Mandy Launchbury-Rainey

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since Feb 11, 2018
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Recent posts by Mandy Launchbury-Rainey

Barbara Kochan wrote:I am a bit confused: i've seen a couple references to water bath above. I thought pickling and fermenting were alternatives to canning. Is the water bath something different?



Although you are correct, US guidlines say that you should still waterbath jams and pickles.  In the UK at least, this is rarely done.  I never do unless I have not been able to sterilise jars first in the overn.
7 months ago
Please be carefull and remember that pH of 10 is 1000 times more alkaline than neutral.
7 months ago
The acidity is a quality of the acid itself. Weak acids may not need diluting, stronger acids probably should be. In UK we use a lot of malt vinegar which is hard to get here, so I use ACV and just check to pH. Look up the pH of the recipe you are following, check your acid for pH with universal litmus paper (from chemists) and dilute if necessary.  Remember that 1 point higher on the pH scale is x 10 dilution, 2 point is 100 times etc.
7 months ago

S. Bard wrote:.He mentions nitrogen fixing plants a lot. What could be good nitrogen fixers for steep terrain?



Bush clover is a good nitrogen fixer that will give good fodder for chickens and other animals and is a sturdy plant.
8 months ago

Gabe Smith wrote: I have currently stuck cuttings in the ground on two sides of the garden - did one side yesterday, and one just this afternoon. I made cuttings about 8" long, opened up the ground with a lawn edger tool Ina a straight line path down the side of the garden, and shoved cuttings in about every two inches. .



Gabe - try sticking alternate sticks in at 45 degree angles in front and behind of your uprights, then weave them behind the uprights.  This will give you the density you require at the base, and, with careful pruning of the outward growing shoots, will take up less space than pollarded trunks, which will be HUGE in a few years.  Although I love the look of pollarded willows!




living willow fences


growing willow for whips to use elsewhere

8 months ago
Unfortunately,  Japanese knotweed is extremely invasive outside of Japan, where natural predators control its spread. Always nature has its swings and roundabouts!
8 months ago
You are in a great place to go beach fishing, either around WSM, North Devon or even down to the Chesil. My husband and I used to go down to West Bexington, throw in a line when the mackerel were running and haul in enough to stock the freezer. Try looking at www.worldseafishing.com for advice from fellow anglers. Good luck.
8 months ago

Josephine Howland wrote: My dream has been to build a dome home. I mean since high school, and I'm 62 now. The issue has always been money and physical strength. Maybe one day I will build a dome greenhouse. I have devoted many years to studying plans, but due to divorce, change in income, illness, etc. it just never happened. Now at 62, I find myself feeling like none of my dreams have or will come true. Sorry to sound depressed, but it is depressing. I do what I can. I can what I grow.


I am exactly the same, Josephine.  I will be 60 in April and it just creeps up on you. You go to do something and realise you just are not strong enough anymore.  The geodesic dome structure that the guy in my video makes should  be easy enough though.  Check out his channel.  Maybe you could do part of it then ask for help with the rest.  It can be very easy to be depressed over one's age, but there is nothing we can do about it so soldier on with what you can do, take up some new hobbies and see if you can make money at them, enjoy the life you have, don't regret the life you don't have.  Much love coming your way over the ether.
8 months ago

Tj Jefferson wrote:Anj,

Some really good advice on here. Electric is awesome since you can change a plan in an hour, and make bigger paddocks as needed. The up front cost is high but I've been using the same nets for three years and they are in great shape. For full size piggys they come in a 42" height which does dual for chickens after the piggys go through, making it an easy starter rotation system. I would advise getting a 0.6 J or greeater charger as a weak zap is a useless fence and its marginally more compared to replacing nets and animals. I move the nets by hand in about ten minutes per 100" section including making the new paddock by cutting vegetation on the line. With 4 nets I can move them in about 35 minutes.



Thats a good idea.  I was thinking I would have to buy wires and nets separately but if the nets will do for the pigs and chucks - I want to follow pigs with chickens.
8 months ago
I bought the plans for the solar dehydrator but Him Indoors says it is too big and he doesn't have time to make it, and I am too intimidated by my lack of skills to build it myself.  
Likewise with a geodesic dome.  Ended up with a poly tunnel, which is fine, but sometimes I think I need to give myself a good talking to.

This guy has given me the idea that this is a simple method but...
8 months ago