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S Tonin

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since Oct 17, 2015
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zone 6a, ish
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Recent posts by S Tonin

It's a bit spindly, but it reminds me of Liatris spicata/ Blazing Star Liatris.
1 week ago
Personally, I'm more into a savory breakfast, but I don't eat until I've been awake for a few hours, so maybe my brain is already primed for the idea of "lunch."  I really used to love cold leftovers as a kid; admittedly a lot of it was on the junky side--pizza, Chinese take-out, Stovetop stuffing, fried chicken fingers, spaghetti, mac and cheese, hamburgers or hot dogs, you get the idea.  I still like cold leftovers, but I prefer my first meal to be something a little lighter.  

A lot of East Asian cultures start the day with a bowl of rice and a bowl of soup (a light, brothy soup, not like a cream base or blended or thickened like a stew), and I really like that.  Chicken broth and rice is filling and hydrating and, most importantly to me, easy to assemble and easy to eat.  It's better with some leftover meat or vegetables tossed in.

I always have leftover polenta or cooked rice/ whole grains or potatoes in the fridge, so I build from there.  A lot of days I just add cheese to anything, nuke it, and call it good enough.  If I want to eat it cold, I just add some kind of sauce or salad dressing; I add in leftover veg/ proteins here, too.  I like pickled vegetables and rice with some of the juice drizzled over the rice with a splash of soy sauce.  I also mix soy sauce with some chopped garlic and a little apricot or plum jam or ginger syrup and mix into rice; this is really good with broccoli or some other vegetable with a hint of bitter.  Sometimes I'll eat my carbs with a side of almonds or cashews.  

For something sweet, I'll add some jam to cold rice or polenta; pumpkin butter in polenta tastes a lot like pumpkin pie.  Sometimes if I'm craving a little fat or something heavier, I'll add some yogurt along with the jam.  Dried fruit plumped in hot water (or tea) is really nice, too.

Some of my other favorite breakfasts as a kid (probably not super healthy, but could be made healthier):
-banana bread with cream cheese
-peanut butter and banana sandwich (also tortillas spread w/ peanut butter and rolled around banana, or banana "hot dogs")
-tortillas rolled up with cheese and ranch dressing
-tuna salad (standalone or a sandwich/ with crackers/ lettuce wraps)
-plain unsweetened/ lightly sweet cereal like shredded wheat/ chex/ cheerios eaten dry with cubes of cheese (like cheese and crackers; sometimes I'd have ring bologna or cubed Lebanon bologna too [it's a PA Dutch thing])
-rice pudding
-cold french toast or pancakes (my Mom used to do breakfast-for-dinner a lot)
-hard boiled eggs or red beet eggs (another PA Dutch thing)

4 weeks ago
I just found this video and thought of this thread.

She uses drafting instructions from 1895; the book she references looks like an awesome resource.
4 weeks ago
I would just add to Tyler's comment: take along a piece or two of sturdy cardboard to use as a scoop, just in case it's a little too soft for paper towels.  
2 months ago

Matthew Nistico wrote:

Bonnie Kuhlman wrote:I have some glass lids for mason jars but can't find the tops/rings to use with them.  The regular canning rings don't have enough depth to hold the glass lid on the jar.  Here are a few on ebay, but they are difficult to find.  If anyone knows where to find these, please share.  Or maybe if they hear from enough people, the jar manufacturers will start producing them.  Thanks.


I am curious... are these just collector's items, or is there a special advantage to using these glass lids?  I don't immediately see the purpose, especially given that you can't use them with the normal Ball hardware (rings).  The eBay seller to whom you linked didn't explain.

Weck makes jars with the glass lid/ rubber gasket combo, but they're pretty expensive (at least, outside of Europe).  The nice thing about the glass lids is they don't rust and nothing can leech out of them (though really, your food shouldn't be in contact with the lid anyway, but for the purpose of argument).  I've never tried them myself, but I think the Weck jars are easier to open than Tattler lids (the reusable plastic ones) because there's a pull-tab on the rubber gasket to loosen the seal.  I'd imagine that shortens the life of the gasket, though.
2 months ago
I definitely get sweatier/ stinkier with cotton-poly blends than I do straight cotton, and the clothes themselves seem to stink more (especially if they've been at the bottom of the laundry pile for a week or two).  I also knew an older woman years ago who had no qualms about detailing why she wouldn't wear nylon underwear.

My guess would be the synthetic fabrics retain moisture in the spaces between the fibers, making a good environment for bacteria to grow, whereas natural fibers would break up/ absorb/ wick away the moisture.  

I just spent a few minutes googling the antimicrobial synthetics and, while most of it was over my head, some of the stuff being produced for medical and high-tech laboratory applications is treated with a compound containing silver or a compound with a carbolic acid component.  (That's not super relevant, it's just interesting to me that everything old is new again, and at least the basic components have a long history of use so those are probably safe, but who knows about any of the other things)

Steve Thorn wrote:

Poor producers: apricot*, blueberry, wild rose and climbing rose (I was hoping for a better showing of hips, even if they're not big producers like Rugosa).

I wander if the blueberries struggle because of the north facing slope?

That's actually all on me.  Years ago the bush got shaded out by a pussy willow and never really grew more even after the willow was cut down.  And I let a grape vine grow over it.  And deer like to nibble at it (though the grape vine actually helps discourage that).  I still get a few clusters of berries every year, but the harvest is only like one cup.  When the bush was young (like 15 years ago), before it got shaded out, I'd get at least a quart.  

We also have some kind of wild blueberry in the woods growing in dappled shade.  Self-seeded, probably from birds/ bear/ deer; the plants are only maybe 3 years old (I don't remember seeing them before 2016).  Last year they had a few very small berries, so I hold out hope that they might produce more as they mature.
2 months ago
Could you run the rinse water through a series of filters and let it sit for a while to evaporate anything else off, then just discard the filtering material and dump the water where it's not going to come into contact with food?  Or are there too many persistent/ toxic chemicals in it?  

Depending on how many totes you have, you could open one and let it dry, then see how much primer flakes off/ can be scraped off.  Or scoop some of the residue out and smear it on plastic with a similar texture to dry, kind of like a swatch test.  Edit: my thinking is that if it flakes off, you can just wash out the flakes (dislodging some with a hose/ pressure washer/ stick/ bent wire as needed) and filter that water.
3 months ago

My point was more along the lines of "if you're looking to grow the plants to make the nectar yourself, why do 10x more work than necessary?" but I can see where I didn't articulate that clearly.  I'm not knocking feeders or the people who use them.

After reading r. ranson's response, I can see now that East Coast and West Coast hummingbirds obviously have different migration habits.  Here in PA, ours don't show up until a variety of flowers are already blooming and usually leave before first frost (when there's still plenty of forage for them), so season extension can have a negative effect on the birds over time (mostly because of temperature).  Using hummingbirds to pollinate your fruit trees might be a good tip for the "Permaculture hacks that work" thread!
3 months ago
Is there a reason you can't plant a variety of nectar-producing flowering plants?  That seems the most permie solution to me.  Otherwise, maybe if you had access to an evaporator, some kind of high-sugar fruit (like a date or fig or sugar beet) could be juiced and then condensed to the right liquid:sugar ratio?  You would need to determine what the sugar concentration is (brix meter maybe?) and what trace minerals are in it, though.

Also, in regards to xylitol, even if it had enough calories I'd be very careful putting it anywhere a cat or dog could get it, since it only takes a little bit to kill them.
3 months ago