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permaculture kitchen

 
paul wheaton
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I've been exchanging a lot of emails with Chef Seth who will be here all of September.

Here is a spec of one massive email he sent about stuff he wants to go over while he is here:

Permaculture design applied to kitchens
Zones from the kitchen to the food shed
Sectors
Elements / connecting inputs and outputs
Best practices
....

Cooking methods
Wet methods: boiling, poaching, steaming,
Dry methods: roasting, frying, grilling, barbecuing, sautéing,
Alternative methods: raw, sous vide, etc

Cooking tools
Knives
Pots and pans
Other equipment

Preservation methods
Dehydrating
Smoking
Drying
Salting
Acid
Oil/fat
Freezing
Canning
Fermenting
Storage


There is talk of informal workshops. And, of course, feeding folks during the rocket mass heater event. He also mentioned wildcrafting and lots and lots of variety of techniques to be demonstrated.

I just wanted to get this thread started so that folks can start talking to Seth about the dozens/hundreds of things on his mind for while he is here. And to help shape what sorts of gatherings would happen while he is here.



 
Mar Barak
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I would love to work under Seth before he leaves. I just
need to work out the details with someone.
thanks
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Mar, we'll post here when we have more details.

As for the permaculture kitchen idea, we've been combing through threads here on permies and here are just a start of some related links.

general kitchen stuff
off grid kitchen solutions
your outdoor kitchen: where, how...

food storage and management
deep pantry for people who like food

kitchen tools
hand powered kitchen tools
using a cast iron skillet ain't so hard

food cooking or preservation "appliances"
how to build a cold smoker
solar food dryers - loads of related threads on designs, solar dried foods, and more
haybox cooking

 
Leila Rich
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Hangi is a traditional Maori cooking method (minus the railway irons, pallets, tarps...)
Many cultures have variations on the earth oven theme.
It's a great way to cook for a crowd, and the food is absolutely delicious!
Think earth, smoked steam.
It's quite a skill though, and I wouldn't suggest doing your first hangi with 50 hungry people waiting
 
Leila Rich
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote: We do not yet have a way to hang beef for roasts or steaks, so it was all ground
I replied in the kitchen-house-commander thread but probably should have here.
Sounds like time to roll out the corned beef barrel
Corning uses 'secondary' cuts, which would probably have been minced otherwise.
The meat gets pretty salty if stored in brine long term
but a couple of days soaking, multiple water changes and not seasoning the rest of the meal does the trick!
I use foodsafe plastic but if you can find wooden wine barrels, they're great.
Once you've used a vessel for brine, that's pretty much its role forever as it's basically impossible to get the meaty/salty flavour out.

Bresaola I've never made it, but always wanted to.
You could use more 'steak' cuts for that kind of thing.
I've had very good pure beef salami; if you added pork fat...

And jerky/biltong. It's too humid here to dry it naturally, but I imagine the air's pretty dry up your way
this manual looks good for low-tech ideas.

While I'm thinking of it, wooden barrels are awesome for making cider vinegar
Do you have any local wild apple trees with inedible fruit?
You can just chuck apples into the barrel as you get them.
 
Ann Torrence
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I'd like to talk about scaling up. Just like it's different planting a 1/10th an acre vs 10 acres, feeding 8 is way different than 80. How to do that and minimize waste?

And dealing with food police. As we start our value-added model, the food police are a formidable sector.
 
Leila Rich
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Ann Torrence wrote:I'd like to talk about scaling up. Just like it's different planting a 1/10th an acre vs 10 acres, feeding 8 is way different than 80. How to do that and minimize waste?

And dealing with food police. As we start our value-added model, the food police are a formidable sector.
Ann has a point...but I haven't a clue-what's your legal sitch when it comes to feeding lots of people?
 
Ann Torrence
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Leila Rich wrote:Ann has a point...but I haven't a clue-what's your legal sitch when it comes to feeding lots of people?

Leila,

It entirely depends on your municipality/state. Typical requirements at minimum include a three basin wash sink plus a separate hand washing sink, monitoring thermometers in refrigerators and freezers, and regular inspection. Some places are so out of control it is impossible to bake a cake for a school fundraiser. Other places, like ours, you can easily get a permit to do a few things, like baked goods and jams and jellies, so long as you don't have animals in the home. But catering for a crowd is impossible.

<rant>This stuff is pushing me personally over the political edge. If I can have a party and feed my friends safely, what difference does it make if they pay? Either the food is safe or it isn't. Should the government be regulating my potluck party too? In our state, it has gone to the point where moms can't send homemade cupcakes to school for the kids classroom. Out of control. </rant>
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Back in 2011, I started a thread about Sedgwick, Maine's new Cottage Food Law. Some states and municipalities are creating ordinances to specifically allow small, home kitchens to produce and sell value-added food products - without the grief (or with less grief?) described in Ann's post(s). (Totally get your rant!)

Here at wheaton labs we are not selling food nor are we selling food products. Hopefully, that is very clear.

As for scaling up, we are still learning, so I agree that is a great topic. And we're trying to scale in different ways than a lot of homesteads might choose to scale. Reducing vectors for toxins, such as plastics, is an important goal here.

I think Leila's ideas about brining meat are brilliant and I would love to try those.

For me, storing and managing the bulk foods is the cornerstone to feeding large groups, so the deep pantry for people who like food thread is one of my favorite discussions.
 
Cj Sloane
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Ann Torrence wrote:
<rant>This stuff is pushing me personally over the political edge.


I did not grasp the concept of smaller government till I became a farmer/permaculturalist.
 
Seth Peterson
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Howdy all,
Just finished booking my tickets to come out and I am very, very excited to see the whole kit and kaboodle! Very looking forward to helping out and kicking in with any knowledge and practice we can share and learn.

First of all, I want to say thanks Jocelyn and Paul for hosting the discussion online and me at your home, did I mention I am very excited? I will be arriving Sept. 8th and staying through the 30th so it will be a good amount of time to jump right in and get some things done short term as well as start some implement some long term systems and start some long term projects.

I wanted to start the conversation online, before my visit for many reasons. Paul, Jocelyn and I thought that the whole community would benefit from an open discussion/brainstorm to outline what a permaculture kitchen means conceptually, design wise and talk about real world examples on the ground - The details as well as macro analisys. (Many hands...light work, integrate not segregate) It also allows us to pre-plan my time there and share whatever happens with the larger community (capture yield). Additionally it becomes a vehicle to continue to develop the long term plans, which we can plan out and implement over the coming seasons thus creating a regenerative resource, we can all draw upon as we integrate our gardens to our kitchens for better effect and personal pleasure - a still burgeoning area of permaculture with limitless potential as we recreate our food sheds, systems and practices around healthy food and respect for nature and each other.

Second of all, I Already heard a round of inspiring ideas!

Definitely hope some people get to come out and participate. The more people who can learn this stuff, the more sustainable both the projects we implement and the costs of my trip become, carbon or otherwise.

So far you all mentioned...
Corning barrels, yes! I've kept meats in brine for weeks or more. Some make it into the smoker.

"Way Beyond organic" food scaling, event cooking, as well as everyday preparation at low cost will be a big discussion that we will put into practice as one of our Main Immediate Goals. Sourcing, preserving, menu planning, proper food prep and storage, all become critical. Stuff like "Gonna host an event for 60 people? Well, we better put up 100 pounds of cabbage into crocks the month before."

Food law, legalities of home food production, food safety, etc. Also how to talk to authorities and legal ways of food sharing, distribution, etc. is popping up in many states and legislatures not to mention backyards. Let's talk about how to talk to authorities about what we do. I currently partipate in a cow share, meat CSA, teach cooking classes and a nascent urban sidewalk farmers market / lemon aide stand where I can sell produce, etc. And California has a cottage food law allowing some basics like chocolate and granola. And in Berkeley, my hometown, we can sell any unprocessed food we grow to end consumers, i.e. Neighbors. But I want to go past this to possess simple legal tools and resources for shared economies, for resource sharing, for local buyers clubs. Janelle Orsi who runs the Sustainable Economies Law Center is an amazing woman who is crafting that legal framework through sharing economies and doing it very well. Even running legal cafés, where local upstart businesses can come get advice and make contacts regularly, in order to build the communities necessary from the ground up. Worth a look. http://www.theselc.org

We could conceivably start building the outdoor kitchen. Not just cob ovens, but a cold smoker, a dehydrator, a solar cooker, a griil pit. And yes we can try some outdoor technique. In fact roasting a pig is one of the easiest ways to feed a large number of people at a big event. Let's see what feasible now vs. long term.

Butchery seems big, I would like to see what we can accomplish here, and tie this into discussions and practice of cooking techniques for different cuts of meat. This ties into bresaola and salumi, jerky, etc. As well as cutting food costs and learning different, good cooking techniques.

Food storage and preservation, Huge!!! In our discussion we highlighted the fact that they will have to grow a lot of food for preservation, since winter gardening is nonexistent. Luckily many traditional preservation techniques actually make food tastier, and some improve available nutrition and food increase foods qualities to us like fermentation.

Menu planning, also huge, for large and small groups is much easier with a well stocked pantry or larder. One built up as each food is harvested and processed or even bought and processed. I, like some of you, buy my tomatoes in September, usually buy and can about 140 lbs. when they are fresh and cheap, it can be a lot of work but it gets me through the year and then some. Beginnings are hard, but once you get a permaculture kitchen flowing correctly, well it's just the permaculture garden. Sometimes, We prepare some of our tastiest group meals with limited ingredients, intelligently planned leftovers and preserved goodies, don't we? Certainly a lot of you share this experience.

And, I will add in one idea that hasn't been mentioned yet. How about a kitchen manual? This would include both instruction on procedures and recipes as well. How and where to order supplies, how to prepare, how to use equipment properly, how to cook things, store food, all the procedures and best practices. It would be a repository for all the recipes, etc. that kitchen commanders develop over the years, and it would allow new kitchen commanders to have an orientation guide when they step in to run the kitchen. It could even have a seasonal calendar of recipes, just like my local community supported kitchen does. They have a kitchen instruction manual that is practically idiot-proof, and I mean that in the best sense, since we only learn by making mistakes. Most professional restaurants also have their house recipe book written out for new cooks and they are expected to use and learn it. I hope a have made a good case for this vital resource.

So, thanks for all the comments to get things started, keep them coming and we will start to organize the info into some sort of accessible structure.

Preaching to the choir I mention that.. Each element in permaculture based kitchen design has so much to offer, I mean our goal is first Apple trees. But then let us start of by dreaming and brainstorming.... fresh apples, and maybe dehydrated apples in honey, or an apple cider press, not to mention the apple vinegar barrel, the canned applesauce in the pantry, apple fruit leathers as well, candied apples for kids events, apple pie filling in cans ready to go, apple verjus, baked apples, what about pectin for jams and jellies? And ultimately scraps for the worm bin. Seasonally mulled apple cider and apple bobbing or regular apple kombucha, calvados just for cooking of course, apple wood for the smoker, leaves for the worm bin (in fact my worm bins are currently under my apple trees, so worm and leaves just fall straight in), wild captured apple yeast for sourdough starters, oh my! Then there's Meyer lemons. Lemon curd, lemon merengue pie, lemon aid that cool refreshing drink, limoncello....

Laslty, let me give an inkling about my cooking experience and culinary inclination. I have cooked professionally off and on since high school, I have done so in California where I grew up and in Mexico, and Brazil where I lived for 14 years. And have cooked professionally continuously for the last 8 years in my hometown of Berkeley, mostly at locally sourced, organic or better, from scratch restaurants serving Italian, Californian, and Asian food in the post chez panisse era. In Latin America I learned about flavor, and ingredients and eating in community. About the joy of food and food traditions but also about traditional food preparation and it's benefits. While in California I have worked in top local restaurants to perfect the techniques of cookery under ever demanding circumstances, to learn to butcher whole animals and make perserves from their parts. From house made caviar to sausage and prosciutto. I have also travelled out my kitchens to explore my local food shed - The people, the places, the animals my food comes from. I also learned from the locavore movement's pioneers about the the health and nutritional benefits of traditional cooking - fermentation, bone broth, soaking grains, nixtamalizing corn, healthy fats, etc.

At the same time I am a second generation urban homesteader and that's what brought me to permaculture. So my journey went from liking to eat to learning to cook, and then to gardening. My journey went from the mouth and flavor to the plate and cooking skills and then eventually back to the garden and the local community and ultimately back to the soil, all in search of flavor. Now, permaculture allows us to start to integrate the whole of these experiences into a regenerative act.

Jump at the sun,
Seth



 
Chad Sentman
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Seth!

(He's awesome.)

Just today I finished reading Michael Pollan's book Cooked, and it made me think a lot about our time in the Permies house at PV1. The book explains how the "four elements" each play a role in the development of food preparation. It's REALLY good. Needless to say, I'm pumped to get more involved in my own personal food preparation and preservation, and even production.

I'll have to keep an eye out for that Kitchen Manual. Wish I could be a fly on the wall at Wheaton Labs this September!
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Excellent thoughts, Seth and Chad. I'm breezing past those to post another bit about energy use - a HUGE factor in any kitchen.

Kristen Lee-Charlson wrote a blog post about intentional leftovers.

Another of my favorite blog references is Erica's Strauss' post about turning a surplus of jams or preserves into savory sauces. Since we make a lot of fruit or berry sauces or compotes here, without canning them, these ideas could easily apply to us in a slightly different sense.


(image credit nwedible.com)

I love the idea of cooking a lot all at once that can be re-worked into multiple, interesting, tasty dishes - saving time and energy! Crockpot caramelized onions cooked up for a week's or a month's worth of onions any one?

Our biggest challenges with this at base camp are menu planning, proper rotation (labeling, using in time), and space. We are limited on space because of the quantities we cook.
 
Leila Rich
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Seth Peterson wrote: How about a kitchen manual?
Totally. I think basically every enterprise where someone new needs to step into a role sometime benefits from a manual!
Seth, will you be looking actual kitchen design while you're there?
The multiple outdoor cooking methods tied to the necessity of easy indoor access, especially during winter
create practical design parameters which...potentially...make the design process (slightly) simpler
What has to go where, and why-the old 'form follows function' thing-
 
Seth Peterson
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THE ROLE OF THE KITCHEN IN THE ANTHROPOCENE
The kitchen is a big part of zone one, we visit it regularly throughout the day, engaging in the ancient but timeless rituals we have around eating, around gaining sustenance. Historically, it is a corner stone of civilization; currently, it is a major driver of how we are shaping our culture now and into the future. It is at the crossroads of modern culture, modern agriculture and sustainability. For city folks, our closest contacts with nature and agriculture amount to eating it and visiting it to take photos of it. And even country folks see to often have much more contact with chemical farming methods and imposing our will on nature than actual natural areas where Mother Nature is in charge.

Yet, everyday, we eat, multiple times a day, we rarely farm. What better place to start to help heal what ails us and our society than in the kitchen?

I heard Larry Santoyo discussing the importance of getting your zone one in order first to make sure your project is sustainable. Make it comfortable, and functional and pleasant so that you have a nice homey, practical zone one. I think it was reference to a conversation on how to stay married and keep your partner around long term, which had been a difficulty for several people at the table.

sepp holzer has emphasized to us on innumerous occasions that the goal is to live in a pleasant place where you feel good, to create a personal paradise where the flora and fauna thrive. When going onto project sites that are atrocious atrocities, ugly and dysfunctional, he asks, who wants to live like this? Why design like this to create erosion and runoff, blazing hot areas and others that get too cold?

I spent some time in Italy last year, with an emphasis on food, ate wonderfully like four times a day. They way Italians talk about food, prepare it and it is legendary. People discussed recent meals like we would discuss politics or football. It is as if time stops where eating begins. A family at a restaurant can take 20 minutes discussing what they will eat and how to course it and then another fifteen minutes discussing it with the waiter as he or she makes suggestions and improvements to their plan. It was a beautifully executed ritual. One day, I asked a shopowner where I could get a good panzanella salad. He replied only in people's homes, and that each home made it differently. He then gave me his family's recipe, using a dictionary for words like cucumber. He described every detail, so that I could correctly replicate it back home. About fifteen minutes into it, as, a couple in the shop had a question and wanted to make a purchase. He gave them a look that was at the same time admonishing and friendly, stating that we were right in the middle of a very important discussion,in fact, one that, you could tell, he wanted to get right. By twenty minutes in, they were listening intently and comparing family recipes. Then there's the cheese rooms, the truffle dogs, the table wine and water, for thousands years they have literally built a culture around food, what have we built.

I ask people a lot "what does your permaculture look like?", it's a favored question at permie get togethers. Mine often tends to look like me and a bunch of friends, neighbors or strangers cooking up and eating a delicious meal of stellar food, in community. It's the ultimate permaculture sales pitch, you don't have to explain anything. It embodies the three principles. It looks like the videos from Farmstead Meatsmith. (If you don't know, and haven't seen them. (LITERALLY, stop everything your doing and go see them right now, if I were on a deserted island with one video... I mean I think Brandon actually made me tear up once, just by the way he talks about food produced in community.)

So, yea, the roles of the kitchen in society is worth reading up on. An extensive area for background research, one that I could dedicate several lifetimes to. As you can see, when approaching a new topic, I like to go back to square one as much as possible. Now, I may be going a little too far into the theoretical aspects of this topic for some people, but, well that is where our basic assumptions come from, from the history and mythology and practice of cookery, agriculture and Culture itself. Thus a re-examination of our food culture requires us to get back to these basics, and learn from history. Did Persians really keep honeybees in the kitchen wall? Historical research on traditional kitchen practices and some M.F.K. Fischer.

"Your local larder",
Seth


 
Seth Peterson
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MY IDEAL DREAM KITCHEN by your local larder,

As we do a bunch of observation and discussion, let's also talk about our dream kitchens. Mine has beer and kombucha on tap, a walk in cooler, and a larder to die for and that's what I want to talk about.

A larder, or pantry full of tasty preserved items is my goal. Smoked salmon, canned peaches, homemade granola, etc. So, I can just put open a couple of cans, or pull other items from my larder and have a meal. Or, combine those items with fresh foods and cook something up. Delicious healthy preserved goods of all kinds to choose from. Dried mushrooms, fermented veggies, salted cod, candied lemon slices, rose water. With all of these ingredients at hand, it's easy too cook well, just select a protein and a veggie and add in pantry items for infinite variety. And, talk about food security, a well stocked pantry can be the basis for a sane, happy, healthy household, which in turn become the building blocks for sane, happy, healthy neighborhoods and communities. Once again, the cornerstone concept of grass roots nation building. So, I have been working on the larder project for a while now, a skilling myself first and then teaching those skills through informal means such a ps crab boils or more formal way like giving cooking classes. Last Wednesday, I did one called the Great Big Pig Divide. I bought a 200 lb pig and cut it all up in workshop with 15 people who then divided it up and took it home. We are sharing recipes and photos across email as everyone cooks or preserves their take home porcine packages. That's what my permaculture looks like.

Below is a concept paper I wrote up a couple of years ago.

From the heart of Berkeley,
Your local larder,

Seth Peterson

The Larder Project Club
A club that regularly gets together to practice all forms or preserving all kinds of goodies; jams & jellies, sauerkraut, duck confit, candied orange slices, yogurt, pickled ginger, smoked sausage, pickled herring, salumis & mustards, canned peaches, beef jerky, dried mushrooms, tonics & bitters, etc.


HOW TO
Group will meet regularly to tackle short and long term preservation projects. As a Do It Together (DIT) project, their is no one leader. The group will select and plan the projects to be taken on. Neighbors and friends with very different levels will come together and learn from each other.

HANDS ON
Everything from planning to production to consumption.

TAKE HOME
Ditto

DETAILS
Meetings will take place at homes and commercial kitchens around the Bay Area

___________________________________________________________
CONCEPT
My thought is that if I have a stocked pantry, a full larder that is, I am greatly empowered to eat both healthily and deliciously. Furthermore, if I can use the items in my larder to add variety and nutrition to my daily meals by just opening a jar off the shelf, so to speak, then it is easier to eat well day to day. If, in addition to the above, I took advantage of peak availability of produce to put up food in larger quantities, with the help of some friends and neighbors who, perhaps, shared in the yield, building a filled pantry, well then, we would be a long way onto the road to food sovereignty. If that group of friends and neighbors then became examples and resources for their friends and neighbors...
This initiative envisions building not only self sufficiency in healthy home food production but much more. it goes on create an army of well stocked pantries in our communities. Pantries that will support households in our local communities throughout the year, shielding them from market forces like price hikes or other common traps like the apparent 'costlessness' of easily obtainable fast food. It is my experience that a well stalked larder makes a household more resilient to disasters big and small while giving access to healthy affordable food, furthermore, if this is done in community it becomes regenerative of ties that hold neighborhoods together.
 
Leila Rich
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote:Our biggest challenges with this at base camp are(...) proper rotation (labeling, using in time)

While it doesn't help you make it happen, it might make you feel better to know this is a massive problem for many actual restaurants.

When I was a chef I was pretty retentive when it came to food FIFO (first in, first out) and had a constantly updated mental stocktake of pretty much everything.
It clearly suits a pedantic corner of my personality, because it's still with me

Clear date labeling is vital-rolls of cheap masking tape are great.
A couple of things that work:
Tie a roll and marker pen to spots where labeling happens-the bench, pantry etc.
If you're good and retentive, changing pen colours each, say, Friday is visually effective (green, red, blue, black, back to green)
Some restaurants do a similar thing by having different coloured container lids-but that's a bit much!

A whiteboard or something by the prep area with reminders, this week's pen colour etc.
It will always be a challenge, as you will likely have quite a few people coming and going
so it'll be really hard to get and maintain the 'institutional knowledge' and good habits that long term workers must have or they go nuts and run away or get fired!
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Chef Seth will be here tomorrow!

There is a book called The Permaculture Kitchen that I finally looked up. It is mostly recipes. We are looking at going far beyond recipes.



We'll be doing some casual food and discussion events here at wheaton labs that we hope to share with you all.

Stay tuned!
 
matt hogan
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If you get some time while he's here, I would love to hear a podcast with Chef Seth. I'm sure I'm not alone.

Or at least if someone could write up their thoughts on the visit.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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matt hogan wrote:If you get some time while he's here, I would love to hear a podcast with Chef Seth. I'm sure I'm not alone.

Seth and Paul like that idea!
 
Seth Peterson
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Hey all,
I have been here at the land for almost 48 hours. Mostly observing, and beginning to apply the permaculture design process to kitchens. So, we are doing...
A Base map with on site resources.
List of elements with their inputs, outputs and inherent characteristics.
Sector analysis and zones analysis.
Initial interview with owners
Etc.

All of which, I will be posting here this week for everyone to add onto and then we can all use it as a resource.

Love the podcast idea, already making a list of topics to discuss.

I'd also love to do a week of answers on this forum with a book giveaway. I have some ideas what that book will be, but I want to hear your thoughts, so, post some books you all consider essential to the Perma-kitchen library. I'll then compile this list for everyone's use.

What cookbooks do you love??

 
Seth Peterson
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THE ROLE OF THE KITCHEN IN THE ANTHROPOCENE

The kitchen is a big part of zone zero, we visit it regularly throughout the day, engaging in the ancient but timeless rituals we have around eating, around gaining sustenance. Historically, it is a corner stone of civilization; currently, it is a major driver of how we are shaping our culture now and into the future. It is at the crossroads of modern culture, modern agriculture and sustainability. For city folks, our closest contacts with nature and agriculture amount to either eating it at the table or visiting it at the zoo or park in and taking photos of it. And even country folks, it seems, all to often have much more contact with chemical farming methods and imposing our will on nature than actual natural areas where Mother Nature is in charge.

Yet, everyday, we eat, multiple times a day. Meanwhile we, as a society, we rarely farm. What better place to start to help heal what ails us and our society than in the kitchen?

I heard Larry Santoyo discussing the importance of getting your zone 0 in order first to make sure your project is sustainable. Make it comfortable, and functional and pleasant so that you have a nice homey, practical place to live in and return to after a hard days work - to many of us live in a permaculture construction zone of unfinished projects. I think Larry was speaking in reference to a conversation on how to stay married and keep your partner around long term, which had been a difficulty for several people at that table. The linchpin to sustainability is a couple or group who stays together. I didn't understand

sepp holzer has emphasized to us on in-numerous occasions that the goal is to live in a pleasant place where you feel good, to create a personal paradise where the flora and fauna thrive. When going onto project sites that are atrocious atrocities, ugly and dysfunctional, he asks, who wants to live like this? Why design like this to create erosion and runoff, blazing hot areas and others that get too cold? Build a place you want to live in.

I spent some time in Italy last year, with an emphasis on food, and ate wonderfully like four times a day. They way Italians talk about food, prepare it and eat it is legendary. People discussed recent meals like we would discuss politics or football. It is as if time stops where eating begins. A family at a restaurant can take 20 minutes discussing what they will eat and how to course it and then another fifteen minutes discussing it with the waiter as he or she makes suggestions and improvements to their plan. It was a beautifully executed ritual. One day, I asked a shopowner where I could get a good panzanella salad. He replied only in people's homes, and that each home made it differently. He then gave me his family's recipe, using a dictionary for words like cucumber. He described every detail, so that I could correctly replicate it back home. About fifteen minutes into the conversation, a couple in the shop had a question and wanted to make a purchase. He gave them a look that was at the same time admonishing and mischievously friendly, stating that we were right in the middle of a very, very important discussion, one that, you could tell, he wanted to get right. By twenty minutes in, they were listening intently and comparing family recipes. Then there's the cheese caves, the truffle dogs, the table wine and water, for thousands years they have literally built a culture around food. What have we built? Microwaveable popcorn, apple bee's and fake food.

I ask people a lot "what does your permaculture look like?", it's my favored question at permie get togethers. Mine often tends to look like me and a bunch of friends, neighbors or strangers cooking up and eating a delicious meal of stellar food, in community. It's the ultimate permaculture sales pitch, you don't have to explain anything. It embodies the three principles. It looks like the videos from Farmstead Meatsmith. (If you don't know, and haven't seen them. (LITERALLY, stop everything your doing and go see them right now, if I were on a deserted island with one video... I mean I think Brandon actually made me tear up once, just by the way he talks about food produced in community.)

So, yea, the roles of the kitchen in society is worth reading up on. An extensive area for background research, one that I could dedicate several lifetimes to. As you can see, when approaching a new topic, I like to go back to square one as much as possible. Now, I may be going a little too far into the theoretical aspects of this topic for some people, but, well that is where our basic assumptions come from, from the history and mythology and practice of cookery, agriculture and Culture itself. Thus a re-examination of our food culture requires us to get back to these basics, and learn from history. Did Persians really keep honeybees in the kitchen wall? Historical research on traditional kitchen practices is needed.

The kitchen and dining room table have become the nexus for holding our culture together, the point where many of our concerns meet and materialize.

Seth
 
Ryan Barrett
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Seth Peterson wrote:
What cookbooks do you love??


I'm not a great cook but these are helping me fake it:

Whole Larder Love - Grow Gather Hunt Cook
4-hour chef is mighty handy for ideas/reference/tool ideas/the novice cook. Overall it covers way more than just cooking.
Veganomicon Emphasis on NOM.



Seth,
A solid comfortable zone 0 kitchen is something that I struggle toward every day and I'm only one person. I am super excited to hear what comes out of your visit to the Lab. Honing a 10-20 person kitchen is a feat!

YES! Podcast (series?). I'd certainly pay for this. I.e. Shut up and take my money... well, I mean keep talking but take my money too.

-Ryan
 
Tina Paxton
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Seth Peterson wrote:
What cookbooks do you love??


I love collecting recipes! I have a recipe database on my computer of several thousand recipes, mostly healthy, that I wish I could say I've cooked every single one...far from it!

As far as books go...

"Wild Fermentation" although I've not gotten very far....
Microgreens: A Guide To Growing Nutrient-Packed Greens
Nourishing Traditions

Now that I'm Paleo AIP, cooking is more challenging....my next purchase is "The Paleo Approach Cookbook: A Detailed Guide to Heal Your Body and Nourish Your Soul"
 
paul wheaton
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We had a great discussion last night about "what do you think a permaculture kitchen has?"

I said

1) chickens out back

2) at least eight people at the table at every meal

3) meat aging at least a year hanging from the ceiling

4) herbs and other things hanging/drying from the ceiling

5) stuff fermenting

6) flowers on the table in season

what else?
 
Ann Torrence
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paul wheaton wrote:We had a great discussion last night about "what do you think a permaculture kitchen has?"
what else?

root cellar
chopping block

For those that do home canning or brewing or ginormous stew pots, a burner in a dropped down section of counter so that you don't have to lift a blasted 30-40lb pot of hot water above your waist, or handle hot jars above your shoulder. Not an issue for 6'6" giants but for average height folks, a lowered burner.

epoxy floors (or some eco-warrior equivalent) and a drain

I always wanted cabinets on wheels that could roll out from under wall-mounted benches so I could hose the place down after a battle with the tomatoes.
 
Gail Saito
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...and don't forget the container for your compostable scraps and of course, cloth napkins on your table!
 
Cj Sloane
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paul wheaton wrote: "what do you think a permaculture kitchen has?"


Three ways to cook food. Three ways to store food. Three water sources.
 
Luke Burkholder
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Minimal physical barriers between the area where the food is prepared and where the food is consumed.

Visibility of the outdoors while preparing and consuming the food.
 
David Livingston
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Lots of cast iron - for eveything
http://www.castinstyle.co.uk

David
 
Brad Cloutier
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a killer view
 
Ann Torrence
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a first aid kit and an aloe vera plant
good music speakers
 
Ann Torrence
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David Livingston wrote:Lots of cast iron - for eveything
http://www.castinstyle.co.uk

David


their kitchen maid pulley clothes driers would be awesome for drying herbs, mushrooms and chiles. And the occasional tea towel
 
Tina Paxton
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Ann Torrence wrote:
For those that do home canning or brewing or ginormous stew pots, a burner in a dropped down section of counter so that you don't have to lift a blasted 30-40lb pot of hot water above your waist, or handle hot jars above your shoulder. Not an issue for 6'6" giants but for average height folks, a lowered burner.

epoxy floors (or some eco-warrior equivalent) and a drain

I always wanted cabinets on wheels that could roll out from under wall-mounted benches so I could hose the place down after a battle with the tomatoes.


Brillant! YES, a lower burner...and BIGGER to better heat the bottom of a pressure canner or huge stockpot.

YES, to the drain as well...I think commercial kitchens have this and so should the home kitchen...hose down the floor and down the drain...which drains into a greywater system of course. And, definitely to be able to row appliances easily out of the way to clean up.

I think rather than meat hanging from the kitchen ceiling...an easily assessable smokehouse would be better. But, the kitchen should have braided garlic on the wall and baskets of onions hanging close by.

There should be a used coffee can next to the stove for saving the good fats leftover from cooking (you know...bacon fat, duck fat, coconut oil...GOOD fats that you want to reuse.) Or, better, several small cans so you can separate fats used to cook beef and/or chicken from fats used to cook fish.

There should also be a built in compost collection bucket in the counter so when one is prepping food for a meal it is easy to drop items into the collection bucket. Something like this: http://www.gardenista.com/posts/5-quick-fixes-in-counter-compost-solutions
 
Ryan Barrett
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Aesthetics. Hand made furniture. Lighting to set "the mood"; You know, for eating.

I recently visited Camp Wandawega in Michigan; They really had a great look going there. Loads of hand made, vintage, or artfully crafted Lighting and other functional "pretties".

 
paul wheaton
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apple for "music"

Once we got the fancy speakers for bluetooth stuff at the basecamp kitchen, that was a massive step forward.
 
Sue Rine
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Some of these are doubleups on what has already been said, but...
Things in our kitchen which work well:-
Separate areas for baking, food preparation and cleanup/dishes.
Double sink in the clean up area.
Sink and scrap bucket drawer in food prep area.
Easy slide drawers and wall mounted shelves in the baking area.
Enough bench/counter space in the baking area for frequently used appliances to stay out and still leave working space.
Two different bench/counter heights in the baking area. Bread kneading needs a lower bench/counter than normal working height.
Woodstove adjacent to the food prep area.
Underbench firewood box on wheels. Adjacent to woodstove and also near the kitchen door where it can be wheeled to the outside door for filling.
And what doesn't work?
The under bench/counter open shelf space for large pots and other stuff. It just gets way too dusty and I long for cupboard doors! It's below the bread kneading bench so flour and other baking ingredients get in there too.
 
Sue Rine
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And we have a horizontally hung chain and several S shaped hooks which fit in the chain links. These get used to hang things like garlic plaits, herbs, seedheads and salamis.
 
Sue Rine
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Oh, and a lemon tree, herbs and salad greens just out the door.
 
Leila Rich
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paul wheaton wrote: "what do you think a permaculture kitchen has?"
I've got a list a mile long-which I'm sure to add-
but my first (kinda cheesy) thought is "a permaculture kitchen has...imaginative, scheming, problem-solving permaculturalists around the table".
Not permaculture, just Kitchen:
good knives, and people who can, and do, keep them sharp!
And a couple of really big chopping boards.
And...
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