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S Smithsson

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since Oct 31, 2018
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hugelkultur books chicken cooking food preservation greening the desert
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Recent posts by S Smithsson

I use pyrex glass, and mason or other jars, re-using the used two part lids that were used for canning previously.  All used for leftovers, lunches, freezing.  I do use freshsaver bags for freezing meat and soup/chili/stew.   Those get washed and reused multiple times.

Oh and YES to the microwave lid!  I even brought one to work for the microwave there, back when we went into work, but some people did not seem to know what it was for.. even with a note on the microwave lol

2 days ago

Nicholas Roberts wrote:I’m new to chickening. (I’m going to call it that, and no one can stop me )
Anyway, I’m wondering what breeds would be recommended for a first-year chickener with very little experience.
I’m at 6000 ft, high desert/plains of AZ, and temperatures do reach 10 below zero F at times, though not often.
Temperature swings are pretty drastic between day and night, and the heat/sun in summer can be inclement as well.
I have a few ideas bouncing around in my head for a coop, but I’m wondering if there are certain breeds that would do better than others in this climate.
Also very interested in amending my very clay-rich, acidic soil, so not sure if chickens would be the best bet or not??
Any advice would be appreciated.
Happy chickening!

Hey Nicholas - I'm your neighbor over in NM - a bit higher but all other environmental conditions the same.  I really like Black Giants, calm, big, friendly. I've had no issues with heat or cold with them, only predators.  Hawks didnt seem to be much of an issue, although coyotes, raccoons etc are an issue.  We have them in a fenced in yard under some trees, (for flying predator protection/deterrence) then a closed coop for night.  That being said we still have things digging under the 2' skirt of the coop to get in then digging bigger hole to get the chickens out! we have a heated waterer for the winter other than that no other heat or light.  And they lay throughout the winter - our beautiful sunny days help massively!

One thing- they are pretty amicable with the ravens, so if you dont want to feed everyone in the neighborhood keep the food in the coop - this did not prevent the ravens from eating the food, but cut down on it lol  - our ravens are SMART.  Or maybe the chickens just thought the ravens were smaller chickens lol

I have not bought from here - but here is some information on them:

Good Luck and have fun!
1 week ago
HI everyone

I live at 7400 feet elevation and would like to get back to sourdough baking, and bread baking in general.  I learned from my last foray that NO added yeast is needed when baking bread with a sourdough starter (that bread machine bit the dust after the dough monster bubbled up and all over it!)

I'd like to try a sourdough rye or pumpernickel next.

Do you have any tips, techniques, or recipes to share that work at a high elevation?  Or a funny story!!

1 month ago

Nicholas Tedford wrote:Hey there Paul,
Is it possible to touch on implementing this topic in relation to shallow soils? My property is bedrock, good quarry land but my soil might only be 2 ft deep at its deepest point. Most areas average a foot to maybe 18 inches and some only a few inches. How could I make water work better for me and stick around longer? I love your site and what your doing, keep it up, permaculture will be a household word before you know it.

I share your pain; we tried to dig for a hugelculture bed and hit tuff not even a foot deep.... so all earth works to collect water have to be built up, not dug down.  I've just been taking note of the streams when we get a rainstorm, and putting little berms in place to redirect/show them down.  

Some ideas for shallow dirt properties would me most welcome!

1 month ago
if we own this due to kickstarter level, do we need to pay 15 on top of what we paid for the kickstarter?
1 month ago
Using that rectangle pattern, for the neck slit you want to offset it just a bit, maybe a couple inches  - our necks are not in the middle like this pattern implies, and beginners usually make that mistake when making midieval shirts then you see them tugging at the neck hole all day long.   the back should be the shorter distance.

2 months ago
HI, I am looking for someone to knit a couple shawls for me.  I have the yarn, and the pattern, now I just need to find someone to hire for the work!

Here is the pattern:

Send me a purple moosage if you are interested!


roberta mccanse wrote:

We have planted a traffic island with things that aren't supposed to tempt deer. Don't want them getting hit by the cars whizzing by. Not much of what we planted there is edible however. Who wants to eat barberry?

Who wants to eat barberries!? I DO!!!   Zereshk Polow (Persian Barberry Rice)

3 months ago
The  dye day caught my eye.  Perhaps a thread posting recipies and pics on that day, kind of a dye-a-long?  :)

3 months ago
Are there any plans for us to join in on any of these virtually?  :)

3 months ago