Betty Clarke wrote:I'd like to hear about retrofitting existing kitchen. Recently my neighbour did renovations in her kitchen. They chose Brooke Avenue transitional kitchen design model of Davisville Kitchens, Toronto. I need an expert advice whether I can incorporate transition kitchen design along with retrofitting my existing home.
I own a little restoration company that specializes in updating historic homes with modern amenities while using natural and traditional materials and methods.
To be honest, I don't really like those latex painted fiberboard kitchens with lots of modern glues, resins and finishes outgassing for another 25 years. If you would like to remodel your home naturally, please post more photos and information so that myself and others may assist you in this noble endeavor.
There is a link on my signature so you can check out some of our work.
I've been a falconer for 14 years, you certainly can use raptors to control some crop predators. But, it's a lot more complicated than just having them around. There's some good info here: http://oregonfalconers.com/index.php/falconry/bird-abatement What kind of bird you use depends on what kind of problem you have. Harris hawks are great for controlling rabbits and sparrows/starling/pigeons at night and in enclosed spaces but they aren't very effective for controlling small birds eating your blueberries, cherries, etc. You need a falcon for that. All of which is stringently controlled by federal and state regulations (even in Canada you have to have permits to keep most birds of prey). You can't leave them alone, you can't correct them for killing a chicken, some species will nest on platforms but most won't, owls can't control avian farm pests, and you will never lose the "self-fry gene". The electrical companies can modify their setups to prevent electrocutions from happening though. If you see a bird get electrocuted on a pole or transformer you should contact the electrical company and ask them to fix it. Not only is it bad for wildlife, it can cause the neighborhood power outages. It's in their own best interest to fix the problem.
We have eaten our x-Kune's and couldn't believe the flavor! It was love at first bite. From then on it was certain we would always have pastured pork. After a while it was the small-breed pigs personalities that sealed it for us. All our piglets are tamed and easy homestead additions.
They are so much fun to raise. While I was giving a visitor the tour, my 300 lb boar came crashing through the thick brush at a full run, growl-huffing each time he hit the ground; it was such a site he almost scared me..... He just had inches before running me over when he did an all-stop at my feet and flopped over for his tummy rub, of course I obliged him The visitor shouted, "I want one of those!"
Below is a rough pig size comparison - Of the Heritage pig breeds some are in the small 150 - 300 lb range, like KuneKune and Guinea Hog. In the picture below you can see how the 'small' size category (spotted, short snout KuneKune - by her shoulder) is in the mid range.
All of the different experiences and thoughts in this thread are great but unless we have some real numbers or statistics to go along with them, we are kind of walking around in the dark. So does anyone know of a soil lab that will test for the persistence of different chemicals in the soil; specifically dewormers, antibiotics and other livestock treatments?
If you can get easy grabs for breakfast and lunch, it makes dinner seem a lot easier to handle.
Some of my favorite do aheads for breakfast -
--French toast and pancakes (easy to big batch and they freeze like magic, reheat in the toaster, you can cut them up for finger food or spread things on them for breakfast sandwiches - my daughters favorite are buckwheat pancakes with chocolate chips)
--Steel cut oats (who has time to make that every day? Not me. But you can make a huge bowl of it and keep it in the fridge, and reheat in the mornings and add whatever your specific people like in it , you can even make a little 'add on' plate for the kids, so they can sprinkle in their own. Makes it seem fancy.)
--parfaits (since it sounds like you're a boss and even make your own yogurt, these will be even tastier. I like to get little bowls and put in plain yogurt, and some frozen or dried fruit, and some nuts. Whatever your family likes. That way you have something that you can grab and go with, and you can make them small enough for little appetites. If they are portioned out in the fridge, the older kids can even get them themselves. Makes it seem fancy.)
--Breakfast burritos. (This is where the magic comes in. Eggs, cheese, meat, no meat, vegg, beans, onions, no onions.. whatever combos your people love to eat can be slammed in a tortilla, in advance, and frozen for a quick breakfast or lunch. You can make them small or large... they heat in the microwave in minutes, or if you don't happen to be a microwavey kind of family.. in a nice hot oven in just a little longer. Either way, they didn't take morning prep, cause you 'so' have other things to do. The only things to remember when you are assembling is the fillings need to be cold, and the tortilla needs to be warm, then wrap them up and send them to the freezer.)
--My best hint for lunch, cause that's a hard one at our house, is a container of cut up vegg in the fridge to grab bits and pieces of as needed (celery, carrots, and cucumber are our finger foods of preference) and little bags or cups of snack mix portioned out (dried apricots, almonds, and shredded wheat is our go to)
--And even more lastly... take a deep breath. That's a ton of stuff you're juggling. There are days when I feel like if I got mine to school on time and not on fire, I deserve a medal. And I've certainly not got as many as you do. However, I suspect if you've got that many wee ones floating about there's a good chance there is a star chart in your house somewhere to show your kids the good job they're doing. Make yourself one, and give yourself stars for all the categories of things you take care of in a day. And then don't forget to give yourself a reward, cause 'that' is what will keep your batteries going to keep doing all the awesome stuff your doing.
Dale's post SEEMS implies that Christians think all others are going to Hell- just because they are not Christians. That is not true of most Christians, anyway. Catholics teach that those who are outside of the Church will be judged on how they behave; just as Catholics will. One can get baptized all they like, but it will not get them anywhere if they don't "love their neighbours as themselves."
Of course, Dale may not have intended that implication. Probably he just meant that the particular Christian mentioned thought that. It is a crazy idea, no matter what.
I made a Mexican feast last night, and wanted a vaguely 'Mexicany' non-alcoholic beverage to go with it.
I've never whizzed up a watermelon before-not much fibre in those suckers-you get a lot of juice
food-process peeled chunks of watermelon and tip each batch into a largish container.
Add a bit of grated ginger root, plenty of lime/lemon juice,
a small pinch of salt-it sounds a bit weird, but trust me: salt really works-
and a few drops of orange blossom water if you've got it lying around.
(I love this stuff, but by drops, I mean drops-too much and it'll taste like toilet freshener or something)
Check the flavours are balanced, tip it all through a sieve and chill well.
It'll separate, so give it a good mix before serving.
I have a strong feeling that various spirits would go well in this,
or maybe have a glass after a shot of mescal...
For my money you cant beat draft ponies or donkeys on the farm.
They are the easiest of keepers, more muscle lb for lb and as a bonus are frequently great at predator control too.
I had Haflingers (aka air ferns who thrived on very little) who were smart and sure footed and perfectly tolerant of our pet dogs. But a neighbor dog or coyote took it's life in it's paws if it crossed our land.
A really lovely concept. 500 acres would make it possible I suppose. We have 40. Hopefully expanding to 80. I just couldn't see us raising enough meat to make this possible. We could raise enough for us and a bit on the side. That's probably it.
My good news is that for my school district, we have just started Spring Break (one-week off)! My other good news is that there is so much interesting stuff to learn about, and i now have one week free to read interesting books, watch movies or documentaries, work on projects, or what not. One thing I want to do is find and collect a specimen of yellow slime mold (Physarum polycephalum) so that I can play with it and learn from it like the people at the Slime Mould Collective have been doing. I had originally tried doing this during Winter Break, but my expedition through my neighborhood had been unsuccessful.
I'm not a very healthy eater, so I can't add much advice, but I do have one thing to share. My cousin is a ridiculous body builder gym junkie type guy, and my (very obese) brother in law asked him for some advice to lose weight and be healthier. He actually have some very good advice, but my favourite thing he said was "Don't drink anything except water for a few weeks. Then, when you're used to drinking lots of water, you can have a beer and tackle the next thing, and you'll have your new water-drinking habit to back you up".
If you're trying to change your eating habits from junk to good stuff, I think that's an awesome place to start. We all talk a lot about 'healthy eating', but of the junk that we consume slips under the radar because we drink it rather than eat it.
This is awesome and I can't wait to hear more about lunches and suppers!
Oh, and FIANCEE !! Woo hoo! Mazeltov!
Kitchen commander will be a wonderful opportunity for the right person. It's just that there's not a whole hell of a lot of people in Montana, and then those of us that don't live in Montana have some misconceptions about what it's like there.
You'd be a short trip away from Missoula, folks! Look into it, it's a lovely city. Also, don't freak out about the winter. If you've been living east of the Rockies, you've already experienced more winter than they did at Wheaton Laboratories this year. Yes it snows, no, it's not like Chicago, or even Boston this year.
Ian - I'm all about fermenting!! Any specific questions or troubleshooting feel free to PM me, and I'll do the best I can to answer. There are a few basic rules, but it's really pretty simple for the most part. The easiest way to get started is to get a little digital scale (you can find them for $10-$15) and weigh out your veggies.
Easiest veggie recipes=
Vegetables chopped + 2% salt by weight. (Ex. chop cabbage and weigh it, then mix in 2% of that weight in salt.) Massage, weigh down and cover. Try to keep the solids below the liquids (ie, use a plastic baggie full of water to weight the solids down/use a weight of another kind)
Vegetables chopped + saltwater brine. Easiest recipe I've found for this is 2tbsp. salt in 1 qt. water. I forget the percentage this comes out to, but it works well. Again, weigh vegetables down so they sit below the brine line.
Shortcut called the "burp and shake". In lieu of an airlock, or if you don't want to try and weigh down the veggies, here's an easy shortcut: Ferment in a jar that can seal with a mason jar lid (band+ring type). Leave it very slightly open so it can offgass, then vent the air once or twice a day and shake it afterwards, then close it back up loosely, so the gas can continue to escape. By keeping it almost-closed you'll keep the majority of bad bacteria from charging in. Venting/burping it will let the gas out (although if the lid isn't twisted down hard it should be able to vent on it's own - but you should still give it an extra burp to let off pressure) Shaking it makes sure that all of the contents get covered in salt regularly, so no bad bacteria can grow.
Tip - the smaller you cut things the faster they'll ferment (more surface area for bacteria and less thickness for them to penetrate) and the more even/consistent the product will be. Often people struggle with their first kraut because it's too chunky.
Try these methods with your favorite veggies, you'll be surprised how easy and delicious this is! And once things have fermented to a sour state they'll keep a loooong time in the fridge. Have fun!
Sunken beds with organic matter in them and hugels all around (not finished yet on the photo, highest one is on south east where majority of wind is coming from).
First photo is looking towards south west.
Hugels (3' and 4' photo) were planted with pioneer and fruit bushes and trees to make more shelter, sunken beds are for annual veggies.
Sunken beds turned out to be just a little tiny bit raised, but material is added on paths all the time.
I would not recommend the lead free 22 mag ammo that I linked. I found out that it is designed for varmints and to expand violently on impact, so would not get much penetration. A better choice,in my opinion,would be full metal jacket rounds for the .22 mag since the lead is fully encapsulated and will get lots of penetration.
Has anyone used full metal jacket bullets on pigs and recovered them to see if the copper jacket remained fully intact(no visible lead to spread lead contamination)?
We drink raw milk as we have our own goats but for making yoghurt I do heat it so that I can keep the yoghurt culture going and reuse it. Does this mean that my yoghurt will have the detrimental effects listed above for pasteurised milk?
I got into genealogy back in the 90s. Did some checking, found some rich resources, traced much of my ancestry back to the boats. Being small town New England there are several Mayflowers passengers (if you find one, its likely you'll find several). Most lines lead to southern England. There's also a Scot, a Welshman, and a Donovan who may have come from Ireland.
You can have a look if you like.
I even wrote the software that generated the HTML files from a GEDCOM file. I stopped writing software when I was sidetracked by this thing called 'compost' and never looked back.
Some persons of note:
7th cousin 4 removed from FDR common ancestors=Edward Southworth/Alice
6th cousin five times removed of 13th President Millard Fillmore
common=Edmund Littlefield/Annis Austin
10g grandson of John Alden of the Mayflower
10g grandson of Priscilla Mullins of the Mayflower
11g grandson of William Mullins of the Mayflower
11g grandson of Alice (Atwood) Mullins of the Mayflower
11g grandson of William Brewster of the Mayflower
11g grandson of Mary Brewster of the Mayflower
10g grandson of Love Brewster of the Mayflower
9g grandson of Stephen Hopkins of the Mayflower
9g grandson of Elizabeth (Fisher) Hopkins of the Mayflower
8g grandson of Constance Hopkins of the Mayflower
grandson of Isaac Allerton of the Mayflower
grandson of Mary (Norris) Allerton of the Mayflower
grandson of Mary Allerton of the Mayflower
grandson of Richard Warren of the Mayflower
relations to persons of note:
11th great grand nephew of Nathaniel Ingersoll. Many of the Salem
Witch Trials were held at his home
The Allerton family is interesting. This makes me something like a 12th cousin to Burra Maluca. NO KIDDING!
Autumn olive prune very nicely. In fact, before it occurred to me to prune to reduce shade and thus enhance companion plantings, I would occasionally prune one just to create an unusual view while playing my disc golf course (integrally woven with the farm). Here are, in order, a particularly lovely bush/tree, followed by a before and after image of one that I pruned this morning. Since I am in the planning stages for the farm, this year I will grow a wide variety of things under the ones I have pruned this winter, between 20–30 so far, and see what happens.
Sadly there are no fowl in my systems yet. The predator issue means I'll need fencing and housing that will be a ton of work to make with the scrounged materials I have. It's on the list, but without a target date.
Deb Rebel wrote:William, the best I can guess is they hold about 20 gallons; or if you DO stoop to buying commercial potmix (like metromix), they take one bag of metromix to pretty much fill up.
Cool, I currently take free 55 gallon drums and cut the tops off, then cut 30 gallon drums around their midpoint and use each half, flipped upside down as the 15 gallon reservoirs. Getting 30 gallon drums is kinda hard, so an even bigger alternative would be great.
I basically like composted manure and a wicking medium for the containers, tried wood pellets for the wicking, not so good, peat is better, but unsustainable...
hau, Tash, What drew me to permaculture? I started as a kid who came to my grandparent's farm during summers. My grandfather, taught me to only disturb the earth mother when it was the only way to grow what we wanted to grow, otherwise it was always best to poke holes for planting seeds. We also gave the earth things it needed to thrive, such as the remains of the fish we caught for food, these were usually put at the bottom of the hole we poked for planting a seed, then some dirt was put back then the seed and the little bit of dirt left. If we needed to put grasses in the cow pastures, we just spread it on top of what was already there.
Later in life, I went to college and studied chemistry, biology, horticulture, and agriculture. I received degrees in the first three. I then spent a year and a half creating new or improved vegetable plants of which the seeds were the cash crop. I worked in Orchards, making trees healthier and able to produce more fruit or nut crops. Next time I was in the civilian life, I spent a lot of my time with farmers, promoting methods to save their top soil and improve the productivity of their land. I promoted not tilling the soil, that made it available for the winds to take away. I promoted growing cover crops and just cutting them down and leaving them on top of the dirt, so the material would work into the ground through natural means. I talked about the use of compost, mixed with rotted manures, used as a top dressing on fields that were going to be laid fallow for a season and how this would add to the soil and future crops. I told of the false pretense that chemical fertilizers help crops grow strong and healthy, how this just spent money and never really did the dirt any good.
Now I mostly keep to myself, This site is one of two places I share what I have learned by experiment, practice and knowledge learned.
So, I guess I came to permaculture a long time ago, by being born into it. Holistic methods have always been part of me. Nurturing nature and building the soil from the top down have always been my methods to make things grow.
I have been reading about witch hazel as a bee plant. What I have found is that there are several types of witch hazel, the natives, common (eastern) witch hazel that blooms in the late fall to winter, the vernal (ozark) witch hazel that blooms in early spring, and a Chinese and a Japanese witch hazel and a hybrid of the Asian ones. The Asian varieties are claimed to be more colorful with more blossoms. I can't seem to find any information on how these compare for actual nectar production. It seems that many time hybridized plants that are showier have less nectar. Does anyone know of a source of information or anecdotal information on the bees attraction to the different types of witch hazel?
Simon Johnson wrote:
1) On the subject of copying content from one post to another; is it ok to copy pictures from one thread to another? Or should we do as mentioned above and just copy the link to the post?
Do that as much as you want. No need to cite source cuz the images are already here. Unless, of course, the image was not uploaded here, but was embedded here and citing the source was the decent thing to do.
2) Does Paul's stuff constitute the whole of everything on permies.com plus his other stuff, or just the stuff he has produced from richsoil.com/youtube/his blog etc. and not everything on permies.com?
If I am paying to host it, then it falls into this umbrella. So it includes my images, my words. And then if. say, burra posts 20 pictures to a thread, then I'm gonna go with that stuff falls under my copyright. So if somebody, somewhere uses more than one image and one paragraph then I am not okay with that.
On the other hand, if burra posts, say, 20 pictures here and she gives permission for use of those pics, then by all means, use them as much as you like within burra's comfort zone (as long as a web site isn't showing the pictures somewhere else and I am doing the image hosting).
I have to say that I heartily encourage budding photographers to post lower res images here and mention their photography site in the signature. Or, when they post an image here, they can mention that the high res version is available at some stock photo site for a fee. I think that this can lead to some good residual income streams.
one more: Can we use Paul's stuff in posts on permies.com, or is that the same as an article/blog?
My images on richsoil/permies can be reposted to permies a thousand times and that's just peachy.