Thomas Dean

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since Mar 26, 2019
Thomas likes ...
hunting chicken ungarbage
Michigan, USA
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Recent posts by Thomas Dean

County fair as kids (the livestock showing part, not the carnival part), friends for a long time, started dating during college years, married while she was in grad school.
Biggest advice is to make sure that your values align with those of the person that you date.  Doesn't need to be 100% the same, but needs to be close.  Wife and I both grew up involved with agriculture, both were raised as protestant Christians, both value education.  And yet, even then we had disagreements about how to farm, where to go to church, and how much education to encourage our children to get
2 weeks ago
I always do my deer with just a knife (or 2).  I have a hunting knife, but to be honest, I have a serrated knife (steak knife?) that I rescued from the trash, and I very much prefer the serrated knife for a lot of the jobs.  I hang the deer in the barn, gut it in the barn and throw the entrails out for the hens.  Since I hang it in the barn, I have to finish the job on the day I skin it... otherwise it would get contaminated by dust, or eaten by cats, chickens, and the barn dog.  As long as the skin is on it, they leave it alone, but as soon as it is skinned, anything low enough is fair game, so far as they are concerned.  
2 weeks ago
I target food/compostable items - especially items that can be used for human consumption, as well as lifestock feed items.  I hate to see compostable material go to the landfill.  These are my primary targets, but anything else useful/donatable/saleable are also snagged, time and space permitting.  
Lumber and scrap metal for projects are also good items.  
2 weeks ago
1. What, to you, is the most pressing environmental problem?
Food Waste, compostable materials going into landfills

2. Are you alarmed by the proliferation of plastic in the environment?
Another user put it well.  Annoyed more than alarmed.

3. Do you take any actions to reduce your use of plastic?
Yes.  Reuse as often as possible.  We wash ziplock bags for re-use.  We can in glass jars.  Rescue plastic buckets from the waste stream and and repurpose them or sell them.  Shop at thrift stores rather than buying new, to give new life to others' discarded products (many of which are at least partially plastic).  Collet  and return bottles for deposit (and hence recycling)

3b. If so, what?
See above

4. Do you support government mandated plastic bans?
No.  The government has better things to do with its time that outlawing useful products (products like gas cans with ventilation openings, incandescent bulbs, both of which I wish I could still buy. etc).  I would support more containers having a cash deposit on them to incentivize recycling, but NOT a mandate.  

5. Has anyone here nearly eliminated their use of plastic, and if so, what is the most challenging aspect to get rid of?
This is not a goal of mine.  I try to reduce my use, but I have no intention of eliminating such a useful material from my life.

6. Do you think reusables are too  dangerous in the time of coronavirus?
NO.  I am willing to stick my hand into a trash can and pull out a can or bottle with a deposit on it, I don't believe that the health risk is that great.  

7.Do you agree that efforts to reduce waste should be suspended or cancelled in light of the pandemic?
I don't think that there is any real reason to do so.  For most people, the "trash fairies" are going to come and take the trash to the "Magical land of away" regardless of the pandemic.  The end user can still sort their recycleables at the same rate as before, and the garbage trucks are still going to run, regardless of whether they are taking "trash" to the landfill or recycling to the recycling center.  I understand that there might be some "supply chain" issues, but in general, people should have the opportunity to continue to recycle.
1 month ago

Tereza Okava wrote:

Thomas Dean wrote:
I once listed some as goose schmaltz and got berated in an email by someone who said they were Jewish, and I should not even use that as a search term on CL if it wasn't kosher.  But there are lots of people with strong opinions on the web.  I apologized, and edited my advert to make it clear that it was not kosher.  Just a warning for others, but thank you for your input as well.


I'd be leery after that too!! (I could totally see that happening where I grew up, but 90% of people in the city were Jewish). I suppose there is always someone who has to be difficult. I am not a CL user so maybe there is some cultural thing there I don't know. Still, I think big picture there is no reason to think that schmaltz would be any more kosher than chicken would be.



I don't think I am in a major Jewish area either... I am in Calvinist-Reformed-Protestant-Dutch-West Michigan area.
1 month ago
I don't know the varieties!  
the decorative stuff comes from a run-of-the mill garden center
the colossal kale was a gift from the lady who runs the garden shop on the corner: she sells plants, veggies, crafts, etc, but doesn't keep any kind of records, LOL
the normal crinkly one we get the seed at the local mill.  I can probably get the name of the seed.
1 month ago

Tereza Okava wrote:I don't think anyone would assume that schmaltz is kosher. And people who want kosher schmaltz are probably not buying their food from random places or producers (an observation from living in a mostly orthodox community when I was a kid). If you live in an area where people do keep kosher and they might buy your meat products you probably should mention non-kosher, but I would imagine someone would have asked by now if that were the case.



I once listed some as goose schmaltz and got berated in an email by someone who said they were Jewish, and I should not even use that as a search term on CL if it wasn't kosher.  But there are lots of people with strong opinions on the web.  I apologized, and edited my advert to make it clear that it was not kosher.  Just a warning for others, but thank you for your input as well.
1 month ago
Last year I hade kale of 2 varieties overwinter.  Surprised me a bit, as I did not know kale was a biennial.  One variety was a decorative purple variety we planted in the flower bed (we now only plant things we can eat).  Out of 3 plants in that bed, only one came back.  I did harvest leaves from it to eat, but it went to seed, and it was sort of scraggly anyway.  I don't have high hopes of it coming back, but I planted another 3 of similar variety in the same flower bed this year, perhaps I'll get one or two.  

In the regular vegetable garden, we had a "normal" crinkly leaved kale that tenaciously survived the long, cold winter, being cultivated over in the spring, and planted over with other veggies... they looked just as nice as the Kale I planted from seed, but were ready to harvest earlier, although they were in an annoying location since they were not planted where I would have planted them.  They did not try to produce seed.  We planted the same variety of them this year as well.

Finally, the lady at the garden center gave me half a dozen "colossal kale" plants... leaves almost too big/tough to be edible! (make a good shell for a wrap though).  

My question is: how can I encourage them (any and all of the 3 varieties) to grow back again next year?  They are already covered in snow and have froze multiple times.  Is it better to trim the greenery off, or leave it?  If it shows any life in the spring, I will either transplant or avoid cultivating that part of the garden... but honestly, I probably need to cultivate the whole garden to work in the manure and compost that I will apply over the winter.  So, I will probably end up transplanting: dig up anything with life, cultivate garden, replant in the freshly worked soil.  
1 month ago