Sometimes books have a bit at the start written by someone famous. How do you go about getting that? Do people usually pay for it or is it something done out the kindness or because the person loves the subject matter so much?
It's more affordable than the local packing shop which makes me think the local box and paper shop is giving me their retail price when I asked them for a wholesale account. hmmm... I can either pay a high price for the materials and get them locally, or I can pay a low price for the materials and even more for shipping. There must be a better way.
When I come to a forum and ask a question, I take the time to answer two questions back. I figure that I'm expecting someone to give me their valuable time and knowledge to answer my question, I feel the responsibility to give back to that community. So I take the time and look around to see what questions others have asked that I can answer.
That's what I imagine a sustainable gift economy would look like.
A peek into this year's experiments with flax growing.
Soil, light, timing, and water conditions identical (or as much as they can be two feet apart). On the left the flax is inconsistent, some tall some short, some thick, others thin. Very unsatisfying.
On the right, the flax is about a foot taller and very consistent.
Between the two, the one on the right is the result of my breeding project and the one on the left is a popular cultivar of fibre flax - the best out there at the moment.
I have learned so much from growing my own flax. Small patches beside each other like these, where one variable is changed have been the biggest source of knowledge. But also patches scattered throughout the farm. Different microclimates do better with different techniques. There's no one right way to grow flax.
Sorry, I didn't make this clear. We won't be watering the plants at all. It's going in our zero irrigation experiment.
But that said, we have had a lot of success in that field. I think if we can establish the cuttings in the rainy season, and let them have one-year growth before grafting, it should have well-established roots that can manage. At least that's the theory. I don't know if that will work.
But last year we grew squash, hot peppers and tomatoes in that same location with zero irrigation and a much drier year than normal - which isn't saying much because normal is zero rain from May first through Oct 15th. I don't know how the news/weather people thought we could be dryer than zero, but meh. They know more than me about things.
Grafting is pretty easy with fruit trees. Never tried it with grapes, but google says it's possible.
My worries are that most grapes I buy in the shops die within three years. They just need more water. Whereas the cuttings I've taken from this one are really hardy. I think what I need is the root structure from this one, and the fruit from a grape vine.
The problem is it is very well drained and we get zero rain in a normal summer. But we terraced it and have been working on improving the moisture holding capacity of the soil. It also is an excellent spot for capturing the dew. People grow wine in the Mediterranean which has similar conditions to ours, so I thought maybe we could try that.
I also have a grape plant that does really well in our condition with zero irrigation. We've taken a cutting from this plant and tried them in various spots. Once it's established, it's impossible to kill with neglect. I think it must have something special about its roots.
An idea. What if I established some cuttings in the space I want to grow wine this winter/spring. While they are getting established I will buy one or two kinds of wine grape vines and grow them somewhere cosseted. Then next (spring/winter/fall - whenever you graft grapes) graft the wine grapes onto the established roots?
I want to do that thing where the grapes grow along a wire.
There is a very good reason why we have the cider press. Only a few people (beautiful, amazing, nice people like you) have the privilege to post there. You've earned that privilege.
Increasingly, we've had trouble with an issue which confining certain topics to the cider press does a lot of good to solve. Plus the reasons you mention. If you see cider press conversation outside the press, please report it as soon as you can.
I think I know the thread you are talking about. It took over 8 hours of VOLUNTEER moderator time to clean up that thread and there's still more work to be done - volunteers that would rather spend that time out in the garden growing lovely things, but instead, care about this place so much they worked hard to keep things nice. If someone had used the report button at the start, it would take 10 minutes to solve the problem. We love it when you use the report button.
We have a shiny report button that we would love you to press in this kind of situation. Press away. It brings a swarm of moderators to the post in question and we pick it apart to see if it meets publishing standards.
You can also use the report button to draw our attention to good posts too. Maybe a post is amazing but doesn't have an apple yet. We love that too.
Wait! I can smoke garlic!?! This is fantastic news!
In defence of nitrites/nitrates:
I've tried with and without. Using nitrates/nitrates means I don't need as much salt. A lot less salt. Like 1/3 the amount of salt. It also keeps longer and I have a much higher success rate of curing meat with a little added help from curing salts.
Looking at ancestral recipes, the amount of nitrates/nitrites they used in pre-industrial times is scary! I don't know how anyone survived eating cured sausage, but they did. We use maybe 2% of the amount they did in modern recipes.
That said, I'm not a huge fan of nitrites/nitrates. For a start, some people are really sensitive to them. The modern stuff is processed with polypropylene glycol. It is also an ingredient I cannot make myself. It's a controlled substance in Canada so we have to register with the government if we want to use it.
Canadian authorities have admitted that a patch of an unapproved, genetically modified strain of wheat has been found in the wild, well outside of old Monsanto test areas, but hope the unfortunate discovery won’t hamper exports.
The crop, of unknown origin, was first discovered on an access road in Alberta last year, after it survived the spraying of the area with herbicide, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said Thursday. After conducting thorough tests on the samples, the watchdog concluded that the crop was “genetically modified and herbicide-tolerant,” and was never approved for commercial use or production within Canada. The agency then narrowed down the producer of the crop to be Monsanto, the agrochemical and biotechnology giant.
It's true, our flavour of conversation is not for everyone. It's for those who like talking about permaculture in a specific way. But thankfully there are other places on the web that have other styles of communication. It's all about finding the right microclimate for you to thrive. Some like here, other's don't.
If you're ever interested in coming back to participate in our forum, please have a read of the publishing standards and the be nice thread for more understanding of what we publish.
Also, if you wish to discuss moderation or have any questions about anything, starting a thread in the tinkering forum is the best way to get our attention. Discussion about moderation outside the tinkering forum will be promptly removed.
Today is the first sunny day since Ice Tea day. Unseasonally cold here - but at least we missed the SNOW last weekend. This is really good because people here don't know how to handle snow in the winter, snow in June would have completely shut down the city.
I got some jars and put tea leaves, water and some sugar in each. In one jar I put a splash of lemon juice, in the other kombucha because that's somewhat sour. I put them on the windowsill. Now I'm wondering if I should have looked up some directions or something. The results will be 'interesting' if nothing else. Can't imagine anything bad can grow in there as tea is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial or whatever. So is sugar. Looking forward to the result.
This self-publishing is fascinating stuff. Not sure I like it as much as writing, but it's amazing how much publishers do. I think they definitely earn their slice of the pie.
But I'm also enjoying the mental exercise.
So book printers have price jumps at certain sizes depending on their machinery. Go one millimetre over or under a certain size range, and you can be paying a few dollars more per book.
Same too with boxes for shipping.
So I found a size range for the book and I took it to the box company. They are going to take it to the manufacturer to see what size is standard (and therefore more affordable). Complex to the max.
On top of that, some printers use recycled paper as standard, others only new paper. Some can easily insert colour pages into a b&w book for only a few cents extra per book, whereas others have machines that require the whole book be processed as a full-colour book even if all but one page is b&w.
Full colour costs at least 3 times as much as b&w.
It is well worth shopping around. I'm also thinking that it would be really good to have a male person and a female person ask for quotes from the same company to see what kind of response they get. It is not always the same. For those companies, I'm not interested.
Shipping is a huge stumbling block. I am so lucky that I have printers in town so I can pick up the books when complete. That probably saves me a dollar per book. Same with shipping boxes. I tried to order some from the USA, but the shipping cost was nearly 100% ($300 order, $270-ish shipping). Buying local has proven to be essential to make this project work.
There are also different things called water. These are usually qualified with a word preceding 'water'. Like Heavy Water (D2O), Mineral Water (which has loads of different molecules in it), flavoured water (ibid), bottled water (ibid), tree water (sap - very popular in the shops here), or bleach water (H2O2).
Is this Gel Water like that? It's not technically H2O, but instead, it uses the word 'water' in the vernacular sense?