Maureen Atsali

+ Follow
since Feb 06, 2015
Western Kenya
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 Pioneer Scavenger Hunt

Recent posts by Maureen Atsali

This post, I am sorry to say, announces the END of the ASF farm.  Family problems necessitated that I take my children and leave the farm, probably forever. My (now estranged) husband has no aspirations to farm and has likely turned everything over to his relatives - which means they will go back to mono-cropping with chemicals.  Seven years of work to bring the soil back to life... All gone. I understand that the dogs already killed the turkeys.  So much wasted work and money!  But I am grateful for the amazing education I got.  I have learned a tremendous amount, mostly by trial and error, about tropical farming, dead soils, indigenous plants and animals.  Now I am living in a little rental house, still in Kenya, but a lot closer to civilization.  I pestered and begged my landlords until they gave me a decent sized space to garden, and they don't mind if I keep small animals like chickens or rabbits.  There is a lot that could be done here, if my landlords will give me the freedom.  Maybe someday soon I will start a new project thread detailing my now miniaturized permaculture projects.

Happy Farming Friends!
2 months ago
Again, I don't have scientific data, only personal experience - I am a diabetic, and protein has had no impact on my blood sugar readings, unless I am still combining it with carb foods.  I think the point is that you can't know how your body will adapt until you've tried it, and the perpetual fear keeps people from trying.  My reading online indicates that once you stop overloading with carbs, in most cases diabetes is reversed or "cured".  (I am a big fan of the writings of Dr. Jason Fung, but can't post a link with this phone. He is not a zero carb guy, he is an intermittent fasting and lchf guy, but the info is relevant.). I can't speak with authority on anything because my diet bounces with availability.  I'll spend a few days zero carb, a couple weeks lchf, fast a couple days, and then get hungry enough that I go back to carbs from the garden.

A concern I have had is this: I have no gall bladder. Thus I question my body's ability to extract the nutrition it needs from a lchf or zero carb diet.  But rather than say, I can't do it because I have no gall bladder, I'd rather do it and see for myself...and so far, I haven't keeled over from malnutrition, and I still feel my best when I eat the least carb.
3 months ago
I wanted to add a comment about gout.  I have it, although rarely these days.  In my case it does NOT appear to be triggered by meat eating, but rather by uncontrolled fluctuations in blood sugar.
3 months ago
I haven't been able to watch the videos yet, but I am very much interested in this topic.  I am not exaggerating when I say I have tried every diet in an attempt to lose weight and improve my health.  I did lose about 125lbs six or seven years ago, but my health remains very poor, and I'm still looking for the dietary fix - as I strongly believe "let thy food be thy medicine.". Living as I do in remote, rural Africa, and being poor---I don't always have a choice about what to eat.  Yesterday it was eat cassavas or go hungry.  (And today, incidentally, I feel awful.). I am however aiming for LCHF and I  finding that the closer I get to NO carbs, the better I feel.  I also reached a point where eating vegetables felt completely repulsive.  Totally unappetising.  That was new, because I've always LIKED vegetables.  I face two problems right now, the first being financial viability.  I don't have my animal production up to the point that I can live off them without buying from outside.  Secondly is my husband and his culture - which view meat-eating as a priveledge and luxory of the rich.  Thus he has accused me of " wasting money ", being selfish and overindulgent and other unpleasant things - without understanding that my motivation is to FEEL better and stop being sick and sad.  Hopefully I'll get a good connection and be able to view your videos - and keep this thread going, I want to follow your progress.
3 months ago
Was that truly a silky, or a frizzled feathered hen of some other breed?  Frizzle feather is a genetic defect which can appear, or be bred into any type of chicken.  I love frizzle feathered chickens, just because they ARE so funny.  (I purposely bred for the defective gene, which is a little tricky as it requires a dominant gene with a recessive marker.). So while true silkies are a tiny breed with blue meat... you can get a frizzle feathered chicken of any size - I had a HUGE curly rooster.  Frizzle feathers tend to have brittle feathers and start to look pretty ratty after awhile.  And if you are in a cold climate, those tattered feathers may effect the hens ability to keep the eggs at a steady temp.

The problem i had here is that locals are superstitious of the frizzled chickens.  They are associated with witchcraft.  So it was very hard to sell my curly chickens.  I stopped purposely breeding them, but am always happy when the odd one still turns up.

Naked-neck chickens are also common here - again maybe it has to do with the climate.  Usually they have a little tuft of feathers on top, like a little hat.  I think they are kind of cute.  And yes I have seen naked-neck frizzled chickens. They look pretty a pathetic "I just escaped the electric chair AND the guillotine" sort of way.  Bummer I have no pictures.
3 months ago
Oh, why did I say turkeys? Is there anything uglier than turkeys with all their ugly warts and waddles?  Or more tedious than all those feathers?  I think I need to expand my challenge to other animals!
3 months ago
Raven, your fiber arts are AMAZING.  I wish you could come to Africa to teach me. 

I come from Vermont - and I'm glad I don't have snow and ice anymore... But I am finding the the drought is just the same...everything gets brown, its too HOT to play outside, the dirt becomes a brick that you can't dig without a pickaxe, and I still end up with "cabin fever".

I said I was going to just be a spectator... But i have decided to challenge myself to start doing some pencil drawings of my turkeys - one a day.  Just to get myself drawing again... And because the boredom is killing me.

Better late than never, right?
3 months ago
I am late to see this challenge, which is probably okay.  I have had a headache since Christmas eve that I just can't shake...and I honestly can't think of any interesting challenges for myself.  We are in the hot and dry season now, so most of my garden projects have been put on hold until the next rain. I think I will join as a late coming spectator...and maybe get some ideas to try next time.  I look forward to watching your progress 😎
3 months ago
Great video Chris!  Is that really you by the way? Or a video of someone else? I love to put a face to a name. 

Anyway, you inspired me to go cut a stalk and give it a try.  Looks similar to eating a sugarcane.  Well...either our napier grass is different, or the stalks I cut were too old... Because there wasn't any eating!  They were tough and fibrous, worse than a sugar cane.  Certainly not something I could chew up and swallow like the guy in the video.  The flavor wasn't bad.  Not exactly sweet, but not unpleasant, rather like any other stem of grass I pick to chew on when I'm bored.  We are just coming into our dry season, so perhaps I ought to wait for the next rains and try out some fresh growth.  Otherwise, I'll leave the napier for the cow and the goats!

4 months ago
Dale, you crack me up!

If I could catch a chicken...

I will tell you that I had toyed with the idea of spreading some rat-poison laced ugali in my sukuma plants.  My fear was that my dogs would get into it before the neighbors chickens.

Keep in mind that my poultry also free ranges onto their side of the boundary as well.  The only difference is that they aren't growing anything that chickens like to eat, and they had already harvested their maize before i turned the turkeys loose.  When they planted their beans, they complained about my poultry ruining their beans.  I told them I will confine mine if you confine yours.  They did, so I penned up all my poultry and spent money on commercial feeds.  But as soon as their beans finished flowering, they turned theirs loose again.  😛 hmmm, wait till they see what a turkey can do.  No, that's my evil alter ego thinking aloud.  I hope we will have chainlink around our compound before the next planting season, so my poultry will not harass them. I would rather model respectful and ethical behavior than lower myself to their level.

They aren't likely to leave, as this is ancestral land passed down for countless generations.  And the kids from this family have been a hassle to other neighbors.  They get caught stealing and handed over to their parents, who do nothing.  (There are Like 10 or 12 kids there, I can't even keep track of them all.)
We just happen to be the closest, easiest target. (The grandmother will even cover for them.  They cut a tree on the boundary line (not allowed) and it fell on my cassavas.  When my husband called for the boy who cut the tree, the grandmother came instead and said she cut the tree!  I'm trying to picture granny hacking through a 10 inch trunk with a machete?! )

We have discussed hiring a night watchman - a masaii.  I think I even mentioned it awhile back in this thread.  If you hire one masaii here, they tend to bring their friends, so you get 3 or 4 guards for the price of one.  The husband and I decided at present that we don't really have enough assets to warrant a watchman, and would rather put that money towards much needed infrastructure.  But if and when we finish those projects, and we have more animals, a watchman will probably be in order...hopefully the watchman doesn't also steal!
4 months ago