Joan Candalino

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since Feb 20, 2017
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forest garden foraging cooking food preservation medical herbs rocket stoves wood heat homestead
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Recent posts by Joan Candalino

We grow elderberries for syrup. Studies show it can cut a 2 week flu down to 2-3 days.
We also grow and use garlic.
Did anyone mention how to retain the medicinal properties of garlic when using it in cooking?  If you chop the garlic and let it sit exposed to air for ten minutes before exposing it to heat, you allow the enzyme allinase to convert alliin to allicin. This is the potent, odoriferous, but unstable antibacterial agent. The allinase is destroyed by heat, so if you chop it and throw it into the pan immediately, it doesn't get a chance to develop the allicin.
1 year ago
I have played a bit with can stoves and rocket stoves and now gassifier stoves.
This effort by Heath Putnam, documented on You Tube, is the version I now use. It's a TLUD gassifier (wood gas) stove. Final Build! Paint Can Wood Gas Stove Optimization! Wood Gas Stove Science| Part 9! He has optimized can sizes and primary and secondary air sizing for the stove.

The good: The build is relatively easy, the inner pot fits the under side of the paint can lid perfectly, it lights quickly, once it gets going it is smokeless, packs compactly, can be throttled down, and will fully consume the fuel. Heats water to boiling quickly. My Coleman coffee pot fit perfectly on top.

The not as good: Inner can is a progresso soup size can, so it is relatively small, suitable for quick cooking but not so good for simmering. You can add fuel and it will ignite quickly, but fuel needs to be small. Pot stand makes it a little tall.

Costs one quart paint can for the outer can and two tin cans of the right size - for inner can and pot stand. Packs into the size of the paint can.

Less optimized versions could be made by using punches and church keys instead of drilling, but anyone sorta handy with a drill can do these.

tips: 1) wear gloves when messing with cans. 2) support the can when drilling 3) burn out any residue or coating inside cans before cooking with them.
1 year ago
Growing up in the suburbs we still had peppermint and dandelions and honeysuckle. And grew tomatoes and peppers. And clams and fish at the beach in the summer.
Much later, my boyfriend at the time introduced me to the primitive skills workshops. And I started eating the weeds.
Earthskills workshops let me go on plant walks with Doug Elliott, Sam Thayer, Josh Fox, Luke Learningdeer, Andrew Ozinskas, Snowbear, and many others over 30 years. I still learn something every time.
Check out the workshops at, the longest continuous running primitive skills gathering in the US. Or in NC in September or in FL in February.
1 year ago
Have been exploring "bog filters". This might work for your duck pond?
1 year ago
Yes, my vacuum pump requires electricity, it also works the vacuum chamber on my pug mill in the pottery.

The husband made the vacuum pump from the compressor out of a commercial freezer found at the scrap yard.
2 years ago
We also pack dry goods in mason jars (reusing lids that still look good) with the attachment that fits over the regular or wide mouth jar lids.
I use a vacuum pump I have for the pug mill in the pottery.

Found I needed to roast nuts prior to sealing, to limit the moisture.

A friend related this to another operation used in woodworking, where you repeat the vacuum application after a few days. Moisture in the dry goods will come out after being under vacuum for a little while, and you can lose your seal. So, we seal, let things sit a few days, then seal again.

Have not tried flour, but use the above method to store wheat berries and grind about 5 lbs at a time as needed.
2 years ago
I always feel more comfortable having a variety of canned and dried foods put up.
We regularly include our canned tomatoes, green beans, corn (from bought corn), and squash. There's fresh garlic from the harvest in the spring, sufficient for the year. Sweet potatoes last a good while, and can get turned into gnocchi with ricotta made with left over raw milk (from a neighbor) and wheat ground from bought wheat berries. If I put up enough basil pesto, it can be kept frozen to be used all year as flavoring and a little herbal zing. Tomatoes are "sun"  dried and put up in olive oil. Peppers are canned, pickled, or dried and powdered. Kale keeps growing all year, albeit slowly, under the snow, but we look forward to the spring wild greens. Canned blackberries, pumpkin, and mock mincemeat (from the green tomatoes left just before the first frost) give me dessert options, along with any bought fruit that we put up. Found oyster mushrooms can get dried to get thrown into soups. Roasted and dry canned black walnuts get added to oatmeal and used for desserts.
So, we're not really self sufficient, but we do try and include local and home grown resources most meals, as a matter of pride.
We need to consider having chickens again, for the eggs. We have gone back to eating meat and fish. And I can't seem to live without cheese.
2 years ago
We stick to Class I/II rivers and sometimes a lake.
Love Boundary Waters Canoe Area.
In winter, consider the Suwannee River in Florida. It's not wilderness, but it floods, so houses are required to be way high off the river and you don't see them much. Put in just south of the park, take it to the Gulf. There are some established campgrounds now, accessible only by river. We used to camp on the white sand beaches the river makes as it meanders. Don't know if they still let you.  Mind the alligators and rise of river level if it rains.
In Kentucky, consider the Green River, especially going through the Mammoth Cave Park. Camping on the river through the park just requires picking up a back country pass from the Rangers (good idea anyway, as they would know what current river conditions are). Water level is dependent on release of water from the dam. Outfitters would also know what flow makes for a good experience.
Yes to water purifiers, something to sit on, dry bags for everything, clear dry bag for phone so you can take pictures without taking it out of the bag, giving yourself extra provisions and time for if you need a rest day or don't like paddling in the rain.
Dale Hollow Lake, in eastern Kentucky, has boat in only reservable campsites, if you want to paddle in, set up camp, and do day trips on the lake out of that camp. Good for a shake-out cruise.
The advantage of an outfitter is that they know the river, know the put-ins, and can do the shuttle.
Love our old 17' grumman for carrying stuff, but not for portage. The longer the boat the faster the boat, so if you're in a tandem paddling with friends in solos, take your time.  Love our two solo canoes for me not hearing "take your paddle out of the water, I've got this" from the husband in the stern.
We've been exploring using hammocks for sleeping instead of being on the ground. Easier on the back and less weight. Depends on having trees, of course.
Have been watching canoe videos on the You Tube for scouting rivers to put on the list. Also google "blue water trail" and for river info.

2 years ago checks thriftbooks, as well as hundreds of other bookstores at the same time.
2 years ago
May go-to for finding books is - searches over 400 online bookstores at once, by subject, author, title, or isbn. They list 4 purchase and 3 rental options for the ISBN 09781578082865
2 years ago