Kate Downham

gardener & author
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since Oct 14, 2018
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homeschooling goat forest garden fungi foraging trees cooking food preservation pig wood heat homestead
I'm a quiet goatherd establishing a permaculture homestead on old logging land at the edge of the wilderness.
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Recent posts by Kate Downham


A Guide to Buy-It-Once Cookware: How to Find and Care For Traditional, Non-Toxic Cookware

Find cookware that will outlast a zombie apocalypse, learn to how to get your food not to stick without using nasty nonstick coatings, learn how to save money on good cookware, and how to care for it properly with this helpful ebook
2 days ago
I’m just about ready to send out an ebook for my kickstarter backers about off-grid homes, and I’m compiling a short list of resources and further reading at the end.

To make the book even more helpful, I was wondering if anyone here had recommendations for various helpful bits and pieces online such as specific Permies threads, videos, website articles, and so on?

So far I have included links about:
Jean Pain compost water heating
https://waldenlabs.com/compost-water-heaters-from-jean-pain/

Chest freezer to fridge conversion
https://www.5acresandadream.com/2020/03/chest-freezer-to-fridge-conversion.html

Root cellaring (with or without a root cellar)
https://practicalselfreliance.com/root-cellaring/

Larders
https://www.lowimpact.org/posts/praise-domestic-larder

Cool Cupboards
https://www.abdallahhouse.com/2012/05/cool-cupboard-completed.html

Branched drain greywater system
https://oasisdesign.net/greywater/brancheddrain/

The Humanure Handbook (scroll down to download chapter by chapter)
http://humanurehandbook.com/contents.html

Permies rocket mass heaters forum
https://permies.com/f/260/rocket-mass-heaters

Water tank storage calculations
http://tankulator.ata.org.au

Tales from Green Valley
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRj1YYnsBGk

Do you have any favourite free videos, articles, threads and so on that you think would belong in a list of helpful off-grid resources?
2 days ago
I haven't milled every grain in a grain mill, but on the fine setting of my electric I get nice fine flour from everything I've tried. Oats by themselves don't go well on the fine setting, so need to be mixed with other grains, or done on a medium setting.
3 days ago
If I ever do another Kickstarter, I am thinking of finding someone other than me to mail out the rewards. I have never backed any projects that used Backerkit, so I am now wondering what these services are like?

Have you backed anything that has used Backerkit or a similar service to send out the rewards? What was your experience?

Have you used these services as a Kickstarter creator? Are they easy to deal with?
3 days ago
I wondered about lids. Thank you both! Maybe the failure last time was because I used a pot with a tight lid, and had the lid on the whole time - I'll try making it without the lid until it starts popping next time.
1 week ago
I used to make popcorn with normal bulk organic popcorn on an electric stove years ago, and can't quite remember if I needed high heat or low heat, and how much fat to use. Now I am using a woodstove and tried high heat with plenty of fat, same kind of corn, and the kernels just did not pop! Tried with less fat, less heat, did not pop either...

I wondered if there are any really good popcorn making permies that could share their secrets here?!
1 week ago
This year I’d like to plant some asparagus crowns. I’d like to have enough planted to be able to go out there in asparagus season and harvest 1 or 2 pounds at a time (or more), enough for a big family side dish. I like to feel like there is an abundance of food and to just harvest it and tell the kids they can eat up as much raw as they like, but asparagus crowns cost money, and there’s lots of other things I can be growing, so I don’t want to go too far overboard.

I could always feed the excess to the goats if we get too much, I just have no idea how much to plant!

How much yield would you get per week for 10 plants?

How many asparagus crowns would you plant, if trying to grow food for 8 people that love vegetables?

And another asparagus question… Some places say not to harvest any at all the first year it’s planted - is this just for seed-grown asparagus, or is it for crowns as well? What actually happens if you harvest some in the first year?