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.
Soutwest Ohio
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Recent posts by D. Logan

Awesome to hear that! I guess that means that "all's well". ;)
As a follow-up to my last post in this particular forum, I thought cucumber might be a nice one to focus on. I think cucumbers get overlooked a lot when people are making selections. While there are some oddities, many of them look very similar. It's really easy for new gardeners to just shrug and assume they are all the same. I myself was guilty of this for my first few years back. So then, without further ado, my choice and why. For me, I like one that works as both a slicer and a pickler, but if you have one of each, why not note both?

My Choice: White Wonder

The first year I grew this, I had a very limited space to work with. I potted it on the balcony of the master bedroom and worked with what I had. That year saw a lot of failures (I wasn't thinking about how the pots would cause problems for certain varieties I was trying) but the white wonder wasn't one of them. It trailed over the side of the building, leaving beautiful green leaves and stark white fruits that I could pick just by stepping out of my kitchen. Each other time I have grown it, it has grown well and produces wonderful cucumbers. The bright white makes them easy to harvest without missing any and the flavor is great as a slicer. The skins are thin and they aren't bitter at all in my experience. Even better, they work just as well for making pickles if picked at the right size and the unusual lack of color makes for a conversation any time you have people over for a meal they are a part of. I have considered doing a series of pickles the next time I grow them that creates a rainbow. The white skins would make it easy to make a series of pickles colored by tumeric, beets, etc. As a bonus it is an heirloom, which is something that always appeals to me.

elle sagenev wrote:They were right. It isn't possible.

I'm sorry your first attempt was unsuccessful. I am sure it is a true heartbreak that they didn't make it. Do you intend to give up and go to other projects or do you think that you might try again with more knowledge under your belt?

Armed with experience and more research, another go may yield greater success. I assume a blend of drought and high wind were major factors in the failure. Maybe stacking techniques could be helpful.

I've heard of training fruit trees to grow low to the ground can allow some (including citrus) to grow where they otherwise wouldn't be capable. Large stone or cob structures to catch the sun near trees and radiate it back on them. Protecting the young trunks in winter in some way. Just spitballing ideas to help improve your odds.

As to varieties, since you'd be starting from scratch, you would be better able to select for the area's challenges. For example, Manchurian Apricot is supposedly well adapted to Northern Wyoming. Some sour cherries and some extremely cold-hardy apples on crabapple stock are supposed to manage fairly well up that way also.
2 weeks ago
The only badge not in the refining stage at this point is Natural Building. It's still one that is difficult to manage in the PEA sense. I had mentioned previously the use of natural building methods to create a miniature version of a building. Just today I ran across the video below and it applies at least some of that concept (though not entirely) in the building. Something I wanted to post so I can revisit the idea later.

3 weeks ago

Janet Reed wrote:Colander!  It makes an awesome splatter screen!

The funny thing here is that I use my splatter screen as a strainer...
4 weeks ago

Dave Remmen wrote:

D. Logan wrote: I think I would instead make something much more like the second picture.

D. Logan, thanks! Yeah that second picture is great. Definitely close to what I'm looking for :)

Making a shirt like that should be pretty simple. Find a cheap tee shirt or old one you don't care about any more and pull the seams out. Take the resulting pieces and either use them directly or make paper patterns using them and cut the buckskin accordingly. Just be careful to allow for the fact the material is going to be sewn differently and will stretch/react differently.

Whenever it gets released again, this might be of use to you as well. 2-Volume Buckskin Revolution
4 weeks ago

Ellendra Nauriel wrote:

D. Logan wrote:

Sweet Peppers: Gypsy Queen

I don't eat peppers (allergic) but I have family members who do. I'm always on the lookout for a better one. Adaptive Seeds isn't taking orders yet. If they end up not offering this variety, would you have seeds you'd be willing to sell?

Unfortunately, I haven't had growing space for the last few years and need to replenish my own stockpile this year in anticipation of space to grow for myself again. :/ I probably need to replace even the seeds I do have since many of them have doubtlessly lost viability over these last five or six years without a yard. If you want to try them and Adaptive Seeds is out, you can at least try the original hybrid under the name Gypsy Pepper. Same flavor for the most part.
I thought it might be fun and helpful to do a few 'suggest your favorite' type posts for different vegetables. When someone's first trying to get started, there's an endless stream of which plants to grow (carrots, leaf lettuce, etc), but if we're honest, that narrows it down to several dozen or even several hundred options. (I'm looking at you tomatoes!) Those of us who've had a chance to grow a number of varieties often find ourselves drawn to one or two varieties specifically that we return to every year. If you have a favorite pepper or two, why not suggest them and explain what it is about them that makes them your favorite. Of course, I will go first since I'm opening the show.

Sweet Peppers: Gypsy Queen
Why: So what is it about this pepper that puts it at the top of my list? I worked for several years in a greenhouse. I like peppers well enough and use green peppers and sweet peppers regularly enough in my cooking. That said, I honestly could take or leave them in many cases. They added texture and a bit of flavor, but if they were missing I wasn't going to shed any tears. Being a greenhouse, everything was raised with hydroponics. Sure, the plants grew in a soil medium, but it didn't contribute anything to them. All they got was the big three in terms of nutrients. We mostly sold small starter packs, but also grew out some larger pots with tomatoes, peppers, and similar vegetables.
    As you can imagine, they generally tasted pretty basic. On par with a lot of what you find in grocery stores. Peppers would taste bland to mildly sweet at best. Still, I hate waste and one of my jobs was to remove any fully ripe fruits so that they wouldn't fall and rot. In some cases, this also encouraged further production which encouraged sales. Rather than pitching things, I was allowed to take them home. The final year I worked there, the owners began growing something called a gypsy pepper. It was a hybrid that could be picked at yellow stage and beyond. I found that at yellow stage, it was as sweet as the best sweet pepper, but at red stage, it was nearly candy sweet. This shocked me considering (as I said before) they didn't have any nutrients beyond the basic 3 needed to look good and grow well.
    When I bought one and planted it, it became even better! I loved it. However, I make a point of generally favoring open pollinated plants and the hybrid nature of it meant it could be snatched away any year by a company that didn't feel like carrying it anymore. I decided that I would dehybridize it once I had more than a porch garden to work with. Several years had passed and I didn't even have access to a porch garden anymore when I discovered a company had beaten me to the punch. Redubbed the Gypsy Queen, it was most of the way to a stable variety with the flavor trait I loved so much. Once I have a full garden again, I doubt I will dedicate a lot of space to peppers, but this one is going to be taking up the majority of that space. Zucchini relish just isn't the same with any other pepper and it's a real stand-out on my salads.

Hot Peppers: Undecided
Why: I'm still searching on this one. I use hot sauce for a few things, but don't have much use for hot peppers beyond that. I'm mostly unaffected by an average hot pepper and don't particularly crave spicy in my foods. More than anything, I will generally use hot peppers as a deterrent for pests by making it into solutions that can be sprayed on other plants. Still, since I do use hot sauces in a few dishes, I am on the lookout for a good pepper to ferment and turn into homemade hot sauce. It would also need to be a variety that makes a decent chili powder. So far, I'm favoring the more decorative varieties like the Chinese 5-color or the Fish Pepper, since they would be nice for landscaping and still bring some heat and flavor. There's a lot of options and since I have so little use for hot peppers, it will take me a long time to go through and find the right one for me. Maybe some of the favorites of others will inspire me to try a variety that ends up making my list.

Carla Burke wrote:

D. Logan wrote:

Carla Burke wrote:I'd love a good, flavorful, wheat-free recipe! I miss fruitcake, in a big way! John and I used to get the little ones, every year, because we were the only ones who ate them, and we knew if we got our made a 'real' one, we'd eat the whole thing, and be sick for a week. Now, I know why they made me sick - but, I still WANNIT!

Would this one work for you? Gluten-free Fruitcake

Thank you!! I might even get to try making it, this year!!

Let everyone know how it turns out!
1 month ago
For many years I resisted getting a zester, feeling like they were an over-hyped unitasker. I ended up finding one on sale for almost nothing and decided to go ahead and get it for those rare moments I needed zest and didn't feel like doing all the work with a knife. Now I have only once used it for zesting a citrus, but find I use it quite regularly for all sorts of other things. Shaving tiny bits of chocolate onto a dessert? Check. Powdering a nut to add into oatmeal for nutrient benefits (wife hates chewing on whole nuts)? Check. And of course turning garlic into a paste in a matter of seconds? Oh my god where has it been my whole life, erm... check.
1 month ago