Chris Sturgeon

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since Nov 13, 2012
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transportation hugelkultur cat books cooking food preservation bike building writing rocket stoves wood heat
Building soil in the Yukon.
Yukon Territory, Canada. Zone 1a
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Recent posts by Chris Sturgeon

"Time vs. money vs. embodied energy" is pretty much the trinity that informs my decisions in life. There is always a push and pull between these factors, but sometimes an amazing synergy!

As a side note, I'm trying to get a local oyster bar on side so I can collect shells and burn quicklime for my own projects. I don't know if this is any less energy intensive than commercial concrete, but at least it saves the transportation to my remote northern location. Plus, another factor, I get to learn a new set of skills!
Oleo Saccharum (latin for 'oil sugar') has been used since medieval times as a flavouring in baked goods, punches, and as a general preservation method for aromatic volitiles and terpenes found in the zest and pith of oranges, lemons, etc.
Oleo Saccharum

I've found some recipes that only use the pith after the zest has been removed. I love the idea of using every bit of flavour, then composting/burning for potassium.
4 months ago
Moderation, dedication, and an unpayable debt to the volunteers who keep this site at an astounding level of quality.
The 'radical' idea that all ideas are welcome, so long as they are worded with decorum and respect.
The passion and enthusiasm of the users from pollinators to first time posters is evident.

These are ingredients in's success. Leavened with long hours and I'm sure, money.

Paul. I've worked for organizations where 'company' finances are an off-limits subject, I've also worked where the staff are fully aware of the bottom line and financial health of the company they work for. I've always found that the open book organizations have more buy-in and participation from their employees... In cases where the money news is not looking so great, the self-interested and moochers tend to flee, it's almost a self regulating system.

Your system of rewards for quality participation are right out of the social media playbook, but not in their narcissistic vein. Getting Apples (or pie!) instead of 'likes' or 'views' feels more tangible and more like a true reward rather than a shared opinion circle-jerk.

I came to Permies for the quality of information, I've stayed because of the community; but it's not a tight knit group of auto-diktats telling the world how to be 'perfect'; like they are. It's a diversity of opinion and thought that weaves the strength into the fabric of Permies, as rough and homespun as it sometimes is.

Inclusion, diversity, openness, civil discourse... we the world are thirsty for these things, whether we know it or not.
Aaron, it sounds like you are set up for success! I've used both ale and champagne yeast to make hard cider, I prefer the dry (and harder) product from champagne- though it's personal preference. My one tip regarding crab-apples is that they need a lot more time in the bottle to round out. even after 6 months I found it a little green. I've never had the discipline to cellar a bottle past 2 years, but they were the very best tasting bottles, so I'm going to try very very hard to leave at least one bottle from my latest batch for 3 years and see.
Good luck. Will you take pictures and post the process?
4 months ago
Hi Peter, Yes. And the Nearest Lowes/Home-despot/Rona is 1000km away in Edmonton! My reading has me thinking that Type-s with an added pozzolan will work for my plastering needs, but true quicklime would be better. A common pozzolan is brick dust, but again no source here, so I may divert some of my bio-char production and use charcoal to do the job.

I'm now thinking that it may be easier to find some local limestone and make my own true quicklime in a homemade cob kiln. Or very slowly in my paint-can retort that I use in my woodstove for charcoal.

4 months ago
Amen, sister! Watch out... next thing you'll be fermenting mushrooms, watermelon rinds, your tea, etc... it makes them all delicious!

Care to share your brine recipe and process?
4 months ago
William, this may be a good motor to use backward.
Do you have any use for battery charging or other trickle-in loads? This paired with a wind-mill or hydro-wheel could make a decent generator.
4 months ago
Gabe. I found a type-s lime made in Wisconsin. The nearest supplier is in Edmonton; still over 1000km away from me so even driving down to get it will be an expensive endeavour. Hope this helps you find a local supplier near you!
4 months ago
Does anybody have info about burning bones to make NHL? I live far from the ocean, no limestone here, but I can get bones from the butcher!
4 months ago