Earl Mardle

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since Nov 02, 2012
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Recent posts by Earl Mardle

My dad is on the uphill rise. He's coming back home with me sometime this week with hospice. Way better news than what was given to us earlier this week.



Great to hear that he has some more time.

Can we all just make him a promise that we will do our best to have more of us on this side than there are on the other? Always.

Joe Braxton wrote:These plans look like the ones, if not please correct me. 

http://essmextension.tamu.edu/pinestraw/baling.html



The plans are no longer available at the link, I also tried a search on baler there but no results. Any more ideas?

Also, I assume this is not just for tightening slack bales and that you can make a bale from scratch with it, yes?

Thekla McDaniels wrote:Mordants are also commonly used on many natural fibers.  The dye stuffs that yield a permanent color without a mordant are much rarer.  Often the mordant determines color you get from a dye stuff, meaning wool dyed with marigold petals for example that is mordanted with alum will give a different color than mordanted with chrome, or iron or the countless mineral salts used as mordant.  I think what happens is the mordants act on the fiber creating a place the color dye can attach.

This looks like a fascinating book, I'd love to get those colors from natural dyes.



And, of course, we all produce our own mordants so that's no problem. Mordants
  • stale urine
  • salt
  • vinegar
  • wood ash in solution
  • oak galls
  • raw alum
  • water  in which rusty iron has been soaked
  • willow or oak bark
  • copper pieces that have been soaked in ammonia for about 2 weeks.


  • Good page, with recipes.
    1 year ago

    Cj Sloane wrote:

    Zach Weiss wrote:Never chisel towards yourself, unless your the son of a timber framer



    I'm not so sure that even the son of a timber framer should wear sandals while chainsawing.



    Mhmm. To both. My inner health and safety inspector had a hernia, shorts, bare hands, no face or EAR protection and similarly unprotected people holding the log. Please guys, when you use a 20th century tool, don't take 13th century protection.
    1 year ago

    Opportunity Hatfield wrote:Well... the old Indore method is really considered out-dated.  More modern methods focus on trying to obtain peak efficiency.  While layering is a good way to begin the process, all the material needs to be mixed together in order to achieve any real efficiency.  Layering isn't going to decrease nitrogen losses because the moisture in the pile is going to melt the ash and raw nitrogen together anyway, and without moisture there's virtually no decomposition taking place.  We've refined this now to where we add various supplements at specific stages of the composting process, just like a good chef adds various ingredients to the recipe at the correct times.
    In some ecosystems the nitrogen issue isn't such a big deal.  But in regions where nitrogen management is a problem, we do have to conserve as much as we can -- it's expensive.



    Good point. My organic hort class actually did some research on amendments to compost. like one of the tutors I added lime to my layers but another tutor was against this. So they sent the results of the two methods off for testing and it was very clear, available nutrients in the unamended pile far exceeded those in the amended pile. The tutor theorised that adding the lime at the beginning interferes with the action of the thermophilic bacteria that start the thing off. They are very acidic and cause the pH of the heap to drop like a rock at first. Only after they are done do the subsequent critters raise the pH back towards neutral or above. The lime (or ash) in the heap may either attack the thermophilic bacteria or neutralise their waste, making it unsuitable for following bacteria as food.

    So I now add my lime/ash at the final stage, mixing it in as I prepare to spread. This also complies with biodynamic principles that say everything you add to the soil should use compost as the pathway.
    1 year ago

    Joseph Lofthouse wrote:R Ranson: Ha! Because you brought it up, I remember having an upset stomach yesterday. It was mild, and passed quickly. I was wondering about what I ate to upset myself. I'm very sensitive to wheat but hadn't had any for weeks. Hmmm. Wondering if it was the raw fava leaves?

    I'm sure individual biology plays a big part in that response. I loves my favas and this time of the year (autumn in NZ) taking the tops out for stir fries has a double benefit, greens for the diet and divisions for the plant which wont set seed till spring anyway. Also keeps it a bit shorter and more able to handle winter winds.
    1 year ago

    Tyler Ludens wrote:I've not seen that the method of fear works any better.



    Yep, which is why I have stopped having conversations with those who have not already found their own way to somewhere near here. But to the original point, there is no point trying to attract people to the way when the path itself doesn't exist. I am hugely fortunate that my entire life's decisions have allowed me to make these choices now, for those in other places who don't have my options, there is currently no actual option. To hold out the destination but not to have a workable path to it is a betrayal as well. Its the lack of that path that troubles me most and it is up to us somehow to construct it. I am out of ideas for the process.

    Tyler Ludens wrote:I don't think we can effectively frighten most people into changing, I think we need to offer the incentives of comfort, security, and beauty. Fear may appeal to some people, but I think it turns most people off.

    I don't think you are wrong at all, I am however certain that we have now passed the point where we have the luxury of gently leading people to a better way. I don't believe we should force anyone to change and we couldn't if we wanted to, but we have lived in a world of relentless fascination with comfort, security and beauty, often perverted and full of lies, but that is what western civilsation has offered and promised that if we do the right things, we shall have it. Those right things have been clearly specified as being acts that are essentially suicidal.

    We have lived in a world of Lotos Eaters, we are the drug addicts whose beautiful inner world takes place in a scabrous, stinking, filthy sewer and, while I wholly agree that permaculture offers all of those things and am grateful every day for the wonders of my landscape, I have also had the privilege of beginning the transition while the pathway is still walkable. Those who come right now might get there in one piece, but any delays will mean that the transition will have to be made by waking from the dream into the nightmare.

    Your method demands that we offer joys to come in the medium future from hard work as competition with the perfect hit right now to people who have been taught that they "deserve" the best, immediately. Good luck with that.

    John Weiland wrote:I suspect 'enable' may have to come after 'incentivize'. There has to be a strong "gotta-wanna" element in that next generation, enough so that (to them) it becomes a matter of necessity

    I really hope that this is not the case. If they are collectively unable to see that the incentive is not to starve to death in a collapsing civilisation, and even worse, watch your children starve, then that is what they will do. Anyone who figures out even the pathway to a transition to sustainable living on the planet is not going to have spare resources to pretty it up just so some people will want to add it to their fashion agenda.

    I love my work, and I come in most nights thoroughly pooped, dirty and ready to pass out. I expect that, if I am lucky, that is how it will be for the rest of my life. There is precious little gotta-wanna in that and a great deal of knuckle down and do the work or you go hungry. By the time that hunger is an "incentive", it wont be possible to change it.

    Frankly, this is the fault of my generation, I apologise to the alphabet gens for our failure to get them to grasp the reality that is going to decide how they live out their lives.

    Travis Johnson wrote:If people reading this do not get anything else out of this thread, I hope it is that. Being out of debt is great, and it truly can be done. (and faster than you think!)

    Amen brother.

    I have had debt, none of it as dangerous as yours, but it doesn't matter, it scares the crap out of me at any and every level. We use our credit card all the time. At least once a week I pay it off and always add a few extra $$ from the savings to keep it in credit. When TSHTF it will happen so fast our heads will spin and on that day we will cease to be able to pay back those debts, however small, and they will eventually overwhelm us.

    If you wake up every morning terrified of your debt you will act every day to reduce that as fast as you can as task one. Do it. But first you have to be afraid of it. I don't know how to get others to that place, I was apparently born like it. I have been so very lucky in that.