Kevin Carson

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since Apr 19, 2018
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Recent posts by Kevin Carson

For me it's at least as much living on limited means as green virtue, but I also line dry my clothes, get by without A/C and never buy anything new till I've checked whether it's available in a thrift store or on Craigslist. I also rely on my own home-grown salad greens and fruit instead of buying them shipped in from some factory farm in California or Mexico.

Jocelyn Campbell wrote:From an e-mail forward:

I do think it's interesting how our "green washing" makes it seem people are environmentally virtuous if they take reusable bags to the store, but still drive everywhere in gas guzzlers, still use their clothes dryers, and on and on.

I'm not as truly environmentally virtuous as I'd like to be, but I keep making changes where I can. Most of these "green thing" changes save money, too (hence the frugality post). Like line-drying instead of using the dryer - that, combined with hand-washing dishes, cut 40% off my power bill!

My Grandma still wraps gifts in the comics pages of the newspaper. I received an online order with a bunch of brown kraft paper as the filler and it smoothed out nicely as gift wrap one Christmas. What other ways do you save money by doing a "green thing?"

1 day ago
I've got a set of free weights indoors, but garden and landscaping work gives me a lot of exercise. I spend quite a bit of time working on hugel beds and it's a couple hundred yards of steep incline from my seasonal creek bed up to the yard level where I have my garden and edible landscaping, so walking up out of there with a dead log or a couple 5 gal buckets of dirt is great for cardio and core muscles.
1 day ago
Of the five computers I've had, I bought three used. And I've always kept them until they went belly-up on me. When my iBook was getting too slow I replaced it with a used Toshiba netbook and had the dealer wipe Windows and install Ubuntu, but I kept the iBook until it died because its disk drive was handy for watching movies.

Lee Einer wrote:I started a program a few years ago called "Computers for Kids" which rebuilt donated computers, loaded them with linux and gave them out to kids and anyone else who wanted them, free of charge.

Gave out more than a hundred computers, one year.

Didn't attract a lot of volunteers to help, and the project has ramped down, but I still do this on a small scale from home.

Turns out that most computers people get rid of are being chucked not because of fried motherboards, blown power supplies, etc, but because they are either old and not powerful enough to run the latest and greatest Windoze, or because they were running Windows and got so crapped up with viruses and malware that the owner decided to get a new one (which will do the same in time.)

Thing is, many of these will run Linux just fine, and there are Linux distros for the real clunkers that will even run on a Pentium II.

I have gotten fine computers from thrift stores for less than ten bucks. All that was needed was to wipe the hard drive and install Linux, a process generally accomplished in under 20 minutes.

I occasionally buy new components for my home PC, when one goes south on me, but I haven't bought a new computer in close to a decade.

2 months ago

Cr Baker wrote:I've cooked some meals from scratch for quite a few years, now, but trying to put it all together has been challenging for me.  About 3 months ago, I started trying to cook all of our family's foods from scratch -- 3 meals a day, not counting bread, yogurt, butter, or canning projects.  And between the cooking and the dishes, I feel like I am completely tied to my kitchen.

I live alone and make most of my meals from scratch out of staples in the pantry and freezer plus garden greens to save money, but I can't imagine how hard it would be doing it for a whole family.

Breakfast is typically a smoothie of homemade yogurt plus whatever store-bought dried cranberries I have in the pantry or frozen berries I grew myself.

My usual lunch is white bean and mackerel salad -- one pot makes several days worth of lunches for just me. Cook 1-2 lb white beans until just done and not mushy, drain and cool, stir in olive oil and cider vinegar, a chopped red onion and several cloves of garlic, black pepper, plus chopped kale or parsley or whatever is handy. Some rosemary would be good but my plants are already stressed enough just getting through the winter. Let sit several hours. Stir in one big can mackerel, drained (you can use tuna or any other canned ocean fish if you want). It'll keep several days in the fridge.

Supper is usually a big batch one-pot meal that will last five or six days. Typically some frozen $1/lb chicken drums or thighs from the discount store and/or cheap smoked sausage, plus my choice of legumes, brown rice or whole grain pasta, gallon can of hominy &c from the pantry, plus whatever veggies are on hand.
4 months ago

Isobel Brodie wrote:Hello,

I am currently completing my Year 12 Research project. My question is “To what extent can medicinal plants be used to alleviate or cure symptoms of the common cold?”.
I was wondering what your opinions are on medicinal plants are and also what medicinal plants or remedies you would recommend to treat symptoms of the common cold.

Both elderberry extract and olive leaf extract have been demonstrated to have anti-viral properties.
6 months ago
I really like the idea of matcha tea because you're consuming the nutritional value of the entire leaf instead of just an infusion, but I can't afford to drink it on a regular basis. So I empty three bags of regular green tea into the blender along with the yogurt and berries for my breakfast smoothie every day.
6 months ago
Yeah, candy is definitely a nitrogen-rich item to add to a compost pile that's too high in dry carbon stuff and needs some warming up.
7 months ago

Philip Heinemeyer wrote:At the same time i am asking myself if i couldn't just cut off any flower stalks and thereby "train" or "convince" the kale along the lines of "no,no you don't flower. Bad kale! Stop running to seed!"
And then one or two years later it would give up trying to go to seed. I don't know. But it seems logical and worthwhile to me to have selected all the plants that didn't go to seed.
It may not be that obvious from the pictures but there is quite a diversity in terms of leaf shape, colour and taste of these new perennial kales.

In my experience regular kale can be "perennial." Through the summer I keep working my up the stalk picking leaves to use, break off any attempted seed heads, and when the stalk is bare I snap off the top and keep it fertilized and watered well. It keeps putting out new growth on the stalk every time I repeat the process. Just leave the stalk in the ground over winter and it will start putting out a new growth of leaves again next spring.
10 months ago
Doggone, you beat me to it! :)

Hans Quistorff wrote:What I use is whey that separates from the yogurt I make, usually about 1/4 cup. I put it in a quart or liter spray bottle and fill with water. I spray that on as a fine mist until damp but not dripping. Leaves will vary as to how much they will hold so area covered will vary. Observe what the results are in the next few days. If some leaves shrivel and die but others get green and healthy thtn some leaves may have been infected with a pathogenic agent but the colonization with lacto bacillus has protected other leaves from infestation.

10 months ago