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Jan White

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since Dec 17, 2015
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BC Interior, Zone 6-7
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Recent posts by Jan White

Skirret is one I'd like to try once I figure out a good spot for it.

Good King Henry shoots can supposedly be used like asparagus. I only planted mine last year, so I haven't tried it that way yet. I tried a few leaves and the flavour was good but the oxalic acid was very strong for me, so I'm skeptical I'll use it much. Maybe it'll produce enough seeds to use those for something.

6 hours ago
I used to have a hot water bottle I used all the time. It started developing a crack and after a while I didn't trust it anymore, so I threw it out and bought a new one. That new one smelled so strong I couldn't use it. I hung it on a nail in the porch to let it off gas and tried it every few months. After over two years the smell still hadn't gone away. I got rid of it when I moved. I've looked at them in the store a couple times, but they all seem the same as the  stinky one, so I haven't  bought another. I wish I'd never got rid of my first one.
7 hours ago

Katherine Burelle wrote:
. Last thing I need is someone holding my feet as I dangle down a deep whole.

That's why, even though my frost depth is 30", I only set the garbage can a few inches below the surrounding soil. I wouldn't want it much deeper than it is. I'm only 5'1", though.
1 week ago
For insulation, I'm thinking regular fiberglass or rock wool batts sandwiched between styrofoam. Cover with cardboard to protect the styrofoam, then wrap in plastic or something to keep the insulation fibers from escaping. Each batt sandwich would be light and not too big, so pretty easy to move around to get underneath.
1 week ago
Oops, I never updated this!

So, the straw was a bit damp, but potatoes do live in the ground, so it was fine. No moldy potatoes.

Last year, I dug my Yukon golds at the end of September and ate the last ones in July. They were sprouting a bit, but still good condition.

The first couple years I was really careful about having all the potatoes separated by straw. Not a lot, sometimes even just a few millimeters, but I always had at least a strand or two of straw between potatoes. This winter I had more potatoes to fit in, so the layers are two or three potatoes deep, all touching.

I also grew many new varieties this year, some of them aren't long storage types, and most of them were immature when I dug in the fall. With the heat dome last summer, nothing grew for a month so everything in the garden was really late. Because the potaotes were immature, I cured them, which I don't normally bother doing. I set up racks inside my pallet enclosure to keep them in the dark and let them cure for two weeks, turning them once midway. I haven't collected any potatoes from the bin yet this winter. I'll let you know how they are when I do.
1 week ago
This is my third winter with one of these. Here's what I wrote after the first winter.

My winters are warmer than yours and our frost depth is only 30". I'm not terribly careful about keeping the top of the hole insulated, though. I'm still using a couple paper leaf bags to cover. Last year they had leaves, not straw stuffed in them. The bags just barely cover the hole, not much, if any, overlap of the surrounding ground. In your climate I could see laying some styrofoam down over the hole in addition to whatever else you use to help insulate. If you make sure you've got good overlap around the hole's edges, I bet it would work.

It turns out, the way I do it anyway, no ventilation is needed. I have a pretty high straw to potato ratio, though. The last couple years I've made sure each layer of potatoes has some straw separating it from the next layer. The potatoes in each layer don't quite touch each other. This year I had more potatoes and didn't want to change my setup to accommodate a second garbage can. So I've got more potatoes in each layer, all touching and piled a couple potatoes deep.

I'm just finishing off the damaged or otherwise unsuitable for storage potatoes, so I haven't even checked the garbage can yet this winter. I'll let you know how they look once I get in there.

I'm super happy with my set up, though. I ate my very last Yukon golds in July last year, after digging them at the end of September. They were sprouting a bit, but still good.
1 week ago
Our wood stove is 20x15" in a 12x16' house with as much leaky glass as wall. When coming home to a cold (only a few degrees above freezing) house after being away all day, it only takes about 20 minutes after lighting a fire before we're stripping down to underwear. There's wood we burn only during a cold snap (-15C or lower), like Doug fir, black locust, mature birch, etc. The perfect wood for us to burn is actually cedar. We can burn it hot and clean and don't have to keep windows open.

If you can swing it, I think you'd be happier with an rmh, too.
We have six of these we've bought over the last six years or so. I just checked and they're all #1 PET. I think we might have bought them all at the same place, though. We have one older one bought somewhere else that has no labeling at all.
I use mine in pretty much the same ways. I mostly have a handful in a buddha bowl. My husband puts them an inch thick in sandwiches. He's got a green peppercorn mustard he likes in there with them.

If you grow a mild one, like clover or alfalfa, on its own you can blend them into smoothies. I usually have a mix with spicy stuff, so it doesn't taste very nice to me in smoothies.

I make vegetable pancakes a lot. I use chickpea flour, mix in my chopped veg, and fry. I usually just use broccoli, but sometimes I'll put some sprouts in. I chop them up so they don't end up stringy.

I don't really ever make this one, but I had it a couple times and liked it. You take mung bean sprouts (not the big long ones - you can just sprout them until they've got little tails), cook them, and make kind of a salad with diced cooked potato, onion, and tomato. Then you sprinkle over some chaat masala, which is an Indian spice mix that I can buy at most grocery stores here, so I think it should be pretty easy to find. The ingredients can vary, but I think it needs to have black salt and green mango powder. It's a little sour, a little funky, a little spicy. Finish off with a squeeze of lime juice.

Chaat masala is excellent sprinkled on avocado, by the way. Add a touch of whatever acid you like (my favourite is coconut vinegar) and it's perfect.

My favourite soil grown sprouts are sunflower. I can eat a big bowl of them plain, but they totally stain your teeth black if you eat that much 😬. If you try growing them, keep in mind they grow better if you keep a weight on the tray for the first few days. If you follow directions online, make sure they include that step.
1 week ago