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Author Topic: Northern Permaculture  (Read 44400 times)

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #300 on: April 26, 2020, 11:50:30 AM »
Recipe for fermented probiotic-rich herbal Colonial-era root beer:

Though healthful, it must have a caloric sweetener such as maple syrup or cane sugar in order to ferment properly, so no diet sugar-substitutes or Stevia for this one.

The 4 basic native plants to grow or harvest in the Northern deciduous rainforest:

Sassafras (the tree with spicy fragrant roots and a mixture of three leaf shapes with autumn themes: the football, the ghost, and the mitten)


Birch

American licorice

Aralia (sarsaparilla / American spikenard)



Reposting Nourished Kitchen's recipe without the exotic Asian star anise, which was not part of the traditional Colonial brew.  If using ginger instead of kombucha, it would need to be sourced from the South or grown as an annual in the North:

Cook Time: 45 mins

Fermentation Time: 2 d

Total Time: 2 d 45 mins

Servings: 8 servings (2 quarts)

Ingredients:

    10 cups water
    3 tablespoons sarsaparilla root
    1 tablespoon ginger root
    1 tablespoon licorice root
    2 teaspoons dandelion root
    2 teaspoons birch bark
    1/4 cup sassafras root bark
    3/4 cup unrefined cane sugar
    1/2 cup ginger bug (strained) or kombucha

Equipment:

flip-top bottles

Instructions:

    Fill a large stock pot with 10 cups water, and then spoon in the sarsaparilla, ginger, licorice, dandelion and birch.
    Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn down the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 30 minutes, and then stir in the sassafras bark, and continue simmering a further 15 minutes.
    Turn off the heat, stir in the sugar until it dissolves. Next, allow the decoction to cool to room temperature – about 2 hours.
    Strain decoction, discarding the herbs. Stir in the ginger bug, and pour into flip-top bottles – allowing at least 1 to 2 inches of headspace in each bottle.
    Ferment the root beer at room temperature about 2 days, allowing more time during cold weather. Transfer to the fridge for 3 days to allow the bubbles to set, and serve cold over ice.

Notes:
Alternatives to Ginger Bug. Ginger Bug is a starter for fermented drinks made from ginger, water and sugar. And it contains bacteria and yeast that culture homemade root beer and give it bubbles. 
Alternatively, you can also use an equivalent amount of kombucha, jun tea (green tea kombucha with honey) or water kefir. You could also use fresh whey from yogurt or kefir.

https://nourishedkitchen.com/homemade-root-beer-recipe/

Recipe for Kombucha, if using that instead of ginger bug:

https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-kombucha-tea-at-home-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-173858

Recipe for ginger bug:

https://wellnessmama.com/8942/ginger-bug/
« Last Edit: April 26, 2020, 12:59:13 PM by R.R. Book »

ilinda

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #301 on: April 29, 2020, 10:50:04 AM »
Ilinda, I'm very intrigued by all of your wild "cultivars."  Would love a list!
Not sure if this is complete, but here are ones on the top of my head:
wild cherry
wild crabapple
wild plum
wild peach (aka Indian Peach, aka Blood Peach) (most of them have some deep magenta flesh
wild goosberry
wild blackberry
wild black raspberry
wild mulberry
wild pawpaw
wild persimmon
wild strawberry of various types
wild grapes of dozens of varieties (or more)
 if I forgot any will edit this later....

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #302 on: April 30, 2020, 07:44:48 AM »
Sounds like a very healthy ecosystem there Ilinda!  You've reminded me that my grandparents used to make wild plum jam on their farm, and nothing else came close to being as good.

We also have the wild grapes here, some on Tarzan vines perhaps decades old, and my children used to swing from them in the woods until the older boy became too large to do so.  He found that out the hard way, by falling smack on his rear on his 8th birthday  :-[

There is some wild blackberry and wild black raspberry here too, and I've torn lots of clothing by wading into those thickets to harvest them  :)  Have started moving some of the wild vines onto cordons to make harvesting easier, esp. the wineberries.

The wild crabapple can be an excellent pollinator for cultivated apples, and may improve them actually.

ilinda

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #303 on: May 01, 2020, 06:06:20 PM »
Yes, wild plum jam is truly delicious as I, too, have made it, and a few years ago seriously pruned a couple of wild plum to get ready for plum season, which for some reason hasn't happened since then!

Speaking of wild crabapple, none around here produce fruit that seems appetizing (to humans), but a friend has a very old crabapple tree that seems to have truly unique and desirable crabapples.  They are rather large for crabapples, and are about the size of a small apple!  They are sweet and tart and she said it's almost impossible to find this type of tree anymore because most of the crabapple trees sold by nurseries these days have either tiny fruit or maybe not much fruit at all, but certainly not fruit the size of what her tree produces.

It is interesting how complex the apple family must be because of the intricacies of pollination.

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #304 on: May 10, 2020, 10:03:08 AM »
Carol Deppe, as we've discussed previously, distinguished herself in the food gardening world with her emphasis on calorie-dense produce, including several starches, at a time when everyone else was pushing greens and demonizing starches.  From a survivalist perspective, she may be right on target, especially as greens can always be tucked into the garden here and there, or even grown indoors, while the starchy vegetables need lots of carefully planned space outside.

In locations in the North that may be too damp or forested to successfully grow many types of non-hybrid corn and squash in the home garden, particularly when space is limited, other starches offer greater viability.  We've already discussed hardy potatoes and perennial Quinoa (the seed head on top of Good King Henry / Lincolnshire Spinach) previously, and I'd like to mention Siberian Peas, a.k.a. Caragana arborescens.

Unlike the fussy early-season annual peas which require inoculated soil, die as soon as temps warm up, and need subsequent replanting (and which incidentally make a stunning floral display for those who can grow them), Siberian Peas grow on more of a shrubby understory tree of between 6 and 18 feet in height, which when pruned and filled out may form a dense thicket or hedgerow that is fully perennial in USDA hardiness zones 2-7. 

They are covered with yellow sweet-pea-shaped blossoms in spring which attract bumble bees, honey bees and solitary bees. 


The blossoms mature over summer into pods shaped like haricot beans, which are said to explode and scatter seed all over the ground if not harvested early enough:


We planted a batch of them as young stubby whips about 4 years ago, and they are just this year reaching a bit taller than my height, but have not yet become a thicket. 

Perhaps most importantly of all besides their hardiness is the fact that Siberian Pea consists of 36% protein, 12% oils, and 52% starch and fiber, and can feed both humans and livestock, earning a 5 out of 5 stars on the PFAF edibility rating scale:


The plants are also soil-enriching nitrogen fixers.

Places that normally sell them, but may be sold out at this late-spring date, include:

Burnt Ridge Nursery in Washington State

Greenwood Nursery in Tennessee

The Tree Farm in Colorado

Plants of the Wild in Washington State

One Green World in Oregon

Nature Hills in Nebraska

Wanderlust Nursery in Washington State

Sheffield's Seed Company in New York offers the seeds by the pound.

Several other nurseries offer a newly bred weeping variety, but whether it is productive I cannot say.


The dried and harvested peas.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2020, 11:11:12 AM by R.R. Book »

ilinda

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #305 on: May 10, 2020, 07:27:29 PM »
What an eye-opener!  Not even sure if I've ever heard of this beauty.  The fact of being perennial is important and I wholeheartedly agree with Carol Deppe and others who are champions of the starchy veggies, that we should probably be eating more of these nutrient-dense, and sometimes caloris-dense foods. 

Personally I thinki counting calories is a waste of time because our bodies are very different from those inanimate calorimeters which are used to determine caloric content of foods.

Are Siberian peas best collected dry/dried, then cooked as dry beans?

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #306 on: May 11, 2020, 09:02:33 AM »
Usually with shelling beans and peas, there's an option of picking them very young as tender pods, before they become stringy.  Am still waiting on a harvest here; hopefully this year!
« Last Edit: May 11, 2020, 09:17:32 AM by R.R. Book »

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #307 on: May 16, 2020, 03:21:53 PM »
It's getting time to thin out sunchokes, for those in latitudes and micro-climates in which they've sprouted their first few leaves of 2020.  They need to be spaced at least a foot apart in all directions now while they're small, in order to permit space for setting new tubers, as they'll quickly gain height and become more difficult to work with. 

We pulled about 10 lbs. of chokes out of the garden today and popped them into a chest freezer, which will convert the inulin starch back to fructose and make them more digestible.  A good rule of thumb for this is that if the tubers have any green sprouting from them, or had at the time that they were harvested, then the inulin is likely not converted.  If they've been through at least one good frost that kills the above-ground parts, then they're good to eat.

(Stock photo from the Web)
« Last Edit: May 17, 2020, 11:28:06 AM by R.R. Book »

 

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