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Jennifer Richardson

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since Mar 18, 2015
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cattle food preservation homestead trees ungarbage foraging
Colorado County, TX, USA. 8b/9a. Humid subtropical, drought & flood prone
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Recent posts by Jennifer Richardson


You’re very welcome!

It shows up perfectly on Goodreads.
44 minutes ago
Goodreads is super fun but dangerous—my to-read list will expand exponentially if I’m not careful!
12 hours ago

Just got my copy and am very excited to dig in. I just wandered to mention, I went to add the book to my Goodreads account, and I saw that your author profile there had the Homegrown Linen book listed, but not this one. I and a lot of people I know find books to read through Goodreads tbese days, so I wanted to suggest that you consider adding it there so that more people can find it. Thanks very much for offering it as Kickstarter candy!
17 hours ago
So, shameful confession time: I grow and hunt/forage a lot of food. Actually I grow a huge surplus of food in terms of calories per person per year, not just for me but for my family and friends, but probably only 30-50% of my actual diet (in terms of calories) consists of this food. It is good food—a lot of it is great food—and I really like it.

But very often I would rather go eat Mexican or Chinese food (or Thai or Japanese if I can get it) in town, or buy different, more interesting things at the grocery store. I can cook good Mexican or Thai or Japanese food, but it’s not the same. Part of it is an opportunity to get out of the house and relax and not have to cook, and maybe meet my mom or a friend and visit. Part of it is novelty, although even when there’s a good variety of stuff in season on the ranch, I often don’t want to be bothered. Some of it is maybe seasonal oversupply of certain foods, and then I get sick of them. A lot of it is convenience. Some of it is probably food addictions; if I have cheesy fatty salty floury sugary stuff in town, I want more cheesy fatty salty floury sugary stuff. But whatever it is, I get sort of bored and restless and dissatisfied with everything I have growing and/or in the pantry/fridge, and end up wanting to go get other food, even if it’s kind of crappy. It’s sort of a form of relaxation and maybe even entertainment.

Pretty much the only reason I’m not worse is that I’m on a pretty severe budget and so I can’t afford to eat out a lot or buy a lot of prepared foods, but usually this just means that I use up my allotted food money in the first half of the month and then spend the second half resentfully eating cheap food from my garden/pantry while longing desperately to go sit down with a cold glass of iced tea and a restaurant meal. I thought growing and preserving my own food would be a bigger challenge than eating it, but turns out I was wrong.

Does anyone else have this issue, or are you all as delighted to prepare and subsist on the lovely, nutritious, non-toxic, free food you grow as I feel like I should be? Any suggestions for breaking this cycle?

I know this is like the ultimate first world problem. I feel like a tool even typing this. Nonetheless it is a perennial problem for me, and costly in terms of money and probably health, so I would welcome any insight.
1 day ago
My favorite natural deodorant is a spray. I fill a spray bottle with Everclear, my essential oil of choice, and a small amount of a neutral oil like jojoba to make it less harsh on the skin (nothing thick like coconut or olive oil, and not too much or it will ruin clothes). The Everclear kills bacteria to control odor, and the essential oil imparts the nice scent. It can also be used as a body/clothes/vehicle/room spray if you want to give any of those things a nice smell boost.
1 day ago
I’ve seen citronella and lemongrass used in tropical permaculture banana circles guilds, although I don’t know about how they do in the Philippines specifically, and both of those are great for bugs. I like the smell of citronella, although some don’t.
1 day ago
Wanted to add, if you don’t wear the clothes right away after the scented wash, you can extend the good smell by keeping them enclosed in a box or drawer so they can’t air out, and preferably including a sachet.

Also, the lemongrass and eucalyptus bug spray did work well for bugs, too.
2 days ago
I sometimes use an essential oil in my wash and/or rinse water if the clothes need some olfactory assistance. Often tea tree or lavender. The oils are expensive and I cannot grow them, but they tend to have more staying power and a purer (for lack of a better word) smell.

The herb and spice mixes I have tried often end up smelling muddled and kind of...too dead planty. Like old tea leaves or almost compost, not really bad but not minty fresh either. I used a lot of spearmint-based mixes. The tea type mixes do stain the cothes but the essential oils do not (if diluted). I could maybe make my own essental oils, but so far too lazy.

I have dyed obnoxiously bright wool hiking clothes with tea and wine. The ones I dyed with plain black tea or Earl Grey tea smelled pretty good for quite a while even after washes. The wine ones smelled pretty creepy.

In none of these cases was the nice or weird smell of the clothing enough to make up for lack of deodorant, I am sorry to report. It was just enough to counteract any lingering mustiness or slight unpleasant smells on the clothing itself, like if I let it sit too long damp before washing it or something, but if I myself actually stank, it was not enough to compensate. Wiping my pits down periodically with the diluted essential oil or tea mix (or Everclear, although this was irritating to my skin) helped, but even that didn’t really suffice for heavy exertion and/or multiple days of wearing the same shirt during summer. I don’t think I am especially malodorous, but I do live in a humid subtropical climate and do a lot of manual labor.

One thing I haven’t tried in the wash water but suspect might work is leftover citrus peel. Either steeped/boiled or maybe you could press a minute amount of oil out of them. They seem like they might smell fresher than the leafier mixes. Clove or lemongrass might also be worth a shot. I packed a natural eucalyptus and lemongrass bug spray once while backpacking, and I used it as a sort of body spray when going into town because it covered up the week-old hiker smell fairly well.
2 days ago
I think of wealth as resources, goods, and skills/services which are inherently valuable. Pears are wealth. A shovel is wealth. Blacksmithing or sewing skills are wealth. The knowledge to create effective antibiotics is wealth. Healthy soil is wealth.

Money is a means of denominating wealth and facilitating its exchange. Sometimes the supply of money and the supply of wealth shrink and grow in step. Sometimes real wealth grows rapidly, but no new money is created, and the system stalls until the money supply is increased. Sometimes money is created, but no growth in real wealth accompanies it, and the system is out of balance. Eventually there is a collapse in the money supply to bring it back in line with real wealth.

Wealth can be created, and existing wealth can be stored. When one wants to exchange this wealth for money or vice versa, certain complications ensue. Maybe the money cannot be exchanged for as much wealth as you thought it could—maybe inflation or a currency collapse has devalued the money. Or maybe the wealth you possess—a share in a company or a bar of gold or a fancy yacht—turns out to have less inherent value than you thought it did, because what people really need are potatoes and chickens, not stocks or gold. Or maybe it cannot be exchanged for as much money as you expected, due to the vagaries of the market, just when you have a bill that desperately needs to be paid or an opportunity to invest in something that creates wealth instead of just storing it.

The ubiquitous conflation of money and wealth is misleading. If you know which is which, and which one you need, and whether you are trying to store it or create it, and you pay attention to the possibility of losing or gaining either as you exchange one for the other, you will be ahead of the game.
2 days ago
Geoff’s videos are always so nicely done.
4 days ago