Dianne Justeen

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since Mar 21, 2019
Total newbie
Allentown, PA but we bought off-grid property in Newark Valley, NY
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Recent posts by Dianne Justeen

Want to bump this old thread back up since now is the perfect time for winter sowing.  I just learned about doing this on purpose and it's so instinctual, I can't believe this isn't a common gardening practice.  I routinely get "volunteer" kale, tomatoes, arugula, some herbs, so why not add some intentionally winter sown plants?  Quite coincidentally to the original poster, my husband was laid off last summer and while he's been able to get a couple of contracting jobs, he's yet to land a job with benefits.  So we're keeping our belts tight.  Great chance to learn new and cheaper ways to grow food and pretty flowers.

Does anyone have advice about this, or anything a "newbie" should know?  What has been your experience with this?  How closely do you put the seeds?  Seems like the plants live in there a while so super-close spacing doesn't seem advisable.  We live in US Zone 6 in an urban (sheltered) location with a tiny yard but our land for gardening is 150 miles north in US Zone 5b on a windy site with lots of sun exposure and lots of garden space.  Planned on setting up in my tiny yard using the basic method on wintersown.org then bring to the main garden at planting time.  Will be using recycled gallon jugs as containers and cheap, basic potting mix.  
6 days ago

S Tonin wrote:
I live close enough to Amish country that it pays us to take a day trip a few times a year to go to the bulk food store and stop at roadside stands on the way home.  The one I go to (Echo Hill Country Store in Fleetwood, PA) has a lot of organic and hard-to-find stuff, in smaller quantities and cheaper than I could buy online.

Hi Neighbor!  I was spending some time following some Permie rabbit holes and came upon this post.  I LOVE Echo Hill.  Our piano teacher is in Kutztown so while my kids are in their lessons I cruise over to Fleetwood.  If you want things like grains, beans, flours in larger sizes, ask the ladies in the back.  If they have it, you can buy something like a whole 25 lb. sack of beans and they give you a discount since they save on packaging.

I'm terrible with names so please excuse how vague this is, but if you take 222 towards Allentown, just past where it goes down to a 2 lane road, turn right at the traffic light by the Burger King, there are 2 Menonite farm stands shortly up the road.  The second one (larger with a more permanent store building) sells bulk apples as seconds on the cheap.  I buy bunches of them in fall, keep the best for eating fresh and can apple sauce and apple pie filling.  I've bought other bulk produce from both these stands at very reasonable prices.  And even full boat, their prices are very reasonable.
2 weeks ago

denise ra wrote:I went to the specs and I am in Zone B on Panasonic's map for the WhisperSonic ERV. Zone B: Unit can perform optimally March through November. I called Panasonic and they say it will run on Defrost Mode in winter. This exhausts moisture out but does not bring in fresh air.


Thanks for this info. We're building a "small home" not tiny but at 24' x 24' with a loft, it's small enough that most appliances are way overkill.  Only comment about this is that March through November I can open a window.  In the northeast, once we burn wood for heat, moisture isn't a problem anymore but some additional fresh air would be welcome.

We permitted the building as a residence which means in our State we have to have it pass the "blower door test". So we were planning on putting as few holes as possible through the walls and roof until we passed all our inspections.  Then we'd add a vent for the kitchen stove and one for the bathroom.  We're also putting in a "cool cupboard" in the kitchen.  We have the big culvert pipe into the slab done which will eventually connect and open into a root cellar for the cool air intake, but have the end buried for now and won't vent that out until later too.
2 months ago

Nichole Rock wrote:
How did you attach them to the bottom/each other? My first thought is soldering.

Nope, I just place them on the bottom.  I found that a combo of wide mouth rings and a couple of regular size rings allow the entire bottom of the pot to be covered snugly but not so tight as to push them up anywhere.  I place the jars to be canned in such a way as to not have them stay nice and upright and not fall over sideways a bit into the center of the rings.

The tip on putting them together with some wire is brilliant!  May try that.  Just picked another 10 gallons of tomatoes yesterday so I'll be at this a while and want to make this as easy as possible.
3 months ago

Phil Swindler wrote:I use the machine my mom got in 1949 as a high school graduation present.

I used to sew a lot.  I'm almost 6' tall and when I was younger there was literally no place for me to buy clothing that fit.  I learned on my mother's Singer machine that was about from the same time-frame as your mom's machine.  Had that machine forever but eventually it got to the point of being unrepairable.  Sad when it went, but surprisingly the modest price replacement I got about 15 years ago works fine.  Big 'however' is I no longer sew nearly as much as I used to.  And almost never make coats, jeans, and other really heavy hard to sew fabrics like I used to on the old Singer.
4 months ago

Joshua LeDuc wrote:Purchase or fashion a grate that you can put at the bottom of the pot that will keep a little separation between the jars and the bottom of the pot.

I got a wonderful huge aluminum pot that looks commercial grade on Freecycle that I use for water-bath canning.  I wouldn't use aluminum for cooking but for processing the jars, it's no worries.  I bought a lid for it at a restaurant supply store but to rig up a grate for the bottom, I use some extra rings from the mason jars on the pot's bottom.  Works great (pun intended) and provides good use for some of the rustier, nastier old rings while keeping the jars off the bottom.
4 months ago

Carla Burke wrote:I'll not say what he said about people who didn't bother to even check on how much the recommended amount was, because it falls into the 'very not nice' category.

Thanks for the clarification.  I've always said that although I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, my superpower is that I read and follow directions.  So I've never understood the aversion to doing so.
5 months ago

Leigh Tate wrote:
We added an outdoor laundry facility when we fixed and expanded our carport.

Wow, that's a beautiful set up.  Where's the washer from?  Looks like you mounted a bought wringer on a galvanized tub and built the set-up.  Have you posted about it?
5 months ago

Carla Burke wrote:A washing machine repairman once told me to only use 1/3 - 1/2 the amount of laundry soap recommended, too. He said more than that is not only unnecessary, but speeds deterioration of the washer and your clothes, by about the same difference.

That's because most people never bother checking to see what the recommended amount of detergent is in the first place.  Whatever "measuring cap" comes with it gets filled, and often then some, for each wash.
Usually that's triple the recommended amount.  When I was in college back in the 80's, my lab instructor for organic chemistry was a former chemist for Proctor and Gamble.  Nice guy and we were often chit-chatting. This was one of his pet peeves. He assured us that using extra detergent not only didn't get clothes cleaner but made them dirtier from residue.  His professional advice was that it's better to use less detergent and more time.  Time spent soaking is the far more efficient way to get clothes clean.  According to him, they actually worked out optimal amounts to use but "made their money on the people who thought that more equalled cleaner."
5 months ago

Owen Wormser wrote:An area the size of Washington State is mowed turf in the US and the adverse impact of all that lawn is enormous.

I'm most amazed when owners of a larger suburban property will have what looks like 2 acres of lawn.  My thought has always been "if I'm spending that much time and money on land, it better feed me or at least provide some beautiful flowers for my house!"
6 months ago