Living and thriving through regenerative practices and a sustainable worldview.

Posts tagged “how-to

Halloween Necromancy!

It’s that time of year again when the moon visits longer, the morning comes slowly, and the wind brings a chill to the earth.
The time when certain folks possessing knowledge of the old ways, gather together the remnants of the dead in order to slowly transform them into new life through ancient alchemical practice.

No, I’m not talking about All Hallow’s Eve or some sinister ritual…  I’m talking about fall composting!

I ran across a great article on eartheasy.com that gives a nice bunch of autumn composting tips and figured I’d share.

For those who don’t have a yard, or access to leaves, fear not!
You can still compost, as long as you have enough heat to keep some tiny helpers happy.  I’m talking worm composting, also known as vermicompost.

What the heck is worm composting? Check out this great link that gives a nice run-down on the “ins and outs” of the whole shebang.

 

For those of you who just aren’t into the idea of sharing your home with some creepy crawlies, there’s also bokashi composting.
Although to be truthful, bokashi is more of a fermentation process than composting.

Bokashi

It’s got a tiny space footprint, which makes it great for apartment dwellers, and has been used extensively in Japan for some time.  Bokashi uses “effective micro-organisms” to break down organic material, including a lot of things you CAN’T put in a worm bin or compost heap.  It’s fast, odorless,  and convenient.

Here’s some more information on bokashi.

Keep in mind that there are a LOT of bokashi products out there, from bins to EMs, but you can make any of them at home yourself.

Here’s a good link on making your own bokashi “EM” powder mix.
And here’s a link to Make Your Own Bokashi Bucket


A Practical Guide to Making Herbal Tinctures

http://www.herbcompanion.com/herbal-living/practical-guide-to-making-herbal-tinctures.aspx

0tincture1
All tinctures are extracts, but not all extracts are tinctures

“…Tinctures are concentrated herbal extracts that have alcohol as the solvent. If you are using water, vinegar, glycerin, or any menstruum (solvent) other than alcohol, your preparation is an extract—not a tincture. Although, there are exceptions to every rule and sometimes an acetum is defined as “a vinegar tincture” in the tomes.

 The Folk Method

Making tinctures is easy. I learned to make tinctures deep in the coniferous woods along green river banks that glitter throughout the Oregon Cascades. Unless you have some sort of handy-dandy collapsible scale contraption that fits in your pack, using the folk method is the way to go when making medicine in the forest! Simple, practical and efficient, this method allows you to estimate your herb measurements by eye. Here are a few important tincturing tips I learned during those years, while apprenticing with the Columbines School of Botanical Studies.

Fresh Herb

• Finely chop or grind clean herb to release juice and expose surface area.
• Fill jar 2/3 to 3/4 with herb. ~ OR ~ Fill jar 1/4 to 1/2 w…

Read the full article : http://www.herbcompanion.com/herbal-living/practical-guide-to-making-herbal-tinctures.aspx


Wisdom and Know-How Books!

Black Dog and Leventhal Publishers has a great series of large, everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about “X” books.

Check them out here.


Splitting Wood With A Tire


How To Make Your Own $35 Straw Mattress

http://small-scale.net/yearofmud/2009/09/11/how-to-make-your-own-35-straw-mattress/

mattress-test

(This lovely DIY how-to is written by my galfriend April, who recently made a fantastic straw mattress for the cob bed. Not only is it entirely natural, it’s pretty super to sleep on, too. Read ahead!)

Living in a hand-built home can often mean making unique and non-conventional furniture choices. I recently transitioned from a tent to a cob house and ran into the dilemma of what to do about a bed. My criteria was something natural and sustainable, economical, readily available, quick and easy to assemble, and comfortable. Is that too much to ask? I decided to do some research first.

Why not to buy a conventional mattress

I looked at some conventional mattresses. What the heck is in those things, I asked. These mattresses are composed of metal coils, often plastic coated, encased in fabric and padding. As a result of their materials and manufacturing, they also contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), formaldehyde, and chemical fire retardants that will off-gas over time. And, with a price tag of over $350 for a full size mattress, this option isn’t particularly economical. However, there is such a thing as eco-friendly and organic mattresses. These usually contain organic cotton or wool, non-toxic fire retardants, natural latex rubber, and recycled metal springs. But with an even heftier price tag of around $1000 for a full size mattress, this wasn’t really an option for me at all.

Traditional mattress materials

What about making my own mattress? People have been making their own beds for thousands of years. The ancient Romans used straw, an agricultural by-product, to make their mattresses. Another by-product, rice chaff (the husks separated from the edible grains), is used as mattress filler in Asia and oat chaff was traditional in Scotland. At first, making my own mattress sounded too ambitious since I’ve got a minimal amount of sewing experience, but straw is natural, locally available, and at $2.00 – $4.00 per bale, it was worth a try. If it didn’t work out, disposing of my straw mattress would be as simple a…

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Free Ebook : HERBAL MANUAL

HERBAL MANUAL
The Medicinal, Toilet, Culinary and other Uses of 130 of the most Commonly Used Herbs
By HAROLD WARD
The Southwest School of Botanical Medicine

DOWNLOAD HERE:
http://www.soilandhealth.org/04.medical.library/0401.herbalmedicine/040139.Ward-Herbal_Manual.pdf