D.A. Hanks

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since Oct 29, 2012
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Recent posts by D.A. Hanks

This is exactly what I use, along with some chunks left from the burn pile. I have a large frying pan that I smash it down in with a sledge hammer to manageable sizes, which then go in the blender. I bought the blender specifically for charcoal and eggshells and the like. Do NOT use the kitchen blender unless you are single or wish to become so again. This reduces it to mostly powder for quick release, along with pencil eraser-sized chips for next year. This year, I made 5 gallons of char and added 5 gallons of urine. Since I produce 2-3 gallons of it a day, it didn't take very long to add it all. It absorbed its own volume (5 gallons) and will take a bit more each week to stay moist until I need it in a month or so.
3 years ago
While the idea of something wet catching fire may sound odd, it is quite common. Wet cotton is the biggest producer of spontaneous combustion in the transport business, and many chemicals when they contact water, will produce flammable gases, such as hydrogen and acetylene. The exothermic reaction is more than hot enough itself, to be an ignition source for those flammable gases.

As for the biochar. I made 5 gallons of powdered/chipped charcoal in the blender, and added 5 gallons of urine over several days, which it has absorbed. I'm guessing to keep it moist, adding another gallon or so a week until I need it? I produce 2-3 gallons a day, so it's not an issue, at least for me.
3 years ago

This is Special Ranger Doug Hanks with the Crescent Ridge Dawn Redwoods Preserve. I am the chief conservation officer with the only wild dawn redwood forest outside China. I was made aware of this post by a member of another forum.

New growth dawn redwood has a density of around 12-15 pounds per cubic foot.  My dad has tried to turn bowls on a lathe, and even at the slowest speeds, it still flies apart. My suggestion is to leave it for what it is; a gorgeous specimen.

If anyone has questions, please feel free to contact me via our most informative website: www.dawnredwood.org I have studied these trees in a wild habitat since 1995, and most of the current info online is a result of this research. I do not know of anyone with more experience regarding this tree than myself, so once again, please direct your questions to me via email.
5 years ago
Hi Susan-

There are several things to keep in mind when looking for land. First, it needs water. This is the most important aspect of getting a homestead or community going. You also need to look at the lay of the land and the fertility/pH of the soil. Your land needs to be able to produce.

Now, does your land have simple groundwater or does it have flowing water? If the answer to that question is "yes," then it puts you in a position to add micro hydro to your compound.

Finding land for a reasonable price is the hardest part, but there are still deals to be made out there. You just need to be willing to dig for them.
11 years ago
Just a quick followup on Coastal redwoods:

Contrary to popular belief, Coast redwoods do not require fog! Along the California coast, these trees use the fog to supplement what the ground does not offer. Take these trees to a location of the same temperatures with abundant groundwater and they will thrive without the fog. An excellent example of this lays in New Zealand, where someone got the bright idea to plant a huge plantation with good temps, fog and groundwater. The result? Trees that grew so fast that they are not suitable for timber use. They have a density of 19# per cubic foot.

Examples of mature Coast redwoods along the East coast are: Abbeville, SC and the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. Coast redwoods have also been successfully planted in the Gulf states.

Coast redwoods are intolerant of ice and snow, and will not survive in the Smoky Mountains. Out of 100, only one survived at the Preserve, and in 15 years it is still only chest-high. This is at an elevation of only 900 feet.
11 years ago
I believe I may be able to shed some light on your initial question. There are indeed, redwoods growing in NC in three separate groves, but they are not Coast redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens).

In 1995, I created the Crescent Ridge Dawn Redwoods Preserve, and as the name suggests, they are dawn redwoods (Metasequoia glyptostroboides), not coast redwoods. We did indeed, have three groves: Grandmothers Grove, Lower Meadow and Beaver Meadow. As the latter may indicate, beavers are present in the area and cut down 125-150 trees, ruining 15 years' worth of research and 15% of the project.

We currently have around 200 trees left, with the largest at 60 feet or so, with a diameter over a foot. Further info about the project and the history of the dawn redwood can be found at dawnredwood.org.

11 years ago