Happen to find this thread via a web search for "biochar in potting soil".
In my case, it isn't potting soil but seed starting soil mix. Ran across an attra pdf yesterday called; Potting Mixes for Certified Organic Production , which is mostly about seed starting mixes and includes recipes from Elliot Coleman and others. They also talk about many possible ingredients including biochar.
What caught my eye:
Research conducted at Iowa State University indicates that screened biochar can be used successfully to replace perlite in greenhouse potting media. The high pH of biochar can also neutralize the acidity of peat and eliminate the need for lime. A mix with 30% biochar and 70% peat moss had a pH and physical characteristics very similar to a commercial peat-perlite potting mix
They mention leaf mold being an old school ingredient which was used the way peat moss is today but leaf mold also has beneficial microbes. I've got some peat here and will probably use it along with some leaf mold/humus, biochar, old compost and homemade bone meal. When I up pot them, it will be more compost plus some aged goat manure.
When I run out of peat, I'll use all leaf mold. Hoping to come up with something that's made with 100% materials from the property. We have goats and any bucklings born this year will be banded and when 70-80lbs, processed and consumed. Food plus blood and bone meal/bone char.
On days that warm up quick, I shut down the wood stove which halts the fire and leaves me with biochar. Not enough to bother with garden use, and where I am, it wouldn't be of any help and might actually hurt. Temperate with heavy soil.
Whatever I don't use to make seed starting or potting mix, I'll save for something. Maybe add it to some compost to be added to a raised bed for carrots that's mostly sand. I can get coarse sand locally at the concrete place.
bruce Fine wrote:many years ago I think it was in populate mechanics they had a big DIY story that showed how they made a solid concrete floor first they put down a layer of crushed stone then used bags of Portland spread out, a rototiller to mix it all up and a hose to wet it all .
Dan Boone wrote:instruction and photos for making "Roto-Tilled Concrete Floors"?
Very cool. I'm going to try that for my shop. I've got a tiller, truck/trailer to go pick up the right sand at a place fairly close and I've got a water tank on a trailer and the tank has 50 gallon marks that I can easily subdivide into 10 gallon marks or even 5. I can get creek rock pretty cheap but I'd probably get the proper rock from the same place I can get the sand.
The tiller tines ought to be nice and shiny by the time the floor's done.
Good timing. We have a hen that goes broody if more then 8ish eggs collect. She's the last remaining survivor out of 4 hens and a rooster. The rest got killed by hawks but she's smart enough to run across open areas and hang out with goats or dogs. She also lays an egg every day even though I don't feed her. She's completely free range and the coup has an opening she can fly up to get in/out. It's not locked at night.
The ultimate homestead/prepper hen.
So I'm ready to get some more fertilized eggs from the neighbor and let her hatch and raise them but I had a thought yesterday. I wondered if maybe she wouldn't bother sitting on eggs that smelled like human hands. Sounds like I have an answer.
Once I get the eggs, I'll lower the nesting boxes down, full up the feeder and waterer and lock her in with the fertilized eggs.
With her raising the chicks, I imagine I'll have a whole flock of survivors. Once the chicks are fully feathered, I'll quit feeding them.
There's no guarantee that every egg is going to be fertilized just because there was a rooster around. A rooster might not hit every hen every day. I bought 24 from a neighbor and 4 of them weren't fertilized. I know because I broke them open once it was 5-6 days past the rest having hatched. I just tossed them on the ground outside and they still looked like eggs, yolk and white(clear) This was in an incubator so they should have developed something.
I see plenty of vegetation surrounding the yard. Looks like they had trouble growing a lawn. Maybe high traffic, maybe the wrong grasses, might just be the time of year.
The US Dept of Agriculture has surveyed the soil over most of the US and they have a web soil survey tool website for looking up what type of soil there is in a given area. It told me part of this 12 acres has somewhat well drained clayey loam with clay subsoil that has gravel sized to cobble sized to boulder sized rock, and the other part being about the same except somewhat excessively drained all of which I've found to be true. The lines were off but the website warned that the tool wasn't meant for small areas but it was right about the two different soils.
Maybe Australia has something like that?
What are the two big brown tanks? Rainwater collection?
Is there so little rain that it needs them? Might explain the lawn. Everything else looks lush so maybe everything else got watered?
Ahh, I see the pipes coming off the gutter now and going to the tanks.
Too much work and since I'm converting from forest to pasture, I end up with bare soil at some point in the game so I just take whatever I have, spent hay etc and cover as much bare soil as I can, laying it thick enough to stay put in a heavy rain.
I'm 55 years old and just starting the downhill decline. At some point you start to think, "Will I be able to do this in 20, 30 years?" and turning compost will be tough at some point. I'm starting to rethink a lot of things like that. I noticed if I feed a whole square bale of hay to the goats, which I do by simply setting on the ground to use it for seeding said ground, I have a pile that is a little too thick and I need to spread it. Now I split the bales in half and set them in two different spots. Very little spreading needs to be done then, if any.
I was wanting to get busy doing cross fencing but it will still be a pita right now because there's still a lot of seedlings and small saplings, plus poison ivy. The goats do a fine job of walking all over the property since they're browsers so I'm just going to let them keep at it until everything under 6-8 foot tall is gone. As they work on that, I'll keep taking out small/medium sized trees to bring some light in so grasses/forbs/weeds can grow. I do have an open pasture area that I've fenced off as a paddock so I can control their grazing of it.
I've still got a long ways to go here so I don't have time to mess with things like turning a compost pile. Most of the places I throw stuff is still shaded so I don't think I'm losing too much to the atmosphere.
My gravel yard down by the shop it almost a lawn now. Someone just built a house last year up the road from me. The construction company dug all the top soil off, about 12 inches worth, and got it down to clay subsoil. Then they dumped gravel on it, lots of it. I imagine seeds will sprout eventually after some humus washes down into the gravel giving them a medium to sprout and grow in and at some point, she might be down to two tire tracks where stuff won't grow due to being driven over all the time. That's what our driveway between the road and our house looks like now. I just don't drive down by the shop much.
The actual gravel roads maintained by the county are simply graded on a regular basis for maintenance so that kills off grass and weeds growing in from the edges.
PS, I've been watching Greg Judy, Gabe Brown, Allan Savory the past few days and since I'm not getting any younger, it's given me some ideas for letting nature and the animals do as much of the work for me as possible. We have one hen. She's the smart one of the bunch as the rest got killed by hawks. She's also broody if more than 8 eggs collect so I'm going to get another dozen fertilized eggs from a neighbor, lock her in the coop and let her be the incubator this time. She'll be a better mother/teacher that way too I think. As of now, she's totally free range and I don't feed her yet she lays an egg every day. She's smart enough to hang around with either the LGD puppies or the goats most of the time which is why the hawks haven't gotten her. Super homestead hen. One egg a day is actually enough for us since I'm really the only one who eats them. I just want more chickens to utilize as tools. Tick eating machines for one.
I also plan to get some small pigs, Kunekune or a Kunekune mix. I think the goats, pigs and chickens will be a good mix. Ought to help keep parasites down.
I'm running a few meat goats. Three adults and two kids. As of yet, I just have 12 acres with high tensile 6 strand electric perimeter fence, plus one paddock, also done with high tensile. The paddock is open area so it's mostly grasses that need recovery time and that I don't want them eating down to the point where it looks like it was mowed. As far as the woods area, they're all over it throughout the day since they're browsers. I'm just going to run them that way until they kill off all the poison ivy and seedlings/saplings. Then I'm also cutting down medium sized trees for firewood and will do some shiitake logs next year. Within a few years, the woods will be a lot tamer and easier to cross fence. We technically have two properties adjacent to each other, 7 acres plus 8 acres so the first cross fence will be on the property line and that will be high tensile as well. From there, I'll start using netting I think.
Our land is hilly forest so it's already hard to fence so I and the goats will be cleaning it up for a while before I attempt to create paddocks There's nothing in the woods I want to save. 10,000 seedlings/saplings, 2,000 small to medium trees all need to go so I don't see the need for paddocks yet. Large oaks and hickory trees big enough to drop lots of acorns and hickory nuts, I'll keep. There will be a slow transformation to a semi-shaded pasture(silvopasture/savanna) because I have to be careful about losing top soil on these slopes. My first paddocks will be used to exclude the goats as I clear tree leaves and plant pasture in one small area at a time.
They're doing a pretty good job of eating anything green within 5-6 foot from the ground this year. The buck and two does came from open pasture settings so last year they seemed afraid to go too deep into the woods but with both does nursing a kid, food is important this year so like I said, they're all over the 12 acres. I'd say 2-3 years and no seedling/sapling less than 6-8 foot tall will be left. That will make it a lot easier for me to get in there and take out the small to medium trees which in turn will make it easier for me to cross fence and make paddocks.
I watched a video from Greg Judy and he doesn't plant seed. He rolls out round bales of hay to seed land. Sounds like a plan to me because it serves as mulch until the grasses take root. That is, after the goats and I have cleared the land enough to roll out bales. I might also toss some other seeds down before unrolling the hay. For instance, Hancock seeds has Brown Millet which is supposed to be good for preventing erosion. It's also one of the varieties in their deer mixes and goat mixes. It's not only hilly here but too rocky to actually plant seed 1/8 - 1/4" so I'm hoping spreading it and unrolling hay on it will have the same effect. I'll let the goats eat hay for a few days and then exclude the goats so the seed takes hold and has a chance to grow to grazing height.
Rebecca Norman wrote:THank you for the links to tutorials! After many years of occasionally using a fake version of photoshop, several years ago that was no longer possible so I've been using GIMP, but I do find it much more difficult. Sometimes I just can't select in GIMP. It's so annoying! I really need to watch those tutorials.
Everything is a layer so you select a layer. In the menu, click Windows >> Dockable Dialogs >> Layers. That gives you a dock, either floating or pinned as a panel, usually on the right. You can select layers there and also create duplicate layers, delete layers etc. Then of course there's Select in the menu and the Fuzy Select tool that looks like a magic wand.
I can dig with the dirt scoop or grader blade, got a mower for the back, made some forks for moving things around on small pallets. If a small tree gets hung up, I hook a chain to the bottom and drive off. I have a 220 gallon water tank on a trailer. I go down a pretty steep hill to get spring water and have to come back up the hill loaded. Between the water, the trailer, which is the front half of a truck frame and the generator that runs the sump pump, I'm hauling 2000 lbs behind a 1000 lb tractor. Just a matter of axle location to give it plenty of tongue weight. I tow my log splitter back to the woods.
It's a 3 cylinder diesel and it's mechanical injected diesel. Not much for electrical and no electronics. I'm pretty sure it would run just fine on biodiesel but I've yet to get into that. It will run all day on a gallon of fuel - two gallons if mowing.
It's got turf tires on the back just like the one in the pic and I don't have any problem getting around the hilly woods here. Might have to step on the pedal to lock the rear wheel together sometimes. I'd love to have the 4wd version of course and with ag tires but for less than a grand, I can't complain. Wouldn't mind having a roof over me though. Gets hot out there mowing in the sun.
Only real downside is max 6mph and you have to crawl on rough areas because there's no suspension(springs) so you feel every bump.
The forks have been a godsend. I'm one little 53 year old man. I use the dirt scoop for hauling more than digging too. 300 lb boulder, no problem. Used the forks to move a 400 lb wood stove last week.(back up with forks under stove, pull lever to raise, drive away) I can pick up and move the 4.3 liter V6 engine sitting on my engine stand, stand and all. This Spring, I plan to build a trailer for the tractor. Something like 4x10 foot with the axle pretty far back. I'll be able to bring a good load of firewood up from the woods where a vehicle can't get. Just have to tow the splitter back first and then go back and get the trailer.
Don't know if it will ever happen but a loader could be made for it as it does have hydraulic ports to connect it to. Wouldn't be able to dig with it but could scoop up gravel, loose dirt or compost.
I do have one property line I can barely fit my S-10 pickup truck. It's 4x4 and got the tiny 2.8 liter V6 and it's handy too.
I've got a small four-wheeler(2wd) that I need to fix up. I plan to use that to check the perimeter fence on a daily basis. The fence goes through the woods. It's got springs & shocks for the suspension.
I wouldn't mind having an electric golf cart for visiting neighbors.
I've had the little tractor for about 5 years and haven't had to do much of anything to it but change the motor oil.
I left mine out in the weather too much and the handle rotted off down inside the lower collar. It was a cheap one and my tiny arse bent the tines on a regular basis. I've been thinking about building something from scratch. Maybe a hybrid between a broadfork and a forked garden spade. Haven't put much thought into it yet but I had thought about using rebar for the tines. Some round stock would be nicer to work with but rebar is cheaper and harder. I did see forked spade handles at the feed store last time I was there. Might just get one of those and find a way to reinforce the tines and also do the improved step spot at the same time. I've got a spot where a high tunnel is going that I want to double dig and a broadfork is no good for that. Clayey loam here. When it's dry, you can't do anything with it.
If I'm out for the day, I might buy something to eat but I try to keep it minimal. Fast food prices have skyrocketed due to higher labor rates of $10-15/hr. I might get a cheap burger by itself or even fries by themselves. The other thing I do is buy a slice of pizza from the local convenient store chain, Casey's. Pretty good pizza. $2-3.00 is about as much as I'll spend. McDs double cheeseburger with bacon added is about $3.00
I don't drink soda anymore but do drink sweet tea. If I buy it, it will be from a convenient store so I don't have to pay for ice aka water. I buy sweet tea by the gallon for $3.00 and when I buy a 16oz bottle, I rinse the bottle and refill from the gallon and take the bottle with me.
My sister used to be a USPS rural carrier aka mailwoman. She would put cereal in a tupperware and munch on dry cereal all day.
I've been tightening up our food budget lately and potatoes are a big help. I also got an Instant Pot which also helps though I wish I'd have gotten the 8 quart rather than 6 quart. $4.00/lb chuck roasts come out good. I rarely pay more than $4.00/lb for meat. If whole chickens are on sale down close to $1.00/lb, I get 4-6 of them and stick them in the freezer. I built a smoker a couple of years ago and mostly do Boston Butts when they're around $1.50/lb. I know when our local grocery store puts out the manager's specials in the meat dept. Any weekday around 2:30-3:00. Any meat I buy is either a good sale or a manager's special. Hit the jackpot a couple of days ago and got a two pack of good sized T-Bones that had a $5.00 off sticker. That put them at $11.50 and fed the four of us. That was a splurge really but we get quality cuts of beef so infrequently, it's nice to have a good steak a couple of times a year. Had potatoes and carrots with them. Probably a total of $12.50 for the four of us. I try to keep us under $10.00 for dinner for the four of us. Occasionally, it's as low as $4.00 (chicken & rice)
Meat goats (small acreage and hilly/rocky - average kidding of twins)
Kunekune pigs (small, docile, cute as hell and don't root much at all - average litter of 8 or so)
Laying Hens (already have - super cheap eggs)
I raised some red rangers one time and it came out to over $1.00/lb so I don't know if it's worth it. Maybe if I can find a way to supplement the purchased feed.
Haven't grown a whole lot yet. Did taters for a few years and tomatoes a couple of years. I'm digging a root cellar this winter and building a high tunnel that will go up in Spring.
I'm digging a root cellar this winter. You can grow a bunch of stuff but then you have to store it or process it and processing it takes a lot of time and energy and energy cost $$.
Our income is around $1200/mth and right now food is about 25% of that or $400. Would love to get it down to $100/mth. I'm hoping to have the livestock pay for itself. Will sell kunekunes to individuals, maybe processed but probably live. Might sell meat goats the same way or might take them to the sale barn. For both, I'll be keeping some for the freezer and sell enough to pay for feed and other expenses. hopefully.
I got some fertilized eggs from a neighbor which saved some money and we'll be keeping a rooster so we can have our own fertilized eggs.
We really don't eat enough greens but that's definitely something that will be grown in the high tunnel.
We don't have a choice but to use a budget but at this point, I don't have to break down food costs because I spent the last year keeping track of how much a meal costs. I just know what I can buy and what I can't. No $4.00/lb fruit. No prepared/packaged food.(except for sauces/condiments) No $8.00/lb beef. No $4.00/lb chicken.
Speaking of chicken. When you buy them whole, there's a bit of work to be done to prepare them. These days, I spatchcock pretty much all of them and then roast. Very quick and easy. I've got half a dozen chicken carcasses in the freezer I need to make stock from. Probably make some chicken soup out of most of it.
When warm weather comes again, I'll start grilling them. I built a crude wood fired grill. Field fence wrapped in a circle. Fill 2/3 with large rocks. Lined the top 1/3 around the outside with flat rocks. Fill with wood, set on fire, wait for coals, set grill on and cook. My neighbor's got a neat one. It's a steel outer tractor rim and his grill hangs on a line that he can raise and lower the grill with by using a boat winch. Mine just kinds of spans across the rocks and isn't adjustable. It's something I threw together one day. I need to rig something up to raise and lower the grill. I've got an old steering column from a 1950 truck I'm thinking of using somehow. Just turn a steering wheel to raise and lower.
I've got an abundance of wood here and will for some time as I continue to clear land. Nearly free cooking fuel. I want to make a rocket oven someday as well as a rocket water heater and rocket mass heater. Thought about designing and building one of those "Improved Stoves". Basically a rocket stove with a hole for a pot to sit down in that's a couple of inches larger in diameter than the pot. I'm hoping to power a pressure canner with it.
Something like below but since I'm a fabricator, I'd probably make it out of steel plate.
One thing that cuts the cost on fast food is you don't have any time or energy costs. Might only be $0.25 per meal but money's money.
Looks a lot like most of the old barns here in MO although most of these old ones were built from fairly green oak so all the boards are twisted and bowed but they hold together.
Around here, mostly in Arkansas, they're tearing down old chicken houses to rebuild them to new Tyson specs and the contractors sell off the old materials. Average size chicken house is 40x400. They started out selling parts and pieces pretty cheap but now they all sell them as kits. 40x40 up to 40x_____(any length). The 40x40 is $2800. The trusses are steel - comes with 2 Inch foam insulation for roof and 2x4's for purlins and the trusses have angle iron brackets to hold the 2x4s upright. The poles for the side walls are 6-7 foot tall so in most cases, those would need to be extended. They center is high enough as is to back an 18 wheeler inside. The roofing is 26ga steel which is on the thick side. The cheap stuff is 29ga irrc.
T.J. Stewart wrote:I save some of my own seeds, mostly flowers, but some vegetables as well. I am a market farmer and sp I have to be a little more careful about the seeds that I use. Like someone else mentioned, most people just want to buy things that they are familiar with.
I'm putting up a high tunnel next Spring and from everything I've read, the hybrids will out produce the heirlooms by almost double and at some point, I want to sell the excess at a market. We're in the boonies and people out here aren't into trendy foods. Tomatoes are supposed to be globe shaped & red. Not into baby greens. etc Seems like a good majority of high tunnel growers buy hybrids recommended for high tunnels/greenhouse from johnny's. On their website, you can filter your choices. Applying "greenhouse" and "heirloom" gives you one product under vegetables and it's not seeds. It's an heirloom tomato plant collection grafted to hybrid rootstock. ($251 for 24 grafted plants)
Filtering for "greenhouse" and "hybrid" gets you 77 results.
The heirlooms tend to have too many problems with the higher humidity of a greenhouse/tunnel.
I agree. As long as you had enough air space in the canner to have it come to pressure, you should be fine as that pressure allows the temperature to get up to around 240 degrees F. That and as long as she went by the proper time for the item canned, it should be fine. Water won't get into the jars because the contents in them is expanding and releasing air. That's the reason you only tighten them finger tip tight, so they can release air/pressure. Only after you take them out and set them on the counter to cool do they get a vacuum going and that's what pulls the lid down and makes the seal. In fact, after they cool and the lid has pulled down, the screw on rings can and should be removed, the jar cleaned and you don't put the rings back on because they tend to rust underneath. Wash the rings, make sure they dry real well and store them. And even if a tiny amount of water got pulled in while cooling, it's not a big deal because having been at 240 degrees, it's all been sterilized.
All we have right now is dried goods in gallon sized plastic containers. Dried beans, rice, pasta etc. Our pantry is a camper attached to our cabin and it's a mess so no pics. Kind of a foyer/pantry. We do keep sugar in a 5 gallon bucket and only buy it on sale which is about this time of year here. Harvest time leading into holiday cooking time is when it goes on sale. We've done home canning before but haven't in a while. Didn't do a garden this year and only did some taters last year. This coming year, I plan to ramp things up including a new high tunnel. I just picked a spot for a root cellar and started digging/scraping a little. It's the only North facing slope we have but I think it's going to work out good. We have two types of soil here. One is classified as "poorly drained" and the other "somewhat excessively drained" and the latter is what's in the root cellar spot which is good. It will be dug half way into a hill and whatever comes from the dig, will be piled up around and on top of it. There's mines around here and a mine supply store that will sell to the general public. The mines all have something called tailings ponds and they're lined with black poly that's just about as thick as cereal box cardboard so that will be the waterproofing for the roof and three buried walls. Floor will be dirt naturally for humidity purposes. It's real close to the garden area and pretty close to the home site so it should work out good.
I grew a bunch of canning tomatoes one year but did a group canning thing with a neighbor but they mixed up all the jars and evidently they/she didn't know anything about headspace, plus she did water bath because that's what gramma did. I did pressure canning. When done, I left for a while and when I came back, all the jars were mixed up together. I was too scared to use any. We put all the tomatoes together and she did a stewed tomato kind of thing by adding peppers etc. That's why I pressure canned mine. I also did some brandied apples once and we weren't real big on them but these same neighbors loved them so I brought them several jars. These were quart sized jars with straight sides. Months later I got a bunch of jars back from them after hounding them about it. Hardly any were straight sided jars and some were really old. I now have 7 out of the original 12. I also tried going in on a batch of meat chickens with these people. Turned out about the same. I no longer deal with them. Still friendly but that's about it.
I had a Sam's Club membership years ago and among other things, we bought a big bag of salt. I still have a 4 gallon bucket full and gave one away. Hard as a rock but if need be, it could be scraped out of there. We were into prepping for a while. When we moved from FL to MO, I think we probably hauled 4-500 pounds of storage food with us. Still got a few MREs. Got two 4 gallon bucket of black beans. Probably 7 years old so I don't know if they'd even soften up. We were about broke not too long after moving out here so we did end up eating a lot of the food storage so it was somewhat of a life saver. We lived on $20 a week for a few months.That gave us gas for the vehicle to make the trip to the local discount grocery store to buy a little meat and some milk for the kids.
Our hard times were self inflicted by moving half way across the country with not enough money but hard times can fall on anyone for many reasons so there's nothing wrong with having a bunch of food set back.
I use cardboard and newspaper, both non-glossy, to start fires or get some flames going after having reloaded the stove, 10 minutes earlier. I also use newspaper to start my charcoal chimney which has actually never had charcoal in it. I start with twigs and then sticks and work my way up to about 2 inches in diameter. This is for my smoker but I adapted the technique for my wood stove. I use cardboard as the chimney in that case and stack stuff in there the same. I tear a hole at the bottom of the cardboard chimney to have a place to light the paper. With the cardboard chimney, I don't go over 1 inch in diameter because the chimney collapses pretty quick. Once it does, I continue to stack sticks on the burning twigs.
The shiny cardboard/paper leaves a burnt plastic like film that hinders the flame plus there's heavy metals in those inks. None of my stoves are catalytic. I do have one with the stainless steel tubes with a bunch of small holes that introduces fresh air into the top of the burn chamber.
My favorite stove is a Fisher Papa Bear and we also have a Fisher Grandpa Bear. It works as good as the Papa Bear but the Papa has a bigger flat spot for cooking. With the stove at the right temp, it's the best way we've found to cook bacon. We use our 12 inch cast iron skillet and it all cooks evenly. If we use that skillet on the electric stove or propane camp stove, the middle is hotter than the outer area.Right now we have the little high efficiency with the burn tubes because it will go a long time with just a little wood but when it gets colder, we'll swap it out for the Papa Bear for winter and then swap back in Spring. The little stove does have a flat top and we can heat things up in a sauce pan with it. I wouldn't buy a stove that didn't have a nice flat top for setting pans on. I've made pizza, cake and corn bread on the papa Bear. I use a lid from one of those small Brinkmann smokers and set the cake pan on a thin wire rack.
I did read on a forum once where a guy said he doesn't have a lot of creosote, unless they burn their trash in the stove. Crazy but in a case of an emergency ....
I've got a pair of male dogs. One is a Great Pyrenees and the other looks to be Old English Sheep dog though they haven't been used for that purpose for many generations so the instinct is no longer there, plus he's not real bright and has been abused. Both of them have actually as became evident the first time I walked across the yard with a stick or board in my hand and they both made a mad dash to get away. The Pyrenees seems to be smart. If he sees a shadow on the ground, he looks up and barks at the hawks. They came from a sheep farm and the Pyrenees is older but quite mean to the younger dog.
Yesterday, I heard them really getting into it. It was about feeding time so I went to feed them. I have to stand in the pen half way between them because the older one won't let the younger one eat otherwise. I gave the older one his food and he ran to the other side of the pen and grabbed something off the ground and brought it back to where his food bowl was. It was a dead chicken. I just put some 2 month old chicks out there in a coup in the pen. I kept an eye on them for a day and they ignored the chicks so I figured/hoped all was good and that they probably had experience with chickens. I noticed something had been digging around the coup and there was a hole just big enough for a chicken to get out. I don't know if it was one of the dogs or a coon sneaked into the pen overnight. I'll be burying some fence around the perimeter tomorrow. Pouring rain today. I've still yet to see the dogs sniffing/snooping around the coup.
I'm pretty sure the younger dog is going to be useless to me and we're in the boonies so there's no humane society or anywhere else to take him and everyone that wants a dog, already has one around here. In fact, this is a hot spot for people from the surrounding small towns to drop off dogs they either no longer want or can keep.
In short, we have to put down our own dogs here. Of course 90% or more dogs that get taken to a humane society get put down too.
So I think we'll end up putting down the young one and see how things go. Next Spring, I might try to find a female Great Pyrenees. We will have chickens and they need protection. If this Pyrenees turns out to be a chicken killer, he's gone and we'll get a puppy next time that can be raised with the livestock. We're getting goats in the Spring. I'm thinking the Pyrenees should be ok with them since they're similar to sheep.
We've got a Pitt Bull mix that we've had for over a decade. She listens very well but we never could get her to stop chasing chickens. You can teach an old dog some new tricks but that thrill of the chase is too strong in most cases to override.
Travis Johnson wrote:I like pressurized systems because they are far more efficient. It is also easier to move heat because they are not subject to elevational changes (they do not have the negative effects of atmospheric pressure acting upon them).
My plan is to do thermosiphon based radiant floor heating using retired solar collectors from heated pools. I used to live in FL and used collectors are abundant there so I might have to take a trip down there sometime. We're building close to where the land drops off down a hill and can use that hill for the collectors. The frost line is one foot deep at most so the water lines could be buried. They might still try to freeze underneath the collectors with a string of cold cloudy days so I may end up having to add something as anti-freeze. If the thermosiphon didn't work out, though it should, I could always add a little pump. That might even negate having to use anti-freeze.
If I were to build a rocket mass heater sunken into the floor, the radiant floor line could run through it too.
Plus they're money makers. A lot of people running high tunnels end up growing flowers along with or instead of veggies. We've been slowly collecting whatever flowers we can just to get some color other than green and white on the property. We have flowering native trees and brambles but they all flower white. My end goal is to have a few different colors most of the year. Either flowers blooming or different colored foliage. Right now, most things have leaves that go yellow in Fall. I want some orange, red & marroon.
Did the soil or other growing conditions change much? Shade, year round moisture level of soil. According to the Conservation Dept here in MO, they like full shade in low, moist areas. Dark swamp sort of thing.
Also, there's a saying - $200 hole for a $20 tree - that is digging an oversized hole so that the roots will have loosened soil to stretch out into for a number of years.
I think everything is still valid. I would offer one alternate program to inkscape and that is sk1, a Corel Draw/Adobe Illustrator type of program. Available for Win, Mac & Linux.
sK1 is an open source multiplatform vector graphics editor similar to CorelDRAW, Adobe Illustrator, or Freehand. The major feature of sK1 is a professional precise printing and "prepress ready" PDF & PostScript output.
Other Common Name: Papaw; Paw Paw; American Custard Apple; Missouri Banana
Family: Annonaceae (custard apples)
Description: Pawpaw is a large shrub to small tree with a slender trunk and broad crown; grows in colonies.
Leaves are alternate, simple, 6–12 inches long, 3–5 inches wide, broadest above the middle; margin lacking teeth; upper surface green; lower surface pale; emitting an odor when bruised.
Bark is light ash to dark brown, thin, smooth, later becoming warty with blotches.
Twigs are slender, olive-brown, often blotched, smooth, becoming rougher when older, often with a warty surface. Emits a disagreeable odor when crushed; terminal bud velvet brown, lacking scales; flower bud rounded, overwinters on previous year’s twig.
Flowers March–May; perfect (with male and female parts in same flower), dark reddish purple, solitary, drooping, about 1 inch across, appearing before the leaves and with an odor of fermenting purple grapes.
Fruits September–October. Banana-shaped, cylindrical, 3–5 inches long, green at first and yellow when ripe; pulp sweet, edible, with custardy texture.
Height: to 30 feet; grows in colonies.
Grows in dense shade on moist lower slopes, ravines, valleys, along streams, and at the base of wooded bluffs. Produces suckers from the roots, forming groves or thickets. The leaves turn yellow in autumn and remain on the tree late into the season. Pawpaw is a member of a tropical family and has no close relatives in Missouri. In nature, it is associated with sweet gum, river birch, sycamore, and roughleaf dogwood.
I thought about digging into a hillside here but I dug some holes for a pole barn and they filled with water from the sides and held water for over two weeks with no rain. When we had heavy rain, I saw a mini geyser appear in a garden bed.
Here in the Ozarks, people do dig into a hill though, especially with what they call a walk out basement. Two or three sides are dug in and one isn't so you can walk out onto the ground on that side. Odd thing is, they face them in all different directions, even single story with no basement. I've seen them dug into N, S, E and W slopes. We're going to face our house S/SE because I want morning sun to warm things but I'm more concerned with keeping cool than heating. I can burn wood for the cost of fuel for the chain saw and splitter. I have to pay for A/C though.
My neighbor is dug into a hill and I loaned him my wet/dry vac one time so he could vacuum the water off of his floor because his foundation has a crack.
Now I do have two classifications of soil here and for drainage, one is considered "poorly drained" while the other is considered 'somewhat excessively drained'. There's a major color difference. The poorly drained is yellowish brown and the excessively drained is white-ish gray as the nutrients have been flushed out of it. I just started digging for a root cellar in the closest thing I have to a North facing slope and it looks like it's the excessively drained stuff. I need to poke around and see if I can find a spot like that facing South or even Southeast. I did start digging for a dug in house and it's still oozing water out the side, three years later. Then of course, radon gas is a concern when digging in.
I originally wanted to do an earthship but once I saw that geyser in my garden, I decided against a dug in house made of dirt. Hard to sell an earthship or any alternative building too when/if the time comes.
@Ilektra Kou - if you add your location to your profile, that helps people when giving you ideas and answers. Just click on My Profile and then expand General Information about yourself and you'll see a spot for Location. That will show right below your user name in posts. Mine says Ozarks.