Jennifer Paulson

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since Nov 13, 2016
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food preservation hugelkultur cooking
I love getting my hands dirty, breaking a sweat and "earning" my next meal. Currently living in the (Pacific Northwest)urban environment makes this tricky. I'm actively looking for acreage to develop and build our forever home on. In the mean time I am skill building to better equip myself for the life I want to live. Recently I've spent a summer propagating for an organic farm, built a strawbale home with another planned in June 2018, starting plant guilds along the lines of baby food forests, apprenticed for local plant medicine, canning and other methods of preserving, vericulture, sewing, seed saving, huglekultur, helping other raise chickens & basically whatever random thing I can manage to get involved in.
Paul's Kickstarter for the 2017 PDC was my gateway into the Permies community. I've been quietly geting to know my way around and will hopefully feel confident to make worthy posts soon.
I'm looking forward to meeting more of you.
Bellingham, WA. United States
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Recent posts by Jennifer Paulson

Tom Haile wrote:For making coffee. I put medium ground coffee in a big mason jar filled with water and put it in the frig for a day. Then I strain out a cup. Cold brew coffee eliminates the need for a heat source.

Has anyone tried sun brewed coffee?

Yes! I just wanted to echo Tom's tip... I was a barista and coffee shop owner in past lives. Toddy was all the craze and now it is called cold brew, but they are one and the same.  There are specific plastic brewers (they are just pitchers with a hole and filter in the bottom) to buy for this process with micro filters and rubber stoppers to replace. I had two set ups (because I was a sucker), I believe they ran about $30-40USD each.  Many years later, wanting a cold and less acidic "filling" coffee for a hot day in the garden I brewed my own toddy in a half gallon jar to use in iced lattes.  

First off why it's nice, then how to make it --
toddy/cold brew is straight espresso, essentially, shot per shot, it is 67% less acidic (that's what the packaging boasted on the name brand plastic pitcher) then the hot water extracted espresso, it has more caffeine due to the long brew time and a very smooth taste. It can be served cold or hot.  I portion 2 cups of medium coarse ground coffee, something similar to french press, and pour filtered water over them in a slow steady circular motion. After the grounds are moisten I wait a minute to let it bloom which just means that you're letting the trapped gases escape which improved flavor. I then top the jar, put a lid on it and store it out of direct sunlight.   After several hours I'll give it a shake but I wait 18-24hrs to strain it.  I strain it through one of those netted produce/nut milk bags and store the filtered coffee in the fridge for up to 10 days.  I like toddy for iced lattes with whole milk and maple syrup. It becomes a snack! Otherwise, I'm a black drip/pour over sort of person. My worms love the spent grounds!

*pro tip* freeze toddy in ice cube trays to chill cold coffee drinks so they don't taste watered down.
3 months ago
Welcome to the forms Thomas, thank you for sharing your knowledge.  I'm in the process of purchasing land and deciding what to do with it.  Food forests have always been something I have wanted to do. I have helped to start  small sections of them but don't have any experience with them long term.  I can't wait to read your responses to questions and get a hold of your book.
6 months ago

Sharon Carson wrote:Thanks for the educational tips .I never thought of honey as acid.  I usually do a similar thing by simmerring herbs on my wood cookstove but only with roots or things like rosehips . I usually make infusions and use raw honey to sweeten when using medicinal herbs . I grow my own elder for ease of harvest and to be sure its "Clean' I never wash my fruits (berries). I rub the berrys off and make tinctures, dry them or make wine . Have you ever worked with high bush cranberries? (Crampbark) ?

I have eaten the berries but have not harvested the bark for medicine. I have had other plants on hand that served my purpose so it was not necessary to harvest. I do love the bounty of nature!
1 year ago
Thanks for your post! I wanted to add that elderberries have natural bloom (looks like a covering of dust that is easily wiped off) on them similar to that found on blueberries, huckleberries, currents etc.  I prefer not to wash off this beneficial prebiotic* but instead harvest from an area that is free from contaminates. Examples would be away from industry/population/railroad tracks, away from roads including dirt roads, airports and areas sprayed to control invasive species.

I also prefer to make an herbal decoction rather than a tea. Tea as most people think of it is boiling water poured over plant material and steeped for a few to 10 minutes. It is my thinking and understanding that this is great to get a warm cup of flavored water. This has its place, for sure, it is calming, relaxing and enjoyable.  However, I make decoctions with all my medicinal herbs I wish to drink as "tea." To make a decoction fill a pot with 4-6 cups of the best water available to you. Crush while sprinkling the dried plant material over the surface of the water.  Some will sink, but add enough that had it not, the entire surface area of the pot would be covered fairly tightly with the plant material.  With the lid off, bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and continue to simmer until half the water has evaporated. This process of reducing should take 15-20 minutes but not longer than 30. If it is taking too long or evaporating too quickly, adjust your heat settings.  At this point you're good to strain out the plant matter and enjoy! You can scale up these basic directions as I do, making a half gallon of decoction for a couple days at a time. I store left over decoction in the fridge and gently reheat on the stove. I don't make more then what I can consume in 3-4 days.

Depending on what plants you are using and why you are drinking them, remember that acid (dairy, oat milk, honey) allows the body to absorb calcium and iron in the plant. A good (and common) example of decotions I add an acid to are dandelion root and nettle leaf.

Happy brewing!

*prebiotics are basically undigested plant fibers that act as fertilizer/food for the beneficial bacteria that already exists in the gut
1 year ago
If Horse Chestnut soap is anything like soap nuts/berries, my word to the wise is to store your dehydrated back stock in glass. I came home from vacation one winter to a rat in the house, the only thing it was after... several pounds of soap nuts! It never came back once it had eaten them all. I can't imagine the poor buddy felt very good after that binge. :)

Thanks for the inspiration, I look forward to trying these!
1 year ago

Roberta Wilkinson wrote:If you can get a hold of John Pollock and he invites you up to his place, I would go. He's got a great setup and is an enjoyable guy to chat with. He doesn't do formal tours or anything though, I just emailed him through his website and he invited us out. He also vends at the Kula farmers market, which is a great truly local market, all organic. It's at Waipuna Chapel on Omaopio Rd on Wednesdays.

Thank you so much for your time and quick response. I will take your recommendation to heart.
1 year ago

Roberta Wilkinson wrote:We'll be on Maui visiting my mom from January 16th to the 30th, and would love suggestions of farms, markets, or other places of interest we might want to visit.  In the past we've gone up to John Pollock's Rancho Relaxo, Surfing Goat Creamery (not really permie, but yummy fresh cheese), a place where a guy has a sawmill set up and mills local wood into bajillion dollar tables for the mainland, and we like to hit the Makawao farmer's market for groceries.  It kind of seems like we've covered everyplace that has an easily google-able website at this point.

We'll be staying in Kihei, but we're happy to drive pretty much anywhere that won't violate our car rental contract. ;P

Leads on food would be very welcome.  We're not big on grocery store food in the first place, and island grocery store food tends to be both less fresh *and* more expensive, which is just plain sad.  Fresh eggs would be amazing.

So, what things should some wandering permies, enjoying the weather but also a little homesick for their homestead lifestyle, do and see?

Hi Roberta,

I am traveling to Maui next month and am searching for a similar type of experience.  Did you find any leads? Do you have any memorable successes/finds? Thanks so much for your time.  Traveling is enjoyable but can be difficult.
1 year ago
Hello again,

I'm reviving this thread because I too am visiting Maui (next month Feb 2018)! I'm searching the internet for permaculture farms (and good coffee to drink!) to visit or stay at and thought perhaps someone here would have a recommendation or two. Traveling can be tough when you strive to eat organic and beyond and I'd like to step outside of the tourism vibe for a change to connect heart to heart with the local culture and my permie people.  Thanks for reading .
1 year ago
This is a lovely challenge idea.  I will be traveling for most of this window and thought I wouldn't be able to participate until the end. After a bit more thought, there are a couple things I can do even while traveling. The first will be to maintain an alcohol-free holiday which I started in November, the second, to meditate daily. When I get back to my modest apartment I call home, I plan to tackle the corner full of nettle stalks and see how much progress I can make in turning the fibers into something that can be knitted.  This has been my first attempt at retting but I am hoping it continues to go well so I can teach a small group the process next harvest.  With a love for local medicinal plants, passing along lost knowledge such as this is important to me but I struggle with anxiety and am yet to teach my first official class.  Goals for 2018. I'm in! Thanks for the inspiration.
1 year ago