Jean Rudd

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since Jun 13, 2022
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homeschooling books food preservation
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Front Range, Colorado: Zone 5b
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Recent posts by Jean Rudd

These are fantastic ideas.  I thought I was doing great with my "lost" garlic, left over from other years so I have a handful of clumps which I dutifully started to replant to get spring garlic but there really are so many of them!  And I don't have nearly as many as Pearl!  

The best idea I have been using is a simple stir fry. Delicious.  

But now I'm going to try that soup recipe and the ferments.   Thanks for all the ideas!
1 month ago
My favorite savory pie is spanakopita -- greek spinach & feta.

Also, just trying to move the conversation along
5 months ago
What a beautiful topic!

We gotta do a better job of teaching our kids about daily life in the world and how to operate in it.  

I agree wholeheartedly. Our education system is as broken as the industrial ag/food system or medical system and needs major overhaul or simply alternative systems.

Summary of ideas/options mentioned to this point:
  • Family taught
  • Books/video by experts
  • Modeling
  • Recognizing teaching/learning opportunities
  • Land-based education
  • Specific summer classes to address seasonal harvests
  • Community gardens
  • Journaling or drawing what is observed
  • Getting the kids outside regularly (if not daily)

  • Many of these ideas overlap. And interestingly, these good ideas overlap with what I've seen in "doing" nature study in years of Charlotte-Mason-style homeschooling.  The daily nature walk allows the kids time (technology-free time) to develop observation skills; teaching kids the method of narration (which is a "telling back" usually of reading, but also of observations) helps kids to process knowledge and make it their own; time spent observing and doing things outside helps develop a lifelong learning attitude and relationships with the natural world.

    Also interestingly are the common obstacles: resistance to "technology-free time"!, trying to tell the kids everything you know and they don't, and identifying where their enthusiasm might be when they don't know themselves yet.

    Thanks for the ideas so far!
    6 months ago
    A day in the life of my suburban hens: Wyandottes, Welsummers, Prairie Bluebell, Olive Egger & Starlite.

    These spoiled ladies get soaked grains 2x/day. Mix is whole oats, wheat, peas & sometimes barley, with flax seed and sunflower seed toppers. A little kelp in winter. Garlic & ACV in one of their waterers. They forage in the backyard whenever they can if they don't see our border collie, who will herd them back into their paddock area.  It doesn't take much time to do the daily checks.

    Morning: Let free and feed breakfast. Check waterers.  Clean roost area. Check dry food hanger.

    Evening: Feed again. Gather eggs, check nest boxes. Check calcium.  Currently using crushed egg shells, but the winter supply is getting low and may have to be supplemented with oyster shell.

    1 year ago
    Hi.  I made my first sale of an ebook I wrote called The Poetry Hater's Guide to Loving Poetry  I have a website for learning and Charlotte Mason-style homeschooling and I was never able to appreciate poetry before I wrote this.

    The guide is designed to help homeschoolers incorporate poetry studies year-round with classic seasonal poems.  So it's a timeless ebook and won't become outdated as a revenue stream.  It's not permaculture related unless you count growing children!

    Here's a picture of my first sale in Stripe.

    1 year ago
    This is my first BB, so I thought I'd start with an easy one -- something I am already doing!

    We keep 8 suburban chickens.  Our current flock is coming up on their second laying season and they are all back to laying after the winter rest.  The mixed flock consists of Welsummers, Wyandottes, an olive egger, a Starlite, and a Prairie Bluebell.

    I thought the hardest part of this BB was getting a picture of a chicken in the nest!  I caught one of the Welsummers (Agnes) in the nest, but she immediately jumped up and moved to the other box to see if that was more private -- that's the picture of her with the eggs and the golf balls.  See how she is glaring at me?

    Our flock lays blue, near blue, green, pinkish, and brown eggs.
    1 year ago
    Question: What would be the first things you would teach kids to begin to love gardening?

    Background:  I am planning a series of articles for homeschooling moms to encourage them to get the kids out there in the garden.  I've used Charlotte Mason schooling methods, including nature study and usually short daily gardening activities, as part of a practical, helpful, and "structured but free" afternoon.  Naturally, over the course of schooling your kids for years, they will become pretty good at gaining consistent skills like gardening.   I've already got some articles on microgreens and sprouting (for winter or urban activities) and I'm looking to add some beginner-level outdoor gardening activities.

    Where would you start? What have you found easy, yet powerfully fun and amazing with a near-guarantee success rate?

    Would you go for seed starting, or straight to intensive gardening like square-foot raised beds?  Would you stick with the easiest annual vegetables, or start adding in the easiest perennial edibles? Would you go for the showy pollinator plants? Or companions?  

    Where would you start?  And thank you for all of your ideas!
    Crab grass, by the way, is on my list for yanking also.  Do NOT let it set seed.  Here it seems to have 2 easy seasons to yank when it's small -- in the spring when you first see it spreading its little crab-like grass leaves and then again in fall. Get it as soon as you see it!  I've never tried smothering it -- it seems more aggressive than mint even!
    I have a very aggressive mentos mint that I accidentally set loose on my first year gardening here in Colorado.  Now it is everywhere! Almost everything you do will be temporary -- good for a season or two. Here, it even has grown under the concrete patio and come out the other side.

    My best tips for removal are:

    1) If the mint is in your vegetable garden space, keep making deep soil.  I used a double dig method to jump-start the clay soils here, then started deep mulching every year, and 2 years ago started "no-dig" wood chip mulching.  The soil has consistently improved every year to where it is almost loose and rich.  Which just makes the mint want to grow there more!  But the loose, rich soil makes it very easy to pull out the mint.

    2) Pull out everything you don't want.  You will undoubtedly miss some and it will still come back anyway.

    3) Get it in spring while it is small.  And then again later in fall when it sends out runners.

    4) Feed it to your chickens after removal.  In fact, if you plant it in your chicken run, it's the one place where it doesn't stand a chance.  Chickens trump mint.  You can try letting them "tractor" over the area, but if they aren't in the space continually, the mint will grow back.

    5) Learn to love it.  Start making lots of mint recipes.  Mint ice cream is particularly good.  Mint tea is always a favorite and it makes lovely gifts.

    Good luck.