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Author Topic: Learn the old ways of doing things  (Read 26396 times)


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Re: Learn the old ways of doing things
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2012, 05:57:26 PM »
Here is a really good link along the same lines of the previous posting with some additions and a recipe for making bread.


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Re: Learn the old ways of doing things
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2012, 05:27:59 PM »
That's great, Endtimesgal!


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Re: Learn the old ways of doing things
« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2012, 05:35:02 PM »
Re- posting here some links which work...some of them in my earlier posts stopped working because their site moved. (Walton Feed) which had the old timey pages moved to Rainy Day Foods. The blog on Rainy Day Foods has some articles (from Walton Feed, on the old ways of doing things.)
I will be looking up the articles and posting them all here, what ones I can still find.
Back soon,
- Yowbarb

« Last Edit: October 19, 2012, 05:47:40 PM by Yowbarb »


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Re: Learn the old ways of doing things
« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2012, 06:25:18 PM »


Helps and information on Root Cellars

How They Used To Build Root Cellars
Posted on May 31, 2012 by admin

This gallery contains 1 photo.

How They Used To Do It. As told by Glenn Adamson © by Al Durtschi  from Walton Feed original web site The first root cellars were usually dug with a pick and shovel. (In 1965 I used the front end …
 loader on my tractor to dig the root cellar I’m using now.) The only wall we had to build was the front wall the door was in. The other three walls were formed by the dirt from the hole we dug. I made the roof with three logs as supports, then I laid 2X10 planks over them and nailed them down (See pattern, image at bottom of page).

 Over the top of the roof I put about 2 feet of dirt, with grass eventually growing on top of it. The front wall was also made from 2 inch lumber. Unlike the drawing, this wall extends up another three feet (see photo). The stairs were made with these same planks, as well as the side walls on both sides of the stair case. The planks in the roof, stairs and front wall were all made from rough, unplaned lumber, actually 2 inches thick.

You will notice from the photograph there is an upper door and a lower door. It is important you do this as each door adds greatly to how cool the root cellar will be in the summer time and how warm it will stay in the winter. The lower door on my cellar is constructed with a sheet of 1/4 inch plywood on each side filled with insulation. The upper door is tilted slightly so water will run off when it rains, and so it will be easier to find in the snow. To prevent rain from dripping down between the outside of the cellar and the top of the door, I use a couple of pieces of tin that are wide enough to hang over the top of the closed door after being wedged in between a couple of the planks on the outside of the cellar. This helps a lot. The upper door is constructed from two layers of 3/4 inch rough lumber. There is no insulation in it, and it has a layer of tin nailed to the top of it to keep it water proof. This door is hinged to the stairs side wall on the left side and is hinged so it can swing all the way around and lay on the grass.

Our main reason for having a root cellar is to keep our vegetables from freezing in the winter. We have very cold winters. For example, last winter we had several days when the thermometer dropped down past 40 degrees below zero F. How well has out cellar worked over the years? Very well. Nothing ever froze, except for once, and then it wasn’t the cellar’s fault. On one of the coldest days last winter, I went to get some potatoes and carrots and was surprised to find the lower door open. Even with this, only a small part of the potatoes were frozen. After closing the lower door the temperature rose to above freezing again. I have never tested the temperature in the cellar during the winter time, but in the summers the temperature hovers around 51 degrees F. This is a bit cooler than the temperatures you would expect to find in a root cellar in the warmer parts of theUSA. This is because our hottest days in the summer are only around 90 degrees F. And the cold winters tend to keep the ground a bit cooler throughout the year.

Last year my center cross beam in the roof broke right in the middle. The dampness from the earth above it had gradually rotted it over the years. I did not waterproof my roof when I built it, and should have. After it broke, we jacked up the center of the roof and put in a vertical support beam in the middle of the room. This should help the cellar last for several more years.


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Re: Learn the old ways of doing things
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2012, 06:45:27 PM »

Root Cellar Basics
Posted on May 30, 2012 by admin
Information for this page was gleaned from chapters 7, 13 and 14 of
Root Cellaring: The Simple No-Processing
Way to Store Fruits and Vegetables
By Mike and Nancy Bubel, Copyright 1979, Published by Rodale Press, Emmaus, Pennsylvania  Cool and moist conditions are required for storing most vegetables. Because of this, when planning a root cellar, several things need to be taken into consideration.

Temperature is your most important interest: As your root cellar needs to be kept as cool as possible, there are several things you can do to promote this:

First, borrow cold from the ground. Earth, even two feet down, gives a remarkable year wide temperature stability. The further down you go the better it is. You must go down a full 10 feet before complete temperature stability is reached. But for the average builder, how deep you go is limited because of expenses.
You can also borrow cool from the air. Often the night’s air temperature will be cooler than the air in your cellar.
And finally, you should do what you can to prevent heat from having access to your cellar. This includes:
Having your root cellar in the shade throughout the day
Building on the north side of hills
Wise use of insulation
Your second most important consideration is humidity.Even if kept cool, in a low humidity environment, your vegetables will soften and shrivel up. Most vegetables require high humidities. A typical underground root cellar will generally maintain a high humidity all by itself if it has an earth or dirt floor.

Air circulation: The best root cellars have vents (although none of the old cellars here in Southern Alberta I have seen have them). This is because the vegetables in your cellar give off gasses that often are conducive to either spoilage or sprouting. For example, apples naturally give off ethylene gas which makes potatoes sprout prematurely. (This can be used to your advantage if you have potatoes that are slow sprouting. Put’em both in a plastic bag.) Good venting fundamentals include:

Have an inlet vent and an outlet vent.
The outlet must always be at the highest level in the cellar with the outlet tube flush with the inner wall.
The inlet should come into the cellar at the bottom. This is easily done if your cellar is built into a hill, but nearly as easy if it is buried in flat ground. With your inlet vent opening on top of the ground near your outlet vent, your inlet vent pipe must go all the way to the floor before opening into your cellar.
Keep shelves a couple of inches away from the walls of the cellar. This will greatly promote circulation around the vegetables stored on these shelves.
To prevent your potatoes from sprouting prematurely, keep your apples above them so the circulating air moves away from your potatoes.
Have a system in place to close your vents in freezing weather. Something as simple as a big sponge can work for this. If you have very cold winters, you may wish to block off both ends of each vent pipe.
How big of a cellar should you build?

A 5 foot by 8 foot root cellar will store 30 bushels of produce.
An 8 foot by 8 foot cellar should hold plenty for the average family.
A 10 foot by 10 foot cellar should take care of everything you can produce.
Shelves:We have already mentioned shelves should be kept at least a couple of inches away from the walls for increased ventilation. Other things to consider are:

Use rot resistant or pressure treated wood. After several years they will be less likely to rot and break, tumbling your foods on the floor. (The book gave one example of a person who went down to her cellar one day to find a good share of her canned fruit and vegetables broken on the floor. As the lids on canned goods rust after a couple of years, plan a dryer, cool place for these items.)
Liberal use of shelves will enhance the storage capacity of your cellar considerably.
What kind of root cellar is right for you?Here are some possibilities with a few advantages/disadvantages:

Build your root cellar into a hill.

You don’t have to find a door lying on the ground when it is under 3 feet of snow.
There is less chance of flooding during very wet conditions
Your cellar can be graded so any water that should run or seep in will run out the door.
Can be much more difficult to excavate.
Build your root cellar on flat ground.

Availability: not everyone has a steep hill in their back yard
Easier to excavate
Easier and cheaper to build (you don’t have to brace your cellar for all that extra weight from the hill). But that added dirt will keep your cellar cooler!
You can build a vertical door around a staircase if you don’t want to be shoveling snow to get at a horizontal door.
Build your cellar as part of your house:Our house which is only one year old had a root cellar built into it when the house was constructed. Many older houses have a section of the basement that has an earthen floor. It’s primary reason was probably for vegetable storage. You can also:

Build and insulate a room in this area.
Dig a cellar next to the house with an entry way to your cellar through the basement.
Put your cellar in an existing underground structure such as a pump house.
Construction methods:

Dugout: The cheapest way to go in stable soil
Wood construction: Be sure to use pressure treated wood.
Dirt: the simplest way to go and excellent for humidity control.
Gravel: In a very damp or very dry area you will want to put down three inches of gravel. If your cellar is unusually wet, you may want to even dig a sump in the middle of your cellar floor and fill this with gravel, along with the three inches on the floor. In very dry soil conditions you can sprinkle water on the gravel which will greatly increase the evaporation surface area.
Wood: put gaps in your boards for a higher humidity cellar.

Cement: If you want a storage area that is lower in humidity, this is a good way to go.
You may wish to build two rooms in your cellar. One with a cement floor for lower humidity storage items, and another room with no floor for higher humidity storage items. If you did this, the wall between the rooms should be as air tight as you can make it. If you have a venting system, you should have a separate set of vents for each room. And lastly, the high humidity storage area should be the far room in the cellar.
Using your root cellar:

Keep a thermometer and humidity gauge in your cellar.
Keep the door(s) closed to your cellar as much as possible if it is warm outside.
During the spring and fall of the year, open your vents (and even perhaps the door) at night when the temperature is dropping below the temperature of the air in your cellar. Close them early in the morning before the outside air warms up. (Be careful not to do this if the temperature is expected to drop below freezing.)
If the humidity in your cellar is too low you can raise it by:
Leaving at least the floor of your cellar exposed to the earth (a dirt floor or air gaps in your floor down to the earth).
Sprinkle water on a graveled floor or lay out damp towels or burlap bags.
Pack root vegetables in damp saw dust, sand or moss.
One caution about high humidities: If you get much of a temperature fluctuation in your cellar, humid air as it cools past it’s dew point will condense on the ceiling, walls, and produce. Excess water on your goods can induce spoilage. Cover vegetables with burlap, towels, etc. to absorb excess condensing moisture. Also, if your air is condensing inside, open your vents if the air outside is cooler than it is inside. Even if it is very humid air, as it warms in the root cellar, it’s relative humidity will drop. Of course, the opposite can happen. If you let warm damp air in, moisture will condense out as it cools.
During extremely cold weather, if your cellar is threatening to freeze, put a light bulb inside. If you do this, you need to cover your potatoes so they won’t turn green. (Do not use a kerosene lantern. Kerosene lanterns produce ethylene, which is a fruit ripener.) Also remember that snow is an excellent insulator. Don’t tramp down or remove the snow on top of your root cellar any more than you have to in order to gain entry.
Keep a fairly close eye on your produce and remove any that has begun to spoil. (It is a true axiom that ‘one bad apple with spoil the bushel.’

Vegetables and their optimum storage conditions


Chinese Cabbage

Winter radishes
(short term)   

Burssels Sprouts
(short term)
Jerusalem artichokes
Hamburg-rooted parsley


(short term)
(40 degrees F)
Endive, escarole


Sweet peppers (45-55 degrees F)
Eggplant (50-60 degrees F.)
Ripe tomatoes


Green soybeans in the pod (short term)


Dry hot peppers
Winter squash
Sweet potatoes
Green tomatoes (up to 70 degrees F is OK)


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Re: Learn the old ways of doing things
« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2012, 06:51:49 PM »


Soapmaking-can be easy and fun.

Soap making recipe for beginners
Posted on April 24, 2012 by admin
Cold Process Soap for One 12 oz Can of Lye-recipe by James Hershberger and the original Walton Feed web site. Ingredients: 1 can (12 oz or 340 grams) 100% lye 21 1/2 oz (605 gms) ice cold or part frozen distilled


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Re: Learn the old ways of doing things
« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2012, 07:00:12 PM »

Soapmaking-Lye to Fat Ratio Table
Posted on April 24, 2012 by admin
This table is for those of you who want to get a bit more scientific in soap making or just want to check and see if the person who created the recipe you’re planning on using knew what they were doing. Each fat has its own saponification value, or “SAP Value.”  Each fat requires a different amount of lye to convert the fat to soap.

For the soap to be made with no left over lye or fat you must have very accurate measuring equipment. As the same oil from different sources will have a slightly different saponification value, we recommend you keep your soap a bit fat heavy to ensure you don’t end up with lye in your finished product.

In the table below use the 0-4% excess fat columns (red) if you have accurate technical equipment to test for excess fat or lye. Use the 5-8% excess fat columns (green) to make good hand/body soap and the 9-10% columns (blue) if you want excessively fat heavy soap.

This page was written under close consultation by Tina Howard at Majestic Mountain Sage. In fact, the following table was made using her lye calculator, which will automatically calculate the amount of lye you need for a large variety of different fats. You plug into her calculator the fats and quantities and it returns how much lye you’ll need.

Calculate the amount of lye you need by multiplying the amounts of each fat (including superfatting oil) in your recipe by the number intersected by the fat and your desired excess fat column. Then add the different lye amounts for the different fats in your recipe together.

Example: You want to calculate the amount of lye for a recipe that calls for for 16 oz. of lard as it’s only fat. You want your finished soap to have 5% excess fat. Intersecting the Lard row with the 5% column, you find the number 0.132. Multiply 16 (fat wt) by 0.132 = 2.1 oz. of lye.

Lye to Fat Ratio Table

Why different oils have their own SAP values: It all has to do with the length of the fatty acid chain. Briefly, it takes the same amount of lye to saponify a short fatty acid molecule as it does to saponify a long fatty acid molecule. The longer a fatty acid molecule is, the more a set number of them weigh. Saying this in another way, the longer chain fatty acids have a higher molecular weight. Hence, it takes less lye to saponify the longer chain fats. You can determine which fats above are the longer chain fats by looking at their SAP values. The higher the SAP number, the shorter the chain. Most of the fats above revolve around 18 carbon chain molecules with the sap value hovering around .136-.140 in the 0% Excess Fat Column. (The reason they are all slightly different is because the mixture of different fatty acids in each fat or oil is slightly different.) On the other hand, coconut oil contains about 47% lauric (C12), 19% myristic (C14), 9.5% palmitic acid (C16) and 20-25% other residues. Because coconut oil has several shorter string molecules, it takes more lye to turn a given weight of them into soap. Coconut’s SAP value is .184. The reason for this is: the smaller the molecule, the more you can fit into a given volume. The more you can fit in a given volume, the more saponifiable bonds will be required and the more base you will consume.

Speaking of a molar (equal number of molecules) ratio, then it takes an equal level of base to saponify the fat/oil, although the larger molecule will have a larger volume.

This entry was posted in Soapmaking, Soapmaking-Lye to Fat Ratio Table, Uncategorized by admin. Bookmark the permalink.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2012, 07:07:13 PM by Yowbarb »


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Re: Learn the old ways of doing things
« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2012, 07:11:59 PM »
Great link for lye soap thanks!


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Re: Learn the old ways of doing things
« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2012, 07:24:11 PM »
Here is a great link from youtube on how to make lye from wood ashes.  This woman has many wonderful videos which you will all love.


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Re: Learn the old ways of doing things
« Reply #24 on: October 21, 2012, 01:37:37 AM »
Here is a great link from youtube on how to make lye from wood ashes.  This woman has many wonderful videos which you will all love.

Thanks! I just subscribed to Nancy Today's Channel.


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Re: Learn the old ways of doing things
« Reply #25 on: August 28, 2013, 06:14:49 PM »
It would be great to get some stoves like this, if the grid should fail. This is a genuine old wood-burning stove...
This site farther below has a fair amount of info. Tomorrow I will post it as an article. Link below.  - Yowbarb
...    Cooking and baking on a woodstove

Cooking and baking on a woodstove
    by AlaskanTentLady

Cooking over a fire

Why go to all the trouble?

Fires are a lot of work. Gathering wood is a big chore. Chainsaws are loud and scary. Splitting logs is backbreaking. No wonder modern man uses alternate ways to heat and cook. Fires make a big mess too. Leaves and bark scatter across the floor and then there's taking out the ashes. Bending over a low hot fire is a back strain. Dust coats everything. With all the obvious drawbacks to woodstoves, many people think it's well worth the time and effort.

Some of us who already went to all that trouble to get some good coals going think the natural next thing to do is to cook something on it. I'm one of them. I have an additional reason too. This is my only stove, it heats my home. I live in interior Alaska and all winter I have to keep a fire going 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Eating food cooked on a woodstove or over an open fire is a much anticipated event. That's because some things take a lot longer to cook over wood flames as compared to a gas or electric stove and oven (or a microwave). But if you've got fire, patience and a few good tools, you can cook and bake many of your favorite meals.
[Continues ]


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Re: Learn the old ways of doing things
« Reply #27 on: November 15, 2013, 10:25:44 PM »
I do not know if this goes here but a lot of good info.

Where There Is No Dentist

Where There Is No Doctor


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Re: Learn the old ways of doing things
« Reply #28 on: November 29, 2016, 01:05:04 AM »


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Re: Learn the old ways of doing things
« Reply #29 on: November 29, 2016, 01:09:06 AM »
I do not know if this goes here but a lot of good info.

Where There Is No Dentist

Where There Is No Doctor

bk I'm not sure why I missed your last two posts here...
Thanks for all you did here...
I hope you are OK,
Barb Townsend


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