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a white black friday  RSS feed

 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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we we have our first accumulated snow this morning so we are having a white black friday..which is fine as i'm staying home.





coming down in smallish flakes now..were huge earlier..pretty to have the brown covered
 
Leah Sattler
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great pictures! although I am not sure I could handle your length of winters I do find the winter scenes peaceful and restful. perfect time to sit inside and have a cup of tea. is that your grape arbor with the benches under it?
 
Gwen Lynn
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Pretty pictures! I know I can't handle those winters. Life in the Chicago area taught me that at an early age.

I'm still picking green tomatoes, even after the light freeze we just had. Covered up the plants with plastic & blankets. We are still enjoying the "taste of summer" you get from home grown tomatoes.

I made fresh salsa with the tomatoes I've ripened indoors. With today's high of 74, it felt a little like summer...at least while the sun was out! 
 
Brenda Groth
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yeah that is ONE of my grape arbors..those are the grape vines that are over 100 years old over that metal arbor (there was a beautiful wooden gazebo there before our housefire but the backhoe hit it twice demolishing it (oh we'll be careful))

I have grapes in at least 3 other areas of our house..2 other arbors and one fence..

all that snow was melted shortly after noon..didn't stay..but it was pretty..i enjoyed going out and snapping a few pictures (till my camera batteries died on me)
 
Leah Sattler
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Brenda Groth wrote:
yeah that is ONE of my grape arbors..those are the grape vines that are over 100 years old


that is pretty cool. I didn't know they would last that long. never really thought about it I guess. always thought of trees getting to be old not grapevines. bummer about the gazebo. but the grapes seem to be no worse for the wear. I wonder what kind they are? do you know who planted them?
 
Brenda Groth
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they are purple seedy concord grapes..and yeah..they are rampant !!! I guess grape vines are like any other woody perennial hardy plant..they'll grow till something kills them.

they completely cover that metal arbor in the summer so it is a perfect little shady place..the wooden one i had there was gorgeous..i built it by hand and it had a spider web roof on it..and a pond beside it..before our housefire it was 13' from the west side of our house ..the tree behind it has been hit by lightening 4 times..and probably will eventually succumb to the damage that has been done to it..but right now it still leafs out fair in the summer.

we enjoy it's shade.

the other grapes i have are all hybrid seedless..so it is nice to have the old concords..they were put in here by the first owners of the property..when they built the house in the late 1800's...then they moved that house next door and built the farm house in 1900, the one that we lived in when we had our housefire..for 32 years..
 
Leah Sattler
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I'm sure the housefire was incredibly disheartening. it almost makes it worse that it was an old house. but it must be nice to have some remnants in the way of old plants. something to hold the soul of the place.
 
Brenda Groth
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yeah it was disheartening for a while..and it did take a long time getting used to the double wide..even though it is a really top quality one..because i had lived in two story victorian type homes my entire life.

but yeah, now i'm very happy with my new home and my yard..i was able to savve many of the trees that i had been growing over the 32 years before the fire..lost some..and was able to salvage a lot of my perennnial plants as well..but i lost my entire vegetable/orchard garden, and that is still being replaced, slowly.

because the house fire was "caused" by being too close to that large tree, we moved the new house back about 75 feet farther than the old house had sat ont he property..which did give us a much larger front yard, but a much smaller rear garden area, and also we had to put in a larger raised drainfield..which tore up another 1,000 sqaure feet of our back yard..but we have made great progress.

oh..woke up to snow again this morning.
 
Leah Sattler
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I woke up to frost clear up to the house today. that may be as white as we will get! previously I have seen it only in the lower areas to the north and south a few mornings. everything most certainly got hit with it this time. its a little sad but it also sort of marks the beginning of a restful period of the year for me which is good. I actually have had heaters on during the day for two days in a row
 
Gwen Lynn
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Leah Sattler wrote:
its a little sad but it also sort of marks the beginning of a restful period of the year for me which is good.


Decemblah 1st. My "walking hibernation" is starting to kick in. Yawn.
Spring is only 4 months away. Somebody please wake me by April 1st. Thank you.
 
Brenda Groth
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that's kinda like i feel Gwen, last year we had our worst winter since 1952 so I'm looking forward to a better one this year..by this time last year we had had shovelling snow on the ground for nearly 2 months..and we haven't used a shovel yet this year..knock on wood.

i know that the economy here depends on snow..but it can wait a few more months for all i care.

we have had some accumulation but most of it melted each time..we still have a little left from last night's snow..but there is a snowstorm hyeading our way for tomorrow i guess..so we'll probably have to shovel
 
Gwen Lynn
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Does El Nino affect your weather systems? There always talking about it on the weather reports around here. It usually makes us warmer and wetter. We'll see...
 
Leah Sattler
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is this an el nino year? shows how much I pay attention.
 
Gwen Lynn
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Yeah, I think so. They mentioned something about El Nino on the weather, at the beginning of fall. Hey, I think you've got plenty you're paying attention to! 
 
Leah Sattler
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not much paying attention going on here. i told dd that I had mashed potatoes for brains right now and she carefully described how it wasn't mashed potaotes....its was tapioca that hadn't been made into pudding

it sure has been wet and mild so far. there is definitly a persistent chill in the air the past few days though. we got quite a bit of rain with the last system. I'll take el nino anyday compared to the drought of several years ago.
 
Jennifer Smith
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Somehow I missed this thread till now.  I do tend to miss a lot of the chit chat though as I am so pressed for time so often.  I admit I don't follow the horse thread as I want to talk horse manure more than horses.  The breeders list gave me all the horse "debate" I ever want.  I did look at the adorable photos though. 

Gwen, I have been to your part of the worl often picking up and dropping off horses, Jay oklahoma comes to mind as the place most often visited, but there were others. 

I think I want a pony eventually.  I have a big fat pony that is actually TWHBEA but a throwback to her shetland ancestors.  Adorable, but I want a tiny mini horse type pony to mow the dog yard...still thinking what I want for that job.  Geese were first thought but too messy for house dogs to play around.  Still considering bunnys, plan to wrap trees anyway. 

Back on topic,.. we got our first snow yesterday and it is still here this morning.  The sun is up and it will not last long.
 
Fred Morgan
steward
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Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
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Regarding horses, though I own more than I can accurately recall (around 14) very few are special, just work horses. I agree Jennifer, it is a bit surreal for me to engage in discussion with horse people, it is like we are on different planets.

Which is pretty close to true.

Here, they are called beast more than horses among the campesinos (bestia) They love their cattle more. Horses eat just about 3 times more than a cow, and there is no gain.

They would probably ride cows if someone would figure out how to do it without looking too silly. 
 
Jennifer Smith
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I have 9 and the problem is that they are all special.  All that I do, I do for my horses. 

I have the raise and train down but have yet to master sell
 
Gwen Lynn
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Leah Sattler wrote:
not much paying attention going on here. i told dd that I had mashed potatoes for brains right now and she carefully described how it wasn't mashed potaotes....its was tapioca that hadn't been made into pudding


Leah, I love Layne's creative expressions! She has a such a great grasp on putting words & thoughts together! I don't think we got as much rain as you this time. I emptied my rain barrels over the weekend. It's rained twice since then and they still aren't full!

Jennifer, Fred...Ordinarily, I don't talk horses much at all. That post of mine regarding hunter/jumpers was an exception. It was just something on my mind at the time, after watching a horse show. It does always amaze me though, when I see horses doing their jobs so very capably and consistently. Especially when I think about how easy it is for one to say NO THANKS! ...And drop you in a heap, right in front of a jump! Been there...done that!  ops:

I know where Jay, OK is, I think we drove through there on a little weekend trip. Pretty much been all over this state on little trips, over the years. Not that big of an accomplishment...it's not a very big state!  Jennifer, I think I remember you posting a pic of a sign that said Marshfield on it? If that's near where you live, I guess we've been right thru there. We have a dear friend who lives in Osage Beach.
 
Jennifer Smith
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Hey Gwen,

Anytime you pass thru Marshfield you stop on by.  I would very much enjoy showing you my place and hearing your ideas. 
 
rose macaskie
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    Brenda groth, you are a pirate, that vine is not so very old and you still have not told me how to take cuttings of vines. Understandable if i do things like call you a pirate.
 
    Jennifer hall i have  a book written by a young woman whose father offered her his muck if she coudl sell it. She became and expert in composting muck and on soil. The story was a bit sad, her father gave her brother a farm and his daughter his cow muck. About my experience with my father on the mental plane.
  I wonder if she coudl have trained horses and turned the muck i htink not. May be you could give it to someone else to sell and get rid of it that way. You can exchange muck for other permaculture things maybe for work leveling your yard. I think that reducing the height on the down side of a puddle is much more effective than filling puddles in.

One feature of permaculture according to the videos is getting people to group together to help with heavy and expensive jobs to dig yard for you as as that makes digging easier. The trouble with animals is that they need constant care and it will be hard to return work. Can you offer the work to a nearby university or school. 
  These forums seem to say if you can get enough woody matter in with your manure it stops the manure leeching as it composts because the lignin absorbs any water that comes out of the manure.

    I want more details from Gwen Lyn about how to ripen tomatoes when the summers over.

and to fred morgan, i think you start finding animals special when you stop believing you have to dominate them, that is how it went with me, I was taught to be firm and to let them see who was boss, i didnot start to find them special till i learnt that they will do what you say without such a battle of wills and started a more affectionate relationship with them. MInd you i had time not all the time in the world but some time.Also you have to be convinced of their intelligence and i don't mean their ability to do equations. 
 
 
Leah Sattler
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I think animals are viewed differently because they serve different purposes. in some areas animals are truly about the populations livelihood in a very personal and interconnected way. in other places people are not as dependent or are far removed from the daily interactions with the animals they are dependent on and have the luxury of viewing them with a little more empathy more of a social value.

they train longhorns to ride sometimes.http://www.premierlonghorns.com/RidingLonghorns.html

jennifer - the selling is the miserable part of the horse industry for me too. I love to work with the horses its having to work with the people that gets me. I just can't smooze and wine and dine and stretch truths and pretend to be freindly with clients on more then a business level.
 
Jennifer Smith
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Rose,
I think to get get grape cuttings at the right time you snip off a bud, a growing shoot, dip in rooting hormone and pot up. 

I have come to the same conclusion as you and have been layering thick and thin to make settling puddles around where they are out of the way.  no dig as it is too hard on me with so much else to do.

I mix horse manure, hay and or sawdust at about half and half, some more, some less.    But layers, so next layer, maybe next month, can be diff mix, some layers have mostly old rotten hay from the ends of the rolls.  It takes a few weeks for grass seed thrown on the piles to start to grow grass (some grass seed is harvested from under hay some is purchased)...I have only been in this place a few months and we have grass all around.  Good as we had mud when we bought it.  Yes we have piles and patches of manure too, but they are temp.  Grass will grow up thru some and seed will sprout in some.

All about the grass, before and after it runs thru the horse.  It is all about food for them and for me, us. 


My horses are just the kind of horses I like (I breed for me), easy to be around, willing and cooperative with a want to attitude.  Bred for this and trained to enhance this, with a soft easy to ride gait that makes anyone with a fanny smile. 

I have debated one kind of horse over another with "my horse is better than your horse" personality people till I tend to keep pretty quiet about such.  When I made the switch to soft gaited horses it changed everything.  I lost all my stock horse friends.  I joined the breeders group to learn about bloodlines and inherent abilities and got lots of mean talk and bashing of each others chosen method of riding.

You are right again Rose,  I use the term "high strung" to mean poorly trained, unmannered"  so as to not offend owners and trainers.  High strung is not to be confused with spirited, bold, or powerful.

My horses are not many of those things.  They are fun and maybe even powerful, bold...could be considered that too.  But mostly lazy, no, not lazy but conservative of their energy. 

As far as trading help, I have been running ad ad on craigslist for trading horseback riding for goods or services.  We will see if it pans out  Craigslist has got me several trades that didn't quite work out in Al and some that didn't work for very long here.  Any yet other people say they have had great luck on there.
 
Leah Sattler
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"with a soft easy to ride gait that makes anyone with a fanny smile." 


jennifer - do you breed walkers? I taught beginners on a walker for a while (I think thats what he was ) although he didn't really trot and canter normal he was perfect for people who were at a bit more risk for falling or who were very timid and for whatever reason had difficulty following the movement of the horse. they didn't know the difference and he was a saint for them. traveler was his name. he was a wonderful confidence builder.

there always seems to be contention in the horse world about what style of riding is better or more real or less cruel. everybody thinks they got it figured out. I get annoyed when talking to english riders sometimes and how condescending they often are to the horses and riders in the western or pleasure disciplines. telling me some horse is awful or some discipline is so cruel. I can't help but mention that horse may be the best horse for someone on the trail or who needs a lead line or pack horse or a roping horse. and the training is all about doing the job that was intended. and western riders are not any more cruel then others. and their horses are very athletic in the upper levels. they are simply bred to do different things. yeah they may not have the suspension and tracking of a warmblood but have they tried chasing down a cow with that big big 'ol warmblood!!?? and it sounds as though you are breeding safe sound horses mainly for pleasure. most horses in this country are ridden for pleasure (despite many amateurs supposed aspirations) and breeding those qualities that make for good companion and pleasure horses is just as valuable as breeding some hot and sensitive dressage horse or something that can jump really high.
 
Brenda Groth
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the easiest way Rose to take cuttings from vines is to cut just below a node and put them in some water until roots start, or in some very moist soil and then put in a bag to keep in moisture..you can also check the vine and wrap in moist spaghnum moss and then wrap in plastic wrap until roots show...and then cut it from the parent.

as for growing tomatos on..the best way is a heated greenhouse and hand pollinating..however give you don't have that you can pull the vines before they freeze and hang them upside down in an area that is kept above freezing..like a semi warm porch or garage.

as for the snow..we now have our true winter snow that won't melt..and storms coming every day this week..we'll have snow now likely solid through April
 
Jennifer Smith
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You got me, my horses are mostly walking horses, not all purebreds though.  I have a 7/8 bred that is super fun to ride. 

http://www.twhbea.com/voice/imagegallery/galleries/2009%20Cele%208-30/IMG_2233.jpg

This is how many walking horses are rode and what I now think of as "english" riding.  Not what we do. 

My background was mostly western pleasure growing up west coast as I did.  I have had some bit with huntseat, dressage and saddleseat, as well as gymcanna etc.  It is all about pleasure now.
 
Gwen Lynn
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rose macaskie wrote:
I want more details from Gwen Lyn about how to ripen tomatoes when the summers over.


Rose check out this link. At the bottom of the topic, I describe what I've been doing with all the green tomatoes that I picked before the freeze. This process has worked quite well for me. I don't have a lot of indoor space and it helps if room temps are at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Sorry I was so long in mentioning this. I posted the info under "tomatoes" and forgot to mention it here.


http://www.permies.com/permaculture-forums/1676_0/organic-practices/tomatoes

Jennifer, I may just take you up on an offer to visit! I just gotta get thru winter first. 

Regarding Tennessee Walkers, I'd ridden them years ago, the first time I'd ever sat in an english saddle. "Flaxy" was a favorite of mine, but it was so long ago, I can't say for sure if he was a walker or a saddlebred. They had American Saddlebreds too.

With regard to both breeds, I will say that I have the utmost respect for those who allow their horses to travel "naturally"; without soring or weighting their ankles & feet and manipulating their tails so that they will carry it higher than normal.   

Decades ago, I witnessed what went on behind the scenes at one of their shows...and it made me shudder. Unfortunately a quick google tells me that some of these "practices" still go on with some unscrupulous trainers. However, I am relieved to find out that horse show regulations consider these to be punishable acts. Thank goodness!

Leah is so right, regarding different horses for different disciplines. This includes Mules too. If I was going to take that trip down into the Grand Canyon, I'd choose the mule over the horse any day!
 
Jennifer Smith
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Gwen,

if you still ride at all I will put on a "smiler" when you come by.  My Taffy does not have a big flashy gait but a very fun efficient singlefoot/shuffle/rack.  And she is the most personable horse most people have ever met.  She is respectful but very people oriented.

If you ride occasionally you can ride her or River.  He is just as sweet natured but has more forward to him.  He just be bops down the road. 

All my horses are barefoot unless they need shoes to protect their feet from frequent riding (not a problem at the moment, all are barefoot).  My bits are pretty standard grazing bits down to training snaffles, though all my horses are first rode in halters.  See I can talk horses all day, there is so much I have learned about them.

My place is a blank slate.  I have pretty much free reign to do as I please.  I know what horses can do to a place if miss manged.  I know what they can do for a place if managed.

This is what led me to permaculture before I ever heard the word...but as Rose pointed out... only so much time and energy after horses.
 
Gwen Lynn
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It's been quite a long time since I've done more than a trot on a horse. Just very out of shape and not motivated to be fit enough/confident enough to do it regularly. So the more bomb proof & sure footed, the better! 
 
Jennifer Smith
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"Trot!?"  gasp..  oh no not that 

Do you not know that on the 6th day the lord said "thou shall not trot"... and the good horses listened. 
 
He loves you so much! And I'm baking the cake! I'm going to put this tiny ad in the cake:
The Earth Sheltered Solar Greenhouse Book by Mike Oehler - digital download
https://permies.com/wiki/23444/digital-market/digital-market/Earth-Sheltered-Solar-Greenhouse-Book
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