Cindy Haskin

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since Jan 27, 2020
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foraging rabbit books chicken cooking fiber arts medical herbs homestead
So Cal - Inland Empire
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Recent posts by Cindy Haskin

Any forward progress on how one relocates where one has placed flags? To take them back?
I have ordered plug spawn from Fungi Perfecti years ago but didn't know what I was doing. The oak logs i used didn't stay moist enough in my So Cal dry climate.

I've also found good info at this place,
3 days ago
I might see if I could get all school and public libraries to carry a few copies,  and try to interest some high schools in starting a class to cover some sand level activities as an elective.  Surly there's plenty at that level to require 2 semesters of it! And 2 semesters is a good entry level into the world of Permies!

I plan on firing up the grandkids I'll have to work with!

Mike Barkley wrote:

a 3 foot wide base would be 6-9 feet tall?

That's backwards. Six foot wide for 3 feet tall would probably be very stable.

Thanks for setting that one straight!
1 week ago
I've been searching for a direct answer to the ratio of width and height for the best hugel. I really don't have the time to read 30 pages from Paul's thread ( ) to find the answer. So is this thread the answer? 2-3 times wider at base than height?  a 3 foot wide base would be 6-9 feet tall? Is 3 feet of base enough? And if I'm correct, this actually increases the square footage of gardening space without taking up the same amount on flat ground?

Are the answers hiding out in the BB's requirements? This one ( ) states 7 feet wide by 7 feet tall. That certainly isn't the above ratio! Is there really a "perfect ratio"?
1 week ago
I recently ran across that men's dress shirt pattern on Pinterest and grabbed it. Looks like something I'd wear, and could have several in different colors and patterns (like plaids and Hawaiian prints). I have probably 50 pair of worn out jeans from myself and my 6'4" hubby that I could turn into a few aprons for everyone in my near-future household (moving to be with daughter and 4 grandkids). I've been saving those to make a large pieced something, like a quilt top or just a simple bedcover, or curtains...

I too get lots of spills and splatters on my shirts, often of the grease variety or other permanently staining sort. And there goes another good shirt into the work around the yard and house type! Bah humbug!

I need pockets. And I need heavy-duty. So making my own aprons to fit my needs seems the way to go. I am currently eyeballing the valance of some kitchen curtains to chop up and make at least one. I also have a nice linen tablecloth found at the thrift store I might use for an apron. It has a blue and yellow plaid pattern on a white background. But these aren't the men's shirt idea. I may need to visit the thrift store again!

1 week ago
I wanted to quote Suzanne Ashworth from her book Seed to Seed, but I can't seem to find my copy anywhere. The book states that varieties within the same species (all pepo, all moschata, all maxima, etc) will readily cross pollinate if planted close or not otherwise separated (fine screen cages?). I did not read anything that I can remember that said a pepo and maxima for example will cross-pollinate. I imagine it might be possible. I accidentally crossed two pepo varieties, but didn't realize the "mistake" until growing the seeds from the saved fruit of that year. I learned that year why keeping records of what was grown where is important. I now keep a "map" of what I've planted, when and where (which bed).

Good luck.
2 weeks ago
After reading nearly every post in this thread I have a few bits to respond with:

Raven- I had to look up "pulses". When I found what it was I remembered my brother in the UK had used the term once before! I think of them as "legumes" as an overall term here in the US. And according to the quick notes I made as I read, you also mentioned that seeds don't go bad or something similar. But seeds to have a shelf-life, and not one that runs across the entire spectrum of possibilities. Suzanne Ashworth's book "Seed to Seed" gives the information on how many years a particular seed will last with what percentage of sprouting rates. Some are only a year or two, others last as many as 5 years before the sprouting rates decline drastically. Having this knowledge would help if one wanted to sell seed as an income. Also in this book, what I learned after the fact, is what crops will cross readily with each other, and how to prevent that. For me is was the pepo varieties of the squash tribe. I had planted a pale patty pan right beside a green zucchini, saved one zucchini for seed, and got mostly white zucchini from those saved seeds! OOPS! It was a learning experience for sure.

Should one desire to raise rabbits for meat, whether to create an income or just to stock your own freezer, there is an added benefit to factor in; only rabbit manure can be used fresh and "hot" in the garden without worry of burning your crops. Manure only, not the urine. When I had rabbits, I did exactly this, using the manure in my beds, raised and conventionally flat on the ground.

How would one go about "checking the markets" for anything one might produce? Maybe call some restaurants and ask if they are looking for this or that? Walking the local farmers markets to see what ISN'T there that you might grow or make? Asking everyone you meet what thing they are searching for locally that you could grow or make?

And the one gentleman in Greece: Eating Goldfish? I read that it can be done, IF you can stomach the things they have been eating, cuz that is what they will taste like! I looked it up because I had 5 big, I mean really big, goldfish from a small pond (approx 400 gallons) that I was planning on closing down to turn into my first hugelkultur bed. Those fish went into the hugel once I had (chuckles) fished them out! Maybe I might have fed them to my dogs, but I wasn't up for the work to do so! And the trees around that hugel bed will benefit from their contribution; they went in first!

As I too will be looking for ways to "make money" from the homestead once I get there (hills above Huntington, WV), I'm currently leaning towards fibers; flax, nettle, silk, goat and alpaca! So much to learn, so little time in the day!
3 weeks ago
I want to share with all here who spin their own yarns that I am in awe of your skill, and those like and including Raven that then weave that into cloth on a real loom, that I aspire to someday be able to do the same.  As I approach my 60th birthday I am feeling that time is running out to learn the skills. City life and the pressures of making all the bills take their toll.

In the past 2 years I've taught myself how to make twined woven rugs with strips of cloth, mostly old sheets. But I have long wanted to own a floor or table loom, like since I was a child and attended my first Renaissance festival and watched someone else weaving cloth on a floor loom. I find the more I work with textiles, the more comfortable and inherently right it feels. Any anger or frustration in my day seems to melt away when I work the textiles I have access to.

So towards this drive to learn these skills, I have been researching the many natural fibers that can be used in spinning and weaving. I was surprised to find nettles among those listed in plant fibers. I knew of flax being the source of linen, and that hemp fibers make a nice cloth. Sheep make wool, and alpaca too. I've even attended an alpaca shearing that saw 1 lone sheep come for his own shearing. I hope I have enough time to raise my own everything and learn, to hopefully pass along the skills to some of my grandchildren.

I welcome any input on my quest. I continue to research all things to do with the learning, but without the raw fibers can't acquire the knowledge from practice. What tools do you prefer for spinning, and what have you tried and discarded as not quite what you were aiming for?

Thanks in advance for any responses to help steer me along.
4 weeks ago
I keep telling myself I will make my own fruitcake next year. Then I don't. I once had the best ever fruitcake and watched the lightbulb burn bright as to the understanding of why people love it. It had been a mail order gift to an elderly client I had many years ago (I take care of elderly and disabled in their homes for a living). She swore to me it was deee lish ous! So I cautiously nibbled my first taste and then took a real bite! I haven't really had any good fruitcake since then.

In looking through online recipes, including the Alton Brown recipe referenced above. There are light battered and dark battered, and the fruit used seems to change a bit across the board. I see cocoa powder used is some darker cakes, and a reference to the batter being a pound cake batter. Well, I have a family famous pound cake recipe that came from one of Mom's best friends, Betty Schanbacher, who sadly died in a plane crash. (She was terrified to fly, but got hypnosis therapy to overcome it, then her husband was the pilot in the crash!) Could I just put the fruit in that batter I wonder??? Best of both worlds? But many of the dark batters also seem to feature cinnamon and nutmeg! I will eventually figure out the best combination of all my favorite flavors!

Until then, please keep the recipes and hints at making the best fruitcake ever!

And rum over whiskey every day of the week!
1 month ago