I normally ferment my beans. I eat them usually 2-3 times a week. I usually eat a different kind each time. Originally, I put some kefir in there and they started to ferment. I think it makes it easier to digest. When I'm done with a batch, I'll put a few tablespoons of the old fermented beans in the new cooked beans.
I eat natto regularly too, but like the other John, I have to mix them with other things that actually have flavor and have a texture other than slimy. There's an extremely healthy powder called amla-indian gooseberry. Powder + slime = no longer too powdery and no longer too slimy. I usually eat them in nori wraps with walnuts, olives and other flavorful items.
I also think it should also go beyond acreage - we jumped off the cliff and farm income isn't a side thing - it's our entire focus. It's our sole source of income; that puts a different perspecitve on thing as well.
At risk of reiterating the good comments before... it depends on what the species is adapted to growing in at its "day job"
*Big seeds (chestnut) might love germinating under and pushing through a leaf mold.
*I have and no success sowing into wood chip mulch, even with native forest species.
*Straw on top can work well for maintaining dead air space that reduces evaporation, that increases chance of germination, particularly during dry season. I am talking about 50-75% coverage of soil looking down.
*Good seed soil contact (however achieved) is beneficial (I have seen grass seed germinate at 10x the rate in my footprints on a seed bed!)
*Seed recruitment is a tough business, and some kind of disturbance increases recruitment rate.
*Bird dispersed species may be better adapted to recruiting in herbaceous competition when scarified pelleted and fall spread... no experience here...
I sure wish I knew the answer to that! My neighbor has a trumpet vine growing over the fence (and knocking it down in the process.) I was incredibly angry with them when we first moved in that they would allow their plants to ruin other people's property. Not to mention the frequency with which I have to dig out the babies that pop up all over creation. Between the bermuda grass, the trumpet vine and the infant I felt like all I did was weed and feed allllll day long. haha! One morning as I drank my coffee, I thought, what a great spot for blackberries?! We took some old pallets and just leaned 'em up against the fence and planted blackberries where they could ramble up against the pallet. The weight of it all propped the fence back up straight and I didn't have to build a "real" trellis in our super annoying clay. Winner winner!! "The problem is the solution"!! Now I look at the vine and see a wall of beautiful flowers. If it is a nitro-fixer as well, woohoo! Don't know why I didn't think to run it over the pergola. That is a great idea. Thanks for the suggestion.
The pergola with the trumpet vine is almost identical to yours, Genevieve. Maybe a little more slender. But I can see now what you were getting at. You guys rock!
I will add a little bit of my lore to this thread.
I am 74 and my family has been experimenting with youghurt from raw milk since I was 10.
Goat milk is much more difficult to set firm with its tendency to have a fine curd.
The youghurt expert at the Mother Earth Fair explained that heating milk to 180F alters the protein to make a firmer curd. That of course makes it easier to drain the whey. If you are making it in one serving container batches It will be easy to spoon and you will have it eaten before you notice the whey separation. The milk needs to be cooled to about 100F before adding the starter.
My goal is to make thick youghurt without destroying the raw milk enzymes. Therefore I heat my milk to 101F which is the temperature it comes out of the udder. When I had my own animals I would use it immediately after milking so I would not have to reheat it, Currently the pastured raw Jersey cow milk I get is about 6 hours after milking. When I get home I put the gallon in a water bath with a rack on the bottom and a thermometer in the top. I fill the water bath with water from the hot tap and but it on the burner at simmer to maintain the temperature. Then I prepare my culturing containers with starter. I use 1 or 2 Quart wide mouth mason jars. When the temperature reaches I pour it into the jars and tighten the lids and shake to mix the starter. Then I place a jar in each corner of my water bed which seems to hold them at a good culturing temperature for 8 to 12 hours. Then I refrigerate.
The top of the jar will be crem frech [cold cream] so I like to have a desert ready when I open a new jar. I usually get my milk every two weeks and I get the best culture by using the layer just below the cream for the starter That means my starter has been in the refrigerator three weeks with no problem. Some times by the time I get to the bottom of a 2 quart jar the whey starts to separate but that is not a problem for me because I am using it for smoothies anyway. If I am worried about my current batch I pick up a quart of youghurt that I like at the store before i stop at my Dairy Lady.
Spooning youghurt usually has at least three bacteria. As discussed above one makes a slime this tends to keep the whey from separating. One tends to form a curd. one tends to give a sour flavor. The slime dominates if the culture is too cool. the curd dominates if too hot. The sour dominates if too long. If not enough sour yest can grow and make it fizzy. That is why some batches that are mixed when too hot will ferment.
I hope this will give you some guidance to to go beyond your comfort zone with confidence.
nancy sutton wrote:
It was reading about Stefan Sobkowiak's Permaculture Orchard and Jean Fortier's organic market garden, both in Canada, where success would not be possible without judiciously using black plastic mulch, that convinced me I could use the available help :) Although, I wish that the 'problem was the solution' for quack grass ... and also bindweed ;)
Stefan also uses cover perennials like Hosta next to his trees, without black plastic. So I think there might be alternatives that work just as good if not better. I don't want to say that it's impossible to not use black plastic mulch, but I am working to do without. So far I'm pretty happy, even with the bindweed. And my chickens like to dig up quack grass, so there's that. All I have to do is throw down on top if it something they want to dig into and it is 'ameliorated' (don't want to say that the problem is solved).
Paul discusses this exact question in his podcast on Stefan's DVD.
Leila, as it happens, there's a universe of difference between a fresh water chestnut and those canned yucky ones. The fresh ones are like a sweeter and more tender jicama root, with a sort of creamy richness. I really like them. I don't know how much of that yum factor will survive candying, but I'm interested in finding out.
I have seen one (genuine) Pyrex dish explode.
That was in the early/mid 70's, so obviously the older version.
My friend had just taken it out of a 350* (F) oven, and set it atop the cutting board.
We had just made some Cuba Libres, and there was a stray piece of ice on the board.
He set it on top of this small ice cube, and KAPOW! A kazillion pieces.
The thermal shock is what got it.
Those 4 cup measuring cups make the finest emergency light:
Put a candle in one. If the candle falls over, nothing catches fire,
It is wind proof,
It is see-through for better lighting, AND
It has a convenient carrying handle!
Leila Rich wrote:
It can take at least a couple of years for everything to find a balance. When I started gardening, I had all sorts of sap-sucking insects show up,
as everything was 'out of whack'.
I was going to say something like this. Here where our gardens are on land that was bare soil, the first year of each garden plot was pretty bad, and the early years in the greenhouses were desperate with aphids though we tried all those soapy-garlicky-chilli sprays to no avail. But as a couple years pass, it seems to develop its ecosystem of predators and pests in balance, and probably the soil improves year by year with adding compost, and now we don't have serious pest problems (expect the local dzo-yaks who break the barbed wire and eat everything!). You're starting vegetables on soil that had only lawn and a few struggling other plants, so there's not much of an ecosystem. If you're able to continue on the same land, you might find that some types of plants have problems this year but work themselves out next year, and others will have problems next year, but it will get better as time goes by. So this year maybe expect to lose some plants, have some be less than perfect, and some will turn out great.
Leila Rich wrote:In NZ, canning's called bottling or preserving, and standard procedure is the overflow method:
Prepare fruit and cook in a pot with water, and sugar if desired.
Sterilise preserving jars in the oven, and lids with boiling water.
Fill hot jars till nearly overflowing and seal tightly.
It's really basic compared to a waterbath, and I'm curious to know whether others use the overflow method?
By the way, I'm ONLY talking about ACID things like acidic fruit-
if the product to be canned isn't naturally acidic, as long as enough citrus/vinegar is added to make it 'tangy' (below ph 4.6), you're fine.
Botulism must have a LOW ACID, ANAEROBIC environment to grow.
I use my own method and I call it JUICING. I utilize the whole vegetable or fruit using the method. To the best of my knowledge nobody else uses this method. Here is my 2014 effort. Incidentally, I lived in Auckland for year in 1970 and toured the country in 1985 and 1995 for three weeks each trip.
Judith says : "I think that the stereotype there was, somewhat lead by television and magazines in the sixties. that is where my parents got their paranoia about 'hippies'...not necessarily from what I was or was not doing."
Years ago my nine-year-old boy had to pee, and our only bathroom was in use. He took a pint canning jar down into the basement and used it to pee in. He put the almost full jar on top of a cabinet between the joists where it couldn't be seen. It was without a lid, and stayed there for who knows how long. Finally, it began to stink so bad we thought a rodent had died in the walls of our little pantry which was in the cellar stairway. We emptied all the shelves and found nothing. We tore out the wallboard - nothing. I finally checked the top of the cabinet with a flashlight and found the jar with about an inch of jelled urine. Mystery solved. I told my son that next time the bathroom was busy to go pee on the compost pile. It turned out well, since I was able to put shelves in the spaces between the studs, increasing my storage space for canned goods..
I completely agree with Alex. We have terrible clay here. I have applied a mix of old wood, gravel and native soil throughout most of the deep hole, then mix in compost above. Then I usually plant trees, bushes or other deep rooted plants so the roots and life can get down there and stay there. It makes a huge difference in the long run.
I get the want of overall, but if people were to just see that logo, it would be hard to "get it". Is there a reason that the sun, like "our" scrolling sun is not being considered? I would be partial to consistency on this one. I love the scrolling sun, even if it doesn't spin.
A few update photos taken today.
I redid most of the signs-I have a tendency to try and squeeze way too much information on-
just tell them what it is, and stop Leila
the tiny food forest's coming along-it's finally clear that there's a 'garden' and a 'path'.
The bulbs have finished, the apples are blossoming, the strawberries, mint, clover, dandelions etc are pushing through the mulch.
The kids have planted tons of sunflowers, and beans by the ugly new fence-hopfully they'll swallow it up soon!
I'll plant tomatoes by the stakes next week.
Digging out all the dead, dry, wormless commercial 'soil' was a real pain,
but the amended native clay soil stays moist and has heaps of fat pink worms
The brown piles are used coffee grounds. 'Spread thinly' is not a concept kids understand!
One end is garlic, we'll plant tomatoes at the other.
And I'm not bothered about a table now-kids love climbing on the stump.
Recently there has been stuff that has come up about youtube and possible copyright violation. My position on that is that youtube is diligent at removing content that violates copyright. Therefore, I feel okay posting anything from youtube.
Sometimes there is something that seems like a copyright issue, and later you find out that it was the copyright holder posting it to youtube in an attempt at some sort of weird marketing.
So, I am just stating my official position: feel free to post anything you find on youtube.
The original trees were planted four years ago; of course I don't have photos.
I've shuffled lots of things around since, and I think this is the final configuration.
Note to self: please remember to take before, during and after shots!
Winter 2012 I'd moved the espalier pear and basically poked it in beside an apple while I worked out where to put it.
Brand new experimental hugel in background which has now gone;
above ground gardening doesn't work for me in my dryish, sandy environment.
Spring 2014 The pear finally has a permanent home
Pears come from reasonably moist, temperate climates and I try to guild plants that enjoy the same conditions.
Nearby is: summer fruiting raspberries, currents, rhubarb, Florence fennel, Egyptian walking onins (they grow anywhere...),
a gazillion bulbs, including Amaryllis belladonna which flower in summer,
Lettuces, landcress, daikon, calendula and purple mustard, dandelions, nasturtiums, clovers, etc etc always appear everywhere-there must be quite a seedbank...
July/August 2014 I'd just moved everything and chucked a load of prunings around-mulch not down yet
October 2014 The dead stuff is shrubs I took out from eslwhere and strapped to the fence for my runner beans to climb
The Mediterranean peach guild has globe artichoke, yarrow, lavender comfrey, sage, thyme, honeywort, alyssum, bulbs, garlic chives, short bearded iris...
and of course lettuces, landcress, daikon, calendula and purple mustard, dandelions, nasturtiums, clovers, etc etc
I really like American persimmons. They can grow tall and spindly and still produce loads of fruit without having to stretch way out. They're also so beautiful, delicious, and easily preserved. We have self pollinating varieties here on my farm and nursery. They are one of my top 3 favorite trees to plant (chestnut and mulberry are the other two).
Thank you for this excellent post of processing pigs. The wife and I are going to be adding some Guinea hogs to our list of animals on the homestead next year. We are going with Guinea's because of their being just the right size for our needs.
Meryt Helmer wrote:I am currently collecting pretty glass bottles to use in building a shelter for ducks. so I guess that is another thing I will be reusing. that and the bicycle wheels I plan to get more and build some trellises and arbores out of them. I really love how bicycle parts look. maybe i should contact some shops and ask them if they get any bicycle frames in that are no longer safe for riding on and I could use those in some nice trellises as well!
Ah you've reminded me that I'm saving all of my wine bottles to make a hot bed.
I've also got windows from my work and my house I'm going to use to make my green house!