Tyler Cullender

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since Sep 11, 2012
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Recent posts by Tyler Cullender

Paul is asking for new ideas for seed ball ingredients -- what about something that you could toss in the area where your poultry forage to put some extra nutrition, excitement, and diversity in their diet?

I've heard mixed reports on the success of large seeds in seed balls, so I'm sticking to the smaller seeds here:

Dwarf essex rape
White proso millet
Golden flax
Salad mallow
Purple top turnip

This mix could be any number of plants that chickens find delicious...but that's an example!
5 years ago
I agree that a heat-retaining material like rock or concrete would be great. The design issue that I'm having a bigger problem conceiving is making a top-flow chamber, such that warm air is pulled in from the top and flows over the food. I've heard this design mentioned, but have never seen one or plans for one. If people have experience drying sauces or pastes using solar dehydrators, I would love to hear input, and weather a top-down airflow is necessary.

Black garlic involves fermenting the whole bulbs at high temperatures (~140 F) for a long period of time (30-40 days). The technique was first practiced in Korea, I think. I've found instructions for making it online using a rice cooker or an oven, or a homemade heating box like this one: http://adamkapela.com/2012/02/28/dyi-black-garlic/

6 years ago
Hey folks,

I'm trying to wrap my brain around solar dehydrator designs. I've done a bit of research and I like the Appalachian State design that provides a long tunnel that pulls air from the bottom and lifts it up through the food trays. However, I would really like to build something that is capable of drying sauce type items. I want my solar dehydrator to be just as versatile as an electric one, and that means the ability to make items like tomato paste, fruit leather, and other items that begin in a fairly liquidy state. My concern is that most of the solar dehydrator plans I've seen focus on pulling air from below that rises over the racks of food. Is this adequate for liquid food items that require a solid tray? I've heard of designs that pull air in from the top and bring it down over the food -- I haven't been able to find a design like this, but it seems to me like this would be more appropriate for drying liquid items. Any insight or links you have would be much appreciated!

On a related note, I would like to try making black garlic, but I don't like the idea of leaving an oven or rice cooker on for the ~40 days required for the garlic to ferment. Has anyone use solar dehydration to make black garlic? My concern is that the temperature would dip too much at night, so I'm also interested in insulating the dehydrator as much as is reasonable.
6 years ago
Great information - thanks everyone! Since I live 100s of miles from the nearest ocean, seaweed doesn't seem like the best permaculture solution, but I appreciate the info on the dynamic accumulators.
6 years ago
A beginner's question, I'm sure.

In a crop setting, it seems that we can fix about all of the nitrogen we care to, and phosphorous (as far as I know) is in decent abundance in most soils and can be accessed from subsoil using various techniques...but how do people replace the potassium that comes out of the system?? I've heard that ash is decent, but my soils are already at pH ~7.8

Thanks!
6 years ago
Great information, thanks! I guess I have a wrong understanding of keylines, then -- time to dig into the updated literature.

Could you explain 'ripping'? Is that the act of putting in numerous small 'valleys' along the contour?
6 years ago
I've been reading through Mollison's permaculture design pamphlets and I can't quite wrap my head around these two dam types. From what I can tell, it's easier to construct a contour dam because they tend to be shallower, thus the dam need not be so tall. However, keypoint dams seem to take the spotlight in Mollison's writings. Can you offer insight into why a keypoint dam might be the way to go? Should I just go read Yeoman's book?

Thanks and glad to join the forums!

-Stay gold
6 years ago