Hemp seeds have a hard hull, so aren't great for fresh eating. You can make nut milk without hulling them, though. I don't know anything about the oil. I imagine you might have a problem with kids ripping up the plants to smoke.
Flaxseed oil goes rancid almost immediately and is no good for cooking. The seed is edible right off the plant, though.
I don't know anything about working with or wearing the fibre, but I bet r ranson would!
Before setting aside garden space, maybe see if there are any fiber plants that grow wild where you are. I've got spreading dogbane everywhere I look, which supposedly is very like hemp.
My galeux d'eysines have very thick tendrils that twine amazingly quickly and tightly onto whatever they encounter. It's actually a problem because I want them to stay on the ground and root at the nodes for drought resistance. The ends of the vines grow up, not out, mush more than other squash I've grown. Eventually they weigh themselves down or find something to climb. The squash can get really big, so they'd need support, though.
My husband knows if he eats garlic or onions I'm sleeping on the far edge of the bed for the next week. It doesn't happen often😄
For the first 25ish years of my life, I got almost no bug bites. One evening, changing my tires in the mud without the right jack and getting very grouchy, I started getting bitten. Mosquitoes were swarming me. This led to loud cursing. My husband came out to help but I was too grouchy, so he stood and watched, presumably trying to exude sympathy. He didn't get bitten at all. Ever since then, I've been his best bug repellent. All he has to do when the mosquitoes or black flies are out is keep close to me and I'll get all the bites.
I had made no change in diet or anything else I can think of. My husband is super sensitive to my pheromones and he didn't notice a change. Not sure what the bugs are going on, but I think it's more complicated than diet.
S Bengi wrote:They more or less come true from seed, so you can create your own landrace if you save seeds for a few years. But while they are not going to win the county fair, they are still slightly better than store bought (a 7/10 vs a 6/10). Which to me is good enough, and then they will back cross with whatever seedlings show up from your compost.
I have plenty of great tasting tomatoes to cross them with.
S Benji, I love your lists! I do successfully grow quite a few of the ones on your list.
Thanks for the recommendation of the specific tomato variety. If you've grown heatwave ii, do you have an opinion in its flavour? I read on one site a few people didn't think much of it. I like that it has such a short days to maturity, something I assumed heat tolerant tomatoes generally wouldn't have.
Melissa Sullivan wrote:I may have missed when you usually get rain, but your climate sounds a bit similar to mine. I was also plagued with hot days and cold nights all summer, which few plants do well in.
I second the turnip recommendation, and would also add beets, onions, and potatoes to your list. The onions may eventually bolt if they don't get enough water. If you have enough water to grow tomato plants, then these should work. I've also had success with wheat, which just thrived in oppressive heat and just a few rain events.
I also *highly* recommend shade cloth for leafy greens if you're in an area that gets a lot of sun. I use 30% shade cloth (i'm at a high elevation too, so the sun is extra intense) and helps immensely, especially when the plants are young.
March and April have tended to be pretty dry the last few years. May is often wet. The first half of June is almost always wet, and the second half can go either way. July and August are dry and hot. September starts getting variable. This year it's hot and dry so far, except for the one frost.
Our summer nights tend to be warm, actually. So at least I don't have to contend with your cold night problem!
I've found tomatoes need way less water than most people give them. I grow them in sandy soil with very little organic matter. As long as I keep the roots cool with mulch, a couple months of drought is okay for every variety I've grown. I'm sure they'd do better with more water, but they'll survive and produce.
I grow walking onions and chives just fine. If I can ever find any in Canada, I'd like to try out potato onions. We eat very few onions, so I like the idea of small, long storing onions for our occasional use.
I'll try out beets along with turnips next year. For some reason, I have a feeling beets won't like it at my place, but we'll see.
You're right, wheat would be great! I don't eat it, but my husband does. It's one of the grains I'm trying out this fall. I couldn't find winter barley or oats, which I do eat, but I'll get some for next fall when it's back in stock. I've tried spring planted barley and oats a few times now and germination is just not good enough.
I really hate the idea of faffing around with shade cloth, but it may come to that. I've had good results planting snow peas into the tangle of straw stalks left after harvesting grain in the summer. I may try to use the shade of other plants more.
Mike Barkley wrote:
Buckwheat might work for you too. Doesn't tolerate much cold but it grows very fast. About six weeks from planting until harvest.
I tried buckwheat this year and it turns out it doesn't like drought. It grew pretty well, flowered, formed seeds. Most of the seedpods are empty, though. Thats what often happens to my beans. Just needs more water than I gets here :(
For me, soup peas are quick and reliable. You can often get two crops in in a year. I plant mine in the fall so they come up early in the spring. If your winters aren't too cold and/or you have good snow cover peas will overwinter.
Huh. I always assumed okra was super long season. I just looked it up and found I was very wrong. I've never eaten it or heard of anyone around here growing it, but now I'm curious. I may try it out.
I think I may have some black eyed peas kicking around in my seed hoard now that you mention it. Won't hurt to try.
Turnips are a good suggestion. I don't think I like them much, but it's been a while so I should try them out again.
I try to eat low oxalate greens because I don't absorb iron well, so I've avoided Swiss chard up until now. It's also a good suggestion, though. It's got a big root, so would probably withstand drought better than most greens. We have a short season, but it's not super cold over the winter and we get good snow cover, so swiss chard would probably overwinter most years.
If you're just looking to go to a composting toilet, you remove the toilet and cap off the drain. Then just install whatever kind of composting toilet where the old toilet was. Some of them need special venting, so you'd have to figure that out.
The weather station just north of us in our north-south valley shows 154 frost free days. The weather station just south of us shows 169. Judging by the few years we've been here, I'd say we can count on about 85 frost free days. Our elevation isn't even all that different. It's driving me nuts.
We get little to no spring. It goes from too cold for anything to grow to 30°+ so fast.
We often get an early frost or two (garden was unexpectedly wiped out by frost last night) and then get another month or more of nice weather (forecast for the next week is for 30°+ with overnight lows of 8-10°.
That's not limiting enough for me, so I also rely only on rainfall to water my plants. Most years we get two months without or nearly without rain, sometimes more.
So far, the only crops I know 100% will work out are rye and field peas. Both crops can be planted in the fall to either overwinter or come up as soon as possible in the spring, and both will dry down during the summer drought. Oh, and radishes - but only the seed pods develop. Those plant themselves.
Winter squash is something I've been working on, so I'll say it's 90% reliable under my restrictions. This surprise frost may have ruined them for storage this year :(
Potatoes may be reliable, but this is only my second year here growing them. Last year was pretty good.
This fall I'm going to try out some other fall planted grains, cause rye really isn't my favourite. I've found early spring rainfall here is too unpredictable for spring planted grain.
I'm trying out some tepary beans next year. I've found beans hard to grow because they don't germinate well in cold soil. If I leave the mulch off to warm up the soil early the soil dries out, meaning the plants grow but they don't produce seeds. Keep the mulch on and plant later in the season and that shortens the season even more. Sometimes the young plants just fry in the sun, too.
I've been trying to get tomatoes I can direct seed. This year I got a few to ripen starting in the last week of August. I had a nice big bowlful I was planning on harvesting after work today, but I suspect they're now mush.
Part of my problem is that I've been using seed from when I lived in a less hostile climate. Those varieties just aren't suited to my new location, and improving them through seed selection is hard going. I'm now buying varieties with words like arctic and Manitoba in the name.
TL;DR Long story short, what are some varieties that will germinate in cold soil, withstand heat and drought, and produce in a very short season. Bonus points for calorie crops and leafy greens.
I don't need recommendations for tree crops at this time. The gophers and I are negotiating on that.
Thank you for sharing! I’m curious with those conditions, how large of an area did you plant and what was your yield like?
It was an odd-shaped bed, so I'm not sure of the exact area. Maybe 40 square feet or a little less. After threshing, I ended up with a little over a kilo of grain. I threw out A LOT of grain with the chaff because it wasn't threshing easily. Also the millet was a little long for my season so a lot of it didn't mature before frost.
A 32 sq ft bed of rye in slightly better soil usually yields 2.5-3k for me.
If you don't like seeds and skins, this won't help you. I just put the tomatoes into the blender, then into canning jars, then into a warm canner. Bring up to temp and process. I do cherry tomatoes whole, just smushing them down into the jar until it's full.
I like adding chopped up dehydrated tomatoes or pureed roasted veg during cooking to thicken a sauce.
I must have been raised by trogs cause I had no idea until well into my twenties there were people who separated out skins and seeds! :D
Saw this thread pop up again and it reminded me of my bucket of unthreshed millet. I can now confirm that threshing pearl millet by hand is a pain in the ass.
There may be better ways to do it, but what I settled on was dumping the millet into a big tote bin and doing a bit of a shuffle twist dance number on it. A lot of the grain didn't release all that easily, so I did this for quite a while. I winnowed a bit in between dances to see how things were going. Slow.
Also turns out that there's a bit of chaff at the base of the millet grains that stays attached on a decent number of them.
I really like how well the millet grew in truly terrible soil with no watering, so I'm going to work on it. I had a bag of seed selected from the biggest, fullest, earliest heads that I was just going to plant without cleaning. I did a quick shuffle twist on it and separated out the grain that released right away. Then I picked out all the grains that had that little bit of chaff stuck to the base. I'll plant that next year and see how it goes. Maybe a couple years of selection will give me perfectly no-tech threshing millet.
I don't think it's an alpine. It has put out a few runners over the four years I've had it. Like, six maybe? The longest one was about 8" long. The crappy strawberries planted in the same bed and equally abused put out endless amounts of very long runners.
Seascape sounds like a good variety to try out, even if it's not what I have. I suppose I should just be looking for good varieties to try, regardless of what I have already.
My system is very similar to yours, Jennie. I have buckets of grain and beans and big jars of dried fruit in the woodshed until we get a root cellar built. I fill up quart jars to keep in the kitchen. Some things, like chickpeas, that we use a lot of have a bigger jar for the kitchen.
One of only two vegetables we store a lot of is potatoes. I'm hoping to have more success with carrots and beets next year, though. Potatoes get stored in my garbage can root cellar and I bring in a kilo or two at a time in a paper bag that gets stored in a cool corner of the kitchen in a bin under the counter.
We do have a few jars of dried leafy greens that get used in winter cooking that stay in the kitchen and always get used up every year. Mostly we eat fresh out of the garden and supplement with sprouts, microgreens, and store bought for the winter when the coldframes get sparse.
I need a better system for squash storage. I have a lot of spoilage right now because I don't have a cool place to store them.
I just planted them this year so I'm not sure how they'll perform, but I got a couple things from store.experimentalfarmnetwork.org that seem promising.
One is homesteader's kaleidoscopic perennial kale grex and the other is Deitrich's wild broccoli raab, which is a self-seeding biennial.
In 20 years I've never successfully grown kale. No matter where I've been or what kind of soil, including my current place, the kale has always been stunted and covered in aphids. This grex is all big and beautiful with no aphids. Most of the best plants are big leaved collard types.
The raab is in pots to be planted out when it cools down a bit. The leaves are a little strong to eat them raw in large quantities, but they're nice cooked. Like turnip greens. A few plants went to seed this year, and raabs are tasty. I only ate one, though, cause I want the seeds.
I have a patch of the raab growing that I don't even remember planting. I must have sprinkled some around in random places before hedging my bets with some in pots. The random patch came up and thrived all summer under very challenging conditions.
I can post a picture later if anyone thinks it's necessary, but it just looks like a typical, medium-sized red strawberry. It doesn't put out long runners, but spreads slowly at the edges of the clump. I torture it terribly, so it's a little hard to tell if it's everbearing or not. It fruits heavily early summer, stops for the dry season when I don't water, then fruits a little again in the fall once it cools down and the rains start again. Everyone moans a bit the first time they eat one of the berries and then goes on a rant about crappy supermarket berries or starts reminiscing about their childhood.
I bought it from a co-worker whose daughter was doing a dry grad fundraiser or something. I'm hoping that's a clue. Maybe a certain type is often used in commercial hanging baskets or something :D
It spreads so slowly, that I'd like to buy more to plant around the property. Every other strawberry I've got from the local nurseries tastes like nothing compared to this one. I've ended up ripping them all out again.
S Bengi wrote:Built to code means bare minimum required to legally sell this to my enemy, and for the 'banking folks' to underwrite it and insure it. So it is always a good idea to build even better than code. The problem that really pops up is when the gov start charging impact fees of $16,000. Utility connection cost of $30,000. And force 3rd party labor/signature/stamps because other folks have abused the system and so now they have extra rules.
I really like this. My husband and I drive through a city near here occasionally when going to visit his family. We love to drive by the expensive new homes on the lake and watch and laugh as their built to code OSB roofs sag and the rafters get more and more visible.
We have a big problem with affordable housing in this province. The government keeps putting programs in place that are supposed to help. None of them address the real causes of the problem, which are the kind of fees you mention, building inspectors passing liability on to engineers, expensive and unnecessary code requirements etc. etc.
Douglas Alpenstock wrote:
One thing I think I should address is the ongoing notion that things not displayed on Google Earth are not visible. Please be clear on this: Google Earth is a joke.
This is a good point. I should have specified that we are now visible to the general public. We've been visible on GIS maps for a long time - yes, in creepy detail.
In my area, building inspectors are swamped and not looking for extra work. Unless there's something they can't ignore (like a shed on the side of a highway), you probably won't be hearing from them unless someone complains. Being visible to the person noodling around on google earth looking for new quad trails opens us up to this possibility much more than before.
Like Andy mentioned below, a septic system (required for an occupancy permit) would have cost more than what we spent building our house, if you take into account engineering fees. All septic systems here need to be engineered. By the way, that's a septic system we'd never use since we have a sawdust toilet and use all our grey water on the gardens. Then there's the issue of getting certain vehicles and equipment up to our house to install the septic. If we'd rented equipment and done all the work ourselves, we might have been able to do the necessary road upgrades for less than we paid to build the house. Maybe. It just didn't make sense to go that route, even if we had the money.
As far as issues when selling the property, that's an important consideration, too. Again, I think it's good to look at what you're building, though. Anyone who's buying this property to build a conventional, permitted home is going to be spending all that money we didn't on septic, road upgrades, etc. They don't want our no plumbing, no wiring, $12,000 12x16' house. It's going to be bulldozed anyway.
r ranson wrote:The more I read about a minimalist wardrobe, the more I begin to understand that most people have a LOT of clothing.
I do not.
I'm having trouble identifying with the literature on this topic.
This was my experience as well when I looked at capsule wardrobes years ago.
My biggest problem is seasonal wear. I absolutely hate having multiple jackets and different footwear that need to be stored when the weather's not a match.
For jackets, I've pared down to one nice/wearable in public raincoat, one ugly rain poncho for working at home, and a couple hoodies. Winter doesn't get all that cold here. Minus 20C is pretty rare. Minus 5-10 is more usual. A hoodie with my rainjacket, a toque, and mittens works just fine. If I get cold, it's cause I'm not moving enough. Working at home, if I'm splitting wood or shoveling paths, I'm usually stripped down to just a shirt after a little while anyway. So no winter coat to store!
For footwear, I have one pair each of thongs, rubber clogs made from my old rubber boots when they cracked beyond repair, rubber boots, and running shoes. I have two pairs of dressy shoes for the office, but they don't come home. I'm thinking of getting rid of the running shoes, cause I love my clogs so much. Hiking boots? Thongs or rubber boots work just fine. Winter boots? Some warm insoles and another pair of socks in the rubber boots are good for me.
One thing I find helpful is to have different clothes for different tasks. This summer, I've worn the same set of clothes every day for puttering around the yard or house. They never get very dirty, so I can wear them the whole week until laundry day. When I do sweaty or dirty work, I put on a certain pair of shorts and one of a few ratty work shirts. Those are just dirty. And when I wear them, so am I. So again, I can just wear the same thing for a few days in a row. When I go into town, I put on my presentable clothes. When I get home I take them off again and put them away for the next trip into town.
We dont have permits for anything we've done on our land. We wouldn't have been able to afford to do anything if we'd gone that route. My husband just noticed that Google Earth has finally updated and we're now visible.
We did make sure to build to code or better and take pictures as we built in case we need to deal with officials later on.
We also accept the fact that our place might be demolished. If that's the case, we'll peacefully leave...and then come back and build a stealth house, invisible from above. I'd really like to have one started already, but there's always so much else to do.
When we bought the property, there was a shed that was visible from the highway, built by the previous owner just before we bought the property. The shed was too tall to fit in the no permit needed category. Almost three years after it was built, the local officials contacted us and requested all kinds of information on dimensions, materials used, location in relation to property lines, etc. My husband got a little difficult, saying we didn't build this so it's not our problem. At the end of the day, the official really didn't want to deal with it either. He just wanted the $50 permit fee paid so he could mark the file closed and get it off his desk. So my husband submitted a ridiculous scrawl of a drawing with none of the information requested and the 50 bucks. Done. Admittedly, that's just a shed.
My husband's an engineer. He recently dealt with some people who were building an unpermitted, alternative type building. They were discovered and told to get an engineer to sign off on what they were building before they could continue. They had a couple major structural issues that really did need to be addressed, but other than that, lots of rules were bent for these people. Again, everyone just wanted to get the file off their desk.
One more story. My father in law built a log house when his kids were young. The building official came and said, uhhh, you know you need a permit for this thing, right?" FIL shrugged and kept building. After a couple more visits, a stop work order was posted. FIL framed it and finished his house. Never heard from anyone again.
Especially in a small town, no one wants to be the person who boots someone out of their home. Now, I wouldn't recommend building a half a million dollar house, counting on a stranger's goodwill. However, a tiny house that set you back a few thousand dollars or less? We decided we're okay with it, in this area of the world, country, province anyway.
I use a bit of salt in my food nowadays, but I lived for years eating raw vegan and didn't salt anything. I got anywhere from 400-700mg of sodium just from the food I was eating. I worked hard out in the sun, sweat a lot, and drank lots of water. Never had a problem despite many people telling me I needed to be taking salt pills.
I often get more like 1000mg of sodium a day now. Still sweating and drinking as much as 10L of water on a hot day working outside. Still no problems.
This is tough. I lived surrounded by cherry orchards for a few years. My dog got an autoimmune disease and almost died. I had to send him to live with my parents until we could get out of there. Every time he came back, it flared back up.
Cherries get sprayed a lot, too. But sometimes what they were spraying was fertilizer or something pretty innocuous. The orchard where I was would send emails out to surrounding properties telling you what they were spraying and when, so you could make sure your windows were closed that day or whatever. Maybe there's something like that you could access, too.
Seeing how sick my dog got was pretty telling. Even though my other dog and my husband and I were fine, there was obviously very bad stuff in the environment that we were being exposed to every day. I couldn't wait to move.
She's got lots of breakfasty ones like banana, pumpkin oat, cranberry apple. But lots of savoury ones too - turmeric rice, quinoa kale, red lentil.
I know you said easy to get ingredients, and she does use a lot of chickpea flour. Don't let that turn you off until you look around. The towns in my area are less than 8000 people and I can find it in all of them. The walmart in the closest (and smallest of the three towns nearby) has three different brands of chickpea flour, so you might be surprised at its availability.
These days i usually just use it for porridge for breakfast. I have a 710mL thermos that I put 100g of grain in, then fill with boiling water. I do that before bed and when I get up in the morning I have perfect, creamy porridge. I use all different kinds of (pseudo)grains. Buckwheat works as well as any of them.
I did something tasty a couple weeks ago. I'd been working hard all weekend and not eating enough, so I started craving something sweet. I made pancakes with buckwheat and oats, ground up in a coffee grinder to get flour. I used half a cup of buckwheat flour, added a heaping spoonful of carob powder, and filled the rest of the cup with oat flour. Couple pinches of baking soda, water, and a splash of elderberry vinegar. To top the pancakes I crushed up some cherries in carob molasses. The juice from the cherries made it runny, so it soaked into the pancakes. Kinda black forest cakey.
I've made tabbouleh with it, which was good.
In my raw food days, I sprouted it, dehydrated it, and used it as a base for granola.
I saw a recipe for buckwheat morel risotto that gave me tasty ideas.
I like this one cause it immediately means something to just about anyone. They understand what it is - a heater. They understand its benefit - tiny carbon footprint.
I suppose they might think it's a tiny heater with an unspecified carbon footprint...
In any case, a lot of the suggestions seem too much like the original - something you need to learn more about before you understand what the name means. And people are lazy. If they don't immediately know what something is they tune it out. I know, cause I do it :/
The thing I am confused about is that steam ought ot be much much hotter than 212 degrees anyway, I'd assumed that steam sterilizing would be much more sterile, no?
Something either is or isn't sterile, so the temperature shouldn't matter in that sense. And steam is actually the same temp as boiling water. Steam feels hotter than boiling water cause it holds more heat energy for its mass than water. If you stick your hand in the steam, it releases all that heat energy when it condenses on your skin. Anyone with better physics knowledge than me is welcome to chime in and explain it properly.
And then the temperature of the steam (or boiling water) is going to change according to pressure, which is why you have to keep your jars in the canner longer as you go up in altitude.