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Kate Muller

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since May 29, 2014
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bee chicken food preservation forest garden hugelkultur
New Hampshire
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Recent posts by Kate Muller

You are a permie when  friend asks for a recipe and you realize that they can't make it the same way you do because several of the ingredients are from your garden and can't be found in any of the stores.  
2 months ago
Another idea for weaving projects is a rag rug.  I have seen videos of them being made on simple wooden frames and hula hoops.  They can be made out of any type of fabric and a good use for old T shirts.
2 months ago

Lori Ziemba wrote:

Kate Muller wrote:

Jeremy Baker wrote:?
That’s a tough situation to be in . Good luck and best wishes. I just take miniature sized bites at a time these days. And get a surprising amount done.

This is exactly what I have spent the last 2 years learning to do.  In my case I have a connective tissue disorder called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.

I have it, too.  It's a bitch, isn't it?

Seriously a bitch.   I guess I shouldn't be surprised that I am not the only zebra that has found permaculture a good hack for being able to continue doing the things we want to do.

Would anyone be interested in a homesteading thread about homesteading with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome(EDS)?  It would be about what and how we do things as we maintain, expand the homestead, and slowly get the place ready for retirement and my continued physical decline.  
2 months ago

T.J. Stewart wrote:Do you know why you are having hip pain?  

I had crippling arthritic back pain for years.  Some mornings I would barely be able to stand up first thing in the morning.  I decided to do a 30 day raw food challenge (to loose baby weight) and about 5 days into my challenge I noticed that I wasn't having back pain.  I don't know when exactly the pain had stopped because I was so used to having it that I didn't pay attention at first.  After the 30 days were up I went back to eating cooked food, specifically meat and the pain returned.  I cut beef (and now all meat) out and the pain went away again.  Thankfully, I have been pain free for about 8 years now.  I don't know if changing your diet will help or not, but I just thought I'd mention my experience with pain and how I over came it.  I hope that you will find something that either cures your pain or helps you cope with it.

Figuring out which low inflammatory diet works for you is a difficult path but worth doing.  One thing I have learned from talking to  quite a few people that use diet to reduce inflammation symptoms including chronic pain is diet is so individual.  No one diet works for everyone and it takes a lot of work and commitment to really figure out what you should be eating based on your body.

I wound up doing a Low FODMAP elimination diet for some other health issues and found that about 28 common food and food additives aggravate various medical issues I have including increasing my chronic joint pain issues.  I wasn't expecting to get so much relief form diet changes but I am glad I took the 6 months to completely change the way I eat.
2 months ago
I am so sorry you have this pain. I had both of my knees replaced when I was 39.   I have found raised beds that are tall enough to work while sitting on a folding stool work best for me. They are all about 2 feet wide(60cm) and a foot tall(30 cm).  I used to have wider beds but I kept over extending and injuring myself to the point of need several months of physical therapy to stop the muscle spasms.    Here is a picture of some of our annual veggie beds.

My husband makes them for me and he also lays cardboard and wood chips in the pathways to make things easier for me. Keeping the weed pressure down is a must along with having smooth even pathways for me to walk in.    We use tarps to kill the grass and other weed seeds to expand our garden and over winter our annual veggie beds.  This saves us time a labor which is a must when you are dealing with chronic pain and reduced mobility.  

I love having garden tools with different length handles that serve the same function.  That way I can match the tool to my pain and energy levels that day.  I prefer lighter weight tools that can hold up to being left in the garden for a few days.  I know this means need to replace -them more often but it allows me to keep gardening.

Also take a look at techniques that organic or better market gardeners use to make your life easier.   This is why a good chunk of my front yard is under tarps at the moment.  We are re-configuring pert of our garden and we are using the tarps to kill what is there.

When we plant our next batch of trees and shrubs we will be using Stefan Sobkowiak's method of using drip lines and silage tarps for weed pressure.  I can't do chop and drop on a  large enough scale to give the plants a fighting chance and other mulches just break down too fast in my cold wet climate. We will keep it in place till everything is established enough to survive critters and insane, invasive, and aggressive weed pressure we have. Using larger animals for the weed pressure is a long term plan but that will have to wait till my husband can at least semi retire before we take on more than laying hens.

2 months ago
Have you considered adding repairs like replacing a zipper, snaps, or other fastening hardware.  

On your list of recycled fabric I would add sheets and towels.  Top sheets are a great source of fabric for quilt backs, curtains,  liners and other uses.  Old towels can be used instead of new cotton batting in some projects.  

Also keep in mind every sewing machine is different and not all of them require regular oiling as part of the cleaning process.  Please check the owners manual!

A seam ripper is a must have tool.  They are not only used to remove stitches but they are also used to open button holes.

Altering a piece of clothing to fit beyond a hem.   It is a great way to make used/vintage clothing usable.  Anything from redoing a bust line, taking in a jacket, or letting out a waist band are all really useful to know.

I would add repairing a damaged sweater is another great skill I wish I had learned when I was younger.
Replacing the elastic or drawstring in something is another repair for your list.

I would also suggest a more defined list for those that are vegan or in my case allergic to lanolin and natural oils in other animal based fibers.  Felting is out of the question for me due to allergies. Knitting is a lot harder to learn using cotton or bamboo than wool and wool blend yarns. Maybe have a do certain number of each list.

Also your suggestion of making a shirt as a sewing project should have a few perimeters.  A sleeveless top is a vastly different project than making a button down dress shirt.  

2 months ago
I am also terrible at composting.  I live in cold wet climate where it is really hard to get a compost pile hot enough to kill the weed seeds.  At this point I don't even try anymore.  I have out sourced the work to my chickens.  We can get wood chops for free and use them in the heavily trafficked areas of the chicken run.  Everything from garden waste to kitchen scraps gets given to the chickens and they do the composting for us.   We dig out the  broken down wood chip based compost  that the chickens make  and put them on the garden beds where needed.  A new layer of chips is put down for chickens and the process repeats.  It mostly gets used in the fall under mulch or around perennials trees and shrubs so I don't worry about it being fresh from the chicken run.  

2 months ago
Here in NH zoning varies widely from town to town.  Some allow them others do not.  You also have to be careful of season use zoning for cabins and other vacation homes.  This type of zoning doesn't allow year round occupancy.   If your tiny home has a vehicle number than it may also be restricted due to zoning in some towns.  

Grafton NH tends to be known for minimal zoning, permits, and hassle from the department of making you sad.
2 months ago
I have used isopropyl alcohol to remove the lingering perfume smell by soaking the entire sweater in it then washing it.  I did a test patch to make sure the sweater wouldn't be damaged before I drenched the entire sweater in alcohol.
2 months ago

Jeremy Baker wrote:?
That’s a tough situation to be in . Good luck and best wishes. I just take miniature sized bites at a time these days. And get a surprising amount done.

This is exactly what I have spent the last 2 years learning to do.  In my case I have a connective tissue disorder called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.  The symptoms can vary tremendously from person to person even in families.  In my case it effects all of my joints, skin, nervous system, circulatory system, vision, and my digestive system.  I have immediate family members who have  life threatening problems from it so I am hoping to slow my progression of the condition.  Since the underlying cause is genetic with no cure at this time you try and minimize the long term damage and find hacks, work arounds, and treatments to keep functioning.  

While I have been dealing with my whole life things got harder 2 years ago when I had a big increase in symptoms that we haven't found treatments or relief of yet. I had to take time to morn the loss of functionality and reevaluate what is most important to me. I basically took last year off to sort myself out.  I am still frustrated with how long it takes me to get anything done but I am finding ways to do more everyday.  I have to be careful about scheduling and allocating my resources.  I used to be a very busy doer type of person and now I have to pick and chose.  I get about 1/4 done of what I used too in a typical day.

Like most middle aged Americans we have way to much stuff and our family members keep trying to give us more stuff.  With my husband's help we have been simplifying our homestead chores and processes and decluttering our stuff with the goal of reducing our work load so we can do more with less effort.  This is paying big dividends and we are putting off homestead expansion till we get the house decluttered,  organized, and have function routines for daily activities and projects.  It is happening in little baby steps but it is happening and we are happier because of it.  

2 months ago