P Colvin

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since Nov 15, 2018
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Recent posts by P Colvin

That is helpful, thank you. A person can Google till the cows come home but nothin beats talkin to an actual human.

I put together another batch in a saucepan on super low last night (insomnia, so....) and discovered this morning that part of my "wierd smell" problem is that in doing that is that I'm scorching the bottom a little. Burnt pig lard is the "wierd smell". Sigh...

I didn't wanna drag out the whole crockpot for such a little amount of oil. I read about, also, putti g oil and her s in a mason jar and putting them in the oven for a few hours. Will probly try that one, simce I have surprisingly, burnt stuff on low in the crockpot, too. My stepmon has specifically requested an infusion if yarrow and  plantain for one of the grandkids' rash. Her daughter's neighbor i. Eastern Washington does this stuff and made a salve that worked really well for that, so she was asking me if I could make her some. I gave her a whole bunch of the yarrow growing in my yard. lol. But she said she doesnt have the time to make it and wants me to. lol
11 months ago
Hmm... maybe that answers some questions for me, I think. 2 1/15 tsp EO seems like quite a lot. I don't think I have quite that much in that one batch. About the same amount of base oil, and I wanna say 20 drops cinnamon 20 drops mint, maybe the same in capsaicin tincture, all added right before pouring into jars.  

What oils did you use in yours? I have read these wierd ingredients above in one recipe, and eucalyptus and cayenne in another.  Eucalyptus EO was gonna cost me $25 bucks, doggonit. I put that one back for now.

And I bet I'm having to use more EO bc I'm using that porky lard. Ugh. Can't  win fer losin. See, I know exactly what is in my lard, and I have a lot of it. Self sufficiemcy and frugality n all that.
Sigh...

Sue Reeves wrote:

I just made some salves for joint pain, that would normally be a bit stinky, the infused oil base I made was stinky to me, but I used pure essential oils that served 2 purposes, first was to make the smell nicer and the other is that they are medicinal in their won right and help the other medicine to penetrate.  

I used a total of 2 1/5 teaspoons of a mix of essential oils to 3 1/2 cups of herbally infused oil.  I used safflower oil as my oil on this one, next one I will likely get sunflower oil.  I first wanted a USA grown oil and also did not want the heavy scent of coconut oil.  While I am not familiar with lard as a base, seems like it should work about like coconut oil that people use.  

I would rework, just scrape back out of the jars and re-infuse.   Add essential oils later right before putting in jars.  ----


11 months ago
As far as lard properties, the lard makes a very nice, smooth, nice melting whatever you want to call it. Salve, I guess.  Since I mix beeswax with it, it's just dealing w that porky smell.  

I have tried 2 methods I read about to "clean" the lard- cooking a batch of peeled potatoes and the tossing the potatoes, and also adding baking soda and vinegar to the pot.of melted lard.  The latter took that smell out moreso, but I had problems with the whole thing bubbling over all over the place, like you do with making hot process soap. I have yet to isolate what is making that problem  whether it is one of the ingredients like the cayenne (didn't  have any EO or tincture in there yet) , or the water/oil reaction, since vinegar is water based and so is the one capsaicin tincture I put in there later. I noted that later when I added capsaicin tincture, it bubbled again. Oil and water don't  like each other. I forgot that.

So far I have made 2 batches of salve.  My "underboob" (skin healing) salve came out green and beautiful and works great, although it had kind of a wierd smell at first- porky, burnt herb kinda thing goin on even after adding tea tree oil. But it worked on my rashy skin so well I just dealt with it, and after a few days of settin in the jars, it has dissipated quite a bit and now mostly smells like tea tree oil and just a hint of something wierd. I also didn't "clean" this batch of lard. Thought maybe that was it.  So I been goin up to people, "Hey- Do I smell?"  lol

So... this second batch I cleaned the lard, as mentioned above. Went to watch a movie after setting the herbs to simmer like last time, and hubs says "What's  burning?" and I come in the kitchen to find most of the oil mixture all over my stovetop.   So THAT was a cleanup job, and perversely, my stovetop got clean as a whistle.

Oh wait. Brain fart. I just figured it out. At that point I had no essential oils in it yet, just dry herbs and my powdered  cayenne. And probly residual vinegar/baking soda. It was the oil and water reaction, then, w heat added to make it bubble.  Fun fire hazard. Yea, I kept a bucket of baking soda close by and was just in the next room checkin on it once in a while.

So I salvaged that stuff off the stove, strained it out, melted it, and then got happy adding capsaicin tincture, cinnamon EO,  and mint EO per the recipe I was mostly following. I was adding mostly cinnamon and mint to mask that porky smell as needed.  It doesn't smell bad.  Asking family members to smell me again and they say I smell like mint/cinnamon and not pork, so I guess that is good.

It set up and made a nice spreading and melting salve, but pain salve?  I dunno bout that. Recipe says it is a warming/cooling thing like Icy Hot, but it doesn't warm or cool very much. Does it eliminate pain?  I dunno. You are not supposed to put it on sensitive skin bc of the capsaicin but I didn't  even feel the burn until I put a little on my lips, finally. About like a medium hot pepper, nothing major.  And I have put so much of that EO in and capsaicin,  I'm a bit afraid to add more and burn somebody. Tested it out on hubs and my daughter when she came to visit.  Me and daughter both have sensitive skin.  Nobody screamed in pain.

So I am out of beeswax now  for a couple days, and now out of potatoes again too. I have another batch of just lard right now on the stove cooling that I have run 2 batches of potatoes through. The dog has been a very happy boy, eating fried potatoes. The stuff is still liquid and still smells moderately porky.  I have all this lard I rendered from our farm and it is an excellent hand moisturizer w how much I wash my hands all the time. I sure would like to use it up, and even pie crust requires non-porky lard.  Works great for working hands and just ansorbs into skin better than the coconut oil, I think.  But I mix half coconut oil/olive oil to half lard, for the healing qualities of the other 2 and I have found just coconut oil mixed w olive oil a good mix too.  I use that latter for hair.

Anyways, I know I'm wordy. Sorry. This info is very useful in my newbie forays. I'm writing all this down in a notebook as I go along.
11 months ago
Thank you that this info is here!  Am somewhat new to making salves. I have all this pig lard from my pigs and am finally using it. My goal is local business, sustainability, using materials foraged locally or grown myself so that I am not dependent on stores. So moving away from so much things like olive oil and coconut oil. Plus, we have seen firsthand how material may be grown organically, at considerable work and expense to the farmer, then completely adulterated and false advertising in the processing part by the company that packages it. So you organic eggs and veggies that you pay huge prices for? Well there might be 1 or 2 in there. Go "try" to tour a processing company. Prove me wrong. Please. I want to be wrong.

Anyways, get off my soapbox, I know. But that's why I go to all this trouble, bc what if suddenly Walmart or Amazon, or others aren't there or uber expensive, then what? Same for medical prescriptions. I don't like Walmart anyway.

So this info is useful. I have a pain salve I made up last night that seems kinda weak and I can either rework it and add a tincture capsaicin,  or try to put in more of the powder. Seems the latter would be more messy and I would rather heat the little jars and just add in some tincture. I got the mint part worked out just fine. Am making for my Dad, so I hope I don't burn anybody. The family may have a bit of mistrust  bc of my initial former forays into lye soapmaking....Ok, I'll say it. They think I'm crazy. lol. BUT, my aunt n uncle are now using tinctures for joint pain, and does yoga and got off insulin w diet and exercise alone, so... there is that. lol K, I'm gonna try to shut up now. I have work to do. Trying to get lard to not smell kinda wierd is my goal today. And I'm still canning up squash from Fall. Ugh ...
11 months ago
We have 13 acres that are pretty hilly and all clay, lived here for 1.5 years so far. The Mahindra is the thing we use the heck out of. I'm 5 ft 1 217 lbs and female. I'm not strong.

So far we have used it for.... muck stalls with it (deep litter in winter, per Joel Salatin),  haul compost down to the field, stretch fence, haul fence rolls, clear invasive ivy, process a pig on it, move round bales, transplant fruit trees w the back hoe, pull down slag piles for firewood, cut driveway/roads, clear a space for a shed, move pigs and their piglets, move big logs when a tree fell, dig out stumps, clean up old metal garbage we found buried out there lime old axles and long steel trusses if some sort and half a car, move chicken tractor, move a small shed, till up the garden,  stand on it and pick apples (since it was there), haul garden produce back to the house (the truck was out of commission that day),  dig out/repair drainage ditch, move giant rocks, level holes in the field caused by pigs, level out and clean up land where digging was done by heavy equipment for water lines, get truck unstuck from the mud by lifting it (too muddy for pulling it), buty dead livestock in hard clay soil....

We have used the heck out of it. We may not be as (permie?) as some folks here.  We don't "identify" with tractors, although that backhoe is hella fun.  And our place recovers very quickly here in Western Washington.  And we are just starting, so a lot of infrastructure is needing done, heavy work that we just can't  do by hand, and when hubs works? I'm doing it alone, and I'm a weakling. And 46.  Not in my 20's. I save my back for important stuff so I can still walk the next day. And yes, I still muck stalls by hand, too. The tractor doesn't  reach it all. And the stall muck compacts, needing broken up. Hubs, a strapping 6'3" construction dude, was in there w a pick axe, breaking  it up while I shoveled. The tractor backhoe was a HUGE improvement.  I'm very busy already, as is hubs.  It is rather nice to have him say "Ok, we have to move your plum tree over here to this spot", and he marks where the hole goes and goes on to the fencing or whatever, n I jump on the tractor n roll over there n dig out the hole in under an hour.  And there is NO way I can puck up a pig at processing time. The 2 of us together, small AGH mix pigs... couldn't even roll the pig or drag the pig up a ramp into the back of the truck. Dead weight is a whole different ballgame.

Also, I started half training one of our beef calves to be a draft animal (I know nothing about this, I just started doing it, same as with my dog), but they are limited. They can only pull stuff. And there is still equipment involved, chains, yoke...   They can't scoop dirt, hang a pig, dig a hole... Or pick up and move said log that fell down into a tight spot and needs positioned to be drug out of there.

We spend money on diesel and lube, so far, and bought a maintenance plan, but we are using that thing every other day.  We are maki gmpayments on it for now, but expect to pay it off early, and we are fastidious about the prescribed maintenance, as with any other tool.  Before that, we were calling my Dad to come w his tractor, a smaller Kubota, and Dad recommended going one size up from his. He tilled our garden though, bc he has the tiller and he does... identify w his tractor. It's his favorite toy. lol. We have to till bc we are building soil instead of clay, and the garden is a 1/4 acre or so.
11 months ago
We have 13 acres and I pay for a smart phone w minimal plan for the coverage.  We are in a cell phone hole for everybody except U.S. Cellular. People are always calling / texting about piglets, anyway.    I have beat the heck out of it. I wear a fanny pack or jacket w zip up pockets, over the shoulder pack w my knife, pistol,  phone, pen and paper, needle nose pliers, dog treats. That's  my daily carry.  So far, I have only dropped the phone inside in the toilet, when it was in my pants pocket.

You need a knife/pliers for whatever string/ wire an animal got tangled up in. Pistol for protection from 2 leggeds or 4 leggeds,  or to put an animal down humanely.  And a phone in case one of those doesn't  work. Stuff happens. My husband has tipped our tractor over part of the way and got stuck.   Most....of the time he carries his phone, and would need it if he tips it over all the way.
11 months ago
Howdy from Lewis County.  I'm not.interested in WOOFing, as I have my own place to deal with, but it was fun to see someone close by.  It would be fun to learn from each other.  You are WAY farther ahead in the game than I. lol. I have 13 acres, here, employing a lot of the same ideas, with a practical mindset as well.  I'm still learning.  My best farm supporter at this time is piglets, and yes, for meat consumption. Bc hunting is ridiculously expensive for us with licensing and gun laws, only to gamble, really, that you won't procure meat for the winter. And I wouldn't call it "supporting", either, but there are other family dynamics at play.  But my goal someday is to at least pay the property taxes and the feed bill.

There are still a lot of rednecks here, and I suppose I would call myself one. A lot of the "new ideas" with big, fancy names that we understand the meanings of but just choose simpler terms... have been around for a long time. Grin... It's  what the po' folks did. lol. I hope for the day when both the "city" folks and the country folks can get along in harmony and not step on each others' toes so much.   I guess I'm right in the middle, more a Libertarian approach, been told I would be a good hippie, but then the redneck runs strong in this one as well. lol

I learn a lot from the old timers that have gone before me that I meet here, while cringing a bit at the barrels of liquid fertilizer loaded into old pickup trucks, as well. I guess those folks consider me a "newbie" or "hobby" farmer, and that's ok. I don't  claim to be some expert, and I don't  follow hard and fast rules, as much. I try to remain fluid, w an eye toward being more natural.  I do avoid chemicals, and I do want humane treatment of my animals, as well as humane dispatch.

Our background was that I spent most of my adult life poor and failed by most of the govt programs out there, so the first chance I got, I headed for self sufficiency.  My hubs of 9 years inherited, so we moved from Oakville, where our acre was surrounded by predatory drug folks that literally tried to hurt us, to Lewis County, where the drugs aren't  tolerated much.  And by "drugs", I mean meth, not weed. That's where the Libertarian part plays in, in my book. Each to their own. So we are here, and bc it is 13 acres of property taxes instead of our former 1 acre, I decided to try to make a go of it, feeding us first and selling off the extra to feed the others.  

I looked at WOOFing, bc quite frankly, I could use the help, and we have spare rooms.  But no money. lol. And also, we got a good appreciation for maintaining our privacy from a few nightmarish happenings. Had people come into the property that seemed nice enough folks and then turned out to not be so.nice, after all.  We will just say that much. And a couple folks that seemed... well, some folks can't  get the concept of "Don't  open that gate, it's locked for a reason".  And then there was the one that was an animal lover (I can respect that, so am I) and slandered me all over Facebook with lies? Bc I eat pigs instead of make pets of them...?  Okaaayyyy...  Each to their own, I guess?  Why can't  we all get along?? It makes one a bit afraid, sometimes. lol I guess that's where my redneck comes out a bit. lol

Urf. I'm babbling.  I love what your place stands for.

My best wishes in your endeavors.  There is also a (market garden?)  starting up in Centralia on North Tower, if you ever want to take a gander.  It is so great to see great things happening in food!
11 months ago
Sadly, hubs was still throwing a fit about it. He grew up poor, and he also was VERY against killing a pig. Any pig. He just hates it. I get to man up, it is my farm. He only wants to do the fun stuff. But he does carry around the 80 ln feed sacks and big hay bales, so I'll keep him. I'm thankful that he has stepped right into the "man" roles of doing the heavy stuff. He used to not know to do those things for a female. Nobody ever taught him.  I was raised to be both traditional and independent, and our relationship is so strange and crosses over many of the traditional roles. I carry a sidearm and he won't.  He cooks and I don't. He won't do housekeeping and I do. He prefers to drive. He also prefers to do the fencing. lol And who cleans and puts away the tools? Sharpens the knives? That would be me. Bc discarded and rusty tools drive me nuts. I weld.  I crawl under the truck. Hubs does fluids now, and he always changes the tire. They are heavy. But I can.  Or we change car parts together. Infux the electronics. Us girls were raised by a DIYer and mechanic. Kiddo did her own brakes. And both of us know when we are getting the "girl" treatment in a  auto shop and call them on their b.s. Yet hubs is the one that can lead around the cow, simply bc she likes him and pushes me around. And I do all the paperwork.

But I digress ...  The meat.  He threw a fit about the meat. It went in the freezer, and before I could find time to sneak it away and make it dissappear.  It was labelled as "stinky", and then my daughter came and raided my freezer and garden. I explained to her about the meat and she took it anyway. She is smart, she will toss it if it is icky. She is also dirt poor right now, so a bit less picky.  And hubs has done this thing about meat (that time from the food bank, and it was freezer burnt, orange and VERY old pork) before when she was 13 and he was the only one that ate it while me and kiddo set there n watched him get sick n said "I told ya so".  But ideally, her spoiled rotten, useless boyfriend will eat it, and once again be reminded of why he likes it better in his mommy's basement (literally, they lived in her basement. Stereotypical video game playin,  nonworking buffoon), and maybe run away home.  One can only hope.  Yes, I'm a horrible person. I housed this 28 yr old boy for 6 months and then sent him packing to his mother's on a Greyhound bus, more than a lot of folks would have done. Sadly, my daughter followed. She's "in love".  That's what the kids are calling it these days.  .

So the meat has gone to good use, either way.
1 year ago
Forwarding to hubby, bc we fought about, but we figbt about most things "farm".  I have labeled them "stinky" in the freezer, after much arguing about THAT,  and they may just "dissappear" to the dog.  Typically, when we butcher (which he also fights about), we just cut it and bag it right then.

Something tells me I'm gon a have to.grow some balls and steel myself to do the shooti g part, and then get strong enough to haul the carcass to the butcher place in the yard. Bc the man SAYS "let's do a farm" and then when it comes to "doing", there is just a heckuva lotta arguing.

Dude, I just wanna actually know what us in my food a d raise it humanely. Sigh.  
1 year ago
Aging pork?

I looked up this subject bc we had to do just that. We butchered an AGH Kune Kune sow for a bbq ourselves. Hubs put the ywo hams a d a shoukder ibto bri e for the bbq immediately, but we had to quarter the rest and put it  into a fridge we keep seperately jist for this.  I was tasked w the job of cutting up the parts and baggi g ut tor the freezer. We butchered on Sunday and life was nonstop busy until Friday. Hubs put the meat in clean feedsacks in the refridgerator.  It is hust for our family, please don't  judge.  I figure, worse case scenario, it is dogfood.

So Friday, I went to cut it up, and it smelled like... rotten meat. Temp has been fine in the fridge.  Some occassional spots of.blue or green in the fat. Most of the fat was left on the meat, bc these pigs are very fatty. I like to shave off the thin outer layer of fat when processing and not use the skin. For.me, it is easier to get all the little hairs cleaned off that way- peel the skin off, wash thoroughly, then shave off outer layer of fat to.get all the remaining dirt or hair, wash again, then cut off the fat fir lard rendering, bag n label.for.freezer.

I'm a bit concerned about this meat, although of the 2 bags, the second bag smelled better. Hubs says it is fine but hubs will eat a lot of things so as not to waste.  I don't want to get sick. It smells lime a dead thing on the side of the road. The fat and muscle groups pulled apart easily w my hands.

Good , or toss?
1 year ago