D. Logan

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since Sep 11, 2013
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D. Logan has made a point of broadening his perspective to the fullest in life. He's learned first hand a broad variety of jobs in the pursuit of knowledge. He's achieved a BA in Early Childhood Education, hiked the entire Appalachian trail in a single trip and done everything from working in a hospital to serving as a correctional officer. Each new area of life has given him a wider base of experiences to draw from when writing. He's written on many topics, crafted roleplaying games and published works of science fiction and fantasy.
In the last decade, he's focused a lot of attention on deepening his understanding of subjects such as homesteading and Permaculture. While there is always more to learn, he's come to a point where he is comfortable writing with a degree of authority on a number of topics within the scope of those subjects.
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Recent posts by D. Logan

I remember reading a fermenting book a few years ago that noted a default of Kosher salt for the recipes, but included a section on some other salts you might try like a volcanic black salt, a red salt, etc. That section included how the salt mineral contents tended to alter the flavor profiles of the different ferments.

It occurs to me as I think about it, all of the recipes I can recall are similarly focused on Kosher salt. I know that's for a good reason, but has anyone read anything about using different varieties of salt to craft their cheeses? Even better, does anyone have personal experience with this? I think it would be interesting to see how the different salt options influence the finished cheeses.
1 month ago
The pictures I am going to be using are limited here since so many of my 'in progress' photos were lost. I am pulling images from secondary areas that display some of the evidence of the activity and prove before, during, and after. This was a massive undertaking for me at the time we began last year to build a fully prepared garden.

I got a windfall of pallet rails that measured 2.5 by 4.5 feet rectangles. These saved me a lot of time and money when I was short on both after just purchasing the house on the prior October.

The pallet rails

There were 18 total that were laid out so that they formed a square with 3 additional beds in the center. I then dug out the ground so that each bed laid flat despite the hillside, creating steps down with each bed along the way. Once everything was level and even, I screwed it all together to ensure nothing shifted.

You can see the beds laid out in the background

Each bed was lined with dampened cardboard, then filled with a locally sourced blend of river soil and mushroom compost. I have complaints about the quality I received, but that's not relevant to the BB. The bed were wet down to ensure no odd erosion issues would occur before we began building the fence. Stakes were placed at intervals, hammered into the soil and screwed in place. Chicken wire was wrapped around the entire garden and a gateway was built. We didn't put much effort into the gate due to already feeling the crunch of time, but the rest of it was done painstakingly. Once we began planting, we added a few structures such as a climbing rig for the peas to grow up. Up the hill, a semi-temporary greenhouse was constructed until a more permanent one can be built in a few years.

All of this was done on off days over the course of a month and a half as time allowed. I was still way more out of shape that year from the previous 8 years of sedentary work. Had I been in the shape I am now, it probably would have been done in a weekend or two. Still, the garden was productive for us in spite of the late start on getting things in. This year, we're using the greenhouse to get an earlier start on seeds and will be doing a full re-build of the garden with the better funding we have available to do so. The existing beds will probably be moved somewhere else on the property as a set of experimental beds or for things like asparagus to be planted.

1 month ago
Well, digging around both here and in my computer, I have exactly 1 picture of the work in the orchard and 3 images mid-creation of the garden and 1 post-creation of the orchard. Since I intend to put more trees in this year, I can get 'before' pictures that way. If I take a photo of the winter-dead garden right now, I technically would have a before, during and after shot set for that one. Not the ton of pictures I originally planned, but at least proof of having done the work. Still very upsetting since none of the other projects are in there, but at least it is enough to get the largest of the projects posted for review.
1 month ago
For the last year or so I've been largely absent from permies as I have been focusing on getting settled with a day job (they keep changing my shifts around so it's hard to get a set pattern) and doing all sorts of projects for the home and property we bought. I had a few small projects I had documented with the camera as well as a major garden construction through production set.

My intent was to come on, well now, and post pictures and updates of the various activities as well as a few BB elements. Unfortunately my phone suffered a catastrophic failure to the point that very little outside of what was on the sim card was recoverable. I had pictures that predated that phone, but none of the ones I had taken were properly saving to the memory card I had installed. I'm not left with several projects that won't be repeatable that I have zero proof of doing and the major loss of the valuable proof of having done my garden build. I'm combing over images I uploaded for other things to see if they have the proof in the background, but it seems unlikely for me to pull it off. If I can, at least there's that, but all of the action shots are certainly gone.

There's not really much to be done or said about it, but feeling really bummed over the matter. I so rarely was getting to post BBs as it was and having the proof of those smaller projects and such a major one is hitting a bit hard emotionally. I suppose I am just hoping for a few words of encouragement. After all, it isn't as though the BBs are something I have been relying on. Still, it is just an emotional blow to my already small number of spoons per day.
1 month ago
I picked up a hatchet since a lot of small projects need it. It was beyond dull and actually had a blunt edge. It was as effective at cutting as a hammer. After some work, I have been able to cut points on stakes and similar tasks.
10 months ago
I needed to borrow a 10ft ladder from work. It didn't shift at all for the trip. The method I used to secure it was with straps and since my van was long enough, no flag was needed.
10 months ago
Watching a video recently got me revisiting this. I did a whole post before realizing I'd already started down this same path over 8 years ago. Funny how life keeps bringing us back to the same places over and over. anyway, the WAPF dietary guidelines are excellent, but I also feel like they're going to be something that the average person will flatly refuse to deal with. Maybe there's a way to integrate their clear guidelines into a setup that offers more flexibility. I could see different foods getting different scoring maybe. Anyway, my most recent thoughts were as follows:

I don't think servings is a good measurement since what is a reasonable meal to one person is way too much for another. I somewhat like percentages, but think that might throw a lot of people off. How do others feel about ratios? Like 1 part this, 2 parts that, etc?

Another thing that I was thinking about was something where it is all about getting the vital nutrition rather than any specific 'eat this generic group'. So for example:
- Vitamin A Group - Orange vegetables like Pumpkin, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes
- Calcium Group - Dairy Products, Collards, Broccoli
- Potassium Group - Bananas, Spinach, Grapes, Blackberries

I could see having these groups for Proteins, Fiber, Omega-3 Fats, Vitamins, Minerals, Phytochemicals, etc. Something where it offers ways to overlap the parts of the total ratio so things like how some of the Vitamin A group tends to overlap some with carotenoids. Possibly a section where it is an optional 1 part allowance for purely personal things so it isn't painfully strict about processed foods for those who feel a desire for them, but also isn't counting them as valuable.

It might also need some tweeking to note that things like 'Whole grains' need to be at a certain percentage. Right now, anything with 51% whole grain gets counted for purposes of grocery labeling. That means eating those whole grains is giving you almost 50/50 for heavily refined carbohydrates. Anyway, these are my initial thoughts on how such a Permaculture Pyramid/Plate would work. This could tie into the point idea. The value gets higher the more whole grain percentages are present? Anyway, it was worth looking at things again for me at least.
10 months ago
The berry bushes are all in place and about 1/3 are going strong. The rest are still anyone's guess. The last of this year's trees go in tonight and those that are already in have been doing amazingly well. Much to our surprise, the peach tree has 3 little fruit setting on it despite being little more than a stick. I haven't decided how to handle that yet. As to the garden beds, we will have the last of those filled and ready by our last frost date in a few days and planting can begin in earnest.

I also had the chance to take stock of some of the plants in our wooded area. The diversity of trees is higher than I would have expected. We knew about the walnut, the hickory, the maple, etc. There's also elder, elm, black locust, redbud, cherry, and many more back there. I can't wait to keep developing this property over time!
11 months ago
I made butter and ricotta cheese. The recipe for the butter is just to shake heavy cream in a jar until the milkfats separate. Then press out the liquids in changes of fresh water. Lastly, salt if desired.

The ricotta recipe combines 1 cup whole milk and 1/4 cup of lemon  juice over medium heat to 190 degrees F. Stir for 30 minutes, then allow to cool for 10 minutes, then drain through cheesecloth and salt. It called for 2 tsp, bu since it was being used right away in something with salt already, I went with 1/2 tsp.