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Boots Love

 
master gardener
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Oooh...does look nice Josiah!  And thank you for everything you've been doing....well earned.
 
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Thank you Judith Browning for the box of goodies! We love them! (And I am looking forward to using the yarn in future projects).
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You are very welcome!

I'm happy you could use them
 
Jennifer Richardson
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We are running low on dishcloths at the Fisher-Price House. I would be happy to crochet some, but all my yarn is wool. If anyone has some extra cotton (or linen?) yarn around (or extra dishcloths, for that matter) and could send it our way, that would be awesome! Organic would be fantastic, but not required. Thanks!
 
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Jennifer Richardson wrote:We are running low on dishcloths at the Fisher-Price House. I would be happy to crochet some, but all my yarn is wool. If anyone has some extra cotton (or linen?) yarn around (or extra dishcloths, for that matter) and could send it our way, that would be awesome! Organic would be fantastic, but not required. Thanks!


Maybe try crocheting some from the ball of hemp that I sent, it's a really good quality and was grown organically but not certified...I've done some scrubs out of it before.  It lasts a long time and I like it better than cotton which always seems too soft to me.  I could probably send a couple more balls of it.
 
Jennifer Richardson
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Judith,

That’s a great idea, thanks! I have never used hemp for dishcloths before. I will try it out.
 
Judith Browning
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Jennifer Richardson wrote:Judith,

That’s a great idea, thanks! I have never used hemp for dishcloths before. I will try it out.



Hemp is just as wonderful as linen...like all dish washing things it's best to hang to dry in
between uses but otherwise I think they hold up better than cotton.  

We've gotten farther into the recycled clothing rag culture ourselves though and use small pieces of waffle weave cotton knits from heavy long sleeved shirts for dish cloths and larger pieces for other kitchen uses.  My white linen and cotton towels are in a drawer unused unless we have company.

...and my favorite scrubber (other than chain link for iron) is still a nice 3 or 4 inch luffa slice.....

Try out the hemp and if you like how it works let me know and I'll send some more
 
Jennifer Richardson
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Judith,

We all really like the hemp dishcloth I made with your twine! I do prefer it to cotton for scrubbing.
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Judith Browning
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Jennifer Richardson wrote:Judith,

We all really like the hemp dishcloth I made with your twine! I do prefer it to cotton for scrubbing.



Hi Jen!
that's great...and I'll plan to send two, maybe three more of the balls along to you soon.  

I have not been to the post office counter for weeks now...have only been getting our mail in our box with the key.  

Our little town has folks at both extremes of carefulness....some wanting their mail sprayed with lysol first and some who do not take this seriously at all so my husband and I have really been isolating ourselves.

So, I'll put some aside for you but not sure when I'll venture out to mail them?

 
Jennifer Richardson
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Thanks, Judith! I really appreciate that and look forward to it, but definitely do not put your health at risk to mail it!
 
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I like it too!  But am not a 'hand crafter'... anyone have a link to instructions-for-dummies for this wash cloth?  Thanks  : )
 
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Mine is just plain single crochet, but here is a link to the BB with tutorials for making a dishcloth, Nancy:

https://permies.com/wiki/113969/PEP-BB-textile-sand-dishcloth
 
Jennifer Richardson
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Josiah has been making sourdough bread a few times a week, but all we have currently are non-stick bread pans, which aren’t really in line with our values re: toxic gick.

We would really love to have some cast iron bread pans if anyone comes across any! Ideally we would be able to make two to four loaves at a time, but any pan(s) would be appreciated.

Thanks!
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Not that I have any, but would stoneware work, too? My mom gave me a few stoneware stuff that she got when she was forced to go to went to Pampered Chef parties, or found at thrift stores, and those might be easier for some people to locate? I know my one stoneware baking pan is nice and nonstick, especially if I butter it. It makes a nice crust with even baking, too!
 
nancy sutton
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Thanks a bunch for the how-to crochet links!  ox
 
Judith Browning
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I think I would try for good 'bakers steel' rather than cast iron?

...or maybe a stone in the oven and use a peel to place the risen loaf?  Our son bakes professionally in a wood-fired oven and this is the method he uses.....

Serenity Farm Bread
 
Jennifer Richardson
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Nicole,

Stoneware would also be delightful!

Judith,

I don’t know about “baker’s steel”, but I definitely prefer cast iron bread pans to the steel pans I’ve used in the past. I am far from an expert baker, however!

The issue with the stone in the oven is that we are pressed for time, so we’re using a quick method for sandwich bread where we pour the sourdough batter into the pans to rise, rather than making dough and forming a loaf, so it needs a pan.

Thank you both!
 
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Jennifer Richardson wrote:Nicole,

Stoneware would also be delightful!

Judith,

I don’t know about “baker’s steel”, but I definitely prefer cast iron bread pans to the steel pans I’ve used in the past. I am far from an expert baker, however!

The issue with the stone in the oven is that we are pressed for time, so we’re using a quick method for sandwich bread where we pour the sourdough batter into the pans to rise, rather than making dough and forming a loaf, so it needs a pan.

Thank you both!



I think bakers steel is heavy carbon steel, no coating and makes a really nice crust.
I see where iron pans would be better for your purpose though and stoneware sounds wonderful!
 
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Judith,

That sounds really cool! The steel pans I used were really thin, not too different from the cheap aluminum kind, but the baker’s steel sounds like something I would be interested in trying.
 
Judith Browning
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Jennifer Richardson wrote:Judith,

That sounds really cool! The steel pans I used were really thin, not too different from the cheap aluminum kind, but the baker’s steel sounds like something I would be interested in trying.



Not so easy to find! Looks like everything has a 'non stick' coating now no matter what the metal? It's been a long time since I had bread pans but I know they didn't have a non stick coating and were a heavy steel that got somewhat seasoned and black with use.  There was something called 'aluminized steel' at Chicago Metallic that is uncoated and heavy professional grade stuff.

Iron gets great reviews!

 
nancy sutton
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This may be what Judith is referring to... only $13 and also my favorite online cook (Serious Eats - Stella Parks)  But the USA pan ($17) has a lot more reviews (see the comparisons mid-page).
https://www.amazon.com/Chicago-Metallic-Commercial-Traditional-Uncoated/dp/B003YKGRKU/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=chicago+metal+aluminized+steel&qid=1585865199&sr=8-1

 
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Have you decided for sure not to use the "old fashioned" cheap-o tin versions? They work well PROVIDED you oil them before adding dough and heat. They are fairly impossible to destroy. If you do really bad things to them, soak in mild detergent for a day or two, then scrub, scrape and otherwise do what it takes to clear the dead body parts of deceased loafs. The nice patina is probably gone, but it'll come back eventually. Just bake with your usual good care and being especially careful to definitely get every square inch (inside) oiled.

Around here (Chicago) they are(er... were) $1/ea at numerous estate, garage and yard sales. Unfortunately, at the moment (ie. next 6 months anyway) you be hard pressed to find anybody selling face to face. So I guess you have to buy new from large companies able to run mail order ops.

Bread doesn't really have much pride, you know: It will submit to/assume any shape at all and bake up nicely. Loafs are very convenient, but not utterly necessary. I have baked _many_ "loafs" of bread on cookie sheets.


Cheers,
Rufus

 
Jennifer Richardson
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Rufus,

I have definitely preferred cast iron to the tin pans I’ve used in the past, but if we come across some really cheap I might pick them up. We avoid aluminum cookware for toxicity reasons—does anyone know if tin has similar issues? Thanks!
 
Rufus Laggren
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Curious. What does cast iron do, Jen?

It must take a lot longer to heat up than the tin (steel, metal, whatever... I've never seen aluminum... oh, I bet you mean the use-once stuff). So that means the exposed top of the dough gets more heat longer... What's the "features" of a cast iron bread pan? Heavy, I bet.


Cheers,
Rufus
 
Jennifer Richardson
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Rufus,

The cast iron does take a bit longer to heat up, but in my book that’s a good thing—the extra thermal mass of the thick pan holds heat, which means your bread cooks evenly and forms a nice crust all over, and things don’t stick as easily to the heated pan.
 
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Hi, I'm Orin. You may have noticed the progress of the fence marching around Alterton Abbey....that'd be where my boot labor is going (and planting along with a few other things).
Yesterday was my 30th day at Boot Camp and I've been awarded an acre to tinker with in Ant Village.

Here's the seed and seedlings I'm interested in:
seven paw paw trees (seedlings preferably);
seven honey locust trees (seedlings preferably);  Thank You Greg Martin!
seven black locust trees (seedlings preferably);
seven white oak trees (seedlings preferably);
seven Jojoba bushes (aka simmondsia chinensis - seedlings preferably);
seven yucca (suprise me with a species you know grows well at 3,300 feet -I know they do at 6,600 feet in NM);
a sweet potato's seeds that matures in 60 days;
blue Hopi corn seed -a variety which matures in 60 days (if you send me more than 200 seeds and they grow to maturity, I can send some seed back to you); Thank you William Schlegel!
a 60 day squash's seeds which matures in 60 days (be nice if it sorta tastes like butternut); Thank you William Schlegel!
black bean's seed which mature in 60 days.

For every seedling you send me on this list, I'll post its arrival, its planting, care, and harvest.
I'll do this on a weekly basis rather than a daily basis because I'm doing boot labor for Wheaton Labs Mon-Fri and nest labor for 4 to 8 hours (means I get half a Saturday and Sunday).

A 5 Gallon Stainless Steel, with a minimum of two fittings, for pottable water.
Here's a tank that meets the required specs from Amazon
here's a tank which meets specs from ebay

You will also notice I'm cleaning up an old site and modding it: I introduce to you The Dwarf's Redoubt!
I have specific plans for this cool Redoubt and the first person who sends me a 5 gallon stainless steel tank for pottable water,
I'll purple moosage you with my plans for The Dwarf's Redoubt including my long term intended usage the 5 gallon stainless steel tank.



A 20 lb up to a 66 lb single horn blacksmith anvil
here's an anvil which has the two needed bending holes
This tool will reside in The Dwarf's Redoubt for my usage (it will not reside at base camp for the general public to use). It will be used to create the innovations I will continue to make at Wheaton Labs.
The person who sends me this anvil will get a picture of its arrival, its installation at The Dwarf's Redoubt, pictures of anything made or repaired on it for the first six months, 2% of any rental I collect from other Ant Villagers or Deep Rooters for 2020 through 2021 for its usage. Of course, Ant Villagers and Deep Rooters can trade special services such as loaves of bread, peanut butter, and/or cider (to be negotiated).
This tool will stay behind if I leave Ant Village.

A four piece wood chisel set: 1/2", 3/4", 1", 2"  
here's a set at Amazon
This tool set will reside in The Dwarf's Redoubt for my usage to repair and build the Dwarf's Redoubt.
The person who sends me this set will get pictures of: its arrival, its usage for the first month, and a small rough carving of my choosing out of atleast a 3" cube of wood.
This tool set will not stay behind if I leave Ant Village.

A stone mason chisel set: 1", 2" and a 3" wide hardened steel.   -Thank you Pearl Sutton!
here's the mason chisel set I'm looking for
I will use this mason set of stone chisels to work rock at The Dwarf's Redoubt.
The person who sends me this set will get pictures of: its arrival, its usage for the first three masonry projects I do.
This tool set will not stay behind if I leave Ant Village.

Notice there is no shop at Ant Village: I take care of my tools....and I'll be the one who created a viable work space with a viable heat source in the building for the person who wants to work on small crucial projects in winter. Those Ant Villagers/Deep Rooters who don't take care of their tools will know where to get a good tool without a trip back down to base camp....for a small deposit or trade.

With your help, The Dwarf's Redoubt can become a viable winter and summer working building!

A Head mounted camera
or this
Doesn't have to be a go pro, but it needs to have:
-have a resolution of atleast 1080p;
-32 frames per second;
-the storage capacity to take 4 hours of video;
-lithium batteries large enough for 4 hours of video;
-be rechargable via USB (my backpack solar panel will be able to recharge it then).

With a head mounted camera, I can make better tutorials on how to do things for boots and to meet BRK requirements! The first person to send me this will get a surprise!

Why send any of these items to a healthy capable person?

If I go and earn them myself, I'd have to leave Wheaton Labs and the Boot Camp program.
This would mean Wheaton Lab's projects would miss out on my labor and my innovative projects simply wouldn't get done (what? no fence around the Abbey! say it isn't so! how are they going to eat? What? we're never gonna find out what inventions he's got floating around???).

If a person supports those of us wild enough to live in these conditions, we'll create better conditions.
For instance, take the person who left the shelter known as bear den, I won't have to do all the work that person did, I'll just finish it so it's a viable work space and meeting space.
In this way, you help better Wheaton Labs to attract others in the future and encourage me to stay!

Otherwise, healthy capable people might not choose to come during the most unfinished era of Wheaton Labs.
I have plenty of innovations up my sleeve, I'm not just grunt labor   -you won't be disappointed!
 
Jennifer Richardson
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Here is a video of Josiah explaining the quick sourdough sandwich bread method he has been using to make bread for all of us lately, which I mentioned when requesting the bread pans:

BC93557C-D9A5-4DC0-90D2-21A7260F9248.jpeg
Picture of the finished bread
Picture of the finished bread
 
Jennifer Richardson
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These Lodge cast iron pans are the ones I used to have at home, and liked, if people are interested.
 
Greg Martin
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Are these the same cast iron bread pans Jen?  They seem to be half the Amazon price at several other online stores, though these at Lehman's are temporarily out of stock.  Not sure if shipping gets you or if there are any other ways that it works out the same cost wise.
 
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That looks like them, Greg! Thanks for the heads up on the lower prices.
 
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We would like to have a sewing machine for Wheaton Labs that can handle canvas, denim, quilts, etc. This Singer 4452 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine is the one we have settled on and would love to have, although it is definitely a big thing to ask for!
 
Orin Raichart
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WhooooWho!!!  

William Schlegel just sent me corn, tomato, multiple strains of squash, and sunchoke   ...all grown in MT!


Thank you William, my garden on my one acre can now commence!  I'll post pics to show preparations, planting, care, and harvest so you can see the results of what you sent!


IMG_20200414_172119.jpg
two packages from William Schlegel!!!
two packages from William Schlegel!!!
IMG_20200414_172406.jpg
seed bonanza!!!
seed bonanza!!!
IMG_20200414_172558.jpg
...and sunchoke fresh from the ground for planting!
...and sunchoke fresh from the ground for planting!
 
Orin Raichart
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YES!!!   Greg Martin sent me 9 honey locust seedlings  -they arrived this afternoon!!!  So after Boot Camp Hours, that'd be 5pm, I went and planted them all on my one acre!!!

Want to see how the trees fair on my acre?  Well then, send me something on my list and you'll get the same pictures and videos he and William get!

Thanks Greg!   I'm really looking forward to see how well they fare up here in the mountains of Montana!
20200420_120245HoneyLocutsFromGreg.jpg
nice!!! must be from Greg!
nice!!! must be from Greg!
20200420_120431HoneyLocutsFromGreg.jpg
...just as he promised...and more 9 instead of 7 honey locust seedlings
...just as he promised...and more 9 instead of 7 honey locust seedlings
20200420_120630HoneyLocutsFromGreg.jpg
this will hold them from lunch time until after 5pm!
this will hold them from lunch time until after 5pm!
 
Rufus Laggren
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Jen

>sewing machine

How set are you all on the Singer 4452? If you are at all flexible, what are the  main features you're looking for? Things like walking feet (actually, probably not?), all metal (or not), reach of arm, bobbin types, needles, zig zag (actually, I ended up deciding most sewing will not need the fancy stitches, although the zig zag was necessary for sails)... It's been 15 years or so since I was spec'ing  heavy duty machines to make sails and awnings and I don't recall all the features I identified but as I recall there are at least three, probably five, companies making likely machines with heavy duty options  and that's before we get into the industrial stuff. It looks, from your first choice, that you want the "portable" format?

As I recall, the table and work area was at least as, probably more, important than the particular machine - given a few basic specs. Space, space, space... Light, light, light... !!! Do you want to be able to set it up for pedal or crank operation? For that some brands/models are easier and some manufacturers even offer brackets and jigs to make conversion to manual operation fairly straight forward.

As I recall, many of the major brands, Singer, Kenwood, Pfaff, etc "standard" table top machines, especially from the 1950's through the middle 1980's (when it becomes hard to avoid plastic), are more than capable of sewing heavy fabric and leather. They often take longer for the toughest jobs, but there was not question of capability.

For that reason, if you're not already well versed in machine sewing (and have grown your own preferences) and/or don't already have a good standard machine in excellent repair, may I suggest that you start with one of those? They are commonly available at resale and estate sales for $20-$50(very high end). They can easily be found in excellent repair and often with attachments. (A good working bobbin winder is a must, but almost all machines have that).

Any machine you get will need good maintenance, adjustment and occasional repair. That points toward finding your repair person _first_ and then selecting from the machines they are totally on top of. And/or plan on becoming fully intimate with your machine and doing all that underhood stuff yourself.

A fine sewing machine well maintained is easily one of the most beautiful machines ever made. And one of the most rewarding (and occasionally frustrating!) to learn and work with. IMHO, it's one of the few machines human kind can actually be unequivocally proud of. Good on you for pursuing one. Best luck.

Regards,
Rufus
 
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I would like to apply aerated compost tea to our gardens here at the lab. A 3-5 gallon backpack sprayer would be nice to have. The last time I did this I used a solo 4 gallon and it seemed very durable. Here is a link to it on Amazon. I’d be happy with anything that will allow us to cover lots of hugels on uneven ground!
 
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Josiah, sent you a PayPal towards the backpack sprayer.  Maybe it's better you order it, given current conditions?
 
Orin Raichart
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Kerry Rodgers just sent me a paypal donation also!!!

In the face of uncertainty of COVID19, those who send material support are truly awesome people.

There is a quote from maybe "Full Metal Jacket" where a rogue solider says that "we can do anything we want here, no one knows, no one wants to know, nobody cares"  and the protagonist replies, " it is precisely because we can do anything we want, we need to be very careful in what we choose to do; although we might live to go home, there are things we can't come back from".

As our human world and planet continues to change very rapidly, this idea grows more poignant. Hopefully, what I do here will contribute options to those who have no options and better options for those who want some.

Kerry, I will post pictures of the items I purchase along with their receipts  -and you'll be getting my weekend video links for the design and work On Narrow Pond!

Thank you!
 
Orin Raichart
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I went to Missoula today to purchase an ax and some files to both to sharpen the ax and for other materials with Kerry's paypal donation!

It's an awesome ax and this way I won't wear out Wheaton Labs tools doing Ant Village work ( as opposed to Boot Project time and Nesting Labor).

The set of files were cheaper than if I purchased just one to sharpen the ax with.

I've just sent Kerry links to videos only accessible to my supporters!  Thank you Kerry!

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sweet Ax and file set!
sweet Ax and file set!
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Rufus Laggren
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Just heads up. I had to learn the hard way that files rust pretty easy. Especially because theres half of them that you never use until you really want to...  Give them a nice dry bed to hibernate in. Protect from temperature changes which can bring on condensation.

Be smarter than me. (Low bar, but... )


Cheers,
Rufus
 
Jennifer Richardson
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Thank you so much for the bread pans, Greg! I baked sourdough bread in them when they arrived yesterday and it turned out really nicely!
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Solar Station Construction Plans - now FREE for a while
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