Gregory T. Russian

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since Oct 20, 2015
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Recent posts by Gregory T. Russian

A horizontal hive for Canada would be insulated at the design/build time (double-walls, etc).
No need to move it anywhere.
6 months ago
In any case, having it done both ways I can say - the crush-and-strain way produces better honey.
Subjectively maybe.
But everyone should try it both ways and taste for themselves.
6 months ago

elle sagenev wrote:Peoples, that took FOREVER and the pay off, I don't know. We probably have 1-2 gallons of honey from what is going on 3 days of work now. Of course, it's not 3 days of constant work it's a lot of waiting for things to filter and drip down.

I borrowed a 2 frame honey spinner. I think I had 10 frames that were spinnable. I had some frames that I didn't use plastic foundation with and the bees didn't go straight down and I couldn't spin the honey from them. So, I removed the comb from them, put them in cheesecloth and squished them up so the honey would drip down into a bucket.

Anyway, just took a lot of time and effort and I'm not sure it was worth it.

So I must be doing it wrong or something stupid because it just was terrible!

That is why you don't extract with 2-frame honey spinner.
If you have any significant volumes, should have 4-frame and up equipment.

Whatever you do (spin or crash), it is best to work with warm honey.
Before spinning you want to keep your frames in a warm place some hours (a car on a sunny day works great).
If crashing and straining, you want to crash cold frames (the brittle combs crash better) but then you want to strain in a warm place (again, a hot car works great).
If the frames are partially crystallized (read - from last year) - especially important to warm them up however you do it.

To be fair, I myself made a drill powered 2-frame spinner also (also can be used for crash-and-strain).
Attached pics.
The cost was minimal (free buckets).
Works OK for a hobbyist (again, should extract warm honey).

After comparing the spinned honey and crash-and-strained honey - I chose the good, old crash-and-strained honey - still the best.

6 months ago

Nick Turner wrote:.... he is a little too technical for my taste....

Pretty much too technical.
These technicalities only confuse people and scare them away.

Once I figured the process out using the whole-grain rye flour, I never, ever measure anything again.
The starter was done by eye for centuries - no scales or measurement spoons.

The whole-grain rye starter just works by eye - no fuss, no complications, no non-sense.
This is really that trivial - the whole-grain rye flour does it all.

I have been using hodgson's rye flour for my starter -

1 year ago

Dell Knapp wrote: I am still a baker for the market in Madison, Wi & wanted to share this, hoping it gives you more tasty options !

Hi, the neighbor!

Eat bread!
The real bread, I mean.
1 year ago
2-3 years ago I found this article about rye starter:

I tried it - it worked.
This is how I started making my own breads.
Never looked back - home made breads are cheap, tasty, simple, and healthy.

Eventually, I stopped following any of the instructions - does not matter.
No need to throw any starter away either; I use everything.

The basic rye starter just works with ONE simple instruction - keep it at the "thick paste consistency".
The thick paste consistency is the only idea I follow now days.
When not in use - keeping the starter in the fridge for few days.

Couple of good bread links that I use as my baselines:

Russian Rye sourdough (and more!) -

Jim Lahey basic 4-ingridient bread (modify as wish OR not) -

1 year ago

Gabriel Lavinsky wrote:Considering all this info, i would really like to understand if some uses of reused tire are really interesting, such as using it for leveling the ground, burying it for ecological sanitary uses or for building house walls with it.  

Used tires make really good beehive stands (when positioned flat).
They are really strong and indestructible, relatively light, easy to move around, and they are capable of holding large weight (especially when the metal rim is inside).
The best part - no construction is needed.
Just toss is down and level - done.
Optionally, place some wood onto the tire before setting a hive.
Or set 2-3 tires side by side, place long boards on top of them and then set your hives.
If care, you can even paint those tire hive stands; up to you.

Every time I see a used tire, I collect it and use in my bee yards.
I need MORE used tires!
2 years ago

marcus thompson wrote:.... it is a survival food question. Only plants that are both calorie-dense and high calories/acre qualify. All suggestions that fit in that box are appreciated!

True survival situation then; oh boy!

Consider the following - even some of the fruit/veg you consider too LOW in calories will by HIGH in calories when dry.
The drying fruits/veggies increases their calorie content by factor of X.
(e.g. Google says - "380 calories in a cup of dried apricots versus 75 in a cup of fresh halves"; this is a factor of 5).

So now, you should seriously consider those fruits/veggies that produce lots of volume per unit of area and dry well at that.
The entire point is you are looking for the highest caloric output from the unit of area.
Well, the caloric output computed correctly should consider the final produce state (NOT raw produce state) per the unit of area.

My case in point - I dry apples.
I got lots and lots of apples from my various projects this year.
Kids gobble them up and so I try substitute their sugar cravings by dry apples.
Apple can produce lots of fruit per area and rather quickly (dwarf/semi-dwarf trees can start producing at near capacity in about 3-4 years).
I know this because I do this as we speak.

This year I also had a bumper crop of peaches and so I dried them too.
Caloric ratio is not as high as of applies, but again, consider the output volume per area used - plenty high for me.

An essential tip - plant these trees along the edges of the properties.
Be strategic about so to help blocking cold winds of the area as well as block excessive sun too and create some shade if needed.
You always want to consider impact of full-grown trees and try using them in many ways to your benefit (not fight them).
I would not be planting fruit trees in the middle of the plot and then fighting them later.
By default you want your fruit trees along the northern edge of the property.
Train them into flat, fan-like shapes for efficiency as well as doubling their usage as landscaping feature.
Make property hedges out of them AND produce fruit at the same time.

Apples are capable of producing huge volume of fruit from a very small footprint.
I have a semi-dwarf specimen, about 7 years old, trained as a fan next to my front porch.
Foot print area is about 3-4 square meters (simultaneously used by low growing berry bushes - a bonus).
This single tree produced this year about 30-40 kg of raw fruit (translates to 4-6 kg of dried fruit at 15% of the initial raw weight).
Dry fruit is calorie dense product while being beneficial otherwise as well.

This same approach transfers well into other fruit/nut trees and berry bushes.

2 years ago

John Duda wrote:Just to give some perspective to a one acre garden. An acre is a plot of land 209.71 feet square....

Google says...
1 acre = 43560 square feet.

you can easily keep a pig (actually, 2-3 pigs even) on an acre;
can also keep a flock of chickens.
just need to use a movable pen so not to let them destroy anything and gradually move the pen around;
there are tons of thrown away food that can be obtained to feed these - essentially free.
2 years ago

Gregory T. Russian wrote:

marcus thompson wrote:Which foods are practical heirloom calorie sources for me to grow in zone 6 on 1 acre of land? ....Other suggestions with high caloric density and high calories/acre in zone 6?

Potatoes/sweet potatoes are a no-brainer option.

I would add green beans (the climbing varieties).
Since they climb, the growing surface greatly expands upwards.
You can, actually, get lots of beans from from very small footprint.
These are also low maintenance (no weeds to worry about).
I grow the climbing green beans annually and want to expand (very popular with my kids).

PS: overall, I would not just shoot for raw calories;
I would shoot for balance of calories AND healthy nutrition, as others already pointed out.
1 acre is a LOT of resource if you ask me.
2 years ago