Kate Downham

gardener & author
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since Oct 14, 2018
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I'm a quiet goatherd establishing a permaculture homestead on old logging land at the edge of the wilderness.
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Recent posts by Kate Downham


The official release date is 15th May!

You're invited to join in the launch celebrations on the 15th and 16th by cooking a recipe from the book and posting about it as a reply to this thread, or by tagging #offgridkitchenbook on Instagram.

Next stop on the book tour - Permies book giveaway! From the 17th to the 21st of May all posts made in the cooking forum will be eligible for a chance to win one of four paperback copies of A Year in an Off Grid Kitchen.

This wiki will be updated as more book tour stops are announced.
2 days ago
I'm wondering if one of these could replace the gas hotplate that I use when the woodstove isn't going. I think some of the functions on these could be useful off-grid in summer.

Does anyone want to do an experiment on a 6 quart Insta-pot for me?

1. Put 2 cups cold water in and time how long it takes to get it starting to boil (tiny bubbles rising to surface is fine)

2. Try the same thing for two quarts of water

Bonus points if you can check how many watts it takes to do this using a kill-a-watt!

I found this article about amp hour usage off-grid for different functions on the 3 quart insta-pot, which is helpful to know: https://www.loveyourrv.com/instant-pot-boondocking-power-draw/
1 week ago
There used to be a lot of homeschooling groups on Facebook when I was on there. The ones I saw were all local ones, and a bigger buy-sell-swap one for all Australia.

Someone who uses Facebook could get a kickback link, join a bunch of groups by searching for city or state names and homeschooling and then post links in these groups.
2 weeks ago
Thank you all for the helpful replies!

What has happened is that I started out with a Mundial 6" chef knife around 15 years ago, and I didn't know anything about sharpening until around 6 years ago when I bought the pull-through sharpener. I've used this knife for everything in the kitchen, and no matter how much effort I put into sharpening it with my existing tools, it just won't get sharp, this could be because of the knife itself, or because it had those 9 years of neglect. I'm not sure if professional sharpening could restore it to the point that I'd be able to keep it sharp again or not.

I've also been pretty bad at keeping the F. Dick boning knife I was using for butchering sharp enough, even though I have been sharpening it often... that just won't hold a sharp edge for long and I find it annoying having to stop in the middle of butchering to sharpen it, it's gone missing now so I might get a forged boning knife to replace it with rather than another stamped one. But maybe this issue could be solved by just having two or three sharp knives ready for when it's butchering time? Would carbon steel be the best choice for this if I can find one?

My husband wanted to get me a present, so I've asked him for an 8" Wusthof chef knife, as I read that these hold a sharp edge for much longer than the Mundial ones, and once this arrives I'd like to keep it sharp. I couldn't find any carbon steel chef knives so I'm hoping that this one lives up to the good things said about it.
3 weeks ago

paul wheaton wrote:Wow!  Today has turned out to be a really solid day!  Most of the big surge forward is from people raising their backer level!

36 people raised their backer level so far today!

I can see why! That list of stretch goals is very exciting, and the $65 level is not as big a step up as the $100 level of past Kickstarters. I am very excited about the Living Woods magazines especially.
3 weeks ago
I'm confused with all the options around for sharpening knives. I have a ceramic pull-through sharpener, and also a cheap small diamond sharpener that looks like just a small layer of it stuck on to the plastic handle and it's starting to rub off after less than a years use.

Would a proper diamond sharpener do the best job? Or a whetstone?

What techniques do you use to sharpen kitchen and butchering knives?
4 weeks ago
Any chance for the next stretch goal you can run a Permaculture Technology Jamboree in Tasmania?! So much good stuff to learn! The people winning these event tickets will be very lucky.
1 month ago
Have a look now : )
1 month ago
Featured project when I check it is a tarot deck. Weird that we're all getting a different featured project in that space. I hope that SKIP will show up for everyone there.
1 month ago

Mike Haasl wrote:Kickstarter just told us that we're a
"Project That They Love"

Paul's never had that happen before so this is really awesome.  That should bump it up on their algorithms and give it more visibility to people coming to it from outside of permies.com


Great news! Congratulations!

It's on the front page twice! Under 'taking off' and 'fresh favourites'.
1 month ago