Cris Fellows

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since Apr 01, 2014
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bike forest garden urban
Wife, mother of 3 awesome and eclectic grown boys, grandmother. Pediatric ER suture nurse. Urban Food Forest tinkerer. Herbal medicine maker and learner. "Together is our favorite place to be" at UnAbandoned Gardens.
Youngstown, Ohio
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Recent posts by Cris Fellows

r ranson wrote:

Grafting and budding is actually super-easy.  Probably the easiest thing I do on the farm.  Like crazy-easy.  There are even tools you can buy to make it even easier.  I can't express how easy I find this task and a success rate of over 95% (I get 100%, the others on the farm have the occasional failures).  I know people are frightened of this task, but I think if they actually tried it, or took advantage of some of the free training that is available (several other sources of training in our town for this skill), then I wouldn't see the need for a professional team.

R Ranson, come teach meeeee!
1 month ago
This is not haiku but it was a favorite adaptation when my boys were young.  Sung to tune of the scarecrow' s "If I only had a brain" from Wizard of oz.

I have to take a poopy
I think it will be soupy
It won't be hard or long
It will run right down my trousers
It will fertilize your flowers
When my poopy comes along.


1 month ago

Casie Becker wrote:I still don't think I'm explaining it very well.... Here's another link It's just the first site I found that sells cheese cloth in inexpensive yard bolts.

Amazing.  How in the world do they charge so much for little tiny bags of cheesecloth  Besides packaging, I love cheesecloth for straining out herbs from infused oils and finished tinctures.  Thanks for the link!
1 month ago

Brian Stretch wrote:

If you want to make snow shoveling an upper-body workout instead of a back-killing workout, these are awesome:
Snow Wovel

If I didn't have a hubby who loved his snowblower, I would totally be rocking a snow wolf contraption.  I agree that we need to keep moving, this seems a far safer and less back breaking way to do so.
2 months ago
More pics at our garden and herbal page
3 months ago
We have a lot of woodchips out front, so anything that is not planted is automatically a path...except for thistles and the occasional dandelion and chicory that find their way through even 12 inches of chips.  For the rest of the garden we use old carpeting for a year or so to smother, then plant in micro clover.  I absolutely love micro clover as a path.  Infrequently needs mowing and usually out competes everything else. 
3 months ago

Corin Royal Drummond wrote:Here are some extemporaneous tips and pet peaves regarding herbs.
* If you want to make herbal oils and salves, don't stir them around in a double boiler.  It makes the herb gods angry.  Instead use the intermediary solvent extraction method which goes thusly:  For every ounce of herb use 7 ounces of olive oil and 1/2 ounce of pure ethanol (95% counts as pure because if you open pure ethanol it will absorb water from the air).  Grind the herb to a fine powder in a blender, taking care not to scorch.  A chunk of dry ice in the blender can help with this, as can freezing the blender and herb beforehand.  (Courtesy Adam Seller)  Dump the powdered herb in a sealable container and moisten with 1/2 part ethanol (so if you have 3 ounces of herb, that's 1.5 oz ethanol).  Leave overnight to macerate.  Next day dump in blender with 7  parts olive oil and blend the hell out of it for like 15 minutes until the sides are warm but not hot.  You are now done.  Strain and bottle or melt with beeswax to make salve.  The reason this is vastly superior to the double boiler method is because the alcohol disolves the herb overnight, and then the blades of the blender spinning the herb through the oil strips it all off.  In a double boiler you're relying on heat.  Here you're relying on kinetics and an intermediary solvent.  Oils done this way come out green and fresh smelling as opposed to toasted smelling and olive oil colored.  If your salve or oil is not the color of the plant it claims to represent, it's useless.  Oh, it's also much less work than stirring a double boiler for hours.  

Mind blown.  Can't wait for next batch. I have done the double boiler and rigged crock pot and now the magic butter machine, which basically does your method without the pre alcohol extraction.  I am so excited!!!  Thanks!
3 months ago
Learning herbs is a great place to much information for (at last check) $10/mo.  I have taken online courses with 7Song (loved) and am currently taking course with Sajah Popham at ; Matthew Wood also has many excellent online videos.  Have fun!  Be well! 
3 months ago
Pediatric nurse here...we used to use warm milk and molasses as an enema for pediatric constipation.  They have stopped that practice, but I still don't think I could stomach it to drink now, haha!
3 months ago

Alicia Bayer wrote:

Cris Fellows wrote:
.  It seems that this kind of deal is usually in the little towns.  Is Youngstown small?

Youngstown is a dying steal town.  Was on it's way to 200,000 in 70s/ 80s.  Now it only has 60,000 ish.  So the houses that are still viable in the city can often be gotten for very little.  A lot have been torn down.  We have lived in the city for 20 plus years.  The three houses behind us have been torn down.  We bought two of the lots for $900 and have a lovely urban permaculture thing going on.  My son's house is a few blocks away.

3 months ago