Question and Answer Time – Part 1

Over the last few weeks I have received quite a few emails that contained questions that the owners have had no objection with me sharing with you all.  So here goes;

Jo writes

I recently made a batch of Camembert, they were aging nicely in my “cheese cave”, then suddenly developed blue spots on them. Someone said it was probably too humid, which the weather has been lately, so i removed the blue spots and the rind hasn’t grown back yet. I have put them in the fridge, which I know is way too cold. The blue mould hasn’t come back, but I think I may have removed too much rind. The cheeses still smell like Camembert.”

Hi to you Jo,

With mold cheeses, I find it best if you put it into its own container with a little bowl of water. This way, no foreign molds can infect your cheese. Have a look at how I did it in the post. I don’t think that your Camembert rind will grow back as it sounds like you scraped off the rind which contains the Penicillium Candidum.  Best to try again and keep the cheese separate.


Jennifer writes,

“Hi Gavin,

I think that my chickens have Roost mites.
I’ll I know about this subject I learnt from googling around, but I believe I have to treat the coop.
Do you know any organic treatments?

Sincerly, Jennifer”

Hi Jennifer,

You can tell if you have mites in the hen house if you sometimes see little
black spots moving on the eggs. Upon closer inspection the little beasties
will be everywhere. I have used a method that was quite successful.

Mix up Tea Tree Oil at a ratio of 1:100 with water, 10ml oil to 1 litre of
hot water, and spray that all around the inside of the chicken coop.
Repeat in about 4 to 5 days with another dose.

To fumigate the birds, add a couple of handfuls of dolomite lime to their
dust bath area, and around the bottom of their living/play area.

These methods are harmless to the birds and also to you.


And finally,  Lou writes;

“Hi there Gavin,

I have been reading your blog for a while you are a champion with all your new-found green skills.

I want to be more green/self sufficient for environmental and financial reasons but feel a bit overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.

Do you have any suggestions or recommended reading on how to get started?

Thanks Gavin.

Lou xox”

Well Lou, a big question indeed.

May I recommend that you start by tackling a small project first, and then once successful, work on another small project, and then another.  I am sure you get the idea.  Every great journey begins with one small step, so go ahead and take that step, and you will probably look back in 6 months time and think, “Hey.  I did that!” and feel very proud of yourself.  I know I did when I first started out. 

Pick a project that you know you will have a fair amount of success.  It maybe something as simple as growing some herbs, or monitoring you electricity meter each week and trying to make small efficiencies.  If you have read a chunk of this blog, you will soon come to the conclusion that at first I didn’t know all the answers and just gave it a go through trial and error.  However, I only have one real sage piece of advice.  Do your research before you start!  Borrow some library books about the project you want to attempt, and learn a few tips and tricks from the authors.  They have done it before and will probably be able to articulate the pitfalls much better than I.  I believe this is the main reason that I have such a high success rate with my projects.

I wish you every success, Gav x

That is the lot for now.  If anyone else has any burning questions, please send them through to the email address listed on the left hand sidebar, and I will be happy to answer them publicly or privately if you really insist.

Hope you enjoyed that as much as I did.  Until next time remember this little quote;

“You must do the things you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

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