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Urban Homesteaders Message Board › Learning from Each Other - What Knowledge do YOU have?

Learning from Each Other - What Knowledge do YOU have?

A former member
Post #: 24
I thought that it would be really helpful for the different members of this site to highlight the skills that they have to share with others, or strides they have already taken towards green living. Even if you do not consider yourself an "expert" in any given area, let us knowwhat you have tried, what has worked, what has flopped, and what you would enjoy teaching to others! Ideally, I think it would be fantastic if this information was also included in each member's profile.
A former member
Post #: 25
I guess I will start! I live in Edmonds. I consider myself very much a novice when it comes to gardening. I have been working on green living now for 3 years, ever since my son was born. My first step was inside my home, and my goal was to try to eliminate unnecessary waste, as well as eliminate unnecessary and toxic chemicals from my home and my food. Our first step was cloth diapering, (we tried gDiapers with flushable inserts, and then I made my own cloth inserts, eventually switching to cloth all in one diapers). Shortly after, we eliminated disposable baby wipes, paper towels, paper napkins, and single-use plates and utensils at gatherings. Our plastic food containers were slowly replaced by glass or metal, even down to our ice cube tray. We donated the majority of our plastic toys in favor for cloth and wooden options. We now make our own household cleaners very simply using mostly vinegar, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide. I make our deodorant, which I conveniently package in an old screw-bottomed deodorant case. We are only using NO VOC paints in our home, and our largest focus has been trying to avoid toxic chemicals in as many products as possible. We purchase our lotion and bar shampoo from a local artisan, and I am going to attempt going shampoo free in the near future.

Our next step is to bone up on our gardening skills in order to increase our self sufficiency. After we are able to grow our own food, the next step would be learning how to preserve it. Along the way, I would love to explore beekeeping, chickens, and rabbits. I am also extremely interested in green roofs and solar power (although I think that solar power may be out of our budget). I would love to learn how to make yogurt and a really good loaf of bread. I am not very experienced in baking, but I would love to be able to make crackers and other nibbly snacks that my kids love. I would love to go through my freezer 1 product at a time and take the time to figure out how to make the prepared food that I love from scratch in my home. Any other moms out there have any good recipes?
Jirius I.
user 11430732
Group Organizer
Kenmore, WA
Post #: 1
Lynn, I have been making yogurt my whole life & would be happy to show you how anytime if you want to come by when we are making it. We usually make it either at 10am, or 10pm every several days. Just give me a call & we can set up a time. 206-841-9976. I will also be planting our my garden at some point soon & will let you & others know so you can come by and check it out. I have seeds now if you want them, or, I will have starts when they are ready if you want them then.
Seattle, WA
Post #: 3
I am really a newbie at most of this, but an enthusiastic one!

Making soft cheeses is easy, but I'd be a helping hand if need be. Yogurt, too. My Gjetost efforts have never worked, and would like help if youve been ok with it.

As I mentioned I know boat building. Not quite in keeping with this group, but with all the talk of zombies I'll say I think living on a shantyboat is an overlooked option. There are lots of rivers and sloughs that have lots of opportunities for short and long term escape. And all are free and beautiful. I am very involved in shantyboats, so would be glad to talk of that.
Here's a quite active shantyboat group I started quiet a few years ago.­


So if you want to explore some local sloughs I'd be glad to do a bit of show and tell out there when the weather is good. Honestly, building the kind of boats I make is NOT hard. Really. I have no fine detail skills, but I know how to finish it even if it isnt right, and that's a part of it. Cheap kayaks and the like are not hard to make. really. ;-)

I have done lots of research into small homes, and taken that class. Here is the link to the local group I created, though it is very inactive.­

I am not an expert, though. Just interested and actively researching.

I take a kombucha class next week and would be glad to share what i learn.

bulk canning buys
small space gardening
and much more

Thanks to a great group.


user 7933206
Kent, WA
Post #: 128
I have a wide range of interests but its hard to say what knowledge I have to share. I have been baking bread on and off since I was a teenager, but it wasn't until a year ago that I started making my own bread as a substitute for store bought bread. The problem is that my family still seems to prefer the store bought. The texture and taste is so different from home made. As we know home made is better, but kids are picky.
I have been collecting recipes for store bought convenience food substitutes. For example I recently found a recipe for home made worcestershire sauce but I haven't made it yet.
I have been making my own laundry soap for about a year, its so easy to make and it saves soooo much money! I wanted to cloth diaper my last child but I did not have the money for cloth diapers and I dont know how to sew yet, but I do want to learn how to sew my own diapers. I also want to make cloth wipes, and other clothes to replace paper towel and napkins.

My desire is to some day have a small homestead with some animals but for now I will have to be content with my new vegetable garden I am working on for this summer.

Some things I want to try are making bar soap, butter, cheese, other types of canning, learning more about gardening, herbs, electricity, et.

A former member
Post #: 1
kyle m.
user 14506918
Seattle, WA
Post #: 1
I'm new to the meetup and the Seattle area, but I've made cheese, yogurt, beer, wine, cured meats, bread, etc in the kitchen. I had a nice herb garden in Hawaii and I'm starting on my vegetable garden now (today actually). I have 4 chicks about a month old so no expertise there. I just like the lifestyle of being able to provide simple things for yourself without the crap in commercial food.
A former member
Post #: 1
Hello everyone,
I purchased about two acres a bit over a year ago. Have spent time refencing, creating a living space for my chickens (aka The Girls, who will be 4 this year) and constructing a vegetable garden space. In the next year, I hope to add mason bees and fruit & nut trees.

I'm not really an expert. Most of my gardening experience comes from living in AZ... so any local advice is most welcome. Most of what I'm doing is via trial & error... charting info so I can make improvements.

I enjoy sharing what I know about chickens and would be happy to advise on breed selection or even perhaps to assist in their rearing until they are ready for our weather without heat lamps.

Jirius I.
user 11430732
Group Organizer
Kenmore, WA
Post #: 11

I have 1.5 acres in Kenmore & so am not too far from you. I have been gardening in the area for about 25 years now so I may have some insight that might be helpful to you. You are more then welcome to give me a call any time at 206-841-9976 & we can talk, or better yet, come by one day & hang out to see exactly how & what I do to adapt to our temperate climate.
A former member
Post #: 70
I am new to the meetup. I tired cloth diapering my kids, but my child was so sensitive that everything we tried, (vinegar rinses to get all the soap out) etc, she would end up bleeding and raw, so we gave in and she was in disposable diapers after a very rough couple of months. She just couldn't take any time in wet diapers at all, I was changing her 20 times a day and air drying etc. Nothing worked except Luvs diapers. Couldn't take any of the others either,,, not sure what was up.
Anyway, I do can mostly fruits, but some pressure caning too. I dehydrate and have made my own "mixes". I have to, because we have allergies to corn, gluten, casein and soy so most prepared foods are out for us.
We want to try fishing and crabbing this year. We have a small garden but I need to know alot more about finding my green thmb. I am interested in chickens and rabbits, and mason bees. I am also interested in learning how to make coconut milk yogurt. (We love the stuff in the stores and it is breaking the bank!)
I have also recently joined a group about foraging in the area. I am hoping to learn more about the wild foods around here.
I am in the Marysville area.
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