Brian Rodgers

pollinator
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since Jan 15, 2012
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wood heat woodworking homestead
TechHippie. 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

Pete Podurgiel wrote:That's horrible, my condolences ...is there any hope of legal recourse/recompense?


I had finally gotten to the point spiritually where I was not going to worry about the direction the government was heading as long as they stayed out of my face, doh! Yes FEMA is here, apparently they aren't concerned with restoring our belongings per se, just the basic necessities. I imagine there are class action lawsuits brewing as we speak. Besides all the regular citizens homes lost to fire a large country club golf course community burned.
1 month ago
Thank you Bryan and everyone. This has been a rough couple of years, coping with bladder cancer and having a neobladder created. Light was shining at the end of the tunnel. We still see the light. In one regard there are so many little issues after having lived in the house we built over the last twenty + years, that I don't have hanging over my head any longer. Don't need to replace the water heater or repair the 800 feet of driveway, etc. Smiles

We are looking at a house in Santa Rosa New Mexico where water is abundant, including a large lake in the middle of town and  Blue Hole  where I could learn to scuba dive right there in the middle of the desert, lol! Gardening will be much easier with all the water as there are many springs throughout town. It is said the Blue hole extends all the way to Carlsbad Caverns. We'll miss our attached greenhouse/ pond room as it provided  food year round and was unheated.  

This new house has already been remodeled. At 68 and 69 my wife and I do not have another house build left in us. Sunshine in Santa Rosa is abundant, Nell's son who is helping us secure the house is an electrician and we're talking about  building a post and beam structure to setup a grid tied PV array to charge the used electric car we'll purchase if FEMA comes through. Albuquerque is around a 100 miles which is in the range of most of the inexpensive EVs we're seen on craigslist. One of the big issues with Las Vegas (12 miles south of the ranch) is a food desert situation. My diet is quite extreme after finally learning what was causing the debilitating joint inflammation that put me down for the better part of three years. This was when I did research into permaculture and met all you wonderful folks.

Once I got better I went back to work as a rural/mountain Wireless internet installer for a couple years. This is why I was absent from here. Then of course COVID 19 hit. I stayed working when most took leaves. It turned out the I had the greatest sonority by ten years over the rest of the crew and COVID bonuses rewarded us well. We setup our house with a mini-split air conditioner and heat pump, so after 50 years living on the ranch I no longer needed to build a fire in the wood heater in the morning. What a blessing that was!

Okay I better get back to work with Nell of the second part of FEMA assistance. After rereading the list of stuff they'll compensate us for a Jewelry studio isn't included, sigh. There is a class action lawsuit developing and we'll get in on that to recover losses like tools, all of the vintage and high  quality hand tools were on the back porch as I was already working on a new much larger garden starting this year.  How does one value an eye hoe with a custom cut hickory handle?
I took extraordinary care of my hand tools and of course as we replace tools they'll continue to get that level of attention.  
Much love,
Brian Rodgers  
1 month ago

Douglas Alpenstock wrote:Good god Brian. That's awful, unspeakable, infuriating. I can't imagine how a controlled burn could have gone so horribly wrong.

Yeah, after the Cerro Grande fire which destroyed the town of Los Alamos lit for the same reason, now they call them "Prescribed burns."  As citizens we need to take the matches away for the US Forest Service. It has been declared a national disaster by uncle Joe. Under the unbearable stress of losing our homebuilt home with a masonry 2600 gallon aquaponics fish pond with five year old Koi, we've frantically filling our forms proving we own the home. That part is done and sent in to FEMA with documentation showing what type of home it was, as it is unrecognizable as a building. Next is personal belongings; family photos, paintings, artwork, furnishings and a brand new jewelry studio which I
I've been using to create hand fabricated (silversmithing) rings, along with a handmade lapidary system I've been using to cut and reshape stones that I've had for 40 years when I began silversmithing. We opened an Etsy shop and sold a few rings already. Etsy Rodgers Rings and Things  I best get back to work.
Thank you all
Love Brian and Nell
1 month ago
Yep, you read that correctly. Every thing my Wife and I built and created over the last 24 years is gone. We built our house from the dirt to the roof. Most of the lumber and all the timber came from our property here in northern New Mexico. We made the large planks for windowsills and work benches using our Granberg Alaskan chainsaw mill and it's ash now too. We're making plans to relocate because this once gorgeous area  of New Mexico looks like an atomic bomb went off nearby. They destroyed everything. Our beautifully manicured forest is destroyed too. This year we had the best ground cover we've seen since we bought this property in 1971.
1 month ago
Thanks Anne
It feels good to be back. I had to take a break from social media and all the negativity that comes with it. Of course none of that came from here.
I used to love sharing photos on social media. I'll try and get it together enough to start shooting pictures again and hopefully relearn to type again as well, hehe
Brian
4 months ago
Hello Carmen
I've had a rough year, sorry I was out of it here for almost 3 years.

Off topic but I gotta ask - Do you have problems with the elk? I just bought a property with a roaming herd of elk that have been using it. I don't know how many, have just heard about them from the neighbors. I'm 61 years old. Should I be worried? Do I need to do anything to protect myself or my house or my dogs from them? Any other advice for me regarding them? Any and all info welcome. Thanks, Carmen.

I just turned 68 and I have lived here on this land since 1973. The elk must have been here all along. I don't know because the first house I built or rebuilt ( that's another story) did not have a good view of our fields on top of the fact that I was young and didn't a lot of early mornings views of anything, hehe. After a divorce from our children's mother then losing the first house I built, moved an old mobile home from down the hill by the Village, to up the hill to near where my parents had just put a prefabricated house at the edge of the forest. After picking a spot with a view with the support of my current wife we immediately cut  out one end of 1958 40 foot trailer and install one of the many double pane picture windows I had  been collecting as a lifelong scavenger of materials. Two things we noticed quickly was that our little trailer was very near a game trail and that brought a wide variety of wildlife across our picture window view. That is when we realized how vast the population of wild animals the are here in northern New Mexico including a herd of upto 75 elk which frequented the field I previously hadn't seen. On a few occasions those extremely large beasts would come into our yard. As you probably already have seen, elk are as large a horse and equally as gentle. Fences don't affect them all that and our fences while maintained are very old and not all that strong. The one gate we have up dividing the pasture from the larger forested acreage. I don't if this large herd ever used the always open gate or not but, it was clearly evident that 15 feet away the fence was often down and needing repairs. To the south, deep in the forest it became evident why we had to repair fences in certain places.
 
4 months ago
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
2 years 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  
3 years ago