Simon Johnson

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since Apr 19, 2014
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hugelkultur forest garden foraging cooking
Herbal educator, free superfood specialist, permaculture practitioner, herbal tea toter, forest garden fanatic
CW Ontario, Zone 5
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Recent posts by Simon Johnson

Feeding the bees sugar was the first thing I noticed in the manual I received from my local "bee expert".  Then they go on to talk about pest management with pesticides because the bees are weak.  Leave the bees some of their liquid gold to eat over winter.  How is this not obvious to everyone?  It's a point of contention that can get me going

Can't wait to read Bee Keeping with a Smile
1 week ago
Good stuff guys!

I went out in the internet world and started searching.  I found a number of places that sell the food grade plastic mesh that comes with many dehydrators by the roll.  I also found the stuff in bulk if I want to build a ton of dehydrating space.

I think "food grade plastic mesh" was the most successful search.

The stainless stuff is just too expensive (I think) for the size of drying space I want to create.  
3 weeks ago
I am setting up my old camper trailer to function as a large space to dehydrate all the goodies I harvest this season.  I am looking to make large racks with screen material to set my produce on.  

The question is, what screen material do I use?  Ideally it would be stainless steel hardware cloth at about 1/8" holes.  Of course this kind of stuff is ridiculously expensive.  So what is the next best thing?  What are folks using in their dehydrator constructions?

The two options I see at the hardware store are fiberglass window screening and galvanized hardware cloth.  Neither of these seem like the ideal thing to place my nice organic food on to dry.   Any input on what to do here would be super appreciated.  Thank you!
3 weeks ago
Good topic for these times.  Keep us posted.  It's fun to watch new gardens arise
Thank you!!  I am really looking forward to this book.
2 months ago
Interesting thought.  I suppose it's all relative and one has to decide where on the scale you draw the line of "ok now it's ethical".  For me, the death of the animal is quite important.  It can be raised super well, but I wonder how that all factors in at "the end" if the animal is super scared and stressed out.  This is for sure something I've thought a decent amount about and am rather ignorant of.

The better the better as I like to say
2 months ago
What might be the pros / cons of using celery powder vs regular old sodium nitrate?  Anyone know the process involved in getting sodium nitrate?  What do they extract it from / isolate it?
2 months ago
I like the idea of raising wild meat to hunt.  For example we have a ton of squirrels around here because of all the walnut trees.  I've been getting closer and closer to getting it together to hunt some squirrel.  Same goes with fish and rabbits.  We are on the river and have lots of hedge row type rabbit habitat.  I suspect I could pull a decent amount of meat from those sources on my property.  The whole use what you have idea.
2 months ago
Thanks Morgwino.  I'd never thought of freeze drying.  I'm going to check that out.  I am for sure more interested in the no electricity methods, but like you say, once it's done it lasts without continual input.

Fresh is best for sure.  It seems like raising small livestock might be the most economical given you can eat the whole thing in a day or two.
2 months ago
Thanks for the info guys!  That biltong looks good.  I'm going to look into these more.
I've also heard of meat preserved in a salt brine.  Like a sourkraut.  Anyone ever tried this?
2 months ago