Jay Ritchie

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since Nov 24, 2011
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Recent posts by Jay Ritchie

And metal roofs around farms - especially animal farms - are the dirtiest. I've seen some considerable mold/mildew (I didn't get my mycroscope out or anything) on shed roofs out in the country, but it really depends on the place.
7 years ago
I haven't set up water catchment yet, it's on my to-do list. But I have painted many a metal roof in my day. Metal roofs don't generally look dirty from the ground, but once you're up there pressure washing the dirth and chalky paint off (which is usually the case when the roof needs to be painted), you realize how filthy they really are! I would suggest to anyone wanting to drink water off of their roof to probably wash it on an annual basis (don't fall off!) and to keep up on the paint job so that you don't have too much paint chalking off into your drinking water. That said, metal roofs last a lot longer than they used too.
7 years ago
If you want to decorate it without paint, I suppose you could get an electric wood burning tool and decorate the boards before you assemble the bed. I'm sure it would take some practice before one would be proficient in the teqnique of decorative wood burning though. It's a hobby all it's own.
7 years ago
I am not a permaculture designer, but I may be able to assist you in your project. I live in Central Illinois and could come out to see your land and chat permaculture with you if you’re up for it. I have a small lot in town that I have been working on, but I would really like opportunity to look at a larger piece of land and consider the possibilities.
7 years ago

Jonathan McCoy wrote:

hubert cumberdale wrote:how big are these swales going to be? 5 ft wide? 10ft? 30ft?


I was thinking 1-2' like most swales that I have seen in the various videos and discussions. Should I be considering a larger size?

Jay Ritchie wrote:How many acres of watershed would you estimate drain to the creek that your land is on?


From the west, up to 2000'x500', from the east, maybe 300'x500' plus any runoff from the old growth forest (large trees, little underbrush), and from the south, up to 2000' x 3000'(?).

I'm not sure how many acres that is, but it's a LOT.





Well, that's about 164 acres, plus the forest. I don't think the swails will prevent flooding, but they would help retain water on your land after a rain or a flood. Digging a reservoir to capture some of this water may also be useful.
7 years ago
How many acres of watershed would you estimate drain to the creek that your land is on?
7 years ago
I had 2 unprotected tomatoe plants trellised up, each at the end of a raised bed (about 14 inches tall), They didn't show any signs of frost damage untill it got down below 30 degrees F. The second frost at 25 degrees F exploded the base of the stems with big hunks of ice. Before that they survived several nights of frost around 34 degrees F without any signs of damage, keeping them alive for probably 3 weeks after I noticed everyone else ripping theirs out. I need to figure out a good way to ripen the tomatoes out after they are harvested, because nothing seems to ripen up at these low temperatures.

But I'm getting off topic... The raised beds are on a slight slope and I imagine the 14 inch height is enough to keep the beds above the flow of extra cold air. The beds themselves are 4ft x 6ft rectangles with 4ft spacings between.
7 years ago
The short answer is to drain the low spot. You might go about this in different ways depending on the size of land in question and the surrounding topography. But either a surface drain or subsurface drain can take the water away. (The surface drain is more prone to erosion.) You could then route it to a body of water or water path, such as a lake, river, or drainage canal, or you could attempt to store the water somehow, such as in a reservoir, swail, or artificial wetland. In order to best evaluate the situation it would be best to obtain a topographical map of the land in question. This will help you or a contractor determine how deep the tile or surface drain would have to be to get from point A to point B.

Or you could find a more appropriate use of the land in its present condition.
7 years ago
Does any one have a reccomendation for a variety to use in Central Illinois? Also, I assume they can be planted early in the spring after the soil can be worked, or in the fall before the ground freezes. Would that be accurate?