Win a Fokin hoe blade this week in the Gear forum!

Pamela Smith

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since Jan 11, 2015
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On a spiritual journey for self and this earth. I am building a kin domain. Land to pass on to my grandchildren. One day I hope it to be a sustainable, paradise made of love.
Lots to learn and much to do. I am a visual person so I do best with pictures, videos and hands on. My motto is KISS. (Do not like the word stupid though)
BC Canada Zone 5&6
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Recent posts by Pamela Smith

Pamela, I agree, I know the Fokin hoe would be so much better. It is such a versatile tool. I have been wanting this tool but have not got around to ordering since I was in the process of moving. I had a scythe but it does not work well even when sharpened plus this being sharpened on all sides makes it so versatile. To have a tool that has so many uses instead of one tool for one thing would be awesome especially right now with limited space to store tools.

I have known Yuri for a long time and watched him build his business. He only sells quality. Even though I am currently not on my homestead it would make quick and easy work here in town for my yard and garden especially since I do a no till garden and prefer to use this instead of mowing.

For those who have not seen this wonderful tool in action here is a 1 min video.

3 hours ago
Hello Yuri,  I am glad to see you found the permies forum. This is a great group. Thanks for the contest. I have been wanting to try this tool out. Maybe I will win. Welcome.
3 hours ago
Welcome, Raven and congrats on the book. We need more books out that teach us how to make our own fibres. I look forward to reading your book.
2 months ago
Ok, this is off subject but wanted to share and I will find articles if I got time. The idea of destroying the rain forest is a farce. Greed is destroying the rain forest. Any crop around the world that becomes in demand destroys the land, kills the farmer, can ruin the local area and the country usually due to greed. First, I will say that palm oil comes out of Africa and the Phillipeans as well not just the rainforest. So if the rain forest is a concern then read the label of where it came from before you buy it. Trees that produce palm oil can also be grown in some places in the states as well. So stop condemning a product because a place or 2 destroy our beautiful planet due to greed. Just educate yourself and read labels.

Avocadoes have become so popular that in Mexico drug lords are killing farmers and stealing their farms. Avocadoes are considered the new gold. Quinoa is also an issue and yet low and behold, how much farmland is available in the states where these crops can actually grow? Some farmers are now even growing rice in the States.

We are about sustainability so we should educate ourselves and start promoting farming in our own country or consider growing them ourselves if we have the weather that allows it. I am in Canada zone 5 and I grew lots of quinoa last year. Well, I was experimenting and grew about 10 pounds.

ok, I will get off my soapbox now. lol
2 months ago
I bought a 50 gallon 35% food grade peroxide. It is stored where it is kept cool for a slower break down. They say it has a shelf life but I bought it used and I have had it for 2years with great results. Articles also say you should not freeze it.

Yes, food grade is safe at 3% solution. Here is one chart for various sizes to make a 3% solution This page also has a link for solutions in the garden.

I use a 5-8% solution for cleaning. Anything above 3% can actually burn. So please wear gloves when mixing, using, handling anything that is above 3%.
Here is a chart that is really good for making other % solutions

I have always used distilled water when making up a solution. If the water is not pure water it actually starts breaking down/using up the peroxide. Not sure the time frame for that but since I have distilled water always on hand I use it.

I use a mixture of half pure (35%) solution mixed with vinegar in my laundry as well. About 1-2 ounces of both. I always have a spray bottle of 5-8% on the table so it is handy. It is well marked so I know what it is.
I also have a different colour bottle, also well marked 3% on the table and this I use many times through the day for sterilizing my hands, tables, counters, pots, and pans or bottles for wine making etc.
Peroxide is very good at cleaning up mold.

It is a product I believe every homesteader should have on hand.

5 months ago
Just want to make a comment about borax. I use to use it a lot in my laundry. Then I learned it builds up in the soil and it is not good for the soil. The soil needs boron and so do we but at such microscopic amounts. I no longer use borax for anything except homemade soap and have not made it for a long time. In the homemade soap it changes its composition so it is supposed to be safe for the soil.

For mold I use a peroxide solution. I mix an 8% solution, a bit strong but works. Obviously, I wear rubber gloves as to not burn my skin. Mold has never returned. I use a spray bottle and put a 3% solution in the spray bottle and use it for my counters and as a hand cleaner.
7 months ago
This is awesome news and I am so excited to get your book Maddy. It will be put to very good use and it will help me with all my recordings, weather, planting and so much more. Thank you so much. <3 <3
7 months ago
With Sandra mentioning muscovy ducks I wanted to share my experience as a tip to be aware of. I raised chickens, geese, and ducks. I will never raise ducks again and yes, my ducks were muscovies. They created the biggest mess. they would sit in their areas at night and poop and sit in it. What was worse is my husband would not lock them up like he did the chickens. They were in an open pen area at night, well it was closed but easily accessible by skunks, owls etc. Once they go to sleep they are literally sitting ducks. We would lose almost a dozen in the winter. The cost was too high to keep them. So if you have a lot of predators I would suggest if you go to muscovies then lock them up in a building at night. Muscovies are also excellent to let loose in an orchard to clean up the bugs you do not want so from a permaculture view they are a good way to go.
7 months ago

eric koperek wrote:TO:     Em Kellner
FROM:     Eric Koperek =
SUBJECT:     Feeding Dogs
DATE:     PM 6:13 Wednesday 17 February 2016

1.     The most "efficient" meat for dog food is the kind you DON'T have to produce yourself.  My Father's relatives have been raising dogs for 800 years.  We've learned a few things over the centuries.  Take advantage of our experience.

2.     Dogs do not need an all-meat or predominantly meat diet.  Nor do they need raw meat.  What they do need is lots of calories, especially if they live and work outside.  Make sure your dogs get at least 20% animal fat or vegetable oil in their diet.

3.     Dog bread has been produced by farmers and bakers since the Middle Ages.  Back then, dog bread came in the form of big round loaves.  Today, we call it kibble = twice baked bread.  Take your old bread and dry it in a very slow oven = 200 degrees Fahrenheit overnight.  Store in an airtight container.

4.     Dogs will grow well on whatever you eat.  Table scraps and kibble with a little extra fat or oil will keep your hounds in good condition.

5.     Make friends with your local dairy farmer.  Milk and kibble make great dog food.  (The idea is to let some other fool do the work; your time is too valuable to waste raising meat for dog food).

6.     Find the nearest river.  Check with your State Fish & Game police.  Wait for the next spawning run of whatever species is most common in your area.  Take all the fish your law allows.  When I lived in Saskatchewan we caught "suckers" = a big, bony fish much like carp.  Run them whole (scales, bones, and all) through a meat grinder and portion into 1 or 2 pound blocks.  Store in plastic bags in big chest freezers.  1 or 2 days fishing will provide all the "dog meat" you need for a year.  If you do not live too far from the sea, make a deal with local fishermen to buy their "scrap" = junk fish.  Buy the boat a case of beer and they will fill your pick-up truck with fish.  Extra fish make great garden fertilizer.

7.     I raise beagles for hunters, a high-price specialty market.  I feed my beagles live rabbits.  Every other day I toss a rabbit over the fence, 1 rabbit per dog.  I don't necessarily recommend this for farm dogs but it raises healthy hounds that want to hunt.  Note:  If feeding raw meat always worm your dogs every 6 months.

8.     Rabbits are really easy to raise but it is even more efficient to trap or snare them.  There is an enormous population of wild rabbits.  Just dump some food on the ground and set your snares.  If you set up feeding sites you will always have plenty of rabbits.

9.     Buying dog meat is often cheaper than trying to raise it yourself.  For example, I can buy chicken leg quarters locally for $0.59 per pound (retail price), and about $0.40 per pound (wholesale price).  I can also purchase mixed frozen vegetables for $0.54 per pound.  Chicken and mixed vegetables will grow any kind of dog for about $1.00 per day.  Bake the chicken at 350 degrees Fahrenheit in a covered roasting pan for 2 hours.

10.     Make friends with your local grocer, butcher, and baker.  I get chicken skins, chicken fat, chicken bones, and other scraps for $0.19 per pound.  I buy stale bread for $0.25 a loaf.  I bake bread in a wood fired brick oven.  I trade bread with my local wholesale butcher in exchange for bones.  I get all the bones I need for a commercial kennel plus enough bones to fertilize a 1-acre market garden.

11.     I noticed a previous comment on Guinea Pigs.  I have traveled throughout the Andes and highly recommend guinea pigs as good eating.  As an added benefit, they are much more productive than rabbits and easier to raise than chickens.  Chickens are my last choice for raising dog meat because of the stink, mess, and effort grow them.  Besides, you want your dogs to protect your flock, not eat them.  It's real hard to train a dog not to hunt chicken if you feed them chickens, especially raw chickens (which I do not recommend).

12.     You can make your own dog biscuits out of whole wheat flour, whole eggs (including shells), milk, and salt.  (Process eggs in a blender to grind up shells).  You can add 10% to 20% (by flour weight) chicken or other grease = cooked fat to the biscuit dough at your discretion.  No yeast or baking powder is necessary.  Dough does not need to raise.  Extrude dough into rods or bars then cut and place on parchment lined baking trays.  Bake in a moderate = 350 degree Fahrenheit oven until lightly browned then dry in a 200 degree Fahrenheit oven overnight until crisp.  Store in air-tight containers.

13.     For more information on old-fashioned "biological" farming please visit:  -- or --  -- or -- send your questions to:     Agriculture Solutions, 413 Cedar Drive, Moon Township, Pennsylvania, 15108 USA  -- or -- send an e-mail to:


I like Eric's advice. I have been making homemade pet food for over 12 years. My original recipe was vet approved but I have changed it up so much since. I lived in the city/town for many of those years and did what he said. Got to know the butcher in our community and got free fat and scrapes/bones. I actually put chicken bones through a heavy duty meat grinder.
Once on our homestead, I bought old laying hens from a local free-range place that sold their chickens off after they were a certain age. Usually 1.5 years old to 2.5 years old. We did those up and again everything went through the meat grinder, bones, fat, skin meat.

I make cat and dog food and it is so true that dogs do not need a meat diet. They can get high protein from grinding peas into flour, from nutritional yeast from the proteins in grains and mostly like Eric said they need a high-fat diet. It is this fat that gives them their carbs and energy.

When it comes to pets I realize here in Canada you can actually be spending like 100.00 or more a month to buy crap for dog food, I do not trust any processed pet food, or you can make your own. If raising meat for your own it really consumes so much time and last year I realized it simply is not worth it. Before I go on I will say I do not believe in locking rabbits in tiny cages. I do believe if you are going to raise your own animals other then buying as I did from a local farmer, I believe rabbits will be the fastest and easiest to look after. Only I would build a large natural habitat for them that allows you access. Something that allows them to burrow without digging their way out. Dig a hole and then put chicken wire in the hole and up around the sides then fence it in to keep rabbits in and predators out. Now you can simply butcher a rabbit when you need them. So no need for a freezer or butcher a lot at one time and you are done for awhile. Rabbits are so much easier to clean up than any other animal. As long as you have a lot of grass and grow a lot of greens they are cheap to feed. Buy a bale or 2 of alfalfa and you are good to go.

I use a pressure cooker and cook up gmo-free local grains as farm feed so it is cheap. I cook that up. I grind up, turn into flour, field peas. I let the cooked grains cool, add ground flax, pea flour, nutritional yeast, ground and crushed eggshells, lots of oil if I can not get free fat, ground up carrots, zucchini or pumpkin, any type of winter squash( I find zucchini the easiest to grow and next to that butternut squash) and a few sunchokes. All the vegetables are raw. I make a big batch and freeze it and it lasts me 10 days. so I only do this 3 times a month. As for the cats they need meat and when my meat runs out If they feel they need meat well they will go after squirrels, mice etc. So I am not concerned. Remember a homestead life should be made as easy as possible. No need to make more work then necessary.
8 months ago
Welcome, Maddy, wonderful idea for a book. I have been using a book given to me for the last 2 years. It was a family calendar book turned into my garden book. I was looking for a new book for next year. Now I know what I want.
8 months ago