Judith Browning wrote:Cj, I noticed when I 'quoted' your post that you used 'vimeo' instead of 'youtube' to embed....I imagine that's all it is. If you get it maybe a moderator can delete my posts here?
Thanks. I couldn't get vimeo to work and didn't think to look on youtube. I've linked the youtube one instead.
I'm about to re-do one of my sheds and I'd like to make the front into a solar dehydrator mainly for drying apples. Some autumn days are perfect for this here in Vermont, other days... not so much. So I'd like to incorporate a RMH in the floor or along the back wall, bench style. I think the pebble style will be faster and cheaper to do.
What I really want is to purchase plans! Who can hook me up?
The birds told us the cherries were ready! This tree was planted 5 years ago and although the form seems a little weird it has finally started bearing. I didn't see any honey bees this spring but the other pollinators got the job done!
Last year I tried something new. I never do my inoculating in one batch and storing spawn can be tricky. If you leave it in the plastic bag it came in, it can get anaerobic and nasty if sealed too tight, and if not sealed tight it can become contaminated.
I like to transfer the spawn to a container with a hard bottom and sort of tall so I can make the most of it and fill up my inoculator easier. I found these filters for wide mouth ball jars and they work perfectly. How perfect? A year later my spawn is clearly still viable!
In the never ending quest to get of purchased feed, I'm getting out of cows and replacing them with rabbits. A no brainer because although I have no wild cows on my property, I do have wild rabbits, totally able to fend for themselves. From what I understand, a female rabbit can ultimately provide 150 lbs of meat.
This is a great example of the problem is the solution. Rabbits love all the invasive species on my property. At the moment I'm foraging for them but at some point a rabbit tractor is in the works. Honeysuckle, Japanese Barberry, Brambles, Willows, Red Maple, Striped Maple.
Here's a quick vid of a rabbit chowing down on Honeysuckle, one of most invasive species on the property.
I was listening to an audio book today and they mentioned the 5 key factors of survival.
1. Positive Mental Attitude
So food is by most accounts these last thing to worry about.
Since food is last of the rule of 3’s, it is last on my list of factors for survival. Generally a person can go 3 weeks without eating anything. Now this doesn’t mean that you are going to be fine in the last week and a half of those 3. Starvation will have already set in and you will be very weak, but the fact remains you will still be alive.
But once you have the first 4 factors taken care of, you can start to look for, hunt or gather some form of nourishment to quell the rumbling in your tummy. While food procurement comes last on the list of survival factors in can often be first on the list of most difficult factors to accomplish.
Eating plants is a HUGE gamble unless you really know what you are eating and can lead to disastrous, even fatal, results. Hunting for your own food is extremely hard without a modern firearm or bow and arrow, and even then its no easy task, go ask a regular hunter about the years that may have gone by in-between them bagging a deer to fill their tag.
Traps and snares are probably your most effective and sure bet at procuring protein to feed those tired muscles and it is a really good idea to know how to make at least a couple of different snares or traps from natural materials. Another skill that will serve you well is the ability to identify animal tracks and game trails. Having or being able to make a weapon, snare or trap is all well and good but if you don’t know where the game is none of it is going to do you any good. Apart from some form of emergency food rations your survival kit should always include some snare wire, and a basic fishing kit as these are some of the more effective ways of procuring food in the wild. Much like other skills though, most forms of food procurement are diminishing skills and should be practiced periodically if not regularly so that you can be confident in your ability to get sustenance when you really need it.
Devin Lavign wrote:
You might also want to try watching some of the reality shows like Alone, or Naked and Afraid, and see what happens to people trying to survive in the wilderness without much food.
Well, I can imagine many scenarios where a person needs to go without food. There are so many variables. Is the person heathy? Is the person actually in the wilderness? Do they know what they are doing? Certainly Paleolithic man could fast many days on a hunt but they knew how to survive under such conditions.
The best example I can think of is Hurricane Irene from a few years back. Parts of Vermont were completely isolated for a week. A friend called who was in that situation. She had no power and after a few days her food had gone bad, it was August/September I think. I asked her about food in her pantry. She said she didn't really keep food in her pantry, it was all in her fridge/freezer.
So, she had shelter, water, was warm, but no power, no food. She was not malnourished. Was she in the wilderness? That's a matter of opinion but she was not in town and without power and food it felt like wilderness to her!
Her two choices were to bug in or bug out.
If she really knew that she could easily go 2 weeks without food she might make different choices than if she panicked because she literally thought she would die if she didn't eat for three days. And that was my main point, people really think they will die without a few days worth of food and it can become a self fulfilling prophecy. For that reason alone a multi-day fast is not a bad idea. Another good reason to fast, an annual 7 day fast has been used to prevent cancer due to autophagy.
Roberto pokachinni wrote:Stress, anxiety, and panic are the things to avoid in a survival situation; they can kill you in no time. Food, is almost always not the first concern; the only thing that food does for you in a survival situation is help psychologically.
I agree completely. The OP really didn't lay out a specific scenario so I really just addressed the main question of calories.
Tyler Ludens wrote:This may be a completely ignorant question - but how does temperate food forest herbaceous layer differ from subtropical herbaceous layer? I see above in the thread people continually battling the herbaceous layer, whereas Geoff Lawton in his subtropical food forest, seems to welcome a particular kind of herbaceous layer which he terms "control through rampancy." Is there not a way to replace the plastic layer with a desirable herbaceous layer? Is the difference that the above examples are of a "permaculture orchard" and not a food forest, so there is no interest (or no need) for the different layers?
I think subtropical soils leech Nitrogen very quickly so it's really hard to build soil, add humus.
You can use some plants to replace plastic, it may depend on location and goal. I surround my fruit trees with comfrey which acts as a living mulch/fertilizer and suppresses weeds without competing with the tree for nutrients.
Devin Lavign wrote:Similarly with food, after 3-4 days you are weak and dizzy and your thinking is slow. Without food for a week you have no energy to move around, even crawling is difficult. Your thinking is seriously impaired with lapses in memory, sense of time, accessing knowledge you know you know, oh and the real fun of hallucinations.
This is really not true. With the exception of a underweight person, everyone can physically handle a week or 2 without food. The 2nd or 3rd day can be tough to push thru but beyond that is no problem if you have access to water. You are running on ketones and your own body fat.
I did a 6 day fast last year and as most people report, mental capacity gets better not worse. If our brains shut down after a few days without food we would have died out as a species hundreds of thousands of years ago.
Most Americans could easily survive a 40 day fast. So I still say your largest source of calories in the wilderness is, YOU.
Here is the last experiment. The sheep loved the dried comfrey. Not really a surprise but it was really hard to dry. The first attempt resulted in moldy comfrey. The leaves dried but the stem bound together didn't work. So I dried the leaves and them striped them off the stem. That's why they are shredded.
The leaves might need to be strung like tobacco or something. I do have a book on comfrey, I'll need to re-read it before the weather turns nice.
I would integrate the two (cattails and willows). The cat tails are N-fixers so that would be handy. The kind I had were not invasive at all and I killed them accidentally I think, mowing as the pond dried up during the summer. Every year I think about digging some up and planting them back in the pond. They provide year round food source as all parts of the plant are edible and some are quite tasty, provides cut and come again mulch, good habitat for wetland birds.
Other notes I have:
Weaving material, basketry
Duck and water fowl habitat
Seed head is of downy material; can be used as tinder
Extracts pollutants from water.
Shoot edible, used like asparagus
Roots are peeled, cooked or grated raw
Seeds, roasted have nutty flavor
Animal forage, mainly roots, especially for pigs
I purchased this one in 2009 and it's still standing with the original film. I bought new film to replace the old because it's torn in a few spots but wound up being too late to set it up this year. This is the first year I didn't get much of a season extension due to the tears in the film.
I've got 7 ducks and a chicken overwintering in there and they seem to be doing fine despite getting down into the single digits.
The quicky garages that are gothic style got squished. One of them was fixable and the other not.
Pumpkins/squash and apples will probably be my main feedstock. I did try fodder radishes once but the weather worked against me. I do have some sunchokes and would like to have many more. Also, they are not so contingent on the weather
I will be adding in rabbits this spring and that should be much easier to grow/forage for all of their feed
Eric Giordano wrote:I'm trying to envision what balconies, patios, stoops, back yards, and store fronts in NYC would look like if permaculture designers took them over.
What plants are good for container or small bed gardening in the New York city climate, that have a permaculture function?
I guessing going with native plants first is the best plan. I want to grow vegetables, herbs, materials, and other resources.
Let's make a plant list.
Why go with native plants? What grows naturally in an asphalt jungle?
Your best bet is probably to set up a a system that fulfills functions that you choose. Maybe Oyster mushrooms growing on your spent coffee grounds. You feed them stems and other compost to a bin with worms. The vermicompost then feeds plants that clean the air in your apartment and/or fulfills another function (parsley/radishes/ornamentals). Stems and dead leaves get added to the coffee grounds to keep the cycle going.
I did have someone tell me her husband got a deer out of season and the it tasted like terpentine. Although I do sometimes give my cows and sheep some conifer branches in winter, it's a very small part of their diet.
Xisca Nicolas wrote:
And my question is more important when people are vegetarians...
High carbs/ low fat may be OK for vegetarians/vegans if they don't have metabolic issues. There are a few examples of cultures that are long lived/healthy eating like that. Mainly Islanders who don't eat grain tho.
Tim, there is a guy I know of who said that tree fodder made his goats have a stronger flavor but not in a bad way. It will likely depend of the specific species you use and the percentage of it in their diet.