Austin Durant

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since Jun 04, 2020
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cat urban chicken food preservation cooking bike
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San Diego, California | Zone 10a Drylands (11" precip.)
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Recent posts by Austin Durant

That animated gif of the step by step RMH build is brilliant and utterly mesmerizing. I could watch it for hours. Great job!
1 month ago
I don't quite have 3,500, but I did start stacking them back in 2007-8 when whoever was in charge then first announced their plans to ban incandescents. They were super-cheap prior to say, 2020, like $1 a four pack. I have enough for at least 40 years, possibly longer, in all wattages and sizes. I was joking with a friend, who said, "You should brag about that on your dating profile!" 😆

To Jordan's point, you can still order incandescents as red tinted heater elements on amazon (for warming birds and other animals). I was able to find 50w, 75w and 100w bulbs. Red filters are better for nighttime use anyway!
2 months ago

Cy Cobb wrote:What do you with your radishes aside from eating raw or on salads?

You can kimchi that!

I like to make radish cube kimchi and variations thereof. I use Korean radish (think of a rotund daikon), and in wintertime, there are even seasonal Korean radishes grown on Jeju island in the south of the country. They're especially sweet and make a great kimchi, too. But any old radish variety you have will work to make kimchi!

Three favorites:
Radish Kimchi (kkakdugi)
Beet Radish Kimchi
Ponytail Radish Kimchi (with greens and everything!)
The closest thing I have to a "perpetual" pickle crock is a 5L glass "crock" for making escabeche (aka taco bar veggies).

I've let batches ferment at least 70 days, and they're very stable, flavor-wise. So that's more or less perpetual.

Of course, occasional maintenance is helpful when you're going that long on a ferment.

4 months ago
Connect with your fellow fermenters, virtually!

Come join us virtually for our next meeting & fermented goodies potluck!

Tuesday, June 27, 2023 8pm EDT | 5pm PDT
Wednesday, June 28th 10am AEST | 12pm NZST
via zoom
RSVP here

Fermenters Club Community meetings are FREE informal gatherings where local fermentation enthusiasts get together to learn and share talk about kinds of fermented foods and non-alcoholic beverages!

Learn about, ask questions, and show off your gut-healthy fermented foods!

All fermenting skill levels are welcome!

When checking out, you'll receive a confirmation with the Zoom call info.
See you there!

5 months ago

Almond Thompson wrote:Anybody have any thoughts about the bars?

I'm a beekeeping newbie (newbee?) myself. In fact, I just got my first swarm this week!

I recently made my own Kenyan top bar hive, from all found materials, EXCEPT for the wood for the bars and follower boards. I bought new wood for those. I was advised that if those aren't straight, then the bees might try to fill in the cracks, which would make removing the top bars more difficult. Also the pattern of comb they build is dictated by the bar, so if it's not more or less straight, then the comb may not be. Not a huge deal, but may affect the comb's structural integrity when you remove it. It's also important to have the correct spacing between the bars, otherwise they might build comb between the bars, which also makes it difficult to use the bars the way they were designed.

I know Mother Nature don't like straight lines; nor do I, but in limited cases such as this, it seems to make sense.
5 months ago
I got bees! I built this Kenyan top bar hive with a shed-style roof last year from all found wood and materials, but only got around to finishing the top bars this spring. I did have to purchase new wood to make the top bars and follower boards, because those need to be perfectly straight in order for the top bar hive to function properly.

You can see how I made the bars. I found the perfect thin wooden molding strip at a big box hardware store, then nailed some to each bar. Then I coated it with melted beeswax to give the bees a good head start to build their own comb.

Many thanks to @phil.chandler, the Barefoot Beekeeper for providing the open source plans for the TBH!

My friend Pete, who is a bee rescuer brought me this beautiful large swarm of about 10,000 Italian honeybees he had just caught on a nearby job. They seem to be taking well to the new home and they don't mind me.
5 months ago

Ulla Bisgaard wrote:When is the next one?

Hi Ulla, the next virtual workshop is for kombucha! Details here:

7 months ago
I thought of a few more moves in the art of "frugal-fu" I practice:
- Baking: always bake at least 2 loaves of bread (2 at a time fit in the oven) to maximize power usage. (I often barter or sell the extra loaves) 🥖🥖
- leave oven door open after baking (take advantage of residual heat). It's not that cold where I live (it never freezes), but we have had a cooler than average winter and I don't have central heat, so sometimes it's nice. Bonus: your house smells like fresh baked bread!
- Tools: borrow tools from neighbor/landlord. She has an unofficial community tool shed, for when I have an oddball task but don't want to buy the tool. Mitre saw, sawzall, router, tree trimming pole, belt sander are all examples of things I've borrowed. I don't have my own shop or tool shed, so this is extra handy!
- Toilet: The old "if it's yellow, let it mellow" adage is "golden", whenever I don't get the chance to pee outside (it's the middle of the night, or it's too rainy or too cold). I will wait at least 3x before flushing liquids, or when goin #2.💩
- Cooking pasta: did you know you can add the pasta to cold water, then turn on the heat? I find it shaves about 5 minutes off the total cooking time (vs letting water boil first before adding the pasta).
9 months ago