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|[+] homestead » women peeing outdoors (Go to)||Michi Harper|
Maybe it's the squatting position while urinating that initiates the I uncomfortable safety instinct. I now pee standing up, so I no longer have that feeling of a need to "hide" in order to urinate.
Like some women, initially I found it impossible to separate urination from defecation. It took some training on my part. Even so, there are sometimes difficulties but not very often. I find it best to urinate first, getting that over with, then defecate. So all in all, I have little problem anymore. Perhaps it is the standing position that makes it easy to separate the two functions, but once squatting, my body takes the signal to do both.
At home on the farm I use a funnel to pee into a gallon jug. And a strip of rag to dry off. The rags go in with the routine laundry for washing and re-use. Standing to urinate seems very normal to me now, but it did take training. The truth of the matter, I prefer to stand. It's easier on my body now that I'm almost 70.
|[+] personal care » Have any of you stopped using soap/shampoo? (Go to)||Kim Goodwin|
I work hard on on my farm just about every day. It's not uncommon for me to take two showers a day because I'm not interested into going into town soiled and smelling like a ram. So yes, I use soap. No apology.
Where I live in the tropics, skin infections are common among people who don't bathe daily. Bathing with soap is the easiest way to prevent skin infections. I can always tell when my wwoofer has run out of soap by looking at his face and feet.
In addition, I routinely pick up hitchikers. It's a common practice here. My rule is that ALL hippy types ride in the truck bed. They smell too bad to ride in the cab. Sorry, but that's the truth.
On the other hand, I can believe that people can over do soap in certain situations. So using soap wisely is the thing.
|[+] gardening for beginners » survival gardens (Go to)||Ed Benfer|
Ed, I'd look for grafted trees. In my own experience, they produce quicker. In my early and mid 60s I planted several types of citrus, macadamia nuts, avocados, apple, peach, and mangos...all grafted trees. I also planted 3-4 year old seedlings of mulberry, Surinam cherry, guavas, and sapote. I'm now pushing 70 and all the trees are producing except for the sapotes. Not big crops yet, but it's a thrill to pick my own dozen or two of apples, 2-3 dozen each of the various citrus, a five gallon bucket of macnuts. Every year the trees double what they produced the year before. It's thrilling.
My suggestion is to get those trees in this year. Don't bother to try to make the perfect food forest, just give it your best guess and get the trees planted.
|[+] solar » My off-grid dilemma (Go to)||s wesley|
....."Then no monthly bill afterwards but the panels need to be replaced eventually."
It's not the panels that need replacing. Ours are 20+ years and still doing fine the last time we tested them. It's the batteries that will need replacing and maintenance. Plus the back up generator. We replace ours every 5-7 years. And if you've never run a solar system before, you'll most likely ruin your first battery bank rather quickly. We did!
Hopefully your system will never break, but I've heard of people here who have had to replace expensive components, such as the inventor, when they quit working. We upgraded from a Trace to an Outback after 10 years, so that was an expense. You need to be aware of these things in order to factor in total expense of the system. Being on solar doesn't mean that you have free electricity. Instead of monthly bills, you pay for it in chunks here and there.
Most solar off-grid people tend to become very efficient in their use of electric energy. Certainly a Volt would never grace their driveway. The first time you get 3 cloudy days in a row, you might realize why.
|[+] conservation » The little things (Go to)||Peter VanDerWal|
...Phantom loads....I simply don't keep things plugged in. Nor do I use appliances with clocks or computers. Where it's difficult or inconvenient to plug and unplug, I have the outlet on a handy switch...kinda of like having your garbage disposal on a switch. Simple. Flick on the outset when you need power. Keep it shut off the rest of the time.
In addition to things already mentioned:
...I have a friend that has an electric clock in the wall of just about every room in his house. No me. Not one clock. I use a wristwatch.
...no electric power gadgets. I see folks with all sorts of electric powered do-dads in their homes. Electric air fresheners. Mini water fountains. Bubble lamps. Strobe lights on their Christmas tree. Nothing exists like that in my house.
...I don't need central heat, but when we need heat to take off the morning chill, I use a wood stove.
...When the wood stove is running, I use it to heat water for coffee, dish water, or to cook something simple.
...I use a solar oven for cooking and dehydrating.
...I use a homemade rocket stove for cooking the chicken food. I've been known to cook our dinner on it too at times.
...I keep lights turned off when not in use. And no outdoor flood lights on all the time.
...I have an on-demand propane water heater. The old one had a pilot light which we did not keep on. By only turning the unit on when we needed hot water, we saved 3/4 of our propane. Incredible savings. Our new unit does not use a pilot light, which is even better.
...my propane range does not have pilot lights. Pilot lights are energy hogs.
...I changed my habits!!! I stopped needing to use hot water more than twice a day. I stopped using items that used lots of energy of I didn't need them. I seldom ever use the microwave, toaster, oven, etc. I hang my wash out on a clothesline. I use a chest freezer and a chest refrigerator. We gradually switched over to eating more non-cooked foods, like salads, fruits, or assorted finger foods. For example, dinner tonight was garden celery stuffed with freshly made cheese, crackers, bananas, beef strips previously cooked in the solar oven, and a few macnuts. For tomorrow's dinner I'm considering boiled potatoes (cooked on the wood stove) rolled in my own dehydrated herb mix (previously dehydrated in the solar oven) & macnut oil (our own. No electric needed to produce it), hard boiled eggs (previously cooked in the wood stove), the rest of the cheese, papaya slices, avocado slices, and cherry tomatoes.
|[+] solar » How can you calculate solar savings? (Go to)||Dawn Hoff|
Generally, I agree with Galen. Installing solar doesn't mean that you'll be saving lots of money. I live in Hawaii where the cost of grid electricity is mind boggling expensive, and even so, the cost of installing most solar installations (including tax incentives) doesn't equate to cash savings for years and years. There needs to be other reasons for installing solar other than quick cash savings.
Our homestead is completely off-grid. People mistakenly think we have free electricity. We installed a small system that cost $20,000 in hardware. (We install and maintain it ourselves.) Every six years or so we need to replace the battery bank ($800 to $1000). We need to buy and maintain a back up generator that gets replaced when we replace the battery bank. (Just because the gas engine runs doesn't mean that it's putting out the electrical rating we need. These things wear out.) That's around $800 to $1000 buy the new generator. I'm not sure what the gasoline, oil, and maintenance parts come to, nor the distilled water for the batteries. Our solar panels are 20 years old this year, so heaven knows how much longer it will be before we be thinking of replacements. Luckily our inverter, charge controller, and the rest of the equipment has never failed, but they could, thus requiring expensive replacements.
No, solar surely isn't free. It costs to install it and maintain it. And for newbees it's even more expensive because they make mistakes while learning. For example, we killed our first battery bank in 3 years simply because we didn't know what we were doing.
The reason we went off grid was strictly economics. The electric company wanted almost $30,000 to run power to our house. Going was DIY solar was an immediate savings for us. But for folks already on the grid, changing to solar may not be a savings for years, if ever. And if they go with a grid tied system with no battery back up, then they aren't any better off......except that they may feel better about "going green" (whatever they think that is).
Grid power gives the homeowner flexibility and reliability. Plus the ability to budget monthly expenses fairly accurately. Off grid means that you need to think about how much power you are using and when you might need to use more than normal. For example, I know that I need to run the generator when I use high energy consuming equipment, or want to do the laundry on a cloudy day. I know that my system can't maintain a heated spa, so I'd be crazy to buy one as a Christmas present for hubby. I need to be mindful about the running of my power, because I can't even consider running the water pump, washer, freezer, frig, microwave, and hair dryer all at the same time. Being on the grid, a homeowner wouldn't even have to think about that. Plus budgeting isn't easy. Cash layouts will come in big chunks, not little bits each month.
People going from grid to off grid (usually grid tied) need to look carefully. Saying that you save money is usually ignoring the upfront purchase cost, or end-of-lease expenses. Others reasons, like Galen's, might be a good reason going solar. One of our friends installed a grid tied system because he wanted his wife to be able to afford to stay in their home after he died. He is significantly older than she is. He has the money now to spend on going solar and knows that she will have a low monthly income after he passes. So installing solar gives him peace of mind.
|[+] village » who owns the farms in villages in other countrys. (Go to)||Joel Bercardin|
I can only reply based upon my own experience. While living in New Jersey and Hawaii, I was friends to many farmers and learned about their land situations.
In New Jersey, some farmers worked land that they did not live on. Most owned that land. They would live in one parcel, and just farm the others. Some rented land from or leased the land from a private owner. I was not aware of any restrictions that prevented people from living upon the land that they farmed. Housing could be upon any of the land parcels. So it wasn't uncommon to see a house built on the corner of a farm.
Hawaii is a little different. First of all, some land is fee simple, meaning that the owner actually owns it. A lot of land here is leasehold, meaning that a large entity owns the land and the homeowner or farmer has a lease for using it for a specified number of years. Most leases are 30+ years, though some are far shorter. Most big farms and ranches use leasehold land. Small farms might be either lease or fee simple. Parker Ranch is an exception in that much of their land is owned outright. Many of the big operations use multiple land parcels sitting side by side. So it looks like they have a farm consisting of hundreds, or thousands, of acres as obit big unit. In reality they may have numerous individual parcels .....the problem being that the leases on each parcel could vary and the restrictions on each parcel could be different. Makes for some interesting business manipulations!
Hawaii Island has lots of open land in farms and ranches. One of the reasons it is so open and beautiful here is that there are restrictions. The land cannot have a residence in it. Thus many farmers and ranchers do not, cannot, live on their land. At times this is causing a lot of problems and issues for the farmers and ranchers. But that's another story. So if you come to my island and see farmers & ranchers living in town, it's because they are not allowed to build a house on the land they work. They may lease it, or may very well own it, but may not reside upon it. But if it is a small farm, then the farmer often lives on that land (or maintains a house on it that he rents out for income).......... There is an exception to this generalization in my own area. Most of the Ka'u coffee farms are on leasehold land that has residential restrictions. The farms are small (5 to 10 acres). But a drive-by person gets the impression that it's one quite large coffee farm because of the lack of houses.
|[+] cattle » organic valley coop cow types? (Go to)||Su Ba|
Dairy farmers generally don't retail market their own milk. They sell to a milk coop or consolidator (some "dairies" actually buy milk from other local dairies, for example, Stewart's Dairy). The entity buying the milk has its own requirements as to the least amount they will pick up. Yes, there are small coops who have in the past picked up or accepted milk from one cow, as long as it passes all the other requirements. This doesn't mean that there is one in your particular area. You may wish to make some phone calls to find out.
As for the breeds, I've never heard of one restricting the breeds. Milk buying depending upon the quality of the milk, taking into factors such as protein and butterfat content. Some small dairies will have several different breeds in order to try to produce their preferred protein, butterfat, and poundage goals.
|[+] intentional community » living by yourself vs in cohousing. (Go to)||Johnmark Hatfield|
Forcing people to share large tracts of land is just as bad as forcing people to live close together in villages while leaving the land open. Just my opinion. Personally, I like elbow room.
I attended a public meeting a couple of years ago where our county was considering consolidating a large sprawling subdivision of 1 acre lots near me, forcing people to move together, making a loosely made village. The vacated land would resort to county ownership and stay permanently non-residential use. The public was up in arms! The meeting hall was packed with angry residents, with half the attendees not fitting into the building, but spilling out into the parking lot. The county officials called all the local police in to maintain the peace ( an angry but non-violent peace). I was surprised not by the crowd, but by the number of police. I didn't know that we had so many in my rural community.
People live where they can afford to live and where they are comfortable to live. I would prefer to live on 100 acres but I can't afford it. So I live on 20. I have in the past lived in close housing areas and row homes. I hate the close quarters and it caused lots of unhappy stress. I am far happier with lots of land. My brother is the opposite. Sprawling land around him makes him apprehensive. He's happier in his close condo housing area. To each their own.
While it may appear that there is a shortage of land, I interpret it as a shortage of cheap land in desirable areas that are close to all the preferred infrastructure. The land is there, though no necessarily affordable to most people. Desirable land is priced accordingly (expensive), while undesirable land is too (cheap). Requiring co-habitation of large land parcels won't make it any more affordable. The United States has lots of vacant or open land, available for private ownership or leasehold. Other countries have far less, such as the United Kingdom. I have no experience in other countries. But I suspect that land is there if you can afford it. It may not be exactly what you want in your dreams, but it is there.
I, for one, would not want to be forced by regulation to a limited amount of land.
Besides, who's to say just how much land a person needs? If you're an herb grower, should you be limited to 5 acres? If you're a vegetable grower, should the limit be 20? If you have a goat dairy, are you allowed more land? If you are raising grass fed beef, then could you have 200 acres or more? And on the opposite, if you raise nothing, should you be confined to an apartment or condo? Sticky questions.
|[+] tinkering with this site » Topic with many pictures difficult to read (Go to)||Francis Mallet|
I'd also be interested in how to block previously viewed pictures. Not having easy access to highspeed internet, loading pictures can be quite time consuming. As a result, I seldom view long threads containing lots of interesting pictures. And I seldom have the opportunity to view new pictures being added to a long thread simply because I'd have to reload all the previous already viewed pictures before I could see the new ones. I know that most people have high speed internet, but that's not the case for us rural homesteader types....the very people interested in permaculture. Perhaps there's a way to load just thumbnails, then click on the thumbnail to open the fill picture? Just a thought.
For now I have to wait until I get to a town that has high speed internet that I can access without it costing me an arm and a leg.
|[+] homestead » How to keep dogs off my property (Go to)||Kim Goodwin|
Keeping dogs out of my sheep pasture has been difficult for me too. I have 48" high field fence with a strand of barbed wire top and bottom. Dogs under 30 lbs can come right through this fence, regretfully. I wasn't aware of that when I put the fencing in, and quite frankly, I wouldn't have been able to afford 2"x4" fencing for the pasture perimeter. I've got almost 3 miles of perimeter fence. I soon learned that my fencing would keep out pet style dogs but not experienced hunting dog. Over the years I lost many sheep to lost, abandoned hunting dogs. I resorted to putting a hotwire top and bottom on the outside of the fence. It seemed to work fine until some neighbor (or friend of a neighbor) stole the solar operated charger. I replaced the charger twice, putting it in different locations, and both were eventually stolen. So I resorted to a donkey.
Not all donkeys are good flock guardians. My neighbor has one that abysmally bad at the task. But my own donkey is a champ. While she isn't really protecting the sheep, she has killed two hunting dogs to date, and I've lost zero sheep. She patrols the fenceline if she senses a dog in the area. Yup, a through and through dog hater. I've watched her threatening my neighbor's dog, who was intimidated and wisely choose not to enter the pasture to be one victim #3.
My own donkey has been tolerant of the lambs, up to a point. She threatens them, making mean faces & snapping her teeth & kicking the air nowhere near the lamb, but doesn't do anything else. I've seen the lambs go between her legs and force their faces into the feed trough literally right under the donkey's nose. While the donkey doesn't concede an inch, she doesn't overtly attack the lambs either. I've had three lamb crops since acquiring the donkey, and so far so good. Oh yes, the donkey doesn't take any garbage from the rams either, but she will kick a ram that is being obnoxious. Thus my rams defer to the donkey. She hasn't tried to kill a ram, but I don't think I'd ever try introducing a new adult ram into the flock for fear that the new ram would become victim #3.
Personally I prefer this particular donkey to a LGD. Though she will bray at feeding time, she is otherwise quiet. (Travis is right on, braying is very loud.) Thus no consistent barking in the middle of the night at perceived danger due to passing feral pigs, wild goats, and mouflon. Persistent barking for over 15 minutes can cause legal problems for me. Plus no fear of legal action due to dog bites when stupid visitors try to "pet the pretty doggy". Yes, I've seen people try to make friends with a dog who obviously isn't interested. Yes, those two people both got bitten. Stupid people. Luckily I wasn't the dog owner, so I wasn't the one who lost sleep over it. My donkey doesn't like strangers and keeps a good distance from people. Having been a feral donkey, she isn't trusting. Nor does she look to humans for treats.
I think a barrier fence with a hotwire top and bottom would probably work in your situation. But hotwires standing alone may not. If the dog has no experience with a hotwire, it will simply run right through it. It won't know in advance that the wire produces a searing shock.
|[+] gardening for beginners » Purple sweet potato slips from vine? (Go to)||Keith Galloway|
Yes. Sweet potatoes propagate just fine from vine cuttings. In fact, vine cuttings is how all sweet potatoes are usually propagated here in Hawaii.
Slip propagate is used when healthy vines are not available. Since vines are frost sensitive, slips are used for most of the mainland US. I've used slips when I've been given a unique tuber to try, but otherwise I use vine cuttings.
|[+] organic » Eating naturally ? Is it possible to feed my family this way (Go to)||Conner Murphy|
Ok, you've already convinced yourself that your goal is impossible......you can't grow your own food, can't afford to buy organic clean food, and can't source clean food locally, you just can't provide clean food for your family. You've given yourself an F grade before even trying. You have failed before even starting. Ok, take a deep breathe and throw all that out the window. Next......slowly, gently take you're first baby step to attaining your goal. Yes, baby steps work. I know because I've been there, done that.
If moving isn't an option at this moment, there is still plenty you can do to start on your journey. Step one is to change your expectations. Don't expect to instantly change over to 100% all natural food this year. Set yourself a more realistic goal....a baby step. A small baby step to start.
Not knowing your situation, I can try to offer suggestions but can't be specific. Start out with some of the easier crops to grow, perhaps peas, green beans, Chinese greens, turnip greens, chard. Don't plant a lot. Just a few of each until you become comfortable tending them successfully. Once you find you can successfully grow the easy crops, you may opt to expand the planting. Even on a tiny city plot, those 5 veggies can produce quire a bit of interesting food. They can be grown among the flowers and shrubbery. Eventually you may opt to grow just veggies instead of flowers, shrubs, and lawn grass. (As a side note: my mother grew up in a row home in downtown Philadelphia. Neighbors there grew plenty of greens, turnips, tomatoes, and potatoes which they shared among themselves. Neighbor's with shady backyards...those backyards were extremely tiny....grew greens and turnips. Those with sunny yards grew tomatoes and potatoes. Neighbor's then shared their excess among themselves. My mother said that they had plenty of things during the growing season to add to the dinner table.)
On a small plot, you can experiment growing in containers, thus utilizing unused concrete walkways, margins around a driveway, margins around the house foundation, etc. You can look into growing vertically, by trellising pole beans or making vertical planter boxes. You can try patio style veggies in hanging baskets and window boxes. There are some really cute veggies suitable for this -- peas, tomatoes, extra dwarf bok choy, fingerling carrots, etc. I've seen examples where people made a rope trellis as a "roof" over their patio, and runner beans, pole beans, pumpkins, winter squash, or other long vine crops were grown on that trellis. I've seen trellises made up against the side of the house, with vining veggies trained to grow up them. I've seen vining crops trained up the side of a tool shed, then spread out growing atop the roof. I've seen portable container boxes lined up on a shed roof, thus growing container veggies in a space normally not used. There are many other possible ideas to use depending upon your property.
The whole idea is to start. Start small. You can build up from there. Even in tiny spaces, you could grow quite a bit of food by being innovative.
|[+] organic » Removing Salt from Urine (Go to)||Joshua Myrvaagnes|
Joseph, I agree with you that's it's highly unlikely that the crystals bring observed are NaCl salt. But non-NaCl salt crystals are common in urine. Depending upon the person, crystal production can be high or low, dependent upon the day and diet, depend upon whether the urine is acidic vs alkaline, and depend upon the chemical, health, & genetic make up of the person involved. Plus the longer the urine sits once voided, the more the crystals will precipitate out of it. Refrigeration would also cause crystals to form.
There are numerous types of compounds that form crystals in the urine. Without examining the crystals under a microscope, I couldn't tell you which ones are there in any particular urine sample. During my career I've done thousands of urine slides and have seen numerous very interesting crystals in the samples. But I've never seen NaCl crystals. As I've said, crystals are common enough, so it's no surprise to see them. I just couldn't guess what crystals are in the urine being mentioned.
Personally, I've been using urine on my farm since 2004 and have seen no indication of salt problems. One would be more apt to see salt damage when using commercial fertilizers.....but I don't use them. I should think that if one was concerned about the amount of salt in urine, the easiest approach would be to avoid eating salty foods on a regular basis. The excessive salt in the typical Western diet isn't all that healthy. Another option would be to active enough to build up a good sweat each day. We excrete quite a bit of our salt via sweat. The second best approach would be to simply dilute the urine before using. Most gardeners in my area that are using urine dilute it -- about one cup of urine (or less) to a gallon of water, then use that to water plants that are not drought stressed. If the soil is real dry or the plants are drought stressed, then use half the urine. I'll use diluted urine directly into garden beds that have a good active microbe population. (We collect our urine in a plastic milk jug and then fill the jug with water. One pee per jug.) If I have good microbial action going on the the garden soil, I don't have any odor even when the soil is later tilled or dug. Odor would indicate that I need to get better quality "live" compost into that garden bed.
|[+] goats, sheep and llamas » Stimulating a goat into milk (Go to)||Su Ba|
I used to call this a precocious milker. I've never seen it in goats, but I've heard about it. As Burra pointed out, it happens primarily in heavy milk production bloodlines. It happens commonly in dogs if they "adopt" a kitten, puppy, or other animal that suckles on their nipples. Usually within a week or so, the dog is successfully nursing the adoptee. I've also heard about it in humans, but don't have any firsthand knowledge. I just recall my aunts and great aunts talking about some relative who successfully nursed an orphaned infant by letting the baby attempt to suckle frequently. It caused the woman to lactate.
Precocious millers goats don't produce as much milk as a normally lactating goat, nor for as long. No personal experience on this, but this is what I've read in the textbooks.
|[+] homestead » I need advice - farm sitting a nearly off-grid acreage (Go to)||David Singer|
I lived for 19 years in a heavily tick infested area of southern New Jersey. It was also a hot spot for Lyme disease, so we took ticks quite seriously. Quite honestly, we never discovered a highly effective permaculture instant control for ticks. But with Lyme disease being so serious, here's some of the things we did.....
... We kept a flock of 30 Guinea hens on 7 acres. I never could determine if they really did eat ticks (we never killed one to check its crop), but I hoped they did eat at least some. But frankly, even with the birds we had tons of ticks, tons. The crawled on the fences and up the siding of the house! They crawled on the picnic table and lawn furniture. They even crawled all over the cars.
... We used our dog as a trap to gather ticks. That sounds really mean, but this is how it worked. She was a Border Collie and loved to run around in hyper circles. So I'd send her out into the woods daily and encouraged her to circle. After a half hour of exercise, I'd give her a good combing with a flea comb, thus removing most of the ticks. But we also kept an amitraz tick collar on her, plus treated her every three weeks with frontline. Yes, not at all Permie. I'm saying this not to encourage you to use these products, but just to say this seemed to be a feasible option at that time that would be safest for both us and the dog, Lyme disease, plus other tickbourne diseases were prevalent in our area and nothing to mess with. On a strictly permaculture approach, these chemicals could not be used.
... We did full body tick searches on ourselves twice a day. We had to be thorough because we'd find tiny nymphs in body folds, behind our knees, along our hair line. We used a special tick removal "spoon" to remove any in such a way that we didn't accidently squeeze the tick.
... We'd use a sweeper wand on the bracken fern and huckleberry. This was a long stick with a white piece of flannel or terry cloth on the end, like a flag. I guess it was about 18" x 18". I'd gently sweep the tops of the foliage. Lots of ticks would grab onto that cloth. I found that it worked better if it smelled of us or the dog....so nothing clean just out of the laundry. It worked better with body odor and if it was warm. White made the ticks easier to see and remove.
... We put out chemically treated cotton balls for the mice to use for their nests. Not a permaculture approach. But it surely helped reduce the tick population around the house.
... We discouraged deer from coming onto the property. We used deer chasers that one of the neighbors made. It was a motion sensor that started up a noisy lawn sprinkler. We initially used motion sensor activated spot lights, but the deer soon got use to them. The sprinkler contraception worked better. The local deer were infested with ticks.
We eventually got the ticks down to a tolerable level, but it took several years. They never disappeared, so we never could let our guard down. We found out when we moved that we were the only family on our road that hadn't contracted Lyme disease.
Some of the things we did fall into the permaculture category. Some do not.
For people with dogs, are you aware that dogs can smell a tick and be taught to alert to them? Besides the Border Collie we also owned a Basenji. He was an avid tick hater and hunter. He could not only smell a tick on us, but also on the other dog, even deep in her fur. He was great at it, but had a flaw. He'd grab the tick in his tiny front teeth, pull it off, then sling it across the room! Yikes! Now we'd have a tick loose in the house. Sometimes we'd be able to locate it immediately, sometimes not. So we always tried to get to the tick before he did his slinging act. How's a tick finding dog for a permaculture approach? Pretty nifty, eh?
|[+] market garden » To manure, or to not manure? (Go to)||Su Ba|
First of all, I'm no expert. But among my first steps would be to consult with the local ag extension office. Not that you need to follow their advice, but they could give you some good information to mull over.
It looks to me that your new garden area was once a horse paddock. Therefore, the ground is most likely compacted to some degree or other. So as a start, I'd run a plow over it, wait 2 weeks, spread the manure, and then disc it in. Your ag agent could better advise you if two weeks is long enough to wait, 3 or 4 might be better. It depends upon the grass type and the conditions. In the meantime I'd run soil pH, P, and K tests. The ag agent should be able to do that, or tell you where to have it done inexpensively. It would t surprise me that you'll need to disc in some lime.
Personally i haven't had a lot of success using plastic to solarize the soil. Some people swear by it. I usually just swear at the plastic. I've tried it, but no longer go that route. Besides, a 1/4 acre is a lot of plastic sheeting.
I don't think I'd use plowing as my first line of annual soil prep. Discing might be a better option with that clay under base. I'd check with my ag agent. But as I said, I'm no expert. I have no problem with plowing as a start, then discing or some other sort of tilling afterward.
I'd consider doing a shallow perc test, homestyle, just to see how compacted it is 6" down. So your subsoiler might come in handy if you have a clay pan due to years of horses.
If your manure is years old or has been weathering outside unprotected, it may not have a high nitrogen content. But it should still be very beneficial. I'd surely use it!
|[+] solar » Solar Plans (Go to)||Terence Curptodia|
When we started setting up our solar system, we knew nothing. So hubby spent a lot of time reading as much of the online information, plus books, that he could. We quickly learned that sizing and assembling the system wasn't as simple as we initially thought. Did we want/need a 12 volt system, 24, 48? What would be our energy needs? What would be our maximum load at any particular time? There were lots of variables to consider when choosing the number of panels and the corresponding batteries. DC current cannot be driven as far a distance as AC, something to keep in mind. There are charts online to tell you what the distance would be depending upon your voltage and gauge of the copper wire. And some newer panels have individual micro-inverters, something we are not familiar with.
Because of the expense of heavy gauge copper wire, most systems in my area keep the panels close to the battery bank, as close as feasible. Our barn has panels on the roof. The battery bank is housed in a box along the barn wal right below the panels. The inverter & controller are on the inside wall next to the outdoor battery box. The distances are short. Our house is located about 300' away and has its own independent system.
I really don't have any set figures for you. I'm not that well learned about solar. It's just that your distances sound much longer than what we have. Oh, when figuring your distances, measure the distance that the wire would actually travel, not just the distance from point A to point B. Remember that the wire needs to travel down the wall of the barn from the panels to wherever the batteries and inverter are, so there might be some turns and ups & downs to measure too.
|[+] food preservation » Getting oil from seeds - Seeds press (Go to)||Bobby Reynolds|
The piteba press can have an electric motor attached to it. I've seen folks around me do that. But they are processing a lot of macnuts in order to sell the oil at the weekly farmers market. I'm not, so I don't bother making things more complicated and expensive for myself.
Oil will oxidize (go rancid) if it is not kept cold or treated with an antioxidant. The warmer the temperature, the faster it will oxidize. Commercial oils contain an antioxidant (preservative) but I don't know what is used. The local macnut oil people here add vitamin E to the oil as a preservative. Since I only press a month's worth of oil at a time, I simply store my oil in a glass container in my refrigerator. One of my neighbors stores her excess in her freezer. By the way, macnut oil goes cloudy when refrigerated, so it can't be stored that way if it will be resold.
If you plan to sell fresh pressed oil, it would be ethical to tell the buyer the date the oil was pressed and whether or not you have added a preservative. No preservative, then the buyer needs to know to refrigerate or freeze the oil for long term storage.
|[+] food preservation » Getting oil from seeds - Seeds press (Go to)||Bobby Reynolds|
I use a handcranked piteba oil press. It's easy to use. I mostly press macadamia nuts but I've also done sunflower seeds. Mine gets used quite frequently - weekly during the major nut season.
As for avocado, that oil is made differently. It's not pressed.
|[+] natural fibers and materials » Summer farming clothing (Go to)||Velho Barbudo|
All my farm work clothes are junk clothes that are either given to me as castoffs, or I buy for super cheap at rummage sales or thrift shops. As far as I'm concerned, work clothes just need to functional, not fashionable. I keep a plentiful supply and wear them until they either get too many holes or rip out along the seams. I usually change into fresh clothes at lunchtime, and again if they become uncomfortably dirty.
Shirts - t-shirt or pull over top (preferably cotton), a size larger than my usual fit so that it is very loose fitting. On hot sunny days, I'll often dampen the shirt before putting on so that it helps keep me cool.
Pants - shorts, cut offs, or men's swimming trunks (I'm not proud. Just about anything will do.) I prefer them fitting at the waist and baggy otherwise.
Hat - a straw cowboy hat or a straw/bamboo coolie style hat. I like straw because I can dip the hat in water to help keep my head cooler. I like a wide enough brim to keep the sun glare out of my eyes and the direct sun off of my ears.
|[+] survival » Stranded on a deserted island--which four of these tools would you take? (Go to)||Morgan Gold|
In regards of the mirror as a fire starter. The mirror pictured is flat, so as it is it won't start a fire. BUT, it can be modified. Broken into smaller pieces, the right sized pieces could be glued (think, tree sap) to something to make a concave mirror. That something could be the right seashell, coconut shell, beach rock, driftwood, etc. It would be coarse and not highly efficient, but it could help get your initial fire started. So picking the mirror can be a good idea. For myself though, I already am capable of starting a fire in other ways although it will take time and effort. So I'll pass on the mirror.
|[+] survival » Stranded on a deserted island--which four of these tools would you take? (Go to)||Morgan Gold|
Chris, good point. I missed that.
After reading over others choices, I'd still stick with my own. Drinking water would be my first concern, so the pot will be important. I'd still go with the idea of making a dip net for catching small reef fish. I've seen locals using them here in Hawaii and they are very successful and quick. With immediate food and water covered, shelter would be a cinch.
It's been fun looking at the choices people make. It's all based upon their own individual knowledge and capabilities. Very, very interesting.
|[+] survival » Stranded on a deserted island--which four of these tools would you take? (Go to)||Morgan Gold|
Drinking water would my first consideration for the first few days on the island. I would be looking for any possible fresh water source on the island or praying for rain in order to collect it. Assuming no fresh water and no rain, I couldn't figure out how to use any of my choices for desalinating enough drinking water each day to survive. Anyone come up with a solution? I could boil sea water in the pot and collect the steam on a cooling chamber made out of the raft or tarp. But it would taste terrible because of the leaching chemicals, then I'd need the water filter to make it drinkable. Any better ideas?
|[+] survival » Stranded on a deserted island--which four of these tools would you take? (Go to)||Morgan Gold|
Thought provoking. Not knowing how long I'd be stranded, I'd need to think long term. It could be weeks or months if I were lucky enough to be near a shipping, fishing, or tourist region. But if I were stranded due to my world traveling solo boat or hot air balloon being lost, I could be so remote as to be stranded for the rest of my life. Let's assume the worse and I'd be there there for years. Then I'd be looking at long term and durable items. If the island is not inhabited, that means that it is small and does not have abundant food sources, otherwise it would have people living on it already. So I assume it will be small, and hopefully has a variety of vegetation. Also I'll assume that it is an island in a tropical area since a hammock, insect repellent, and sunscreen are among my choices.
1- Tarp.....while immediately handy, after a year it will degrade to shreds. So not good for the long term. I could live without it.
2- sunscreen. Worthless for survival.
3- toilet paper. Ditto.
4- pot. Good item. I might seriously consider this one.
5- iPod. If I were choosing this I might as well prepare to die.
6- hiking boots. Not on my list. Most likely I'd already be wearing some sort of footwear. If not, coarse serviceable sandals are easy enough to make out of most available vegetation.
7- handsaw. While initially useful, it won't be long before it will need resharpening. That would be very difficult to do on a deserted island. So I won't choose this.
8- flare gun. A smoky fire would do just as well for getting attention, and actually will send a signal further. A flare gun would only be useful if a boat or ship passed nearby. I pass on this one.
9- inflatable raft. A consideration. It has lots of cons -- how to inflate and re-inflate. How to repair punctures. It sure could be useful for me in the short term. The raft pictured would not be suitable for a long ocean journey to escape the island, so it loses lots of potential value in this point alone.
10- flashlight. Such a short use item that I wouldn't even consider it.
11- insect repellent. Useless for survival.
12- hammock. Yards of useful string for making things. Might be quite useful initially.
13- compass. Useless. If I couldn't figure out where the compass points are by observing the sun, then I'm on track to die anyway!
14- mirror. It has its uses, but it's not all that useful for survival, nor rescue as far as I'm concerned. But I could make a nifty fire starter out of it, good fish lures, and sharp mini-knives. But I'll pass.
15- vitamins. I wouldn't even begin to consider these.
16- water purifier. Any fresh water source on an empty island is more than likely not contaminated in a way to necessitate the water filter. But most small islands don't have fresh water. If I could know in advance that there was a pond on the island, I'd choose this in order to have easy clean water to start out with.
17- fishing rod. While the ocean would most likely be my foremost source of food, a single fishing rod will quickly become disfunctional. Now if I could have a whole tackle box full of assorted hooks, that would be a different story. But a single rod & reel won't make much of a difference for long term survival.
18- rope. Something handy, especially for the first year. A consideration but not high on my list unless we are are taking about a mile of rope.
19- hunting rifle. Not a consideration. A small island won't have large game. While the metal may be useful to making other things, I'll pass on this one.
20- weed. Depends upon the quality. If it has viable seeds, then it might have value. But even so, I think I could pick items with more value to me.
21- first aid kit. Of course it depends upon the kit, but the picture shows a fairly large one. It most likely has a good assortment of useful items. I'll pick this.
22- tent. It has plenty of uses other than a shelter, but It won't last. Not as important for me as other stuff.
23- knife. This is my number one choice.
24- matches. Initially I'd love to make an easy fire, but with effort and perseverance I could get a fire started eventually without the matches. So reluctantly, I'll pass on the matches.
25- volleyball. Pass.
Here's my choices:
First aid kit
The fourth item is a difficult choice. I go with the hammock so that I could make a fishing lift net to provide food for the first few months until I could make functional fish ponds/traps. Since the shoreline sealife won't have enough fats in them to sustain my life long term, I need to harvest fish in order to survive.....since I can't guarantee that the island has coconuts or other suitable edibles to provide fats. Oh by the way, since I'm assuming the island is small, the chance of birds and other wildlife is slim. Birds would be a great food source if they existed. And the unraveled hammock strings could be used to make mist nets for bird catching.
|[+] seed saving / exchange / plant breeding » Dixondale Farms from Carrizo Springs, Texas, USA (Go to)||Thekla McDaniels|
If give this source 10 out of 10. I've been buying from them for a long time. They give you plenty of extra plants per bundle. Their varieties grow great on my farm. And whenever I have a problem or question, I can email them and they will help me out. They were a big help when I was trying to learn to grow good onions.
|[+] pasture » Dexter cross cows (Go to)||Tristan Vitali|
A ranch not far from me has both pyr/akbash crosses and a pure kangal for flock guardians. They run a flock of over a 1000 goats. The kangal is by far the more diligent, suspicious, alert protector. The pyr/akbashes tend to protect by barking and chasing, while the kangal will run a feral dog down and engage it if it catches it. The pyr/akbashes seem to protect better working as a team. The kangal doesn't look for a back up, it just attacks on its own. Now these traits may be just individual dogs, rather than a tendency for the entire breed. I don't know since I don't have firsthand experience with them. I have had a German Shepherd/pyr cross for the past 11 years and he's a great watchdog but not an attacker. He just chases, plus looks and sounds aggressive. He's chased off plenty of feral pigs and nosey people. The only thing he ever ran down and killed was a feral turkey that kept annoying him. He's a nice general farm guard dog but not the dog to protect my sheep flock.
|[+] forest garden » Perennials that are difficult to grow from seed? (Go to)||greg mosser|
Mike, I have zero experience growing in your region. But I do grow a number of the plants in your list, and start them from seed. BUT, I start my seeds in a greenhouse, not out in the open soil. So I can't say which would germinate and survive by simply sowing and raking in. But it would be a good experiment to try a small patch and see how they do. Personally I wouldn't sow a lot of seed until I knew which varieties the method would work with. I guess I'm just a seed miser and hate wasting seed and garden space. Thus I start my seeds in flats and transplant the seedlings into grow-on pots before transplanting outdoors.
|[+] europe » radiation-free areas in Europe? (Go to)||Chris Kott|
It's been over 15 years since I lived there, but there were places on Dartmoor, UK that fit your requirements. Don't know what it's like now. Rural locations with low populations most likely are the best regions to check out.
|[+] pigs » Pig breeding question (Go to)||Ron Metz|
I've not read that book, but I've spent hours upon hours discussing breeding among dog breeders. The bottom line is that everybody seems to have their own strong opinion, irregardless if it is backed up by science or on-hand experience. Some breeders have crazy ideas that have very little to do with reality. I've talked with people who were very set against purebreds, but frankly, I couldn't see where their arguments held water. They simply couldn't defend their viewpoint when the discussion got beyond the first 2 minutes. As you can see, I'm not against the concept of purebreds. By the way, neither is nature, if you've noticed.
Consistency is most easily achieved by using purebreds. That's part of the definition of purebred, the ability to reproduce traits with consistency. Thus if you have a pig breed noted for giving consistent quality carcasses, then you can expect to see a high percentage of good carcasses in the litters you produce when breeding purebreds. If you keep the best individuals for your breeding stock, then you should be able to maintain that trait.
Carcass quality can often be achieved by crossing two known breeds, where it was previously learned that doing such a mating gave good carcass quality. Say for example, for years the farmer down the road has been mating Berkshire boars to Yorkshire sows and getting piglets that result in the ideal carcass for your needs. If you do the same thing, assuming that you choose good quality boars and sows, you'd also get the consistently good carcasses that you desired.
Once you start mating crossbreed animals, things can get a little fuzzy. A purebred bred to a crossbred will give somewhat predictable results, but there will be some variability that you can't control. You will see a higher percentage of off-types in the litters. But perhaps you are gaining the benefit of something else, such as increased litter size, that offsets the disadvantages. But once you start mating crossbreed to crossbreed, consistency goes out the door. While the farmer may see a tendency for a large herd, as a whole, to be ok when breeding crossbreed to crossbreed, on the individual level there is going to be wild variations. Thus a small farmer is not going to reap a benefit when breeding only a few litters of those cross-to-cross animals.
|[+] homestead » Homesteading For Beginners (Go to)||Matthew Rupert|
As Janes said, homesteading can mean different things for different people. Plus location makes a big difference. I homestead on 20 acres and have come up workable solutions. But if I tried to homestead 10 miles down the road, I'd have to come up with dramatically different methods.
Ray, if you ask specific questions, I'm sure people will respond. If you don't know where to start, you could try browsing my own blog in order to give you some ideas. www.kaufarmer.blogspot.com
|[+] chickens » Feeding restaurant scraps to chickens ?? (Go to)||Jan Hrbek|
Ron, you're right......chickens love eating styrofoam! Years ago I had been given numerous small styrofoam coolers and I thought I would make them into easy to clean nestboxes. the next day after installing them in the chicken coop I came out to discover that they had eaten huge holes in them! In some they had eaten the entire floor! Quickly I removed the remaining pieces and never allowed styrofoam near them again.
Another thing my hens will eat is paper, though not as avidly as styrofoam. One time I put handfuls of shredded paper in their nestboxes, thinking it would help keep things clean and dry. The next day most of the shredded paper had disappeared and the chickens pooped paper mache for the next day. On a same note, I often dump a trash bag of restaurant waste into the middle of their pen and often there are bits of trash. Yes, I have to pick up the trash the next morning, but I notice that eat all the paper napkins.
|[+] plants » Best natural fertilizer for potatoes? (Go to)||s. ayalp|
In my own experience of growing potatoes in the tropics, I find that they do not like fresh manure. My best results have been when I dug in aged compost. I lightly mulched the top of the soil until the sprouts grew about 6 inches tall, then I added more mulch. This helped keep the soil moist and cool. When I didn't use mulch, the potatoes were smaller and fewer. Potatoes seem to be heavy feeders, because mine always do better when I've dug in plenty of compost. Less compost = less potatoes.
I've had success growing potatoes in a container on my farm where the temperatures are cooler than at my seed farm. The seed farm location is much warmer and drier, and the potatoes there do not do well. I'm not sure if it is the heat it the drier conditions that causes them to grow poorly.
Some varieties do better in the tropics than others. So try several different ones to find the better ones for your location.
|[+] small farm » Wanting to start a farm (Go to)||T. Gardner|
"What would be a reasonable amount of land to start with if I only grew the veggies, berries and fruit? "......... That depends. Where in the world is that land located? What sort of climate? How is the soil fertility? What are the available resources? Where one person could produce an abundance of food on one acre, another person somewhere else could need 20 acres or more to do the same. Where one person may have great soil, great "in place" fertility, plenty of warmth and rain, another person may have none of that. So, it all depends.
By a bit of experience, what do you mean? My own wwoofer feels he has a bit of experience, but honestly, he'd starve if he tried to independently grow all his own food. He only has experience of growing in a good location where everything is already developed. He hasn't seen mass diseases, crop destruction due to insects, nor severe drought yet. Nor has he had to start up his own farm.
I'm not trying to discourage you, but on the contrary, I'm trying to encourage you to be realistic so that you may succeed. That said.....having no land and no money will make things more challenging. In my area, no land isn't a major obstacle as long as you have transportation. I've helped a few young people get introduced to landowners who are willing to allow others to temporarily use their land. One family has been very, very successful farming small plots here and there. After a few years they have already saved enough money to have a down payment on their own 20 acres. Another couple are also farming multiple little pieces of land and are doing quite well.
The lack on money will be more challenging. It means that you may be spending a lot more time working than if you had some cash to buy things like a truckload of manure or compost, water for irrigation, piping or hoses, etc. Having to make do without a pick up truck, without small equipment, will take time away from actually working your crops. Lack of money also means that buying enough seeds may be difficult. And buying fruit trees may need budgeting.
Starting out with nothing can be done, but it takes a willingness to work long and hard, be resourceful, and live a simplistic lifestyle. Many a person in my area started out living in a tent or garden shed for one or several years while struggling to get started. They often started out with a small bit of land, made improvements, sold it and bought something better. I know several small farmers who bought & sold several pieces of land before finally getting their current farms. Those that were determined and disciplined generally succeeded.
If this is something you really want to do, I would suggest that you read and learn as much as possible. Then start out small, gradually getting bigger as you gain experience. It an be an exciting and grand experience!
|[+] trees » Has anyone grown macadamia nut trees? Did you start them from seed? (Go to)||Tim Kivi|
I'm growing macadamia trees on my homestead in Hawaii. Yes, they will grow from seed quite easily, but like citrus and avocado, you won't know what you've got until the tree matures. As a result most people plant grafted trees so that know that they are putting their effort into growing a tree that will produce the type of nuts they are looking for. I've seen plenty of macnut trees grown from seed that mature out to be good producers, but I've seen an equal number or more that either produce very small nuts or not very many. My own trees are a known grafted variety that I got free as rejects from a local orchard. They were funny shaped and the orchard man wasn't interested in fussing with them. I've trained them into nice trees.
They grow moderately slowly. It will take years before they offer any significant shade or get tall. I planted mine about 10 years ago and they are perhaps 10 foot high now.
Once established they handle dry conditions ok. But in order to produce a decent crop, they need moisture during flowering time. The orchards here that are in dry locations will run drip irrigation during the flowering season. I have a friend living in a dry location and has a dozen trees. She directs her grey water to the trees during flowering time, thus getting an abundant crop each year.
Hope this info helps.
|[+] food choices » "Rabbit" Starvation--How is it prevented? (Go to)||Chris Palmberg|
Medically, the problem comes down to lack of fat. Rabbit meat (and some other wild meats harvested at the end of winter when the animal is in poor condition or on the verge of starvation) has extremely little fat. There's none laced in the muscling of rabbits, like that found in many other animals.
The problem with rabbit comes when a person tries to survive predominately on just rabbit. The human body needs fats. When we are not eating meats containing fats, we get it from other foods. Thus vegans don't run into trouble not eating meat fat because there is plenty in vegetables and nuts. But for people that opt to eat just rabbit and nothing else, or are forced to because that's the only thing around that is edible, then they can quickly get into trouble with a deadly situation. The rabbit it isn't toxic, it simply lacks fat.
Cultures that survived upon high meat diets, consumed plenty of fat along with the meat.
|[+] homestead » A giant list of things you can make yourself (Go to)||Cheli Scott|
Instead of a giant list of things, how about a list of giant things.......
More things we've made ourselves instead of buying them....
1- our farm. We started out with 20 acres of once upon a time, many decades before, a place that had been used to graze cattle. Prior to that had been used by an adjacent ranch to work with their ranch horses. It had been abandoned, allowed to regrow into a young woods for years and years to the point that all the buildings and fencing had rotted away and totally disappeared. Instead of buying a farm, we made our own.......buildings, pastures, gardens, rock walls, fences, the whole shebang.
2- our house. We bought the materials, but we did the building.
3- our food. 98% of our food comes from our own effort, one way or the other.
|[+] market garden » Best way to start no dig on former dairy land ( grass and some weeds ) (Go to)||Dereck Downey|
Welcome , Dereck!!
Sounds like you have a decent piece of land to start your project with. Congratulations. Mind telling us a bit more? Where is it located? What's the climate like? What's some of your goals -- self-sufficency? Market gardens? Permaculture homestead? Focus upon a particular crop family? Food forestry? Etc. Plus, how along are you in experience? Novice, intermediate, experienced?
First let me say, in my opinion there is no single "best way" to do things in permaculture. There's lots of leeway, flexibility, and possibilities. So when I'm working a new project, I often try small plots using different methods to see which works best for me in that location.
Some grasses and weeds are notoriously difficult to smother, others are easy. So a 4" mulch layer may or may not do the trick. But as weeds return, if you chop each one as they first appear, it should not be overly difficult to control and eliminate them. Many new gardeners make the mistake of waiting too long before doing something about the returning weeds. Cardboard may or may not be the answer. I've used cardboard over grass, and while initially happy with the results, I have since abandoned the method. I found the cardboard effective to a point, then it had problems associated with it-- it got slippery during wet periods making a dangerous walking situation. Yes, I fell several times. It also didn't uniformly rot away, leaving huge chunks that I ended up removing and carrying away to a hugelpit. The wind here would kick it up and make a mess.
The one thing I would say NOT to do is use landscape fabric. I've never been happy with it. Plenty of people have their own horror stories about it. Once down in place for awhile it becomes a nightmare to remove. It never rots away, but it shreds, causing hours and hours of work to remove it. And contrary to the advertising, there will be plenty of weeds growing in the top mulch plus plenty of grasses growing back right up through the weedblock cloth. I've tried even heavy duty professional landscape cloth and have had grasses grow right up through it. And those grasses that fail to make it through the fabric weave their roots and shoots into the fabric, effectively gluing it to the soil. To remove glued down landscape cloth I've had to use my pickup truck to pull it up in pieces. Not a fun job.
Personally I've taken pasture areas and mowed them down real close to the soil. Then I run a rototiller shallowly across the top to cut the grass plants off at the soil level. The tiller is simply faster and easier than using a hand hoe to chop. I'll do this on a sunny day and have to sub dry out to uprooted grasses. The next day I'll rake off the grasses, transferring them to a compost bin. I'll cover the exposed soil with a very light mulch, just enough to protect the soil microbes.,no more than a 1/2" thick. Then I'll wait a week or two for weeds and grasses to grow back, then either chop or rototill them off. Reapply a very light mulch as needed. Then wait again for a week or two to see what sort of regrowth I have, chopping or surface tilling until the major regrow this gone. The only thing I haven't controlled this way in my farm is bermuda grass. It works for most everything else. Now with the majority of weeds and grasses controlled, I'll get on with mulching, soil amendments (after a soil testing), and gardening.
Hope these ideas help. I'm sure more folks will chime in with their own experiences. There's more than one way to start out.
|[+] homestead » A giant list of things you can make yourself (Go to)||Cheli Scott|
Gosh, I can't think of all the things that I home make, compared to my friends who go out and buy stuff. I don't buy paper towels - I use rags from discarded clothing I get for free. I don't buy flowerpots for my seedlings- I make my own out of discarded containers I get from the dump. I made my own hydroponic system. My own greenhouses and mini greenhouses. My own garden labels. I didn't buy a house address sign (required here)- instead I made my own artsy house number sign. All my yard art is homemade. I've made many pieces of furniture out of purchased cedar and ohia harvested off my own land. I'm presently making picture frames out of wood and other materials from my land. I've made plenty of raised garden containers and mini ponds instead of buying them at Home Depot. Most gifts are handmade. Much of my art decor is handmade by me or my friends, I've been gifted items that my friends sell for in the hundreds, even thousands, so these are not cheesy looking items! Homemade doesn't mean poor quality. I've also made some clothing, but sewing doesn't thrill me, so I don't do it much.
I guess if I thought about it, I could list more. But making my own is a normal way of life now. 20 years ago I would have gone to the store for my stuff.
|[+] meaningless drivel » Emergency alerts - how to get them? (Go to)||Bryant RedHawk|
Old outdated smart phones can often be gotten for free. People don't want them so either throw them away, pitch them into electronic recycling bins, or give them to an abused women's group. Just put a notice up on a local bulletin board that you want one for emergency notices and I bet someone will donate an old phone. Might have a cracked screen, but who cares. Or contact an abused women group and see if they have surplus smart phones.
In the US, smart phones without SIM cards in them will receive emergency notices. They can also call 911. I know that for a fact because I keep an old iPhone 4S beside the bed just for the purpose of emergency messages. No SIM card. I've gotten flash flood warnings, tsunami warnings, and the latest....a ballistic missile alert. Thought I had 12 minutes before the blast and discovered I had absolutely no protected place to go. So I did the next best thing -- finished eating my hot breakfast before it got cold. For real! Luckily it was a false alarm. But my main concerned is a lava eruption. Sitting on the side of a volcano, I will only have a couple of hours to evacuate, so an alert over a smart phone can be real, real beneficial.
ps- basically zero cost......free old phone.....no SIM card to buy.....no phone plan to pay for. Just plug it into a charger to keep it running, which just costs pennies. I find it to be a cheap solution.