Jeff Sullivan

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since Nov 16, 2011
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forest garden food preservation bike
New England
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Recent posts by Jeff Sullivan

Bonzie Durmus wrote:I have 5k saved. What would you do with it?

Nothing. I'd keep it in an FDIC-protected savings account and let it sit. Use it for unexpected expenses instead of accumulating debt (e.g. car repairs, medical bills, etc.), then build it back up.

As long as we've been able to, we've kept 6 months of living expenses in cash, not worrying about lost investment opportunities, just in case something goes wrong.
7 months ago
I agree with Travis, gutters are the bane of my existence. In our current place, there are conservation restrictions that require us to have gutters to redirect roof water into a dry well. They're constantly coming loose, getting clogged, etc.

My parents have never had gutters. There is a nice 3-foot wide layer of rocks and gravel around the base of the house where the water runs off, and some downpour-tolerant plantings to soak it up. When I was a kid, there was no gravel and it was just a water-made trench in the lawn about 6 inches out from the foundation.
1 year ago
I found fixing stuff to be an easier pathway than new creations. 2/3 of my kids will fix loose handles and drawer pulls, unclog sinks and toilets, patch drywall holes, and even caulk seams. I keep all the standard fix-it stuff easy to reach and will just point out things that need to be repaired. Still waiting on people to start noticing the problems themselves, but I'll take what help I can get.
1 year ago
We use stainless steel for sheets and Pyrex or cast iron Dutch ovens for anything that needs better containment. It's really easy to find old Pyrex in "antique" shops if you don't mind mismatched patterns.
1 year ago
Some form of contract work seems to be a good fit. You'd be able to apply yourself where demand is high and supply low, just like foragers move on to more abundant areas as the seasons change.

For example, I know one guy who loves to ski. He lives in the city nine months of the year, doing contract work. Then, for three months he lives in the mountains skiing every day. He'll take urgent phone calls in evenings to line up new work, but otherwise lives of of his surplus.

The issue would be finding a field that's in high demand, works with your skillset, and allows the necessary freedoms to complement your life goals.
1 year ago
I've seen various suggestions on what type of protective equipment to use when clearing the stuff by hand.

For those of us not extremely sensitive, I've found rose pruning gloves to be really effective:,42407,33246

They're thorn-resistant (around here, poison ivy and wild roses like to play together), they cover up to the shoulder, and the palms are textured to improve grip when pulling up roots.

When I'm done with a session, I wash them while wearing them in our utility sink, and hang them up to dry.
1 year ago

Meg Mitchell wrote:Zero waste is a movement that involves working to produce minimal amounts of trash as a household, and it doesn't take into account trash produced upstream or activities that have a high carbon cost but don't produce household waste.

This is really important to keep in mind. I remember once when a local chain started selling "bulk" soap: unwrapped bars of slightly fancy soap in a nice stack with just a little paper wrapper for the price tag. We were so excited to see positive movement! Then, someone (forget whether it was me or my spouse) went in to the store during restocking hours and saw someone unwrapping each bar of soap from its shrink wrap before adding it to the stack.

You've got to really look at the full lifecycle of everything before deciding whether or not your eco-guilt is warranted. Marketing experts are great at making you *feel* how they want you to feel; doesn't mean it's true.
1 year ago
I use the database features and search, but I don't really get involved with any of the "social" aspects, other than to trade reading recommendations with people I already know IRL.

If I were an author, I would certainly invest the time to establish a profile and make sure all my books were properly entered. After that, the returns on invested energy are going to decline quickly.
This is purely anecdotal, but the guy who runs GardenFork (very much choice one) noticed swings in viewership on YouTube when he would change topics. I forget the exact details, but it was something like: he'd do 3 videos on gardening, and then 1 video on home maintenance and viewership would drop substantially. The hypothesis was that people had tuned in expecting garden videos and were put off by the change.

As a consumer, I take in a bit of both styles, but I'd say that I reliably consume everything from niche feeds and just sample bits and bobs from the generalists.
I use Wave for my small business (two rental units) and I enjoy it. I do not have it linked to any bank accounts and instead enter all the details by hand. So, the dollar amounts and scanned receipts live in the cloud, but no bank account numbers or any other such thing.

I don't keep any inventory, so I'm not sure how well that would work.

Every year, I just export a profit/loss statement along with the associated receipts and send that along to my accountant for taxes. It is quite streamlined from my point of view.
1 year ago