Dan Boone

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since Jan 24, 2014
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Dan Boone gardens, plants fruit trees, and tends wild fruit and nut trees and vines in Central Oklahoma.
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Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
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Recent posts by Dan Boone

Jerry Brown wrote:Can't find any mention of sawbucks in Foxfire 1, 2 or 3. (You have to look in number 3 to find the index, all 3 are indexed together.)

I realized this thread was five years old and as I was catching up on it, I thought "You know, I should have checked the Foxfire books!" But I don't have them handy, so I'm delighted to learn that somebody else looked. So much for that bright idea.  

Lots of nifty sawbucks in this thread, but still haven't seen one in roundwood built the way I remember. Memory is funny; could be I was nuts all along.
4 months ago
I don't want to rain on your identification hopes, but I gave up on plum IDs a few years ago, after consulting the best local book on tree identification.  It basically told me that there are five types of wild plums in Oklahoma and that all of them hybridize freely with each other and with domestic plums.  In the gentlest possible terms it warned that plum ID was virtually impossible without the resources of a botany lab and quite difficult even with one.  

In your shoes if I really wanted to know bad enough, I think I'd contact my county extension office and see if they know of a local plum expert.

5 months ago
The first numbered bullet/paragraph in my OP was focused on choosing open source software for sustainability.  I just now saw a person on Mastodon state that very starkly:

In the long run, only open source software exists.

Every closed source program (and some corporate OSS) is on an invisible timer for either the company to get bored and shut it down or one of the increasingly small number of Big Companies to buy that thing you rely on and set it on fire.

5 months ago
Healthy-ish vegan snack/meal that can be consumed as finger food if you're so inclined. Not really a recipe, more like a process.

Take a one pound bag of fresh baby carrots.  Cut chunks of bigger carrots from your garden would also work obviously, but you want pieces no more than half as thick as the brussel sprouts to make the roasting time work. Store baby carrots (which of course are actually just chunks of mature carrots that have been mechanically abraded to a uniform smaller finger size) are sized perfectly.

Dump them in a mixing bowl.

Take a one-pound bag of frozen brussel sprouts.  Dump them in too.

Add a small amount of your preferred cooking oil. I use olive oil; any oil would do.  By "small amount" I mean a tablespoon or less.

Stir well, adding your favorite spice mix as you go. I use table salt plus whatever is handy: taco seasoning, poultry seasoning, or one of those KC Masterpiece spice bottles intended for steak.  Use plenty of salt and spice.

Put the seasoned veg into your air fryer. Mine has two racks (like an older-fashioned convection oven) so I split them evenly and swap the two racks halfway through. If you have the basket type, you'll want to shake/stir more frequently. If your air fryer has a temp adjustment, max it. Then cook for twenty-five minutes. That's enough to fully roast everything to overdone browned perfection, which is how I like my roasted vegetables. Adjust cooking time to your taste.


9 months ago

Pearl Sutton wrote:Somewhere in this thread there was talk of feed bag reuse, my feed comes in the heavy paper bags, great for weed suppression!

This spring when I was building and rejuvenating soil for my container garden (by screening together old soil, semi-fresh stallion poop, composted wood chips, and various amendments) there was no perlite to be had at any of the usual outlets within the radius of about 1.5 hours of driving time (one way).  So I ordered a 4 cubic foot bag on Amazon.  To my surprise, it came in a huge multi-layered feed-type paper bag instead of the plastic sack all the big box stores use.   Had to transfer it right away into a half-barrel because I didn't have rain-secure storage for it.

Ended up opening up that empty bag, laying it right down on the weedy sod in the side yard with a bit of stallion poop underneath it (for the worms) and another thicker layer of the poop on top of it. Opened up a tiny hole in the middle, filled that hole with about a quart of new potting soil, and planted summer squash in that. Then covered the whole area, lasagna style, with about six inches of "fresh" (a year old, but not heavily composted yet) wood chips.  A couple of passes with a borrowed mower covered the whole pile with grass clippings, but that was more-or-less accidental.   That hill of squash is presently by FAR the most robust of my half-dozen.
1 year ago
Of course when I typed the phrase "prodigious nut production" in the original post back in 2019, it guaranteed that I would not see another black walnut tree with fruit on it for three years.  

Worse yet, this does not look like a mast year for the local black walnuts that I have easy access to, either.  But I was able to scrounge a literal handful (five green nuts) off one of my neighbor's trees.  It's enough for a test batch.

The green nuts had a strong spicy odor, just sitting in the palm of my hand.  I know that June 24th is the traditional time for picking European walnuts for nocino, but I couldn't find any solid nocino harvest date recommendations for the American black walnuts.  The nuts I found seemed very hard in my hand, so it was an enormous relief when they quartered easily using my best chef knife.  Crunchy and solid, yes, but easily sliced without whacking or chopping.   It was not deliberate that I picked these on an easily-remembered date like June 21, but it seems like a fine date for this species where I am.

Somewhat to my surprise, the chambers in my nuts had a green translucent liquid in them that dripped out onto the parchment paper I used to protect my cutting board.  I wonder if next time I should capture and incorporate that fluid?  

Anyway, five nuts loosely fills about a quarter of a quart mason jar.  So, rough "five nuts to the cup" ratio if you're picking to make a gallon batch.  

I am going with the alcohol-soak first, add spices later approach.  So I topped the nuts to the 400ml line on my jar.  I used Everclear, due to still having a liter bottle around from when I bought it at the start of the pandemic, when it looked like we might need to make our own hand sanitizer.  Some recipes for nocino speak of vodka or other 40% spirits, but all the more serious ones seem to recommend "pure" 95% stuff like the Everclear.  

Experiment finally underway!  I'll keep y'all posted.
1 year ago

Kim Goodwin wrote:A method I've used from Feedipedia is to blend up citrus rinds from after jucing them or eating them, use that "pomace". It works great! And I needed a use for the leftover citrus rinds, as we eat a fair amount of lemons and limes weekly.

OMG, this is why I read Permies.  I have bounced repeatedly off the problem of acidifying soil in a sustainable way -- for blueberries and such -- without having to buy industrial/mined inputs from far away, or really, spend money on any products.  I am a bit too far north to grow citrus freely outdoors, and we don't buy that much of it, but...

I can and do grow hardy orange trees, poncirus trifoliata, and they thrive here.  The culinary uses for those fruit are, well, "marginal" is about the nicest word, although I do hope to make some unique local tonics/bitters when my trees really start fruiting.  But if I can use the fruit as an acidifying soil/compost amendment, that alone will be a good reason for all my lovely poncirus trees!
1 year ago
I am in 7b and for me, turmeric "just grows" -- plants are happy outdoors in summer, and will perhaps quadruple their rhizomes in a summer season.  It's not a ton but a little turmeric goes a long way.  They are stupidly frost-sensitive but I've had OK luck just bringing them plants indoors over winter.  They don't grow much and the leaves are spindly and weak, but come summer they put up new shoots and get back to work.

Culinary ginger does less well for me.  It's very sensitive to drying out and the foliage is weak in the Oklahoma wind.  Plants don't die under the best care I can provide but they don't thrive or give me much rhizome increase.  
1 year ago
I think Jay's question about defining economic success is important to grapple with.  Is "raking in the dough" as a permaculturalist farmer/homesteader possible? I don't know. It does not seem to be common.  But Paul Wheaton's fable The Story Of Gert seems relevant here.  

In that story Ferd (who is the Goofus of the tale, where Gert is the Gallant) works his ass off with job and commute to rake in the dough.  Gert enjoys a better lifestyle with little income and even less cash.  Which of them is an example of economic success?  That's a question of values; some would say both, some would say neither, and some would pick out one or the other.  

If the challenge is to have Ferd's cash while living Gert's lifestyle, I think that's a hard one.

1 year ago
There's a person on Twitter who is a big Soay sheep enthusiast: @NeolithicSheep.  The Twitter account ranges over a wide range of topics from Soay sheep to Kerry cattle to ... well, let's just call it a bit of a carnival ride and leave it there.  There's also a Patreon that I think may have more sheep stuff on it.  You might find something useful perusing their links and media.

1 year ago