Tina Saravia

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since Aug 08, 2018
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Recent posts by Tina Saravia

I gave in and got an air purifier by Honeywell from Amazon for under $250, good for around 467 square feet. It’s got a carbon filter and HEPA  filters.
Normally, I would try to make a contraption of sort to fix things, but with these more recent California fires (and quarantine) that gave us the APOLCALYPTIC orange sky, I had to do something more serious and effective. We’re in our 50’s and 70’s. We need to take extra care.

We keep all our doors and windows close and we don’t turn the heat pumps on unless it’s been over 100° outside, but I do go out several times to check on the chickens.
3 months ago

Lina Joana wrote:My parents have had one of these for years. They built a stand for it so they would not have to crouch, which works unless there are high winds - those reflectors make great sails!
We mostly roast veggies in it. They make a great soup.

Why didn’t I think of building a stand? I put mine on a regular round picnic table we already have. I’m about 5’ tall. I have to stand on a platform to reach-in and grab the pot out of the interior.

Although part of the problem is that my arms are almost too short to reach in because of the bottom sail getting in the way. Sometimes, I unfold the sails first to put the pot in or out of the compartment and use my head to hold the sails up and out of the way - not the most elegant, but I make it work.
6 months ago
Welcome and Greetings from California, Anne!
7 months ago
A few weeks ago, our local Trader Joe’s stop allowing reusable bags in the store.  They started offering paper bags, which normally they charge for (in California). I think they’re free again. But I refuse to bring any more bags in the house, so I ask the cashiers to keep our items in the shopping cart; and we load them into reusable bags in the car -mainly so we can carry them into the house.

Btw, this is one store where they can neatly cram all your purchases in one bag; reminds me of old comic stripS where they show someone trying to balance  and see where they’re walking while carrying a jam-packed grocery bag.

Yes, I also have Plastic bags in Plastic bags because I’m purchasing things packed in plastic, and people keep giving me things in plastic bags.

Kc Simmons wrote:

Jason Hernandez wrote:
The few times I forgot my reusable bag gave me more plastic bags than I could keep up with reusing for garbage, considering I was also reducing my garbage. I was that guy -- in my house, there was a plastic bag full of other plastic bags. Why the hell do they think they have to double bag everything? One bag's worth of groceries, they put in two doubled bags, for a total of four plastic bags altogether. It was so aggravating, it became the motivation for me just to skip shopping completely if I happened to forget my reusable bag. More than once, I made a scene of repacking my groceries into fewer bags, right there at the counter, and leaving them to deal with the unwanted ones. Now, I remember my reusable bag every time.

I'll admit... I'm also "that guy" with bags full of plastic bags LOL
I also prefer to use the self checkout when possible. For one, I am able to bag my groceries by type/category (produce, coffee and creamer, condiments, etc. bagged together)& I fill the bags to the max. I don't know why so many cashiers think it's okay to put only 4 canned goods or a single gallon of milk in a double bag, when I can get double that in a single bag.
I've also been thinking about ordering some of the paper grocery bags like stores used to have years ago. They are sturdy enough to be used several times, and when they finally get to torn for groceries, I can think of a hundred ways to use them until they return to the earth as compost. Reusable bags are great, but I've often found myself forgetting to get them... Or even forgetting where I put them after the last trip.

7 months ago
I would love one on hand-weaving a hat. My straw hat is falling apart.
I find hand-weaving very satisfying and calming. My sweet, alpha hen is very sick and likely dying, so I need a diversion.
I’ve woven paper bag handles into a little basket and a little cup; New Zealand flax into little mats; no plans, just weaving. It will be nice to have some directions.

Carla Burke wrote:Trying to stick to a low-carb/keto is at its most difficult, when I have to turn my back on fruit. With this method, one can simply swap out the honey, in favor of stevia or monkfruit, and, even add the strawberries, to still have a classic summer treat, without killing the gut flora, or throwing dieters out of ketosis.

I recently found a recipe for a keto (theoretically) flakey crust, for a gallette/tart/pie. I just might have to try all this, together!

Rhubarb plus monkfruit for sweetener, Cook for 3 minutes, add strawberries(or not)
and a little rose water before eating. Yumm!
7 months ago

Skandi Rogers wrote:Soak absorbent things in it and use it as firestarting thingies.

I say this but have about 5 gallons of old palm oil lying around (that I was given) no idea what to do with it myself as I have no fires that need lighting.

I’ve been thinking about doing that in the last few days. I have a small stainless steel container, complete with a strainer. It’s got oil from who knows when and I want to be able to use it again. I also tend to collect very old rags that should go in the trash and little bits of candle wax. I’ll use those the rags soak up the rancid oil. Then clean-out the barbecue turned planter with dead plants; and use my oil-soaked rags and wax to make biochar. Thanks.
8 months ago
Welcome back, Yury!

It’s been a while since I bought a new tool I love my hand tools, but my hands and my back are getting older. I mostly chop and drop and Our 3 chickens do much of the weeding, but there are some things they can’t get to. It looks like the Fokin hoe would be useful for scraping off little fennel sprouts on the path. I also like that it can be used like a scythe.
8 months ago
After reading this forum a few weeks ago, about the time toilet paper ran out because people were panic-buying due to Covid19  pandemic, I decided to give cloth wipes a try.

I cut up old cotton underwear into little pieces, about 1”x2”. I just need to use them when I pee, (baby steps). Then I throw them in a container with some soap and tea tree oil to disinfect. At the end of the day, or the 2nd day, I squeeze them a little bit and rinse with water with some vinegar. Then I hang them to dry In the garage. Somebody suggested hanging them in the sun to disinfect. So tonight, I hung them outside.

I cut them up really small in case I accidentally throw one in the toilet, and flush it down, which I have done a couple of times.

We do have one of those simple bidet that gets hooked-up to the water line of the toilet. Gets cold in the winter, but still works.

I know someone who has a $5000 toilet with a bidet with heated water and air dryer. The remote control has different settings for water pressure, spraying front and back,,, It flushes on it’s own when you’re done The Heated seat cover also opens as soon as you walk in the door and closes when you’re done.
8 months ago

r ranson wrote:When I was young, I use to love the story of the giant kale.  My father grew up in Wartime England and the rationing that followed, and I've always loved listening to what life was like back then.  He lived in the country, not far from London, and remembers walking past the different crops on his way to school.  Through the gaps in the hedgerow, he would see the Mangelwurzel and the fodder kale.  Fodder kale, he told me as he tucked me in at night, was like being in a forest.  Great stocks, sometimes up to 12 foot heigh, as thick as your leg, and big broad leaves.  The kids played hide and seek among the kale, much to the farmer's dismay.  

It is my dream to grow Giant Kale something like this:

image borrowed from here

What is Giant Kale?  I'm not sure yet.  I would like it to be about 6 foot tall by the first fall, and be delicious for feeding humans and animals during the winter.  I imagine as the lower leaves are harvested, a forest of kale trunks, with a canopy of massive leaves above.  Maybe between the kale, could grow some over-winter pulses or grain.  In the spring, I chop the kale stocks for animal feed or to be chipped into mulch, and the grain or pulse can take off.  The leaves of the kale are so high, the sun could still get at the plants beneath them, because our sun is so low in the sky during the winter.  But maybe, having that canopy would slow the changes in temperature in the soil.  That's what I imagine for Giant Kale.  

Until I find my Giant Kale, let's call any kale that grows over 5 foot high in the first year and has large leaves, giant.

One day, while idly flipping through a Thomson & Morgan seed catalogue, I discovered Giant Jersey, or walking stick kale.  The leaves from this kale were very tasty when young.  The animals love it too.  The fodder kale stocks use to be crushed for animal feed in the winter in England.

These also make the most amazing kale chips.

I saved some seeds from those plants.  I think our weather was just a bit too dry in the summer and too wet in the winter for this variety of kale.  It grew well enough, but it didn't thrive like I had hoped.  But it was enough of a success to make me want to grow more.  So I'm looking for a kale that grows tall, fast, and has sweet flat leaves that will feed both us and the livestock.  

Here's a few varieties I've come across.  

Richters SeedZoo
 has a kale that looks promising, called Pilgrims Kale

This is a giant kale that came to the Americas from Spain centuries ago, presumably with early settlers. It became a family heirloom that is still passed on from generation to generation. It can get up to 5ft (1.5m) tall, and even taller when it flowers. SeedZoo contributor, Lorraine Collett, says that the leaves get so big they look like an elephants ear. Imagine leaves that get up to 20in/50cm long and 12in/30cm wide! The leaves can be used in soups, stews, stir-fries and can be used like cabbage leaves to make meat rolls. Hummingbirds love to visit the yellow flowers. If the flowers are allowed to set seeds, the plant will reseed itself where winters are mild. Easy to grow. Happily grows as a spring-planted annual where winters are more severe.

Baker Creak has three varieties that look promising: Forage Kale Proteor, Marrow Stem Kale, and Tronchuda Kale.  They may or may not turn out to be Giant Kale, but they look like a good selections of genetics to start a breeding project with.  

Does anyone out there have a giant kale they love?  Anyone else growing the stuff?  Do you have a seed source you could share?

The kale leaves you have in the picture look like the perennial tree collard we have here. They turn purple and sweet in the cold months. They grow tall after a few years and twisty and easy to propagate from stems; and it grows fast.


I’m trying to cut them back short periodically to see if I can grow a stronger trunk. Our chickens love them. I’ve cooked it multiple ways, with ham hocks, salt pork, into pesto ... and wraps. I’ve also started blanching the stems to eat with dips; currried with coconut cream. I read someone made it into Saag. I’m gonna try that.
And Kale chips. I wonder how they’d turn out in the Sun Oven?

I’ve also grown Kale “Pentland Brig’ . I started a new one Last fall from seeds that I got from Adaptive Seeds. The label says only 2 ft. But my old one that died from harlequin bug infestation (my bad, it was planted where I couldn’t observe it regularly), grew at to least 5 ft.

The leaves of those were (and are) definitely curlier than the ‘Richmond’s Pride’ tree collard.

9 months ago