Buy as much second hand as possible. Anything that you can't find second hand, buy the most durable product on the market. Here's a few high quality things I own:
- Levis jeans (bought 8 years ago, no tears in fabric)
- leather boots
- 18/10 stainless steel pressure cooker
- Expensive hiking tent with good zippers and ripstop fabric
- Expensive sleeping bag
- Thick plastic glasses with lenses replaced twice so far, and sunglasses, lenses replaced once
Long term electronic gadgets:
- Nokia 8110
- Ipod classic
- Sennheiser headphones (just threw them out after 7 years).
Things on my list to buy are a cast iron skillet, glass containers with clippable lids and resusable freezer bags
Purslane, good king henry, new zealand spinach, cranberry hibiscus, rhubarb, taro, sorrell, oca..
Lots of plants in a permaculture garden are high in oxalic acid, and the internet has lots of claims that it can cause kidney stones or prevent your body from absorbing minerals. I have a diet high in these foods, (although I blanch them as much as possible) and have no negative health effects and normal iron levels. Just wondering if anyone has thoughts on this topic?
Inside a pressure cooker, very little of the steam or other material comes out, so how would pressure cooking reduce the chloramine?
When you finish cooking with your pressure cooker do you let it cool naturally, put cold water over it or use the quick release button? I take my pressure cooker outside as soon as I'm done cooking and press the release button. Steam comes out like crazy, and I'm assuming that's when the chloramine comes out.
I'm an urban permie and would also like to know the cheapest N source .Currently researching the price of alfalfa meal, as I hear some organic farmers use it as a high N fertiliser that can be bought in bulk.
I'm also trying to remove chloramine from my water to use on my worm farm. I have a pressure cooker, and just realised I could use the waste water after cooking beans, which might have some bonus nutrients too. The only problem is, how do you know if the chloramine has been removed?
Aw man, after reading this post I found out that people are selling hessian coffee sacks on ebay for $9 each plus postage! One of the listings said 62+ sold, so that person has made $558 profit so far!! Coffee roasters go through hessian sacks like crazy, it would be so easy to stockpile them.
A few years ago I was doing some nature photography in an urban park, and came across an Australian spider wasp (Cryptocheilus bicolor). The wasp had paralysed an enormous huntsman spider and I took photos as it dragged the spider 30m before I lost it. The wasp was on its way to a burrow where it would place the spider inside and lay its eggs on top. Lucky I had a long lens, because they are known to inflict enormous pain if they sting you!!
Thanks so much for the advice, and I like that term "varietal maintenance". So it seems that if you are a long term seed saver you need to maintain genetic diversity and prevent inbreeding by:
- Buying seeds from lots of different companies
- Growing more than one plant of the same variety
- Saving seed from different fruits
- Planting both the seeds you saved earlier, as well as the original seeds you bought
Getting a little confused with seed saving. Gardening in an urban environment I often have room for just one plant of a particular variety. Does anyone know the difference between saving seed from a single "lemon cucumber", and saving seed from a row of "lemon cucumbers"? Will the latter have stronger genetics long term?
Traditionally I have just relied on compost to balance pH, but some plants in my small gardens aren't doing so well, so I'd like to investigate further. Here are a few questions that come to mind...
1) Whats the difference between adding lime or ash to bring up pH?
2) How does soil compaction (areas with low oxygen) affect pH?
3) How accurate are home pH test kits?
4) Does soil temperature affect pH?
You could keep adding woodchips and plant groundcovers anywhere people don't step. The community garden near me has alyssum, native violet, garlic chives, parsley and a few other herbs growing on the sides of the pathways and against the bottom of the beds.
A new hobby of mine is to forage plants, make ink and paint something abstract with it. Here is a painting from malabar spinach berries in vinegar (preserved in a jar with whole cloves), and tumeric alcohol ink :)
I seed bomb the shit out of my leafy green gardens, they grow healthier that way. Here is broccoli raab, lettuce, english spinach, coriander, carrot, celery, silverbeet, beetroot and a few surprises if I look hard enough. Its really nice to look at and the insects love it.
I think everyone has different needs and should experiment with what works for them.
I personally prefer my deodorant to smell like nothing, so I use dry baking soda after I get out of the shower. It stops bad smells but burns if you use too much, so I switched to a brand that has a finer powder and mixed it with a bit of cornstarch to make it less caustic. The cornstarch kind of gets white powder everywhere so its not super practical. I'll keep trying until I get it right.
...when your present to give to your mum is a stainless steel food container wrapped in paperbark and tied with string made from a vine, then when she opens it you throw the wrapping over the fence back into the bush land.
Logs are broken down by fungi, and fungi need constant humidity. If your climate isn't humid enough you would have to grow ground covers (even if they are weeds) and get them to trail over the logs. Otherwise you could throw something over the top of them, like free hessian coffee sacks from your nearest coffee roasters :)
I think its ok to buy things that allow you to stop buying things. A cast iron pan has an environmental impact to create and ship to your house, but once you have it you'll never need to buy one again. Maybe its ok to import things for your garden that fit into the "cast iron pan category".
A while ago i fell on a cactus and got a hand full of small spines. It caused a mild but uncomfortable pain, so as an experiment i plunged my hand into a nettle patch (knowing it's used that way for arthritis). Once the nettle sting subsided the pain went away and i continued gardening, forgetting about the incident.
Again, recently i was stung by a mystery insect. The pain was similar in feeling to an ant bite and a red dot surrounded by white swelling showed up on my finger. So again i swiped my finger through the same nettle patch. After a while the pain was gone and all signs of the bite had disappeared.
After some research on the subject, i came across an anecdotal account by a rare seed saver who accidently touched a ferocious nettle (urtica dioicas deadly relative). It caused him the most intense pain hes ever felt in his life. The next day his bad shoulder had been cured and he was able to perform farm duties like he was young again.
Does anyone have a similar story? Do you think its just a case of natural fluctuations in pain perception, or is there something special about nettles?
And maybe rhubarb. I would plant as many varieties as possible, keep the good ones and replace the bad ones with shade tolerant annuals like herbs, collards and large leaf silverbeet like the "fordhook giant" variety. I have two perennial pot gardens in a major city. My method is to fill the pot 80% with free draining soil and top with compost (sifted if i'm direct seeding). When you grow plants in the shade you need high quality compost or worm castings, as the lack of light slows growth and makes plants susceptible to pests and disease.