Apartment homesteading?

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sky
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Re: Apartment homesteading?

Post by sky »

This guy has a nice apartment garden setup, starting at 4:00.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kG5s33LfbEM

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Alphaville
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Re: Apartment homesteading?

Post by Alphaville »

sky wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 4:14 pm
This guy has a nice apartment garden setup, starting at 4:00.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kG5s33LfbEM
ah, the subtropics! NICE.

cabbage microgreens look particularly good but it's the key lime that makes me jealous :D

sky
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Re: Apartment homesteading?

Post by sky »

Where's the banana tree?

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Alphaville
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Re: Apartment homesteading?

Post by Alphaville »

sky wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:27 pm
Where's the banana tree?
hah, there is a permaculture guy somewhere around taos i think who grows indoor bananas--in a roofed courtyard. i forget the name but yeah they have a semitropical garden in the high desert. obviously bigger than an apartment, his setup.
bloodaxe wrote:
Fri Feb 19, 2021 12:53 pm
Anyone ever try the PEA (Permaculture Experience for Apartments) badge on Permies? https://permies.com/t/126834/PEA-Core-Philosophy-Badges

Looks useful for learning permaculture skills that can be used outside of apartments.
edited: i didn't spot the "apartment" bit till after a while! ok. interesting curriculum, and i've stared to browse it. thanks for the link!

eta: under the dimensional lumber woodworking badge: "Build a vermiculture bin to process kitchen scraps. " :D YES.

https://permies.com/t/129505/PEA-Badge- ... oodworking

it's a bit like the cub scouts lol. anyway, great suggestions there! i'll use as template. much to do...

looks like i get the electricity and cooking badges and community living and commerce by prior experience

round wood... im a terrible carver, i give up apriori--maybe some day with a lathe :lol:

animal care, done most. textile is too easy.. natural care, done but from a different tradition. nest, done & done. tool, done. greywater have done (but not here!) oddball: possibly?

lacking: gardening. :x (ive grown plants and have plants, but nothing as sophisticated/detailed as that badge requires)
lacking: metalwork
deficient: foraging
missing bits: animal care (never done worms)

looks like gardening and metalwork and worms are next... and maybe operating a lathe :lol:

plus electronics cuz i wanna.

plus shoemaking! important (for me)

brilliant project, this index you got going.

ertyu
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Re: Apartment homesteading?

Post by ertyu »

i have a bit of a dumb question, can composting be done in apartment conditions without worms? Videos on youtube either send me to some kit i can purchase or involve set-ups that seem too elaborate and needlessly complicated. What is the straightforward way to maintain soil on one's balcony?

I ran into this with sewing a lot. "Do X thing for cheap!!" --> "I used some scraps I had left over in my sewing room and changed 3 different types of foot on my sewing machine then ran it through my serger" :lol: when what one needs for sewing is thread, needle, scissors, and patience (or a podcast or two). What is the thread, needle, scissors equivalent of apartment composting?

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Alphaville
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Re: Apartment homesteading?

Post by Alphaville »

ertyu wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 4:39 am
can composting be done in apartment conditions without worms?
basically... no. discussion may be upthread (or elsewhere perhaps) but regular composting methods require volume, heat, natural fauna, etc, not suited for apartment.

best thing you can do is get some red wigglers. these don't have to be purchased, you can get them from someone who has too many. once you have some they reproduced and then one day you have too many.

as for the bins, you can just use cheap plastic ones like @white belt did, no frou-frou furniture required. i'm just doing it that way becuz.

there's another method using something called bokashi but that it seems to me requires perpetual purchase of digester creatures in powder form. or maybe there is a way to self -supply but seems to me a more difficult proposition.

try the red worms! and a box. @wb posted: https://homegrown.extension.ncsu.edu/wp ... -sheet.pdf

ertyu
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Re: Apartment homesteading?

Post by ertyu »

thanks a bunch, shall read the link you posted!

white belt
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Re: Apartment homesteading?

Post by white belt »

Alphaville wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 6:38 am
there's another method using something called bokashi but that it seems to me requires perpetual purchase of digester creatures in powder form. or maybe there is a way to self -supply but seems to me a more difficult proposition.
Apparently it is possible to do bokashi with just lactobacillus (no commercial products required):
https://bocashi.files.wordpress.com/201 ... sting1.pdf

I believe with your yogurt making projects that you may have some related domain knowledge (technically bokashi is just fermentation, not composting).

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Alphaville
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Re: Apartment homesteading?

Post by Alphaville »

white belt wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:24 am
I believe with your yogurt making projects that you may have some related domain knowledge (technically bokashi is just fermentation, not composting).
yes! thanks for that, will study for future use.

theanimal
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Re: Apartment homesteading?

Post by theanimal »

Does anyone have any experience raising guinea pigs for food? I'm very intrigued after reading about them on the Dark Green Mountain Survival Research blog. Apparently, they are farmed in Peru (possibly elsewhere in South America) and it seems from a quick google search Australia and some other countries as well.

They remind me of arctic ground squirrel. Small, very fatty and delicious. Guinea pigs seems like they can be a good option as they don't take up much space, are hardy and will eat a wide variety of foods.


Sources:
https://darkgreenmountainsurvivalresear ... aybe-shit/

https://darkgreenmountainsurvivalresear ... n-part-15/

https://www.roysfarm.com/guinea-pig-farming/

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Alphaville
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Re: Apartment homesteading?

Post by Alphaville »

theanimal wrote:
Thu Mar 25, 2021 11:33 pm
Does anyone have any experience raising guinea pigs for food? I'm very intrigued after reading about them on the Dark Green Mountain Survival Research blog. Apparently, they are farmed in Peru (possibly elsewhere in South America) and it seems from a quick google search Australia and some other countries as well.

They remind me of arctic ground squirrel. Small, very fatty and delicious. Guinea pigs seems like they can be a good option as they don't take up much space, are hardy and will eat a wide variety of foods.


Sources:
https://darkgreenmountainsurvivalresear ... aybe-shit/

https://darkgreenmountainsurvivalresear ... n-part-15/

https://www.roysfarm.com/guinea-pig-farming/
hah! i have plenty experience eating cuy. it's great, the meat is not too fatty and tastes great, but it can freak out the non-accustomed. i know many americans who shiver at the sight of a plate of cuy chactado for example:

Image

heh heh

they are easy to raise in rural settings. in the andes it's not so much in "animal farms" but rather along other things. they'll be in pens, or people have them running around the (dirt floor) kitchen even, not as pets but like, say, similar to a yardbird running around your property, lol. they like to hide in hutches though.

they eat mostly agricultural waste e.g, corn stalks and leaves, which is great when you have crops.

i don't know about this cage system and buying special feed etc. maybe it works. i have no experience raising them but have seen them kept in many places.

in the andes they can endure pretty cold temperatures, but not sure about alaska level cold. i imagine your squirrels are fattier for that reason.

mira: https://youtu.be/URkQlapwa94

--

i should add, the usa/europe are better outfitted for rabbit, there's more know-how, and acceptance of the meat also, even though it's basically the same thing

Hristo Botev
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Re: Apartment homesteading?

Post by Hristo Botev »

I'd read this one as well a couple days ago as I'm starting from the beginning following @Axel Heyst's endorsement. My takeaways were that (a) the Casa Blanca couple are next level from a WL standpoint, and (b) it makes me sad that Casa Blanca is likely to just vanish eventually, as it doesn't seem there's anyone to take it on.

Qazwer
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Re: Apartment homesteading?

Post by Qazwer »

@alphaville - part of it might be presentation - someone can imagine their third grade pet in that picture - maybe cut it up some more before plating - but calling it cuy helps

@HB the fact that Casa Blanca is going to fail even in its economic environment - with no one thinking that life is better for them might have some meaning in the city/rural question - substitence farming only makes sense when you have no other options to most people - but there is a learning curve of maybe a decade until you can become a subsistence farmer - not sure where the equilibrium is as economists would say given the lag function and revealed preferences

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Alphaville
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Re: Apartment homesteading?

Post by Alphaville »

@qazwer

yeah it's the smashed heads and rodent teeth that freak people out :lol:

the thing can also be cut up and served like a chicken, you know, basically the legs. "chactado" is basically smashed and fried but there are other less "spectacular" preparations. i think generally it's served with the head as a proof of legitimacy or something.

...

so, finally read the blog thing. what happens to that place doesn't matter, and it's not "failing", it's just that nobody wants to keep it as is. if not this someone will grow asparagus or bell pepper or broccoli for export. pigs also are big moneymakers.


but the land alone is worth $$$$ at this point due to location
https://www.luxuryestate.com/peru/regio ... pachacamac

i guess it's their project and they love it, but buried in the text is the fact that they both work(ed) at the agricultural university and this is fun for them. and they are in a primo location. this isn't subsistence farming--it's a hobby. aligned with their competences/careers.

also there is plenty of demand for cuy at restaurants, particularly country style places. the american equivalent would be a bbq pit or something. where there is demand there will be supply.

--

anyway, back to apartment scale, depends how big your apartment. on a roof it would work...

eta: please also note the weather in pachacamac is super-mild and those cuyes might not survive open pen in harsh climates. maybe a highland breed...

eta2: here some useful info: https://www.inia.gob.pe/wp-content/uplo ... andina.pdf

here some "improved" breeds: https://www.somoscuyperu.com/2012/04/cu ... -inti.html

--

but again, in usa/europe i'd do rabbit due to greater know-how, breeds, supplies, vets, commercial demand, etc. rabbits for meat, chickens for eggs.
Last edited by Alphaville on Fri Mar 26, 2021 10:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

white belt
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Re: Apartment homesteading?

Post by white belt »

Obviously, from my previous posts you can tell I’m a quail fanboy (didn’t end up getting any in my current living situation, but it’s on my list of projects to try someday). The reason I think the quail are ideal is because of the live FCR (feed conversion ratio) advantage of eggs compared to meat. You’re just going to get more output for the same amount of feed input from an animal that produces eggs. Quail eggs have similar live FCR to chickens, with the advantage that quail prefer to be kept in cages in much smaller spaces whereas chickens prefer some outdoor range space.

I’ve never eaten guinea pig, but I have researched rabbits as well. The limiting factor is going to be sourcing feed with protein, since if you want the guinea pigs to grow quickly the protein has to come from somewhere.

Another advantage of using an animal that produces eggs is you are going to get daily protein without the need to devote energy to refrigeration for storage. I suppose it would be possible to have a rotation of guinea pigs at different sizes and utilize pressure canning so you could do a similar thing with meat, but there are a few extra steps involved. I could see a scenario where keeping quail and exclusively grain feeding them could be seen as a way to turn grains (easy to store long term) into a consistent source of animal protein without the need for any power*.

Edit: For any livestock, I’d recommend first solving the puzzle of how the inputs and outputs fit into your system (ie where is the feed going to come from and where is the waste going to go).

* = in your region you may need to give them a supplemental light source because they will only lay eggs if there is 12+ hours a day of light.
Last edited by white belt on Fri Mar 26, 2021 10:43 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Alphaville
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Re: Apartment homesteading?

Post by Alphaville »

oh yeah, quail for eggs if space-limited. chickens like to roam and will tear up your yard-- messy apartment! :lol:

eta: agreed with @wb on inputs/outputs, much more crucial for small spaces.

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Re: Apartment homesteading?

Post by theanimal »

Thanks for the responses. I don't think chickens are sustainable in most parts of the region where I live due to the lack of feed. I don't want to bring something in where I'm going to have to buy something else (grain, corn) to keep them fed. I guess I see the same issue with quail. Guinea pigs are interesting because they can more or less eat things from the garden so it wouldn't be necessary to source outside material. Hence, the return on calories invested seems higher to me.

white belt
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Re: Apartment homesteading?

Post by white belt »

@animal

I think your limiting factor is still going to be protein in the feed. I’m not as familiar with guinea pigs as rabbits, but from what I’ve read you cannot efficiently breed rabbits on exclusively a diet of garden waste. You will likely need to include some protein (usually from alfalfa or oats) as well. If you find a source that says you can breed rabbits or guinea pigs exclusively on a plant diet then please post it here.

If you have a lot of land where ruminants can forage (or the ability to gather brush, grass, etc from land), then goats may be an option.

Edit: Maybe guinea pigs can breed on a diet of just grass? I’m seeing conflicting info in different places.
Last edited by white belt on Fri Mar 26, 2021 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

white belt
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Re: Apartment homesteading?

Post by white belt »

Maybe rats are the answer?: https://permies.com/t/80/7661/Eat-Guinea-Pigs

Edit: @animal For you, one option to get free feed protein might be to use the “waste” parts of animals you hunt/fish to feed omnivore livestock. Pigs are the most common garbage disposals, but too large for apartment scale. Black Soldier Fly or rats may be a better option if you can get over the ick factor.

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Alphaville
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Re: Apartment homesteading?

Post by Alphaville »

white belt wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 11:38 am
Edit: Maybe guinea pigs can breed on a diet of just grass? I’m seeing conflicting info in different places.
traditionally they are just fed forage, but im seeing in the breeder sites i linked protein feed for faster turnover.

also in the wild no animal eats just "pure" forage, they swallow insects and worms and mites and whatever might be there. so the protein is perhaps cockroach lol (rolypoly, red wiggler, etc).

so basically in a kitchen setting they eat scraps; and in a breeder setting to supply restaurants, they get tailored prescription looks like.

so, like rabbit for a different culture.

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