Karen Herløv Horte

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since Apr 24, 2016
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Recent posts by Karen Herløv Horte

@Amit Enventres Do you have a reciepe for the babaganoush?
2 years ago
I grow hokkaido pumpkins which have soft skins that can be eaten.
My favourite is baked sesame pumpkin "steaks".
Hokkaido pumpkin
sesame seeds
Cut in half, remove seeds and gunk. Slice into 2-3 cm thick (1 inch) wedges and place in a roasting pan. Cover in oil - I put a splash of oil in the pan and them rub it all over the slices like you do with soap when washing your hands. This way you use less oil. Sprinkle with salt, peber and a generous layer of sesame seeds. Roast in the oven at 200 degrees celcius for between 20-40 mins depenping on the thickness of the slice - check to see if they're finish by pricking them with a fork like you would do when boiling potatoes. You're looking for the same consistancy.
You can eat it as both a side or a main dish.
2 years ago
Since money is a concern for you have you researched recycled materials? I use my country's equal to the American Craigslist and I have scored some amazing finds - the best one to date being 2 complete double glazed top hung windows at the price of a case of beer.
I also have a limited budget so I have had to be creative to get one that works for me. I'll describe it because I think it might give you some ideas on how to go about getting more for less. The picture at the bottom is the sketch for my greenhouse

The top bit is a conventional greenhouse. The kind you can buy at a DIY store or garden center. It's standing on a foundation of a concrete frame that supports the brick wall the greenhouse sits on.This is to give the house some height so I can have raised beds inside to make working there more comfortable. The square thing on the left and right are also brick walls with double glazed windows sitting on top. The windows is going to be removable so this part can be used as a cold frame at the beginning and end of the season and regular raised beds during summer. The wierd squares on the bottom right is a couple of stairs because the greenhouse came with a sliding door and I can't be bothered to change it to a side hung door. The bottom step is as wide as the greenhouse but the second step is only slightly wider than the door which creates two seats to sit and enjoy the everything.

The cost is the price of the gas used to pick up materials, the cement, mortar, screws, paint and maybe some money for the windows - the cost of a case of beer is roughly 10 pounds here (A little less than the equivalent of one hour of minimum wage before tax) I have been collecting bricks in small batches because most people who live in houses usually have a couple or 10 lying around that they are glad to give away because it saves them a trip to the recycling center and in spring people are giving away greenhouses if you come and take it down so that was also free
I will also need something to use as a barrier between the brick walls and the soil in the beds but that is a problem for later.

It's become fashionable to build greenhouses out of old windows. It's all about the ones with multiple panes because the focus is on the estethics.

These types of windows have become very expensive but their down side is they are also single glazed which is something to take in to consideration if you want to be able to lounge inside during colder days.
However people have started to replace the windows on their 70's bungalow and these windows are double glazed. Perfect for your need to extend the season.

This way of building is not for everyone because working with recycled materials means not always having uniform sizes to work with and also cleaning up the materials before they can be used which can take time. I bought 100 year old pine floor planks that I had to scrabe the dirt varnished/stuck in soap caught in the grooves off before it could be re-layed. It took a considerable amount of time but when building on a budget you can pay either in money and get less or pay in time and get more. My floor cost me 40 hours of hard labour removing and srabing the planks. 60 pounds for gas, 203 pounds for renting a truck big enough to fit them and 120 pounds for the planks.
If I had bought the equivalent spuare meter planks new it would have cost me 2500 pounds for the planks alone.
2 years ago
The thing my research about hugelkultur told me was that one: just the thing for lazy old me but more importantly that there's no mention about the increase in width from log pile to finished bed.

As I couldn't work out where people are getting the soil they put on top of the bed if they build from ground level up so I chose the dig-a-hole method. Maybe someone here can give me an answer as to where people are getting this soil from?
I chose to dig a 1 foot deep hole to get some soil to put on top. I meassured out the hole to the size of the bed I wanted keeping in mind that the width shouldn't be wider than I would be able to reach the middle from either side so I wouldn't have to walk/lean on the soil when planting and picking.
Then I build it and realized once I finished that the width had increased by 2-3 foot because of the layers on top of the logs so just a little tip from one newbie to another: dig the hole/pile the logs narrower than the desired witdth of the bed.

My property spots a narrow strip of pine "forrest" and a wildly overgrown weaving willow patch. So when it came to getting my grubby little hand on some wood I had the choice between willow, pine, elder and a tiny bit of maple and beech since I didn't want to pay for wood when I had some lying around my property and thought I'd just see how that would work. You know because I'm cheap erhm thrifty erhm I mean conscious about the environment.
I only used willow logs that was cut down last winter and absolutely only the ones that had fungi growing on it.

That was enough wood for the 1st bed but I want to build more but the only thing I'm currently left with is willow.
In Paul Wheaton's hugelkultur article thread a gry square comments he chips the wood for the bed and Paul answers "I wouldn't bother with the chipper". I completly agree with the exception of willow  because as we know willow grows as a motherf......
Clearing the willow patch we have been chipping a ton of it to do something with the mountainous amount of willow and this destroys it resprouting so it can be used in a hugelkultur.
Now a picture of the glorious build. You can see the "forrest" on the right side and the willow on the left - Its about 3 times taller than visable in the picture.

3 years ago

Michael Qulek wrote:I've sprouted my own rootstocks from the seeds in store-bought fruit.

My knowledge is purely teoretical as I have only gotten to the buying of land bit. What I found out so far is that you get far superior rootstock if you grow from native, lokal varieties. The fruit of most wild variety fruit trees are considered inferior to cultured ones but because it's only the rootstock you're interested in this is of no importance. However they have done all the work of adapting to the conditions of your climate for you and you should get amazing rootstock from their seeds

I think this nugget af knowledge comes to you from the documentary about Stefan Sobkowiak's miracle farms. I recommend this documentary to anyone wanting to start an orchard. I would just go watch the hole thing because it's a treasure trove of wisdom. Here's where to get it: http://www.permacultureorchard.com/the-film/. If you're not yet convinced then watch the trailer here:
3 years ago
Eathships aren't a problem in your climate. Try looking into Francis Gendron and his "Greenhouse og the future project". He studied under Michael Reynolds, the earthship pioneer from Taos. He has customized the design for the Canadian climate. That should be more than adequate for your temperature requirements. On his website you can buy building plans for such a project and fright now they're on sale for $35. Here's the link: Greenhouse of the future
And here's a persentation video:
3 years ago
I'm sorry to hear about your situation Travis.

I think the scheme I descibed is smaller than the one you write about.
This scheme covers "minor" improvements like insulating your hot water pipes both for drinking and heating water. A couple of pipes had some of the light grey foamy insulation (the first picture). The rats had had a field day gnawing away at it so it was in a pretty pathetic state - sadly the previous tenants of my new house was not let's say caring about the place and the state of it. I'm getting the new stuff from a brand called Rockwool: http://www.rockwool.co.uk/products/rocklap-hv-pipe-sections/ It's easy to install and the last picture show the idea of how it works.

No matter if you get this kind or another I highly recommend insulating. If you can get your hot water where it needs to go with as little heat loss as possible you save bucks because you need to burn less to heat it.
I think the rockets are very, very cool but my house is too big for one of those to work so I have a pellet burning furnace ( and a couple of solar panels that the house came with ) to heat water to run through the radiators. I also bought some electronic thermostats that you can programme to turn the heat up and down. We don't have that wall thermostat thingy you have other countries just the manuel ones with setting 1-5. These ones has the actual temperature so you don't have to guess. I could have gotten a grant for that too but I didn't know about it when I got them. It's these ones: http://radiatorthermostats.danfoss.com/products/living-by-danfoss/living-eco/#/
3 years ago
I had a little trouble as to which forum is the right one for this topic but this seems to be the closest.

I have a hot tip: If you own a house in Denmark you can apply for government grants for various energy improvements such as insulation for waterpipes, insulation for your roof, changing your oil furnace to a bio one and many more. You will get the grant as long as you first document the emprovement you want to make and afterwards you have to document the work has been completed.
Two very imortant things:
- You can only apply for each of the grants once. Make sure to make a plan so you remember everything the first time around. You have to get your application approved before any work starts or materials are purchased. If you hired a professional handyman to do the work remember to claim it on your taxreturn so you can getadeduction for the work.
- So far the deadline is dec 31st 2017 (the deadline might be extended as the boligjobordning has but start now to be sure) You just have to get the approval before the deadline and then you have a year to complete the work and send in your documentation and reciepts.
Go to your local fjernvarme selskabs webpage for further information and to apply for the grants.

I applied for the roof insulation grant and have been approved for a return of 1700kr ($270 for the curious). It's not that complicated: I filled out the web form and uploaded a picture.

Since I have your attention: there's this really cool website where you can find topografical (and more) data about your property (the map only covers Danmark) http://data.geus.dk/geusmap/?mapname=denmark&lang=da#zoom=5.564409119588216&lat=6225000&lon=557500&visiblelayers=Topografisk&filter=&layers=&mapname=denmark&filter=&epsg=25832&mode=map&map_imagetype=png&wkt=

I hope it helps
3 years ago

Angelika Maier wrote:Another name is pumpernickel

Pumpernickel is not the same as volkornbrot or rugbrød (rye bread) as it's called in Denmark. Even though it does look similar and have much the same ingredients pumpernickel is baked at a lover temperature and for longer which makes for a sweet and very dense bread. Here it's usually eaten aroud Christmas with cheese on top much like you would a cracker unlike the rye bread which we eat by the ton. There's even a joke that here bicycles have rye bread engines. It's a bread you eat just like any other sliced breads. You can eat it as an open faced sandwich which is one slice with cold cuts on top. I also like it with sliced tomatoes, salt and peber or instead or cake for my afternoon tea: butter and banana slices. The child friendly way is to eat it like a normal sandwich. I eat it for breakfast and lunch and if I can't be bothered for dinner with a fried egg.

The best thing about it is it's ridicoulously easy to make when you have the ingredients.

This is the reciepe I use:

7dl water
6 dl kernels
roughly 2 dl of sourdough (see explaination)
1/2 dl honey or syrup
2 tea spoonfull salt
200 grams wheat flour
300 grams rye flour
2-3 table spoonfull dark,malted flour

Stir ingredients together in a bowl. It makes a very loose dough. Cover with a damp dish towel and then leave to rise for 10-12 hours. After the dough is done rising put 2-3 table spoonfull of the dough in a jar and add a table spoonfull wheat flour and water. Stir the mixture untill homogenenous. Close the lid and return to the fridge. This is an important step because this is your new sourdough. Warning DO NOT fill the jar more than half way up or it will ouze all over you fridge. Bake the bread in a lined rectangular bread pan 12 by 30 cm in a preheated oven to 210 degrees centigrade for 1 hour. After about 5 mins of baking cut a slit down the center of the top with a wet spatula (see the first picture). Wet is better because then the dough is less likely  stick to the spatula. The slit prevents the bread from splitting on the side. It does nothing to the taste of the bread but it does make it harder to slice.
When the bread is done remove baking paper and wrap in a dish towel. Then leave to cool. It's ready to eat after it's cooled. If you try and cut it before that it compacts into a gooey mess that sticks to the knife. Store at room temperature wrapped in a dish towel.

reciepe explained:

If you want you can double the amount of kernels. This gives a more grainy bread. The reason I the amount listed is to make it economical as rye bread here is relativly cheap and it doesn't make the bread any less delicious or filling. I use a mix of what ever the supermarket has on the shelves which here wostly is flax, sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds and also whole grains of spelt og rye kernels. You don't need to soak these because the water in the dough and time it needs to rise does the soaking for you.
The amount is what ever is in the jar from last time but it's roughly 2 dl. I keep my sourdough in the fridge because it slows the fermenting process. This way it's about ready when I need it to bake a new loaf.
Dark, malted flour:
This is a specialty flour. It's sprouted barley that has been dried, roasted and ground into flour. Depending on how long the kernels are rosted it ranges from light to dark chokolate brown. I use the dark one which looks like the dark unsweetend cocoa powder you can use for baking - small hint if you keep it in an unlabelled container make sure to give the tin a sniff before use so you don't use the wrong one. Some people think it's only purpose is to coulor the bread darker but we ran out of it and had to do without. I didn't like the result because it didn't taste as nice as it usually did. The coulor is not important depending on which brand you buy at the store the colour will range from a medium sand to dark chocolate colour so it wasn't my eyes decieving my mouth.
I buy the flour at the health food store and not every store here stocks it. It's not essential to the bread but it's the taste I'm used to so I think it tastes wrong if it's not added.
Rising time:
I either stir together the dough before I go to bed or when I get up because then I can either bake it when I get up or after dinner so this works really well
Wrapping in a dish towel:
It's important to wrap the bread while it's warm because the steam it gives of will help soften the crust. If not you get a very hard crust which is difficult to slice through without crumbling the loaf.

If the last bit of the loaf gets stale and boring you can make it into porridge by slicing it into small cubes and pour a bottle of brown ale with a low alcohol percentage over it. The one I use has a 1,4 percentage alcohol and this evaporates when cooked. Leave it in the pot over night. The next morning add some water and a pinch of salt and cook like you would oates into a porridge. The amount of water depends on how runny you like your porridge and remember just like oates it will end up with a consistancy of wallpaper paste if you stir it continously while cooking. You can put whipped or sour cream on top. However don't use more bread than you would if you were just eating it as slices or you will eat too much and you belly will feel like it is about to explode. As I said this bread is extremely filling and I even with my healthy appetite I can't eat more than 2 or 3 slices at a time.
3 years ago
About willow fences.
You can get dry panel to put up but as I bootstrap everything due to the utter lack of of funds willow is my go to as I have a willow waste water facility which has to be cut down in rotations every year leaving me with plenty to faff around with. Willow grows bananas. You basically stick a the pieces of twig in the ground and it will root. You have concerns about the width of the fence. You can make a pretty woven fence and the width will not exceed 4-5 inches depending on how many years it grows it will eventually thicken - you know all tree-like as it is. You can make it for free if you find some willow growing. I think you can use any kind except for the weeping kind. Just cut of 2-3 feet lengths of sticks and stick them in the ground. It has to be cut back anyway and will grow back willingly.

(Try searching for live willow fences for inspiration)
As you can see in the picture it neat and tidy. You do however need to trim it like a hedge to keep it controlled up top. The branches will eventually fuse and become a solid fence.

You want a fence that has more functions.
When you trim the fence snip the offcuts into finger length pieces and soak them in water for about a week, then strain off the wood and now you have fantastic rooting hormone for you various plant cuttings. Use it to water the plants 2-3 times to begin with and they will root more easily and save you money on buying the root hormone as powder. The fence can be used as a trellis for you climbers like peas and beans. That's a 3 for 1 right there
3 years ago