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Sally Munoz

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since Jun 09, 2014
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chicken duck forest garden
SW Washington
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Recent posts by Sally Munoz

I agree with Miles that immersion is vital and Nicole that love is the key. If we love and appreciate nature ourselves and share that with children, I believe we are doing the best we can.
I don't think deep nature appreciation can be taught inside a classroom (although further research and study is extremely valuable once the spark is lit), it's the actual getting out there in nature. When my kids were young we lived in Anchorage, very much in the city but we had a yard with gardens and the city has lots of greenspace and wonderful trails throughout. I made a point of taking them on a nature walk every single day, even if it was 20 below and we just walked around the yard for 10 minutes making observations. We would go inside and share with each other and draw about what we saw in our nature notebooks.
I LOVE nature notebooks!
My kids were homeschooled so we were blessed with the ability to go on hikes when we felt like it, or work/play in the garden for hours but I think nature study can be done in a school setting if it's done regularly and with the proper guidance. Since kids often change teachers yearly here in the US, that would prove difficult over the long term. There are schools that have nature study integrated into the curriculum but they are generally high priced Waldorf type schools for the privileged.
I originally read about nature study (and got many ideas and inspiration from) a British educator that taught over 100 years ago named Charlotte Mason. I disagree with many of her beliefs and methods but agree with so much of what she taught, especially her insistence on how vital it is for children to get out into and study nature.
I got my ideas for our nature notebooks from her, as well as the realization that we could learn so much just by getting outside and observing,  even in a city, even for 10 minutes.
My sons are 22 and 18 now, very busy with college and neither one of them keep nature notebooks or have their own outdoor projects on the homestead (we moved to rural WA state when they were 11 & 7) but they are both kind and compassionate people, they always help if I ask (I jokingly refer to them as my "brutes") and they care about the environment and what's going on around them. They are concerned with political/climate/gender issues and treat women respectfully. They still both live at home and we still go on a lot of walks together. My youngest always points out nests and other changes in nature and my oldest likes to sit outside and draw. It may be comic books with demons and swords but he is appreciating being outside in nature.
They are kind to animals; they've rescued many snakes, birds and bunnies from the barn cats and feel disappointed seeing snakes and frogs that have been run over. It's obvious they have empathy for all creatures and wild spaces and I know nature appreciation/study has played a huge part in that.
2 days ago
Oh, and sweet little surprise!
5 days ago
Here are the quince blossoms all opened up. :-)
5 days ago

Trace Oswald wrote:

Amanda Launchbury-Rainey wrote:COMFREY COMFREY COMFREY

Are my chickens the only ones in the world that don't like comfrey?  I've tried it fresh, wilted, dried, ...  They just don't eat it.

Mine aren't overly impressed with comfrey either, wish they were. It's interesting to me that different chickens prefer different greens too. My rooster absolutely adores dandelion greens and while he gets several takers, half the flock ignore his excitement. Of course they all love chickweed!
I've been feeding my chicks in the brooder dandelion greens daily and they all get very excited and gobble it up. I just noticed the comfrey is big enough to harvest a little-maybe if they get introduced at a young age, they'll like it? We shall see.
1 week ago
My bowl runneth over. 😀
1 week ago

Jess Dee wrote:

Sally Munoz wrote:
For pity's sake, if an egg is bad, you will know it!


I'm thinking of trying an experiment of my own this summer - I may put a few dozen marked eggs in the root cellar, and see how long they last.  I may repeat the experiment in the fall, and see how they last through the colder months.  The trick will be remembering to start the experiment - we get so distracted during planting and harvest!

Great idea! I don't refrigerate my eggs and when there are a lot,  they can sit out quite awhile. The only ones I've had go real bad probably had tiny cracks in them,  usually they're just more runny. I appreciate you sharing your experiences here! :)
1 month ago

Jess Dee wrote:Do you have a root cellar, basement, or other cool location?  We haven't formally tested / tracked it, but our (fresh, unwashed) chicken eggs keep for months in our root cellar when it's cold.  We build up a supply in the fall, and they get us through winter without going bad.  Mother Earth News did some tests on keeping chicken eggs that you might find quite interesting:

That was a good article, thanks! I did wonder how much the temperature of my storage area might be influencing the preservation powers of the lime water on my eggs, since our crawl space is pretty cold. It was 26 outside when I last opened the access door and I could tell it was quite cold down there and the eggs felt refrigerated (which was the point of storing them there of course). However, they sat there all summer and we do see some triple digits once in awhile, definitely upper 90s quite a bit, so there's that.
I'm thinking this year I'll do the lime water thing again all summer but fall's eggs would probably be fine down there for a couple months with nothing done to them.
I'm consistently amazed at people's ignorance of how to tell if eggs are good or bad and how they worry they'll be bad past their expiration date "even if they look good".
For pity's sake, if an egg is bad, you will know it!
1 month ago
We've been eating last summer's eggs all winter and they are delicious. The whites spread out and the yolks are definitely flatter but they are fine. I have them stored in the lime water in plastic buckets and tubs in the crawl space under our house. This morning's are from 5/28/18 so stored over 9 months, not bad.
Just for reference,  a 6 quart container fit 43 eggs (only one duck egg in there) with the water sufficiently covering them.
1 month ago

Jay Angler wrote:We have what's called a "lever yard hydrant" in one location on our property and I wish we had more. Eg.

Most of my farmer friends have these, soooo on my wish list! I'm carrying buckets from the bathtub and while I love a good workout, this particular chore ranks pretty low. Especially with all the shoveling using the same muscles!
2 months ago