Su Ba

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since Apr 18, 2013
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Retired from veterinary medicine. My second career is creating a homestead, aiming to be self reliant.
Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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Recent posts by Su Ba

When Kilauea volcano was emitting ash plumes the past couple months, I would wear a dust mask when I worked outside on my farm. The dust masks I used had one way valves in them. Therefore warmth and moisture didn't build up inside the mask, making using them way, way more comfortable. The brand I used was 3M and it was a N95 rating. I would wear them for hours with no issues. Since I had asthma as a child and several bouts of pneumonia as a young adult, I take care of my lungs.
Keep in mind that if a person intentionally allows an animal to run at large, they are usually liable for any damages associated with that animal. So if your goats damage a neighbor's garden, damage their car by climbing on it, cause an automobile accident, you may find yourself in an uncomfortable and expensive predicament.
I wouldn't worry about the seed being GMO. Those seed producing crops aren't valuable enough to put in the expense and research to insert GMO genes. Canary seed, safflower, thistle, etc aren't major enough crops. As for being organic, most likely not. But then, just about everything isn't really organic, even the stuff that claims to be. There gets to be a point where you have to give it your best guess and make a decision.

Whether or not the bird seed will sprout depends upon how it was treated and handled. If stored or transported for days in a closed cargo container in the blazing sun, it probably won't germinate. But shipped locally or overnight, stored under shelter, kept most likely will grow. I find that here in Hawaii it's a miss & hit situation, depending upon where the seed was located inside the shipping container.

When I first started my homestead farm, my back 14 acres grew little edible for livestock pasture. For the first year I scattered bird seed mix (because a neighbor had several bags in his shed that were starting to mold, so he gave them to me) in the areas where I had removed dense saplings, ferns, brushy overgrowth. It sprouted. It gave a decent cover and provided some feed for sheep many months later. I don't use bird seed now because it cost far more than whole oats, which I now use. Oh yes, I lightly raked the seed in which helps with better germination and protects more of it from the birds.

I don't know if the Indian corn is GMO or not. Most US sweet corn and standard field corn is GMO of one sort or another. But Indian corn is a specialty crop, so I don't know if the GMO technology has been applied to it yet. I'd have to contact seed companies about that question. But there are plenty of Indian  corn varieties that are not GMO. But you wouldn't know what you have when buying the decorations at the supermarket.
I don't know where to direct you for the latest and hottest blog platforms. But I'm presently using blogspot, and so do several other people in my area. People around me also use Wordpress. So both of these still exist. Blogspot is easy for a non-techy novice to set up. It has to be, as proof......I'm using it.
5 days ago
Dish soap ---- non-permie Dawn. Because it cuts grease well, which is a plus for clean up after butchering a pig or lamb. Dawn also does a good job as a sticker/spreader for my homemade bug killing concoctions.

Just to ease the minds of the offended permies, we do use homemade soap for showering. We have several local makers of very nice handmade soap in my area. And ya know, if Dawn disappeared I'd just switch to using the homemade soap. It's just not as easy to rinse off of things.
1 week ago
I now live in the tropics and live a much more simplistic and permie lifestyle, so my "perfect" kitchen is far, far different than I would have dreamed of 20 years ago.

... Outdoors. Under a roof for rain protection. A garden hose nearby for clean up afterwards.
... A double sink. Two prep tables. A rat & bug proof storage cabinet for items I don't want to keep hauling out from the house.
... A source of electricity. Running water, preferably with a hot water too.
... A propane stove that doesn't require electricity to operate. It would be in a large protective cabinet that would open up for use, so that the stove would be protected from the weather, acidic air, and rats.
... A large steel pot for brothy soups and steaming veggies, a cast iron frying pan and a good wok, a few heavy pots for general cooking, a tea kettle for heating water for tea & coffee. I'm not fussy about brands as long as they are functional and last.
... A couple of solid wood cutting boards.
... A heavy serrated bread knife. Assorted paring knives. Yup, that's all I use.

The frig and freezer are both Sundanzers and would stay indoors to protect them from the acidic moisture in the air. Same for all other appliances.

I don't desire or need high quality much of anything. As long as it is durable, that's fine. Ive been in kitchens that had 20-30 different pots and pans, 2 dozen assorted knives, special whisks and other hand tools, all sorts of kitchen gadgets......don't need any of that. I just keep it simple though not totally minimalistic.

I don't presently have this kitchen, but it's in the plans. Once I'm finished building the rest of the house (should be done by next year), I fully plan to create my outdoor kitchen. I'll still keep a mini kitchen indoors, but the bulk of food preparation will be done outdoors.
1 week ago
Dan, I'm with you. I'm not fussy about coffee, though I do indeed enjoy a cup of the good stuff. In fact, the only coffee I had trouble swallowing was in the UK.....Kenco. But if I had been able to add chocolate French vanilla creamer, I think I could have drank that stuff too. I'm always willing to be frugal.
1 week ago
I don't recall all the food being distinctly different from what I was already used to, but the few things that were unique were....
...Guinea pig. The meat had been roasted in some fashion then added to a stew-like stir fry dish. Tasty, but full of bones.
...llama steak. Tough but tasty.
...poke. I think it's called ceviche there. Diced up raw fish marinated in acidic juices, citrus in flavor, rather than vinegary. Hot peppers, onions, garlic. Very much like Hawaiian poke.
...spicy or sweet peppers in most dishes.
...Inka Cola. We saw this being sold everywhere.
...roast chicken that had been marinated with soy sauce, peppers, and spices. We had several variations of this and it was always good.
1 week ago
Buying sight unseen via photos is common enough here in Hawaii. Some of the time the buyers are happy with their purchase. Other times they are aghast! It's not uncommon to see new people arrive here, then the house is in the market within 30 days.
1 week ago
I'm not a big sandwich eater, but when I when I bring home a loaf of bread from one of my "food swaps", I'll go on a sandwich binge for a few days. Part of the loaf goes for cinnamon toast and honey toast. Sandwich-wise, I'll go for....
...peanut butter, banana, cherry jelly. That's my dream, but in reality it becomes macnut butter, banana, and whatever jelly I happen to have. This is a real comfort food for me.
...pickles, tomatoes, and mayonnaise. Yum. I'll have this one for dinner.
...cream cheese and green olives. I haven't had this one in years simply because I seldom have the ingredients in the house. But I sure do love the combination.
...gravy sandwiches. Homemade gravy over fresh bread, wonderful comfort food. Yeah, I'm a cheap date!
...watercress, tomatoes, mayonnaise.
...thick slab of tomato with mayonnaise. Simple and heavenly.

I don't have an ultimate favorite. Since I tend to eat what we produce, forage, hunt, or trade for, I'm pretty happy with any of them. They are all a special treat.
1 week ago