Gerbert Thorne

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since Dec 11, 2015
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Recent posts by Gerbert Thorne

R Ranson wrote:

Gerbert Thorne wrote:

R Ranson wrote:Was it with raw milk or pasteurized?

It was raw, freshly taken from a cow that morning.

There goes my theory. If it was pasteurized, then it's easier for unpleasant things to get in. The raw milk has beneficial bacteria that keeps most things out, especially for clabbering like you did. (according to many sources).

It could be something in the animal's diet, or perhaps the temperature the milk was clabbered at encouraged the sour tasting bacteria, or perhaps the milk bucket wasn't sterilized and a sour bacteria was starting to get hold. Sterilization of milk buckets is a new thing and not the historical norm - but it does help to keep the flavour of the milk more consistent. Maybe dish soap residue from your bowl (or whatever your container was for the milk) might have reacted to the bacteria. It could be the breed of cow, or perhaps the mystical milk gods were just looking the wrong way that day. or...

I think it's probably one or both of these things. I did use a regular cooking pot out of the drawer, it seemed clean so I just used it right away since we use it regularly for cooking anyways. Also the temperature was a bit inconsistent since this was during winter time and I kept it near the radiator, which isn't always on.

So yeah, a bit more consistency next time I'd say.

Thanks for the tips ^^
4 years ago

R Ranson wrote:Was it with raw milk or pasteurized?

It was raw, freshly taken from a cow that morning.
4 years ago
Didn't add anything, just left it a few days, stirred to mix in the skin that forms on the top, left a few days more, wrapped, salted (only the 2nd batch, though they had the same issue), hanged.
4 years ago
I'm gonna go slightly off-topic here now...
Tried the book and it seems great!
I tried to make the simplest cheese from therein and have succeeded to a certain degree. I made the one for which you don't need anything, you just leave the cheese until it coagulates, wrap it, hang it, and wait for the whey to drip out.

Now, everything went well, and I liked the resulting cheese quite a bit, but there was something in there that made other people not appreciate it as much.
There was a slightly 'vinegar-y' taste to it, as if the cheese is still a little sour or something. The book doesn't mention this side-effect so I couldn't tell what went wrong.

Did this happen to anyone else, do you know how to deal with it?
To me this is fine, but others don't like it as much, so if I'd try to sell some of it sometime, it would pose a problem.

Or maybe it's just how this kind of cheese is?
4 years ago

kadence blevins wrote:I'm curious if some peas or beans might do well growing with/near them? like a three sisters type deal going. you would have to plant them after the chokes are up a bit to make sure they have something there ready to climb on.

I was thinking the same thing, but then again sunchokes have rhyzomes so that might take up other plants' root space...

Perhaps something that goes well with potatoes?
4 years ago
Anyone knows which other plants grow well around them?
I just bought about 4kg (~9lbs) of sunchokes and I'm going to plant them like Joseph Lofthouse mentioned above, 0.5m (18in) apart and rows one lawn-mower width apart, and I'd like to fill up the space in-between them with some veggies.
I'm guessing I'll need something that grows well in the shade, as I see they produce quite a lot of leaves and stalks.

Any suggestions/past experiences?
4 years ago
Thanks, Eric, I will try to seed crimson or white clover on a patch of land and see what happens.

Thekla McDaniels wrote:
I can add one idea that has not been mentioned: enclose your chickens on an area you want cleared of all vegetation. They'll take care of it for you and deposit plenty of high nitrogen material as well.

It's a clever idea! However, the entire land should be prepared this spring and yields are expected by the end of this fall.
I don't mean to bitch about things, but my folks expect this to be a good yield/profit piece of land within a year. I am doing everything by hand (no machinery, and no money for stuff either), and the most advanced piece of tech is the wheelbarrow and a lawnmower (which I must use sparsely as I don't have fuel for it).
So, I'm looking hard for shortcut solutions, but everything takes so much time - which I am generally fine with, but the pressure seems a bit too much at the time. This was supposed to be a project that I'd enjoy, instead it's turning into a mind-boggling source of frustration.

I have started a black plastic patch (didn't mow it first, but no biggies), it seems to be doing good - there's interchangeable days of hot sunny days, and cold rainy ones.
I am also experimenting with removing only the tufts of grass that are in the way of rows where I'm about to seed (so far I have a row of radishes - as I hear these are great at breaking up the soil - and a row of peas).
One more thing I will be experimenting with is seeding around the grass, the same as above but without removing the grass - so I will see how much can my veggies fight the grasses.
And there's still the part covered in corn stark, which has nice loose soil. I'm going to leave them in the ground on one part, and pick them out on the other. Hopefully the plants will grow equally good on both areas ^^

Some raised beds will also find their place somewhere in the garden, as well as a few spiral gardens

Thanks for all the advice you gave, I will try to follow them and make something of this

Here are a few pictures of the grasses in question and the land in general
4 years ago
Damn it, I've wiritng up an answer and then an error message appeared and now I have to do it all over again... :/


R Ranson wrote:Hello Gerbert, welcome to
Grain growing dosen't need as much space as one might think. I don't know what part of the world you are in, so I don't know what grain grows well where you are, but here we can grow oats, wheat and barley quite easily. If the place will grow grass, it will grow grain. Growing even a small plot of grain (one meter square) can be very fulfilling. It's surprisingly easy and it's amazing how much grain you can get from a tiny plot.

I've been thinking about getting a few chickens (about 3-4 hens and a rooster) for my yard, and would like to grow the food they need for winter right in the yard. There's a lot of currently unallocated space, so I was thinking of planting 10x10m (32x32ft) or 20x10m of wheat/barley if you guys deem it enough for that small a flock.
Otherwise, my regions staple crops are wheat, barley and corn, so I think no problems there ^^

Also, this video had an interesting idea for growing squash - which is great at smothering lawn.

I had a small garden in the city which was left unattended because I was away for most of the spring and summer, and when I came back, everything was overgrown, except for the squashes. Around them nothing grew. Thanks for reminding me of this

Todd Parr wrote:I have had the best results by far by laying out big sheet of black rubber and leaving it in place until everything under it is dead. It softens the ground more than I would have imagined. Once everything is dead, I put down an inch or so of compost and plant the area. I have planted without the compost and it works, but I had much better results with compost.

I just recently discovered I have the very same thing, and this is what also came to my mind. Will try out for sure.
Can you tell how long does it take until the area is ready? About 3 weeks or so?

Zelda LuAnn wrote:What works for me is to just simply pile up a very thick layer of brown pine straw over an area & just let it sit there blocking the sun off of the grass... it will die, the ground below the straw will also get "softer". Then when I'm ready to plant, I just move the straw away and plant. I still use the pine straw to keep on the bed for mulch. And contrary to old tales, it does NOT ruin the soil or make it acidic. It maintains steady moisture, decomposes nicely & worms love it.

There's quite a few pine trees in my neighborhood, I'll go around and rake up the fallen pines and try this method as well. Got any advice on which veggies would do better in soil prepared this way (I mean, do the pine needles make some grow better than others)

One more thing I'd like to ask. There was a patch of corn planted in the back of my yard. The guy cut it down and left the leaves (which I know is good for a number of things) and stalks, low-cut, with the roots left in the ground. What can I do with these roots? Do I have to pick them out, or can I plant around them and leave them in the ground to rot (which everyone tells me is not possible and it's gonna take a long while)?

--- Thanks everyone for great ideas and answers provided, they're really helpful!
4 years ago
Hi, folks!

Not sure exactly where this thread should be, but I'm gonna stick it here and you feel free to move it if it's in the wrong place ^^

Anyways, I finally got a piece of land to use, and would really like to try growing stuff the Fukuoka-style on one part of it. I've been hearing about this no-till method, but how do you actually do it?
The area is not big enough to grow cereals like rye, wheat, etc., and I would like to focus on veggies, with a little bit of berries here and there.

The area is covered in just plain grass. My friend and I have been trying to think of a way to do seeding on this, but we can't think of anything.

If I were to seed something, would it be necessary to remove the grass?
Or can I simply disseminate the seeds on the ground and cover them in mulch? (I'm worried that the grass will smother the veggies completely; also what about the seed to soil contact - I'm thinking ~99% seeds won't even germinate with such loose soil contact)

Anybody has a more direct hands-on experience with this kind of stuff? Any particularities I should be aware of, steps I should take, mistakes to avoid?
Info greatly appreciated

Thanks, guys!
4 years ago
I'd like to know about planting vegetables during the frost season, things like garlic, onions, salads, cabbages - y' know, cold resistant plants like that.

Anyone got any info on that?
4 years ago