Leigh Tate

author & gardener
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since Oct 16, 2019
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goat cat forest garden foraging chicken food preservation medical herbs writing solar wood heat homestead
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My dream has always been to live close to the land. My goal is simpler, sustainable, more self-reliant living. In 2009 my husband and I bought a neglected 1920s-built bungalow on 5 acres, which we've gradually built into our homestead.
Southeastern U.S. - Zone 7b
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Recent posts by Leigh Tate

I just found this post. Thanks for the link Jon!
12 hours ago
N.Y., if you haven't found it already, this Permies thread, Solar Food Dryers may be helpful. The discussion has been ongoing for about a decade, but a lot of good plans and information is discussed. It might answer some of your questions.
22 hours ago

Gary Numan wrote:Hello everyone.  

1.  Lets say I have two comfrey plants in my yard -- one Bocking 4, the other Bocking 14.  How can I tell which is which, or are they visually identical?


Here's another Permies thread that discussed the same question and may help you -> https://permies.com/t/136239/Comfrey-Bocking-Bocking-differentiate

2.  How late in the year can Bocking cuttings be planted?  I dug up and divided a 3-year old Bocking 14 (I think!) on 25 September.  16 crown cuttings, 30-something root cuttings.  All were planted 26 September.  Today, almost a month later, 15 of the 16 crown cuttings took hold, all 15 with multiple 3" to 6" leaves, happy plants.  Conversely, exactly *zero* root cuttings show any evidence of life, not a single leaf yet.  I'm in Zone 7, no frost yet, I'm expecting first frost in about two weeks.


I have mostly Bocking hybrids, and do my transplanting in the autumn before they go dormant (so I can tell where they are!) Like you, I've had better luck transplanting crowns, but would say don't give up on the roots. They take longer to establish and may not sprout leaves until next spring. Just make sure they get plenty of water.
1 day ago
The big question is, how much sun do you get? Solar anything needs sun, so if you have a lot of short sunlight or cloudy days, a solar dehydrator may not perform as hoped for. Humidity plays a factor as well, so with many humid, sunless days, there's the risk of food items molding rather than drying. Your raw banana bread sounds like a very moist product, so I suspect that unless you have a lot of sunny, dry days, you'd be better of reinvesting in another electric dehydrator. The alternative might be to use an inverter and run it off a solar-charged battery.
1 day ago
Nicole, thanks for the tips! I'll give stretching a try. I also liked what you did with yours, making it extra long and folding it over to double it. I almost did that, but thought I'd try for the square first! :)
2 days ago
For this BB, I knitted my hotpad with some bulky handspun I made a long time ago.

Yarn and knitting needles.

Knitting in progress. Width is 10.5 inches

Knitting finished. Length is also 10.5 inches.

Felted hotpad measures 8 inches by 9 inches.

I've not done a lot of felting so it was interesting to me that the length and width ended up different measurements. I'm okay with that, and it gives me important information for another hotpad. I'll make the length about an inch shorter next time.
2 days ago
Bernetta, congratulations! I'm not familiar with that area, but hopefully someone will be. Exciting times ahead! Do keep us posted.
5 days ago
C.K., this is a really good photo record of what you've been doing. I appreciate that you've updated your progress as time goes by. Very helpful for others.
1 week ago