Envr Preparing to Survive and Thrive in a Solar Minimum climate

biere

Veteran Member
I am taking it this is for all concerns of the cold coming, if not just say so.

Anyway, east tn has had a major issue with pipes freezing. Some is from redneck engineers not doing things well but even the city pipes and stuff had some issues as well because of the extended period of below freezing cold.

Landlord and I are going to redo the plumbing of the place I rent from him and I plan to take it to what I learned for southern ohio specs.

And with how the city water is setup or the old well I think that works no matter what happens.

But if it gets truly cold for a long time, it sure won't be enough.

How do you deal with a house or plumbing that was not built for what is coming?

Upgrading to the cold that folks 250 miles or so north of you get is often possible, but the roof on this place won't handle a snow load well. Metal roof is in the future as well.

Land lord grew up in this house so I am lucky in that he wants to always keep the house and upgrade things.

Clothes for me or betting insulation for the house can be dealt with. But the structure is hard to change in major ways and I feel lucky that the plumbing is already silly so redoing it was a short discussion. Doing it to ohio specs won't cost much more and with how everything has been freezing, even sounded like a good idea to the landlord.
 

Martinhouse

Veteran Member
I can probably store enough water for my winter needs in barrels, even in the house if necessary. My big problem would be carrying the water from the well to the house since, as I've said before, here in rural Arkansas it is a certainty that the grid will be down a very long time in severe weather. So I've gradually acquired a barrel and a nice brass faucet to install in it near the bottom, a well bucket with proper pulley, and enough sections of the white camper hose to reach my back porch and kitchen. And luckily my well house is built nicely with insulation, a door that can be locked, and overhead "joists" that I can hang the pulley from.

I could never afford a good manual pump or any solar power for the jet pump. It took a while to get what I have, but it will certainly work and is better for a partially handicapped old lady than hauling buckets of water.

Oh, and the well is slightly uphill from the house, so gravity is what will allow me to do this.
 

Deb Mc

Veteran Member
Hey, what a great thread! Are any of you all growing Hazelnut bushes?

Mom and I bought some from a grower up in Michigan a few years ago. I dug deep holes in the clay ground, adding topsoil and some MiracleGro Garden Soil before planting the bare stems. Three out of the five "took" and have been growing. I added compost and grass clippings this past summer; keeping fingers crossed that it'll help them grow a bit more.
 

Freeholder

This too shall pass.
I've been working on a list of what we would need to grow to feed our family and livestock. It comes out to a pretty good-sized parcel of land, probably more than I can devote to a garden (given both space constraints and my bad back). I think I can manage enough for food for us, but if we weren't able to buy hay and feed, I would have to cut back on the amount of animals I kept.

One thing I do plan to do is build a small rice paddy down next to our little pond. I think it will only be about 20' by 40' at the most, but it should be able to grow all the rice we can eat (people are growing rice even in Vermont, so we should be able to grow some of the hardier varieties in Kentucky). We can't eat wheat, barley, or rye, and oats are difficult to get the hulls off of (the naked hulled oats have lower yields and high losses to birds, etc.), so I'm hoping to grow enough rice to fill our need for grains. We aren't supposed to eat potatoes (though I do plan to grow some) so a lot of our carbs come from sweet potatoes, winter squash, carrots, turnips, beets, and rutabagas. Oh, and parsnips. I like all of those, but I don't think I could do a steady diet of just those things for our starchy foods.

I'm putting my list in here, but you will notice that I've removed things we can't eat (any of the solanum family -- tomatoes, peppers, eggplant. I left potatoes in because my granddaughter eats them and we could share with others), and added what I think (rough guess) we could use for feeding livestock IF we had room to grow all of that. There would also be an herb garden, a bunch of berries, and an orchard with fruit and nut trees. With some poultry and a couple of milk goats, we would be able to produce nearly all of our food. Oh, and the list shows what's needed for four people, even though our family currently has three people; I was figuring that we would probably have another one or two of my grandchildren at times, and may need to send food home to their family sometimes.

Kathleen

Asparagus
10-12 plants per person ... 48 plants for four people
(Asparagus is in a perennial garden, not the vegetable garden)

Beans, Bush
10-20 plants per person ... 80 plants for four people

Beans, Dry
20 plants per person ... 80 plants for four people

Beans, Pole
10-20 plants per person ... 80 plants for four people

Beets
10-40 plants per person ... 160 plants for four people

Broccoli
5-10 plants per person ... 40 plants for four people

Brussels Sprouts
2-8 plants per person ... 32 plants for four people

Cabbage, Spring
3-10 plants per person ... 12 plants for four people

Cabbage, Summer
3-10 plants per person ... 12 plants for four people

Cabbage, Fall/Winter
3-10 plants per person ... 40 plants for four people
10 plants per head of livestock ... 120 plants for livestock

Carrots
10-100 plants per person ... 400 plants for four people
100 plants per head of livestock ... 1,200 plants for livestock

Cauliflower
3-5 plants per person ... 20 plants for four people

Celeriac
1-5 plants per person ... 20 plants for four people

Celery
3-8 plants per person ... 32 plants for four people

Corn
12-40 plants per person ... 160 plants for four people
150 plants per head of livestock ... 1,800 plants for livestock

Cucumbers
3-5 plants per person ... 20 plants for four people

Horseradish
1 plant per person ... 4 plants for four people
(Horseradish is planted in the perennial garden, not the vegetable garden)

Kale
1 5’ row per person ... 20’ row for four people
10’ row per head of livestock ... 120’ row for livestock

Lettuce, Head
10-12 plants per person ... 48 plants for four people

Lettuce, Leaf
8 row feet per person ... 32 row feet for four people

Melons
2-6 plants per person ... 24 plants for four people

Onions, green/scallions
150 plants per person ... 600 plants for four people

Onions, hard
40-80 plants per person ... 320 plants for four people

Peas, Dry Soup
20 plants per person ... 80 plants for four people

Peas for feed
150 plants per head of livestock ... 1,800 plants for livestock

Peas, Snap
25-60 plants per person ... 240 plants for four people

Potatoes
10-30 plants per person ... 120 plants for four people

Pumpkins
1 plant per person ... 4 plants for four people
4 plants per head of livestock ... 48 plants for livestock

Radishes, Winter
20 plants per person ... 80 plants for four people

Rhubarb
2-3 crowns per person ... 12 crowns for four people
(Rhubarb goes in the perennial garden)
Rice
200 square feet per person ... 800 square feet for four people
(Rice will be grown in a paddy next to the pond, fenced off from the livestock)

Rutabagas
25 plants per person ... 100 plants for four people
25 plants per head of livestock ... 300 plants for livestock

Spinach
10-20 plants per person ... 80 plants for four people

Squash, Summer
2-4 plants per person ... 16 plants for four people

Squash, Winter
4 plants per person ... 16 plants for four people

Sugar Beets/Mangels
100 plants per head of livestock ... 1,200 plants for livestock

Sweet Potatoes
25 plants per person ... 100 plants for four people

Turnips
25 plants per person ... 100 plants for four people
 

summerthyme

Administrator
_______________
Deb... we have wild hazelnuts on our land, as well as witch hazel bushes. Haven't done much with them , but when our son moves back, he wants to plant some domestic varieties. We're identifying the wild hazelnuts in the back woods pasture and working around them, so they'll provide pig food when we start partying pigs back there.

Summerthyme
 

mecoastie

Veteran Member
I've been working on a list of what we would need to grow to feed our family and livestock. It comes out to a pretty good-sized parcel of land, probably more than I can devote to a garden (given both space constraints and my bad back). I think I can manage enough for food for us, but if we weren't able to buy hay and feed, I would have to cut back on the amount of animals I kept.

One thing I do plan to do is build a small rice paddy down next to our little pond. I think it will only be about 20' by 40' at the most, but it should be able to grow all the rice we can eat (people are growing rice even in Vermont, so we should be able to grow some of the hardier varieties in Kentucky). We can't eat wheat, barley, or rye, and oats are difficult to get the hulls off of (the naked hulled oats have lower yields and high losses to birds, etc.), so I'm hoping to grow enough rice to fill our need for grains. We aren't supposed to eat potatoes (though I do plan to grow some) so a lot of our carbs come from sweet potatoes, winter squash, carrots, turnips, beets, and rutabagas. Oh, and parsnips. I like all of those, but I don't think I could do a steady diet of just those things for our starchy foods.

I'm putting my list in here, but you will notice that I've removed things we can't eat (any of the solanum family -- tomatoes, peppers, eggplant. I left potatoes in because my granddaughter eats them and we could share with others), and added what I think (rough guess) we could use for feeding livestock IF we had room to grow all of that. There would also be an herb garden, a bunch of berries, and an orchard with fruit and nut trees. With some poultry and a couple of milk goats, we would be able to produce nearly all of our food. Oh, and the list shows what's needed for four people, even though our family currently has three people; I was figuring that we would probably have another one or two of my grandchildren at times, and may need to send food home to their family sometimes.

Kathleen

Asparagus
10-12 plants per person ... 48 plants for four people
(Asparagus is in a perennial garden, not the vegetable garden)

Beans, Bush
10-20 plants per person ... 80 plants for four people

Beans, Dry
20 plants per person ... 80 plants for four people

Beans, Pole
10-20 plants per person ... 80 plants for four people

Beets
10-40 plants per person ... 160 plants for four people

Broccoli
5-10 plants per person ... 40 plants for four people

Brussels Sprouts
2-8 plants per person ... 32 plants for four people

Cabbage, Spring
3-10 plants per person ... 12 plants for four people

Cabbage, Summer
3-10 plants per person ... 12 plants for four people

Cabbage, Fall/Winter
3-10 plants per person ... 40 plants for four people
10 plants per head of livestock ... 120 plants for livestock

Carrots
10-100 plants per person ... 400 plants for four people
100 plants per head of livestock ... 1,200 plants for livestock

Cauliflower
3-5 plants per person ... 20 plants for four people

Celeriac
1-5 plants per person ... 20 plants for four people

Celery
3-8 plants per person ... 32 plants for four people

Corn
12-40 plants per person ... 160 plants for four people
150 plants per head of livestock ... 1,800 plants for livestock

Cucumbers
3-5 plants per person ... 20 plants for four people

Horseradish
1 plant per person ... 4 plants for four people
(Horseradish is planted in the perennial garden, not the vegetable garden)

Kale
1 5’ row per person ... 20’ row for four people
10’ row per head of livestock ... 120’ row for livestock

Lettuce, Head
10-12 plants per person ... 48 plants for four people

Lettuce, Leaf
8 row feet per person ... 32 row feet for four people

Melons
2-6 plants per person ... 24 plants for four people

Onions, green/scallions
150 plants per person ... 600 plants for four people

Onions, hard
40-80 plants per person ... 320 plants for four people

Peas, Dry Soup
20 plants per person ... 80 plants for four people

Peas for feed
150 plants per head of livestock ... 1,800 plants for livestock

Peas, Snap
25-60 plants per person ... 240 plants for four people

Potatoes
10-30 plants per person ... 120 plants for four people

Pumpkins
1 plant per person ... 4 plants for four people
4 plants per head of livestock ... 48 plants for livestock

Radishes, Winter
20 plants per person ... 80 plants for four people

Rhubarb
2-3 crowns per person ... 12 crowns for four people
(Rhubarb goes in the perennial garden)
Rice
200 square feet per person ... 800 square feet for four people
(Rice will be grown in a paddy next to the pond, fenced off from the livestock)

Rutabagas
25 plants per person ... 100 plants for four people
25 plants per head of livestock ... 300 plants for livestock

Spinach
10-20 plants per person ... 80 plants for four people

Squash, Summer
2-4 plants per person ... 16 plants for four people

Squash, Winter
4 plants per person ... 16 plants for four people

Sugar Beets/Mangels
100 plants per head of livestock ... 1,200 plants for livestock

Sweet Potatoes
25 plants per person ... 100 plants for four people

Turnips
25 plants per person ... 100 plants for four people
Is the corn just sweet corn or are you thinking field corn for cornmeal etc?
 

Deb Mc

Veteran Member
Deb... we have wild hazelnuts on our land, as well as witch hazel bushes. Haven't done much with them , but when our son moves back, he wants to plant some domestic varieties. We're identifying the wild hazelnuts in the back woods pasture and working around them, so they'll provide pig food when we start partying pigs back there.

Summerthyme

Summer,

Thank you! I'd love to hear how they do, later on, if you don't mind my asking. We've been using the North American ? variety, which is less flavorful than the European one, but which isn't resistant to the blight.

They've been a slow grower for us, but they're in between two barns, acting as a hedge, so they're not in an optimal growing spot either.

Good luck with yours! I hope it all turns out well for you all.
 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
Just for the record, I have almost zero knitting machine experience, in fact, I am a complete newbie.

I am a very experienced spinner, knitter, and weaver though; and I used to crochet (housemate gave me hooks for Yule) in fact I'm usually typing with a lap rug dropped on the back of a chair, I made it when I was 17.

There are a variety of folk traditions that make knitting easier while walking about and doing other chores; I haven't used most of them but they often involve something attached to a belt or the neck; I have made sweaters with deep pockets and put balls of yarn in them, which does work.

I can spin and walk at the same time (if I don't need my cane) and there are many illustrations from the Middle Ages of women spinning while feeding the chickens, cooking or later years attaching a baby cradle to a spinning wheel to rock it gently.

Even in places where wheels are still used (the Andes for example) women still use drop spindles (sometimes men too) because they can use them while doing other things; spinning wheels are faster but not as portable and most wheels can't do extremely fine yarns (like sewing thread) a support spindle (spindle sitting on a dish or bowl) can do that.

As for knitting and crochet in terms of popularity they wax and wane; I learned to crochet in the 1970's period of "make it yourself and it should look 'homemade' aka kinda ugly."

When I started knitting in the 1980's - to have something to do with my homespun yarn, I was one of the only people I knew; that and the young man who was showing me - his Mom had taught him to knit as a child.

When we got to Ireland in the 1990's, people had stopped knitting because they didn't "have to" anymore (very much like the US in the 1980's until the early 1990's) but instead of going out of "fashion" for a generation; the "new wave" of knitting caught up with the UK (and then Ireland) by the early 2000's.

When we moved here pretty much all the yarn shops were closing, now we have quite a few, and there are lots of online resources.

For Little Ice Age use, there are some traditional patterns that make no sense in modern houses but can be really important if your home is low on heat.

I never understood the reason for a "tea cozy" that sits on your teapot until we moved here; now I understand, if the room is ice cold, it will keep the tea or other hot beverage hot for a much longer time.

Hand knit WOOL, hot water bottle covers keep the heat in much longer than commercial ones; you often have to make new ones every few years because they do wear out or get mouth eaten but they can make things much more comfortable on cold nights or to treat illness and injury.

Lots of throws! Yep, those hideous (and lovely) memories of a 1970's Coming of Age (including the one on the back of my favorite chair) do serve a purpose - as lap rugs, shoulder throws and larger ones pretty much-become blankets.

Baby clothing is essential in a cold climate, and then there are all the usual hats, scarves and sweaters.

But socks may be THE most important thing especially if trade goods become scarce; until after WWII, the US Military had everyone who could hold a needle (men, women, and children) making socks for soldiers because hand knit WOOL socks (and mostly wool) PROTECT the feet when marching (or hunting).

They can easily be made without knots that can cause blisters which before antibiotics often KILLED people with infections.

Socks used to be so important that until the 1920's, it was common in some US and European families for children to have to knit 5 rows on a sock before going out to play when they got home from school.

Handmade socks fit better (once you learn how to make them fit each family member), they are warmer, will help keep away frost bite and wool will even keep feet warm after getting wet in a mud puddle (a big problem in snow, sleet and rain).

What they are not however, is long-lasting in the toes and heals; there are tricks but many boil down to learning to reknit the toes and heals as well as darning.

In fact, learning to repair clothing of all sorts, not just hand knits is an important skill; these days most people (present company excepted) don't repair their clothing.

Not only is does it take time, but most of the modern fabrics make it not worth it; but that changes when your homemade sweater (even on a knitting machine) get torn or you find moth holes in it.

Ok, this is long enough; but everyone capable of holding needles over the age of seven (men and women) should learn at least basic knitting in order to make hats, scarves, helmets, sweaters and those all-important socks and baby clothing.

Even if all your child (or spouse) can manage is to knit a square, those can be made into large blankets and even clothing (think patchwork).

A hugely important part of knitting and Crochet is that it is PORTABLE; like the drop spindle; you can take small projects almost anywhere (in your pocket to the barn at night while sitting with a cow in labor for example or riding into town in a wagon).

Weaving makes larger pieces of cloth much faster but except for small looms for trim making and the like, you are stuck in one place while you do it.

Both skills are good ideas to learn, and traditionally men were the professional weavers, even during the US Revolutionary War; but it is a more advanced skill than knitting and not for everyone; though simple weaving can be done by almost any family member on the small looms (again these make trim, harnesses, hangers, belts, and even shoe laces).
 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
I should also mention that the Late Elizabeth Zimmerman, whose books taught me many of my knitting skills explained that in Europe (she grew up in England and her husband was German) babies and even adults tended to keep warm in "cold water flats" by wearing hand-knit long underwear.

She has patterns for "longies" (for adults) and baby "tights;" or as my husband says "if the world goes boom they will cease to be called tights and simply be called home-knit underwear."

I recommend Elizabeth's book Knitting Without Tears to EVERY prepping household; it has all the basics - all her books are great but this one is for people like me who don't learn well from books, even I was able to use it.

https://www.amazon.com/Knitting-Without-Tears-Easy-Follow/dp/0684135051
 

Freeholder

This too shall pass.
Is the corn just sweet corn or are you thinking field corn for cornmeal etc?
I'm not fond of corn (and it doesn't like me, either), so there would be a very small patch of sweet corn for the granddaughter and the rest would be for cornmeal and/or feed.

Kathleen
 

Martinhouse

Veteran Member
Melodi, three winters ago I got tired of being cold all winter so I knitted myself several pairs of long john bottoms. I just made two pieces so there wouldn't be any side seams and the final knitting was to sew together the back seam and then add several more rows which each decreased in length so the piece was shaped like a tissue pattern piece is shaped. It worked perfectly and I have six pairs because I choose to not do laundry very often in the winter, since I don't have a dryer.

After looking at store-bought socks, I think I can knit my own. But what do you think of just leaving a slit where the heel part goes and knitting a heel inset separately? I'm sure I could stitch it into place without any lumps, and it would be so easy to take a worn heel out and simply stitch a replacement into the opening. Probably I would use a crochet hook to cast off the top edge of the slit so it was not as thick a ridge as regular casting off would make. As for the toes, possibly that could be made separately, too, but there would then be a seam both top and bottom.

I found that when I sit a lot, I cross my legs, and then both thighs end up looking a lot like corncobs from the indentations of 4-ply yarn knitted on #8 needles. Sometimes this itches or even hurts. So I started wearing them inside out so the "purl" side is out and...problem solved. If I make socks, I will make sure they look nice with the smooth side on the inside.

I hope my explanations make sense, here. I have no clue how to read patterns. I just look at stuff and try to make something that comes out the way I need it to, and so far, I've been satisfied with how it's all turned out.
 

Faroe

Un-spun
IIRC, Zimmerman had a sock pattern with a removable sole. Back in college, I remember knitting socks as best I could w/o understanding the pattern, and stitched a lot together. They came out a bit funky, but fit fine, and no blisters. That Fisherman's Rib that Summerthyme mentioned is sometimes used on the heel to re-enforce it. Works well, in my experience, but then I haven't worn that pair - they were made for BF, and he won't wear them because they are too "precious." They do fit him well, so I know that isn't the issue.

One's first efforts don't have to be beautiful, so for those with a passing interest, get started now, in order to have all the bamboo/aluminum/whatever needles you need in lengths and widths for these projects. Glove fingers are easier done on three inch long needles. Also, have multiple extra sets. My favorite, bamboo sometimes breaks, they get lost, and you might have multiple projects going at once, esp. if you are teaching someone else to knit. I prefer to sometimes knit in the round on four with a fifth, rather than three holders and a forth working. I have to use smaller needles to get the desired knitted gague. Almost all my needles are size 2, 1, or 0.

Numerous videos are out now that can help with the tricky parts like heel turns, that written directions just don't convey well. IMHO, written knitting directions are generally horrible, anyway. Newbies shouldn't feel stupid or discouraged; if the directions are needed, it is almost a certainty that they will be frustrating. Double check the pictoral charts. I've had patterns that didn't really match the photo, and also mistakes in the charts that I've unwittingly knitted in by slavishly following the chart. I don't think these ever get proof read, just off the the publisher and printer as fast as possible - which is very detrimental to the craft.
 
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Jacki

Senior Member
I found that knitting two socks at a time on circular needles is a huge help. I had a problem with second sock syndrome, which is a real thing.LOL

And there are socks designed to have replaceable toes and heels. Some people prefer toe up socks, some toe down, and both work well.

There are many types of heels, and it isn't a bad idea to try several because some work or fit better than others. (Not to mention make more sense than others)

I have seven spinning wheels, and many drop spindles, but my preferred spindles are Turkish. The smallest spin yarn about the thickness of sewing thread, and the largest spindles make singles about sport weight.

One of the groups on Ravelry is making your own tools, and there are several about making and using spindles. The Antique wheels and the CPU group have a lot of information about restoring and repairing wheels that is invaluable.

Tri looms are easy to make, and can be very versatile depending on the shape. And Ravelry has a good group that is helpful about tri looms as well.

Jacki
 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
EZ's "Moccasin Socks" are the ones with a replaceable entire bottom foot, toe and heal; on ME they slide around a lot and I found them not to be comfortable but they work FINE for many people.

I have unusually small but very-wide feet and a very narrow heel, so I've even discovered recently that my socks don't slide as much if I go back to the 50 percent heal, rather than the 2/3rd's of the stitches for the heal; that I had been using since that was first suggested as an alternative.

It is also possible (and I may do it this evening) to just knit a line of waste yarn where the heal will go; then pick it out later and knit a "reverse toe" which is how you knit a new heal to replace a damaged one.

This can save your pattern yarn and more to the point of this thread, let you keep knitting the socks in situations like that barn late at night, when you don't have the time or concentration for doing a heal.

A first sock (mine were) can be done with no heal at all, my Grandmother traded these for eggs during the Great Depression and called them "bed socks" the advantages are: no heal, will fit more family members, are easy to learn. The downside is they tend to slip without a heal to help "grip" them in place, they are fantastic for learning and keeping warm.

Socks made on size 8 (rather large) needles are also great starter projects but once you know what you are doing, the smaller yarns you use in the pattern (up to point) the more comfortable the socks are to wear and the more long-lasting.

Another important cold weather trick is having two pairs of socks worn at the same time; the softer, tiny gauge socks next to your skin and the warm, but less comfortable "bulky socks" over them; I also do this with thin commercial socks with the hand knit socks (I'm wearing that combination right now).

I use the two socks at a time method now myself except when demonstrating where I got back to using wooden needles, usually making larger gauge over-socks so I can talk and knit at the same time in front of the public more easily.

There are lots of "heal" and "toe" tricks, but trust me if you wear handknit socks every day; darning and reknitting skills are your friends Even "double knit" heals and toes reinforced with synthetic threads will tear or wear down over time. But the same is true for most properly made handmade clothing, especially things you are going to wear, a lot.

I haven't made the adult long underwear yet (I usually get Winter Silks from the US) but I do want to try it; nothing commercial really fits properly anyway, and EZ patterns are always based on "measure yourself and then do this" or at least have that option.

I am also amazed how this thread has taken off but I'm delighted, I've tried several times to start "fiber threads" before (as have others) but I guess connecting it and other household stuff to "An Ice Age" or potential cold period; really brings out the knitters and other textile people; as well as those with Winter Hardy livestock and gardens.
 

mecoastie

Veteran Member
I'm not fond of corn (and it doesn't like me, either), so there would be a very small patch of sweet corn for the granddaughter and the rest would be for cornmeal and/or feed.

Kathleen
I think you are on the low side for the amount of corn especially if you are looking at some of the older heirloom varieties. I grow Roy Calais Flint as it was supposedly the only corn that survived in VT during the Year without a Summer. It doesn't yield near what a modern commercial variety would. I plan on getting about 2500 lbs an acre planted somewhat thinly so it wouldn't have to be watered. That is what I have consistently getting on the smaller plot I grow.

The guy in VT growing rice is Ben Falk. I believe that like oats or buckwheat there is a tight hull on the rice that takes some specialized equipment to get it off without a lot of work.
 

RDF12

Contributing Member
Welcome RDF! I have been thinking that things that do well in your growing zone, might be what I plant down in here WV. Because I'm on the west side of the mountain, quite often we can get lake effect snow - all the way from Michigan & Cleveland. Hasn't happened yet this winter... but February can be our storm month. Rainy, foggy and going to 55 today here. The twiggy ends of trees are starting to turn red now.
Hello and thank you!
If I can I will go back and look to see if I still have the seed packets of what seeds did well in my area and post.
I get a lot of my seeds from Territorial Seed company. They are of a higher latitude and I think more hardy for my zone, 5b.
I have been trying to save my seeds and plant them to become more adjusted for my climate.

I did look into Wooly hogs, but a breed pair was going for like $2k.
Not in the funds right now.
 

summerthyme

Administrator
_______________
The nice thing about knitting machines (especially the Passap 80 Melodi and I have been discussing... mine has been sitting idle for WAY too long, and I need to get back to it) is that they can use very fine yarns and make "commercial quality" socks, underwear, etc. With hubby and my foot issues, we simply can't wear hand knitted socks made of heavy yarn, and even sport weight often makes somewhat uncomfortable socks for working in boots, etc. Quite honestly, we've gotten really spoiled by the modern "terry loop lined" socks, which cushion and protect, but don't have pressure points.

However, another modern alternative that I've made quite a bit for boot socks are sewn from polar fleece fabric. As long as you have a machine which can sew stretch stitches, you can make socks with very flat seams that fit beautifully and don't have any rough spots. I'm making some in silk weight Malden mills wicking "fleece" (it's actually a flat, smooth knit) this winter as "under socks" for the hunters. I'm also making a couple of special pairs in silk jersey knit, which is obscenely expensive, but which is probably the most comfortable fabric in the world for next to the skin. (the latest synthetic wicking fabrics actually come really close to silk in feel and climate control, but you can still tell the difference. Silk is... organic. I also got some incredible fine gauge wool jersey knit fabrics on sale last winter that would probably make really nice socks. I already know it's perfect for turtlenecks that I wear as "long underwear" as a base layer all winter.

Which reminds me... while we still have these incredible commercial fabrics available (do NOT judge what's out there by WalMart clothing or fabric!) it's not a bad idea to get on some mailing lists and get e-mails about their sales. I got the 100% wool jersey (which machine washes and dries beautifully!! It was labeled "hand wash and hang dry" or "dry clean", but I cut a 6" square and machine washed and dried it. Got less than 1/4" of shrinkage, and absolutely no damage to the finish of the fabric, so I prewashed it all and I wash the turtlenecks regularly with the rest of the laundry) for $6 a yard. That means I have 100% wool turtlenecks for less than I could have gotten a cheap poly/cotton blend at Walmart, and the seams on mine won't fall apart in 3 washings!

I've posted links to a bunch of good online fabric places before here. I'll see if I can dig those old posts up, rather than trying to rebuild them.

Summerthyme
 

Freeholder

This too shall pass.
Hello and thank you!
If I can I will go back and look to see if I still have the seed packets of what seeds did well in my area and post.
I get a lot of my seeds from Territorial Seed company. They are of a higher latitude and I think more hardy for my zone, 5b.
I have been trying to save my seeds and plant them to become more adjusted for my climate.

I did look into Wooly hogs, but a breed pair was going for like $2k.
Not in the funds right now.
I've been looking at guinea hogs for our place, because they are small. Still not sure I want to mess with pigs, though. I know that the Jewish people used to (and may still for all I know) use goose fat instead of pork lard, and I like geese much better than I like pigs. Also geese past a few weeks old can live on grass and hay without any grain.

Mecoastie, we just don't use much corn, not even in livestock feed. Certainly not for human consumption. But you are right about the rice having a hull, too -- I need to figure out how to deal with that.

Kathleen
 

RDF12

Contributing Member
I've been looking at guinea hogs for our place, because they are small. Still not sure I want to mess with pigs, though. I know that the Jewish people used to (and may still for all I know) use goose fat instead of pork lard, and I like geese much better than I like pigs. Also geese past a few weeks old can live on grass and hay without any grain.

Mecoastie, we just don't use much corn, not even in livestock feed. Certainly not for human consumption. But you are right about the rice having a hull, too -- I need to figure out how to deal with that.

Kathleen
We have rabbits and ducks too.

I like bacon too much!
 

Martinhouse

Veteran Member
The little youtube video on how to do Fisherman's Stitch was easy to follow and I learned a new stitch!

Are there more of them that are so easy to follow? I know I could learn better from seeing than from reading, since I've never learned the knitting abbreviations.

Is there a link that shows this sort of thing for a lot of different basics? I'd like to learn both right and left cable stitch in any form there is, and there's a sort of bobble stitch in a sweater my mother made me that even the lady at our yarn shop could not identify. It would be wonderful if I could learn that one! I have a bunch of those little stitch holder pins and a pile of old brush roller curler picks that I think Mom used to use for cable stitch.

I'm looking for stitches that hold in warmth better than flat pieces, but without having too much extra weight.
 

summerthyme

Administrator
_______________
Just plug into the Youtube search box whta you're looking for... but first, look for more videos on the same "channel" as the one you found to be useful. Often, one person posts a lot of vids, and if their style of teaching works for you, that's the first place to look.

The Shaker stitch or Fisherman's rib really is a NICE, warm stitch, and it makes really comfortable items... lots of stretch. Definitely bulky unless you work it in really fine yarns, but a great stitch for warm sweaters.

Summerthyme
 

Martinhouse

Veteran Member
Summer, I don't even know what "plug into the Youtube search box" means, but I will figure it out.

I noticed there were a few more patterns offered on that link you gave for the Fisherman's Rib instruction. I'll check those, and maybe they will keep showing new ones and I can sort of leapfrog from pattern to pattern and learn several.

When my brother comes for a visit, I will see if he can show me how to do what you said. Thanks so much.
 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
What you do is:

Type your question into google:

I used "how to knit fisherman's rib"

Then look for the You Tube videos the one I found was this (the video may not show, I've noticed Youtube is using new short URL's and even if you take the s off they don't embed):
https://youtu.be/hCu9Ai_RJMY

You play the video and if it works use it as a guide, and maybe watch a few more if you want to.

I've done this for all sorts of tablet weaving and knitting issues; I am hopeless at learning from written material (except for Elizabeth Zimmerman) but finding youtube videos is pretty easy; just hunt around until you find someone's who "explanation style" makes sense.
 

Faroe

Un-spun
I haven't checked to see if her videos are still available, but Very Pink Knits used to have easy to follow demonstrations for increases, decreases, sock heals, fisherman's rib, etc.
 

Stanb999

Veteran Member
I've been looking at guinea hogs for our place, because they are small. Still not sure I want to mess with pigs, though. I know that the Jewish people used to (and may still for all I know) use goose fat instead of pork lard, and I like geese much better than I like pigs. Also geese past a few weeks old can live on grass and hay without any grain.

Mecoastie, we just don't use much corn, not even in livestock feed. Certainly not for human consumption. But you are right about the rice having a hull, too -- I need to figure out how to deal with that.

Kathleen
Guine hogs can be very dangerous... The 3 inch tusks made that puncture in my knee. He was excited due to a sow in heat. It took zero effort on his part to nearly cripple me for life. Took 6 weeks to be able to walk on it. They are small, but still very powerful.
 

Attachments

Faroe

Un-spun
Guine hogs can be very dangerous... The 3 inch tusks made that puncture in my knee. He was excited due to a sow in heat. It took zero effort on his part to nearly cripple me for life. Took 6 weeks to be able to walk on it. They are small, but still very powerful.
Maybe Freeholder could try one of the pet-sized pigs? They may be pot-belly, I don't know, but one neighbor just outside of the village boundary (they are illegal inside) has two "small" pigs on pasture. Another lady has a smaller pig as a pet that she walks on a leash like a dog. That pig is female. I don't know if the males have good temperaments, or not.
 

Freeholder

This too shall pass.
Maybe Freeholder could try one of the pet-sized pigs? They may be pot-belly, I don't know, but one neighbor just outside of the village boundary (they are illegal inside) has two "small" pigs on pasture. Another lady has a smaller pig as a pet that she walks on a leash like a dog. That pig is female. I don't know if the males have good temperaments, or not.
I could try the potbelly pigs. Like I said, I'm not real big on pigs at all, but if I do get some, I definitely want one of the small breeds.

Buck goats can be a real pain, too, but aren't generally going to gore you with a tusk....

Kathleen
 

Stanb999

Veteran Member
I could try the potbelly pigs. Like I said, I'm not real big on pigs at all, but if I do get some, I definitely want one of the small breeds.

Buck goats can be a real pain, too, but aren't generally going to gore you with a tusk....

Kathleen
Small breeds are generally less docile. A mini is always worse, a german shepard vs a rat terrier.

Good luck with your livestock adventure
 

Faroe

Un-spun
Small breeds are generally less docile. A mini is always worse, a german shepard vs a rat terrier.

Good luck with your livestock adventure
Very true in my experience with rabbits. I think the smaller ones can be disappointing as pets - they tend to be so hyper. Big meat breeds are gentle and easy going.

Nevertheless, I have not seen that for goats or sheep. I love my personable and easy to handle Nigerian Dwarfs. They are even stoic about copper boluses and hoof trims. The first sheep I ever purchased (back in IA) were a mother and son of a larger breed - beautiful fleeces, but I returned them the very next day, and told the lady she could keep the money, since it was my mistake. Hated dealing with them (that was apparently mutual), and I quickly realized I was going to mess up my back trying. Took on a small flock of sweet-as-pie tiny Shetlands about a month later. No regrets on that purchase. Sold the much larger flock a few years later due to a move. I still miss them.
 

summerthyme

Administrator
_______________
Truthfully, boars are *always* potentially dangerous. So are bulls, stallions, rams, buck goats and pretty much any entire (not castrated) male livestock.

Some stay sweet and submissive all their lives... some others are able to be kept safely under control by excellent handling by someone who knows exactly what they are doing, read body language with precision, USE body language with precision... and never, ever forget they are handling an animal whose mind is on one thing, and who will do anything, and go through anyone, to get what they want.

They are also almost all faster and quicker than us, and definitely stronger. Even a fairly small buck goat can crush ribs, or break your leg if he hits you solidly.

Those gushes can be trimmed with bolt cutters, apparently without causing pain to the pig. You're just blunting them, not going deep enoigh to get into the nerve. But he'll sharpen them again!

Interestingly, while Jersey bulls absolutely follow the "small breeds are nastier" rule, Dexters go not. NOTHING has attitude like a Jersey bull! And it starts very early... like 6 months. The bulls of the other dairy breeds usually have a year or so after they reach sexual maturity before they start really getting aggressive, but Jerseys start young... and then get worse. The Amish neighbors had a year-long Jersey bull who was stalking their small children along the fence. It made the hair on my neck stand up! It took 4 men to load that thing, and he was barely 500#.

OTOH, I've never yet seen a mean Dexter bull. That doesn't mean we don't treat them with the utmost respect, but they are just different. A good friend of mine down in Texas ran a few head of cattle on a small ranch. He had a Dexter bull that was around 9 years old. One day, he was sorting cows, and a big (around 1800#) Limousin bull blindsided him, tossing him about 10 feet and then coming right in after him to finish the job. He said it had knocked the wind out of him (and, he discovered later, cracked a couple ribs) and he was about 20 feet from the corral fence. He said he thought he was dead, and was really regretting he'd left his revolver in his truck!

Suddenly, the little (maybe 1100#) Dexter bull came out of nowhere, hit the big Limousin square in the ribs, and knocked him flat! Then he trotted over to Bill, and *stood over him*, facing the big bull... who got to his feet, decided he'd had enough, and wandered away. Bill said the little Dexter stayed with him as he got to his feet and limped over to the fence.

A good dog ftom one of the herding breeds can be a lifesaver. But they have to be smart and well trained, or they'll stir up more problems that they'll solve. Bandit, my insane English Shepherd, may have been dangerous and nuts, but he was brilliant with cows. He'd come back to the pasture with us when we'd had a new calf born, and sit *exactly* far enough away that the cow didn't get upset. But on the couple of occasions when a cow went for us when we started handling or loading the calf, Bandit was there in a flash, a snarling ball of fur that drove the cow away from us and held her back so we could do what we needed to.

But you never turn your back on a bull, boar or any other mature male livestock. One second of inattention can cause weeks of recovery time- or worse.

Summerthyme
 

Stanb999

Veteran Member
Truthfully, boars are *always* potentially dangerous. So are bulls, stallions, rams, buck goats and pretty much any entire (not castrated) male livestock.

Some stay sweet and submissive all their lives... some others are able to be kept safely under control by excellent handling by someone who knows exactly what they are doing, read body language with precision, USE body language with precision... and never, ever forget they are handling an animal whose mind is on one thing, and who will do anything, and go through anyone, to get what they want.

They are also almost all faster and quicker than us, and definitely stronger. Even a fairly small buck goat can crush ribs, or break your leg if he hits you solidly.

Those gushes can be trimmed with bolt cutters, apparently without causing pain to the pig. You're just blunting them, not going deep enoigh to get into the nerve. But he'll sharpen them again!

Interestingly, while Jersey bulls absolutely follow the "small breeds are nastier" rule, Dexters go not. NOTHING has attitude like a Jersey bull! And it starts very early... like 6 months. The bulls of the other dairy breeds usually have a year or so after they reach sexual maturity before they start really getting aggressive, but Jerseys start young... and then get worse. The Amish neighbors had a year-long Jersey bull who was stalking their small children along the fence. It made the hair on my neck stand up! It took 4 men to load that thing, and he was barely 500#.

OTOH, I've never yet seen a mean Dexter bull. That doesn't mean we don't treat them with the utmost respect, but they are just different. A good friend of mine down in Texas ran a few head of cattle on a small ranch. He had a Dexter bull that was around 9 years old. One day, he was sorting cows, and a big (around 1800#) Limousin bull blindsided him, tossing him about 10 feet and then coming right in after him to finish the job. He said it had knocked the wind out of him (and, he discovered later, cracked a couple ribs) and he was about 20 feet from the corral fence. He said he thought he was dead, and was really regretting he'd left his revolver in his truck!

Suddenly, the little (maybe 1100#) Dexter bull came out of nowhere, hit the big Limousin square in the ribs, and knocked him flat! Then he trotted over to Bill, and *stood over him*, facing the big bull... who got to his feet, decided he'd had enough, and wandered away. Bill said the little Dexter stayed with him as he got to his feet and limped over to the fence.

A good dog ftom one of the herding breeds can be a lifesaver. But they have to be smart and well trained, or they'll stir up more problems that they'll solve. Bandit, my insane English Shepherd, may have been dangerous and nuts, but he was brilliant with cows. He'd come back to the pasture with us when we'd had a new calf born, and sit *exactly* far enough away that the cow didn't get upset. But on the couple of occasions when a cow went for us when we started handling or loading the calf, Bandit was there in a flash, a snarling ball of fur that drove the cow away from us and held her back so we could do what we needed to.

But you never turn your back on a bull, boar or any other mature male livestock. One second of inattention can cause weeks of recovery time- or worse.

Summerthyme
Agree fully about the male animals. They are always formitable.

P.S. My jersey bull is from Select Sires and costs 30 bucks a year. ��
 

von Koehler

Veteran Member
Just a heads up; preliminary field reports are suggesting serious winter wheat crop losses or that the wheat will have lower protein content.

Got Flour?

von Koehler
 

Freeholder

This too shall pass.
Small breeds are generally less docile. A mini is always worse, a german shepard vs a rat terrier.

Good luck with your livestock adventure
LOL! Maybe a Jack Russell, but the Rat Terriers I've known (I have one and used to have another, and have friends with one) have been really nice dogs. Bouncy, but very sweet temperaments.

Kathleen
 

Freeholder

This too shall pass.
Truthfully, boars are *always* potentially dangerous. So are bulls, stallions, rams, buck goats and pretty much any entire (not castrated) male livestock.

Some stay sweet and submissive all their lives... some others are able to be kept safely under control by excellent handling by someone who knows exactly what they are doing, read body language with precision, USE body language with precision... and never, ever forget they are handling an animal whose mind is on one thing, and who will do anything, and go through anyone, to get what they want.

They are also almost all faster and quicker than us, and definitely stronger. Even a fairly small buck goat can crush ribs, or break your leg if he hits you solidly.

Those gushes can be trimmed with bolt cutters, apparently without causing pain to the pig. You're just blunting them, not going deep enoigh to get into the nerve. But he'll sharpen them again!

Interestingly, while Jersey bulls absolutely follow the "small breeds are nastier" rule, Dexters go not. NOTHING has attitude like a Jersey bull! And it starts very early... like 6 months. The bulls of the other dairy breeds usually have a year or so after they reach sexual maturity before they start really getting aggressive, but Jerseys start young... and then get worse. The Amish neighbors had a year-long Jersey bull who was stalking their small children along the fence. It made the hair on my neck stand up! It took 4 men to load that thing, and he was barely 500#.

OTOH, I've never yet seen a mean Dexter bull. That doesn't mean we don't treat them with the utmost respect, but they are just different. A good friend of mine down in Texas ran a few head of cattle on a small ranch. He had a Dexter bull that was around 9 years old. One day, he was sorting cows, and a big (around 1800#) Limousin bull blindsided him, tossing him about 10 feet and then coming right in after him to finish the job. He said it had knocked the wind out of him (and, he discovered later, cracked a couple ribs) and he was about 20 feet from the corral fence. He said he thought he was dead, and was really regretting he'd left his revolver in his truck!

Suddenly, the little (maybe 1100#) Dexter bull came out of nowhere, hit the big Limousin square in the ribs, and knocked him flat! Then he trotted over to Bill, and *stood over him*, facing the big bull... who got to his feet, decided he'd had enough, and wandered away. Bill said the little Dexter stayed with him as he got to his feet and limped over to the fence.

A good dog ftom one of the herding breeds can be a lifesaver. But they have to be smart and well trained, or they'll stir up more problems that they'll solve. Bandit, my insane English Shepherd, may have been dangerous and nuts, but he was brilliant with cows. He'd come back to the pasture with us when we'd had a new calf born, and sit *exactly* far enough away that the cow didn't get upset. But on the couple of occasions when a cow went for us when we started handling or loading the calf, Bandit was there in a flash, a snarling ball of fur that drove the cow away from us and held her back so we could do what we needed to.

But you never turn your back on a bull, boar or any other mature male livestock. One second of inattention can cause weeks of recovery time- or worse.

Summerthyme
That Dexter bull story is amazing!! If we had a bit more land I would seriously consider getting a Dexter cow instead of the goats, but with only two and a half acres (and a good chunk of it needed for gardens and orchard), I don't think we'd have enough pasture for even a small cow.

On male animals, I butchered one Nubian buck that just would not back off. Any time I went in the pasture, he would come after me -- he never butted me, because I never let him have a chance to, but he would push at me with his head. I would grab hold of his (nasty, smelly) beard and hold on tight while I did whatever I needed to do with the other hand. I've had other bucks that might challenge me once a year, and were never serious about it. I think one of the most important things to consider when breeding animals is their temperament....

Kathleen
 

mecoastie

Veteran Member
Just a heads up; preliminary field reports are suggesting serious winter wheat crop losses or that the wheat will have lower protein content.

Got Flour?

von Koehler
Better to get whole wheat berries and a grinder. The berries store way better than flour.
 

spinner

Senior Member
I am coming late to this thread, but I have a couple of comments.

I agree with Deena, knitting and crocheting are far from lost arts. In fact they are growing in popularity. Just look at Ravelry or go to one of the Sheep and Wool festivals, Maryland or Rhinebeck, NY for example.
For really warm knitting stitches I like salt and pepper stitch or any of the other slip stitch patterns. Also double knitting and there is a stitch that uses loops that are cut after the garment is finished (I can't think of the name right now). It makes a layer of yarn ends and was used a lot for mittens in early times. It could also be used for outer wear such as vests or jackets. The ends felt and make a warm fabric. I use slip stitch patterns for fingerless mitts and they are very warm, especially layered over gloves.

I have two knitting machines that I have picked up at sales over the years, but I have never used them. I never could get the hang of them and didn't know anyone that could help me learn. They seemed like a lot more fuss and trouble than picking up a pair of needles. I have been knitting and crocheting since I was very young in the late 1950's. I was sick a lot as a child and my Mom taught me to knit and crochet to pass long hours in bed. I knit quite fast and used to crochet, fast though I haven't done a lot of crocheting in years, so I just pick up my needles and go.

One more comment on wheat berries. I had a bag of Prairie Gold berries that were really old and the bread that I made from the flour wasn't good. It tasted fine, but it didn't make a nice elastic dough and I never really got a good rise. I blamed the yeast and every other ingredient, but it just didn't make a difference. When I started a newer bag of wheat my bread was fine again. To be fair, it wasn't stored properly, but it wasn't stored badly either.
 

von Koehler

Veteran Member
I was thinking of my own wheat consumption; I am not a bread eater. The only times I need flour is for making brownies and Yorkshire pudding. For me a bag or two of flour is sufficient.

von Koehler
 

packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
Summer,

Thank you! I'd love to hear how they do, later on, if you don't mind my asking. We've been using the North American ? variety, which is less flavorful than the European one, but which isn't resistant to the blight.

They've been a slow grower for us, but they're in between two barns, acting as a hedge, so they're not in an optimal growing spot either.

Good luck with yours! I hope it all turns out well for you all.
hazelnut bushes abound in the green belt areas here, the only problem with them is beating the squirrels and chipmunks to the nuts.
 

Freeholder

This too shall pass.
hazelnut bushes abound in the green belt areas here, the only problem with them is beating the squirrels and chipmunks to the nuts.
Might need to cage a few bushes, if you can -- like people do to keep the birds from eating all of their cherries. At least hazelnuts don't make big trees like walnuts or pecans!

Kathleen
 
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