Aimee Hall

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since Nov 12, 2018
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hugelkultur forest garden fungi trees books cooking food preservation writing
Melbourne, Australia
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Recent posts by Aimee Hall

It is good that overall this is working for you Julia. The stress from Covid is having an astronomically negative effect on people's health from stress alone.

I will be going on a three day fast starting tomorrow. Because of my PCOS my metabolism seems to be so low that I always gain weight slowly even on the healthiest of regimes. While it is very hard for me to watch my friends and family eat (especially since I am the cook even when fasting!) what I often do is make myself a very nice tea or some bone broth to go with those meals. Or if doing water only (as I tend to do mostly now.) then I will sit down with a nice big fancy glass of ice water, usually solid so it gives the appearance that I am feasting in my own way. It was a bit awkward for us all at first but then my family members have become accustomed to it for the most part. They will still hound me to eat, but I have gotten good at changing subjects. =D I can start talking about plants and what all needs done in the garden and they magically come up with other conversation quickly. Please stay safe and best of luck!
1 day ago
I think your list covers the most important basics. However, in the public information, it may also help to have a description/explanation of current developments (Like if they are implementing rotational grazing, or have an established food forest, etc.) and maybe even what developments they want to see come to pass. How much of the development is going to be open to the PEPper and how much to the current land owner? What are their expectations of a PEPper, seeing this could help people tell quickly if they may be a potential match, like if it is expected that they never keep animals on the property for food then it would be something many people would not want to agree to.

Also, is there a way/place to rent out land/property or otherwise test potential PEPpers? I would be highly interested in this myself. I listed my property for rent on permies and thus far have mostly just been flooded with emails from people wanting to get to stay there for free and my property has been treated very unkind by tenants who even had their PDC certificate and years of experience. So I agree very much with the problems of:

We have already learned that when an Otis publicly states "I would will my land to a PEP4 person" they get swamped with people saying "will it to me instead! Aw c'mon!  Why not?  I'm awesome as proven by the fact that I can type and I really want free land!"  

I think all of this is a wonderful idea and you guys are doing a great job trying to find ways around the obstacles. I do wish I had been at my farm to have gotten badges myself now that the program exists!

Dan Boone wrote:
And that's what Halloween is -- a community ritual.  Happy children dressed in costume, knocking at your door begging for candy.

They're not begging for fruit leather, worms, pumpkin seeds, wool socks, toothbrushes, religious tracts, or no-bake cookies made with sorghum molasses and organic oats and carob chips.  (Something that I was actually given as a trick-or-treater in my childhood.)

Your community may forgive you if you decline to participate in the ritual by turning off illumination at your house and not answering the door.  People of good will, will assume you are not home.  The rest will figure you are grumpy-grinches, but will probably give you a pass.

But if you illuminate your door and put up decorations and answer the doorbell with a bowl in your hand, the ritual expectation is that the bowl will contain what the little ghoulies want (candy) or something better.  

I greatly agree with most of what Dan said, and much of what others here have said. Growing up, when my siblings and I were very young we had a very similar opinion. My parents were young when they had us and afraid to break out of the norm. They were scared of the habits we were learning though, and of the lack of community as a whole. As we got older though, they got braver and braver in asserting their beliefs that opposed the now accepted commercialised norm. And by the time I was 8 (I am the oldest) we started setting new holiday traditions ourselves. The candy was kicked to the curb, as was the excess in most cases. I'd love to go into detail about our various holiday traditions but I also do not wish to bore people.

For Hall-o-Ween (One of our favourites since our last name is Hall) we would run month long specials at our small town health food store as well as dress up in costumes, usually home made for the customers and decorate. My mother would make home made treats that while still not healthy, were super tasty and healthier than the packaged candy we were used to. Being a small town, and everyone knowing us we were fortunate that home made was of no concern. At home, we made a massive haunted house for trick-or-treaters to explore, with volunteers to play parts in the haunted house. We took polaroid pictures of the trick-or-treaters as they came in, and we had a caramel apple making table where they could make their own caramel apple and it would be ready to go by the time they were done with the haunted house. And my mother was very vigilant in helping kids make their caramel apples, ensuring hands were properly washed before hand and that fingers didn't make it into the topping trays, etc. Our home became a huge destination on Hall-o-ween and it built more community than anyone ever imagined.

After a few years, most kids skipped the regular trick or treating in the main part of town and talked their parents into coming out to our place instead. Sure, they were still eating an often candy laden caramel apple but I feel that is much better than a big bag of packaged candies. And many would go through the haunted house over and over again. People started helping more and more in the haunted house and it got better every year, and of course we made sure to change it up. And us kids, we didn't even miss the big bags of candy, we were too focused on helping plan the next haunted house and making sure everyone had a great time.

I still miss that, and look forward to doing it again when I can. Thank you so much for bringing up these good memories. I just spent a few weeks in the hospital and I am still recovering and I haven't felt this good in a while, just remembering all the fun we had as kids and in a way that wasn't eating gobs of candy. I personally still struggle with cutting sugar out of my diet but most of the time I can go without processed sugar for years at a time. It is insidious the way it can sneak into our diets and addict us. And the worst part is it is perfect for downward spirals. Typically I make everything myself from scratch because sugar and preservatives get put into everything. But when I get sick and cannot, you wind up with take out, or packaged foods and next thing you know you are craving more and more of the sugar. It makes you feel good short term before making you feel much much worse. Rinse, repeat. =(

Good luck all on establishing your new Hall-O-Ween traditions. And if I thought I could dress up and come for a seed/scion swap I would be all over that!!! I too love to dress up fun. Heck, I wear a cat eared headband at nearly all times because people cannot help but smile. And that is something we need a lot more of in the world is smiling. =) So anything I can do to promote it, I will. Even if that makes me a weirdo.

3 days ago
I have gotten to help beta test these recipes and there are many great options. I particularly like all the basic food preservation skills which are great for homesteaders whether on or off the grid! Cooking with the seasons is extremely important because we often tend to get a glut of the same food all at once and keeping it fresh, interesting, or preserved is absolutely critical!
4 weeks ago
No worries! Keep us up to date on how your new veggies do and share any you find that work well.

Here in Melbourne it is Spring and I just got my potato onions for the year in as well as many new strawberries, passion fruit vines, and the like. It was a beautiful day here for us! Cleaning up my perennials is probably one of my favourite parts of every Spring no matter where I live. lol!
1 month ago
I am also a big Terry Prachett, among my favourite authors. It is terrifying and hilarious to know that the flying spaghetti monster is real. We always joke in my D&D games that I am going to bring in the all powerful spaghetti monster to wipe out the party when they are giving me trouble! XD
1 month ago
Those are some great species to look into I had not heard of, thank you C.! I think an edamame substitute would be an amazing asset! And those that I mentioned are your list, I definitely agree with the tasty part for sure!

Have you had any luck in your search Trace? Now is a great time to get many perennials established as seedlings if possible for Spring planting!
1 month ago
I am very glad to come across this thread. I also work very hard to utilise head to tail of the animals I process. However, processing is very hard for me and I cannot kill my animals. Or handle seeing them with the head still attached. I know it is strange, but as soon as the head is gone (I always find someone who will make good use of it!) none of the rest of the process bothers me. I have tried for a long time to overcome this but cannot.

I will have to try making black pudding for myself the next time I process. My father has a love of blood sausage and so it all got used and reserved for him. The only time I ever had any black pudding, I could not manage the taste, I have troubles with the taste of liver and have found it best to puree it and freeze into small cubes that I slip into my mince where I never even taste or notice it. But I am not one to deep fry things, and even liver and onions has been a great problem for me to wolf down.

I will say I found my love of bone broth from this endeavour to use every single part. How have your experiments gone through this last year Dave?
1 month ago
Sepp Holzer also has amazing information about season extension/growing in demanding climates in his books. Very much worth a read, I have found that I have not regretted reading and trying everything I can learn about/think of because I am often pleasantly surprised when things work out better than expected. The flip side of that is to also not let any failures get you down. Best of luck and stay safe evereyone.
1 month ago
In my experience the mulch does not bind up the nitrogen unless planted into. However, the layer of mulch not only seems to provide a more welcome home for our beneficial friends like worms and fungi but also seems to condition the soil beneath it as these beneficials very slowly mix the broken down mulch layer into the soil itself. As well as the benefits of water retention.

I really cannot believe the changes I have seen on my farm in Missouri through the use of carefully places mulch. When I moved in there were large stretches of barren red clay with small to medium rock mixed in. Over the course of a few years, the largest patches of clay had even become covered with ground cover and most areas were covered in a few inches of soil which I consider a huge difference and most of it without bringing in outside inputs. I did have some donated materials I certainly didn't say no to but those were still in piles when I left because I just didn't have enough time to do anything with them being busy moving.

These results and the fact that even during our draught periods through summer I'd check my trees and they didn't need watered, really made me a believer in taking the time to mulch up my smaller fallen/cut branches. Though the very thin branches like from my siberian pea shrubs I  just left whole. And I also used fall leaves which I had a ton of because I had so many oak trees and the neighbors leaves also all blew into my yard every year, which they thought was hilarious and I saw as free organic matter. =D
1 month ago