Betty Montgomery

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since Nov 13, 2011
Born in Dallas Texas in 1950. Raised in Dallas. Went off to College at East Texas State University in Commerce, Texas (Now Texas A&M, Commerce). Joined the Army in 1973. Honorably discharged in 1976 (I know us gals got it cushy). Went back and got a Masters Degree in Broad Field Earth Science (minor in Art)- AGAIN! Parents and last paternal grandparent died leaving me land in a suburb of Dallas. Got chased out by YUPPIES. Moved to Lone Oak Texas. Still here.
Lone Oak, TX
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Recent posts by Betty Montgomery

I live near a collage town where they have a big yearly festival called the 'Bois d'Arc Bash". If you don't know Bois d'Arc is yet another name for the 'horse apple' or 'osage orange'.
The Bash was started by the late, and in my opinion great, Dr. Fred Tarpley. He also wrote a book that will tell you more than you ever wanted to know about this tree. It used to be used to make living fences that were "horse high, bull strong and pig tight". Native Americans used the wood to make bows; thus the French name of 'Bois d'Arc'. The name of Dr. Tarpley's book is "Wood Eternal, the story of Osage Orange, Bois D'Ark, etc." I only hope that it might still be in print as, sadly, Dr. Tarpley passed away several years ago.
From personal experience I can tell you that it is called horse apple  because horses love to eat the fruits. The things grow wild here in N. E. Texas and there is an area near here that used to be it's original 'natural range' I believe. The wood also delivers a LOT of heat when burned. When I had a wood stove and it was cold I would use regular wood during the day and add a horse apple log about 6 to 8 inches in diameter and at least a foot long to the stove near bed time. It would take a while to catch but once it did it was not advisable to open the stoves door because of the sparks it would shoot out. However, it would burn slow and hot enough all night to keep the house warm and often still be burning the next day! (Of course I am a Texan so you can take all that with a grain of salt if you wish!) I also know from painful experience that these trees have thorns but usually only on the younger branches.
I would be willing to send you some of the fruits as I have no clue how to separate the seeds out but it is spring now and all those that fell last fall have been eaten by horses, squirrels and other critters.
I received both. I'm not online constantly so didn't see them until late this morning.
The first one is stamped as coming in at 1/25/16 @ 9:06 pm. The second is stamped at 1/25/16 @ 11:59 pm.
Hope this helps.
Thanks y'all. Thought it'd have to be something like that Mike. Don't know If I'll actually DO this but as usual I got plans, lot's of plans. Just have to wait to see which ones I actually get the chance (money, time, learning, etc) to implement.
Watched this great video on You Tube by a Mr. Chickadee showing how he built a two or three story wattle and daub work shed using old time tools and techniques. Through several postings it shows just about all the steps and whew! does it look like a lot of work.
What ever I end up building will be no way that ambitious. I don't have the skill or know how and as I noted earlier, I'm retired and tired (lazy).
Thanks again!
3 years ago
This may seem an odd post here but: I have noticed a LOT of mourning doves in my neighborhood, ( I live in a rural area and while my front yard is in 'suburbia' my back yard is about 12 to 13 acres of country). They eat bugs so they are welcome of course. They also eat seeds and grain and I've noted a large number of young looking ones hanging about my chicken coop this winter. I do not begrudge them the chicken feed my chickens do not eat because: I'm considering trying to build, if I can find out how, a wattle and daub, dovecote (or is it dove cote?) that would allow me to have yet another source of food on my land.
Why not just hunt them like everyone else here in Texas? Guns are loud noisy things that send killing projectiles very far afield if you miss and not only am I 65 I'm to lazy to hunt! I'd rather walk into a dove cote and snatch one I've half tamed off a roost.
Besides needing to know how to build a dove cote out of wattle and daub (there are willows near my pond out in the pasture and the soil here is mostly clay anyway) I need to know what would doves, specifically mourning doves, need to be all nice and comfy enough to settle into the trap, uhm, I mean their new house.
So the questions are 1) how to build a wattle and daub dove cote (dovecote?) 2) what would these birds find irresistible as housing?
I think they would be easily satisfied as they seem to be spending nights or at least hanging out in my rather primitive chicken coop. Said coop I am also tempted to replace with wattle and daub.
Which brings me to question 3) what would I need to do to keep wattle and daub constructions from being wiped out by the occasional gully washer we can have here or the more frequent ones caused by El Nino's.

3 years ago
I read Toby Hemenway's book "The Permaculture City" after I bought it from Chelsea Green. Great book full of insights. I've been thinking it's the sort of book that should be required reading for anyone who's elected Mayor or to a City Council! There are even things in it that I think could apply to my "city" except Lone Oak has only 500 some odd citizens within it's boundaries!! There are more in the surrounding area who send kids to our school system but the town itself only consists of a strip of ten or so businesses spread along about a mile of access road to a state highway. It was once much bigger when the Katy Rail Road ran through town I'm told.
I have a question for Mr. Hemenway as he is visiting our forums: Can some of the ideas and practices put forward in "The Permaculture City" work in a town as small as ours? I know from the book that it is the shear number of chance meetings that occur in large, densely inhabited cities that make them so productive but I'd like to think there is a Permaculture way of jump starting this kind of innovation so that a small town like ours can grow into a real Permaculture City while avoiding the mistakes larger cities have already made. If I had the money I'd get an extra copy of the book to just GIVE to the City Council to keep in City Hall. Not sure they'd read it but they might. Especially if I point out that doing things the Permaculture way often ends up being the least costly way to do them.
3 years ago
Some one here has suggested getting an old tanker from a local Vol. fire dept. to get water to your Rocket Hot Tub on Skids. As a member of a Vol. Fire Dept myself I'd advise against it. All kinds of toxic gick could have been put in the water tank on those trucks. There could be chemicals in it meant to help put out fires and funky stuff that got washed into whatever local pond it may have been filled from in an emergency. I suppose the tank could be cleaned out but I don't know how it could be done. This is true if you get a tanker (1,000 to 2,000 gallons of water usually) an Engine (1,000 to 1,500 gallons) or a brush truck (anywhere from 200 to 500 gallons).
There are smaller and larger versions of all those types of trucks but those are the general sizes I've seen around here.
3 years ago
Chickens! I always need to know more about CHICKENS!! Here take my money! Hope you get more than you need to do what looks to be a great film!!
If any of you want to know more than you probably really ever will want to know about the Osage Orange, Bois d'Arc, Horse Apple tree then I recommend the book "Wood Eternal, the story of Osage Orange, Bois d'Arc, etc" by Dr. Fred Tarpley. He wasn't a biologist or a farmer, and I doubt he ever heard of Permaculture (He may have heard me say the word. He may even have asked me what it was but I doubt he understood my reply. He was a very old gentleman by then.)
Dr. Tarpley was one of the folks behind the creation of a weekend long festival held in the College town of Commerce here in N. E. Texas. Commerce is the home of a University now known as Texas A&M Commerce. When I attended it was called East Texas State University. This weekend long festival is called the Bios D'Arc Bash and celebrates all things Bo Dark as we pronounce it here.
He referred to it as being eternal because while fence posts made from it may dry up they seldom if ever rot and many outlasted the barbed wire fastened to them. There are houses around with support posts under them made of the wood that are nearly a hundred years old and those posts are still as hard as rock. While green it can eat chain saw blades when dead and dry . . . don't even think about it.
It does burn hot and long. I once put a eight inch diameter (as I remember) log in a wood stove before I went to bed one night and still had large hot red coals the next morning. However when you burn it be prepared for the sparks! They fly far and could be a hazard.
4 years ago
Thanks! I'll check them out!
5 years ago
I want to finely get some chickens and maybe a couple of sheep, possibly even some other poultry to do multiple jobs for me. I want them to mow my yard and possibly some of my pasture, fertilize it and give me chicken eggs and possibly a variety of meat or even cash from selling older, well fed critters. Now for the problem. I know little to nothing of solar powered poultry fencing. Most of what I DO know is from reading those "my stuff is the BEST" bits you find on the web sites of those who sell the things. From what I've read from them I'm assuming I'll need the kind of netting called 'pos/neg' as my area is prone to summer (fall, winter and spring) droughts. Does that kind work with solar panel powered batteries or with batteries at all? I would think it would but I"m not sure.
Also what brand, or company, would give me the most bang for my hard earned buck? It'd be nice if they were also willing to educate a novice.
5 years ago