Assuming you already have cookware of some sort, why shell out for a pressure cooker at all? You can make a haybox cooker for nothing, or a wonderbag for only a few dollars - retained heat cooking is perfect for veggies and legumes, etc, that have a long cooking time. I'm not dissing pressure cookers, I have one myself....but I use a wonderbag more than I use my pressure cooker.
I am just starting the no 'poo experiment on myself...going to be an uncomfortable few weeks methinks . My twenty-one month old son is pretty much no 'poo as he used to put up such a fight if we tried to wash his hair . His hair looks great though, I don't bother trying to wash it nowadays, unless he has been in chlorinated water.
I would be cautious about using essential oils on your toddler's skin, they are very concentrated and some oils, such as citrus, can make skin photo-sensitive.
Check out gokhalemethod.com - I do the shoulder rolls regularly and they are very helpful. I also have her book and am working my way through it, I think it is helping my back pain and posture issues.
I second the suggestion to work towards doing pull-ups - I have woeful upper body strength but have started exercises such as knee push-ups and dead hangs to get stronger. I definitely feel more stability in my upper body and core since starting this.
Hi Bethany. I am very inspired by what your family has done, it is similar to what my husband and I would like to do in future. I'm not sure that the problems with your siblings have much to do with your new lifestyle - it sounds like they are jealous of your good relationship with your parents. Perhaps your parents could talk to your siblings and emphasize how much love they have for all of you, and how worrying it is to see their children fight amongst themselves.
Best of luck with the homestead, and with the family relations.
A related use is to float part-filled plastic bottles in your dams to reduce evaporation. I recall reading about a farmer here in Australia who did that as it was the only economical way he could minimise losses to evaporation.
I'm reasonably good at building compost heaps - they don't smell, the end product is dynamite for the garden, and they are chock full of worms. But, my compost heap is not heating up any more, not even when I add new material. I compost EVERYTHING except humanure (I'd do that too, but there is no space in my bathroom to keep the buckets). I probably add four to six gallons of material every week, mostly kitchen scraps, and in the year or so since I built the heap, the new material has always heated up within a few days, usually to about 45degrees celsius. For the last month or two, the new material has only heated about five degrees above the background temp of the heap. Here are my theories, would appreciate your feedback:
#1 - too many worms. The heap is incredibly full of compost worms - could they be eating the newly added materials before they have time to heat up? A lot of the stuff I add has started to decompose so I imagine it looks like heaven to the wriggly beasts.
2# - it's winter. It is a big heap, more than a cubic meter, so should have enough mass to self-insulate, but maybe not. However, it was winter when I originally built the heap, and it got as hot as 66 degrees Celsius, so would surprise me if the outside temp is the problem.
3# - lower layers are quite compacted. The bottom thirty centimetres or so is quite compacted and much damper than the rest of the heap - could that be sucking heat away from the top parts of the heap?
The pictures look great - impressive greenery in a region with such low rainfall! Could you write a little about what plants you are growing, what techniques have been used to restore the farm? Are those irrigation channels in the last picture?
Hubby and I are looking at buying a 10 acre farmlet in an area with about 500mm (19-20 inches) annual rainfall. There is some scope to irrigate any trees we plant, but we would prefer to minimise this with wise plant choices and gardening practices. I am thinking that pollarding or coppicing many of the trees we plant could be a good way to both improve the soil (ie root pruning) and reduce the water needs of the trees as they are kept much smaller than they would otherwise be. Would love to hear the thoughts of you experienced Permies on this.