Kim Goodwin

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since Jan 27, 2014
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Native of Oregon, misses the forests, but now staying warm and dry in the desert.
In view of the Chiricahua Mountains, AZ
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Recent posts by Kim Goodwin

Hi Amanda, welcome to Permies!

I had not thought of this thread in awhile.  Fascinating point about WWI and such.  Thankfully, there are adventurous, curious people willing to try new things.  I just found this article about how to use Type-S hydraulic lime as a plaster over drywall.  Fine Homebuilding article about using Type-S Lime as a plaster over drywall

The author gives great detail on how to do it.  Including pointing out that you have to use the freshest Type-S possible.

This is a picture from the author of that article of how you do a "ball test" to get the mix right:

My buckets of Type-S dolomitic lime are still slaking, going on two years now?  Hopefully they will work even better for it.  Our house is going up soon, so it looks like I will finally have a chance to test it.
1 day ago

kadence blevins wrote: He said as an adult looking back, did the families actually trade or did the kids just get told that to ease their minds?

My husband and I are laughing right now, that is so funny.  I have a similar story.  As a kid, I started refusing to eat pork on the grounds of what I learned from the Old Testament.  My family wasn't of that bent, though.  Years later as a teenager, my sister told me that there were a few dishes where they had all been lying to me and saying it was beef!  Even my Grandmother was in on it!  Oh, the betrayal.  :-D  What would they have done if I had become a vegetarian?  

So I've been taking Inge's advice and freezing all my woolens.  They've been in the freezer a couple weeks now just to be thorough.  I'm going to pull out a tote with a fairly tight fitting lid, put them in, and tape the edges of the lid thoroughly to store them for the warmer months this time.  I have a bunch of darning to do, too.  Little holes...  But hopefully this will stop it and make them last!  Thanks for the tips!
I like the cover, not sure if what I've done is going to show the way I want, but I'm going to try it.  Here is your cover:

And here it is with some simple color tweaks.  I used Photoscape X (free version), under Edit, I did the HDR option, which is a cheater way of doing HDR.  I did Amount: 80; Radius: 90; HDR: 67.  Let's see if it shows the difference when I post this below.... okay, it does mostly.  So you can see it's an easy way to make the colors look less "flat".  If you have Photoscape X you can play around with it more quite easily.  I'm not sure if there is a similarly easy way to do this on gimp or photoshop.  
2 weeks ago
My husband and I have a 2017 Chevy Bolt.  We love it and it has saved us thousands in gas already, but they are in the midst of a battery recall scenario.  The LG lithium-ion battery had a few fires, and so all of us with the cars right now are recommended we only charge up to 80-90%.  That's a little bit of a hassle because of the reduced range.  Our range at 80% is 180 miles - but that actually means 150, because you don't want to be driving around with less than 30 on the gauge.  Not sure when this will be fixed.  Our car battery is still under warranty and also this is a recall so it will be dealt with by GM, but I would look into all the details if I were considering buying this car right now as a second owner.  Make sure the warranty and recall carries over to you as the most recent buyer.

We do love the car anyways and would not go back to gas for our main commute about vehicle.  We live "in the middle of nowhere" and our community has no gas station.  The nearest one is 40 miles away, so with your gas-driven car you have to constantly be thinking about your gas level!  Or people have to keep gas on hand, which I don't like to do.  I'm too sensitive to the fumes, and our current unheated garage can get into the 150F range.  We are in the desert SW.

As far as environmental impact goes, there are so many factors to consider that it's very hard to figure out. Add in that besides no gas, our car takes no motor oil.  We are the first owners, and have been able to watch for three years now how it affects our electric bill (barely).  Because of our remote location and the distant proximity to gasoline, with the electric car have the advantage of being able to stay in our town indefinitely without needed to just make gasoline trips.  This is great because it helps us stick to only totally necessary trips.  Of course, we always try not to make any "gas up only" trips, and consolidate all town trips, but there are times where we have to drive our gas-powered vehicle when we could have instead taken the electric.

The Bolt has also extended the life of our gas powered 2005 SUV dramatically.  That SUV is our towing, trash trip, and picking-up-big-things vehicle, and we've managed to reduce it's mileage down to such a small amount it's astonishing.  I noticed this because it's been a year since our last oil change for the SUV and we still aren't due for one!  So we've gone less than 3000 miles in one year in the SUV, living in the Bootheel of NM, where the nearest Home Depot is over 100 miles away.  And we've been doing construction all this time.  At 2005, it's an older vehicle, but we may be able to extend our time with it by many years just by having our electric car.  So there really are a lot of factors that come into play, including your own lifestyle, that will determine how your electric car impacts the environment.

We are building an off-grid house right now and I'm designing our solar systems for this car including incorporating the slow charging.  We could charge it with the sun on a 120 volt trickle charger (a very slow charge that takes days) or depending on how we design the solar system, with a slightly faster charger that only takes about 8-10 hours of sunlight for a full charge.  Most of the time, you don't need a full recharge if you are just driving around the community, so the average charge is probably only a few hours at a time.

I'm designing a solar system for our house and a separate one for our shop. This is in part for redundancy of systems in case one is having problems, and also so that overusing the shop power doesn't wipe out our ability to be comfy in our house.  Plus our shop doesn't need a ton of battery backup with how we use it (mostly daytime use, minimal high-powered equipment).  If we can charge the car mainly on the shop power and only during the peak daytime hours then we won't be doing the least efficient thing - charging a battery from a battery.  Don't want to do that...

There are also systems coming out that allow you to run your house system off your car battery - however, that would shorten the life of your car battery.  I guess if you had a small off grid cabin that you only used part time this could be worthwhile. If you have an off grid solar system that you only use a few months a year, for example, it may be cheaper to essentially have a portable, on demand solar system (your car).  In that case, why not run it off your car, if the warranty was already up...
2 weeks ago
The disease on the prickly pear plants I see here I'm told is Phyllosticta pad spot.  Here's what it looks like.. it starts with a circle that sort of looks like a plant version of ringworm, and then a hole eventually develops in the center. The pads eventually have such big holes that they get sort of skeletal looking.

Here is a PDF from the University of Arizona, page four:

Here is an excerpt:

Fungal diseases of pads and leaves Phyllosticta pad spot Lesions on pads of prickly pear cacti (Opuntia species) may be caused by several different pests or environmental conditions. However, the most common pad  spot  on the Engelmann’s prickly pear in the desert of Arizona is caused by a species of the  fungus  Phyllosticta.  The disease is found throughout the desert. Lesions are almost completely black because of the presence of small black  reproductive structures called pycnidia produced on the surface of infected plant tissue (Fig. 5).  Spores produced within these reproductive structures are easily disseminated by wind-blown rain or dripping water  and  infect new sites on nearby pads.  Pads on the lower part of plants are often most heavily infected since the humidity is higher and moisture often persists after rain. Once pads dry, the fungus becomes inactive and the lesions may fall out.  Severely infected pads or entire plants should be removed from landscapes to prevent spread of the fungus.  No other controls are recommended.

So it sounds like the only suggestion is removing affected pads. You could also try natural fungal remedies. My favorite is using hydrogen peroxide. If I have a plant with a major fungal issue, I usually spray it with 2%. Some plants can take 3%, but you have to test it.  Some people like garlic sprays, other thyme or oregano oil sprays.  With fungal stuff you may have to try a bunch of things.  Fungi are rather persistent.

Another approach is to strengthen the plant.  It gets the disease because it's weakened somehow.  I would try some biodynamic sprays, worm casting juice... those sorts of things can do wonders, as can hydrogen peroxide.

2 weeks ago
Want to learn about apple grafting and breeding?  Do you have a love of new flavors and colors, and a sense of long term adventure? (It also helps if you: 1. own land, 2. get as excited about taste tests as children are for Christmas morning, and 3. being interested in making cider is another bonus, because if you breed apples, you will end up with a LOT of apples.)

First, for apple grafting, I really like Steven Edholms videos and written explanations on just about everything.  He's good at explaining.

Skillcult website all about grafting, including many step-by-step videos

He also sells apple and pear scions, including my very favorite apple, the Golden Russet:  Skillcult apple and pear scion wood

He did a video series on apple breeding for amateurs:

Sells apple pollen:  Apple pollen for sale from Skillcult

And he's bred a bunch of new apples!  He seems to be specializing in red fleshed types. Here's a picture of some of his apples, including a new crabapple he calls cherub:

A cut Cherub in a collection of other seedlings from my breeding project.  The flesh color seems to vary a lot, but that is fairly typical of red fleshed apples.

And he gives the best tasting descriptions I've ever read. This is important to me, helps me pick a good apple variety.  The fact that he and I agree that Golden Russet is a superior tasting variety creates a great baseline of understanding for me.

Here is an example of his tasting notes form over the years, written: From Old Nonpareil to Lady Williams: Apple tasting notes, late season 2012/2013

And if you prefer videos:

Ahhh, apples.  What a wonderful fruit.
1 month ago
Let's start with:

Forgotten Fruits Manual & Manifesto: APPLES, compiled and edited by Gary Nabhan

And a quote to sum up the problem:

Of some 15,000 to 16,000 apple varieties that have  been  named,  grown  and  eaten  on  the North American continent, only about 3,000 remain accessible to American orchard keep-ers, gardeners, chefs  and  home cooks. An estimated four out of five apples  varieties unique to North America (80 percent) have been lost from commerce.

In this manual, you can read about:

A brief history of apple diversity in America
The rate of loss of apple diversity
Changes in the nursery trade and their impact on apples (including tables showing what companies still have a wide diversity of apple varieties available as of 2009)  
A map showing which regions currently have the greatest apple diversity, and which have the highest apple acreage. This is a neat map - it made me realize how I've been so lucky to try so many apples.
How to find and preserve unique varieties of apples

This is really great stuff if you want to dive deep into the world of apples.

One thing I'm wondering is why One Green world didn't make the list of nurseries with a lot of apple diversity.  I thought they have a lot.  It would be good to update that list, since 2009 is now a ways away.

1 month ago

Ela La Salle wrote:I like apples but can't eat them. At least not from the grocery stores, local markets or "organic". For some reason, any variety I have tried over many years, always leave the corners of my mouth sore. Like my skin is splitting and it hurts. However, when  I pick abandoned , imperfect apples from some old uncared tree, I am fine, and my mouth doesn't hurt.

I developed this same issue! I sold real estate, and I initially noticed the same thing - i could eat an apple off a tree in a forgotten corner of an old homestead, but ones from the store were like sucking on razors.  

It got worse for a few years and eventually happened with all fruit (no matter where it came from) except green grapes. My lips would split at the corners first, but eventually the entire lips would split and become bloody.  At the time it was thought to be either "burning lips syndrome" or "oral allergy syndrome". Whatever it was, I'm healed now, thank heavens! Almost totally, that is.  There are now just a few apple varieties that are still a problem.  I cannot risk tasting an Opal apple, I've found; in fact, I don't do well with most yellow skinned ones.  But I can eat red and green skinned ones, and golden russet types as well.  Russet are the best, imo.  Ohh a good golden russet apple.  Hard to find.  I'm from Oregon, which has a wide diversity of apple varieties available, so I've tasted dozens and dozens including many feral ones on country properties. They are so delightful.

How I healed - I had to do a few things - heal my gut, get out of a big exposure that was fundamentally irritating me (a moldy house), and rebuild gut flora after getting candida under control.   Anyways, there you go in case that ever becomes useful to you.

I love this thread.  I have tabs open on my browsers, clogging them up, of apple-related things I wanted to post!!!  I'll do that in a few separate posts, because the topic is not at all allergy related.
1 month ago

Rebecca Norman wrote:I made a long post on Permies about how I collect wild capers from the desert around me, for three different products. A delicious cooked green veg in springtime, then the flower buds which are what you would know as capers (little green balls), and the caperberries, which are bigger and more like a snack like olive. I've also been trying to grow them, with some success but mostly limited by failing to water them in enough for the first year or two.

Ooh capers.  I tried growing a plant when in the California high desert, but I need to try it from seed instead.  I didn't water the plant enough, and I don't think the soil was right.  Almost pure sand.  Now I'm in a place with a very sandy clay soil, and it holds a lot more moisture than just pure sand.  Thank you for the link.

And Beth, thanks for the idea of freezing the lemongrass.  I didn't get around to it but I will next time.  I brought two plants inside, and put three in the greenhouse and left three outside to see what happened.  The sharp freezes we had where it hit the teens seemed to have wiped out the outdoor ones, I think.  The others seem okay, and the ones in the house are still edible.

And thanks for all the notes on how you are working with other edibles.  Sigh, we didn't protect our agave enough this year, and even the big ones were badly rabbit eaten.  The rabbits and animals were so desperate for food and water before that blessedly timed snow that I felt sorry for them and hated depriving them.  Now, though, I have to help the plants catch up again.  All of our prickly pear pads and cholla we had tried to start (AND that were caged), had the cages upturned this last month by the peccary (javelina for those who might not know what that is - sort of like a wild boar, but native to the US and not technically a pig).  They were starved too!  It's hard in the desert...I feel for the animals right now and don't want to deprive them of what little sustenance they can get.  But we just fenced in a garden from rabbits and the snorters, and so they will have to stay out or there.  I realized I have to have two fenced areas here - one for a food garden and one for a native plant nursery.  The peccary eat just about everything except ornamental sages and rosemary.  They've eaten agastaches down to tiny nubbins, and the rabbits did the same to all my herbs (including garlic, elephant garlic, and shallots) except very mature green onions, mint and rosemary.

Carolyn, thanks for sharing more detail.  Very educational, and now I want to try the hulless seed pumpkins.

My newest experiment this year in the high desert USDA zone 8a is Chayote. I'm going to try keeping  them in pots and bringing them in the house or greenhouse.  I bought two from the Mexican grocer, and they have sprouted.  Going in a pot today.  Chayote are a tropical (or sub-tropical, not sure the difference) from Mexico, other parts of Central America, and the Caribbean, which is a perennial squash vine.  It makes a squashy fruit that has one big seed in it.  It's tasty and I think almost all parts of the plant are edible.  The root, if it's able to perennialize, turns into a big tuber sort of like a yam.  The plant is massive.  People grow it in Florida (and also all over the world, Asia, it's become well adopted), but I haven't heard of anyone trying it in the desert.  There are ways of pruning it that apparently make it produce fruit faster.  It takes a very long growing season, so I'm not sure how well it will work.  But I love the look of the plant - it's sort of like Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors.  Except in a good way.  I don't mind an Audrey.  ;-)

A bit about growing Chayote squash:
David the Good talks about Chayote Squash for a survival garden, primarily in sub-tropical areas

And this video shows not only how they grow, but also how to prune them to stimulate fruit ripening in the first year of growth (particularly useful in the US with it's shorter-than-tropical seasons):

Starting the fruit is a unique process because the seed supposedly NEEDS the fruit to germinate.  Versus so many other seeds that need the fruiting part removed to germinate.  Fascinating, right?

Here are the ones I've had sitting in the window, ready to plant now.  One started to mold, and so I sprayed it with 3% hydrogen peroxide every couple days, and it lasted.  That was a good experiment, because I often have things like cuttings mold when trying to start them in the house in the winter, and then have to throw them out.  Our house is fairly cold in the winter.

So again - this is an experiment that requires at least a greenhouse to make it work in the desert.  Not sure what will happen, but I think it will be interesting!

1 month ago
In this thread people have laid out some of the challenges with the wool industry, particularly all the work involved to get it from a sheep's back to a clean, usable product.  For those who are more video oriented, here is a video from the Savory Institute called the Story of Wool that gives both education and inspiration.  He also has the Story of Meat, the Story of Dairy, and the Story of Leather.  Great videos.