Hi Caroline, it's been a while, sorry your post got lost! I am not an expert but I will try to respond. Hopefully someone else who knows more can chime in.
I'm not sure I can visualize what you are describing. It's a 6 foot high cob wall. How are you going to protect the cob from rain? I'm guessing there will be large diameter piping through the cob wall, to allow the heat generated by the rocket to warm the mass of the wall, and I know there are limits as to how many feet a particular sized system (size being based on the diameter of the J-tube) can service.
The most successful systems have the piping go out into the mass and then back again so that the chimney is near the barrel, this improves "pull" of the exhaust through the system. I don't think a normal rocket heater could drive 40+ feet of piping with a 180 degree turn in the middle.
I ate more than just kale paneer on Thursday. The family got carry out food from Hoda's (a Lebanese family restaurant) and although I avoided the meat, I had muhumarra, hummus, a little pita bread, some very oily (and delicious) rice, along with the kale paneer (kale, onions, cream, paneer cheese). I had no ill effects from this at all.
On Friday the kids and I made pumpkin ravioli with sage cream sauce (like, roasting the squash, making the pasta dough, rolling it out, etc - we ate very late!) and I ate a fair amount of that. There was just a tiny amount of meat, home cured prosciutto being used as intended - to enhance the breadcrumb topping - as flavor, not protein source. There was ricotta in the filling and LOTS of eggs in the pasta.
Friday night I developed really bad heartburn. Like bad enough that when I rolled from my side to my back, there was the constant burning pain of the lower half of my esophagus and then an extra OW when the esophagus flattened on to itself. Most of Saturday I had some pain in my "chest." I had to work all day and when I came home around 4:30pm I drank baking soda in water since I didn't have any Alka Seltzer (and from my very faint memory of tasting Alka Seltzer, that's basically what it is.)
Saturday night I ate a ridiculously large steak from our farm, mushrooms, a lot of roasted brussels sprouts with peppers, and had more than my usual one glass of wine. For dessert I had a Swedish cardamom cream/almond paste bun made by my younger kid, who made friends in Sweden during the lockdown. I think I had two glasses of wine, but that was enough to make me woozy (I don't drink much). When I woke in the early morning I had a pretty terrible headache, and only then realized I hadn't done my usual thing of force drinking mass quantities of water before sleeping. Seriously, this was the first hangover of my life. Most of a hangover is dehydration. I drank two glasses of water, took two Excedrin and was able to fall asleep. When I woke about an hour later, the headache was gone. Thank goodness!
So, I may try an antacid after my first significant meal following an extended fast. I think 10 days sounds like a good goal for next time.
OK, here I am, day 7 of the fast. I had a bit of beet ginger cardamom sauerkraut last night, and I'm planning to have some kale paneer tonight. It looks like I'm down 14 pounds, which corresponds to my experience back when my fancy scale was working (I lost 2-3 pounds of fat every 20 hour fast, and regained it overnight after eating). A lot of people report rapid regain of the weight lost on a one week fast, so we'll have to see how it goes.
Two days ago I went to the farm, and in the late afternoon while I was gathering spent hay to scatter on the muddy cowpath, I felt a little dizzy/lightheaded bending over and getting up. Yesterday a similar thing happened while gardening in the late afternoon. I think my stamina is decreased, although it could also be just low blood pressure. So I've been scheming that *maybe* I could work shortened days through a fasting week. Generally I feel OK during the day. Like, I haven't been going on the treadmill, but I've been active. If I took 2.5 hours off each day for a week, that's one PTO day (because our PTO days are 10 hrs). Maybe 2 hours at the end of the day and 1/2 hour at the start? Just spitballing here. It might be easier the second time.
If my college freshman daughter hadn't come back last night for spring break (she's doing her last final online today) I think I might have extended the fast longer. I have to say, though, all the reports of it getting "easy" after day 3 seem a bit overblown. It's true that it doesn't get harder and harder and harder, but I can't say it got easy. Staying at home with two people (now three) who are preparing and eating food every day has got to make it a little harder. I think it's good, as an exercise. I also can't really say that I felt an increase in mental sharpness (many people report this). I know I'm in ketosis (I have test strips) but I'm not cognizant of a change in my thinking.
One interesting thing is that I've been allowing myself more than my usual 8 hours of sleep (I am a stickler for 8 hours of sleep, I haven't had a cold sore or a bad migraine since I started prioritizing sleep maybe 10-13 years ago) and on the two longer nights, I had a lot of dreams that I remembered. And, fasting figured heavily in all the dreams. I think it's time to wind this down. My daughter wants my cooking.
I’ve been making beet ginger sauerkraut, and it’s really delicious! There’s probably three times as much cabbage as beets, but due to the strong magic of beets the whole thing ends up very deep red pink. Adding cardamom seeds gives it a really nice flavor, at least in the bites with the cardamom seeds in them. I used a fine grater for the ginger, and even after fermentation there’s some bite to it. Overall a really nice ferment!
Ok, I’m trying a longer fast. My office manager was fussing at all of us hired pediatricians to use some vacation days earlier in the year, but I’m on call during spring break. So I took next week off.
Back in late 2018 when I was researching fasting, I read a researcher who said that everyone over the age of 50 should do an extended fast once a year as an anti-cancer strategy. My usual one meal a day plan creates a daily caloric deficit. After 12 hours of fasting, I’ve burned up all my glycogen and I start burning fat.
If I do an extended fast, I develop a protein deficit. When your body is low in protein, and you’re not eating anything, you engage in autophagy. I get this mental image of guys with clipboards walking around and pointing at things, saying “what is this? Is this doing anything? Do we need this? No? OK, we’re taking this.“ People describe losing skin tags on extended fasts. People who lose large amounts of weight by fasting do not require plastic surgery to tighten up their skin. They just seem to shrink. The idea is that the body will munch up little baby cancers during an extended fast.
So, I was planning to take this week off for a staycation. Then I saw a video message from Amanda Palmer, where she said “I just finished a six day fast, and I feel amazing!“ And that reminded me that an extended fast was some thing I was curious about.
So Wednesday night, three nights ago, was my last meal. I had about a half cup of beet ginger sauerkraut Thursday night, and last night I had another small serving. I’m having bulletproof coffee in the mornings, and I also made some beet Kvass, so I pour about a half ounce of this deep red salty liquid into a glass and then fill it up with cold water. I’ve also had some herbal tea.
Last night I watched an episode of the Netflix series “Unwell“ that was about fasting. They were going for drama, so they concentrated on water only fasting. They followed a very overweight and unhealthy woman who did at least a three week fast at a seriously medically supervised fasting place in Santa Rosa California. There was also kind of a crazy place in Costa Rica run by a guy who thought that you can cure absolutely anything, if you fast long enough. One of the most interesting stories was of a man who combined fasting with his chemotherapy . The plan was for six rounds of chemotherapy, but he had a scan after two rounds, and they declared him to be cancer free! It makes sense to me that the stress of fasting will increase the punch of chemotherapy on cancer cells, which are pretty primitive and tend to run on sugar. Anyway, from my research it makes sense to take in salt during a fast, to avoid feeling faint and having headaches.
My main point for this fast is protein deprivation. I’m also curious to see how I do on an extended fast. I’m wondering if I could manage to fast and go to work at the same time. I can report that yesterday I did normal things: I rode my bike to the yoga studio and did a rather intense yoga class followed by a restorative yoga class, and then rode back home and I don’t think the fast affected my ability to do those things.
This morning there was a permies staff meeting, and I was *perhaps* a little edgy and irritable. Of course these things start before 7 AM my time, and I hadn’t had any coffee yet, so who can say? Right now, I am frustrated that I still feel pretty darn hungry. Writing this post was a strategy to distract myself! It’s working pretty well.
So, I will try to post again to let y’all know how I am managing with this extended fast. My on call week starts Friday at 7 AM, and I’ll just have to see how I feel with respect to when I want to end the fast.
Living in community is highly rewarding, but can also be difficult. Humans tend to be human at least some of the time. If there were no exit clause, that wouldn't be community, that would be something very bad.
Many things can be true, for different people. For some people, milk (particularly raw milk, or unhomogenized milk) can be quite healthy. For other people milk after the age of 2 makes them sick.
My nephew would react to typical grocery store milk with worsened acne, if his mom bought organic milk this didn't happen.
Hugelkultur works great in the PNW. Polyculture works great as well, so does chop and drop. It's a marvelous thing when you really "grok" chop and drop: all weeds become food, and you don't have to dig up every last root of that weed, just come by regularly to chop and drop. It's making food for your favored plants!
Perennial kales do well for me, I have a big purple one and a variegated pale green and white one that is easy to multiply with cuttings.
improved grazing management, fertilization, sowing legumes and improved grass species, irrigation, and conversion from cultivation all tend to lead to increased soil C, at rates ranging from 0.105 to more than 1 Mg C·ha−1·yr−1.
The world's grazing lands are a key element of livestock production systems globally (Bouwman et al. 2005, Erb et al. 2016) providing livelihoods for about 1B of the world's poorest people and one-third of global protein intake (Steinfeld et al. 2006). Here we build on recent regional syntheses (Wang et al. 2011) and studies of particular aspects of grazing land management (e.g., McSherry and Ritchie 2013) to produce an up-to-date, comprehensive source of information on how land management and conversion to grasslands affect this important resource. This new synthesis can undergird global estimates of grassland soil C stocks and changes, which are an essential basis for policy and market decisions on grassland C stock management.
Globally, soils contain about 1,500 Gt of organic carbon (C)1 to 1 m depth and 2,400 GtC to 2 m depth (Batjes, 1996). Thus, the total size of the soil carbon reservoir exceeds the total mass of carbon in vegetation and atmosphere combined.
And here's the part about grazing, from the same paper:
Most agricultural soils (both mineral and organic) are depleted in C relative to the native ecosystems from which they were derived, due to reduced net primary production and export of harvested biomass—which reduce C inputs to soil; nutrient depletion, intensive soil disturbance, and soil erosion are other contributing factors to soil C depletion (Paustian et al., 1997). Most cropland mineral soils have lost 30–50% of the C stocks in top soil layers (0–30 cm) relative to their native condition (Davidson and Ackerman, 1993). In contrast, grassland soils managed for grazing may or may not have suffered similar C losses relative to their native state, depending on how they have been managed. Grasslands that have been overgrazed and poorly managed are likely significantly depleted in soil C, whereas well-managed grasslands may have C stocks equal to or exceeding their original native condition (Conant et al., 2016).
I think this article from a favorite website (Low Tech Magazine) is useful in terms of creating and using biomass for fuel. IMO, Rocket Mass Heaters are ideal parts of a carbon negative future, as they seem to prefer sticks to larger wood (Erica's post upstream in this thread is golden).
From the Neolithic to the beginning of the twentieth century, coppiced woodlands, pollarded trees, and hedgerows provided people with a sustainable supply of energy, materials, and food.
I'm not sure if this is the right spot, but I thought this article was interesting given Paul's strong feeling that cancer is from excess toxins
“These fence line communities are sacrifice zones,” said Jane Williams, executive director of California Communities Against Toxics. “Before there was climate denial, there was cancer denial. We release millions of pounds of carcinogens into our air, water and food and act mystified when people start getting sick.”
The cancer risks from industrial pollution can be compounded by factors like age, diet, genetic predisposition and exposure to radiation; the knock-on effect of inhaling toxic air for decades might, for example, mean the difference between merely having a family history of breast cancer and actually developing the disease yourself. While the cancer and asthma rates in Houston’s Harris County are comparable with those in the rest of the state, Texas officials have identified cancer clusters in several of the city’s neighborhoods.
Large swaths of the Greater Houston area make up the third-biggest hot spot of cancer-causing air in the country, according to our analysis, after Louisiana’s Cancer Alley and an area around Port Arthur, Texas, which is on the Louisiana border. For many homes closest to the fence lines of petrochemical plants in cities like La Porte and Port Neches, Texas, the estimated excess risk of cancer ranges from three to six times the level that the EPA considers acceptable.
That's really interesting. I do think it's good for you to put your metabolism through its paces, so to speak. If you never move into fat-burning mode and keep living on glycogen/glucose the whole ketogenesis system gets sclerotic, I would think.
I did regain weight during COVID, so I had to change my rules a bit. These days I'm no longer having a latte' with 12oz of milk for lunch. I'm just having coffee with half-n-half in the late morning, and drinking more hot drinks, which could include tea with a bit of half-n-half through the day. I've sort of set up a habit of walking a mile at 15% grade on the treadmill every morning.
(I say sort of because I just finished a week of being "on-call" and I stopped walking on the treadmill because I had to go to the hospital before clinic and see newborns.)
A great idea I got from a colleague is sugar-free gum. Her tip is if your chubby kid asks you for a snack and you don't think they need a snack, give them some sugar free gum. Your kid is happy because you gave them candy, but there aren't that many calories and it's actually good for your teeth.
You are less likely to snack when you are chewing on gum. I got some natural sugar free gum from Azure Standard and I try to start that at 6pm instead of noshing on nuts.
All of these modifications have stopped the weight gain (I liked to say "I'm such a good eater I can gain weight on one meal a day!") and started to bring it back down. I'm not all the way down to where I was, but hey, I'm still seeing families in small rooms whose windows don't open, and the unvaccinated parents are the most likely to remove their masks or have "f**k your mask rule" mesh masks (yes, had that yesterday - if I can appreciate your lip liner, that's not a functional mask) so my stress levels are still kinda high.
Shane, that looks great! So, do you run the fire with a lid over the water, and then you get in the tub? Is the tub too hot to touch right over the fire (or where the fire was)? Do you have a wooden bottom inside the tub?
Don't use the figs before they are ripe, if you can let them ripen, let them ripen. Here in Portland, we rarely get really ripe figs, but this year with the multiple "heat dome" events, I got some seriously ripe figs. Best figs ever. I ate the really ripe ones fresh. If the inside isn't looking shiny when you cut the fig in half, it's not worth a lot of effort, at least not for me when I've got apples and pears and quince to deal with.
I use a sharp paring knife to remove the green skin and most of the white pith. I cut the fig in half first, then cut from the inside (near the stem end) towards the skin just above the red part. If the fig is ripe, I can often make one cut through the pith towards the outside and then pull the skin off. OK, not in one piece, but in 2-3 pieces.
I lay the figs on the pan white side down, red side up. I don't use oil. The figs lose juice, and you want to scrape that up because it's delicious. If you roast too long the juice can burn, I've tried 250 degrees to decrease that, but I think I still increased the temp to 350 for a while at the end to get some browning.
I think a fig that's brown inside might be overripe? I'm not sure.
This is great! I, for one, would like to see more photos that you took.
I am with you on the berm shed. I have a property that has a highway running alongside, and I would love to cut road noise and increase dry storage at the same time!
However, I am a busy pediatrician and I will not be building a berm shed anytime soon. If anyone wants to have a berm shed workshop, less than an hour from Portland, I've got a great location. We even have lots of trees for poles!
They looked at data from Finland following over 3000 children from birth to 5 years. There was a positive association between the consumption of high heat treated dairy (which included most formulas) and asthma. In Finland, and all over Europe, you can buy "shelf stable" milk which has been ultra pasteurized. In this study they showed that consumption of the highly processed milk increased your chance of developing asthma.
The researchers looked into this because they had noted that consumption of raw milk was associated with less asthma. However, apparently it's hard to come by raw milk in Finland?
I think this appeals to me because we are able to buy low-heat pasteurized milk (old fashioned slow pasteurization) that is non-homogenized in Portland, Oregon. It's from Garry's Dairy: http://garrysmeadowfresh.com/ We've had raw milk a few times, and it tastes the same as Garry's. My kids used to complain that "regular" milk tasted "cooked."
I have a Desert King fig tree, and the figs are HUGE, with green skin and red insides and a fair amount of bland white pith in between. I cut the figs in half, peel and remove most of the pith, and lay them out on a cookie sheet. Then I roast them in the oven on convection bake. They shrink quite a bit and get brown on the undersides plus bits of the tops. I then load them into containers for freezing or just in the fridge.
Roasted figs are great on a pizza with goat cheese! Or, wrapped in thinly sliced ham, or some other way. Anyway, roasting is a different flavor profile, I recommend it.
Hi Denise! The oven came in a van, it's about as heavy as two 55 gallon steel barrels, so, too heavy for *me* to lift, but not too heavy for a couple of strong men to lift.
You can watch a movie about these ovens and you can buy the plans as well. The links to both are in my post right above yours in the thread. (This thread has gone to multiple pages, which can be confusing.)
Thomas, I think your idea is terrific, and I would love to take you up on your offer. I'm not sure how to access the spot, though. The heat riser is cobbed onto the barrels, with hardware cloth reinforcing the cob.
I asked Eliot if there's a way to access from the back, because you can open the barrels up there, but there's a wall in the way.
The advice from Paul was to clean out all those piled up flakes, as they are creating an insulative layer and thus making the situation worse. If there are no flakes, the heat can dissipate into the oven better, and the metal won't get quite as hot and maybe won't spall as much.
I talked about the rocket oven in a recent podcast. It has developed some spalling at the bottom, where the white hot flame from the heat riser hits the bottom of the inner barrel that serves as the white oven.
Graham, I don't know why you think a brick floor is essential. The instructions for building the barrel rocket oven can be purchased here on this site, and the design works.
With some effort, the barrels can be contained in something that's lovely. It doesn't have to be a mosaic, it could be brick, with arches over the barrel, if that's your thing. It's not a gorgeous design, but it functions beautifully.
Currently I'm working on mosaics on either side of the box.
Graham Chiu wrote:
If your oven works then I'll copy it.
But pizza ovens need conductive, radiant, and convective heat.
I was responding to the idea of what "pizza ovens need." I'm telling you that my rocket oven is a very fine pizza oven, and with the addition of a pizza stone (or thick cast iron pizza cooking thingy, which is what I have now that my pizza stone broke) it makes very fine pizza. I've had pizza in Napoli, I know of what I speak.
A rocket oven is the most fun wood burning device you can have in your backyard. It can be used during times of high risk for wildfires, as no hot coals/flakes/ash exit the chimney, due to the circuitous design. It uses far less wood than any other device, and makes less smoke. With a bit of extra work, you can make it an attractive asset in your outdoor living space. It heats up fast as it is NOT a high mass oven and it cools down fast for the same reason. This makes it easier to live with, no baby-sitting required.
I maintain that a reasonably handy person could make a fine living constructing these and installing them for those with more money than time and skill.
My rocket oven gets quite hot and it is a white oven. The heat riser dumps white-hot fire directly onto the oven. I typically put the pizza in when the thermometer is at 600 degrees Fahrenheit (315 Celsius) and that works very well.
So, I will dispute the claim that you have to have a stinky smoky "fire in the cooking space" oven to make excellent pizza.
Thanks Sena! (Yeah, I get overwhelmed and busy sometimes, it's been 14 months.)
We are still using the pizza oven, there was a break due to drama but the difficult tenants have been discharged and we're back to almost weekly pizza parties!
The oven heats up really fast, in less than half an hour, and we got it to 600 degrees last weekend, using nice dry wood that was split into kindling. I love this oven. I still highly recommend building one.
I can confirm, advising women to have babies is no longer standard of care. In general I find the online textbook UpToDate to offer good "standard of care" information and here's what they say:
There are several treatment options for endometriosis:
●Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
●Hormonal birth control
●Other forms of hormone treatment (gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogs)
Each treatment option is discussed in more detail below. The best treatment depends on your symptoms and whether you might want to get pregnant in the future.
Medications — While medications will not get rid of endometriosis, they can help relieve pain. If the medication(s) you try first does not improve your pain within one to three months, your provider may suggest trying another type of medication, or surgery can be discussed as a reasonable next step.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs — NSAIDs are a type of pain medicine that can help to relieve the pain caused by endometriosis. They work by stopping the release of prostaglandins, one of the main chemicals responsible for pain in general as well as painful menstrual periods. Starting these medications one to two days before your period works best to prevent prostaglandin production and therefore reduce menstrual pain. It may take some time, and several doses, for the NSAIDs to block the prostaglandin production and reduce pain. NSAIDs do not shrink or prevent the growth of endometriosis tissue.
Most NSAIDs are available without a prescription, including:
●Ibuprofen (sample brand names: Advil, Motrin) – Follow the package instructions carefully. In general, two tablets are taken for the first dose and one tablet every four to six hours as needed thereafter. These should be taken with food and may be most effective if started one to two days before the onset of pain. Physicians may prescribe higher doses.
●Naproxen (sample brand names: Aleve, Naprosyn) – Follow the package instructions as the dose and frequency differ depending on the formulation. In general, two tablets are taken for the first dose, and one tablet is taken every 8 to 12 hours as needed thereafter, depending on the formulation. All tablets should be taken with food and a full glass of water. Like ibuprofen, naproxen may be more effective if begun a day or two prior to the onset of typical menstrual pain. Physicians may prescribe higher doses.
●Prescription NSAIDs – If over-the-counter NSAIDs are not effective, prescription strengths and formulations may be helpful.
The disadvantage of NSAIDs is that they do not always relieve endometriosis-related pain. NSAIDs probably work better when combined with another treatment, like hormonal birth control. Serious side effects from NSAIDs, although uncommon, include stomach upset, kidney problems, and worsened high blood pressure.
Hormonal birth control methods — Hormonal birth control methods, including oral pills, patches, and vaginal rings, are often helpful in treating pain because they reduce or prevent menstrual bleeding, especially when used continuously (only taking active pills or always using the ring in order to skip the monthly period). Daily oral progestin pills as well as injectable and implantable long-acting progestins may be very effective in managing endometriosis-related pain. A progestin-containing intrauterine device (IUD) can also be very effective in treating pain.
The most common side effects of estrogen-containing hormonal birth control are:
●Irregular vaginal bleeding or "spotting" between periods
These side effects usually improve after using the treatment for several months. Serious side effects (eg, blood clots, stroke, heart attack) are rare in people who do not smoke.
Progestins — Progestins are a synthetic form of a natural hormone called progesterone. This treatment might be recommended if you do not get pain relief from or cannot take hormonal birth control that contains estrogen (for example, if you smoke). Progestins require a prescription and are usually given as a pill or injection. They are not used if you are trying to get pregnant. A progestin-containing IUD delivers very low levels of progestin directly to the uterus and results in markedly lighter and less painful periods. (See "Patient education: Long-acting methods of birth control (Beyond the Basics)", section on 'Intrauterine device'.)
Side effects of progestins can be bothersome for some people. The most common side effects include bloating, weight gain, irregular vaginal bleeding, acne, and, rarely, worsened depression.
I didn't share the entire thing, because this is supposed to be about natural remedies! It is true that it's more common in women who haven't had a pregnancy, but even being on OCPs seems to be protective (which might explain why I never got endometriosis despite multiple risk factors - early menarche at age 10 and no pregnancies until I was over 35 - I was on OCPs, which basically mimic pregnancy, kinda, sorta, from age 21-35). It's less common in women with late menarche (first period not until age 14, for example) and in women with multiple pregnancies.
To bring this back to the idea of natural remedies, there is strong evidence that increased omega-3 intake decreases your risk. Hurray for grass fed everything and fish oil! I would guess this is one of the anti-inflammatory effects of omega three fatty acids.