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Permaculture Magazine Readers’ Solutions
RECIPE HEAVEN I have spent more than 100 hours putting together a website that features great chefs from across the world on video demonstrating meatless protein dishes. Even if you are not a vegetarian, you might like to go meatless on Mondays to help prevent cholesterol buildup. www.tpss.coop/recipes.html Annie Birdsong, USA
SLUGLESS POTS Choose a pot with a lip that curves out at the top. Turn the pot upside down and smear vaseline all the way around this lip. Sprinkle salt over the vaseline. Turn the pot right way up and plant up as usual (but beware of getting greasy hands if you pick it up by holding the lip!). The salt does not wash away because the lip protects it from rain. This will last for up to a year, and is very cheap, easy and effective. Anne Vine, email
BUILDING AN ECO LARDER Our traditional larder style cupboard was totally designed and built from scratch. The walls are built from plasterboard and fully insulated from the inside of the house. This means that the airflow from the two vents (one at the top, one at the bottom), keep it cool.
Every contributor published on our next Solutions page will receive a FREE copy of one of the following:
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The inside is fully lined with 25mm (1in) granite on the top, bottom, sides and back. This is a vast improvement on old style larders, which had only one granite shelf usually. If we require a cooler temperature within the larder we put a frozen two-litre bottle of water on the top shelf and because
Larder under construction showing vents and granite lining.
cold air drops, it cools the whole space sufficiently to keep our food safe.
Although we achieve good cool temperatures, it is no match for a conventional fridge and therefore we have changed our shopping and storing habits to suit. Foods such as cheese stores well if you remove it from its plastic packing and wrap in paper. Salad keeps surprisingly well – largely due to the airflow that keeps food in a more natural state, rather than in a closed plastic box! Mark Lake, Bournemouth
CONVERSATION CAFÉS Holding a Conversation Café directly after showing a film like In Transition or The End of Suburbia harnesses the creative energy in the audience. The film gives the facts, “How have we allowed this to happen?” and the café poses the question: “Now we know what we know, what are we going to do about it?”
The café structure and agreement introduced by a host give the participants the opportunity to share how they have been affected by the film. Ideas emerge in the café circles, whilst the hosts ensure all voices are heard. In this spirit of co-operation our own assumptions, beliefs and expectations may be challenged. The café process gives space and time so that the final action round can be surprising and the outcomes sustainable. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org. co.uk or email@example.com Trish Dickinson, Ministry for Peace UK; Super Café Host
RECYCLING OLD BOOKS Books might usually be for keeps, but a significant quantity still end up in landfill. Everyone seems to accumulate titles that are no longer relevant, and although you can give them away rather than dump them you might really prefer to try and recoup some of the initial outlay. If you have got a large quantity it may be worth having a stall at a market, but what do you do if you only have a handful, or if they are in poorer condition? You could give them away on Freecycle, but there are two other online options that also bring a small return.
The first is the bookseller Green Metropolis (www.greenmetropolis.com). Green Metropolis charge customers a flat-rate of £3.50 for all books, including postage. £3 of this they give to you the seller, and they also donate 5p from each sale to the Woodland Trust. The beauty of GM is that, unlike other bookselling sites, books are advertised and sold in the order in which they were listed for sale, which ensures that books are equally recycled, irrespective of condition.
The second is book swap site called Bookmooch (www.bookmooch.com), which differs from similar projects in that it works on a points system. You give away your books and receive points, which you can then spend on requesting books from other members worldwide. You don’t have to find someone who wants to swap their book with your book. You can use your points straight away, save them to spend in the future, or donate them to charity. The service is free (although you pay the postage) and providing you describe your book accurately you can even pass on books that are in poor condition, keeping them in use just a little bit longer. Cathy Ashley, Devon
14 Permaculture Magazine No. 63
Mary Lewis, centre manager here and sometime spoon carver, has been trying out a Flexcut Carvin Jack.
“I have to confess that I was initially sceptical of a ‘complete carving kit in your pocket’ and my first impression of the ‘Carving Jack’ was that it looked uncomfortable to hold for any period of time. I was pleasantly surprised, however, and I was impressed at its usability. I mostly carve spoons and both the hook knife and gouge scorp were nice little tools with a very sharp edge. I was less comfortable with the detail knife, which can be used as a whittling knife, but I think that is because I am very attached to my old trusty knife. The other tools were easy and satisfying to use. If, like me, you are a campfire whittler, this is a very handy knife to have in your pocket and will help to while away many a peaceful hour. Take heed of the safety instructions however, these knives really are very sharp”.
Meanwhile I was having a look at the Flexcut 21-Piece Carving Set. A complete carving set all in one box, it has everything you need for palm and knife carving. The SlipStrop and Gold compound will keep them all sharp and it comes with an instructional DVD. The chisel blades can also be used in a reciprocating power carver. An amazingly comprehensive set for any woodcarver.Schepach Tiger 2000s GrinderDimensions (LHW): 360 x 285 x 275mm (14 x 11 x 10.8in) Stone: 200 x 40mm (7.8 x 1.6in) Volts: 240 Weight: 13.5kg (30lb)Robert Sorby SpindlemasterOverall: 413mm (16.25in), Blade (LW) 159 x 19mm (6.25 x 0.75in)
NMA-0930 £149.95 including p&p (UK only)
No. 6315Permaculture MagazineCutting With A Clean EdgeMost of us that own woodworking tools have at some time or another bought a carbide bench grinder, while knowing full well that what we should have bought was a wetstone grinder. Scheppach, who supply professional wetstone systems have released the Tiger 2000s Grinder which is made affordable by having a plastic body instead of a metal one. It is the only difference between this grinder aimed at DIYers, and the professional models. The stone, honing wheels and accessories fit across the range. It comes with a top-quality grind stone, a leather honing wheel, honing compound, knife jig, a universal jig for plane blades, chisels, etc., and an angle guide. Easy to set up and use, it put a hitherto unheard of edge on all my kitchen knives, which are now razor sharp and straight edged. I also put a new edge on some of my older chisels and found I could restore the fine edge on my woodturning chisels by honing alone. An excellent piece of kit no woodworker should be without. While I had the DMT450 Woodturning Lathe out (reviewed in PM62) I thought I’d give a Robert Sorby Spindlemaster a try. It didn’t disappoint, producing a whole range of designs on the spindle with just a simple twist of the blade. If you are into spindles, this is an invaluable tool.
RSS-812H £34.50 including p&p (UK only)
Flexcut Carvin Jack Closed 106mm x 26mm x 15mm (4.25in x 0.9in x 0.65in) Blades: Scorp,V Scorp, Gouge, Hook knife, Chisel, Detail Knife
Flexcut 21-Piece Carving Set Includes: 16 Carving Tools, ABS Quick Connect Handle, SK103 Quick Connect Power Handle, KN12 Cutting Knife, Flexcut SlipStrop and Compound, Wood Storage Box & DVD. Box dimensions: 270 x 206 x 45mm (10.5 x 8 x 1.75in).
BMC-SK108 £162.95 including p&p (UK only)
BMC-JCN91 £105.95 including p&p (UK only)
SUBSCRIBERS’ OFFER Order a Scheppach Tiger 2000s Grinder and get the book Success With Sharpening by Ralph Laughton worth £14.95 absolutely FREE. Offer Valid until 20/04/2010.