Kelsey Bileen

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since Jun 19, 2018
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Recent posts by Kelsey Bileen

I am interested in making a dehydrated Stew Mix that could simply be boiled to reconstitute and be ready to go.

My goals are that it would be shelf stable for up to a year, and more or less nutritionally well rounded.

I am curious how to best incorporate proteins and fats appropriately. I assume there would be major problems trying to include meat in the mix, and it may require a special type of processing, or have to be below a certain fat level...Let know if there is appropriate way to actually do this. I wouldn't mind if I could vacuum seal it in a separate bag from the mixed veggies, and just keep the two bags together.

If meat is too complicated, I am thinking of using complimentary grains, perferably corn and beans. However, to just boil and go, I am wondering if I would need to cook, then dehydrate the corn and beans first?

I am looking to make meal packs for elderly folks living in hard conditions on the reservation in AZ and NM.

Cooking dent corn and beans for long periods of time is not desirable because of the extended use of fuel that it would require. I am willing to do more footwork on my end if it makes it a boil and go meal that they can keep in unregulated temperatures for long periods of time.

The foods I am interested in including are preferably somewhat regionally/culturally appropriate such as:

Herbs like Sage
And if it's possible to include meat...
Mutton (lamb)
Wild game
Or maybe pork (but not my first pick)

Can anyone offer any experience or advice to help me get started?

Thank you!
2 years ago
Lots of good advice in this thread! Forgive me for braindumping all my ideas at once...take what works, and leave the rest. You will know what's right for you.

I have had 4 babies. 3 at home and 1 in hospital. I prefer the home experience, but the hospital experience is nothing to rail against.

Research and birth planning is fine, as long as when it comes down to the wire you are able to let go and feel instinct/Spirit tell you what is needed. Use research to find an appropriate and compatible caregiver, then trust them, yourself, the baby, and nature/God in the moment. (I enjoyed "The thinking woman's guide to a better birth.") Do not set yourself up in an adversarial relationship with your caregivers or "the system". Understand that everyone wants the best outcome and that anger/fear/defensiveness is ultimately going to be way worse than whether or not the cord is clamped early or late, or even whether the baby comes through the birth canal or through an incision in your abdomen.

Birth is as safe as life gets. It's also as deadly as life gets. That is to say it's perfectly fine most of the time, but babies can die, moms can die, injury and disability can happen. But these risks also apply to driving a car. The risks will never be zero. Be as prepared as makes you comfortable, but avoid getting worried or obsessed. Fear makes birth much more difficult, painful, and possibly even more likely to go wrong. Pregnancy is a good time to visit the big questions and make sure you are living the values you want in your life.

Eat what makes you feel healthy and balanced. Enjoy looking through nutrition books if that's what you enjoy, but don't stress about it if you can't stomach those brussel sprouts you were planning on.

Don't psych yourself out too much about the pain. The pain doesn't mean very much at all the instant you get to hold your little one. Mothers have been surviving the discomfort and pain forever, usually more than once. You can prepare yourself psychologically somewhat. The biggest thing for me was to not fight it. The only way out is through. Having a mantra to focus on might help (it did for me). Hypnobirth has some ideas. The folks that believe in Unassisted Childbirth also claim you can have a pain free birth. I read their stuff, took what worked for me, and left the rest. (Mine were not pain free, but they weren't as bad as I thought they would be  with the horror stories you hear some ladies tell.)

Do not feel ashamed if you want to get an epidural. That doesn't make you a failure or less womanly or anything else some rigid natural mamas might imply. And it's not going to ruin your baby either.

Postpartum can be challenging. Find support. If you do not have a friend or family member you trust to help you through a potentially discouraging, uncomfortable, and scary first few days, consider hiring a postpartum doula. Accept all help offered. Make a list so when  someone offers to do something you can  give them an idea or two of what  is needed most. Freeze a few meals ahead of time. Be gentle with yourself. Day 3 or so when the milk comes in can be rough. Have a head of cabbage on hand to use as compresses just in case you get engorged.

Don't feel guilty. Don't feel bad if you stay in bed a lot. Don't feel bad if you're not feeling as happy as you expected to. (Do practice lots of self care and talk to someone if you suspect you might have a hormonal imbalance. It's a common thing.) Don't feel bad if you choose to be mainstream. Don't feel bad if you choose to be alternative. Don't feel bad if you don't fit neatly into any particular "tribe."

Moms can be hard on each other sometimes. Don't join in that kind of devisive talk. You can have friends that breastfeed and, and stay home... homeschool and use public education... vaccinate and don't... whatever. No one needs to be shunned or judged over what choices they feel are best. So long as the kids are fed, clothed, loved, and protected, every mom is doing the best they can, and that is okay. That's not to say you can't enjoy finding your people. Just don't let the glue that holds you together be disdain for someone with a different opinion.

All kids are different. If someone knows the right or best or only way to parent, they just haven't had enough kids to know that you have to roll with the punches and learn as you go.

Most of all, you will know what's best. Don't doubt yourself. You are going to do an amazing job, even on days when you don't think you are. You are a good mom.

2 years ago
This is beautiful!
Please post plans when you have created dimensions for North American honey bees!
A couple questions...
Are there ever problems with eggs in the triangle sections?
Is it hard to get the bees to vacate the triangle sections?
2 years ago
What are your best work-smarter-not-harder tips for homesteading? What do you wish you would have known going in?
2 years ago
Thank you! Facinating info. I appreciate your help!
2 years ago
What are your best plant identification resources in general?
And in particular, do you know what this is?
It's a weed I found in a corn maze. 6-7 feet tall, velevty stem, heart shaped seeds.
2 years ago
Hello! I have some questions about growing apricots from seed.

I am curious about whether it is necessary to stratify the pits. I know that they need the cold period to germinate...but is there some reason why I can't or "shouldn't" let mother nature do the job over winter instead?

If an apricot ripens in the summer, and I put it in the ground right away, wouldn't it be ready to sprout the next Spring?

Alternatively, if I did choose to artificially stratify it, then plant it, wouldn't that mean it would sprout in the Fall and then subsequently have to endure a "second" winter from its point of view?

What is the benefit of stratifying the pit instead of just putting it in the ground right away?

3 years ago