What Are Your Weekend Plans?
I bought a big box of peaches at the market yesterday and will find something to do with them in the next few days. i’ll probably run the dehydrator tonight and then think about canning some. I dehydrated some hash browns yesterday and got blueberries into the freezer. Now the freezer is full.
We’ll have some family time tomorrow.
Let us know how that goes! We intend to make ours out of a styrofoam cooler and heavy aluminum foil.We have the plans. I plan to try cornbread in it first.
(Note: The above video link is not a lecture, but a tribute made by Captain Sheeple to The Automatic Earth.)
We just came back from attending Nicole Foss’ “A Century of Challenges” lecture. It was hosted by Transition Laguna Beach and lasted from shortly after 6:00pm to about 9:30pm. The event was free (suggested donation of $10 to cover costs). The previous two nights, Foss was up in Los Angeles County, delivering the same lecture to other Transition Town groups.
Foss, also known as “Stoneleigh” is one of the principals at The Automatic Earth. She believes that these next several years will be a time of great deflation as the credit bubble unwinds and the Fed pushes on a string. Part of her lecture mentioned debt, peak oil, Fukushima. She talked about the disadvantages of nuclear, wind, and solar – especially in terms of EROEI. She didn’t mentioned global population pressures, nor farmland or other environmental resources issues.
Other things she shared (her opinion, not necessarily mine):
Minimize debt. Be mostly in cash and short-term Treasuries (preserving liquidity and because she believes investors will do a “flight-to-safety” into the dollar as the Euro-zone experiences problems). Be in hard goods. Buy precious metals as insurance only if you’ve done all the other resiliency things. Build community. Most of us will not live through to see the end of the “century of challenges” except maybe (and she pointed to our babies) two of us.
However, she believed both oil and gold are currently a speculative bubble, and that oil may come down again as it did after the $147/barrel high, while gold may come down to $600/ounce at some time before a potential hyperinflationary situation occurs. Farmland costs was also of concern. She showed a chart of what apopears to be a parabolic rise in Iowa farmland costs.
It wasn’t a big crowd. About 40 people or so. Everyone else attending was at least in their 40s or older. It seemed to me that the youngest people in the audience, were me, my wife, our noisy babies, and some young man who probably came with his mom. (He asked a lot of questions, was definitely an inflationista, and thought if the banks collapsed, maybe mortgage-holders and those in debt wouldn’t have to pay the loans back. She quickly mentioned how failing banks may sell their debt – to less scrupulous collectors who may try unsavory methods.)
Someone else in the audience asked about owning real estate. Her reply was that owners bear a lot of risk, while it is more of a renters’ market right now, as in deflationary periods, the rent that can be charged is limited by what people can pay and that can get lower and lower as the economy becomes more depressed. (I didn’t mention also that many people I know have moved in with relatives or parents or siblings, which further reduces demand. Nationwide, there are about a million to two million fewer households than there were before the housing crash – these households have consolidated with others.)
The past month has been brutal (productive) in our garden. I harvested beets, carrots, potaotes, onions, and garlic. Yesterday I picked beans and today prepared dill/pickeled yellow beans. I am currently preparing the ground for fall crops (lettuce and mustard crops). Since we can garden 12 months a year (California), it really has limited my other preps. Less canning = more planting
We got crowder pea (a form of local balck-eyed pea) seeds from a local farmer, with instructions on how to dry them and when to plant them. Picked wild blackberries. Bought re-usable canning lids and more food-safe buckets. Started using our larder, to rotate it. Watered the H*LL out of our garden, especially the new cold-hardy Satsuma orange tree, and weeded the SFG boxes. We harvested more salad greens, radishes, bush green beans and basil. The tomatoes & sunflowers got so tall we had to cage them. Starting to weave the pole green beans on the trellises.
My son who moved in with us a year ago started a new job, finally. I tried some herbal remedies when I had very swollen glands, and they worked.
Next weekend we plan on buying a lot of tomatoes at the local flea market/greenmarket and sun-drying them in our insect-proof drying rack. I want to use up the remaining canned figs and peaches before the new crop hits.
I’d love to hear about your insect-proof drying rack, especially if it is something others like myself could construct. How well does it work?
This weekend I got to deal with “2nd stage” issue in my garden and mini-orchard. Some of my Arkansas Black apple trees are suddenly showing symptoms of some disease (one tree worse than the rest): all the new growth twigs are shorter, ending with a blunt end covered in something bright orangish. I think it is Nectria, after doing a lot of searching on the web. A “minor” disease; you cut off the diseased twigs, burn them, disinfect the clippers, and “forget about it”. Easy for the book to say that! I’m watching a Spring’s worth of growth get clipped away!
What it did give me an appreciation for is the need to pay more attention to “maintaining plant vigor*” to help them be more disease-resistant, something a gardening novice like me tends to forget. Sticking a plant in the ground is about as far as I’d ventured before…so now the need to learn how to keep the plants healthy so they can fight off disease, is a step into the unknown (more learning curve!).
*Plant Vigor, per http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/IPM.asp?code=145&group=21&level=s , “Keep plants healthy and growing vigorously by using good cultural techniques. These include choosing the appropriate planting site, watering during dry periods, using mulch around the base of the tree or shrub and fertilizing and pruning properly. Pruning is best done in late winter. Avoid pruning in spring when higher moisture can increase risk of infection or in late summer and autumn, which can delay the plant’s natural cold hardiness response. Minimize any wounding due to root pruning, transplanting or lawnmowers to reduce infection sites.”
It’s pretty easy to make one. You buy some 1″ x1″ lumber – enough to make two 4-ft by 2.5-ft rectangular frames (any larger and you cannot carry it inside if it rains). Cover them both on one side with window-screening material, sold in rolls at your local hardware or home improvement store. You use a staple gun to attach the screening.
Then, after cutting it to size with tin snips, you put 1/4-inch hardware cloth on the other side of one of the rectangles, also with a staple gun. Attach the two rectangles with the insect screening facing out and the hardware cloth on the top of the bottom rectangle, inside. I used three hinges in the back, and then used a couple of latches on the front. Then, to further discourage insects, I put rubber weather stripping inside between the two halves of the wood. Finally, I added a handle to carry it like a suitcase. Set the thing on a pair of sawhorses or outdoor chairs in full sun, and your fruits and veggies dry in no time. NOTE: cheesecloth or old sheet sections on top of the hardware cloth keep sticky foods from sticking and tiny things from falling through. If dried foods fall through the hardware cloth, just turn it over with the latch shut and shake until the come back out where you can reach them.
It’s pretty easy to make one. You buy some 1″ x1″ lumber – enough to make two 4-ft by 2.5-ft rectangular frames (any larger and you cannot carry it inside if it rains). Cover them both on one side with window-screening material, sold in rolls at your local hardware or home improvement store. You use a staple gun to attach the screening…
I’m interested, too! Would you be willing to share pictures so we can get a better idea of what you’re talking about? I think that’d be awesome for understanding.
Thanks Safewrite! I look forward to trying it!
Thanks for the feedback, pinecarr and Poet. here is a photo of our home made solar dehydrator.