Carla Coleman

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since Sep 27, 2016
NE Washington State
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Recent posts by Carla Coleman

Ticking is what was traditionally used for feather pillows, cushions and (according to Google) mattresses though I have never attempted anything as ambitious as a mattress! It is a very tightly woven cotton fabric. In the U.S. you can buy ticking at JoAnns Fabrics, in store or online. Google says it is the traditional fabric used for straw stuffing as well. I've never used straw to stuff a pillow but I have used down/feathers and they are very 'pokey' if you don't use ticking stripe fabric for the cover. And down will work it's way right through other fabrics.  

Several years ago I had an easy chair with down cushions reupholstered by a shop which apparently had no experience with down. They didn't use ticking fabric for the inner cushion covers, just a heavy cotton fabric, and that chair has been 'losing' feathers ever since. They just come right through both the inner cover and the heavy upholstery cloth.

Want to say 'thank you' to you all for this information. My next home will be straw bale so I will undoubtedly have a few extra bales and may just use them to make myself a healthy new mattress!
1 year ago

Maybe it helps to use the official (Latin) names of the different nettle plants? Here in the Netherlands (western Europe) we have Urtica dioica and Urtica urens.


Inge's suggestion made me curious about what type of nettles grow on my place and I found some info from the University of California (page is titled "Pests in Gardens and Landscapes" LOL) with descriptions and photos of two varieties of nettles that you named, Inge! http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74146.html
Raven - Although they have quite a bit of information on the 'stinging' and 'burning' properties of the plants I didn't see anything about the undersides of the leaves being touchable nor has anyone that I know locally ever mentioned this. I have a niece in Arizona though who swears that the way to avoid stings is to only pick the young leaves - which she uses, fresh and uncooked, in salads! Different variety? Different climate?
Thanks for all of the nettle fiber info, Raven. With luck, this year I'll be able to escape from house building long enough to harvest some nettles for fiber. I'll let you know if I do!

Carla
1 year ago
A lot of very good ideas and suggestions here. My apologies for not being very good at posting things here.
1. Someone already suggested that keeping a journal should be part of the initial / first badge. I think this should be at the TOP of the list. Herbology is a discipline and like a habit requires repetition. Write it down, write it down, write it down. No one remembers everything forever and when dosing yourself or others 'pretty sure' of the amounts, ingredients, dose, etc. just isn't good enough. Also, the journal would provide additional documentation of the person having completed the badge requirements.
2. Restrict the badge to herbology - it is huge enough without throwing in everything else. It isn't that other branches of alternative medicine and modern/scientific medicine don't have validity because they do and maybe they will become individual badges in the future for those who discover an interest in this field. But for someone starting out, herbology can be relatively simple and, above all, accessible.
3. Which brings me to the next point - accessibility. All plants are not available everywhere - oh wait, this is permies, you all know that Yes, you can order dried herbs on the internet but is that what we want people to learn? Don't we want them to learn what plants grow where they live that can be useful? I'm not saying it has to be native, I grow all sorts of herbs that didn't originate where I live (zone 6) but there are plenty I grew up with living on the equator that I simply can't grow. So why learn their medicinal properties, make salves and tinctures with them when I have to import them via the internet? So maybe the second part of the badge (after journaling!) would be to determine what medicinal plants are (or could be) available wherever the badge earner lives and their (general) medicinal uses. Maybe this list would be the first entry in their journal? Then, if their circumstances are such they can't actually harvest said plants themselves ordering them over the internet would be an acceptable alternative.
4. Next step would be learning the various methods of preservation - all of which have already been mentioned previously in this thread. Those who have to buy herbs already dried won't have hands on experience with that process, of course, but learning to make salves, tinctures etc. would be part of this step. Oh, and gathering the materials for this step. Need a compress? Better have some pieces of clean cotton or wool material handy. Somebody already mentioned using glycerin in a salve . . . have to admit, I don't have any of that in my pantry. Is there anything else I can use? I might need this compress today, not two weeks down the road when I make the next long trip into town.

Plant identification must be in there somewhere. Practical, by actually looking at the plant, taking a sample of it and pressing it, noting where and how it grows, if at all possible. Theoretical, out of books or online if the student has absolutely no access to the real thing. Isn't the end goal of the badge to be able to say "this person knows how to use herbs for healing"?  But if they can't tell the healing plant from it's look-alike poisonous cousin, even in theory, is it a particularly useful skill?

There are so many good reference books on herbs but my favorite to recommend is Be Your Own Herbalist: Essential Herbs for Health, Beauty and Cooking by Michelle Schoffro Cook. It is a smallish paperback so easy to keep handy and she covers basic preparations and ingredients. The herbs she covers are all common ones and easy to find.

                                                                                                                                                       
                                                 

1 year ago
pep
For indoor drying I like to use what is commonly called a Sheila Maid in England. I like it because it hangs from the ceiling from pulleys so you can lower it to hang the laundry then hoist it up out of the way. Mine is in storage until the house is built and I haven't decided for sure where I'll put it - it's always been over the washer before but I may put it closer to the rocket mass heater in the new house. I found a website that sells them - https://columbuswashboard.com/collections/vintage-laundry/products/sheila-maid-airer - and they seem spendy but they do last a long, long time. My aunt had one in her house that had been there for 50+ years and was given to her by an elderly neighbor who'd probably had it at least as long. About the only thing that wears out is the rope.




1 year ago
This is a wondrous and beautiful project. Not everyone is able to (or even wants to) live in the country and/or be a farmer. That shouldn't mean they have to live in toxic surroundings. And what a wonderful example to be able to take to my county planning department so they can see it really isn't 'backwards' to want to recycle grey water, LOL.

3 years ago
I also am very interested in grey water systems for cold climates (zone 5 / 6). Certainly not as cold as some - water pipes are typically only buried 4 ft. - but we do have winters like the one just past where a lot of pipes at 4 feet froze. I'm still in the planning stage with the house, won't start building until next spring, but it will definitely have a grey water system. Still debating about whether to but in a septic system or stick with composting toilets, but that's another subject.

So thank you to everyone who has already contributed such useful information and please keep it coming!

Carla
3 years ago
My mother started using fabric bags and squares in the '70s and she wasn't bashful about letting gift recipients know that she was happy to have the wrapping returned if they didn't have a good use for it. I've always done the same. It's just like gifting home canned jams and pickles - if the recipient returns the empty jar they've a pretty good chance it will be gifted back full of one goody or another.
3 years ago
I haven't used a microwave for quite a few years - mostly for the same reason as #1 in your list, R Ranson. I have definite trust issues with things manufactured by large corporations that are 'the newest and best'. The more money they put into promoting it, the less I trust what they say. I haven't ever bothered to do any research on microwave safety though (probably because I don't miss it) so I can't speak to scientific proof one way or the other.

For leftovers I usually 'remake' it as an omelet or a hash or fried rice or something in the frying pan (as several others do!). If it's something that doesn't work that way - today I had some leftover coq au vin and roast potatoes - I put it in a small Pyrex type dish and put it in the bamboo steamer over a pot of boiling water. If it's something that would get soggy I'll cover it or wrap it in foil. But like for the chicken & potatoes, it was a little short on sauce/gravy so I steamed it uncovered. I'd like to have a Hot Pot - my cousin has one and uses it daily I think - but she is usually cooking for a horde. I only cook for more than myself when I'm having guests so I don't think I would use it enough.

Carla
3 years ago
I don't have a pop-up blocker and I did disable the ad blocker. But I forgot about the trace blocker . . . that was the offending item.

Thanks for the help. I really wanted to get registered for this Summit!
4 years ago
I tried to sign up yesterday and it didn't work for me. Tried again tonight, same result. I put in my name and email then click on the button and the pop-up box goes white and then nothing. My internet connection is notoriously slow - could that be the problem? Tonight I let it sit there for 30 minutes and it still didn't work. Could it be insufficient bandwidth? It's so frustrating.

Did you get your "3 Free Gifts" Julia? I sent an email to Marjory Wildcraft's organization The Grow Network yesterday asking if there was some other way to register but haven't received an answer.

Am I the only one having this difficulty?
4 years ago