The first thing I noticed is that there is far too much head space in the jar. All of that air space means it take longer to displace oxygen, and can lead to growth of undesirable microbes.
I agree with other posts about fresh vs. store bought cabbage. I've had to add some extra brine to my cabbage because there wasn't enough juice to cover it all. And we drink a shot of the brine in the morning for a nice probiotic pick me up so juicy kraut is ok with us. Sounds weird but I love any kind of pickled juice in the morning.
OMG that's funny! Thank you for the laugh this early in the day.
At least MM didn't just leave the head. THAT would be nasty. Our two ex-feral cats would leave bunny guts for us along with a paw or ear to help us identify their gift. They knew we were challenged in the animal gut identification area.
Once they left a whole, dead rat. A big one. That was impressive.
When I was a kid we had a beagle mix dog eat a huge plate of fudge at Christmas. Her stomach was really tight and she was drinking a lot of water. We rationed her water when it looked like she was going to explode if she had more. It was probably the sugars causing this. She was fine the next day. It was a bit scary for a while though. This was back in the days when taking the dog to the vet was not an option unless there was a limb hanging off. The same was true for us kids too (going to the doctor if we were sick, not going to the vet).
Is this Master Mouser that's sick? I hope she gets well soon. I hope your wife is doing well too of course!
I've always had feral or stray kitties and they do sometimes come with extra diseases to be treated. And it takes the right antibiotic to do the trick, and unfortunately it isn't always the first one. One of our ferals had eye infections when we got her (along with a load of parasites) and it took a while to get all her issues cleared up. She lived to 17 years. She was "commando kitty" because she would move around the room, running from behind one piece of furniture to another if there was a new person around.
Susan, capped landfills have vent pipes that let the methane out, otherwise there would be a significant buildup and we probably wouldn't want to see what happens next. The gases are either vented directly to the air, or collected and treated, depending upon a lot of factors.
I worked on a site near a capped landfill and was warned to not go near the vent tubes because the hydrogen sulfide venting out with the methane was at/near the lethal level. I'm not sure if that was true but I didn't test it either. The vent pipes were taller than head height to prevent just such an accident.
Regarding offgas from composting, this isn't something I worry about. The material is being broken down according to nature and the process is carbon neutral. It might even be negative since I'm continually building up more biomass with the compost in the form of gardens and food forest. And with 10 acres of evergreen forest around me, emissions from my kitchen scraps and garden is nothing in comparison to what mother nature is doing all the time.
I do find biodigestion processes to be interesting and development of home-scale systems would be beneficial, especially if you can capture heat in the process. Or liquid fuels.
I guess it depends on what's causing the pain. For me, it turned out to be low grade, constant contraction of my calf muscles. The tight muscles pulled on the fascia of the feet to the point where standing up and walking became agonizing. I had to hobble for several yards before I could even walk somewhat normally.
I tried the braces that keep your foot flexed all night and it helped only a tiny bit. It got so bad that I had a knot of scar tissue on my left heel. I think the fascia was slowly being pulled off the bone. At least it felt that way.
I started using transdermal magnesium solution on my calves and it worked wonders. The muscles started twitching and slowly started letting go of the constant contraction. The pain started going away right away but it took several weeks for it to be dramatically reduced. The knot on my heel went away too.
I now use a concentrated solution of magnesium chloride on my calves when they get tight, and put this same solution in my daily homemade lotion and leave it on all day so that my body can absorb whatever it needs. It can irritate the skin with some people so dilute it until it quits being irritating. That is if it works for you. If you have a cut you'll know it when the mag salt hits it but that only lasts 10 seconds or so. If you mix the mag solution with commercial lotions it will curdle some of them but that doesn't happen with the homemade stuff.
From what I've read, most Americans are magnesium deficient to some degree due to the depletion of minerals in our soil used for agriculture. Magnesium is used in over 350 processes in the body, including heart rhythm, muscle contraction, etc.
If you want to try this let me know and I will give you more details and the least expensive way to use this regularly.
My husband and I have been doing yoga 4-5 mornings a week for many years now. It has been one of the best things we've done for ourselves and as we head further into our 60s, I am convinced that it is absolutely critical for our continued mobility.
I do yoga followed by either Qigong or weight lifting with light weights/high reps in the morning. I can do a full squat now and hold it with no issue. I can almost touch palms to the floor with straight legs. I don't get as sore from exertion and picking up big logs to cut has somehow become easy.
I highly recommend yoga to anyone, but caution to start slow and don't be surprised at how difficult it can be. I'm always amazed at people thinking it's a sissy exercise, but those people probably haven't tried it and found out how tough it can be at first.
We do Rodney Yee's yoga routines, which can vary from gentle to more vigorous. I like being able to pace myself.
We live in zone 6a and have the Redwing Irish Setters. We bought them 1.5 years ago and love them for walking through the forest and cutting trees and wood for our stove. They are not waterproof but we've treated ours to be resistant and they are very good along those lines.
They are showing some superficial wear and tear but much less than other footwear. The top is a really tough leather that is almost as good as a steel toe for protecting the feet from things dropping on them, which I do somewhat regularly.
The instep support is good and the area for the toes is roomy enough so that my toes aren't squished, which I hate with a passion that can only be understood by people who had to wear corrective footwear as a child. They are very comfortable for all day wear.
Overall, we rate them a 9 only because we want to leave room for any 10 boots that might exist somewhere in the universe.
My experience here in the U.S. is that most stores carry russets (no specific type given, used for baking, mashes, fries), reds (no type given, more waxy type for salads, mashes, etc.), fingerlings, and Yukon Gold. If you're lucky you can find some of these organic. Sometime you can find small potatoes called "new" but they're not really since new potatoes have a very thin skin and wouldn't ship or store well.
Of course there are some specialty stores that provide more variety but you pay for the premium service.
The only way I've found to get good varieties is to grow them myself. The flavor is always better than store bought, they store much longer, and it's a lot of fun too. This year I grew purple potatoes from seed and got some nice variety in growth habit and tuber production. I discovered that deer love potato greens too. I predict tall fencing in my future...
Our favorite squash/pumpkin is Sweet Keeper (Cucurbita maxima). We grew these in Denver but haven't tried them since we moved north. Not sure if they will ripen in time here. They had a rich, sweet flavor with a nice texture - not mealy or watery. And they did keep until March in a cool 50 F room. They absolutely loved growing next to the driveway so that the vines could extend out and soak up the heat. We got two good sized fruits per vine.
"Sweet Keeper Squash is flattened, with bluish-grey rind with moderate ribbing, and deep orange flesh inside.
It grows 10 to 12 inches (25 to 30 cm) wide by 5 to 6 inches (12 1/2 to 15 cm) tall, and weighs 5 to 10 pounds (2 1/4 to 4 1/2 kg.)
The plants’ vines spread out to 30 feet (9 metres.)
One of the challenges I'm facing is trying to do the same things I used to do when I was younger without adapting to how I feel now. For instance, weight lifting. I've lifted for 40 or so years (off and on, sometimes very intensely) but right now there is no way I can do the routines I did in my 20s. It's hard to face that so it's tempting to not lift so that I'm not reminded of the changes. But that's self defeating. So now I do light weights, lots of reps and whatever exercises I feel like doing. With loud, obnoxious music from the 70s and 80s. It was disheartening at first since it took so little to tire out, but I'm improving every workout.
I think it's the reminders of what once was that are hard to face, but I find it important to appreciate what I had and more important, what I have right now. I've also improved vastly in areas where I was a bit of an idiot when I was young, so it all balances out. Overall, I feel blessed.
Artie Scott wrote:If you dream you are kissing a dog, and you sleep with a dog...wake up!
Artie, what's wrong with a little kiss? No tongues of course since the dog will always win :)
On a similar, yet more disturbing note, we used to have a Great Dane that somehow could get her tongue into our mouths lightning-fast from several inches away while we were talking to her. We learned really quick that when she got that certain look on her face to back up out of tongue reach, or clamp our mouths shut really tight. We still don't know how she did it. I do miss that old girl.
Creighton Samuels wrote:I bought a mix with Rye, Oats, Winter Pea, Bolsena Clover, Chicory, Rape, Daikon Radish & Sugar Beets. 20 lbs of this mix cost me $80. I never did find any bulk carrot seeds.
I buy bulk food and use it for seed. This is by far the least expensive way that I've found so far. I get most of my bulk seed/food from Azure Standard.
Organic rye: $0.65/lb in a 25 lb bag. I just tossed them out last fall and got a good crop this year.
Whole oats with hulls for animal feed: $0.55/lb in a 30 lb bag (other types a little more, but not much). Same as the rye. Good growth.
Whole green peas: $0.88/lb in a 25 lb bag
Crimson clover seeds: $1.80/lb in a 50 lb bag. This one is a favorite. The flowers are an intense, bright red.
There is more info on their web site on other things like wheat, millet, flax, milo, etc.. You may not find everything on your list but the cost is much less this way.
If you can't find it in the food category, look for sprouting seeds in bulk. They are more expensive (example being wheat for eating and wheat for sprouting) but seem to be less expensive than the exact same thing labeled for growing.
I love seeing frogs and toads in the garden. We had a Pacific tree frog living in our potato patch in late summer. I guess potato stems are just the right size for them. I hadn't thought about the pest control aspect although that's certainly welcome any time. I thought it might have been that the garden is more moist than the surrounding land.
You got some great pictures. I wish I'd done the same with our little guy.
We bought our wooded property two years ago and built a hugel-type garden bed last year. We used no fertilizer except some pee from two humans and a small amount of granular kelp. I don't trust straw or hay anymore, and neighbors that have horses aren't sure if the fodder is from unsprayed fields, so we don't use that.
Part of this experiment was to see if we could get some kind of yield with minimal fertilizer input, although building a hugel garden bed by hand was a ton of work.
Fast forward one year and here is what we've noticed:
1. Greens do very well. Kale, mustards, arugula, lettuce, radicchio, radishes all did well and I have a freezer with many quarts of greens for the winter soups.
2. Tomatoes produced but not as many fruits. No disease issues or insect damage. Flavor was really good.
3. Peppers/chilis didn't grow well or fast but we got some of the early variety that matured on the plant. We have a short growing season so that's the main factor here.
4. Cucumbers did really well. Lots of cukes even though they started producing late. Not too much vegetative growth but a lot of flowers. Overall a win in my opinion.
5. Fruit trees and shrubs planted the previous year put out healthy leaves but nothing in the way of new growth and no flowers.
6. Green beans struggled with this although we got a small harvest. I thought they would produce enough of their own nitrogen but that didn't seem to happen.
7. Herbs were very happy. Thyme, sage, parsley, savory, etc. really like low nitrogen soils so they went crazy. The bugs loved to pollinate them so we had a variety of pollinators visit us that we didn't see the previous year.
8. Wheat, rye and barley produced very well. I was surprised.
9. Potatoes produced well.
To answer your main question, you can produce some food with minimal outside input. From what I've seen, the growth is a lot slower and the production is reduced. But, I've been wondering if the quality of what you get is better because there is less lush growth. I do know that the greens are stronger flavored yet still good. I don't know if heavy feeders will do well with this scenario. We've given in and fed the fruit trees and bushes this fall with organic food because we want something from them relatively soon.
Glad to hear that she is doing better. I hope you both are too. You'd think it would get easier but it doesn't. It's still worth it though for all the good times and companionship. I can't imagine not having cats or dogs or both around.
I will add my endorsement of lavender oil. I had a friend that burned the back of her fingers with hot oil resulting in mostly 2nd degree burns with a small (1/4 inch) area of 3rd degree burn. She was allergic to sulfa so couldn't take the prescribed antibiotics. I suggested lavender oil since I'd had good results with it and it is antibiotic as well. Her burns healed without any sign of infection or scarring. A couple of months after the burn I asked her how her hand felt and she had to feel around the back of her hand for the numb spot where the 3rd degree burn was to find the actual burned area. Really, no scarring and no infection. Of course it couldn't heal the damaged nerves.
Large burned areas or any sign of infection are not to be messed with of course. I hope you heal well and quickly. I've burned my hand before too and the pain is crazy bad. I just wish I'd known about natural treatments when it happened to me the first time.
Sorry to hear about Old Kitty. It's always hard to lose a pet, even when they have lived a full and long life. I've found that both our dogs and cats throughout the years have understood to some degree when it's time for one of the crew to visit the vet for the last time. They all respond differently too. Sound like MM had to do something and mouse murder is generally acceptable. The alternative might have been pooping in your shoes or some other smelly statement of dissatisfaction. We had a cat that showed his anger at me once by laying a nice, big pile of poo in the middle of the living room floor, then sat next to it, staring at me. The message was clear.
One of our Danes became really depressed when her brother died at 8 years old. We'd had them since they were pups. We couldn't pull her out of her mood and we thought we'd lose her because she had little interest in food or any activity. We got two Dane pups earlier than we'd planned to try to give her something to nurture. It still took about 2 months before she started to pull out of her funk. Before that I wouldn't have believed that a dog could get that depressed for so long. They usually live in the moment.
I'm sorry to say that I've had that "something's not right" feeling about pets and ignored it for a day or so too. That feeling is usually right and I've learned to listen now but at the time it's a nebulous feeling vs. what you see in front of you, which may not look too serious. We're all just doing the best we can and sometimes it's not the perfect decision.
Elle, I'm sorry to hear about your dog. We've owned Great Danes for decades and bloat is always a scary possibility with larger dogs. Don't be too hard on yourself. The symptoms you describe don't sound like bloat at all. And yes, dogs and cats can get strokes although it's not that common in a younger animal. Our 17 year old cat had a stroke, and another one that was 20 had a stroke that left him blind and deaf. It was heart breaking.
Even if you got him in earlier there is no guarantee that he could have been saved. It's always so hard to know when to take an animal in for treatment since they can't describe what's wrong. And most dogs try really hard to pretend that everything is ok even when they don't feel good. That's part of why we love them so much but it does make it more difficult to know when something is really wrong.
Here in our patch of forest we refer to limbing as taking the branches off a felled tree. We don't use normal terms for clearing lower limbs on live trees for forest health. "Schicking" somehow became our personal term for cleaning up the lower branches and we both know exactly what it means. I've hear others refer to it as "raising the skirts."
I second what Matt wrote. We could use more information though. Different molds have different toxicities and each person reacts differently to even "non-toxic" mold spores. There is mold spores in the air all the time and this doesn't cause most people any difficulties but if it's in a structure, then the spores tend to be concentrated if mold is growing, and usually different species of mold thrive on wet structural materials.
The most important thing is to stop the source of moisture. Without water, mold won't grow. If it's a leaking pipe, fix it. If it's intrusion from the outside, fix it (more involved). If it's ambient moisture condensing on the walls, do something to prevent condensation. There is no good way around this one.
The government puts out guidelines for mold remediation. I suggest you check out the latest information and see if it answers your questions in enough detail.
Something for people to keep in mind when treating others with herbal medicine is the potential for lawsuits and fines from the gubmint for practicing medicine. It all sounds wonderful to help a friend until something goes wrong. If you practice medicine on yourself that's fine, but people can be funny sometimes. Even the words you use such as "diagnosis" are considered part of practicing medicine. This has come up in my Traditional Chinese Medicine curriculum so that we don't run into trouble.
I suggest that one of the early requirements be a written report on local and federal laws regarding treating others with alternative medicine just so the person has a basis for what to do and not do. Then if they want to do certain things, at least they know the potential risks.
I'm not trying to be negative here. The gubmint does a fine job of it already.
Disclaimer: The above information is for educational purposes only
Double disclaimer: the above disclaimer is used a lot to cover your butt
Water bath canning of fermented foods does work if the acid and salt levels are within the safe range, which they should be. I add a little extra rice vinegar just in case the fermentation hasn't produced enough acid.
The main downside to heating up your fermented foods is that you will kill all the probiotic bacteria that would have gone into your gut to live a happy life. And the texture of the vegetables is changed due to heating. If that's what you need to do for space saving, it's still good food.
If it's a greenhouse, people will be going into it at some point. Propagation, maintenance, watering, harvesting, etc. are just a few of the activities.
The biggest safety issue with combustion gases is carbon monoxide, especially if the combustion isn't going at the proper efficiency. You can't see it or smell it and it's deadly. I wouldn't bet my life on one or even two CO detectors set up in a place where I knew there was a chance of CO toxicity.
Again, during start up and shut down, there is a tendency for incomplete combustion, and in the case of wood, you get nasty dioxins along with CO.
If you really want to go down this road, I suggest you get a good, solid background in combustion and all the associated controls so that you don't get surprised in a way that will be your last. Even in the industry where we were all well versed in the state of the art, when we started trying new things, we got different results. One of them was a CO fireball that nearly killed one of the workers and scorched the steel around him. Surprise! Industry tends to not advertise such things so most people never hear about the deaths, maiming, and numerous close calls.
After a long career in the air pollution control business cleaning up combustion gases, all I can say is that venting combustion gases into an area where people might ever go is an extremely dangerous idea.
Even with the most perfect controls in the world, combustion is rarely steady. There are always upsets of some sort. Also, start up and shut down of a combustion system has a completely different offgas profile than steady operation. It's always dirtier because the combustion hasn't reached it's efficient steady state-ish conditions.
There is information available on pumping CO2 into algae vats to boost growth. Our company looked into it about 10 years ago. It's a good idea but there are unforeseen issues. It's a discipline all it's own and a worthwhile endeavor to find a way to make it work efficiently and safely.
Our tomatillo plants didn't start producing fruits until we got more pollinators visiting. Our area was really sparse on pollinators early this summer then it seems like everyone found us and our garden was filled with a huge variety of pollinators such as wasps, bumblebees, mason bees, some honey bees, and butterflies. The cucumbers now have seeds in them when they didn't early in the summer - we got cukes but with no seeds inside early on.
I am really concerned with the reduction in insect life. I'm hearing about it from a lot of people around here. I know that the polyculture garden we started last year and the expanded one this year has been the reason for our variety of pollinators and their predators. We need to feed those critters or we may find that our food supply has been impacted. Imagine getting cukes but no seed for next year? Or melons, squash, etc.
The desire to not wear masks reminds me of people not wanting to wear seat belts or motorcycle helmets (anyone remember all the drama around that?). Most people, myself included, don't like to be told what to do. But, if it makes sense to me, I will comply. Even if I don't agree completely, in any society there is more at stake than my personal preferences so I try to find the middle road. I like to save my battles for things that are really important and wearing a mask doesn't rate high enough to kick me into battle mode.
I too have asthma but when I am around people such as in a store, I wear the mask and it doesn't bother my asthma for that short period of time. I've had to wear full face respirators all day for jobs so a little cotton mask is nothing in comparison.
I agree that a hand washing station would be the best, but it's cost-prohibitive for most situations right now. That might change of course.
I've raised chickens and turkeys together. I didn't have any disease transmission issues although the risk can be there with newly introduced birds.
The toms only went after each other for dominance of the turkey flock. They left the chickens alone. One smart tom (narragansette) spent his energy puffing up and displaying for the ladies while the other toms fought, which was pretty brutal and not something I'd ever seen before. I had to separate them or they would have torn each other up. So you may have to separate the toms from each other, but I never saw them notice a chicken one way or another.
Paul, I don't think you freaked anyone out. Doctors offices see lots of people with the whole spectrum of beliefs and behaviors. They probably get people not wanting to comply every day, or several times a day. No need to worry about them. Medical professionals are a tough breed.
The Ukranian woman's seeds were just the seeds, right? I think that is the difference here. If you harvest the mature flower tops with the seeds, the vegetable matter holds a lot of moisture. If you separate the seeds the way Joseph described, then the seeds hold far less water since they are thoroughly dried out and dormant.
I save the cold winter months for separating the now-dry seed heads from the seeds. But until then they are all in labeled paper bags to completely finish drying.
On a different note, you said you dry your herbs in the oven. In my experience, this method results in a less pungent dried herb due to the volatile components being driven off by the heating process. I now dry my herbs on a towel in the garage where it is cool, dry, and dark-ish. Even the parsley keeps a really strong flavor this way. I dry a lot of medicinal herbs too and processing conditions with those are very important in order to keep the quality high. Heat, light, and oxygen all have a tendency to deteriorate the quality of culinary and medicinal herbs.
Seed saving isn't as obvious as most people think so your question isn't dumb at all. There's a lot of variables.
I always harvest the whole flower stalk and let it dry on paper towels or some newspaper to catch any of the tiny seeds, then put the stalk and any loose seeds into a paper bag for storage. If the flower stalk is not completely dry and you put it in an airtight container, it will probably mold, even with the dry milk, which I'd personally use for cooking.
I saved a bunch of seeds once and stored them in a ziplock baggie. I swear they were dry when they went in but everything went moldy. Since then it's paper bags for me. Better for the environment too.
I used to cook the tomatoes on the stove until the one time I burned the bottom. Ruined a lot of quarts of tomatoes. Since then I take the tomatoes, wash and cut in half then put them in a large oven roaster pan and cook uncovered until they are squishy bags. Then they are cooled slightly and put through a food mill to take out the skins and seeds. It goes quick if the tomatoes are warm. The juice and pulp go back into the roaster and cooked until it's the consistency I want. I've never burned a batch this way, although you get roasted tomato residue on the edges of the pan which add to the flavor. I don't spend hours stirring, just once every 30-60 minutes.
Near the end of the harvest when I'm tired of canning, I'll take any ripe, perfect tomatoes and put them on a baking sheet and freeze them solid as individual fruits, then they all go into a bag in the freezer. This way I can pull out as many as I want for a recipe. When they start to thaw, the skins slip off easily, the partially frozen innards cut into pieces easily, and the flavor stays good even after months of freezing.
Climate shifting is indeed something to consider. We chose a forested valley that right now is a cold pocket and has it's own challenges. Even now people say the winters are later although the stories vary a lot. Since I don't tolerate heat well this is the place for us, with the idea that as we get older, our cold tolerance may go down, but the area may not be as cold either. Predicting multiple, moving, poorly defined targets like my cold tolerance vs. climate change is likely a fools game, but that's never stopped me before. We left the Denver area and stopped looking for land in Colorado after really taking in the scarcity of good water and the rapid increase in heat and drought. I remember telling a co-worker 10 years ago that Denver may be the new Phoenix within a few decades. I hope that's not true but it seems to be heading in that direction.
We also took into consideration population growth (or reduction and all that entails, such as land and property prices) and how that would impact the next 30 or so years. Another poorly defined moving target that should probably only be considered after everything else since it will likely just muddle the process. All you can really do is look at the current trends and extrapolate a bit forward.
On a different note, although the spreadsheet and all of those factors helped tremendously when it came down to choosing an area in the country to focus our search, it was our gut/heart reaction that decided which property to purchase. The land spoke to us of it's need that we knew we could fulfill. As we were walking the property, waiting for the realtor to show up and unlock the house, we made our decision and my husband said "we don't need to see the house." We did look at the house, and did all of our due diligence on purchasing, but the decision had been made during our walk.