Larisa Walk

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since Jun 29, 2010
South of Winona, Minnesota
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Recent posts by Larisa Walk

We had paving bricks for a floor many years ago in a previous house we built. We eventually laid ceramic tile over it as the bricks were impossible to keep clean. The surface was too uneven to sweep easily. Maybe a vacuum cleaner would have done a better job.  Furniture was hard to place without wobbling. The paving bricks were free for the hauling from an old street in town that was being torn out to make way for resurfacing and worked well as thermal mass. I think regular building bricks would be too soft for flooring. In our "new" home (20 years old) we put down quarry tile, another fired clay product but much more suited to being a floor - easy to sweep and looks great too.
4 months ago
The Field Behind the Plow
Composed by Stan Rogers | © Fogarty’s Cove Music

Watch the field behind the plow turn to straight dark rows
Feel the trickle in your clothes, blow the dusk cake from your nose
And hear the tractor’s steady roar, O you can’t stop now
There’s a quarter section more or less to go

And it figures that the rain takes it’s own sweet time
You can watch it come for miles, but you guess you’ve got a while
Ease the throttle out a hair, every rod’s a gain
There’s victory in every quarter mile

Poor old Kuzyk down the road
The heartache, hail and hoppers got him down
He gave it up and went to town
And Emmett Pierce, the other day took a heart attack and died at 42
You could see it comin’ on, ‘cuz he worked as hard as you

Well in an hour, maybe more, you’ll be wet clear through
The air is cooler now, pull your hat brim further down
And watch the field behind the plow turn to straight dark rows
Put another season’s promise in the ground

And if the harvest’s any good, the money might just cover all the loans
You’ve mortgaged all you own
Buy the kids a winter coat, take the wife back east for Christmas if you can
All summer she hangs on when you’re so tied to the land

For the good times come and go, but at least there’s rain
So this won’t be barren ground when September comes around
And watch the field behind the plow turn to straight dark rows
Put another season’s promise in the ground
Watch the field behind the plow, turn to straight rows
Put another season’s promise in the ground
4 months ago
Be Free by Loggins and Messina

I can see the world's changing,
I can see it re-arranging,
Happening before my very eyes.
Everywhere the cements growing,
In the street the traffic's flowing,
Ruining the air up in the skys,
Is no surprise.
I want to get away and live my life,
In the rivers and trees,
I want to spend the days making wine and be free,
Be free (Be free, be free)
I can hear the cities calling,
Come on down i can feel you falling,
Happening for all of us to see.
See the deepening cement hollow,
Reaching out for those who follow,
hunkering on far too many lies,
Its no surprise.
I want to get away and live my life,
In the rivers and trees,
I want to spend my days making wine,
And be free (be free, be free) and be free.
From the winds so far away,
Ive had an inner vision,
Ive seen the universe unfold.
I can hear the school bell ringing,
From the yard the children singing,
Merily life is but a dream.
In the street there go the brothers,
Selling slow and ship to others,
Aiding those whos songs have turned to crys,
Is no surprise.
I want to get away and live my life,
In the rivers and trees,
I want to spend my days making wine,
And be free, and be free, and be free(be freee...)
Songwriters: Jim Messina
Be Free lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
4 months ago
Here in Minnesota we've lost a few fruit trees to winter bark damage. The interior latex prevents this damage. The tree continues to grow and as the trunk gets fatter, the bark "stretches" but the paint does not flake off. It just gets spread out more thinly and needs a fresh coat every year or two. Another way to protect bark from winter sun is to have some kind of shield or cover. Spiral wraps work when the tree is first planted but most be removed each spring so the tree can breathe, and that would probably be required of other covers as well. Otherwise it's kind of like leaving a band-aid on too long.
4 months ago
I think I remember reading in one of Michael Phillip's orcharding books to use interior latex. I've just gone to our local hazardous waste recycling center where they have partial cans of paint free for the taking. I wouldn't use anything with lead, even if free.
4 months ago
I would concur on the need for a binder with the roasted pea flour. But the raw pea flour makes fine crepes or wraps with just water and a long soak time. Some change occurs to the starch in the roasting process that makes for a crumbly result. I think I should try the technique that I use for buckwheat wraps. I use 1.75 cups of water, bring it to a boil and sprinkle 1 cup of buckwheat flour on the surface of the boiling water, cover the pan, and let it boil for 2 minutes. Then I stir the flour into the water and let it sit until it's cool enough to knead by hand. The dough rests for a bit after kneading, then gets divided, pressed into tortilla rounds, and dry-fried on a cast iron griddle. As long as the process is followed exactly, the wraps come out flexible without the need for any other ingredients. More experimentation is in order.
5 months ago
I see that this thread has been revived. I wanted to report that we did try pan roasting whole yellow peas, then ground them into flour. Very easy to do. However, when we tried to make a flat bread with the flour as we have done in the past with raw flour (1.5 parts water to 1 part pea flour), it didn't work at all. They crumbled into small bits. Tasted good but the starch didn't behave predictably as usual. Maybe adding boiling hot water and allowing it to soak longer than an hour would make a difference?
5 months ago

Zoe Mays wrote:We do dishes by hand and have been using Sal Suds, obviously not ok for greywater. We are considering using Dr Bronner's castile liquid soap and/or a pure emulsified orange oil degreaser. Our overall purpose is water conservation. Has anyone used these products for greywater? is there any reason not to use them? I want to be able to water my fig, apple, pear and citrus trees, but I don't expect to water my annual veggies with the greywater.


We use Sal Suds, very sparingly, on oily pans only. We have a household graywater system. We also use the Sal Suds for laundry - about 1 Tablespoon per load (our water source is rainwater).
5 months ago
We washed clothes for many years with the plunger and hand wringer method (wringer was the same as the kind that Lehman's Hardware sell). I also grew up using a wringer washer with my mom. An important note is that wringers are hard on textiles and buttons, particularly if you aren't careful in how you feed stuff through it. And the clothes don't get as dry as with a centrifugal spin. We still use a plunger to augment our very small Haier washing machine. Its main contribution to laundry processing is the spin cycles. The Haier was $180 new a few years ago and was small enough to fit in our Geo Metro at the time. BTW, we are off grid and have a rainwater cistern so energy and water conservation are very important to us in setting up our systems.
8 months ago
This dryer (see website below) is soooo much simpler and has worked since 1985. It will dry herbs in a few hours and most everything else in 1-2 sunny days.
http://geopathfinder.com/Solar-Food-Drying.html
8 months ago