I attended the Utah Farm and Food Conference this weekend. People in attendance got access to every variety I grow for which I had sufficient seed for sharing. And bottled food that I have sang and danced for since it was still seeds, and every step of the process since then, including growing, irrigation, weeding, harvest, and processing...
Nicole Alderman wrote:I just found out about these spiffy pants that have a discrete "fly" for women so they can pee with ease.
Wow, that's wonderful! I wonder if they would be useful for horse riding... I don't see why not? That's how I'm seriously outdoors, these days... can't pee in the garden as someone would see me for sure. Maybe I need to plant more trees and bushes ;)
Bryant RedHawk wrote:Yes, In fact I was discussing this exact nurturing facility with an elder several months ago when he said, "but you already knew that, by the time you were 8 years, you had been taught about the world is one whole being, not pieces and parts."
The thing about plants, animals, insects, microorganisms, air, water, fire, land, etc. is that it is all connected, We have always known this (we being aboriginal peoples), it is those of the "modern" era, European based cultures that forgot this most important part of the world.
When humans decided that they live on the earth and were not part of the earth, that is when all the troubles began and they continue because humans have the tendency to shut the part of themselves that is capable of feeling the earth's energy flow off completely.
If humans don't bother to feel their own connection, they don't worry about the destruction they do because they don't feel it is bad.
A tree that sends seed out far from the base of that tree can still, through the fungal network in the soil, find where those children sprouted and exudates are for far more than just calling for nutrients or crying about being sick.
Plants are people too, so we need to understand that they are far more like us, than most want to think they are, animals too, are far more like us than we want to admit to ourselves.
Once we understand that it isn't wrong to credit plants and other animals with having the same senses we have, that their actions are similar to our own, then we can live in the earth, as we are supposed to.
There are no actions that do not have consequences for every other part of the earth mother, we are part of the earth mother as are all others who dwell in her arms.
Yet another re-bump of RedHawk's excellent vision so appropriate for the wider, longer, and deeper reach of Permie principles as they will come to impact, to the extent possible, the future of the planet. This>> "When humans decided that they live on the earth and were not part of the earth, that is when all the troubles began and they continue because humans have the tendency to shut the part of themselves that is capable of feeling the earth's energy flow off completely." It explains so much of the different pathways taken that lead down rabbit holes, some small....other's quite large and of a depth and breadth seemingly inescapable. 'Seemingly', being the word of hope here....
The only issue I would take is with this>>"Once we understand that it isn't wrong to credit plants and other animals with having the same senses we have....", because I feel it to simply be too apologetic. Granted, it is quite likely that what we call "our senses" and what a plant or 'soil' has for its senses might be quite different, I nevertheless feel it imperative.....greatly amplifying Redhawk's "it isn't wrong" sentiment....that we consider these other entities of the uni/multiverse as interconnected with ourselves. It just seems that when the human mind becomes too self-reflecting (i.e. projecting human traits/fears/desires onto gods and gibbons alike, rather than granting the latter its own 'wisdom') versus incorporating observation of the natural world around it, actions at the individual and population scale, as well as new and potentially more delusional visions, begin to occur and arise, respectively, that are of questionable health to humans *and* those with whom we are interconnected. In a complementary manner, it seems this might recapitulate the summary sentence of RedHawk's illuminating and compassionate passage.
M Wilcox wrote:I had suggested long ago that my wife write a book and she nixed that idea immediately so I didn't have much hope that she would want to blog either. Nevertheless, I pitched the idea yesterday and she thought it was a great idea! In fact she setup a blog yesterday and already has done her first post!
That's wonderful! She could also write about your struggles, to reassure people, as it's often an uphill battle when you're a beginner. That will also be a way for both of you to talk about it, and put it into words that might actually be helpful for others.
M Broussard wrote:This is my second season growing fibre European flax...
Congratulations! It seems like you might have enough to test out the Textile Prepare Flax for Spinning BB. It is a Straw level badge but you can work on them even if you haven't finished the sand level. You do have to earn the sand badge to be eligible for the straw level badge but there are no rules against working on Straw or higher level BBs before earning sand level.
Maybe you don't talk about the same species? If I understood well the Sepp Holzer grain for BB20 is a rye, not a wheat ...
I saw a short video of someone visiting Krameterhof in which Sepp's son showed a small field of grain and told a little about it in German (with subtitling). About halfway in this video:
I want to share with all here who spin their own yarns that I am in awe of your skill, and those like and including Raven that then weave that into cloth on a real loom, that I aspire to someday be able to do the same. As I approach my 60th birthday I am feeling that time is running out to learn the skills. City life and the pressures of making all the bills take their toll.
In the past 2 years I've taught myself how to make twined woven rugs with strips of cloth, mostly old sheets. But I have long wanted to own a floor or table loom, like since I was a child and attended my first Renaissance festival and watched someone else weaving cloth on a floor loom. I find the more I work with textiles, the more comfortable and inherently right it feels. Any anger or frustration in my day seems to melt away when I work the textiles I have access to.
So towards this drive to learn these skills, I have been researching the many natural fibers that can be used in spinning and weaving. I was surprised to find nettles among those listed in plant fibers. I knew of flax being the source of linen, and that hemp fibers make a nice cloth. Sheep make wool, and alpaca too. I've even attended an alpaca shearing that saw 1 lone sheep come for his own shearing. I hope I have enough time to raise my own everything and learn, to hopefully pass along the skills to some of my grandchildren.
I welcome any input on my quest. I continue to research all things to do with the learning, but without the raw fibers can't acquire the knowledge from practice. What tools do you prefer for spinning, and what have you tried and discarded as not quite what you were aiming for?
Thanks in advance for any responses to help steer me along.
Can any of you experts make some recommendations on how to moderate greasy hair? I have been mostly shampoo less for several years I just do a daily rinse. Once I get to day 5-7 I have to do something to cut the grease. In the past I have used conditioner or a small amount of shampoo on the really oily spots. I gave vinegar a shot this morning. I do think it helped but I would like a bit more advice. I don't want to strip all the oil, just keep it in check. We have very hard limestone water around here.
Cats are what they are. Cuddly, purry, efficient little killing machines. Unchecked, they can do a lot of harm. I have come to believe it's an owner problem.
We had cats at our previous acreage property, and we settled on an indoor/outdoor routine. The cats would go out at night and whack as many mice as they wanted. But I didn't want them hunting birds during the day. So, first thing in the morning, I would call them and they would come running to get their breakfast and pats, and sleep in the sunroom. It worked quite well.
I wish I could train cat owners in my current neighbourhood to do the same.
Here's mine, inspired by the Food Prep & Preservation PEP badge. It was made with things we had on hand. The box itself is an old travel cooler, formerly used by my husband when he drove trucks over the road. The insulation is scraps from a house insulation project. The pieces are cut to accommodate one of my favorite stainless steel pots. I'm pleased to report that it worked very well!
Rodney Wade wrote:I would think turning those bags 90° would get you similar thickness to a tire and thus the insulation.
Hello Rodney. If you wanted thicker walls, probably the best approach would be to use the larger bags - they give you a wall about 16 to 18 inches wide. I wouldn't put the bags sideways - you'd have to seal each one. I do know of a fella who built that way but he individually sowed each bag shut. Earthbag walls on their own don't give much insulation but do have a lot of thermal mass which can help to regulate indoor temperatures.
Remember, being a permie is as much a state of mind than anything else. There is no law that says you MUST be off grid, produce all your own food, build your own shelter etc. Perhaps a modified version, rehabbing a solid but derelict structure; finding locals for whom you can barter, trade or purchase from; raise a few animals, or enough to swap for what you need.
It is often better to honestly look at your abilities, skills, physical/mental health, and of course finances very carefully, first. Then decide a path that makes the most sense for your circumstances. This is YOUR life, and there is no point subscribing to a dream that for whatever reason(s) is not reasonably attainable. This does NOT mean, do not take the plunge, only to make sure you can swim and not drown by being unrealistic.
I have given up being self sufficient in food - I am apparently NOT a gardener and my wildlife rescue work simply does not allow for follow through at the height of growing season as that is also the height of baby season. This is my passion, therefore I instead purchase from those who have the time and skill to grow surplus. This way we are both utilizing our talents and passions in the best way possible.
Again, please, do not think I am suggesting no one should or can take the full permie plunge - I am only suggesting that you be brutally honest with yourself, your skills and desires BEFORE jumping in. The old adage "be careful what you wish for" is a very wise sentiment.
Hi Jen Fan,
I'm Alma Maria. I just finished read ALL your posts in one session! That's how much your info captivated me. I especially appreciate your belief (which I share but had not found anyone else expressing, until today!) about 40 hours/week of work being "inhumane." I'm totally up for doing 30 hours per week, and then adding on a few more as needed, because my work pace is usually a bit slower than that of other folks. I balance that by being very conscientious. I complete tasks fully and thoroughly. And when I'm learning a new system (of feeding livestock or of garden work, etc.), I write down all the steps so I don't forget any necessary steps, and I follow my notes until the day comes when I've fully learned all the steps.
So, I'm sixty-three & am currently volunteering 2 days a week on an organic vegetable farm. I did 46 years of (mostly full-time) wage work, and am now retired and receiving a small monthly pension. I spent an autumn, winter & spring in Montana (2006-07) and loved it! I wasn't out in the wilds, I was in Helena, but still . . . I grew up in the country, doing weekly outdoor work for my dad (mowing; pruning; raking; weeding), and shoveling snow in the winters. I'm used to sweat, insects and physical work. I love animals, and I'd love to learn how to care for pigs, goats and chickens. I'd be up for milking does, too, on the regular, once they come to trust me.
I have health insurance and my pension income, so I'm self-sufficient in that way. I'm out of the country for a few months right now. But I'm interested in returning to the u.s. in Spring 2021. I have use of a 4WD (it belongs to a close family member, who has lent it to me). I plan to drive the vehicle from northern CA to the East Coast next spring, and would like to come for a week or so at your homestead, to see if I might be compatible with y'all, and vice versa. And if, during that week, we mutually feel like it might work for me to stay on for a month or more, I could notify my relative and push back my arrival at their home. I'd especially like to learn-by-doing, wildcrafting berries, mushrooms & medicinal plants. I grew up harvesting wild cherries & blackberries, but they were right there on my dad's 4 acres, easy to reach, up by the road. I also want to learn-by-doing, making applesauce, canning & preserving other fruits & veggies, and preparing meats. I cleaned some wild game for my family when I was a kid. I can pluck feathers, remove entrails, scrape hides, and am willing to learn more that's involved in those processes. And I'm down with living in rustic conditions. I'm actively seeking to gain more experience at living in such surroundings, to better hone my own skills at "roughing it." And I love the Earth deeply. My long-term plan is to live full-time, self-sufficiently on the land somewhere, for the remainder of my life. I'm all in on the no-bleach, no-chemicals situation. I have African hair, and the best shampoo & conditioner I've found does have aromatic essential oils in it, and also has shea butter & coconut oil. I'm willing to NOT use those products while I'm at your homestead, if they aren't acceptable to you. I love using Dr. Bronner's soaps, but would also be very interested in trying out the natural soaps you make!
I have a small amount of knowledge of medicinal plants and herbs, and participated in tending & harvesting medicinal herbal plants & making tinctures during a 9-week stay at an organic commercial medicinal plant farm/processing company, where the growers were attempting to cultivate goldenseal. They grew a lot of other medicinal plants as well. I've completed the 80 Hour Permaculture Design Course, and have worked full-time on 4 organic farms, in addition to the one I'm at now. I really like your honesty about how we all have our dysfunctions, quirks, oddities, etc. And about how we're each responsible for attending to our own healing. I've done a lot of that over the years, and I'm so glad I put in the time & effort! It was so worth it! Ultimately, it's about how well we each flow in relation to others with whom we want to share community. I hope you'll email me. My email is mariadelnorte2619 @ gmail dot com. Oh, fyi, I'm willing to continue doing the recommended practices, in terms of the current virus. I've been taking helpful supplements since February 2020 (Zinc, copper & quercetin), and I've been feeling fine all year. While I'm personally not deeply concerned about whether or not I might contract the virus, I definitely do all I can, to not be/become an unwitting carrier & then spread it to others.
Herpes simplex is off the subject for this post as you are asking about a viral infection and this is a post about antibacterial activity. However, I don't want to leave you hanging here. For people in low selenium areas (lack of selenium in soil) they are usually low in selenium and selenium is necessary to keep herpes at bay. (some areas are high in selenium) For people who are having continual outbreaks that are low in selenium they usually need 200 micrograms per day. I don't usually give people more than 400 micrograms and only when necessary. Adequate zinc level is also helpful. Lysine also helps. Herpes simplex feeds on arginine and if someone eats high arginine foods such as chocolate or nuts etc. it will sometimes cause outbreaks. Taking Lysine to counter the arginine (both are amino acids and arginine feeds herpes while lysine will slow them down) will help. For people who note arginine rich foods causing outbreaks, they simply take 2000 mg (or amount found to work - differs in people and how much arginine they are eating) with the food and it keeps the outbreak from happening (in conjunction with having adequate selenium). For actual outbreaks I have folks use 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide at the beginning of an outbreak. I have them use it at the beginning sensations of tingling or itching that comes up and it often keeps the outbreak from taking place. It can be used to shorten a skin outbreak that has already taken place also. Be careful as too concentrated of hydrogen peroxide can cause skin irritation and burning itself. Zinc is used with success too as are all sorts of essential oils and most of them help to some degree. I find hydrogen peroxide works better topically than most anything else that has been used on the sores, however every once in a while someone likes the topical zinc better and I assume they have inadequate levels and this is why it works best for them.
If someone does these things, has good nutrition over all and still has outbreaks, I start looking for environmental toxins or other reasons for the person's immune system to be behaving inadequately. What other stressors of a physical/mental/emotional type is the person dealing with.
Ok, I have one post on probation now. I get it and I respect the rules. I wanted to share my experience with the author and the problems she had getting her kid to sleep. Sleep deprivation can be a torture, and in fact, it has been used against prisoners many times, sadly.
Putting one sample on this is what took my post to probation. And I dont really know how to edit it in a way that makes forum staff and me comfortable. I think that deleting what I wrote takes out the sense of what I meant, and writing it in a different way feels wrong.
So well, it is difficult. Thanks for your work anyway, the forum is great.
I have an ideal take a 3/4 inch thick steel an set build you a bakers box take out the top of the stove an set the bakers box onto of the stove with snap latches an make sure you put at least 20 holes in bottom of bakers box an have a thicker piece of steel on inside were you can move it back an forth to cover up some holes an it should regulate temp to we're you can bake about anything would like love to see if my ideal works an by the way your stove looks amazing an also you can weld flat metal on inside of bakers box to set your racks on
On the topic of vegan mayonnaise, don’t forget about Toum. Garlic is full of lecithin and so it emulsifies really well, no egg needed. This works for my partner who can’t eat egg and for me who can’t eat soy. Just oil, fresh garlic (I take the little sprout looking bit in the middle out, I’m told it can be bitter), a pinch of salt, and a squeeze of lemon.
I haven’t tried this with the immersion blender and a jar yet, fingers crossed that it works. I always feel like I lose a lot of goodness to the blender jar.
I have been using aloe vera and some skincare serum for a year then my sister suggested me to try the https://blog.simplyearth.com/diy-moisturizing-face-cream/ it composes of aloe vera gel and some natural oil it is working on me actually moisture and remove dead skin from my face. I hope this recipe might help.
This one is nice. I guess it's not exactly a rocket mass stove. I don't understand if the wood they use under the base of the pool will hold up long. Seems like if would burn or something. It's pretty though!
Barbara Kerschner wrote:I am going back to making my own clothes. Quality fabrics, made from sustainable sources are challenging to find and expensive. But I can make clothes that last for years and mend them as needed. I have made quilts for years and repaired them as the begin to all apart. I made a quilr.for my mother 50 years ago using an old wool blanket as the batting. I still use it on our guest bed when we have a friend sleeping over. I also weave our own towels and yes weaving cotton and wool are ridiculously expensive but the towels last for many many years. There is a reason people used to have only one shirt!
I wish I had your talent to make clothes. That is one task I have always hated with a passion and never been good at. Give me two boards, a saw and a hammer and I can MacGiver something useful. A bolt of fabric, not so much.
My lazy solution for clothing is to go to Goodwill. These clothes and shoes were often good quality the first time around. So the shoes are a bit scuffed and the shirts have had better days. At 72, I'm a bit scuffed as well and my better days are behind me, so everything matches now. I just give these clothes a second life.
Stacy Witscher wrote:Dan Boone - I have to say that I've never heard of a doctor's office wanting to know my SS number other than if you have Medicare. My experience has always been they want your insurance card. Even Medicare has changed to having a Medicare number that is different from your SS number, primarily because people don't want to carry a card around that has your SS number on it. Are you referring to new client info for uninsured patients? Because if you are, I would think that they want your SS number so that they can either check your credit, or ding your credit if you don't pay.
I know this post is older but I can also confirm that this is routine. I have friends in admissions for a couple of local hospitals. It's basically so they have redundant pathways for information when they send stuff out for collections. Additionally, I was once refused treatment when I wouldn't give it. I had some acute reaction to something and had hives, itching, etc. It was on a Sunday and I didn't want to take the financial hit for emergency care so I waited until Monday morning. It was murder. Couldn't even sleep. I did not have a primary care physician. It took me two hours tp get an appointment. I went there and had check-in via tablet. I filled out everything except financial info and SS. I had insurance. I was called up about 15 mins later (15 mins past appointment time) and told I hadn't filled in the SS part. I statyed I realize that but since it is illegal to use it as an identifer and that this was an insurance case, I wouldn't be providing it. She said, "They always ask for it." I stated I knew this but payment for treatment would follow my insurance number. She asked me to wait while she spoke to the physician. About 10 mins later she said the physician would not see anyone without the SS. I said that was fine and asked them to erase all of my information. She asked in surprised fashion, "You don't want your appointment?" I said not with a barrier like that and an unreasonable requirement to go against federal law and I walked out.
It took me another 1.5 hrs to find someone who would see me and I asked on the phone whether this would be an issue and they said no. I drove over and they took me straight in. No problems, quick visit, prescription, and a day later I wasn't on fire. I reported the issue to my insurance company and my employee insurance office but doubt anything substantive happened.
I have loved reading through this thread, thank you everyone for sharing your unique experiences with your bucket toilets. After a year of living with a bucket toilet I would like to share our experience.
My husband and I bought 20 acres and built a 200 square foot tiny house. From the beginning we decided that we were going to do a grey water system for our sink and shower, and a bucket composting toilet. Because of that choice we were committed to a composting toilet in one form or another. Without any experience with a bucket toilet before the day we moved into our new house there was of course uncertainty of if this was going to be a good fit for us or not. I am happy to report that one year later we are very happy with this simple and practical system.
We use a one bucket system that lives in a custom box that we built in our small bathroom. The top of the box is split in half and each side lifts, one side is the bucket and the other side is space for our bin of shavings and extra supplies like toilet paper. As you can see from the pictures we have not yet decided what color we want to paint the plywood. I do want to paint the box, because I think it would be easier to clean and more sanitary.
When we start out with a clean bucket we do a liberal dusting in the bottom of the bucket. Both pee and poo go into the same bucket, and I have found that as long as you keep all of it capped with sawdust/shavings there is no smell. The critical part here is to get everything covered with sawdust. The only time we have ever had an issue with smell is when we discover that either the poo or pee didn't get completely covered, this can be quickly remedied. Yes, you possibly can use more sawdust this way, but I don't find it to be an unreasonable amount. With 2 of us using the bucket we typically only have to dump it every 4 to 5 days. We also throw most of our compost from the kitchen into the toilet, yep the kitchen is next to the bathroom. If for some reason we find that we keep smelling something from the bucket we simply go empty it and start fresh!
Most of the time we will empty our bucket when it is about 3/4 full, but as with most of life every once in a while chores get put off until it is an absolute necessity. Of course the more full it gets the heavier it is to carry to the compost pile, so I recommend trying to take it out when it is 3/4 full. In the beginning I thought this part was going to gross me out, but it doesn't at all. My main recommendation is to not have a compost pile with high sides, ours was at first and that was the only gross part of the whole experience simply because sometimes things could splash when you had to pour it from above. We figured that out pretty quick and created a shorter pile. Almost every time the bucket pours out clean with little left behind, but once in a while there will be a skid mark or two. We then take the bucket to our frost free spigot and do a quick rinse then set the bucket down on the ground, give it a good squirt of dish soap and fill the bucket with water. We have a large scrubber brush dedicated to this purpose and we scrub out the bucket. This only takes a few moments, and easily gets rid of the occasional skid mark no problem. We have discovered that letting the bucket sit there with the soapy water in it up to the rim for at least 15 minutes, longer if you can helps to soak out any residual odor that can sometimes linger from the pee permeating the plastic bucket. We then dump out the soapy water on the landscape and rinse one last time and if the weather is appropriate we might even let the sun dry things out. Now you just put it back in its spot and put a good layer of sawdust in the bottom and it's ready for service again.
We are lazy composters. We have two piles, our current pile we are dumping into, and an older more broken down pile. At this point our compost pile is mostly just our humanure and some kitchen scraps, once in a while I will have some green material from our garden/orchard to add to it, but primarily it is very carbon rich and I pay little attention to it. Because of this it does not get up to a temperature that will kill of pathogens, so we only spread this compost in areas that do not come in contact with any of our food crops. We spread the first batch on the hillside behind our tiny house which is simply a green zone for fire safety, and the grass really took off and became lush! We live in a very dry climate, and I rarely water our compost piles so the conditions are not optimal for them to break down. Even with this utter neglect I find that our humanure breaks down great in 6 months. The sawdust is not broken down much at that point, but it is filled with nutrients, and in our dry and sandy soil it is a great addition of organic material to hold moisture and create homes for the micro-herd.
I most definitely recommend this system to others! I know this system will not appeal to everyone, and it would be more work with a large family, but I think it is a great way to reduce our use of water and capture the nutrients of our humanure.
One technique that I have found useful is cutting off the branches from the bottom six feet of the trees, and dropping them on the ground. This is simple, easy, and effective for letting sunlight in onto less-shade-tolerant understory plants. Think of it as extending the edge deeper into the forest.