Where I work we have about 600 people in the building and a coffee machine in the break room. I have been collecting the coffee grounds for a few months now. The only person I asked initially was the lady that makes the coffee. I brought a 5 gallon bucket with a screw on lid that I bought in the paint dept at Home depot. I leave the bucket between the coffee machine and the garbage can. These things make it easier tor her to save me the grounds than throw them out.
The lid attracts some attention. It is much easier to install and remove than a lid that snaps on. So, the first thing people notice is something that looks like a good idea. It helps to shape their opinion of what I am doing. I also make it a point to take the bucket home every day and return it clean and empty every morning. When I am asked what I use them for I am quick to explain that I dig them into my garden. "Worms are like people, when they have coffee they get ambitious. By Spring my garden will be tilled and fertlized." Everyone has been supportive. Some of my coworkers have pointed out that Starbucks gives away bags of spent coffee grounds to anyone willing to take them.
I spent some time looking at some of my old textbooks and realized there is a lot we don't know about these wedges. Mainly the carbon content. But, that can be measured with an optical spectrometer. Once you know that you can set your heat treat oven to the correct temperature. If you have $100,000 worth of equipment at your disposal that's how you would proceed.
Then I found a YouTube video by Dave Bardin called tempering steel. He goes through how to get the job done in a low tech way and is very detailed in his descriptions. The part about using a file to test whether the steel is annealed will be very useful, a very simple test that will tell you if your wedge is safe to use. Also there is a pinned comment that talks about using clay for differential hardening. They didn't teach us about that in engineering school.
A cold water quench is likely to make the problem worse. The fast cooling rate makes the metal more brittle. On the way out the door now. But, I'll check some of my metallurgy books from college and post a more detailed reply soon.
...when you see a (homeless?) man in your front yard. He's standing under your tree eating an apple. So, you take a cutting, graft a tree, and plant it where you have seen him walking. Because guerrilla gardeners and homeless people occupy the same ecological niche.
When your garden plan includes a location for the Japanesse Beetle trap because you know some of them will fall to the ground nearby and lay eggs,
That will hatch into grubs,
That will attract moles,
That will dig tunnels,
That will act as a swale.
Around here we have whitetail deer. When you scare them, they run off with their tails in the air. That raised tail is an alarm signal that the other deer recognise. Some white flags the same size and shape as a deer tail will repel the whitetails. Are yours Sitkas?
That's Justin Rhodes I have been following his Youtube channel for a while now. I do not recall the specific breed. But, those pigs are particularly small and nonagressive. He will broadfork the entire area while the livestock is there (as a form of exercise). Also, when he finds deep rooted weeds with the broadfork he dumps grain down the holes so the pigs will go after it and dislodge the roots. So, this is not a labor free method. But, he is getting help with tilling and fertilization from his livestock.
In my experience, mouse traps work well if you bait them without setting them. I use peanut butter for bait. This gives me the opportunity to monitor whether I have a mouse problem. When the bait disappears I know there are mice. Only then do I set the trap. By then I've trained the mouse to be careless and it will be in the trap shortly.
I realize I'm late to the discussion. But, here in central Missouri there are many "earth sheltered homes", basically a south facing walk out basement without the upper stories. This might be the half step closer to the home you want to build. Go looking for one of those contractors and you might find someone you can work with.
If I was looking for a tenant in Salem I would have mentioned how close it is to the Current River. There is a significant tourist trade with trout fisherman and camoeists visiting the area. This might provide an additional market for any produce from the farm and possibly revenue from camp sites. Just a thought.
I watched some of your YouTube videos, and to brutally honest they weren't that interesting. With that said, those individual videos don't tell a story. If you were to string all that video together and add a narrative that told the story of how you built all of this, or alternately how the parts work together as a permaculture system then you would have something worth watching.
I recent came across a Curtis Stone video about how he wants to do something different. In the video he talks about how the YouTube algorithms work and what he has to do to attract viewers. That might be useful to you.
I can see this sounds harsh. But, it is intended to be constructive criticism. You've done most of the work don't give up now.
I was out in the garage the other day and noticed my plumb bob hanging from a nail with about 6 feet of string attached. It is brass, weighs about 8 ounces and it has a steel point. As I stood there I realized if you could hold the string and throw it like a rock from a sling. It would be a very deadly weapon.
But, if I had to choose I would take my shotgun. I have used it to harvest more wild game that I can list and I fear going hungry more than being attacked by wild animals
I have some thoughts about relationships from an evolutionary perspective. I have heard it suggested that a relationship is transactional in nature. The hunter gatherer man can kill more dinosaurs than he needs to feed himself. He trades this surplus to woman, who can provide the children that he can't. Those hunter gatherer archetypes are still alive and well somewhere deep down in our psyche. The woman if she is going to take on the task of raising the mans offspring to adulthood she wants a long-term commitment. The man wants access to the woman (we all know where babies come from).
In your own case, you said your ideal situation would be to work one week a month to cover expenses the farm would not provide. I did the math on that it comes out to about $12k a year. Not a lot of money for smeone that wants an urban lifestyle. You said you wife is unwilling to take care of herself enough to bear children. Also, she is talking openly about divorce. As for the last item, that's none of my business. My point is nobody seems willing to bring to the relationship what the other wants or even what they themselves should expect. It looks to me like both of you have already given up on this and are only trying to avoid the pain of divorce. As an earlier post pointed out divorce is one of the most painful things in life. It seems to me you need to decide whether to invest that pain to make the life you want a reality.
On the subject of land and farming... I grew up in Cedar Rapids IA and currently live in Columbia MO. What passes for a green thumb in Iowa and what it takes to eak out a crop in Missouri are vastly different. That inheritance might buy more acres in Missouri. But, it won't be any more productive the land it would buy in Iowa.
One option for moving heat around in the cabin, if that is your goal, would be a sterling engine powered fan. There are several versions out there. If you Google "Vulcan Stove Fan" you will find one example.
I was just reading a post from last year about "who else has a national anthem that celebrates the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air". It reminded me of a thought I had many years ago, that seems even better now.
If I was president for a day I would issue a proclamation that we would have two national anthems. In times of peace, we would sing the Star Spangled Banner, a song about our country at war. But, in war time we would sing America The Beautiful, a song about our country at peace. Every time we would be pulling ourselves back to the center.
Just my thoughts on this, our national day of blowing sh*t up.
On the subject of bone sauce... I was just looking at the Sepp Holzer Permaculture section of permies and he claims that one application of bone sauce works as a deterrent for decades. I can't imagine that this is right, if the mean by which it works is making the tree taste bad. Maybe there is something else going on. I have read a little about the work of Rudolf Steiner and how he used potentized ashes to repel pests on farms. Since herrs Steiner and Holzer are both from central europe maybe they both know something the rest of us have yet to learn. Since I have already been composting dead Japanesse Beetles and spreading milky spore l clearly can't do a controlled experiment at this point. I'm just wondering if anyone else is doing anything along these lines.
In an effort to make the problem the solution I have come up with what might be a crazy idea. I wanted some input before I try this. The Japanesse Beetles have just arrived here. The local social media is abuzz with the organic versus chemical control debate. Personally, I am in the beetle trapping camp. I am being told I will attract more beetles to my property this way. (I already know this as I've been trapping them for 3 years now.) I don't have chicken or ducks to feed them to. So, I empty the trap into a 2 gallon bucket snap the lid on and leave it in the sun until the beetles are dead. Then,I dump it in the compost bin. This spring when I added compost to my vegetable garden the beetle shells were still visible in the compost. So far, I'm not seeing much damage in the vegetable garden. I'm wondering if I have stumbled across a variation on Sapp Holders bone sauce. Has anyone else tried something like this?
In my case my small orchard is in a suburban back yard. I would like to build a swale just up the hill from the apples. But, since my house is a duplex and I don't want to put off potential tenants I am looking for a way to make an invisible swale. This is where the Japanesse Beetles come in. If the dead beetles are working like bone sauce then spreading them near the apple trees would provide some protection. Just in case there are any viable eggs that might lead to a hatch of grubs I intent to spread them on the hill above the trees in the hopes that moles will eat the grubs and loosen this soil and build my invisible a swale. Does this seem reasonable or have I been possessed by the spirit of Rube Goldberg?
Where I live it is common to grow vining vegetables such as cucumbers or climbing beans on cattle panels If you are going to build a berm or raised bed what if you put some cattle panels on end and arched them out over the sidewalk. I assume that 30 feet to the road includes a sidewalk. As your vines grow you could: 1. Provide shade for pedestrians. 2. Share the harvest. 3. Put a double layer of vegetation between the street and yourself. 4. Demonstrate function stacking.
I have several thoughts about this. It could be a case of biennial bearing. A tree that produces a heavy crop one year will sometimes fail to bear fruit the following year while it "rests". The usual remedy is increased thinning of the fruit when there is a heavy fruit set. Commercial orchardists that want to optimize their crop have some rules about leaf to fruit ratios. I'm not so concerned about getting every last apple. So, I have never researched this in depth.
As for minerals, if a tree gets too much nitrogen sometimes it will grow leaves instead of fruit. I do know that honeycrisps need lots and lots of calcium to produce a crop. Since the honeycrisps is the only one blooming I would not expect calcium to be short. Potassium is the most important mineral for producing fruit. It is also rather slow to become available in the soil. So, the trees may have used up all they could get last year and are now going without.
If it was me I would get a soil test done. Any land grant university will have a soil lab and extension offices around the state. They can tell you based on the sample what minerals are present. Then you wouldn't have to rely on my guesswork. They will also make recommendations.
I have been exploring the same idea. I have found several, resources that might be helpful. One is a book by Larry Brooks called Story Engineering mastering the 6 core competencies of successful story writing. It's very detailed about how to construct a story. It basically provides a format that you can use to refine the story you want to tell.
I also took an adult education class through the local school district on novel writing. One thing in the class you would find helpful is to check out createspace.com This is Amazon's self publishing platform. I am not at a point where I need to think about publishing just yet. So, I haven't looked at it in great detail. But, it appears you can upload a manuscript and format it using their tools and they will print on demand as copies are sold on amazon.
Those "cape gooseberries" look like what we know as ground cherries here in the US. The last time I grew them I bought seeds from Baker Creek Seeds. You can find their website at rareseeds.com. Here in zone 5 they are an annual. I'll know in a few weeks whether the self seed.
I'm just thinking out loud here. After looking at the post about the air well, why does an air well have to take the form of a stone structure above the ground. Could it take the form of a perforated pipe in the soil. If humid air was pulled through such a pipe it would force some condensation right in the root zone. People who use earth tubes for cooling in a humid climate have to deal with this "problem". It could be a solution in this case.
I started down this path myself about 5 years ago. My whole garden/orchard is oriented east west. So, everywhere in the garden gets either morning or afternoon sun. My trees are semidwarf and spaced 20 feet apart. There are some things I have to plant at the midpoint between the trees such as tomatoes, peppers, and corn because they need a lot of sun. But, for the most part shading has not been a problem.
I have given up on planting within 3 to 4 feet of the trunk for fear of damaging the tree roots. This area is covered in wood chips and inoculated with winecap mushrooms. Eventually I came to the conclusion that this piece of ground will produce a certain amount of food. The garden is not as productive as it once was. But, the fruit trees more than make up the difference. Also, my harvest is spread out over a longer season. So, I don't have things going to "waste" in the compost pile because I didn't preserve them somehow.
Originally I planned to move my garden when it got shaded out. These days I really don't see the need.
I think you have made a math error that is effecting your logic. It humans have produced 30,000 generations in 10,000 years then a human would grow to maturity and reproduce in 4 months. If on the other hand we take 20 years as a generation then 10,000 years represents only 500 generations. So, adaptation might be occurring much faster that you originally assumed.
Also, the work of William Albrecht documented significant differences in the health of draftees during the first world war that he tied back to rainfall patterns and soil mineral saturation. This occurred barely 100 years after settlement in the midwest and 200 years along much of the east coast. Or, over a period of 5 to 10 generations.
Mid Missouri, I have some experience with that. The suggestion that mulch will help is a good one. Adding organic matter always will improve clay. But, there is another factor at work. The bed rock here is dolomite. It's part calcium and part magnesium and it has been leaching into and out of the soil for the last 1.5 million years. The calcium is more soluble and is leached out of the soil more easily. It is also taken up by plants in greater quantities. The result is a build up of magnesium in the soil. This will cause the clay to become harder. But, it can be undone by adding calcium. If your pH is low and you want to raise it, lime will fix both problems. Be sure the lime is not made from dolomite as this will not change the mineral balance. If the pH is ok, gypsum will loosen the clay.
I have not used a sub soiler myself but I have seen the results near Oaks and Hickories. It seems to help a little. I would not be too concerned with it harming a Persimmon as they have a taproot and a very deep root system. They are also prone to growing multiple trunks from a common root. If you are not getting any fruit, you might have only one tree and no pollinator.
If it was me, I would be sure there is water flowing into the area, then throw some gypsum at it, add mulch and plant a persimmon guild. There are recommendations online for what to include in such a guild. (If you really want persimmons you could find someone locally with a Yates Persimmon in his back yard that would give you a scion).
I agree with Cory about fall planting. If the trees are planted they will go dormant and get through winter safely. The greenhouse is an unnatural environment for a tree native to the temperate zone. Also, trees planted in the fall are in soil that is warmer than the air. Because of this they put on a flush of root growth that will fuel top growth the following spring. I have found the commercial mycorrhiza from fungi perfecti to really boost root growth.
Voles can be a huge threat to young trees. Wire collars are one way to protect them. Another is to plant daffodils around the base of the trees. Voles or rabbits looking for a meal in early spring
will find the daffodils first and upset their stomachs. This will keep them from coming back.
There is a website called casenet. Here in Missouri the state uses their software to keep a public record of all legal cases online. I have seen casenet sites for other states as well. Bad tenants almost always leave a record.
I have made a few batches of mead and found the fermentation goes much slower that in wine. Honey is a much more complex sugar than fructose. I would think the pears would ferment faster and if the fermentation is not complete it would be the honey left behind. If you are concerned about an incomplete fermentation you can always pitch a yeast with a higher alcohol tolerance.
Also when you add the pears you are adding tannins which will alter the taste. Tannins will break down over time so this may not be a problem even if you overshoot what you intended. I have found I really don't like the taste of my mead until it is at least 3 years old and I know it keeps getting better for 5 years. So, have fun but be patient.
Many years ago I worked in a packing plant. They stunned the hogs with an electric shock. There was a "beam" with one electrode on each end. One was placed at the base of the skull the other on the spine just above the hip. Of course it was 240 lb butcher pigs 10 hours a day. So, the tool was a match to the size of the pig. The pigs would be unconscious and still long enough to cut the throat and hang them on the rail (about 15 seconds). Once they were hanging they would begin to kick. But, there was no squealing.
I don't know anything about how many volts or amps the shock was. But, I know there are tazers out there designed to do the same thing for self defense purposes. If someone was spending money on special tool to do the job this might be an option. It might take a little fabrication to put the electrodes in the right places.
Hot dip galvanizing is a simpler process than electro galvanizing. They just clean the steel and dip the part in a vat of molten zinc. The zinc freezes and sticks to the cooler steel. So, all we have is steel and zinc not some other chemical bonding agent. That works in your favor. Zinc is zinc. So, deplating will work regardless of the original process.
Hot dip galvanizing typically leaves a thicker layer of zinc. So, removing it will take more time than a thin layer. How long is a function of how much zinc you are removing, the chemical reactivity of your solution, and the amperage is your current source. More amps will speed of the process. More acid will speed up the process at the cost of more cleanup. Without knowing the detail of how you set this up it's impossible to know exactly how long. But, as a wild guess I would think maybe a day maybe a little more.
As for disposal, first be sure you neutralize the acid. That's what the wood ashes will do for you. If you have litmus paper that will tell if it's neutral solution. Or stick a piece of rusty steel in the solution acid will clean the surface. In this case that's a bad thing. Once the acid is neutralized you have zinc and sulphur. Personally I would dump it on the ground. But, I have a soil test that says I need more of both. There is only a small amount of zinc in solution. Everything you removed from the tub will be deposited on that steel cathode.
Zinc is used for galvanizing because it is more chemically reactive than steel and will oxidize before the steel will. We can use this to our advantage. You can electro deplate the zinc just like it was electroplated on to the surface.
You will need a DC power source such as a battery charger, a conductive solution, and an electrode to catch the zinc. I assume it is the inside surface you want cleaned. What I would do is fill the wash tube with water, add some zinc sulfate if you can get it. Where I live, I can find it at the local garden shop as an (organic?) soil amendment. A little battery acid will speed up the process but you may not feel comfortable adding that to a tub you will be using prepare food. Next you will use the battery charger to make a circuit that goes from the positive terminal of the charger to the wash tub, through the solution in the tub, to a peice of steel attached to the negative terminal of the charger. When the charger is turned on the galvanizing will be stripped off the tub (the anode) and deposited on the piece of steel (the cathode). This will strip the zinc first. But, at some point all the zinc will be gone the steel will begin to corrode. So you will want to keep a close watch on the process.
Of course you will want to wash everything when you are done. Wood ash and lots of it will neutralize the acid you added and help protect the steel. But, without the galvanizing it's just a matter of time before the tub begins to rust. Steve was absolutely right about that. If this doesn't work the most likely cause is minerals (lime) in the water you are using in which case a little acid should tip the balance...