Gail Gardner

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since Jul 08, 2014
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Freelance writer, small business marketing strategist offering social media promotion services. Live and help out on an organic farm; work totally online; late 50s. Interested in buying more locally raised grass fed meat and poultry and organic fruits and veggies. (Must take PayPal.) I also buy food shipped to me from non-local organic and grass fed farms. Planning to plant fruit trees and eventually a permaculture food forest. Admirer of homesteaders who can do a bit of everything needed from building and growing to keeping things repaired.
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Recent posts by Gail Gardner

Kate Downham wrote:\Getting a pressure canner seems like it might help to save the meat out of the freezer, and would be handy for other things too, but I am wondering how it would fare on a wood cooking stove?

Great questions. I've wondered most of those myself. What we need is people with experience actually doing pressure canning on wood stoves.

Many have a propane burner set-up for this situation. It needs to be fairly high-powered. (Some are not powerful enough for this purpose.)

But then, what if you couldn't get propane? Then we're back to how to can on a wood stove. I'd like to add one additional question: have you considered what if you want to can in the summer?

I've read that many had an outdoor kitchen. And I suspect that is because it would get awfully hot indoors if you tried to do pressure canning when it is hot. (And in SE Oklahoma, September is still in the 90F temps.)

Here are some videos about canning on wood stoves:

A rocket stove located outside is an option:

Doug and Stacy (YouTube channel) have an outdoor kitchen:

1 year ago

Alex Moffitt wrote:

It seams like a great learning experiment in soft engineering!

I will keep watching, Your journey!


Great video! I found it on YouTube and came to Permies to see if there was a discussion about it here.
1 year ago

Rl Marler wrote:Thanks, I will check those out.

I have a question. If you both telecommute, why would you want to move near a big city? Land is way less expensive the further you get AWAY from a big city.

I live in Seminole County and am looking at land in the next county south of here. I may be able to point you in the right direction or answer questions you may have.

I lived about four years in Hughes County and now over four years in Seminole County. Looking in Pontotoc County because everywhere seems to be sub-dividing land into small pieces now.
1 year ago

ian andrus wrote:See if this photo helps. Those two plants are  very similar. I think patience dock is larger more robust plant and will have no red spots anywhere on the leaves or petioles also the flavor is more mild not as sour as curly dock.

What is pictured here grows wild where I live (SE Oklahoma). I throw some to the ducks periodically. The horses might eat a little of it, but it is all over the place.
2 years ago

Bill Ramsey wrote:Wild lettuce is my favorite these days. I do nibble on it but I also let it grow around my trees to attract browsing deer as they walk through.

Now is the best time to eat wild lettuce if you can recognize it. It isn't as bitter when it is little. I've been throwing it to my ducks daily as they love it more than I do. I eat some of it, though.
2 years ago

Cara Campbell wrote:Purslane!

Yes, may absolute favorite weed to eat is purslane. Sadly, I keep living where it doesn't thrive. :-(

I also eat dandelions, lambs quarters (tons of those here), wood sorrel, spring beauty flowers, day lily flowers, the tips of greenbriars, clovers, wild mushrooms...lots of things.
2 years ago

Heather Staas wrote:I need to look at window drafts,  I used those insulating films my first winter here but didn't think it made much difference so didn't repeat it.  But now I have winter numbers without them to compare to.  I bet they helped more than I realized.   Going to implement and explore several of these ideas!!  

You probably lose the most heat through the windows. Besides insulating films using heavy drapes can make a huge difference. Some people go low-cost and put bubble wrap over the windows.

In my bedroom I taped insulated foil bubble wrap packaging that cold-sensitive food items came in over the window that faces north. It normally has a window a/c in it so I don't ever look out that window anyway.

So that north-facing window is totally sealed off with insulation and tape. It makes all the difference in keeping that room warm. I also cover the west-facing window in that room as it is only used for sleeping.

This may sound crazy, but if you want a warm place to sleep without heating the entire bedroom, you can put your bed in a tent. I sleep on an air mattress that is inside a cheap (about $30) mosquito tent.

I covered that tent with multiple space blankets. It was built because the neighbor's smart meter transmissions were waking me up in the middle of the night.

But it also makes a warm, toasty place to sleep even if I turn the power off or don't use the heat in that room. If we have a power outage, I'll move all that in front of the fireplace.

Then I'll open the front up to use fireplace heat and then close it up if I want to let the fire burn down to retain that heat. NOTE: it gets REALLY HOT in there in the heat of the summer so I have to open up the front of it.

Look first at all north-facing windows and doors. Add insulation around them if they are letting cold air in. Then check all other windows and doors.

Before good insulation was common, everyone had heavy drapes over windows. And most people also had exterior shutters they closed during storms.

RE: Flushing. IF you have a place to bury or compost what is left, a luggable loo saves water. In a pinch, a 5 gallon bucket, a kitchen trash bag, and a bag of shavings (available at pet stores or feed stores) = power outage toilet.

In the country, many people have composting toilets. The commercial version is super expensive. But many just make their own by putting a seat and sometimes a box around a 5 gallon bucket.

Do your business, cover with shavings (or dried leaves, wood chips, peat pellets, etc.). When the bucket is full, empty it and start again. People who are off-grid or compost a lot may have separate wet and solid containers.

After composting a year, humanure is safe for plants. The squeemish only use it on trees, bushes, etc., - not food plants. Keep in mind that the cleaner your food, the better this compost will be.

And also be aware that if you take prescription anything, residue ends up in either the sewer, septic or compost. (And if you use city water, probably in what you drink and bathe in, too!)
2 years ago

Anne Miller wrote:I know nothing about the Pioneer Princess.

Thanks for the response, Anne. I was hoping there would be a commercial version or at least plans for a rocket stove version of a cook stove with an oven.

The Walker Stove is interesting and I had watched that video before. But it is so huge that I don't know what it would work in what I'm planning to build.

I want to convert one or more reefer trailers into a tiny home. Those are typically 8' x 48' - 53'. You would think every wood stove would come with an insulation option to put it against a wall.

This is an interesting video comparison between a rocket stove with multiple heat sinks and wood cook stoves.

I like a couple of wood cook stoves I've seen, but one was UK and another was AU. And I doubt they sell them in the U.S. Also, they probably have the same issues mentioned in the video I shared just above.
2 years ago
My apologies in advance if this has ever been built or discussed here. There are so many rocket stove / rocket oven / wood burning stove threads I gave up trying to find it.

Has the ultimate rocket stove been built or designed? What I mean by that is one that could replace what a Pioneer Princess or other top tier wood burning cook stove can do:

  • Heat your home
  • Cook your food
  • Bake a full size turkey
  • Heat water
  • Be used for water bath and pressure canning

  • The perfect rocket oven cook stove solution would have the ability to control the heat and direct it where you want it. So in the winter, you could use it to warm your home. But in the summer, you could vent it to the outdoors.

    It is critical to be able to control the temperature for canning as canners can be damaged by too much heat. And if you can't keep the heat consistent, you can't safely can food.

    I believe this could be done. And suspect someone may have already perfected a design that comes close. Ideally, it would have the smallest footprint possible without giving up any of the features on the list.

    It would be great if someone would produce these to retail. Ideally, there would be a base model (for heating and cooking) and add-ons for heating water. And maybe even a design to get the water from the stove to a sink and/or shower.

    Imagine you were building a tiny house from a reefer trailer or shipping container or bus or rent-to-own building. You have an empty space to work with and want your rocket stove centrally located.

    You can build the perfect rocket stove. How would you do it? If you already have resources or know where this has been written up or video-taped, please do share. [Is there a design for this in any existing Permies resource?]

    If you build and sell these, let us know. There is a possibility I may be able to buy one later this year (assuming one exists or someone with rocket stove expertise believes they can build it).

    Keep in mind that many wood cook stoves were located outdoors because it would get so hot in the house that they didn't use them much in the summer (especially in places like Texas or even Oklahoma).

    So how could you make a usable cook stove that wouldn't run you out of the tiny house in the summer? A tiny home build might only be 384 square feet or less. (The smaller and better insulated the space, the hotter it could get.)
    2 years ago