I bought Four Star Explorer Mix amaranth this year as part of my ongoing efforts to find grains i can grow for myself. Its gorgeous!
I will grow it again just for the beauty and the delicious salad 'greens'. But a grain? Ah! It seems to finish all at different times, and there is far more chaff than seed, i ended up having to freeze it to kill of the last of the bugs, and cleaning it seems impossible with all the methods i have tried (sieves, gravity, lightly blowing on it, wind, water... etc). I lose more grain than i keep, and will be only have enough cleanish seeds to replant next year. I have also tried harvesting at different stages, etc.
Do you grow amaranth? What varieities do you grow? How do you harvest and clean it as a grain?
Sonja - that recipe has some of my favourite GF flours in it, so looks really tasty. Tasty + sliceable/not crumbly >> fluffy.
Jan- Lentils in bread sound really tasty! I even know somewhere i can get chickpea flour (or maybe i have some buried in the back of the cupboard. Hmmm). Also, i love the idea of eating bread made of more things i could theoretically grow in my garden.
Tereza - i might try that egg replacer replacer recipe in another recipe. This one is fiddly enough i don't feel like using it anymore (eggs AND egg replacer, proofing gelatin, etc), plus its all white starches (rice, potato, tapioca) and my tastes have advanced to the better tasting whole grain GF flours now that they are available.
We have been eating a lot of expensive purchased gluten free bread here lately.
I want to get back to making my own, but the recipe we used to use is about 30 years old, doesnt slice as a loaf, just buns, and one of the ingredients (egg replacer) is impossible to get in store right now. It was much better than store bread 15-20 years ago, not as good as modern bread. Would be nice to get something as fluffy and noncrumbly as modern store bread.
Bonus points :
-I prefer recipes that call for x or y flour rather than a flour blend, as i have been baking since long before those were available, and every country has their own.
-Using up garden produce :)
- Whole grain flours rather than white flours
Moving snowshovels and snowblowers to the front of the shed, digging out extension cords for the block heaters and starting the snowblower, the finding and filling buckets we use for sand, finding windhield scrapers, setting ot the drain pipe extenders that keep melt water away from the foundation... yawn.
The leaves are barely turning colours yet, we just had our first frost, so its still summer in my book, not even fall yet!
I really like the idea, but wonder if an option for half shares (at a bit more than half price to cover your extra labour costs) would be worthwhile? Personally, those quantiites would be too much for me, and adding a few more people would add resiliency and also add a lower cost/risk way for people to try it out before fully committing.
I have no idea if your costing seems reasonable, but i would do a very detailed cost calculation, assume 1-2 shares not paid for whatever reason and see if it still works. Include your labour in the calcs, too. Calculate how much it would cost to get equivalent groceries in more traditional manners, especially the meat. If your CSA is a 50% discount, perhaps increasing prices would make sense. If its 50% more, you likely wont get as many takers.
It also sounds like the value will vary depending on the week. How do you prevent people from picking up their hog, then cancelling the next week? Perhaps monthly or less frequent lump sum payments would be safer.
I know of one local CSA that does options, and seperates their shares out. So you can buy 2 shares of veggies, none of meat. Or 2 shares of meat, one of milk, one of veggies, etc. So long as it is arranged long in advance, it should be plannable.
What would you do with excess meat/produce? How could that be marketted?
It was around a year after the vaccinations began that they made an extraordinary discovery: those who had been vaccinated against measles were 50% less likely to die than those who hadn’t. “It was stunning,” says Aaby – but not for the reasons you might at first think.
The thing is, measles was never killing anywhere near half of Guinea Bissau’s children. Based on the proportion who were dying of the disease originally, the vaccine should have been far less beneficial than it was. The numbers didn’t add up. “We were asking ourselves ‘How can this happen?’,” says Aaby.
In the large-scale trials that followed, it emerged that the vaccination was reducing the chances of children dying by a third (other studies led to significantly higher estimates) – while only 4% of this decline was explained by the fact that it was preventing them from catching measles. This is the power of a mysterious phenomenon Aaby has called “non-specific effects”.
The above was about the MMR vaccine, but other vaccines have had similar positive effects:
Research in Guinea-Bissau found that people with scars from the smallpox vaccine were up to 80% more likely to still be alive around three years after the study began, while in Denmark, scientists discovered that those who had the tuberculosis vaccine in childhood were 42% less likely to die of natural causes until they were 45 years old.
I need to find an article my boss shared with me about the MMR vaccine being protective against COVID-19. Remember that Navy ship that turned back to shore because COVID was spreading like wildfire on board? Hundreds were infected, but very few got seriously ill. It helps to be young and strong, but apparently it's routine for every new sailor to get an MMR vaccine, regardless of their immunization status. There's evidence that this made a difference...
The attenuated live vaccines may be more effective than killed vaccines in general, but I also saw a simple medical record study that showed hospitalized COVID patients who had gotten a flu shot (which is not a live vaccine) had better outcomes than COVID patients who had not gotten a flu shot.
I find it interesting that vaccines can be good for you just in general.
Great article, thanks for sharing!!
Please let me know if i am confused about the science, as i am far from a medical expert.
If i recall, one of the theories i have seen for these effects is how damaging some of their illnesses are to the immune system. So basically, you get measles (i think measles was cited as one of the most damaging), it wipes out your immune system, and during the recovery over the next year or so, you die of something your immune system normally could handle. I know, for example, my aunt, who had diptheria and scarlet fever as a child, (possibly also tuberculosis? There are some translation issues) has had a delicate immune system for the rest of her life, and took months to recover from those illnesses, stuck in a hospital. I am sure during those periods of recovery, she was far more susceptible to whatever disease was floating around. (She was lucky, of my grandmas 4 kids, 2 died by age 3 of things we now vaccinate against, and several kids my dad knew were in a wheel chair from polio).
I think there was also some evidence about recent vaccination for tuberculosis being effective in reducing severity of infection from COVID, which was interesting.
One of the other interesting things about even incomplete vaccination success is the reduction of severity of infection. I am mildly immunocompromised, and ended up catching chicken pox as an adult, despite being vaccinated against it (we now know you need two doses for good long term immunity, i only got one). Instead of being this horrific experience as it often is for adult patients, i had a few (<10) itchy bumps, far milder than even most childhood cases.
Really? What an interesting law. I wonder if your wasps are less agressive than ours. Learn something new every day.
Definitely not illegal to kill wasps here. It was a bad year for them with many building nests inside our/neighbours sheds, mailboxes, roofs, etc. Wasp killing stuff is readily available at the hardware store. I was stung for the first time in years (on my ear, hurt for days) while walking the dog this spring - i think they had set up in a wooden planter i walked past. Mom was stung by two when she opened the door to a shed this spring.
As for the dead ones - We have fruit flies in the house so i set out a glass with apple cider vinegar and a bit of dish soap to decrease the surface tension and kill the fruit flies. A few wasps came in the house while we had the door open, and also died there.
Thought i would share some of my harvest storage photos. Homegrown food is marvellous in the summer, but also really nice to have in the winter when grocery store food is underripe bland, and shipped from other continents.
Will a first year garden provide all the vegetables you need for a year? Uh... probably not, unless you REALLY dont like vegetables. But mine provided many meals in the summer, a fair amount to give to friends, relatives, and neighbours, and a fair stash for winter.
Green Tomatos until Christmas - may make some jam
Freezer of frozen vegetables
Many kinds of canned pickles - cucumber, squash, beets, beans, carrots, etc. Aprox 40 jars.
Squash - several months storage
A few months worth of onions
More to come, still lots in "the field". All much tastier than grass!
I have never frozen potatos, if i did, i would likely dice them for soup then freeze. Potatos dehydrate pretty well if sliced thin.
I am lazy with my tomato freezing - most are frozen whole, not even peeled. Larger ones are quartered or diced then frozen. Sometimes if i have a ton will make a lazy immersion blendered and simmered and sieved tomato sauce, especially if i have other random veggies that need to be used, and label it as "vegetable sauce".
My sympathies.... cant imagine dealing with that smoke. You can see it in the sky even hear in eastern Ontario, and my asthma is acting up. Cant imagine how it must be on the west coast. I hope you get rain to knock some of it out of the sky and maybe slow the fires.
I read on another forum about people taping up their dryer vents, putting wet towels by doorstops, and taping doors and windows to reduce smoke entering into the home. Are there any doors or closets you can close off and seal off to make the filtered air space smaller? Do you have any other fans? I wonder if even a coffee filter or somehing would help if you have no other furnace filters available. Last time i was out west during a big smoke event i found dampening the scarf i wore around my face as a mask helped filter out more smoke.
Do you have a dehumidifier? Could you set up a clothes drying rack next to a dehumidifier in a shut room?
Good idea, Skandi - i wonder if cotton yarn might work? I dont think i actually own a single brightly coloured tshirt.
William - exactly. Cultural shift from " dont waste produce" to "keep seed for next year, it will grow better and we will get more food next year". I grew up saving seeds exactly the way you describe, and if something didnt grow well, we just didnt try it again or tried a different variety and lived with it. We have had long dicussions about why i like saving seeds, but in the garden? I am going against 60+ years of habit. So if i am not going to change her (looks like i wont) the question is how do i live with it so that i can get seeds from some of my more expensive projects (no viable zucchini or cucumber seed AGAIN this year, despite multiple attempts- this thread was inspired by the frustration of coming in and discovering she had picked the 4 large cucumbers that were my 3rd or 4th attempt at saving seed, from planting 4 varieties this spring to try and find a variety/landrace that would grow well for me, after discussing how we were NOT PICKING those large cucumbers 2 days ago, a week ago, 2 weeks ago, and multiple times through the summer) . I might try your stake idea, i already bought a 50 pack of wooden paint sticks to mark perennials with so they dont get weeded out in the spring.
I share a garden with my mother... its mostly my garden, though she helps out on the "big project" days, with watering, and picks things occasionally.
I like gardening with her, but, she picks my seed crops and i get incredibly frustrated. I see "seed crop" she sees "overripe, pick me now". No matter how many times we discuss it, she does not remember i like to save things for seed while she is out in the garden and sees something "getting too big". So she harvests them when they are too young to be seed and too old to be tasty.
Cucumbers, zucchini, beans, and peas are the things i have the hardest time with - anything that is prime edible when the seeds arent quite formed.
How do you mark things to remind collaborators NOT to pick certain things? i want to try a physical reminder for next year, as nagging is neither effective nor fun for either of us
I am a "feel it in person" person, but struggle with the blank looks people give me when I ask at the local fabricland about, say "a heavy weight cotton or linen, suitable for pants", or "a lightweight cotton, suitable for shirts". I ended up finding both those things, with persistence, not through the help of the staff (who brought me to brushed flannel, polyester knits, and the jeans fabric, but didn't seem to know about their cotton double gauze, cotton poplin,cotton-poly twill, cotton canvas, linen, etc tucked in the back corners) .
I am very tempted to order from these people, haven't yet - Canadian (Ontario) based supplier of eco/organic fabrics. Pricey (priced by the 1/2 m, not by the m), but I'd love to be able to get cotton and linen in nice colours - let alone cotton and linen that are organic AND nice colours - and wool! They have US prices, too.
It's September, and harvest time is here. First frost is supposed to be Sept 20 ish, but I like to start picking earlier to keep from having 5 hours of panic-picking if it comes a bit earlier.
This year, I decided to start a brand new garden to cope with COVID and the potential for food shortages - detailed here: https://permies.com/t/137014/Tips-year-successful-garden-beds. Last year was my first year gardening at this house, and I stuck to the garden beds, this year, I turned a large part of our lawn into food. Note that this is far from my first garden - but it is probably the largest garden I have maintained.
Still - it went well! Definitely worth doing, and I am planning to continue to expand the garden this fall for next spring using the bags of leaves my neighbours helpfully deposit at the curb :).
I heavily mulched the garden, so other than spring setup time, weeding and watering time were pretty minimal - a few hours of watering/week in the worst of the drought and umm... maybe 5 hours of weeding for the entire season? I spent a lot more time picking than I did weeding or watering, and I like it that way.
Very successful this year were the curcubits I planted in my mulched garden. The zucchinis I planted elsewhere failed to thrive/disappeared, but the pepo squash did very well. I am casually working to develop an acorn squash landrace - all but the green Table Queen squash were from saved seeds, and all of my saved seeds were much more productive than the Table Queen plant. I started with a few different locally grown hybrid seeds, and am thrilled to see the variation each year, it's a lot of fun.
It was my first year growing maxima and moshata squash, and I was really pleased with them too!
Many species of curcubits - My curcubit family photo
Upper left, maxima (sunshine F1 and a mini blue hubbard), left - watermelon, centre - many kinds of acorn (pepo) squash, green is table queen, rest are saved seeds, right - a moschata (butternut) squash and a cantalope. Bottom - one cucumber, just there to represent the family.
I was thrilled to harvest two large watermelons and 2 large cantalope from the 4 plants of each type I planted. Saving seeds! My first ever cantalope, and far bigger than the watermelons i grew last time (and saved seeds from previously)
My cabbage family plants did very well for me - i am especially pleased with raab brocolli, tsoi sim, and regular old cabbage. Brocolli was ok, but took up a lot of space for it's production, and I loved the earliness and cut and come again nature of the brocolli alternatives. Plus, I could save seeds fromm the raab and the tsoi sim!
And I have a bunch of carrot pickles, dill cucumber pickles, beet pickles, etc, for the winter, and lots of beans, tomatos, brocoli, etc in the freezer. And dried herbs.
My flour corn did ok (what wasn't eaten), my beans are just now coming into production. What green peppers survived my nibblers produced fantastically in the mulched garden - my best harvest of peppers ever.
My potatos are disappointing - here is the result of the first 20 row feet of potatos - less than half a milk carton
Still to be harvested:
- 80 row feet of potatos
- More carrots
- more beans
- many more tomatos
- fall daikons, tsoi sim, etc
We haven't purchased brocolli, onions, potatos, peppers - honestly, almost any vegetables, for months, and we have a fair bit in the freezer and still to come. So i am happy, especially with prices the way they are.
I am looking forward to even better results next year, as the garden is more established and I continue to add organic matter - I plan on a truckload of manure or mushroom compost this fall.
Basically - if you are reading this, and on the fence about starting a garden for next year - do it! It's worth the effort
Why? Liability. I have very little tolerance for the risk of liability.
I have no idea who built it, what they accounted for in the design, who owned it, etc. But, if i were the cash strapped owner of the road, and, say, 5 years from now, the road blew out over the culvert? Its very easy to blame "oh, the guy downstream put a screen up which blocked the debris and caused the culvert to fail, so he should have to pay". True? Who knows, and who cares, but road fixes are expensive, and usually the last person to touch something is the one blamed.
Honestly, if i were redesigning a culvert, i would always make it bigger than existing - no one complains after the first financial pinch about the bigger culvert, but bigger culverts are less likely to trap debris, and less likely to fail. And are easier to clean. And culvert maintenance is something many places skimp on. Not to mention if the road debris head downstream onto your property and damage something... Nice to be able to blame the road owners and maybe have insurance pay something.
Anyway- i would personally do whatever you want do downstream of it (within reason and safety), but leave the liability for that culvert with the road owners. I like baffling erosive flow to slow it rather than trapping it, in most cases, which slows water down to make it less powerful rather than allowing it to build up (safer in an unengineered solution).
For me, one of the worst issues with fast fashion is how so little is worth mending. The quality is so poor that a mend doesnt last enough time to make the mend worthwhile to do.
I used to mend my jeans, grew up doing it. By midway through university, the material had changed enough that by the time a section ripped in pair of jeans (often the crotch, for me), the entire crotch area was so thin i couldnt mend it. Or i could, and did, but the repair would only last until the next wash or until the spot right next to the mend failed, buying me a few days to buy more jeans :( i developed ever more complicated ways of reinforcing that area before giving up. Same as tshirts. I put my thumb through a tshirt recently, the cotton is so delicate i promptly put a thumb through in another spot while i inspected the first spot for damage!
So those things i dont mend anymore, though i used to.
I do mend knit merino tops. Usually they need mending due to weak thread at a seam, or a catch, and will last plenty of time with a minor mend. I mend some leggings if they catch. I often restitch a sweater underarm seam . Small holes and rips in jackets, and other evidences of tiny accidents are worth mending. Dress clothes, blazers, yes. I have a dress in the mending pile where the seams came compleyely undone on part of the skirt at first wear so i need to redo all the seams. Its been in the pile for a while, but i will repair it. Gloves, and scarves? I mend them. Bras. Oh yeah, too expensive not to.
But commonly worn items, like underwear, socks, jeans, tshirts? The quality just isnt there these days to make it worth my time.
Oh ... and gloves. If there is snow, they WILL get wet. I have never yet carried enough pairs. I like several pairs of cheap knit gloves to cut the chill of the wind when hiking without letting me overheat, and as liners for other gloves, they dry pretty fast. A wool glove (maintains warmth when damp) , a lightly insulated glove, and a ridiculously warm and fluffy ski mitt for the evening that i keep bone dry by wearing the little tiny gloves inside. I also carry wool glove liners. The only thing i would shave from my kit are the lightly insulated gloves, and even those get a lot of use before they get wet and refuse to dry.
I really really want fur lined mitts or sealskin mitts, but have been too cheap and they are so beautiful i would have a hard time wearing them camping. But thats what the innu and Innuit people i know wear, and they really are the best.
I love winter camping. Am in Canada, so maybe my idea of it is different than yours (-5 to -20 C). I refuse to do it when the temperatures hover near zero (freezing) though, that is when i get chilled. Colder or warmer are fine.
Extra socks, extra light shoes to wear while boots dry over a fire, extra fire starting materials. Don't wear too tight socks that your feet cant move.
Propane doesnt work well in the freezing cold-uses up the propellant too fast, so the canister feels full but the stove wont start, get a white gas stove if you can, water takes longer to boil, snow takes forever, bring more fuel than usual, you will need it. No matter what you do - a good winter kit will weigh a lot more and be a lot bulkier than summer. My summer kit is maybe 30 L, my winter kit overflows my 70L pack. I dont use a hiking stick in summer, but in winter a hiking stick or ski pole is invaluable for traversing icy ground . In the summer, i have a lot of cold meals, in winter, i need my hot tea, hot soup, hot oatmeal, etc.
A foam including mattess pad to insulate from the ground, and a reflective groundsheet are wonderful. I do a double layered insulated thermarest and cheap CCf pad combo for winter.
Definitely a thermos. Watch water intake - you dont feel thirsty from the heat, so dehydration is a risk. And watch sweating - change into clean sleeping clothes or nothing- even the slight sweat of the day will make you freeze overnight.
Hot pads (the iron chemical ones) are gold . They have saved friends from frost bite when gloves got wet or boots got wet (obviously use with care, and not after frost bite begins). Also amazing attached to the feet to sleep on a cold night, or plastered to the shoulder blades to sleep with. Magical. But dont use them in your boots in the snow unless you have to, they will melt the snow and get your boots wet.
Down bags are great - unless they get wet. I usually carry a light fleece blanket too. A dry hat for sleeping in and a daytime hat for hanging out. Layers. Constantly stripping and adding to keep from sweating or becoming cold - once you get cold, its very difficult to rewarm.
I use a dog exercise pen to contain my pile. Fast, i had one on hand i wasnt using, and looks neater than just placing on the ground, and easy to move it over and turn the pile if i am ambitious.
Used to have a solar digester and quite liked it, but it froze in the winter in 3b.
Over the winter i compost in vermibins, plastic buckets i put plenty of ripped up newspaper in loosely,and fill with vegetable scraps, tucking it under layers of newspaper. They dont smell, i had these for years in an apartment without landlords or even roommates having a clue, and dont even bother to put holes in them. In the spring, youcan put their contents into the outdoor bin, or if they are well degraded, put the soil directly on the vegetable garden. I do tend to get plenty of volunteer tomatos and squash in my vermicompost though.
My mother is obsessed with interfacing and adds it even when it isnt called for in a pattern. Its purpose is to stabilize the fabric and prevent stretching, and stiffen. It does make things look so much nicer. - waist bands, cuffs, plackets, collars... Just went fabric shopping with her, and while i was at the cutting counter, she bought an entire small wrapped bolt of the stuff, when my pattern called for 0.3 m!!! Obsessed, i tell you!
When , horror of horrrors, there HASNT been interfacing in the house, she liked to use the same or slightly more heavyweight or lighter weight woven fabric, cut on the bias and then sewn in. The bias cut interfacing keeps the other fabric from being able to stretch as much. I think i have even seen her do two layers.
Bruce - I think an enlightening or rejuvenating period is exactly what I am thinking of.
Jordan - I somewhat agreed with you at one point; I have just noticed in the last few months that after a certain point - a few months, maybe? - I craved even peripheral human contact, lIke going to the grocery store. It's probably a first in my life for me craving human contact, which is interesting to me.. Dogs are pretty great though mine would likely prefer there be TWO dogs as she is a far more social creature than I am.
Carla - good point, I may change the thread title if I can think of a better one... I have lived alone for much of my adult life, so living alone as a normal state. Isolation or hermitage (good word) is not.
hink the longest I have ever been completely isolated from face to face human contact was maybe 2 weeks, while quaranting with adult chickenpox. Without internet and other people and a phone? Maybe 3 days.
I am suspecting I would be most comfortable going into town once a week or so, if without internet. I get library books online, so withat internet? Maybe monthly, but i thinK the no internet solution would be healthier. I also wonder if it's something that stamina could be built for - perhaps initially a weekly trip would be needed, eventually it would decrease.
Rob - your 8 hr video chat sounds like my personal version of hell, I have a daily 1 hr conference call, and I would like to murder the person who originally suggested it. I definitely suspect there are some folks who need more contact, and yeah, the craving for physical touch is an interesting consideration. I've alone for years, far from family, and a colleague accidentally brushing bY or tapping a shoulder after weeks without contact was jolting. And yes, no internet in this imaginary cabin :)
Douglass - My dog is far more personable than a volleyball, and would pop one in about 30s. Dog balls, however, would need to be on the list for bother our sanity. Without the dog? Yeah, I might turn a volleyball into a friend.
Sionainn - what is the brine solution recipe? And how do you make the pepper spread? I love a commercially made eastern european pepper condiment that is used to add flavour to soups and stews and would love go make something similar at home.
A long running daydream of mine is to hole up in a remote cabin in the woods of northern ontario with a dog, a bunch of books, art supplies, lots of food, cross country skis and snowshoes, and lots of firewood. And... stay there for the winter, with zero human contact, or internet. Maybe November to March, around 6 months. (Introvert? Who, me?)
With the pandemic... i am beginning to suspect i might actually miss people. I think i could cheerfully manage 2-3 weeks. But... longer than that? Not sure.
How long have you been alone for? How long do you think you could stand to be alone? How often do you prefer to interact with people?
I am prone to hoarding, so I like to put space limits on things. I lived in a 400sq ft apartment for 3 years, then a 600 sq ft one, and have lots of hobbies, so this is necessary.
For example - my acrylic paints which I looked at today must fit in a shoe box. This keeps it from expanding like my mother's, to fit three large drawers, with most of them being only half good, picked up at garage sales. I am starting water colouring. My watercolouring supplies will have a similar limit. I dont buy anything that I "might" need some day, either. My shirts must fit in one drawer. My tools must fit in one dresser drawer. My kitchen appliances must fit on this shelf. My seeds must fit in this box.
Once the space limit has been set, I dont begrudge myself filling it to the max, or whatever is in it. But I dont let the category expand beyond the allotted space, that's when i start to get clutter and hoarding. If it wont fit- then i need to reassess what is in it, and what can be gotten rid of. I have one box of old electronics. It's a lot of stuff I will never use. But - it's just one box, and not expanding, so I figure that's ok.
I like to say that stuff expands to fill the space allotted to it.
(Just like work expands to fill the time allotted to it).
As part of an ongoing effort to regain creativity I have decided to take up watercolouring. I want to learn to paint from life, as well. A portable sketchbook and portable water colour set have been ordered, but for today, I started with some old paint and paper we had hanging around the house.
Watercolouring has never been my favourite medium. At all. Acrylics or oils - you can paint over mistakes. Watercolouring? You either live with them or embrace them. And you cant work until it's perfect. You need to stop before you go too far.... and patience! You need to wait for them to dry before adding layers. Ahhhhhh!!!
So I guess the goals are to work on my creativity, learning to accept mistakes, and learning to have patience and quit while you are ahead. Pretty art would be nice too :)
Anyway- here's my first few.
A clearing on some family property (from a photo), and my attempt from memory to paint a thunderstorm rolling in over Lake Ontario. Not satisfied with any of them - but working on my perfectionism so sharing anyways :)
New to corn, but have been doing a fair amount of research, as corn genetics are fascinating.
My understanding is that with corn, genetic variability is a big factor, withe in breeding leading to much smallergies kernels/cobs. . I suspect your varieties have crossed. And that corn plant is exhibiting hybrid vigour. You typically need to save seeds from about 200 plants to prevent inbreeding depression in corn.
It's unlikely that the corn has crossed with field corn, as, genetically, field corn doesn't contain the genes needed to show the pretty colours that mutant cob has. It's possible, of course, that a few kernels have crossed with field corn, but it looks to me that you are seeing the results of a cross last year, and also, based on the multiple colours, more crossing this year.
As for the multiple colours - its possible that the speckling is a trait that was hidden in the Aztec corn. My Painted Mountain corn has lots of speckled kernels,
If you only need a bit, there is often a layer of clay silt underneath the sand in the water on a shallow lake beach. As a kid, I LOVED diving for it, digging it out, and making mud figurines. Might not be ideal for pottery.
Otherwise - most soil (unless specifically manufactured and cleaned) has SOME clay- even if only 3-5%. For your purposes, you could make a small grizzly - basically a screen on an angle. You dump dryish soil slowly onto it. Stuff that is smaller than the screen (maybe use hardware cloth?) Falls through. The gravel bounces off to the side and makes a pile that can be used for other projects. This would give you maybe 10-20% clay, depending on what percent gravel you had. 20% clay is more than enough to exhibit clay-ey properties.
You can buy bags of bentonite chips or ground bentonite. They are clay, but a special expansive super slime clay. Kids would have fun with bentonite, but it's not really representative of most clay.
I think your kids are still too young, but you can do some great science/math problems with a scale and some different sized sieves (if they are doing algebra already- let me know and I will give you ideas)
I am trying hulless oats this year, have read mixed reviews on how well they hull. I think I saw hulless barley also available, Kate?
I will also be planting flour corn, which should be relatively easy to process ( probably wont nixtamalize) , and am trying quinoa and amaranth, maybe millet, and some beans. All of these are things I use as 'flour'.
Just a little of each to see what grows well and how easy it is to process.
How did it go? I’m especially interested in the hulless oats. Also- what are your growing conditions like?
Unfortunately, I ordered them in the COVID crazy time, and the oats arrived far too late for planting oats in my climate, took a few weeks to ship and more than a month in the mail. This year I have grown corn - easy, but being eaten by animals- and amaranth (gorgeous, great germination, but hasnt dried down yet so dont know if it will be easy to thresh, drought tolerant, love the taste of the greens so ate the thinnings). Quinoa didnt sprout outdoors, and I refuse to grow a grain I need to transplant. Didnt try millet, dried beans had not great germination, soybeans didnt germinate. I find with a lot of things they grow better for me on the second year.
I am in Ontario- last frost was late May, then followed with a bad and unusually hot drought from early June to July, quite unusually wet all August.
Mushroom propagation is .... scary. I have looked into it before, and it's either "buy this expensive kit and grow one batch" or "by this culture, have a sterile environment and a ton of specific equipment and a bunch of weeks process and then ....(not sure).". I glance, get overwhelmed, and stop looking.
But- my mom wants to grow mushrooms, so I have been tasked with making it happen. Theoretically, I have the lab skills to do it, probably, but having to do things completely sterile sucks some fun out of it.
I think what we want is to have an outdoor bed of woodchips that fruit mushrooms.
1) How do you inoculate a bed of woodchips? Any good species?
2) Are they perennial? Able to handle very cold temperature over the winter?
3) Do you need to keep buying mushroom spawn?
4) Is liquid culture an appropriate starting point?
5) can you have multiple types of spawn in one bed, or should you seperate them?
6) does the mushroom bed need to be kept weed and vegetable free?
7) Are woodchips with significant "green" materials (chipped branches) appropriate?
8) Can you start in the fall, or do I need to wait for spring?
Any resources you can throw at me are more than appreciated!!!
Rob Lineberger wrote:Pine trees, tulip poplar, and persimmon all seem eager to announce themselves. Running cedar moss. Laurel bushes.
You made me think about tulip poplars which I haven't in years. Good memories!
Funny you should mention memories. I have noticed that when I identify by smell, rather than sight, there are far more
memories attached. Place memories, usually. An apple tree brings me back to my childhood yard, labrador tea ro a particular camp site I went to as a teen, etc. I dont have those same connotations when I identify by sight.
I am really enjoying seeing the wide variety of plants recognizable by smell here!!!
An interesting experiment might be to pick two dandelion leaves, or plant identical patches of lettuce. One in purchased potting soil or heavily ammended/mulched soil, one in native soil and see if both have the same taste to you.
I largely agree with you - though I love rhubarb. I even eat a stalk or two raw, pluck and chew, tart and wonderful. Perennial vegetables are more of a short seasoned novelty in my garden than a staple.
I have had some success with perennials that other cultures actually regularly eat. Chinese culture/cuisine has some good examples.
Do you like stir fries? Hosta shoots and unopened daylily flowers are both good in stir fries. Fiddleheads are tasty, though ephemeral. I like purchased bamboo shoots, so if it was a tiny bit warmer, would consider planting bamboo to eat. Grape leaves used to wrap meat or rice are delicious.
Walking onions are pretty pungent, and arent all that productive for me. Chives I make a lot of use of in the spring though.
I happened to go out early this morning and caught one of the pests in action - a plague of black birds.My dog had fun running them off (they landed in the garden next door).
However, I am pretty sure they are not the only pest - there was some wild shaking of a bush behind the patch as I approached that looked like a small to medium sized animal, plus my neighbour claims she saw a raccoon with a cob hiding in her cedars.
I would believe squirrels, too, they definitely live in the shed and plant walnuts in my garden.
Who knows? Maybe I have a trifecta (or more) of hungry pests chewing my corn.
Next year, I am going to fence my garden.
Mark - I like your idea, but I have bean plants tangled in with my corn, so it would be challenging to extract them. I might try it next year though.
That's a huge relief to know. This is my first year with flour corn/dry corn so i am prety clueless. All my googling could find was "wait until the husks are dry to pick", which would be lovely, if the local wildlife allowed. I will pick more tomorrow then.
I sometimes wonder if most internet garden writers have actually grown the plants they write about, or just regurgitate other articles, with all the top resulfs having almost the same info.
I may only get 30 or 40 cobs off my experimental patch this year, with many plants not producing ears, so each one feels precious.
I am picking them slowly, as the cobs start to have even a touch of brown. It's too early, some of them are still sweet tasting and I think the auleurone isnt quite formed based on colour, but the raccoons or whatever are getting more bold. I am finding munched and spat corn cobs all over my yard and the neighbours.
The picked corn is pretty though - here is what I picked today.
I have no experience with livestock guardian dogs, though we owned one when i was small. But for dogs in general, the time prior to 16 weeks, and preferably prior to 12 weeks, is when dogs are the most able to be sociazed to new things. Cats, other dogs, kids, farm animals, the vet, town, human visitors, car rides, etc. There are socialization checklists online.
Yes, I know most livestock guardians aren't supposed to be too friendly, but I think it definitely allows them to learn good judgement and discretion about normal vs not. There are many checklists online if you search "socialization checklist". The idea is to give many positive or neutral experiences - not to stress the puppy. They don't even have to interact with the checklist item - just observe from a distance. A confident, discerning dog with good judgement is a wonderful partner to have.
The old fashioned way to iron and not scorch, which I still do because my hard water breaks the steam setting on irons and I am impatient and distractable, is a press cloth. Find an old antique smooth linen tea towel (linen handles heat better), dampen it well and put it on top of the fabric you are ironing. Re dampen as it dries. I think in 5 years of my teenaged self ironing weekly, I scorched one tea towel, and didn't scorch any clothes or the starch I was using. Before I got into that habit and just used the steam setting? Oops. No one will notice that off white spot, right? I also use a press cloth by for anything that is polyester or fine. Not great for careful seam pressing, but great for flattening large areas or making folds/creases.
I also ironed with no ironing board, just a sheet and a thin cotton towel on my desk or kitchen table for all of university. Works great and far less likely to knock it over than an ironing board.
Well.... neighbour came over. "Is this yours?" Holding a corn cob by the husks....
Turns out they (likely racoons) are nibbling on a few, and filching more. I picked a couple of the driest, they are still not at fully bright/dark colours.
There is an old building next to the garden we would love to tear down. Wondering if the racoons, squirrels or whatever that live in it think they have landed in a bed and breakfast!
Would really like a reference for when the starch changes from sugar to starch as I want to use these for flour.