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pollinator
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I am a lucky man to be immune to COVID 19 (or atleast no symptoms) but I am even luckier to have awesome material support here on permies.com!!!

Pearl Sutton just sent me 52 tools: stone chisels (I only asked for three), rock drills, punches, and some anvil black smith tools! Sweeeeeeeeeet!

Thank you Pearl!   I will begin to send Pearl pics and videos on the projects I have started on my one acre, On Narrow Pond, weekly.  

I want everyone to know how much these gifts mean to those of us here at Wheaton Labs  -tools and materials show real support which gives us focus and renews our desires to continue work here at Wheaton Labs-

When we are exhausted and wonder why we are doing all this, these gifts remind us!

Thanks again Pearl ....you'll see every thing I  build with them!
20200514_121323giftOfPearl.jpg
A box from Pearl Sutton -aahhh, nice
A box from Pearl Sutton -aahhh, nice
20200514_122254lineUpFromLeft.jpg
for this tool line up, I'll take two pics one from the left
for this tool line up, I'll take two pics one from the left
20200514_122302toRight.jpg
and one from the right
and one from the right
 
pollinator
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Hi everyone, I'm Clayton. You probably recognize me from my boot thread here (if not, check it out!)

I've recently planted six chestnut seedlings on my plot. The seedlings are all around 2ft tall and I suspect two years old. There are two varieties, Colossal and Precoce Migoule. Both are blight resistant Japanese x European hybrids. As a method of raising funds for future projects, I've decided to put these chestnuts up for adoption/sponsorship

For $8: Congratulations! You've adopted a chestnut! I'll make sure to give your chestnut lots of love and you'll receive a picture of it's growth at least once every two weeks. Along with that, I will wood burn a small plaque with your name or your choice of name (must be approved by me)for the chestnut tree, and leave it under the tree. It will remain as long as I'm here, hopefully longer!

For $25: Everything you get for $8, plus I'll ship you a small package of the nuts from the first harvest from your tree  

For $35: I will do my best to take a cutting off your tree, root it and ship it to you, so you can have a clone of the same tree growing here on Wheaton Labs!

Only six trees can be claimed, get yours before the chance is gone!


If your tree dies before reaching nut or cutting bearing age, I will send nuts or a cutting from a different tree of the same variety. I can't say for certain I'll still be here when these trees bear nuts or when they get to a size great enough to take a cutting. I do believe I will be, otherwise I wouldn't offer those options. If nothing else, I will return for harvest season to make good on these agreements. However, something drastic could happen, so the two higher tiers come with no guarantee, only a promise to do my best to deliver. I can guarantee that all funds received will be spent on buying myself tools, plants, and other materials for projects on my plot.



Why didn't I plant American Chestnuts?
While I would have preferred to plant pure bred American Chestnuts, I believe the risk of blight is too high. I would rather me and the people who come after me have massive beautiful trees and good nuts, than to plant a tree where it is simply (in my opinion) a matter of time before it contracts chestnut blight and dies.
 
Clayton High
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Thank you so much Greg Martin and Kerry Rodgers for adopting chestnuts!
Greg, I got your sign up today. Kerry, yours will be up next weekend now that I have your desired message

There are still four chestnuts available for those who are interested. Two of each variety
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[Thumbnail for IMG_20200614_200603216.jpg]
 
master gardener
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Very nice Clayton!  I love it.  That is one beautiful tree :)
 
Clayton High
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Glad to hear it Greg! It is beautiful, here's to hoping it'll be leafed out by next week!
 
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Jennifer Richardson wrote: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.



Jennifer, I've baked bread for gobs of years and used many pans. The key to the bread not sticking is to grease the pans with animal fat of some kind. Butter works, but lard is better. And as many artisan bakers do, no washing the pan after use, just wipe it out with a kitchen towel or paper towel. Give it a try if you're not sticking with vegan food.
 
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Jerry,

I wonder if that’s why I’ve had more issues with baked goods sticking lately—I have been using plant oils instead of lard, tallow, or butter (which I use at home), since some folks here are vegan, and I want them to be able to share the food.
 
Clayton High
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Got your sign up today Kerry, I think the tree perked up a bit when I told it that it got adopted!

I've just been informed I ought to oil the signs, I'll try and do that next week.
IMG_20200621_130529535_HDR.jpg
Weee!
Weee!
 
pollinator
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> cast iron... seasoning

https://www.cooksillustrated.com/how_tos/5820-the-ultimate-way-to-season-cast-iron

I've used this method to end up with a non-stick surface on cast iron. It's plant based. Works pretty well, time consuming. And you need a way to heat the pan to 500+ F.  An oven on a decent stove is what most people may have available and what I used. Temps were up in the 600F. range but it takes 30+ minutes  for the oven to reach those temperatures. Best to have an oven thermometer in there with the pan and visible through a window to verify what the stove is doing - don't assume the oven gets that hot, many don't.

Not sure flax seed oil is good for adhoc use when cooking, though. I've only heard of and used it for high temperature seasoning of pans.

But I have not baked in CI, so cannot say if the non-stick would function in that usage. Seems like it should, though.




Regards,
Rufus
 
master steward
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Personally, I choose to never use flax seed oil to season a cast iron pan.

Further, I would never again attempt to "season" a cast iron pan by "the oven process".  

Of course, that's just me.
Staff note (Nicole Alderman) :

For those wondering how Paul seasons his pans, he wrote an article all about it years and years ago: http://www.richsoil.com/castiron/

 
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Clayton High wrote:Got your sign up today Kerry, I think the tree perked up a bit when I told it that it got adopted!


So cool!   I'll have to try to "journey" to "my" tree sometime.   Sure hope so. :). Thanks, Clayton.
 
Clayton High
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Please do Kerry, would be super cool to have you out here!
 
Rufus Laggren
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> never use flax seed oil...

Paul

That's interesting. Would you explain or post links to clarify?


Thanks,.
Rufus
 
master steward
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Rufus Laggren wrote:> never use flax seed oil...

Paul

That's interesting. Would you explain or post links to clarify?


Thanks,.
Rufus



I'm thinking it's because of how flax oil goes rancid, and isn't really a high-heat oil.

Paul actually wrote an article about it years and years ago (back when I first learned about permaculture, I read every article Paul had written on Richsoil.com--I was so excited to find free permaculture knowledge).  Here's the link to his article: http://www.richsoil.com/castiron/

In the article, he has a section about oils:

I think that any edible fat will probably work fine. Oil, lard, shortening, animal fat, butter, etc. I'm still doing a lot of experimenting and asking around. Lately, I've been favoring the use of bacon grease - the kind that is saved after frying bacon. I think a big part of this is that it is solid at room temp. Somehow, I think that that makes it harder and slicker as a seasoning.

I tried olive oil exclusively for a few months. If the cast iron skillet needed scrubbing, it seems that the scrubbing would take off some seasoning! I could see fresh cast iron (silver color - not black!).

Some people swear by shortening (Crisco). But I've heard some scary things about shortening, so I avoid it myself. I have used "organic shortening" which is actually palm oil. I've researched it pretty thoroughly and I like it!

Here's a great quote I found at homesteadingtoday.com:

I inherited my mom's fifty year old cast iron, and for a few years I always used crisco on them. I had pretty good results, most of the time, but once in awhile something would stick.

Last year I finally made some lard and we have been using it ever since on all of our cast iron- it is so much better than crisco. (I won't even address the use of veggie oils here, lol).

Our pans have a beautiful, deep black finish that is a hundred times better than any non-stick finish you could buy. It also helps that we use the pans frequently. I'll never go back to crisco.


My obsessive searching for information on this led me to this page which compares many different oils for their different strengths and weaknesses. Of note is "Grape Seed Oil" where they make the following comment "One caution: it's a fast drying oil so you want to clean up splatter right away because cleaning will be a lot harder in a few days. On the other hand, this makes it very good for seasoning bare steel and cast iron cookware." - this is the only oil where they even mention cast iron.

So I tried grape seed oil for a couple of months. Everything started to get a gummy residue on it. I have switched back to bacon squeezins, palm oil and sunflower oil. I'm looking around for organic lard (since I'm not raising pigs right now).



I'm thinking of the vegetarian oils, Paul would probably go with a high-heat oil. He shares a preference for the palm shortening--coconut oil would probably work as well if someone is unable to find ethical palm shortening.

I can honestly say that I've used his seasoning methods, and managed to season stainless steal pans so that they have a non-stick finish. One I accidentally seasoned by cooking a burrito too long in it (in palm shortening), and it smoked up something atrocious, and now it's non-stick. I love that pan!
 
paul wheaton
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Rufus Laggren wrote:> That's interesting. Would you explain or post links to clarify?



I think a better question is "why would you choose flax oil for seasoning?"

If not for my hundreds of other projects, I would conduct experiments with seasoning using a dozen different oils - proving that flax is terrible.  
 
Rufus Laggren
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Nicole,

Thanks for your response.

Paul's article is great. But it doesn't mention flax seed oil. Here is the way it looks to me at the moment:

There has been and is  "buzz" (which in itself is definitely not a recommendation) on the net for years about seasoning with flax seed oil. This article relates a person's own direct experience in detail  and provides reference links, including one of the early and extensive personal experiences with flax seed oil and the research on it. That article by Sheryl Canter's is long in itself and at the time "thekitchen" article (below) was published had close to 600 comments.  "thekitchen" article (below) also makes explicit that seasoning is  _only_ the first step, the preliminary, for any cast iron and that usage and care will be what makes - or not - the pan.

https://www.thekitchn.com/i-seasoned-my-cast-iron-pan-with-flaxseed-oil-and-heres-what-happened-224612

The experiences related seem very positive over the years. The above article makes one very good point: Is it the _method_ or the _oil_ which provides the excellent surface? And it very firmly and explicitly states that the quality of the flax seed oil matters - a lot - and explains the options and preferred type. Details in procedures like this can be critical.


>  smoke point

From Wikipedia: "... It is important to consider, however, that the FFA represents typically less than 1% of the total oil and consequently renders smoke point a poor indicator of the capacity of a fat or oil to withstand heat.[4][5][6]"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoke_point

I think, based on the number of positive reports, that smoke point may be irrelevant in this case. Flax oil, used as described, works and works well.


The fact that organic pure flax seed oil will go rancid quickly w/out refrigeration doesn't relate to how it works as a cast iron seasoning. But it's certainly a consideration if you're only going to use a couple tablespoons out of a $25 bottle and can't find any other good use for the other $23 worth in your foreseeable future! Although, a brief review of search results shows there are a number of uses for flax oil in the kitchen.


So far, the baked flax oil method looks at least an excellent and possibly the best seasoning method. And it provides an all vegie base that may be important to some vegetarians. However, as I mentioned last post, I haven't baked with cast iron and I don't know how this seasoning compares with others in usage.


Regards,
Rufus


 
Rufus Laggren
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> why choose flax oil...

Because I found credible reports of excellent results using it. The bloggers and reviewers related having problems or not so great experiences with other methods. And because at the time, ten years ago (? no idea really - 15?) I had good results with it after having had not such good results with bacon grease and peanut oil.

However, I have to agree with the point the "thekitchn.com" article mentioned,  ie:  The good results may have derived from the care with which the seasoning was repeatedly applied in thin layers at relatively high heat.

Paul, I really like your article - it was all around great.  It could almost be called a love paean to cast iron, straight from the heart. <GG>

A further note on cast iron cookware: Cracks can be repaired in some cases. I successfully repaired a crack in an 8" fry pan and I'm nobody's guru welder. However, I did not weld it, but brazed it. Cast iron repair, from what I read when I was entertaining thoughts of someday being a proficient welder (hasn't happened, but nothing I made has broken, either) is a murky mix of science, witchcraft and luck. Some welders are _much_ better at it than others, though . The pan was intact, not in pieces, the crack was about 1" long extending down from the rim toward the bottom but still about 1/2" away from the bottom. I cleaned the pan completely and using a magnifying glass guestimated the end of the crack; then drilled an 1/8" hole to stop the crack. Then I took a fine tooth skinny hack saw blade and cut down the crack to the hole. The crack was more or less straight. This cleaned up the metal edges and made it more likely the filler would reach everyplace.  Because of CIs reputation for not liking temperature gradients (although there are differing informed opinions about that)  I preheated the pan to 500F. and then bronze brazed it as quickly as possible using an OA torch. And filled the crack-stop hole, of course. Back into the already hot oven for 30 minutes and then turned off the oven and let the pan cool in place. Cool down is also touted as significant in CI repair, but I have no idea if what I did made a lick of difference - just a WildAssGuess.

I relate the method not to show anybody how (I'm not qualified for that) but rather to suggest that it might be possible to make a good repair in some cases w/out resorting to voodoo, and $$$$. There are times when a  good pan gets hurt, and there is really nothing left in it's future but wall decoration, when taking a shot at repair could make sense. A good welder would increase that odds exponentially, of course. I made this repair maybe..... Dunno. Long time ago 10+ years, and the pan has been in weekly if not daily service since, no problems. The repair has become invisible, the pan is abused just like all the other kitchen tools.


Cheers,
Rufus
 
Jennifer Richardson
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Fred (and the rest of us!) would really love to have a 15" cast iron skillet. We do a lot of community meals, and our skillets just aren't quite big enough.

Here is one from Lodge on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00063RWUM?pf_rd_r=RRRNJ38ABKS7TNGVRSF6&pf_rd_p=edaba0ee-c2fe-4124-9f5d-b31d6b1bfbee

Here is the same one on eBay for cheaper:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lodge-15-Cast-Iron-Skillet/164319360288?hash=item2642327520:g:BaoAAOSwebdfEcIR

We would also love to have a good used/vintage one, or any one at all!
 
Jennifer Richardson
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I would like to make a scrap quilt, and would be very happy if anyone has a stash of quilting cotton they would like to send my way. Even very small scraps would be useful to me. 50 wt cotton thread would also be very much appreciated! Thanks!
 
Jennifer Richardson
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All right, this is pure self-indulgence, but we’ve been doing pancake breakfasts on the weekends a lot, and the idea of waffles keeps getting tossed around...

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07SFVNVMW/?tag=beefkitchentools-20
 
Jennifer Richardson
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Also a waffle iron might help prevent more pancakes like this...
F2F80C5D-D260-49DF-9E1F-DECCFA5B2878.jpeg
Griddle fun
Griddle fun
 
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Jennifer Richardson wrote:All right, this is pure self-indulgence, but we’ve been doing pancake breakfasts on the weekends a lot, and the idea of waffles keeps getting tossed around...

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07SFVNVMW/?tag=beefkitchentools-20



Watch for a package from Amazon, says 16th-20th. Please post waffle pics!
 
Jennifer Richardson
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Awesome! Thanks Joshua! I will definitely post pics.
 
Joshua Rimmer
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Jennifer Richardson wrote:Awesome! Thanks Joshua! I will definitely post pics.



I have an ulterior motive: I am REALLY interested in the greenhouse project, and I figure a well-fed Josiah makes that go better!
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