Tys Sniffen

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since Nov 05, 2012
Northern California
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Recent posts by Tys Sniffen

Anyone have suggestions for a water pressure system/pump that can help me create water pressure into my cabin?   Because of the water catchment, I don't have much gravity flow.  

Would love to have some sort of low power /solar power solution.
2 weeks ago

Marco Banks wrote:
I'd be curious how many chill hours you got last winter.  Are your trees low chill varieties?  

Nearest I can figure out, the data I’m finding says 500 to 750 chill hours. I don’t collect  it myself, obviously.

I don’t believe my varieties are low chill, they’ve all been purchased locally.
4 months ago
The cutting part is not my problem. I have built jigs for glass cutters before, and I have a tile saw. It’s the heating and cooling on a mass scale that I would like to figure out. A candle and an ice cube seems a little slow.
4 months ago
We have frosts, but not after flower buds.   Like 3 times in February, that's it.

And, I don't have my watering system running year round, but turn it on when things start to dry up, which is after typical flowering time.   HOWEVER, we have rain all winter, and this spring was a longer wet one.  So, yes, 'too much water' in early spring might in fact be my problem.  

If too much rainfall in March and April is my problem, what can I do about it?
4 months ago
So, I've sacrificed a lot to gather many winy bottles over the years (ha!) and have long been thinking about a small building of 'cord-bottle cob' ...  

At some point, I want to cut half the wine bottles so that the neck of one is gone and I can slip the neck of the other inside it, then wrap with aluminium foil for a nice light tube about 18" long.  

I've cut my share of bottles before, but I'm wondering if anyone has an idea on how to do a bunch at once.   I've done pots of boiling water, cooking 8-10 scored bottles at once, then attempted to put them in cold water.  It sort of works.  Maybe I need to get them hotter?  maybe I should bake them in the earth oven??  

If it snowed around here, I'd do it in the winter, but it never really gets that cold here.

4 months ago
I'm no pond expert, so this is just me as 'keyboard consultant' but couple things-

Are you saying the pond you are working on is the THIRD in line, as in the last down-stream one?   That stuff from the creek and the other 2 ponds flow into yours?     That will probably end up messing up your long term solution, as whatever is in those upper ponds will flow into yours.

Where else does that creek wander through upstream from you?   Again, no expert, but that water quality reminds me of creeks from back in Wisconsin that wandered through farms with dairy cattle - that is, that algae there looks "powered" by nitrogen runoff - from cow poop or field fertilizer.   I would want to think about what level of exposure you're comfortable with if that's the case.

I agree with other answer about how great that stuff would be to gather and add to compost or garden.  

Perhaps, if I'm in the ballpark about the nitrogen content, you could plant something - at the upper end edge -  that really sucks up nitrogen. Something you'd like, and could use.  I don't know what that would be, but maybe bamboo?  

What sort of wildlife is in the pond now?  Are there fish? frogs? how deep is it?
4 months ago
Hello all,

I'm up in the hills at 2000 ft above sea level, in zone 9B.  

I've got a lot of fruit trees (apples are doing great this year!) including peaches and plums.  I've got at least 3 apricot trees that didn't even flower this year, and of course no fruit either.  Didn't fruit last year either. They look good, they've had good growth this spring/summer...

In addition, my one more mature peach (maybe 12ft tall, trunk maybe 2.5" in diameter, also didn't really flower or fruit.   (a new young peach did great).    I do have Peach Leaf Curl, but have never seen that on the apricots.

So, any ideas?  I think I did a decent job mulching, and I have drip irrigation on as well.  (again, apples, figs, plums all doing super great...so I'm doing some stuff right)

Probably the better question is whether I should go hard on pruning this winter or go light.

I love apricots, and haven't had a good harvest in quite some time.
4 months ago
yes, Vogelsang, well done. thanks for the options.  I will NOT be welding.  
4 months ago
So, my yurt, where we used to live, has a lovely little cast iron woodstove that served us perfectly for 5 years.   Now, as it's about 15 years old and not used regularly, I went to check on the 'guest yurt' and saw that the joint where the chimney fitting comes out of the top is rusted(??) away.

How does one fix that?  Do I simply try and buy another top?   Can I stuff something in there?   Should I bother?  it doesn't seem to hurt the functionality so that I can tell.

Here's an image attached.

4 months ago

In a continual attempt to use what I have rather than buy new stuff, I have a little puzzle.

I have a simple cast iron box-type stove with a 6" diameter hole at the top.

I have a batch (3 3ft sections) of 8" triple wall chimney for outside the house.  

I can get all I need of 6" single wall for inside the house.

QUESTION:  does anyone think I'll run into trouble with my draft if I have about 9 feet of 6" that then flares out to maybe 9 feet of 8" pipe?  

that is, it's going from a good run of smaller tube to a good run of fatter tube.   all straight line, no turns.  
1 year ago