bags of chopped straw, cottonseed hulls and oyster mycelium. Well! They make great mulch, they also often fruit a few times before I unbag and distribute the excellent organic matter. The only true “waste” is the bags.

I had hoped to use a couple hundred bags in front of  my house as a sound barrier from the very noisy ATV-riding neighbors, but the plastic bags slid off of each other and would not stay stacked high enough, so I can “only” use them to mulch around tree polycultures and annual beds. It was exciting to try the sound wall though.

The whole process makes me very happy. Free food, improved soil, and repurposed waste that I can carry away from my friend’s business.