I've never used coloring for an earthen floor, but I've used this company's pigments for adding color to lime plaster. They have a range of different products from more raw, unprocessed ochres to oxides with "higher tinting strength and opacity."
I use a "safety siphon" all the time for my rain barrels and such. They are super easy to use, just put the metal end in the tank and jiggle it - there is a little marble on a spring in there that lets water go only one way.
Hi there, I have a bunch of these coming up around my yard. Hopefully they are from seeds I scattered but forgot about and not some super vigorous weed that will take over my whole garden.
Thanks in advance!
Fermented cucumbers are always great, but another, more recent favorite of mine is pickled green tomatoes.
I was introduced to the idea by my wife who is from Romania where this is a popular type of pickle. It's a great use of fruit that doesn't ripen before the end of the season and very delicious -- especially when you throw a slice or two of fresh horseradish root into the brine.
When my father-in-law came to visit from Romania a couple years ago, he picked up a couple lovage plants at the nursery telling my wife and I that it was a necessary herb for the garden. Well, his two-month visit ended and while my wife can make a good Romanian ciorba-style soup with lovage, it's not something we eat all too often so we had to figure out some different things to do with all the leaves the plants are producing this year.
We have tried it in different things and have found that it can be very good as a parsley substitute in tabouli-style salads. Mixed half and half with mint, was what worked best for us. Lovage has also worked well as a pesto and in pico de gallo (although the lovage flavors can be quite strong for these two uses and could be used in conjunction with other herbs to suit your taste).
Making a lovage simple syrup is also a good way to quickly use up a lot of leaves and is really refreshing mixed with some cold mineral water.
I've actually added a couple more lovage plants to the garden this year since I've found it to be so useful and easy to grow.
We had an unusually harsh winter here along the Cascades with multiple snow and ice storms. While there are some winters when I have a few fava plants that don't make it to see the light of spring, after being buried in snow for the better part of a week last winter, I was lucky to have this sole survivor out of the thirty or so plants I planted out in the fall. If you look at the lower part of the plant, you will see where the branches died back, leaving the tips of the stems black. I had lost all hope, but it seems that fava beans thankfully do occasionally resprout from the root zone after a severe winter. I will definitely be saving the seeds to plant out and they will not be used in the kitchen!
Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:I agree with you Kyle ... but of course those people were used to the bacteria etc. in that water. Their bodies builded resistance against it. If someone coming from the USA would do so ... I think they would have diarrhea for some days first ... (but then they builded resistance too)
As I clarified in my second post, I was not talking about water that anybody (local or otherwise) would ever drink, but rather about water stored in cisterns on top of the homes treated with bacteria to kill mosquito larvae. Although nobody ever drank this water, it was used by myself, other foreign teachers, and locals alike for cleaning dishes, showering, and even brushing teeth with no ill-effects.
For drinking, even the locals relied on bottled water down in Southern Oaxaca.
I lived in Oaxaca State for two years and, from day one, used the water in the same as the locals without any problems.
Gringos getting the revenge was usually from other sources of "drinking" water -- nobody drank the water I'm talking about though; this was delivered (gravity-fed from the hillside) biweekly to a cistern on top of the houses. Bacteria was also added to the cistern to kill off mosquito larvae. This system has been in place for quite some time and everyone, native and gringo alike, has been using it for daily body/laundry/dish washing purposes with no noticeable ill-effect.
As far as the public water system in Southern Oaxaca goes, I was more concerned about residual heavy metals and other persistent chemicals that might not "die when dry" than I was parasites or viruses; that's why I never even thought about boiling that water to make some rice or coffee when I was down there and would only use bottled water for cooking (which is what all the locals did as well).
As for rainwater though, I currently only collect it for my garden, but I personally wouldn't worry about washing dishes or clothes with water collected from a metal roof. I would definitely get it tested before drinking it or cooking with it though.
I can't speak to rain water specifically, but I was a teacher in Southern Mexico where everyone showered, washed clothes and washed/rinsed dishes with water you would definitely not want to drink and nobody seemed to have a problem. The "germs dry, germs die" adage seems to work, definitely make sure there is no residual moisture.
I once had a rabbit enclosure (with a mesh screen to allow rabbit droppings to fall through) above my chicken run. I've read that the "hot" properties of chicken manure and "cool" properties of rabbit manure complement each other when mixed. It also seemed to reduce odors and the time you needed to wait before you could apply the chicken manure to your plants without burning them.
I've both bought from them here locally and also through the website. They have great tools and are nice folks.
I'm not sure why they aren't getting back to you, but their shipping was fast when I ordered from them online last year.
I've always gone with the general idea that it's best to cultivate yeast (and in the case of sourdough, a healthy dose of bacteria as well) on and/or from what you plan on fermenting. Sourdough starters can be made with some attention over a few weeks by making a water and whole-grain flour mixture (most people prefer rye as a starter and freshly milled flour would be best) that you leave out in a container covered with a cheese-cloth (so no insects get in, but air can be circulated). Stir up the mixture and add a bit of fresh flour daily. It might smell weird for a few days, but after a week or so it will start to take on a pleasant sourdough-like odor. Once that gets going, you use 3/4 of the starter in your bread recipe and then "feed" the remaining 1/4 a new mix of flour and water (once it's going it doesn't really need to be rye flour, nor whole grain). You can keep your culture going in this way for years, but it is a bit of a commitment because you have to keep separating and feeding it and can be kind of hard to keep up with unless you tend to bake a lot. If you don't bake as much, a sourdough starter can be kept in the fridge and will take less feeding, but will also take longer to be productive.
As for beer (to add to what P Dub mentioned), you probably don't want to go with either bread or wild yeast strains. It would be best to get a reliable strain: either from the sediment from a naturally-carbonated beer (this is usually visible at the bottom of an unopened bottle), or from a local homebrew shop. I have also harvested wild yeast for meads and country wines and the process is somewhat similar to a sourdough starter, but takes significantly less time. For wild fermentable alcohol yeasts, I put a honey, sugar, fruit juice, or malt and water solution (whatever you plan on pitching it into) in a cheese-cloth covered jar and covering the top and shaking it every now and then for a couple days until you see visible fermentation (bubbles and such), then pitching that into your larger vessel of wort or must (5-gallon carboy, for example) for the full ferment.
That's a lot of intriguing information about just one random volunteer in my garden. The massive amount of information that is shared on a daily basis on this site is a big reason why I'm constantly lurking around here. Thanks again!
Hi, when I first started gardening, I would just tear out all the weeds in my garden and replant each year with seeds or starts from the store, but now I am starting to let certain things reseed themselves, which means I have to be able to tell what to pull out and what to keep. I'm familiar with most of the weeds in my garden, but I'm really not sure about this one.
Any help would be great, thanks!
Hi there, I've been gleaning lots of good information off these forums for a while now, but this is my first post. My wife and I bought a house with a nice-sized half acre yard here in Portland, Oregon three years ago and I've been fighting the lawn (and some blackberries) for garden space since then. This is really the first year where I feel like I've started to get ahead and get my garden established, so I thought I'd share a picture here.
When I started this area was all covered in sod, but with some advice from here and the help of my chickens, some layers of cardboard, good compost and a shovel I have been able to claim this area for my garden. There is still room for expansion, but I've got more plans for the area as well.