lesley verbrugge

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since Sep 08, 2015
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Back in France after six years living on a sail boat in SE Asia. Discovered Permaculture (on permies.com) when researching RMH in 2015 and appreciated the help and support I received in that forum. Thanks to this website husband and I are embracing permaculture and enjoying the way our attitudes are changing towards many things, and how we're reaping the nutritional rewards. I completed the OSU online intro to permaculture in 2015 which opened my eyes to so much. Successfully completed Geoff Lawtons online PDC in 2018. Have had a life-long interest in Herbal Medicines, crafts and community. Love this website!
48°N in Normandie, France. USDA 8-9 Koppen Cfb
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Recent posts by lesley verbrugge

Heidi Schmidt wrote:

lesley verbrugge wrote:

I hiked up a narrow trail to reach a high
school. Imagine! Teenagers learning permaculture principles, and I was their
lunch lady.  At first I served food from a box
but then they started clamoring for stinging nettle soup and
I had to warn them that the nettles don't go
anywhere tender, unless they've been cooked first. Their first assignment
was making nettle pie for principal Wheaton, but prankster Johnny
chanted "wheaton, sweet'n" and dumped a bunch of sugar in
a nearby wasps nest. Well, you can imagine the sheer
negligee the lunch lady was wearing, which made the wasps
giggle and titter, then go into swarming mode. They surrounded
the music teacher, huddled, then broke out into a rousing
, if a little buzzy and not well enunciated, round of
frisbee golf. They all could fly so they all won
the game. The students and scantily-clad lunch lady secretly
planned a surprise party for principal Wheaton with lots of



pie. Wheaton's love for pie was a mathematical constant, an


incredible 3.14--that's 3.14 pies per week--constantly. Never before


in the life of pie, was so much sliced by
3 months ago

I hiked up a narrow trail to reach a high
school. Imagine! Teenagers learning permaculture principles, and I was their
lunch lady.  At first I served food from a box
but then they started clamoring for stinging nettle soup and
I had to warn them that the nettles don't go
anywhere tender, unless they've been cooked first. Their first assignment
was making nettle pie for principal Wheaton, but prankster Johnny
chanted "wheaton, sweet'n" and dumped a bunch of sugar in
a nearby wasps nest. Well, you can imagine the sheer
negligee the lunch lady was wearing, which made the wasps
giggle and titter, then go into swarming mode. They surrounded
the music teacher, huddled, then broke out into a rousing
, if a little buzzy and not well enunciated, round of
frisbee golf. They all could fly so they all won
the game. The students and scantily-clad lunch lady secretly
planned a surprise party for principal Wheaton with lots of



pie. Wheaton's love for pie was a mathematical constant, an
3 months ago

I hiked up a narrow trail to reach a high
school. Imagine! Teenagers learning permaculture principles, and I was their
lunch lady.  At first I served food from a box
but then they started clamoring for stinging nettle soup and
I had to warn them that the nettles don't go
anywhere tender, unless they've been cooked first. Their first assignment
was making nettle pie for principal Wheaton, but prankster Johnny
chanted "wheaton, sweet'n" and dumped a bunch of sugar in



a nearby wasps nest. Well, you can imagine the sheer…
3 months ago
I would love a letter from Sweden!   or somewhere ;o)

The next to post (and PM me their address) gets a letter from France!
3 months ago
Hi Ami,

I found this website useful for creating contour maps.
3 months ago
Hi,

I found this and, looking at the google search result for this link you look to be on the right track! I ended up watching the video and she makes it very clear. I think it will help. She does a whole series for beginners.

An alternative could be to go boho / lagen look? No darts involved! found this for you

Years ago I had a dressmaking business so take for granted 50 years of sewing but, I am learning how to spin and boy is it frustrating at times. (like most of the time)  Dont give up, just keep practicing and I second the 'cut up old sheets and stuff' for pattern sizing. The other thing that might help is a good dressmakers dummy that you can set up your size on, and fit your patterns and fabric to that?

Best of luck, and bon courage as they say here!

Lesley
3 months ago
Last week I posted a pic in the What is it? thread
Pearl sent me a purple Moosage, suggesting that some might appreciate a post here in ‘gear’, with a bit more information. Now, I’ve been hanging around soaking up the knowledge for five years and when Pearl has a ‘thought’ and shares it with you, well, there’s no getting out of it is there? Is there?

So, here goes . . .

Ok, so last summer, we were at our local ’Dechetterie’ (Council Tip) In theory, we’re there to be getting rid of crap from our place, to make things tidier - In practice there are times when we seem to come back with more than we’ve dumped This was one of them.  René had done the trip on his own, returned home and told me there was a pile of BIG barrel rings in the skip. So back we both went - with an empty trailer. We hit paygold - we saved a LOT of kilos from the landfill.  


We asked Veronique  if we could rescue the barrel rings (we’ve known her for nearly 20 years) so next thing, she’s climbing into this enormous industrial sized skip and starts handing up the rings - big ones, medium ones and tiny ones. Then up comes a a saw, a couple of scythes, a pitchfork, various enamel bowls and biscuit tins. Then, we spot it sticking out from under the mangled iron! A Chevalet! Just like the one we borrow from a friend, when we do our “let’s gather wood for the bread oven like real peasants” routine. “Hey can you get that thing there?  no the one next to it” and up it comes .  At that moment I see him out of the corner of my eye, an old french guy stepping forward . .  I get between him and the skip and shove the old man forward, to grab the treasure. In the blink of an eye the chevalet is in our trailer and the old guy is pissed. I assure him we know what it is, we’ve been wanting one for ages, and we’ll be using it as a tool not a garden ornament. He seems only slightly mollified.

So, I present to you, Le Chevalet, aka Presse fagot (pron. Press fag-oh)


In the days before the wood chipper (or worse, bonfires) consumed the small branches and twigs left over from the regular hedgerow coppicing that continues to this day around here, the Chevalet was used to compress springy twiggy branches into easy to carry and stack, bundles of firewood for the bread-oven. Most houses or hamlets around here, had their own bread oven. Some were attached to the house, most were attached to an outbuilding called a boulangerie.



The majority have fallen into disrepair, fallen down completely,  or the building re-purposed and the oven removed. We repaired ours and regularly used it. (till we sold it and the cottage to buy a boat, but that’s another story)



Traditionally a length of ‘ronce’ (thin but strong blackberry runner) was de-thorned and laid parallel to the chevalet. Twigs were piled up across the tool (and the ronce) and then the handle forced down and locked into place, to compress the bundle whilst it was being tied up. Unlock, move the bundle aside, and repeat.  I wish I could post a video, but we've no branches to tie up - I'll add one in the winter if anyone is interested. I reckon it would be a useful piece of kit to have on a homestead as we've found it really does make tying up bundles of twigs sooo much easier. I found this website which shows different designs including a very simple "two sticks and a length of rope" and plans for a wooden version.



For our 6’ diameter breadoven, we needed 4-6 of these bundles to heat up the oven mass for cooking bread, and the oven would still be warm 24hrs later as we pulled out the cooked overnight rice pudding called 'Tergoule' here in Normandie.

Some of the tools we saved:
Would have been a real shame to let this workmanship be melted down

We heard a few days later that Veronique (not her name LOL) got a bollocking from her boss, and stuff was not to be taken out of the skips from then on. I wonder if the old guy who missed out on the Chevalet put in a complaint??
3 months ago
Thank you for making this a freebie via the dailyish email. It's much appreciated. I particularly enjoyed seeing the build of the structure.

Understand now why Dan used one controller per panel  - but, if you look closely they are 7amp controllers, so, if you're using a 20amp controller like Dan did, then you'd need only one per pair of panels as calculated above.
3 months ago
Well Gerry, I reckon you and the (clean) butt get the points for deducing the mechanics!

It's called a chevalet and it was used here in France for bundling wood for fuel. I found this webpage which shows different designs - the two sticks and a length of rope looks a lot more practical to stow away. We used to borrow a friend's to bundle hazel for firing up our bread oven and it was so much easier to compress springy twigs into a firm bundle aka a fagot (pronounced fag-oh) that would burn longer.

3 months ago