Miranda Converse

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since Dec 02, 2015
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Recent posts by Miranda Converse

My grocery store uses biodegradeable plastic (?) type bags for produce. I'm not selling any veggies now but in the future, that's what I plan to use for the things, like lettuce, that there are no other good options for bags.  Pretty sure these are the exact bags my grocery store uses:  https://www.amazon.com/Compostable-Produce-BioBag-Biodegradable-Green/dp/B00F57XZD2
4 years ago
My homestead was recently destroyed in Hurricane Michael and I have been thinking a lot about how I'm going to rebuild.  Some backround:  We had started planting some trees (Apple, banana, pear, peach, mulberry) and had done a lot of work on the property but we put all of that on hold to work overseas for a couple years.  Luckily we weren't home, and our insurance took care of us, so everything is fine regarding that...What sucks is we lost just about all of the trees we planted (one lonely Mulberry tree survived and some tattered banana trees may regrow).   I really wanted to get a food forest going and have a variety of fruit trees planted but now I'm afraid that another hurricane could come and wipe away it all away again.  Are there any particular trees that are more resistant to wind, or are there ways we can protect trees in the event of another hurricane?  
4 years ago
Yea, if I was able to do something with it now, mold probably wouldn't be an issue. But I don't know what I could do to stop it until I can get back and possibly do something with the place.  I almost feel like if I were to get the buidling tarped, the moisture that is already there would just be trapped and would make it an even better place for mold. And it's ridiculously humid and rainy there as it is, it will never dry out without some serious intervention.

I would absolutely do a ton of research on what our best building options would be. SIP was just the first thing that came to mind.  We have talked about building a log cabin, but I'm not sure that would be that great in that climate.  I have at least a year or so to research and come up with a plan...
5 years ago
Thank you for your responses! I did actually go back, briefly, to see it in person.  To me, half of the structure looks ok, besides some water intrusion. The other half, doesn't look so great. For about a quarter of the roof, all that is left is the gables. You're right though, I don't think I have the skill to determine what is good and what isn't.   Even if the wood looks decent, the whole place is bound to be contaminated with mold.  I suppose the best option would be to demo it and just start over.  I guess the next thing I need to decide is what to build in it's place.  Thinking of maybe building with something like SIPs panels, or something that will hold up in a hurricane next time!
5 years ago
Recently my house was pretty severely damaged in Hurricane Michael. Luckily myself, and my family are temporarily living overseas, so we already have other living arrangements. It looks like the insurance company is going to deem the house a total loss.  The settlement they quoted me will be significantly more than what is owed on the house (basically my mortgage+equity).  I'm not sure what stipulations there will be, but if we can, we are leaning towards just paying the mortgage off and keeping the land.

Now to my dilema: What should I do with the house?
I could just let it rot, which will be a liability concern if anyone decides to squat there in our absence. We would then just deal with it ourselves when we return in about 1.5-2 years.
I could spend $10k-20k to demo it.
I could sell the property as-is and maybe get $30k for it.
Or, I could attempt to have the roof tarped to minimize further water damage and attempt to salvage what I can in the house when we eventually move back.  This is what I'm struggling with. Even though the house was "totaled", the permie in me feels like it is such a waste to just throw the whole house away. I could salvage some of the gables and use them for a barn.  The toilets were brand new, all of the ceiling fans were new, etc.  Am I being ridiculous?  Some of this may also be me holding onto nostalgia value. It's the first and only house I bought with my S/O and where we had our first child together.  There's a lot of memories there.

I know this isn't terribly permie related but I figured you guys have the same mindset as I do regarding most things.  Any input/advice would be greatly appreciated!

As a side note, one of the things we have discussed doing is creating a little campground type place. Build a few cabins and have people take "permie" vacations where they can experience a bit of permaculture and get to see how we grow food and whatnot. Or even just start a community there.  If we did return to Panama City, this would be a lot more achievable without a mortgage and 9 acres of land to build whatever we want.  However, I don't know how many people will want to vacation near Panama City anytime soon as the place is kind of a wreck if you haven't seen the news...
5 years ago
Thank you, that is very helpful. I never thought I might like living in the northwest but I’m starting to warm up to the idea. I need to take a trip there to see what it’s like!
5 years ago
Thank you all for the suggestions!

I didn't realize that about Maine and the snow belt. I grew up in Massachussettes and never wanted to go back because I didn't want to deal with massive amounts of snow they get. I do love the falls in the northeast. And actually, one of my favorite teachers from highschool is homesteading up there. He taught environmental science and taught us all about building eco-friendly houses.

I did forget to mention that I have a daughter who will be going to school in a few years. So, unfortunately kentucky is probably pretty low on the list. I actually have a great property in Florida right now but that's one of the reasons I am hesitant to make that our homestead. The education is just not that great there. Also, Florida is not the greatest place for small business from my experience.

The pacific northwest sounds interesting. I've spent my whole life on the east coast so I'm pretty familiar with it. I have only been to the west coast once and that was just to Los Angeles so I don't think that is a good representation of the northwest.  Are there any states on the east coast you can compare it to? I have zero idea of what it would be like there. Are the laws relaxed in regards to selling what you grow?

5 years ago
If you could live anywhere in the US, from a strictly homesteading perspective, where would you live?  What reasons would you live there?

I'm currently in Italy in a contract position but I will be moving back to the US in another year or two. I could potentially move just about anywhere. I would like to find a place where a wide variety of things can easily grow, the cost of living isn't terribly high, and where the laws are lenient so that I can sell home grown/made goods without having to jump through too many hoops.  I would love to hear about places that fall into this description, but I would also love to hear about your reasons why a place is good for homesteading. Thank you!

5 years ago
I'm honestly not sure what the temperature is in our house. We don't have a thermostat on right now (only comes on when we turn the heat/ac on and it's nice right now so we aren't using it).  I would guess it's around 70-73.  Could be higher though as before we moved here, our thermostat was usually at 76 and I was comfortable.

I've reduced the grains down to about a teaspoon but it is still separating. It seems a bit better but not great. I think my next attempt at a fix will be to double the amount of milk maybe. I'm hesitant to do that though because I'm already making more than I really need. But I suppose if I can get it to a good consistency, maybe I can find someone at work that would like some on a daily basis...Open to suggestions.
5 years ago