N. Neta

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since Feb 27, 2021
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Recent posts by N. Neta

I’m working on putting together a kit for beginner gardeners who want to start growing their own food in a Mediterranean climate.

It will include seeds and growing instructions.

I’m looking for the top 10 easy plants that you can grow to get started.

Some of the easiest plants I grow are cherry tomatoes, radishes, zucchini’s, potatoes, wild spinach, Swiss chard, artichokes and physalis. These plants are relatively low-maintenance and require little water. And… they are quick to grow.

I would love to read your top-ten list for edible plants in a Mediterranean climate… and WHY…

Thank you so much…

Melissa Ferrin wrote:You should have offered other in more questions.

Good point. Thank you for the feedback  Melissa.
2 years ago

Paul Steer wrote:Today, my favourite method of food preservation is freezing. Here’s why: 1) The harvest continues because I’m working alone, so it’s taking longer. 2) I’m running out of time. 3) blanching greens is easy. Boil a pot of water, add greens for 2 1/2 or 3 minutes, drain, and pack the greens for the freezer.

Can you, Paul (or someone else) explain why you need to blanch the greens before freezing, and is it necessary for other vegetables or fruits?
So far I’m just cutting whatever fruit or vegetable I want to freeze, put in a ziplock bag, and into the freezer, without further processing… am I doing it wrong?
2 years ago

Lisa Brunette wrote:

Lynne Cim wrote:We bought an inverter for our Prius which can actually be left running in what's called "camper mode".  Once the power goes out we run an extension cord from the inverter to the house and it can run our fridge and then we have a few outlets to run other small appliances, charge computer and phones.  So quiet no loud generator needed.  

I went to the website you mentioned further into the thread, https://invertersrus.com, and note that the vast majority are out of stock.

Can you elaborate on how this works? What's camper mode? How long do you leave it running?

I’d love to know too, Lisa… if you get this message…
Or maybe someone else…
Also… does it work for other hybrid or electric cars, or is it exclusively for Prius?
2 years ago

leigh gates wrote:oh the heartache I've seen. . . . okay: first the necessary unpleasantness.

WOW Leigh… I must say that after I read your input I’m 10 times more grateful (I was already extremely grateful) for the country I chose to live in (Spain), the tiny island with easy-going island mentality (Tenerife) and the local people around the finca we bought (we’re 4 miles away from the village, with no neighbors - but the whole atmosphere is relaxed and friendly)…
Thank you for putting my situation in a new perspective…
2 years ago

D Nikolls wrote:I guess the lesson I took from this is that it might only take one lucky break, and prior failures are no predictor of future results..

I love that…
Thank you for sharing.
2 years ago

Ellendra Nauriel wrote:I wish I had known that, no matter how insistent someone is about helping, if they can't follow your instructions you're better off without them.

I think that’s a good one for me too, Ellendra.
I hope that your back is ok now…
2 years ago

Laurel Jones wrote:My long-term goals include producing our own food, restoring fertility to the farm, and hopefully turning a small profit with some sheep, pig, and chicken operations that I hope to implement in the coming 5 years.  

Hey Laurel - how big is your farm (for all the critters…)?
Wishing you all the luck and success…
2 years ago
I have not always been a homesteader. The first 46 years of my life I spent living a lifestyle far closer to what is generally considered mainstream — suburban home, food from the supermarket and central heating.

Seven years ago, my wife and I moved from our Amsterdam suburb home all the way to the island of Tenerife (opposite the coast of Africa) and took on the steepest learning curve in our lives.

Our new roles as homesteaders taught us so many new things so intensely that we often felt as if we were on a curve so steep we might fall over backwards.

If I could roll back the clock and give myself a few pieces of advice, I would be sure to include the following major tips:

1. Homesteading is not cheap.
Raising our own food rarely saves money. Sure, there are instances here and there where we managed to save big. For example, we haven’t paid for summer fruits for years now. The plums, apricots, peaches, cherries and grapes keep showing up on the trees every summer. And we always have abundance of honey for us and to give away.

But since we can’t free-range our chickens (too many predators, and almost nothing to forage) - the eggs from our chickens cost us almost as much as those from the supermarket .

Even vegetables can be costly too. By the time we bought seedlings, built raised beds, bought ground cover, invested in tools, and amended the soil, we are probably eat ping the most expensive salads on the planet.

It will get better in time, as the big investments are often at the beginning and every year that passes lowers the costs of whatever we produce... but I wish I would have known that at the beginning.

2. Failure is inevitable, and that’s OK.
Murphy’s Law seems to have been designed with homesteaders in mind. And when you add Mother Nature and homesteading karma you have a recipe for great plans ending with not-so-great outcomes.

My point is, many of our ideas and projects will fail, but that is the only way we learn. Don’t ever let it get you down or make you want to give up. Instead, be happy that now you know something you didn’t know before.

3. Every victory counts.
I wish I remembered to celebrate those modest goals that we accomplished. Homesteading is tough work, even though we love it. There are daily, weekly,  monthly and yearly setbacks, especially early on. So I wish I knew to mark our victories whenever we got a chance.

I wish I took pictures of the first eggs we collected, the first tomatoes, the first honey we ever harvested… and then take the time to consciously celebrate those modest achievements.

I would love to hear from you… what are the lessons you wish you knew before you started your permaculture/homesteading journey…

Live fully, stay awesome…

2 years ago
In another thread I opened the space for all of us to share about our homesteading goals for this year…

In this thread I want to create a spacer or all of us to share about the homesteading skills we’d like to learn and practice this year.

For me, one of the most exciting aspects of homesteading is learning new skills.
When I first moved to our place in Tenerife (Canary Islands) at the tender age of 47, I had an entire mental checklist of all the things I wanted learn and do.

And as the years passed, that list has grown along with me.

There is something so empowering about learning how to do something new with your hands.
Or mastering a skill that, at an earlier point in your life, would have seemed completely foreign or impossible.

It’s actually quite addictive, really…
Since we are at the start of a brand new year, I figure there’s no better time than to start making homestead plans.

I’m committing myself this year to learn and practice 3 new skills:

1. Preserving Food - I’m going to focus on (sun) drying, freezing, fermenting and canning.
2. Seed Saving and Landracing - starting with the easiest vegetables and slowly building it up…
3. Guard Dog Training - I would never have thought, not in a million years, that I would own a dog… but since 3 weeks a lovely, adorable German Shepard/Husky mixed dog adopted us, and since then I’m learning to train him (or maybe it’s the other way around… 🤔)

I’d love to hear from you, and get inspired… what are the homesteading skills you commit to learn/practice this year?

Live fully, stay awesome…

2 years ago