Nicholas Mason

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since Dec 05, 2011
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Recent posts by Nicholas Mason



So, you have sheep, and cows (and rabbits and maybe goats?) on your land and leased land: do you have a feel for how many acres are needed per cow?  Do you graze year round? To increase the diversity of species, would this be from overseeding or full-on tilling and reseeding?  Sorry, lots of questions.  I'm in an information gathering phase...
Yeah, we have all those things, and goats, ducks and dogs. The amount is acres per cow depends on cow size and quality of browse. So smaller cows like a Dexter can put more animals per acre. I would start at a cow per acre, then see how that works, paying close attention to body condition. If it starts to drop it's time to feed. If you are new to raising stock I would spend the first couple years feeding there are so many skills related to livestock increasing your chance of success is more important then doing it perfectly.

So far the latest we have browsed is into December. It is hard to have a perfect system on leased land, but as the herd increases the infrastructure we have will increase, this will make it easier to improve the pastures we use.
To increase pasture diversity I would just over seed. Try different mixes, and Forbes. There is alot of variety available, just gets expensive so typically not able to be done all at once.
Feel free to ask lots of questions, here or on our Facebook page, or I also offer consulting. My wife also dis a cool interview recently on the survival podcast about our failures, I would suggest listening to it.
1 year ago
I don't have the full answer yet, but am leaning towards two things, one is diversity. Especially Forbes mixed within the grasses, but also different grass varieties that may do better. And two is adding browse to the pastures, this will help both summer time and winter time grazing.
1 year ago
I know this is an old thread, but it caught my interest. I have heard that mulberry has a similar btu value to black locust when you are talking about such a quick coppicing system. I am also interested in trying bamboo as it is a quick growing hot burning fuel. It would obviously have to be split, but that isnt so hard to do. and I would think a smallish grove could produce enough for at least a rocket heater without to much trouble.
1 year ago
You would also look at switching your rocket stove over to burn either pellets or oil. having pellets just feed in slowly would keep it burning all day. Or I have heard of someone using used motor oil, that dripped into a burn chamber. I think they had like a tin can with screws in it to help splatter the oil.
1 year ago
It i hard to find good info, according to the internet everything is poisonous and going to kill everything. The truth is very few plants are really poisonous, and all animals should eat a variety of things instead of eating just one thing. I would guess that if goats eat only holly for a extended period of time it would not be healthy. But that doesn't sound like your plan. I also would not be very worried about autumn olive or other "invasive" nitrogen fixers, It sounds like you are pretty shaded so they are unlikely to to extremely well, and you have goats. I haven't tried autumn olive in my goat pastures, because I don't think it would get established. But no scotch broom has made it out alive after spending a little time with the goats.
1 year ago
Well my goats keep eating the holly in their paddocks.
1 year ago
Bamboo, the clumping varieties are a little easier to maintain although I would think your goats would do a good job keeping a runner in check. I would also look at holly, not sure how shaded it can grow, but is a good winter browse because it doesn't loose its leaves.
1 year ago
I am currently working on getting my contractors license in state of Oregon, and thanks to Ernie and Erica people are allowed to legally have rocket mass heaters, at least in portland, I believe. SO... I was wondering about how to do it economically for clients. I have built one in my house, and it took alot of time to make that much cob, I can not make cob for free, and thinking of what the labor would cost the homeowner it seems like it might be just as economical for them to have a masonry heater put in(and easier for them to resell the house with). Just looking for peoples thoughts, especially people that have more experience with cob then I do. (which isnt much)
  
2 years ago
interesting, are all of the perennial grains like that? Because that seems like it would take away from the beauty of being a perennial grain.
3 years ago
Why don't you think that they will come back up? I thought they were a perennial grain. Are you just not wanting to get your hopes up or is there another reason?
3 years ago