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Mick Fisch

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since Jun 24, 2013
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Recent posts by Mick Fisch

I'm guessing you've tried insufficiently washed quinua, which I find nasty tasting stuff.  There is a coating on the outside that is nasty.  I've heard its function is to make it less attractive to birds, etc.  It certainly works against me!

If you take a couple minutes to scrub the grains against each other in warm water the coating comes off and it has a very mild rice like flavor.  

Folks lived a long time on eating the three sisters.  They can be grown with minimal tools.

Another option, if the conditions allow, is chestnuts.  Chestnuts were a major food source in many places.  Up to the 17th century in some parts of France it was a major food source.  I've read that the church didn't like it because there wasn't a lot of work involved, so folks found sinful ways to spend their time.  Landlords didn't like chestnuts because it was harder to collect their share.  As circumstances allowed they cut down trees and moved the people over to grain.
6 days ago
Any single crop, depended on without a backup is a potential problem.  Remember the Irish potato famine.  You should aim for at least 3 crops, with each planted in excess so if one totally fails, you can gather by.
1 week ago
It depends a lot on your area, your knowledge and your preferences.  I like potatoes.  When I had a kid come up with celiacs, my response was "I'm fine with potatoes and rice, I don't need wheat."  My wife however, really felt the lack.  I've read in several survival books that corn is just tougher and easier than wheat.  My problem is that I know a lot more things I can make with wheat than corn.  Some varieties of corn are more demanding than others.  

The 300 lbs of wheat per person is survival amounts, not necessarily healthy amounts, assuming you don't have much else as a carb source.  Potatoes are wet, so it takes more potatoes because you have to factor in the water weight.  

Wheat keeps very well.  All you need is one bad potato in the batch to start rot.  (Remember the song "One Bad Apple Won't Spoil the Whole Bunch Girl"? It was a dirty lie!)  This is probably why grains became dominant over tubers in many areas.

Potatoes will definitely out produce grains both pound/pound and calories/calories, if you have the right conditions for potatoes.

An diet that's pretty much all corn can easily lead to pellagra, a deficiency disease caused by lack of niacin.  (Pellagra is fairly common now in some parts of South America, once common among share croppers in the southern US).  

A variety of foods, especially with different colors, is going to give you better nutrition.  A multi-vitamin is a poor substitute for a varied diet, but if you were trying to live on a very limited diet, it will probably help keep your hair and teeth from falling out.
1 week ago

There's a guy in Pleasant View, Utah who sells used guitars out of his house.  (he has a contact down in Texas who has a warehouse full of them).  You can find him on the KSL app.  His ad is 'acoustical and classical guitars - 54.99".  

I have played since Noah was a cabin boy.  I play a classical guitar because I play my own style that has lots of picking, mixed with strumming.  When I was a teenager two of my brothers, my sister and myself all were learning at the same time.  My parents still can't stand to hear 'The House of the Rising Sun" (I think it was a law back then that you had to learn that song first).

Going back to the guy in Pleasant View, I bought a guitar for my son there.  (if they learn to play, I buy them a guitar when they leave home).  The guy had some nice beginner to mid range guitars.  I bought a very nice classical Yamaha for  $99.99.  When I am choosing a guitar I mostly ignore the name and focus on whether it plays easily and sounds good.  I've seen some cheap guitars that sounded great and some 'good name' guitars I was unimpressed with.

Once you master a song, play with it.  Make it yours.  Just because someone else made a song famous doesn't mean you can't improve or at least improvise on it.  Music, I think, is a very individualistic thing.  

It sounds like you're doing well.

2 weeks ago
My dad has two sayings, referring to statistics "figures don't lie, but liars figure" and "There are three kinds of lies.  Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics".  Given enough data, you can often find the truth, but depending how you slice and dice the data, you can get different results.  (Any one dealing with science realizes this and has probably seen some examples of misinterpreted or misrepresented data).  Sometimes this is done on purpose for ulterior reasons.  I prefer to think that most of the time it is done out of ignorance, carelessness, or simply because something was overlooked.  

It's pretty plain that there are some individuals who "cook the books" to get the numbers they want.  It's also apparent to me that most of the followers are simply trusting bad data and are acting on what they think/ hope is true.  

The scientific method simply shows that in a certain circumstance, a particular hypothesis works.  This is valuable.

What most people call 'Science' as in 'Science has proved', is things that are generally agreed upon in our society as being true.  Sometimes they are quoting some obscure study that supports their position.  Neither generally accepted wisdom or evidence supporting the opposite should be scoffed at, but we need to realize they are also not the last word.  Remember, science proved butter was bad and margarine was good.  Then it proved the reverse (the first was an example of special interests skewing the numbers).  Given 10 minutes, most people can come up with a dozen or so other examples of old 'truths' we now accept as false.  Now, go a little further, realize that in another 5, 50, 500 years, many of our current 'truths' will be shown to false, misapplied, or possibly true only in certain cases.

The idea that you can present an opinion, but not lay down the law allows discussion to continue.  As the discussion continues there is a greater chance that the false opinion will be revealed.  I see a benefit to this.  Not calling other people liars or citing vague 'science' is an example of 'good manners'.  I've been told on one of these forums that 'good manners' are oppressive and were used to do bad things.  That is probably true.  Anything can be used as a weapon (my wife used to say guys can make a weapon out of toast).  Even with it's flaws, I still haven't seen a proper replacement for basic good manners (meaning taking into consideration others feelings, not Emily Post).
Not exactly an invention, but definitely something people here will want to see.  WOOL INSOLES.
3 weeks ago
An ancient egyptian egg oven (for hatching huge numbers of eggs)

Much of permaculture is seeing old ways of doing things with new eyes, and sometimes mixing and matching from different parts of the world.  Why reinvent the wheel?  This is one more bit of data to put in your bag.
3 weeks ago
I've been very interested in sea buckthorn for quite a while.  Amazingly tough, nitrogen fixing, great health benefits, possible cash crop.... what's not to love?

I finally broke down last week and bought a (very expensive, for me) bottle of 100% organic juice from Amazon.  I was disappointed in the flavor.  It tasted like orange juice gone bad (pretty musty).  (I watered it down and added a little apple juice for sweetening).  I know the berries will hang on the bushes for months and ferment, so I am wondering if they let the berries hang on the tree a little too long or if this is the taste of ripe, rather than over ripe sea buckthorn.

Has anyone else had a better experience?  I would love to grow this plant, but if the flavor drives everyone away, it may be a non starter.
3 weeks ago
Depending on where you are, (in temperate areas), your ground water is somewhere between 45 and 55 degrees (F).  Water takes a lot of energy to heat up, so, yes you could use your well water to cool your house, depending on the size of the house, how tight it is, and how much water you can pump up.  

First you have to get the water up from the bottom of the well (solar or wind, I'm guessing).  Once you do that, if you just run it in a long looping route in the house and it should suck up heat.  It would probably cool more effectively if you mount it up higher than the floor.  Heat rises, cold sinks.  If you cool the floor, your feet may well be cold before your head stops sweating.  Cool at ceiling height and you cool the whole room.

The main things to consider are surface area and air flow past the cold line.  The greater the surface area, the better the cold can absorb heat.  The greater the air flow, also, the beter the cold can suck up heat.  (think of a car radiator, lots of air flow, lots of surface area, except with a car, it's doing the opposite, the water is giving heat up to the atmosphere).  

You could get some scrap radiators, stacked one in front of the other, with a fan moving air through them.  (using what you can find, Automobile, Old drained A/C units, fridge radiators).  The cold water should feed into the radiator furthest from the fan, then feed the others.  Another alternative might be mounting them a few inches below the ceiling, parallel with the ceiling.  That way as air cools, it will drop down and make a natural air convection.  

POSSIBLE PROBLEM WITH THIS SUGGESTION:  People used to poisoned when unscrupulous bootleggers in the 30's used car radiators to make whiskey, but I'm pretty sure that was because the alcohol and maybe some small percentages of acid leached lead out of the radiators and put it in the whiskey.  I'm 85% sure water would be ok, once the radiator is well flushed out. Might not hurt to double check on that, if you're going to drink it)

Now that I think of it, it may be easier to break down and buying as many finned hot water radiators made for a house as you think you'll need.  (the kind that are behind a baseboard on the wall).  Only, since you want them to cool instead of heat, I would mount them up high, and maybe a few inches from the wall (condensation on the wall might be a problem (otherwise).  My WAG (wild assed guess) is that you might want a little more to cool than you would use to heat a house of similar size, if you were using hot water heating).

If you are pumping fresh well water through the system, a radiator may eventually clog up with mineral deposits.  (warming and cooling water changes it's carrying capacity for different substances, and I'm not sure off the top of my head if heating it up would increase or decrease it's capacity.  If it decreases it, it may lead to mineralization.  You might check on that.).

Where are you at?  If you're in a humid area, cooling the air might lead to mildew and mold issues.  You will at least get water dripping off of you radiators, which is simply a problem to be solved.  In a very dry area, as was mentioned above, some kind of swamp cooling system might works well.  (If you have a hot, dry breeze blowing through a window, pumping water up and letting it trickle through a loose mat or something the breeze blows through in front of a window will give you a very creditable swamp cooler imitation).
1 month ago
Take two tiny ads and call me in the morning.
1 month ago