Stefanie Hollmichel

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since Feb 04, 2020
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forest garden bike fiber arts
I've always wanted my own farm but life has not worked out that way so I have turned my urban lot into a tiny permaculture farm. I am always looking for ways to squeeze more in. My husband has MS and helps as much as he can. He loves tending our little flock of 4 chickens. He also does all the cooking and bakes all our bread. I bike a lot, both to get places and just for the joy of it. I also read a lot. I enjoy knitting and am learning to spin yarn on a drop spindle. I currently pay the bills by working as a librarian. I love learning new things and have a tendency to get lost diving down research rabbit holes.
Minneapolis, MN
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Recent posts by Stefanie Hollmichel

Thank you for the video, this looks fantastic! I am just learning how to spin on a drop spindle but this looks much more comfortable. I think I am going to need to try it! It looks like there are a number of different kinds of supported spindles, can you recommend a good choice for a beginner?
4 months ago
My chickens like to inspect our work in the garden, especially if there is a hole being dug.

8 months ago
I leave the stalks of the dead annuals and dormant perennials in the beds and they tend to hold the leaves in place until they get buried in snow. I have also used weighed down row cover fabric for small areas. Wet leaves also don't tend to blow around so watering your mulch piles could potentially be an option.
9 months ago

Tereza Okava wrote:I also have another goal that I am almost ashamed to admit out loud. Maybe not super permie but I see a lot of other people here successfully doing it so I'm going to commit it to print here.... maybe get myself in gear with some peer pressure...
I am a knitter and have made sweaters and all sorts of accessory clothes (gloves, hats, scarves, ponchos, etc) but I have never successfully made a pair of socks. I've made a dozen and ripped them all up because they seem made for someone with some sort of anatomical problems (and my feet are ug-ly, so that's sayin something). I must be doing something wrong. Once I finish the current blanket I am headed back to try again. It really can't be that hard.



Oh Tereza, you need this book: Simple Socks: Plain and Fancy by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts https://www.amazon.com/Simple-Socks-Plain-Priscilla-Gibson-Roberts/dp/0966828941

It's a game changer and got me sorted out on the sock making  
9 months ago
I'd love to build a rocket stove/oven like so many others.

I also really want a composting toilet system. I live in a city and have checked regulations and it is legal as long as I have one flushing toilet in the house. But I am not sure how to set up the system or where or how to manage the composting since I have a small urban yard. I still aspire though!

I'd also like to learn how to weave cloth. I am currently learning to spin yarn for knitting but I think it would be neat to be able to make cloth too.
9 months ago
Hi Ryan! I live in Minnesota and milkweed grows in my garden, well, like a weed. I never planted it, it just appeared one year and has spread everywhere on it's own. It does need cold stratification in order to germinate. I am not certain how cold it gets in Dayton, but you may want to try sowing it outdoors in fall. It seems to prefer full sun and a loose sandy/loamy soil. A friend of mine has clay soil and has tried to grow milkweed a number of times without much success.

I'm pretty new to all this, but I just learned a few months ago about making cordage from milkweed and managed to save some from the garden before it went all moldy from the snow. It turns out to be a messy undertaking to process the stalks for the fiber so I have only done one because I have nowhere to work in winter other than my house. But I did get about a foot of really strong cordage from it. I, too, am interested in seeing if I can get some soft fiber from it, but in my researches it seems I might have more luck with nettle. Still going to try though! I have also learned that the milkweed fluff from the seeds provides better insulation than wool. Next fall I plan on saving all I can of the fluff (along with the stalks) and experiment using it to stuff a lining to make extra warm mittens.

And the butterflies really love it! I get lots of monarch caterpillars and butterflies every year. Harvesting for fiber happens at the end of the season when the plant has gone dormant so it doesn't impact caterpillars or butterflies.

Hope some of this helps! Good luck!
9 months ago
Hi!

I planted a black elderberry in my garden a few years ago and it's doing great! I always make small batches of jam but it's getting big enough now that it's a lot of jam. Everything I see about elderberries says they have to be cooked to be edible. Can I dry/dehydrate the berries and toss them into my oatmeal or into granola? Or does drying them not count as cooked and it would be a bad idea?

Thanks!
9 months ago