Cayo Seraphim

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since Jun 01, 2017
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Recent posts by Cayo Seraphim

I am not experienced with goats, but I do keep our goats without fences; I just make sure that we are established as part of their herd first: bottle-feeding and even having a new adult sleep in the house. Our goats wouldn’t dream of wandering off. When we are in the house they sleep on the porch or browse very close by. When we go out, they walk everywhere we walk. If we leave a door open, they will also come into the house...
3 years ago

Bryant RedHawk wrote:I would think that it would hard to find such a place unless you are going back to carrying all your water daily, almost all water piping is done with PVC pipe these days.
Copper would be better but it has gone to the wayside because of the cost of the pipe, fittings and solder.

What about iron pipes? Vitrified clay? Or all the ways people have irrigated since before PVC?

3 years ago
Dear permies—

I would love to find a community (probably more like eco-village, as I prefer a private land space within the larger space) that draws some boundaries around not having toxic things. Similar to Paul’s huspa.

I have searched I have searched here. And so many communities seem to use a lot of plastic and toxic things like PVC.  

Personally I have chosen to eliminate plastic and toxin-emitting machines, and I would love to live close to others who similarly chose to live without these materials.

I have a visions of a place with all earth houses (cob, wattle and daub, wofati, etc) and solutions to irrigation that don’t involve hoses and PVC. I think it’s possible. It’s been done in the past in human history.

There is a community in Wales that comes close. It’s all little cob houses, and they each have maybe 6 acres if I remember correctly. But they rarely if ever have openings.

Eco-village Gaia in Argentina also comes close, with cob and earth brick houses.

Does anyone have any leads? I’m open to anywhere in the world.

I am at the point of just trying to find my own land, but wanted to ask the permies community just in case anyone knows of other places that exist.

Many thanks!

3 years ago
Kia ora—

My goal/vision is to borrow/buy/lease land in NZ and build an all natural-build cottage (cob or cob-bale), and create a homestead where we have all our needs taken care of from the land. Same as lots of people on the permies forums, with probably the main difference that I intend to use no toxic materials or plastic or machines, so having running stream water and some rain is probably essential. I’m pretty serious about living without toxic things and I avoid cars and choose only natural fiber undyed clothing, cooking pots made of soapstone, etc.

I am interested in buying land with owner-financing if anyone has some land for sale—and am also seeking opportunities to secure land other than buying land, for example, to lease some acreage on someone’s land long-term and create a homestead within a larger piece of land. I am semi-interested in an intentional community but usually they are too community-focused for me with obligatory work and meetings and no private land space. My ideal would be to have my own 10+ hectares within a larger parcel of land where others with similar interests/values are doing things like planting fruit trees and walking their goats.

Regionally: I am focusing on the north of the South Island or the north island, as I would like to grow many of the fruits we have in Hawaii.

If anyone has land/leads/contacts/ideas in NZ, please let me know!

Also I’m open to other countries but I am fairly set on NZ at this point. I have been living in Hawaii for the last few years.
3 years ago

Nicole Alderman wrote:

Which leads me to another thing that makes it hard to be plastic free: having a spouse that's not on the same page. One day my husband came home with three giant bags of cupcake toppers. He was so proud of how he'd gotten them for a dollar a bag. Why in the world would we need BAGS of horrid plastic toppers? I don't want plastic in our house. I don't want to STORE that stuff, let alone let my kids play with it. He also loves to buy hot wheels, and those are made usually half of plastic, with whatever weird paints they use. And, since so much is spent on trinkets, there isn't money for natural toys. I've been making wool felt fairies and dragons for the kids..but my kids love cars and truck much more, and I can't make those, nor do I have the time to make much of anything. It's hard.

This is really hard. And everyone I know who is conscious of toxins experiences this with spouses. When my husband and I disagree then our approach is to talk until we agree (which usually means a lot of educating on my part), or use the precautionary principle. That is to say, if he thinks it’s fine for our child to eat out of plastic, and I think it’s not okay to expose the child to plastic, and if we can’t get into alignment about it, then we choose the decision that we KNOW won’t harm the child. Not having plastic definitely won’t harm the child. Having plastic might harm the child. So we chose not having the plastic. Also, I feel it’s important to put the children’s well-being first and leave out any adult egos/issues/projections. So for example, if my husband wants to get our child a big wheel because he had one himself as a child, that’s projecting his childhood and expectations onto the child. A child can have a fulfilling and fun childhood without a certain toy. Also, having boundaries around plastic doesn’t always make other adults happy, and I know friends who have been yelled at by in-laws and called OCD for not wanting toxic things in the house. So I have had to be willing to not always please all the adults.
3 years ago
I should add that one benefit from being so strict about plastic/toxins is that my senses have totally changed because I’m not covered in toxic smelling things that I guess deadened my senses before. I can now be asleep on a windy beach and the small of a person 200 yards away will wake me up. More like the smell of cologne and dryer sheets on them.  I think it’s helping me understand more what it is like to have senses like animals have.
3 years ago

Nicole Alderman wrote:

What tips and tricks do you have for reducing the plastic your kids come in contact with?

I personally create a strict boundary for what I choose and what I allow to come in from others. My extended family all knows there will be nothing plastic or toxic around the child. If they send me something plastic or with chemicals anyway, it goes back to them or to donation. Actually I have asked for no gifts at all, except seeds or organic undyed clothes or money. Usually they send money because they all know how selective I am. My mom didn’t quite understand that no dyes means no dyes, but now she’s getting it because I sent the blue things back to her.

I have basically gotten rid of everything I had accumulated before having a child. I thought I had mostly non-plastic/non-toxic things but I re-examined and out went the sleeping bag, the dyed clothes, the synthetic clothes, and all my shoes, gone. I asked myself to think about every item in our household and ask myself “is having this thing worth exposing my child to toxins?” And the answer for me was usually no.

It’s made life and living a lot simpler. We have one pot, a soapstone pot. We love our pot so much it’s like another member of the family. We have hand-carved wooden cups and bowls. It’s really easy to do dishes when everything is wood and rock! We make some clothes and all our shoes and the last time we moved, we made all our bags from felt, hand sewn with wool yarn and a big blunt upholstery needle (safe and easy for children to sew with), which will be a bone needle soon. Toothbrushes are wooden with boar bristles. I made our mattress with my child from unprocessed wool batting and wool cloth.

There are still a few plastic things in the house: an iPhone and iPhone charger; my contacts, and something else I am forgetting. I keep these in an organic cotton pillowcase up in a closet.

What I have personally found is that when I draw a strict boundary I eventually find a solution or change what I thought mattered. Shoes were the biggest challenge for a while and now we make all wool felt shoes. I chose not to care about waterproof diapers.

It’s definitely a challenge but I personally find it an enjoyable one. I also really appreciate Etsy because if I don’t make it, I can find someone who will, and almost everyone is willing to customize what they make. I ask a lot of questions like what kind of thread is used and is the cloth washed with perfumed soap.
3 years ago

Bryant RedHawk wrote:

Electric currents do nothing for snake bite treatment except that they can cause wider spreading of the venom which is the opposite of what you want.

Redhawk, Is that based on your personal experience trying it out, or based on a review of the scientific literature? These scientists in the link I provided found otherwise (a bit of the abstract pasted below), even in vivo, and this was in 2011, in a peer-reviewed publication, which supports some other scientific research along with experiences in the field in Latin America where the people who suffered most from snake bites were the ones who refused the electric current being offered. It seems like the reports that say that it doesn’t work are basing that on the cases where bites were treated with way too high a voltage or amperage. But I haven’t really looked into the literature, and have only glanced at a few studies. That’s why I’m asking you, the expert!

“We previously reported that a short exposure of Crotalus atrox venom to direct electric current (dc) from a low-voltage generator, in solution, causes consistent and irreversible inactivation of venom phospholipase A(2) and metalloproteases. Here we report by in vivo assay on chicken embryos at stage 18 of development according to Hamburger and Hamilton that the hemorrhagic activity of C. atrox venom is lost after exposure to dc (from low voltage). Venom was exposed to dc ranging between 0 and 1 mA. dc values above 0.7 mA abolished hemorrhage”
3 years ago
I make shoes/boots from wool felt, but they don’t last long withot a sole, and they are a bit slippery without something grippy. Also many people on Etsy make felt boots like these ones, made only with raw organic wool, olive oil soap, and water. If you have never worn felt shoes, they are extremely comfortable. Also, you can sew on a leather sole for more durability.

Bryant RedHawk wrote:
(about 15 years ago I captured an Australian brown under a low deck in Sherwood Arkansas, it had a clutch of eggs which we also gathered up and they hatched two days later)
One of my friends that is a collector purchased the babies and their momma, we never found the daddy.
I've been handling snakes since the early 1960's, mostly collecting for antivenin programs.  

What is your theory for how a breeding pair of Australian browns made it into the wild?

And what are your thoughts on electrical currents for snakebites?  It seems like the general consensus is it’s been debunked, but a lot of the failed cases seem to involve too high a voltage.
3 years ago