siu-yu man

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since Feb 07, 2013
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zone 6a, north america
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Recent posts by siu-yu man

thanks for the response j.

i might not mind the mineral residues so i'm going to try a couple different recipes.
will post some photos once we do some testing.

going to ditch the olive idea and try camelina oil instead of olive and as a replacement for linseed/flax.
your post reminded me that linseed was actually flax and camelina is called "false flax" and also appears to have the same qualities:

we grew a trial plot of camelina this spring and got a crazy amount of yield.
super easy to grow (just drop seed in early spring), extremely drought resistant and fights the weeds like a champ!
got a larger test plot going right now, but not sure it will mature before winter.

thanks to you both for confirming that i was not completely bonkers.
8 years ago
this is best price i could find for non-sale thyme starters:
they have a pretty good reputation, though i'll probably wait until spring to order as i've been scrounging the clearance items from the local nurseries.

growing thyme from seed has been so far frustrating for me as i prefer to direct sow.
it appears that they need the perfect conditions to sprout and the weed seeds overtake the area beforehand.
8 years ago
the garbage disposal is a great idea, thanks!
here's the disposal to get:

we bought a new mop bucket with a wringer to squeeze the juice out.
works really good though i suppose if you are processing a large amount, building that car jack press would be more efficient in the long run.
cheers to Henrik at Whizbang for devising another elegantly cheap solution.
8 years ago
you're not too far off with your citrus juicer image, Chadwick -- but we're using potato rocks.

i was thinking borax as it is considered a "low-toxicity" preservative and it is effective against wood rot organisms and wood destroying insects (we want to use this primarily on reclaimed wood that may have active infestations of either/or/both). but, i'm going to attempt to honor your request and search for other ingredients. vinegar sounds like a definite option. going to stay away from ammonia for sure.

found this interesting set of traditional recipes:

note the use of turpentine. wonder if there's a way to safely make it without blowing yourself up?
8 years ago
ok, realize that this might be sound completely stupid, but here goes:

we've been pickling black walnuts wherein the first step is to soak in a sea salt water bath for a couple weeks. usually that salt water is then thrown away, however, it has a beautiful walnut color and we would like to find an alternative use for it.

i understand that salt water is generally thought of as corrosive to wood, however, i keep thinking of how Venice is built upon timbers submerged in brackish water. most of the DIY walnut stains are water-based recipes (save for one that uses methyl alcohol, which we are not going to try), but was wondering if salt water might also be used as an acceptable stain for wood? the crazy line of thinking derives from the fact that salt has been the go-to preservative for all kinds of organic materials for centuries, may this not apply to wood as well (in small amounts of course)?

we would also most likely add borax to the solution as well, following an 100 year old recipe i found in an old homesteading book.

since i haven't found any evidence for this online (all discussion on salt preservatives on wood are focused on either borates or the dreaded CCA), wanted to throw this past the permies crew and see if this idea had potential merit or was completely offbase.

we are also considering soaking walnut husks in olive oil to create an oil-based stain, but didn't want to dispose of the walnut salt water, as it seems there could be a use for it somewhere.

thanks for any comments, even if they confirm that we are raging lunatics for even considering.

p.s. here's a discussion thread on making walnut stain by constructing a press and by using ammonia as a solvent:
would prefer to stay away from the ammonia.
8 years ago
hi Grant, cool videos, love the dubstep at the end...

2 Qs:

1) i saw the 1/2 cut 55 gal barrel that you used for a water trough...does that suffice for when the pigs get larger?

2) do you know if pigs like autumn olive, mugwort, thistles, honeysuckle or mullein?

p.s. got some chinese chestnuts from your stock this spring. they're growing nicely...thanks...
8 years ago
Heather, congrats on having a healthy family, i think the best "medicinals" are the ones that are also used as culinary herbs/teas in order to maintain that layer of protections against the bad bugs floating about. Matu mentioned a bunch. one thing i would add that is not an edible is jewelweed. best poison ivy/bug bite remedy i've ever found (better than plantain i/m/h/o). most easy to preserve is in vinegar. harvest a bunch, immediately blend it up with your chosen vinegar (i use 1/3 ACV and 2/3 white) and store in an airtight jar for the winter. next spring, strain and place in whiskey bottles for easy application with cotton balls. DO NOT use alcohol to preserve, those 2 do not get along at all.

Matu, if you can find some elderberry seedlings/seeds, you should get some going. gorgeous ornamental if nothing else. and freshly picked elderflowers can't be beat. go for 'sambucus nigra' if you can find. this is the medicinal variety.

also, in many areas, "white sage" is actually silver king wormwood, mugwort's cousin.

Alder, also black walnuts, beech nuts.
8 years ago
also have a love/hate relationship with the ToH.
about to take several females down before their seeds mature.
going to do the oyster mushroom pile thingy with most of the slash.
have had issues with using for firewood as it's so difficult to dry without fungi taking over in our humid climate, but just built a wood kiln so will try again.

would be an interesting experiment to try grafting.
maybe staghorn sumac would work (since they're in the same family)?

i buried some in some hugel mounds this season and saw absolutely no alleopathic effects.
in fact, the mounds produced some enormous plants with very little supplemental watering.
the wood i used laid on the ground for 6 months and was well rotted by that time.
8 years ago
Joseph : aren't amaranth & lambs quarters high in oxalic acid? i was juicing amaranth leaves & stems like crazy last month (we're growing it as a psuedograin crop this year) but stopped because i didn't want to overburden the kidneys.

as far as medicinals, how about elecampane, evening primrose, teasel & St. John's wort? (thinking of ones that would grow well in your climate without any work)

Nicole : how do you make nettle chips? sounds yumyumyummy...
8 years ago
we tried drying a bunch this year and failed's so easy to spoil.
luckily we made a big jar of tincture with some fresh flowers.
just opened it today to smells heavenly.

for those into chinese medicine, honeysuckle & forsythia make a powerful combo
yin qiao san

ooh, and look at this:
Here is a list of herbs that bind to or neutralize Lyme and co-infection toxins
4) Lonicera Vine3 / Japanese Honeysuckle Vine, Chinese name: Ren Dong Teng

funny how it grows rampant the same places lyme is spreading like wildfire.

8 years ago