For my money you cant beat draft ponies or donkeys on the farm.
They are the easiest of keepers, more muscle lb for lb and as a bonus are frequently great at predator control too.
I had Haflingers (aka air ferns who thrived on very little) who were smart and sure footed and perfectly tolerant of our pet dogs. But a neighbor dog or coyote took it's life in it's paws if it crossed our land.
A really lovely concept. 500 acres would make it possible I suppose. We have 40. Hopefully expanding to 80. I just couldn't see us raising enough meat to make this possible. We could raise enough for us and a bit on the side. That's probably it.
My good news is that for my school district, we have just started Spring Break (one-week off)! My other good news is that there is so much interesting stuff to learn about, and i now have one week free to read interesting books, watch movies or documentaries, work on projects, or what not. One thing I want to do is find and collect a specimen of yellow slime mold (Physarum polycephalum) so that I can play with it and learn from it like the people at the Slime Mould Collective have been doing. I had originally tried doing this during Winter Break, but my expedition through my neighborhood had been unsuccessful.
I'm not a very healthy eater, so I can't add much advice, but I do have one thing to share. My cousin is a ridiculous body builder gym junkie type guy, and my (very obese) brother in law asked him for some advice to lose weight and be healthier. He actually have some very good advice, but my favourite thing he said was "Don't drink anything except water for a few weeks. Then, when you're used to drinking lots of water, you can have a beer and tackle the next thing, and you'll have your new water-drinking habit to back you up".
If you're trying to change your eating habits from junk to good stuff, I think that's an awesome place to start. We all talk a lot about 'healthy eating', but of the junk that we consume slips under the radar because we drink it rather than eat it.
This is awesome and I can't wait to hear more about lunches and suppers!
Oh, and FIANCEE !! Woo hoo! Mazeltov!
Kitchen commander will be a wonderful opportunity for the right person. It's just that there's not a whole hell of a lot of people in Montana, and then those of us that don't live in Montana have some misconceptions about what it's like there.
You'd be a short trip away from Missoula, folks! Look into it, it's a lovely city. Also, don't freak out about the winter. If you've been living east of the Rockies, you've already experienced more winter than they did at Wheaton Laboratories this year. Yes it snows, no, it's not like Chicago, or even Boston this year.
Ian - I'm all about fermenting!! Any specific questions or troubleshooting feel free to PM me, and I'll do the best I can to answer. There are a few basic rules, but it's really pretty simple for the most part. The easiest way to get started is to get a little digital scale (you can find them for $10-$15) and weigh out your veggies.
Easiest veggie recipes=
Vegetables chopped + 2% salt by weight. (Ex. chop cabbage and weigh it, then mix in 2% of that weight in salt.) Massage, weigh down and cover. Try to keep the solids below the liquids (ie, use a plastic baggie full of water to weight the solids down/use a weight of another kind)
Vegetables chopped + saltwater brine. Easiest recipe I've found for this is 2tbsp. salt in 1 qt. water. I forget the percentage this comes out to, but it works well. Again, weigh vegetables down so they sit below the brine line.
Shortcut called the "burp and shake". In lieu of an airlock, or if you don't want to try and weigh down the veggies, here's an easy shortcut: Ferment in a jar that can seal with a mason jar lid (band+ring type). Leave it very slightly open so it can offgass, then vent the air once or twice a day and shake it afterwards, then close it back up loosely, so the gas can continue to escape. By keeping it almost-closed you'll keep the majority of bad bacteria from charging in. Venting/burping it will let the gas out (although if the lid isn't twisted down hard it should be able to vent on it's own - but you should still give it an extra burp to let off pressure) Shaking it makes sure that all of the contents get covered in salt regularly, so no bad bacteria can grow.
Tip - the smaller you cut things the faster they'll ferment (more surface area for bacteria and less thickness for them to penetrate) and the more even/consistent the product will be. Often people struggle with their first kraut because it's too chunky.
Try these methods with your favorite veggies, you'll be surprised how easy and delicious this is! And once things have fermented to a sour state they'll keep a loooong time in the fridge. Have fun!
Sunken beds with organic matter in them and hugels all around (not finished yet on the photo, highest one is on south east where majority of wind is coming from).
First photo is looking towards south west.
Hugels (3' and 4' photo) were planted with pioneer and fruit bushes and trees to make more shelter, sunken beds are for annual veggies.
Sunken beds turned out to be just a little tiny bit raised, but material is added on paths all the time.
I would not recommend the lead free 22 mag ammo that I linked. I found out that it is designed for varmints and to expand violently on impact, so would not get much penetration. A better choice,in my opinion,would be full metal jacket rounds for the .22 mag since the lead is fully encapsulated and will get lots of penetration.
Has anyone used full metal jacket bullets on pigs and recovered them to see if the copper jacket remained fully intact(no visible lead to spread lead contamination)?
So we had a bunch of days where a fire was kept in the wofati 0.7. Then no fires for over a week.
So a big part of the experiment is the temperature differential. So I'm going to extrapolate Jesse's data to make a list of seven days of just the morning temperature differential and the morning temp:
day 1) 28 (40)
day 2) 27.3 (34.2)
day 3) 22.3 (37.9)
day 4) 19.1 (38.2)
day 5) 26.7 (27.6)
day 6) 26.9 (29.
day 7) 27.1 (25.6)
One observation is that it didn't get super cold outside.
I think that some of the warmth came from the mass of the rocket mass heater.
I still think we need to make the two walls far more insulative. At this moment, I think the best recipe is to make a micro-porch on both sides about 3 feet wide.
We drink raw milk as we have our own goats but for making yoghurt I do heat it so that I can keep the yoghurt culture going and reuse it. Does this mean that my yoghurt will have the detrimental effects listed above for pasteurised milk?
I got into genealogy back in the 90s. Did some checking, found some rich resources, traced much of my ancestry back to the boats. Being small town New England there are several Mayflowers passengers (if you find one, its likely you'll find several). Most lines lead to southern England. There's also a Scot, a Welshman, and a Donovan who may have come from Ireland.
You can have a look if you like.
I even wrote the software that generated the HTML files from a GEDCOM file. I stopped writing software when I was sidetracked by this thing called 'compost' and never looked back.
Some persons of note:
7th cousin 4 removed from FDR common ancestors=Edward Southworth/Alice
6th cousin five times removed of 13th President Millard Fillmore
common=Edmund Littlefield/Annis Austin
10g grandson of John Alden of the Mayflower
10g grandson of Priscilla Mullins of the Mayflower
11g grandson of William Mullins of the Mayflower
11g grandson of Alice (Atwood) Mullins of the Mayflower
11g grandson of William Brewster of the Mayflower
11g grandson of Mary Brewster of the Mayflower
10g grandson of Love Brewster of the Mayflower
9g grandson of Stephen Hopkins of the Mayflower
9g grandson of Elizabeth (Fisher) Hopkins of the Mayflower
8g grandson of Constance Hopkins of the Mayflower
grandson of Isaac Allerton of the Mayflower
grandson of Mary (Norris) Allerton of the Mayflower
grandson of Mary Allerton of the Mayflower
grandson of Richard Warren of the Mayflower
relations to persons of note:
11th great grand nephew of Nathaniel Ingersoll. Many of the Salem
Witch Trials were held at his home
The Allerton family is interesting. This makes me something like a 12th cousin to Burra Maluca. NO KIDDING!
Autumn olive prune very nicely. In fact, before it occurred to me to prune to reduce shade and thus enhance companion plantings, I would occasionally prune one just to create an unusual view while playing my disc golf course (integrally woven with the farm). Here are, in order, a particularly lovely bush/tree, followed by a before and after image of one that I pruned this morning. Since I am in the planning stages for the farm, this year I will grow a wide variety of things under the ones I have pruned this winter, between 20–30 so far, and see what happens.
Sadly there are no fowl in my systems yet. The predator issue means I'll need fencing and housing that will be a ton of work to make with the scrounged materials I have. It's on the list, but without a target date.
Deb Rebel wrote:William, the best I can guess is they hold about 20 gallons; or if you DO stoop to buying commercial potmix (like metromix), they take one bag of metromix to pretty much fill up.
Cool, I currently take free 55 gallon drums and cut the tops off, then cut 30 gallon drums around their midpoint and use each half, flipped upside down as the 15 gallon reservoirs. Getting 30 gallon drums is kinda hard, so an even bigger alternative would be great.
I basically like composted manure and a wicking medium for the containers, tried wood pellets for the wicking, not so good, peat is better, but unsustainable...
hau, Tash, What drew me to permaculture? I started as a kid who came to my grandparent's farm during summers. My grandfather, taught me to only disturb the earth mother when it was the only way to grow what we wanted to grow, otherwise it was always best to poke holes for planting seeds. We also gave the earth things it needed to thrive, such as the remains of the fish we caught for food, these were usually put at the bottom of the hole we poked for planting a seed, then some dirt was put back then the seed and the little bit of dirt left. If we needed to put grasses in the cow pastures, we just spread it on top of what was already there.
Later in life, I went to college and studied chemistry, biology, horticulture, and agriculture. I received degrees in the first three. I then spent a year and a half creating new or improved vegetable plants of which the seeds were the cash crop. I worked in Orchards, making trees healthier and able to produce more fruit or nut crops. Next time I was in the civilian life, I spent a lot of my time with farmers, promoting methods to save their top soil and improve the productivity of their land. I promoted not tilling the soil, that made it available for the winds to take away. I promoted growing cover crops and just cutting them down and leaving them on top of the dirt, so the material would work into the ground through natural means. I talked about the use of compost, mixed with rotted manures, used as a top dressing on fields that were going to be laid fallow for a season and how this would add to the soil and future crops. I told of the false pretense that chemical fertilizers help crops grow strong and healthy, how this just spent money and never really did the dirt any good.
Now I mostly keep to myself, This site is one of two places I share what I have learned by experiment, practice and knowledge learned.
So, I guess I came to permaculture a long time ago, by being born into it. Holistic methods have always been part of me. Nurturing nature and building the soil from the top down have always been my methods to make things grow.
I have been reading about witch hazel as a bee plant. What I have found is that there are several types of witch hazel, the natives, common (eastern) witch hazel that blooms in the late fall to winter, the vernal (ozark) witch hazel that blooms in early spring, and a Chinese and a Japanese witch hazel and a hybrid of the Asian ones. The Asian varieties are claimed to be more colorful with more blossoms. I can't seem to find any information on how these compare for actual nectar production. It seems that many time hybridized plants that are showier have less nectar. Does anyone know of a source of information or anecdotal information on the bees attraction to the different types of witch hazel?
Simon Johnson wrote:
1) On the subject of copying content from one post to another; is it ok to copy pictures from one thread to another? Or should we do as mentioned above and just copy the link to the post?
Do that as much as you want. No need to cite source cuz the images are already here. Unless, of course, the image was not uploaded here, but was embedded here and citing the source was the decent thing to do.
2) Does Paul's stuff constitute the whole of everything on permies.com plus his other stuff, or just the stuff he has produced from richsoil.com/youtube/his blog etc. and not everything on permies.com?
If I am paying to host it, then it falls into this umbrella. So it includes my images, my words. And then if. say, burra posts 20 pictures to a thread, then I'm gonna go with that stuff falls under my copyright. So if somebody, somewhere uses more than one image and one paragraph then I am not okay with that.
On the other hand, if burra posts, say, 20 pictures here and she gives permission for use of those pics, then by all means, use them as much as you like within burra's comfort zone (as long as a web site isn't showing the pictures somewhere else and I am doing the image hosting).
I have to say that I heartily encourage budding photographers to post lower res images here and mention their photography site in the signature. Or, when they post an image here, they can mention that the high res version is available at some stock photo site for a fee. I think that this can lead to some good residual income streams.
one more: Can we use Paul's stuff in posts on permies.com, or is that the same as an article/blog?
My images on richsoil/permies can be reposted to permies a thousand times and that's just peachy.
I know nothing, but some obvious things come to mind.
Trees pull up nutrients from deep in the ground every year and shed all those nutrients all over the grass. Perhaps some deciduous trees could help out your soil. like someone else said, you may have to alter the existing soil to get it going a little faster than waiting for acorns to climb up a hill. lime, remove a few coniferous trees, plant some nitrogen fixing perennials that work in the area, etc...wait a few years. voila, better soil for better plant health for better animal health.
Since the title of this sounds pretty general I'd like to ask how a chopping block or wooden cutting board should be initially treated and if it should at all. Does it depend on wether or not it's a general cutting board or one specifically for meat like Paul's? I've heard of rubbing it down with some mineral oil.
Here's my new (or 8 year old and never yet used) block made by my father-in-law from a piece of bowling alley I rescued. We finally have a kitchen to put it in!
I hope adding my question here is okay and I wonder if the chopping block problem has been resolved?
Cj Verde wrote:
I do think religious buildings/ground are great public places that could/should have permaculture plans but maybe it's time to start a new thread to cross pollinate ideas. I have no idea what forum that would go in.
Perhaps it can go in the Permaculture forum?
Either there or Urban or Community. I say Urban because even in the rural area where I live, Houses of worship are in town.
You could start a thread in any of those forums and a moderator will move it or cross link it if they think it's appropriate.
In my experience, Biochar works just about anyplace you put it as long as you give it a good soak in some bioactive such as manure tea or a tea made of crushed up mushrooms or spores. Once the biochar goes into the ground, these treatments get the microbes going. If you already have good beds with active soil microbes they will find that biochar quickly on their own.
I have a pile of biochar that sits on a part of my land that is full of spawn and other good microbes. I turn this pile when I need to make additions to a space that is going to be used for planting crops or trees.
I also make biochar on a regular basis for now since I am still doing some clearing of land for orchards. I use the "junk" trees and blackberry canes I have to cut down for this. The hickories get used for more useful purposes. I keep all the white oaks growing since I only harvest them when I need barrel stave material, and then I only take out a small quantity.