I believe what attracts them is smell of the yeast from the potato water (old school bread makers used potato starter). You can also use a little flour like you are making a sourdough starter, but it takes a bit for the yeast to build up, so I prefer the potato.
We reuse the tops from the bag style fly traps on old canning jars and we have tried many fillers to attract flies. By far the most effective has been thin slices of potato in water. It can develop a healthy smell if not changed often but I can feed the contents to my chickens without worrying about making them sick!
Linda I highly recommend you mulch with wood chips. They will help soak the water into the dirt rather than running off. You can also ditch and divert. Check out Brad Lancaster videos on YouTube and his website https://www.harvestingrainwater.com/ He's out of Tucson.
A few pictures of drains into a buried hugelkulture on our land. The black rock catches debris before it flows into the beds. You may also consider a ground cover of mint, it will hold soil well and need little to no care.
Definitely the Witch Hazel, I love their fragrant flowers, you can smell them from a mile away on the breeze. Since they bloom at odd times they are often he only flowers around. Their seed ejection system is crazy cool, shooting seeds up to 30 feet. They are medicinal as well.
Here on the Colorado plateau of AZ we have the large gopher snake (often called a bull snake by locals but actually in the same family as corn snakes) It's a very nice snake, I have seen many people pick up wild ones without upsetting the snake. They do a very convincing rattler impression pulling the corners of their mouth back hissing, and shaking their tail in the dead leaves. I have seen these guys eat eggs before, because sometimes after eating they get stuck in the chicken wire, and I have to cut them loose. They tend to keep the mice down so I figure a few eggs are no big deal.
Misery loves company, and I feel like I have good company in this thread, so thank you for starting it.
The cutworms and the sow bugs have eaten a dozen tomato starts, a few beets and a half dozen of my squash. I already spotted a squash beetle which doesn't bode well for my season. Only lost a couple plants this year to the mice and rabbits, the terrier has done a good job keeping them out.
Forgot to say, the propane fridge we had was a 9.7 cu foot $1000 unit from the big box store. It ran for 2 and 1/2 weeks in the high heat of summer on 20lb tank of propane. It went farther during the cooler times, but I disliked the unpredictability of running out. Spent plenty of time shaking a tank trying to divine how long it had left.
We run a full size fridge with 6 L16 batteries and 2000w of incoming power. We are at full charge most of the day on sunny days. We have a backup generator that gets used during monsoon and winter. The biggest draw as Timothy states is the compressor start up, it's a heavy 800w (still less than your average microwave) but quickly drops to the 200w draw. We changed to the electric fridge after calculating the cost of ruined food in our propane fridge, we found the temperature did not maintain well with teenagers. (too much time staring at an open fridge). You sound pretty energy frugal, so I think you could get by with less system than we have.
It's a good 45 minute drive to the forest from here. However there are vast open range lands around me and I can wander anywhere the cows do. Unfortunately those open ranges are as likely to be populated with meth heads as wild life, so take mace...
My friend passed away a few years ago, he had the most beautiful yard that was the central meeting hub for the local community. He hosted happy hour every Friday afternoon at his pool with a potluck dinner. I was gifted seeds from his wild flowers and cuttings from his trees. Now every year when the poplars start to leaf out and the daisies pop their heads out, it reminds me of the many hours I spent, surrounded by good people and good plants in his yard.
I have been reading a book called Man and Wildlife in Arizona, it is a collection of records by the first American travelers through the state in the 1840s (prior to that it was mexico) The state was one of the last to lose its beaver population because Mexico prohibited American hunting. The descriptions of my state break my heart, they talk often of 3-4 foot high grass lands, marshes, abundant wildlife and trees. Our current state of desertification is a direct result of the lowering water table (loss of beavers who slow the water) and overgrazing. It took just 30 years to decimate the beaver population in Arizona!
These are some typical (minimum-maximum) expectations for batteries if used in deep cycle service. There are so many variables, such as depth of discharge, maintenance, temperature, how often and how deep cycled, etc. that it is almost impossible to give a fixed number.
Starting: 3-12 months
Marine: 1-6 years
Golf cart: 2-7 years
AGM deep cycle: 4-8 years
Gelled deep cycle: 2-5 years
Deep cycle (L-16 type etc): 4-8 years
Rolls-Surrette premium deep cycle: 7-15 years
Industrial deep cycle (Crown and Rolls 4KS series): 10-20+ years.
Telephone (float): 2-20 years. These are usually special purpose "float service", but often appear on the surplus market as "deep cycle". They can vary considerably, depending on age, usage, care, and type.
NiFe (alkaline): 5-35 years
NiCad: 1-20 years
If properly maintained the NiFe batteries are a good option for longevity but you must use a high end controller with them and they can potentially start a massive fire if not kept wet. (Think monthly watering and 8 years replacement of electrolyte)
see the link for a more in depth discussion of various battery topics
You didn't mention whether your appliances/ home will run dc or ac, or did i miss that? 100 watts does not seem like enough, when we ran off of a similar system we would charge AA batteries in the car on the way to and from work for a camping puck light, because we often lost power before bed time. The panels are usually placed close to batteries and charge controller because DC suffers from more line loss, you can slightly compensate by enlarging the wire gauge but keep in mind larger wire is much more expensive. After being converted to AC you can have a longer wire to the household power. Our household runs an electric fridge, 3 laptops and lights off 2k incoming power and 4 L16 batteries and we still need a back up generator for prolonged cloudy periods.
Those who ate the most organic food were 25% less likely to develop cancer. Specifically, they were 73% less likely to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma and 21% less likely to develop post-menopausal breast cancer.
Even participants who ate low-to-medium quality diets yet stuck with organic food experienced a reduced risk of cancer, the authors found.
The Project Gutenberg eBook, Mary at the Farm and Book of Recipes Compiled during Her Visit among the "Pennsylvania Germans", by Edith M. Thomas includes these recipes:
3 cups graham flour.
1 cup wheat flour.
4 teaspoons baking powder.
1 cup chopped English walnuts.
1 cup sugar.
1 small teaspoon "Mapleine" flavoring (if liked).
½ cup milk.
½ cup floured raisins (seeded).
Put in a good-sized bread pan and bake on hour in a moderate oven. Strange as it may seem, this bread is lighter and better if allowed to stand a half hour before being placed in the oven to bake.
"MARY'S" RECIPE FOR WHEAT BREAD (use for Graham bread below)
1 cup sweet milk (scalded).
1 cup cold water.
1 cake Fleischman's yeast (dissolved in a small quantity of luke-warm water).
1½ teaspoonfuls sugar.
1 rounded teaspoonful salt.
1 tablespoonful butter.
Flour, about 1½ quarts.
This makes good bread and, as bread is apt to chill if set over night in a cold kitchen, or sour if allowed to stand over night in summer, set this sponge early in the morning. Stiffen with flour and knead about 25 minutes; place the dough in a covered bowl in a warm place to rise about two hours and when well-risen and light, knead and stand one hour. Then mold into shapely loaves, place in pans, brush tops of loaves with melted butter, and when doubled in bulk, in about 45 minutes put in an oven which is so hot you can hold your hand in only while you count thirty, or if a little flour browns in the oven in about six minutes, it is hot enough for bread. The oven should be hot enough to brown the bread slightly five minutes after being put in. Medium-sized loaves of bread require from ¾ of an hour to one hour to bake. When bread is sufficiently baked it can be told by turning the loaf over and rapping with the knuckles on the bottom of the loaf. If it sounds hollow, it is thoroughly baked, and should be taken from the oven. Stand loaves up on end against some object, where the air can circulate around them, and brush a little butter over the top to soften the crust. An authority on the chemistry of foods cautious housewives against cooling loaves of bread too rapidly after taking from the oven, and I should like to add a word of caution against eating fresh breads of any kind. Bread should be baked at least twelve hours before being eaten. The sponge for this bread was set at 6 o'clock in the morning; bread was baked at 10.30.
From 1 pint of liquid, 1 cake of yeast and about 1½ quarts of flour were made two loaves of bread. More yeast is required to raise a sponge containing sugar, eggs and shortening than is required to raise bread sponge containing only liquid, flour and yeast.
"FRAU SCHMIDTS" EASILY-MADE GRAHAM BREAD
Should you care to have a couple of loaves of graham bread instead of all-wheat, take a generous cup of the above sponge before it is stiffened beyond a thick batter, and add one tablespoonful of brown sugar or molasses, stiffen with graham flour (not quite as stiff as when making wheat bread), rub butter or lard on top of dough, cover and set in a warm place to rise. When light, mold into one small loaf (never make graham bread into large loaves), place in oblong pan, cover, let stand until light, about 1½ hours, when it should have doubled in size; put in oven and bake thoroughly. When the loaf is taken from the oven, brush butter over the top. This keeps the crust moist.
If a wholesome loaf of "Corn Bread" is wished, use fine, yellow, granulated cornmeal to stiffen the sponge instead of graham flour; do not make dough too stiff.
I don't have a list of five, just one, anything enriched with fake-o vitamins. The vitamins we add to enriched foods are not bio-identical to the vitamins in your food and require your liver to methylate them in order to be processed. This means your liver is working way harder than it should be. This can also result in difficulty absorbing the real versions from the food you eat. Folate and folic acid are NOT the same, don't be fooled.
Our water is much the same as you describe yours. Although it initially does not smell of sulfur, it will if sitting in a metal tank. I think it is the result of iron eating bacteria. I have also noticed it will rust tools if they are washed and not oiled. Just from personal observation I would say my plants tolerate it but it's not real great for them. In years where we get a proper monsoon summer, the plants do much better than when I drip irrigate constantly. I think the PH of the water combined with the already extreme alkalinity of my soil is hard on anything that prefers the acid end of the spectrum. My blueberry is sad this year.
How full did you fill your jars? Were they exactly to the ring? Also do you live at high altitude?
When you water bath your jars, how full you fill is an exact thing and can vary depending on what you are processing. Too little space at the top can result in the food being forced out the lid into your water. Too much space and air can remain to discolor or contaminate the food.
Also if you live above 3000ft water has a much lower boiling temp due to decreased surface pressure/atmospheric pressure and never really achieves a rolling boil, all cook times should be adjusted accordingly.
If you can find a copy try the book "Putting Food By" authors Hertzerg, Vaughan, and Greene. Mine was printed in 1974. It has all the background how's and why's of canning, plus other preserving methods.
I have always had good luck with Northern Arizona Wind and Sun. They have a very informative learning center online, you have to scroll past the annoying banner ad but the topics are thorough and well explained.
There are two hospitals in the white mountains of Arizona, one in Show low that has just expanded to double the size and is always hiring. The second is located in Springerville, I don't know this one. The Show Low area is at 6000 ft and is dense pine forest, expect snow. There are only 10,000 residents, so shopping is limited to a few box stores, Walmart, Tractor Supply, Lowes and Home Depot. Wells are over 400ft on average, you can spend 20k to sink a well. The water is good but does have a lot of dissolved minerals. Recreation at big lake, includes skiing, hunting, fishing, camping, it is cool even in high summer at 8000ft+. Property in surrounding areas is very reasonable.
Prescott is also a very beautiful area, with 40,000 residents more shopping is available. They have a VA hospital as well as the regional hospital. Watson lake is incredible surrounded by large rock walls and boulders. It is lower in elevation 5000ft average highs 89 lows 23.
A friend and neighbor who just passed away last year, lived in his pit house for 30+ years, in high desert Arizona. Biggest issues were bugs, (things like kissing bugs and centipedes) moisture (when we get some) and the roving bands of cows. He would wake up in a sweat whenever the cows got on top of his roof. Local inspectors have never found his home as it is hidden on the backside of a communal property so he never had building code issues.
He loved his home, it was a comfortable one man home for 30 years and if cancer had not taken him he would be there still.
I just started canning this year for the first time ever. So far we have done tomato paste and sauce, peach-applesauce and mixed berry-applesauce. All water bath, haven't purchased a pressure canner yet. I love my vintage squeezo and my apple peeler corer slicer machine. Any other equipment you can't do without?
I just wanted to share one of my favorite youtube channels that deals with the subject of death and how to talk about it. It's hosted by Caitlin Doughty founder of The Order of The Good Death.
"The Order is about making death a part of your life. Staring down your death fears—whether it be your own death, the death of those you love, the pain of dying, the afterlife (or lack thereof), grief, corpses, bodily decomposition, or all of the above. Accepting that death itself is natural, but the death anxiety of modern culture is not."
Air layering is a great method for hard to root fruit trees, however the drought resistance of some fruit trees is down to the root stock they were grafted on to. If the tree is ungrafted, grown from it's own root, then the offspring will have the exact same qualities. Air layering will typically produce a bigger root system than a rooted cutting as it still has the resources of the parent tree. Give it a go, I'd love to hear how it works for you!
Keep in mind a grafted tree has a large healthy established root to feed the grafted tree, this results in faster growth. Growing from cuttings depending on the type of plant can take a full year and you can still have a tiny plant at the end of that period. It's cheap but time consuming, especially for fruit trees (in my area at least). I still try, I can't resist a good experiment. For Poplars/Cottonwoods, grapes, it's fun and easy, stick them in the ground and watch them grow.
I recall a story told by Brad Lancaster of Tucson Arizona about a farmer who installed trees and permaculture swales on his property to capture the meager rainfall in his drought ridden area. Afterward despite no increase in rain, the local spring, dry for years, began to run again. Keep planting trees, but don't forget to slow that water down and keep it in your land. Brad's videos on youtube are fantastic, I highly recommend them to anyone in a desert area.
Having lived with a wind generator for several years I would like to mention the noise generated by the custom built style wind generator is an issue. Say good bye to crickets and coyotes and hello to whir, whiiiir, buzzzzzzzz, whir. I would also agree with Paul regarding the overstatement of the power you will generate off this unit, the math does not work, for the price I would buy a good gas generator, still noisy but charges much more efficiently. I would also recommend researching hydrogen appliances reputation there are numerous complaints lodged against them on the ripoff report website. SEE HERE :
This is a review of my experience with hydrogenappliances.com which can be summarized as 600 wasted.
I bought a "slant core" PMA/wind generator from "Bob"(ebay username: Qaz661) on ebay a few months ago. This wind generator was supposed to be one of the top of the line models. Within 1 month the blades broke off. One of them sticking into the ground yards away from where one of my friends was working. On further inspection was not made with carbon fiber blades as advertised. Furthermore the unit never would charge even 1 deep cycle battery. The most I could get out of this product was 6 volts. It was completely useless.
THERMODYNE hydrogen appliances 1600 watt scam
AUTHOR: Markde - ()
SUBMITTED: Monday, August 26, 2013
We purchased a "used" THERMODYNE hydrogen appliances "commander wind turbine that was supposed to output 1600 watts per the advertisement. We have had this unit though 70 mile per hour straight line wind and see no more than 200 watts". Further research indicated that this scammer has been screwing people over for years doing the same ridiculous fabrication of product ratings|. Wind Blue power essential confirmed what we suspected in their product write up at the url http://www!.windbluepower:.com/Lite_Breeze_Low_Wind_Generator_Kit_p/cy-low-kit|.htm Essentially we knew we had a junk turbine but having someone in the business break it down for you was icing on the cake;. This wind turbine as wind blue describes will not even start spinning until 12 mph winds nor make usable power until almost 20 mph winds?.
This is a complete piece of *** and we want our money back, however good luck contacting a guy that does not even have a better business rating or listing'. This company as best I can tell is ran out of a UPS shipping store and has no contact information he will answer. He has changed e bay user names 5 times which seems consistent with a scam artist trying to remain evasive. hyewind Aug-07-13 thermodyne_hydrogen_appliances Jun-05-13 qaz661 Sep-01-11 sunelecwind Aug-08-11 qaz661 Mar-07-05 You have been warned about Hydrogen appliances and their "used turbine" and their blatant lies with the firebird commander fraudulent claims. We are pissed as *** and my normally calm wife is as well. She is calling the FTC to get this shut down once and for all.