Alex Sonnenschein

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since Dec 03, 2016
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Recent posts by Alex Sonnenschein

From what I understand of Permaculture, ideally there would be a lot less happening in terms of the convoluted design you described in a kitchen containing all the suggested available space.

The idea of having the proper places for soaking and clearing both dishes and grills isn't that bad, but I don't see why you would have two places for the two activities, even (and perhaps especially) in a shared kitchen. Permaculture cooking would be striving to attain the same efficiency and ease in dealing with either dishes or grills, water-based cooking or oil-based cooking. Design, in this case, would only be a constraint when it should be the practice of using the ingredients that are advancing your Permaculture cooking as well as your Permaculture kitchen (more so even than the practice of using multiple utensils; again, by Permaculture principles the ideal is to achieve optimal efficiency through basic simplicity - and do not confuse it with minimalism or productive maximization).

The picture shared, for example, feels extremely cluttered for all the space that is available to produce an incredible (and briefly worked on) buffet. The working area by the window seems to have those surface elevations surrounding it as an obstruction. A flat, open-ledge surface has much better dynamics (even to be the principal working area supported by the larger surface where the fruits are. I am assuming there is an open ledge counter that can't be seen in the picture, and that the elevations by the window are meant to facilitate some rinsing or sorting of harvested material. I would instead choose to do that work somewhere else other than in the kitchen; outdoors).

The plates and mugs shouldn't be, in my opinion, so close to the working stations (right at them). The shelves just next to them would be much more functional, and the whole rack could be made into a garden trellis instead.

More space, less spread-out clutter.
3 years ago
Stove top, pot, water, fire, stir.

Quick, efficient and all-serving.
3 years ago
I am not completely sure where you are coming from with your post (in terms of concepts).

So before I am able to provide with an idea I must ask questions.

I am assuming your understanding of a root cellar is based on the purpose of storing harvested roots.
If so, why do you really need to build a cellar for keeping roots, and any available space not sufficient for it?
Roots, harvested or growing, should be agreeing with their environment regardless of artificial prospects.
So what is the concern requiring a specialization for root storage? Wherefore comes the concern for building an insulated space?
A healthy environment should be facilitating storage naturally for the people that it is able to feed.

If, by another measure, the cellar's purpose is to somehow "age" the roots, and not simply to store them, could you describe that envisioned process with greater detail?
In thinking of animal life and their intelligence by relating to abundant food I have in my mind how squirrels are able to transform, or "age" acorns by burying them (often becoming soil fertilizer even if recovered and nibbled by them), but then again acorns aren't roots naturally made to be underground, so it seems odd that you would have to return them underground when supposedly they would be ready for animal use.

Could you clarify any of those questions? They could possibly lead for the appropriate decision making in proceeding with your roots.

3 years ago
Hello, I am new to the forum and have just had one of my comments cited as inappropriate. I have already edited it as requested, but am still in need of further understanding from the moderation. I need to know how to criticize without transgressing by the forums standards, and hopefully I can be helped here in respect to the order promoted by the website, which I, if do not abide to, should.

The comment cited was perceived by the moderation as an underrating or hurtful attitude towards the effort of the Original Poster of the pertinent thread, and further classified as inappropriately critical.

Through a rhetorical and logical discipline, I've come to learn that criticisms are always positively constructive, despite the moderation's judgement to render my criticism inappropriate. I understand, by all means, that the criticism might happen to be derailing to the central topic of the thread, but I do not understand, however, how the criticism would in anyway be disrespectful or injurious, or how, by effect, I wasn't being nice by the simplicity of the commonly accepted policy.

I've had conflicts in regard to that topic, but I've also had criticisms resolve those conflicts that many times have been repressed and forgotten but not altogether properly dismissed (still detrimental to even diligent, conscious development of the prospecting topic).

I apologize as it needs be, and retrieve from my insistent mistakes when made appropriately informed.

In pragmatic terms, if someone could use their budget of a week for the whole month, they would not only be wealthier but would have learned quite a bit. The hypothesis itself, or thought exercise, should not need to be taken authoritatively. but would be a gradual, progressing and cooperative thought for further clarification of those materials that subsist regardless of thought, but not regardless of continuing choice making (which can be exercised through critical thinking).

R Ranson wrote:

Tyler Ludens wrote:
Of regular dry beans, which would you recommend as the most nutritious and easiest to digest?  This might have been covered in another thread but I need a refresher.  I think it is kidney beans that are the most toxic?  I don't buy them.

I have a suspicion that this is different for different people.  

Gut bacteria seems to be a huge influence.  The more beans we eat, the more the bacteria in our gut adjusts to eating beans.  I think this is why they suggest starting with beans as a side dish or even as a condiment if you aren't used to eating beans, then slowly increase so that in a month or 6 you can have a full size helping three or 7 times a week.  Sally Fallon suggests adding live culture like sauerkraut juice or miso paste to beans just before serving them, which might help.

A big thing for me is fibre.  For anyone, sudden change in fibre consumption can cause major discomfort (or in some cases, hospitalisation).  If you have challenges in your gut, then quite often the doctors put you on zero or low fibre diet.  I think I'm 'supposed' to have no more than 2grams twice a day.  What the dietician at the hospital was confused about is the difference between soluble and insoluble fibre.  Her training is that all fibre is created equal.  My experience differs.  Insoluble fibre is very good at blocking up the gut, especially when one suddenly starts eating it.  However, chickpeas, favas, lentils, dry peas, and to some extent cow peas (basically Old World pulses) have more soluble fibre which I can handle.

I have a suspicion that genetic background plays a huge part in how easy/difficult some foods are to digest.  New World foods are more difficult for me to digest, but I do great on the food of my ancestors.  Everyone seems to be different.  

There's a bit about toxins in uncooked beans here.  I think the general consensus is that they are easier to digest if they are cooked thoroughly.  The fresher dry beans are, the less energy and time they take to cook, and possibly the easier they are to digest.    

Before thinking about Gut Bacteria, we must think about Gut Enzymes.

Gut Bacteria is a long-term built-up, varying by the condition of the Gut.
Gut Enzymes, however, are constantly generated by support organs (such as the liver and pancreas), regardless of Gut condition (except for acute advanced illnesses nearing organ/organic failure).

Digestion is a process sustained and promoted by Enzymes, not by Bacteria.
Bacteria makes use of food that is not being used by the stomach and its original digestive enzymatic process. Gut Bacteria is a delicate, complex relation, requiring understanding not only of internal but external microbiology (air-borne and air-thriving in relation to environmental chemistry).

Fresh salads, with nothing but fresh leaves and vegetables help regulate enzymatic production. Raw (vegetable) oil often also provides support for enzymatic production along with the fresh leaves and vegetables.

There are indeed beans more nutritious than others, some of which happen to be so nutritious a moderately or lightly ill stomach wouldn't be capable of digesting even half. In any case, however, of a perfectly healthy or ill stomach, initiating your meals with a fresh salad will generate enzyme production for further digestive processes. Do not dress the salad with any dairy products or meats. Be very careful in including fruits (lime, pomegranate or mango for example). Small portions of basic croutons (airy baked or pan dough with no eggs) should be okay. Be very careful with the raw vegetable oils (canola, olive or coconut for example). Be very careful with the vegetables (tomato, cucumber, radish). Be generous with the salad leaves (lettuce, sprouts, kale for example). Once you get to include the habit in your routine you can get more creative and adventurous (especially with spicy leaves and cooked vegetables: crass, mustard, radish leaves, asparagus, bell pepper, eggplant).
3 years ago

Karen Donnachaidh wrote:One of my favorite recipes. It has many ingredients, but they are fairly
inexpensive to buy and some you may already have on hand. I usually
make a double batch so the effort is more worth the time spent prepping.
It freezes really well. When frozen on a cookie sheet and then put into a
container they stay separate so you can just grab however many you intend
to cook. No need to thaw first, just put in a skillet with a bit of oil.

Grits and Veggie Cakes  (DH calls them Fake Crab Cakes)

1C. Black eyed peas
1C. Cooked basmati rice
1C. Shredded green cabbage
1C. Shredded carrots
1/2C. Grated onion
1/2C. Quick cooking grits
1T. Finely chopped fresh thyme
1T. Finely chopped garlic
1 1/2 t. Seasoning salt
1t. Pepper
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
1C. Unseasoned bread crumbs
Oil for frying

Cook rice and allow to cool.
In a large bowl, combine blackeyed peas, rice, cabbage, carrots, onion, grits,
thyme, garlic, seasoning salt and pepper. Stir until blended.

Add beaten eggs and enough bread crumbs to bind mixture together. Pack a
1/4C. measuring cup with the mixture. Then use your hands to flatten into 3" cakes.

Fry in oil until well browned on each side, drain on paper towel or paper grocery bag.
Should make 14 - 16 cakes.

Any idea how long those calories are generating internal organic energy and how they may be preemptive to the next meal?

My experience is that cutting back completely on fried oil and eggs comes to be more sustainable, for the body and for the money.
The exact same recipe, without oil and without eggs, perhaps baked if not simply cooked or stir-fried instead of oil-fried (with the appropriate measure of water and settling) has proved much more effective both on short-terms (daily) and on long-terms (monthly).

If your diet has included both eggs and fried oil for a while the transition for the short-term, daily effectiveness has to be gradual (in the likeness of a detox), but eventually that recipe without oil and eggs could be your ideal meal. It is for me.
3 years ago
In my opinion, if using the grocery store, legumes are always to be part of the diet, on a daily basis in combination and alternation with tubers and grains. Vegetables and fruits with much more of a sparse regularity (start with thrice per week and expect to require less of them), their use tends to waver more than with the use of legumes grains and tubers, according to the seasons.

If available, include also in your meals [as the first course] fresh leaves (lettuces and sprouts): they provide access to digesting (extracting nutrition) from all sorts of food, raw or rare-cooked.  

Buy nuts only every 2 or 3 months in generous proportions (give preference to raw, or simply roasted with nothing added to them, they replenish the minerals/salts that actually should not be used as supplements in their isolated forms). If you buy too much it's okay but don't eat them if they are not fresh. Bake them when convenient. Don't binge nor use them as meal substitute on the basis of their taste or on their filling sensation (as with any other food, but especially with nuts). They can overwhelm your biological system for days and weeks if not eaten appropriately.

Remember, even with a very strict budget, you should not eat everything you buy in the case you become confused or undecided about the best approach for your well-being that day or time; health is continuously improved and developed and the soil can use your scraps as well for the coming seasons. Strive to keep your food always fresh, even before preparing it.

Also be aware that if you are taking your health seriously, as well as your finances, it will come the day in which you will not eat anything because your body is learning with all that you had for the past days - and perhaps even weeks. It may feel strange and uncomfortable after eating regularly, but don't look for more answers in your diet at that period - get physically active instead and get the answers from your body.

$15 for tubers
$10 for legumes
$15 for leaves and vegetables
$10 for grains

Allotment for each group can vary in relation to supply for fruits.
Coming weeks some of those $50 won't be spent and same nourishment levels will be achieved.
Don't hesitate to get more of each ingredient than you would otherwise: find your kitchen measurements after the grocery shopping measurements.

Make sure to use some of that money for reusable bags (that will last months on end before going to a recycling factory). Avoid buying or taking containers and plastic bags to make more from your cooking (except for plastic bags that you will reuse and glass vats for storage and stocks). Buy in bulk. Make the journey often to ensure freshness.
3 years ago
The word Putrefaction comes from the same Latin roots (put-/pot-) providing us the word Power. Fundamentally, putrefaction is decomposition, and not toxicity. What we call organic compost (organic recycling), is essentially the positive culmination of decomposition (as active principle). In a healthy, natural environment (with a minimum of soil, minerals and vegetation), decomposition is the careful, diligent separation of mixed organic materials further built and appointed by both macro and micro organisms to provide accordingly to the specific niche in which the process happens.  

Land, along with water, can't be poisoned (because both of them are the origin and providers of everything that would theoretically poison it). Single organisms are poisoned. Land and Water aren't organisms, they are environments, holding and promoting the life of numerous individual species, single organisms and particular niches in which both species and individuals function and relate optimally.

Where I live there are bins designated to fresh organic material and rancid organic material. The bins for fresh material take plants from the yard and solid plant scraps from the kitchen or any other production of food made from solid plants only and non-oiled papers. The bins for rancid organic material take oiled papers, oiled food scrap preparations, cooking oils and dead animals or dead animal parts (either cooked or uncooked).

Both those bins have their materials directed to two different compost systems. The fresh material system works with a superficial compost, above the ground level. The rancid material works with a subsurface compost, also called landfill, constructed as a hole or ditch. In both fresh and rancid cases, constant human-led management is necessary (providing numerous regular and full-time jobs that involve both hands-on maintenance and continued scientific certification for niche-appropriate adjustment and healthy organic development).

Now, to consider a brand new introduction of these two systems to any locality, not just the holding environment and it's various relative niches have to be carefully assessed but also the actual physical spaces available to include the entire mass of organic material rendered through a standard local consumption pattern (flexible by season). In my county there are endless available private lots which could be used for exposed (fresh) compost production and contained (rancid) compost production, both of which are not (and in effect cannot) be intrusive to the neighborhoods in which they would take place.
You could have a restaurant on one lot, and two lots next to it for fresh and rancid compost. You could have a hospital or a veterinary instead of restaurant, you could have a plant nursery, you could have a kindergarten school, you could have a farm, an urban garden, you could have a park, or a sports field, you could have an apartment complex, you could have a residential house or condominium. In essence, you could have anything at all next to those two compost systems, because they would be the stabilizers and promoters for a functioning economy based on regular (seasonal) consumption patterns. Soil regeneration. Food reallocation. Varied occupation.
3 years ago