Win a copy of Pressure Canning for Beginners and Beyond
this week in the Food Preservation forum!

Caroline LaVin

+ Follow
since Sep 22, 2016
Apples and Likes
Apples
Total received
2
In last 30 days
0
Total given
0
Likes
Total received
33
Received in last 30 days
0
Total given
1
Given in last 30 days
0
Forums and Threads
Scavenger Hunt
expand First Scavenger Hunt

Recent posts by Caroline LaVin

Ok, thanks for the breeding advice.

ANd I hear you about survivability. Survivability and health. Maybe that means resiliency.  My birds free range and that takes a little toughness ... maybe more than birds in pens. I think for this rare breed, that's how the parent stock is living.  

So resiliency i's top of my list. Egg color is way lower on the list, but since I just hatched some yesterday, I wanted to know if I should mark the baby roos from brown eggs. So thanks.  

It was a super weird hatch.  We are having a heat wave and drought here in the NW as in much of the country.  My incubator says the room should be between 70-80 degrees.  So we had to run the AC.  And even though the incubator was "ok" in maintaining internal humidity, I think the eggs felt the effect of the ambient dryness.  

Almost all the eggs were shrink-wrapped. Four of 10 chicks were lost because they couldn't get air (I presume). Most of them required full assisted hatching.  Here is a WONDERFUL article regarding that topic.  Some say don't help a chick out of an egg because it's weak.  I've not found this.  And if the issue was incubator / operator error, I want to save that chick.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/guide-to-assisted-hatching-for-all-poultry.72886/  if there's a similar article here on Permies, my apologies.

Not only were most of the chicks severely shrink-wrapped, half of them were UPSIDE DOWN!  Thankfully that article addresses this.  I have never seen this before in my limited experience of 5 incubations, but this high incidence makes me wonder if it is related to the dehydration in the eggs.

My take aways were that I need to fill the water reservoir higher at night even if it means the humidity will rise above the recommended limit. Otherwise it was below the low limit by morning.  The second takeaway was maybe I should find another place to incubate that won't require the AC / dehumidifier.  It's a challenge in this house, because the rest of the house is built into the hillside and is too cool (below 70 recommended by the incubator instructions).

Ok. Just throwing that info out there in case the info helps someone else. Thanks again, Matt.  

Best,
Caroline


5 months ago
Hi all,

I've done a search for my question but I'm not finding an answer. Most egg color discussions are about creating new and nifty colored eggs. I just want to get my birds back to brown! LOL.

I have a few Bielefelders... a breed that is supposed to lay dark brown eggs. Not as dark as Marans but darker than Speckled Sussex. Two of my hens lay the lighter Sussex color. The third lays a good brown egg.  I'd like to breed for this trait.  Obviously I would hatch brown eggs as time goes by.  

Regarding the males.. is it the kind of thing where I'd have to keep notes on my pairings and then watch the offspring's eggs?  Or -- this is really my question -- should I keep and breed roosters that came out of brown eggs as chicks?

Someone funny is going to say, "What else would they come out as?". LOL. Beat'cha to it.

Thanks for your time and help. I appreciate both.
Caroline
5 months ago

Oh, man, Denis. I feel your pain. I should probably stop complaining about cleaning out my little thresher after reading your story. LOL. You were a good kid. I will grab some of that Wakooma. I see another one they carry called Palissier... drought tolerant. That might be good in the coming years if this mega drought is here for awhile....unless you steer me away from that one for any reason. You mention "Wascana" dropping it's awns... that's different than the Wakooma, yes? Nice of it to do that.

Michael, I understand what you're saying about the changed wheat. Interesting about the Japanese grass. That's amazing. I had read the part about gluten and gliadin...I think I once read that it may be the new *ratio* of gluten to gliadin that bothers so many people.

Dan! Yes, you can have some soft Svevo if you want. Tell me how to go about that.  I'm 45 minutes east of Pullman, WA. Higher, colder, overall drier than the Willamette Valley. I'm at 2700 ft elevation. Wheat is grown from Pullman to my place and even a little further east of me, but then it turns into forest land.  I'm piecing together what you've said and what Michael wrote... that the Pacific NW is home to soft white wheat, because it grows best there?

Phil, thank for your input. Semolina!  Boy it took me awhile to understand how that word was used. Now I understand. It's a grind size. And so you're suggesting that *hard* white wheat can make an acceptable pasta.  I'd read about soft wheat for pastries in the past. I must be a pretty remedial baker, because I bake with all purpose flour.  I have seen "cake" flour before. Maybe that's the soft.

I had a friend who spent some time in Italy. If she wasn't exaggerating, and if she understood what she was being told, she described a typical pasta shop where each pasta shape (rigatoni, elbows, paparadelli, etc.) each had it's own bin of flour. She seemed to think each was a different variety of wheat, but after reading the comments here, I'm wondering it it was a different ratio of durum to ____ fill in the blank.

I have noticed that pasta made in Italy (Costco has a great organic Italian pasta) is much "bouncier" ...chewy...than USA Ronzoni or Barilla for example.  And so I guess if durum wheat is just too hard to mill, or too difficult to thresh, maybe I can make an edible pasta from hard white wheat. Tell me if that's wrong.

Well, I really can't thank you all enough. I didn't grow up on a farm.  And I'm finding it's a big learning curve ...learning how to feed yourself.
LOL. Thank you for all your help.
Best,
Caroline



Thank you for these excellent resources. I'll look into Sara's book a little more.  I visited the Salt Springs site and it stirred a memory.  I had once been to a site that offered lots of old-world wheats.  I was able to find it. https://greatlakesstapleseeds.com/collections/wheat  It looks like all their durums have awns, so I may be wishing for the impossible ( a pasta wheat without awns.) Maybe I'll wait to see if any of these come available later in the year.

Yes, Mk, you make a good point about one miller per community. I forgot that.  I came across that topic when I was researching buckwheat years ago. Russian peasants eat/ate buckwheat (kasha) without hulls for decades, maybe centuries.  Town mill.

Since I originally posted, I learned a few things in my travels online. I'm posting them here in case anyone finds this thread in the future:

Some wheats are described as having "awnlets". This means "very short awns".
Durum wheat varieties are often described as spring planted but some at the site above are listed as fall planted. That's good for my area.
The thing that makes a wheat good for pasta is "plasticity" (vs. elasticity). Elasticity is good for make bread rise. Plasticity is good for holding shape. I'm still unclear if this is related to the gluten or protein or something else.
There are some papers (scientific, research type papers...maybe someones PhD thesis) that describe the hardness of durum wheats. Turns out, hardness may make it more difficult to grind the grain at the start, but soft flours can cause their own problems.

Thanks for the input. I always find help here.
Best,
Caroline in Idaho
Hi all!  I'm looking for input about varieties of pasta wheat.  If I understand things correctly, pasta wants a low-gluten wheat. I know that Durum is commonly used. And I think I understand that Khorasan is a predecessor to Durum.

I'd read that Durum is a very, very hard wheat and because of that, it's difficult to mill. So, last year I planted a modern-day variety called Svevo Soft Durum.  It was created here in the inland NW. And it's claim to fame is that it's softer than traditional durum, so easier to mill.

I have not yet tried to mill what I grew, but I'll tell you this, I'll not grow that Svevo again. It's not meant for the homesteader/hand farming.  Like most modern-day wheats it grew very short and did not suppress weeds. Harvesting it meant bending over a LOT. It had a weak neck, so the entire spike of grains often broke off in the thresher -- I have a small foot-powered thresher.  And lastly, the awns are ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE to clean out of the thresher.

Two things I'm wondering about...
1) Is Durum or Khorasan wheat too hard to mill at home?  How did peasants do it 100-200 years ago?
2) Are there any tall, *awnless* varieties of wheat that make acceptable pasta?

Thanks for your time and help. I appreciate both.
Caroline
Well, thats a great idea.  Maybe I’ll give that a whirl next year.
Thanks for the good idea.
Best, Caroline
1 year ago
My head is spinning. I hope you can make it stop.

I planted chamomile seeds on the hugel bed. In addition I have some kind of weed on the farm that looks a lot like the chamomile, either mayweed, or some other look a like.

I guess I can take out a tea bag and see if I can smell what chamomile smells like... but does anyone know how to tell chamomile apart from all these imposters. There are SO MANY names for the weeds. False mayweed, scentless mayweed, yadda yada.   Maybe I shouldn't try to grow chamomile...

Thanks in advance for any ideas or websites.

Best,
Caroline in Idaho
1 year ago
I have no affiliation with this company. Just saw their ad on a site I visit. Great story. SMOOTH cast iron pan made in America. Expensive. I know Paul talks a lot about non-stick being a function of smoothness. So here you go: https://fieldcompany.com
2 years ago
Since there is some discussion as to whether the Grand Shepherd *is* a stable new breed, I'd like to take this opportunity to tell you about a very OLD farm dog breed called English Shepherd or farm collie.  The English Shepherd was popular on small farms and homesteads across America until small farms started disappearing in the 20th century. Called the "farmers right hand man" the ES helps with a lot of jobs around the farm: varmint hunting, livestock herding, watch dog, and nurturing animals and children. Where other breeds have become specialists in their jobs, the ES is an all-around dog bred for intelligence, willingness, and trainability. Beautiful, too.

This is the breed described in Ben Falk's "Resilient Farm and Homestead". We're part of the conservation effort for this heritage breed.  For more info, please see: www.puppies.petcarebooks.com

Best,
Caroline in Idaho
4 years ago
Hi Anne,

I've been a writer of canine health care issues for a couple of decades. Allergies and diet are hot button topics so I'll keep my comments short and send you a link to further reading.  My basic answer is to try and get the animals back to a more old-fashioned lifestyle.  

"We" (meaning permies-type people) make sure our chickens are not eating GMO. We make sure our cows are grass fed. We make sure *we're* eating right. But so many still feed the dogs processed foods, vaccinate excessively, and load the dogs with chemicals.  It's what we've been taught to do, to be good dog owners. We want to be good dog owners so we follow these recommendations.

Lighten the dogs load of irritants and you might see a reduction in allergies. We sure noticed that in our first Dachshund. http://puppies.petcarebooks.com/natural-rearing/   Good luck. Keep cool this hot summer.
Best,
Caroline
4 years ago