A link to this was sent to me after supporting the recent kickstarter but I don't know how to open it. I know I'm a techno dunce but I did try to download software that was recommended for this type of file but it still wouldn't open. Any ideas?
I'm cutting it very fine...and probably only slip in because you're behind us in time ! However I'm about to step out the door to clear the garden bed I want tidied up. Thanks for the challenge. My goal wasn't anywhere near as ambitious as some of yours but it's still something I wouldn't have done without the nudge from here.
To clear and plant another garden bed. The bed I have in mind is very overgrown but somewhere in there are yacon needing some light...and, since my compost has lots of vege seeds in it, who knows what else I might find in there The bed in question is close to the house so I see it whenever I go out. Even now, I can sense the pleasure I will feel when it looks beautiful again.
We lived in Kaponga for about 6 years! Now we're in the hills East of the Stratford...Te Popo. We have occasional gatherings of Central Taranaki permies, although we haven't had one for a good long time. Maybe time to organise one so you can meet up with a bunch of likeminded people?
It's so difficult eh? Good on you for making moves to reduce your plastic use.
The main, (and a few minor), things we do are:-
Reuseable shopping bags
Make our own bread
Buy milk from a farm in glass jars
Grow and preserve as much of our own food as possible
Use a refillable fountain pen instead of disposable pens
When my disposable razor runs our I'll look at replacing it with one that takes exchangeable blades
Don't drink bought fruit juice
We bought a soda stream to make sparkling water at home...to which we can add home made fruit syrups
Home cooked meals
Take a travel cup for takeaway coffee
Metal drink bottle of water for outings.
I have a basket in the car into which I always have some of the above so that I don't have to think about them every time I go out
I know zero about the behind the scenes of a Kickstarter so my comments may be irrelevant, but anyway... my reaction on viewing the Kickstarter was that it was too similar to Justin Rhodes and I didn't watch most of that anyway because I already do more than most of the people he visited. If I want to learn something I go looking for that specific thing. What I'm suggesting is that the Kickstarter is not reaching people who are at that level of information need. Those of us already doing stuff don't feel inclined to pay for one family's road trip to go and see other people doing stuff
So pleased to get this since it's way too expensive to ship the cards to NZ. I'm just printing it off now and am looking forward to browsing through the pages and searching for the hidden names. I'm sure it will be appreciated by wwoofers too. Thanks.
Oh, I don't think that is ugly. One of the things I love about working with harakeke, and other natural material, is that no matter how unskilled we are, they still have a beauty of their own. The basket you have made is in a completely different style to how weavers here make baskets. I'll see if I can find some links to the techniques we use here.
There are customs around the harvesting and use of harakeke, NZ flax, most of them are related to preserving the resource or keeping the weaving area in an orderly state. Working with harakeke is regarded as tapu, (sacred), by Maori.
And then there's Harakeke or New Zealand flax...not at all related to linen flax. The botanical name is Phormium tenax. It can be woven fresh into baskets and other items. The fibre can also be extracted by hand, some varieties are better than others for this, and plaited into handles or formed into thread in a similar way to the nettle fibre. The threads can then be used for taniko which has a tapestry like appearance or it can be woven into kakahu, (capes).
Here's an introductory video...
For several years now I've been involved with a local seed saving group. We meet three times each year at the property of someone in the group. These range from farms to lifestyle blocks to suburban backyards. Between us we grow a great range of seeds which are constantly being renewed. The saved seeds are housed in several different locations around the province, eg libraries and shops, so that they are always accessible for people to obtain seed in return for a gold coin donation. There are at least two school gardens which use seed from the seedbank and contribute seed back each year. I hardly buy any seed now, thanks to our combined efforts and we have accumulated enough money to buy a set of seed sieves for use by members of the group.
I'd definitely go with variety too, but...my all time favourite is kale. My children say they're going to bury me under a kale bush when the time comes.
My husband and I were involved with a landscaping job in our nearby town years ago. We planted some flowering cherry trees and spread some of my compost around it. A few months later I drove by and to my delight and amusement there was a fine crop of kale growing around the cherry trees.
I've never had much success with the more common grains, wheat, barley etc, mainly because of birds. And then there's the processing!
I grow amaranth as described by a number of previous posters. I mostly use it popped in muesli.
I also grow Quinoa. It grows just fine but as we live in an area that can have damp Autumns I have to be vigilant in noticing when it is ready to harvest. If it gets rain on it once it is mature, it will sprout on the plant and the whole crop is ruined. I've found it difficult to remove the bitter soapiness, but I'm not giving up!
Buckwheat grows well. I grind that in my flour grinder. I always thought that the black outer shell would need to be removed but I tried one day and the outer shell turns to large flakes which are easily sifted out leaving lovely buckwheat flour...pancakes, mmm.
I LOVE beans and grow a couple of dozen varieties. We eat them green but also let plenty dry out for use in soups and stews over winter. Some varieties have good sized beans for drying but even the small ones still work fine. I'm not so keen on runner beans eaten green except early in the season. They too easily go stringy. The last couple of years I've mainly been drying them and they are so good in winter stews. The vegetarian equivalent of meaty, I'd say.
I have a tragic tale to tell!
Decades ago a friend of mine, (a student at the time), lived in a farm house which had chickens and a rooster called Roger. Phil, (my friend), started crowing to Roger, who would fly to the top of a post and reply. The time I witnessed the routine was 10pm and pitch black. Phil stepped outside and started crowing. We could here a thump as Roger leapt off his perch then a rustle, rustle and flap, flap as he flew up onto his post from where he crowed back to Phil. The two of them crowed back and forth for a few minutes until Phil had had enough. The tragedy was that Phil had to leave for the Summer holidays. Roger was ok for a few days but them took to a nest box and moped until he died!! I kid you not!! He couldn't face life without an opponent.
So...I guess the moral of the story is, that if you're going to start crowing to your resident rooster...don't stop!!
Just listening to you discuss putting cattle onto pasture when it's past it's best for the animal...ie the plant has become higher in carbon. I think what he's getting at is that the animals are being used as a tool to trample the grass into the soil as carbon for the soil. The animals won't be badly affected because they'll only be on the pasture for a short time. In pasture management there is a constant balancing act between maximum benefit for the animal and maximum benefit for the soil. There are times or stages in an animals life eg when they are young, when their needs will take priority and one will always try to have them on grass that is young, green and actively growing. At other times or stages in the animal's life, they can, for a short time anyway, be used as a tool to benefit the pasture/land.
We lived for four years in a cabin with no power. There was a shed several hundred metres away which did have power. We had a freezer and a washing machine there. Anyway, we got used to cooking with few leftovers. I often had a pot of soup going, to which I would add what leftovers there were. As long as it was boiled daily it was fine. Once a week I would start a fresh pot. Most foods, including meat, were also fine left in a cool place for 24hours, as long as they were thoroughly reheated, (ie above boiling point), before eating the next day.
A few times now I've taken cooled woodash from the fire, in a preserving jar which I fill with water and leave overnight. The next day I strain the ash water into a pot and boil the corn in it. The result is delicious just as is, but blended then rolled into balls and flattened to make tortillas...mmwaa!
I buried a dead cow in a hugel I was building a couple of years ago. It was a bit wiffy for a few days but then the smell subsided...the dogs did try to dig it up from time to time though. The other thing is that the hugel was only about a metre high and the area where the cow was, has collapsed to a large extent. Of course a cow is much bigger around than a person so more collapse potential.