Author Topic: Off Grid Ideas  (Read 6646 times)

ilinda

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Re: Off Grid Ideas
« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2014, 04:58:52 PM »
I agree.  There is also the ever popular solar ovens out there.  I'm still not sure how comfortable I would be using this to be sure the right cooking temps were reached.  But I know that's just me.  I would like to get more cast iron things in case of having to cook over open fires.  Even if that fire is in your fireplace.  I think it's because I've lived through too many times of being out of electric for a while, and also growing up with Mom stocking up for the winter, "in case we can't get to the store".
Just a note about those cast iron cooking pots and skillets.  I/we love them and would not be without them.  But in recent years we notice that all the new ones are coated with a "proprietary" substance, which is no doubt toxic like every thing else is becoming on this planet.  It is impossible for us to find new cast iron cookware WITHOUT this noxious material placed inside where the cooking is done.  We have looked high and low.  If anyone knows of a source of uncoated, new cast iron cookware, please post it here.

Oh, another note is that I was in a friend's antique shop one time, about to purchase the coolest looking cast iron sauce pan, maybe a 1 quart size.  Really nifty.  Owner warned me that a lot of guys she knew have used those small ones to melt lead to make fishing sinkers!    So I guess one must be very cautious about the source of cast iron cookware.  One source might be estate sales, where the pots and pans are all grouped together and in that case it might be probably that there was no unusual use of the cookware.

Ceaseless awareness.

Yowbarb

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Re: Off Grid Ideas
« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2014, 08:54:44 PM »
I agree.  There is also the ever popular solar ovens out there.  I'm still not sure how comfortable I would be using this to be sure the right cooking temps were reached.  But I know that's just me.  I would like to get more cast iron things in case of having to cook over open fires.  Even if that fire is in your fireplace.  I think it's because I've lived through too many times of being out of electric for a while, and also growing up with Mom stocking up for the winter, "in case we can't get to the store".
Just a note about those cast iron cooking pots and skillets.  I/we love them and would not be without them.  But in recent years we notice that all the new ones are coated with a "proprietary" substance, which is no doubt toxic like every thing else is becoming on this planet.  It is impossible for us to find new cast iron cookware WITHOUT this noxious material placed inside where the cooking is done.  We have looked high and low.  If anyone knows of a source of uncoated, new cast iron cookware, please post it here.

Oh, another note is that I was in a friend's antique shop one time, about to purchase the coolest looking cast iron sauce pan, maybe a 1 quart size.  Really nifty.  Owner warned me that a lot of guys she knew have used those small ones to melt lead to make fishing sinkers!    So I guess one must be very cautious about the source of cast iron cookware.  One source might be estate sales, where the pots and pans are all grouped together and in that case it might be probably that there was no unusual use of the cookware.

Ceaseless awareness.

Good info, ilinda.
Thanks.

Yowbarb

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Re: Off Grid Ideas
« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2014, 09:15:54 PM »
ilinda according to this ad from a company which sells Lodge Cast Iron Cookware ad - Lodge seasons all iron cookware using a special electrostatic process with vegetable oil and extremely hot industrial ovens. They claim it is fine to use.  This statement is from Lodge. Also states - they do produce 80% of their ironware in the US and a portion of profit from all overseas - made products goes to people who work for them in the US. They say they make their brightly - colored, enamel-coated ironware in China, but most all their regular ironware is US-made.
Everyone will decide on their own if this will work for them. Sounds OK to me.
Anyway here is a sales ad from CastironCookware.com which sells Lodge products:

http://www.castironcookware.com/
« Last Edit: July 25, 2014, 09:07:21 AM by Yowbarb »

steedy

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Re: Off Grid Ideas
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2014, 07:32:39 AM »
I'm glad you mentioned Lodge.  I was going to.  I think they are the only cast iron cookware company in America now.  I have also bought a couple pieces at estate sales too.  I think the general rule of thumb is the heavier it is, the better the quality of the cookware.  You can take old pieces and recondition them to get the rust out.  I know the Lodge company will re-season their products if you send it to them, but I don't know if they will do that with other pieces.

I never once thought someone could melt lead in these pots for any reason.  So, I guess we'll all have to watch out for that.  Are there tell tale signs of this?  How could we know if someone melted lead in a cast iron pot?

Yowbarb

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Re: Off Grid Ideas
« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2014, 12:03:04 PM »
I'm glad you mentioned Lodge.  I was going to.  I think they are the only cast iron cookware company in America now.  I have also bought a couple pieces at estate sales too.  I think the general rule of thumb is the heavier it is, the better the quality of the cookware.  You can take old pieces and recondition them to get the rust out.  I know the Lodge company will re-season their products if you send it to them, but I don't know if they will do that with other pieces.

I never once thought someone could melt lead in these pots for any reason.  So, I guess we'll all have to watch out for that.  Are there tell tale signs of this?  How could we know if someone melted lead in a cast iron pot?

steedy - thanks for your post.
I don't know how to tell if someone has used pans to melt lead...
Reading about that online the other day reminded me my youngest bro used to melt lead and throw the molten metal down on our cement slab in the back yard to create a free form sculpture; pretty cool stuff. Cool, get it. Unintentional pun. Some health clinics test mugs for the presence of lead.
Many years ago my man got his crockpot and favorite mugs tested at a holistic clinic and they were full of lead.
If I figure out the answer, regarding pans. I don't think it is likely a person could figure out the presence of lead in a cast iron pan they are about to purchase in a used store...  If I find out anything, I will post it here,
Barb T.

steedy

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Re: Off Grid Ideas
« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2014, 05:31:48 PM »
Thanks.  I'm going to have to get my crockpot tested now!  I didn't think they used lead hardly at all anymore.

Yowbarb

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Re: Off Grid Ideas
« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2014, 09:10:16 AM »
Thanks.  I'm going to have to get my crockpot tested now!  I didn't think they used lead hardly at all anymore.

It is my belief (I don't know for sure) but "a lot of mugs, dishes etc. have lead in them if imported from China." This is what I was told back in the 1990s.
Not sure if there has been any reform of that production.
Often I would like to grab some more mugs etc. but so many of them are from China and I just don't know. I don't need more lead.

steedy

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Re: Off Grid Ideas
« Reply #22 on: July 25, 2014, 01:25:11 PM »
Let's all just learn how to make our own mugs out of clay and then the pretty ones, we will sell!!

Yowbarb

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Re: Off Grid Ideas
« Reply #23 on: July 26, 2014, 09:55:47 PM »
Let's all just learn how to make our own mugs out of clay and then the pretty ones, we will sell!!

Now that's a whole area I had not even thought about - having a kiln set up on survival land... and then the raw materials to build a new one if sthtf and it got wiped out by the wind etc.

http://www.wikihow.com/Build-a-Ceramic-Kiln 


ilinda

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Re: Off Grid Ideas
« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2014, 07:28:07 AM »
Making primitive, but useful items from clay is one of my dreams, when I'm officially retired.  I mean REALLY retired.

I remember playing with modeling clay as a kid and loved making it into all sorts of things, sculpting mainly, but now can see the use for cups, plates, etc.  A friend built one of those outdoor clay ovens from plans from a book whose title I don't recall.  Anyway, you make a base, then you form the top part separately.  What he learned was a LOT about the different types of clay.  He would dig clay from one area (very red) and then from another area (beige) and discovered there are differences.  He did discover that the red clay he used to make the top of the oven was not the best for that project, although it was OK for the base.  Lots to learn, but in a collapse situation, a person would have a bit more free time (no internet!).

ilinda

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Re: Off Grid Ideas
« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2014, 07:49:04 AM »
I'm glad you mentioned Lodge.  I was going to.  I think they are the only cast iron cookware company in America now.  I have also bought a couple pieces at estate sales too.  I think the general rule of thumb is the heavier it is, the better the quality of the cookware.  You can take old pieces and recondition them to get the rust out.  I know the Lodge company will re-season their products if you send it to them, but I don't know if they will do that with other pieces.

I never once thought someone could melt lead in these pots for any reason.  So, I guess we'll all have to watch out for that.  Are there tell tale signs of this?  How could we know if someone melted lead in a cast iron pot?
I don't know how one could see visible evidence of lead having been melted in a pan, but if you find a pan in an antique shop you have no idea of its history.  If you go to an estate sale and find some cast iron cookware along with stainless steel, and/or aluminum, all together, it is more likely that it came from someone's kitchen.  If you find, in that same auction, a cast iron pot, pan, or skillet out with the tools, you would be wise to assume it was used for other than cooking food.  That's my 2 cents.

And on the other topic of pre-seasoned cookware, there are several problems, in my view, with that.  What if they are using GM soy oil, or GM corn oil, or GM canola oil to season the pot?  What if it is a very thick coating, and what if a little of it gets into the food every time you cook? 

Then the issue of high temperatures and oil.  That is a bad combination for eating, so if any of the oil used for seasoning gets in your own food, that might be cause for concern.  I know, I know, I'm being a bit picky, but I just want people to be aware of the potential for GM oils being used, and that high temperatures are another issue.  I guess the best thing is "buyer beware" which I think someone said already.

steedy

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Re: Off Grid Ideas
« Reply #26 on: August 01, 2014, 07:52:05 AM »
In my area, people could dig clay out of the river banks.  I don't know how good it is though.  I've always wanted to learn how to make pottery.  I thought you could built kilns out of brick.  I have extra brick, but my kiln would be very small, I don't have that many bricks.


steedy

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Re: Off Grid Ideas
« Reply #28 on: August 02, 2014, 09:18:18 AM »
I've been in contact with Paradise Energy Solutions in Sugarcreek, OH about installing solar panels.  They are licensed in eight states now, but they said they should be licensed in more in the next couple years.  Their website is paradisesolarenergy.com.  There is a very interesting section on how to get an $40,000 loan financed for solar panels.  When they become licensed in my state, I'm going to contact them as I can't find anyone doing this in my home state.


ilinda

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Re: Off Grid Ideas
« Reply #29 on: March 05, 2015, 09:03:08 AM »
This is a query rather than a post telling or informing folks.  I'm in a minor quandry, and it's related to this intriguing fiber plant I found which so far have not identified.

A couple of years ago I found remnants of a plant on the river bank in Reynolds County, Missouri, US.  The plant was enmeshed in the huge downed tree that was lodged at the edge of the river.  IOW, a rootwad.

Having always been fascinated with "do-it-yourself" and self-sufficiency projects and materials, I found this plant particularly interesting.  It is obvious one could make thread from it.  I tried to "tear" it apart and it is strong.  That tells me the individual fibers might be strong as well.  I showed it to a number of people, none of whom had any idea of what it might be.  Then showed it to the Naturalist at the nearby state park, and she could not ID it either.  She then took it to a Naturalists' conference, where nobody else could identify it!  Their possible suggestions included grapevine and honeysuckle.

Grapevine I'm very familiar with, and it breaks easily when old, and is not full of fibers as this one is.  Honeysuckle does not seem like this, but there are several types. 

If anyone viewing this has ideas, I'm anxious to hear them.  Notice from the pictures that the "stems" seem to bend at sharp angles and in real life that is how it is/grows.  Those bends are there naturally, as if it bent sharply while growing.  Also after several years in varying humidities, indoors, it is still flexible.

This would be an excellent source for thread in a situation where there are no stores, no seamstresses, and nobody to help you sew something or even mend a hole in an article of clothing. 

Thread might be much more important than folks realize.