There is btw a more easy solution for this, you can get USB solar panels for not too much these days. Plug them in to a honking big USB power bank and you're good to go for between $40-100 depending on how large you want the system to be.
Do you mean a Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS)? USB panels are small panels to charge portable devices. I have never heard of a UPS panel, any power source of the right voltage and frequency can charge a UPS. https://www.amazon.com/Computer-Uninterruptible-Power-Supply-Units/b?node=764572
Granted, for typical household use, this is pretty darn minimal. But it's not trivial if you live in an area prone to power outages. Managed correctly, this amount of power will keep a CPAP operating and run a 12v fridge.
Grid-tied solar is a great technology, and more people should be taking advantage of it, IMNSHO. But it's not the only game in town.
Your Sherlock Holmes hat was fitting perfectly well with that post of yours. The bobbin thread is indeed not catching. So very frustrating at the same time - I'm itching just to have a few stitches go my way ya know?
I'm going to watch some discovered in depth tutorials on thread tension and then find someone who can educate me why the bobbin thread isn't doing its thing. Makes sense now why the original bobbin has been cut with a knife (apparently) and why I had to use a ginger technique in smoothing it all down so that nothing could catch.
I am guessing this machine was neglected or simply never worked well, sat in the basement for a few decades, then was rediscovered after the GrandMa deceased.
I appreciate your feedback and interest and encouragement - its very helpful
The machine probably worked fine when it was sold. It's not difficult to knock the timing out of whack, a hard blow - such as dropping the machine - could do it. I've never tried to fix a timing issue myself, but I know it can be done, and I'd bet there are YouTubes about how to do it. Don't write it off yet, these all-metal machines are usually very fixable. And you are obviously comfortable with mechanical things.
Grandma probably stored it in the basement because a) she someday intended to see whether it could be fixed and/or b) she couldn't bear to throw something away that she thought could be fixed.
My mother, a depression kid, died with 4 vacuums - one that functioned fine, and three out in the garage in various stages of "not working quite right".
1) Older sewing machines can often be better than newer ones. I once sewed a canvas tent with my all-metal straight stitch Singer Featherweight. As long as that older Janome is well-adjusted, it should be just fine. In fact, a very good move on your part would be to take the machine to a sewing repair place and have it checked out. A good place will also offer classes for beginning seamsters. The very best teacher is someone you personally know who knows how, the second best teacher is a pro level teacher. It's certainly possible to teach yourself from scratch, especially with youtube and DVDs, but a good teacher can save you a lot of time and frustration.
I'd be leary of the chinese machine. I once saw a modern chinese version of my genuine Singer Featherweight. It was advertised s being made from the original plans used by Singer, and it sure looked like mine. Maybe it was, but the fact was that a pro sewing machine repair person could never get it to work correctly, and he really tried. Metal quality, machining to exact specs? Dunno, just that the buyer had wasted her money on a cute doorstop. Also, factory machines are more powerful than home machines, are designed to run at higher speeds and need to be bolted into the floor supports, otherwise they "walk" all over. Maybe not the best thing for a beginner. Sailing nuts who make their own sails and take their sewing machines with them on the boat favor older machines with outside pulleys and crank wheels, as they can be converted to hand crank machines or treadles. I know that one of their favored machines is a particular Pfaff, but can't remember which one. (When I made the aforesaid tent, I used the crank wheel every time I came to a seam crossing. My machine forgave me.) I believe there is at least one internet forum on sail making, you might want to spend a little time browsing. I've been intrigued by converting a machine myself, but never done it. My childhood best friend's mother was a very fine seamster, and she never used anything but a treadle. Also, I believe there is at least one company (Amish) out there that takes a modern machine and coverts it to treadle. I think it is easier to find a consistent rhythm with a treadle than with a hand crank, and I like to have both hands free to manipulate fabric as I sew.
2) I am highly dubious about fabric freezer bags. Fabric by nature is permeable, You'd need to use some high-tech sports fabric and seal all seams. You can now buy silicon food bags that can go in the freezer. Or you can use what my mother used - aluminum foil. It's reusable several times. When my mom got her freezer in the 50s, they sold waxed cardboard freezer boxes, similar to chinese take-out boxes. Dunno if anyone still uses those for freezing, but I'm sure you can find the boxes at a restaurant supply. Personally, I use canning jars whenever possible.
3) If you like your duvet cover, then keep your duvet cover. Just find a new duvet for the cover to cover. In my neck of the woods, you can find used down comforters for reasonable prices - $30 to $50, depending on size. Used polyester ones are even cheaper. The problem with wool as a filling is, as you've discovered, that it will shrink and clump. So will cotton filling. You can buy wool or cotton batting in quilt-sized pieces and use several layers, but even then, you'll have to both seam and tack it sufficiently to hold the layers in place. Down will also clump, but the answer to that is to wash your down comforter in your washing machine, then throw it in the dryer with a couple of tennis balls, and not on the highest heat setting. Maybe you could try that with your lumpy wool comforter before you give up on it?
Another idea would be to find several wool blankets and seam and tack them together to replace your lumpy wool duvet.
Not sure what test you had. But the standard celiac test is for blood anti-bodies, and those anti-bodies are only present if you've been eating wheat/gluten. Maybe the doctor just asked you whether you'd been eating wheat.
Stacy Witscher wrote:I do agree that IBS triggers are highly individualized. I have to watch the fiber, a moderate amount is good, a large amount is very bad, and a steady supply, about the same amount everyday is best, no ups and downs. And some types of fiber are easier than others.
But other than fiber, I can eat a varied diet, meat, dairy, eggs, wheat etc. I wouldn't want to live without dairy, I would be so unhappy.
I'm envious. Sometimes thinking about a grilled cheese sandwich can bring me nearly to tears!
No wheat. No dairy. No chocolate. No pome fruits. No stone fruits. No onions. No mustard.
Now that still leaves me plenty of great stuff to eat. But boy howdy, how I do miss cheese and real bread and apples.
Natasha Flue wrote:The thing I've figured out after 3 years is that it is all very individual to the person and how they eat and live. You'll need to experiment and test foods, possibly do an elimination diet.
For me, I never have been diagnosed but I have a cousin with Celiacs and I have always had digestive system issues. Around three years ago I had an esophagus spasm that sent me to the hospital. After that, I went to the doctor and he recommended the FODMAP diet for that and the other issues I'd been having. I started adding foods back in after two months but I need to keep onions, garlic and wheat completely out of my diet.
The other odd thing I noticed is that I need a certain amount of fatty red meat in my diet to not be sick. I had ground venison that I'd been cooking with canola oil and I'd been eating it for months but still had issues. I started eating bacon, saving the fat and cooking the venison in it. Huge difference. I now cook and bake almost all of my own food because it's cheaper and easier than buying stuff in the store. Even things like gluten free granola bars can still make me sick. My grocery store runs now mostly consist of spices, dairy products and rice. I also put away a lot from my garden and local farms.
At the end of the day, you need to sit down, meal plan, track how you feel and what works and doesn't work. Good luck!
IBS is a moving target, and what one person can eat, another can't. The first thing you need to do is keep a food and symptom diary. Track everything you eat. And track your symptoms, whether GI or not. Besides diarrhea, constipation, and GERD, IBS can manifest as insomnia and weird joint pains.
For instance, a poster above mentioned Heather's Tummy products. The peppermint capsules worked for me for about two weeks - then I started reacting to them. The acacia has been working great for me for the past 3 months. Her diet recommendations, however, would put me doubled up on the floor. I know this because I've done the elimination diet routine, and I know what does "it" to me. BTW, fermented foods absolutely cause symptoms for me. You are just going to have to experiment on yourself and learn your own gut. And, be aware as you do this, that what works and doesn't work today for you now will likely be different 5 years from now.
For me, the Low FODMAPS approach works. It is a more lenient protocol than GAPS or a couple of the other protocols mentioned, so I recommend that anyone exploring a diet approach start with Low FODMAPS. The book to start with is The Complete Low FODMAP Diet by Sue Shepherd and Peter Gibson. It explains the theory and research behind the diet, describes a recommended elimination diet, and offers recipes. This protocol was developed by Monash University in Australia, which has on ongoing research program. If this diet works for you, there is an app, which is continually updated with the results of their latest research.
If Low FODMAPS doesn't work for you, then try one of the stricter diets.
Note, I've never been formally diagnosed with IBS. That's because to get that diagnosis, I'd have to have a gluten test to rule out celiac. And in order to get that gluten test, I'd have to eat wheat every day for six weeks. There is NO WAY I am going to do that, wheat being the food that I react to the most. I think I probably react to both wheat sugars (fructans) and wheat protein (gluten). Milk is also a probable double whammy, with people reacting to either the FODMAP sugars and/or the protein casein. If you haven't stopped eating wheat yet, I recommend you get tested for celiac first, and then try an elimination diet. IBS is not thought to permanently damage your gut. Celiac and Crohn's do. If the FODMAPS didn't manage my symptoms as well as it does, I'd probably bite the bullet, start eating wheat again, and get the celiac test. But thankfully, I've talked myself out of that!
Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
I don't have anything to contribute to the discussion about overwintering runner bean tubers. However, something growing in a pot has radically different growing conditions than something growing in the ground.
True, and some plants think this is OK. Some don't.
I grow my dahlias in pots, to save them from whatever rodents find them tasty. (Yacon is basically a dahlia.) And since I'm lazy, I bring the pots inside at first frost and let them dry slowly, without digging them up. Pots go back outside when the tubers have woken up and sent up green sprouts.
I've decided to try treating Black and Blue Salvia the same way in the future. The smaller one I had in a pot from last year sprouted a good two weeks before the large one in the ground, undoubtedly because its roots noticed the warmer weather sooner.
So sure, I'd try doing this for runner beans. And it may be that warmer root temps will wake them up sooner. Then when I put the pots outside, I'd figure out a way to keep them a bit warmer than ambient. Prop up some old windows around them? They wouldn't need it for long.
Another thing I'm going to try this year - drilling holes in the sides of the pots that the dahlias are living in, and sinking them into the ground for the summer.
It burns hot but is sappy, so if I put it in my woodstove, it creates build-up in my chimney. Maybe a rocket stove would be the answer, with it burning hot enough that the sappy stuff wouldn't be such a problem? I don't know enough about rocket stoves to say if this is true or not.
And this is a big reason to control it - it can do a great job of supporting wildfires.
I like a lot of weeds, but there are good reasons to keep this one under strict management. In my area, at least, deer won't eat it, so maybe it's rent-a-goat time? Mowing keeps it down in open areas, but I'm not a bit interested in mowing the nearby forest, and there's a lot of it in there. The local salal does a pretty good job of defending its territory against the broom, but the broom seems to do a pretty good job of defending against salal incursions as well, so it's a standoff.
Marco Banks wrote:White, black or giant? White morels tend to come back in the same spot, year after year. Continuing to feed that area organic material and NOT TILLING will increase the likelihood of them returning next year.
When you pick them, don't put them into a plastic bag. Put them in a wire-mesh basket, so the spores fall out and drop to the ground. Give them a couple good shakes every now and then, and let the spores fly.
There are few things better in the spring than cooking a handful of thinly sliced morels in butter in a frying pan, and then scrambling a couple of fresh eggs in with them.
Dunno what kind they are, but they're definitely morels - attached cap and hollow inside. The caps are a blondish brown. Some of them are pretty large, 4-5 inches.
By the time I noticed them, they had insect entry/exit holes in them. Anyone know which insects make use of them?
You know - I don't mean to disrespect anyone's experience, but I find that my chickens are less work than my garden - by far.
I have six hens. Too many predators where I live, so they must remain caged somehow. I bought a coop for them - total footprint is 4x8. The coop is inside a 10x10 foot enclosure, and I have a small chicken tractor and most days they are in that for a few hours on my lawn. They DON'T stink, and I get great orange-yolked eggs.
I open their pop door and feed them wet mash in the morning - 5 minutes.
In the afternoon, I pull up the tractor to the door, and they all pile in because they know what it means. I move the tractor to where I want them to be, and feed them some 3-grain scratch and any weed or kitchen waste. 15 minutes.
In late afternoon, I move the tractor back to the door in their enclosure, so they can roost when they're ready. 5 minutes.
After dark, I move the tractor away from the enclosure, shut the pop door and the outside door. 5 minutes.
If I'm not going to be around in the afternoon and early evening, I skip the tractor, and just feed them their scratch and scraps before I leave. They don't mind a bit.
...or maybe they're false morels - by the time I noticed them, they were past eating.
Working on an existing garden, getting the organic matter up. Last fall, I put down a bunch of chicken poop and straw on a couple of beds, and covered it up with cardboard. The morels and some kind of cup fungus appeared around the edges of the cardboard. So yes, I wanted to increase the fungal activity in this former coarse fescue lawn, but I certainly didn't expect morels!
Are they likely to persist for the next few years, or is this a passing phenom? Now I certainly intend to repeat the poop/straw/cardboard combo, regardless of whether I keep getting morels, but if anyone has had a similar experience, I'd love to know!
M.R.J. Smith wrote:It is anaerobic, but the stuff bubbling out is co2, which is heavier than other gasses in atmosphere and this rests in the bottom of jar and lifts the o2 out, making it anaerobic the bacteria kind of create their own airlock (evolution never ceases to amaze)! Using fresh veggies helps brine level stay up. Ones kept in fridge lost a lot of their moisture and suck up the brine I've found.
Just push it all down and you should be fine. If you're not fine, you'll know it because it will smell dreadful!
Not sure how I can push it all down, since the brine level is a good 2-3 inches below the veggie/weight level! You must mean after I add new brine.
I'm thinking that if I have to remove the lid/airlock to tend my kraut that it is pointless to spend the money on an airlock.
BTW, I did try emailing the folks who sold me my airlock, but their online contact form is not working and they apparently don't work weekends so no one is answering the phone.
M.R.J. Smith wrote:You will be fine adding more. Whenever we make it we don't even use an airlock and it turns out fine. You probably have plenty of added safety because since it's been going you already have a well established flora. I'm under thee suasion that people overemphasize sanitization when making ferments. Humans have been fermenting stuff for a long time, far before the advent of germ theory!
I am new to fermenting, and am a bit confused. My understanding is that it is supposed to be an anaerobic process. Seems like removing and replacing the airlock/lid defeats the purpose of having an airlock?
I understand that when the veggies are completely submerged, the acidity and saltiness prevent Clostridium from growing. And the veggies were all submerged when I began, so it makes sense to me that they are still unlikely to be Clostridium-friendly. But none of the reading I did before I decided to try the airlock ever suggested that the brine level could fall below the weight!
THe lid over your veggies, and your rock/glass weight/etc. to keep it down, make sure that the veggies are under water and not exposed to air. That lid is inside the container, just over the veggies, but under the water.
But there's the rub - the level of brine has dropped *below* the weight. By quite a bit. And I had plenty of juice when I started, and I left more than an inch of headroom.
I've just used an airlock for the first time, making "krautchi" (cabbage, cauliflower, carrot) in a mason jar. At about 24 hours, I saw the first bubbles, and then over the next four days or so, there was great action. But a lot of the juice escaped through the airlock, and now there's a layer of dry veggies above the brine level.
Should I remove the lid and add more brine? Or would it be better to not disturb things, let the ferment proceed for a few more weeks, and discard the dry layer when I do open the jar?
One comment: The simplest explanation of why modern fruit and vegetables contain less minerals and vitamins is that they contain more water than they used to.
This also explains why irrigation is such a big issue and why so much fruit and vegetables get damaged in transit (the red delicious or "composting apple" is a case in point). I'm not saying this is the only reason, but it's probably a very significant one. Fruit and vegetables have been selected primarily for yield, the 1960s saw a lot of nonsense about "giant vegetables to feed the world" (which the Findhorn foundation happily played into) and the result was big mushy fruit and vegetables (not necessarily higher yielding per acre), capable of growing well in soil which was either low in trace elements, or soil in which the nutrients were locked away in microbial biomass as a result of fertiliser use.
I once found feral apples growing beside old railway lines. They looked like golden delicious, and IMO probably grew from the cores of this variety, but they were firmer textured and the size of golf balls. They were good dried and made into cider.I'm pretty sure that each one contained the same amount of dry matter, sugar and minerals as a golden delicious, they just didn't have so much water.
You're right. I had the occasion years ago to talk to a famous strawberry breeder who said that the large strawberries just have a simple mutation that allows cell walls to expand to accommodate more water.
He didn't think they tasted very good, but large size was what the growers thought their buyers wanted. Since he collected wild strawberries from all over, he had plenty of good-tasting berries for himself!
Michelle Lasher wrote:Thank you everyone. Still haven't been able to figure out a good breakfast that doesn't upset my body in some way. Sweet potatoes make me tired, fruit makes me bloated, nuts hurt my stomach. I think I'll try out some coconut products and see if I like any, and I'll test some soy free eggs, crossing my fingers it's from the soy. To top this whole thing off I just discovered that I'm slightly underweight, with a BMI of 18. All of this while breastfeeding and now trying to gain weight is quite the challenge. I do think lectins are a problem so I think I'll quit the nuts for a while. I also did an at home Candida spit test which showed that I do have it. UnfortunatelThank you everyone. Still haven't been able to figure out a good breakfast that doesn't upset my body in some way. Sweet potatoes make me tired, fruit makes me bloated, nuts hurt my stomach. I think I'll try out some coconut products and see if I like any. To top this whole thing off I just discovered that I'm technically underweight. I have a BMI of 18. All this while breastfeeding and now trying to gain weight is quite the challenge. Unfortunately, I can't do the cleanse while breastfeeding so I've got about a year longer to try to just keep symptoms under control.
I feel for you, I became unable to tolerate many foods a couple years ago, and it is a real struggle. I thought at first that I was sensitive to gluten - and I do react very badly to it - but it became evident that dairy and nuts are also no-nos for me. I seem to have IBS, but don't have a real diagnosis because if I went to a doctor, the first thing they'd want is to test for celiac, and I'd have to start eating gluten again for the test to pick up celiac. NO WAY am I doing that, the resulting upheaval would not be pretty. Still, there are times when I'd kill for a grilled cheese sandwich.
My favorite breakfast is two eggs (the best quality I can find, with those orange yolks), either scrambled or in an omelet with veggies (usually at least kale) and a huge salad which includes cabbage and radicchio (for the anthocyanins). If I were worried about carotene, I'd add carrots. Make your own dressing - no sweetener. Another breakfast I like is soup over a couple of poached eggs. Any soup you can eat works with this.
You might want to take a look at the Low FODMAP diet. It has worked pretty well for me, and it is less severe than the GAPS diet. Just google. And I find that a lot of Thai recipes work well for me - very flavorful, don't depend on dairy or wheat. Coconut milk and coconut oil are very healthy fats.
If I stick to the diet, about 70% of the time my gut is fine. But there are still times when it is NOT fine, and I have no idea why. Still, I have a lot less abdominal pain, I sleep better, and I don't have to stick close to a bathroom all the time.
Have you seen a dietitian? Look around for one in your area that specializes in gut/inflammation issues. They are out there.
Hi Paul, haven't been active on permies for the past couple years, but I'm finally in a place where I can think long-range again. Living on Vashon, as long as a meet-up is somewhere in the Seattle area, I'll be there.
sasha Wharton wrote:I can not find any comfrey in my area for sale. The one time i bought seeds they never arrived in the mail. Does any one have a good lead on some seed or have an over abundance to send or trade for?
Are you sure you want seeds?
Most people who grow comfrey stick with the non-fertile varieties that must be propagated by cuttings. First, comfrey can be very invasive. Second, varieties differ as to their medicinal properties, and the best way to make sure that you are getting what you want is to get cuttings.
Try craigslist if you want to find something local. Otherwise Horizon Herbs is my favorite source.
You might want to check out Ecology Action. They've been at this for a long time, and they recommend that your gardening plans include crops for composting! IIRC, they say that whatever your area for growing food is, you should be growing an additional 40% for organic matter for soil enrichment. In your case, some of that could also be for your chix and rabbits. Very informative website.
I echo the thought that it's easier to compost in place. A trench is easily camouflaged, and is a great way to make a new garden bed.
Your original plan to use chickens to process your rabbit manure and plant wastes will work. You can do this as easily in a trench as under the rabbit hutches. The pile/trench itself will attract all the worms you need, you won't need to add any. Be sure that any lawn/pruning clippings you bring in from off-site have not been treated with herbicides or you will kill your compost.
In your warm climate, the material will compost quickly.
If you get enough people in an area interested, you can do some cool things! The idea is to rejuvenate what is a stale organization with some new ideas. There can be political issues here, it would be bad karma to be disrespectful to long-term grange members.
I don't think you can have too many houseplants, although people I've lived with tend to disagree!
The ones I'd never be without -
Aloe vera - my current one is over three years old, and pretty large. Grow it in a small pot for its size, keep it on the dry side, and it doesn't need as much light as you'd think - it will sunburn if you keep it in a very sunny window.
Ficus benjamina - fig tree - I have the variegated one, it really lights up a light corner, easy to keep at the size most convenient for you - just don't move it to a bigger pot!
Spider plant - variegated, best color when it's not in direct light, it loves to be shared, good air cleaner.
Sansieveria - mother-in-law plant - I have the tall one, very architectural, does well away from windows.
Thanksgiving/Christmas cactus - when the days start getting short, keep it on the dry side and in a cool window, and it will set flowers with abandon.
Jade plant - another one that's easy to keep the size you want.
All my house plants spend the summer outside on the north side of the house - no direct sun at all. Does them a world of good.
I loved living with Muscovies. They are the perfect urban meat livestock - although I've never eaten one. (They were a co-inhabitant's project, and I hardly ever eat meat.) I don't think they are a good egg bird, they don't lay year-round. Very serious mothers. Females are pretty good fliers when they feel like it, a full-grown drake has a harder time getting off the ground. They do like to roost up off the ground, would rather be 6 feet or more off the ground in the open during a snowstorm than in a ground-level shelter. One drake should have at least two females, and at their rate of reproduction, three or four birds adult birds could keep a family in meat. They love water, but you don't have to provide a pond - just enough water for them to dunk their heads. Although I never had the chance to implement the idea, I think you could spread their impact and make use of their plentiful droppings and the nutrient-rich water they make in an orchard by rotating a small stock tank around the trees - move it every two days or so, dumping it first. I'm pretty sure they would learn to follow the tank, rather than stay in the same place to trample it flat. Yes, I do miss those birds.
I love the idea of putting food scraps right in the garden beds rather than tending a thermophilic compost pile. But I can't help but wonder about the claim that food scraps in a worm tower will result in worm castings being automagically spread throughout the garden bed. Obviously you can - and probably should - have more than one tower in a bed. But my experience with worm bins leads me to wonder why you wouldn't wind up with a concentrated pile of castings at the bottom of the tower rather than redistribution to the rest of the bed. IME the worms hang out where the food is rather than travelling to areas of lesser food concentration.