143: Cara Dafforn on Dehydrating the Urban Farm
Exploring simple and low cost methods of dehydration from Civil War History.
Cara is passionate about the tradition of supper and takes Civil War history very seriously; So it made sense for her to couple her food passion with membership in MidStates Living History Association.
In the tradition of Dutch oven cooking during the civil war, “a supper was served at four o’clock in the afternoon, a good plain and substantial meal, with nothing fanciful” according to Goedy’s Magazine, dated 1863.
As a living historian, and owner of U-Relish Farm, Cara enjoys guiding others on low cost ways to store your urban farm harvest and offers secrets from the “Apothecara”.
In This Podcast:
We venture back in time with Cara Dafforn to learn how the women homesteaders of the mid 1800’s cooked, gardened, nurtured, and survived during the trials of the Civil War. She explains to Greg that as a history buff she was intrigued enough to try to replicate many of the processes in use during the time period of when the Civil War directly affected her community. She does not hold back as she taught herself how to do many of the period’s permaculture type processes and she shares some of those tips in this podcast.
Listen in to Learn About:
- How she became an active living historian focusing on 1863-1865
- What a living historian is and what they do
- A significant occurrence in history with General John Morgan and how pigs played a role in a piece of Civil War history
- How women played a part in the battle history and how that is a focus of Cara’s
- What laundry room wildcrafting is and how that can take place in modern homes
- What modern gear or tools can be used for dehydrating
- Some cost effective methods of dehydrating
- How permaculture was in use in the 1860’s
- Preparing seeds for dry storage
- What a tisane is and what it is used for
- Some simple types of tisanes
- Slow cooking and its connection to Dutch oven cooking and why people who slow cook won’t use the drive thru 98% of the time
As well as:
- The time she found herself wearing 11 yards of fabric in a costume in the middle of a thunderstorm and why that made her think of the time a confederate soldier fought a one-man battle on an ironclad battleship
- Why she feels that her it is mission of helping people learning about slow food cooking, countering obesity, and promoting sustainability, and how an 8-year-old’s appreciation of one of her dishes made such a difference to her
- How the research she is doing for her history is driving her planting choices
- And her advice to Podcast listeners is three fold – persistence pays, If you get bored with something look at it in a different way, and if you don’t like someone ask them more questions.
Cara’s Recommended Book:
Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits and Vegetables
by Mike and Nancy Babell
How to reach Cara:
Thank you for featuring our message and mission on the Urban Farm Podcast
It has been a pleasure – Your podcast has a hit, and we loved interviewing you. Keep farming and keep educating!