hans muster

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since Oct 20, 2015
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Recent posts by hans muster

Chicken of the woods maybe?

RedHawk, as you have experience with break down of organic matter with fungus, how high do you think the risk of the following statement is?

Do not consume any chicken of the woods unless you harvested it from a deciduous tree. Those growing on yews, conifers or eucalyptus may absorb some of their oils which can cause serious distress.

7 hours ago
My area is on the edge for the holly oak because of the cold. However, did you taste some of the oaks to check if they are bitter or sweet? If some of them are sweet I would take some.

In my opinion it would be worth to take the effort to plant a few oaks on top of each hill, to have seed trees for the next generation, with seeds falling downhill.

1 day ago
Life springs back, nice to see

Do you have a source of acorns, especially of holly oaks Quercus ilex?
Or cork oak,  Quercus suber?

Oaks wih thick bark, especially the cork oak, are fire tolerant when big enough (young ones die with a cold fire). And I really like the holly oak, and there are some sweet ones which you can eat like chestnuts.
2 days ago
If I may: Elaeagnus X ebbinggeii is an amazing rabbit food. Especially in winter, when everything else is dormant.

Mine grows too slowly...
1 week ago
You may try the same system as the vermicomposting flush toilet.


It would need a pump instead of working with gravity, and may not work when the water is too cold.

Maybe it would be good to have two tanks, alternate each hour/day so the worms do not drown.
The ducks would even benefit from some proteins from time to time if the tank is overcrowded.

I think Burra Maluca has a system like this at home, can you confirm if you read us?

2 weeks ago
I was researchin Egg laying strains of muscovies. It seems like there is a high variability in the species, with animals laying anything from 50 to 190 (one source said even more than 200) eggs a year.

Knowing which duck layed which egg may be the biggest challenge if you want to start selectively breeding them. This would be a work of a few years, and you would need to cull (sell if you don't wanna eat) a lot of not so productive ducks to keep the genetics of the best.

Otherwise, importing a dozen runner eggs and put them under a muscovy may start your line of egg producers. You still have to deal with the males.

Good luck
3 weeks ago
Thanks for your updates.
What did you spray?
In West Africa I met people who sprayed papaya leaves and neem against insect pests. They were mashing the leaves and let them soak overnight in water before straining and spraying them. Some added a few drops of dish washing liquid.
It is way cheaper and safer than commercial pesticides.

Do you know of the push-pull method?
Here is a link to a newspaper article.
Wikipedia also has quite a complete article about it.

If you cannot open the link and have a question do not hesitate to ask.

1 month ago
R. Ranson wrote in a post that sometimes she has no time to malt the grains herself for making her beer.

raven ranson wrote:I found that  Small Scale Grain Raising and Homegrown Whole Grains really complimented each other.  Each on their own is a bit too introductory, but together they work really well.  In many ways I wish the books had more, especially before I had the courage to try growing my own grain.  However, once I grew my first grain patch, I understood why these bits were missing.  All the information we need is in the grain.  I learned so much more by watching my grains grow than I did reading these books.  Then, I realized the purpose of these books was to inspire us to try growing grain.

Uprisings on the other hand, isn't much of a how to book.  I think there was a bit in there, but not it's main focus.  This book is full of examples of different communities that have grown their own grain, and some of the challenges they faced.  

Processing oats and barley into human suitable food when they have such annoying hulls... how did they do it in the past?  Good question, but I don't think you'll like the answer much.  Basically, they didn't... or at least not food like we are use to.  This kind of grain was mostly malted for beer, or fed to livestock.  Some peasants ate it of course, but this was beneath the kind of person who knew how to write and could afford parchment and ink.  Basically, no contemporary records.  But it was done... so we have to interpret history to figure out how it might have happened.  

I know this is in my brain somewhere and it involves rubbing or smashing the hulls off... maybe cracking the grain just prior to using it, then washing the grain till the hulls come off...but I don't think that's right.  I took a llama to the head yesterday so it's basically like cleaning up a huge earthquake in my mind palace.  If I come across the info in the rubble, I'll post it here.  Until then, we need a new thread where we can explore ways of harvesting and processing grains.  I would love to hear everyone's ideas and experiences on this.

Malting my own grain (which is excellent for all those varieties that have tough to remove hulls) to make beer is a really neat thing to do.  I'm still working on perfecting this.  It use to be a common household occurrence to malt our own grain and brew our beer.  I don't have a good set up in our house for this, yet, so I'm still experimenting.  Here's a link to my very first grain to beer experience.    I was working from the recipe ideas in Wild Ferementation.  I know in my blog I say it was horrible, but it really grew on us.  It was a light, mildly alcoholic, refreshing drink... maybe a bit vinegary.  

Eventually I hope to have a proper malting set up, where I can malt enough grain for 6 months worth of beer in one go.  I'm heavily inspired by the medieval methods, but am having difficulty finding good sources about it.  It was such a common thing, that no one really thought to write it down.  The book Cooking & Dining in Medieval England by Peter Brears has some of the best information about it I've found so far.  He even has diagrams of different malting setups in castles and manor houses.  Once I have a place of my own, I hope to use these to make a smaller version out of cob.  ...sigh...one day.  Until then, I keep experimenting with small batches of grains and wild yeasts.  

What are your recipes? How do you do it?

I have read that corn was put in bags in rivers for a few days to sprout, and then roasted over fire to make malt. Other recipes use dehydrators, which use quite a lot of energy.

What are stories you heard, and recipes you tried?
Maybe you could try capsaicin, the "hot" of chili peppers.

Shawn woods soaked seeds in an alcohol solution of capsaicin, mice didn't touch it.

As the ethanol would probably kill the seed, I would mix the capsaicin in oil or grease (it mixes with oil and alcohol, but not in water) and smear it on the seeds. Not completely covering the seed to allow for respiration.
I don't think an animal will take a second nut...
1 month ago