Nathan Rigg

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since Jul 24, 2012
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Recent posts by Nathan Rigg

I have a bunch of this stuff growing in the corner of my property. It dies back in the winter and comes up every year. It has large tuber like roots and I keep cutting it back and it keeps growing back very quickly. It seems to get 4 feet or so wide and about the same tall. but probably could get bigger if I wasn't cutting it back. I bought this home last year and noticed it growing out back where the previous owner seemed to pile all their leaves.
5 years ago
Hi I have a field with a slight slope. I'd like to slowly put in swales and plant trees on the down hill side to establish a food forest. I have an old farmall H tractor and would like to use what I have to build the swales if possible. I plan on adding a 3 point hitch to the tractor and that would allow me to use a rear box blade( no front end loader). I have never had any experience with a box blade except a friend of mine has used one to work on his pond. He says he can push more dirt with a box blade than his front end loader. I do have heavy clay here but I was thinking if I do it at the right time when the dirt is a little moist, but not soaked, maybe I could use a box blade to push the earth toward the down hill side...the piled up earth would be loose I would think.

I don't know what do you think, is it possible? Or is it not going to work at all? I know I could rent a tractor or buy a backhoe for a decent price, but I'd really like to do it with my existing tractor, unless it would be a waist of time and not get any decent results.

I also would rather do swales I think than just contour plowing. Swales would last longer right? It seems a contour plowing would need repeated.
7 years ago
Hi I'm interested in an adobe house. We live in the temple, tx area. Our land has black clay, so I realize that I would need to add a good amount of sand to it to work for adobe. However I'd like to use what we have in house construction and I like the adobe homes. I also want a home that stays cool in the summer. I want a practical home that doesn't require air condition to be livable. I understand adobe homes have thermal mass so they cool down at night and release the cool air in the hot day and vice versa. However I'm thinking that it may not be practical here where I live. An earth sheltered home has so much mass it stays constant through seasons because it takes months to cool down a massive hill. An adobe I would think would only be a daily thermal mass build up. So unlike the desert where it gets VERY cold at night and VERY hot in the day, where I live it gets VERY hot in the day(100 degrees sometimes in the summer) however at night the average in the summer is probably low 70s. So in this situation would my adobe house NOT get the cooling it needs at night and just stay hot all the time? I hope I've been clear in my post. Maybe the best thing would be an earth sheltered home.....
7 years ago
cob
I have three more plants I'm having trouble finding what they are.

The first one is a purplish green plant that looks like lettuce sorta. It's very low growing until it seeds. It has an extremely long tap root that is very hard to pull out the entire plant. It seems to be very noncompetitive, grows in my non till garden areas when I pull up the grass and weeds and other bare spots in the land. It also is growing in an area we placed gravel. I haven't been pulling it up by the roots because it's so hard. I just pull the leaves when they get big and use them as mulch. I figure they must contain lots of deep nutrients since the tap root is EXTREMELY deep.

second one is a plant with pods very similar to peas. I took a small nibble at a pod and it didn't seem to taste bad. It's a plant, not a tree. I've very curious if it's edible as there are lots and lots growing. The land used to have lots of mesquite which is of course a podded tree. Some are still there. It is not mesquite though, it's just interesting that there would be so much nitrogen fixers(I assume it's a nitrogen fixer as it has pods)

Last one is some kind of tree or perennial bush. It has thorns(I think it's one per leaf). It has different type leafs than any other thorny tree I've seen.

I'd appreciate any help. I've searched and searched myself but these are hard for me to find. Thanks


http://i1062.photobucket.com/albums/t488/nr5p/lettuceweed.jpg

http://i1062.photobucket.com/albums/t488/nr5p/podweed.jpg

http://i1062.photobucket.com/albums/t488/nr5p/thorntree.jpg
7 years ago
Is google earth accurate enough to get a good idea of how swales will be laid out on a property? I know it's not perfect and it is no substitute to a laser or A frame level, but in the google earth program you can take your pointer and go over the land and it gives you elevation down to the foot. However when I go over something like a barn it does not pick up the elevation change.
7 years ago
There are many ponds in my area. I live on a slight sloping property which has a low point where there is a sort of creek that has been cut out from water flowing. There is lots of land which has slight fall toward my land, I have used a laser and verified this. I have deep clay soil. Is there any reason not to dig straight down with no dam and put a pond at this low point where water runs through? I always see ponds that are dam type. But I never see them put at a low point, I guess because of silt buildup? The same thing happens in a dammed pond. Maybe it's because of going to deep and hitting rock
8 years ago
We just purchased 11 acres. It is an old pasture land that has been used as a hay field now. I've been reading books on cob and found that they recommend using straw instead of hay. The main thing i've saw is that they say hay decomposes...but so does straw. If I let the hay dry out before harvesting would it be fine to use? Maybe it is cheap enough it would be better to just buy it but I'd like to use everything I can from my property. Of course if we don't get out of this drought here in Texas I may not get much hay anyways.
8 years ago
cob
I live around the Temple area. My wife and I just bought 11 acres of our own.
8 years ago
My wife and I just got 11 acres after searching for the right piece of land for 2 years! It's completely fenced and has a barn(old pasture land), and we are in the area we want to be, only 15 minutes from both our families. We live in the Temple, tx area and we've always loved the cob homes. I've been looking for workshops in texas and can't find any active or soon. I saw a few that have been completed but that is all. I thought I would check on here to see if anyone knew of one or maybe see if anyone needs some free help. I am currently starting to read up more on it now. We close the 17th of next month and I can't wait to start building my food forest!
8 years ago
cob