Most years, my cucumbers suck so i pickle zucchini. This year, my zucchini didnt germinate, and my cucumbers are trying to outrun me.
Was away for 3 days, came back to these monsters and a bunch of babies. Hmmm.... wonder how many cucumbers I can foist off on my neighbours??? And how many consecutive days can cucumber salad be eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
Its been a wild year here in the garden. Some things are stunted and slow, some are way ahead of schedule.
I planted maxima squash for the first time, plus moshata and pepo. In previous years my squash harvesting technique had been "Oh no, its gonna frost, harvest everything".
This year, its July, and several of my maxima squadh (Sunshine F1) are bright orange and hardening already even as the first of the pepo squash are just starting to form and I am eating my first cherry tomatoes.. the one moshata (butternut) is already full sized and slowly changing colour, as is my other maxima (Blue Magic F1).
I hyper manage my surroundings. No scented products at all - not even "natural" ones (except peppermint and lemon), unscented soaps, laundry detergents, deodorants, cleaning products, etc. No carpets, regular vacuuming, and regularly changing bedding. No smoke, no campfires. No cats and hypoallergenic dogs.
Doing this, I can keep myself down to just one mild asthma med as needed and sometimes an antihistamine - without this I am not sure I could handle my asthma at all. My asthma has always been the kind that is due to triggers though, not random.
Yes, especially here in southern Ontario where the prices are asinine - you cant afford a starter house here making the AVERAGE household income with a 20-30% down payment in most places within 2-3 hours drive of the city. It already dropped here a significant amount (more than what is being reflected in the news, as people seem to be spending the same amount as before, but buying a nicer house for their money). I was in the process of buying a house in February/March, finally got an accepted offer, and crashed it due to covid worries/a poor inspection, and then stopped looking. Now, my realtor is emailing that the prices are going back up and bidding wars have started again.... and I am still holding off. I anticipate this fall is going to be hard.
They have been predicting a depression since this spring, and even last fall.... stock values are meaningless, cost of living rising, underemployment (different than unemployment) extremely high, etc. Likely food shortages in the fall, famines in Africa....
Small hoes with very lightweight handles. I have a picture on here somewhere; we have an antique one that my grandmother used into her 90s. Because the head is so light, the dowel on it is less than an inch and it only weights a couple pounds at most. I use it for weeding, making small furrows for carrots and other small seeds, and scuffling up the soil over top of seedlings. It works better than my scuffle hoe in my heavy soil.
Really nice edgers. Mine is a semi circle with a great rolled edge for your foot, and I love it for slicing turf or breaking ice in the winter. I have never seen another one like it.
Solid one piece trowels. My favourite trowel is older than me and cast out of a single piece of thick aluminum, handle and all, and is very strong and lightweight
A decent snow shovel. All I seem to be able to buy is plastic ones, and they last maybe a year or two.
Easy to use quick connect hose attachments. I have garden beds all over, and it would be so nice to be able to not drag a heavy hose through my perennials to reach my veggie gardens. They may exist, but I dream of leaving my hose in the veggie garden, pulling it across the grass, and a 2 second connection- to another end of the hose so I can water. Another quick connect to water the gardens at the other end of the house. It would make watering so much less of a chore. If I didnt have to drag 50' of hose around all the time.
Leigh- why didnt I think of that? I used to do glass bottles in my large house plants all the time when I went away on vacation.... never thought to put them in the garden. Brilliant, I should try it for my beets which hate life right now, and maybe a few of the tomatos.
We did have rain here a week or so ago. I hung laundry up on a clear day, no forecast for rain. Within 20 min there was a downpour, and we got almost an inch!!! Not enough to recharge the aquifer, but the plants got a good drink. A few tiny sprinkles otherwise.
Skandi- that reminds me of university, where I was told the biggest potential threat to humans from climate change was a large melting of arctic ice, reversing the ocean currents and causing the UK and Scandinavia to have the frigid climate of Labrador, and labrador to have the moderate climate of the UK and Scandinavia (with the rest of western Europe and eastern North America essentially switching climates as well). Having been to Northern Labrador and having Danish relatives, and personally loving the snow and winter, I hope that's doesnt come true!
Out of curiosity, where are you getting fabric from?
I think you mentioned bedsheets for muslins, but what about the finished fabric?
All I have found in Canada is fabric land, which is both bloody expensive and not always great quality and rarely has anything in natural fibers that I am interested in buying.
Also- sleeves are usually easy to shorten. Most patterns you buy show sleeves i or pant legs in 2-3 lengths. You may be able to steal sleeves from another pattern in the book, or that looks like it might make a lovely tank top.
I have similar fit issues to you, R Ranson... which is why I gave up on sewing so take my advice with a healthy pinch of salt. My mom is an excellent seamstress, and basically said if I wanted to make clothes I would need a body double. When she sews for me, she has me stand and pins around my body to figure out pleat and dart placement. . I considered making a duct tape version but she highly recommends a plaster cast version as it wont deform. You can even use your form to cast with silicone or foam so you can pin to it.
Do you have any ready made that you like and could create a pattern from? Add seam allowance and done.
For a pattern- some good tailors or seamstresses can make clothes and their own patterns. I have a cousin who is a mens tailor, who made me pants a few years ago. It would be very easy to take those pants and create a custom fit pattern.
Jason Hernandez wrote:In other words, climate change will bring new meaning to the term, "new normal."
To my mind, it would be helpful to the OP if you could suggest a reasonable correction factor to apply to the existing data. Thoughts?
If I recall, I usually use 1.5-2C as the correction factor. One might be able to get a correction factor by comparing 2 sets of normals data, and subtracting the difference though it wouldnt be particularly statistically significant or sound. I am too lazy this morning to check but if it showed a 1 C difference and the difference was 10 years, you could fudge the data by 1C/10 years
Harvested the first cherry tomato yesterday, pulled the onions over the last 2 weeks as they flopped and died, and pulled the garlic yesterday. Corn is looking great with lots of huge cobs, beans are climbing it, squash are doing well, and I ate the first cucumber of the season today. Scrumptious. The squash are doing great, it's my first time with maxima and they are huge and colorful already. The pepo and moschata are also doing well. The melons are a bit dubious but a few peppers are forming! The brocolli is forming, the cabbage is HUGE, the potatos are finished flowering but not yet dying down. Amaranth is starting to bloom, dill is flowering,
Hoping to pull the first carrots and maybe some beets this week, and replace with fall crops. The garden is now mostly mulched with straw, we have been in a water ban and a drought.
The newspaper and manure bed, which I disliked in the spring definitely has the happiest and tallest and greenest squash plants. The plan for the fall is to get in a truck load of manure to put the garden to bed with so yields will be better next year.
To continue the theme - in one year you can go from grass to this:
2 weeks ago or so - but a better picture of my small rows.
I should probably note that I store my onions in a cool late 1800s era basement within a few meters of a dehumidifier. Quite jealous of all of you with outbuildings to dry them down in!
My dad grew up without refridgeration and talks about hanging out in the uninsulated attic in the fall, where my grandmother strung up braided onions, garlic, peppers and herbs from the rafters.
Skandi- your cellar reminds me of my dad's cousin's in Eastern Europe. Their cellar, packed with onions, garlic, tomato sauce and jams is my inspiration for a lot of my canning and storing endeavours. Your onions look gorgeous.
No, not without growing them out. And as each seed is unique, even if one seed from one squash is crossed, another seed from the same squash may be pure.
Depending on how long your season is, it might still be possible for you to bag and manually self pollinate and mark a female flower on each plant, and get a pure squash on each plant.
Myself, I would be tempted to save seeds from the hopi squash, and plant them out next year, and consider it a bonus if you get any spaghetti squash crosses from the mix, as I find spaghetti squash boring tasting :)
I guess it depends on how many squash you plant. If you plant 5-10 squash each year, a few crosses are far less troublesome than if you only plant one or two per variety.
I have found a way to store onions that works far better than my pitiful attempts of braiding, and still allows me to keep them hanging so I can see them. Thought I would share in case anyone else has the same issues....
Here is what it looks like when I attempt to braid onions. I am impatient, start when they arent dry enough, and they look.... sad.
So instead, I hang them from a cord. They are loose on the cord, so fall down and stay compact as they dry, are easy to remove, take less skill and are easy to hang.
I let my onions sit in a hot sunny place and wilt for a day or two... these were spread out to lie in a single layer.... but I didnt take a picture.
First, I start with a doubled piece of twine, and make a double figure 8 knot on the loose ends to form a sturdy loop. A figure 8 knot is stronger and less likely to break than an overhand knot. Onions are heavy, it's worth the extra 5s of effort.
Then, I hang the little loop on a hook outside. The first onion Is twisted around the centre of the hanging piece of looped twine. The second and third onions are also twisted around the single strand twine.
Those starter onions support the rest and keep them from falling off. The rest of the onions are simply twisted around the doubled string. No need to knot them, their own weight keeps them up. I try to hang the stem on one end, the onion on the other.
After I am done, it looks like this:
I trim the onion stems, to leave a few inches hanging and leave them in a cool dark place to continue drying.
After a few weeks, the onions will be quite dry, and the onions will slowly, with gravity, fall down the string and become more compact.
Not perfect or pretty, but a very space efficient way to dry and store onions and quickly get them off of my porch, and it is much faster for me than my pitiful braiding attempts, and less likely to rot than storing them in a box in a jumble.
Carboys for winemaking and other associated fermentation equipment like food grade plastic buckets are often VERY cheap in unused or used once condition on local kijiji/buy and sell groups. I once picked up all the equipment one would need or more at a local church yard sale for $15.... carboys, buckets, a wine corker, etc, etc... they literally shoved more items in our car to get rid of them. On that note, the jugs used for communion wine are great, screw top, and much bigger than a normal wine bottle, with a handle too .
Winemaking stores are also good for food grade plastic buckets, which are sizes that can be easily lifted.
I hear you on the health challenges. I have similar, and if I were to do what you do I would probably fall over and be very resentful of my labour wasnt respected.
I live with my mom right now. I will be the first to say I am very spoiled. I am working (from home), so ends up with most of the cooking and cleaning, i help move heavy or large items, assist where she asks, empty the dishwasher, and occasionally make dinner or lunch, and groom the dogs. My major contribution is the garden, and she does a lot with that too.
However.... I would NOT be welcome to live there if I was getting fast food instead of home cooked meals, not helping, or getting up at 2 (barring illness, and even with that she is not very tolerant). I could live with my dad and would be expected to look after HIM.
I wonder if you need to have a chat about "house rules". Sounds like you have some expectations that aren't being met, and even arranging for a once a week supper as a family would be good for household harmony. I would also remind them, if you havent, that the food is grown for them to enjoy too, and they shouldn't feel like they need to leave it all to you, you get joy from them eating it.
If you do still want to try- i would set finger foods on the counter. Fresh cherry tomatos, cut up veggies and dip, fruit, whatever, for your granddaughter to snack on. It's hard to ignore easy food even if it IS healthy.
Also in zone 4 with a mid-late Sept last frost date.
My plan is to plant next week carrots (will be small but tasty), beets, and daikon radishes, maybe lettuce as it didn't germinate in the spring. I might plant peas now that i've thought of it, but if I do, I will presoak them overnight so that they have a chance of sprouting and need less watering. I'm also considering either a second sowing of raab brocolli, or turnips.
I think we might be seeing a bit of difference in opinion on the role of good governance particularly between the US and Canada . I support government spending on things that a)save tax payers money or b) help businesses or c) help citizens. If something can be done that does those 3 with minimal costs- let's do it. It makes our country and our economy stronger. I see masks as our best way to get things back to "as normal as possible" in the foreseeable future, so support the government provision of masks.
A lot of jurisdictions in Ontario are mandating masks. Many people dont have them and cant buy them. Right now some businesses are providing disposal masks, at great cost, to their customers. Businesses are already struggling they dont need this extra cost. My company cant reopen until it gets a supply of several masks each for 10 000 employees or so. If the government gave everyone two reusable masks, more people could maybe go out in public, they could theoretically bulk buy at a greatly reduced cost, or better yet, contract the production to Canadian companies.
Masks are also a savings. In Canada, as a taxpayer - I pay for each and every coronavirus victim in a hospital. All of the chronic health issues and permanent lung damage, strokes, and heart attacks ... I will pay for them. Preventstive medicine, like wearing masks, at a cost of $10 per citizen (37 million Canadians, $370 million)? Please yes, let's pay money now to save a lot of money for the future so my tax dollars can go to building infrastructure rather than paying down debt and paying for higher health care and long term disability costs.
Plus- mask wearing HOPEFULLY means more businesses can remain open and more Canadians get a paycheque. I would much rather pay for some masks and have our government collect business taxes and income taxes and sales taxes than pay the $2000 per month CERB benefit.
I would probably offer them coffee too. I recall a trades person who was told very firmly NOT to show up before Time A (9 am)who showed up more than an hour early (7:20 am) while I was still in bed at a time when I literally had to sleep up to 14 hours a day to function, and would already have been getting up early to be awake dressed and showered by 9 am. I was furious, and so tired I wanted to cry. I think that's the only time i didnt offer coffee though I did make mine in front of them. That was all the breakfast I got as they worked for the next few hours in the kitchen so it was a really large, really strong, full of cream cup of coffee.
As for assertiveness.... I dont see coffee giving meaning a person is not assertive. Sometimes its done to give a feeling of control over a situation or diffuse tensions and it's a useful trait. I suspect as you deliver coffee or lemonade, you will inquire about their schedule and what days they intend to be there, and likely quietly suggest that they inform you in advance if they are coming so you can have the coffee on, and inquire as to why they have or have not done X or Y while their defenses are down as they take a break... no fuss, no yelling, no anger just calm communication and more goodwill.
I remember one foreman I knew who, before gathering up all the workers for break, would put on two giant pots of coffee. His cross shift didnt do that, and waited for one of the workers to put on the coffee after coming in. Maybe it wasnt just the the coffee, but I noticed his crew was far more cheerful and enthusiastic, laughing and joking during break than the other crew and much nicer to each other on the radio in the day, and tended to have fewer equipment breakdowns and get more done. A little bit of social finesse goes a long way. Similarly, I know a contractor who always offers the engineers, QC people, owners representatives, and foremen from other companies freedom to take advantage of the really good coffee that he keeps in his trailer for his workers. His workers are happy, the engineers and contractors and owners are inclined to think well of him, and, better yet, he gets a chance to hear gossip and mull over issues long before they ever get formally documented, which makes his life easier, and makes him look better and get lots of sole sourced work. He is a smart guy, there is a reason he owns a multimillion dollar company.
There is a business owner in the small town I grew up in who may lose his lease as the property owner is tired of his antics. He is so disagreeable that local gossip says at least 3 other people have refused to rent to him (despite having buildings vacant for years), and I know of two more who have said they would never rent to him. He always wants to "come out on top" and comes into negotiations and discussions full of threats... and its catching up to him. Another businesswoman treats her employees badly, and consequently cant find anyone to work for her for more than a few weeks in a town where minimum wage jobs are like gold and many of the other businesses on the street have people who have worked there for decades. Disagreeableness isnt a great long term strategy, and sure doesnt make life easy...
Agreeable doesnt have to mean doormat at all, and in our society that glorifies the stereotype of "ruthless cutthroat businessman" as the only way to succeed, sometimes we forget why social norms were developed.
Christopher - you are so lucky that those traditions have been passed down. I know that even when my mom was a child, my grandmother grew most of their produce, canned it, and saved it in the cold cellar in the basement, and grew up on a farm which was nearly self sufficient. Somehow, though, those skills never got passed down even to my mother, let alone to me. If I ask my grandmother (who has some dementia) she usually says she can't remember, or what she answers doesn't match my mother's few recollections. Then, there's the issue with replicablility - a lot of my grandparents produce was saved in wooden bushel baskets (which produce? no one remembers). I'm not sure what the modern equivalent would be. We do have grandma's (great grandmas?) saurkraut crocks, and recipes, but most of the rest of it has been lost.
I am looking for a book on cold cellering and best practices for how to store vegetables over the winter, but would welcome other suggestions for favourite resources for other types of preservation.
A lot of websites i find are very conservative with their suggestions and hardly match historical norms and are pretty useless in quantity. For example, today I googled "how to store beets" and was told they would last 2 months in the fridge. I wouldnt have any fridge left if I put all my beets in it! Similar to onions, etc .
What are your go to resources to learn to preserve your food?
Hah - Pearl, I skimmed this, and assumed you were talking about how to stretch watermelon rinds, if you don't have enough! If I get 2 grapefruit sized watermelons in total from my 4 plants this year, I'll count myself lucky.
Stretching fruit - I stretch by adding apple, which is cheap and plentiful in canning months. Zucchini is also good and gets substituted for a lot of things.
Sionainn- I love your green tomato jam idea. Sounds brilliant for when the tomatos just start to produce - and need to be picked before first frost. I'll have to try that this year.
Chris - I'm north of Belleville/east of Peterborough.
Had about 1/4" of rain over the weekend instead of the 1"+ promised. Forecast is for... maybe a 1-3 mm this week, as thunderstorms. Not holding my breath, but am hoping nothing catches on fire.
I really like when people use the term climate change rather than global warming. Warmer temperatures we can withstand (yay! longer growing season! Less bitter cold winters!), but the additional energy in the system causing more variability in the yearly weather patterns is harder. Last year, this area had destructive floods, and the farmers couldn't plant or harvest because the fields were too wet! This year, we have no water. It's hard to find anything that does well in such varied conditions, or to predict what to plant. I'm honestly not sure what impact permaculture on a broad scale would have, my area is mostly treed, plenty of natural swamps and lakes and beaver dams - it's the human patterns that need to change. Plantings that thrived last year would suffer this year, and drought tolerant species that would tolerate this year, would drown in wetter years. It's a hard balance. We're not yet ready for the warmer species from the south to move north here - it was down to -35 for a few days this winter in the area with little snow, enough to kill most southern species.
I would love to see the GTA paint their roofs and streets white, to reduce heat gain in the summer. I recall living there - it was almost impossible to be without AC, because of all the asphauult and concrete, it was lucky if temperatures dropped a few degrees overnight. I wonder sometimes what such a large expanse of hot air does to the climate for the rest of Ontario. Perhaps if allowed to cool off, less AC would be used, resulting in energy savings? I wondered sometimes, standing on the street, listening to the hum of dozens of AC units, how much extra heat was being output from them. I'd love to see water catchment in the GTA too - similar to what is done in the prairie cities, with managed wetlands to hold the water and create ecosystems and park spaces, instead of olastic holding tanks under parking lots and storm sewers.
Adorable. I love big dogs. She has grown like a weed! Is she a brindle? How tall will she be fully grown?! Charlie is cute too, but Bailiey is cuter!
My poodle is about 1.5 now and 25" at the shoulder, finally approaching "good dog" status instead of "crazy teenager".
I relied heavily on controlled demolishion with her as a puppy/teen. I gave her copious amounts of ,cardboard and paper and sticks to shred for my worm bin in an attempt to keep my house intact, if I was thinking ahead, I confined her to a exercise pen to do it. Other than a couple of computer cords (including a $150 laptop charger - very good thing she is cute!), a hall rug, and a few particularly tasty pieces of my favourite clothing, my house survived unscathed, which I attribute solely to her having enough allowable things to destroy that she didnt get creative, it sure wasnt because of my good housekeeping! My dads puppy today ate two floor mats, and has eaten about a dozen pairs of shoes, a table cloth, a couple leashes, a harness, and God knows what else in the last month so I am feeling fairly smug about minimal losses, even if it did mean a whole bunch of sweeping of paper bits.
My great-grandmother, who would likely have been old enough to have used hand spun thread, hand quilted extensively. According to my mother, she insisted on running her thread through beeswax for hand sewing. She would take a new block of beeswax, and then with her needle, punch a hole through the centre of the block, then each time she sewed, run the thread through the beeswax before sewing.
I like my handsewing thread to be very strong, flexible, and fine with a wee bit of stretch to it. I often use stronger thread than the fabric, as the individual threads of the seam are under more pressure than the threads of the cloth (think of the force /area that's going on) - I have rarely had cloth pull out/break, but often had stitches break. I have tried sewing with cotton, but it was cheap commercial stuff and kept breaking, and I got mad and went back to polyester.
We have tested in our lab the alcoholic content which results from the fermentation of this root beer and found it to be between 0.35 and 0.5 %. Comparing this to the 6% in many beers, it would require a person to drink about a gallon and a half of this root beer to be equivalent to one 12 ounce beer.
I would call this amount of alcohol negligible, but for persons with metabolic problems who cannot metabolize alcohol properly, or religious prohibition against any alcohol, consumption should be limited or avoided. However, there are many high school biology labs who have made this beverage without any problems.
Elle, Gilbert, Tereza - sad to hear you are struggling too.
Chris - I agree. I used to live in the GTA, and probably listened to the same stations as you. I'd always wonder where they thought food came from as they gushed about the lack of snow in the winter, or how nice and sunny the spring had been.
As of today - we have had 1/2" of water since June 10th, we had a storm last week. Forecast maybe for storms this weekend and an inch of rain, fingers crossed. I start to understand where the tradition of rain dances came from.
We just entered a water ban - asked to reduce consumption by 50%, no watering of anything but food crops, and that only hand watering, the water in the town well is very low. Love living somewhere where lawns are considered non-essential, and vegetable gardens are important. We are now in the longest recorded streak of highs over 30C (10+ days) for the area - but the wind has picked up, and a cold front is moving in - there is supposed to be a break for the next week, only in the high 20s. I'm looking forward to it!
Talked to the garden centre a few days ago, and their well is dry. They have been getting water from a local pond, pumping it into their truck to water their plants, and doing laundry in town. They have enough for hand washing/dishes, that's it.
40 C?! Yuck. I complain if it hits 35. My AC free apartment dwelling aunt in Europe very carefully manages heat like that with windows blinds, windows open on the cool side, and fans to keep cool - but doesn't have an uninsulated roof above.
Roof insulation would be my preference for that situation. Having lived in houses with good and poor roof insulation - it makes a massive difference in the summer. Also shutters or blackout or insulating blinds/curtains for the windows during the day.
I wonder if rolls of that reflective insulation ( brand name here is reflectix) would help? On the ceiling or cut to fit the windows on the sunny side?
Does the insulation have to be natural? Would foam board or fiberglass or rock wool insulation be cheaper than cork? R value is really what you are looking for.
Could you get a ceiling fan? I find them far more effective in keeping me cool than even several floor fans.
Could you whitewash the house and possibly even the roof - white tends to reflect light and therefore be cooler.
For night time ventilation, if you decide to knock in another window, I would suggest making it in a place that allows you cross breeze between it and an existing window. Do you have a vent near the roofline or a window that can be opened to allow hot air to escape at night, and encourage cooler outside air to be drawn in through the lower levels?
I am sure I am preaching to the choir here, but I have been thinking of this a lot lately.
I recall, in a grade 7 science class, being taught that humans derived most of their carbohydrates from 7 species, while historically hundreds of species were eaten. I had to memorize them for a test.... corn, wheat, rice, oats, barley.. (I forget the other two ), but it struck me as crazy at the time.
I still think about that a lot.
Recently, the medical community has been finding that gut health and microbiome diversity are incredibly important for general health, mental wellness, asthma, obesity, heart disease, etc.... and that some the ways to increase it was a) eat more fiber and vegetable products and b) eat a greater diversity of food or c) get a transplant of bacteria (fecal matter) from someone else or d) eat more fermented things. Since the process of transplanting things into your gut seems incredibly unpleasant, and wont be successful long term without maintenance anyway... I like the other options better.
I garden. As a gardener, I eat what grow, and I grow what grows well- whether it is what I would pick out of the grocery store or not. I eat these things because I grew them, and I dont want to wasfe them, and fresh food just tastes so much better. Comparing what I am eating now, before most of my garden has even come into full summer production, with what I ate this winter, is astonishing. Instead of the same mixed salad, English cucumbers, and roma tomatos, with carrots now and then, and brocolli or cauliflower as a treat... this week, I have ate the leaves and flowers of two varieties of brassicas, amaranth leaves, eight species (9 varieites ) of herbs, chickweed, snap peas, an occasional carrot, fresh from the garden. Most of these things I would never purchase. And things change almost weekly as the season progresses.
I have four varieites of cucumbers, 8 varieites (3 species) of squash, 3 varieites of melons, and 10 or so kinds of tomatos. 5 varieties of beans, 3 kinds of carrots, 2 kinds of beets and lots more to come in the coming weeks. Amaranth and a diverse flour corn for carbohydrates, and 4 kinds of potatoes. Even when I am eating the same foods as before, the diversity of types (and likely nutrients) will be far greater.
I suspect this is how humans of the past ate - with even more diversity, probably, as I am just learning early season foods. My dad went hungry often as a child, and people of his generation can forage and prepare many foods now considered "marginal" and not worth the bother, but then considered a treat.
So I wonder at this bounty of food - which I could never afford to purchase, especially in this quality - how does it affect my microbiome? if everyone ate like this, what would our microbiones be like? What would our health as a society be like? I wonder if anyone has ever done a study on "gardeners microbiome diversity vs. non gardeners"?
I lived in zone 3 most of my life, currently in zone 4. Winters are long and boring for food.
I have started to dehydrate a lot of bulky things to use later in soups and stews for winter. I am trying out storage crops like beets, celeriac, onions, maxima squash, carrots, etc. Potatos are surprisingly nutritious, especially with the skin. I can have tomatos until Christmas if I pick the green ones before frost. Greens are in short supply, so also trying to learn to start brassicas indoors and plant peas while the ground is still partially frozen. I am considering chopping basil and oregano and freezing with water in ice cube trays for winter cooking. Sauerkraut is a good winter food too. Pickles are good - I pickle beans, beets, carrots, hot peppers, zucchini, etc, instead of just the common cucumbers.
Hostas and rhubarb are perennials for spring eating, and chives.
Cordwood wouldnt be my preferred method for a small cabin. I like the look of it, but dislike the maintenance of it. There is a fair amount of historic cordwood in my area, and it seems to all be used for additions on barns where a bit of air circulation isn't necessarily a bad thing, not on homes. I loath mice, so looking at all the gaps in the old cordwood makes me shudder.
Could you make your logs into 56" pieces and just do log infill between your vertical posts? You could even put the logs through a saw to square up 2 sides to use less chinking and provide better insulation. I used to live in a log house where part of the house had been done that way, with notched verticals and a bit of a taper at the end of the logs so they slid in place, and it seemed to work pretty well and be fairly easy. Just an option. You could use thin 6" logs to keep your floor space if you chose (or square them fo 6").
As an FYI you can buy portable AC units that work well with crank out type windows. The AC unit sits on casters in the room and there is a water pipe and intake pipe that attaches to a flat piece that goes in the window (remove the screen). Depending on the window size, you may need to cut a few boards/pieces of plastic for it to fit. My dad and my grandma both have them.
For cheaper/less energy intensive solutions... I keep a small burlap bag of clay cat litter in my car to reduce condensation on the windows in the spring and fall. I have always wondered if a larger scale version might help with humidity.
Do you have a dehumidifier in a basement? I would be tempted to bring it upstairs and try it out.
There is also always the "northern labrador" solution... a HUMIDIFIEr, filled with ice before bed and left running with a fan pointing the air to the bed :)
Yup- Environment Canada's Climate Normals and historical weather archives. The normals are a 30 year average of a bunch of parameters, average monthly min, max, and average daily temps, precipitation, max precipitation, max and min temps, etc, including if I recall, heating and cooling days. The historical weather data is daily weather data dating back as far as the late 1800s for current and historic weather stations around Canada, downloadable as either an .xls or a .csv, cant recall which.
One of the things the builders/original owners did to save costs was not purchase windows that opened in the original house. Instead, they made a hole under the window the width of the window and about 8" tall, covered with screen, with a removable board to fit and a deep window sill (log house). In the winter, you took a garbage bag full of insulation, stuffed it in the hole, and covered the interior with the board. It actually provided surprisingly good ventilation in the summers (not being baffled by a angled window helped a lot, I think), and no draftier than the rest of the house in the winter, but the insulation was messy and a great home for mice.
I am sure you could think of a better system, Pearl! (maybe foam insulation instead of fiberglass, for one).
Eric - I am in Ontario. Boreal forest, very humid and hot in the summer, cold, damp, and icy in the winter. Most of the heavily populated areas in Ontario, are north of New York State, overlying limestone and/or sediments from various glacial lakes and fertile. I am presently on the edge of the Canadian shield (rough, eroded undulating rock scraped clean by glaciers and covered with a thin veneer of soil in most places- think more similar to Northern Minnesota in terms of geology/landforms. We've got rocks and trees and trees and rocks and trees and rocks .... and.... water (yes, this is a song. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eKJfLJREdEg). Very little topsoil, poor fertility in this region, i am sitting on the top of a glacial moraine (pile of glacial pushed debris) maybe 10, 000 years old.
I was born in Alberta, in the Canadian prairies- north of Montana-
where the local forestry people said if it got any hotter, parts of the province would likely be near desert with the rainfall levels. Southern Alberta already has some scrub, badlands, sand dunes, and even cacti. Cool and dry, no one had AC, shorts were an optional wardrobe item, and lots of people had multiple furnaces for their houses.
Eric - I am glad to hear you arent in drought. It's when large areas are having a bad year that i really worry. I am hearing from Alberta that they are getting too much rain, and the farmers are worried. it's funny how climate works.
I checked the Environment Canada 30 year normals data. The nearest station is 35 km closer to Lake Ontario, so typically cooler/wetter than here. They reported less than half the normal rain in May (1.6") 1/3 less rain in June (2" total). And the average daily high was about 5 degrees C warmer (10 F) than usual (despite some near frost in early June) for both months, which burns off a lot of water. May 24th is nominally last frost/ planting day here, we have had next to no rain (5 mm total) since June 10th.
I think it really depends on the year and the location and the pattern of agriculture. I grew up in Alberta during several years of bad drought . News stories were all about the cattle being slaughtered, Ontario and quebec sending hay, and water bans. People adapt their growing to "normal". I remember running in the streets with a friend, dancing when the first rainstorm of weeks hit. We planted everything in a divot to catch water. Mom grew up not too far from here- she learned as a child to plant everything on a ridge or hill, so the water ran off! Now, we are back to planting in divots.
5 years ago or so, we had a bad drought here. Spring was normal water levels, then July and August hit and there was no rain. Fire bans, forest fires, and the water level in the river at my dads place got so low we couldnt find a deep enough hollow to put in the sump pump we used to water the garden with and most of his fruit trees died. I keep saying- if this is June, what will July and August be like? I guess we will see.
Real water, rainwater, is pretty amazing. I swear the last real rainstorm we had my corn jumped a foot overnight.
2020, like almost every year in the last decade, is apparently on track to be the hottest year globally on record.
Here, we are also having quite the drought. We had fire bans in May (unprecedented I think), and mid June some communities started to have water use restrictions. The water in the lakes this spring was very low.
Every year is a new challenge gardening for me - this year was seed germination. I typically plant in a rainstorm, then have rain for most of the next few weeks, and rarely water until July or August. This year, a lot of things didnt germinate because I didnt keep enough water on them and the grass in May was scorched like it normally is in August. I lost quite a few transplants due to water stress. June felt like August weather again, and we were at risk of losing a lot of our bushes and perennials despite them being heavily mulched. I think so far we have had only one good thunderstorm.
I am worried, again, about rising food prices and crop failures. A coworker in southern Ontario has been taking time off work just to water his commercial vineyard which is also pretty unprecedented at this time of year.