Dina Johnson

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since Jun 21, 2016
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forest garden food preservation greening the desert
We have 10 very neglected acres of high mountain desert. We have a Mammoth jennet, mini jennet, a few goats that are intended to eat the weeds and give us fertilizer, a handful of guineas, a couple of cows and a barnyard mix of chickens as well as a few dogs and cats. We are "empty nesters" trying to get ourselves set up for retirement while learning how to create an example for others to aspire to and follow with regenerative permaculture food forest.  
Butte County Idaho zone 4 but more like zone 3 Lots of wind and average of 8-9 inches ann. precip.
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Recent posts by Dina Johnson

r ranson wrote:
I can't ship these seeds outside Canada at this time.

Super bummed to border Canada and not get to enjoy this opportunity here in Idaho!
If I made a road trip?? Left side of Canada sounds like you may be 'close' and I have not seen that part of the world yet...

maybe next years crop will be extra great and the stars will align so you can ship out to Idaho... Best regards!
1 year ago

paul wheaton wrote:

I am struggling with getting this video to play without continually buffering.. making it impossible to watch...
I read thru the thread and there is a lot of computer talk that I don't understand...
I am Rocket level from the recent kickstarter and was hoping to view this video with my husband to start an idea for one on our property in Idaho>

Thank you!
1 year ago

Colter Schroeder wrote:Good Afternoon,

I read through most of this thread looking for some sort of comment about the Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist book by Michael Judd, which I see is only valid for 48 hour window, and didn't see any comments.  I wanted to make sure that this hasn't passed and that there will be sufficient notification for people to get ready to get their copy.  Do you have an estimated time window for that to happen?


I second what Colter said...

There is so much going on here and it is overwhelming trying to keep what is what and where and when...
I really do not want to miss out but not sure I really know what is what and where and whens...

I don't know if my emails match, didn't know that was even something I needed to be concerned with...

I see there were codes sent out but I don't have those codes (Rocket level) and there is NO tab for 'My Stuff' available so I don't even know where else to look...

I would love to take days to get thru all of this and the kickstarter updates... but I have animals and plants and spouse and grandkids and a stupid appraisal to get ready for in record time with limited resources...all while fighting my autoimmune diseases flair...  please

Thank you
1 year ago

paul wheaton wrote:
All ebooks is now in your special note on kickstarter.   The key is that in the fray of getting all the goods to everybody, this note will probably be forgotten - but there will come to be a time when we say "everybody has been sent everything" and if you are missing anything, that is the time to speak up!

With a bit of luck, you will get all the goodies when everbody else does.

I am backer #1915
Rocket level
And there were so many great stretch goals met that I really am spinning with what exactly it is I should be expecting to get... and all the emails I had received from kickstarter seem to have disappeared.

Congrats for such a sweet success!!
1 year ago
I live in Arco Idaho and have 10 dry acres.

Where do I begin to learn how and even if I can profit from fiber products in our area... We are very remote from the rest of the world so getting a market is a challenge, NOT IMPOSSIBLE THOUGH.

I have flax growing wild around here but it's not the same as other pictures I have seen, much smaller.

What is the minimum equipment needed and where is the best place to find them affordably?

Thank you!
1 year ago
I so wish I was able to 'wrap my head' around all this!!!

I have 20 geese blessing our pantry... and looking high and low for 'how to do this' from live bird to meal... I am NOT wanting any of this in my fridge nor tiny freezer.. so was looking at canning them...

2 years ago

Olga Booker wrote:Hi James,

With a large surplus of birds, my personal choice would be to can it.  In fact, here in confit land, most of it is canned these days, simply because it lasts longer and it is safer.  With many birds, you'd need a very large fridge or a rodent free cool cellar to keep your open crocks.   It is true that depending on conditions, it will keep for a few months without spoiling, but eventually, if you have large quantities and can't eat it fast enough, the fat gets rancid and even mouldy.  Wes is right that the birds would be slaughtered when plump and fat.

What I do with my birds is this.

Remove all the fat from the birds, melt the fat with a small amount of water on gentle heat, when fat is melted, add legs, wings and neck if you like it, a few peppercorns, bay leaves and salt and gently simmer, 30-60 minutes until meat is tender and no water runs out when poked with a knife.  Immediately put into jars and cover with the fat leaving a 2cm gap, close lid and pressure can for 2 hours, I use 15 pounds pressure but I am at 2 500 feet altitude so you'd have to check for yourself what you need.  I have sometimes used a bit of pork fat to top up the jar when the birds were a bit on the lean side.  Some people also put nutmeg, rosemary, thyme or other herbs but I prefer things simple - your choice..

I live in Cassoulet country and while making it the traditional way is a long winded process, every housewife used to have her own recipe.  I make a very simple version that would make my grandmother turn in her grave if she knew!  Basically, I fry the wings, legs and neck in a bit of duck fat and some onions, bay leaves, salt and pepper.  When browned, I add some home made tomato sauce or some fresh cut tomatoes (tin is OK), a clove or two of garlic depending on taste and size of pot, and simmer for 10 minutes or so.  I then add some previously cooked large white kidney beans and simmer for another half hour.  Here we use what is called Tarbais beans, the name comes from the fact that it used to grow around a town called Tarbes.  I guess a white navy bean would do.  For some reason, white beans seem to lend themselves better to the taste of duck, go figure!  Anyway, while still hot, fill up the jars leaving a 2cm gap at the top, close the lid and pressure can for 2 hours (same as above).  That way you have a ready meal you can just warm up when you don't feel like cooking and you then can render the fat for other purposes.  Roasted potatoes in duck fat are wonderful.  A bit of fat added to soups and stews gives a certain richness, and no it is not bad for your health.  I also use duck fat to oil some garden tools and waterproof leather boots and canvas or leather hats.

Some of the bird's breasts, after a couple of days at least of "resting", are  eaten on the BBQ thinly filleted called "aiguillettes" here, or as kebabs on a stick, or plain fried .  Some are added in small chunks in the above mentioned stew, and some I salt for a day and hang up to dry.  The dried ones won't last very long and it is best to eat fairly soon, but it is delicious cut thinly in a salad or a few chunks in a soup or stew.  It gets drier and harder as time goes by.

The carcass with some meat left on it is boiled in a fair amount of water for several hours (sometimes all night on the edge of the range), again with a few peppercorns, bay leaves and salt, until the meat falls off the bones. While still hot, put into jars (without the bones), lid on and pressure can as above.  It makes a clear soup with bits of meat in it that lends itself to all sorts of preparations.  I open a jar, warm it up, and add some vermicelli pasta and fresh chopped parsley at the last minute.  Or on a winter's day, open a jar or two, add leeks, carrots, celery, potatoes, barley, herbs, whatever you have at hand  and make a very hearty stew.

I have 20 geese that needs butchered... I sure wish you lived near and would be willing to help... my husband is squeamish and so this falls on my shoulders... I am done raising geese and this is the only time that I will be butchering and canning, we live in a very small home and there is no room for extra freezer... and I have not found anybody interested in the birds... I don't feel comfortable selling the birds butchered because I am new to this...

but your recipes sound amazing!  
2 years ago
And I never did get around to butchering those 5 geese and I now have 20 that need to be butchered!!!
What have I done?!?!
I ended up buying a turkey fryer and it has set in the box...

I am thinking that with 20 large geese I will need to figure something creative... there is NO WAY I will be able to get that many birds in my freezer...

So anybody know the best way to pressure can goose?

Maybe this needs to be moved to another thread?

I did find this old article... so many resources that have so many similar but differing directions to butcher and plucking...

FOA chapter 13

Anybody near me interested in helping in exchange for taking some of them home??
2 years ago

thomas rubino wrote:Sounds to me Dina, that you have caught the BUG!!!  OH NO, No hope for you ....  Now you will have to build a RMH!!  
Looks like your down in the Salmon area.  To get up to where we are, its a long haul up US 93 . You would be passing numerous RMH's some with greenhouses , including the Wheaton ranch. We are 2 hrs NW of Missoula.
Our greenhouse is actually an artists studio now with nothing edible growing (unless you count the coffee & lemon tree... err bushes.)  
We did start out as a working greenhouse but my wife is now more interested in her art than a year round garden.
Visitor's who want to talk rocket science are always welcome.  

I would love a road trip with many stops along the way! I am located in Arco Idaho...

I just got back from a dog rescue run to Dillon Montana on Monday and had a lovely experience with a flat tire on a back mountain road on my way home. I was able to see a lot of elk bedded down while finding my 'center' and strength to break the lug nuts loose and change the tire to an old donut and drive ever so slowly BACK to Dillon (I only managed 'slow' on the gravel but once the pavement was under the rubber, desperation kicked in to get to a tire shop before they closed) I was unfamiliar with that area between Grant Montana and Leadore Idaho... I am ready to take that road again with my new tires! Maybe I can get a critter sitter for a long weekend so the husband can tag along, maybe mid October. We need to get our chicken coop winter ready and our high tunnel finished before it cools off too much...

Would ya happen to know anybody in my area willing to help out with building the end walls and draping the double plastic over the 24Wx88L ribs??
2 years ago

thomas rubino wrote:Hi Dina;  Possibly the book you are referring to is the original Rocket mass heater book by Ianto Evans  & Linda Jackson. For years this was the RMH book of choice. Its still a good choice for backround.
There is now a newer option called the RMH Builders guide by Ernie & Erica Wisner.  This book is now the RMH go to book for accomplished builders and first timers.
My green house in northern montana has an 8" J tube and uses less than 5 cords all winter to keep it 40-70 all day and all night with NO FIRE from 10 pm -6 am .... pretty neat huh.
If you are just learning about RMH's be prepared to get the bug ... you'll be up half the night reading ... and soon .... you'll want to become a rocket scientist yourself!

Awesome! Thank you! I would LOVE a visit to see how you have things set up and operating! There is so much to read and so many different ways to 'skin this proverbial cat' depending on materials on hand and location on the planet and all that changes with that pinpoint that my head doesn't seem to stop spinning!
2 years ago