Alicia Donathan

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since Sep 12, 2017
We are a family of 6 seeking a lifestyle shift toward something sustainable, closer to nature, craft- and gift-oriented, etc. 
Missouri
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Recent posts by Alicia Donathan

Irene, can you link to the other descriptions you've posted on this site?  I'd like to know more about your home design.
6 months ago
Mike, what temps do you reach inside your slate-lined oven?
6 months ago
Thanks, Cristo.  I'm building the box style.  Too many kids to try the other version.  
6 months ago
Does anyone know or have an opinion about which interior will be more effective in generating heat: a black painted solar oven interior or a reflective interior?  Black will absorb energy and keep it from being lost back through the window, but reflective would hopefully redirect the energy toward the cooking vessel for absorption (with the risk of losing some back through the window).  Thoughts? Experience?
6 months ago
Newbie question here: I understand that algae need sunlight to live, and so it's advisable to cover one's rainwater holding tank with something that will block sunlight so that algae won't grow in it.  But I also understand that one can purify one's water with UV light for drinking purposes.  Can anyone explain to me how these two facts coexist?  Does it have to do with time?  I.e., algae take longer to grow, and UV purification should only take one or two days?  
8 months ago
If you have children in diapers, switching to cloth reusable diapers can be HUGE.  When we did this, we were already recycling our plastics, aluminum, cardboard, and glass, and we were composting, so literally half of what was left was diapers. You can then switch to reusable baby wipes (no more plastic wipe packaging -- hooray!).  Not to mention the money we save from not buying diapers or wipes anymore.  

Our trash accumulates at a rate of maybe one bag per week now for a family of six, which was unimaginable to me five years ago.  Since our recycling center also accepts electronics and batteries, our trash mostly consists now of non-recyclable plastic packaging -- bags, shrink wrap, styrofoam.  Reducing or eliminating that stuff seems to be the stubborn final frontier.

I've heard mixed things about electronics recycling.  Does anyone know if it's worth it, environmentally?  
11 months ago
Gregg, thanks.  That is helpful.  This project (making lye from hardwood ash) is on my "to-do" list.  Maybe someday I'll post results here on permies.  
1 year ago
We are a family of 6 intending to move back to my native West Virginia in the next 6 months.  We would like, if possible, to move to an intentional community/permaculture community/sustainable living situation/creative land access situation.  We are also open to purchasing land.  Our interests include permaculture, sustainability, gardening, food forests, foraging, natural building, beekeeping, as well as social justice and nonviolence.  If you know of a collection of folks or homesteads or other living arrangement (rural or small town, no big cities) that seems to fit with these interests, located in West Virginia or western Maryland, please PM me.  Thanks!
1 year ago
Anybody have experience making lye from wood ash?  This lye would be for the purpose of making soap.  I've been making soap for about a year, and I'm wondering how feasible it would be to make my own lye.  I do know you need hardwood ash (for making bar soap).  I've heard of the egg test, but I wanted to hear from somebody with experience.  Also, what about saponification numbers?  Every soap recipe I have seen relies on calculating different lye concentrations depending on the saponification number of the oils used.  How can this be done if you are making your own lye?  Can you test it for concentration (beyond the egg test)?
1 year ago
Kay Barry, I'm interested in what you are doing in Pendleton County.  We are looking for a way to get back to WV.  Can you email me?  a3davis1400@gmail.com.  Thanks!
1 year ago