Chris Holcombe

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since Feb 22, 2011
Chris likes ...
forest garden fungi food preservation
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Portland - Zone 8b
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Recent posts by Chris Holcombe

Chestnut season is here in the northwest! I think my two trees finally have enough to do something with this year. I'm thinking of using a french recipe to make a Chestnut Cream and I was wondering if that is safe to water bath can. I think since chestnuts aren't an acidic food ( I haven't measured ) that the answer is no but I thought I'd ask the community.  I think I can freeze that cream so that's fine as well. For the rest of the chestnuts I was thinking of drying them and then later grinding them into flour.
8 months ago
Glad to see your oven is still doing well! I just read the permaculture rocket oven book and I was a bit concerned because the book made it sound like I'd be rebuilding the oven every other year almost. It seems like that hasn't been the case with yours.
1 year ago
Yeah that plunge door looks interesting. I need to get myself a little stick welder I think so I can build something.
I agree the glass view port isn't necessary. I'm fine eliminating it. My goals for this are baking bread (450F ish) and canning/simmering fruit. I bake bread weekly but only can in batches when fruit is available. I haven't really figured out how to modify the rocket stove design to handle canning + baking. It seems like the walker style stove is more geared towards that. The walker stove seems pretty inexpensive if I can salvage a door and the cooktops. Roughly in the $600ish range. I think a rocket stove could be cheaper if I could figure out how to change the design to canning + baking
1 year ago
Awesome! I'm thinking about doing the same thing with a walker stove for an outdoor kitchen. I think my biggest concern at the moment is that the batch box doors seem to be really expensive to buy. I'm cruising craigslist to look for broken electric stoves with a glass cooktop.
1 year ago
Sounds amazing! Please post some pictures. Where about in southern oregon are you located?
Anyone willing to send me some Butia odorata seeds also known as the Jelly Palm? Seems this is widely grown in the south eastern US. I've searched all over for seed sources and the places selling them are either asking way too much or don't seem very trustworthy. From what I've found it seems there's two types of Butia that are often mistaken. If you have this local to you and are willing to collect some seeds feel free to send me a PM and I'll pay for postage. I think this palm will grow well in the Pacific Northwest and as our area becomes hotter and drier this palm should be well adapted to handle that. Thanks for your time!
2 years ago
They’re growing pretty well actually! Arbequina and Universal seem to be doing the best. Seascape has lagged behind from an early setback where the central leader was broken from snow I think. It’s flowering this year though.

I cut down an arborvitae hedge that was blocking their late and early season sun so I’m wondering if that’ll help increase the size of the fruit. We’ll find out.

In the photos Universal is on the left, Arbequina in the middle and Seascape is on the right. Arbequina towers over me now. I might have to prune it a bit.
2 years ago
Hello fellow Permies!

We have a room for rent that we’d love to have a permie person or family take. We’re thinking a work trade for rent which would involve some house cleaning and grounds maintenance. We have 1 acre that’s slowly moving towards food forest so we have plenty of food from the trees and garden to share as well. We live right outside the Portland metro area.

We started the food forest almost 7yrs ago. The trees and bushes are just starting to really ramp up now and it’s awesome!

We think 1hr a day on average per week is reasonable. You could knock that out on a weekend and then have the rest of your week free. We have a bunch of cool projects in mind that would be possible with some help. Projects include:
1. Outdoor kitchen with rocket stove and cob bench
2. Dry stack rock wall to plant citrus against. A fruit wall of sorts.
3. Fence work. Built by us but needs some modifications for winter when it’s windy.
4. Swale installation
5. Probably more that just aren’t top of mind.

There’s fast internet (200Mb) for work remote needs.
I think with some like minded people we could accomplish some great things.

2 years ago
If you end up selling any of them I’d be interested in trying them in Oregon. The drought tolerance would be really useful here. I just don’t know if we have enough heat to ripen a crop.
2 years ago
I ordered a set of grafted chestnuts also from burnt ridge that arrived in jan 2019. That would put them at year 3 now. I hope Akiva is wrong and they don't die in another year or two. That would be really sad. I do however have some seedlings that I started from both parents so I could replace them if I needed.
2 years ago