gani et se

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since Apr 24, 2011
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Recent posts by gani et se

Simon Gooder,
If you have the red alder sap in the freezer, you might have some luck with partial thawing to concentrate the sweetness. The sweet melts first. Think of popsicles. That could reduce the boiling needed to make syrup. Maybe.
4 years ago
Refrito can also be translated as altered or rehashed. No second frying needed. Fry, mash, done.
I'm teaching myself to make tortillas. So much better than store bought!
4 years ago
It looks handed to me too.
Maybe if we ask they will make a batch of lefties?
Another person who is dangerous when forced to use sharp tools right handed.
p.s. I love handing my leftie scissors to righties.
4 years ago
I have been so relieved to see the dandelions come back to this property. The previous owners must've sprayed the hell out of them.

The comeback was seriously slowed by our 2 dogs and 8 chickens who all think the flowers are great.
4 years ago

I mostly troll here for heaters. Which I have been doing heavily recently, because we were relying on our backup wood heater for 16 days of being involuntarily off grid (I'm not a homesteader or prepper). As normal wood stoves go, it's okay, but I ended up really wanting a batch mass heater, because I had to stoke that thing way too much. I have a smallish support plinth, so a bench heater won't cut it, but Donkey's batch box looks like just what we need.

I'm definitely not looking for a spiritual experience, and I can do enough arts/crafts here. Also, I hate fermented food. I have tried to like it, but yuck! I also hate beer and wine, same thing.

Maybe the focus needs to be on having women lead events, and see who comes? I don't know enough to comment, but what's the ratio of women in the organization? What efforts are made to make all events women friendly? Do facilitators make an effort to see that all people contribute? What's the feedback from women who do attend?
4 years ago
A breadbox is a metal box with some ventilation. If you make/buy crusty european style bread, and store it in a paper bag in the breadbox, it a) doesn't mold in my climate (YMMV) and b) the crust develops a little as the bread slowly dries. In about 5 days -- if you can make a loaf last that long -- it's only suitable for french toast; a bit stale. A useless tool if you like soft american bread -- store that in plastic.
I'm old enough to be a grandmother, probably not yours.
4 years ago
I'd love to include a build of Donkey's batch box stove in the red cabin! That is about the right size for me to want to work on, its parts are modular enough that I think I could tackle it, and working with women on it, I feel I'd have more of a chance to get hands on.
4 years ago
I want to build one of these, but I feel quite inadequate to do so.
Donkey, I see that you are doing a "master" class on all things rocket. That's way more than I need. If you ever do a class on building THIS heater, I want to come! Bonus for me if it's in Coquille, a couple hours from me.
4 years ago
Just wanted to correct that unless it says it is inoculated or charged, it isn't. Really though, it's not that big a deal. Soak it in a dilute urine solution, charge it with compost tea, or just put it on the soil instead of in it to allow the soil microorganisms to begin to colonize it.
From my friend who is in his 4th year of having biochar in the soil: He does cover cropping, no other nitrogen fertilizer. He has had to add some calcium this year, as the rain still leached out enough to make his soil deficient. His cation exchange capacity jumped 10 points between last year and this year.
We have gotten over an inch of rain in the last 48 hours, almost 4 this month. Very squishy in the clay. In my soil that has only biochar added -- I can put in a shovel, and the dirt crumbles. Bloody miracle, that.
Good luck!
9 years ago
Hi Sheri,
Here in western Oregon, we are heavy clay. The heavier the clay, the more helpful the char seems to be. I did a small hugel-char bed here. Haven't been very attentive to it, and it's only about a foot high. In the trench I put burnt wood. There are irises, oregano, thyme and comfrey planted in it. It didn't get any water through about a month of the summer, and things by then did look a bit dry. It is currently getting sort of starvation rations of water. I stand there for about 3 minutes with the hose on full blast -- not very impressive pressure -- twice a week. Everything but the comfrey looks good. The comfrey is getting eaten by something with 4 legs and fur, or wings and feathers, I suspect.
I think the charred wood I got from a clearcut slash pile. A non-technical way to find out if the char is reasonable quality is by washing your hands after handling it. If the black comes off pretty easily, there isn't much tar. That's the good stuff.
Plain char, smaller and completely burned is good too. I like a mix of sizes of char for mixing in the soil, I make my own (150 gallons this year and used 2/3 of it), and mostly it's 1 inch diameter or so. I may want to sift/grind a little for beds that might grow carrots.
I'm not sure how much to steep the char, don't put it with dry manure; expect it to absorb some moisture. I have a friend who gets char from slash burns and puts it in a barrel with whatever: chicken poop, dead fish, urine and a bunch of water. She pulls it out when she is planting.
I'm a lazy bum, and I just lay mine on top of the ground, mulch over it and let the bacteria colonize it. If you put it IN the ground, definitely charge it. Haven't seen any issues with my method.
Try it, you'll like it!
9 years ago