Lisa Petrillo

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since Dec 26, 2016
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chicken food preservation homestead
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Recent posts by Lisa Petrillo

May I also suggest looking up a company called Sow True Seed. They are based in Asheville North Carolina. They specialize in open pollinated  and heirloom varieties. They also encourage you to save your seeds! Every variety in their catalog not only has growing tips but seed saving tips. They give you the details on how the plant pollinates,  so you can take measures to insure they don't cross with something you don't want them to.  They also sell tools for seed saving like isolation bags and silica gel packets. I have been saving seeds for years and the information was very helpful.
I haven't had a dryer for 8 years. I hang laundry on the clothesline all year round.  Winter time too. Water is one of the few substances that can go from a solid to a gas...this is why ice cubes shrink in the fridge. If it's snowing or raining,  I hang in the house. Usually on hangers..makes it easier. Nothing in the world smells as good as sheets dried on the winter clothesline. Once it warms up,  it is mostly dry.
9 months ago
That's pokeweed. The root is poisonous. Some people eat the young shoots but it can be difficult to be sure unless you know what you're doing.  It is perennial and will spread. Best to remove and keep under control. Plants can grow to be 9 feet tall!
1 year ago
I understand you want to make boxes waterproof but I don't think that anything you apply is going to last. What about a metal tray for the bottom of the box? It could either fit inside the Box or go under the box and the box would sit on it. Think of a pot and saucer. Personally I would probably try to put an external tray , similar to a saucer. Any excess water would be caught by the tray, a tray can be emptied, which would extend the life of the planter box. It would also be beneficial to the plants because any excess water would have somewhere to go. Finish the wood with a nice stain or something like that, and then make the tray. Another option would be to find some glass trays, make your planter boxes fit them. I use a glass tray salvaged from a microwave to catch moisture from my fermented veges. Maybe something like that?
1 year ago
Hi there.  Saw these ideas and am going to try them myself. I have bags of  canning jars!

A snow man made with regular and wide mouth rings, painted white. They fanned them into a circle and added a head. Very cute!

I also saw a pumpkin made with rings painted orange, tied in center and standing on side with leaves added.
1 year ago
Two of our favourite pepper treats are roasted red pepper spread and pickled roasted peppers.
Pickled Roasted Red Peppers
Makes about 4 pints
Roast 4 large garlic cloves and 20 med sweet red peppers on a grill or under broiler until charred,  turning to roast all sides. Once the skin of peppers wrinkles and chars, remove from Heat and place in a paper bag until cool enough to handle. Then lift off skin. Cool garlic squeeze cloves to remove from peel.
Combined roasted garlic with one and a half cups white vinegar, one and a half cups cider vinegar, one and a half cups dry white wine, 1/2 cup water, 1 cup coarsely chopped onion, a half a cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons dried oregano and 4 teaspoons of pickling salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 mins.
Pack room temperature Peppers into hot jars leaving half inch headspace. Ladle hot liquid to cover. Process in boiling water canner for 15 minutes.

These are delicious on sandwiches and pizza!

Roasted Red Pepper Spread

Roast  6lb red bell peppers about 14 medium. 1 pound Italian plum tomatoes about five medium, 2 cloves unpeeled garlic, 1 small white onion under a broiler or on a grill turn to roast on all sides until tomatoes and peppers are blistered, blackened, and softened and garlic and onions are blackened in spots.

Place pepper and tomatoes in paper bags let cool. Peel and chop garlic and onion. Peel and Seed peppers and tomatoes. Puree tomatoes and peppers in food processor until smooth. Finely chop garlic garlic and onion.

Combined pepper and tomato puree, garlic, onion, half a cup red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil, 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon salt in a large pan. Bring to boil, reduce Heat, simmer  until mixture thickens and mounds on a spoon about 20 minutes.

Process in water bath canner for 10 minutes. Makes 5 half-pint jars.

We use this spread in place of pizza sauce and as a dip.
1 year ago
I double-checked my sources to be sure, but oxalic acid is neutralized during cooking. My Nourishing Traditions cookbook guys cover the fact that spinach, chard  and the like contain oxalic acid which is irritating to some people's mouths and throats and block the absorption of some nutrients. They therefore only recommend eating raw greens occasionally. Steaming greens is a recommended way to eat them to neutralize that problem. Also adding butter will help the body to absorb some of the minerals in the greens better. Yummy now I want spinach LOL
2 years ago
Personally I love multi-purpose plants. So things like beets, which can be eaten for their tops or the roots are high on my list. I grow Nettles but I do it in a large pot sunk in the ground. This helps contain them but I think it also helps to protect the roots. I usually allow a corner or two of the garden to get overrun with dandelion purslane and the like so I can harvest not just the tops but the roots as well. I do love chard and usually leave a couple roots in the ground to get an early harvest in the spring. I'm in Western New York and we get some cold weather. But I do find the chard and parsley as well will come back for an early spring harvest. I think planting a couple things you know you like and then adding in a few new ones every year to try is the best way. No matter how well something grows if you don't like it and you won't eat it it's a waste of your time and space. I worked in a greenhouse for 10 years and also grew up in a farming community . Most of the garden failures were a case of trying too many new things at once. It's hard to be patient when confronted with a vast array of choices. Put your top 5 in and add three more. This way you can keep a better eye on the unfamiliar and the familiar and neither will suffer. Just my observations!
2 years ago
I love heirlooms because I can save them from year to year. I usually grow mortgage lifter, old German, Aunt Ruby's German green, yellow pear, Brandywine, orange Tumbler, Black Krim, purple Cherokee, a yellow slicing variety which I have lost a name for, Amish paste, and a small round red tomato with green streaks which someone gave me seed for. I love tomatoes. I was planting them today in my plastic jugs to put outside for winter sowing. They are in the cold frame and will start growing when they're ready.😍😍
2 years ago
Feeling your pain...we had those neighbours behind us as well!! We put up a six foot privacy fence and then screwed two foot high lattice panels on top. (see photo!). Six foot was code but without a complaint??? We figured if there was an issue we could just unscrew panels and remove without wasting them. I planted an ornamental sambucca elderberry which is a good spreading shrub, grows fast and is hardy as well as pretty.. and my chickens used to love sitting under it!  Note the joe pye weed in foreground...grows fast as well and is loved by bees and butterflies! Have moved since and thankful we have no rear neighbours!!

PS The pot plants they were growing were disguised as well : /
2 years ago