Brian Rodgers

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since Jan 15, 2012
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wood heat woodworking homestead
Retired, electromagnetically oriented hippie. I live with my wife Nell on 200 acre land trust. I've lived a life of crazy projects out here in the mountains. We're living in our second self-built home. When I was younger my favorite projects were salvaging vehicles to keep our fleet of junkers running with parts from different types of vehicles. Learned bio-diesel, got a diesel car built a processor and ran it on restaurant grease for ten years. Built an axial-flux wind turbine with the help of the Dans from Other-Power. Currently we're in our third year of earth-sheltered greenhouse aquaponics, raising Brook trout.
northeastern New Mexico
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Recent posts by Brian Rodgers

Good morning Travis
I haven't been on in a while, not because I was ill, quite the opposite, I got lucky and am now well. Holy crap though, when I read this thread with all tender love and caring this community offers, I can see I have been neglect.
I feel for you man. I still watch more youtube than I should, but I'm no longer living vicariously through other's lives like I was when I was down for the count. Youtube how tos, even Permies gave me mixed emotions as I went from a life of action on the little ranch here in the mountains of northern New Mexico to a withered old guy that couldn't walk. Watching others try to make a go at homesteading made me feel good, so there is that benefit for others so there is that.  I thought about doing it, but I don't have the personality needed to promote a show about my projects.
An ironic aspect to my life is that I would come up with an idea and based on the idea I'd make the first cut, dig the hole, bust the rock and be knee deep before my wife would come looking for me for dinner. Hehe, often gingerly saying, "Why are you digging this hole? Anyway dinners ready." It's difficult to translate a life like that into encouragement for the young ones coming up and trying to make it go.  It is especially difficult to be flat out on your back and think about it when the body says, "nope ain't gunna happen." If your mind stays as clear as it seems today Travis I'd say you can do it, whatever "it" is. You're smart and a fantastic teacher.  Thank you for being you.
Brian Rodgers
1 year ago
Howdy Dale. I've been out of the loop for medical reasons, but I care to read what you are doing first thing when I get back here. Your story, I admire a great deal. I feel that you are doing things that help people as well as for you and your lovely wife. You really know what it takes to make sound plans and then do what it takes them a reality, I applaud you sir.
Thank you for being you. Keep up, keeping up and thank you for doing such inspirational work.
Brian Rodgers from New Mexico  
2 years ago

Bryant RedHawk wrote:

Travis Halverson wrote:Interesting about your sawmill. What do you use now?

I don't log my temps like maybe I should. I recall achieving and sustaining 155F during non-winter season. I've yet to keep a pile active past January during winter (upper midwest, USA).

So far, I've only spread year one compost around some 3 yr old fruit trees.

Do you use yours in garden beds? I did add some to a bed of garlic last fall. Not sprouted yet.  

155 is  proper temp for humanure in the hot cycle, it's for pathogen kill off.  When we were doing this method I had the human heap and that was then transferred to a "standard" heap for a 3 month cycle through, this reduced the amount of N in the finished compost.

I now own a chipper, I needed one for all the tree removal I was doing, it handles the finger sized twigs I can't use for wattle fencing or fires in the smoker.
I am working on a new experimental pathogen killing setup for septic tanks, this is in the second year of trials and after some adjusting of the biome in the tank things are looking great for use as a sub soil level nutrient system for vegetable growing.


"I now own a chipper, I needed one for all the tree removal I was doing, it handles the finger sized twigs I can't use for wattle fencing or fires in the smoker. "
Okay Bryant you have my curiosity peaked, "Wattle Fencing?"
2 years ago
A good friend and innovative creator put an air compressor on top of of a 60 foot tower attached through an old VW Micro-bus  trans-axle he's got a five blade wind turbine. For storage he's buried several large propane tanks nearby. He has an extensive workshop which runs off compressed air. This is probably the best use of compressed air as storage I have seen.  Those propane tanks can usually be bought cheap from Propane companies as they lose the tanks  accreditation.
2 years ago

Tim Bermaw wrote:History is littered with the corpses of those that thought themselves 'irreplacable'.

Actually history is littered evenly with corpses of good productive and ingenious people as well as the lazy ones and all those in between, a fact that continually annoys me.
I believe it is good to remember that machines can greatly increase productivity in trained hands, that doesn't mean everyone with a high quality machine at their disposal will be productive. A strong and fit human with a good sharp hoe or shovel can be highly productive over his or her lifetime.
Every placement of the shovel is thought-out and calculated with any number of factors depending on what nature has provided via terrain, his or her personal health, sharpness of the tool as well as the care and maintenance provided to the tool over the years and it all comes down to that moment the blade hits the earth.
We could also remember that many humans love working in the soil and fuss less over those alleged lazy people.  
2 years ago
You probably know more than me already. Perhaps you've seen this  recent The Atlantic story which drove my interest for wasabi up high too.

This is a beautiful story of one family's wasabi farm. Looks like it needs lot's of water, but wow.
2 years ago
This is a lovely thread, thank you so much for creating this discussion Jocelyn.
You didn't mention if  you lucky enough to have a small water flow nearby the house?
I too, love the sounds of water. While our home is far from road noise, I built our water features during a series of droughts in order to ease the natural desire to flee to wetter climes. This spurred a love of fish that hasn't declined, now that the weather cycle has changed to lots of rain and snow.  
Here is a video of the waterfall in the 2600 indoor pond adjacent to our dining room.

Yes that is a cement mixing trough from Big R. No it isn't real pretty by itself, I think the rock-work around it makes up for it. It makes a wonderful sound which emanates the house. It is also a deep water culture bed capable of growing plants on a raft bed.

Halloween-snow-2018-greenhouse-trout-pond-DWC-waterfall. I need to get seedlings going for this years gardens as well as the greenhouse. Even so all these plants made it through Winter which of course makes us very happy.
In the outdoor Koi pond which is an old hot tub I have a very low wattage pump still capable of moving water through the filters keeping the pond clean and clear. If I let the outflow of the little pump sit above the water it makes a lovely trickling sound as well.
Great Stuff the spray foam foam in a can product makes one for ponds that is black and waterproof. I know it isn't a cool natural product, however the need for something like this is too keep the water from the pump flowing exactly where you want it to flow as opposed to flowing under the rocks and or out of the feature.
I haven't used it as it is so windy here,  we have a massive issue with evaporation and an outdoor water feature with waterfalls would need constant topping up. Water feature spray foam is used in conjunction with pond liner and natural rocks laid on the fresh gooey foam. If done properly the foam is invisible the water goes where you want it to go.
2 years ago
Thanks for posting Christopher. It looks like you are in good hands there at the Labs. This is going to be a great learning experience for you. I got to say "brrr, it looks cold outside!"
I'm envious of the new path you are taking, lol. Good luck.
2 years ago

Travis Johnson wrote:
The next strategy is to never change the oil. There really is not any need too. Upon every start up, I always check the fluids so they are always topped off with fresh oil when they start getting low, and I change the filters. The filter change is where the impurities get taken out.
People have scoffed and said this is stupid, but is it? I run my cars and trucks for 250,000 miles! That is 84 oil changes I saved, over 105 gallons of oil, and $1700 in oil change costs...PER VEHICLE. Now total that up by the number of machines I have. Again, the railroad turned me on to this, and it really makes sense fiscally and envionmentally speaking. Changing oil is one of those things from a by gone era when engines were inferior and made out of inferior metals. Today it just is not needed.

Great idea, thanks. One question I have is I had always thought that removing the filter would drain the oil. Is this not the case?
2 years ago
Good Morning!

Nell and I went out yesterday. The Jeep has a block heater whereas the Jetta does not. I've looked into block heaters for the VW diesel, but at this point they are a little too pricey for our budget at this moment. That's okay the Jeep has nice snow tires and a block heater. Nell and I had the most wonderful afternoon in town.:-D
The Jeep has the block heater built into the engine block.
The vw-block-heater has a little different block heater setup.
On the bright side this looks much easier to install than the freeze plug installation the Jeep has.
We did order a new starter for the VW Jetta as one of the issues in the cold mornings is the starter turns for a few seconds then spins free.
That is a classic problem with old cars and starters and often happens because oil gets down in the starter and on the shaft where the pinion gear fails to stay engaged with the engine flywheel because oil and grease  get sticky in cold weather. Sometimes I am able to clean the starter and it works again. However as I get older I need to limit the time I'm working under cars, so I won't take the chance it is repairable.

Let's see, what else is happening here on the rancho? Oh right the weather for one more bit this morning:

Weather-Sapello-NM-87745-12-29-18  Yeah baby it's brisk outside!
Nell decided she wanted to get up early this morning and be with me, bless her heart. I love this woman. The surgery to her right foot is a complete success! Her toes touch the ground when she walks for the first time since 2007, she says. This is cool, now I can ask her questions while I'm writing. That is wonderful. Anyways, we both have exercises we need to do, some are the same. She has shoulder pain and I have hip pain from the impingement from spinal stenosis. We both need to work our lats. Here is a quick  search result for exercise with bands top-5-resistance-bands-lat-exercises-for-a-wide-back
I've let all the exercise routines I used while I thought I only had scoliosis go, in favor of getting outside and performing much needed chores. Now it looks like those chores are aggravating my spine. That's okay I can change, I want to be healthy, especially after coming off this yeast fungal overgrowth disease which I believe in part is called  SIBO.

One of the issues I am coping with now is how all the medical professionals missed the severity of the spinal stenosis. Personally, I missed it myself because I thought the pain was coming from whatever caused all the other pain that had me down for the count.  Thank the universe for Doctor Lilly Bletcher who with her brilliant analysis of the blood and genetic tests,   has confirmed the cause of one disease which ruled out the cause of the structural back issue.  Now I can move forward with knowledge and treatment of both.  I'm still upset the western medicine providers didn't pay enough attention to the results of the MRI.  

MRI-results page one

MRI-results page two

Again, tremendous thanks go out to Dr. Lilly for requesting a copy of this MRI and posting it back to me.              
I have an appointment with my primary care doctor on my birthday, the 11th of January. At that time I will emphasize the critical nature of this report and request physical therapy specifically related to this new information. On January 1st, 2019,  I'll switch over from the blessed Medicaid to Medicare. I'm a bit apprehensive about this change, hopefully it'll be a smooth transition and Medicaid will be my secondary insurance.

I have spent a good deal of time in  research and physical work to begin the transition of as much of this property as possible to sustainable ecosystems through permacultural.  With the effects of time and climate, I believe this is the best chance to keep alive and  preserve this beautiful land we are so lucky to live on.  The process is long reaching but the results are in perpituity. I like that word.  
It is going to take much more physical work than I can safely do. I am looking into  large and small equipment that will be able to replace the stress on the back because there is no perpituity in that skeletal structure.  Nell and I are looking into ways to find assistance in this like grants or programs such as go fund me.  If anyone has experience with these, please share your knowledge and opinions with us.

Feeling hopeful for the new year and hoping you are as well.
Brian and Nell.
2 years ago