Kate Muller

+ Follow
since May 29, 2014
Kate likes ...
hugelkultur forest garden chicken food preservation bee
Merit badge: bb list bbv list
For More
New Hampshire
Apples and Likes
Total received
In last 30 days
Total given
Total received
Received in last 30 days
Total given
Given in last 30 days
Forums and Threads
Scavenger Hunt
expand Pollinator Scavenger Hunt
expand First Scavenger Hunt

Recent posts by Kate Muller

Denise Cares wrote:I agree with what Kate Muller has said about reasons for having supply on hand.  My problem is how to prevent those pesky grain larvae from getting into everything. Even buckets with tight lids do not keep them out. They get into glass jars too. I'm missing the secret. Maybe need to remove the oxygen as many describe. Putting the whole bag of grain thru the freezer before sealing in a bucket would be difficult as freezer space is very limited. So even dividing up the 25 lb sacks would pose a major logistics issue. Multiply that by several large sacks - not feasible. Once a single moth finds "where you keep the goods" (pantry, shed, garage, closet), it's nearly impossible to keep them out thereafter.

We solved the lack of freezer space problem by stocking up on the few grains we use in January.  That way we can freeze the grains in the coldest part of the winter.  We put them in buckets, seal them for storage, and then set them on the bulkhead steps of our basement for a week.  It is cold enough to freeze everything and also critter resistant.  A shed, out building, or porch could be used to freeze the gains if you have enough of a cold snap to freeze it all the way through.
7 months ago

junaid ahmed wrote:It seems like the grain storage problem has already been handled by the local grain elevator, and doesn't really benefit by home storage methods. Flour also seems like a problem that is best solved by the mill. Is there a reason why you want to store more than a month worth of dry grain or flour? Am I missing part of the goal? Or is experimenting with different preservation techniques the goal?

Here are some reasons a household may want to store large quantities grains, legumes, and other shelf stable ingredients.  

Food allergies and dietary restrictions.  If you have to be very careful about which grains you can eat buying in bulk saves money and insures you have the ones you can eat if the supply is seasonal or inconsistent.

If you are growing your own grains, legumes, and other seed based crops you generally harvest the crop all at once and need to store it.  Ideally so you can use it till the next year's crop is ready.

Some households are large and it is a time saver to buy in bulk when you are cooking for larger number of people.  It saves you time to go and get the supplies if you do once every few months or twice a year.  

If you live in a rural area and the local supermarket is a 45 minute drive buying in bulk reduces fuel consumption. If you also produce some of your own food it make sense to buy in bulk for the things you do not produce to reduce long car rides to get supplies.  

7 months ago

Pearl Sutton wrote:....when thrift store shopping is fun because the employees either ask "what IS that thing? We wondered!" or say "Oh neat, you know what that is! We were wondering if anyone would know and buy it!"
And the other half of it, when you can text permie friends pictures of odd stuff at the thrift store, and they reply "Yes please! All of them!!" or "ooooooh! YES!!!"  

I had this experience at a Boy Scout yard sale.  I found an Erathway Seeder with plates for $6.00.  They asked me what it was since I was so excited to buy it.
8 months ago
I am just harvesting my celeriac now.  I start my seeds under lights and they take the same amount of time as parsley.  I start them indoors in late February and transplant them out in late May.  I harvest them in October and I have found they will take a few fall frosts.  The greens will be damaged but the root base  part is fine.  

I try and get to harvesting them before the tops are damaged so I can dehydrate the leaves.  I tend to not water them enough so the stems are hollow so I give those to the chickens.  Harvesting them is a bit of work because the roots are great at holding onto compost.  I have a washing station outside so I can keep the soil in the garden.

I have harvested them in November and kept them in a cooler on my porch for a couple of weeks.  Some are stored in zip top bags in my fridge and the rest are chopped,  blanched, and dehydrated to use in soups, stews, and sheppard's pie.  

Pearl Sutton wrote:When, due to health stuff, the garden is not planted yet, some of the beds were not even cleared last fall, none were done the way I want beds done in the fall to be ready for spring, so everything needs work before I can even find the dirt under the weeds to amend and plant it.
The main weeds out there are brown eyed susan, ox eye daisy, buttercups, yarrow, lots of asters as tall as I am...
You know you are a permie when you say "I'm not coping, but at least the bees are happy!"

I am feeling this so hard right now.  The garden is getting overrun with runner grass right now but there is also so many wildflowers, herbs, and random veggie volunteers all over the place.  

10 months ago
Your Money or Your Life.  

A classic book that has a great approach to analyzing where your spending is going and tracking it so you can focus on how you are spending your money.  It talks about not only paying down debt and saving but also making sure you can spend money on things that mean the most too you.  It plays well with permaculture principles.

I need to reread it so I better focus on my long term goals.
1 year ago
You know you are a permie when you host your FRC robotics team's end of season party and don't get to sit and eat because you keep having to give garden tours, answer gardening questions, dig up excess volunteer plants to send home with people, and share raise beds design plans.   While everyone else is eating the salad from the garden or watching the frogs in the garden pond I am running around showing people all the plants, pond, earthworks, solar, chickens, greenhouse, and other  projects we have at the moment.  They want to have another party at the end of the summer to see how all the projects are progressing.  
1 year ago
$1,000,000 would speed up the plan we are already working on.  
Pay off mortgage  
Renovate house with high quality, low maintenance, and long term durability materials.  The work will be done with aging in place in mind so we can grow old here.
Finish the various outdoor projects including fencing, food forest, carport or garage, garden pond, and water storage high on the hill.  
After that it would be figuring out an investment strategy to cover our living expenses, taxes,  old age medical costs,  and having excess to donate organizations we want to support.  

1 year ago
Here is a video of a demonstration my brother did on sharpening chisels.   It goes over using stones and tips on sharpening both straight and gouge style chisels.  He goes over how to do it with with and without a griding wheel.   My brother's knowledge comes from restoring 18th and 19th century antiques with my father and a group of amazing craftsmen from around the world.  He goes over low cost old school methods and some of the pros and cons of grinding wheels, clamps, stones, and polishing compounds.  

1 year ago