The Real Know How

How-Tos, Videos, Tutorials — Ramping Up for the 21st Century

Vertical Cargo Carrier For A Bike

From Bruce Thomson in New Zealand:

“A strong carrier with vertical steel bars can carry even a guitar plus a banjo plus a backpack (or similar otherwise ‘impossible’ loads. As in the previous video ‘ Cheapest strongest bicycle trailer ‘ this vid enables you to survive very well without a car.

This vertical rack saves you having to tow a trailer (less weight and bulk, less tyre drag, no need to chain a trailer with your bike). Buy a really strong, wide carrier – sometimes at garage sales or 2nd hand shops, but new at bike shops (in New Zealand about $60, groan, but worth it.)

Ask a friend or any local mechanic to weld a flat bar that extends the carrier to the seat post, and some struts that prevent the carrier wobbling side to side. (Scrounge around or go to a scrap metal place to provide the metal at no/low cost.

Basket can be from an old fridge, garage sale, hardware megastore or a shop-outfitting equipment specialist. For the vertical bars, scrounge a lawnmower push handle or similar. They’re pipe, but strong and lightweight. To bind it all together, tie with bicycle tubes cut with scissors end-to-end.

Also note the bike stand – two legs, so the bike can stand up by itself, very handy when loading. Available sometimes at garage sales, or new from shop in NZ about $40.

CAUTION: As with any car loading, be sure to tie your loads very securely with rubber straps. Risks: Heavy load wobbling in traffic, dangling straps can get into the back hub or derailleur, suddently crippling the bike in traffic.

Tie tight, with some EXTRA straps in case one fails. Then face that deadly traffic confident your load is really secure. At the time of writing my left leg is still aching from the steel pin the surgeon had to put in my tibia bone – at an intersection, the violent snout of a green-light too-eager car broke both bones in my left leg.

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Storing Eggs In the Old Days

eggs

Eggs photographed by AND12...

Imstillworking gives a really detailed explanation of the different preservation methods that were used in the past, in the absence of refrigeration to store eggs. She also covers salmonella in eggs. egg bloom, the conditions under which chickens lay well, etc. at length.

Here are the results of her experiments:

Antelope Valley Inexpensive BoxBike Build

A boxbike (bakfiets) is a kind of cargo bike popularized in the Netherlands. They can be a really useful way to get around — and to move your stuff around – but they are also very expensive to buy (prices are in the thousands).

Here’s an inexpensive boxbike build tutorial by a member of the High Desert Cyclists Club of Antelope Valley, California:

S/he writes “I started this over two weeks ago and spent $50 total [my emphasis]. It took 2 complete bikes and one old long-john project bike to complete it. Many parts were re-purposed. Cantilever brake bosses were used for the steering linkage along with go-kart heim joints.”

How Much Food Can I Grow Around My House?

Judy Alexander in Port Townsend, Washington (a city of 9,000 people about 40 miles north of Seattle) talks about how and what she’s been growing and gives us a tour. I found the rainwater/rain barrel irrigation system she and her brother rigged really interesting.

Easy Way To Clabber Raw Whole Milk

Wardeh Harmon (Gnowfglins) in southwestern Oregon makes sour cream for her family and soured (clabbered) milk for her chickens and dog from raw milk she gets from the family cow.

She writes, “We get around 4 gallons of milk per day from our Jersey cow. For our family, this is plenty to make cheese, butter, kefir, ice cream and more — plus we have some to share with friends AND some to clabber (spontaneously sour) for the chickens and dog. I figured out a really easy way to get both clabber for the chickens and sour cream for us, with hardly any work at all.”

How to Make Powdered Eggs

Here’s a video on how to make powdered eggs using a flour mill. The eggs are cooked in a nonstick pan, dehydrated and then run through a flour mill a couple times until powdered.

Teflon is nasty stuff, so I hope she uses a ceramic coated non-stick pan — and probably things would be more efficient in a dehydrator (store bought or rigged).

Apparently eggs prepared this way can be rehydrated to make scrambled eggs and other egg dishes or added without rehydrating to baked goods recipes and can last 5-10 years if stored in an airtight container.

Make Ginger Vinegar Cordial or Shrub

A shrub is an old-time drink with an acidic base, in this case vinegar. The shrubs I’ve read about call for fruit.

Pairing fruit with vinegar was a way of preserving it without refrigeration, so that, for example, you could have a berry drink in winter, when berries would otherwise not be available.

Julie, in New South Wales, Australia made a ginger flavored version based on this recipe and writes:

“The cordials are generally drunk diluted about 1:10 with water, soda water or rum; we tried ours with lemonade because we had an open bottle in the fridge which needed drinking.

Damn! It’s good!

Sorta kinda like a cross between lemon/lime bitters and ginger ale, to my palate (with the lemonade that is). The cider vinegar gives it a tang on your tongue which feels deceptively alcoholic, except of course, it isn’t, so I reckon it would make the base for an excellent mocktail.

So easy to make too”

Ingredients you’ll need: vinegar, a flavoring (here it’s ginger) and sugar.

Julie notes that “To make a berry shrub, substitute 1½ cups raspberries, blackberries or blueberries for the ginger and reduce the cider vinegar to 2/3 cup for blueberries and ½ cup for raspberries and blackberries.”

Click here to view the full ginger shrub tutorial.

Small Scale Aquaculture and Aquaponics in Maui

Aquaculture and aquaponics on a family-sized scale in Maui, Hawaii. They are growing mainly tilapia whose waste they filter out and use to grow food plants.
CLICK THROUGH TO VIEW AS EMBEDDING IS DISABLED.

Beekeeping 101

Beginner beekeeper (at the time he filmed), Guy Michaelson in North Carolina takes us through picking up his bees and his initial set-up and experiences with the bees.

Kudos to Janis Michaelson who it seems is the camera person behind these videos.

Copenhagen Cargo Bikes

That video was for me a little like visiting Mars. This next video highlights what Copenhagen did to get to a state where so many people are transporting their stuff and themselves on bikes.

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