john mcginnis

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since Jul 07, 2013
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Recent posts by john mcginnis

Lyda Eagle wrote:...   Just have to make sure to have ennough salt and spices saved up.   And it should be salt without idodine in it.  I get khosher and sea salt in large amounts when I can   saving spices now is good and especially saving seeds.  I am also atttempting to grow spices indoors that are not  able to take the cold where I live,  like vanilla and cloves

Two sources of salt in the US. From the sea, and several underground salt domes.

If you buy Morton table salt is comes from this place (Bahamas salt pans) -- Why should that be of interest? Its ALL sea salt! So essentially any non-iodine Morton table salt IS sea salt. Save your pennies and pass on the sea salt label and just buy the blue box product instead.

Here is a Morton salt mine -- . Most uses for mined salt is industrial, agricultural, etc. Most mined salt to be used as a table salt has a price penalty. It has to be ground to powder whereas the sea salt is already in a fine granular state.

4 days ago

Lyda Eagle wrote:I would also love a freeze drier.  I know if the power is down then I wouldn't be able to use it ... but wondering how big  a solar setup I would need to run one.  Even though solar will not last forever either.  Would love to live where I had a fast stream close enough to have some kind of water turbine to produce power. Wouldn't want to dam up the whole thing but I know I have seen Turbines you can just lower into the side of a fast moving stream that are suppose  to work great.  I think that would be a better long term solution to power or a windmill. Not one of the jumbo ones  but more like they used to have on farms.  We live on a farm that had one and I love going around it and watching how it worked. IF I ever get a place of my own I want to try and have something like this.  ..... OF course you don't need electricity to can or even gas.  It can be done on over a fire or wood stove you jut have to watch it very carefully because you don't want it to hot but mostly don't want the pressure to fall on a pressure caner you have to maintain a certain pressure or your timing must start all over again and that can cause the food to get mushy    MY grandmother canned over a coal stove so that is about the same in having to watch it constantly. ... I hated all the coal dust everywhere. And I do mean everywhere.  As soon as you would take a shower you would get covered by the dust within a few minutes. But it was fun to watch her cook on that old stove.  

My grandmother was born Uniontown PA. They hung their laundry in the basement to dry. Doing it outside, the clothing would be dirter than when they first washed it. Coal country was a tough place to live back then.
5 days ago

Kate Downham wrote:In Australia our main type of canning jars (Fowlers) has the option of almost-indestructible stainless steel lids.

Kate, I was curious and seached for Fowlers jars. I was shocked at the prices! I hope they are nearly indestructible, as I would hate to lose one.
6 days ago
You want ideas? Go back to the Colonial Period of America. Folks back then did not have canning as a source of preservation.

* Smoking, especially fish, was quite common.
* Salting, both meat and fish was a staple. A variation of the period is what has developed into American bacon today, only it was hard as a rock and salty as all get out.
* Dehydration of course.
* Brining back then was not just for pickles and the like. Meat was also preserved by this method.
* Refrigeration. Those in the North would have a standing ice house, cut ice slabs out of ponds, kept their meats in them. That practice survived well into the 1920's. My relatives are Russian. One of the unique features of those ole Khrushchev blocks is the kitchen had an opening about 4x10. That was covered over by a window on top and a window settee/cupboard below. In the Winters the cupboard served as your root cellar.  

Indoor cooking was for the poor. If you were of the gentry, the kitchen was in a separate building from the main house. The issue of not wanting to burn down your home was paramount. My grandmother had an porch kitchen. In the Florida summers that is all she used. AC was rare in her times. Tour historical buildings in the South and the porch kitchen was quite common.

I highly recommend the Townsends channel on YouTube.   The content is informative and well produced. The host is quite charming. I have never been disappointed by the time spent watching one of their videos.

6 days ago
I am not a big kale fan due to taste but the vitamins are not to be missed. Sooooo....

I dehydrate the leaves, grind them into a powder then add the result liberally into any casseroles we make for dinner. Small amounts in most soups are good too.
1 month ago

You sell the eggs the recipient hatches them. Your only costs would be some proper wrapping material for each egg. The buyer would be paying for the eggs and the shipping/materials. Its that simple.
1 month ago

Beth Johnson wrote:Hi! While there's no urban market in times of Covid-19, I've been trading eggs for food (thanks, Eric - your beef is delicious!), feeding some hard-boiled mashed up eggs to the ducks, giving some to neighbors, the mail carrier and all that good stuff.

Many thanks to Eric for providing a lovely home for two amorous drakes whose behavior was not conducive to the ladies' overall welfare. We had a duck ER and convalescent home in my bathroom for a week.

Thank you all

Though the Farmer Markets might be hampered, eggs have another use -- hatching eggs. if you have a heritage flock you might consider selling hatching eggs. The market is good for this market. I suspect this market will grow as people realize a level of self-sufficiency is a requirement, not just a nice-to-have. The downside to this market is you have to be able to quick ship and have a focused person to person response to any problems that crop up.
1 month ago
Good piece and a lot of good ideas.

I have not been the best at getting seeds to start. Oh they start, but with my schedule and not being around the homestead day-in, day-out they launch like gang busters then die of my avarice and neglect. My bad. Well that is till I saw Jack Spirko had a sparkling idea for a Ron Popeil seed starting system. Details here -- It works OUTSTANDING!

Yes. Its a kratky hyrdo setup.
Yes. It looks expensive, but it does not have to be.
Yes. Its not permi-like, chemicals ugh.

Lets talk expenses first. Score a small kit of Masterblend chemicals off Amazon. $20 for the smallest kit. You don't need fancy hydro tables. I scored aluminum serving pans with clear plastic lids for two bucks apiece on sale. You may already have net cups but if not that would be another $20 but they are reusable for nearly forever in this application. Jack mentions a particular lighting set up. But you really don't need that so long as you have a window with good solar exposure. And you really don't need the greenhouse piece either if you are maintaining normal temps in your home. You will need a scale to portion out the hydro chems. Oh, and a calculator to manage it. I have one here -- I do use the rapid rooter plugs Jack mentions but they are not essential. You could use line a net cup with a paper towel and use regular potting soil. The rooter plugs are just more convenient.

So what do you get for the effort? About a week quicker to transplanting in my experience. No WATERING issues. Easier starts based on my experience. tConsistency. Some of you might be saying you can't put hydro starts in the ground. Not True, or at least so for me. I pull the start out of the cup roots and all and plant right into the ground. I water hard for the next two to three days and experience little shock and get good results. I keep my set up in the house so I can start my season sooner with this.

It is my solution to getting the garden started.
I wish everyone good luck on the hatch-a-thon. Sounds like fun.

Out of 11 eggs set 7 ducklings have emerged.

Hang tough everyone, these are trying times.
2 months ago