Jason Leue wrote:I was wondering if I could use cob to create a pond liner for some garden beds?
Cob dissolves in water, and then you've just got a bunch of wet sand and clay. It's better to use all clay. I've heard the best way to seal a pond is to put pigs in it. Or you could simulate pigs by throwing in manure and doing a lot of wet tamping.
So I just planted a bunch of blueberries, and I thought adding regular mycorrhizal fungi would be enough. But a botanist friend writes:
Blueberries are in the heath family, ericaceae. This means that they must have symbiotic fungi to live properly, being so adapted to having mycorrhizae as to not have root hairs. I did a bit of quick research, and it turns out the issue is weirder than I first thought. Plants of the family ericaceae, and specifically blueberries have a type of mycorrhizial association called ericoid mycorrhizae, typically fungi of the genus Hymenoscypus or Rhizoscyphus, and most typically Rhizoscyphus ericae. And without digging deep into weird places I doubt I could get culture of that fungus. If I were you, I would try and get a bit of soil/root mass from a thriving old established blueberry / wild vaccinium / cranberry / heath / rhododendron / heather plant in decending order of preference; and try and get said soil around the roots as a sort of seed to hopefully get the inoculation. No hurry, but the fungus is how they get their food to a large degree, unless they are in a nursery getting weak chemical fertilizers in the water, in which case they don't even need the fungus and it tends to atrophy unless fed.
Here is the evolving scoop for INPC people coming in from out of town on thursday.
6:30-7:30 is potluck at the Salem Lutheran church followed by Jan Spencer's pc talk.
We probably will have a registration table set up at the church.
We will open lodging at the Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute dormitories at 7:30 pm. Maureen Takogawa will be there to take payment for lodging and get people settled. Look for the Stowe House sign and our permaculture sign. There is a kitchen at each of the dormitory buildings and so people can prepare food there if they want. We may have a volunteer cook up some soup so it is available, but at least we will have some food to cook with there. Mukogawa is less than a mile from SFCC. google it for directions. We have to get that on the website yet.
I don't have a source, but I read somewhere that mail-order skirret, or skirret from seeds, is likely to have a woody root core. There is an improved skirret without a woody root core, and so far the only way to get it is to know someone who is growing it.
Fluoride is one of the hardest things to remove from water. I've done a bit of research, and some sources say that only distillation or reverse osmosis will get it out, and other sources say that other methods will work, but then the first sources say that those methods only work for a short time or with acidic water.
There's a great company in Seattle called Custom Pure that sells multi-stage filters using ionizing resin and then carbon.
I've got very sandy soil, and a couple goumis are surviving on a dry slope. They did need some water in the first few years.
Swales are not as useful in sandy soil because the water just sinks out the bottom and down to the bedrock or the aquifer. You might want to add some clay or organic matter to the bottoms of the swales so they hold water longer.
Erica Wisner wrote: Does it come with a titanium-and-diamond record player? ... It's easy to forget how recent recorded music, and video, are as art forms. How long into the future do you think we'll keep this technology?
Good questions! I think people in the future will be plenty smart enough to figure out that the grooves contain sound vibrations, and to invent ways to play them.
My view of the future is not that we will permanently return to historical preindustrial cultures, but that we will keep innovating, and there are many unexplored possibilities for complex technology that does not require high energy and nonrenewable resources. Maybe they'll be recording videos in some way we can't imagine.
Future generations will figure out low-tech practical skills on their own. But they won't know what it was like to live at this time. So I'd gather the stories of a bunch of people and put them on a Rosetta Disk. Also, I would gather about fifty hours of my favorite music and etch it, vinyl record style, onto titanium disks.
I shipped a jar of tincture a year ago, and told the post office guy it was tincture. He asked me some questions and let me mail it. I don't quite remember, but I think it was okay because it was a small quantity, maybe 12 ounces. Also I had to lie and say it was in a plastic container, when really it was well-cushioned glass.
There are at least two issues here. One is: can we find harmful effects on food cooked in microwaves? To test this, you do a chemical analysis of the food itself. As far as I know, this kind of test has not yet found anything wrong.
The other issue is: can we find harmful effects on people who eat food cooked in microwaves. To test this, you get two groups of people and feed them the same food cooked both ways, and then test their health. I've seen studies (mentioned previously on this page) that do seem to show harm from microwaves. If these studies are accurate, and we can't find the mechanism by which the food is harmful, we need to keep looking.
Another issue is: can we trust the researchers? We already have double-blind experiments. I think we should do triple-blind experiments, where the people who analyze and report the results are blind to their source of funding!
It's hard to find one that's both electric and manual. A few years back I got one from Northern Tool, powered by a wheel that can be turned either by hand or by a belt hooked up to a motor. It is now sold as the "Kitchener #32 Meat Grinder with V-Belt Pulley". I haven't used it yet because I haven't got around to killing a deer...
I second the gable roof. I've been planning my cob cabin for years, and after examining many roofing options and building a practice hut, I've decided to put native logs on top of the cob as beams, then straight commercial lumber as rafters, then plywood, roofing felt, and steel. Also going with an urbanite foundation.
I subscribed to Acres for three years and finally quit when I noticed it was becoming a chore to sort through and find the good stuff. It's mostly geared toward medium-sized farms and livestock, and also they're total soil mineral geeks.
Indispensable for the sheer quantity of information, but I think the actual instructions are intimidating and nit-picky. If you like to be told exactly how to do everything, it's great, but I prefer the looser, more improvisational attitude in Becky Bee's Cob Builders Handbook.
I read a great tip on this kind of fence in the book Last of the Mountain Men. If you're trying to keep deer from jumping over, and you mix a lot of uneven stick heights, deer will see the whole fence as being as high as the highest sticks.
Bats will eat mosquitoes if they're the only food available, but they prefer larger insects like moths. From the Wikipedia section on natural predators of mosquitoes:
The dragonfly nymph eats mosquitoes at all stages of development and is quite effective in controlling populations. Although bats and Purple Martins can be prodigious consumers of insects, many of which are pests, less than 1% of their diet typically consists of mosquitoes. Neither bats nor Purple Martins are known to control or even significantly reduce mosquito populations.
I've read EFG volume 1 cover to cover, and it's got valuable fundamental information on stuff like soils and succession and patterns of nature. The appendix, "forest gardening's top 100 species", is great!
To me, volume 2 feels like a bunch of advice that you could figure out on your own if you understand the principles in volume 1. I'm sure it's more than that but I haven't been able to read it. But the appendices at the end are extremely useful.
The books focus on a range from the Atlantic to the edge of the great plains, and from hardiness zones 4-7, so Michigan and Indiana are included.
do you have on hand where you got the information about cultures with no concept of freeloaders?
I read it in a review of The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Hunters and Gatherers. I should also say, I don't think humans are going to permanently return to that level of simplicity, and building a stable complex society in which everyone enjoys everything they do is extremely challenging -- especially starting from where we are now. It might take us another ten thousand years and many more failures. But that is the path before us.
In the short term, it may be necessary to "screen out the leeches", just as a battlefield medic has to let some people die who could be saved with more resources. But in the long term, as system designers, we have to ask why people are behaving as leeches, and create conditions in which almost everyone is productive with no supervision.
There are primitive cultures that don't even have the concept of "freeloader" -- if someone does no productive activity, nobody cares. This is possible when a society is built on activities that are so enjoyable or meaningful that ordinary people would rather do them than not do them.
The concept of "freeloading" can only exist in the context of a society built on activities that are so unpleasant that nobody will do them without coercion. This coercion can be anything from whippings, to withholding of money without which you're not permitted to live, to social shaming.
In a permaculture system, every plant and animal does its role voluntarily. If the chickens don't scratch in the dirt, you put something in the dirt to make them want to scratch. Calling them "freeloaders" would be ridiculous... so why do we do this with humans?
Vintage Virginia Apples is close to your region and lists eight different crabs. Don't know if they still sell them, since the page seems to have been last updated in 2009.
Also, it is not widely known that a "crabapple" is not a subspecies of apple, but just any apple variety that produces a larger number of smaller fruits. They can have the same range of flavors as full-size apples. I'm growing a Centennial and a Chestnut, but haven't had any fruit yet.
Yikes! I think you're right about cocoa. Your numbers fit with the Wikipedia page on theobromine, which also puts cocoa around 2%.
I've done some more math. If cocoa is 2% purine, and a typical Endangered Species bar is 72% cocoa and 85 grams, that comes out to more than 1200 mg of purine. Going back to the purine chart on this page, that's as much purine as 500g of chicken liver. So in English units, a good chocolate bar causes more gout than a pound of chicken liver!
As a land owner myself, I hate the idea that anyone can "own" land in a way that prohibits other people from crossing it, and I like the law in Scotland, which says you can cross land and even camp and picnic on it, as long as you act responsibly (link). I think most of us would rather have the right to walk anywhere, than be confined to our own little cages with the right to exclude others.
Of course, the problem is that we live in a barbaric culture where many people do not respect the land. I've picked up litter on my property more than once. There has got to be some clever combination of words or images that will make the goons feel uneasy and the nice hikers feel comfortable. Maybe a bunch of plywood cutouts, painted to look like wild animals, with stern eyes that seem to follow you everywhere. And in case people knock them down, you can make little overhangs on the back that attract hornet's nests...
When the body metabolizes purines - an aromatic organic compound whose derivatives are naturally occurring in foods as DNA/RNA constituents - inefficient enzyme action can result in the build up of their end metabolite, uric acid. It then crystallizes in joints, causing gout. Foods highest in purines are meats, and particularly organ meats.
But then there's a chart, and up at the top, far above the levels of ox liver and pig's heart, are brewer's yeast and theobromine, the alkaloid in chocolate.
I get gout in my big toes, so from now on I'm not buying any more nutritional yeast or raw cocoa nibs.
Edit: I posted this on my blog and someone pointed out that cocoa is only 2% theobromine, while ox liver is 100% ox liver, so even pure cocoa would not make the chart. Someone else argued that since kids don't get gout with any diet, the deeper issue is the declining capacity of your kidneys.
I've been using this trick for several years, mostly in a dead fridge that I use for storage on my land. I buy crystal cat litter, fill the foot parts of socks, and tie off the ankles to close them. On sunny days I'll stick them in the solar oven to drive the moisture out. Haven't tried the colored stuff -- I just guess at the water saturation. But now that I think about it, if you have a fixed quantity of silica, you could find out how much water is in it by weighing it.
Another reason you might want raised beds: many plants like well-drained soil, so if your garden gets soggy, raised beds will give them some room to keep their roots from getting soaked. If the improved soil ends up being like a pit in the clay, instead of a mound over the clay, then it could turn into a pond.
Check out Carol Deppe's new book The Resilient Gardener. It's loaded with good info, and she recommends making raised beds without wooden sides. If you do use wood, I don't think any wood has built-in chemicals that will poison food crops. But I wouldn't use treated lumber or railroad ties.
I'm not sure what kind of cast iron waffler you have, but I've made quite a lot of waffles in one of those small round ones with a ball opposite the handles to rotate it. With one of those, first you preheat both sides of the iron, then you pour the batter in and cook one side, then flip it and cook the other.
I would also use a good coat of clarified butter on both sides, after heating but right before adding the batter. Clarified butter is good for cooking because it has a high smoke point. So does coconut oil. As long as the waffles don't stick, you don't have to do anything to care for it, except maybe rinsing. The oil will build up a seasoning. If the waffles stick, it's hard to scrape out the waffle crust without also losing some of the seasoning.
The guide is so small you can conceal it in your hand. It's a nice hybrid between hand-sharpening and gadget-sharpening. The extra piece of metal hanging off is to help sharpen the depth gauges. Here's a good page on [url=http://www.grounds-mag.com/mag/grounds_maintenance_sharpen_chain_saw_2/"]how to sharpen a chain saw , and and here's another photo of the roller guide in action:
This is a weird question. I really like bitter flavors! I already eat dandelion leaves and mountain ash berries and sip homemade oregon grape root tincture. But I know that bitter flavors often come from powerful compounds that are not safe for long-term use. So I'm wondering which bitter herbs are safest (and also cheap).